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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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serious about sin | serious about joy

I’ve been accused of being too serious.

Does that surprise you, friends of the blog-o-sphere, with all my stories of falling down and loving laughter and chasing raindrops? Does it surprise you that people think I’m too serious?

I’ve learned that not everyone likes to read books stuffed full of long syllabled words and very few people want to ask if those long syllabled words would ever change my plans for the day. And I get it. Sometimes, I forget that “taking a genuine interest in the welfare of others” means doing things that matter little to me because they matter much to someone else. Sometimes, I act like the child who once told me, “Please stop doing anything that you like.” Sometimes, I find myself in a self-righteous wrestling match because I think, “Shouldn’t we all be serious about the things of God (even if it means strings of long syllables)?”

And then I think about the children who came to Jesus. They probably had a hard time pronouncing their Rs and words that started with C. Their understanding of love and grace and kindness didn’t come from a study of thick textbooks.

I imagine they did have a certain seriousness about them, but not the self-righteous and learned kind.

I’ve seen this seriousness play across children’s faces in the most solemn moments, when the line between right and wrong is being drawn on their hearts and in their heads for the first time. I can hear the nervous claims coming out from wide eyes,

“She took it from me and I yelled at her.”
“But Mommy said to never go in there…”
“Why doesn’t the man have food?”
“I hit my brother.”
“Laney took a cookie.”

You can hear them, can’t you? The confessions and questions come out slowly and with those little eyebrows arching high to scrunch the forehead.

There is a seriousness about children when it comes to sin that I think wears off as we age. We get comfortable with the idea that we fail and we get tired of the wide-eyed confessions.

But there is something very sad about being cavalier with our sin, an emptiness apathy and disregard can’t replace. Have you ever stuck around after a child does mini-battle with the questions/confessions above? Do you see what happens?

Freedom.

When they recognize how serious it is to sin, they are freed to be truly joyful. There is nothing hidden. Their (or human) failure is exposed and there is nothing left to rationalize – just space to revel in the gratitude that they are forgiven, accepted, invited, loved.

I’m currently reading both Leviticus and Galatians and the contrast is captivating.

We serve a serious God. Sin is not a Sunday School lesson. The hoops the Israelites had to jump through on account of their sin were certainly not neatly wrapped up in a 20 minute moral lesson. The rules and regulations set up a healthy fear of the Lord and a distaste for anything that divided their relationship with Him. Sin is serious. I cannot imagine living in that time. I mean, I’ve tried imagining it and I nearly always end up pleading with the Lord to be a little more understanding. But, the Lord keeps reminding my heart, “Sin is serious.”

Then, I flip to Galatians and just want to dance. If I have the right (serious) view of sin, my salvation is like dancing with the cast of Fiddler on the Roof as they sing, “To Life, to life, l’chaim!”

I am free. Free!

How is it that children get this – that we got this as kids – and adults don’t?

If sin is serious, then so is JOY.

We were brought OUT of serious darkness and INTO serious light.
Why is it so hard to understand that a frivolous position on the former means a frivolous position on the latter?

It’s true, I can be too serious sometimes and I’m rightly called out when I’m trying to puff myself up. But, brothers and sisters, can we agree to build up the Body of Christ by being serious about sin so we can be serious about joy?

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

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