Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I have had many conversations with my son about what matters. I make sure he is aware of the decisions that we make as a family to protect our time together. I spell things out for him so he really knows the sacrifices, the tough decisions, and the day-in and day-out stuff that goes into making that happen.

And it's sinking in. And I thought that was a good thing, until it came back to bite me in the butt!

This week he asked me to make him breakfast and I was just sort of vegging out on my computer. "Yeah, sweetie, I'll be right there," I responded, still mostly focused on my computer screen.

And that's when my five-year old son pointed to the computer screen and said, "That is your pri-yo-ity." And then he walked off.


To be honest, I rarely talk on the phone during the day and try to keep my computer time to quit snippets here and there. I try to do what I need to do when it won't take time away from my husband or my children. But my son was right--in that moment, it was more important to me to keep doing what I was doing than to tend to a need of my child. Gotta call a spade a spade here.

My son knows we refuse to weary ourselves in the pursuit of stuff. We just don't care about all of that. But about our primary ministry--our family? Yes, we do care. And we protect our schedules in keeping with what we say matters. BUT--my son has, at times, asked why Daddy has to go to work when family time is more important. That's when we have a conversation about balance. And I have made it clear that if I do need to be on a phone call, they are to allow me that time, since it is a rarity. I don't want my kids to think the world revolves around them. But I do want them to know they matter--that what God has given us in each other matters.

I hope the balance part sinks in eventually. But I guess if he's going to err, I want my son to err not on the side of pursuing stuff and seeking opportunities, but on the side of protecting family time and guarding what is precious--taking every opportunity to teach who God is. Because he will serve his future family better by doing that than by any other thing he could provide for them.

May God give my boy--and me as well--wisdom in ordering our "pri-yo-ities."

Monday, February 21, 2011

It is 3:39am and I am emotionally writhing at the thought that a very precious family is soaking up what are quite possibly their final hours/days with their almost-six-year-old daughter.

It's unfathomable!! I am pleading with you to pray for the Fredeen family. Please!!! Please flood the feet of our God with requests for a miracle for little Nina, for strength and peace for her parents, Todd and Rosy, and for an extra measure of mercies for Nina's 8-year old brother Teddy. I find myself wanting to scream out prayers for them, because I can't imagine not suffocating under the grief that they are experiencing!!

Nina was five and a half when she was diagnosed, and her birthday is on Tuesday. So it's been right at 6 months now since her diagnosis, and an extra few weeks since her symptoms were evident. Can you imagine? I have a child who is at almost that exact age when Nina's symptoms began--give or take 3 weeks. And the thought that you might only have like 3 weeks more of "normal"--three weeks more before you'd begin to see the evidence of your life heading toward devastation? Makes me want to just scream!!!!!!!!!!!

And yet there's a family that isn't simply shuddering at the thought. They are living it. I hate it!!!!!!!!!!!

If you will hold the Fredeens up in prayer, if you really will call out on their behalf, then feel free to visit their site for updates. But, and I am trying to say this as gently as possible--if you have no intention of truly praying for them, please don't even bother. Their blog doesn't need a bunch of looky-loos gawking at their pain. This is very real, they are a very dear family, and their suffering is very horrific. But I hope you will pray for this sweet family. Here is their site. It is fittingly named "Praying for Nina."

LORD God, You are good!!! I find it necessary to declare that truth, that firm foundation when this just doesn't make sense. Be glorified, LORD. Be glorified in life, be glorified in loss. Hold this family close--they need You!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


A friend recently posed the question--"How do you even know when God is speaking?"
And another friend who was with us replied, "Things often repeat." And I very much agree.

A sermon will tie in with a interview we hear, which will tie in with someone's Facebook status that they didn't even realize would be the one thing someone needed to hear. And then maybe we'll overhear someone mention something, and it will all tie in with Scripture that nearly leapt off the page and imprinted itself into our heart.

And so based on this kind of thing, I believe God has been speaking about


The refreshment of dry ground.

Stillness and simplicity.

Ministering to victims of injustice--primarily human trafficking.

Family as one's primary ministry.

Heart issues. Blamelessness and uprightness all the way to the core.

Because these things are showing up ev-er-y-where. These are my recurring themes.

What are yours?

Saturday, February 12, 2011


There seems to be a recurring question in my life lately.


And it seems God Himself is asking the questions.

Would you be honest about something even if it could potentially cost you?

Would you still want Me even if this never materialized?

Would you be willing to really go over your motives and the desires of your heart with a fine-tooth comb?

My answer to each of these was YES. I will say though that my YES on some of these was a little more automatic, and my YES on others was a little more....eventual, I guess you could say.

I'm mindful that six years ago today, Justin and I were dealing with a really, really big WOULD YOU? We were sitting at an Outback Steakhouse having an early Valentine's Day dinner, talking about the very significant WOULD YOU that had been presented to us a few weeks before.

We'd been presented the opportunity to potentially adopt an 11-month old girl from China, if things didn't work out with another family. And we knew she'd potentially be in our arms within about 3 weeks.

And yet we had come to the conclusion that if God was leading, we would be willing to welcome this little one into our home. Even with three weeks notice. Because what God originates, He provides for. In all ways.

Sometimes His WOULD YOU? in our lives was the precursor to something that actually came to pass... WOULD YOU go to Boston if I called you there? WOULD YOU still trust Me if you never got to hold this child?

And other times His WOULD YOU has been a testing of our hearts, a proving of our faith. WOULD YOU adopt this child? In that case it turned out that the little girl in China was placed with another family--not to mention I was already pregnant with our first child as I sat at that Outback Steakhouse and didn't know it yet. We were talking about our family potentially growing, and it was already in the works--just not the way we were discussing it over a plate of cheesy fries.

Makes me think of Abraham, who was told to take his son Isaac--the one for whom he had waited--and sacrifice him. I honestly don't know HOW he was able to do this, but he took hold of his son's hand and set out in obedience. He had the weapon lifted over his son when the angel of the LORD called out to Abraham and said, "Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from my your son, your only son." And the LORD Himself declared that because Abraham's answer to His WOULD YOU was YES, He would bless Abraham and make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the grains of sand on the seashore. The LORD promised that Abraham's descendants would take over the cities of their enemies and that all nations would be blessed through his offspring (Genesis 22).

Something tells me that simply returning home with his son in tow meant everything to him. And yet when the LORD called Abraham to obey, he did. Even though the cost could have been very, very great.

When the LORD asks of us "WOULD YOU?" -- what is our response? Yes, sometimes this question precedes our need to actually do what He has said. And other times it's a testing of our faith.

Either way, we can trust Him. He is sovereign and good.

Is He presenting you with a WOULD YOU in this season of your life? And is your YES immediate, eventual...or non-existent?

Thursday, February 3, 2011


We can become paralyzed in our faith by our "I cannot imagine"s.

I cannot imagine God might have someone better for me for my future mate.
I cannot imagine that God could possibly redeem this. Not this.
I cannot imagine being able to find a job as great as the one I had.
I cannot imagine that the outcome of this is going to be worth pressing through.
I cannot imagine how that stack of bills is going to get paid.

I can't count the times I've hit a wall in my own imagination, been blocked by what I can't fathom. But the One who holds every last one of these scenarios--and more--does not have to contend with my limited imagination.

For He is the One "who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine(Ephesians 3:20-21).

But can you imagine if Almighty God was bound by our limited minds? "Oh, bummer. I SO wanted to bless her, but she can't imagine it, so My hands are tied." Ridiculous--yet don't we sometimes sort of assume that if we can't see how it's going to work, then it probably isn't going to happen for us?

Yet in Him, unfathomable does not equal impossible. In fact, that is His specialty.

Why is it that just because we (read: because I) see no way, we doubt the ways of the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10)? Why do we see no reason to imagine more from the One who has gathered the wind in His hands and wrapped up the waters in His cloak (Proverbs 30:4)--

We are expectant for so little. All in the name of "I cannot imagine."

My husband was an "I cannot imagine." So was getting able to be home with my children. So was the timing of God weaving my children into His story. I couldn't imagine...but He made a way. My life has EPHESIANS 3:20 written all over it. And I bet if you look closely enough, you'll see how He has scrawled "Ephesians 3:20" all over your life, too. And something tells me He has more ink in that pen and is gearing up to write a few more Ephesians 3:20s over the things that--even now--you and I just cannot imagine.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21
What are your current "I cannot imagine"s?