This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Beautifully, I'm in Over My Head

Busy is the new fine. Have you noticed that? 

five years ago:
"How are you?"
"Fine"

Modern day:
"How are you?"
"Busy"

Why is this something? I'm ok, really, if the busy is something worthwhile. For instance, are you busy loving the city in which you live? Is it so busy because you are sewing clothes for the needy and don't have a second to watch tv? Did you jam pack your calendar with out reach to your neighborhood school so you haven't the time for sunning by the pool? 
Or is it more, "I'm so busy. I haven't _____" fill in the blank with something vital like showering, spending time with Jesus, or dating your spouse. 

Sometimes busy and busy are as different as busy and fine. When you're busy for Jesus, you get it when you read that Abraham got up early to obey. That Jesus got up early to pray. Joshua stood and faught all night- under the still sun. You get caught up in Jesus and his word and his plan and his work. You get this supernatural stamina and peace about you even when the busy collides with life. 

As I type, I'm in the questionable smelling cafeteria at the hospital. My mother is upstairs grumbling and irritated as Ms. Havisham at doctors and nurses wanting her blood and her consent to do surgery. She's listing the ways she is too busy for surgery. 

Want to know the weird part? I started writing this blog yesterday. Before this was happening. But it doesn't matter. Every day for each of us is seeming to look the same. It's, "hurry hurry! Eat this delicious meal I prepared for you so we can get on to the movie!! We have to make the previews." Then we sit for the previews and find that we keep checking our watch. "We need to get home and get to sleep; early soccer game!!" Gah. 

I'm not pointing out my mother because she's behaving a certain way. I'm bringing her up because this is usual for each of us. All of us. 

And why shouldn't we be? Busy loving. Busy caring. Busy paying 100% of our attention to whoever God puts before us and beside us and around us. As long as THAT is our long list of busy. We have a kropog of time here on this earth. I don't want to waste a minute of it wrapped up in simply being busy. 


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ever have those minutes where your sleep is restless and you sigh more in the day than usual? And then, you take stock because the worries aren't worth the stress of it all. You don't need to live like that! Figure out what's causing this uneasiness and dump it like a cheating boyfriend. Right??! 

Except, when you finished cataloging the parts of your day, you realize your life seems to be doing ok. There's really not much to cut out. You add another sigh and dig a little deeper. "What is it? What's creating this funk?" You ask yourself where'd you come across these droopy shoulders, only to realize the weight spread oppressingly across them comes from those around you whose hurts are so big and too much for you to carry. Your sighs are seeping with empathy, and the cracks in your heart are from their pains.  They are hurting and you are wanting so badly to hold them and hug them and love them and tell them "even this is going to be ok. This? It's not small. I won't say it's small. But it isn't so unbearable that it will pull you down. This? God has even THIS." 

And then you sigh heavily and curl up on the couch. Your sleep is broken. Your mind is always just off task. And you would give anything to rip that aching from your friend's hand and heave it into the abyss where it probably came from in the first place. "Here satan. Have it back. Go sell crazy someplace else; we're all stocked up here." 

You know what I am finding? I'm finding God doesn't want me to shoulder the burdens of others anymore than he asks me to carry my own. That's mercy. His mercy says "Here I am. Take this." And he hands us his yoke. A burden of peace. A smothering of grace. A whole gravy boat of beautiful. A tidal wave of "lean not on your own understanding." 

That's what I want. To trade my ashes in for his beauty, even if the ashes were never mine. Because really, no ashes are ever mine. Jesus took those singed pieces of our souls and died on the cross and payed no mind to our uncomfortableness over the whole thing. 

We want to take from him with our left hand and give him something with our right. But who would want what we have to offer? I want Jesus and that is all. I want him and his peace and his joy. Take your ashes. Take your anvils. Take your crutches. I'll take Jesus. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mostly

Mostly I've been up to my eyeballs. Detroit? Well. Detroit was the most intense couple of days I've spent on purpose. 
My days there included at least 8 meetings, but probably more, a new coffee favorite straight from the early 1900s when it used to be a butcher shop, and some very vulnerable hearts. Oh. And a spider and her baby egg sack cooked right into my omlet. The previous words are not a joke. Spiders and baby egg sacks are never welcomed near me. Never. 

After Detroit, I came home for less than 48 hours to cook, clean, cook, grocery shop, pack, and cook. 

I also had some coffee and missed Detroit. Not Detroit. Hamtramck. I promise that's how it's spelled, and I promise if you go there your heart will creak. Some forgotten hinge will rattle away the rust. 

Then began the second leg of my spring break journey called "Can We Survive Bodega Bay in a Tent Trailer?" The answer to that is mostly yes and then no. We left a day early, right around the time the emergency weather system said "seek immediate shelter". It worked out ok. Samuel found a sea snail the size of his head, my children all decided they enjoy catching crab and digging for clams, some realized they hate seafood, others realized they love it, and then we freed Rick. Rick the sea star. He's back in the wild. And just in time because we left to head home and got trapped on the winning side of a snow storm. This also worked out just fine because the winning side of the snow storm included a two night sleepover with my most favorite family ever and IKEA. Snow? What snow? 

Upon our arrival home, I broke standard protocol and cleaned out my van and started laundry immediately. No waiting. It helped that this may be the first time I've arrived home from a trip and not been completely exhausted. It helps that my children are older. It helps that we got to decompress a bit in Sacramento. It helps that we packed all of our favorite clothes, and if we don't wash them now, we will be hosed.

Also. It helps that I spent nearly all of my hours lying in the sun and reading a book. Oh teen lit. I love you. 

Shortly after the last bit of laundry was finished, the last precut celery stick remaining from our trip was eaten, and Right after I found my computer cord it was time Elijah's surgery. 

This kid broke his nose in 6th grade. It all seemed too painful to take him in for a rebreak, so we embraced his slightly crooked nose. Until he became a man child and not only was it no longer slightly crooked, it was hindering his breathing. Surgery. 
He's been down and out and sad and bummed. This mamma's heart almost couldn't stand to watch, but then I found myself just staring at him all the time. When he slept. When he sat. When he watched tv. I'm grateful he didn't ask me to stop. It's like he knew I was filling up wth him. I needed to notice his eyelashes, the curve of his lip, and his sweet face and fill up with him. We've been on this road with him for too long not to. 

So. Now. Now I have the capacity to be here and write and blog and share and breathe. But only just now. A minute ago would have been too soon. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I've decided I mostly want routine, and possibly its a lost cause. If I were a disney character I would stop and sing "Let it Go" loudly. But I'm not. In fact I find myself grasping harder for routine only to find more evidence of it slip between my fingers. 

I've got children, so routine is paramount and impossible. Their schedules only seem to get crazier as they get older. Ah the good ole days when that lady kept saying "enjoy them as babies. This is the easiest season." 

First off, don't say crap like this to mothers of babies. Sure, tell them to be in the moment. Tell them to take pictures, both physical and mental. Be emotionally available. Play the fool and dress up with your preschooler. But don't act like what they are going through is less difficult than what is yet to come. 

Second of all. She was right. Just right.  I needed to be reminded of the fleeting seasons and how snuggling was second nature. She was right about all of it because she also said I would miss it so much. Darn you random lady with the motherly advice. 

I'll be right back. I'm going to go be intentional. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Miracles Are Afoot

There’s so much business about us. Some people are in the car business. I am in the teaching business. I know a guy in the singing business. My kids are in everyone’s business. We visit people in the doctor and dentist business. But none of that compares to God’s business. He dabbles in miracles. Well, more than dabbles. Frankly, it’s a miracle we get to wake up every morning, breathe deeply when we desire, and sit in the sunshine. That’s all because God deemed it a good day for miracles.

Corrie Ten Boom lived in a crazy and chaotic time. She believed God is who he says he is. And when she was sent to a Nazi concentration camp for harboring Jews behind her bookshelf in a make shift closet, she knew for sure she believed in miracles.

KEEP READING...

Today, I am writing over with some new friends. Awaken Reno is a local organization committed to helping women discover who God has created them to be. They are giving a voice to women illegally trafficked and sold into sex slavery. Click here for more information. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Side Project

I quote movies; it's what I do. Recently I was asked in a panel interview, "What do you do to relax or blow off steam? When you feel you are getting too overloaded, what do you do?" I am sure I said something serious; I am pretty sure I said I write. And, that's totally true. I am doing it right now! It wasn't until much later when I realized I actually quote movies.

Not merely when I am overloaded, stressed, or have too much going on in my brain. I quote movies all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. It's my equivalent to being in a musical when one guy starts singing a song and suddenly everyone in the joint knows his lyrics and his dance moves. What he really has is a team of people creating the best scene possible with words and choreography.

Well, I don't need the dance moves. Strangers want to put me on Ritalin when I dance, so as a community service, I don't dance. You're welcome. However, if a guy spends months or even years developing what turns out to be a guffaw inducing script, I am going to steal his lines and call them my words. Try and stop me, Napoleon. (< this is a movie quote.)

This entire back story is merely my way of pointing out that, "There are two types of people in this world: those who love Neil Diamond, and those who don't. My ex wife loved him."

SIDE NOTE. That was a movie quote. That quote has been sitting on my tongue all day just waiting to be used. Wanting to be slipped naturally into an already happening conversation. That opportunity never came, so I shoved it in to this blog post all awkward like. Just accept it.

Again, I am off course of where I wanted this to go. I am here to tell you I have a side project.

SQUIRREL. (< this is a movie quote)

I am working with a non-profit organization to bring awareness and an end to sex-trafficking. The group is called Awaken, and this might be the first time in all of my life I am standing beside sisters doing something out-right crazy for God and seeing miracles. For reals. Miracles. But I am easing into it. "You rush a miracle, you get rotten miracles." (Do I even have to say it? Movie quote.)

Anyway, I would love for you to join me. Just click HERE and jump with me to another tab to see what we are working on. See the difference that God is making. See the crazy that he has planned for just an everyday guy or gal who is willing to stand up and say, "WHO'S GOIN' WITH ME?!" as they hold their gold fish up in the air. (

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Rocky Faith

I wouldn't call my faith rocky everyday. Just today maybe. Don't get me wrong, I doubt like the turtle: slow and steady. I don't want to. But most days there's a sliver of doubt. 

Today, I had a minute where I had to remember God knows what's best. A little girl my heart melded instantly to is spending her last day in my classroom tomorrow. She needs different help than what we have to offer. I don't have what it takes to make her healthy. I have stood behind her and held my hands at silent awkward angles, praying for her secretly. I have walked behind her and laid hands on her while praying in my head for her body to be healed. For her mind to be changed. For her heart to surrender to Jesus completely. All the while she thinks I'm just scratching her back and encouraging her to keep up the good work. I call it being a ninja Christian, but my skills just weren't right. God has something different planned for her. I hope her new teacher prays. 

Then God brought to mind a discussion I was having with a co-worker. We tend to spend a few minutes of our weekly planning time hashing through the Bible. Ah, public school system, you hire some rad people. Anyway, we were discussing the authority in the world. Specifically the verse that says the only authority is that which God has put in place. We don't have to worry about whoever or whatever seems to have power or authority in our lives because it all comes from God. 

My friend pointed out that this conversation seemed to pair up perfectly with the verse I read earlier: 

Hebrews 2
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control.
And then there's my favorite line of one of my most favorite worship songs. Oceans by Hillsong United says, "Grace abounds in deepest waters." This little heart breaker? She gets God, whether she knows it or not. He is holding her and planning for her and working for her and loving her and providing for her and His grace will abound in her deepest waters. God has her totally and fully in the palm of his hand, just as he does me and you and my babies and my husband and...and...and... I can't think of someone this doesn't apply to.

And yet. Knowing this. Knowing all of this, I manage to squeeze in my slow and steady doubt. Did I do enough? Did I pray enough? Were my words enough? The answer is yes and no all at the same time. Because I could never do enough. Ever. it isn't in me to be enough for this sweet girl. But God's grace really does abound in deep waters. He is enough for her- today and tomorrow and on Monday at her new school. 
And I will take a second and take stock. Did I show Jesus as much as I could have? All the time? Did I listen to the Holy Spirit and obey? I'll remember these answers next time and for the rest of my students. And I will not finish praying for this little faith filled girl. As a teacher, we meet students who are sent to change us. She is one of those for me.