An attempt to declare the Glory of God for what He has chosen to do with our lives. A legacy to leave to my children in the telling of it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Resist ~ Resolved ~ Renewed

Sometime in the past few months I jotted down these notes. Today, after discovering them (and being freshly encouraged by them) I have no idea if they were inspired by a gifted speaker or if the Speaker spoke them to my heart. Either way, I needed to read them. Hope they encourage you and speak life into your dried up soul as they did mine. Jesus is coming soon, people. Soon and very soon.

The enemy likes surprise attacks.
Satan can do nothing to us apart from God's permission; he is on his leash.
After the attack is when the real test of faith begins.
Faith is what Satan is attacking.
Resist him by being firm in your faith.
Be a testimony.
Live faithfully.
Resist at the cost of your life.
Know and believe that whatever happens God is using for my good.
Bank and believe  on God's promise of only suffering for a little while (1Peter 5:6-11).
This suffering is short compared to eternity.
Sustaining grace is given to the suffering, it is available as we go to Him and pray, moment by moment, it is freely given.
He is designing us to be conformed to His Son, like an artist carving deep into a block of wood.
God is forming a foundation for something yet to some, a glorious future, He is preparing us to reign with Him forever- this requires hardships. He is shaping and preparing us to do extraordinary things in the life to come.
Jesus is coming soon. When He comes, we will be resurrected, prepared to inherit this Kingdom forever more.
We are tempted to complain in trials. But Jesus is coming soon. It will be worth it all when we see Jesus. One glimpse of His dear face will be enough. Bravely run the race.
Don't judge God's work until He finishes it.
When He is done, all His children will say, "Well done, faithful God."

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Some Days

Some days

I just stop.

And allow myself to realize the fact that my son


stands before the Lord Almighty.

How does a mother comprehend that?





And then it's suggested for the umpteenth time by some naive helpful friend or foe 
that I should probably get over the fanciful notion of longing to be in God's presence myself and start looking for something here to fulfill my desires.

I'm not sure which is more baffling.

Either that I would believe them


that my son is really there.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas

  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were terrified.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to
Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:8-20

The hush of this snowy morning is welcomed as I contemplate the festivities to come in the next few days: a home that will be filled with love, food, presents and an overflow of special guests. Not guests so much as extensions of our family, those special souls that we claim as our own, pray for as our own. I look forward to the couch becoming a week-long bed, lazy days with nothing more pressing than loving each other, the living room ringing with laughter, and the kitchen bursting with goodies.

There were no pageants or plays this year, no big get-togethers. Such an odd holiday that has broken so many decade long traditions. Even the tree has new ornaments. A fake tree, much to the resistance of certain family members, rather than the Charlie Brown variety from the back forty. The presents, the few that there are in lieu of giving more than getting, have actually been wrapped for over a week rather than the normal rush of tape and tags on Christmas Eve. 

I can't say that I miss the hoopla. I am instead savoring the quiet. The peace, I'm still waiting for it. The pain, always there. Especially now as the world insists that this is the happiest time of the year. We are listening to our bodies and telling ourselves that hibernation is okay. The Spring will come again, and we best be rested and ready for the work God has for us in it.

I hope you find some quiet, too, this busy season. Sit a bit longer with your coffee. Go ahead and eat that extra piece of cake. Hug your loved one like there's no tomorrow. Close your eyes and get lost in their embrace. Leave the expectations at the door. Savor the Savior. Jesus is the reason for the season, after all. Take some time to find the baby who came to us in a manger, humble and meek, the one who is coming soon in all His glory.

Have a  Merry Christmas, Friends!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Just Come Back, Jesus

My friend became a widow today. A matter of weeks ago, a different friend lost a child. I sit here numb, cried out, spiritually seeking a solid place to dig my feet into truth and hope and reality. Reality is eternity. Eternity is a long, long time. God said that He knows the plans He has for us. Good plans, even for widows and mothers whose children die. I'll wrap my arms around another grieving woman. I'll whisper more empowering words of truth. I'll add another name to my prayer list. I'll pray harder for Jesus to come back. Just come back, Jesus. No more tears, no more death, no more pain. And He will. He promised. Soon.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


I've been listening to Francis Chan again - an addicting habit when I need some lively conviction. He was talking about living missional. Spell check is screaming at me that missional isn't a word (there it goes again) but there is no other word that I know of to describe the act of living with every fiber of your soul being in the continuous state of knowing and telling the good news of Jesus.

To live missionally together would mean to continuously spur each other on to keep the end goal in mind, specifically that Jesus is coming soon. To find a few other nut-cases who have been as radically transformed by the Holy Spirit as you have can be difficult, but when you find them, you keep them close. There are a couple of ladies in my life, some who read this blog, who help keep me on track through prayer, through challenging of the Word, through accountability. But sadly, missional lives are rare. Our days, in and of themselves, are not being lived out as if we are anticipating the return of Jesus any time soon. They are not typically about how to glorify His name through loving others and dying to self. I also stand guilty as charged.

After Trent's accident there was no one exempt from our sharing. How many hundreds of people heard the gospel in those first few weeks would be impossible to count. As the message appears to be dulled in so many of those hundreds, as the evidence of their lives continuing to go on, day by day, seemingly unchanged by the words of life, God alone knows which of those seeds of truth planted will one day sprout. But He promised that His word would not go out and return void (Isaiah 55:11). Glimpses of the harvest through one planted seed have encouraged us to get out of bed for these many days since.

Mornings often find me on my face bawling. The uttering of my desire to just be with God overwhelms me. Believer, do the mornings not find you in the same state? Does the thought of the satisfaction of seeing God not obsess you? Is the reality of eternity not constantly on your mind? Does it not consume you to think of every soul you meet, to wonder about their state of salvation?

Richard Baxter put it much more eloquently than I could ever dare to dream to portray the matter. Please do read the whole passage (click for the link) from one of my favorite books, The Saint's Everlasting Rest. Let it burn in your mind and cause a greater longing for this God of Holiness to use your life in ways that will be glorified throughout eternity. It's going to be a long time, this eternity. Live today how you want to live then: being satisfied in Jesus.

      "Why do I so easily forget my resting place? O my soul, does the dullness of your desire after rest not accuse you of most detestable ingratitude and foolishness? Must your Lord purchase you a rest at so costly a price, and you not value it more? Must He go before to prepare so glorious a mansion for such a wretch, and are you reluctant to go and possess it? Shall the Lord of glory desire your company, and you do not desire His? Must earth become a very hell to you before you are willing to be with God? If your successful efforts and godly friends seem better to you than a life with God, it is time for God to take them from you...

      I am willing to stay here on earth while You will use me. Give me the work which You have for my hands. But when it is done, take me at my best. I don't want to be so impatient as to ask You to cut off my time and take me home before I am prepared, for I know my eternal reward depends so much on the use I make of this life. But neither would I stay here when my work is done. While I must be absent from You, let my soul as sincerely groan as my body does when it is sick."

Monday, September 29, 2014

It's Because of the Guy at McDonalds

I consider that our present sufferings 
are not worth comparing 
with the glory that will be revealed in us. 
Romans 8:18

It's because of the guy at McDonalds that I can keep my sanity... Let me back up. It's because of the guy at McDonalds that hugged me when I shared a book with him that I can keep my sanity... Let me back up even further, a long way back.

Three and a half years ago my son died. Three and a half years ago I realized that this life is short and there is nothing more important than where you are with Jesus Christ, and if you know where you are, then there is nothing more important than what you are doing with that knowledge. Three years ago I wrote a book. There was no choice. The words came out as God led and I could only try to keep up fast enough to get them typed. Then I handed it over, typos and all, to what the Holy Spirit would choose to do with it.

And He's done a lot.

A lot that I don't know about, and honestly, have asked to not know about lest I would boast, but rather try to content myself to wait for eternity to see the quantity and depth of the transformed lives that will come about because of our required brokenness. We have sold quite a few books, pouring the money back into the ministry fund which has been then used to buy more copies until we have been able to give away hundreds of gospel saturated material including various books. There are times that I go weeks without being to look at the book, knowing what story it tells. Times where the thought of it brings panic attacks and stuttering words, a total incapability to put my hand into my purse and pull out a copy. In those times God has always raised up another servant to share them.

But then there are days like today. Days when an impulse as innocent as impromptu hunger pains and an overwhelming desire for a medium fry turns into {Lord Willing} a changed eternity. The circumstances were crazy. The timing perfect. A week ago a worker fainted during the lunch rush hour at the busy burger joint. This afternoon, the very moment the same man who was standing in the same place and watched the fall only days ago, stood ordering another fish burger then proceeded to wait beside me as I was waiting for a correction on my order. We talked of death right next to the Happy Meal toys. Discussed meeting God face to face: him his mother, me my son. I handed him a book, then to my surprise, he wrapped his scruffy arms around me.

"You've blessed me," he said, this desolate stranger at McDonalds.

Rarely do I even go inside to order at McDonalds. Hardly ever does the cashier not make a mistake, but today I praised God for the missed chicken burger. Every so often the circumstances line up perfectly when a brief opening of the Heavenly realm, where the Spirit speaks clearly and the power is overwhelming, demands that there is no choice but to pull out a book.

How I praised God today because of that guy at McDonalds. Praised Him for giving a glimpse of that which I said I didn't want to be satisfied in: trading satisfaction in God's work for satisfaction in God Himself. But sometimes He gives both, doesn't He? Us, with our impatience, lack of discernment, and total ignorance of the good plans He has for our lives, who think that God isn't doing anything. How easily we get discouraged over the way God is working things out for His glory. I am convinced that if we saw one glimpse of eternity it would be enough to cause us to trust Him for the rest of our lives, no matter what the details.

That guy at McDonalds was a glimmer of a glimpse.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Tomatoes. It was the first time in nearly a decade that they haven't come from my own garden - planted, weeded, picked and hauled in by the basketful - which only made them a greater blessing to receive. Our summer was not marked by the soil this past season, not by the last frost, ripe radishes, bean or pickle harvests, or the excess of sweet corn and spaghetti squash to share. Instead, I only had to put my coffee cup down and open the door to a friend who was more than glad to rid himself of his overabundance. An afternoon washing, peeling and canning was spent beside a rather grumpy teenage girl (No names need be mentioned since this is a public blog and all. Protect the ornery people, right?) who obviously does not see the benefits of homemaking in her future.


I'm tired.

My third teenager in a row, with one more to go, Lord willing, and the gament of creative discipline is running thin. Hand cuffs were the next threat. This girl who, as of only a couple days ago, wanted nothing else but to crawl into my bed and stay close teeters the very next minute to puberty hormones and all that entails. The knees of my heart will soon be wore out with all the prayers that have been going Heavenward.


I'm tired.

Tomatoes. Sustenance for our bodies to be enjoyed in the upcoming cold winter months. Pure torture, if used in the right context, for training up the next generation.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Time to be Back

I've been away from this little spot in cyberspace for quite some time now. The consuming addiction of blogland and all that goes along with it has been one of the primary reasons- if you are a blogger you know what I'm talking about: the rat race of keeping up and wondering how much is too much, not too much, write for yourself, write for an audience, topics, fancy pictures, waiting for comments, keeping up with the Joneses, etc., etc. 

Our world's craze of everybody knowing everything may come back to bite us all, and personally, as my sister has said before, when people know the color of the kitchen towel hanging from your stove, it might be time to tone things down a bit. But then there is the other crazy hope that not all the words are futile. Hope that God is in some of them, and that they would be words and posts saturated with life changing messages.

A quiet time of processing my own thoughts in my head has been interesting. Not necessarily good, but interesting. Living without blogging, after doing it for so many years, has been strange. I process by writing. My head is spinning from its own thoughts and nowhere to put them down and sort them out. The Alzheimer's side effect of grief tends to make conversations difficult. Words on a computer screen make sense.

Living has been another reason to be silent. Walking with my children. Fishing at the nearby lake. Movies and giggles and fights. Home school and books in bed at night. Baking dessert, then eating the leftovers together for breakfast. Dates and dreams and life changing decisions. Grieving. Always grieving. Laughter among the hidden tears.

But it's time to be back. Time to share what God is doing. As it says up above there in the header,

An attempt to declare the Glory of God for what He has chosen to do with our lives.
A legacy to leave to my children in the telling of it.

So here goes the attempting again.

Friday, August 15, 2014

To Love the World

Over the last thirty days life has changed drastically. The ties to the farm are lessening with a six month rent to own contract having been signed, and we now wake up every morning to a lake view rather than to the cry of demanding critters. Sigh. It's good. Guiltily, pleasurably, insanely indulgently good, almost on the brink of boredom sometimes, but good. Farming was good, too, for the numerous years that we enjoyed it. But when you stop enjoying something, it's time to move on. The Lord called, and here we are, waiting for further instructions.

Perhaps I will chronicle our beginning struggles and triumphs to settle this little .7 acre haven another day, but this morning this verse stopped me in my tracks.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. 
If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 
For everything in the world-
the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-
comes not from the Father but from the world. 
The world and its desires pass away, 
but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 
1 John 2:15-17

The love of the world. What a powerful force. It creeps its way into our hearts and soon overtakes. It oftentimes becomes our reality, until reality reveals itself for what it really is. Our made up worlds with their made up prizes consume us, and we realize sometimes too late that we were our own creators of them rather than seeking The Creator. I don't want to realize too late that I invested into the wrong kingdom. Our families desire as we set out over a year ago to leave it all behind was to intentionally push forth the Kingdom of Jesus. Now we ponder how.

If my strength comes from being united with Christ, then I must start there. But my mind is in a jumble. Demands of the necessity of living have temporarily overtaken my energy for seeking that source. A sewer, some water and electricity, and finally as of this week, the joys of Wi-Fi. Then I am somehow shocked, in the midst of it, to realize for the billionth time that my son is in Heaven. The familiar panic attacks hit with a vengeance. Reality again rears its head above the pseudo peace that envelops this new life of ease. This world and its desires are passing away. I don't have to look very far for the truth of that Scripture. All worldly cravings, all the hungers to boast and long for and desire temporary delights do not come from the Father. The crevice in my brain that holds that truth appears again, I can feel the power of it in my soul. This world is not my home. I remind myself that I am a sojourner, only traveling through. Being bogged down with more stuff should not be my desire.

Then what is?

I don't know. Answering that question has consumed me. I don't know what it is to truly live for Christ, live for eternity, live to make a difference, live to not waste my life on the day that I stand before the God of the universe. The overwhelming knowledge of an Abba Father God is very prominent in my knowing of who He is, but so is the Master of the Talents who really will call for an account. My fear is myself. Scared to give it all, share it all, lest it be trampled here. But I forget in that line of thought that even if God's work is trampled here by man, there is a heavenly host watching where that trampling has glory. It is worth it to give all, love all, and forsake the world.

God has allowed rest. He seems to be calling, encouraging, offering, insisting rest. But I don't know how to rest in Him. It seems to be more work to rest in Him than to make my own way. Even if I am incapable, He has continued to pour out blessings. This God who provides is a profound revelation. It's not something that I quite know how to sort out. My emotions feel flat lined even as I long to feel the power of the goodness of God, but at the same time I am too scared to. Imagine the power of that depth of love. Not for my sake, not for my self righteousness, but because it cost the blood of His Son to love me so deeply. And after that crushing of His beloved, because of it, God loves me. Letting that sink in must require rest.

A lighthouse was the other word that God applied to this move. As we inch our way into this settled community of lake dwellers, I have prayed to be a lighthouse of the gospel. As our house sits a bit on a hill, I can envision the light of Christ shining out. At least I hope it will be shining out. I want immediate, but I forget that God works on a different time table. Usually years, rather than moments. But the moments add up to years, and there have already been so many powerful moments to add to the equation. Our home, half done as it is, has had an open door to visitors nearly everyday since we've been here. Not minding that there is no front deck, and even enduring the outhouse, lack of electricity and meals cooked on a propane cylinder, God has brought so many souls to pour into. How I love this aspect of our new location.

A good reminder, this swift kick of sound theology this morning, as I sit enjoying the view this side of Heaven. This lake is passing away, this house is passing away, along with everything inside of it, even this body is passing away. But the one who does the will of God lives forever. I hope Jesus comes soon. I hope I am found being faithful when He does.

Friday, July 11, 2014


What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, 
yet forfeit their soul? 
Mark 8:36

Jesus taught that to follow him is to die. Before we can live for Christ we must die to self. Really die. Die to this world. Die to its drawings and desires. Die to the temporal to live for the eternal. This won't be accomplished by ourselves. It won't be pain free. It will include suffering. Without it, I don't think a person can truly know their Savior this side of Heaven.

How I pray, brothers and sisters in Christ, that He wakes you up; that the Spirit would open your eyes to leave this world behind as you walk your short days in it and learn to suffer with Him who suffered. That you would know your Creator as your Comforter and that the result would be that He is your greatest treasure to be sought.

I've been doing a lot of dieing lately. 

It frees the soul as much as it tortures the heart. 

The reward: a glorious eternity.

I'm waiting.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Mother's Greatest Calling

Children are the greatest mission field a woman can have.

Dear mothers, let us not neglect one of the sweetest gifts that God has granted us: our children. In this hurry-up world, we need go no further than our own homes to find God's calling for our lives. These precious little people have been given to us for such a short time. Childhood is fleeting. Before you know it, they are out of our hands.

Speaking as a veteran mother who thought she would never survive three children under the age of four, and then gladly went on to add two more kiddos to the chaos, I can honestly tell you that they do grow up too fast. In hindsight, the diapers were easy. The tween years, then the teen years, challenge the foundation that was poured out while life sped by. But rock by rock, hopefully with solid Christ rocks, you are making a difference in the long run, even when you can't see past the temper tantrums and the rolling eyes of a twelve year old who thinks she is beyond you. In the end, there is much joy to welcome the beautiful result of a Christ honoring young adult.

Hold firm. 

Love your children beyond measure. 

Love Christ and His word more. 

Be the example.

Eternity is at stake. 

You are not their Savior, but you represent their Savior. You, Christian momma, have been given the task of raising up warriors and maidens for a godly Kingdom. Get on your knees, stay on your knees, and bring them up valiantly. Aim to be found worthy of the treasures you were entrusted with on the day that you meet Jesus face to face.

This life is short. 

Stay eternally focused. 

For you and them.

Stay home. Love your children. Feed and water them. Nourish their souls with the Word of God.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. 
But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


For we are God's MASTERPIECE
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, 
so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. 
Ephesians 2:10 NLT

A farm sale that seems to never be happening, a son in heaven, two mortgages for too many months, a head cold that has lingered along with frazzled nerves that could easily teeter towards bed ridden depression- it doesn't look like a masterpiece to me.

But that's what Scripture calls it. 

A masterpiece.

A masterpiece in the hands of a Designer who knows every hair on my head, every tear that has ever dripped down my cheek, every desire of my heart. A masterpiece to reveal Himself as the strong one, Himself as the carrier, Himself as the leader worth following.

For those who are called, for those who are God's, our brief lives are a masterpiece to bring glory to the Creator. Things may appear to be in the messy stage right now, but never doubt, the pieces fit exactly where they belong. The tears and trials are the blueprints required to reveal the end result: the forming of a new creation founded "in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago." All to reveal His glory. All, somehow, to result in our joy as we seek only Him.

Hold on to the promises, weary soul, and wait for the Master to be revealed.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Chicken Coop Dilemma

I am sentimental. I admit it. I may just be one of the most sentimental female souls living in this old farmhouse. As we continue to work on packing, some parts of giving up the myriad of material possessions that we own have been easy, others, not so much so. I keep trying to weigh everything from an eternal scale perspective; "keep trying," those are the key words.

Letting go of the critters last summer was challenging, especially at first with a few of the favorites, but surprisingly, their absence in our lives is just alright. Sorting closets and junk drawers has been liberating, thoughts of divulging in a plate smashing party have been discussed and then quickly passed by, and the check from the recycling center has been a bonus to this whole moving thing.

But the chicken coop has become a dilemma.

From its history of being built out of the old log barn left overs, to the memories of hammering away with the kids to finish the construction of it, to the necessity of needing it for the dozen chickens who will be moving with us, the batten board artifact is something that I can't fathom leaving behind. Talk about souvenirs: it's a little larger than the trunks full of childhood memories and the totes full of home school projects.

At this moment there are many farmers, who, by their blood relation feel indebted to assist in the moving of the structure, are scratching their heads about how to lift and haul the beast. I am just hoping and praying that my craftsmanship isn't left splattered on some back road between here and the lake view property.

Oh, life just keeps getting more and more interestinger.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Moving News

After waiting for house selling news for several months, now, in a matter of single digit days we might be signing our life away. With waning hope that there would even be an actual closing date after the recent lender changes which have made it increasingly difficult for any normal, hard working person to actually obtain a mortgage, the bank forgot to inform either us, the seller, not to mention the buyer, that we might be meeting on Friday to finalize the deal - which leaves me only two more days to pack up over half a decade of junque and get my brain ready to transition to a new life. The buyers have been very gracious and are allowing us an extra week, or longer if needed, to pack up, but unfortunatelty the sewer guy can't do anything about speeding up the permit process to install our septic system at the lake view place. Life may get interesting.

It is strange to think of leaving this sandy parcel of land that we have known so long as OurCrazyFarm. Along with the children who have enjoyed their childhood days here, this old farmstead has seen the arrival of a son from half way around the world, and has also watched us grieve a firstborn son. We have poured our heart, soul, sweat and finances into building up some kind of beauty amongst the ashes of the once-pitiful sheds, structures and major amenities, only to feel beaten back at every attempt by the never ending list of needs. Nonetheless, memories have been created on this forty acres that will be etched into our very DNA and have become treasures to be enjoyed for the rest of our days this side of Heaven.

In the rush of the latest news I am trying to process the reality of not waking up to overflowing pastures and growing fields; no more walks to the cabin site, no springs of calves and goat kids, the projects will change and the long gone horse rides will now only be enjoyed through the photo books. What scares me is not so much the fear of what lies ahead, but the realization that I would easily take it all back to continue building my Kingdom rather than being brave enough to follow God's leading into the adventure that He has planned for us which will only be revealed as we take this next step of our new beginning. As the "crazy people" remarks are only increasing, we turn our eyes to the future, especially the eternal future.

While I'm sitting here writing and drinking coffee, I ponder the irony of why I am panicking rather than packing. But my brain needs to be settled first, then the hands can do double time. Jesus said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21) Here we go, ready or not; either way, we're gonna follow where He leads.