Friday, June 27, 2014


Thinking of this poem after choosing to walk into fear and out in freedom on the other side this week.  Giving thanks for moments like these as tough as they are.

The knots in my stomach—
Tighten and Constrict.
On and off.
Again and again.
All. Day.

As the thought of tonight’s event
Forms in my mind—
Drawing closer and closer,
Minute by minute.
A knot is added to a lengthening chain—
New people—new knot.
Alone to navigate a new place—another knot.
And it feels like I’d rather not go.
I’ve a swirled chain rattling my interior.
And I think I just might be sick.

So I gasp air and grab hold of Truth—
Deep breath.  Relax.  Believe.
My mind assents.

The knot remains.
So too, the Truth.
Two forces battling—
One solid rock.
Other shifting sand.

I breathe deep and go forth clinging to Truth.
I walk in the reality of the moment—
One step in front of the other—
Anxiety is quelled.

Taking one moment at a time.
Immersed in that solid Truth.
The Spirit God goes with me.
Giving courage to tackle
One obstacle at a time.
His presence near.
The knots relax—slow.
Truth has won.
Peace reigns.
And the joyous glow of His victory
Burns brightly in my heart.

Sometimes discipleship is like this--clinging tightly to Truth and trusting God one step at a time.


Grace and peace be ours in abundance as we cling to Truth and push through fear trusting God, one step at at time.  May we discover that He is able to walk us through more than we think we can handle.  May we find joy in the freedom that follows obedient faith.

Jessica :)

*Reposted from the archives

Friday, June 20, 2014

Drink Deep

As I think about how I am to begin practicing the goodlife I figure it might be helpful to pick a focus. 

I choose to consider taste.  In hind sight, I’m not sure why I pick taste other than perhaps it is something to do with the way my Little Love has been putting things into her mouth with such relish lately.

In the living room, she spots a piece of lint on the floor that fell from the laundry basket or was tracked in on a foot and grins big before quickly shoving it into her mouth.  She does all this lightning quick, before I have time to pluck it from her little hand.  That edge of the carpet that has been pulling away from the kitchen threshold?  Yeah…she’s swallowed that up a time or two when I was looking the other way.  I can tell by the way she coughs as I catch her looking guilty with another piece in hand.

At the table, she grabs strawberries and bites big with the pink juice dripping gloriously down her chin, accompanied with a squeeze of each berry that leaves them in mangled bits that cover her hands and booster tray.  She smears it around with an artist’s flourish and concentration that is quite endearing, if sticky.  She takes bites of mama’s food and sometimes dada’s to—the vegetables, the curry, the beans and rice.  She tries it all, and loves most of it. 

Outside, as I pull weeds she sits nearby on the sidewalk grabbing blades of grass.  Knowing that she often tries to put these in her mouth, I tell her she can pluck them, but not eat them.  She listens, but takes it as an invitation to scrape up a bit of dirt to sample instead. 

In the swimming pool, she is ready to try the leaf that is crumpled at the bottom of the shallow pool.  I distract her with something else for a few moments only to find that while I have been surveying the cloudy sky she has grabbed the hose end and placed it in her mouth instead.

In the bathtub, she nimbly folds her head forward into the water and drinks deep of the soapy water.  She must know that Natalie Babbit wrote that it was delicious. 

I can’t help but laugh.  This girl has tasted and seen the Lord is good.

In many small moments, I have for a few seconds caught a glimpse of God’s goodness, but I feel like I’m so busy managing all the messy bits that I don’t often just delight in them.  How to move beyond this? 

Jason reads one night: “You’ve had a taste of God.  Now like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God.” 1 Peter 2:2-3

Drink of God’s kindness.  Taste it.

I think of what this picture has looked like in my own arms this last year—my baby drinking deeply.  This is the way God wants me to experience him?  He wants me to drink eagerly, letting his kindness pour in as much and more than I can take in.  Somehow this will grow me up mature and whole in Him.   

It’s a beautiful image.  Babies are made to drink deep, but they do learn in those early weeks how to do it.  So how do I learn to drink deep of God’s kindness? 

How do I move away from managing moments to delighting in them?

I think of the Revolution in World Missions book I have been reading this week.  K.P. Yohannan writes of native missionaries and their children going hungry overseas and here I am wondering how to taste the Lord’s kindness.  Something in me is unlocked in reading this. 

I think He must be teaching me how to drink.

I recognize that God has been watching me struggle.  He knows what I have not seen until now.  I have been living the good life all along without really recognizing it or giving thanks.  He opens my eyes to see all this grace right before me.  His kindness has been there all along.

Left-over lentil sloppy joes in the refrigerator.
Fresh clean water to drink straight from the tap. 
The pineapple and melon on my counter top. 
The jars of legumes, grains, and nuts hanging on my wall. 
The English muffin with egg and cheese I share with my little love at breakfast.

And this is just the start of what is sure to be a long list.

I repent as I consider these brothers and sisters.  I wonder how do they drink deep of the Lord’s kindness? 

How myopic I have been. 

If I am honest, I often too easily tire of my own good food.  I like the luxury of eating out.  I ponder whether I make a bad choice when I buy conventional foods.  I think of that potato I threw out earlier this week, somewhere around the world someone would have salvaged it to make dinner.

In so many ways, I have failed to interpret all this abundance in terms of God’s goodness.

It is dangerous to forget the abundance of God.
Make sure that when you eat and are satisfied, build pleasant houses and settle in, see your herds and flocks flourish and more and more money come in, watch your standard of living going up and up—make sure you don’t become so full of yourself and your things that you forget God, your God, the God who delivered you from Egyptian slavery;
the God who led you through that huge and fearsome wilderness, those desolate, arid badlands crawling with fiery snakes and scorpions; the God who gave you water gushing from hard rock; the God who gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never heard of, in order to give you a taste of the hard life, to test you so that you would be prepared to live well in the days ahead of you.

If you start thinking to yourselves, “I did all this. And all by myself. I’m rich. It’s all mine!”—well, think again. Remember that God, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth so as to confirm the covenant that he promised to your ancestors—as it is today.

If you forget, forget God, your God, and start taking up with other gods, serving and worshiping them, I’m on record right now as giving you firm warning: that will be the end of you; I mean it—destruction. You’ll go to your doom—the same as the nations God is destroying before you; doom because you wouldn’t obey the Voice of God, your God.  Deuteronomy 8:11-20
With eyes opened I can see how good God is.  I can see that I have a lot to learn about being disciplined and allowing the Holy Spirit to bear the fruit of self-control.  I know my heart will be better for being open to it. 

As I have been thinking about those native missionaries, it comes to me.  They go hungry holding out food that is greater than the stores of my pantry and the contents of my refrigerator—the Bread of Life that transforms a life.

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying,“Take and eat; this is my body.”  Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”   Matthew 26:26-29

They know what it is to really drink of the pure kindness of God.

Through them, I am learning too.


Grace and peace be ours in abundance as we drink deep of God’s pure kindness. May we be overwhelmed by the changes it works in us.  May we find Him gently drawing us into disciplines in our lives in order to allow us to bless our brothers and sisters around the world out of His more than sufficient abundance.

Jessica :)

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Good Life

It has been quiet around this space the last few weeks. 

In my home the days have been full of celebrations, decisions, viruses, prayer, people and life as usual.  The thoughts have been many.  Even so, the words have not come clearly or easily.  I’ve left this space to live life.  I return as the thoughts settle and the work of putting them into practice begins.

In the midst of a lot of reading I have been seriously thinking about the way we are to live out our relationship with God and what that means in the context of family.  

“This is the commandment, the rules and regulations, that God, your God, commanded me to teach you to live out in the land you’re about to cross into to possess. This is so that you’ll live in deep reverence before God lifelong, observing all his rules and regulations that I’m commanding you, you and your children and your grandchildren, living good long lives.

Listen obediently, Israel. Do what you’re told so that you’ll have a good life, a life of abundance and bounty, just as God promised, in a land abounding in milk and honey.

Attention, Israel!

God, our God! God the one and only!

Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!

Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.”  Deuteronomy 6:1-9 MSG

A few things stand out to me.  This is about the good life God wants us to live with Him.  It begins with me loving God first.  It is about my husband loving God first.  Out of that love we lead our child to love God.  This makes sense.  I cannot pass on what I do not have.  All of this is an all day every day, in every way you can, every chance you get way of life.

Along with this, I have been struck by the sensory nature of the symbolic elements and celebrations in Scripture.  We are made with bodies—able to see, smell, touch, taste, and hear—for a reason.  

With all of this in mind, I have been considering what it looks like to live mindful of these things.  I have to say I have a long way to go!

In the midst of all this, I am very aware that kingdom life is not about right actions, but allowing God to cultivate in me a right heart that leads to them.  This good life is what I want to be cultivated in me and around me (my family, my neighbors, my friends). 

I hope to be sharing more soon.  


Grace and peace be ours in abundance as we seek to live the good life God has for us when we trust him.  May we discover that as we get his love and his commands inside our hearts it leads to transformed lives. 

Jessica :)