Author archives: Maggie

Underbrush and God

The other day, I was thinking about underbrush and God. Underbrush is all the scraggly little trees and thistles and ferns and tiny bushes that make up the bottom of the forest. The helpful thing about it, is that it allows little creatures in the forest to be able to remain hidden. I was remembering how when God first made people, He put them in a little forest of trees and wild growing things. And one day, those first people separated themselves from God and they were so ashamed at what they had done, that they ran and hid in the underbrush. But, God came walking and calling out for them because He was used to doing that--He was used to chatting with them and just enjoying life with them and spending time with them. But, on this particular day, they didn't really want t[...]

On Jesus and identity and overcoming

It's hard for us not to receive our identity from what happened to us. Maybe there is abuse in our past. Or someone lied about us. Or perhaps instead of throwing rocks at us, and beating us with sticks, someone struck us down with words and battered up places in us that can't be seen. Whatever it was, we went through trauma and now our brain has trouble processing life in healthful ways. But, we are not what happened to us. This is not to lessen what did happen. That part is very important and we must do something with it. But, that thing does not name us. The thing about Jesus, is that He comes along, takes us by the hand and says, "Come on. I see that you are stuck here in this place but I came to pull you out of that dark hole of lies and bring you out into the ligh[...]

When it's hard to get out of bed each day

A friend asked me recently, who is going through a lot of hard things, "How do you keep waking up everyday and getting out of bed?" Through no fault of her own, she's just sort of stuck in the "life is hard and then you die" mentality. I've been there. So, I offered her some encouragement, though I didn't feel worthy to offer it. Sometimes I think that we feel as if we have to suffer the most excruciating things before we can extend to someone else any kind of hope. But, we all have places where we've suffered and if God gets us through that, it's not just for us. It's for others, too. So, just in case you woke up today and needed to hear this, I'm sharing these things for you, too.……… Thing to remember #1: It won't always be this painfully hard. Listen. This is the[...]

If God feels far off

It might feel like God is all the way across the cosmos, or that there is a great chasm between where you are standing and where He exists. Or it might feel like He is somewhere out there, but He is always just out of reach. But, that is not the case. At least, that is not how God reveals Himself to us in the Scriptures. The Scriptures tell us that He is "not very far from each one of us." It doesn't say that He is not very far from just the Christians. Or just the spiritual gurus. Or the folks who do all the right things. Or the "special" ones. It says {each} one of us. All the humans. You. Me. Whether you feel it or not, He is close enough by. (Acts 17) The gap we feel --the alienation, the loneliness -- is not because of our proximity to Him, but because of our lack of [...]

Some things the pandemic has been teaching me

Hello, you. I haven't written here in this quiet space in a little while. Why is it that writers always feel the need to explain themselves when they come back to the world of their blogs? I don't know, but we do. Anyways. A lot has happened since we met here last. For one thing, there was a global pandemic. I say that so nonchalantly and like it's a thing of the past, though, clearly we are still in it. But, now we are in it, with plenty of toilet paper, so it feels less urgent, I think. We had to come off the road two months early because of this pandemic and I know missionaries are supposed to say spiritual things, but if I'm being completely honest, I wasn't sad about it.Road life is intense and I was tired. So, home has been nice. When we first got home, we qua[...]

Healing stretches

On the wall in our traveling house, I have this little scribbled down note. My Dad wrote it, a few years, I think, before he passed away. It's nothing special or profound, just some things he jotted down during one of his therapy sessions, after his shoulder surgery. I hold on to it, because for one, I love to see his hand-writing. I feel like a person's hand-writing is a little glimpse into their soul. It's like being able to look into their eyes. But, I pinned the note up because it reminds me. That life is brutal and rough at times. We all get battered up, but if we want to get better, we will have to work at it. We'll have to do hard things. If we want to heal, we must rest, yes. But eventually we'll have to stretch things that don't want to stretch. We'll be re[...]

For the people with the trauma childhoods

My loves, There will be people in your life, with issues. With deep-seated issues and their conflict within themselves will spill over on you and seep into your skin and profoundly affect you. Is it not your fault. It is not even about you. I work with people all the time who have jacked up childhoods. Trauma is not only the bad scary things that happened to you. Trauma is what should have happened, but didn't. You should have been protected. But weren't.You should have been nurtured. But weren't.You should have been valued.You should have been listened to.But, it didn't happen because there were people in your life with issues. If you feel a little screwed up today, you have some work to do, but you don't have to carry the burden of believing there was always somet[...]

When You Wonder if God Talks Back

In the still and in the quiet, you can hear from God. He can be quite chatty. But, you have to slow your little tail-end down. And you have to decide that it's okay to sit and stare off into space or out the window and just be there. With God. Asking Him your questions. And you have to use a little bit of your imagination. Dallas Willard says that when you pray, Jesus is walking up to you for a conversation. Some people are like, "Don't tell anyone that God will talk back because what if they think God says something that God doesn't really say?" Well, that IS a problem. In fact, I know a guy who is in real trouble right now because he thought God told him a bunch of things that God clearly did not tell him and he got all weird and crazy and freaked a bunch of people out. And[...]

how to make heart connections with strangers

I'm the weird girl who wants to know everyone's story. The check out lady. I want to know her. The guy in the hoodie walking down the road. I want to know him. I think this is Jesus in me, wanting to know, know, know. Connection and relationship -- He is always after that. I remember this one time at Burger King. It was before we traveled and I hadn't been out of the house for an entire week, so I was ready to see other human being's faces. And I had just had my last kid, so was feeling very fragile inside and scared a little of the world. That always happened to me after I carried a human for nine months and introduced them to the world. It felt like nothing was quite safe enough for my new babes. So, when I walked into places, I would constantly observe my surroundings[...]

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