The Best Day

Mountains
Reflection and I have been hanging out lately. After a glorious but whirlwind summer, I find myself with questions. Questions on eternity, my life’s purpose, time, and what makes a fruitful life. The exercise of writing out your fantasy best day was suggested, as a way to articulate desires and values and what’s most important. I gave it a go.

My best day is less flash and glam that I thought it’d be. When I really thought about my best day, I was surprised at how ordinary it is, how attainable it is, how often elements of it already show up in my life. Here’s a peek:

– Wake up rested but early, in quiet.
– Be alone and have amazing quiet time with God, enveloped in His love, secure in Him and His plans for me and for eternity.
– Stretch.
– Drink a yummy green smoothie while reading a book.
– Write outdoors overlooking a stunning mountain view, in quiet. Maybe Mark Isham music is playing in the background.
Then the rest of the family wakes up and we snuggle before eating a yummy breakfast together.
– Head out on an adventure together- Josh and I have deep conversations the whole drive. We see a castle, an ancient battle site, or glorious mountain pass. 

– We meet Jesus for lunch (in the flesh). 🙂 
– He comes with us for the rest of the afternoon, as we adventure some more and revel in this world’s wonder. 
– I find a quiet moment to sit under a tree, or overlook a mountain valley, or consider a singing sparrow. I pull out my leather journal and write a quick page on the glory of our world, the lessons God has hidden in it for us to find, how everything ties back to our Father. I dog-ear the page as a reminder to share it with the artists & silence and solitude groups I lead back home. And to chew over how it might fit in the chapter I am currently writing.
– Even the best day comes to an end. After a delicious meal, we head slowly back home, winding through the mountains. We get home, tuck our girls all cozy into bed, and Josh and I head out doors to gaze at the silent stars in wonder. The still night air enfolds us while we talk about Jesus some more, our day, life, adventure. (Jesus stayed at the restaurant to visit with some friends He hadn’t seen in a while. 🙂 )
– Sleep sweet

Looking over my notes, themes become very apparent. Quiet, rest, peace and health (spirit, soul, and body), Jesus, thinking/alone time, the people I love most, outdoors/nature/beauty, adventure/travel, and observing lessons God has hidden in this world and then sharing them with others (I now see that I need so much quiet and alone time because His voice can be still and it takes intention to listen!). This exercise is so helpful because it helps me to see what all the parts are that make my life whole. And it explains while I feel like I am running on empty or despairing when these elements aren’t making up my days.

Fascinating. 🙂

I’d love for you to write down your best day and share what you discover. I think you’ll find it a very helpful exercise!

Love, e

Swallow

Swallow

“For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” (New International Version, 2 Corinthians 5:4)

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I see You when I shut my eyes. Life most clear with eyes closed tight.

How often this world steals my gaze, steals my heart.
Like dominoes following, worries tumble down.
Burdens like boulders.
Crushing me.

When all I need is You.

The sorrow, the sadness, the haze-

of busy,
empty,
not enough

of ache,
fear,
all alone

When all I need is You.

You are my King.
You are my Hero.
You are the One who saves the day.
My very food and drink.

I’m starving for You, Jesus.

All I need is You.

Swallow me as I drink deep.

A Cup of Cold Water- March 2017

Life can be hard. So hard.
In some seasons, my soul feels like it’s been through battle.
Do you ever feel that way?

The Lord keeps me going, day by day, in lots of ways.
First through His Word and presence, then through His people.
But He also uses beauty to bind my bruised heart.
Like a compass ever pointing me back to Him and to hope, the beautiful and lovely things of life reassure me that it will be ok. These “cups of cold water” from my Father get me through hard days, simply they might be.

A Cup 20170326
Today’s cups?

• The bird outside my window, whistling his tune: Spring is here!

• This song! I love the line “I couldn’t run from His presence.” What a comforting reminder to know I can’t outrun Him.

• Re-watching BBC’s 1995 Pride and Prejudice mini-series on Amazon. I am a loyal fan of Keira’s 2005 version- oh the lushness of it all, oh the soundtrack, oh that final scene when Mr. Darcy comes striding down that dawn-filled hill! But I decided to give the BBC series another chance and it’s been delightful. With the longer length, it’s like slowly sipping a comforting drink. And now that I’m giving Jennifer Ehle another shot, she really is charming. And England is still England. 😉

• The Lifegiving Home. Although I’m not yet done with this library book, I know I am going to buy it. Written for either the full-time homemaker or just the soul that loves home, the book affirms again and again the value and necessity of home. It adorns the vocation of making-home. I love it. 🙂

• Finding tiny dresses drying in my bathroom.

Tiny DressesTraditional Medicinals Chamomile with Lavender tea. This tea is like a spa in a cup. The tension slips away with every sip. Try it!!!

• Psalm 12:5: “‘For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now I will arise,’ says the LORD; ‘I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.'”
How beautiful! He is the Truest Comfort in this weary world. How I love Him.

That’s it for today, but hopefully some of these “cups” bring you comfort, too.
What about you? What’s been your comfort lately?

Love, e

High Time

TreIt’s high time I said hello.

Sorry it’s been so long. Life has been……the same…always changing…dearly beloved…the hardest thing ever. The last few months have given me days filled with laughing babies, constant responsibilities, spiritual battles I never thought I’d face, and saplings of hope. Such a juxtaposition it’s been. But isn’t that life?

I’d like to write more. I am most myself when I write, processing my thoughts, documenting lessons learned, sharing unsteady-on-their-feet dreams.

So I’ll start today.

The thought:

I love that God created a world of order. I love the rhythm of 24 hours, the coming and going and coming again of seasons, the ebb and flow of life. But most of all, I love that life always comes back to Him. He’s there, in my heart. I can feel His love most when I close my eyes and don’t say a single thing.

The lesson:

When my eyes are thus closed, He’s smiling at me. For a long, long time I thought He was scowling. Telling me I always ruined everything. But I am starting to think differently. In part, because of a great group of friends. They seem to believe that God loves me. And if they believe that, perhaps it can be true. Even now, even then, even always.

The dream:

Edged with England and tea and quiet writing rooms and cellos and a warmth of spirit, my dreams are always cozy. But I am also starting to dream about making a difference- through those very comforts. To cheer a weary soul with a chat and cup of tea, to bring healing to a heart through literature and music- in a way that another lecture cannot do, to help set others free through the bedrock of God’s fidelity.

And you, how have you been, friends? I miss you.

e

I Love You More

Thoughts while I’m smack dab in the middle of figuring out my relationship with the internet…. enjoy. 🙂

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In the middle of a crazy and mundane day, you’re there.
When my small world seems meager, you’re there.
Shimmering off the screen, you beckon me to take a sip.
Just a sip.
A sip of ten minutes to scroll the page and see what’s new.
But I know you.
And I know me.
It’s never just a sip.

A sip becomes a gulp becomes a drowning.
Drowning my attention, my creativity, my adoration.
Even when I’m not with you, you steal my heart away.
But I can’t let you steal anymore.

I have two little girls, four little eyes, locked on me.
Waiting for me, aching for me.
Let me drown in them.

When it’s all said and done, I won’t wish I had spent more time online.
I’ll wish I had spent more time on them.
My treasures.

And He is waiting, too.
Longing to fill the longing.
Longing to make my small world glorious.

So I say “I love you more” and I shut off the screen.
Glory