All posts tagged: change

The Advent Fulfilled: My Prayer This Christmas

“It’s a scary thing to pray for someone to recognize her own need for Jesus,” she confided, “Because you don’t really know what God might allow to bring that about.” I nodded. I agree. And I know from personal experience that it’s not enough to “be on good terms with God”. It’s a comfortable place, the good-terms-position, because it relies on the grace found in the name of Jesus Christ while denying the requisite of the shedding of his blood. It relies on the good nature of God while ignoring his justice. It relies on the morality of ones’ actions and dismisses the whole of the person Immanuel. Because however it happened, whatever it took to place the person of God into a crying, suckling, messy human baby, it didn’t happen so that we could keep grace in our back pockets and face the day to day according to our own wills. God himself submitted his will to the necessary, the vile, the reproachable so that I can have the freedom to choose or deny …

What Clips Your Wings? {or, yelling at God}

What clips your wings? My youngest boy brought home an application to be a class representative in student body government, his first foray into leadership, politics, into submitting himself to the popular vote. The form says: List in this box text that describes why you should be considered for student leadership. His answers are adorable. But more than the cuteness of a nine-year-old stretching his wings in the confidence of his own flight is the profundity of his confidence. He is not tinged by doubt, he is untethered by past failure; his future is abounding in hope and choice and greatness. He lists his achievements  (in his best handwriting) and doesn’t see them as small, but sees them as toeholds and handholds to climbing higher. “I get to be line leader”; “I almost always turn in all my work on time”; “I am kind”. He is putting himself out there, testing the lift and strength of his confidence. The class votes next week on whom they’ll choose to represent them. And he may fail. A …

When Walls Fall {Thoughts on Change}

The rubble is everywhere.  The dust of it clings to my shoes and hangs in the air and sticks in my throat. I sip brown coffee, the way I like it rich with cream, and survey the destruction. I’m excited. The walls that unnecessarily stood around the living room are gone and the room in which I sit, though strewn with the debris of demolition and pizza boxes and a stray lego or two, is wide open, filled with light and free of obstruction. Why we decided now was the perfect jumping-in point, I’ll never know, but it seemed like the right time to yank out the tattered carpet and remove the barrier walls. This change is something we’ve wanted since we moved in over a decade ago. “Wouldn’t it be nice if this space was open?” “Does this wall serve any purpose besides holding a light switch?” We asked these questions for years, but left the project untouched until now. Because change is messy. Change is destructive and chaotic and all-consuming. Change is in …

How Recycling Got Me to Africa

It all started with recycling. And it led to a trip to Africa. Yes, as in paper/glass/plastics curbside recycling. And yes, as in Africa, the continent. One day my husband announced, “Honey, we can’t change everything. And I know we aren’t going to save the planet or anything, but we can do little things differently and be more responsible for our choices.” We never recycled before, and then we started to. Beginning that week, we began using our blue bin, the one the garbage company had issued for recycling actually for that purpose. It had held balls in the garage, potting soil in the garden and snow during the winter when the kids wanted to make a snow-fort. But it had never been placed street-side on garbage day. Then, one week, it was. And that little change, that decision announced one day, became habit. What we were unaware of, as we were living our average western lives working and eating and recycling, taking the kids to dance, going to the gym and to the park, …

Eight Easy Prayers {That just might change everything}

It’s a wonderful thing to devote time to prayer, you know, the kind of prayer that drops me to my knees in a  face-to-the-floor session that changes me. But today I’m going to try to pray these eight little prayers. They are simple, short and maybe if we all tried this in one single day, perhaps the most effective prayer experiment ever: Forgive me. Help me to forgive. Thank you. Help me to thank you more. Show me ways to share Jesus. Make me a blessing to someone today. Give me love. Show me ways to give that love away. That’s all for today. Just those simple all-in-one-breath prayers, all day. {Feel free to print and put on your mirror, dashboard, wherever and join me!}