John 1:1

A new year. A fresh page. Beginnings that can’t blossom until they bud, and can’t bud until a seed breaks open in the dark below. And it’s so hard to keep the trajectory true to the aim if you’ve lost sight of the launch pad. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God” so simple. Need there be anything else? And yet so many something else things get between me and the Word, and in that fog, I wither. 

Some weeks start hard and just get harder. That was this week. No question. 

School, chores, work. The calendar–all of it necessary and of import–stared me down Sunday night. 

A hit-the-ground-running Monday was followed by a barely-treading-water Tuesday. And folks, by Thursday night I was ready to throw in the towel. Yes. It was that brutal. So here it is, flat-on-my-face Friday and I’m stunned, again, by the beauty of the simple, simply Jesus the Beautiful.

And in all of it the words of John 1:1 have been ringing in my ears.

…was the Word

…Word was with God

…Word was God


Thank you, ever-honest Ann, for preaching the gospel to yourself and encouraging us to do the same.  In her journal last week Miss Ann wrote these words, the kind that make you stop, pivot. 

How does the church stop being a bunch of Jesus-users? And become a host of Jesus-adorers?

When did Jesus become more about business-like benefits to us instead of The Beautiful who calls us Beloved?

Looking for the beauty of Christ in the everyday isn’t some quaint exercise in poetry. It’s a critical exercise in staying alive. “Your new life, which is your real life, …. is with Christ. He is your life.” [Colossians 3]

And, friends, I am desperate for that Christ, my life, this week. How in all this spinning world am I beloved? How? Because The Beautiful One has unquestionable sight and gazes with grace. Sometimes, that gift is hard to open–the kind of gift that makes me swallow hard over the lump of imperfections that swell to nearly choking in this season of pinterest-perfect pretending. Pressure that doesn’t press me closer to Jesus is poison in my soul.

And I just need Holy Light to shine in this place. 

Beams of sharp winter sun laser through the chinks, lays bare the heart and a life’s down-side-up priorities. But I can bow my head and look up and give thanks because the Word has always been. Always.

Jesus, The Beautiful, the WORD made flesh is with me. Me? Yes! Me! 




Toddlers make messes. And sometimes they refuse to nap. And usually it’s on a day when Mama most needs him too. 



Babies make laundry. And sometimes nothing comforts except Mama. And usually it’s on a day when Mama is spread so very thin.


Big boys have school work. And sometimes there is much frustrated erasing to be done. And usually as the eraser shreds pile up, the tired mama doesn’t so much want an eraser-filled do-over on today as much as she desperately needs a new day.

The ugly is about to come barking out but there’s always room and grace for beginnings full of beauty and so she stops, this frazzled mama frozen in her well-worn ruts. Give these boys Jesus the Beautiful. Give Him to them now. Adore the WORD and let grace guide the words. Right now. 

And it happens. The rush slows. On the horizon the sharp beams of morning sun have grown to a gray that sits heavy,  presses down. 


All that is has never been without Jesus, “In the beginning was…”. All my beginnings need Jesus. My rising needs Jesus, the Word. My first words ought not be uttered until I’ve heard the Word, His word, and preached the gospel to myself.

In this noggin there are always words, but mine clutter. They linger. They run wild, unruly, raw. And here’s the miracle in my mundane: offer them up and He fills the empty with the full of Him and He gives it in His Word and His words. They are my life. 

So this frazzled mama starts afresh, sets aside the day’s quota of disappointment and irritation and asks for the Word that has always been to sustain in the now. And He does. One. Breath. At a time. He does. 

And later, in the wee hours, the night resting on this home, babe in my arms, I am sustained with words written on a weary heart. 

“In the beginning was the WORD, 

and the WORD was with God, 

and the WORD was God.” John 1:1 

And as always, He is more than enough. 



Home Coming

Little faces glowed in school-colored paints as we pulled up this morning. Football jerseys long forgotten by a generation past hung draped from much smaller boy child shoulders. Under those giant jerseys is room to grow into dreams, hopes, wishes. Even these children know that there is always a time that is coming. Across the lawn the upper-grade students wore excitement and enthusiasm as they arrived draped in the threads of school spirit. Boundless energy struggles to stay in line before going into the building. Today’s is an extra loud “Praise the Lord!”, cheered out as chorus from all the lined up littles. It rings out across the neighborhood and an aching smile stretches across my face. Homesickness. My heart is heaven sick and joy heavy. 


Homecoming. Coming home. 




Musings of home have snatched my attention much lately. Is it because a piece of heaven close and near kicks, elbows, squirms inside my womb? A swelling reminder that this, all of this, is so extraordinarily temporary? 


Toddler head buried in my shoulder in a game of kisses while I carry him up the steps presses into my neck, and there it is. It perfumes the golden curls knotted at his hairline. Home. 


Biggest brother pencil scratches prick my ears as the spelling words are written just one more time during breakfast, and there, in the hand that still embodies childhood, I catch a glimpse. Again. Home. 



My favorite season awakens me today with glorious radiance. Fog nestles in among the wheel line in the pasture by the river. A bevy of quail rush across the road. Breath rises in suspended puffs from the cattle. Gold and orange flicker in a barely breeze, plopped into a trail of color that should never end. But Harvest is upon us. Endings and beginnings. Making room for the the dark to settle, for the shadows to fall long,  for hearts to turn homeward. 


Time is coming. A season for everything. Home IS coming. 


“A time is coming” says the Messiah to the woman. Yes. It is. The time on God’s clock doesn’t go, it comes!  


Doesn’t that just make a soul swirl in sweet gratitude? Time is coming! Home is coming. 


October blue blares and the turning leaves trumpet in crisp staccato. 


Will Heaven–my forever home–sound like autumn looks? 

Will it smell of the perfume of my son’s curls? 

Will it be beautiful like my son’s hand around a pencil? 

Will it be warm like my husband’s eyes? 

Baby shifts in the womb while my mind wades in the beautiful waters of home thoughts. The time is coming. Coming very soon. The splendor of the Father’s gifts will come from womb-bound darkness into fractured light and in this little soul, just as in all of ours, there will ever be a longing for home. Home, where the light is whole because He is and He makes us so.  


Jesus reminds, as only he can, “ ‘Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.’ ” (John 4:21) The forever place will displace our here. Thank you, LORD! What a future to behold! There is coming an unspeakably marvelous always that transcends and so must also transform all our ways


And so I will. I will worship my savior on this painfully beautiful morning. I will worship in the holy places. I will worship in my going out and my coming in.  I will worship in my rising and lying down again. I will worship when my hands grow weary in the work of life. I will worship in the ugly. I will worship in the placid. I will worship in the storm. 


I will worship in my broken because He is wholly holy. 

Because in the worship, here is gone and home is real. 

Because He IS, I will. 


Each breath ticks the clock toward a coming. 

A home coming. 

Hallelujah. Amen. 


{IN} Radical Christianity

Tight cramped hands could hardly open to hold my husband’s hand. Old and familiar pain was paying a searing visit through my neck, shoulders, back, and aimed to set up camp near my hip and I bristled. There’s just so much that must be done today. Our morning routine beckoned and I sank. Claws at the end of my arms. Sigh. Lord, please open my hands. Please. Cancer is pressing in on people I love. There is yarn to work. There’s a little boy’s car to paint. Bread to bake. Clothes to fold. Errands to run. Calls to answer. There’s just so much to do.


ImageChoking on the waves that hit and feel insurmountable. Sinking. Isn’t that what happens to us all when “just keep swimming” is simply trite, far from enough, and life and flesh and this-isn’t-Eden overwhelms?

Friend of grace and beauty, a “notice-er”, saw this morning and came ALONGSIDE {a beautiful word!} as we made our way to worship with our children in their school. Her gift of time and knowledge pierced me through in the best of ways.

“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus…” (Romans 1:1). Words, that I’m trying to write on my soul. His words given me. Me, worried about how the clothes I struggled into this morning were worn and looked as tired as I feel. My friend? She WORE the words of servitude–servant to Christ, servant to His work, servant to his kingdom, servant to me?

No. That doesn’t seem right. Not me. But there it is, Word made real again, “And YOU (me?) also are among those called to belong to Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 1:6)

Belonging that brings me down to kneel. Kneel in gratitude. And I count the gracious gift of an old thing seen new. Ache. In the old ache of my flesh there is the wonder and promise of new. Imagine! We are IN HIM. Christ Jesus.

The eternity of our newness begins in the here and now. The YES! RIGHT NOW.

It takes shape in us each time our heart chooses “Servant of He” instead of “Master of Me”.

The new is palpable in the presence of His Spirit moving in His people.

Join with me and let go of the too busy too much to do. Oh, Lord, make me too broken not to do. Make me too broken not to notice and act. Work in me, Master and Lord. Lord, open my hands. Open my eyes, my heart, my hands. Make me a Servant of He.

And you know what? He did open my hands today. He will if we ask. He didn’t open them so I could conquer “the list”. He opened them so I could slow down, take Him in, and give His love away.