Jun 292016

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness..” John 1:4-5a

“Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.” Hebrews 3:1

“Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” Philipphians 2:15

Summer, summer, summer time!  I cannot get enough of the fact that I can go outside.  My kids can go outside.  Our dog can go outside.  But will we?  There’s the real question.  And here is the real issue with it all.  Where I now see the error of my ways-My complaining occurs rain or shine.  Winter means complaining we can’t go outside because it’s too  wet.  Summer means complaining we can’t go outside because it’s too hot.  So I publicly apologize to my Creator God who truly blessed me to live in such green beauty as Oregon and resolve not to complain.  But to make a family new years resolution in June instead of January- Be.  Outside.  And.  Enjoy.

In efforts to keep with our June resolution me and my crew have become VBS (vacation bible school)/camp hoppers.  Church programs are fabulous for providing outdoor activities for kids and I’ve got summer camp flyers comin out my ears, so we are signed up and primed up to be-Playin’, learnin’, sprayin’, laughin’, kickin’, climbin’, runnin’, jumpin’, and swimmin’ in.  the.  sun.  And we will be lovin’ every minute of it mind you.

Well, except for the not so stellar minutes which occurred 2 days ago at our current VBS sensation.

I got my middle, “live for the social”, daughter checked in in about 5 seconds and moved to check in my oldest.  We wanted her to be in a group with her older cousin so she was in with 3rd graders instead of 2nd graders.  The big kids.  Literally.  As I walked my Lucy over to her group she truly was “Lucy Little” from the book “The Little’s”.  There were 7 boys more than a foot taller and 2 girls right in there as well.  I put on my “Mom evaluating/detective hat” and made the 2 second conclusion to atleast survey the land while my thinker, analyzer, slow to warm up artist daughter entered this scene.

The previous 3rd grade teacher extrovert leader started things with a bang.  “Everyone tell your name and tell one thing you like!”She yelled out in sing song form.  And then it began, one boy blurted, “Ryan and I get to go swimming at my grandma’s pool!”  Another right after from across the circle proclaimed, “I have two dogs!”  (No name to be spoken of, but this seemed to be how the game was played.  And how it continued for the next 5 minutes.  Yell out or miss out.)  As I watched the energetic one’s saying 5 or more fun facts and my daughter being the only one not having spoken, my Mama heart was in a wounded, sad state. And then my Lucy motioned me over and whispered to me her first comment which did in fact break my already wounded Mama heart.

“Mama, I don’t think anybody see’s me”, Lucy stated with her head down.  And yep, that comment pretty much took me down.  I proceeded to try to have a “it’s going to be okay, let me make things better” talk with her about the fact that all these kids were older and therefore bigger and that she would be bigger when she is that age a year from now.  And then made sure to tell the group leader her age as well.  And as I was making sure the leader “saw” my daughter, a mini miracle moment happened.  The blonde girl from across the circle said, “Lucy, we haven’t heard what you like yet!  What do you like to do?”  And then the only other girl in the group didn’t miss a beat and grabbed my “low to the floor” daughter’s hand and said, “Hey, since we are the only girls, come over here by us and we want to show you a special game!”  (Okay, are you girls trying to make a grown woman cry profusely in a random church parking lot?!)

And at that point I knew I could leave.  Lucy.  Was.  Seen.  Lucy, who’s name means “Light” had  the sun and THE Son shining on her.

Even in her smallness.  Quietness.  Seemingly helplessness.  And  darkness.  These girls were the light and love of Jesus to Lucy.  And we need to get this- this is how our good Father works people!

He shines on you with His Son, like the sun, through the light and love of His Spirit’s work in other’s.  He see’s you.  He see’s me.  And We.  Are.  Shining.  With.  Love.

So in your day today, when you feel worn out and weary.  Come to Jesus.  He see’s you.  When you are angry at your kids and have no patience left.  Come to Jesus.  He see’s you.  When it seems everyone else around you is more talented, more beautiful, more intelligent, better disciplined, better at cooking/housekeeping/gardening, has more courage, has more creativity, has more money, is “Mom of the year”, is “Wife of the year”, “Jesus follower of the year”,  and has the “Job of the Year”, do one thing.  Come to Jesus.  He see’s you.

You are never to0 small.  Never too weak.  Never too forgotten.  Never so disobedient.  Never so disconnected.  Never so alone.  Then to be seen.  To be loved.  To be shined upon.  By our heavenly Father.  He is light.  And He is life.

What do you do you feel nobody see’s you?

1-Find a place to go without distractions for a little while (with kids it’s hard, but i am not below turning on a movie to have some needed time-I know I am a better Mom when I take time away from my kids to meet with Jesus.) 

2-Open God’s true Word (truthfully it doesn’t matter where in the Bible you open, just open it, because His Word is living and active and will speak to what you need) and ask our heavenly Father to speak to your heart about your true identity as His daughter.

3- Be open to receiving what God’s Word says and be.loved. in this quiet moment.

be seen.  be loved.  Be light.  Today.





© 2012 Standing on Peace

Jun 082016

And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.  Matthew 10:42
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.  Acts 20:35

My daughter gave me some perspective this week.  (Why is it my kids are continually teaching me the love of Jesus, I am pretty sure that me, the parent is supposed to be the one imparting all wisdom.  And yet, doesn’t seem to be the case much of the time as I have to continually swallow yucky stuff on a regular basis, like taking cough medicine when I have to swallow my pride, my selfishness, my lack of patience and my kids are the one’s feeding it to me.  Awesome, Lord.) 

Anyway, my oldest daughter who is 7 told me a story which brought tears to my eyes.  She told me she was sitting as usual in the 1st grade line in the gym waiting for their teacher to bring them to their class to start the day.  She said a boy was sitting by her and she overheard him say to someone else that he didn’t have a snack. She said, “Mom, I felt bad for him.  I knew he would feel bad in class when he had nothing to eat and everyone else was eating something.”  She continued by saying, “So I gave him my snack.  And I gave him the cheese pretzel snack.  Not the other cheese stick and meat stick one.”  And right about here is when the tears filled my eyes with overwhelming Jesus love I just witnessed in my daughter.   (you see, you have to know the backstory to understand what a selfless act this truly was.

The truth was that as we were hurridly trying to get out the door that morning my daughter requested cheese pretzels for one of her two snacks.  She doesn’t usually make requests, but I had splurged and purchased these pretzels as an end of the year treat.  She knew it.  Didn’t get them usually.  And wanted to make sure I didn’t forget to include these special ones. )  And so now you may get the tears response to the fact that she gave the cheese pretzels, in other words her best, her favorite, her “firstfruits” to the boy, (but ultimately to Jesus because we know scripture says, “what you do for the least of these you do for me”).  My daughter concluded her story by saying, “And you know what Mom.  He was SOOOOO happy.  And that made me SOOOO happy.”  And I replied with an addition of, “And it made your mama and Jesus SOOOO happy as well!”

So once again, Jesus taught me, through my daughter, that rejoicing happens in true generosity and selflessness.  My daughter could have had a very different response.  She could have not done anything in this situation.  She could have even been a little happy in the thought that she had a snack and he didn’t.  This being the delighting in evil thing we are looking at this week.  But instead she experienced rejoicing and many others did to as she acted upon The Truth in God’s Word which says as is written above:

Matthew 10:42
“And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

Acts 20:35
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

My daughter challenges me to give relentlessly-I see over and over the grace and gift of giving my daughter has from the Spirit.  It’s real hard to out give her and we have to simmer her down at times to not have her immediately go buy for someone once she receives a bit of money.  But I love this about her and she inspires me to be better because this is not one of my strengths/spiritual gifts.  And I love how we as the body of Christ are all given various gifts and as we work together we function real well to bring the love and light of Jesus to a hurting world.  I can even rejoice in this truth that we are not created the same, having the same gifts, and seeing the gifts God has given others should be a place of joy for His Kingdom not a place of depression or comparing.  Because I have been given gifts too, and so have you.  Going against our culture’s evil values of “greed, all out for me mindset” and taking God’s true word and acting upon it means joy.  For you.  For others.  And for our Father who see’s it all.



© 2012 Standing on Peace

May 252015

Do you sometimes get caught up in thinking your doing for God is what counts?  Does the being with God and loving/seeking His presence become simply a “side effect” of the primary mission to do for Him?  When all is stripped away.  All our spiritual giftings.  Good outreach services.  Times of praying and counseling others to Jesus.  Times of giving to those in need.  When ALL THE GOOD we have done and are doing is taken away.  Will our foundation still be rooted in loving God?  And are we okay with this being enough?  This question of “am I enough for you God?” is what the Lord has been answering for me today.  (A quick peak ahead to His answer to this question for each of us, His children, it’s always “Yes”.)

Self-seeking versus Kingdom seeking moment-#2-Serving by being This morning verse about the lilies of the field (Matthew 6:28) which are made by God and bringing glory to Him by simply “being”.  We are not of value to God by what we “do” for Him, we are of value to Him simply because we are His children.  Our primary job is to stay connected to Him.  Yep.  That’s it my friends.   And in a season of feeling incapable to perform any typical household/job/motherly duties, being homebound in pajama’s all day and with seemingly all spiritual giftings on the shelf, this truth from God’s word was LIFE to me.  As I did what I could do-be.  with.  my.  Father- I felt the Lord nudge me, saying, As you stay connected to me, you can pray for those I lay on your heart.  This was a new mission for me.  One in which I gladly took on, for a way to get beyond my “self”.

Later that day, I was reading through the chapter in Ephesians that included the “verse of the day” on my fabulous Bible Gateway phone app (I love this because I can read a scripture in multiple versions and have my bible with me wherever I go).  Many of the verses were lifegiving for me, but one took me completely off guard.  And I got giddy.  Because it was Holy Spirit birthed.  My brother’s name blinked on and off in my mind like one of those florescent Vacancy hotel signs as I was compelled to read and re read, and re read this particular verse.  My mission was clear-pray for my brother and extend to Him this lifegiving verse I believe God had for him.  Wow.  Praise God.  Prayer actually changes things.  Don’t ever by into Satan’s lie (one that I had begun to entertain) that “You are only useful to God when you are at full health, full energy, full spiritual ability.  Praying is just for those on the sidelines.”

My friends, we have bought into Satan’s lies that to be busy for God is to be with God.  We need more people to lean into loving God rather than loving the work for God.  We need more people to confidently step into the game in which praying without ceasing means winning the game.  We need more people to find deep rooted trust in God even when life’s circumstances are a mess.   We need more people to grasp in their entire being the TRUTH which is this-To receive true joy, freedom, peace and purpose in life is to focus on one mission- Being.  With.  God.

Let’s be with God today.  For that purpose alone.  Let’s allow Him to love our tattered, worn, people pleasing, control seeking selves.  Let’s allow Him to renew our minds with His perspective and refreshed, rest filled balm.  And as He does this, let’s throw our arms around Him in love.

Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin… Matthew 6:28b

What would you have to change in your life in order for “being with God” to take priority?




© 2012 Standing on Peace

Feb 172015

It was a typical morning, trying my best to put together a cute outfit, and preferably something different than the outfit from yesterday.  But in the midst of style thoughts, a decorative fixture in my room beckoned my attention as it never had before.  It was a cross.  One that had been hanging on our wall for over 6 years and I had never truly noticed it.  It wasn’t the intricate wood working, or artistic designs that I had my eyes fixed on.  It was the verse written on it.

It always protects, always, trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.  1 Corinthians 13:7-8a

It was if these words were being burned into my mind, heart and soul.  I began to think about and evaluate my current love odometer.  Do I do what I can to protect my daughter’s from harmful words/unkind actions of other’s?  Do I trust my husband?  Do I hope for the best when talking with my friends?  Do I continue to pray with perseverance, not just a one time prayer for a neighbor in need?  And do I do this ALWAYS, or just sometimes?  This is what we as believer’s in Jesus are called to, to love unconditionally.  ALWAYS.

I couldn’t get this scripture and evaluation of my current love odometer off the brain when I went for a run later in the day.  And so I continued to pray for God to work out this unfailing love in me.  His unfailing love in me.

God speaks to us in so many ways and He tends to speak to me through repetition.  Of a verse.  Or through giving me a physical example in nature or everyday living which is attached to a scripture.  His Voice is connected with His Word.  And He confirms His Voice through His Word.  And when I am bombarded with a specific scripture, theme, concept, word coming up again and again in my thoughts and heart, I recognize it is Him.  Leading me like a Shepherd.  And so here I am writing.  In response to His Voice.

I pulled up my Bible Gateway App on my phone for the scripture of the day as I typically do.  And wouldn’t you know, it was about this unfailing love I had been ever contemplating.  In fact it was simply a little further up in the 1 Corinthians 13 passage I had read on my bedroom cross.

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but always rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

As I continued to pray.  I felt confirmed in my Spirit to act upon this 1 Corinthians passage.  But how?  1 John 3:16,18 came to mind, This is how we know what love is:  Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brother’s and sister’s.  Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.  

So I counted the love attributes.  15.  This number wouldn’t leave the forefront of my mind.  My very first thought when contemplating the number 15 unfortunately brought up a season of struggle for me; “The Freshman 15”.  Freshman year in college.  Having to daily put on the will of steel in saying “no” to the donuts, hamburgers, and cookies galore.  It was a season of fear rooted in saying “no” to putting on weight in this season.

In contrast, what if instead of fearfully focusing on not “putting on” weight, I (spiritually speaking) “put on” love?  Yes.  Absolutely.  Putting on love is what we as believer’s are called to do (For Pete’s sake the 1st and 2nd greatest commandment Jesus even said in Mark 12:30-31 was to Love God and then love others).

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Colossians 3:12,14 (bold added)

So I am pumped up and compelled by the Spirit to focus/practice/live out one of the 15 love attributes (as described in 1 Corinthians 13) each week for the next 15 weeks ( fittingly launching this right after Feb 14th, the day of love).  And I am inviting you to join me for the “Love it up-Putting on 15 (love attributes) in 15 (2015)” challenge.  To love God and others.  And really do it.  In action and in truth.

 “Love it up-Putting on 15 in 15” Challenge Details:

1.  Pray for God to provide opportunities for you to practice putting on the designated love attribute of the week (I am praying for you too my friends!).

2.  Write down one or more specific situation(s) during the week in which God’s love through you was evident (Example- Could be an outward display: through giving to another or an encouraging word.  Or an inward restraint: of using self control to not express unkind words to another.)  Keep a “Love 15” journal and/or share your stories here online.  (I will also be posting my “Love 15” stories each week.)

3.  Meditate on 1 Corinthians 13 (read over each week, think about and talk to God about ways to practice loving others)

 Simple, right?  No.  But life changing, faith building, and joy instilling?  Yes!

So this is week 1.  Our first love attribute of 1 Corinthians 13 is LOVE IS PATIENT.  I am praying for you.  This week.   To have opportunities to practice patience in your work, family (kids, husband, parents, sister’s, brother’s), church, neighborhood, and with yourself and your God.



© 2012 Standing on Peace

Jan 282015

After I wrote yesterday on the struggle between my flesh and obedience to the Spirit, I had one of those “Smiling at God moments” in response to a gift from Him.  It’s this gift when somehow, in spite of all the work that needs to be done, children’s needs bellowing, and inner struggles your facing, God decides to give you a gift.  Not a tangible gift.  But a gift of His presence.  Saying, “I am here.  I know what you are facing.  Let me confirm my realness and love to you right now.”  And in this moment, all you can do is smile.

Everything about my squeezed in 20 min run was off.  My feet were barely able to perform a slow shuffle after being sick.  I was stopped by cars and buses more times than I believed possible.  The dark and fog combo felt claustrophobic.  My quiet time with the Lord was anything but quiet.  But I persisted to pull up my Bible Gateway app on my phone to read the scheduled Chapter Reading for the day.  And this was the highlighted verse:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.   Ephesians 6:12-13

Immediately as I read this verse, I smiled at God.  Why you ask?  Because in this very moment, without a doubt, this scripture was for no one else but me.  It was anything but coincidence.  It was the power of the presence of God.

God saw my wrestling with self discipline, concerned writings about my struggle with being obedient to my selfish flesh nature and Satan’s tactics to take us down.  Only minutes prior to this run.  And He orchestrated, through His living and active Word, this specific scripture to affirm me.  Care for me.  Confirm and validate my previous spiritual struggles.  Give me motivation to persevere in this battle against the enemy’s attacks.

You can’t help but smile when you recognize that the God of the universe see’s you.  So my prayer for you today, my friends, is that you would have a “Smiling at God moment” this week.  One where you say to yourself, “This verse was God speaking directly to me.”  “Wow, thank You for confirming your will to me.”  “I can’t believe You love me and see me.”

I commit to and am excited to pray for you, but there is an active role for you as well.  I challenge you to open and read your Bible,  God’s living and active Word this week.  You don’t have to have a Bible study to do it, for instance the Bible Gateway app on your phone gives you a verse of the day everyday, or the open the Bible and read whatever is in front of you method is one of my personal favorites.  Whatever method you choose doesn’t matter.

The point is this:  the God of the universe desires to affirm, care for, and love on you.  Today.  We are drawn by love for love.

And we can’t help but say, “Oh God, give me more of these gifts of love.”  And He says, with a smile, “Oh my child, there’s a lot more where that came from”.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you  James 4:8a



© 2012 Standing on Peace

Feb 042013

MY HUSBAND DREADS THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY.  FOR GOOD REASON. It is the month I put my princess tiara on and dream crazy big.  Not only does February include Valentines day, it’s also the month of my birthday.

What if my prince surprises me for my birthday with a romantic getaway to an exotic island and takes me dancing?  What if my prince puts rose peddles all over our home, writes and sings me a love song, and behind my back makes homemade Valentines cards for me with my girls?

The truth is, when February hits, my mind, heart, and attitude do a 180 degree shift. I draw into me.  I dwell on how tired I am.  Tired of giving.  Tired of me as a mother in which I am not thanked, affirmed or seeming to be valued.  Tired of me as a wife who feels more like the maid then the maiden.  Tired of listening to The Voice that says, take up your cross daily and follow me.  I instead choose to listen to the voice that says you deserve more than this, you have rights, so hold to them.

The problem comes when my prince can never seem to live up to my princess expectations.  Whatever he plans for my birthday or Valentines, it is never enough.

I must take my dreamy dreams into my own hands.  I pointedly share with my husband about my good friend’s  surprise massage she got for her birthday, I start my birthday countdown atleast one month in advance (bringing it up in conversation whenever possible), I plan my own party, and I make sure I make the choices for activities, lunch and dinners all month.

It is my turn to have my needs considered before everyone else. I should be served.  I am woman, hear me roar!

My meddling puts undo stress on the family and leads to unnecessary disagreements between my husband and I.  Result:  This princess is left feeling anything but pampered.

Bottom line:  I am selfish. (I am slow when it comes to my faults.  Thank goodness for a God of patience and grace.)   I hold to my rights.  I want to be served.

Our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  Phil 2:5-7

I want this February 2013 to be different.  I need to practice being a servant like Jesus.   To be selfless rather than selfish.  (Instead of thinking, what are you going to do for me?  I want to think, what can I do for you?)  To practice laying down my rights and trusting God to meet all my needs.  If my God can wash dirty, smelly feet, then I can cook, and clean, and be grateful doing it.

I am thankful for another year with a healthy body, my girls to snuggle, a loving husband, food to cook, clothes to wear, with friends to laugh with, with a blog to write on, and so much more.   So happy birthday to me!

I may not always be pampered as an earthly princess would be, but I can have joy, purpose and eternal rewards in serving as a daughter of the King.  I am spoiled beyond words.

Fittingly, the song “I will follow Christ” came on as I was in the middle of writing this post.  Coincidence, I think not!

I will wear the name of Jesus, I will give him ALL my RIGHTS

As for me no matter what the sacrifice

I will follow Christ

“And Christ’s love compels us…And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and was raised again.”  2 Cor 5:14a,15



© 2012 Standing on Peace

Jan 212013

There I was.  On the airplane.  Weeping uncontrollably.  The stewardess came to ask me if I wanted anything to drink.  I was a sight to see.  As I smeared the mascara from the middle to outside of my face, I blubbered out mid tears, “It’s this book. It got to me”.  (Humbling moments such as this one seem to find me often.)

It was the book, “Kisses from Katie”, by Katie Davis.  A Christmas present I received from my sister in law.  Little did I know the intense emotions I would fight back as I encountered the story of this young woman’s journey of obedience to God.  I tried to explain to my husband how Katie’s story moved me to tears.  (He still didn’t fully relate with my emotional self, but such is my life as a woman.)

When God spoke, Katie said “yes”-even when it was to go to Uganda instead of partaking in the American dream of going to college, getting married, and living in wealth.  Even when it was to adopt thirteen Ugandan children.  She lived with “spiritual richness in material poverty, versus living with spiritual poverty in a land of material wealth.”

How Katie’s faith caused me to re-evaluate my life for 2013:

  • She confirmed my heart for adoption. Katie explained, “The truth is that there are 143 million orphaned children and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases and the 8.5 million who work as child slaves, prostitutes or under other horrific conditions and the 2.3 million who live with HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children.  And though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 billion people on this earth proclaim to be Christians.  If only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left.  I have the freedom, the opportunity to do something about it.  The truth is that He loves these children just as He loves me, and now that I know, I am responsible.”
  • I had an introspection moment of seeing my own selfishness.  Do I truly love Jesus and others in my daily actions?  Am I roledmodeling a life like Jesus to my children? I pondered what deliberate ways we as a family could serve the poor and open up our home to others.  Katie’s words are, “I don’t always want to help other people.  There are certain days when I want to do what I need to do and keep moving.  But so often when we stop to be kind, when we don’t really want to, that’s when the sacrifice becomes most rewarding.”
  • She helped me understand that living life to the fullest was my choice. I want to live life rejecting fears, embracing risk, obeying God’s promptings throughout the day, and welcoming strangers into my home.
  • I recognized I can live with much less and give much more.  Holding loosely to earthly possessions and comforts in order to give more to those who are struggling to survive.
  • I have a new thankfulness and purpose in my motherhood.  “It is God’s work, that in bathing and clothing and serving children, we are truly being the hands and feet of Jesus.”

This is how we know what love is:  Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.  If anyone has material possessions and sees His brother in need but has no pity on Him, how can the love of God be in him?  Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 Jn 3:16-18



© 2012 Standing on Peace

Jan 152013

My sweet girl,

Today you turn four.  Four.  Your body is still so tiny, but your spirit is larger than life.  Reflecting an unhindered version we adults have mostly lost touch with.

Yesterday, your Mimi handed me a button that said, “Bearly 4 today!”  It’s the very button my daddy gave to me on my fourth birthday.  I wore the button on the lace collar of my floral, navy blue dress.  He took me to lunch, just the two of us, and I got to play on the playground while he looked on.  I felt so special.  Loved.  Adored.  To be on that date with just my dad.

Four is the first birthday I can vividly remember.  Four was the year our family moved into the house I most remember from my childhood.  Four was the year I became friends with Jesus.  Four was when I started a few important childhood friendships.

Four is a big deal my girl.

As if I didn’t believe it before: Every memory holds impact.  Every interaction shapes your character.  Every little thing that pours into you will eventually come out.

It is my prayer, on the harder days… the days when your faith falters, when your heart breaks, when you wonder your worth… you’ll remember your mama’s prayers for you.  That you’ll remember Jesus holds you close.

  • I pray your spirit will never be dampened.  That you will never allow others to smother the radiant light God has put inside of you.  That your joy, which makes your eyes sparkle, your dimple on your cheek to appear, your laughter to light up the darkest moment… will never be erased.  “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”. Matthew 5:16
  • I pray you will hold onto hope, keep it high as the heavens.  That you will believe life is worth living with everything you have.  No matter how faint your heart feels from circumstances, new beginnings are always possible.  Put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption”.  Psalm 130:7
  • I pray the Lord protects your beautiful, beautiful heart.  Keep it soft towards growth.  Keep it open to love.  It is the most vulnerable, most real part of who you are.  Others will tell you it’s about your beauty, your face, your body… that’s not true my girl.  “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
  • I pray you will overflow with love for others.  Love for anyone God puts near you.  Love for the hurting, the weak, the lonely, the invisible people.  A love that transcends differences.  Don’t overlook the importance to love yourself as well; to be kind to yourself.  “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love”.  1 Corinthians 13:13
  • I pray your eyes will look to Jesus.  In this life, you will have to navigate successes and failures, weather storms, carry burdens.  Jesus can make these moments so much lighter, if you let Him.  People will come into your life who you will think are special.  But remember they are not perfect.  Jesus is the only one who cannot disappoint.  “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…” Hebrews 12:2
  • I pray no fear, no shame, no insecurity could ever make you feel unlovable.  Nothing could cause your dad and I to close our hearts, eyes, or arms to you.  Better yet, Jesus has loving kindness for you, always.  “But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your loving kindness in the morning, for You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress.” Psalm 59:16
  • I pray if someday you feel stuck in life or find yourself bound to a hurtful habit…  that you’ll remember true freedom is within grasp.  Jesus can break any bondage you may find yourself within.  “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
  • I pray you find the beauty and meaning in the very hardest, perhaps impossible, things to understand.  This has been hard for me.  But this will be the bravest, most real and meaningful path you could tread.  “…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair…” Isaiah 61:3

These are just a glimpse into your mama’s prayers for you, Harper.  Keep these things close to your heart.  I love you forever, my sweet baby girl.



© 2012 Standing on Peace

Nov 082012

It was after I bought the purple skinny jeans.

I started noticing purple everywhere. It wasn’t just Maisy’s favorite color anymore; purple had taken on a life of its own.

There was Maisy in her purple outfits, entreating me to join her in her delight with being a girl. But there was more—for Maisy, all of life involves this kind of delight. Her only priority is play. She is fully present to each new moment, utterly free and spontaneous, immersed in simple joy.

Perhaps there is no gift more precious than the gift of spontaneity, the ability of certain [people] and animals to act straight and fresh and self-forgettingly out of the living center of who they are.” (Frederick Buechner)

For Maisy, purple was on the inside too…and she was drawing it out of me…out from under the grown up layers of preoccupation, plans, and perfectionism.

And then there was my therapist in his sometimes purple sweater, listening me along the precipice of my own depths. We peered over the edge, and there was purple…shimmering under layers of anxiety and worn out coping mechanisms.

Purple became a poignant symbol for me of the place inside where blue and red come together, where a well of deep feeling and deep power sloshes and gurgles. The reservoir of our truest energy.

I began to wonder, what would it look like to live all of life from these rich depths, with passion splashing?

It scared me some, because it’s wild and unpredictable down there. And somehow along the way I’ve gotten the message that it can’t be trusted.

The refining of what’s inside us is a necessary part of maturing into

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adulthood and growing in our spiritual journey. Unfortunately, this process can leave many of us pretty disconnected from our purple.

It’s easy to live from a more surface place where responsibility, expectations, and tired striving prevail. Sometimes we’re more comfortable there anyway because our deep feelings can be too tender and our own power scares us.

As mothers overwhelmed with duties and the needs of others, how can we afford to make room for what’s deep inside us?

Yet how can we afford not to? To live otherwise is like trying to drive with the engine turned off.

All the heart, strength, and instincts we really need for life and mothering are in the purple well. So is the lovely energy of our own inner three year old—the straight and fresh vulnerability and trust, the self-forgetting confidence and joy. How desperately we need that!

“You must become like little children…” (Matthew 18:3)

No doubt, accessing

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and living from this place inside will be messy and painful at times. But all the best of who we are is in there. And I believe this is the very place in us where the love and strength of God reside as well.

What is in your purple well? What feelings and longings? What impulses and gifts?



© 2012 Standing on Peace

Sep 272012

Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.”

~Henri J.M. Nouwen

I am both relieved and reviled by this quote.

Generations of over-achievers have gone before me on both sides of my family. We don’t do things poorly. We push through until we get it right. Where we are weak, we work harder.

So I chafe hard against the idea that in the area that counts the most, that of love and relationships, I will not reach my standards for myself; I will not meet my own expectations.

And yet these standards and expectations exhaust me!

I am a limited, aging, needy, distracted human being.

This fact is a daily disappointment to me. But because it is the unavoidable truth, what a relief that it’s not perfection but forgiveness that is the “great work.”

Much of my time is spent running around cleaning up after people—their dishes, socks, crumbs, spills, careless words, and impulsive actions. The other day I stopped in my tracks, dirty socks in hand, as it hit me that this is how God spends much of his time as well.

“You restore the wasted years, you build the broken walls, your love replaces fear, your mercy makes us whole. Adopted, healed, and lifted…” (Aaron Keyes, I Am Not the

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). Tears sprang as I heard this song and was overcome by the sweetness of a God who runs around cleaning up my messes, fixing and repairing what I have broken. He is not above janitorial work.

Sometimes when I’m in the darkness of disappointment over a painful parenting moment or missed opportunity, a little light comes on. It dawns on me that the sting of regret doesn’t have to be the end of the story. The

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episode is still unfolding, the “great work” is yet ahead.

I pray under my breath for an opportunity to go back and ask forgiveness or give it, talk about it or listen. I pray for a chance to be present in the way I would have like to have been the first time around. I am amazed and humbled by how many times I get this chance.

Leonard Cohen sings, “Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering. There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

Do you have a story of a time when you loved poorly, and then saw

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the light and love of God come in a fresh way for you or your kids?



© 2012 Standing on Peace