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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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all kinds of emotional

I just walked off the treadmill a few minutes ago because I thought my waterworks wouldn’t pass for sweat any longer. I was sweating a storm when the song, “Love, Love, Love” by Tristan Prettyman hit my iPod. I happen to have the version where she explains the song is about growing up surfing and barbecuing with her family every day of summer. She has since left that routine to travel as a musician, but this song is a reminder that these people and memories will always be love to her. I started to think of all the ways this place and these people have become “love” to me.

I thought of the slurred broadcast voice speeding through a list of vegetables available on the back of the truck driving through my neighborhood at 7 am.

I thought of the cow that almost hit us on the way up the mountain last night.

I thought of the little note a student left for me today, asking me to pray for her test (and our joyful celebration afterwards when she was happy with the results!).

I thought of all the times I’ve been part of a crowded kitchen and the delicious results.

I thought of countless conversations that played out better than the most riveting film – conversations where I couldn’t wait to see what the student would say next or how they would surprise me with insight/joy/wisdom.

I thought of students popping into my office in every spare moment, whether I was busy or available, just to say hello.

I thought of nudging Louis’s battered nose out into traffic, confident that we would pull through whatever peril we were entering.

I thought of my house without electricity at the moment and all the opportunities I’ve had to be still in candlelight.

I thought of the delight at watching people enjoy something I’ve baked up in my kitchen.

I thought of student meetings, crowded in my little office, where we shared our testimonies and fears and joys.

I thought of the blessings of friendship – the deep, deep kind I never expected to find when I came here “on mission,” but the kind that will be part of my story forever.

I thought about the lessons I’ve learned at the foot of my Savior, when I’m willing and when I’m not, and His infinite patience with me as I try to figure out how to best support His kingdom work in this place.

I thought of all the crazy ways God has paraded His glory in front of my face in these past three years and I thought it was dangerous to try to beat the treadmill at its game.

It’s strange that heavy emotions really sap your strength. I can do an hour on the treadmill normally and still be ready for a crazy night of randomness afterwards. But, these days I am dragging myself out of bed every morning and having a rough time even pounding out 30 minutes at night and I can only point to these silly emotions as the culprit. I guess it’s even more proof that God interwove every part of us. You can’t separate your energy from your emotion anymore than you can separate darkness from night.

And I’ll say that’s why I am tired. I have a running list of “Things I want to do before June 23…” and it’s growing but my time is shrinking. Today, without warning, as the last students were rushing out of the hallways to get to the bus, I let the tears roll. People were asking when it would start hitting me… well, it’s now I guess.

Here’s Tristan’s song:

Here’s another song that has been such an encouragement to me lately. Honestly, this is my prayer right now – for me and for my students and for our desperate generation. This cry comes right out of Deuteronomy 6 and it is timeless. I want this to be my story. I want to remember my Lord and Savior in this way. I want His love and mercy and kingdom to be tied around my wrists and written on my doorposts and displayed in my life like I want nothing else. And I want this desperate love to be what holds my students together. I want them to remember who the Lord is and how He is reigning over all things.

no matter what kind of emotional you are

let LOVE fly like cRazY
tonight, okay?

2 comments on “all kinds of emotional

  1. Cindy says:

    “the reasons for your tears are worth cryin’….”
    All those wonderful, crazy, frustrating, soul-wrenching, joy-producing reasons.
    love you

  2. Ms. Jenna says:

    “You can’t separate your energy from your emotion anymore than you can separate darkness from night.”
    SO true!
    Praying for you!

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