31 December 2012

come what may.

i'm sitting here with a plate of pillowy bread rained in honey, thinking back on the year. this is maybe not the best idea i've ever had, because now the day's agenda includes swabbing the sticky from my keyboard. still: so worth it.

it's been a full year, good and hard and ridiculous and beautiful. we've all grown up a little, often without enthusiasm or consent, and we've seen how grace and tenacity can hitch our hearts together.

little m is just fine. the great news is that he's happy and trusting and attached, which has little to do with our stellar parenting and everything to do with a history rich in nurture and security. we struggle with each other, and it's weird, because i was geared solid for grief and rage and fear--weighty loss-related stuff. but instead, much to our utter relief and bafflement, we're just experiencing some good old fashioned naughtiness.

by the truckload.

so the seven of us need patience with each other and skies of wisdom and we're all something desperate for the leadership of Christ. and last time i checked, that's pretty much humanity in a nutshell, so i think we're good.

the year ahead scares me a little. if God continues to call folks to pray and give, and if people continue to respond, we'll move to kenya come july. the only thing more frightening than going is not going, because somewhere along the way He planted a fire in our bellies for africa's people and most days it feels like i'm burning alive.

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

whatever 2013 means, whatever it will bring and will cost us, God is already there, unrivaled and worth it all. let's do this.

25 December 2012

the Messiah.

we've been christmasing with vigor these past several days--circling trains with the cousins, packing stocky snowmen out back and filling paper cups with dippers of cocoa from the slow cooker. 

our eight and ten year olds made surprise gifts for the whole family (i'm wearing a neon pink ring as i type), and z has been baking up a storm. i adored mothering smallish kids, that magical era of toddler plump and chipmunk voices and skin that smelled salty-sweet. but it's a new and secret kind of wonder to get to know these same people as they ripen into adolescents and full-blown teens, with their own sense of purpose and humor, their own way of reckoning with their Creator. 

He has come for us, this Jesus
He's the hope of all mankind
He has come for us, the Messiah
born to give us life

that's been the very best part of this season. on sunday, pastor mark talked about our moral bankruptcy, and about God stepping large into this war for our souls in the form of the Christ child. and watching our kids ignite alongside us with love for a Savior who refuses to stand back and let us die--that's some kind of gift.

He has come for us.

12 December 2012


our oldest boy had a birthday sunday, and i'm still caught off-guard by the way fifteen years can gallop by in the span of three breaths. how is he this tall? and clever and mini adult-ish? unsettling, i tell you, but i love this kid to pieces and it's downright enjoyable to get to know him in all his teenagery wonder.

his birthday was a simple affair; B is classically low-maintenance and said whatever's easiest when i asked what sort of cake/birthday sweet he was hoping for. we settled on vanilla cake (the boxed kind), cream cheese frosting (the tubbed kind), chocolate sprinkles (these guys actually came in boxes too, intriguingly enough).

at barely fifteen, B is responsible and kind and funny and forgiving, and still kid enough to talk your eardrums off when placed in a moving vehicle with a slew of older teens. it's heartening (and sometimes convicting) to see him speak and move in a way that is clearly fueled by a well-watered love for Christ.

we're blessed beyond reckoning.

in other news, i have got to get with the program in terms of christmas. being out of commission for the two weeks following thanksgiving has wreaked havoc on my preparedness and gifting plans. i seem to remember a certain brother getting me a 7-eleven slushy one year for my birthday, being as how that was the only place still open. that particular idea is looking more ingenious by the minute.

so i am off, my friends. and take a gander at this. makes me restless in the best way.