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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pentecost

Pentecost Sunday morning I felt God say the words to me, "you should be dead". They were not threatening words, but words that held immense and great awe for me. It is true. I should be dead. I "was" dead. On many levels these words are true; and yet I am not dead... and yet I am alive and I am becoming more and more alive and it is terrible and it is good.

Because of Christ, God can touch me and it brings life, not death. I have to allow the touch... but it is now possible... to me. A regular human being... I do not have to be a prophet or a recognised saint... and I am brought more and more into life.

I truly used to be quite dead. I could not feel... literally... I could not feel. My heart was paralyzed, numb, stone. For many years God has had me in a pressure cooker to transform my heart and make me sensitive and responsive to Him... and others. This has not been all fun. It is extremely painful. The best analogy I have heard about it was told by Dan Allender who said it is like healing from frostbite. You have to warm up slowly, and as you do you will feel extreme pain... to the point of wanting desperately to numb yourself again by diving into the snow... but if you do, you will never heal... and you may actually lose your limb altogether.

When the pain, sin, anger, sorrow that was/is locked in my heart comes up... oh, man. I want to dive right back into the numbness... anything to not feel it. But I have found ways, to allow the pain, or whatever it is at the moment, to come up... for me to look at it, name it, hold it with Christ... forgive the people involved, ask for forgiveness... whatever is needed... and then to give it to Him, because He paid for it, not me.

So those words "you should be dead" are glorious to me. Glorious. Yes. I should be dead and I would love to shout it from the rooftops! "I should be dead!! But I am not!!" I am not. I am alive. I can feel my children, and more importantly... my husband!! Things are worse than ever and so heartbreakingly better than ever... my joy was paid for with a price. Yes, Christ paid it, but so did I. My joy is not fluff. It is not the froth on a cappuccino... it is espresso... it is Turkish coffee... and I don't even know how to handle it yet.

You Have Redeemed My Soul
by Don Chaffer


You have redeemed my soul

From the pit of emptiness
You have redeemed my soul
From death

I was a hungry child
A dried up river
I was a burned out forest
And no one could do anything for me

But you put food in my body
Water in my dry bed
And to my blackened branches you brought the Springtime rain of new life
And nothing is impossible for you

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

One of My Favorite People

O.k. One of my favorite people, whom I have never met, is about to give birth to a book! And he is a man... so giving birth is even more miraculous for him!! (Italics added in case you don't "get it".)

Andrew Peterson is writing (hopefully) an adventure series for young adults: The Wingfeather Saga (Go to #5 on the page). I am very excited about this because he is so completely spot on in terms of his heart for God and how he is able to convey that... yet he is real as well... not off in the clouds somewhere where things only go "so deep". He also, at least in his songs, conveys a wonderful, masculine boy life... and as the mother of a 10-year-old boy... I can tell you resources are few and far between (that are not already dead).

So, I trust him that his books will be good and will hopefully bring living stories to kids and they might not even know it!! That's the best kind; where you have to wonder if the writer loves God because he did not hit you over the head with Jesus every second, yet your hope wakes up that maybe there is a "place" where things are (will be) as they were meant to be.

Andrew, you will probably never read this, but I am rooting for you and praying for you and as a fellow lover of words and music; I bless the gift God has given you and pray he sustains you and yours as you pour out that gift.

~J

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day

My dad sent on to me, via email, the following story which won the MSN writing contest for stories about Motherhood. It made me laugh, so I wanted to share it... it is scary how many moments there are like this!

Enjoy!

" Why my lips stayed chapped on Mother's Day "

So, we had this great 10 year old cat named Jack who just
recently died. Jack was a great cat and the kids would carry him
around and sit on him and nothing ever bothered him. He used to hang out and nap all day long on this mat in our bathroom.

Well we have 3 kids and at the time of this story they were
4 years old, 3 years old and 1 year old. The middle one is Eli. Eli
really loves Chapstick. LOVES it. He kept asking to use my Chapstick
and then losing it. So finally one day I showed him where in the
bathroom I keep my Chapstick and how he could use it whenever he wanted to but
he needed to put it right back in the drawer when he was done.

Last year on Mother's Day, we were having the typical rush
around and try to get ready for Church with everyone crying and
carrying on. My two boys are fighting over the toy in the cereal box.
I am trying to nurse my little one at the same time I am putting on my make-up. Everything is a mess and everyone has long forgotten that this is a wonderful day to honor me and the amazing job that is motherhood.

We finally have the older one and the baby loaded in the car
and I am looking for Eli. I have searched everywhere and I finally
round the corner to go into the bathroom. And there was Eli. He was
applying my Chapstick very carefully to Jack's . . . rear end. Eli
looked right into my eyes and said "chapped." Now if you have a cat,
you know that he is right--their little butts do look pretty chapped.
And, frankly, Jack didn't seem to mind.

And the only question to really ask at that point was
whether it w as the FIRST time Eli had done that to the cat's behind or
the hundredth.

And THAT is my favorite Mother's Day moment ever because it
reminds us that no matter how hard we try to civilize these glorious
little creatures, there will always be that day when you realize
they've been using your Chapstick on the cat's butt.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A New Take...

So, I have been listening over and over (because my kids have been listening, over and over) to a new cd by Andrew Peterson and Randall Goodgame called "Slugs and Bugs and Lullabyes". On the song, "You Can Always Come Home", Andrew Peterson sings, "There once was a man who found him a treasure/ Buried out under a tree/ He sold all he had just to own it forever/ The treasure is you, you see... "

Well. I have grown up hearing the parable of the Hidden Treasure; but I had never thought of the man as Christ and the treasure as me! I fought Andrew inside, while my point-of-view slid from me being the man seeking the treasure of the Kingdom of God (that that is what I am supposed to do)... to me being the treasure and Christ giving all He had just to own me... and you... and my husband... and my kids... and all of us... forever.

This is still working on me. A fresh drink of Christ's love is in this song for me.

The song is great. I highly encourage everyone to buy this cd, even if you don't have children. I think it is a good cd for everyone who has ever been a child too. You can get it here.

Here are the entire lyrics for "You Can Always Come Home" in case you're interested!

You Can Always Come Home

I love you today and I love you tomorrow
I love you as deep as the sea
I love you in joy, and I love you in sorrow
You can always come home to me

There once was a man who found him a treasure
Buried out under a tree
He sold all he had just to own it forever
The treasure is you, you see

I love you today and I love you tomorrow
I love you as deep as the sea
I love you in joy, and I love you in sorrow
You can always come home to me

There once was some sheep safe on the farm
And one little lamb got loose
The shepherd went out and carried it home
That little lamb was you

I love you today and I love you tomorrow
I love you as deep as the sea
I love you in joy, and I love you in sorrow
You can always come home to me