Just Throw Yourself In

I watch the baby red eared sliders launch themselves off the logs as I approach the water. These turtles are named sliders for this very reason: they slide–quick as lightning–into the water. 


Watching them, I see all the verbs in my mind: they fling, abandon, careen, pop, and even twirl off the log. They parachute, trust-fall, tumble, and fly.

However you say it, it’s so passionate how they fall. 
I think that’s how it’s done with God. You pull in your claws, detach, and desperately splash down into the Living Water. You free-fall any which way you can. It doesn’t matter how you reach the water, just that you do–and fast. 
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Receive All the Good

The Italian Mama tells me how easily people accept disappointing things in their lives and how terribly they accept good things. Why do we do this? We doubt and question and fear the good things. Instead of questioning and being suspicious of great things happening, we should simply receive and embrace the great thing, thriving and flourishing as we do. 

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Watch Me, Don’t Watch Me

My youngest daughter wants me to ride in the boat while she attempts her stunts on the kneeboard. 

“Will you watch me, Mom?”
“Yes!” I say. “I cannot wait to watch you!”
“But don’t watch me,” she says carefully. “It’s too much pressure.” She pauses. “But can you watch me? I mean watch me, but don’t watch me.”
I nod in understanding. 
I will watch her with all my delight, celebration, encouragement, and cherishing. But I will not watch with pressure, criticism, judgment, or anger.
I will watch and not watch her. 
As she giggles and says “watch me but don’t watch me,” I know that’s how God sees us both. All anger and judgment were poured out and absorbed by Christ, so God–who carefully observes, carefully watches–sees us through the lens of cherishing and delighting. 
He watches me, but He doesn’t watch me. Children know exactly what this means. 
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5 Wonderful Things

I’ve been writing down things I just love in this world to share with my daughters. It’s a fun conversation to talk about these things and why I love them. So far, I have the following on my list:

1. Pine cones and the smell of pine 
2. Eastern box turtles
3. The golden sun setting through a forest
4. Violets in a field
5. When a favorite song comes on the radio
Why do I love these things? What emotions do they conjure? What makes them wonderful? It’s a great conversation to get to know someone, but it’s also a great writing project to put into words what it feels like to come upon a blanket of violets in a meadow or a turtle half hidden by a log. And why love the smell of pine? And why love singing to a familiar song? 
I wonder who else loves these thing, and I wonder who loves entirely different things but for perhaps the same reason. If we talked about it, we’d surely stumble upon beauty, mystery, praise, and a longing for home. 
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A Place Prepared

Today I’m reminded and comforted by the great promise from John 14 that Jesus goes and prepares a place for us. One day, we shall experience this prepared place–this dwelling made for us by God’s own hand. 

I grew up in a lovely home where each room was specially prepared to delight and comfort the inhabitant right down to the gardenia scent. Guests in our home enjoyed lavish textures and delicious treats often prepared days in advance. When I would return from college or later with my husband and new family, we’d find special cookies and presents amid lit candles and music. 
I always knew special preparations were happening in anticipation of our arrival. 
I think about Jesus preparing a special place that’s beyond what I could hope for or imagine. I think about Him being there most of all. How incredible and comforting to know we have a place prepared!
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Nourished

I’m nourished the Southern way: fried okra, fried chicken, butter beans, sweetest sweet corn, sliced tomatoes, sweet tea, and a trip to Dairy Queen for dessert. 

Friends, family, a lake, dragonflies: nourished indeed. 
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Remembering Resonance

This morning I see a blue jay dive for a locust. I remembered the extraordinary discovery of the resonance chamber inside the locust. Enjoy:

An Extraordinary Find: The Secret Resonance Chamber

This morning, my youngest finds the shed exoskeleton of a cicada. She can hardly believe it. She’s heard the news about the seventeen year wait for such insects to emerge. She’s heard their songs–haunting, loud, and strange–across the landscape. But she’s never seen one.


We examine the abandoned shell and marvel at the tiny hole by which the cicada exited. Such an interesting insect!

We talk about that distinct cicada sound (listen in this video), and I learn that it’s actually one of the loudest of insect-producing sounds. But how? We discover that the hollow inside of the cicada’s abdomen acts like a resonance chamber to amplify that song.

“What’s a resonance chamber?” she asks.

The very term delights me. It’s an enclosed space where sound waves combine, reinforce, and intensify one another. And it’s all happening inside that little insect. I begin to think about the space inside of me. 

Just the other evening, a dear friend talked about her “mind space” and whether or not she makes room for lovely, noble, and pure thoughts. We talked about godly thinking that we allow to occupy our spacious minds.

It’s like my own resonance chamber up in here. In the enclosed space of this life, I want to allow the Good, the Noble, the Lovely, and the Pure to combine, reinforce, and intensify. And I want the resulting music to be as loud and invasive as the cicada’s song. Against a complacent and compromising culture, I let another song resonate, haunt, and confront.

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Doors to Blessing

This morning I read an interesting insight from Prayers Over Our Children. The author writes to God:

“Your promises are great … but we must each learn the doors we must walk through in order to receive them.”

Some doors surely look like entryways into dungeons. Some look strange and confusing. But perhaps this is the door for blessing. 
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In a Calm

My husband stops every few minutes as he’s reading David McCullough’s new book, The Wright Brothers. 

He stops to share quotes here and there. The first one is from Wilbur Wright: “No bird soars in a calm.”
Yes, without the calm, we soar best. 
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To the Stars

We’re driving through Kansas, and I learn the state motto: Ad astra per aspera.

It means “through hardship to the stars” or, better, “a rough road leads to the stars.”
A rough road leads to the stars. 


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