My husband is on the left holding our baby, Rose. I've shared before and I will always how he has my heart. Constantly he amazes me with his persistence and humility, constant faithfulness and integrity. And then to the right of him are the brothers I never had growing up, but who now join us daily in the growing up we are still doing. And as if simply being family now wasn't quite enough, an even deeper gift is living within steps of each other as I get an even closer firsthand view of the way they also serve their children with joy and dependability and strength and integrity, the way they earnestly love my sisters with all that they are. These things, the foundation of real and lasting character, this is greatness right here, within three of the greatest men I know.
Blessed is the man whose delight is in the word of God and on it he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, whose leaf does not whither but yields fruit in its season. All he does prospers. Psalm 1.
Some in the shadows, some in the light, some studying books, others practicing simply being still, but all of us learning together. #wildandfreechildren
Speaking light into their life even now, sowing seeds of faith into the harvest worth working for, we tell them daily what their unity will mean.
The story doesn't end at Sunday. In fact it was, it is, only the the start, because when the stone rolled away, life was reborn richer and deeper than ever before. And this miracle, it doesn't stay on pages or in songs or the pew, but is closer in every moment, every breath. So when I was running the other day, I got lost in my thoughts. I mean, many of us believe God loves us, but how many times do we wonder whether God cares about our interests and passions in life? Like does he care about my running or photography or any of my less than eternal interests and pursuits? I immediately heard the answer. Yes, of course he does! It's why there is a sunrise, for the artists, mountains for the climbers, oceans for the swimmers, flavors for the bakers, kisses for the lovers, harmony for the musicians, paths for the runners, open fields for the explorers. He's made creation for us to participate in His presence. He meets us where we are at, and he wants to bless our endeavors as he experiences our joy alongside us. In John 21, Jesus joins his friends again after conquering fear and death, and where does he meet them? In their daily, in their passion. Not only that, but he takes what they were doing on their own and miraculously multiplies their efforts. He could've sent a messenger to tell them to stop fishing and go to the synagogue or back to the empty grave or any other holy place. But he goes himself and meets them, joins them, blesses them, makes where they are, where He is, holy. While they struggled to catch dinner, He fills their nets with an unheard of accomplishment. An overflow. He cared about what they are doing and blessed it simply because he loved them like He loves us now and wanted, wants, to make tangible his delight. Throughout the great romance of scripture He makes every parallel, example, description possible in helping us understand His desire for intimacy with us. He is the father, the warrior, the lion, the friend, the sacrifice, the refuge, the physician, the lover, the beginning and the end. He speaks our language, meets us where we are at, communes with us in the depths who he's created us to be. All because of love.
One of those photographs I look at and all I can see is a flash-forward glimpse of our family as a house full of teenagers.
For the sake of our light, He chose the darkness. For my joy He chose the burden. For my peace He chose betrayal. For my healing He chose suffering. For my hope He was crushed. For my redemption He chose the accusation. For my belonging He chose abandonment. For my life He chose death. To hold me, He embraced it all because for my heart, He chose resurrection. And in this day, in the blackest hour when all we could see were tears and loss and despair, was the moment our supreme victory began.
Some of life's better lessons happen here in the golden hour.
Every time the light fills my window, each morning filling my mind with the lists and wishes and hopes and needs, in wife-ing and mom-ing and creating and working and doing and being, I stand here listening, I stand here carried: My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. 2 Corinthians 12.
The four o'clock selfie with a side of never ending laundry.