The Day We Were Leo Tolstoy and Indiana Jones {digging through depression}

“Come see the hole I’m digging!” Nikko burst through the back door while the pasta boiled and steamed on the stove.

“A hole?”

“Yeah, I’m digging holes! It’s so much fun! I feel so accomplished.”

I broke from the task of making dinner and walked to our side-yard, a junky, unseen section of the property neglected these past thirteen years.

Indeed, he was digging holes! Just near the solitary pine tree, Nikko had excavated twin tunnels about two-feet wide and two-feet deep! A pile of rocks lay to the left and a pile of dirt to the right.

“Wow! You are digging holes! You weren’t kidding!”

“Yep,” his eyes flickered joyfully as he spoke, “And I’ve found these rocks. Aren’t they great? I’m going to wash them and study them. Some have mica in them, and I think this one is from a volcano.”

He picked up the dirt-covered stones and turned them in his hands, returned them to the pile and picked up the old shovel.

“I’m going to keep digging. I like to work. I like finding rocks that particularly amaze me.” Continue reading

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When God’s Heart Broke: The Significance of the Sacrifice

So I’ve been thinking about that veil.

I grew up hearing the King James Version: Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom—Matthew 27:50-51. That veil—thick as it was shrouding the holiest place—was rent in two.

A brightness hovered over the ark of the covenant, the searing fire, Isaiah’s fire, and shone off of the skin of the many winged cherubim when he declared – I am a sinner! That holy and dangerous light remained curtained for centuries. God chose to keep his celestial, cellular, immeasurable power behind a mere cloth.

A strange word to my modern ears, this “rent”. It sounds to me like wrestle and render. No one uses it anymore. We say tear, slash, rip. All single-syllable actions.

To “rent in twain” seems a violent action, a wrestling take-down, a heated conflict, a sword-fight. A removal. I know the veil was made thick and strong to keep the power contained, unseen. It makes sense that it would take some force to rent it.

But when Easter rolls around each year, no one speaks of the veil.

We speak of the Passion of Christ, we speak of the betrayal and beating and of the nails, of Mary’s morning walk and a gardener who spoke her name and opened her eyes, of new life and a fresh start…but of the veil? Rarely, if ever.

And yet, the veil’s rending is everything. Continue reading

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Can I Shine for Jesus When my Dog Poops on the Floor? {-My Messy Beautiful}

 

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My dogs pooped in the hall. Both of them.

My cat puked in the laundry room.

I argued with my daughter.

I used bad words in said argument.

I didn’t wash my face last night.

I let my kids eat pop tarts.

I ate two desserts after dinner.

I’m having a hard time forgiving someone.

I fear I’m losing a friend and I’m not losing weight.

In fact I think I gained weight last week.

I’m a little fearful of what the future holds.

I let insecurity get the best of me.

I’ve said the word stupid about 40 times today (remember the dogs?).

I’ve already ranted and it’s not yet noon.

Since early this morning, I’ve worked on the same sentence over and again in my head and it’s just beginning to make sense:

Let your your light shine bright before men,

not so that they can better see you,

but so that they can better see the Light 

that cannot dim in storm or shadow or sorrow or

even in the fog of mediocrity,

that others may see the right path for their steps to follow

because you were beside them…shining a little light. Continue reading

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If I’m Lucky To Be Alive, Well, I’m Screwed

Is it luck?

People tell me I’m lucky. I hear it regularly.

I’m lucky to be here, lucky to be alive, lucky to be walking.

www.alyssasantos.com

And it sort of makes me chuckle, because they never say I’m lucky to have my insides squashed and rearranged, or that I’m lucky to have had a titanium rod drilled through my leg bone, removed and another, bigger rod rammed through the same place. They never tell me that I’m lucky to have lost four days of my life while my family wondered and prayed and hoped for my survival. They never tell me that I’m lucky my kids faced the real possibility of losing their mom. They never tell me I’m lucky I was in desperate pain for months and unable to perform any normal tasks in my role as mom and wife.

But yeah, I get all the lucky breaks.

Others may see the results, me walking and living and enjoying life, and praise the unseen good-luck fairy.

I know the process of my pain, and therefore praise God. Tweet this!

Sometimes people don’t want to credit God for a dramatic rescue. They say things like, “It wasn’t God who stopped on the highway and saved you – it was men and women – people. If it weren’t for those people—”

Others can’t finish the sentence. But I can: If it weren’t for those people, I’d be dead. Continue reading

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The 1 Prayer You Need To Ask When Your World Goes Dark

1 Question to Ask When Your World Goes Dark | http://www.alyssasantos.com

photo by kristy

What can man do to me?

Yeah, that.

A rhetorical question for the timid.

David asks it in the middle of a song, in the middle of describing the slanderous and wily ways his enemies had turned on him.

What can man do to me?

I whispered it in the dark, wondering if man could take away my house, my security, the place we call home, because I knew they could.

I yelled it into the open air when our pastor’s lies mounted into a pile of confusion so large that it destroyed his church, leaving his flock scattered and wounded.

I cried it alone on nighttime walks when people who loved me, didn’t anymore. They didn’t want me around. The wholesale rejection of intimate friends and relations bruised me so deeply that my breath came in jagged.

I remembered these six words in a morphine fog, as the machines that drained fluid from my lung pumped its whooshing message into my thoughts.

What can man do to me?

Turns out, a whole heckuva lot. Continue reading

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