manna: still miracle

At 7:39 am on Sunday morning I’m sitting in the plaid chair in the corner of our den.

My eyes and throat are scratchy from a good cry the night before. After a week of early starts and hurt feelings and very public tantrums and new things and failure feelings, a stubbed toe and a broken dryer brought everything spilling out.

Across from me my two youngest niblets of people strum a play guitar with two strings, singing made up songs about morning and games and siblings.

At exactly 7:40 am, the sun just barely peeks over the building across the street and all of the sudden morning light streams bright and straight through our little house. Right from one end to the other.

crookedframe

“Mama! The air is green and yellow,” my girl exclaims with eyebrows sky high and brown eyes shimmer shining. It is and it settles on that one crooked frame and the scraps from handmade heart-shaped paper chains scattered across my grandmother’s fancy table.

scraps

Just the night before in my sniffly mess, through gritty entitled teeth and pumping fists, I had wondered aloud. “Do you think? Do you really think that on the 39th day the Israelites believed that manna was still miraculous?” My husband sat graciously taking it in. “No,” he said.

But it didn’t change anything. And it doesn’t change anything. Manna was still miracle. On the first day. On the last day. After months or after years, it’s still the same. Daily bread is still enough and still peck marked by grace and by power.

This is how change starts. How I can finally start to live like truth really is true. Letting grace lead me to see that even if it has been days or months or years, this daily living and waiting? It is still good and perfect and full of miracle and full of God’s unchanging and extravagant love.

a hopeful heart.

pink

Seventh grade brought bouffant bangs and embarrassing boy stories. Eighth grade brought braces and a permanent.

Ninth grade? By ninth grade I had tamed the frizz and the sky high bangs. I went for a simple bob with a straight fringe in the front. Ninth grade was also the year of my favorite outfit. I had graduated to shopping at Express and that year I had purchased a hot pink pencil skirt. I paired it with a cobalt blue scoop neck t-shirt, tucked in. Through the belt loops? I would string one of those mexican woven belts, the kind that you could tie in a pretty knot with braided tassels hanging down.

I took my yearbook picture in that cobalt blue shirt. I know that I know that just below the frame is my beloved pink skirt. Blue t-shirt. Wispy bangs. Curly bob. Freckled nose. Braces. Hopeful heart.

From the first time I saw plaid skirts and knee high socks and preppy blazers splattered across a fall Seventeen spread, I’d always believed that clothes had the power of story, that they could make something out of nothing.

It’s not true, though. Meaningful, lasting, fellowship inducing beauty comes from the inside. But when what’s inside is incredibly frail and insecure and limited by self? You distract.

This year I’ve done a good bit of hard heart work, the kind of work that rubs grace all over those inward places. No more distracting.

I challenged myself to wait: never to buy the first time I saw that perfect shirt unless it had been on my list for a long time. I avoided Target because even though I already have at least ten cardigans if I see a pink and gray striped boyfriend cardigan for fifteen dollars something happens in my head and all of the sudden I cannot live without it even though I am five foot one and a boyfriend cardigan comes down below my knees. I’ll always love Target. I will. I’m just starting to question if I need everything they tell me I need right when they tell me I need it. I’ve become the ultimate skeptic when it comes to colored denim.

Just the other day? I took the experiment to a new level. There was that bubble gum pink and soft gray striped boyfriend cardigan. I wanted it. They even had it in mustard yellow, which i double heart. But i already have ten cardigans. Ten. That’s two work weeks with no repeats. Weekends don’t count.

So. I walked away and I thought about my friend, my friend who just finished a week of something new. She had been nervous, getting ready months in advance. This friend? She’s awesome and she knows that you cannot find a better snack in this world than a cold coca cola and a handful of cheez-its.

I bought the coca cola and I bought the cheez-its and all the other random things I had actually come for. I got right in my car and I drove to her house. The whole way? The biggest smile I could muster spread across my face. I was giddy.

Sometimes it feels good to say no just so that you can say yes to something else. To give instead of get. To stop distracting and start loving.

mountain living + a guest post

moutnainview

Last week looked like this: stare at computer, stare at computer, fiddle with code, stare at computer, think I’ve messed everything up, cry, fix it, stare at computer. But! I finally got this little space all spiffied up.

And, then? We ran off to the mountains. Every morning we wake up to that view rightupthere. It’s hard to put words around it. We’ve been playing in the yard and scrambling off to waterfalls and it’s been good. Also, I’ve been making my family fill out surveys because I am a dork and I am obsessed with being intentional right now.

Vacation always showcases little life truths. For example, if you are an annoyingly incurable early bird, guess what you grow up? Early birds. They can’t help it even if you do keep them up extra special late. They are not programmed to let the morning go by. So we have been enjoying the beautiful early mornings here and my little people have gotten to see the sun rise over the mountain a few times. That’s pretty awesome.

Vacation also brings to light some of the best familial relating and, well, some places where I’ve been off my game a little. The best part is that Tom is here and it is helpful and refreshing to let him remind me how to work through problems without getting emotional. Because I always do. And then there are the times where the brother-sister thing is just grand. Like holding hands and helping climb rocks and playing duck duck goose on the back deck and worrying over one another. That’s pretty awesome, too.

Also? I have taken approximately 300 pictures. So. I’ll have lots to share when I get back.

In the meantime, I’ve written a post for my friend Erin, over at Blue Eyed Bride. Erin and I have been going to the same church for years and living within a mile of each other and just met this summer. But I’m so glad we did. She’s got a sweet heart to use her blog in a meaningful way and is such an encouragement to me. I’m more than thankful to be able to share a bit more of my heart over there.

Here’s a snippet:

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Just the other day, I pulled into a Starbucks parking lot, whipped out my phone and took a picture of the sky. That’s right. On a busy suburban road, right across the street from the mall where every sixteen year old in the vicinity probably rolled her eyes at me. Next it will be tube socks up to my knees and fanny packs. We might need to call the Grandma police.

But. The thing is it was beautiful and I needed to remember it. Because it was perfect.

Perfect is something that has haunted me much of my adult life.

Read the rest right over here.

fresh + new.

afternoonlightedit

On Sunday morning I was sitting in the wooden pew at church. Tucked up under my husband’s arm and soaking up song and word and Truth.

Are you allowing your position to be used for redemption?

That question. It sailed across that room and made a roost of my heart.

It’s my hope for this space. That you’ll find a fresh spring of grace to you and freedom to you and life to you. Not for me. But for Him.

I pray that God’s goodness and grace flow through this space. It’s really just the same but with new skin. I’ll write about my life and the treasures He keeps hiding in it.

And, oh man, do I like you all. So thank you. Thank you for sharing this treasure hunt with me.

If you are an email reader? I’ve got a link rightupthere and you’ll get the posts just the way you always did. Or you can click right here.

Ready. Set. Go. :).