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Life Outside the Boat

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A little light on a dark day…

The headlines are screaming and everyone’s got an opinion and a comment and a side.  I’m not much different.  I have thoughts and feelings and I’m confused and angry and scared and mostly sad.  But in the midst of the scrolling rhetoric, I want to set those aside and shine a little light, bring a smile, a bit of celebration.  So…

Today will be remembered for many things, but for me it will always be the anniversary of my sweet friend’s birth.  So here is my gift to her.  While she has everything she needs and let’s face it, she certainly doesn’t need another mug or book or picture frame from me, I thought I’d get her something I have plenty of…words.  Words to honor someone who loves radically and quietly.

While most are out there hashtagging fillintheblanklivesmatter, she is living what matters.  My friend who moved mountains to welcome her Haitian son into her home.  I watched as she spent countless hours and dollars and tears filing paper work, calling embassies driving him to and from school once he was here.  This friend who encourages and lifts and trains and loves her people well.  This friend who models everyday (ok, most days) what “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:4) looks like.

So yes, I mourn today so much violence and division and senseless loss of life, but also I celebrate, because there is light in the midst of the dark.  Light that will always…ALWAYS overcome the dark.  And my dear friend is just one example.

Happy Birthday, friend.  So many roads we have walked together.  And so many more to come.  I am forever thankful that I determined almost 10 years ago that I wanted to be your friend and that I finally wore you down… ❤

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Rogue Feelings

“It doesn’t matter what I feel, doesn’t matter what I see – my hope will always be Your promises to me!”

Tonight this morning,  I sit here in my chair with this song on repeat.  The last few weeks have been full of rogue feelings.  Sick, angry, anxious, hurt, nauseous, shaken… I have found myself in an unrecognizable place.  A place of feeling far from God.  Sure, there have been times and seasons where I have been distracted, or rebellious, or complacent.  But this one has been different.  I can’t explain it, it’s almost as if I have been walking around in a coma.  But I will say it again – to myself, more than to you…

“It doesn’t matter what I feel, doesn’t matter what I see – my hope will always be Your promises to me.”

stakeIf I’m being totally honest, I just can’t seem to get a handle lately on my thoughts, my feelings, my heart.  And I don’t think I’m alone.  I’ve been following Jesus for a long time, but sometimes we have to re-plant that stake in the ground that says “no matter what, God, Your character is not in question with me”.  I may feel differently, I may not understand and I may waver, but You. never. will.

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Through these weeks of confusion, hurt, anger, insecurity, exhaustion – there is hope.  Hope that steadies.  Hope that holds when my boat is rocking and the waves are crashing.  Hope that anchors.

 

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”

Hebrews 6:19

Do you need to remind yourself today that His presence is enough?  Put this one on repeat with me.  Remember, it doesn’t matter what you feel or what you see….HOPE.

Home

Even before crossing the county line – can you feel it?? The excitement – the anticipation. Asphalt gives way to rocks crumbling under the tires….not long now. The only thing higher than our hopes is the number on the car’s thermometer. August heat. My minivan is a time machine transporting back 15 – 20 – 25 years….the canopy of trees, the hum of the locusts, the smell of pine and leaves and Skoal and childhood. The man sitting on the porch – greyer now – mostly white…held by a rusty metal auction chair. A long buried language finds it’s way out of me. “Aint, ya’ll, sumpin’, nuttin'”. Hot dogs with chili, Pepsi with marshmallow, sunflower seeds and bubble gum. Secretly loving that all these guys give me an excuse to pilot the gator/tractor/3-wheeler and wade in the creek. So thankful that we all have this man – this house – this land. A place that time has missed. A truck still sits in the driveway – the rusted wheel wells and crank windows replaced with heated seats and sunroof. This place – full of memories. Some good, some bad. The bad mostly forgotten…the good made even sweeter with time. More sounds….little-boy laughter, sportscasters recounting the Cardinal game, gunshots finding their bulls eye in the old stump at the edge of the woods. Three generations of freckles and flat feet. Little boys playing where little girls did. The little girls, now grown, watching – remembering. The dirt, the fun, the Dad…now Grandpa – teaching the joy of all things God-created. All of it the same but somehow different. Thankful that my Creator, while forming me, thought of this place. Thankful for this moment – for moments past – for the ones to come…

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A 4-year-old masterpiece.

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What to do with a rotten watermelon.

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