Monday, May 23, 2011

The Holy Moments

This weekend we attended the wedding of a friend we've known since childhood.

The groom had waited 43 years to find the perfect wife and it was worth the wait. She stood beside him in glorious white. The musical prelude was the same as "our song". My husband sang a beautiful love song in the very spot that my heart had felt it's first "pitter-patter" toward him.
The preacher was reminding us of what real love looks like and I was focusing intently because I earnestly desire to keep our love alive and strong when the moment was shattered by scuffling beside me and my head jerked sideways to see two sets of blazing eyes...

"She won't let me use her pen!" he growled.

"He's going to use it all up and wreck it," she hissed.

I was filled with fury that they were disturbing this holy moment with selfishness. And I tumbled down into the pit with them.

That's precisely how all of our holy moments are destroyed.

Immanuel is God with us. All the time. In every place. Permeating every moment.

The very minute that I treasure my time, space and the treasure that is in the soul and spirit of another person the sacredness and joy of that moment is lost.

It's not that I shouldn't have healthy boundaries or that I shouldn't be a good steward of all that I've been given. It's about life being lived with a keen awareness that my family, my friends, and random people in the grocery store are so loved and treasured by God that they matter more than...the stuff. This requires an element of humility. It's a choosing to honour what God honours.

The boy matters more than the pen.

The nurture and training of my children matter more than my agenda for the moment.

Forgiveness restores the holiness to the moment. Grace is a healing balm.

Recognizing that the person in any given scenario is the most precious part of the equation preserves the sacred.

It's another divine paradox that the letting go releases the joy we crave.

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another,
for love comes from God.
Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7

Friday, May 6, 2011

Foolish Wisdom

I was 23 years old the day that I stumbled out of the seventh specialist's office, barely able to see through a blur of tears. They all spoke similar words: incurable, the possibility of having children is slim-to-none, the best we can offer is a surgery which will also have the effect of certain infertility.

Only this doctor had been harsher, much harsher: "You're foolish to continue in pain like this. Take charge of your life! Get the surgery and be done with it." I wasn't married, had no husband-in-waiting, but couldn't take this drastic step. Foolish. Maybe.

There was a gentle man with big green eyes in my life. I wasn't yet sure there was a future with him, but I told him my story. His response: "That's just the best opinion humans have to offer. Only God knows for sure what your future holds and whatever it is, His plans are always good." Wise words.

It was five years later that I looked into those same green eyes and whispered the impossible, "We're going to have a baby." There was still pain in my body only now it was different. The pain was no longer being caused by dysfunction, but by life, a life that was growing and breaking up scar tissue.

And so it has been with motherhood: joy mixed with pain as the scar tissue of my soul has been stretched and broken to make a way for these little lives to grow healthy and strong.

How foolish is it of God to place life inside a broken person, to trust them with the shaping of another life when theirs is still so unformed? Or is it a profound wisdom which recognizes that the power of mother-love will stir the heart to fight for freedom for the sake of her children?

The challenges of parenting have revealed weak places and fractures and have inspired a desperate desire for wholeness so that my brokenness might not harm my children. This love has made me willing to be vulnerable and address what might otherwise have remained tucked away and "not a big deal". Scar tissue has been stretched and reshaped to make way for Life and it is good. Maybe it is wise rather than foolish to give children to fragile parents.

This reckless pursuit of freedom has been met with wide open arms. Arms that have been waiting for me to run into them. Waiting for my willingness to engage in the process. He's been very gentle and kind. He's generously provided wisdom and patience far greater than my own. He's also been extravagant. He's blessed me with three beautiful children and filled our home with laughter. We fall and we get back up again...and again. My children have seen my weakness and they've witnessed my redemption. He truly is the God of the impossible.

My mother modeled this pursuit of grace for me and on this Mother's Day I honour and thank her for that--it may be one of the greatest gifts she's given to me.

May you be blessed this Mother's Day with a peaceful knowing that perfection in parenting is not the goal. Simply follow the gentle Shepherd. He will lead you and your children safely through the valleys and into green pastures.

"He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
He will gently lead the mother
sheep with their young."
Isaiah 40:11

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Sometimes stuff just pops out of my mouth. It seems to completely bypass my brain and shock those around me only a little less than I myself am shocked. It was a very wise One indeed who said that the mouth speaks out of the heart.* Many times no brain cells are involved at all.

However, there are times when it's not a bad thing. It's as though I'm being spoken to through my own mouth. I know the wisdom is not my own. I'm being inspired--"breathed into" by the Spirit of Truth. Such was the case on Monday...

My little one's heart is often frustrated by the fact that people simply will not follow rules. They must. If they won't, she is compelled to set things straight. I know there's a plan for this passion but it can also be the source of much strife--the job often belongs to another--in this case, her parents.

"He's not letting her answer the question!"

At this moment, the "her" in question was okay with that and simply enjoying the conversation.

Words poured out of my mouth that were for her and for me.

"Just be gracious. Grace-filled. Be at peace with the fact that he's not perfect and yet still worthy of being loved. Just like you are."

Just be gracious.


Not perfect.

Worthy of being loved.

"Be gentle with one another, sensitive.
Forgive one another
as quickly and thoroughly
as God in Christ forgave you."
Ephesians 4:32

Matthew 15:18