His Works and Ours

“For the works of the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.” Jesus in John 5:36

We know Jesus is the Messiah.  His truth, His being spoke to our heart.  But His works (and words) pointed to His undeniable identity about all – His divinity and fulfillment of prophesy.

We are saved through faith.  Period.  End of story.  None of us will ever be good enough.

adfgHowever, our works do point to the master of our soul.  We proclaim to the world our love and devotion to Him by how we act.  We have the amazing potential to point others to Him through our words, our hands, our feet, our attitude.

The healing of hearts, of our world, only comes from salvation, which is only possible through faith.  Through the way we walk through this world, we can help others see the grace and mercy that meet us daily.

So, we must live our lives authentically.  We must live our relationship with Christ out loud.  We must live openly and in love.

  • S

Gravity and Star Shine

I talk to Jesus when my babies sleep. When they’re awake too, but those prayers sound different…more like mama strength. I talk to them about Jesus when they’re waking up.

I rub sleepy heads and tell them how handsome and beautiful and awesome and passionate they are.

I tell them they were specifically designed, the entire universe shifted because Jesus loves them. Their little powerhouse spirits. I tell them they can change the world again by loving and choosing Jesus.

What a team they will make. My babes and God. My mind spins just thinking about it, the possibilities God has written out.

And I breathe a little easier, grateful to be on this journey. Grateful I’m honored with strong willed cubs.

i-talk-to-jesusAnd I run my fingers through their crazy and different hair and will continue to whisper all things good.

Difficult to raise, but oh so good.

Love once changed the world, and now it has changed mine, thrice over.

And I’m anxious and impatient to whisper sweet nothings to number three. And grateful, yet in pain, over his already distinctly stubborn self.

And I’m convinced, despite it all, love will continue to better the world, and my cubs will be part of the gravity and part of the star shine.

  • J

 

Just Keep Moving

Just keep moving, moving.  Just keep moving, moving.

I keep having that circling in my head in Dory’s voice singing it to the Just Keep Swimming tune.

My professional life and spiritual life have a lot of overlaps right now.  I teach ancient history and we are currently looking at the early spread of Christianity and organization and formalizing of Christianity.  So, yesterday we spent some time talking about the role of the apostles in the spread of Christianity.

My students made some great points, but one that has really stuck with me is how their travels are intentional.  So, they didn’t expect people just to come to Christ through a natural expansion of things. They never stayed in the same spot.They were always moving from one place to the next to the next taking Christ’s message, teachings,and salvation through grace with them.

I was really reflecting after class about how that’s what we need to do.  We need to not just rest in the knowledge that God loves us and we Him.

f2371f38e73f9ab7141d7428f63f4fd4We need to move for Him.  Do for Him.  Respond for Him.  Act for Him.

I don’t think we are all called to physically get up and relocate our lives.  Rather are we making ripples (or even waves) for Him?  Are we intentionally taking Him out into the world?

We need to get our sandals dirtier.

  • S

Magical Women

The world is crazy and full of evil. Evil that in many ways we can let control our day to day, especially as moms protecting little ones.

As a mom, our day to day is riddled with too high expectations placed on us by ourselves, but also by others. I am no exception, maybe one of the worst culprits of high standards.

But being a mom has taught me magic.

You get hurt, magic kisses heal.

You have a bad dream, mommas arms chase it away.

You’re hungry, she provides.

You’re sad, she wipes your eyes.

The dinosaurs are scary; she makes them do a dance.

The dragons breathe fire; she teaches you to ride them.

You can’t sleep (ever) and she is right beside you.

The world’s injustices can be undone by a mother’s love. A mother’s magic.

Too many kids face evil everyday. Life has attacked the parents and the kids taste the backfire.

magic womenAs a mom, as a woman, I can undo that evil, not just for my own kids. My arms contain magic far outside these walls we call home.

It’s a scary world and as women we hold a lot power. A lot of magic.

How wide and how deep we choose to spread it is up to us.

It doesn’t take a delivery room to become a mom, it doesn’t take foster papers, or adoption papers, it takes love.

It’s giving a child extra time, extra attention, extra arms, a space they can vent and be themselves.

Mothers Day has come and gone, but the need for moms has not. The need for strong, powerful, compassionate, magical women is more pressing than ever. Be that woman.

  • J

Not my Nature

“…do I tell her this- that there is enough loveliness, enough beauty, enough love in the world- enough food in this world- if we would just share? That the problem of evil in the world isn’t a problem for proof of God- but a problem of our own turned inward hearts.”

In this time of terror and fear, this time of heartache and famine, of finger pointing and political games, viewed and discussed again and again…the begging for proof of a God who cares comes up.

A God who sees and watches over and protects.

We got that, but we also got a God who gave us free will, we are not blind followers or prisoners chained. WE are His chosen -if we chose. We are his hands and feet.

And yet we too often we follow lies, and fears, and its easier to believe he doesn’t care and we must protect our own.

He is the God who amply provides. He gives, and yes he takes away. But he is good, and it leaves only one option to me.

We are either instruments of love or instruments of evil. Every choice we make can be narrowed down to this.

not natureAnd with evil so publicly broadcast it is easier to believe the truths of evil, to believe evil triumphs, to believe we must hunker down and take care of ourselves first.
But I chose long ago to believe in a savior born lowly to transform this world, to conquer sin.

That evil will not, does not, triumph despite the battles raging.

My God is good so I will continue to be that good, to spread the love the most and best I can. And I will not be afraid.

It is not my nature, or my truth.

  • J

Breaking Up is Hard To Do

Have you ever loved someone and yet known your time together was up?

Life was pulling you apart and it was time to go another way?

12523879_10108019975451724_824804053015536692_nToday is officially my last day at work before moving from Kansas City, Kansas later today. I’m leaving a place and people I’ve grown to love.

I’m a Michigander, born in Denver, whose heart was stolen by the people and places of KCK.

From school to the mission, there are so many compassionate and passionate (two of my favorite characteristics) people working to make, not just this city, but the world a better place.

It is a city of diversity and opportunity.  It is a city growing and changing, yet warm and welcoming.

And I will miss working and living in it.

While I’ve created relationships that will last a life time, I will miss this place that so quickly became home…

A place I have felt seen, accepted, and loved (which is not easy to say for someone with social anxiety).

Well, Kansas City, you know I love you and all you are becoming.  Take care of the people I love, but it’s time for me to move on.  I’m sure we will see each other in passing and will remain friends.

You will always hold a place in my heart.

Love always,

A Woman who found Herself, Discovered her Strength, and Hit her Stride in your loving embrace.

Goodbye Suburbia

white breadWe recently moved out of white bread suburbia. A street picked from a happy film or advertisement.

I’d been praying about the move for awhile, long before the house was for sale.

It was, it is, lovely and safe and completely undiversified. It has all the perks of white bread, yet felt lacking for me and my children.

I want to raise them on a street with all walks of life. With opportunities to meet people who are different than us, who struggle differently, with the chance to be unhindered by appareance because our arms are already open. Yet, I also want to keep them safe.

Does safe mean comfortable?

God answered my prayer, and here we are. In a big beautiful house – so not in suburbia. And I wasn’t prepared for my own insecurities. I wasn’t expecting to find my comfort in an alarm system rather than my neighbors (who all seem very kind, yet different).

Still, I have zero doubt this is our home, our place to set in some roots. We looked at countless houses, we do not agree on much of anything let alone homes. And we stumbled quite accidently into an open house 5 minutes before closing…and BOTH liked it, and BOTH thought this could be our home. And it’s a 5 minutes walk to school and my parents.

Yet, my flesh stumbles and I’m humbled by my weakness, willing heart, and rampant mind.

We’re used to playing outside, and my Nici shouts hi and waves… to every single person who walks by (and it’s a busy corner) and he nudges me, “say hi mom, wave”. If I’m being honest, people passed I wouldn’t have said hi to without his nudgings.

And we’re slowly starting to meet everyone, at least the walkerbys, the likes we never saw in suburbia. And his little smile and waving hand is reaffirming we are right where we should be.

And God is good, and for the most part people are good.

And we are safe and loved even if I am still getting comfortable.

  • J