Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Come to Me

To be urged on. Called to. Beckoned…

Come to me.

We all long for that. To be wanted. To be needed. To be loved.

Sometimes we misplace that desire, finding diversions to fulfill that yearning. Those diversions feel safe for a while. Comfortable. But inevitably what is transitory, slips from our grasp. 

We search for meaning. 

That’s when we hear it.

Come to me…

Our heart skips a beat. There is a lump deep in our throat. Our breath is taken away. We want to answer.

Sometimes we hear the calling in a gentle breeze. We see it in the breathtaking beauty of the mountains. We feel it as we watch the tide ebb and flow. We smell it in the powerful scent of a gardenia. We taste it in the first sip of morning coffee. 

We know the call. We dream about it. But do we appreciate where it comes from?

When we are in awe of the stars at night, do we recognize the inexhaustible voice?

Do we see the ever renewable nature and understand where it comes from? 

Each moment is a gift. Each second 2.6 million red blood cells are manufactured in your bone marrow. That means that 3 billion base pairs in each cell are copied to the tune of 2.6 million times each second. That is an immeasurable present. That is an unfathomable event. And yet it happens each second of every day. 

I can appreciate the science of this intellectually. I can comprehend the body’s ability to do this academically. But when I try to understand why, if I don’t have an inkling that something else is out there—something beyond me—then I cease to imagine. It doesn’t make sense. No amount of evolution could have happened in the time earth has been here to accomplish such a task.

I’m not a strict Creationist either. I think there’s something else, something that makes sense with the realm of science and nature that explains it. And I think that eventually our minds will grasp that. But not yet. 


Because we refuse the call.

Just as we wrestle with how gravity fits in with the other natural forces, we wrestle with the understanding of our physical being. Why? Because ultimately we all know that deep within our physical form, we are much more. And that doesn’t make sense.


Because we refuse the call…

Come to me. 

There is a balance between science and faith. There is a home for both. The very ideas that are at odds with each other (because of our limitations) are the very concepts that need to be meshed together. If we decide to solve problems looking from Nature’s eyes, from the renewable, Everlasting Eyes, then we might be able to come up with solutions that make sense, that cure cancer, that unravel the depths of depression. 

But if we continue to have a myopic view of nature and pigeon-hole ideas because they are not material and we can’t hold them in our hands, then we will continue to be handicapped. 

So the next time you hear the call…

Come to me…

Follow your heart. 

The Everlasting is trying to teach you something.

Something of great importance. Something eternal. Something of Truth.

Because in the end, there will be no refusal. Your blood cells will stop making copies, your mind will fail and your physical being will cease.  

And you will be left with the call…

Come to me.

Monday, July 15, 2013


This last week my son and I were talking while researching something online. For some reason, we came across a picture of a black widow with her sac of eggs. Ew. Ew. Ehhhwwwww. 

Pete says, “You know, Mom, when the eggs hatch, the baby spiders eat their mom.”


Okay, I thought that idea might be a good follow on to last week’s blog about obedience. I mean a mother who sacrifices herself so her babies can live is an awesome thing. 

Two things.

      1. I spent about 2 seconds googling that idea until I couldn’t stand the pictures of spiders. There are conflicting reports about this “sacrifice.” Some sites say yes, some say no…that it is another species. After 2 seconds I am creeped out and can’t research anymore. I am in therapy now.

      2.  Did I mention I’m creeped out? I don’t know if eeewwwww is a word and I don’t care. It accurately describes my skin crawling and my psyche totally freaked out.

      3. Okay, three things. Not using that example.

However, I can use the following without invoking the “eeewwww” word. 

Pelicans. Stories and myths throughout history talk of the self sacrifice of the mother pelican. When a pelican babies hatch, she loves and cares for them with all her being. If for some reason, there is no food for a long time and the babies are starving, she will peck at her chest until she bleeds and allows her babies to eat her heart and drink her blood. It sustains them until they can fly off and find food for themselves. (http://bestiary.ca/beasts/beast244.htm)

I share these nature/science examples for a specific reason. I want moms to realize they sacrifice all the time. I want to recognize this sacrifice and cheer them on. 

Now I want to take a moment and remind us moms that sacrifice means giving of ourselves but not necessarily giving our children everything. 

Sometimes we get caught up in the technology, the sports, the accolades, etc, of what society tells us “good kids” do and are. The latest phone, the newest sports technology, the best book for our kids to read…all those things are flashed before us and subconsciously tell us our kids’ lives are not complete without those things. So we think we are sacrificing to give these things to them. 

However, what our kids really need is God. God is not restricted by technology, sports, accolades, or anything else. In fact, contrary to what you may hear, God’s word is not even archaic. It is relevant, all encompassing, and full of encouragement. 

I once read a pledge put together by V. Gilbert Beers in which it is suggested that each day we need to share the Word of God with our children.

There’s no doubt we all feel inadequate trying to educate our children with who God is, what He can do for us, and why we need Him. We don’t feel we are strong enough in our own faith to propagate it to our children. Nevertheless, that is our biggest calling. 

So the real question is: Are you willing to sacrifice your time, your insecurity, and your inadequate feelings in order to share the most powerful tool we have as mothers? 

We are pelicans. If we choose. We can reach deep into our hearts. We find the nebulous, undefined and unequaled part of ourselves, our faith. And we give it to our children. That is sacrifice.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I Am Mother

There she sat. In the rain. There was no escape. Nowhere to go. This was her home. Her life. Her vocation.


There she sat. Her eyes clamped shut. Her body shielding her children.

Her wings unfolded, spread out covering her modest nest sheltered by only a few overhead branches. And the rain came.

Nothing buffered her from the elements except those scattered limbs and leaves. 

She did not complain. She did not rebuke the heavens. She did the only the thing she could. She sheltered her children.

In those moments when I watched her patiently deal with the rain, my own life changed. 

I’ve struggled with those moments that I am not good enough. Not strong enough. Not all that God wants me to be. I put on my cloak of “writer” or “author” and wrap my identity in those words. 

I compartmentalize my motherhood vocation at times hoping to strive to be so much more. I want to be the breadwinner I once was. Use my knowledge for something more than teaching my own brood. I am seduced by thoughts of success. I imagine my own ideas taking flight and empowering others. I long to travel and speak and turn others toward Christ. I strive to write that novel that fuels others. I build it all up in my mind. Yes. I can do this. Just give me the chance, Lord. Let me spread my wings and fly.

And yet…God asks something else of me. 

When I saw that little bird sitting on her nest, I knew it. I saw it. I experienced it. 


I am to spread my wings…over my children. My family. My nucleus that God has provided me. That is my vocation. Right now. In this moment. 

And the more I fight it, the less I become. Why? Because I am not honoring who I am at my core. 

Yes, I am an author, a writer, an engineer. But I am also a mother. And that trumps everything. 

God will honor all those desires I have. But it will be in His time, when He knows I’m ready. He knows my family. Yes, my children are growing. They are all teenagers. But they still need me. They need direction, consolation, protection and encouragement. 

So until God says I’m ready, I need to remember that little bird. Obedient in the pouring rain. Vulnerable to the elements. 


 Because I am Mother.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

To Prune a Heart

When I was young, I used to watch my dad cut back his beloved rose bushes every spring. I’d be in charge of putting the cut stems into the trash. 

After we finished the roses we’d go around the yard and trim all his fruit trees. It was a meticulous task and often times I’d watch him carefully consider which branch to trim. He would consider how the tree would grow before he snipped anything. 

After a while, I would get bored standing there picking up the pruned branches, and I’d sigh in hopes of being relieved of my trash duty. But instead, that was his signal to fill the boredom with how and when to prune a tree. 

I’d watch as he’d cut back what I thought were perfectly good stems and branches. He’d say, “you take off one-third of new growth, even if it is flowering with the promise of fruit. You’ll be happier the next year when the branch is stronger and can hold more fruit.” He’d say the same thing about the roses too. 

And then he’d fall into the murmuring details of how pruning is necessary for all living things to flourish. As a teenager, you can imagine just how interested I was in hearing that. 

But guess what? Now I have a yard with roses and fruit trees and yes, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…” as the saying goes. 

And you know what I learned? My father was right about all living things...especially me.

It seems every fall and winter for the last few years the Lord has worked silently and diligently pointing out  my faults, my shortcomings and asking me to let go of my pride. Boy did (and does) He have his work cut out for Him!

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.” (John 15:1-2)

He takes away every branch…

Here's how my life worked...

Me: I am going to make more time to write this year…

                   Snip.               Snip.

Maybe not. I spent over 7 hours a day last school year driving carpools, kids to sports and taking others to doctor’s appointments. But I ended up with more one-on-one opportunities to talk to my kids about their lives. I built deeper relationships with each of them.

Okay next...

Me: I am going to take more time to keep my house cleaner and decorate it.

                  Snip.                Snip.

My mom had health challenges all winter. But it offered me opportunities to be with her as we went to doctor’s appointments, sat in waiting rooms or waited to hear of results. I spent precious time laughing about growing up memories and taking in my mother’s love. 

I see a trend.

This spring, my good friend, Robbie Iobst gave me a word that came to her mind when she was praying for me.


My heart knew this word immediately. 

It was what I had been struggling with all winter, in fact all year. 

Every time I desired things to be my way, God reminded me of the bigger picture. It’s not about me. And when I try to make it about me, I’m not really that happy. 

I took a wonderful class this spring on the Book of Psalms.  I learned so many things, but one of the most powerful, life-changing concepts I grasped was how much happier and at peace the psalmist was when he relied on God instead of himself; when he remembered the promises God made instead of forging ahead with his own will.

Hmmm...relevance to my struggle?

Jesus continued to say, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)


You know what? When I gave in, when I finally allowed all the pruning of obedience to take place, something miraculous happened (at least it was miraculous to me anyway). 

I finished the biggest writing challenge I’ve ever had, and I did it—not with taking more time to write—but relying on God to give me small amounts of time and then inspiring me with the right words and concepts to fill the pages. 

And now, forever on my pruned heart, I will carry the branch that says, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)

Snip away, Lord! You are the Master Pruner!