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How My Daddy Helped Me With My Writing Life

When I was just a girl, oh around the fourth grade, I believe, I came home one afternoon with a school project. The assignment was to build a bird’s nest, as best as we could and bring it into class to be assessed as to whether or not our nest-making abilities were as good as the bird’s. When I got off the school bus and mentioned it to my Mom, she suggested that I ask my Pa to help me with it, since he was the artist. My Dad was always a hard-working mechanic man, and a day or two later, he walked out to the front yard with his greasy hands and his blue work shirt and we set out together, looking for twigs and leaves and a few strands of bendable brown grass. My Pa told me how the birds often like to gather bits of hair or fibers, something soft to line the inside of their nests wi[...]

When It's Hard to See the Way Before You

Child, lift up your head. Raise your eyes up to the hills and look to the horizon. There’s new light breaking in. Hold it there, in your gaze. Let it warm your face. You’ve got these eyes that can see by faith, the unseen. Everything that can be touched and held is perishing but there are things that keep breathing and remain. Truth. Hope. Peace. Love. I’ve seen the way you struggle here, like a child in the long black night, crying out for momma. Holy Spirit, draw us close. Teach us a song to sing. Open your faith-eyes, my love. Let your eyes adjust to the light. Some distance from here, there’s an ocean, deep, and waves that can’t stop pounding on the shore. Those swells grab hold of shells and glass and little bits of coral, then tumble them around until all the edg[...]

What Love Is (Because the World Is Tricky)

Today I walked into church, late as usual and scooted into the seat next to my friend. Everyone was singing and she had her eyes closed but I could see that she was crying. "What's the matter?" I whispered as I put my arm around her. "It's Valentine's Day," she shook her head and then she cried some more because she really wants a man, particularly a man who loves Jesus, but she hasn't found one. Yet. "Oh, yeah." I nodded. "It's such a crappy day."  We both agreed. And then I got mad at whoever made up Valentine's Day. Why did they have to go and do that? My momma told me back in my single days that Valentine's Day was mostly a big marketing scheme. The stores hype it up because they can make a lot of money off of cards and chocolate. I think she was trying to make me feel better[...]

When You Feel the Weight of Things (And How to Feel the Love of God)

Some days I wake up and feel the weight of the aching world upon this little chest of mine. I don’t even know where all the angst is coming from. Is it really that bad, or do I just need some breakfast? My children need a hundred things from me. How did they become so awake in just five minutes and need all these things? Someone starts to scream. Someone’s kicking someone. Someone just stole someone else’s chocolate milk. Someone says they are NOT going to the library with the rest of us today. Someone's hiding in the closet. That sounds like a good idea to me. I sigh. I need a hundred things from God. Like hope, comfort, energy for these little ones, and a protein breakfast, just to name a few. Mostly I just want to be held. Is that too much to ask from the Maker of the[...]

Diary of a New Momma

  Today, I came across an old note I'd written, right after I had my firstborn. (That was nearly seven years ago. Wowsers. How do I have a  nearly seven year old?! Aaaagh!) Okay. Anyways. It went something like this: .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... I’ve only been a momma for about three weeks, but oh, the whirlwind of thoughts and emotions I’ve been having. I've never felt this sort of terror before. The sheer weight of responsibility all of a sudden. I'm only confident of this one thing—I don’t know what the heck I’m doing!!! I took Gideon to the grocery store. No o[...]

When you need to slow it on down--and tend to the most important part of you

The new year came in quietly for me. I wanted it to be that way. While the world rushed places and people got excited about new goals and achievements and began making lists and marking things off already, I decided to be still. I decided not to talk so much. I withdrew from social media a little bit so that I could fully enter in to what's right here in front of me. I decided to let my soul get some rest. I made art. Read lots of books to the kids. Sat with Brent on the couch at night and talked to him more. I organized the house a bit because there's this new me that likes everything to have a place. And I have these hopes that at the end of the day, each thing can find it's rest until we need it again. Getting there is so exhausting, though. That's okay. I'm learning to be okay a[...]

When You Just Need to Be Quiet

Hi, my friends, I wanted to tell you that here the next four or five weeks (till the end of January) this little place on the internet is gonna be quiet. I'm taking a break from social media so I can practice being still and listening to my Shepherd. I want to feel His love more this new coming year. I want to hear Him better. And obey Him. I want to walk closely with Him. I want to be filled up with Him. I think for me, that means I need to be a little more still. And a lot more quiet for now. This is how I will cease striving. And rest. I'm listening to good music. And drinking in the Word. And I'm praying. Did you know that I pray for you? Even though I'm making space for quiet and for God to speak to me, I want you to know that if you need anything, you can reach me her[...]

The Year In Pictures

If you want, you can play this song, one of my favorites from this year, as you scroll along....   Thank you, kind friends, for visiting here this last year. You have blessed me. I'm thankful for you, Maggie

How to Cast Your Cares on Jesus

If you’re alive, then you have some things you’re carrying around. Some things that crush in on your heart, that cause you some angst or maybe a great deal of pain, even. Probably things you can’t control, or else you would, and you’re not quite sure what to do with them. In fact, you might be so busy that you don’t even know all the things that are there. You just walk around with this gnawing sense that something is there, always there, and it’s crowding out any semblance of joy you once had and infringing on your ability to relax, ever, and take deep breaths and enjoy your life. Or perhaps you do know exactly what the thing is that’s bugging you, keeping you awake at night. Maybe it’s that one strained relationship that causes your heart to be sore every time you think of it a[...]

When You Want To Change Things. Help Things. Heal Things.

I passed this church sign the other day. It said, "Prayer is the next best thing to being there." And I get what they mean...mostly. But, it seemed more like a sure-tell sign of how the Church actually views prayer--as always the "next best thing." Like, "Well, I can't change this, so I guess I'll pray." Or, "I can't help that person, so since there's nothing else, I'll just have to resort to praying. Maybe, maybe that'll be good for something." And I wonder where we get this mentality, because Jesus sure didn't hand it down to us. Jesus portrayed for us a life utterly dependent upon God in prayer. Prayer wasn't something He did as a last resort, or even as the next best thing. Instead, He showed us that prayer is the way we actually live our life. I wonder if this is why[...]

Dear Children, If You Could Just Learn This One Thing (This One Really Hard Thing)

Brent and I, we’re raising this little tribe of kids. It’s the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever experienced and yet the hardest job I’ve ever had. So much of raising kids is trying to teach them how to live together in love. Seems like God provides a family for us, to learn just that. It’s like He knows that if we can learn to love our family—the little brother who’s always crashing our block towers and pulling our hair when he gets mad-- then we’ll be pretty equipped to love the world out there, hateful as it gets sometimes. The family is the best training ground. At least, that’s how it ought to be. It’s meant to be a community of deep knowing and unconditional love. Because who knows you better than the folks who see you first thing, with the morning breath and the bed-head?[...]

When You Need to Be Surrounded With a Song

Today, we're visiting my Ma and Pa for Thanksgiving break. So, I give you a song from some of my favorite music-makers. Sometimes songs, even on the youtube machine, are like God singing over us. Praying for you this Sunday. May the Lord draw you close to His heart and be your Refuge. Your strength. Your peace. Love, Maggie Putting my pictures together with these healing words...   You unravel me, with a melody You surround me with a song Of deliverance, from my enemies Till all my fears are gone I'm no longer a slave to fear I am a child of God I'm no longer a slave to fear I am a child of God From my mothers womb You have chosen me Love has called my name I've been born again, into your family [...]

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