Category archives: Redemption

The Hope of the Broken

We shouldn't be ashamed of our brokenness. It's through our own fractured places that we're more capable of relating to the world. When we're fragmented, we can deal tenderly with the aches of others. After all, we see that it's hard to hold it all together. We see that we can't always do that. And so we learn to be okay with that. And it's not just okay for us. It's okay for those people over there, too. The Jesus-follower who experiences brokenness has the craziest kind of hope. Because Jesus says of him/her, "Where you're weak, well, that's where I'm strong." (See 2 Corinthians 12:9-10) So, like sunlight bursting through broken up clouds, Jesus shines through all the cracks and crannies of our shattered hearts. And the world sees something they always wanted to see. They [...]

Of Tornadoes and Parades

Today I wanted to write to you about the Maple Syrup Festival parade. But, last night tornadoes came to my friends and family in Arkansas. I laid in bed with my phone in my hand, after I was done checking on my Ma and Pa. They were hunkering down in a closet and I couldn't sleep. I could only whisper prayers, and hold my phone tight, as if I was holding on to my parents, because I hate tornadoes and I wanted everyone to be kept safe. And this morning, I awoke to find that somehow, my people, the ones that I know and love were all kept safe. But, they have friends that have lost their homes and I know of one woman who lost her husband and two of her girls. Our hearts break. So, it doesn't feel right to talk about parades. And it's hard to know what to think about God when torna[...]

Why You Really Can Cease Striving (And Get Some Soul-Rest)

I see you there, crumpling up that sheet of paper, tossing it into the waste basket and wondering if anything good will come out of your life. Or if there will just be this broken record, repeating "failure" and "you don't measure up" and "you don't deserve anything good." I see the way you try. The way you keep getting up and dressing up and showing up and hoping that things don't screw up, again. You get so tired. You're running out of energy and it's had for you to enjoy your life. Do you mind to sit down for just a minute and let me tell you some things? Some true things? Some things that could perhaps restore your soul and give you some hope? Some things that could help you keep going and maybe even set you free? You really can cease your striving. You need soul-rest.[...]

How God Aims to Help the World

The other night, Brent and I got to go on a date, since the kiddos where happily spending the night at "Grandma and Grandpa's house." By the way,  I'm so thankful for parents who really do love and enjoy spending time with their grandkids. I heard some parents prefer their own quiet, busy lives. I'm so glad ours don't.Anyways, as we sat there at the restaurant, and got to know the waitress in between her bringing us heaping warm plates of food and refilling our drinks, I couldn't help but love her and want to know her story. So, I asked her questions and she told me bits and pieces in spurts. Then, when Brent got up to go to the restroom, I asked her if there was anything I could pray for her about, because Jesus lives inside me and I could feel Him loving her and I wanted her to know[...]

When Mercy Wins

He asks me, with his big blue eyes and those long eye-lashes, while he’s laying there on his pillow, about my first mommy and daddy. “You know, your bad mom and dad?” And I don’t like to call them bad, because they did some stupid things and some wrong things, but I just don’t believe they ever intentionally meant to hurt me. I have all this compassion for them, so I try to explain that they just didn’t take care of me very well.“Oh,” he says quietly, “they just left you alone.” I cry a little and try not to let him see. Because years have passed and now that I have a little boy and a little girl, I can see how a mama or a daddy has to be pretty messed up, and pretty darn wrecked-up to ever leave their babes alone. “But why did they not take very good care of you, Mama?” Now, I’ve got all [...]

What's Written In Our Very Skin

See these two little twirps? I love them with everything that's in me. I love them so much, it actually pains me. When they're fast asleep and I go in to peek at them, with their soft skin, and that little peach fuzz still on their cheeks, and their little beating hearts and their sweet hands and those cute toes, I sometimes just cry because of how much I love them. Every bit.  And golley, how I want to protect them. There's not a doubt in my mind that at any sign of trouble, I'd scoop them up and run to keep them safe, or I'd lay down my life right then and there just to keep theirs going. I'd suffer anything for them. And if they ever got lost, I'd spend my life searching the world for them. I just love them so deep.And I think they need that kind of love. We all do. We need someone[...]

Hope

I know that winter has only just begun, and I really have been enjoying it, really, but it does help me to remember that spring is coming. Warmth is coming.I planted over a hundred daffodil and tulip bulbs in our yard this fall. I put them down in a dark hole. I covered them up with dirt. And now they're resting...and waiting.I planted them because I needed hope. I need to know that the cold, dark months won't last forever. I need to know that something beautiful is just around the corner. I needed something lovely to look forward to when the wintry winds come and the sun hides his face and all is gray and bleak...for a season.And isn't life that way, too?I've been reading in the book of Hebrews and I long to express to you the hope I've found. Life is hard sometimes. Things look bleak now[...]

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