Category Archives: Life & Faith
Well, I finally decided to give Periscope a go. And…
It was so fun! What a treat to be able to talk to you all live where you can ask questions and interact and it’s all FREE! Oh technology, you are such a gift. Anyway, my first go round was a miss. My video replay didn’t work (there was no volume and I was sideways), so I did an encore of my first little talk and the replay worked! Yay! You can watch below!
5 Ways to Bring Relief To Your Weary Bones
P.S. There are a few rude comments. Just ignore them! We are blocking as much as we can!
With my dear Sally, not being profound, but being profoundly silly!
Oh my goodness.
Sally just dropped some mad wisdom on me today and I wanted to share it with all of you out there who have small children or homeschool or have limited time and brain capacity in this season.
You have your whole lifetime to be profound. (tweet that)
Let me give you the context.
I was talking to Sally on the phone about edits and book writing and I was lamenting to her that I just feel like I don’t have the time for real depth. She told me that you can’t give yourself well when you give to too many things, and to let my season be what it is. “You have your whole life to be profound.”
And there it is, the words I didn’t know I needed to hear. It’s okay that I can’t give myself to deep, profound book writing/editing right now, I just don’t have the time or capacity. I’m not lazy or crazy or anything else, I’m just occupied.
Anyway, I just wanted to share that in case any of you needed to hear it.
Love to you today, SM
P.S. Sally has a new podcast called At Home with Sally! You can check it out here!
Abraham and the Three Angels by Rembrandt
Let’s talk about Abraham.
That chosen man God called to become a father of a nation, a man of blessing, of promise. That man, that righteous by faith man, he made some, uh, mistakes in his time.
Remember the time he told his wife to pretend she was his sister so the Egyptians wouldn’t kill him, and Pharaoh went and made her his wife? And then he did the same thing with at a later date. Incidentally, the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. Abraham’s son Isaac did the exact same thing with his wife Rebekah.
Remember also when he listened to his wife and took her maid, Hagar, into his bed so she would conceive a child for him and Sarah? That didn’t turn out so well.
Oh but Abraham was faithful, even if he was fully human and prone to take matters into his own hands. And he loved the Lord, and He eventually stopped questioning the promises of God and just obeyed wholeheartedly, trusting Him completely. And you know, the scripture says that Abraham, “breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life.”
He died satisfied.
Abraham messed up in some big ways, ways that have had lasting consequences to this day, but yet, he died satisfied with his life.
His sins didn’t define him, his faithfulness did.
Let’s talk a little bit more about what this all means for all of us.
Read the rest over at (in)courage today.
With love, SM
Today’s post is from my friend Emily, who is dear and humble and who writes just such lovely words (which you can find more of in her beautiful new book, Making it Home). I think you’ll really like this one…
“Are you scared, Mom?”
Auntie Susan is gone now, the hair all swept up and Trent’s sisters laying their boys down for a nap. I am in the kitchen with Marge, and we’ve been visiting a lot these days because her chemo will start soon, and she’ll be living in the city with the girls.
Marge is taking dishes out of the dishwasher; the tea kettle on because we always have coffee after supper and Aiden watching Flintstones with Opa on his mattress in the living room.
Marge turns to me. She is young, only fifty two, Harvey eight years her senior, and she is slim and strong with bright eyes and a quick smile. Before she got married at eighteen, she used to barrel race and goat tie in the rodeo.
“No, I’m not scared,” she says. “Just sad, because, well, I won’t be home to take care of Harvey and you know, Emily,” and she pauses here, looks over at her husband who’s fixing the bulb that’s burned out and he’ll fix anything she asks him to, and some days he brings in clusters of wildflowers from the field for her. And there have been two times her in life when he’s made her tea and toast—back when she was pregnant and in a few months from now, when she’s going through chemo.
“He’s my ministry. He always has been. The kids are important too of course, but I have always felt my first calling is to serve my husband.”
She says this with a smile, even as she bends and continues to unload the dishwasher.
I want to bend and serve this way.
But I’ve been angry so long.
At men mostly, and I was the little girl who would watch her dad talking to everyone at church, laughing with them, wondering what they had that she didn’t. Because the laughter stayed at church. Dad slipped straight to his desk at home, and I would knock timidly at his door and he’d sigh, push up his glasses and ask what I wanted. He was about God’s business and I was in the way.
And it’s hard to call God father.
Because the little girl in me still needs her Dad to look up from his desk and see her.
And Marge talks about serving Harvey like it’s something holy and privileged, and I can only swallow and look away.
There are days when I weep for the unraveling. The clothesline an endless string of diapers and baby sleepers and Trent and I arguing over how to properly pin a shirt and then Aiden falls on Kasher and it takes everything in me to keep my voice calm for the sadness in his tiny face. Because he didn’t mean to hurt his baby brother.
There is so much sadness to love, and it’s so easy to hurt the one who holds you. To squeeze too tight, or to let go too soon, and I escape into the garden Marge helped me plant, the one in the corner of the house with poppies and daisies and sweet peas, a quiet windless place where the stems grow tall and strong. And I can be alone, for just awhile.
And it’s there, unraveling with the weeds that I remember them. The five children Trenton pointed out to me on Sunday, the ones trailing behind their father into church, their backs bent, hands in pockets.
They’d all just lost their mother. A sudden death, a brain aneurism. And I’d stared, never having seen them before. And somehow they walked into church, and they shook the hands of the Sunday greeters and they made it to the pew where they’d sat weeks earlier grieving the loss of the one who gave them life.
That’s all I needed to turn my feet back towards the house, back into the arms of my husband and my children, for I would fold a thousand diapers just to hold my loved ones another hour.
This is love, isn’t it? With all of its grief, with all of its clotheslines and potty-training and wedded misunderstanding.
And this is what’s worth living and dying for.
“There’s so little time,” Marge tells me. “I just don’t want to waste it.”
Marge has cancer but she’s also got more life than most of us.
In ancient times, stars were used as navigational guides, to lead people home. Stars are balls of fire which break off and become brighter in the breaking.
Marge is brighter for the breaking. And her light is leading me home.
This excerpt is taken from Emily Wierenga’s new memoir (the sequel to ATLAS GIRL), Making It Home: Finding My Way to Peace, Identity and Purpose. Order HERE.
What does it mean to be a woman and to make a home? Does it mean homeschooling children or going to the office every day? Cooking gourmet meals and making Pinterest-worthy home décor? In Making It Home: Finding My Way to Peace, Identity, and Purpose, author and blogger Emily Wierenga takes readers on an unconventional journey through marriage, miscarriage, foster parenting and the daily struggle of longing to be known, inviting them into a quest for identity in the midst of life’s daily interruptions. Get your copy HERE. Proceeds benefit Emily’s non-profit, The Lulu Tree.
Get FREE downloadable chapters from Making It Home HERE.
Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, columnist, artist, author, founder of The Lulu Tree and blogger at www.emilywierenga.com. She is the author of six books including the travel memoir Atlas Girl and speaks regularly about her journey with anorexia. She lives in Alberta, Canada, with her husband, Trenton, and their children. For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com.
Two days ago I lost it.
I mean I was an emotional wreck; crazy town stuff. I was impatient with my kids, everything irritated me, I talked unkindly, and then I just cried. And cried.
And my kids were all, “What is wrong with you?”
And then I felt guilty for crying in front of them. Also, pretty sure they think I’m a little unhinged because I went from emotional wreck crying to praising God crying when we put on our new Francesca Battistelli album. There was just a whole mixed bag of crying going on, interspersed with, “I’m going to be okay” and “I’m so sorry you guys for being so grumpy today” and, “This song just so speaks to my soul right now.”
After the kids were tucked into bed and apologies were given, again, I went to my room where my next unsuspecting victim was going over work stuff for the next day.
My poor, dear husband. Let’s just say all my praising God and apologies went out the window. Then, once he fell asleep, I cried some more. I prayed. I knew what was going on. I was just so tired.
I have been working towards shutting down most outside work in my life so I can focus on where God has been gently guiding me towards, my home and local community, but it takes time. And after the book launch I was completely spent. Book launches now days are crazy town in and of themselves. And then the course launch, which I am so excited about (and which was filmed a couple months before the book launch), and all the work and vulnerability and oh yea preparing to homeschool and I just fell apart. I had too. As Sally always says to me, “What goes up must come down.” I was bound to have a breakdown.
So there I am, crying in the dark, and I get a message from my angel friend Amy, who knew I was just worn out. She begins to tell me about the Palm tree.
She tells me that Palm trees thrive where there are fiercer winds because it causes their roots to grow stronger.
She tells me I will grow stronger, my roots growing firm and steady, through all of this.
And than after she serves my soul through her words, she offers to take my kids for the day. I accept her offer. She shows up at my house at 8:30 the next morning, hands me flowers and a candle, gives me a smile and hug, and off they go.
Amy has five kids, ages 2-10. And she still took my kids.
But let me tell you something about Amy, who you might remember from A Night to Breathe. She is one of the most steady-souled people I know. She easy going and laughter is always on her lips. She can crack a joke that has you rolling one minute, and is with you in deep conversation the next. But it’s her steadiness that draws me in. I think you get that kind of peaceful, steady soul when you go through the fierce wind, and I don’t mean the book launch, doing too much kind. I mean the real winds of life.
See Amy has done through several storms. She lost her home in Katrina, and right after giving birth, she lost her mama unexpectedly. And she’s lost babies in her womb, and she’s sat in hospital’s trying to take care of another one who was very sick.
She is a Palm tree.
And it is evident that through her deep pain and loss and fierce wind, she stayed close to the steady One. She learned to move and breathe with His steady heartbeat. Slow and steady, one step, one breath at a time.
And now I see a woman who has strong roots and steady soul.
So when Amy tells me in her calm and soothing voice that I’m going to grow stronger through the pressure and vulnerability, I believe her.
And I will cry and praise and mess up and get up, and will be crazy town sometimes, but my soul will be steady, because these weak roots of mine are intermingled with the strong roots of my God, and it is with His strength that I keep on.
Whatever you’re going through, whatever pain or winds you’re experiencing, hang onto Him and know, your roots are growing strong and beautiful.
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree…” Psalm 92:12