what we leave behind

Monday, April 30, 2012

On Saturday, I said goodbye to a man of God. Nearly every Wednesday night during high school, I sat in the upstairs youth room, the one with florescent lights, a vending machine, and what seemed like an endless number of folding chairs, listening to him and his wife lead us towards the gospel. We filled out Talksheets, we played games and drank Mountain Dew, and to be honest, I’m not sure that I remember a single particular lesson that clearly. What I do remember is how they loved God, how they loved us and how they loved each other.

Walking into a sanctuary that I haven’t stepped foot in in nearly fifteen years, a sanctuary that is literally unchanged from the pews to the banners to the wreaths on the wall, I was struck with what he really left behind. Face after face recognized from youth group days of old, now grown men and women, still loving God. Serving him daily. Structuring their own marriages and families towards Jesus. It’s not just us that he impacted; we’re passing that on to our own kids, a second generation reaping the rewards of the faithfulness of one man.

The sermon was filled with accounts of the things he did and how much he loved to serve Jesus. Nothing about it was bad, but I couldn’t help but long for a little more about the people he touched because I could look around that sanctuary and see them - the lives that he impacted eternally, including mine. This man, who became more than just the youth leader when he became the father-in-law of one of my oldest and dearest friends, changed lives. By his faithfulness, his wisdom, his love for others, and above all else, his love for Christ.

That’s the legacy I want to leave behind.

Only one life, twill soon be past;
only what’s done for Christ will last.
CT Studd


957. a mug full of steaming coffee
958. a glass full of ice-cold tea
960. a tall drink of water
961. intervention
962. the support of women
963. the power of encouragement
964. other people's recognition of the changes in our children
965. a good rehab program
966. the hope of a changed life
967. a friend who shares this unique life with me, real understanding
968. further confirmation of what's true
969. the eternal relief of suffering
970. the legacy of a man who loved and lived for God
971. a much-needed change in scheduling
972. trusting my community to help care for my children
973. a congregation full of the faithfulness of God
974. the promise of an evening with the one I love
975. babies, babies, babies
976. reminders of how very special my children are to others
977. peace in the midst of a lot of uncertainty

sunday [11]

Sunday, April 29, 2012

635281fck8mpwycImage: Phaitoon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

"What is to give light must endure burning."
Viktor Frankl

dancing music for your weekend

Saturday, April 28, 2012

This one is definitely not new and needs no more publicity, but it is one of my kids’ favorite songs right now. Maggie thinks the words are “Uma has it” (which I refuse to correct), and Niah just sings a background vocal of “ooh” (on cue and on tune).

Dance and enjoy…

five on friday

Friday, April 27, 2012

1. This week I drank my weight in Tazo tea. I mean, it’s better than drinking my weight in soft drinks. Or hard liquor, I suppose. But good grief, that stuff is expensive. My favorite is Refresh. I’m also in love with the iced green tea stuff and Tazo Rest, which has valerian root in it and makes me quite deliciously relaxed.

2. Last night, in honor of National Grilled Cheese Month (and because we didn’t want sloppy joes, which was the original menu plan), Wendell made me a grilled gruyere and caramelized onion on sourdough boucle bread. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it. As a side note, I’m pretty sure that my fat intake for the entire week was contained in that sandwich. It was worth it.

3. Having the baby in our room has seriously hampered my nightly reading time. I like to read before I go to sleep, but any extended period with the light on seems to disturb the young one. So I’m stuck reading whatever free books I can get on my Kindle app. Which alternate between being classics that I don’t want to casually read before sleep or truly bad books that people have to give away for free because WHY WOULD ANYONE PAY TO READ THIS? I’d just like to finish my grown-up book sometime soon please.

4. The husband and I desperately need a date night. But we have too many children. That’s all that needs to be written on that point.

5. Wendell makes these: Spicy Whiskey BBQ Sliders. They are unbelievable, and they’re what I want for supper tonight. I don’t think that’s going to happen, so I’ll just look at the pictures and drool.

That’s five things on Friday. Now it’s your turn: share five things. Write a post & link it up the comments, or just share your five in the comments below…

fostering update

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baby D has been with us for over 7 weeks now, and it doesn’t seem like it’s been nearly that long. It’s a little strange because our experience and our expectation was that he would’ve shifted allegiance to us after this amount of time. He’s a baby after all, and he spends all but eight hours a week with us. But no. He loves his mama. He loves her the most. We are clearly not his parents. He tolerates and enjoys us as caretakers, but it’s a little disconcerting to know that this little baby definitely knows and treats us as mere babysitters. He knows who he belongs with, and it is not us.

He still has no teeth, he’s not quite ready to walk, but he is the most freaking adorable baby ever. I think it’s something about his super-symmetrical features, and they’re all very close together on his face. Plus he has hair, which I am unused to on babies. His little mouth makes a perfect half-circle when he smiles. It’s just too cute. All of us enjoy him so very much, but I don’t think that any person, including the children, is confused about this baby’s place in our family. We all love him, but we all know where he should be. Every visit, the kids ask if this the time that he gets to go home forever. Really, I think children, especially those who have experienced significant pain and trauma, have a better idea than we do of what’s going on. They sense when other little souls have been in trauma or are in danger in ways that I don’t completely understand.

If you would, join me in some earnest prayer that he can go home to his mama very soon. We know the reason he was removed. We know there are reasons that they aren’t returning him home yet. We definitely don’t want him to be unsafe, and we are fully committed to our role within the agency. We will keep him safe and secure as long as they feel he needs to be here, and we will do it willingly. That’s the job we agreed to do, and we are honored to do it. But we think that our role as foster parents, as the people who know him best outside of his real family, calls us to advocate for this baby and his needs, and so we will continue to advocate to the professionals involved that he go home as soon as possible. (Which in truth, is also the goal of the agency.) In spite of what we know and don’t know, we know Baby D, and we believe he is best served by being with his mama. She’s a good mama, and I really believe that she can and will continue to keep him safe, healthy, and nurtured. We’re praying for mercy.

now your head will be itching too…

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I’m pretty sure my husband was speaking metaphorically when he talked to me on Sunday about getting dirty and living in the mess.

But today….

Lice.

 

Ugh.

the beauty of the mess

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dishing out potato soup long past dinner time because of an ill-timed trip to urgent care with a child, my husband preaches gospel to me in our kitchen. Tells me this Jesus-road is hard. It’s messy and dirty.

And sometimes we get our feelings hurt.

The thing is, I want to look ahead, judge and plan how this road is going to go. I want to be in the lead, stay in the easy part, out of the mud and the puddles. I don’t want to look messy. I don’t want to be hurt.

But the good of it happens when I follow Jesus so close that I can’t see the road ahead; I can only see Him.

Seeing the beauty in the mess…

936. two strangers, intimately tied together 
937. sharing pain and hopes over coffee
938. fulfillment of answered prayers, the hope of yet unanswered ones
939. the honor to work in a county that's ahead of the curve, committed to holistically caring for kids
940. a tightly held hand to help hold back tears
941. 400 more baby trees planted
942. the strange freedom and ability to accomplish that comes with having only two children with me instead of three for a couple hours
943. the unusual privacy of driving, alone in the front seat, all children in the back
944. 75 more baby trees planted
945. an extra half-hour of sleep
946. safety for the fire dept. during the largest fire in several years
947. 1000 baby trees, all planted and ready for rain
948. an impulsive evening out with the girls...
949.  ...the fun erasing the painful parts of the week away
950. here comes the rain for our little trees
951. a day off work
952. Tom Cruise movie marathon with my best friend
953. staying awake for two whole movies
954. loving my church
955. my nephew's Super-Sad Face - a face worthy of capitalization
956. a husband to preach the gospel to me right when I need it

sunday [10]: earth day

Sunday, April 22, 2012

globe-in-grass.ashx

God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone,
but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.

Martin Luther

sweet saturday music

Saturday, April 21, 2012

LOVE.
This album has been on repeat at my house all week. AND you can buy The Lumineers for only $5 on Amazon today. Do it.

friday links

Friday, April 20, 2012

Still too overcome by my week to truly write anything or edit anything I’ve already written, so here are some posts by people who write much better than me. Click through; read them. I think you’ll be glad you did.

In praise of my unspectacular, pre-Pinterest wedding - Rachel Held Evans: The myth of the perfect wedding day is just one more story we tell ourselves to maintain the illusion of control…Try as we may, we don’t get to custom-build our happiest moments. Instead, they sneak up on us. They show up, ready or not, in everyday acts of love and grace…

Church Hunting (2): My Story - How to Talk Evangelical (Addie Zierman): And even if they had, even if they’d done it right, I understand now what I didn’t then: a church cannot fix me. That glowy, beautiful idea of “community,” even if it were everything I had imagined it to be, could not have done it…It is God, only and always. It is Christ, not other Christians, who takes our broken pieces into his own skin and absorbs them so that we can be made whole.

The Lie I've Eaten - Sarah Markley: I’m pretty sure I’ve been fed a lie that I’ve eaten, gobbled up, slurped up and digested. It’s a lie that tastes really good, looks even better and goes down easily. The lie was that I needed become more than a mother.

two years

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Half a week already spent face to face with the painful realities of fostering, adoption, loss, and brokenness, and I find myself undone. Celebrating the beauty and joy and success of working in our county’s system, of spending two years with our children, of seeing the beautiful court picture of our kids’ older sister’s adoption, and of sharing encouragement with another woman walking this same road is juxtaposed against the pain of broken relationships, of hearing words like failure and mistakes, of children who have been hurt so much in so few years, and of wondering if all of this is right.

I don’t have much left this week. I sustain myself with two-year-old “I lub you, Mama”s, with four-year-old hugs “just cause I want to hug you”.

These are my children. Forever.

They are not here by mistake.

Their case was not a failure.

They are living, breathing pictures of redemption.

This story is not over.

that’s church

Monday, April 16, 2012

These two weeks are full of busy days, stressful meetings, and exhaustion. There are 1000 baby trees to be planted (nearly half-done!), there are potentially life-changing meetings, there are five children needing me nearly 24/7, and I’m already tired.

And then yesterday, surrounded by the fellowship of believers that I share my life with, we sang this song:

“who You love, I’ll love;
how You serve, I’ll serve;
if this life I lose, I will follow…”

We told stories of following Jesus wherever He leads, of loving the people He calls us to love, whether across the ocean or across the road. We talked before, during, and after the service, corporately and individually, about what it means to lose our lives to follow our Savior. I was challenged, encouraged, and I left with my heart full, ready to pour myself out this week. I already know some of the places He’s taking me this week, and they’ll be hard. I’ve been scared, and frankly, a little reluctant. But yesterday, God granted stories of encouragement, family to tell me that God placed me where I am precisely for such a time as this, people who will say “You can do it!”, a sweet friend faithful in prayer and willing to share my burdens, neighbors and friends who just happen to drop by at the very moment - literally the exact minute - that we need help, and the promise that even if the way is hard, the burden is light, and step by step, He leads me…

That is church.


912. well-regulated children, on the stable part of the cycle right now
913. a thermos to keep my coffee piping hot even during an appointment
914. snuggling a sad little baby, comforting tears
915. sharing stories and advice and pain with a fellow mama travelling the same road
916. confidence to approach the throne of grace
917. hot drinks after a very cold baseball practice
918. lilac buds, persevering through a freeze
919. the juxtaposition of winter-cold wind and springtime-bright flowers in full bloom
920. new life peeking up through the open dirt of the flowerbed
921. 14 years of marriage, each better than the year before
922. reaping the benefits of the hard work we put in early on
923. holding his hand in the living room after the kids go to bed
924. zipping up work boots
925. opening the dirt, ready to put in new life
926. 225 baby trees planted
927. boxes of food shared from a neighbor
928. a prayer of blessing from a cousin, the breath of encouragement, right when I needed it most
929. 200 more baby trees planted
930. sleeping in on a rainy day
931. forgoing responsibilities, just to spend a lazy day together
932. prayers answered, slowly and not completely, but every little bit is a drop of grace
933. the fellowship of the believers, sunday after sunday, filling my heart full for the week to come
934. the beauty of a friend, faithful in prayer, to share my burdens
935. neighbors and friends, dropping by at the very moment we need help


sunday [9]

Sunday, April 15, 2012

hope

Hope; it is the only thing stronger than fear.
A little hope is effective, a lot of hope is dangerous.
Spark is fine, as long as it's contained.

– The Hunger Games (movie version)

month 2–clothes

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

7-book-cover_thumb1I’m spending this year going through Jen Hatmaker’s book 7. You can read about the start of this particular series right here.
Month 1 can be found
here.

 

 

 

I know it’s been nearly two months since I talked about this challenge. It’s just taken me that long to go through this particular month’s challenge...ugh, the clothes. To combine this ‘month’ along with the changing of seasonal clothing for all the kids, plus the addition of a 5th child into our home made it slightly more complicated and time-consuming than I had intended. Ironically, I didn’t think it would be that hard. I’m not particularly involved with fashion; jeans, hoodies, and Toms would be my uniform of choice if I could get away with it every day. I don’t buy that much new clothing; most of our clothing is thrifted or given to us. Piece of cake, right? Turned out this month was more challenging than I expected.

I did this challenge in several rounds. First round through just my clothes: I just got rid of everything that I haven’t worn in two years. Full trash bag full of clothes to give away. Closet and drawers still full of clothes. It was depressing. I can’t believe how much clothing I had that was perfectly fine that I just have been keeping away in my drawers for no reason whatsoever.

The next few rounds through all the kids’ clothes, and then another round through my clothes again. This time making harder decisions – things that I actually do wear occasionally, but purging for a greater purpose…even if I do have that many clothes, how many clothes do I need?

 

Observations from this month of eliminating the excess in our lives:

1) We have too many clothes. Does every single person in our family really need an entire dresser plus half a closet stuffed full of clothes?

2) I have 5 pairs of white hose. Oh, you read that right – FIVE PAIRS OF WHITE HOSE. I have gone back in my memory and literally cannot remember the last time I wore white hose. I can’t actually remember the last time I wore hose at all. On what occasion (besides Easter Sunday in the mid-nineties) would this ever have been appropriate? I can’t even remember the last pair of shoes I had that I could have even wore white hose with. WHAT. THE. HECK.

3) Wendell has been keeping trash bags of his old clothing (you know, stuff we agreed could be gotten rid of) in the garage. He has issues with throwing things away…

4) At the end of this particular challenge, I had donated more than 10 kitchen garbage bags full of clothes, given away 4 more to friends, and thrown away 3 bags full of clothes too stained or torn for use. Gross. That’s how I feel writing that all out. It doesn’t matter to me that most of that stuff was bought second-hand or passed down. It doesn’t even matter that it’s a culmination of 14 years of marriage and 10 years of children. It’s still a disgusting display of wealth. I am so very, very privileged. Even in this area where I don’t even consider myself to be very susceptible to excess, I still have too much.

 

I pray this month’s purging of clothing is just an outward expression of the re-orienting of my heart towards Christ’s priorities. While He might not care how many t-shirts I have or if I wear something new to the next wedding I attend, He does care very much how I dress:

“Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him… Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.”
Colossians 3:9-10, 12-14

I want to start dressing like Jesus.

a parenting tuesday

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Note received:

I am sorry, MaMa.
Can I peas have
a redoo? Will you
frgive me? You do need
to. Be nice if you did. That is all
I what to say.

Clcler one
yes or no.

the not-yet of the Resurrection

Monday, April 9, 2012

The weight of the Resurrection falls heavy with promise. Yes, Christ arose, but when that tomb rolled away, the sky wasn’t awash with spring pastels, the women who first saw him weren’t in airy dresses and fancy shoes; there were no brightly-arrayed children chasing Easter eggs outside His tomb. He didn’t even walk out into the beautiful, pie-in-the-sky heavenly home that we sing about with longing.

He arose HERE. In this broken, messy, unfinished world.

In the middle of this bigger Resurrection plan, in the middle of being redeemed and restored, there is the not-yet. Shattered lives, hurting marriages, unprotected children, dying husbands, damaged health…it’s this not-yet world that Christ came to, it’s this not-yet world that He came back to on that third day. The truth is - He’s not done with this world. He’s not done with us.

He didn’t leave us alone. He gave us the Helper, the Holy Spirit. God, living and active in our lives.  Giving us the power to spend late nights praying with friends, to wrestle with drug abuse, unprotected children, and loving our families, to forsake Easter dinner and race to a neighbor’s house when the ambulance is called, to cry one another’s tears, to feel one another’s pain, to pour out our lives for one another. We’re the hands and feet of His redemption. We’re the tangible promise of restoration.

In a paraphrase of my husband’s benediction from yesterday’s sermon:
This week, may you give everything you have to the one who gave everything to You. May you see everyday glimpses of the Resurrection in this middle of this messy, broken, not-yet world. May you live in the present and coming reality of a risen Savior, where God is good, where death does not have the final word, where Love has already won.


861. white blossoms blanketing each branch of the dogwood tree
862. sending the children outdoors to play
893. hours later, tired children finally come back indoors, having played straight through suppertime
894. the input of other godly women in my life
895. precious minutes in my living room, learning together to focus our hearts on Him
896. long naptimes
897. the worst insult a 4-year-old boy can think of - that a grown man likes "pink" and "flowers" and plays with Strawberry Shortcake
898. finding opportunities to process my little boy's past with him
899. all the children giggling together
900. cousin play time
901. the happiness of my daughter to share with the little girl she loves
902. warm chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven
903. my Savior's sacrifice on that beautiful, scandalous night
904. the love of God, stronger than death
905. that what appears to be hope dashed is really love poured out (thank you Jamie the Very Worst Missionary for this - thank you.)
906. baseball conditioning, answered prayers for a good coach
907. my next oldest cousin - finally I'm not alone in my thirties
908. an empty sanctuary, clouded in darkness, cool and quiet - waiting for Resurrection morning
909. nude peep-toe pumps
910. that happy day where I'm never the same, forever changed
911. a husband faithful to live this resurrection out daily, not just to preach it on a Sunday morning (although he did that quite well!)

resurrection sunday [8]

Sunday, April 8, 2012

 

Resurrection: Rob Bell from Rob Bell on Vimeo.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a human being. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive…For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
1 Corinthians 15:20-22, 25-26

 

“resurrection announces that God has not given up on the world
because this world matters
this world that we call home
dirt and blood and sweat and skin and light and water
this world that God is redeeming and restoring and renewing

greed and violence and abuse they are not right
and they cannot last
they belong to death and death does not belong
- rob bell

 

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light:
The glory of God has defeated the night!
Our God is not dead -

He's alive! He's alive!
-Matt Maher

saturday reflections

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Here’s some of my favorite posts from Holy Week. Words, images, prayers, beauty that pointed me towards the cross, that focused my heart on my Savior. Make some time today - click through and read these words, open your own Bibles, quiet your hearts and listen to the Spirit - to reflect on yesterday’s sorrow and tomorrow’s joy. Sunday’s comin’.


kings. by kathy escobar: i do have a king…a not-the-way-kings-usually-look king, who says he’s not here to boss me around and make all my troubles go away, but rather that he’d be present in the midst of them…a counter-cultural king, who calls me to spiritual poverty, mourning, mercy, meekness, justice and love as the path to freedom…

that other thing that happened on good friday - chatting at the sky: This Holy Week, let us not simply remember something that happened to Jesus. Let’s remember something that happened to us.

Holy Tuesday: "For What Binds Us" - mama:monk: So once again he expects us to hold two things in tension. Death and life are inseparable. Dying and behold we live. Here is the ultimate in contradiction. Here is utter foolishness to the point of absurdity. We lose our life to gain it. – Esther de Waal

friday's god is loving and giving... - the beautiful due: For God so loved the world…I would remember and record those words years later when I was too old to be a fisherman, much less a disciple. Of all I’ve penned, it is that phrase of which I am most proud, for it is the genesis and revelation of our story. The love of God haunts me.

In which [it is Holy Week and] we were loved right to the end - Sarah Bessey:  Love as He has loved us. Love is your new identity, your calling card and name. It's how humanity will recognise us, this new birth mark of Love.

Everything Matters: Easter as a Cultural Act - Emily Wierenga at The High Calling: It feels a lot like work. Because love is doing what you need to do, even when you don’t want to. It’s becoming bigger than you ever thought you could be, by becoming nothing at all. It’s trusting God to give you time to paint, and to write, when you take in two foster boys ages four and 19 months and you already have a seven-month-old and a two-year-old at home. Love is family. And it is everywhere, and God is love.

it’s friday…

Friday, April 6, 2012

“Do you see how the devil is defeated by the very weapons of his prior victory? The devil had vanquished Adam by means of a tree. Christ vanquished the devil by means of the tree of the Cross. The tree sent Adam to hell. The tree of the Cross brought him back from there. The tree revealed Adam in his weakness, laying prostrate, naked and low. The tree of the Cross manifested to all the world the victorious Christ, naked and nailed on high. Adam’s death sentence passed on to all who came after him. Christ’s death gave life to all his children.”
- John Chrysostom quoted in Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals

 

carried to the table

Thursday, April 5, 2012

This morning, I think of Jesus sharing that final supper table with his disciples…just as I shared the remembrance of that event last Sunday with my own community of fellow disciples. All of us alone – unworthy, broken, yet still, through the sacrifice of our Savior, all seated at the table together. He carries us, yes, but in the most beautiful, mysterious way, we also carry each other.

“To wash the feet of a brother or sister in Christ, to allow someone to wash our feet, is a sign that together we want to follow Jesus, to take the downward path, to find Jesus’ presence in the poor and the weak. Is it not a sign that we yearn to be men and women of forgiveness, to be healed and cleansed and to heal and cleanse others and thus to live more fully in communion with Jesus?”
- Jean Vanier quoted in Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals

the kingdom and the cross

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

“my theory is that even though we know Jesus is the real king, we are still desperately looking for one here that makes more sense than Jesus. pastors, leaders, podcasters, writers, speakers, someone to tell us what to do & think, what’s okay & what’s not okay, what the scripture says & doesn’t say, who’s in & who’s out…but the gospel was never supposed to be protected, comfortable, or contained. or inspiring in a sit-and-listen-and-feel-better-afterward kind of way.

what makes it the gospel is its wildness, rawness, unexpectedness, and challenge to us.  that God shows up in the least likely places instead of the most.  that he pierces the darkness with unexplainable light. that we should follow his weird & wild ways, not men’s self-serving ones.  that in order to be born again (and again) we need to die yet again (and then over again)….

….my hope is that over time we’d learn to quit crowning earthly kings, giving our time and money and souls to them, thinking they will save the day.

rather, i hope we can pick up our crosses and follow the one who really can.”
- kathy escobar in kings. (please click through and read this whole post. It’s spot on, and this brief quote doesn’t even begin to do it justice.)

 

expecting hope…

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

“…All will be well, and all will be well, and every kind of thing will be well.”
- Julian of Norwich

Savior of the world, save us from our sin, our sadness, and our self-deception. Give us courage to live in a world we cannot fix with hope that it has already been redeemed. Amen.
- from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals

 

when death dies, another me

Monday, April 2, 2012

This week I will struggle to focus, to center myself during Spring Break craziness, through foster care busyness and emotions, to clear the exhaustion from a previous busy week. To right myself, reorienting my life towards this holiest of weeks. So each day, I’ll share a prayer, a Scripture, maybe a song as well. One that sets our hearts towards Jesus, His sacrifice, and the coming joy.

May your Holy Week be blessed with quiet, with reflection, with anticipation.
May you remember.

”So that’s what I see reflected in the mirror of Christ’s crucifixion – my death. My rightful punishment. My sin and its just consequence. Me…

Nevertheless I will not avoid this mirror! No, I will carefully rehearse, again this year – the passion of my Jesus, with courage, with clarity and faith; for this is the mirror of dangerous grace, purging more purely than any other.

This mirror is not passive only, showing what is; it is active, creating new things to be. It shows a new me behind the shadow of a sinner. For when I gaze at his crucifixion, I see my death indeed – but my death done! His death is the death of the selfish one, whom I called ugly and hated to look upon.

And resurrection is another me!”
- Walt Wangerin from Reliving the Passion

 

 


839. spring flowers already in full bloom
840. grass grown tall
841. baby trees, ordered. promise of new life ahead…
842. appointment free days
843. readying my heart, planning for a worship service
844. relying on the Spirit
845. bright baby smiles for his daddy
846. sad baby tears when we have to leave
847. conversation opportunities for my littles
848. afternoons and evenings spent playing with out-of-town family
849. a sister willing to watch 9 children so we can eat dinner out with friends
850. Coco’s honey balsamic dressing
851. sleepovers with friends
852. skipping school to play all day
853. skipping work to go to a movie
854. almost-family sharing their hotel suite for a half hour so our traveling family can get dressed for the wedding
855. family weddings
856. dancing children
857. sweet exhaustion of a hugely successful trip for our little family
858. remembering Christ’s sacrifice as a family of faith, sharing communion amidst tears and laughter
859. the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit week after week to show us the songs to be sung, the Scriptures to be read, the words to be preached. All in harmony, all exactly right, all orchestrated by God.
860. a fellowship of believers walking in step with one another and with the Spirit, the beauty of a worshiping community



sunday [7]

Sunday, April 1, 2012

bread-and-wine

When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.

For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you.

For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”


In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!”
Luke 22:14-22

 

Do this in remembrance of me. Isn’t this what ultimately Christ asks of us in the Last Supper? One of the very directives He offers to His disciples, the one of supreme import but we too often neglect to remember. Do this in remembrance of Me. Remember and give thanks.

This is the crux of Christianity: to remember and give thanks, eucharisteo.
- Ann Voskamp

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