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  • What Matters Most on the Messy Days

    On Tuesday, June 07 th, 2011
    Even if there’s a ring of yesterday’s dirt still in the tub and more math lessons waiting to finish in June. If regrets hound hard and doubts circle around, around, scavengers picking at hopes… If the to-do list is longer than the Mississippi and there isn’t enough ink to check it all off  and if just right now… just as right now wondrously is … even now, even there, even here, His hand, His hand, His hand what matters most, certain and strong, steadying us reaching out right now in the midst… :: :: Resource: The Wings of the Dawn wood block by Studio JRU sitting atop our piano
  • weekends are for a light fragrance

    On Saturday, May 14 th, 2011
        ‘The breaking of the alabaster box and the anointing of the Lord filled the house with the odor, with the sweetest odor. Everyone could smell it. Whenever you meet someone who has… gone through things for the Lord, willing to be imprisoned by the Lord, just being satisfied with Him and nothing else, immediately you scent the fragrance. There is a savor of the Lord. Something has been crushed, something has been broken, and there is a resulting odor of sweetness.’ –Watchman Nee :: From the edge of your own tender aches, from the lip of your own alabaster jar cracking slow, may the light fragrance of your brokenness anoint Him and His Body around you with a sweet and radiant grace. :: :: My quiet, earnest prayer for each of you, in whatever bit of blessed and broken place you live this weekend, kindest friends… your lives the sweet fragrance of a crushed and risen Christ… :: :: All is grace, :: :: :: :: :: ::
  • when you’re burying all your hopes and dreams

    On Wednesday, May 11 th, 2011
    He’s only had three hours sleep, and no sleep the 24 hours before that, and he’s dead tired but he’s rising again before light because he believes in resurrection. “You okay?” I touch his back at the edge of the bed as he pulls on his shirt. “Gotta keep going.” He smiles gentle. Wrinkles make fence lines across his brow. This land, it is making us old. It is making us wise. We are hemmed in by God. “Calling for sun today. Gotta try for the beans.” He reaches for socks. We’re in this window before rain. Hundreds of acres of beans to plant. He laid down hundreds of acres of corn yesterday. And again the day before that. This is always how it is: He goes through the night and the long black, alone in the fields, laying it all down. Burial is always dark , dirty work. We’re laying all our hopes down in the earth. “You got enough seed?” I’m leaning against the doorframe, him headed out. He’s already at the back door. He turns, hand on the knob and I can see how he’s aged in a day, worn by the dirt and the wind and the sacrifice, his eyes shot red through. “Wagon’s right full of seeds.” Full of dreams, full of possibility, full of what can only be  – only if we let it go. In this hard world, there is disappointment and there is death and there is dark and is it all
  • How Hurting Women Can Help Each other Heal…

    On Tuesday, April 26 th, 2011
    At the gate, flying to Portland today, to speak at the Q conference (oh, if He leads, if you’d  lend this girl holding on to Jesus’ hand a few prayers, I’d be mighty grateful!) … and I’m sitting here remembering these words, and giving thanks for  friends like you:  my beautiful mama loving me deep & loving on our kids while I quietly share His message of eucharisteo, for the radiant women at the other end of this flight — and for the gift of time with one of the women in this post, a true heart friend in Him who simply, powerfully lives the Gospel of Jesus Christ… Want to Listen to Today’s Post?  My very real thanks to you, friend, for your very real friendship. Click Here When Lissa Turscott slid down her bus window and whipped that baseball hard, I felt the thud in my back and the smash of my heart. I hunched over to catch the pieces all shattering. I heard her friends all slapping her on the back in congratulations as the bus moaned away. Some bruises break the vessels skin deep and others just break souls and Lissa and Judith and Alexa and all the girls with the teased bangs, they were the ones sashaying to the latest Madonna songs. I was the mocked girl wearing polyester pants from the Sally Ann.   I’ve been rejected and I’ve skirted wide circles around women and maybe you know something about wide berths and big circles?
  • What God’s Really Keeping Track of …{The Real Game Changer}

    On Friday, January 14 th, 2011
    In a morning in winter, my chronic illness wakes fierce and its lunging roar devours, and I fall out of remission and into the hot pain tears. And a child glares icy, slams a door hard, and the walls shake my heart sad. Brothers bicker. The dog eats the roast I had cooked for lunch. I laugh! I can’t believe it. And I can. I glug down more water, more pain medication, more desperate despair, smile anyways. I stumble to the prayer bench, and I read it there, on the letter He left behind and called Holy. I read that He keeps a list and I can’t say I am surprised. He is God. Record-keeping might be of paramount importance. It’s what He’s keeping a list of that turns my skin and the cosmos inside out and that changes everything, changes me and the pupil of my eye and the way I brain-film my life. You have recorded my troubles. You have kept a list of my tears. Aren’t they in your records? ~Ps. 56:8 Today is recorded in the heavens and its pains are written with the wet of tears of God who “hurts with the hurt of my people.” (Jeremiah 8:21) For our God does not primarily catalogue the endless stream of sins. He is God, not a tabloid informant out for dirt, for the flame sensationalist ugly. I forget this. And there are unspoken parts of me that think He makes no records at all but forgets
  • weekends are for looking ahead

    On Saturday, January 01 st, 2011
    May all your wanderings this weekend, kindest friends, peer through the future’s frosted glass trusting. Every blessing on your New Year! :: All’s grace, :: ::
  • when life leaves you with more questions than answers

    On Friday, August 06 th, 2010
    Only a few more weeks left now. That is what the Farmer says at dinner, what he says as we clatter dishes off the table, the enamel plates all stacking and clapping for the cook. Only a few more weeks left and August will dip the beans fields bronze and the leaves will reluctantly fall off the beanstalks and just the pods will then dangle, the only rattling ornaments hanging off the naked fields. And by then it won’t matter. It won’t matter then if the nights lay in thick and close and humid, won’t matter if the mist lies down in all the hollows, rolls itself out, a shag white carpet around all the woods, bridges the the hills in long planks of fog. By then the mist come with the dusk can’t make mold in the bean fields. Only a few more weeks and then fall plucks off all the green and the white sky tufts can’t sift in under the leaves and grow white fungus tufts. Just a few more weeks. Will we make it? Tonight again I sit on the porch. I rock in the swing. The fog drifts in. An endless sea rolling in soundless. The children have dragged quilts and pillows and stories across the dewing lawn and out to the tent. I had heard Kai talking of owls in woods and Levi interrupting with wolves and the ow-ow-ow-howl of coyotes and Shalom had only had big eyes. We’ve already prayed, but I wander
  • The Serenity of Trust

    On Friday, July 16 th, 2010
    “But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers— Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season. ~ Jeremiah 17:7-9 (And coming up: a post for (in)courage… thank you for grace. I look forward to you tomorrow…) Photos: an apple tree standing in wheat hereShare your thoughts? If you would like Holy Experience posts quietly tucked into your reader or emailed to your inbox for free…
  • weekends are for wash

    On Saturday, May 15 th, 2010
    When I open the washing machine door after the blur-spin, they clink clatter to the floor, the one errant nail, a lost dime, so clean, three pieces of lego, yellow and stacked, a matchbox car. I collect — and it’s my brother who always says that, shrugging shoulders, acquiesced and surrendered. “It all comes out in the wash.” May your wanderings this weekend, kind friends, release the dirty to the Water, and He spins the earth, and when you’ve washed the stains in the blood of the Lamb, there’s a sure and blessed knowing, a promise strung out and clung to, that what is meant to be —- comes out happily in the wash. All’s grace, Photos: Stringing the Laundry out here… Share your thoughts? If you would like Holy Experience posts quietly tucked into your reader or emailed to your inbox for free…
  • When You’re Just a Tad Overwhelmed ….

    On Friday, November 20 th, 2009
    I‘m standing at the counter, day seeping in without knocking, jotting down a list of the day’s tasks, the work of a week, in my journal, and it’s just a tad overwhelming and I am trying to remember just to breathe… And then I am fifteen, that summer I grip the handlebars of a Honda Goldwing, weave around margarine tubs set up as pylons in the backyard. Thread through four white Gay-lea markers, loop around the Manitoba Maple, slip through another four tubs, circle a knot of slender poplars, begin again on the far side, under the lilacs. Come the end of the day, my Dad would lean up against the doorway of the shop, cap peak pulled low, just watching, nodding now and then. Mama would look up from scrubbing potatoes, her face framed by the kitchen window lace valance. And I’d wobble a motorcycle through an obstacle course. We all knew that, for me, climbing up on that seat, gripping those handle bars, wasn’t about speed or finesse. It was about fear. About swimming through murky cold fear. And surfacing to breathe. Fear of plunging, fear of falling, fear of pain, fear of handling a revving engine and a mass of steel, fear of accelerating, the open road and all the unknown. Dad was like that. He didn’t like us saying there was something we couldn’t do: weld, drive a motorcycle, pick up a phone, back up a tractor with a wagon behind it, open your mouth to
  • Never Fear Shadows

    On Thursday, October 29 th, 2009
    Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somewhere nearby.” ~Ruth E. Renkel The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? ~Ps. 27:1 Related:Fear’s the First Step of FaithBe Not Afraid Photos: Hope-girl walks the lit leavesShare your thoughts?…Would you like Holy Experience delivered to you quietly via email?…
  • When You’re Given up all Hope …

    On Friday, September 11 th, 2009
    I thought the story was already written. It wasn’t. Standing in freckles of September light across orchard, I shake my head… can’t believe it, really. I had forgotten that He can’t stop writing and it’s always good. But I’m remembering March, and this post: I walk down the back lane, then home, up through the orchard, spring and I making small talk, getting to know each other again. I wander and she warms. Winter, all uncomfortable, fades, a wet towel skulking off. She’s left her dirty secrets behind, sheathed around the Golden Delicious apple, the Barlett pear, strewn across orchard’s soggy carpet. I kneel down on wet grass, peer close at evidence scattered. For the last twelve orbits around the sun, after each of the children had made two complete rides, held up two pudgy fingers, happy sign of aging, we’ve planted another two fruit trees in the orchard for each of them. They’ve all smiled for the camera. Time would bear fruit on limbs, in lives. I’ve never been able to quite imagine. I pick up a handful of dead grass, refuse from tunneling , limp blades cutting sharp. I try to envision: When snow fell this January and polar air bared down and we stirred mugs of hot chocolate in lantern light’s flicker, field mice came in from stubble of wheat fields, burrowed through dormant grass deep under snow. We read stories by the hearth, blankets pulled over laps, and the rocking chair creaked. They wound runways, scarred
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