January 31.

day 31.  
a gift found on paper





in a person

this mother who is the very picture of redemption and so recognizes it in her kids and cheers them on when they are in the desert, a place she knows well.  who is comfort and safety and warmth all rolled into one and lives an invitation to roll up in her and snuggle and who blesses me daily.  who is the first to pray and the first to come and the first to volunteer and the last to complain that there are thirteen kids wreaking havoc on her basement.  this nanny-burd who could eat her babies up.  who speaks to them with clenched teeth because she can hardly stand it, she loves them so.  this person is a gift.  seriously.

in a picture



this is me being real.

january 29.

day 29.
a song heard
    Jesus paid it all
    all to him i owe
    my sin had left a crimson stain
    he washed it white as snow

a soft word
    beloved

where you saw light
   genesis 44 when joseph plants his chalice in his brother, benjamin’s grain sack, and judah, the black sheep lays down his life for his brother.  asks joseph to take him instead.  judah who sold joseph into slavery.  judah who slept with his daughter in law after refusing her a kinsman redeemer.  judah who paints the very picture of a life lived poorly, but then laid down and redeemed for a new life.  judah who made me squint up at my husband and breathe a breath prayer that the work God is doing in him, the work of making him into a judah, a leader, is work that saves us all by proxy.  you too.  because there is bright light in empowering our husbands and teaching our boys that these, his, are the footprints they walk in.  not a perfect life, but one laid down in humility borne of suffering.  greatness doesn’t come of perfection; it comes of brokenness.  and that: the promise of redemption, of beauty from ashes, is light.

january 28.

day 28.  three graces found in your friends
ok, so i’m just catching on that this joy dare i’ve been embarked on doesn’t necessarily have to be photos.  which is a relief since i couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to take pictures of:
1.  prayer (the kind that responds to email pleas with a knee-jerk reaction to pray)
2.  laughter (the kind that is centered around topics women a hundred years ago would have had the vapors over and that takes place over a cuppa steaming tea)
3.  transparency (the kind that allows you to come over without wearing your bra, but bringing it in your picnic basket just in case you feel like putting it on later)


We are returned from our skiing jaunt.  Three lovely nights in a condo big enough to hold us all.  Pics to follow.  But suffice it to say we had a magical little away and returned to our first and second blue egg and one big enough that it made be blush when I held it.  Pics to follow of that too.


This is me being real.  Happy to have gotten away.  Happy to be home.  Happy for friends who provide grace over and over.

january 24.

day 24.  i’m taking a few days off.  it’s not that i’m not thankful.  i am.  very.  but we’re flying the coop in favor of spending a few days on the slopes with our snow bunnies and when i shut this door in a few minutes, i’m leaving technology behind.  because we are powering down for a long weekend of snow and swimming in hot tubs and living in long johns and eating junk.
we’ll catch up later, ok?
this is me being real.  eager to blow this popsicle stand.  wondering if we can get our money back if all the snow goes away in the three hours it takes us to get there.

january 23.

day 23.  3 gifts found in Christ:


life


“He came that we might have life and have it abundantly.”
John 10:10



growth


“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden.  Like a spring whose waters never fail.”
Isaiah 58:11



freedom


“For freedom Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Galatians 5:1



this is me being real.

january 22.

day 22.  one grace wrinkled

this wrinkled bed i fell into last night and in which, once ensconced, slept for seven hours straight.  which if you’ve ever struggled with sleep is grace.



one grace smoothed

t
this same bed, smooth, waiting to welcome us tonight.  is there anything cozier than soft flannel sheets on a cold winter night?  and i don’t forget that it, and this warm house that holds us tight and our down coats and furry boots and all that keeps us buttoned up, they are all grace.

one grace unfolded

these new (smaller) yoga pants, guaranteed to not fall down when i run with grant, bearing witness to the fact that it’s sunday and therefore a day that calls for cozy clothes and afternoon naps and some kind of hearty stew bubbling on the stove while dan builds a fire and we settle in.  these are luxuries.  and they are grace.


this is me being real.

january 20.

day 20.  a gift you saw only when you got close up:

this book that i’ve read lots of times.  this book of matthew that i’m reading again with dear friends who gather in yoga pants, hands cupped around hot mugs of tea, getting often off subject talking out our kids and going gluten free and how we got the stain out of the carpet.  this studying of the Bible that is firstly about Jesus, but secondly about studying each other and how we can be the hands and feet.  secondly about building a home team and being in community with each other.  secondly about smoothies and taking her arm (or not) and wondering if it gets any better than this.  this digging so deeply into the book of matthew that we find each other and Jesus and they’re all wrapped up together because that’s how Jesus works: curls us around each other, tethers us to the Body and then anchors us to Him because then we won’t come undone in a world that seeks to make us unravel.  we’re digging our heals in and digging deeper and finding many good gifts.

this is me being real.

January 19.

day 19.
a grace in the kitchen

a gift i bought myself yesterday then stayed up way too late poring over its recipes



a grace in the weather

two extra hours to doctor up hot oatmeal with strawberries and syrup and to stay in our pjs and make tracks in fresh snow



a grace that might never have been

a chance to gather as women and cry out to the Lord for the health of someone we love.  and a boy who had the sniffles so could be here to witness what the body of Christ looks like when it mobilizes, as it should far more often. an open door and a call to prayer and people spending themselves on behalf of others.  it is lovely to witness. this, surely, is grace.

this is me being real.

January 18.

Day 18.  3 gifts from God’s word:
1 Peter 5:6-10
“Humble yourselves therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety upon him because he cares for you.
Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are facing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, while himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”


Zephaniah 3:17
“The Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”


Psalm 34

1 I will extol the LORD at all times;
   his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the LORD;
   let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me;
   let us exalt his name together.

 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
   he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
   their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
   he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
   and he delivers them.

 8 Taste and see that the LORD is good;
   blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his holy people,
   for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
   but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
   I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 Whoever of you loves life
   and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
   and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
   seek peace and pursue it.

 15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
   and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
   to blot out their name from the earth.

 17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
   he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
   and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

 19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
   but the LORD delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
   not one of them will be broken.

 21 Evil will slay the wicked;
   the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The LORD will rescue his servants;
   no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.



this is me being real.