coffee cups

Hints of chill are in the air
Whispering of time’s passage
Calling can bleed it’s sorrow into quiet days too.
The change of season reminds one of pending end dates, and transitions.
Themed lattes and soft sweaters, an image of more rooted days.
Airport goodbyes and the bittersweet farewell open houses highlight the cost.
These silent moments unshared are a festering reminder of Call’s cost.
“What He calls us to IS more than we can handle.” says the pastor.
It’s confirmation that this unruly vision and unraveled heart are intertwined.
Today, I will sip of this good gift. I will be present and offer presence.
Calling life sings it’s compelling tune, the sorrowful sweetness of a life lived all in.

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Resigning into Worship


Admitting my limits is worship.

I’m re-acknowledging that I am not God or a god.

I am not Saviour or a saviour.

I am finite.

I cannot teleport and be with each I love.

I cannot meet the needs of those in danger, in abuse, in poverty.

I cannot even meet the needs of the four most important men in my life.

I cannot honor my mother and father as a daughter should.

I cannot be the best of me for everyone.

I am finite.

These needs don’t overpower Your command to be still and know You are God.

These attacks on humanity, and tragic unpreventable pain, and heartwrecking schisms in community…

They are Yours to respond to.

I am not God, or a god.

Admitting my limits is worship.

As is acts of service as Your hands and feet

Worship is trusting in Your love for individuals. For humanity.

Mystery that scares, because I cannot CANNOT see Your love in ISIS and the bleeding,

Or in the 12 year old trafficked girl who does not want ‘rescued.’

How does one trust in a God who verbalizes love and care for even a sparrow, and yet allows these?

But, I will not box You into a not-GOD-god.

I will not find a Jesus-shaped-idol of only the attributes I approve You shall have.

This is not worship.

Today, I can only cry.

Today, worship looks like resignation.

Resigning from my post of pleasing others.

Resigning to my limits.

Resigning my mind’s urging to find meaning in the Earth’s suffering

Resigning to Your LORDship.

Because, I do know that.

I know you are LORD.

You call for allegience to You.

You only. Not replicas I have made.

You call for faith. A choice to believe in the character of You. (Sept 2015)

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My days roll from need to need.

Pressure to pressure.

Urgent usurping important.

My heart dry and wilting.

A sip of sweet syrup is a sorry excuse for Your refreshment.

I need a power beyond me to live well in this day.


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Haunting Lyrics

Haunting Lyrics

“Find the girl with a broken smile, ask her if she wants to stay awhile…and she will belong to you….”

It hits me differently sitting surrounded by men who have done just that to women residing in a city to try to provide for hurting families in the countryside.

Haunting lyrics. Maybe they were intended to be, but this context colors my view anew.

My dear sweet friends, who cuddle my children while snacking together enjoying the company of the few who treat them with humanity.

I see their eyes. I know their broken smiles.

I know their stories.

Stories flood me . . . (mixed and tweaked to respect those who shared)

Of arranged marriages to abusive men.

Of how running meant leaving her babies forever.

Of her dilemma in having hid her children from her suitor who now wants to whisk her off to his land

Of those clients who pressure for a condom-less night, risking both her health and livelihood

Of managing several paying clients each deceived and believing he is her one and only

Of the humility of her partner’s cheating and the powerlessness from her own shame in knowing she was once ‘one of those’ he used

Of the sheer loneliness of being partnered with a man who pays her rent and visits full of entitlements

Of the racism towards her child due to harbored jealousy at her good fortune in conceiving with a foreign man.

I hurt for everyone. He & She.

Some women find miracles. It is a grace that defies our natural way.

Others don’t. Miracles aren’t the norm. More often, she continues sifting through the drunks to find a man with enough character to pay her retirement. Some clients like the charade of a mutual relationship. They play along, until vacation is over and real life pressures them away.

Abandoned again. She sits back up. Washes off her pain and re-hopes. She dresses herself in those items that dehumanize, enters the bar prepared to find Mr. Right this time. Hoping against the odds that this is the last time she will shut out her heartbreak to continue on.

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she told me that once when she was young ‘they’ had approached her mother saying, “we see you are poor and hungry. you have 5 daughters. give us 1 or 2, and you can improve your life”

her mother refused. outright. no. “my daughters have value.”

an elderly foreign man wanted her daughter. he was offering to marry her and take her to his land. ‘they’ said “do this. your daughter will have money and you will not want in your old age.” she declined. she knows that her daughter has value. dignity above being a pawn for the family.

“Dom.lie” we say here. Literally it denotes price. I use it in the market to ask what an item will cost?

Worth. Value. Dignity.

A heritage we each have received from our Father. Not barter-able. Given in our essence. Un-earned. The price woven in and then paid.

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little boys

little boys

sores. bruises.
physical evidence of boy life
my mouth a constant sting.
small heads, covered in soft curls
careen at my face, tuck under my chin.
love and neediness flow unregulated.
i, their safe place, swallow my protests
lick my wound and open my arms again.

this is motherhood in the land of boys.
indelicate. roughly tender. tenderly rough.
future men. barely unbabied.
eager to grow. hungry to savor today.

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ian’s photo

ian's photo

TCKs are fascinating.

I will warn you now, don’t tell me you are a TCK unless you want to be peppered with all my questions and theories on how TCKs thrive in this small globe.

My littles are TCKs in a land where their skin sings of their difference and of their not-one-of-us-ness. People cross busy streets just to touch their little cheeks. Others sneer and gossip in the language we have learned with faces easily translated.

Being little equals vulnerability. And yet, my littles have security that many around us cannot attain. Vulnerability comes in many forms.

His eyes widen as I teach how we must give and love as we can. We try to remember bananas for our tuk tuk rides to share with the children who flock to us at stop lights. We fight to smile at adults who would bond with us by over-touching (while I stand ready to mother-bear fight if needed).

This place is not our home. TCKs know this more acutely than the rest of us. They sense the longing of Home more accurately than we who have practiced building up comforts in our small bits of Earth. I have much to learn.

(photo from my 3 yr old of construction workers fixing our urban alleyway)

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My, how we love to complain.

Especially, we teens. . .about our rules, and our school pressures, and our decisions about which college, and our tiredness, and our boy dilemmas.

Especially, we college students … about our exams and projects, and our decisions about careers, and our boy dramas, and our tiredness.

Especially, we moms of babies … of our sleepless nights, our cleaning of spit up and poo, our decisions on parenting styles, and the struggle to balance our chosen man and the littles, and our tiredness.

Especially we moms of toddlers… of dilemmas in discipline, and the poo cleaning, and the humiliation received by our offspring, and our decisions on career/home balance, and our tiredness.

Of course, this is not a comprehensive list. I know better than to try.
Meditating on the hard tends to increase the weight of our burdens.
But, I write these because I see a paradox so stark in my life chapter that I believer exists in each.

My life with my littles’ is incredibly hard and phenomenally rewarding.

These days. ..

There are deep hopes for the littles’ future, interlocked with tremendous fear for the same.

My faith is both shallower and deeper.

My heart loves more. My heart has more limitations.

I am more confident in my beauty (a child’s adoration will do marvelous things for one’s self image). And, yet, my body has aged significantly from hosting these very parasites I adore.

I treasure watching my man become a daddy. I miss my man incredibly and tire of sharing him.

There are days I live for naptime. There are days I ache to get home to play with my littles’ who brighten my days with their laughter and discoveries.

There are moments I swear cannot get happier. (that look in his discovery of a new skill or his sleepy smile content in his mommy cocoon)

There are moments I swear my life has been altered for the worse. (as I cringe to be manipulated by him, horrified to see sin expressed in one I nurtured and prayed over since he invaded my womb)

There are joys I beyond describing; and tears filled with remorse at my shortcomings and sin.

Occasionally, in moments of clarity, I spy this pattern. I can see that building my muscle of gratitude will not only enhance my moments and my days, but it will carry me into my future chapters less battered and more prepared to relish the positive.

I want to choose to see His gifts.
I want to exercise restraint on my complaining.
I want my words to highlight the good work that He is doing, including the challenges and the sweet gifts too.

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I fear my own hope.
So many times dashed.
Your faithfulfulness is beyond circumstances.
And still I am so swayed.
Sitting painless. Dancing fetus baby.
Fan & coffee.
Journal & Bible.
Clean home. Clean laundry.
Food for breakfast. Sleeping littles.

This is a happy moment.
May my peace come from You, not these
Kind gifts you bestow.

Hope in Your unfailing love. In Your character.
Home from Your hand on my life, my heart, since age five.

Enjoy these good gifts. Guilt-free & grateful.

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The clouds darken
Future laden with trials in a blessing
God still above
Sending warm provision
Shelter suffices
I can rest in His comfort
Pending storm unstoppable
My strength comes from Him
Unknowns darken my view
Study His light. eyes focus. heart lightened.

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