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On Motherhood and Marriage and Finding God

I love being a Momma. All of it. I love all of it. All the joy. The learning. The growing. The stretching. Yes, even the struggle and strain. I find that it's the hard parts of motherhood that help me most become like Jesus. When I was in my early twenties, I remember going on a bike ride in my neighborhood. (I was still living at home with my parents because I was afraid to leave home and there were other factors weighing in on that, but I won't get into that now.) Anyways, I remember passing this empty house. I stopped in my tracks and paused there on the road and wondered if I'd ever buy a house. Or marry a best friend. Or have any children. And I decided then, on that patch of pavement, that all of that was impossible. It wasn't that it was impossible for anybody else, it[...]

When You Feel A Hollowed Out Lonely Feeling

I feel a hollowed out lonely feeling today. The kind of feeling that doesn't budge. It just sits, glum, in the corner, scrunched over, like a dead weight. Is it because winter is here in Minnesota, where we sit on this asphalt parking lot next to this church? Is it because the days are shorter and the sun has only peeked out once this week, for a shy minute? Is it because of the shooting at that little country church in Texas? Where those people went to seek God together and they didn't know they wouldn't go out to eat afterwards? I feel the ache of that community. Weeping with those who weep. Is my hollowed out feeling because churches are meant to be safe places? Hospitals for souls? And yet it happens so little. This week, I got to witness this first hand, though. At th[...]

In Case You Never Had a Good, Good Daddy

Do you know what Jesus called God? He called Him, "Abba." It means "Daddy, my Daddy." Because that's who God is. He's a close, close Father. Now, maybe you didn't have a good daddy. Maybe your dad wasn't there. Or maybe he was there but he was always mad. Or busy. Or stressed. Or too tired to wrestle or talk. Maybe you always wanted to go on walks with your daddy but you felt like you were "too in the way" to ask. Or maybe your dad wasn't quite safe. God isn't that kind of daddy. All of us here, we're all prodigals. We're all a bit reckless at times. We don't trust our Father's heart. So, we run away. We get lost. But, God is the kind of Daddy who waits out on the front porch at sunrise and at dusk, and strains to catch a glimpse of us coming down that dusty dirt r[...]

The Lady With the Trampled Heart: A Story From the Road

I met this one lady. She made me coffee and I asked her about her life. She's had a hard one. Her parents were alcoholics. They never were really there for her, growing up. They eventually got a divorce. But, then when her daddy grew old, he got sick and her momma decided to take care of him. Her momma, who came to know Jesus later in life, overcame all the crud that her daddy had dished out, and she drove to his house everyday and took care of her ex-husband. But, then one day, that momma got sick. And this lady I met, she overcame all the hurts from her momma not really being there for her, when she was growing up, and she took care of her momma. Of all the siblings, she was the only one. She took care of her momma in that hospital bed, till eventually her momma wore plu[...]

How Road Life is Helping Us.

We've only been traveling for a couple weeks, but already we have these rhythms. We were hoping for a new cadence to our days. It's easy to get stuck in old ruts and old ways and patterns of thinking, and it's been nice for us to have this life-change to break those things up a little. A surprising answer to all my begging prayers, really. God, with His sense of humor. "Oh, you're overwhelmed with your house?" I can almost hear Him chuckling. "Let me give you something smaller, more manageable." "Remember how you wanted to read to the kids at night and calm their little hearts down at the end of the wild day?  Well, you can start now." We're almost done reading through Treasure Island. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is next. When we first get to the church parking lot, wher[...]

So This is What it Feels Like To Travel

We've been talking about traveling for over two months. And when we decidedly said, "yes," that we would pack up our things and go live in a pull along trailer, I imagined it, every spare minute. I packed in my head, while I was washing the dishes and while I was laying down at night. I imagined what it would be like to put our belongings in totes and how to velcro pictures on the walls of the RV and where we'd put the toys. I think this was my mind's way of preparing myself. Then we moved in, two weeks before we began traveling, because our friends  said that it's always good to move in, while you're still close to home, just in case you forget things. And while we were living in the trailer, that was parked out at our ministry's family camp, I imagined what it would be like to [...]

When You're Going Through a Transition--How To Find Where You Belong

My family is in the middle of a big life transition. You may have read about it in the last post. We're gonna leave in about a week, and my heart feels a little quivery. But, I have to remind myself that my heart has often felt a little quivery, even in my everyday normal life. It's never taken much to shake me up. News headlines. A difficult relationship. My children's tantrums. Storm clouds. A certain time of the month, when hormones are out of whack. I've always had to recenter myself back on Jesus, so many times, through out the day. This has just become a normal and vital spiritual practice. So, yeah. We're going on an adventure. We'll be living in our RV during the school year, traveling the U.S., ministering to churches. A couple weeks ago, we moved into it, so we could get a[...]

We're Going on An Adventure!

About a year and a half ago, Life Action, (the ministry that Brent and I are a part of) came to us and said, "Hey, would you guys ever consider being on one of our road teams? Your family could travel the country in an RV and minister to churches throughout the U.S." And I said, "No. Absolutely not. Stupid. Stupidest idea ever."  And then I was angry at Brent for like three whole days for even thinking about it. Because I didn't want to live in a house on wheels. Even if it was just for the school-season part of the year. But, I did at least pray about it. Because isn't that what Christians are supposed to do? We're at least supposed to pray about things. I told God that it was dumb. I said, "But, hey. Could You help me to be willing to at least be willing, if that's the thing [...]

How Brent and I are Staying Connected in This Crazy Life

Life has been feeling insane. Not a bad kind of insane. Just a fast and furious kind. The kind where you have to pause and catch your breath. The kind where you feel yourself clawing for time to please slow down, but it doesn't listen to you, so you have to stop and slow your own frantic heart down and just take some breaths. Brent and I and the kids are about to go through a big life transition. (Stay tuned! Exciting things ahead. But, I'm not ready to tell you quite yet.) In the meantime, we're trying desperately to stay connected. So, here's what we do. Every evening, when Brent gets home from his whirlwind of a day at work, I stand on this here stool and we hug. For at least 20 whole seconds. We just hold each other and breathe and sometimes one of us sings a little song to t[...]

When Christians Don't Act Like Jesus

The reason (I believe) that there are so many Christians who do not act or look at all like Jesus, in this world, is because they have misunderstood the gospel. Many Christians think like this: "I believe Jesus is the Savior of the world. That means I'm saved. My eternal destination is set. Okay. Great. That's all I have to do from here on out. The rest is business as usual. Moving right along." The gospel is reduced to "heaven when I die." That's it. There's no actually following Jesus in the dailiness of life. This is not Christianity as Jesus defines it. True, authentic Christianity is following, trusting in, relying on Jesus so fully that we would actually do the things that Jesus would do, if He were in our shoes. There was nothing evil or self-centered, o[...]

Life is So Much Becoming

Life is so much, becoming. That's the adventure, really, of following Jesus. As we follow Him, keeping our eyes on Him, slowly learning to trust Him with this little thing and then that big thing, He actually helps us to become who we were always intended to be. Our very best, most beautiful selves. I love that. The other day, I found a Monarch caterpillar munching on some milkweed. So, I brought him in, right after he had quietly attached and suspended himself underneath the Lilac leaf. I love the story of caterpillars and tadpoles and baby salamanders. How they all start out in this world, looking entirely different from what they will end up being. I fell asleep the night I brought my caterpillar friend inside,  absolutely in awe that there was a little creature ov[...]

How To Slow Down Time and How to Pray Prayers You Don't Think You Can Pray

Hi, my friends. Life is flying. And I don't know why, but I get a little freaked out by that. I get a little panicked. Like, "Crapola! My kids are growing up too fast! And the grass is growing too quickly and I didn't get to walk barefoot on it enough! And the creeks are flowing by and they'll just keep flowing by, whether I wade in them or not! And the fireflies keep blinking and then I blink, and my baby is learning to crawl and my oldest is eight already which means I'll blink again and all my summers with him will be gone." I know. I need to calm down. So, I'm learning to do that. I'm learning to stop breathing like I'm constantly running a marathon and start breathing like I'm enjoying things. Deep, slow breaths. Taking it all in breaths. The only way I know how to[...]

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