Sunday, March 30, 2014

a corker


All this past week my phone has displayed white on black CS Lewis brilliance.  Written in 1938 as the first book of a trilogy I can't wait to finish, Out of the Silent Planet is a real corker of a book (corker being one of the  many words I learned from the book which means a remarkable or astounding person or thing). I enjoyed every wonderful word and my imagination soared with the protagonist's trip through the heavens.  It was as rich with imagery as it was with philosophy and implied theology.  

I highly recommend it.  

Some of my favorites from the book:  

"Moreover, he knew nothing yet well enough to see it:  you cannot see things till you know roughly what they are."  

"To every man, in his acquaintance with a new art, there comes a moment when that which before was meaningless first lifts, as it were, one corner of the curtain that hides its mystery, and reveals, in a burst of delight which later and fuller understanding can hardly ever equal, one glimpse of the indefinite possibilities within."

"...now that very name 'Space' seemed a blasphemous libel for this empyrean ocean of radiance in which they swam... No: Space was the wrong name.  Older thinkers had been wiser when they named it simply the heavens..."

"My people have a law never to speak much of sizes or numbers to you others, not even to sorns.  You do not understand, and it makes you do reverence to nothings and pass by what is really great."

Especially if Peter, Edmund, Susan, and Lucy were your childhood friends, Dr. Ransom should be your grown up chum.  I only wish I had read it sooner!  

Friday, March 28, 2014

unmeasured

"He felt the old lift of the heart, the soaring solemnity, the sense, at once sober and ecstatic, of life and power offered in unasked and unmeasured abundance."  C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

The story of Ransom on the planet Malacandra is accompanying me on our epic family road trip through snow and sun.  

And I'm gonna go ahead and call it.   

Best trip ever.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

so I had this dream....

My dad went to be with Jesus 12 years ago, so it's been quite a while since I've seen him.  Only in a few dreams have I heard his laughter or seen his face and when I have, I have been so grateful for such a gift.  

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, I woke up again grateful.

In this latest dream, Jack and I went upstairs to look at a house and there were young people milling about and there was a couch.  My dad was sitting on the couch.  I reached over to touch him- to make sure he was real (this happens in all my dreams of him)- and sure enough, I felt the warmth of his arm.  Definitely real.  Asher was sitting in his lap and I was so glad that the two of them had met. 

"Hey Dad!  I'm so glad you met Asher! What are you doing here?!?" I wanted to know.

He told me he was tired, really tired, but he was here to help me (was it me or more people?) sing a worship song.

And that was it.

As I was waking up, all that was going through my head was the melody and phrase, "Your grace, Your great grace" over and over.  I had to Google it.  I knew that it was a song that I had heard before but I didn't really know the words.  But there it was on my phone's screen-  Matt Redman's version of "Your Grace Finds Me."  

I think it probably goes without saying that it hit home.  There on a wedding day, there at the weeping by the graveside, there in every breath we breathe.

God's grace. 

His GREAT grace.

Sing with me? 

Monday, March 17, 2014

but they're so cute!


Mental note:

If you are going to a wedding reception at which you will be making small talk and taking pictures of most everyone that shows up and you have two little-ish boys who have four very fun little-ish boy cousins to play with......

just bring a babysitter along.

Maybe then (just maybe), a little shoe won't go flying at an elderly's person head as they eat their finger sandwiches and cake.




Just sayin'.  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

a union blessed


I have a hard time putting words to this story because where do I even begin?  Maybe I can tell the story one day, but for now all I can say now is that my mom used to have sad eyes.  Even when she was kind of happy, she still had sad eyes.

But no more.  


Twelve years a widow, the Lord has now given her beauty for ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning.... it's all there, sparkling in her new happy eyes on her wedding day- a day she thought might never come. 


Isn't she stunning?





 


And her new husband, too, has had more than his share of grief. 

And now.... he's been given SEVEN energetic grandsons and an Anna Grace bringing his granddaughter count to three. 


may be my favorite picture




girls who pray together stay together- mom's sisterhood of bible study








Broken hearts mended.

Sad eyes happy again.  

Redemption and beauty.

I wish them all joy as they build a new life together with Jesus as their cornerstone.  The Lord gives and the Lord takes away and sometimes the Lord gives again. 

Blessed be the name of the Lord.  





So are you?

Are you ready for the day?

Are you your kids' mom?

Are you your husband's girlfriend? 

Did you remember what day it is?  It's ACC tournament day.  

Maybe too much Dr. Laura, but still... Great questions.  

Gotta love life with Jack.  



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

PCS'ing

 So we started a mom's prayer group at my school:  Mom's PCS (for Prayer-Care-Share).

We've only had two meetings, but it's already been really great on so many levels.  It's a way to bear one another's burdens and fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2) and a way to come together and encourage one another (Hebrews 13:3).  Like I said, it's a huge blessing.

In conjunction with our prayer time, we're doing a study by Michele Anthony called "Spiritual Parenting" because, as she reminds us in the book, the direction in which we set our hearts determines the outcome of our whole lives for ETERNITY.  Perfect behavior isn't really our end goal- hearts transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit is.  Good behavior and good choices are an outflow of a transformed heart so we are to be students of our children (because they are all so different, can I get an amen?) and create environments in which the Holy Spirit can do what only He can do.  The three part end goal is for our children to discern and hear God's voice, desire to obey Him, and then to carry out obedience in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

It's so good, but make no mistake, my children and I have NOT fully arrived.  I'm studying them, loving them, and trying my best, but I think I've relied on myself a little too much for a little too long. 



my oldest and her big personality- I love it and I love her!





And not only are we to be students of the kids God has given us, but we are to take a look in the mirror and remember that we can't pass along a faith that we ourselves don't possess.  What do they see us doing?  Are we modeling a life of loving Jesus?  Do our lives match our words and instruction?  

so I like to wear window pane glasses that I don't really need- so what?  ;)
It's hard but it's not.  His yoke is easy and his burden is light.  Leaning in and trusting Him to be the One in charge takes the pressure off.  His perfect love can cast out fear and I pray that it does just that as we continue to meet week after week and learn how to direct the hearts of our children to the beautiful, amazing, knock-your-socks-off Hero who loves us and made us and calls us to be His.

Instead of turning AWAY from something, we'll endeavor to have them turn TO Jesus. We'll aim to raise a generation of believers who are known for their kindness, faithfulness, and love- strong men and women who stand for truth, transformed and living from the inside out.  

So I'm thankful.  I'm thankful for my own parents who raised me in an environment to know and love Jesus and for the people in my life who continue to encourage me in my walk with God.  I'm thankful for Michele Anthony's work and book.  I'm thankful for the moms who have spent these last couple of Tuesday mornings with me.  I'm thankful that we weren't called to forge our way through parenthood all on our own- it's just too hard for that.  And, of course, I'm thankful for the love and grace of Jesus helping us every step of the way. 

Here's to the PCS! 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

we're His


I was thinking about how nice it would be to be all unencumbered and carefree like these little ones. 


Play is their work and they work hard.


They don't know the extent of the world's sufferings and tragedies and the depth of the depravity of the world and isn't that kind of nice? 



I remember it- those days.



But even though the years seem to have piled up on us, as believers adopted and chosen, we ARE children.  We're His.

And even in the midst of the pain and the suffering that this fallen world has to offer, that's a pretty safe and good place to be- His children, free to lean into the heart of the Father.

We are His kids.  Why worry?  He's got us.  

And one Day, we'll be free of all of the suffering.  We'll be able to wear fun hats and boots in a boat with snacks on a renewed earth free from all the dangers and evil of this day and age. 

I can't wait. 

"For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." Romans 8:14-17

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

moving forward

rain on our parade









Mardi Gras is a marker for Louisianians, a season of celebration culminating on a Tuesday.  The year has become predictable with our revolution around the sun.  From Thanksgiving to Christmas to our Fat Tuesday, we are living celebratory lives even in the midst of grey clouds and (relatively) cold weather broken by a sunny 70 degree day here and there.  And where I'm from, we celebrate well. 

Even so, Ash Wednesday always seems rather a welcome change to my soul.  The spiritual conversation seems to shift and doubled down discipline is just never bad for anyone especially in a culture of excess. 

Tonight's midnight brings a changed season and aren't we all grateful for seasons and change?  It's good that we aren't stagnant, forever standing in the same old place doing the same old thing, but instead, we're propelled forward with the changing seasons. 

It's a good thing, this new season with new things to do and new words from God on who we are and where He's taking us. 

Here's to this new season and the discipline of listening. 

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2







even puppies got treats