Friday, July 29, 2016

The Final Friday

For the past three years now, I've met each week to pray with a small group of ladies.  Jenn, whom I had met only briefly, invited me in at the peak of a season of intense loneliness.  I truly believe the invitation was in response to a lot of tearful prayers I prayed in that season for God to bring me deeper community. It was an absolute turning point for me in our life overseas. 

The ladies have changed faces a few times, in fact, only one of the original members even lives in the city anymore.  That is ex-pat life.  But the heart and fellowship has remained steady.  Today was my final Friday Prayer Morning.  And my heart is full of gratitude.  It was a gift from my Father, a place for me to confess, repent, seek wisdom, roll burdens, and laugh - a lot.  We were, at every stage, outnumbered by children and entrenched in chaos. There were usually crackers being distributed during the actual prayer time and babies crying. It took plenty of schedule wrangling, rush hour traffic jams, and saying no to other good things to keep it a priority.  I am so glad we did.  

On my short list of things that helped me thrive through this season - those sisters would be pretty close to the top.  Christ meant us to live in community together. That can be so hard as a young mom, with a lot of responsibilities.  It was rarely convenient to get there.  But there is something about being face to face with a friend, and spilling your troubles, joys and hopes, that breathes fresh life into the rest of the mundane.  

The work of those short hours each week has been seen in innumerable answered prayers. I have lost count of all the ways. I will long think of Friday as our day together to roll burdens to Jesus and leave with a lifted heart.  

Parting is, truly, such sweet sorrow. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Asher at 17 months

I thought I would give a little Asher-update, lest I forget all sorts of details in the flurry of this changing season.

He isn't talking much.  Occasionally, he says "dada-dadadada" when he's particularly in need of something.  His favorite (and only consistent) word is "cheese." He has a pretty intense obsession with taking cell phone selfies. He loves to wave good-bye.  He pretty much stops cars in the neighborhood with his enthusiastic waving when they pass by.

He is absolutely obsessed with water.  He frequently floods the porch, climbs up chairs to get to the faucets, and throws his entire body into any puddle he finds outdoors.

He's a pretty finicky eater and loves his milk bottle most of all.  His main snacks are apples, pomegranate seeds, peanuts and cheese.

For the sake of posterity, I'm just going to tell you the truth.  He's an absolute rascal most of the time.  He is into everything. He is frequently banned from his brothers' room, where he gets into all kinds of lego mischief.  While I can't be entirely sure, he does often commit what appear to be pre-meditated acts of destruction in a well-timed order to completely disrupt any chores, meals, or emails I might be planning to attend.

But if I give him my undivided attention, usually involving shape sorters and soft balls, he is the sweetest baby alive. He gives me all sorts of kisses, cuddles and has a fantastic laugh. He's worth every bit of the trouble.

We love him so!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Green Ember

The move is getting real in here.  This is the phase of packing that I detest the most: the odds and ends that keep popping up out of nowhere.  It feels endless.  But, in a few days, it will end and a new adventure will begin. 

Speaking of adventures, I recently finished The Green Ember.  (If you have Kindle-unlimited it's free right now!) The host of Read-Aloud Revival raves about this one, and for good reason.  Children's literature or not, it's a great read! 

"Sometimes we've loved truth so much that we've scorned beauty, we've scorned grace. We need to lay hold of the one and not neglect the other.  Good story telling is dripping with truth but it goes for the heart, it goes for the affections." - S.D. Smith on Read Aloud Revival, Episode 21

Thursday, July 21, 2016


I just got off the phone with hubs. He is on his way home.

He started the "3 hour" trip down the mountain at 8:30 this morning and made it to the airport by about 1pm. 

He was in a sharing taxi, on curvy mountain roads, in the rain. Apparently, there was a mudslide. The traffic stopped and cars started turning around to go back up the mountain. 

He tried to get into another taxi that looked like it might drive through. The language was a bit of a barrier, he thinks the guy told him to get on top of the car. He started to just make space for himself in the back when other guys started jumping out. He looked up to see an electrical pole leaning precariously toward them. 

So he opted to keep walking. 

After sludging through for another 20 minutes in the rain, through the mud, with his suitcase, a guy on the other side offered him a ride down in his taxi. Within minutes, the car was full and they headed out. 

They made it into the main city. 

Then he got another taxi to head toward the airport. But on the way, there was an impasse because of a motorcycle accident. Traffic was at a standstill. 

So he got out and walked again for 20 minutes until a guy riding a motorcycle picked him up and took him, and his suitcase, another mile or so to another taxi stand. 

He then took that final taxi to the airport. And it made it all the way there.

If you know David, you won't be surprised that the entire story was relayed with genuinely cheerful laughter and at the end a, "God really provided for me today." 

Can't wait to see that guy! Wet suitcase and all. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

the icebox

One of the boys' best friends lives directly beneath us. (As you can probably guess our traffic noise -- aren't they lucky?!) In the absence of the refrigerator, we rigged an icebox system. 

Every morning they lower the thawed water bottles down to Amogh, and he trades them with frozen ones. It's just enough ice to keep our milk chilled and the watermelon sweet inside our little cooler.

The boys love it. 

I have gOOd neighbors!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

life, today

I'm running on fumes over here, friends.  This might have something to do with it:

We are currently apartment-camping. It's the missing washing machine that's killin' me more than the air mattress sleeping. We did salvage the small  couch for the next few weeks. 

To write that there are a lot of feelings swirling around my life right now would be an understatement.  I'm not going to lie: this is probably the most intense life season I've ever experienced. I can't remember another quite so…well...intense.   I feel like all of the sudden my life got so grown-up and I'm just not sure I aged along with it.  And then hubs flew on up north for the week.   He's sending me pics of darjeeling tea sipped in the mountains. And Asher's still shrieking.  And the boys just called me into their room to try and tie a rope around my head so they could keep me in their room for rest time. Thankfully, I won. 23 more minutes until my break is over. I'm not sure I can recover that quickly, but life charges on. 

I should probably just go read my Bible now.  

Happy Tuesday to you from my crazy world. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

the sword

And if you need something good to put in your ears this weekend to cut through to truth, itune into Gospel in Life with Timothy Keller. This sermon entitled The Still Small Voice is on repeat for me these days.

Fight on.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Shrieker

Asher is in a screaming phase. If he is excited, he screams. If he is angry, he screams. If he is bored, he screams. If he wants more cheese, he screams. 

It's a good thing he's cute. 

But still how do I nip this in the bud?!

Friday, July 8, 2016


Does it seem to anyone else like the whole world is shouting? The noise feels deafening. My instinct this morning was to just stay in bed.  This week has been so full of personal, community, and global grief that it seemed like a reasonable choice.  I have a lot of thoughts swirling in my head but, if you're like me, the last thing you need right now is someone else's gut-reaction on complicated, layered events. I think I'm going to have to put my computer away for the weekend and intention time to think on hard issues.  The stream is too much. 

I want to leave you with a thought that's been helping me through today, a day when there are plenty of tears streaming down my face for all colors of families and all manner of ills in this wide world. 

Sometimes, just getting up and living is an act of faith.  

I think most mothers will understand me when I write that on weeks like this, you wonder if bringing children into the world was the right choice.  You mourn the brokenness of the world that you are raising them to meet.  It can feel hopeless. 

But that's a lie.  

It ignores God's redemptive work in this world.  Turn that groaning heart into prayers for truth, justice, mercy and love to reign here.  Declare with the saints who have lived all through the ages in times more perilous even than these, "Maranatha.  Come, Lord Jesus." It is not trite or paltry.  

It is hope.  

And hope built on such sturdy ground, will never be disappointed. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Laura in Larkrise

Hubs and I have a thing about series television shows.  We can just never make it through.  The commitment is too much.  I think we've watched one entire series in our almost 9 years of marriage. We're pressing in on the final season of Larkrise to Candleford though and still going strong.  I never read the novel.  I probably should have.

I totally understand that it's not everyone's cup of tea, but one of the more thoughtful shows I've watched in a while.

Then again, maybe I just like it because one of the main characters is named Laura.  

Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day Wisdom

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  - Thomas Jefferson

The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.  - Thomas Jefferson

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.  - John Adams

Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.  - John Adams

Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.  - George Washington

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. -  Thomas Jefferson

I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be. - Thomas Jefferson