all poured out at home

all poured out at home

 I fancy that every soul of us could write a book which the world would read, if only we dared to tell the exact truth about ourselves and our happenings, and so give a perfect reflection of one human life.  But who of us dares to do that?  (Candace, Thereber Wheeler, 1918)   There we were in the pastor’s office, young, naïve, and love struck; counseling our way through our engagement as we planned the wedding. Thankfully, the pastor didn’t just want a well-planned party, he saw ahead into our marriage and knew we needed more than youthful love to carry us through.  So he turned to me and asked, “What are you most afraid of?” I sputtered, stuttered, and stopped.   He let me think in the awkward quiet, and it grew hot as my future husband waited for an answer. Finally I said, “I’m afraid of losing myself.” It came from somewhere deeper than my conscious mind. Like prophetic deep. And our counselor nodded and smiled, then waited for me to continue. “Not right away, maybe, but over the years. Because I love this man, and want to pour myself out for him and into him; and one day I want to stay at home with our children, and pour myself out for them… and what if I get all poured out and lose the stuff that makes me special? I don’t even know what it might look like. But what if I do?”   He nodded again then shifted his gaze to my beloved, my fiancé, to the one who had not yet done wrong in...
Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

In the weariness of cooking, cleaning, and making things just so for beloved family and friends, sometimes the devil finds a foothold and turns… You are Welcome here …into heavy sighs that say, “This is costing me too much.” I began the summer with three back-to-back weeks of non-stop, desperately wanted, lovingly invited house guests.  But between you and me… I was worn out by the end of week two!  Not because they’d been anything but wonderful, just because that’s a whole lot of going and serving and picking up and cooking and washing towels and getting ready for the next big meal.  Even now as I look back, I can see myself bellied up to the sink, sleeves rolled high, head bowed in prayer… Search me, God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)   Because, “You are Welcome here” requires more than a clean sink, it takes a clean heart. Now that our guests are gone, all that’s left is our party of five.  But the “You are Welcome here” mentality must remain.  Because the way we love our little ones each ordinary day, is supremely more important than the extrordinary ways we serve our special guests.  Yes, I know, it’s our little family that usually wearies us most, but the joy of serving them is much more important than our fresh enthusiasm over extended family and out of town guests.  Theirs are the little hearts being hardwired as we Welcome them to each new day, as we Welcome them into our laps, as...
responding to our husbands

responding to our husbands

Responding to my newborn’s cry at 2am was primal instinct. Crazy tired but never thinking, just answering the need. Waking up halfway down the hallway, already moving to his room. One sock on and the other stuck in my sheets, cause there was no other place for me but hunched over his crib with a “shhh shhh shhh”. Back it up a few years, to the early days of marriage, when the instinct to respond to My Love’s needs was immediate and inspired, passionate and pure.  Responding to one another’s touch happened without effort.  Responding to one another’s invitation, without thought, lead only by impulse.  Responding was natural.  And when we ran out of natural know how, we explored and found new ways to make one another respond further. In the morning, after he left for work, I walked into the kitchen.  There on the fridge was a post-it note:   He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD. (Proverbs 18:22)   I smiled and texted:   You’re a lucky dude to have found me!   But it wasn’t luck, it was a gift; him to me and me to him.  And we responded to the gift, naturally.  Responding not just in bed, but in life.  A glass of iced tea brought to his office.  And laughter.  Him, running back into the house to grab my purse from the counter.  Me, arranging that front closet that overflows each time he reaches for a coat.  More than flowers, though flowers are wonderful, he served me.  And I returned the favor.  Responding and responding again and again, like water...
My husband never…

My husband never…

My husband isn’t…. My husband doesn’t… My husband never… (dot dot dot)  You fill in the blanks.   You fill in the blanks each day, painfully aware of all he isn’t doing, all that’s not been said, The tasks that fill your waking life, until it’s time again for bed. And there he is wanting to be close, waiting to touch you in the dark, but you’ve exchanged the foreplay of life, for a grumbling question mark. How does it happen?  How does it go? This journey from love to drudgery so? From all that he is to all that he’s not! From the joy of our vows, to a martyr’s long lot. When did our men journey from their gifts to what’s lacking, In their character and marrow, their doing, their asking? We once celebrated their bodies, dreams, and laughter! But praises have faded, complaints reign in the rafters. What happened as we grew their babies and birthed them – staying home in the trenches of life, to raise them? Was the cost of life’s war, the death of a marriage? But life’s not war, and he’s not the enemy I disparage. We need a resurrection miracle to bring life from this wreckage!   Or maybe, just maybe, we need a little honey mixed into homemade granola.       I’d done the shopping and planned meals that would bless, only to get the call that he wouldn’t be flying home tonight.  Fists went to my hips with a sigh, as I looked out over my counter-space, mounded high with oats, separated egg whites, vanilla, nuts, and dried fruit. All set to make My Honey his...
My husband built a tree fort

My husband built a tree fort

My husband built a tree fort out of diamonds.  Those Big Dipper Diamonds Dripping Down on our home when he lost his job and I remembered faith.   Jehovah Jireh, The Lord Provides.   Shaken out and raining down.  I thought those sparkling stars represented how God would provide for our financial needs.  But in my nearsightedness I did not know how abundantly, beyond all I could ask or imagine, He would provide for the heart needs in our home.  Far more star studded gems than I had known to pray for, spilling out and overflowing onto the dry ground,  landing in a mound of tools and lumber.  So my husband built a tree fort out of those diamonds, in his unemployment.   Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)         Our vantage point is so small, not vast as His view from the Big Dipper looking down, so we can’t grasp the scope of His riches.  Not just to provide what we will eat and drink, and what we will wear… but  the breadth of how He will bless and grow and heal us.  His vantage point is love, and His love is boundless and immeasurable. I did not know, so I simply asked for enough.  Enough money to cover bills.  Enough severance to cover unemployment.  Enough peace to cover anxiety. But He gave more, a diamond “yes” in each shaving...
Say Yes to Your Husband

Say Yes to Your Husband

Summer is the Season of Yes.   “Yes, you may swim…  Yes, I’ll play a board game with you… The beach again?  Why, of course…   I’ve already championed our need to Slow Down and Say Yes to our Kids This Summer!  Saying Yes to their summertime fun is actually saying Yes to our relationships with them.  Meeting them in the sunshine and rubbing bronzed shoulders, because we only have a limited number of summers left to collect these Coppertone scented memories.   But today my husband is top of mind, because when the children are grown and gone, and all we have left are memories of summers past, our relationship with their father remains constant and tangible.  Wake up, role over, and there he is.  Again.  And so this summer I am purposing to set aside a hefty quota of Yes’ for him too.     So why is it so hard to say yes to my husband? And why is it so hard to say yes to your husband? Why do my Yes’ come so slowly when he asks… “Want to stop by Home Depot on our way home from church?”   um…  “Can you finish that later?  Come watch this movie with me.”  well… “You want to get a babysitter so I can take you out on the motorcycle.  … not really. “Why don’t you grab your computer and sit outside with me while I work on the sprinklers.”  uh…    When I think about My Honey reaching out to be in relationship with me, I want to say Yes.  But in these busy days of saying Yes to three little boys, my husband’s requests for...