Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Our Star Dalmatian

oh these still waters are running deep, and i have more to say than time to say it. i am praying all He is teaching, that I can find time to to write it out. so we can grow together.

but, for tonight, the most important thing is to share a little piece of my heart. my isabelle. her debut performance in her first grade play was just the sweetest thing. the sweetest. i wished so desperately some of our family could have been there, to see the twinkle in her eyes and the excitement on her face and her expressions as she sang. it melted us.

so here is the next best thing: a few pictures and clips from the night.

The Unity Tree from Aron Kirk on Vimeo.

The Unity Tree from Aron Kirk on Vimeo.
Isabelle's 1st grade Musical, starring Isabelle as "Dalmatian"

Monday, November 12, 2012

we're straddling two worlds, at the edge of a leap of faith.
our man is working hard all day and comes home to juggle a family that needs him and a full evening worth of work for this baby God is growing through him.

so I'm sure one would understand how a little stress relief might do a family good.
boys vs. girls style.
until the little rambo shoots his mama in the eye at point blank range, and mama calls it all off, says its too dangerous if we're going to shoot each others' eyes out.
this is not a christmas story, and you are never getting a bb gun, child.

you can blame your daddy for that one. ask him how a bb chasing a bird ricochets off an old barn, turns straight back at him and hits him square in the eye. thankfully, a closed eye. he'd explain it was his impressive reflexes; i know it was the grace of God. there are too many of these stories.

like most times, he talks the killjoy right out of me, and i bet he wished he didn't. girls dominated the next two rounds, victory in the name of my right eye.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

for later

i have been LOCKED out of my own blog for some time, but alas, my husband has hacked his way back in.


thursday evening is our chronically lonely night; the night daddy works late (often times there are others, but thursday is consistent), and the kids and I try hard to shake off melancholy in the quiet dark of the waning hours. i leave on friday mornings right about 6 and drag myself home usually before 9 pm. thursdays my heart is well aware i won't get a good moment with my husband till saturday morning when either Judah wakes us starving to death for pancakes, or my alarm, set for This Old House, rings lazy at 9 am. the latter never happens cause Judah's up with the roosters, but its A-okay. i know I'll miss his crazy sleep patterns all too soon.

vacuuming up the days' dirt from these white-ish carpets i've cursed every live long day, i smiled, a real one, to think of these things that brought me deep joy today:

  • baby's legs kicking with excitement, drawing panting breaths through crinkled nose. oh yes, and the way she smiles, beaming through a closed mouth grin. she melts us, all dimpled chin and dimpled cheek.
  • judah's speech, juicy and with a lisp; the way he rolls his tounge out of his mouth over-exaggerating each and every 'L'. 
  • isabelle's knobby knees between stick-like legs, the way she smiles through gaping hole.
  • the way I woke aron from a power nap, "Hun, its 6:13; you've got practice." groggy eyed and with a startle, "oh! i was writing a song in my sleep." i laugh. "no, it had a really good melody." he sings it and i wonder. in my wide awake, i can't write a song to save my life. and you, you write in your unconscience.
i pause between tidying up and tucking in to write down what my brain will soon forget.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

a little thursday chuckle

You may not have time (or desire) to watch the full clip, but minutes 1:00-2:something are pretty rich. We stay entertained.

large from Aron Kirk on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

of concrete and kingdom

I waivered between the $2.00 plain jane strawberries and their $3.00 more holy organic cousins; what is a dollar worth to me? What is the weight of pesticides and pennies? This must be why grocery shopping takes me the better part of three hours and I return home to a husband in disbelief it requires an entire evening to bring home our daily bread. My sniffing of strawberries and calculating of risk and benefits were interrupted by Judah,
"Mama, when's God gonna get out of our bellies?"
Truthfully, I ignored the question at first. The strawberries smelled sweet; they'd be great in Belle's lunch. Which to chose, which to chose.
He persisted, "MAMA! When is God going to get out of our bellies? He's in peoples' hearts. When is he going to get out of our bellies?!"

I'm pretty sure he's confused and has mixed his preschool systematic theology with his recent experiences of an invisible baby grown to maturity and exiting out of his 'mama's belly'.

We walk on toward the check out and I try to explain how God lives within us but he's in heaven and yet near anytime we call on him...and yes, in our hearts too. Everywhere.

I load produce and nuts and discounted meat atop the conveyer. Judah grabs a cooking magazine and sits in the middle of the aisle, leafing through recipes, licking his lips.

He asks for a penny to ride the pony, and by golly I found a lucky one just for him. I tell him we'll go together, soon as I pay, but he's my instant gratification child, the one who'd eat the marshmallow now despite being promised two later if only he'd wait (have you heard of that study?). He danced and waited an eternity of ten seconds before running full speed, mounting "Butterscotch LaLu" without my help (just a few months ago he was timid of this creature), inserting penny, and pressing go. I scribbled my signature without even looking, eagle eyes across the store on my boy, all guns and glory atop that pony.

We find our car and mean to find our way home, and in the madness of loading babies and bags of groceries, I left Judah unharnessed. Judah proudly announces he loves riding like this, no straps and free. We cross an eight lane highway and I dart instructions to strap himself in, right this minute. He explains how much he likes his riding without 'stwaps', and I return with threats of car crashes and him flying out of the vehicle if he's not strapped down to it.
He ponders for a moment and sweet as pumpkin pie reassures me, "Its okay mommy. I can't fly out of the car because I don't have any wings."

All of these conversations and I marvel at how abstract we speak and how concrete we live. My child calls me out on it. And I wonder more on how we approach this unseen kingdom through metaphors and ideas and there in Matthew Jesus' words of changing and becoming like a child, humble and trusting, if ever we are to enter the kingdom of heaven.

I feel like I'm close to something, some revelation for today. Today as I've already cried, just a little bit, over feeling frustrated with this walking by faith, but knowing there is no other way but the narrow path for us, because of the One leading us on it. Some days the woman in me just longs for a little concrete to sink my feet into, anchor down tight my world which feels so floaty up in the air. My frustration isn't in the path itself, but in this feeling of lack of control, as we prepare to pack up our lives and seek first the kingdom, resolving to take Jesus at his word that our Father knows we need food and clothing and shelter, why worry over these things. We seek first the kingdom, both in the abstract and in the concrete, and He supplies all these things. These concrete things. Some days it just seems easier to have a sign-on-the-dotted-line kind of job that will pack you up and pay for your move (or two if you're us) and benefits to boot. But I am reminded that Jesus and his disciples never really pursued an easy life. They did however, pursue an obedient one, a purpose-filled one, a life with clay feet firmly planted on earth but spirit eyes ever seeing the prize.

Because one very real day, God the Father, the Great I Am, will be out of our hearts and before our very eyes. Face to face. We will know him no longer in the abstract, but the concrete.

My three year old understands this, and oh how often I miss it. I pray for more faith, childlike and humble, help in my unbelief, and I repent of my loyalties toward my old masters of comfort and security. I want to live a life worthy of his name, want to live the faith of which I so easily speak.

I place the three dollar organic strawberries in the crisper, and a peace settles down over my heart. Jesus, the fullness of God, who made the abstract so concrete for us, leads.
And for today, he fills me with strength and faith and courage to press on.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Be of Good Faith

amen and glory.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Superkiddos Save The Day!

Super Saturday - Large from Aron Kirk on Vimeo.

ordinary extraordinary

My heart engaged today with fresh eyes, though I'm sure it wasn't my own hands which rubbed the haze from them. 
How do I most often miss the extraordinary all around, how do I mistake it for ordinary?

I walked from moment to moment in disbelief, mind bending wonder at the gift of it all.
And suddenly, right in the middle of uncertainty and a September Saturday, joy filled.

 I know this may seem a familiar tune, of moments and gifts and living fully of the present.
But you have to understand...this is not my nature, the striving one.
The girl who works so tirelessly now so she can play later, only later never comes. There's always one more dish to wash, diaper to fold, corner to tidy.
And true fulfillment is forever waiting behind the finish line of the next milestone achieved.
I have so often chased the mirage of 'one day when'.
This daily bread kind of living is...growth.

And to think in my Martha ways I daily take for granted the sweaty, baby head, deep rhythmic breaths cadence to my heart's dancing tune.

I could fill books with His sustaining graces, how He holds us together, His character our peace.

 And there is more still. 

I am growing quite certain that even as each day has enough trouble of its own and in this world, suffering is guaranteed,
even in our pain and unending need,
not one breath is ordinary.

 I pray you will encounter the extraordinary right in the middle of your ordinary,
through the one who came to give life in abundance.
hearts alive,

Sunday, September 2, 2012

"this is a call to all the dead and disappointed"

"your mercy's rising like the sun on the horizon, and we're coming home."

breathe it in, and come alive.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

i should have gotten a philosophy degree

"Will I always be Judah?"
"Why do bad guys do bad things?"
"Do zombies tickle you?"
"What if I be a pigeon?"
"Is a bee always a bee?"
"What happens if I ride on that train. Hey! What happens if I be applesauce?"
"Are God and Jesus best fwiends?"
"When can I be a weal (real) superhero?"
"What happens if I be a church?"
"Will Selah always be Selah?"
"What happens if I be a wheel? And then what would I say?"
"How does the movie-theater-man sleep?"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Tonight we trample down high grass overgrown, escaping to a field.
The evening sky sags heavy with purple, all trimmed out in gold, and we race for a better view.

I remind them again what the Bible says, about the heavens declaring the glory of God.
Belle asks what is glory, and I look to her daddy to answer such a weighty question.

Who can define glory; how can we wrap our minds around it?
I step into golden spotlight; my heart swells, and I laugh with joy at the sight blinding.
I have learned from my Selah.

I ask belle if she can feel it, God's love right in this moment of beauty.
She feels no hugs or kisses concrete and nods confused.
Till her daddy bends down and plants love right on her head.
"I feel that," she smiles.
"Well, that's God's love for you right there. Who do you think puts the love in daddy's heart for you?"

Judah, his warrior heart outdone by the lover within,
scurries about oblivious to all he's missing,
dipping sun glittering all she touches.
We are in a field full of life, every weed a flower for his mama.
Historically (in the car, on a walk, outside a business) with every flower we pass he speaks up
"I wish I could pick those dandelions for mama."
Tonight, he is overwhelmed by sheer volume, and picks feverishly, delivering blossom by blossom.
Clover and queen anne's lace grace my fingertips, never more beautiful.

My hands are heavy with purple, my heart all trimmed out in gold.
And I understand glory.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

you have my heart, to infinity and beyond

you know there's a card for that

I told you how I teared up in the card aisle, not just once, and not over sentiment. No, in frustration my soul ached and my heart beat heavy lifting and returning each card to its alloted space. Our anniversary came and went and though my hand held no card for you, there is so much I wanted to say. You laughed at me, still searching for the perfect card days past our cherished date. Defeated time and again, I have come to the conclusion that Hallmark is lame-o, and that there isn't a card out there worthy of you.

What card can explain the way you come to me, so proud and so broken up over the wedding song you just wrote our 4 month old. And as you pick and it pours out, the way we get all messy and unglued, your voice breaking "Unchain my heart and take his hand, o-o-o I'm a gonna cry." We create side by side, the rest of the night meandering in and out of tears as you wittle it down to just right. Our hearts go somewhere together, a place only we two can understand, our experiences paint the landscape, and He meets us there, complete.

What card can describe your faithful heart, the nights bowed in humility, the ugly confessed and the clothing with righteousness. Your steadfast love, even in my dark places - the self absorbed and the sickness - you followed me there, refused to let me die, breathing hope into my lungs. He taught you how to fight; you showed me I was worth the pain. We promised each other grace, 7 years ago, and how we did not understand it that day. Even now, we are learning it, becoming it.

And surely no card can tell of your courageous soul, your bravery. How you lead our family in chasing the Spirit. Your abandon, your resolve. How you lay down dreams and take up your cross, and you count it all joy.

And the way you make us laugh. I have never met a man so wild, so pure. You play like a child, and we can't resist your beckoning toward joy. Your children think you a King, and rightly so. But can I let you in on a little secret? Even as she chides you over the obscene amount of ice cream you consume and begs you to be serious for a second and pay her attention, your wife knows her children are right.

Our David. He has called you beloved and He has called you son, and He has ushered you in to His court, crowned you with His name and given you this tiny little kingdom called 'our home'. And even now enlarging your influence, sending you out to bring back wayward sons and daughters. And I see His hand upon you, and I need you to know

I would follow you anywhere.

This next year of our journey, I am asking God for so much. I know it won't be easy, I know it will cost us much. But our Jesus, His glory is worth it. And you, you are ready. I have watched God lovingly call you out, prune you back so far and so deep I wondered if you'd ever recover. But He cuts with wisdom and love, and your branch abiding is now strong and healthy, bearing good fruit, to the glory of God.

Next year I'm going to start my card hunt earlier. Or maybe, like you, I'll look for one with a spoon and a fork and an off color joke to set the mood so wrong its right. I wouldn't have it any other way.
(secret work)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

on squirrels and selah

Ever seen a grown woman chased by a baby squirrel?  True story. I first spied this little guy approaching my 20 week old baby through the lens of my camera.
 I thought to myself that surely he would scare off. But the closer he came, the faster he charged. Right at Selah. I dropped my camera and swooped her up, saving her from his sharp little claws. Relentless, he turned, looked at me, and ran at my bare feet. Aron was across the park pushing the big kids on the swings. I ran and screamed and begged for him to save me, that crazy squirrel chasing me all the way to my husband, doubled over helpless in laughter at the sight.

Aron's a nature boy; I'm just a chicken. When we were 16 he showed up at my house with two baby chipmunks he rescued from the middle of the road. After a few days of bottle feeding them, I think they may have ended up at his sister's house...but that's another story.

We lay down Selah and released the little guy to run back to his mama, wherever she may be. But baby squirrel was tenacious in his pursuit of our Cocoa. I thought the thing must be rabid; turns out he was just ravenous.

Belle and Judah ran around, ensuring the squirrel chased them, leading it away from Selah and I. Aron ran to the Mounty for Judah's half eaten peanut butter sandwich.

The little buddy was half starved. Aron thinks he must have fallen out of his nest, small as he was. 
He ate his tummy full and bulging, and like my own tiny baby, curled up and went to sleep.
 "He'll get eaten tonight," Aron warned, "if we don't find a safe place for him. A raccoon will get him." Nature boy found an old stump, hollowed out, and tucked him inside on a bed of leaves, leaving his peanut butter sandwich closeby in case he needed a midnight snack. I'm a little frightened of wild animals, but it sure tugged at my heart to know a baby was fending for itself, lost from its mama. I could cry just thinking of it. And my heart turned instantly to the millions of orphans around the world, essentially with the same fate. I pray... I wonder what our family can do...
I am lingering in this tension, between the need and our resources. I wonder, if the Spirit is leading your heart, if you would join me here. Together we can pray.

Squirrel drama put to rest, I returned to my girl playing quietly on her blanket.
It was that magic time of day, the time when God came and walked with man. And even now the light bows all glorious in its remembrance. 
And our hearts bowed with it, enjoying His nearness in Spirit, longing for the day we will again be face to face. Selah Joy sings a song all her own of her Creator Love, faithful as the sun setting and rising.
The Word gives us a beautiful glimpse into the heart of Christ, telling us in Colossians that all things were created by Jesus and for Jesus, and in Him, all things hold together (1:16-17).
I have found much peace in that verse through the most fearful moments, knowing that Selah was created by Jesus and for His pleasure. And that in Him, she holds together. In Him, I hold together, even when I found myself nearly broken to pieces with worry or fear.
Selah flat out belly laughs at the sun, when it blinds her so and squinting hard, she can't even open her eyes. I think she knows something we've forgotten.
Oh, the wonder of it all.
By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. (Psalm 42:8)
Even in hardship, even through trial, the Son is still blinding with goodness.
And nothing, as Judah would say "Not ANY-THING", can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39). That, my friends, is a warm blanket in a cold, cold world.
The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

When you know your Father's love, when you trust in the deepest parts that He's got you...because He's crazy in love with you, what have we to fear?
"Not Anything."

Saturday, July 28, 2012


I asked for thick, and boy has he smeared it on. Thick like honey, His spirit comes and sweetens, soothes, coats us all with His goodness. It tastes like peace, making room for simple joy. Settles down like gratitude, enhancing the flavor of his goodness all around. The gifts of these children, this man, how can I miss how loved I must be, given this dream to share a lifetime, to be offered today with them? Even more, to invest this life ever discovering the richness of Christ in me, in us, the Hope of Glory.
I don't want to miss the beauty right in front of me. He has given me fresh eyes to see it, and I'm cherishing it all. I don't want to miss the privilege of a life lived abiding in Christ, in plenty or in want, his grace truly sufficient in my weakness.
I have tasted, and He is good.
Oh, to trust Him more.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

thick in my thin

I type with one hand, pecking away while my left arm encircles my peaceful child, content as long as she's near mom. By the extended time it has taken to type that first sentence she squirms with hunger making a liar out of me.


Across the dimly lit living room, we both collapsed in self poured-out exhaustion. I told Aron that all of life feels very thin right now. My frame looks fragile in the mirror, and its that time after the fullness of pregnancy when my hair falls out in clumps scaring me half to death I might really lose it all. For the health of my girl, I have chosen to eat only a handful of foods, and 3 months on end of eating to live and to nourish my child, and I feel thin in nearly every dimension.

I think it is the accumulation of much of life pressing in, but three children has been more challenging than I imagined, and I feel thin - my resources simply not enough for all their needs. My patience has been so thin at times, and my day to day often feels like a hamster wheel, running myself ragged and never going anywhere. All the while knowing these moments are my life, and they are a gift.

And so I stand over stove and pray through tears, "Jesus, come. Be thick among my thin."

And he does. He blankets me in presence and patience and perspective and hope. I pour grapeseed oil in my oatmeal, adding calories wherever I can, and I feel him nourishing my heart this way: taking my thin, pouring over me the richness of his Spirit giving me all I need to thrive for today.

This journey of motherhood, it is a constant pouring out of self. And I would be empty if He weren't constantly, moment by moment filling my hollow places so I have something to offer the lives at my feet.

I don't want to waste these hardships, and I feel myself bowing to them. A younger me would fight them in frustration, knowing this is not how life is supposed to be. But God taught me something right in the middle of labor, 8 centimeters of excruciating pain. And each wave seemed unbearable and I writhed and twisted and fought against the pain so hard. I sang, no, I pleaded somewhere between earth and outer space, "I may be weak, but your Spirit's strong in me. My flesh may fail, but my God, you never will." And I felt Him gently coach me to submit to the pain. To allow it to accomplish its purpose: to open me up to new life. As the next contraction came, I simply went limp, allowing my body to do what it must. The pain remained, but somehow, enduring it was easier now that I wasn't fighting against it. So now I remember James' words to consider facing trials pure joy because of what will be accomplished through perseverance. And Paul's words about God's discipline, so painful at the time, but only for a little time, for our good, that we may share in his holiness. So I whisper prayers in my thinness, "God let this hardship change me. Help me to allow it to accomplish the good it should. To birth new life in me."

So thin in my flesh just now, but as I explained to Aron, "Never before has Jesus' words been more alive for me, 'I am the Bread of Life.'" I feed on him, and he nourishes like no food can.
"There is rarely nothing you can do. Being still and knowing He is God is a long shot from nothing. Trusting in a God you cannot see is a long shot from nothing. Holding your tongue is a long shot from nothing. Being patient is a long shot from nothing. Counting it all joy is a long shot from nothing. Submitting is a long shot from nothing. Confessing sin is a long shot from nothing. Resting in Christ is a long shot from nothing, and hear this one really loudly: praying is a long shot from nothing."
- from James Mercy Triumphs study, Beth Moore

Monday, July 23, 2012

simple goodness

raspberry season is upon us.
we might turn a healthy shade of pink for all we're consuming.
i'm not sure there is a more delicious way to spend an evening than this:
a fresh raspberry milkshake, bursting with summer's richest berry.