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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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Firsts

  1. First time away from my family over the Christmas holidays
  2. First time sunbathing in December
  3. First time I ever hosted a storybook character costume party
  4. First time I ever made bacon ice cream (don’t knock it – I got the recipe from some hoity-toity French chef and I’ll add that I got pretty much all rave reviews)
  5. First time attending Christmas Eve service in Spanish… and having a special prayer time at the end for two elderly ladies from the church who were kidnapped
  6. First time eating Christmas dinner at midnight on Christmas Eve
  7. First time celebrating many holiday moments via skype
  8. First time hosting a visitor in a foreign country for one of the most precious holidays
  9. First time (in Honduras) jamming out in the car to all sorts of songs with someone who DOESN’T think I’m crazy for doing so
  10. First time crafting almost every single gift I gave for Christmas (also the first time I worried like crazy that the recipients wouldn’t understand my artistic ideas and appreciate them enough to not throw away the hours it took to make them!)
  11. First time I witnessed in the craziest display of fireworking power in the hands of pubescent boys with gasoline and lighters and an awkwardly stuffed straw man who was blown to smithereens at the stroke of midnight… to celebrate the New Year
  12. First time the streets of Tegucigalpa were not bumper to bumper (for the entire holidays most of the roads were like a ghost town)
  13. First time I picked up a visitor in the afternoon from the airport and then didn’t let him sleep until 2 am … and then wake him up 2 hours later for our bus trip to the next country over.
  14. First time I achieved 7:47 on my first of four miles on the treadmill! I can thank my high school friend Joelle for this one. I have no idea why, but when I saw she ran a mile in 7:47 it became my goal to make that my first mile, but still run it at intervals. I know this doesn’t make any sense to anyone … but I was so excited!
  15. First time trying out my new treadmill moves (see Patrick Swayze post)
  16. First time returning to school from vacation feeling like I needed a vacation… and at least three days to re-adjust my body’s clock from 3 am to 10 pm bedtimes.
  17. First time (probably in the history of man) that two people started to completely randomly sing this same line at the same time, prompted by nothing in particular, “you get a line, I’ll get a pole, we’ll go fishing in the crawfish pole…” Two brains can actually be random and weird at the same time!
  18. First time realizing how beautiful it is to have someone from one world I love walk around in another world I love equally as much.
  19. First time truly appreciating the power of family tradition and the importance of presence.
  20. First time I had people packing “to go” boxes from the spread of baked goods at my party.
  21. First time in a long while that I started an finished a nice, lengthy book in a few days.
  22. First time taking Nertz to a whole new level: I played in almost every eating establishment open late over Christmas in Tegucigalpa, in at least three places in El Salvador, with students in my house and in public places, individual and groups, and even outside. Oh! and did I mention I have a Nertz Christmas ornament? I do!

Okay, I know if I go on it will get boring. If I get a list out of the way, I generally am more likely to start writing for real. And I know there is at least one person out there (ahem, Hilda) who will keep asking me every day until I get back into the habit.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy!

One comment on “Firsts

  1. Cindy Nichols says:

    Finally! I hope you have uncorked your creativity so the writing can begin free-flowing again!

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