Sunday, March 29, 2009


Outside my front door, five rose bushes grow. All last summer and fall I enjoyed the beautiful red and pink roses. Hardly a day went by without at least one rose in a vase on my kitchen table.

But from the last rose bush on the end, not a single rose grew. It had not bloomed once from the time it was planted. I watered it and fed it rose food, pruned it and covered it to protect it from the frost, just like all the rest. Sometimes I wondered if it was worth it because there was no sign it would bloom and maybe I should just pull it up and plant another one in its place.

Then a few days ago, I saw a most amazing sight. A tiny peachy pink bud was forming. I waited with anticipation for it to open. Then yesterday I picked it and as you can see, it's simply glorious! It has such a delicate, sweet fragrance. I think this has become my favorite of all my roses.

It's a reminder of God's promise to me. I do not yet have what I long for. It seems as if there is nothing happening, no sign of life, of fruit. But God is at work beneath the surface, and one day, I will see the beauty.

Today I ran across this poem by Amy Carmichael
in her book, "Rose from Brier".

Thou hast not that, My child, but thou hast Me.
And am I not alone enough for thee?
I know it all, know how thy heart was set
Upon this joy which is not given yet.

And well I know how through the wistful days
Thou walkest all the dear familiar ways,
As unregarded as a breath of air,
But there in love and longing, always there.

I know it all; but from thy brier shall blow
A rose for others. If it were not so,
I would have told thee. Come, then, say to Me,
My Lord, My Love, I am content with Thee.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I've been a fearful person my whole life. Even as a little girl, I remember being afraid about even small things that most people wouldn't give a second thought. Two years ago, with the unraveling of my marriage, I began to live some of my deepest fears. Ironically, it was walking through all of that, I began to experience freedom from them as the Lord began to heal those deep wounds.

But as time goes on, I'm still uncovering more fear on this journey to wholeness. For example, here's a fear I'm dealing with now:

I'm afraid to commit. I'm afraid to commit to a long-term plan. I'm afraid to make big decisions. I find myself making a decision and then trying to back out after a while. I start to move forward (like in my work, for example) then I freak out and pull in. Kind of like a turtle. I'm noticing this in relationships too. The ones I've had for quite a while, I'm fine with. But the new ones, like people I've met since moving here, I'll engage with them and open up. Then I'll pull back and hide. It's like we're playing hide and seek except they don't know it.

It's kind of annoying and frustrating because I see how all this is hindering me from really moving forward in some areas. As tempting as it is to blame it all on the marriage falling apart (and I'm sure that is aggravating these fears) I know they didn't start with this. I struggled with this much earlier on. And it sure would be nice to have them gone for good.

I know who to go to. He and I have already had some discussions on this. I know we'll sort it out because ultimately, my fears stem from my lack of trust in Him. Somehow it always comes back to what I believe about God and about myself. And the best way I've discovered to get freedom from my fears is to wrestle it out with the Lord.

"I sought the LORD and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame." Psalm 34:4, 5

Friday, March 6, 2009


My 11 year old son's boots. When did he get so big? I remember his first pair of hiking boots -- they fit in the palm of my hand. Now his feet are bigger than mine.

May Steven's feet walk in the ways of the Lord and in His path all the days of his life.
May his feet be lovely on the mountaintops bringing the Good News to ones who sit in darkness.
May his feet be washed by Jesus and may he wash the feet of others with love and sacrifice.
May the blessing of the Lord be upon my son and every place his feet go from this day forward.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I am thankful...

for a son who isn't embarrassed to hug his mom, even in public.

for the happy sounds of my daughter singing her heart out while she rearranges magnets on the fridge.

for an overabundance of delicious fresh strawberries from the farmers market.

for the way God sneaks up on me while I'm busy and reminds me of His love.

for friends who call or email me right when I need encouragement.

for the openness of sisters and brothers in Christ who let me see their hearts and the struggles they're going through. We are not alone. We are family.

for the opportunity to love a child who has nothing.

for music that awakens the deepest parts of my soul and moves me to worship.

for a Lord who longs for intimacy with me. More than I can imagine.

"The LORD is faithful to all His promises, and loving towards all He has made.
The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up those who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food at the proper time.
You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise His holy name for ever and ever." Psalm 145:13-16,21

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Yesterday I was angry at God. I had heard about a woman I know who lost her husband several years ago. He had been kidnapped by terrorists and after being held hostage for years, was eventually killed. She remarried and now just found out her second husband has cancer. I don't know much more than that. But my heart goes out to her and her family. It just seems like too much.

I was angry because I want to believe that things will get better and stay better. That the hard things we go through and learn from will pass and then we'll live happily ever after. But if God is taking her and her family through more suffering, after all that they endured for years, then He may do the same with me. And that really made me mad.

So after the kids were off to school, we sat down and talked. Well, mostly I talked. I realized that I was facing two different windows of life. God's view out of His window and how He sees life, my window and how I see it. I really want God to have my view of life which is a loving marriage, close-knit family, healthy bodies, plenty of money, a fulfilling and satisfying life and eventually end where we die peacefully and painlessly in our sleep.

But the God who went to the cross isn't likely to give that to me. Not if He really loves me. His purpose for my life is much different. That scares me. I don't really have control in this. I don't exist for my good pleasure, but for His. And that takes me right into the heart of God to see if He really is good and has my best in mind, even when I am suffering and things seem to be horribly wrong.

After I cooled down and listened, I caught a glimpse of what really matters to the Lord. For one moment, I saw out of His window. It was beautiful. I don't know what He has in store for me, or for that woman and her family. But once more, He has brought me to that quiet place of trust. I am willing for Him to get what He's going after in me. No matter what.