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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[...]

When You Feel Overwhelmed Or Afraid Of Things

I found these for you today. Little yellow love letters. God shouting from the ditch, "I'm here! I made all of this. I love you!" A friend reached out to me the other day. She struggles with fear from time to time, and she knows I do too, so she just wanted to talk. She wanted to not feel so alone. Isn't this why we share our struggles and show people our real selves sometimes? Because there are folks out there, wondering if they're the only ones. "Do you still feel overcome by fear, Maggie?" She asked it quiet and then paused to listen. I told her that I still feel afraid for a bit, nearly every day. But, it doesn't take over anymore. It doesn't latch on and suck me under, like it used to. I didn't have much to give her, but I gave her a few things to help. I want to g[...]

How to Do Less Striving (And More Living in Wonder)

Jesus is a Mighty Beauty. I wish I could really get this into us. Preach it to the church, you know. That Christianity isn't about keeping rules, or defending systems of dogma or one-upping others, or having all the right answers, or even having our act together. Christianity is about walking daily here in this dirt and this filth and this wreck, alongside a Mighty Beauty. There is a great Some One who who wants to live our ordinary life with us. We could live in awe of Him. Of the One who transforms us from the inside out. As we rub shoulders with Him, keep our eyes on Him, ask Him for His thoughts and do the sort of things that He did, we actually become like Him. That is compelling to me. It's the kind of stuff that ignites fire in my bones and gives me hope for the w[...]

Why We Can Pray (And Then Rest)

Miracles still happen. But they often happen in the dark unexpected places, the places where no one’s really looking. They’re quietly happening. Because you pray and you hope and you wait, seems like forever you wait, and you don’t see anything good or glamorous, yet.  But you planted those seeds with your prayers and you watered them with your tears and sometime when you weren’t paying attention, things were growing. Slowly, slowly growing. Little heart, didn’t you know? Haven’t you heard that there’s a glorious Kingdom full of light? And love? And vibrant life? It comes slow and quiet like a dawning. It’s a strange paradox, this Kingdom. The here already and not fully realized yet. Sometime in the quiet of night, when the moon waxed full there was this breaking. You coul[...]

Dear Artist

Dear Artist, (Or Photographer, or Writer, or Musician, or Creative Maker of any sort of things,) You know that feeling you get, when you sit down to shape something new, and you feel stuck because you're pretty sure nothing you create is any good? It's that paralyzing feeling. That angst that makes you second guess yourself and so you figure you'll just go ahead and put away the camera, like for good. And shut down the lap-top from here on out and never scratch out another word or dry out the paint brushes and never pick them up again. But, something in you just won't let you quit. Because you know, if you don't create and if you don't sometimes share what you make, then you'll sort of wither away, little by little, there on your insides. That part of you that come[...]

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