Wednesday, February 9, 2011

\o/ God inhabits our praise....

“...I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalms 34:1).

Last night I was typing a comment to an old friend on facebook. I started the comment with the word "woohoo" in response to her son cooking dinner for the family. I was happily remembering him as a toddler, when we first met and thinking about how much time had passed.

My phone autocorrected my "woohoo" to "Elohim".

It reminded me that God inhabits the praises of His people- as if He were in that silly word of joy, Elohim in the woohoo. Sacred in eucharisteo. Holy in the mundane. God in my every moment.

It made me laugh out loud, that Papa would choose to remind me of his ever present joy in praise through such an unexpected coincidence.

I want to live a life of thanks.
Look for extraordinary in the ordinary.
Find grace in the everyday.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Daring to live fully....

that is the challenge being picked up by many of my female friends, both real and virtual. Learning to live fully, in the moment, embracing our current reality with grace, joy, thankfulness and an appreciation for the fact that we are exactly where we are meant to be, in spite of our circumstances because the sovereign God has placed us there, at this time, in this moment.

Boy, it sounds good. Especially when I'm curled up with Ann Voskamp's book, a hot cup of peppermint tea, my house is clean and my kids are quietly, peacefully engaged in something.

Not so much when I'm dealing with the raw material of me. Cranky, short-fused, snarky, saying all the words I mean to choke back instead of responding with love and grace because I'm so thankful for all of the stuff of life.

Truth? or Dare?

When I was a kid, I always took the dare. I took the dare because I fancied myself to be brave and reckless and there was some kind of thrill to doing stupid things....and I didn't really want to answer truth to questions that I didn't want to be asked.

As I am slowly, slowly, ever so slowly chewing my way through this book, I'm finding that God is asking me both questions and I don't get to choose. He is challenging me to look at the truth of who I am, and who I'm not. He is asking me to remember the Truth of Who He is, and to embrace that. Cling to it. Recognize it as the life raft that it is when I'm drowning in fear, doubt, anger, self-loathing, insecurity, feelings of failure and frustration. Truth.

He is also daring me to live it out loud. He is asking me to recognize the idols of comfort and peace and acceptance that I've built altars to in my life, and burn them. He is urging me to destroy the false securities that I've stored up for my own comfort and satisfaction. He is daring me to trust Him and to live my life with that at the forefront.

I am finding that I am not the brave, reckless girl I once thought I was. I've built up buffers in my life to feeling and being. I am reminded of the skin horse in The Velveteen Rabbit....
What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

I want to be real.

I want to live real.

It is the truth. I'll take the dare, and challenge you to do the same. Truth and Dare. Let's do it.

People with their minds set on you,
you keep completely whole,
Steady on their feet,
because they keep at it and don’t quit.

Isaiah 26:3 (The Message

Friday, February 4, 2011


I read Ann Voskamp's blog entry today regarding Simple Homeschooling, and found myself thinking about the things I allow to derail me on a semi-regular basis.

She talked about living a daily liturgy, allowing our days to be routine, reverent and an act of worship-- all concepts I've thought about before, but there was a new reminder regarding my hurried life in today's thoughts.

Hardstopping. Stopping to pray, read, write, whatever the necessary thing is-- in spite of what needs done.

When my triplets were little, I did that. I had to. I stopped to pray with them, read to them, play with them. I stopped whatever I was doing because I recognized that the days were fleeting and I'd never get it all done, anyway.

The laundry piled up, the dishes constantly worked their way toward chaos instead of order, the toys were always on the floor and the dog always needed walked.

Now, however, in a house filled with teenagers, its not quite so disordered. The dishes get caught up and the laundry does, too, on occaision. Plus, there are many hands to lighten the load so it seems that we can "get it done".

There is a sense that the house can be ordered, the laundry be managed, the dust can be conquered and the dog hair can be contained, if we just stay on top of it. Schoolwork can be completed, the daily tasks and routines can find a stopping point...

And we hurry. We hurry to get it all done so that we can idle. I'm struck by what the goal is. Complete it. Check it off. Finish it. For what? To have time on our hands?

Many years ago, Jeff got a ticket for rolling through a stop sign. He looked both ways, saw nothing coming, slowed down and cruised right through the intersection. A policeman saw the roll through and gave him a sizeable ticket. He was sentenced to traffic school in order to get out of paying.

Ann's words were traffic school for me this morning. I am living my life looking both ways and rolling through the intersection. I'm rushing living, waiting for God to show up when He is already here. I'm hurrying up to wait.

I'm looking at my fourteen year olds scratching their algebra assignment in notebooks today, recognizing anew that time is fleeting. I need to hardstop, to pray with them, read with them, play a game with them. It doesn't matter if the dishes aren't put away at this moment in time or that there are four baskets of laundry waiting to be folded. Dog hair needs swept off of the staircase, but it always does. I have to.

The days are short. God is here. I want to stop and recognize Him instead of rolling through the intersection on my way to nowhere.

21-25 Thank you for responding to me;
you've truly become my salvation!
The stone the masons discarded as flawed
is now the capstone!
This is God's work.
We rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it!
This is the very day God acted—
let's celebrate and be festive!
Salvation now, God. Salvation now!
Oh yes, God—a free and full life!
Psalm 118: 21-25 The Message