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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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eat your crusts | things we make up

I remember looking disdainfully across the lunchroom table at my childhood friends – whose plates were covered with crusts from the cheese sandwich that accompanied chicken noodle soup day.

I knew the crusts were the part of bread that would make me strong and healthy and smart. Inside the crusts were magic ingredients that only fools would refuse. I ate my crusts every time I had the chance and looked with pity at my friends who didn’t know or believe what I knew and believed about bread crust. My disdain came from the repeat record playing in my head, put there by grandparents and parents and other old relatives luring me into the accomplishment of finishing my food:

“Eat your crusts – they are the best part. That’s where all the good stuff is!”

Literally years later, I realized the crust is no more nutritious than the soft and squishy inner loaf. It sounds trivial, I know, but it was kind of a big deal. Of course, I’d seen bread made and even made it myself, but one day I realized that my belief that the crust is better was absolutely false.

I don’t hold it against my family (I had two things working against me: my gullible nature and my very real hope that I could eat things that would make me grow taller) because they never actually said that the crust was more nutritious or that it would make me healthy and smart. I had somehow established that on my own, maybe to rationalize my eating it while my friends in the lunchroom made cartoons with theirs on the long brown tables.

What I’m trying to say is… we want to believe something. I want to believe that my actions are motivated by a purpose and that that purpose is true. The trouble is when we start with wrong information or gather wrong information to support what we believe.

I remember (I am embarrassed to say how old I was) looking at a piece of bread, trying to find reasons why nutrition would travel to the outside of the loaf during the baking process.

I know bread crust is a funny place to begin thinking about research, but a child is sometimes very similar to a scientist in the sense that she is curious and motivated to find answers. As I read social science research about child welfare and family structure and inner city crime, I wonder about the motive behind the research.

It’s humbling to be wrong and even more humbling to discover you have piled up evidence (or made up evidence) to support something you believe.

2 comments on “eat your crusts | things we make up

  1. I soooo hear you! I awoke to the reality that crust wasn’t any better for you than the rest of the loaf and that I must have made that myth up just a few years ago myself 🙂
    You are of course also correct in calling “gathering wrong information to support what we believe” trouble, and it is refreshing to hear this as we are almost always guilty of it.
    Regarding social science research I would recommend to you Coming Apart by Charles Murray if you have the time; it’s a very well-written presentation of important data and suggestion.

    1. Caroline says:

      Thank you for your thoughts, friend and for the book suggestion! I’ll add it to the list! We all bite the bait of bias, but I just pray for discernment so I will know better when I see it. Because I know truth is real like gravity and I either recognize it or I don’t (either way the apple will fall from the tree).

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