Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

Mt. Political Climate

I don’t have all the solutions, but I know change is needed. The way our political system encourages unhealthy competition, unnecessary spending, and berating brothers and sisters who desire the same things – we need to walk around it.

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#DRCStuck

I realize I’ve not written much in the past few months.  I started my masters’ degree this past January, and with the adoption journey being a roller coaster of emotions – it’s hard to know what to say during the few moments I have to say it.   I’m certainly still writing, but most of it is in the form of papers at the moment.

One of my recent assignments for a “Spiritual Formation” class was to illustrate a prayer request. So I made a video about our adoption journey.  It ended up being tougher for me to even watch than I thought, because it’s a bit emotional.  But I’m proud of how it came out.  It’s been on YouTube less than 2 days, and already has almost 1,000 views – so I figured I should probably share it with my mom and the few other readers that are still here. 🙂

Thanks so much for your continued prayers and encouragement…

a psalm for heavy hearts.

There is a stifling silence in carrying a burden, a weight so uncertain and hurting,
In search of a balm, we check the Psalms, and we learn that in turn,
these struggles that rock our home
Can become our megaphone.

Because it’s hard, and we’re not alone.
Our scars run deep, and to the bone. It seems like evil is on the throne,
runs the show, and even though we know there’s something greater,
it always seems like later – never now.
Never knowing how we’ll make it to tomorrow, but the sun comes up again.
And I guess that means we’re doing well, even though sometimes it just feels like we’re surviving.
For some, that’s the extent of thriving.

When driving rain comes faster than the wipers can clear a path.
The aftermath, sometimes silent, can come in violent waves unexpected
Of hope rejected, knowing sometimes there’s more dark before the dawn.
And if this was a song, it’d go on for sometime, before the key would change.
If an honest poem, more turning of the page, before the stage were reset,

The dim lights begin to raise, because there are better days ahead,
the field is not dead,
In fact, there is wheat growing among the weeds, some seeds of hope that cannot be rejected.
Knowing what’s expected, is not etched in stone, evil is not on the throne,

no matter how much sway it may seem to hold. Our whispers grow bold,
as we gather our broken bones, and cry out to the throne –
Lord Come. We need you.
Our arms are growing weary, and we need you.
Our eyes have grown bleary from the tears, over years and Lord we need you.
The blisters on our road-scarred feet scream for us to retreat, and we need you.
Our children look to us for answers we cannot provide,
and so with arms stretched wide we confide – Lord – we need you.

There is no other ear that even comes near to hearing our stifled voices,
choices all around us for ways to avoid this feeling of burden
A burden so certain and so heavy we want to find relief,
yet so infused to our hearts that we cannot put it down.

Not ever.

Clever words fail, and so we wet sail on uncharted waters
Praying the one who walks on water, the one who saves,
will be with us to calm the waves.

Lord, we need you.11825798_10153486977756747_7974870290730540774_n

“Bring You Where I Am” by Wick – Music Video

I know, you’re probably sick of hearing about it by now. But here’s the official music video to go with our song, complete with links to purchase the song or donate to our adoption if you’d like!!

different kids.

“He’s part of the smart and popular group.”  I heard a 5th grader describe his friend this past week.  Holy Smokes.  I don’t remember thinking about “popularity” in elementary school, although I’m sure it was there somewhere.  I remember coming to school and getting incredibly good at the art of twisting my hair so that it stood up without using any gel.  Throw a cape on my back, because I was super.

I remember some mornings, waiting out by the road for the bus to pick us up.  We’d easily get bored, and want to do something more fun.  I remember putting frogs in the mailbox for our postal worker to be surprised by.  (She wasn’t happy when she found baked frogs in the mailbox.  Ooops. Hot fall days.)  I remember playing Ninja Turtles. (I preferred Michaelangelo.)  I remember squatting down, pulling my coat down over my knees, while hobbling along the road trying to scare the cars driving by into thinking I was some sort of troll.  (Probably not the safest thing I’ve ever done along a highway.)

Looking back on who I was growing up, I think is part of the reason I was totally okay when we began our homeschooling journey.  Sure, a lot of homeschool kids can grow up a bit weird.  But look at me…public school kids can grow up pretty odd themselves.  My kids are certainly going to be unique in this world, scripture pretty much demands it.  But their uniqueness is not about simply wearing the moniker “Different”.  It’s so much bigger than that.

In fact, it’s too big to fit into an awesome sentence that I can make into bold text, and you can quote me on in some place that gets more internet traffic.  I want my kids to live authentic lives of experiencing all that God has created them for.  I fiveironfrenzypray over them daily that they would be filled with so much love, the world will be changed.  I believe it’s possible with all that I am (and the even more that I am not), and parent them that way.  Whether they go on to become missionaries in foreign lands, moms who raise the next generation to know the love of God, or a female-fronted version of Five Iron Frenzy.  In fact, if they could go on to become a female version of Five Iron Frenzy, at least for a little while, I’d be pretty excited.  One thing is for sure – they will be unique.  I pray they are unique even in the face of consumer-driven Christianity.  That they would ask questions, and push the envelope for how God’s Love can be shown, and how the Holiness of God can be lived.

So for now, we’ll continue to build the foundations of a life lived uniquely toward responding to God.  We aim to exercise those spiritual muscles on a regular basis.  To invite our children to respond to God with us on a regular basis.  To train them to listen to His voice.  To point out where some things in our world are broken, or don’t make sense.  To help their first reflex and knee-jerk reaction to be Love for God & others.  And above all of that, because we cannot guarantee what path they’ll take…..we pray.  God, use our family to make things different, as you are Different.  Amen.

smile (a reminder to pray)

She looked up at me with a smile on her face.  I had a split second to convey soooo many messages.  “You are loved!  More than you know, and more than you  might be shown.  Your value is infinite, and there is a hope for your future beyond pretty dresses.  You’re not defined by your present situation, nor by the decisions of your parents.  You’re a child of God, creator of all things.  He has spoken a big fat “YES!” over whatever “no” your life situation might be whispering.  You have amazing capacities for good, for love, for becoming an incredible woman and changing the world.  There are arms that want to hold you, that will never let you go…and He is always with you.  Jesus loves you…”

But as her mom spewed obscenities into the video phone, having a conversation with the girls father who was in jail for what sounded like really good reasons…all I could do was bundle all of those thoughts into a smile.  A prayer, as I continued to wait for the person I was visiting to appear on my screen.videovisitation

I do this every week.

When I began, I felt like I was being stretched.  I was excited, after all there are so many places in scripture that tell us as Christ-followers to love and visit those who are in prison.  I was nervous, to begin visiting 2 who I’d never met.  They’ve received me well, and God has been in our conversations.  I hadn’t previously thought much about my purpose in that environment as a living prayer.  Nevertheless, it’s what those times become.

There’s always a line.  I pray for the loved ones buying phone cards, sitting and waiting for updates, verbally spouting all sorts of obscenities about their situation.  They’re so frustrated.  They’re confused.   They’re upset.  Usually it comes out in the direction of the woman who works the window.  There are 4 of these women, only one works at a time.  They have the patience of someone who knows the anger they receive is not really for them.   I pray for their strengthening.

The elevator door opens, and the next single parent walks in, holding a girl who shouldn’t be in places like this.  She gets yanked along by a mom who’s way too upset to think about much else.  But she’s obviously shown great care in getting this girl all ready for daddy to see her.  Braids tightly done, each decorated with it’s own colorful barret.  I smile at her, trying to offer her the facial expression that communicates, “It’s okay.  Life is so much bigger than this moment.”

I hear and see glimpses about each case.  I sit in my booth, waiting for the screen to turn on, and quietly pray for those in booths around me.  I hear a few positive words, it sounds like he compliments babygirls’ hair.  Then the conversation quickly changes to more weighty topics, and she’s left wondering what is being said over that phone.  I pray for her, by name if I’ve heard it.  So many broken lives.  So many children, not quite understanding why they can’t be held by daddy.

There are so many experiencing brokenness of a world impacted by sin.  These were sounds and images I was disconnected from a few years ago.  I believe one of the many reasons I’m there, is to speak about it.  To remind those of us who will hopefully never find ourselves in the waiting room of a county jail – pray.  Pray for the families in our city that shattered late last night.  Pray for the restoration and healing of the man who was released this morning.  Pray for the children who need to know they’re loved…

And when given the chance….smile at them. 🙂

not optimistic. :)

Tragedy.  Suffering.  Pain.  Humanity taking the lives of others in their hand, and purposefully causing injury and death.  So many events just from the past week or so seem to be screaming out, “Where is Jesus as Lord?”  This is the world my daughters are growing up into.  The world in which my ability to keep them safe is drastically reduced every day they grow.

I’m a huge Detroit Redwings fan, and my entire hockey-watching life I’ve watched them head into the playoffs during this next week or so.  But this season has been a rough one.  Recently their head coach, Mike Babcock was interviewed.  They asked him if he was optimistic about his teams’ chance to make it into the playoffs.  His response: “I don’t know if it’s optimistic; I think it’s realistic,”

I wish I shared his realism.  But I’ll definitely be optimistic, even as I begin growing my playoff beard. (Just in case we need it early.)

But his vantage point reminds me of God’s view, as he looks out over our world that is so filled with uncertainty and suffering.  In Matthew chapter 13, Jesus tells a parable that offers us insight into the situation our world is in today:

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.” 13:24-29

For an explanation of the parable, skip to verse 36.  But it seems that even when God looks out on our world that has so many spillwayweeds growing, He sees more than these.  He sees the beauty of what is growing through the children of the Kingdom.  Growth that, between telling the parable and explaining it, Jesus connects to a small amount of yeast working its way through the entire dough.  Or a small mustard seed growing into a large, strong tree that provides shelter.

It’s important for us to remember as we look out on our world this week.  As we look for ways to honestly look into our childrens’ eyes and say “Yes, even in the midst of all of these weeds growing, Jesus is Lord.”  Help your children to identify the places where Kingdom is growing.  Find ways for the Kingdom to arrive in and through your family.  Wonder what that can look like, practically?  Check out the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23.  Spend a day focusing on each one with your children, and as you participate in Kingdom growing – know that as Jesus delays coming to complete what He began by becoming Lord – it’s not because He’s optimistic – He’s realistic.  There is so much in our world that’s worth giving the chance to continue growing…

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