Monday, April 25, 2011

when words just can't paint the beauty the heart longs to tell

*to catch a better view, click on the picture to enlarge

This world, fallen and expectant - awaiting redemption's final word, oh how it can squeeze, coiling around as it suffocates the life right from us. At least our joy and at most our passion, our will, our purpose - our communion with our God. This weekend we quieted ourselves to consider the greatest tragedy the universe has ever known; pondered with broken hearts and bowed heads a God sacrificed for our betrayal. A torn body, a torn veil - God and man in communion again. Oh, but at what great cost! We moved from sorrow to disbelief and on to utter gratitude as the reality of Sunday's empty tomb fills our lives with the fullness of the promises of a resurrected Saviour, a resurrected heart. A life laid down, crucified with Christ, and a life risen and bursting LIFE with the fullness of the Godhead living within. This the miracle of our Easter.

This the hope of my tiny children, my precious niece. With a world of evil and pain awaiting them, yet an eternity of glory expecting them. This my sacred calling; to help them understand. Even in simple ways, as much as a 4 year old can understand. I pray for the words. I pray for the authenticity. I pray they will understand - one day, and today the same.

But for now, I capture my little piece of Eden - life as it should be, if only in a few frames. The glory of the sun, telling a larger story of the glory of the true Son, who will one day very soon be our very light.
*Check out the full album on facebook to see the rest of the adorable shots of the littles. All 90 something of them. I tried to whittle the album down, but I just couldn't muster the strength to delete many of them!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Death in his grave

John Mark says what I could only hope to.
And in such a visceral way.
It is a devastatingly good Friday, indeed.
May his sacrifice wreck you anew, and his gift wash over you afresh. Breathe it in. We were dead men, now alive, infused with the lifeblood of our King. Guilty men, now pardoned, and adopted - sons and daughters of the Most High. Clothed in His righteousness, called by His name.

Undeserving of a King like Jesus,

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


"Perspective can always adopt gratitude — and gratitude always parents joy."
Ann Voskamp, Holy Experience

Tonight, my heart is moved from frustration and despair to gratitude and joy. Perspective leads me there.

A safe home, a warm bed, food enough for tomorrow and the week ahead. This a Happily Ever After for most of the world. The children in Africa that walk miles each night to sleep in a lighted city street to avoid village abductions. Swept away and sold into slaves of lustful men, slaves of power hungry regimes. Babies, I tell you. How can I complain?

A husband sitting at our table, writing a song of worship tonight. A day worked, for us, for Him. A strong man who challenges me to lose what I cannot keep to gain what I cannot lose. Who chooses a life of purpose, of calling over a life of success, of possessions. Who loosens a little girl's braids and strokes her hair, whispering sweet nothings that tell of her beauty and her worth. A man who prepares a picnic dinner to usher us into the magic of evening falling, and brings along a soccer ball for his boy. Who chooses to love me when it would be easier to check out. Who forgives careless words and calloused heart alike. How can I complain?

A girl, so sick two weeks stacked, my worries mounting. And tonight she, happy and healthy, creating a card for her brother to keep at his side as the night hours pass, his body fighting a sickness of his own. Sweet boy, as sick as I've seen him, but he fights. And he is strong even as he wheezes and works so hard to breathe, a lion cub by destiny, a warrior by design. His days are ordained, and I can trust the Giver of this good gift of a son to see him through 'till the day our son is ushered into the presence of his Maker. How then, can I complain?

When nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, not trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or danger or nakedness or sword, how can I waste the life-breath within my lungs to complain? To despair? To fear? When in all these things we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us and gave his life up for us to know the Father's joy, even while facing the trouble he promised we would encounter. When our Victorious King - the one who conquered death by death, chose it in will-bowed obedience to his Father - sits at the right hand of that same Father and intercedes on my behalf (yes, little ole' me - and little ole you too). He chose it for the joy set before him. You and I were on the line. And He. chose. us. Our restored relationship with Elohim the joy set before him. And because he humbled himself, became obedient to death, God lifted him up from the shame and the scorn, to the highest place giving him a name above every other name.

You and I have the honor to call upon that name. Jesus. To share in his suffering, share in his glory. His punishment brought up peace.
And tonight I chose that peace.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


As long as I live I will never understand 'Spring in Michigan' (really, is there a such thing as spring or do we dive straight into summer?). Its quite the shocker to wake up to 45 degrees and fog and march out of church to a balmy 79 degrees and sunshine - a shocker I will gladly embrace.

It was just the kids and I this afternoon, and after a quick nap, we headed outdoors. As soon as I spread out the sheet for us to perch our little selves upon, Belle chirped, "Oh, this would be the PERFECT day for a picnic! I'll go get the food!"

She returned with cheese sticks, carrots, and water. And we had ourselves a lovely little picnic indeed.

Judah, ever my curious lion cub, was momentarily entertained by our quiet little picnic, until he discovered it was far more fun to splash in the water than drink it.

He wondered off to his own adventure - the dirt beckoned and there was much to explore.

Belle and I sat face to face, squinty eyed and wind blown, sunshine spilling over in our smiles.
And she said to me (I do believe this sums up the heart of a woman right here),
"We should talk about something."
"Okay, hun," I answered, "what do you want to talk about?"
"Lets talk about our feelings," she said as sincere as she could be.
Trying not to let my amusement show I asked, "Well...what should we say about our feelings?"
Matter of factly she replied, "You know. What we feel about things and what we don't feel about things."
"Okay," I said. "Well, I feel really happy that it is such a warm day out and we are having a picnic."
Without hesitating, she jumped in, "When the wind blows through my hair, and I feel it on my face, and the sun shines on my skin...I feel SOOOO happy!" She closed her eyes and looked toward the sky as if to take it all in, then broke the silence,
"Let's talk about the world! I love that the world spins 'round and 'round. I feel so happy when I think about the world."
There is no denying this one is my child - a four year old that is a feeler to the core, and describes her world in experiences and emotion. If you know Aron and I at all, we interpret the world through feelings and internal impressions. She is definitely our child.

And this one - he is acting more and more like his daddy. He loves to create, loves to draw, loves to sing, loves to play ball, loves to play dolls, loves to touch skin, loves to laugh. He is one happy dude.

We've got a right handed artist,

And a left handed one.

And TWO bug lovers. See that black dot in front of Belle's paper? THAT is an ant that decided to join our picnic. Judah belly laughed as the insect crawled all around, and he repeated over and over, "Hi! Hello! Hi!" as he waved at the tiny creature. I caught him mid wave in the picture below. Belle lowered herself to get a closer look at the ant for the sketch she was making of it, "Let's see, how many legs do you have?" she said to their new friend. "Oh, you're fast! I can't count with you moving all around!"

Thank you, Jesus, for this breath of fresh air and washing of your love. Even the babies were basking in the warmth of your goodness today.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air..." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, April 4, 2011

when life gives you *another* fever

Make COOKIES with your daddy! (who happens to know just what to do to make you smile).

Even Judah thinks daddy is a hoot.

The sweetest little helper I have ever seen!

With the most delicate little feet; I think they are a work of art. (my apologies to all you feet haters out there - i hope the thought of baking cookies and feet in the same post didn't lose you altogether!)

Judah's obviously not a foot hater. He loves to play with sissy's toes.

Daddy saved the night for our little munchkins.

With sweet, sweet love.
In the words of our very favorite JT (James Taylor):
"How sweet it is to be loved by you."