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Sometimes, we journey to the dark so we can be moved by the Light. We trace the furthest boundary lines behind our eyes. We get deep next to demons, weighed down from evil within and without. And when warmth first touches cheek or shoulder or the back of our knees, the weight may not lift but there is relief. . . . And it is the same magic— to feel Light's warmth after a cold night or a long stretch of summer, it is the same glory— to be reading the lectionary in a Home Depot parking lot with sleeping car seats or having a morning cup of coffee on the front stoop with my co-laborers. . . . Somehow, God has anchored the pale blue ombre sky above me like an endless umbrella. He covers and cloaks with Light and sometimes I have to go deep in dark to feel it's warmth. . . . Morning Call:  Lamentations 1:12 Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if  there is any sorrow like my sorrow which was brought upon  me, whom the Lord hath afflicted. . . . Opening Prayer:  Loving Father, as we journey with your Son in this week of remembrance and hope, help us to experience and receive you and your love for the world more clearly. Transform us by the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. In the name of your Son, our Lord, we pray. Amen. #holyweek #notredame #outofthedarkness #intothelight
Naked morning comfort and I'm just basking in the humble light of it. They wear all their affections like clothes and this one makes me melt because they aren't so attached to their wholeness. They are ready to be broken to make peace with one another -- more ready than me, so I take notes. . . . The making of our Peace broke Him, completely. His humble persistence was full of glory because He was God, not because it looked good. Making peace means breaking pride, breaking selfish gain, breaking the sin inside that so easily entangles us, and breaking the power of the sin outside that so deceives us. . . . #newblog #momswhowrite #writersofinstagram #motherhood #siblings #siblingsasfriends #braveryofsmalllife #Godseconomy #kitchen #atlanta #family #teamkolts #teampixel #teampixelnofilter #nofilter #morningglow #morning #liveauthentic #kids #georgia #southernsummer
"Look, Mom! Edelweisses!!!!" And she passed the peace to me with flower weed stems and smooshed petals. The brisk tickle of Spring wind swept my elbows as I reached out to receive. . . . And it got made again, Peace. Established with delicate weed offerings and vulnerable outstretched hands, peace mended for a moment the breaks of the morning. The Great Deceiver's attempts to put us at odds— to wound one other with war words thrown in defense and pride— got smooshed underfoot in the backyard. . . . And I thought of Jesus making literal Peace, because the world doesn't allow it to come and be kept. Peace must be forged with active rebellion against the forces within and without that would rather war. We are a peace breaking people made in the image of One who carries Peace in his character, One who made Peace for us forever with God so that we can make peace today exactly where we are. . . . "For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility." Ephesians 2:14 . . . And the little child shall lead us.
I studied Job's friends pretending comfort, while withholding kindness and refusing to revive a weary spirit. I taught about the people in Jerusalem spreading their coats out like a royal carpet for the King of glory to ride in on a borrowed mule. I learned about the invisible God we try to force fit our image but our invisible spirit is made in His. I chased my littles in circles in the newly cut backyard and followed Foster's gaze to find birds high on budding branches. I heard Zella yell to our neighbor two houses down to move her apple trees far away because our juniper tree has a bad disease that could infect it. I wrestled through pride and failure and defending ideas. I made a very late afternoon cup of coffee and cooked with my baby strapped on my back. I snuggled my girl and gave her choices while praying she would choose right. On the first day of Spring. . . . We rode to Bible study, the kids and me, in an Uber because I ran the battery down on the van. I caught the sun glory streaming in to hit all our faces in the backseat as Zella chatted with the driver about music, imaginary children, and her preference to not wear socks and shoes. Our Wednesdays have so much Bible in them — sometimes nothing connects and I arrive at the end with mush brain and then sleep in my day clothes. But yesterday, I fell into bed so thankful that there are constellations in all these bits of Light. He is holding all things together and sometimes He connects dots and reveals a special glimpse of the glory of it all. #writersofinstagram #momswhowrite
My brows converge over my nose and my face squints against the dark. I pray, "O, God. O, God." I lay flat on my bed between two littles and take a deep breath that reaches my shoulders and sides and ankles "O, God." . . . It feels like Spring shouldn't come, that it is so *wrong* here that Lent should last forever. That, though our hope for Spring is strong, it is mostly about escape and not about salvation. We have made ourselves at home in winter, comfortable with the frosted ground under our hibernation. Our evil isn't seasonal. It isn't an epoch, a phase, a time period. It is in us— bones, marrow and evil. And we don't even want out. A Stockholm syndrome sickness that's eating us up from the inside but we refuse rescue. . . . The mercy of the Lord comes anyway, budding trees and blooms for the just and unjust. He woos us— relentlessly— out of our captivity with kindness. He calls us to repent of our soul's winter so we can finally see and taste His Spring. He calls us out of shadow and into marvelous light where our winter is exposed and we can squint to see our salvation. And we can know even a little bit more the extent of His glory and the depth of His grace. . . . Spring is coming and we are Easter people, but today there is lament. #light #shadow
Why is it that when we talk about the beginning of the United States it's always "when we founded this great nation" but when we talk about slavery it skips to the Civil War and it's always, "they were fighting to keep slavery in the south." The same humans who founded this nation bought humans and made them slaves in it. And today, for that, I mourn. . . . Every human made in the image of God is the same amount of invaluable. The same amount of mysterious wonder is knit up in our bones, from those first moments curled up in the womb. Lord, have mercy on us for acting like it is not so. . . . . . #americanlent #lentenrose #whiteprivilege #slavery #lent #lament #foundingfathers #letstalkaboutit #repentanceproject #didyouknow #spring #teamkolts #liturgy #reflection #monday #teampixel #atlanta #blackandwhite #slavetrade

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little miracles

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I’m praising the Lord. This post is one of thanksgiving – for all the people God puts in my life to save the day. These are heroes – real, live ones who will probably never be duly thanked for the way they (in one way or other) line right up next to Timothy, in taking a genuine interest in the welfare of others. That really sets a person apart, you know?

Here’s my all-star list:
Douglas drives bus number 8 and wears aviator glasses. Last year, whenever I ended up on his bus, I always thought he didn’t really like his job (especially when it involved carting a bunch of gringos around) because of he kept quiet and often listened to headphones.

But, this year he sure did surprise me! He was the one who picked me up at the airport and then helped me get the car ready to drive and then… quickly turned into my dependable and trustworthy mechanic. I seriously can’t explain the kindness and honesty … and the patience about all the questions, scattered Spanish, and constant pleas for “cheaper.” He is seriously a blessing (so whoever was out there praying for me to find a good mechanic consider it answered!).

Jose Miguel
Hm. I don’t quite know how to start this one. I had a friend come visit from the states. I took full advantage of the convenience in my car… driving around the countryside, the mountains, to my student’s house, and back again to the city… then I took one wrong turn and ended up in a neighborhood called 21 de Octubre… at night… in the rain. And at that moment (not any other moment, like for instance on a curvy mountain road or in a isolated location) my right wheel decided to stop responding to the steering wheel.

Long story short(er), God provided moment by moment and led me to the doorstep of Jose Miguel, not a 2 minute walk away. He was so kind and helpful and promised to work as quickly as he could. Then his nephew drove by and Jose Miguel volunteered him to take us home (in his little teeny pinto with cardboard covering the windshield). So we arrived home and we could not stop exclaiming about God’s providence and timing… and then 2 hours later as we were trying to figure out the schedule for picking up the car the next morning, JM called to say he finished and he would drive it to my house. WOW.

Stacy, Laura, Steph, Cara
You may or may not be aware that in the past few weeks I’ve had countless opportunities to use my animated, excitable nature to… fReAk oUt. With the 24/7 prayer room and the Sleep Out and various other activities (oh, yes, and don’t forget randomly not having school after winning against El Salvador), I felt the stress to the max. These girls jumped right in, constantly asking if and what I needed. My sanity is probably still in place because of the thoughtfulness and compassion of these girls. May their reward be great!!

We don’t have to say much, Jess and I. We kind of just know that we are always in need of support and she does a darn good job of giving it! She is such an encourager… and I think we are like-minded in wanting to be fully in our ministry here. We have this kind of respect between us – where we may make plans, but time with students always trumps. All I know is, in the past week, Jess has constantly spurred me on and I’m so thankful!

I won’t lie – it’s been difficult. Last year, Heather and I did pretty much and completely everything together. We led Bible study, went to the feeding center, got groceries, explored, worshipped. We were a team and a pretty good one. Well, it seems that we were almost too good. God wanted us to split up so we’d both depend on Him more and each other less. I haven’t enjoyed going solo, but I have seen the Lord show me things I need to change in order to rightly represent Him. Heather? She’s in Canada, which may sound far, but from the notes, emails, and (yes, even!) packages, it sometimes feels like she’s still close. The only thing I hate is that condensing my thoughts is so time-consuming that I don’t feel like we really ever adequately ‘catch-up.’

So, I’m taking Spanish lessons from this angel of a woman named Lourdes. Every other Tuesday I get to sit under her tutelage and her wisdom. God is using her in my life to bring strength and courage and affirmation. I cannot express how blessed I am to share time and space with a woman so devoted to God’s purposes.

Gerardo drives bus 12 and always wears a baseball cap. I know Gerardo pretty well because he’s my bus driver. I’m not sure if it’s the Caedmon’s Call song (bus driver) or the fact that my grandpa is a bus driver, but I just have a pretty grand appreciation for the profession. In any case, Gerardo takes great care with his job. Every turn and stop is precise. Some of the kids on the bus share a special handshake and others always make sure to share some conversation before leaving. He’s softspoken, but so tender-hearted. When he drives the late bus he always drives right to our gate instead of dropping us at the end of the dark street. His kindness is really impressive.

Where do I begin with this girl? She is in 9th grade and she’s earned the title of “my rock star” and I’m not kidding around. The Hands and Feet service club meets once/week on Wednesdays and Eloisa is always getting down to business. Her commitment and creativity has (many weeks) been the brightest spot in my day. This past weekend for the sleepout, she offered herself every spare minute and then followed me around after school running errands. We don’t have many students who are that perceptive to the needs of others, but this one sure is. I’m so grateful!

I know there are many, many more who bless my life each day. But, today, these are the heroes. Praise God for them!

One comment on “little miracles

  1. Mrs. Nichols says:

    I love the descriptions of these heroes! Makes me think of the people in my life that are so supportive and helpful. God uses clay pots- that is for sure!

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