Thursday, June 26, 2014


I once stood under the drenching of a delicious steaming shower while holding a cup of coffee.   Yes, true story.  I know it sounds more like a poorly written sit-com moment, the ones writers insert at 3 a.m. when they are spent and shooting begins at 6 (as if I know the art of TV screen-play writing!).  But haven't we all been in such a moment of stress and need?  That day when we are overwhelmed by the pressures of life, when all our coping and struggling come to nothing, so we double-dose on something normal yet verging on the ridiculous, thinking that by upping the anti we will provide for ourselves the courage and ability to get through the pain of the day.  It doesn't work.  It never will.

Pastor Jim Fleming used to say that when a waiter carries a tray of drinks and is jostled, that which is in the glasses spills out, indeed...and what might one find if we were jostled in such a way?

My own illustration comes in the kindergarten classroom form, since you have probably come to realize by now, that with children ranging from almost 23 down to 5, I never seem to graduate into elementary school.  When you and I are pressed, sweetness can be found.  How on earth is this possible.  S'mores!  The answer is simple, Beloved Friend.  When the heat is unbearable, and the refining fire is truly at work and we have come to the end of ourselves, if we have asked of God to do the filling...if we have sought His truth in His Word and trusted Him with our lives, even when the world laughs at our foolishness...sweetness will spill from our difficult circumstances.  Perhaps you wish to stop reading now?  Perhaps my solution looks flimsy and only for my life across the minutes and miles from your hard thing.  Test me, Dear One...not because I have authority, but because I have seen God's grace and beheld His truth in some terrible, dark places about which I can never tell you.  I know the truth that when God fills us up, when the nooks and crannies are filled with faith, hope, love and belief, you will find His goodness in unexpected places, empowering you to live joyfully, mightily and strong, because when pressed, His goodness in you appears.

God is with you, in the deepest places, ask Him, knock, request His fellowship, whisper the name of Jesus and see the goodness, sweet and delicious filling your soul!  God bless your day, Dear One!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

God is in the Details

I promise, there is nothing that matters to you that God doesn't see.  Even in the most minute thought or quiet longing, God cares.  Does anyone else know the number of hairs on your head?  Not even you.

Yesterday morning, in my flurry of responsibilities, I felt a check in my spirit.  Two huge garbage bags filled with clothes from five years' worth of Elias' wardrobe additions, void of subtractions until now, lay piled in the garage.  The one to whom we'd committed the items would arrive soon.  I poured through each piece thinking I was searching for an Australia T-shirt, a gift from one of Dennis' trips (that was not in the bags).  Slightly confused as to why I was even searching, I held up a nondescript navy Hanes top, which I knew had never been Elias'.  I was clueless as to the one who had owned this item.  Then the truth hit me.  I felt startled and pale at the idea that I'd almost parted with so precious an article of clothing.

When 9-year-old Salomé was three days old, her precious birthmother placed her beloved daughter into our arms amidst streams of tears flowing between us.  She tucked the T-shirt she'd been wearing around our newborn's tiny body, "To remember my smell, if she fusses." She said weakly.

Two years ago, I gave Salomé the shirt again.  She loved it and at first carried it everywhere, but swirled in her bedroom of dollies and delights, the simple shirt disappeared.  It must have meandered the house until it arrived with its most likely owner, Mr. Every Color as Long as it Matches Blue, Elias.

Sitting on the garage floor, I clutched the precious memory of Salomé's birthmother and thanked God for prompting my search.

Perhaps you think this is silly, I hope you don't, but I will happily explain something you may not have considered.  To an adopted child every sweet connection to their birthmother and heredity matters, if not while they are young, someday in the future it will.  Our identity unfolds in time, mixing sorrow and joy to build depth, compassion and love.  I believe our collected stories told over us and about us, are treasures beyond measure.  And just think, God stores our tears, our prayers, and our days in eternal memory, reminding us of what matters...trustworthy with every detail!