Archive for April, 2009

April Showers

Posted: April 29, 2009 in Uncategorized

Psalm 29:3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is upon many (great) waters.

Many waters.

Flash floods, spring rain

Roaring oceans, laughing brooks

Refreshing wells & fishing ponds

Foaming rapids, pounding waves and sweet, still waters.

Many waters. His voice can be found in every drop of life. Today feels like a kind of gray drizzle which is really more annoying in its cold and steady dripping than it would be if it would just cut loose and pour. Sometimes it’s hard to hear His voice in the every day rain. The not-pretty-or-romantic drip-drip-drip of responsibility and pragmatism and sensible shoes of life. That’s just today. Tomorrow will bring a change in weather and I will have to focus again to hear His voice through whatever streams or storms present themselves. And He will be there. The voice of the Lord is upon many waters.


I have a problem with lists. The problem isn’t making them. I like to think of myself as a superior list-maker. But there is a little defective mechanism in my brain that flips when the list is made and makes me feel like the list is completed. I look at my beautifully organized list and I think, “Ah, that feels good to have the toilets cleaned.” And then I go about my day and what list?

So today – my one and only free day in the next few weeks – I really would like to get a lot done, so I’m thinking perhaps I could make an anti list. I’ll just jot down the things I really want to avoid doing and then I will feel that, by putting them on a list,  I have already avoided doing them – which will set me free to…you know…do them. Okay, it’s not a perfect system, but it’s all I’ve got.

Without further avoidance, here is my list for the day:

1) Ignore laundry even though Steve had to use a towel from the guest room linens today because all our actual family towels are in a heap in the laundry room.

2) Do not clean the fingerprints off three stainless steel appliances and the glass coffee table.

3) Refuse to deal with the  great Burrito Explosion of 2009 which took place in the hallowed walls of my microwave this week.

4) Put off final touches on the message for the Doubts series at church this weekend.

5) Have my people contact my toilets’ people and postpone today’s cleaning.

Whew. It’s nice to have that stuff out of the way.

In other news – has anyone seen, heard of, or actually used these guys?

pest-repellers1 My daughter’s bedroom is in the downstairs of our house where downstairs equals basement but we are loathe to call it that. Our oldest daughter’s room was also in the downstairs and she’s the one who taught us that the word basement really is a kissing cousin to the word dungeon and so we eliminated it from our vocabulary. Eliminating the word, however, did not eliminate the fact that both dungeons and basements share an affinity for spiders. My three daughters – each and every one – find spiders morally, emotionally and spiritually repugnant. Whenever we get text messages in the middle of the night, we know that a daughter has discovered a spider and needs a SWAT team ASAP. Our response used to be: is it bigger than you? If it’s not bigger than you, then we think you can beat this thing.” But since sarcasm doesn’t kill insects, we are always forced to actually get out of bed.

So, I discovered these little plug-in guys at Costco yesterday and decided to give them a shot. My first hope is that they repel spiders and keep them out of Tess’ room. (My subsidiary concern is: where do the repelled spiders go? Mexico? Clubbing? My laundry room? Because that is not my favorite option.) Then my secondary thought is that even if these are a big scam logistically, they may be a great help psychologically.

And really, I think I’ve proven that we can all use a little psychological help sometimes, you know?

Alrighty, I’m moving on that list!


For as long as I can remember, I have maintained a passionate and tumultuous relationship with words.  The idea of wrangling them like cattle into a sentence and lining them up so that they say exactly what needs to be said in a way that makes people laugh or cry or change…it’s just about the best thing ever.  The flip side, though, is when the words wrangle me and escape their boundaries and trample all over everything and everyone in the vicinity.  That’s about the worst thing ever and I have plenty experience cleaning up the aftermath of words gone wild.

Recently, however, I’ve experienced a new frustration and it’s this:  where are all those blasted cows?  What were their names again?  How can I cleverly corral them when I can even find them?  I know I had some thoughts one time about what to say and how to say it, but they seem to have escaped me and this little barnyard of a blog.

I think this is the result of having a veritable mountain of official and unwieldy writing and speaking projects on my plate (um…see?  “mountain” and “plate”…those don’t work together and yet I am lacking the mental stamina to go back and think of an unmixed metaphor.)  I just don’t have many good ideas right now and all my extra time and energy is going into exciting extracurricular activities like laundry and multiplication tables with the 9-year-old.  One thing of which I am convinced:  words are too powerful to waste.  They are a rare and wonderful commodity and I don’t want to misspend them in an effort to maintain business as usual.

So, my plan this week is to focus on the stuff that’s in front of me to do, and hope the cows eventually come home.  Until then? Please pray for my friends, the Andersons, as Steve recovers from an aneurysm that nearly took his life.  Please especially cover his wife and kids as they have spent many, many hours with him in the valley of the shadow of death and are feeling the weariness set in.  I’m so glad that the same God that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in Steve.  So glad.

Thankful for the One True Word,


P.S.  Does anyone besides me find it ironic that I just spend 375 words saying that I have nothing to say?  You’re good people to keep coming back here, I tell you.

  • He sent snow when we were expecting NOT snow.  Full of surprises, that One!
  • He touched our friend who was going to die without a miracle.
  • He helped me through a physically demanding week during which my OWN strengthometer was set squarely at 0.
  • One amazing husband who suffered through MANY nights of near-constant coughing with only one question: how can I help? Okay, maybe the second question on one particular night was “is it ok if I sleep in the guest room?” but who can blame the man?
  • An Easter weekend filled with His presence and power.
  • Seasons.
  • One child who just got a recorder at school and plays “Hot Crossed Buns” often and at varying degrees of accuracy.  So sweet.
  • Chocolate. (You think a mere mortal made that up?)
  • The presidential dog’s name is Bo.  I think maybe I get some sort of tax rebate on that.
  • Hope.
  • The Joy Project bible study – oh goodness, I am so LOVING my time with these women who adore Him.
  • My son-in-law.  I just really like that guy and it deserves a mention every now and then.
  • $2.50 taco night at Cascade Lakes.  Maybe Jesus didn’t invent this, but I’m certain He would attend it.
  • Eric and Trevor because they’re helping to film the bible study and they’re encouraging and they’re men of God who love His Word and are willing to invest in it.  Wow – how blessed am I?
  • Summer’s coming.

What’s on YOUR list today?

He lives,


Easter Countdown: 1

Posted: April 11, 2009 in Uncategorized

Luke 24:5-7 He is not here, but raised up. Remember how He told you when you were still back in Galilee that He had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?” Then they remembered Jesus’ words….11 they kept telling these things to the apostles, but the apostles didn’t believe a word of it, thought they were making it all up.”

Even after being with Him for three years, it was hard for His closest friends to remember His most important words when they really needed them. Perhaps it was the darkness of the moment, the depth of the pain and disappointment they were feeling, the fear in the unrest of the culture…maybe all those things combined together to snuff out the faith they needed to be able to access, believe and build on the word of the Lord.  But the fact remains: He told them this was coming and He told them how it would turn out.

You’d think they would have been waiting and pacing by the stone, checking their watches every few minutes. “Is it almost time? He said He was going to rise up!” “Hey John…remind me, what were His exact words? And also remember the time He talked about the temple being destroyed and rebuilt in three days – I bet He was talking about this!”

Seriously, wouldn’t they want to rehearse and rehash every word? I mean, wouldn’t you want to save this despair at least until day four? Even the Jews who hated Jesus remembered what He had said about rising again, so they posted a guard by the tomb (I love that even Jesus-in-the-tomb was a scary idea to them.)

I don’t have the chapter and verse for this, but I do believe that the bigger the word, the harder the wait. The bigger the word, the greater contention for our faith.

What do we do when the word takes time?  I hear it from His heart and move it into a room in my own. I mull it over, run it through the Word, maybe talk about it a little bit with friends. And then – mostly – I remember it when it happens and go, “Oh yeah! He told me about this awhile ago!”

I don’t live to expect them, I just live to confirm them.

It’s awesome that God still blesses me and loves me and still accomplishes His word toward me, but I wonder how  life would change if I would live through the lag time without doubting, fretting or forgetting. I bet my faith would grow muscles and my heart would grow courage and my voice would sound a lot like worship a lot of the time. I think my decisions would be more solid, my joy less circumstantial and my vision more x-ray-like in the dark times.

Acting in expectation of His word would also cause me to prepare for it’s fulfillment in my life.  Why does He even tell us about what He’s going to do ahead of time?  I think because He is wonderful about inviting us to partner with Him in the miracle He is creating. “Go catch a fish.” “Throw your nets on the other side.” “You’re raising a worship leader.”

Sometimes the word takes time…but always, it’s worth the wait. In fact, the wait is probably as important as the word itself.

One more day til the stone rolls away,


Easter Countdown: 2

Posted: April 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

I woke up this morning thinking about Simon of Cyrene…you know, the guy who was forced to help Jesus carry His cross? Historians, scholars and storytellers of all stripes have done a lot of speculating about who this man was and what happened to him after his life intersected with the death of Jesus.  Now, since there is no actual evidence to build on, all this conjecture is useless. I believe that God is as intentional with what He leaves out of the story as He is with what He puts in. However, there is enough information included in this one for us to gather some pretty wonderful treasure for our Easter baskets:

  1. Crosses are heavy and hills are steep.
  2. If I stand close to Jesus, I may get caught in the pages of His story.
  3. My whole life may just boil down to two sentences: where I was from and who I helped when they needed it the most.
  4. If the Lord of Glory accepted assistance so that He could achieve His purpose, maybe I shouldn’t resist when I need a little help myself.

Ah, Good Friday.  Beautiful, sad, wonderful, treacherous day.



Easter Countdown: 3

Posted: April 9, 2009 in Uncategorized

Three days
Three denials
Three crosses
Three nails
Three hours of darkness
Three words: Father, forgive them
Three words: It is finished.

Life, life, life.

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost,