broken wide Holy Spirit

It is in the dark that I hear him. A voice confident. Robust. Jocular even. He fills the room, his response to my simple question so immediate, it is without question He was there all along.

I leave off the lights so there is nothing else I see. I want my heart to see. I want my heart to hear. There it is–my spirit inviting my soul to wake: Wake up! Wake up!

I love that sound. A declaration of a soul awaking.  A warrior call to live, to not stay sleeping. It is my favorite sound.

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what happens on wide-open shore

We grasp hands and lean back, digging our toes as deep as we can into wet sand.

We are sure to topple over, I think. And I dig my toes in deeper, lock my knees, stabilize my legs. My daughter clings to me with the silliness and joy that gives her her nickname, “Golden Light.” And the waves crash against our legs and the sea water splashes into our open, smiling mouths. We stand side by side, heads back, delighted by our ability to not fall despite the surf’s resolute heaving of itself onto shore.

This is the best. I don’t want to miss it.

So I don’t take many photos, just a few. And then I put the camera and the phone away, tucking them into my running shoes near the sand castle we built higher up the beach.

To look and to see, to listen and to hear, I have to fight against every distraction, every obstacle threatening my awareness of love, joy, beauty. I struggle with the tension of wanting to remember moments like this–the moments I am aware of as holy, filled with love and God’s presence and glory. And it is my heart that needs to remember, needs to see, hear, be.

A phone, an Instagram feed, a Facebook post, a journal description–none of this can adequately capture what it is God is doing in us, this moment. This moment.

Wake up. Read More . . .

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what we miss when “doing” is everything

It is empty space I need more than anything. Not another latte. Not a list of things to do. Jesus, will you come into this space? Will You convince my heart it is big enough for You?

You see, I trick myself into thinking it is good for my heart to crowd out the Savior who restores me. This happens because it is so easy to say yes to the next thing to do. But I can only give from what He gives me. Anything else–it is not love; it is not good.

What you see when you are not just doing

I can live in my head a lot.

I fill my mind with information, thinking that more knowledge is what will make me more something somehow, or more responsible, or more productive. But what does it mean to be more? What good is more if this more is not from God? What value is anything if what is achieved is done with us not holding fast to our Savior’s hand?

Jesus, hold fast to this hand.

The best ideas come from a soul restored–don’t you agree? My true heart, the one that knows how to love, exists in the broad space, the wide-open space of my heart where the Holy Spirit resides within me.

Do you agree? For I think you know this too. Will you join me in letting go of the things–unique to each of us–that are in the way of us being fully present with God?

What are those things, Jesus? Read More . . .

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Worship Might Be Dancing in the Streets, or Something Else Too

We do these things in the dark, sometimes. Before our heart awakens, drumming against our chest. Then we know we are setting out into a new space—wide open space with God.

We are made to love certain things. You may have an affinity for sewing, or singing, running, or keeping a calm head under pressure. You may love time by yourself to think, or maybe you just can’t get enough of a crowd around you, the voices of others infusing you with energy and inspiration. Or, again, maybe you love both, sometimes.

Because of the particular things you love to do, and the particular way in which you love to do them, you see the world differently from those around you. You have had unique experiences, wounds, life lessons, and adventures that no one else has. And for this reason, the way you worship God with your life is going to look different from anyone else.

What does worship look like for you? What visual do you have in your mind when you even hear the word?

When I think of worship I think of David dancing, with exuberance and unselfconsciousness, before God.

David was unashamed. He was unreserved. He was all in and responded to the love he felt for his Father. He couldn’t imagine holding anything back. . . . Read More . . .

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When We Pray, Bright and Beautiful One

There are jewels dangling above the grass. Golden, shimmering in light. I see them when I look up, my hands on the ground, nails filled with wet brown dirt.

I am pulling weeds from tufts of grass. Dandelions are about to sprout, and I pull up the plants by their roots. My daughter knows to not blow any white dandelion puff, as wild and beautiful as it is, anywhere near our front or back yard. I’m kind of crazy about this.

And now I’m bent down, hands in dirt, pulling up unwanted plants from our yard. Tiny clover and tall rye grass and those sneaky dandelion plants that make me mutinous and determined to pull out each and every one. Sunlight blankets my bare neck. And I look up and see green leaves hanging, sparkly magic dangling, love notes against blue sky. These leaves are wanted; I’ve decided they are beautiful, desired. While I pull up these other weeds, unwanted and clever, from my poor little grass patch of yard.

Father, what do You deem beautiful, worthy, holy? How do we pray to You? How do we recognize the beauty You see? Read More . . .

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How to Fight on Monday Morning

This Monday can feel heavy, a weight we carry. It is the expectation to not expect anything good. But we push through.

We push through because we remember these days are not supposed to be easy.

We push through because in the difficulty, the doubt, we choose to remember we are not alone.

We choose to remember the God of Joshua, who went before and conquered armies and fulfilled every promise.

We choose to remember the God of Eve and Adam in the garden, who walked with his daughter and son and delighted in being with them.

We choose to remember the God of Moses and Elijah, who calls each of us by name. Read More . . .

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How Our Words Make Heaven Feel Close

I’m on my way to my friend’s house. In my lap, beneath the steering wheel of my car, rests a square cardboard box and a strand of red and cream twine. It’s a twenty minute drive near green-rained-on hills and white and brown cows in pasture, and then the winding roads near the university and the

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