Shhh…don’t tell my daughter!

16 Dec

I’m going to let you in on a little secret that you can’t tell my kids. Seriously – don’t tell them.

I have started a blog for each of them. My son’s is called, “Dear Nick, this is your life.” My daughter’s is the same, except her name, not Nick’s.

When the kids near the end of their senior year in high school I will send the blog off to a website to be printed in a book. The book will be their life. Over a decade of letters from me to them, in full color, bound and wrapped for a graduation present.

You can steal the idea if you like. In fact, I hope you do.

I wrote this one in the midst of a near mind-numbing clamor of Christmas music, recorder-practice, and howling cat.

I thought I would share it with you.

“Noise, reconsidered.”

Dear Caitlme and C at FUM Argyleyn,

As I type, you are upstairs gleefully and faithfully practicing the recorder you first took home from school two years ago. It’s almost Christmas, so the song they are teaching you is Jingle Bells. The tune you are playing is remarkably close.

As you play, your brother is in Dad’s study, dancing in front of the computer. Do you remember how you two used to dance? The song he is jamming to – wouldn’t you know it – is Jingle Bells, and now I can hear you thundering down the stairs to play along with the video.

I love this age. You, eight, Nick, seven – full of fire and curiosity, and starting to find your voice.

As I write, I wonder how many other houses have this joyful cacophony playing. I wonder how many other moms might describe it as joyful. Someday you’ll have kids who have recorders and you’ll know just what I mean.

However, it’s a joyful noise to me, because you’re the one making it. Honey, I want you to make noise. Find your cause. Find your passion. Use your voice.

You have one life – just one – and God has equipped you to be a difference maker. I can see it now, even at the tender age of eight.

Have I already written about the time we went to Port Aransas and you had all the kids following you? I suppose I should read earlier entries before I write new ones, but entertain the story one more time.

We walked out to the pool and surveyed the deck. We found a table and staked our claim. You took a good, long look around, then slowly lowered yourself into the water. There were kids playing ball on one side; a girl with a huge floating seahorse on the other. Your Dad got comfy with a book and I turned around to see what Nick was doing.

Five minutes later, there you were riding the seahorse and directing the kids on the game of your choosing.

You found your cause and your voice and you wouldn’t be silenced.

As I sit here typing to future eighteen-year-old you, I wonder what your message will be.

I believe God will give you a message and a means to say it, and I look forward to leaning in.

I love you, sweetheart. Stay true to God’s Word. It is the truth, and when you go off to college, if that is your plan, the truth will be assaulted on every side. Be strong and firm – God’s Word stands, and your mother not only stands by it, she has built her life and her ministry on it.

How I wish I could make you understand the depth of my love for you. When you laugh the world laughs with you. Your eyes sparkle like diamonds when you smile.

Keep smiling, my sweet love. And never, ever, ever, ever stop making noise.

Love, Mommy

Psalm 98:4 – Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

So what is Advent, anyway?

15 Dec

advent picAdvent: a season of hope and expectation. Approximately two-thousand years ago, the Jews anxiously scanned the horizon and scoured the skies, looking for the Messiah. Their God had been silent for four-hundred years. Where was their hope? Had God forgotten His people? Did He turn a blind eye to their suffering? Would He never speak again?

Maybe you know how they felt. Maybe you’re there right now – where the bills are too high and the funds are too low; where tempers run hot and love runs cold, where the valleys are dark and the way out too steep. That place where the tunnel is long and there’s no light ahead and the longer you wait the more hopeless you feel.

Maybe you are in your own, personal, uninvited advent.

I would like to offer you some hope.

Before there was time, there was God. He existed in perfect harmony as the God-head: Father, Spirit, Son; one-in-three and three-in-one. And out of the silence, God spoke.

“Let there be light!” And there was light. And God saw that the light was good.[i]

Seven times in five days, God spoke; and that which wasn’t, suddenly was.

Until the sixth day. On the sixth day He did things differently.

God entered in. The Creator stepped off the throne and into that which He’d created. He took dust from the ground and molded and formed it until it was the shape of a man.

Then God entered in again. He tilted back the head of His son, and breathed a piece of Himself into the man, and the man became a living being. And God saw that the man was very good, except that he was alone, and that was bad.

So God wounded the man on the side, and from the wound he made a bride – Eve.

….To read the remainder of this post, click HERE.

[i] Genesis 1:3-4a

Today’s Bread ~ The Last Day of a Very Bad Month

13 Nov

IMG_2092It was Halloween – the last day of the month, and frankly, I was happy to see it go.

October was one for the record books. Combine a retreat, a book release, two to three speaking engagements a week, an out-of-town wedding, and a three-day conference, and you have one tired chick. Add a week of radio fundraising (which means I’m up at 3am and going to bed at 10:30pm each night) and the nerves start to fray.

Oh, and I was also co-teaching a Bible study. That’s not my typical pace, by the way, but my husband and I decided we could do it for a month.

Then came the family emergency. Then the lymphoma scare with one child and the school issues with the other.

Yes, I was happy to say goodbye to October.

On the morning of the 31st, I poured my coffee and grabbed my breakfast as I always do and started to think about my 45 minute commute to work. I am working on memorizing the book of Ephesians, and that morning I would be practicing some of my favorite verses in all of Scripture.

Ephesians 3:16-19 – “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

It occurred to me, as I started my car and backed out of my driveway, that God knew I would be working on those verses that day – the very last day of a very bad month.

As I said goodbye to one season and ushered in a new one, God knew that I would be meditating on His love.

November is the season of Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas. As I made my way from Flower Mound to Arlington, I was empty – completely and utterly depleted. And the cry of God’s heart was this: (more…)

Melissa’s Pen ~ From Darkness to Light

11 Nov

meThen Jesus spoke to them again: ‘I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness
but will have the light of life’” (John 8:12).

“I have called you out of the darkness and into the Light.”

These words danced in my spirit as I listened to my new friend Lisa Collins as she spoke at the God Crazy Freedom Conference. She didn’t speak the words, but they were on my heart, nonetheless. As her story played out in my mind, I began writing in my journal about darkness and light. I explored what my “darkness” really looked like and what kinds of things I might allow to be exposed if I let God pour His Light on those places.

Since I’m a wordy-nerdy-girl, I had to re-examine a couple of the verbs and pronouns I used in the last sentence: I allow; I let. If God was swirling these words through my head, I knew He was willing. Was I willing to let His Light in?

“What does my darkness look like?” I wondered, as the conference ended for the evening.

I closed my journal, said my good-nights, and set my GPS for home.

The route my navigation system suggested was one I’d never taken, but it was the fastest, so I followed its automated directions.

“Turn left onto Boat Club Road, then stay on Boat Club Road for 4 miles.”

The road was dark, but street lights helped me maneuver easily enough at first. I saw the lights of a bar and a restaurant and wished I could see the lake that showed up on my GPS to the left. When I turned right at the 4-mile mark, the road went dark. There were no longer any street lights. No neighborhoods. No nothing. I got to the top of a hill and slowed down to 10 mph because I was afraid of what was on the other side. Except for the dim glow of my headlights, I felt utterly lost in the darkness. (more…)

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