Sunday, June 29, 2008


I couldn't put my finger on it last night. My poor husband. From a white wicker rocking chair at dusk I tried to explain that I didn't feel right. It had been a beautiful day. My spirits were lifted by the weather this week. We had had a nice day. Granted conversations weren't perfect here and there, but we had enjoyed our time together as a family. I just didn't understand my own need. I needed space. Yet I needed intimacy. I could sense a slight despair in him as he looked at me, trying to discern me asking him to leave me alone and be intimate with me in the same breath.

Sometimes I think this is being a woman. In P.S. I Love You, a movie I saw recently, the main character was talking with a friend about giving him the secret to what women want. She finally leaned in and said, "We have no idea!" and laughed. I kind of leaned in, inwardly, when she was about to say it, like, yeah what do I want? And when she said that it made all the more sense that I didn't know what she was about to say. I felt this last night. Yet it feels very real all at once. Sometimes women are almost too keenly aware I think of the longing for what we do not yet have. What as a Christian I would call our redemption. In other words: we wait for what we are going to become when God finally strips away all of the yuck of who we are and and only the new heart, the new creation remains. Romans 8 says this:

"For I consider that our present sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility (frustration), not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is not seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."

I've read this passage of Scripture many times feeling very confused with its meaning. Recently the Spirit read it to me instead of me reading it to me. And it reached my heart with its meaning and it meets me again today. In this fallen world and life the creation and all of us combined daily live in frustration. Nothing works. Everything breaks. We think we're happy, then we're not. To find something that lasts is rare. We are subjected to frustration. This frustration makes us groan. What we groan for is God to free us into what he has declared us to be. And we groan for God himself. For that intimacy with him that we will experience in heaven, which is the pinnacle of enjoyment for us.

Today on the way to church Jason prayed for my heart so that I could worship in church. The sun was out again. We had great plans for the day ahead. There was no reason to be downcast inside my heart. We dropped the girls off in nursery and sat in the back since church was so packed. We sang a couple of songs and then settled in for Mark's last sermon of the membership series, which was on the Kingdom of Heaven.

When my pastor speaks I don't know where the hour goes and I don't care. And even today, without the air conditioning and only one big fan blowing to cool down all 200 of us, I had no idea I was sweaty. I cried about five times during the sermon. Many times when I tear up at church it is because the sermon speaks directly into something I am currently learning or questioning. Today it was a little different. I think it spoke to my silent groans.

Mark went through Revelation, revealing what the Kingdom of Heaven will be like and who Jesus is today. Revelation reveals Jesus as leading an army on a white horse, with a white robe dipped in blood, and a tatoo on his thigh declaring he is King of Kings and Lord of Lords as he crushes those who insist on evil. He is shown to bring justice in a way that we initially cringe about but somewhere deep within we have a profound sense of gratefulness that there will indeed be justice in the end for all the evil that has tormented since the fall of mankind. My heart both feared him in that moment as Mark read, and desired to be under his shadow, to be the one defended with perfect justice as by a perfect Father. Within just one more chapter this same Jesus is also shown to be the One sitting on the throne declaring,

"Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away...Behold, I am making all things new...It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son."

I teared most of all when I read the part I highlighted. I was completely moved. This Jesus wants to make a kingdom for us to dwell with him. He has invited us to live with him. And it is a place of perfect peace because he will have cast out everything that would mean to harm, including my own old heart. I will be redeemed and so will everyone else there. There will be perfect relationship. I will not linger on words from others that felt sideways or regret so much of what I think and say in return. I will be in perfect relationship with God and man and we will dwell there forever. I did not wake up hoping for this sermon. If you had asked me if hearing about this today would change my heart's disposition today, I would have probably felt it was irrelevant. This is because I do not know what I need. I do not know what I want. I do not know what heals even this vague groaning. What I did learn today, besides what heaven will be like, is that the Word of God revives me. Psalm 19 says that the Word revives the soul and rejoices the heart. And the ultimate truth in this is that the Word of God is not just some sentences God had man write down. The Word of God is Jesus Christ himself. "...and the name by which he is called is The Word of God." (Rev 19:13).

Thank you Jesus. Surely I did not know what I needed today or what these groans in my heart might mean. But you knew I needed you. When I inwardly groan may I know and remember that they are the mark that I am in waiting. Waiting for the blessed hope, My Redeemer and his glorious redemption of my soul. Amen.

Monday, June 23, 2008


breakfast tastes good. redmond's outdoor seating version of an issaquah favorite is turning out great for us. i spend half my morning gazing on the red potatoes smothered in melted cheddar goodness and the other half gazing into her brown eyes. soon i feel like i am staring straight into the heart of zimbabwe, which makes me want to stop eating. she talks with fork down and eyes racing. " something...write congressmen...spend my free time...research..." silly restaurant porch with pots of lobelia and geraniums. food is good. but who cares. i feel swept momentarily. like a wind that comes up behind you like a rough shove. i want to help. i can't help. i want to do what she's doing. i can't, i already have commitments. i want to know what's going on. i don't want to know because it's too overwhelming. my responses don't make it to life. i put zimbabwe up on a shelf.

sweet family hosting mexican sits across from us. it's one of those tables from pottery barn that's sqare but elevated more like stool level. little jalopeno bacon boats pass between hands and are eaten between words like "adoption" and "china" and "sex trade." the little one who it's all about sits there with a sweetness that makes me want to jump ship straight for this whole business. "...only 2% 14 the sex trade waits for them at the door...the restrictions are high...why aren't christians adopting..." i feel swept. my scrapbooking and gardening and writing are all begging me to be replaced with more hugs and diapers. i want to do it now. i can't do it now. we want more kids. but what about those kids. they need mamas and daddys. but i've got to be called. my responses don't make it to life. my china daughters are gently napping up on a shelf in zimbabwe.

i sit in a circle of a greatness i trust. i drink lemonade on the rocks and coffee drowned in creamer because i usually insist on multiple beverages. words fly back and forth between lips dipped in a holy wisdom. i raise my request. do i or don't i teach. they come into my mind. the ones looking for truth, looking for life, looking for community. names on my list flood my mind. "...we need more groups in the fall...many women need to be connected...more leaders..." i feel swept. heart beating. teaching already organizing in my mind. i want to say yes and teach. no i don't want to do it. it's what i am supposed to do - this is easy to see. this is not easy to see - i am eating off a full plate. when i teach i am alive. if i teach just to teach i will feel dead. my responses don't make it to life. i must for now let my teaching hang with china daughters in zimbabwe.

Proverbs 18:13 "He who answers before listening - that is his folly and shame."

Proverbs 19:21 "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."

Proverbs 20:24 "A man's steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?"

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I Go Cavewoman

“If everyone in the world was like me we would still be living in a caveman society.” This is what I told Jason as we were driving the other day. He’s not surprised when I say random things like that because I am perpetually random, but he wanted to know what I meant. Here’s what I meant.

We had been in Seattle, coming back from dinner at Purple CafĂ© and Wine Bar, incidentally my new favorite, and we were winding through the streets of downtown. I was noticing the complicated bridge structures and in the blip of just like two seconds it hit me that I would be too overwhelmed and too completely lazy to actually think up, and never mind build, this sort of road system. I don’t even think I could have come up making a long straight road over the course of my lifetime. I’m really serious.

I’m smiling right now just thinking about this button in my brain. It’s the “I’m too tired to think about this” button and I hit it like five times a day and when I do my brain just shuts off. I might still be listening to you but I’m gazing right through you and getting a crunched eyebrow look. I might still be reading that book but really my eyes are running down the page without computing one word. When something gets too hard for me to think about I can feel that limit, literally, and I can either decide that I care enough to go through it or I push the button. I really like that button, by the way. I’m kind of glad it’s there but I feel like I need a nurse to tell me I have a limit on it, like when I had a morphine drip on hospital bed rest.

The times I choose not to push the button are usually people oriented. That’s good for all of you reading who might feel slighted by my button pushing. Yes, it’s true, I usually actually hate the button when it comes to thinking about our hearts. I want to get to the bottom of what is going on in you and me and sally smith. Recently me and two gals were talking and one of them was trying to figure out what to do with an obstacle in her life. And even with one of us in the room being an actual counselor by profession, it was difficult to get to the root of what was going on so that she could walk in freedom. This sort of thinking gets me really excited and sometimes it’s nice because you can use other people’s brains to sort of lily pad jump through ideas and it may take you to some thoughts or conclusions you may not have come to without sort of a group think mentality. Without the lily pads, I might have pushed the button, masked by a “I’ll pray for you” sort of thing.

I always tease Jason about being smarter than me. “Okay, Northwestern,” I say if he gets something that I don’t. Whenever the girls do something really brilliant I tell him they have his brain. I actually really like that his brain works better than mine. I don’t know what it would be like the other way around – having a spouse like me, but he seems to like the way I think and what I say…so I think we’re good. He’s just so good at figuring things out. I think it’s a temptation though for me to get lazy because our married life has access to his brain and so I rely on him to get things done that make my head hurt. Like a little thing – we have two kids’ gates downstairs so the girls have to stay in the living room/kitchen area with me. A bunch of times people (mostly other kids) have plowed through the gate accidentally and it falls down. My response is like – Jason will fix it. But if Jason wasn’t around, I might actually have to figure it out. Is anyone relating?? Other button pushing moments: using the grill, handling our budget and bills, fixing issues w/ the computer (big one!), anything involving something called a “tool,” setting up TIVO (but I overcame that one and now I record my own shows – ha ha!), hanging pictures, etc. You get the picture. I go cavewoman.

The issue though is that I check out when life gets hard for me. The heat comes and I wither and push my button instead of being that tree planted by streams of water that Isaiah and Psalms talks about. I think this whole thing was brought home most to me when I got pregnant. Literally brought home. Terribly ill twelve weeks and on bedrest another twelve. It was the first time, in such an obvious everyday kind of way, that I felt like I couldn’t push the button. If my body was getting in the way and I wanted to escape it, I couldn’t. If it was hard to understand nutrition because I had always just eaten what I wanted, I couldn’t avoid it because with a twin pregnancy I needed double the good stuff. If I wanted to go do something for myself during weeks 22-34, even just run an errand, I had to push through the temptation and keep flat on the couch. And when all the crazy anxious thoughts came about what might happen if the girls came at 27 weeks and how their lungs might not work and my body might have an impossible time recovering because it had been stretched to the limits…I couldn’t check out. It wasn’t enough. I had to pray and take captive those thoughts to Christ. The Lord wouldn’t let me go cavewoman. The button didn’t work.

So now the button kind of works again. Granted Kanah and Grace keep the button hidden from me most of the time, those little mama-mouchers ;). Being a mama means dealing with life the moment it is there. So that has been good for me. But there are times when I see an opportunity to check out…and I take it a lot of the time because when it comes down to it…I do what I want to do. We all do. We take only what we have to take and deal with what we have to deal with and we let a lot slide otherwise. At least that is what I do.

I’ve gone cavewoman like four times since starting this entry early today. That is really hilarious! At some point when I was writing this I was like – it’s just not making sense or coming together. I think I might just shorten it or not figure out what the full circle is. Too much thinking. And then the Lord kept me tuned in long enough to reveal how he put children into my life to deal with this cavewoman side of me. To show me that sometimes I need to work it out with him instead of escaping. And that in other times it is okay to just be really grateful for my smart, helpful husband Jason and all my lily pad partners when it comes to working through things in my life.

Now that I am seeing all that though, my “witching hour” (Jason’s term) is approaching. 10:00 is sixteen minutes away. And about this time of day when all my responsibilities are done, the girls are in bed and life isn’t throwing anything my way, it is finally appropriate to go crawl into my cave. Goodnight everyone.

Friday, June 6, 2008

New Blog!

This is a new blog for me. I am keeping my windows live spaces for pictures of our family but it will be private. If you would like to view it and can't get to it, just email me. This blog will mainly be for just me and my writing outlet. I will post my last blog from my other space here and everything upcoming will be brand new! Thanks for reading!