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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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tired but OH-so-SATISFIED

We got back last night to Tegucigalpa after a 6 hour bus trip and a flat tire. The students were sprawled out on all the seats to try to reclaim some of the sleep that escaped them this week. I was sitting up at the front with my sunglasses on, crying my eyes out because I was remembering the ways God revealed Himself to us. I was looking out at the beautiful, Honduran landscape and loving this land… the watermelon stands and the mountains and the construction zones and the fresh honey. I was looking out at all this land and realizing how it’s carved now into my heart. Maybe that is another reason why this week was so powerful – we spent the whole week loving people in this land I’ve grown to love so much. We walked the streets of pueblos and a beach village, sharing the news of the Gospel. We performed dramas and hosted carnivals and bumped along dusty roads to reach public schools in the middle of nowhere, tucked in the mountains.

One of the biggest blessings for me was to watch God strike a match in the souls of my students. I wish you could see their eyes when they tell about the conversation in the pulperia or the man they met on the street. I wish you could hear the excitement when they ask, “Miss, what if we did this EVERY day??”

I was weeping on that bus because I knew God spoke to their hearts when they made themselves available to do His will. Yesterday, before we left I was crazy, crazy with excitement. The official “mission trip” had ended, but I know the work through these students’ lives has only begun! Tired may very well describe us today, as we walk around school like zombies, but SATISFIED is more appropriate. One of the students told me yesterday, “Miss, I’ve never felt so productive in my entire life.” Yes, we’re tired… but we are so confident that our weariness is for a beautiful purpose that it doesn’t matter. In fact, it feels good to give so much energy to something we believe in so strongly!

Here is a story from one of the beautiful students, Marianna,

A cliché quote that sums up what we lived on the mission trip is; expect the unexpected.

Going into this trip, I was very skeptical. I did not believe that doors and hearts woud be opened starting with the PCA kids, even less when referring to the people from Honduras. But I was so wrong! We met and saw and interacted with some of the most beautiful people in the world, from the most fortunate kids (the team from Dallas) to the village people who essentially have nothing. One of the most amazing things was the  breaking of what seemed like the “Berlin Wall” that stood between cultural and social groups.

My first evangelizing experience was to a drunk man called Reinaldo who, at first glance, was the kind of person you would avoid by crossing to the other side of the street. But in that moment we thought: Wait, THIS is who we are here for. We were helping the broken and empty but it wasn’t really us – it was God through us and for us. We came in with open minds and left with open, love-filled hearts. All to the glory of the Lord!

I know that there will never be a replica of this trip but I encourage the world to drop everything and go live it up for God. The joy you will experience will be more than you can ever imagine!!

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