breath of hope

Friday, September 18, 2015

The past ten days have not been my favorite. I'm nervous and stressed, I've had children stuff to deal with, marriage stuff to deal with, meetings and messages, worry over a friend's trauma, and a truly unpleasant dental experience to top it all off. I'm not pretending it's any worse than any one else's week; I'm just tired. But then...last night:

After months of no contact, the young man who lived with my parents for a few months this past fall and winter texted my husband. Months of checking inmate rosters, news stories, waking up at night to worry and pray and worry and pray some more. They've ended with an inexplicable text. Why does he still have my husband's number? Different phone. Several different living situations. Weeks and weeks to forget, yet somehow, he has my husband's number. This Sunday, he's coming to dinner. I am undone by the beauty of this particular moment. Are things fixed? Probably not. Is everything going to be perfectly fine and smooth from here not? Definitely not. Will we ever see him again after Sunday? No idea. But God writes the best stories, and this one isn't done yet. We so needed this glimpse of hope.

Later that night, I got an email from our son's teacher from last year. She'd been thinking of her favorite students, and he came to mind, she said. A teacher that checks on her kids after they've left? That's a beautiful thing. A teacher that spent so much time loving and caring for our son? Oh, my words cannot express my gratitude. God loves our boy. He shows him His love in a million ways every day.

I don't know how theologically sound this makes me, but I love God more because I see how He cares for the least of these, the smallest child, the most vulnerable among us, the young man who is looking for his future and trying to forget his past. It's one thing to feel loved yourself, but it's another to watch those you love feel that same way. God cares. He loves. We matter. I'm breathing in hope.

photo credit:

friday link love

Friday, September 4, 2015

It's been ages since I've posted links. Therefore, I give you the best of the best from this past month:

*the one which most summarizes my parenting focus for the past month or so:
The Gift of the Green Blob - Glennon Melton on Momastery

...Do whatever it takes to remember that you’re a child of God, friends. Paint it above your door, tie it to your wrists, stamp it on your forehead: I AM A CHILD OF GOD. And then remember the flip side of that brilliant, life-saving truth: So is everyone else...

*the one I needed to read after a particularly confusing conversation with another believer about guns:
Let Us All Now Pray to the Almighty Gun - David Gushee Follow for Religion News Service

...When we doubt, O Gun Almighty, strengthen our faith in You.When the number of killings rises, strengthen our faith in You.When children are murdered in large numbers, strengthen our faith in You.Though You slay us, yet will we trust in You.As for me and my houseAs for us and our nationWe will trust in You alone, O Gun Almighty.

* the one from the mama praying with abandon to the One who calls us to abandon everything in pursuit of Him - even our cautious prayers:
I am a long way out on the water - Hillary Sherratt at The Wild Love

...I don’t know how Jesus is speaking to you about prayer. I don’t presume to know. But if I can ask, if you would, come out here with me on the water for a little bit? Whether it is about Jackson or about something in your life, will you come out here, where the reasonable drowns in the presence of grace, where what is expected  falls at the feet of the one who promised it was not too late for Jairus’s daughter? Here, in the middle of the water, there is none but us and Jesus. And we are safer here, in the arms of the one who saves us, in the hope of the one who heals us, in the mercy of the one who loves us...

* the one from the one who shares the same heartbeat as me:
The Staying Part - Shannan Martin at Flower Patch FarmGirl

...God tells us over and over, "I will save the weak and helpless ones; I will bring together those who were chased away."(Zephaniah 3:19) His heart beats for the fugitive kids and their tired-out, spent-up moms and dads, the ones we're quick to ignore or chase away.
When we allow our lives to intersect with souls wearing the sharp edge of pain, we cannot expect to walk away unmarked. I can't do a single thing for daughters abandoned by their Moms, or sons expected to fail. I can't help them at all.
But I feel myself rising up for them, and I don't know where it will go from here.
Three years and counting have taught me this: going might be hard, but it's the staying that will break you.

* the first one I needed to read for my mama heart this month:
In Defense of ADHD - Shannon Evans at We, A Great Parade

...So now I’m a naturally-minded mama with a baby on Ritalin. Turns out the two aren’t mutually exclusive, or at least I’m guessing not since the earth didn’t start quaking the moment he took the first pill. And the truth is, Ritalin has been a life-saver. If I had any doubts after our appointment about whether he actually had ADHD, they’re out the window now. That medicine was exactly what his little brain needed, and I am thankful for it. He gets to be his real, true self but now he’s in control of his own body. I think in some way he’s thankful for it too...

*the second one I needed to read for my mama heart:
8 Things to Remember as You Mother Your Children - Lori Harris 

...Mothering is the hardest, best thing I’ve ever done that I never want to end.And if I could give you one thing to tuck in your pocket it would be this:
You are the person God chose to hold his babies. Lift up your head and mother them like you believe that. 
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