Friday, December 30, 2011


The truth? By the end of each day, I am tired physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. I have broken up fights, listened to criticisms about life-changing events such as did I cut the sandwich diagonally or right down the middle. I have washed laundry, scrubbed toilets, and have tried to make healthy meals.

Unfortunately, most of the time the garbage disposal has won, and I have scowled while telling my babies about starving children who live in dumps. The toilet seat has not been lifted, someone's used a clean towel every time they have showered, I've cut the sandwich wrong, and they have said mean things to each other. In my mind...I have failed to make a difference again. Some days I feel very little has feed me, given me energy, encouraged me. I am in the world of children with no adults to laugh at my jokes or appreciate my efforts when I avoid feeding them high fructose corn syrup. I am not rewarded with a paycheck at the end of the week.

What am I doing? In the end, is this going to make a difference? Are they going to stand around my death bed and say, "Thank you so much for making our toilets pristine white." I doubt it. So, what is the point?

I believe most days I feel as if I am walking through mud because I forget who I am doing this for. I focus on how much the world, my children, my husband, and sadly myself put value on the things I do. I worry if it will ever be enough. Will they, or I, be satisfied this time? I forget. I forget that whatever I do, I am to do it as though I am doing it for the Lord, not just people. He notices. As crazy as it is, when no one sees me straightening the sock drawer again, He does. He is in my details. A deep breath of life fills me when I remember this.

And so my journey of developing thankfulness continues. Will I be thankful that my children are healthy enough to fight, we have food enough for them to not know hunger, the laundry baskets are overflowing with warm clothes, we have indoor plumbing when the world uses a public hole in the ground?

Maybe with my thankfulness for life, I will teach my children thankfulness. Maybe I will have the patience to teach them to appreciate what we have rather than just being seriously frustrated with them when they don't get how blessed they are. Maybe if I appreciated what and who I have been blessed with, they will follow. Today, I want to take a new path. I don't want to just talk about it. I want to know thankfulness like a dear friend.

Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people. Colossians 3:23

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Of course, I have been doubting myself.

It is what I do best.

Is this some ludicrous dream to learn to be

thankful, for everything?

experience joy, in everything?

Am I exaggerating where I have come from?

I am trying to listen to the powerful, majestic One who speaks the truth to me, rather than the one that spits lies directly in my face. This is a tough job for me. Lies are so much easier to believe. I am not deaf to His voice, but it is muted in moments of doubt. This is my disfigured reality most of the time. This is my current pit.

I sit here and strain to hear His words. He speaks truth to me. I am compassionate. I know there are suffering people in every corner of this world. People whose pain I cannot fathom. People whose pits are deep and dark and lonely...and unique. I do not know their pain, and I do not know the magnificence of their relationships with Jesus. I only know mine, and my pain is the depth of my pain. I died at the bottom of that pit that was dug for me. I have never gone deeper than that. And, I was lifted from my pit, my face rinsed clean from the mud and grime it had been smashed into. I was raised from the dead.

I also know that without it, the suffering, I would not be who I am. Would I know mercy? Would I know grace? Would I be compassionate? I would not understand the woman who sits by me whose husband has abandoned her and her children. I would not understand being cold while lying alone in my bed, longing for someone to hold me, love me, treasure me, complete me, never leave me. I would not understand how it feels to hurt when hugged by a friend because the longing to be touched by someone who loves me is so deep. I would not understand the look of abandonment in the eyes of children who have deeply lost because of someone's selfish desires. I just simply wouldn't get it. And, I would not understand how gracious my God has been to me.

I can see Jesus more clearly through the ripped places in my being. Because of this, I would not trade my deep pit for a shallow, comfortable, lifelong grave for anything. I want to be fully alive.

1 Corinthians 15:10 (Message) But, because my God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am! And I'm not going to let that grace go to waste.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Why do you love me?

Why do you keep teaching me?

Never forgetting me?

Placing things in my hands?

Undeniable gifts from you?

In all the mess of a hurting and broken world, your eyes stop on me?

Once more you offer me the gift, the glimpse of grace?

Thank you. Humbly, thank you.

I am significant to you, the God who...what? Made everything. Set it in motion. All of it! How great is your love...for me. Simply because you are, you love me. You haven't and will never forget me. I'll rest here, in this place beneath your wing. I am warm, secure, felt. I will enjoy the quiet in the midst of life which at times can crush me, tear me, hurt me.

I will whisper my thankfulness to you here while we both remember the grief you have pulled me from and rejoice knowing your pain and my pain have not been wasted. I would not be me and you would not be recognized by me as my what? What words can I use? My breath, my blood, my everything that has kept me alive in the unbearable suffering.

Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for bringing me safely to this place, this time, for not leaving me wrecked, and in indescribable despair. You could have left me in that heap with only groans escaping me because the pain was too deep for words. It was too ugly for most to look at. They turned away. You looked and heard me. You picked me up and held me securely. I was able to take one breath then another. Slowly you helped me stand, and I started to have words again. No longer dying, slashed, a nothing. You whispered truth to me as you lifted the lid from the trashcan I'd been thrown into. You were so very very gentle with my wounds when you reached in to lift me out, knowing it was inevitable that it would hurt for me to live again. You were quiet. I had been thrown, stuffed, crushed into a place of darkness, but you, you saw me there and gently rescued me.

How great is your love for me.

I humbly whisper thank you, thank you for saving my life.

Psalm 40: 1-3

1I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.