when you need an ebenezer

I stood there in the dark with the weight of her – soft knees tucked almost to soft armpits, her fresh bathed head pressed against my shoulder. She fit perfectly in my arms, not yet sleeping but not struggling against it. So, I held the weight of her and looked long into her slow blinking eyes, especially round and knowing in the window light.

We filled our bellies with breath, my weight holding her weight and moving from side to side. Slow and holy. Her soft fingers played on my wrist and I wondered why I would ever rush these moments.

What do I tell this little life that fits so snuggly in my arms? What do I say about wars and rumors of wars? How do I nursery rhyme this world for her?

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

The lines came out because I needed a lullaby. I guess I needed something to say to those round eyes looking up at me in the dark. The verses tumbled together with the chorus and a little monument grew in the corner of our bedroom. Count them, name them, remember Him, praise Him. When I trailed off, I felt my little bundle fill her lungs with one big, shaky breath and then let out the sweetest sigh I have ever heard. It filled the quiet completely.

It’s nights like this I need an Ebenezer.

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us’ ” (1 Samuel 7:12).

Yes, ok. Remember and sing and believe and sway and sigh and say our redemption.

thoughts on the last bowl of chili

The last week of October, I dished up my last bowl of chili and ate it at my desk.

I took each spoonful from the styrofoam bowl (only thing I can find at the office) nice and slowly to savor the flavors that reminded me of harvest. Well, it’s not really the end of the leftover chili – a giant tupperware found its way to the freezer after my harvest party on October 13 (It seems my math skills = extra, so it’s a good thing there was freezer space).

There is no better celebration than one that invites others to join in.

This is exactly the kind that happened right around my birthday about a month ago. The blessings got to be too much, so writing about it seemed like giving one bar of notes to what deserved a full symphonic movement.

I finally decided that something was better than nothing and so I’ll share some pictures to give you a taste of the blessing that overflowed.

There is no better celebration than one that invites others to join in… and I hope to be doing a lot more inviting.

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so blessed are we

My heart grows like a fire spreads when I set my mind on the blessing in loving Christ. This morning we read Paul’s prayer for those in Philippi,

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11 ESV)

… that love may abound more and more. There is no cap on a love that is always increasing and no exhausting of gifts that come about as a result of that increasing love. We are so unbelievably blessed as we love and treasure our Savior. As we share in His suffering today and as we share in His holiness, so blessed are we.

So blessed.
So undeservedly and abundantly blessed in our loving of Christ.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

6 feet under blessings

Today my pen felt too heavy and my journal page felt too blank and the day stretched before me with weight it didn’t deserve. I was sitting with my Bible and journal on my lap – my eyes glued open but my mind in spreadsheets and deadlines and packing in weekend plans.

None of it bad. All of it good.

And this is how the enemy attacks – crawling up and under and through and on top of everything that is good.

The blessings have buried me six feet under and I feel stuck. And I’m mad at feeling stuck because every good thing comes from above and what the Lord gives is anything but stuck. His blessings are freedom. His blessings are joy.

His blessings release the weight and unite us with a lighter load.

So, feeling buried under blessings makes me angry at my affections. I must be dealing unwisely with what I’ve been given… and I hate being unwise. Proverbs is making me want wisdom as a constant companion. The more I linger on the Word, the more I understand Jeremiah’s encouragement to take and eat the Word. This is every bit where joy and delight dance in my heart.

Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16


How does one explain stress from too many blessings? I only know that my salvation depends not on what I’m buried under, but on the power of the One who rescues me out from under the weight. Yep, I know that like I know the droop of my eyes. It’s what will keep my eyes open when the burden of blessing seems to much.

Because this is how the enemy attacks – crawling up and under and through and on top of everything that is good.

When thou sleepest, think that thou art resting on the battlefield; when thou walkest, suspect an ambush in every hedge. —C.H. Spurgeon

blessings are sojourners

It took awhile, but Vince is finally on board with this idea (although he’s still skeptical) of blessings as sojourners. In church this morning, I was scribbling and doodling and arrowing and marking on my journal pages (taking bullet notes is so overrated). Right when the service ended, I leaned over and said, “I figured it out!” pause, “Hoarders!” Vince, not surprised in the slightest, just waited for me to flesh it out. “Quarters?”

“No… You know, blessings are meant to be always transferred, always moving, always given… but we love the blessing so much we keep it. We hoard it!”

He chuckled a little bit, “Oh… hoarders! Alright… I can see that.”

I’m so thankful to have a cousin/friend who equally loves processing through ideas, asking questions, and challenging assumptions. This afternoon, I had to stop myself in other company and ask, “Is this too much?” Because sometimes I forget how spoiled I am to have such a friend around.

So, this idea that blessings are sojourners and we are hoarders has been rolling like a snowball and gaining serious speed and mass in my mind. This is week two of Perspectives class and the first several lessons focus almost exclusively on God’s blessing – what it means for Christians and for the world. Pair that with a series in Ephesians at church and my personal obsession with the a la orden philosophy and I’ve got a dump truck of blessing on my hands. I’ll let you in on the processing side of things, if you promise you won’t reject it right away or laugh. Sometimes it’s fun to throw something up on here that I don’t think is finished quite yet. The thoughts still need punctuation and perhaps a more obvious thesis, but so do most of my posts I suppose.

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Blessings are sojourners.

They tread crowded roads and lonely trails to visit million dollar homes and corrugated metal shacks. They knock on expectant doors and ring doorbells of disinterested tenants. They dance with the leopards and race the rivers to the sea.

Blessings are sojourners.

They pack light. They carry purpose and reflect sunshine, but they are not weighed down. Their shoulders bear the weight of inheritance, but never long enough to slow their pace. They have no suitcase, no cargo pocket, no oversized handbag.

They are at home in motion.

Blessings are sojourners.

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let LOVE fly like cRaZy