what it might look like to miss home

I am in the tension. I miss my home.

The smell of a burning candle. The creak of floorboards under bare feet. The windows opened wide in the morning. The bluejay in the primroses outside the kitchen.

The kitchen itself is torn up, the first place I would head to each morning. Tiptoeing to open the shutters, letting out the dog, waiting for the light to flood in while the house still sleeps.

My soup pot is tucked away in storage. My baking sheets in boxes with my spices and mixing spoons. I miss cooking. I miss baking. I miss the familiarity of simple things: walking our dog around our neighborhood, going across the street to get the mail each day, visiting Berta, my ninety-two-year-old neighbor, playing music through the speakers while I write and then make dinner, leaning on the counter while my kids eat a snack and tell me about their day. Read More . . .

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Because Our Life Is Not a Movie but it’s Sacred Everyday

I grasp the black handle of the tea kettle, turn to the sink behind me and fill it with water. Put on the lid and turn back to the stove. Place the kettle upon the gas burner and turn on the gas. Watch the reflection of my self in the kettle’s stainless steel. Listen for the gas. Vrmmp.

Consider how, if this were a movie, if this scene were being filmed, I would assume the moment was one of importance somehow, maybe even reverence. You know, the every day, normal activity to which we can all relate but so easily overlook.

Fill the kettle. Turn on the stove. Wait for the water to boil.

Except this is my life. And I am not in a movie. There is no beautiful angle or amazing lens or talented photographer here to capture this and convince me this is more significant than it really is.

And yet this life is amazing. It is holy. It is beautiful and sacred space. I know.

I have a conversation with myself, wondering why I push against what is sacred? Whom am I to decide what is holy, worthy, good?

Why do I need documentation of my life to believe it is worth something?

To whom am I looking for validation? To whom am I asking, do you see me, notice me? To whom am I asking, what am I worth?

It looks prettier everywhere else sometimes, unless I look at my life and recognize it as holy. Right here. Right now. I am holy, a daughter of God.

Fill the kettle. Turn on the stove. Wait for the water to boil. Read More . . .

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When You’re Convinced God Is Not Here

You aren’t swimming underwater now, waves tossing you so you aren’t sure which way is down, or up. But I know this isn’t how you feel. You are convinced you are sinking, that she is smarter, that you are slower. That she’s prettier, that you’re not so special.

Come to think of it, you aren’t sure what is worthwhile anymore.

That job. This home. This struggle to make ends meet.

You scream the prayers in the night. Father, where are you, in the middle of the mess? Do you hear my cries? Do you recognize me, even here, where it is surely only dark? Can your light shine on me? I can’t find you.

I don’t even believe I know where to look.

You say it again: Why do your words, God, feel hollow, just letters on a page? How is your voice one I can hear? Would you even speak to me? Would you even want to? How can I believe this love you have for this world is love that applies to me? Read More . . .

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Why it’s time to share what you’ve been hiding

They sit, these sisters, clasping tea in hands, telling me the story I know. The story of silence, the story of keeping it all hidden, pretending everything is okay.

They sit and share the wounds of the darkness, love muddled in attempt to keep things clean, organized, simple. The problem with pushing down truth is that truth cannot be hidden forever. And there is a cost to silence that is more bitter than the initial pain itself.

Repercussions to silence are felt in new ways–all for the fear of letting light shine.

Avoiding conversations about the tough stuff may mean avoiding the potential mess that occurs when hearts are spilled open, raw. But avoidance–choosing silence–opens the door to believing lies, to making agreements about things that aren’t true.

Do you, friend, have a memory when you, as a child, tried to put together the pieces to a situation you didn’t fully understand? Do you feel the burden of silence, of things unspoken, of relationships strained?

We are made for relationship. We are made for community. We are made to share stories and let His light shine on the places of pain, of fear, of pride.

My friend leans forward. We must unearth truth, she says. We must unearth lies that need to be surrendered. We must unearth wounds pushed deep into hard, dark ground.

I squirm in my chair and my heart leaps with recognition. Yes, I understand this. This invitation to unearth–seeking to discover lies of my past–makes me both excited and afraid.

For I remember. I’ve been here before. Read More . . .

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I Bet You Can Hear God Speak

Across this screen, we are not so far away from one another. Hundreds of miles can separate us, making it difficult to wrap our arms around each other in person. But uniting of hearts isn’t something we’re in the business of doing on our own. So miles don’t matter, really.

I have spent this day unpacking duffels and going laundry–and tossing a lacrosse ball back and forth at the park. Not important things, maybe. But this is: I need to tell you how I believe we see and hear God when we claim what is ours to do, with Him. I have friends who crave to hear God’s voice but doubt He speaks to them, only because they think they haven’t heard it yet. They believe God speaks to other people, sure, but not to them.

I don’t believe this.

Just because we may not have recognized God’s voice doesn’t mean He hasn’t spoken to us.

We have all been given different gifts and personalities, and we are not going to hear the Father the way another person does. But I believe that the God who created each one of us is a communicator, a connector, a relationship-builder. He made us, and He likes us. He loves to hang out and be with us. He does not love from afar. Read More . . .

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When I Didn’t Know We Can Hear God Speak

She stands at the stage up in front, microphone in hand. She talks to a room full of women sitting around circular tables in the fellowship hall of our church. Paper plates sit piled with scones and sliced fruit. Styrofoam cups hold coffee. Strollers line the back of the room. Many women hold babies in their laps. My kids are in the church childcare, and I lean forward, curious to hear each word she says.

She says she hears from God. She doesn’t say I can do it too.

After she talks for forty minutes about the challenge of raising kids and following God with our whole lives, she spends the next ten minutes doing something I have never seen before. She tells us that God, during her talk, has been whispering to her about certain people in the room. God has given her messages to tell these women. And she is going to tell us, right here, right now, with microphone in hand, specifically what He has said.

I about fall out of my folding chair. Read More . . .

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Sisters In the Circle Where Jesus Is

There you are, on the other side of the world, a sister decades younger, and we are connected. I feel your strength, even here. And in this circle, I am strengthened too.

We send each other stories, emails. We explain heartbreak, words typed on blank white and sent to each other’s computers thousands of miles away. We can’t do this alone–hold each other close, listen to one another’s story and not feel overwhelmed–without Jesus.

We can’t love each other well unless we choose to see Jesus in the middle of everything we say. Read More . . .

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