Sunday, July 29, 2012

hi again

It is insanely hot right now.

I love where we live except for the end of June, all of July and first part of August. Then I start dreaming of living in Canada or Alaska. And I begin counting down the days until fall, wondering if it is possible to have your shoes melt to the pavement? Is it also possible that if I sat and cried over this, would actual tears come or would they just evaporate as steam?

For some reason this summer has been wacky busy and full of doctor appointments, both planned and unplanned. I am hopelessly behind on Bible in 90 days*. I made it to day 45, but sputtered to a stop as we have been doing school most days (because it is TOO hot to do anything else) I barely find the time to get food on the table, keep our clothes and dishes clean and take care of Tanner. With three in school in three different grades, it just does not leave a lot of extra time for anything else. The last time I weighed I had lost 11 pounds (YIPPEE) and although I am running (inside) a bit, I do not really expect to get back on a serious schedule until the end of August. I have (unfortunately) struggled this summer with hydration issues/over heating, so have taken a break from running/training daily.  
*I am reading daily, just not enough chapters to keep up with/finish within the 90 days schedule.

I did finish a book I began three years ago :) called Island of the World. This book is very heavy and very sad, but really, really worth the read, the picture of redemption and healing after such agonizing pain is so incredibly breath taking. The author, Michael O'Brien is such an incredible author. The book was 800 + pages long and never once did he lose his flow, or say too much or too little, it was beautifully composed. I look forward to reading another book of his at some point in the future. I am continually amazed/surprised the more that I learn about World War II. I honestly had no idea – no concept of the the events that unfolded in Yugoslavia/Croatia/Serbia – I remember hearing tidbits on the news through the early 90’s – but had no idea of the suffering that took place there during World War II.

Well for the month of August I want to jump start my writing again, so I am going to challenge myself to write something every day for the whole month.

Here is a small tidbit of some words/thoughts that ran through my mind as we drove yesterday:

I asked my husband to drive the path that I will need to run when I am ready for the full 26.2 miles. As our tires rolled endlessly from one town to the next, the trees looking incredibly thirsty and dry providing small bits of shade here and there, I alternately felt the dream so close I could touch it and yet so far away and so impossible that I will never achieve it. I am not sure why this dream of running a marathon is so important to me, except that it was born from a season of such hopeless frustration in regards to the health of one of my children. I remember each night sitting there beside my child as she slept, begging God to do SOMETHING to fix this, take this struggle from her and to give us some answers, any answers at all. I remember the gut level frustration and helplessness piling higher and higher until one day I wanted to run. Not run away from the situation, just run to burn off some of this heaviness. So I began Couch Potato to 5K and the more I ran, the more that the dream to someday run a marathon (then just a teeny tiny seed of a thought) began to take root. Now two years later I am getting ready to turn 36, and this is my year to run that 26.2 miles. Despite the setbacks and the heat and the time off, this is my year. As we drove from one town to the next, I felt the quickening excitement build, it will take a lot of time and I am still far from actually being able to run miles in double digits, but God willing I will get there.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Five Minute Friday Gypsy Mama (Lisa-Jo Baker)


Has He ever not been enough?

Most of us live lives that are so cluttered with so much - so much stuff, so much social activities, so much church activities, so much movies, books, food, yummy coffee drinks....that we forget that He alone is enough. Very, very few of us have ever been stripped down to Him and Him alone.

All of us though are headed for one end scenario. Life ends in death. We will, like Job, realize at one point or another that naked we came into this world, naked we will leave it, BLESSED BE HIS NAME. At that point, when we take our last breath here and we stand bare souled before Him there will not be any clutter to cling to. What will that be like? What will that feel like? Will we realize that we missed the entire point? We missed the fact that He was, He is, and He will be every thing to us? Enough grace, enough love, enough patience, enough kindness, enough physical provision....enough of every single thing we have ever, do currently, or will ever need?

What if we live through being stripped down before we die? What if we lose everything - money, family, friends, food, shelter...every thing that this world tells us is vital to survive? Every thing that we hold so close and so dear to our hearts? What then? What if we do not survive it? Is that the measuring stick we should use? He was enough because I made it through? I am not so sure, because for all of us there will come a time when we do not make it through something. Time ends for everyone, so it cannot be the measuring stick of His faithfulness. It has to be deeper. Richer. It has to be that no matter what happens - no matter the violence of the storm that clamors against us, overwhelms us, or takes us down, He is that light house in the middle of it that we can cling to. He is unmovable, unshakable, unending. He is enough.


I have been thinking lately, hearing stories of those that are going through unimaginable grief, poverty, sadness, difficulties that seem to multiply each day - I have been wondering why does God allow it? Where is He when we pray for Him to swoop in to save the day? To bring the rainbow and the sunshine and to sweep away the storm clouds? As I was writing this morning I realized I have been asking the wrong questions. Maybe using the wrong measuring stick. Maybe it isn't only about making it through. Maybe it is simply about learning that no matter what - death, disease, poverty, suffering, every horrible thing we fear - that no matter what happens we CANNOT be separated from His love. That the knowledge that He is right there, right with you, every breath and every tear, He is there. Holding us. Carrying us. Even, or especially when we do not feel it to be true. I cannot remind myself of this enough.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thank You's

The summer sun slowly rises and as it does the rays lazily stretch across our backyard. The mix of brown and green colors of the grass become more apparent and the birds songs more active as they flit from branch to branch. The squirrel, now wary of venturing into our yard, sits in the neighbors twitching nervously, watching for Tanner to be put back inside so he can visit the bird feeder. He will be sorely disappointed because I forgot to refill it. A wind gently rustles through the trees stirring the leaves just a bit.

Oh how I long for fall. I long to go on a cool morning run, to actually need the mug of coffee to keep my hands warm, and to feel the delicious bite of a fall morning. But to long for it too much would be to miss the beauty of today. Already when I walked Tanner last night I noticed the Cicada's are not as loud as they were a few weeks ago. So with the morning in full swing I glance out the window and watch a bird chasing an insect of some kind, two dragonfly's playing tag across the yard, and notice that the humming bird I prayed God would bring us has been here, because the feeder is finally showing a lower liquid level.

Deep breath in, deep breath out.
Pure grace.

Today, I encourage you to stop and look around. Take a deep breath - smell that smell of summer? Smell the heat on the pavement and the smell of fresh cut grass? Or maybe in your neck of the woods there is the pitter patter of rain? Gently rolling thunder? Hot sand squished between your toes? Today, someone, somewhere did not wake up to that smell, those sights, and these feelings. This is a gift. Let's not forget to open it and say THANK YOU SO MUCH to the One who gave them. Count the ways that He loves you - take Ann Voskamp's challenge to count to a 1000 a beyond. Your life will become so rich and vibrant and you will become SO aware of God and His grace that He continually pours out on us that it will blow you away.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

note to self

There are instances in which your dog is smarter than you.

For example : last night I went on my nightly walk the doggie venture. There is a drainage ditch near where we live, it is usually dry and we have not lived here very long, so I did not realize that when there is water and it mixes with the sand and dirt that occupy the bottom of the ditch, the water becomes like ice. One minute you are standing, the other you make a HUGE splash as you land on your side now covered in mud and grime and generally yucky stuff.

Here is the deal though, Tanner did not want to walk through the water. I thought it would be a nice cool off puddle for him to cool his paws after walking on the hot road. UMMM no. He very smartly avoided the puddle and proceeded to glare at me when I accidentally splashed mud all over him too. *sigh* it was truly humbly to walk home dripping leaves, mud, and brown water. My children gasped when I walked in the door, eyes huge, wanting to know WHAT did I do? I was asking myself the same question.

Friday, July 6, 2012


I wasn't going to write this summer. But the more that I have read - the more that I find myself wanting to say. Bible in 90 days is more amazing this summer than last, more captivating and when I saw that today's Five Minute Friday word was "story" I knew I had to share this :

As my eyes race across the pages and their stories unfold word by word I slowly begin to connect the dots. How one story sets the stage for another and how His faithfulness is the thread that stitches each line, each paragraph, each page together. Because of Him, His goodness, His faithfulness, His provision there is a story to tell. Each King, each citizen of the nation of Israel lived and died, some were faithful to His covenant, some were not. Despite it all He was who He was, who He is, and who He will be because He can be nothing less than that. He is the great I AM. His is a story of chariots of fire surrounding His servants, of healing and protection, of calling the ordinary out of being ordinary and breathing into them the extraordinary capture my heart and toss around in my thoughts through out the day.

When I take my last breath here and the period stands firm at the end of the line, when there is nothing left to say about who I am and what I did there will be SO much to say about Him still. His story will never be done, His Words will never fall to the ground or fail to mean something for all of us. So if you are searching for a great summer read, an adventure that will captivate your heart and soul, grab your Bible up and dig in, you will not be disappointed.