Sunday, August 29, 2010


Looking for another opportunity this Sunday.  God is moving us on.  A softer way to say we both need new jobs.  Opened my Bible to the reading for the day and it was Lamentations 3: 22-30.  God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God.  He's all I've got left. God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times. When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The "worst" is never the worst. The Message. 

I took to heart the words to "Go off by yourself.  Enter the silence.  Bow in prayer.  Don't ask questions.  Wait for hope to appear."  I drove down I-20 in Arlington looking for a quiet place.  Drove around for about an hour when I saw a Starbucks with no cars in the parking lot. It was kind of a country road. I slipped in to order a sparkling water and solitude.  Alone but humbled by a Presence.  Fragile but full of Courage.  While waiting for the teenage girl to ring up my order, a male voice behind me spoke up forcefully across my shoulder addressing the barista.  "Ma'am, I just want you to know that I came in here to sit at your table right there.  Is it all right if I just sit?"  The barista graciously nodded her approval and offered the gentleman a cup of water.  "No,"  he replied, "I just want to sit at that table."  The table he was referring to was right next to my table and he proceeded to sit with his back toward me.  He sat rather still for about an hour.  Never moved.  Didn't talk on a cell.  Committed to that chair. Couldn't tell you what his face looked like but his back is imprinted on my mind's eye.  He wore a dark grey t-shirt and jeans.  On the back of that t-shirt were very large letters with a saying that I'll probably remember for the rest of my life. In fact, it took my breath away when I read it. The back of his t-shirt read, in ALL CAPS, in about a 4-inch font, the following words:

2 Chron 20:15 came to mind.  The battle is not mine.  He's watching my back.  It's His battle. 
 I long to be more taken with my unholiness than my pain. 
"Do not live to arrange for your own satisfaction.  Repent of your self-provision. 
Trust Me, in every moment of suffering." 66 Love Letters
2 Chron 20:30 - And God will give rest on every side.  He's got your back! 
All I can deal with is my own stuff in life.  My motives.  My intentions.  My failure to love.
It's a good thing to quietly wait in Hope for a Good God to show up. 
He was at Starbucks today and I think I heard Him say that He's got my back.
Waiting in hope with you as we walk through hard times.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bye-Bye Baby Britt...Gone to Texas

For the past thirty years in a row, I have had little feet pitterpattering around.  Never a day without children at home until today.  My youngest boy will walk into his first college class at the University of Texas at 8:00am tomorrow.  This day always seemed so way out in the future.  When Britt was born, they said it would cost $100,000 to go to college and we gasped---well, it can be even more than that at private universities.

I have loved every single second of being a stay-at-home mom.  I could have had 20 kids if God had let me. I did have 10---I lost 6 to miscarriage.  I adored my babies!  I had Barrett, Brooke and Blair in three years. Three in diapers.  It was the time of my life!  After a tumultuous childhood, I never dreamed God could put me back together like He did.  After three kids in a row, we became infertile...Britt was born seven years later.  Kind of like starting another family.  He hardly remembers his siblings at home.  But you adore them they are today ~

So what comes to my mind as I am immersed in my own boxes packing up lifelong possessions as we are moving.  This is what I think, surrounded by a lifetime of memories.  Look at your life not your stuff:  "An unexamined life is not worth living."  Socrates.  Listen well to what wars inside of you, my children!  Psalm 131 has three short verses.  "My heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty.  Still and Quiet my soul like a weaned child, which you all are now.  Put your hope in the LORD, today and forever."

Memories flood my mind as I pack up things you have touched.  Britt, as a toddler, you loved Steve Green tapes (ha!!) and memorized them effortlessly.  "When I Am Afraid, I Will Trust in You" was one of the songs.  Michael was your best buddy---he called you Bit.  When a life-sized Barney came walking in the door of Michael's 2nd birthday party, you all screamed crying and ran out of the house.  Your sisters and brother loved you so much when you were a little boy!  I'm weeping at that one!  I had to fight them to get you back, they so wanted to hold you.  That reminds me of one of your favorite statements as a little one:  "Hold Me."  I think there was so much falling from the hands of the siblings...ha.

I remember well your first day of kindergarten.  You met Ben and Andrew and Greg and Ethan.  The famous four became your lifelong friends.  I took the 5 of you to the circus and museums and parks and Fix Flags (that's what you called it).  You swam every day of your life and that took a lot of determination and courage.  School Days with all four of you were full of delight and drama.  Like when the fruit flies hatched in our custom van overnight and rode with us to school the next day because someone left their fruit under the seat.  Or when the lock broke and we got locked inside our home and you four had to crawl out the bay window to catch your carpool.  You worked hard Britt all the days of your life.  You all were such a joy to me! 

High School was the best!  Pine Cove.  Italy.  Kanakuk.  Thailand.  Orlando.  Endless basketball games and swim meets, even football games!  We were so touched by you when you waved your last good-byes to Ethan and Greg and Ben and Andrew and jumped into our car for the journey to move to Austin.  Dad said if you couldn't leave your life of 11 years at the same school in Fort Worth, we'd stay.  But no, you trusted a Good God to bring you on this Hyde Park journey.  And it has been a hard one in some ways.  But God has been here with you every step of the way.  And He brought Nash and Dillon and some incredible girl friends into your life!  They will be your lifelong friends!  And He stirred up faith in you!  My last words as you shut the dorm door the other day:  2 Tim 4:7 "Fight the good fight of faith.  Finish the race.  Keep the faith."  And you will!

So, this mom thanks the caboose, Britt, for giving me the best life ever! You were uber successful in everything you touched in high school.  God gave you those gifts!  What's real success anyway?  It's pretty quiet here.  And no one is eating up all the food.  I will miss you more than you will ever know.  But you know what, I'm doing really well! This is what we raised you for---to be independent and find the God Who is coming to meet you---Jer 31:2,3.  Just wanted to say that I have so enjoyed my past three decades.  Oh my word!  I won't see you that often but, remember, I am just across town, right around the corner from Mighty Fine, and I'll always be in the battle for your soul!  Isaiah 37:26  Haven't you gotten the news? God says: HE is behind all that is going on.  His Plan A for your life is good!  HE will personally take care of you. 

Bye-bye Baby Britt!  Gone to Texas.  GTT
I have so loved being your mom!  Madre

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dark Night of the Soul

Providential Blessing and Providential Suffering happen to every one of us.  This year has held both for us.  Since Christmas and its happenings, it has been a dark night of the soul for me.  And yesterday was no exception.  And I am writing to say that we are holding fast to a very good God in the midst of confusion and pain.  I am more privileged by the high calling of my Christ to leave behind 30 years of life in Fort Worth and come to a place where we knew barely no one.  We know way down deep God called us to Austin.  And our God has been very good to us in the midst of both blessing like marriages and suffering like cancer. We'll stay here until God moves us someplace else.  We are more privileged by our calling than unsettled by our pain. 2 Kings 20:1-3 God observes my tears and I am leaning hard on Him.  And that is a very good place to be!

When Bob lost his church position of 27 years four years ago, I was way more unsettled by my pain. I had a major meltdown, severe depression.  But God broke through and I am still drawing near to Him, and more alive in Him than ever.  No more living by my pain but rather a greater resolve to be holy and deal with my own stuff.  There's something inside of me standing up right now in the midst of this dark night that is singing praises to a very good God! Isaiah 28:21 The LORD will rise up.  He will rouse Himself to do His Work, His Strange Work.  John 20:29 - Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.  Life itself is grace.  And I am listening to my life this day, this moment as my God is fleshing out His Incarnate Word in my life and yours, no matter what the crisis.

I think far too many people do not deal with what is really going on inside of their hearts.  Psalm 28:3 --- they speak peace to you but they hold onto evil in their hearts---a friend of mine calls it "courtesty without connection." We all have evil in our hearts. It runs straight through all of us.  Isaiah 30:11 - I am confronted with the Holy One and I am dealing with my stuff!  Pascal once said:  "True Religion accounts for the greatness and wretchedness of humans."  Oh wretched man that I am!  Praise God there is hope for our sin.  Covered.  I am dealing with my demanding spirit---my priority to place justice for us rather than glory for God.  No, I am more taken with His Glory than my comfort, my will.

Isaiah 50 talks about not lighting your own fires but letting God do His Work.  Life is hard---Job 23:10---and He knows the way we take.  Bob shared 2 Thes 1:11 in church yesterday:  May God count us all worthy of His High Calling and fulfill every desire we have for good and every work of faith, with power.  Strengthen all of us in the inside where it really counts to walk by faith.  Expose our arrogance, our foolishness.  Stir our appetite for holiness and fill us all with hope whether we walk through dark days or joyful ones. 

A good friend told me:  "Don't be afraid of failure or you will live for success...God is detaching me from everything that numbs my sacred hunger for Him and makes me feel hungrier for something other than God." 

I still have cancer but there's something far worse than cancer.  It's cancer of our soul.  But I have such Hope!  There is something far worse than a difficult life---it's distance from God and not finding Him in the midst of our mess.  God is changing me in the midst of some significant pain and loss and I could not be any more grateful to Him.  We are all "curved in on ourselves" as Augustine once said. 

Bob and I ask for your prayers as we make some decisions about our future.  Britt leaves for college tomorrow.  We gave up our apartment lease to be creative and pursue exchanging labor for rent money.  God gave me the idea and we'll see where it takes us. If you're in Austin and you know of a situation where we could work as caretakers for senior citizens or someone trying to sell their vacant home or watch their property in exchange for rent, let us know.  We have moved all of our belongings into public storage.  We'll have to get rid of our sweet dog again, a border collie who loves his mama.  Losing my boy to college and losing my dog tomorrow is added on top of all of this. 

If you focus on the smaller story of your life, you'll misunderstand what really matters in life.  Crabb says:  Things that feel awful will be seen as tragedies to reverse if possible, endure if necessary and prevent.  That's not what we're after over here---not trying to just endure tragedy.  We all are being lifted to the Higher Story of God---it's not about us. 

To God be the Glory!  He has been good to us to this very day.  Jer 24:6.  His Eyes are now set on us to do us good from this day forward, even in this dark night of the soul.

Praying for Our Friend Joanne Psalm 131:3 Waiting on God. Hope Now. Hope Always.

House of Blessing Tribal Childrens Home

House of Blessing Tribal Childrens Home
"Whoever welcomes a little child in My Name, welcomes Me." Matthew 18:5 We have posted pictures of the orphans receiving their gifts from you. Scroll down to the post entitled "Today Was the Big Day." Many orphans didn't own anything of their own, but now do, because of you.

My Family

My Family
Britt, Blair, Bev, Bob, Brooke, Barrett


I've met some amazing women through blogging. I would love to hear from you. My personal e-mail is:
I have another blog where I blog daily as a small group of us read through the New Testament this year. It's called A String of Pearls. We carry each other on mats (when we just can't walk anymore) to Jesus and sweet things like that.


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