i wake up through the night because my youngest is hungry and i lift up this friend to the One Who never sleeps.
i grieve for the children who lose their mama and i cry for the friend who feels the distance from home.
the mornings find me in the pages of Luke, walking the first eight chapters over the last eight weeks. it's His Words in verse 15 that lift my eyes towards hope,
as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in
an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
i don't remember where i read it, but i remember what francis chan said on those pages - he said, don't assume you are the good soil. just because i belong to a north american church, just because i darken its doors on monday and wednesday and sunday, that my heart is the soil that is soft.
how often is it hard? when news is sad and it hurts to feel, when my day is interrupted or my plans fall through or i just plain don't want to do the right thing? how often do i let thorns and weeds creep up - those stones to rise to the surface and what has been planted dies and withers before it even has a chance?
instead, be attentive, tend to the soil...see what is keeping me from holding fast to Him with an honest and good heart so that fruit can be produced.
those verses in colossians keep coming back - that bearing fruit is tied so strongly to giving joyful thanks - even when it is hard. even through a voice choked with tears.
the psalmist knew it too - felt it deep down when he penned the words,
may those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.
and the snow keeps falling, my heart keeps breaking for the friend so far away...
but i till the soil of my heart with the deep furrows of thanksgiving, trusting that what He plants will grow strong and give Him glory in time.
3 gifts found when bent down
1890. zeruiah's dimple
1891. working on legos with lyla
1892. those hugs they all give
a gift stitched, hammered, woven
1893. the blanket from my aunt
1894. the hope chest my grampa made
1895. that bird feeder lyla put together
3 gifts found outside
1896. hanging blankets on the railing - captured smell of sun!
1897.early morning frost
1898. warm enough to play
a gift at 11:30am, 2:30pm, 6:30pm
1899. his little-boy i love you
1900. a nap with my baby
1901. quiet reading with the older 3
a gift broken, fixed, thrifted
1902. spilled crayons
1903. saying, i'm sorry
1904. his "new" shoes
3 surprise gifts - unexpected grace!
1905. seeing a face i've missed
1906. a morning to sleep in
1907. a hidden piece of chocolate
3 times you heard laughter today
1908. both girls in the early morning
1909. elias' deep belly laugh
1910. making tony laugh
3 gifts in working
1911. math problems that cause tears - conquered!
1912. seeing his joy
1913. going to bed exhausted
3 hard eucharisteos
1914. all those squabbles
1916. admitting i'm wrong
3 gifts behind a door
1917. dust bunnies cleaned up
1918. all those faces we love
1919. her smile when i walk in the door
3 ways you feel the love of God
1920. a sunlit-filled kitchen
1921. the love of my husband
1922. the happy face of a daisy
a gift in losing, finding and making something
1923. getting to try again
1924. words i had forgotten
3 gifts in shadows
1926. his face in early morning
1927. an evening away
1928. candlelight on his face
3 gifts found giving/serving
1929. full tummies
1930. friendships deepened
1931. more love for my family poured in
3 gifts on paper
1932. an unexpected parcel
1933. love letter to zeruiah from cousins
1934. a journal filling
3 gifts that were "plan b's"
1936. school in afternoon
1937. letting elias' hair keep growing
a gift at breakfast, lunch, dinner
1938. farm fresh eggs
1939. apple quesidillas
1940. baked pancakes
3 gifts white
1941. all that paper for her to draw on
1942. that tiny sleeper
1943. the softest blanket
3 gifts that changed today
1944. a drive in the country
1945. that book on prayer
1946. the hug of a friend
a gift of tin, glass, wood
1947. those peaches
1948. my morning mug of coffee
1949. him cutting down that tree
3 gifts before 11am
1950. the quiet nursing moments
1951. listening to him breathe in sleep
1952. all ready for church on time!
a gift worn out, new, made-do
1953. lyla's sneakers
1954. all those hand-me-downs
1955. that thrown together dinner (turned out pretty good!)
3 gifts seen as reflections
1956. smudges on windows
1957. them all in the rear-view mirror
1958. watching him play
3 ugly-beautiful gifts
1959. messy living room floor - kids live here!
1960. sick baby - extra snuggles
1961. hard stories - trust
3 gifts from the past - that help you trust the future
1962. our marriage vows
1963. each stage of a child - just a season that passes too quickly
1964. the road to here
3 gifts at 3pm
1965. tony taking a sad lyla on a quiet date
1966. a handful of tulip bulbs from a sweet neighbour
1967. a promise of a housefull of potential friends moving in next door this summer
3 gifts green
1968. the green in elias' eyes
1969. fresh cucumbers
1970. fun green pasta noodles
3 gifts wore
1971. sunshine on my head
1972. dirt from the flower beds on my knees
1973. tears for a friend halfway around the world