I made up my mind. My mama heart couldn’t wait any longer. I hammered out some emails and prayed for positive responses. Because I was booking myself a one-way ticket for June — a month before our scheduled time.
It’s a reoccurring theme in my life — know what I want, and don’t waste time in the meanwhile. Because life is short, right?
I’ve seen it played out time and time again — people spending time passively waiting for things to happen to them. And what are they left with? Not much of anything. Not much living, anyway.
I’ve been able to jumpstart many things in my life. Education and career goals, family hopes and dreams.
схема электрооборудования пежо боксер But fortitude and passion are weaknesses, too. Positive attributes can easily become corrupted. Desire for control manifests in ugly ways. Control is a deceitful and cunning lie that’s just so easy to believe.
I’m waiting for so much right now — and there’s nothing I can do to control any of it. Waiting is hard and that’s why I don’t like it.
I’m experiencing my own season of wait right now. Waiting for spoken and unspoken prayer to become reality. I’m aware of my propensity to take the reigns, but it’s painfully clear I’m waiting for things to happen that are mightily out of my grasp.
In these times, I have to trust that God actually does see me. That he actually does care for the big and little parts of my heart. That he created me for a purpose and that he knows me better than I even know myself.
“Celebrating Advent means being able to wait. Waiting in an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It was to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespectful hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them.
Whoever does not know the austere blessedness of waiting — that is, of hopefully doing without — will never experience the full blessing of fulfillment.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God is in the Manger)
схема елки крестиком To my friends who are “hopefully doing without” — you are seen. I may not know your wait, but we have a loving, all-powerful God who does. He so intimately knows what your heart aches for because he entered the brokenness of the world and experienced it.
My kids love knights and dragons. I’m not sure how that happened or when it exactly occurred, but they are totally into it. For Halloween, my five-year-old insisted on being a knight, and my two-year-old just had to don a dragon costume. (A little bit fitting for their personalities, actually.) Even at their young ages, they have a sense of justice. Of fighting the bad guy and saving the day. And that’s kind of how I’ve always viewed justice.
пкс 5 25 характеристики I’m humbled, excited, and certainly nervous to be teaching an Influence Network class on Real Life Justicetomorrow night. It’ll be a live online class, with the ability to purchase and watch later if you’re not able to log in for the live teaching. I’m fighting the lies in my ear, whispering “your voice doesn’t matter” and “you’re just a mom” and “your platform isn’t big enough.”
As I’ve researched this class, as I read books from theologians and teachers who are much smarter than me, as I started to dig into God’s word, I sat up late on my couch and realized something.
Seeking real-life, Kingdom justice is discovering how to extend that freedom and grace to others. How do we throw open the doors to the throne of grace and live that inside-out, upside-down Kingdom justice? How do we do it as busy mamas? As professional women? As wives? As daughters of the King?
So, I hope that you’ll join me and the Influence Network as we see what God’s word says about justice, and we talk about real-life application, too. I’m learning that listening is profound, and small is big. I’m learning that God’s heart is for the hurting, and mine should beat in sync with His. I’m learning that His grace lights a flame in the darkness of injustice — and that it’s big enough to cover us all.
The problem is a word that everyone is acquainted with but no one wants to touch.
Not me. Them, sure, but certainly not me.
Couldn’t be me.
But it is. It is me. It is you. It is all of us.
Nine of my brothers and sisters in Christ were shot in God’s house because of the color of their skin.
This is not okay.
This pervasive culture of violence. The vile sickness of polarization. The bigoted stench of racism.
Not me. Them, sure, but certainly not me.
Couldn’t be me.
But it is. It is me. It is you. It is all of us.
I want this world to be better. I want everyone to know the deep and high and wide love of a God who came to earth as the least of these to bare the burdens of the weight none of us could on our own.
Among the shards of hurt, I have to believe in a hope.
A hope in a Creator who says, I made her. I made him. I made you. I love you. I love him. I love you. She is worth everything. He is worth everything. You are worth everything. I love her so much I will enter into her suffering. I love him so much. I love you so much. I will make things clean. And you can join me.
Would you listen to this song? Listen and pray and listen some more? Listen to our brothers and sisters who have been shouting for so long, waiting for someone to listen.
I want to say, not on my watch.
I believe in a God who cares down to the last detail — down to the teeniest, tiniest sparrow. So I will care, too. I will use my voice and my hands and I will try. I will try to leave this world more united — more woven into the grace of God’s Kingdom — than how I entered it. I need to do this for my children. My family. My brothers and sisters in Christ. My tiny place in the Kingdom.
Peace on Earth.
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
May we be reconcilers. May we be people worthy of the calling.
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, I think about the wisdom nestled into this African proverb.
I look at this photo of women living across the globe who fight cultural oppression and opposition to farm coffee beans to provide for themselves and their family, and I remember. I remember that we were never made to do it alone.
Later this month, my friend Britt, a fellow busy mama of little ones, is joining a team of runners to participate in the first-ever Run Across Congo, supporting, celebrating, and empowering women and mothers in farming communities.
“The Congo means so much to me because my son is Congolese. Kai came into our family through adoption two years ago. (I’m an advocate for family preservation and adoption should always be the last resort). What a better way to fight for family preservation then through advocating and raising funds and awareness for women to have sustainable incomes?” Britt says. “I want to do something help the people of Congo develop sustainable jobs and make positive changes in their communities so families can stay together. This also helps children stay with their families, which creates less orphans.”
“We are running for women in the Congo — mothers and widows — who are all raising families and hoping for a bright future through a sustainable job such as coffee farming, ” Britt says.
The Run Across Congo, a 7-marathon, 7-day expedition, will raise awareness and funds for the inspiring female coffee farmers, farming families, and cooperatives working toward gender equality in the region. Britt is running the Great Lakes region of Africa for 185 miles, visiting villages and farming communities with organizing partners, On The Ground and Twin, which have existing relationships with coffee cooperatives and local officials.
“Running is a great way to advocate for any cause — it gets your attention. I’m running this distance because the people of DRCongo mean so much to me. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to raise awareness and funds for these women farmers to start up a sustainable business for themselves and for their families,” Britt says. “DRCongo is a war-torn country and is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a woman. A lot of these women are raising children alone. With a sustainable business such as coffee farming, they can feed their families, send their children to school, and pay for medical care.”
Awareness and funds raised from Run Across Congo will have several long-term impacts, including gender equality and women’s empowerment programs, creating access to knowledge, land and income beyond coffee. Funds will be used to empower and educate female farmers to run their own lives and businesses and create a brighter future for coffee communities affected by civil war in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Funds will go three places:
To women coffee farmers. “The funds we raise will go to purchase coffee trees, land use, and advocacy in country. The DRC is very gender biased when it comes to purchasing from women. Women selling coffee beans for instance at the market are passed over. We will be working with our partner organization in the Congo called Twin, who will help with the advocacy part on the ground in Congo,” Britt says.
To the purchase of sewing machines for widows of soldiers who protect Virunga National Park. You can find the documentary Virunga on Netflix. “Rebel groups often poachers come into the park and poach endangered mountain gorillas. Oil companies have their eye on one of Congos most precious resources,” Britt says. “These soldiers risk their lives to protect this land. These soldiers killed leave behind families.”
To a hospital. “Lastly, we’re funding the expansion of a hospital where women and children walk for up to four days come and seek care for sexual abuse. Congo has the highest amount of rape then anywhere in the world,” Britt says.
For Mother’s Day, we have a chance to enter into this opportunity to provide mercy, compassion, and empowerment to mothers and families around the world. It’s a privilege and honor and joy to loving one another, and this is an incredible opportunity to love in a very tangible way.
Please consider joining me to support Run Across Congo, and pray for Britt, and all the women she is running for.
“The Congo became part of our family forever,” Britt says. “I’m running for family.”
I’ve taken a bit of a blogging break here in December. I’ve been fingerpainting Christmas trees and frosting snowman cookies and experiencing advent through the eyes of two little ones, and it’s been so very merry.
But I just wanted to take a little minute, in the midst of tinsel and twinkling lights, to wish you the merriest of Christmases.
I’m humbled when I think of Love coming down, here on Earth, in the form of a fresh little baby.
How amazing is it that we have a King who enters into our mess?
We have a savior who joins us in our brokenness and pain and says, there is hope in the manger.
I can hardly believe it.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “God is in the Manger” devotional has been helping me tune my heart this advent season.
“Out of the waiting, hoping, longing world, a world will come in which the promise is given. All crying will be stilled. No tears shall flow. No lonely sorrow shall afflict us anymore, or threaten.”
So, whoever you are, wherever you are, my deepest prayer for you is that you will begin to experience the hope that entered into the chaos on the first Christmas. Very truly, nothing else can compare to the crying baby born to a hopeful girl in a humble manger.
I’ll leave you with Amena Brown and Ann Voskamp’s powerful video, “Advent Lament, Brave Merry Christmas.”
I'm a full-time journalist turned work-at-home editor. I'm hitched to a shaggy-haired pastor and we're smitten with two wild + crazy boys: Joseph (5) and Asher (2). We're in the adoption process for a special needs little one and we're also expecting in April 2016. I drink strong coffee, I like pretty things, and I believe there's beauty in the broken. I hope this little space will encourage you to find worth and live a story worth sharing. Join me?