its purest form

I’ve been reading so much this winter I think it’s starting to drive me crazy.  There comes this point where you can’t take in anymore words until you stop what you’re doing and get some out.  I cannot just keep stuffing my head full of words with the assumption they can just stay up there for the next twenty or thirty years when I’m ready to access them.

I downloaded a book on my Kindle, (A)Typical Woman: Free, Whole, and Called in Christ by Abigail Dodds.  I found Abigail’s writing through her articles on the blog Desiring God. I started reading her book this afternoon, and now, I’ve got that frustrated reader feeling. It’s that feeling you get when you come away frustrated but don’t exactly know why.

I’m actually getting tired of all the womanhood/feminine/manhood/masculinity talk, not because it doesn’t matter, but because my brain is maxing out–there’s just so much to be read. One thing Abigail talks about is how there is actually a lot of overlap in the Christian characteristics of our male and female natures.  To think about being a woman apart from Christ, apart from your true identity as a Christian, is a dead end, a failure to see.

Is it weird to say, that the closer I feel to God, the less attached I feel to my identity as a woman?  I’m less interested in what it means to be feminine, and more just contented and soothed and secure in my identity.  The rogue sexual diversions disappear.

But it somehow, then, feels like I’ve lost something, some kind of passionate part of myself.  And I wonder, “God, what is it?  What is it now that you have given us to eat, this bread that is here, whole, and perfect to sustain us? How are we to love like Him?”

~~~

“I’m tired of the ’empire-bustin’ Jesus.  I believe above all there was a magnetism to God’s great Son that drew people like flies, even children allowed themselves to be held in the crook of his arms.  You watch children, they’ll hesitate if they sense fear.  Whether it was tenderness, or gentleness, or kindness, I’m not sure.  Of course, it’s quite possible it was love in its purest form, all the love that ever was and ever will be wrapped up in a beautiful brown-skinned middle Eastern man whose very voice caused men to drop what they were doing and run hard after him, and caused the very demons to high-tail it to the edges.  Jesus busted empires, sure, no doubt.  But I believe the main thing he did was walk the world he so loved, moved at every step by compassion, stirred in his bowels by the sheep who had no shepherd.  Amen.”

~John Blase, Twitter (emphasis mine)

 

 

it’s a boy!

My sister texted me this morning, “You’re officially out of the little years!” She’d known it was my youngest son’s birthday today, but couldn’t remember if he was six or five.  I told her not to worry, that I’d apparently had the same problem myself, having bought a five instead of a six.

And so it was.  Another humbling, humorous, motherhood moment, and I, in its midst, set the number aside.  The littlest one didn’t notice–and yes, to me, he is still little, but changing, and growing.  I understood what she meant through, on being officially out of the little years.

And so it is!

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I’m not sure how to express laughter in words.

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or gratitude, and love, or happy tears, or amazement

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JOY!

 

 

 

 

missing my partner

I’m struggling to find the right word to use here.

I’ve never really liked the word “spouse” when it comes to marriage.  It sounds too much like “mouse” or “louse”, both of which have negative connotations, particularly when applied to the presence of humans.  Who wants to know or be known as a louse?

Partner is better, but it doesn’t go far enough in terms of the permanence.  Partners come and go throughout a person’s life.  You might have had a dance partner in junior high P.E. class.  At camp we used to have prayer partners that rotated among the staff every week.

I’m going to stick with “partner” for now, however, because that’s the word that first came to mind.  Every year my husband goes away for 4-5 days in the winter.  There’s a yearly conference related to his job, and this year it was held in the state of Arizona.

He’s never been there before, and I can tell by his pictures it’s a different kind of state.  The plants, the views, the temperatures are all different.  During the almost twenty years that I’ve known him, he’s not had many chances to travel this far without us.

The kids and I have been fine, keeping busy with school and guests  We had company on Monday, and more Tuesday.  My in-laws had us over for supper and a movie last night.  Today we have piano lessons and his fight is supposed to get in tonight around 8:30.

Something happens in marriage that is hard to describe.  I’m getting this strange image of two people walking, hand-in-hand, through the woods.  Connected to both of their heads is a wired contraption made of paper-clip metal.  The metal goes around their heads and then joins above them to form a twisted section until the pieces become one.

The couple keeps walking, hand-in-hand, leaving their footprints in the dust of the woods.  The skinny piece of paper-clip lengthens and stretches and grows backwards behind them, to where it finally reaches miles and miles into the past.  A broom appears.

The broom begins sweeping away the couple’s footprints.  Attached to the couple by this stretched out wire, the broom can come no closer than the length of the contraption the couple wears on its head.  New footprints, hand-in-hand, are always being formed.

Your partner, in time, becomes your mate.

all for one

We’ve got a guest coming in less than twenty minutes and there isn’t much time to write much today.  There was a hymn in our church service this morning that set a thousand thoughts running and I’m afraid now those thoughts will be long forgotten soon.

The hymn was “Rise! To Arms! With Prayer Employ You”.

Cast afar this world’s vain pleasure
And boldly strive for heavn’ly treasure
Be steadfast in the Savior’s might.
Trust the Lord, who stands beside you,
For Jesus from all harm will hide you
By faith you conquer in the fight
Take courage, weary soul!
Look onward to the goal!
Joy awaits you.
The race well run, Your long war won
Your crown shines splendid as the sun

In the Scripture reading today it said the athlete disciplines himself in all things.  He does this to obtain the prize–a perishable wreath.  Paul tells us to run the race as to obtain the prize, except the prize we obtain is a heavenly crown, a treasure that will never fade.

I want us all to win this race.  When I think of humanity I want to shout to the multitudes, “Come on, guys, let’s go!  This prize, this crown, is for all of us to share!”  An Olympic gold medal only one of us can win, and most will never know the glory.

How exciting is this?!  It’s a race we’re guaranteed to win, and maybe that’s why it’s so gish dang spanking stinking hard. This race through time we cannot lose, for God has sent His Son below.  The Victor’s crown is ours above, and we will know His glory there.

 

 

 

prayer warriors

Prayer is the cure for incessant worry.

Cure might not be exactly the right word.  Cure would imply your worry disappears, is completely gone, and your mind is healed from the tumor of burdens.  We are told to cast our burdens, our cares and anxieties, upon the Lord because He cares for us.

I’ve come across at least three mothers in the the last week who’ve been worried about their children.  Not including the younger mothers I know, these were mothers twenty to thirty years older than me.  The children they were worried about are adults my age.

Their worry was not being left alone to plague their minds, but was driving these women to prayer and intercession on their children’s behalf.  I feel a special camaraderie with these women, a tenderness of heart towards them when I encounter their stories.
I wonder, if you could somehow graph all the world’s prayers happening at any given moment, what percentage of them would be made up of mothers praying for their children.  I don’t mean to imply that the fathers aren’t praying.  I think some are.

Women seem to worry more.  I believe our neurological sensitivities make us prone to it.  There have been times I have thrown up my own prayers to God like, “God, I am chained to my fears! How am I to live with these mind burdens the rest of my life?”

“You’re not”, He says.  We aren’t given burdens to carry them around.  We take them to Jesus and lay them down at His feet.  We pray, in all things, with thanksgiving.  It may never be that our worries cease completely, but the world doesn’t feel so heavy anymore.