Posts tagged Goodness of God
Simple Prayers

As a mother of three sons, Mary's relationship with Jesus intrigues me.  There are not a lot of details of his growing up years.  There's his birth, his dedication, his foray into the temple.  And then there's this simple, yet worldchanging story of attending a village wedding with his mom.

I love to imagine him there.  Eating the wedding feast.  Singing the songs of blessing over the couple.  Dancing to the music of celebration.  Toasting the new family's prosperity.

And then, this interruption.  The moment his mother comes to him and quietly whispers her prayer.

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More than 2,000 years ago, the Jewish people were waiting and watching for their war hero.  The one who would redeem them from Roman rule and free them to be a nation unto themselves.  They were looking for a revolutionary. 

And they got Him.  Just not the one they were expecting.

Because Jesus didn't come to fight wars against flesh and blood.  He came to break His flesh and spill His blood so that all men can be free from the rule of sin.

All men. And all women.

Because if there was any area in which Jesus revolutionized the culture He lived in, it was in the way He interacted with women. 

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have a bathrobe I adore.  It was once white and it was once fluffy.  It's now mostly white and decidedly unfluffy.  But, I don't mind.  I wear it every morning to shuffle in to the coffee maker.  I put it on every night with my glasses and a messy bun to watch Netflix with my husband.  And sometimes, when I come home on my lunch break, I put it on over my clothes and curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee to just breathe before I head back into life at full speed. 

As much as I'd like to be known for Princess Kate fashion, I have a sinking feeling that if my kids were asked to draw a picture of me, I might be wearing that robe.  And I don't even mind.  In fact, I'm not sure I'll ever get rid of my bathrobe.  I can't.  Because when I put it on, I feel at home.  When I wear that robe, I'm completely, absolutely, 100% comfortable.  And I like that feeling.

It's a feeling I don't have much of at this particular juncture in life.  I am completely, absolutely not comfortable.  Instead, I am in transition.  Transitioning in every conceivable part of life.

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Grace Defined

Something hugely frightening happened to me recently. 

I shrunk my sweatshirt.

My sweatshirt.  The one that changed my life.  The one my husband gave me for Christmas that I had hardly taken off for three months.  The one I loved and the one that loved me unconditionally in return.

I had plans to only take it to the dry cleaner for the rest of my life.  But, I didn't pay attention and it ended up in the wash.  And then the dryer.  And then it shrunk.  And I came the closest I have ever come to a panic attack.  I discovered it late at night, right before bed, and Eric came running to answer the shrieks of pain from the laundry room. He then followed me to our room as I yelled, "No, no, no, no, no, no!" while I tore off my pajamas and put the sweatshirt on.  The sleeves were short.  The bottom hem didn't come to where it was supposed to.  The whole thing was off, wrong, ruined.

My husband watched from the bed as I mourned.  It was a slow process, this coming to terms with losing one of your best friends.  All five stages of grief played out in the microcosm of my closet.

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A Surprising Chapter

Two summers ago, our ten year old broke his arm after only a few short hours of arriving at summer camp.  It was a quick trip to the emergency room and then home for him.  While his friends continued on with a weekend of excitement and adventure, he spent the next couple of days with his arm in a sling, waiting for the swelling to go down enough for the bone doctor to put it in a cast.

He was a trooper.  Didn't complain much.  But, you could see the disappointment in his eyes for days. 

And now, two summers later, out of the blue, came a gift.

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A Mother's Prayer

My son was in an accident a couple of weeks ago.  It was in a school vehicle with several other students, and it could have been very, very bad.  But, it wasn't.  Everyone is safe.

It took my heart several days to sort through the emotions that rose up during that first phone call.  It's taken many more not to allow fear to dominate when I see him pull out of the driveway in his own truck.

We are fragile creatures, us mothers, our hearts battered daily by this call to raise human beings.  A call that demands we let those same human beings, once tiny in our arms, loose to fly on their own.

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My Gardener

I commented to my husband this morning that with my poor gardening skills, weeds are the only thing that seem to grow for me without a great deal of effort.  He responded, "That's true for everyone.  I've never heard anybody say, 'Man, I just can't keep those roses out of my yard!'"

Our conversation made me laugh, but the truth of it is ringing in my soul today.  The seeds that need to grow in my heart are often the ones I neglect, while the crops that spring up without any care on my end are the ones I really don't want to be harvesting.

Especially the seeds of worry...

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I Love You Because

My husband and I have pages and pages of lists in our bedroom, and every list answers one question.  "I love you because..."

It was a sweet little tradition we started in college, filling up entire pages with all the reasons why we loved the other one and hiding them as tender suprises.  Through the years, we've continued it here and there, the stacks of lists growing as we entered each new phase of marriage and parenthood.

This morning, as I read the love letter on my shelf from my God, I was stunned by the words of the psalmist in Psalm 116:1, "I love the Lord because..." 

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"God sets the lonely in families."  (Psalm 68:6)

I read it again this morning.  And how true it is.

For He looks upon the broken, the rejected, the cast-aside, and He claims them as his own.  He sees the pain of the wounded heart, the fearful, the shamed, and He says, "This one is mine."

But He doesn't stop with "just" redemption.  He goes a step further...

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Another Christmas Birth Story

At Christmas time, we’re used to reading the story of a birth.  Just maybe not this birth.

"When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist and said, “This one came out first.” But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out, and she said, “So this is how you have broken out!” And he was named Perez. Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist, came out. And he was named Zerah.”  - Genesis 38:27-30

What a bizarre story found in this tucked away corner of the Scripture.  One son waves hello, gets a scarlet thread tied around his wrist, and then disappears.  The other son somehow intrudes into the process of birth and makes what the text refers to a “breach.”  He pushes his brother back so he can break out into the world.  And the mama?  A woman named Tamar, whose story is not a family friendly tale.  She went through a lot of family dysfunction, was sinned against, sinned herself, and ended up unmarried and pregnant by her late husband’s father. And then comes the birth, with this odd occurrence.  Two sons.  One named Perez, meaning “breach” or “broken out.”  The other named Zerah, meaning “dawning” or “brightness.”

And these twins are a picture of you and your big brother.  Your big brother named Jesus.

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Bedtime Ritual

I watched a badly made TV movie this week.  My husband was out of town, and I was looking to pass the evening hours after the kids were in bed.  I knew two minutes into the film that is was going to have a predictable story-line and poor acting.  I watched it anyway, strangely intrigued at how badly a movie could be made and still make it to the television.

With an introduction like that, I won't share the name of the film.  All that needs to be known is the predictable plot part. 

The movie was about a woman who relives a day in her life over and over again until she gets it right.  Overdone in Hollywood, for sure.  Yet, I was somehow genuinely happy for her when she finally learned all the lessons she was supposed to learn, the credits rolled, and I was sleepy enough to go to bed.

As I crawled between the covers, I had one loose thought rolling around in my head...

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