Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Saving My Life, Just a Little

The nest of fish was crisp under a coarse snow of salt and smelled so simple and good I thought it might save my life. Just a little. Just for that moment. -The Paris Wife

I started a new book club this past month, and the first book we read together was The Paris Wife (the writing was exquisite, but I didn't love the book overall - mostly because of the ending -FYI). Anyways, we ate yummy food and talked about television debuts and our teenage boys and new houses, and it gave me life.
One of our family goals this year was to host more dinners that gathered together people we love and admire, and we had our second dinner this weekend. We are always more blessed by the giving than I think anyone else might be by the receiving. And our dinner this weekend, watching my husband love with his gifts of fabulous cooking and watching my children show hospitality to their new friends, gave me life.

I was thinking about life-giving this morning, and realized it has been forever since I shared links and books and told y'all what's saving my life these days (just a little, just for this moment).

My friend Katie told me I needed to listen to the Audible version of Tattoos on the Heart, and if I could only pick one thing that's saving my life right now it would be this. I feel so encouraged and filled up to remember the ways we can trust in the "slow work of God." I am moved to hear stories that sound familiar and make me laugh and cry at the work we are doing and the ways we are broken and healed by it all over and over again. Ps - in case you need more convincing to get this book via audible, Father G reads the book and does voices for all the homies. Just saying.

“Find the real world, give it endlessly away, grow rich flinging gold to all who ask." - Rumi
Books I'm currently reading: 
The Door Keeper (the Kindle version is only $5!)
ps: Falling Free for Kindle is only $1.99, if you've been waiting to read it, now is your chance!

More (Required) Reading: 
My friend DL Mayfield's entire Lent series (trust me), but especially this guest post from my friend Sarah on marrying an undocumented immigrant. 

Sarah wrote about quitting drinking with grace and beauty and it moved my heart and made me think about some things that could use a little thinking through.  

When Shannan writes about her life in her neighborhood, I listen. Not just because she's one of my favorite humans, but because her words move and encourage me to no end with their beauty and pain and familiarity all mixed up together.
Finally, Adam and I (along with our kids) have been watching the second season of the Great British Baking Show which is now available on Netflix (yay!)

We have also been watching Poldark, thanks to a recommendation from a good friend and one of this month's dinner guests. Season One quite possibly was one of my favorite things I've seen in a very long time. 

What about you? What's saving your life right now, just a little?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Lament from the Wilderness

This past Wednesday, our sweet little church had an Ash Wednesday service and asked me to write a prayer of lament to share. This is what I felt pressed into my heart, and rubbed in ashes on my forehead. Ashes which Isaiah couldnt stop pointing at, and Jayci asked to also have pressed into her own precious forehead. I am grateful for the reminders of the ways that the Lord is with us even in the wilderness, and the ways He can handle our questions and hurts with the gentlest of grace to our hearts. 

How Long Oh Lord?

How long will you hide your face from us, Oh Lord?
We are weary and the world seems gone mad. Our neighbors across all the nations cry with hunger and thirst unsatisfied. Wars and rumours and rumblings of pain fill our ears, while politicians offer unsatisfactory answers to our grief and fears, and our anxieties multiply within us. We try to catch our pain with words, or tears leaked salty from blinking eyes.
We are lonely and tired, we are isolated and angry. We want to hear your voice, Lord, to feel your nearness; but it seems at every turn all we find is silence. Silence covered by a relentless news cycle, silence marked mainly by all the noise. I find myself afraid of what lies ahead for our immigrant friends, what might heal these broken streets, a broken community, what future our children are growing up into. Our newsfeeds flicker with calamity and complaints, evidences of the ways we have forgotten that we belong to each other. We have allowed our neighbors to become strangers, and refused to allow the stranger to become neighbor.
Ashes wiped dirty across my forehead, a reminder to myself that I have come from dust, and to dust I will return. A reminder of the way Jesus lived in desert dust for 40 days, the way your people wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. We need your nearness now more than ever, as we enter into this season of lent. Of ashes and dust and wilderness wandering on the path to the cross. We prepare ourselves for death, and for resurrection. Allowing ourselves in this moment to live differently, to start with the death and the emptying and live backwards to the birth and forwards to the resurrection simultaneously.

And so I pray that today, we will be reminded that though we are tired, heartbroken, yearning for more, settling for less, afraid, rejected, addicted, lonely, or doubting; no matter who or what we are, we find hope together in the promise that You are the one who formed the very dust of the earth and our bodies alike, and that you love us desperately and offer grace to us all.


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