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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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a rebuke past due

Last night, around the dinner table, we got into a pretty heated discussion (which is unfortunately my modus operandi). The topic is not as important to me as my conversation this morning with my cousin. I guess you could say it was one of those personal revelations – where the layers peeled back and the “real me” was exposed.

I’ve mentioned before my grappling with the meaning of a “gentle and quiet” spirit that Peter talks about in 1 Peter 3:3-4,

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

I wrestle these words.

I want to justify my crazy personality, want to know that “who I am” is okay – even if I’m not the quiet girl praying in the corner. I do believe God sanctifies our personalities, but I’m just not sure how to balance my uniqueness with the ways God desires to transform me to His image.

Enter my cousin Vince.

This morning, I asked him about last night’s discussion. I knew the argument ruffled his feathers and I wanted to know what I could do better. I also, selfishly, wanted to know how to achieve that “quiet and gentle spirit” and still be, well, me.

In the course of our conversation, I realized a major character flaw that needs to be seriously refined by fire.

In a conversation/argument/debate, I often appear confident and decided in my view even if I’m not convinced of it myself.

Even writing it looks lame, but it’s true. I’m not sure who to blame – my brothers for their ruthless monopoly bullying or my sister for all those squabbles over borrowing clothes. In the end, I know it’s my own heart that is so stubborn. It’s my own pride that prevents me from saying, “I’m not really sure. What do you think?” It’s my selfishness that refuses to ask questions and instead offers, “Well, I think…” statements.

love to process through ideas, philosophies, and theological dilemmas. I welcome questions because every assumption/belief must be challenged to reveal its roots. But, I’ve often made my mind up to be defensive before I am convinced of my own position. I don’t ask questions or consider another as better than myself (Philippians 2:3) on the debate floor. My main focus is to be heard and understood, not to hear and understand.

Oh, dear. This confession is getting ugly.

Over omelettes and coffee this morning, my heart looked sour and silly. Vince saw through my selfishness to ways it has blinded my own heart. He saw my veneer of pride and called me out.

This is a rebuke past due that makes me wonder how many relationships and conversations would have ended differently.

My own pride keeps me from conforming to my Creator, but I would probably argue to the death that it’s not so.

Oh, that I would throw off all that entangles so that I can truly

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

8 comments on “a rebuke past due

  1. Christina says:

    Already think the world of you… But this blog post made me respect you even more if that’s possible. Love you!


    1. Caroline says:

      Love you, sister. And, just so you know, you’ve probably been on the unfortunate end of many of these selfish exchanges, so for that I am sorry.

  2. hscraig says:

    What a wonderful confession by one of God’s beauty’s! We do have to have a gentle and quite spirit before the Lord. This i think is basically when stuff hits the fan in life, do we stay humble and rely on God, or do we take things into our own hands. God know’s our inner most thought, its up to us to learn His most inner thoughts. I think. But then again I am just a former drunk on the same road as you are, so when you find out the answer, let me know! lol!

    In Christ,

    1. Caroline says:

      Thanks for your encouragement, as always. We just keep on keeping on and trust the Lord will reveal Himself in our search for Him, amen?

  3. lamehousewife says:

    i like your honesty, sister

    1. Caroline says:

      thanks. it’s rough waters – this honesty – but the sailing isn’t up to me.

  4. Allison says:

    For your honesty, humility and eloquence, I salute you, Caroline!

  5. Cindy says:

    Wow. I resemble your comments. 🙂
    Still struggling with that quiet and gentle spirit. Sometimes hard to reconcile that with the control lovin’, wise crackin’, event plannin’, extrovert-mania personality that God gave both of us.
    But I think Scott had it right. Quiet and gentle before the LORD. Free to be who God created us. These don’t have to be mutually exclusive. One sanctifies the other.
    Maybe. Still thinking 🙂

    Cool that God used Vince to show you wisdom.

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