"I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" by Longfellow

I just wanted to share this because I think it's so beautiful... It may be familiar but it is so full of hope, it is worth sharing anyway. It is written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow during the war, shortly after his second wife died suddenly as a result of injuries after her dress caught on fire.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!


sermon notes from Revelation 22:16-17

If a plant is destroyed
but the roots remain
there is yet hope of life
hope of renewal
long is our winter
'i alone am left
and they seek my life
it is over'
"I have preserved the Root
and 7,000 unbowed
faithfully looking"
Israel is dry ground
troubled at the prophecies
who has believed our report?
a Root out of dry ground
God is faithful
He is the source
all along
"What do you think
about the Christ?"
No answer.
God and man
100% plus 100% equals incarnation
born to die.
Stumbling block
purpose and glory
the Consolation of Israel.
This is your Savior!!
The Bright and Morning Star.
Look, you watchmen!
It is still dark
sing on all the same
you see the promise
day shines in your heart
sure hope, unshakable trust
The Morning Star has come
day is coming.
it is coming!



sleepy white butterflies
drifting to rest
snowflakes are like peace
blanket me with your protection
soak into my heart,
beautiful mystery


don't forget

in the craziness of malls at 10
last-minute shopping
and a dozen different recordings of the same song
played within an inch of it's life
when there are obese white-haired men in red suits everywhere

Don't forget
when the red and green appear everywhere
it's only because of the blood that there is any life
when you hear "peace on earth, goodwill to men"
don't forget that peace is only found in one place
and goodwill is not money
When you're driving through snow squalls for the last gift
Remember, you've been given redemption
Worth more than all the money North America spent this December
Which means we are the only ones who can sing about joy and know what we're talking about
And when you're surrounded by light and warmth
don't forget, the light of the world stepped down into your darkness
so you could understand what it all means.


shadows on the wall

shadows on the wall
she doesn't understand
Mommy and Daddy don't know she hears
but she snuggles down
to sleep sound
because the shadows meld into one
The yelling woke her up
she shivers
scared wide awake
trembly fingers in her ears
to block out Mommy's crying
still as a mouse in her little nest
watching the space between the shadows
It is quiet
the bed is empty
because the shadows on the wall have met again
and a new little shadow comes pattering
to see what's in the Book that joins them.

to my soul

be still, my soul
Why are you restless and disquieted?
What's all this murmuring in my heart?
Be quiet!
I don't want to hear it.
Shut, up.
Who do you think you are anyway?
You're annoying, that's what.
You're too loud and complaining, I can't hear anything.
I'm trying to listen to Salvation
to angel songs
to the heartbeat of the cross.
And here you're doing all this whining.
And the pity parties, they've got to stop.
They're keeping me up all hours of the night.
How do you even manage to make so much noise with only three guests?
I've had it with this attitude.
Not another peep out of you.
Got it?



Victory is in the air
it fills my lungs like the clear evening after a snowfall
angel smiles resound their echo in my heart
as I stand on the Rock with the shattered chains in my hand
the song of the sunrise ringing in my ears
The battle is long and weary
but the war has already been won


"earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal"

the initial wound
after the shock
before too long
after a while
in time
numb again


Love is ___

Some say love is butterflies. Love is sparks. Love is falling, falling off a cliff into oceans of happiness or meaning or something indescribable. Love is finding the one you can't live without.

But I saw Love, and it's a lot bigger than that.
Love is giving up.
Love is letting go.
Sometimes love is allowing someone to let you go.
Love is time.
Sometimes love is money.
Love is almost always inconvenient.
Love can be letting someone in when you don't want to.
Love can be persistently knocking when they won't let you in.
Love is space what you don't want it
and no space when you do want it.
Love is almost always hard.
Love hurts.
Love sacrifices.
Love does things it despises while knowing that, probably, no one will ever know you did it (or hated doing it) except God.
Love bears burdens.
Love weeps with those who weep and rejoices with those who rejoice.
Love is 1 Corinthians 13.

Love hung from a tree by nails through His palms and suffocated through multiple eternities of hell's fury and looked me in the eye and said
"This is for you."


just do something

In a world where churches get locked
and the lights never go off
where we spend years of our life weighing our many options
where "entertainment" is a culture in itself
when people sell the gospel as comfort-food
and ministry is about the wisdom of men's brain
Jesus still says
"be still
and know that I am God
I will be exalted"
whether you try to help Me or not
and listening at His feet
is still the good part which will not be taken away
He still says "seek MY wisdom"
and He still tells us to obey and still doesn't tell us what will happen if we do.
Life is not quite as complicated as we think.


Isaiah 46:4

Do you have a moment, sir; could you tell me a story?
I can see at least one held captive in your eye
If you have a moment, ma'am, I'd like to hear a little of the storms
that traced the lines where my cheek is still smooth
Tell me, sir, of a day that one white hair stands for
and most of all I want to know what kept that twinkle in your eye
Please tell me, ma'am, how you're still smiling
though you've known pain and heartbreak so much longer than I have
Was it easier to let go the tenth time?
Do you ever get used to being lonely?
When I've seen as much as you, I want to rejoice as well as you do.
Will you teach me how to grow old?


Compassion's Call

from my sermon notes, on Luke 10

open our eyes to the need of our neighbor
reach out our hands to span the distance
unplug our ears to the call of compassion
teach us the dance of the beautiful feet
make our hearts bigger and break them for sin
strengthen our shoulders to carry others' burdens
breathe into our lungs the breath of life
to sing the song of love
Lord teach us how to love


God's People

Child with the downcast eyes
what's all this sighing for?
Don't get so caught up in the battle
that you forget we've won the war!
You know these are principalities
the powers of darkness and sin
They're huge and they're scary
but don't you forget who's the King!
What silly little children who stand
shaking their heads at the mountain
they won't touch the shovel
just sigh and shrug "that's that, then"
Do you know that's the sun that you're holding,
there in the palm of your hand?
Why you haven't melted away long ago
that's what I don't understand.


We Are A Broken People

We are a broken people.
But we do everything in our power to forget it.
We are dead men walking.
So we redefine life.
We are drowning in pain.
We pretend there's no such thing.
We are hollow empty shells.
We paste yellow smileys over our soul-screams and tell each other we're loving it.
The soft, piercing notes of hope break into the clouds of death
We put our fingers into our ears and sing loud "la-la-la"s to block it out.
We are an incredibly stupid bunch.
Thank God,
There is a Redeemer!
He pursues
He hunts us down
He shatters the bars of death
He wakes us and breathes sunshine into our rotted lungs
We are alive for the first time
Captured and rebirthed by Healing
We open our blind eyes
We live, and our heart begins to beat out the song it was created to sing.


Prayer For Our Youth Group

Well that was the occasion at least, it applies to all of us probably. Not the greatest but I wanted to post something anyway =)

Free us from the dungeon
of thinking we know it all
our proud swelled heads are top heavy so we fall
Please stop us from finding
false strength deep inside
May Your wings over us
be the strength that we find
Please let us see the
emptiness that's in us
Show us our blindness
Lord we are only dust
Show us our need
make us soft, make us seek
Our appetite for You
is abominably weak
Teach us to listen
open our blind eyes
Make us parched with the thirst
that is fully satisfied.



So I was sitting in church the other week listening to an excellent sermon about the Thessalonians and the Church. As I listened I got more and more excited. I was thinking ‘wow, if we get a hold of this, this will change us forever.’ I glanced around to see if anyone else seemed to be getting this too. Maybe people were getting it but I will never know because there were four men sitting there with their eyes closed. Maybe they were meditating deeply. Ha, ha. Maybe they had a really late night or something. I don’t know. (Though I do know that the pastor had about two or three hours of sleep that night). The effect this sermon had on me was, I think, rather different than what the pastor had in mind originally.

Do you identify with me? Have you had this happen? Do you know how totally discouraging it is to catch a glimpse of a vision of what our churches could be and then be rudely reminded that a lot of the key people in this could care less?

If you know who these guys are don’t say anything please, I didn’t mean this to embarrass them. This is not about them. This is merely symbolic of what is, spiritually, happening in a lot of our reformed churches. There has been talk lately among the youth of what it means to be men and women of the church, what is happening to leadership, and what we need to be doing.

I just wanted to throw a few thoughts out there, share some things that have been discussed, and ask,

Why are all the men asleep?

Brothers. Sisters.

We need leaders. We need MEN. The world has redefined “manhood” into spineless buffoons. Why is it in the media that it’s always the father who’s the incompetent fool played for laughs and the mother who holds the family together? Is equal rights what we think it is? Where are we getting our ideas of what is desirable and good and satisfying?

Men and women were created good. Adam and Eve were not genderless until the fall. What does that mean? It means that God had a beautiful plan that was manhood and womanhood. Adam was created first. Adam was given special responsibilities. Adam was the one given the job of naming the animals – not because God’s creative resources were exhausted, but because it was symbolic of Adam’s ownership or headship over them. He did the same with Eve. It was not until Adam ate of the fruit that the eyes of the two were opened and they knew that they had sinned.

It is because of the curse that it is now a struggle for man to provide for his family, Genesis 3: “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: ‘Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.”

And that the woman is not satisfied with her role of submission “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

I would venture that a huge part of why the men are asleep is because the women don’t understand what an active and powerful role submission is. The men are very very slow to lead if they are not being affirmed, supported and followed in their role. Girls, when we see weak leadership our immediate reaction is often to shove our elbow in and take over, to say “This is how it should be done”. This is exactly what Genesis 3:16 is talking about. I watched a movie called “Not Easily Broken” not too long ago, a movie that I would recommend for girls, personally I don’t think I’d recommend it for guys. But the main character said something that I thought was dead on.

Down through history, men have always been measured by how hard they worked and cultivated; how well they protected their wife and children. In the old days, woman saw their men as conquerors, providers, heroes. But somewhere along the line that changed, woman started to became their own heroes. Maybe it was because their man forgot to be reliable or because women didn’t want to be protected anymore or maybe woman had to be their own hero because of the pain they had to endure in life. But whatever the cause, the world took away a man’s reason for being a man. It told him he wasn’t important anymore and when that happened, it turned the whole world upside down.”


We need women who are supporters and encouragers. Women who have a quiet heart, who embrace their femininity as a beautiful and sacred calling, women who find their identity and security not in looks or skills or people but in who they are to and for their Savior (check out 1 Peter 3:5-6!), women who do not need to be in the limelight all the time but find joy in serving like their Savior did, in working behind the scenes and looking for their reward from their Lord. We need level-headed women who will be a refuge for their husband, who will be able to affirm him in his times of insecurity and point him back to the Lord. I don’t know if we are preparing for this very well. How trustworthy am I? Would my friends be able to trust that I will keep in confidence what they have confided in me? Gossip is the very opposite of our calling girls!


“If you a player out there, sit your tail down somewhere and grow up.” (quote by Sho Baraka) Please, the church is in desperate need of leaders. The world is in desperate need of fathers and faithful husbands and protectors. There are so many little ones growing up without men in their lives. They don’t know what a father’s love is. They don’t know what it’s like to be protected. I know some of them personally and they have broken my heart. The worst part is that when these little boys are older they will be their fathers that don’t know that they are fathers, or the fathers who only see their kids once or twice because they’re sitting in prison, unless Spirit breaks through the death cycle. They don’t know what growing up means. Do you?

Marriage and the role of man and woman is the clearest picture and example we have of Christ and the Church in this world. What we need to understand is that because of this it is one of the things that Satan abhors. He absolutely hates Christ-centered marriages. This means he will do everything he can to destroy the Biblical concept of what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman.

We need to fight back!! There are three practical ways we can do this that I can think of:

We need to encourage each other in our attempts to model what is pleasing to God. This could be going out of our way to make opportunities for each other to practice our roles, expressing thanks for each others strengths and less criticism of the weaknesses, sometimes rebuking each other IN LOVE for our failure to care (if you can’t do it in love please refrain or find someone else who can do it in love for you).

We need to obey Titus 2:1-8:

But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you."

This is a lifestyle of discipleship. Both men and women should seek to build relationships with older and younger people, to be involved in each others’ lives to learn from each other, especially to learn from the wisdom of their elders and to train up the younger. (You will definitely learn from younger people as well though!) Don’t wait until later to look for opportunities to do this – I am pretty sure from Titus that this is supposed to be a lifestyle thing. It will make it easier to start early!

We also need to fight for our femininity and masculinity regardless of those around us. Guys, if the girls around you are annoyed when you treat them like women DON’T STOP! I’ve said it before but we will need to fight for our roles, and sometimes it may seem like we’re fighting against the opposite sex. Don’t forget – you aren’t called to be men just for the women's sake, and you aren’t called to be women just for the men’s sake. You are called to be a man or a woman because it is who God has created you to be FOR HIS GLORY.

One last thing. We will fail, many many times. We already have. But this is worth fighting for. Be encouraged – your failures have been washed away with blood. You are forgiven. We cannot do this in our own strength. (Period!) It’s all grace. Our God is worthy of all praise!

---check out:

This Momentary Marriage by John Piper




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbQT38eY4NI (Boys!! Song by Sho Baraka)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRK7VLTTrZQ (We Could Be More song by Sho Baraka)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnN2PrIQijw (clip made about a book called “Church Planter”)---



I was tutoring Josh (creative writing) today, when I came across an exercise in one of my notebooks from when I was in South Dakota. I used to tutor a couple girls in the school there, and one of the things I do is come up with random little exercises to warm up before we work on writing. One day I asked one of the girls to define a few different terms in her own words. Here are two of them:

Happiness - when you do something good instead of bad.

Pain - something that always stays with you and never goes away.
I wonder what my brother Josh's definitions would be.  The girl from South Dakota lives in a place that's full of poverty, darkness, oppression and hopelessness. Josh is a year or two older (this girl was in grade seven, Josh is now in grade nine) and he's growing up in a home that is filled with peace, hope and joy. But my friend from the Rez hit the nail very close to the head. I hope one day I will be with her in the only place where pain will finally go away for good.


we are weary soldiers

I do not mean for this to sound like I believe myself to be experienced, wise, dramatic, or to have anything figured out. I do not and am not (except perhaps the dramatic part, at least sometimes). I do feel the small things I have been through deeply, and I wrote this in sincerity I think.

My eyes are bloodshot with tears
I have looked and seen sin.

My feet are caked with dirt and blood
from the places I have walked.

My arms are heavy from reaching
unsuccessfully so far.

My head aches with the echoes
of the voices in my dreams.

My shoulder scars are a little numb
where the claws of sin went in.

My hands are shaky
from holding on

My heart, well it's still bleeding
I don't know how long it takes for letting go to heal.

But I just got a much-needed reminder:

One day I will see my Savior
face to face
every tear will be wiped away.
Rev. 21:4

My Savior's in the foot-washing business.
John 13:5

Underneath me are everlasting arms.
Deut. 33:27

Some day His songs will forever ring in my head
and I will understand all that I need to understand.
Rev. 14:3

His yoke is easy,
and His burden is light.
Matt. 11:30

He holds me in the palm of His hand,
and He will never let me go.
Isa. 49:16, Rom. 8:35-39

My heart was made for Him.
He came to bind up the brokenhearted.
Isa.61:1-3, 43:21

One day, the Healer will be the only one with scars.


Night With No Moon

Night with no moon
will you sing me some praises
tell me Who sees
through the blindness of night
speak soft the deafening words
of His promise
the Dayspring, the Sun,
the giver of Light

Night with no moon
oh sing to me sweetly
we need Gilead's balm
for our bruised bloody souls
open our ears Lord
and teach us to listen
Trust may remind
frozen tears how to flow.

Night with no moon
I am here, I am listening
here in the stillness I'm
desperate for hope
Tell me the story
we both know so clearly
I won't drop the lamp we need
for this dark road

Night with no moon
please rebuke me and scold me
I know day will come
yet I gave up the fight
Night with no moon,
just once more sing it softly
and lull me to sleep
with my sword at my side.



I'm going to post a link to this too, it's on facebook but I want to archive it with my other writing. It's also something I like to be reminded of.
Facebook Note - Inspired by the line "run over by God" - an allegory of sorts


Weekend Musings

Yesterday I got rear-ended. I could be melodramatic and say it was a scary experience (it kind of was) or brush it off and say that it was no big deal (which is also kind of true). In actuality the experience left me with a lot to think about.
I was on my way from a Bible conference on evangelism to a Christian Muslim Forum with my brother Mark and some friends. I was driving my Dad's car, Alyssa B was driving a vanload, and Aaron L was also driving a small car. We were on the Q-- (highway) and traffic slowed quickly, I had to slam on the brakes to keep from hitting the guy in front of me. Rick said/yelled something about the shoulder, but by the time I processed that I only had time to clue in THE CAR BEHIND ME! and glance in the rear-view mirror to see Alyssa's van, know what was about to happen, too late to do anything about it.
You know those moments where time seems to slow. When I look back on it, I am a little amazed, and a little confused at what was running through my head. The split-second between realizing what was going to happen and the actual impact, I felt a kind of peace and trust that frankly, still leaves me a little breathless. The consciousness of God's presence and God's care that I felt still has me in awe as I write this. Two Novembers ago I was in an accident with my mom that was kind of similar, we got rear-ended as well, (she was driving though) and I felt almost the same thing, but though this may sound strange I think I really needed it this time. More on that later.
The instant after the impact my first thought was MARK! as I pulled onto the shoulder (wish I'd done it earlier!!). I think that was what shook me up. Mark and Rick were in the back seat, Aaron (B) was in the passenger seat. My next thought was "Dad doesn't have collision insurance on this car!!!!" What an awful sinking feeling, mingled with relief that Mark and Rick were ok. I'm not sure exactly what happened after that until somebody came back into the car and said something like "thank God for plastic cars!"
Both cars were totally fine.
I think my heart started beating again then =)

At this moment I am so thankful. My God is so good. Lately Psalm 63 has been hanging out with me a lot, and verses 7 and 8 seem pretty fitting right now.

Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.

I am so thankful that both cars and all the people in them were ok.
My bumper has some marks, I think the bolts from Alyssa's van, and the guys said something about some of the foam underneath maybe being broken? I am not a car person so I don't really know what that means. The right side of the bumper by the wheel well was loose but once we got to the Forum Rick and Joseph popped it back in. It could have been so much worse. Not only our cars, but also that Aaron L, who was right behind Alyssa, was ok too. He had to pull onto the shoulder to avoid hitting Alyssa from behind.

I'm thankful that it didn't happen to us earlier.
If it had happened to us on Friday, it would have been strangers who hit us. We still made it to the forum in time. I'm thankful that Rick was there because if it had just been Aaron, Mark & I, I would have been the only one who knew how to drive stick, and I was not in the best condition to drive right afterward. I'm thankful that Rick could drive the rest of the way.

I'm thankful for the reassurance of God's care for me.
As I said earlier I am still in awe of this. This is something I have been struggling with lately. It's been a lonely fall and I struggle with not having a job and simply doubting that I am where I should be. This has been a painfully sweet reminder that God is here in Ontario, that this is part of His plan and He makes no mistakes. He will never let me go. His grip engulfs me and nothing else can get through that.

I'm thankful that I can trust Him with those I love.
I've never been in an accident where I was the driver, except for one time in the church parking lot when I was alone in the car - I drove off the pavement onto what I thought was a gravel section and was a sheet of ice. I just wasn't able to steer and slid into a friend's van. (There wasn't any damage). The thing that shook me up about this time was that my younger brother (and friend) were in the back seat and could have been hurt or killed. As it is I think Mark is probably the worst up, Mark and Rick and Aaron all have whiplash a little but Mark had his head turned and there are no head rests in the back. This morning his neck is pretty sore and stiff. My head rest was at the right height and I was already leaning against it so I'm fine. It is a hard and beautiful thing to know that though I simply cannot protect those I love all the time, the Lord can and will. This is also something I've been struggling with. Strangely enough right after the accident when I was thinking about Mark I also had this little girl http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5AMSPK-QcOU/TI6QVt5cbvI/AAAAAAAAABI/JeFWmcr3F2A/s1600/me+kyra.jpg in my head. There are a number of kids from Okreek who I have had a really hard time with leaving and she is one of them. The next 20 minutes or something her voice was echoing in my head as it does at random (and very inconvenient) times. "Lizzi, make him stop. He's scaring me... Lizzi, I don't want to die. I don't want to die. ...Why do people say the streets are gold in heaven? Mom! Mom! I don't want to die. I don't want to die. "
I have such a hard time letting go. Why is it so much easier to trust for yourself than for others?
I know the Lord can take so much better care of her, of Mark, of all of the people I love and want to protect, than I ever could. The pain of leaving those kids may never go away, or not until God brings something else to fill that bloody hole in the heart, but I CAN leave them and have peace in knowing that "He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep". (Psalm 121)

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


seasons of the spirit

blustery rainstorms
sticky mud turned lush green
overnight we have been reborn
promise, promise, promise
buds and shoots from death
I remember
new life is a miracle.

the air is heavy with sunshine
we are thirsty
buds became blossoms
blossoms wither
the earth swells with fruitfulness
I remember
there is joy in the harvest.

there's a chill in the air
nipping my nose and lungs
blood on the leaves
as they fall
in their wind-whipped dance
I remember
sometimes death is beautiful.

in the stillness
of the ice
blindingly blanketed
life is hidden
earth stands still
I remember
we are waiting

image from http://mariusp.deviantart.com/art/Four-Seasons-35993741


Sometimes I know how to hate.
Sometimes I wish I was an archer
with the arrows of light.
Sometimes I see a little bit of Satan's true colors,
that's when it happens.
Sometimes I see it when the sin in me has deeply wounded
someone I love dearly
then I hate.
Sometimes I see it when evil men rob someone I love
of what little pretense of hope she had left.
Then I hate.
When I cry tears of rage
for the "babies underneath their beds"
When I long to take the place
of someone who has no hope
to go through her pain and loss and trauma for her
because my Hope & Comfort would get me through,
in the end
she has nothing
That is when I hate.
When I cry "what fools we were
to choose this path!"
thorns and thistles
death and heartache.
That is when I truly begin to understand
what an illogical
breath-taking thing the Cross is.
And my heart gives a great leap of joy
to see that there is a Hero
A White Rider who is the Sun dawning on our night
and my being thrills
every fiber cries
He saved my day
He is my Dayspring
And then I pick up my sword of the Spirit
double check my helmet of salvation
hitch up my truth-belt
to run as fast as I can in the gospel of peace shoes (they're a little big yet)
to love
and to hate
to follow in His steps
until He comes back one more time
and re-makes everything
justice will be met.
no more pain
no more suffering
no more tears.

This could use some polishing but for now I'll just post it as is.


Inspired by Dangerous Journey

"Today I met a traveler
and something
something was different about him.
You see this burden on my back
You've got one
I've got one
all our friends have one
He didn't.
He was carrying a cross instead.
I'm not sure which looks easier
but it was different.
I asked him
Who are you?
and why are you carrying that?
and how come you don't have a burden like me?
He looked at me
and there was light in his eyes.
He said
Friend, I used to
have a burden
but now
I'm on the Way of the Ransomed
some call it
the Way of the Free
the Narrow Path
My burden rolled off
as soon as I began my journey.
I said
Your cross looks heavy.
He said
It is
but I have been given strength
to match it's weight.
When I watched him go
his feet hardly touched the ground.
I'm not sure but
I think I might like
to exchange my burden for a cross
to walk that Way
if I could have that light in my eyes.
He told me to go to the cross
He said that burdens are loosed there
and slaves go free.
Will you come with me?"


my arms feel awfully empty
am I not needed anywhere?
the wiggly bodies
the eager arms
the sweaty little hands
that used to fill my heart
and prayers
they're gone
there's a hollow ache in my chest
are there others to love?
show me
other souls to embrace
right now I feel awfully empty
I'm glad Your arms are around and under me

Matthew 9:37-38

Jaymie was only six years old last February.
But she thought about being grown up a lot. When she watched Grandma, she thought being grown up was lots of aching and forgetting what happened last night. When she hugged Mama she thought being grown up was being trembly and staring blankly into nowhere in particular. When she listened to Auntie, who wasn’t even all the way grown up yet, she thought it was when your voice gets hard. When Roger came and she squeezed behind the stained brown sofa so that he wouldn’t notice her she thought being grown up was having greasy hands and slurry words. And when there were too many grownups and there was loud hollow laughter and shouting and crashes, she pulled her closet door tightly shut, and crawled back, back, back until her stiff little back pressed against the back wall. Then she shivered in the dark and tried not to listen. Times like that she didn’t ever want to grow up. Times like that she squeezed her eyes shut and thought about what it would be like to fall asleep and never wake up again. And before the swearing dissolved into sobs she would be asleep. When she opened her eyes again and uncurled to the morning, the grownups would still be asleep. Cracking the screen door just enough for her lithe body to slip through, she let it thump gently and sat on the step. Sometimes she traced letters in the dirt, sometimes pictures, and sometimes she sat motionless, staring.

“The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38


Little faces everywhere
dimpled cheeks and elbows
sparkling eyes
joyfully uncoordinated limbs
wispy curls
"Daddy, come!"
earnest explanations of new adventures
excited shrieks
"Look Mommy! Look Mommy!"
none of them mine
to hold
to teach
to love
to care for
I am young, I know
still I cannot help but watch
I feel very sharply the beauty
the right-ness of it
I yearn for it
but it is not mine.
My thoughts turn to other little faces
some with hollow cheeks and bony arms
all with eyes too old for their faces
they do not trust
they long to love
"child" in name only
oh, to restore what they have never known!
Maybe one of these
is mine

To be a Woman

created for Him
made beautiful by Him
the heart of a home
strength and honor clothe her
love, kindness and wisdom
flow gently from her lips
the ageless beauty of a quiet spirit
she is not naive
yet she is not afraid of any terror
she shall rejoice in time to come
her trust-roots are deep
in the Rock
in the Living Water
She knows
she is in His hands
His strength is made perfect in her weakness
she is confident in her Redeemer
she loves sacrificially
she does not tear down
she is a supporter and strengthener
she knows Whose she is
He calls her precious

Proverbs 31, Psalm 1,
John 4, 1 Peter 3

Thank You, God

...For tea, for peace, for candy, for numbing waves, for hope
for belly laughs and late night confessions
for mingled tears and for wildflowers
for fairy tales and childhood memories
for shared victories and shared losses
for giddy moments and earnests longing for holiness
for aged wisdom and childish affection
for iridescent bubbles.
Doubly united in blood
once by Dutch "Luimes" blood
once by the blood of the Lamb
Thank You for ten minute hugs
for ridiculous disses and totally sweet compliments
for a home filled with prayer.
For dishes and volleyball and the grace of God.
Thank You, God, for my family.
It is a promise of things to come.


thankfully laying down
gratefulness in action
what happens when joy is alive
the fruit of the Spirit
to live to glorify Him

knowing the Truth
peace inside of a butterfly
living His power
bound to righteousness
slaves of joy

dancing alone in a thundershower
between the doorposts of the rainbow
one step further

I know that my Redeemer lives

I know that my Redeemer lives
even when I don't understand the way He is working.
I know that my Redeemer lives
even if I don't know what to do with the path He gives me to walk.
I know that my Redeemer lives
even when I don't know why I live.
I know that my Redeemer lives
even when I don't know why He loves me.


The stars speak comfort to me
cut me down to size a little
say "who are you? What are your problems?
the Creator was, is, is to come
He never sleeps
He never faints
never blinks or ignores
There is so much more to this story
than you
yet He calls you precious."

My Desire

To lay aside weights
To find no satisfaction in anything except for Christ
To run with eyes fixed unblinkingly on the Goal
To boast only in the cross
To rejoice with inexpressible joy when everything is torn away
All to Jesus, I surrender all

Are you willing

to be as the scum of the earth so that others may know what it is to be clean?
Are you willing to be wounded so that others may know healing?
That is what it is to follow Christ's example!

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." Matthew 16:24

I have not

sweat blood
I have not felt the fires of hell
I never will
Because He has
for me
I love Him


Quench my thirst
so I'll know what it is to want
fill me up
so I'll know what it is to have an appetite
You make me hungry
I thirst for You
I'm satisfied
in knowing
the best is yet to come.


I will follow
wherever You lead
whether or not it's practical
whatever others think of it
no matter how scary
or hard
or sad. Your plan is what I want,
not mine.
Please remind me of that!
I am Yours.


big hands
small hands
puffy hands
gnarled hands
thin hands
bony hands
soft hands
sweaty hands
chilly hands
shaky hands
gentle hands
warm hands

Starry Night

In the luminescence

of the pale blue snow

breath fogs my vision

and crunchy footsteps break the


inhabited only by star-voices

if you aren’t listening for their chorus

you’ll miss it altogether

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Sometimes I am melodramatic... Bear with me. My favorite thing is finding hope in hard places. If you enjoyed something (or not) I would love to hear from you! You can make me very happy by leaving a comment :)


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