Braving the Truth

This is a new season, engaging in parenting big kids-almost teens. I am taking a risk here and I know it. Recently, a new dad asked my best parenting advice and before piping up, I realized that what I believe to be true now is quite different than what I may have shared back when I was in the thick of the newborn-toddler phase for the first time. The big things still hold true, but there is wisdom in the experience of it all.

While risky, I do know and am aware that life is a process. Hopefully, you don’t mind being in the middle of it all with me, thinking through this with sober confidence.

There is a phrase that I say to my bigger boys almost every single day. It isn’t just for them. It always meets me too as a most clear example of  ~point at someone with one finger, there are three pointing back at me~  admonitions. I say it when something has happened that condemns, when fear of being found out looms, the evidence is against us, and one might run and hide or try to cover something up in some way.

Parenting these more complex thinkers takes a different skill. So often what we begin addressing moves several times as emotions and the threat of wrongdoing rises. In the middle of the usually circular, consequence evading, confrontational conversation I sometimes have the wherewithal to say something like, “Let’s be brave and head toward the truth as closely as we dare and see what finds us there.”

The farther from the truth we go, the more difficult the conversation becomes. There is more room for something false. I know what kids are thinking— they believe the truth gets them in trouble. And often it does. They fear being rejected. They fear being embarrassed. Though deeper within is a core fear that the truth will make them un-lovable. I know this is true, as it is the same way I feel when confronted with my own failures.

So much of life is defensive. So much of it is convoluted. We get mixed up in what I should have done and what I actually did. It is the latter part that scares us.

I am not speaking of parenting strategies here— I am talking about an environment for parenting where, while a parent and child have different roles, they are equal in sharing a need for safety, love, and something outside rules, discipline, and behaviors. I am talking about the environment where strategies operate.

When truth about me or about them is at hand, regardless of how bad it may be, the hope is that something (or SomeOne) else waits for us there.

There are clear consequences of living life evading the truth— and relationally, they are a prison. In short, they damage my relationship with my children. They damage their relationship with me. We hope for reconciliation. But what governs the environment? Where is the hope?

If there is a time when this is relentlessly tested, I am sure these more hands-off parenting years feel like it so far. *Spoiler Waring* The truth about them~the truth about me is the place where the Gospel moves in and completely undermines the worst that could be. When all that that is done and left undone threatens to undo us, grace reaches in and pulls us out. Even if natural consequences are difficult to swallow, mercy meets us.

John 8 says, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

I started this blog months ago. A couple of week ago, it dawned on me how to finish it (and it has taken longer to actually sit down and type!). Micah and I are attending a class with our church family. The title of the introductory talk was, “Who is Jesus?” You may listen in here. The answer is found in scripture and answered by Jesus Himself.  Many of the points made were directly from the gospels.

It prompted my own further study. In John 8 alone, Jesus has this to say about Himself:

He is the light of the world (vs. 11), from above, not of this world (vs. 23), sent by the Father (vs. 26-27), spoke to the world what He heard from the Father (vs. 26), He does what is pleasing to the Father (vs. 29), He speaks of what He had seen with His Father (vs. 38), He came from and was sent by God (vs. 42), He tells the truth (vs. 45), He honors His Father (vs. 49), He does not seek His own glory (vs. 50), the Father glorifies Him (vs. 54), He knows the Father and keeps His word (vs. 55), and before Abraham was, “I am” (vs. 58).

This is only one chapter! The main idea here, as well as in His ministry on the whole, is Jesus was sent by God and is God. For those looking for the Messiah, this was pertinent information. The call given then and now is to believe. For us today, believing He is the Christ —who He said He was and is— is the truth that sets us free.

In John 14:6, Jesus says He is the way, truth, and life.

We move close to the truth of who we are in the hope of the Person He is. He, who is the Truth, comes close to us first, as the Helper bears witness about Him (John 15:26).

What does that mean for me? And for my kids? If Jesus is who He says He is, we are who He says we are. I will spend my lifetime learning all of what that means! One place to start, especially when the truth about us makes us feel unlovable, is John 17, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”

There is no hard truth about us that will move the Father to crush us. There is no truth that will undo who He is and what He has done. There is no sin we will encounter left un-exchanged for the righteousness of Jesus. Because He has already crushed His Son for our sake, the supreme weight of the consequence has been paid. The environment for faith and repentance is love— the love of God demonstrated by the Son, made known by the power of the Holy Spirit. Day by day, conversation by conversation, parent/child alike, I pray this makes its way deeper into all our hearts and sustains us in hope.

“Let’s be brave and head toward the truth as closely was we dare and see that the Truth is there.”

Lord I believe, help my unbelief.


It happens quietly. The days turn to weeks, weeks to months, months to years. I usually speak mid-season evaluating the feelings therein, then the season has passed. The firsts are usually celebrated. Sometimes the lasts, but not usually. I don’t always sense the lasts until they are a memory

I recently found myself in the midst of a post-last conversation. I was talking with a friend about something new-momish— and her response signaled that I am no longer a part of that division of motherhood. Apparently, I have moved past that already. Have I? I think she is right! I felt a little sad. The season ended without my knowledge and especially not my permission! Had I known, I would have done something to extend the time into a more indelible memory. My mom, another gal well versed in lasts, says there is a book that voices this sentiment. Even this morning, I read of a different mom, feeling the weight of lasts voiced the same thought in a beautiful way. I am not the first.

I am sure that on the last days, I did not know them from others. The significance was lost in the excitement of what would come, the business of what is current, or in the stillness of the work behind me. The fact they were comes later when something causes me to remember when. Then, it hits me. Sometimes the realization is sweet— and sometimes, it stings.

The last gaze out my childhood window.

The last figure eight on my bike in the backyard.

The last time we were together, sharing dreams and making plans.

The last drive away.

The last time I was called by my unmarried name.

The last time we went to a restaurant together as a family of two.

The last hiccups, felt some inexplicable place in my belly.

The last grasp of my finger with that tiny hand.

The last time he slipped into our bed in the middle of the night.

The last time she called me “Ma-ma”.

The last time he rested his head on my shoulder, arms and legs draped at my sides.

The last walk out of that room.

The last conversation this side of eternity.

I am sure, the lasts shape me. There are some moments I feel ~somewhat~ satisfied when something has ended. But I almost always I wished I would have done {blank}, and I am left feeling unresolved.  Usually, sadness is a signal. But I can’t go back. I cannot relive parts of history. There are chapters that are closed.

Mixed into the sadness is joy. The new movie, Inside Out, is brilliant in painting a picture of our maturing natures and the complexities of how experiences shape us. Micah and I took the kids to see this one, but it was really for the adults.

The theme was profound. Most of life is a mix. I don’t have many (maybe any?) memories that are purely joyful. Even the most joyful are lacking in something, especially within the expanse of all of life. It may sound depressing, but ironically, the more I am okay with this realization, the more joy seems accessible at any given moment. When the pressure is off to have any part of this life experience ultimate, the joys taste a little sweeter.

The Bible speaks of many lasts. Our lives are full of them. There will be finality for us all. More lasts are approaching. I think it is one way God has set eternity in our hearts. Augustine calls it restlessness. Others speak of it as well.

Someone calls Himself the First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega, Lord of Eternity, the Beginning and End, Who Was, and Is, and Is to Come. Regardless of the direct implications of His name, all things unresolved will find completion in Him that will be perfectly satisfying. As life brings me moments to reflect on my allotted portion of lasts, I ask for continued faith to believe that what (or rather Whois to come will be even better than my best joys and repent of searching out ways to hold on to hope here. Like John in Revelation, one day I will worship in light of Unending Love. And for the sadness, in His presence, all that is sad will come untrue. And all the joys, will be made fully and wholly complete.

This is not the end. These are not really the lasts. Lord I believe, help my unbelief.

Thank God.

Renovation or Resurrection?

I love ~before and after~ projects. Through the years, I have been given pieces of furniture from family members I absolutely love, except for the finish. I will never forget the appearance of my grandmother’s beverage cabinet when it first entered my home, dark-kelly green flecked with black spots. Bleh. A robin’s egg blue against the copper top decorated with new hardware turned it into something lovely. It is so much fun to see the beauty in something emerge from under the surface in materials, lines, and shapes with a coat or two of paint.

I also love remodeling programs on TV that take a much older house and make it entirely up to date. The foundation remains but the aesthetics change dramatically and the “they don’t make ’em like they use to”‘s are all over the place.

Once I bought a small table for five dollars. I was so excited! It was kind of terrible looking but solid wood nonetheless and a perfect candidate for a shabby chic makeover. I remember putting a paint brush to it, a deep shade of turquoise, and the pressure caused the legs to disassemble and most of the supporting wood to crumble. There was no amount of paint or hardware that could put that thing together again.

I think my life has been a series of projects in renovation. I know I feel all the time that I should be better. It is subtly (sometimes blatantly) suggested within every “encouraging” statement, on plaques on the walls, even in the Bible… yet, like my table, my results aren’t always successful. Sometimes the project crumbles. Sometimes the finish I try and give myself isn’t long-lasting. Of one thing I am growing increasingly sure, I cannot be the contractor of my own project. I would always keep it low-maintenance, appealing, and without real elbow grease. I would also operate under the presupposition that what is underneath is okay and I only just need an aesthetic change. It is easier that way and absolutely not as painful. It might require work, sure. But nothing too difficult.

The problem isn’t that I, as a human being, made in the image of God, born under the fall, then saved by the grace and mercy of God, need a renovation.

I need resurrection.

Death to life language is all over the Bible. What does that look like? What does it feel like? I would argue that while Jesus’ pronouncement of “It is finished” has begun the work in me, dying to live is the continuation of it. And if it is lasting, it hurts.

There are so many times in life when I realize my lot is different than the one I expected. I don’t even necessarily consider it until I find myself trying to give something a desperate renovation. Instead, what I am learning, is that my thoughts and even my desires may need to be entirely dismantled. Then it hits me, I am dying to *some* of the things I thought would be true. I know… I know… death… that seems terrible. Who likes to talk about death anyway? I don’t wake up each morning proclaiming, “Let’s see how I can die today!” (Side note:  If I do , I am pretty sure isn’t really happening). We all know when it happens, it hurts.

Bind up these broken bones ~ Mercy bend and bring me back to life ~                                                     But not before you show me how to die (Show Me, Audrey Assad)

There is a process to this, mysterious and omnipotently prescribed by the Author and Perfector of faith. No amount of paint or nails will patch me up. The problem isn’t with the finish— it is what is within, what is underneath. I might try and clean it up, but it needs to be made entirely new. It (whatever it may be at different times) needs to be laid in the grave.

After so many years of sensitivity toward what should be, what is underneath begins to show through. If I am brave for a second and move as close to the truth as my inward eye can bear, I might look at the reality of what it is or of who I really am. The process brings pain and, yes, I grieve. Sometimes, a situation is different that I would like. The same happens when coming face to face with hard realities. Relinquishing control is hard.

This sounds terrible, doesn’t it? Yet it is the prescription for this life, moving from what is already and what is not yet as Ephesians describes. I have died with Christ, been raised with Him, and am seated with Him at the right hand of God. But clearly, my flesh still resides here. I look forward in hope to the completion of “It is finished” in both my body and soul in entirely new circumstances. Paul writes that until then, he does what he doesn’t want to do, and doesn’t do what he wants to do (Romans 7).

John Newton puts it this way in regard to this tension, “The knowledge of our acceptance with God, and of our everlasting security in Christ, has in itself the same tendency upon earth as it will have in heaven, and would, in proportion to the degree of evidence and clearness, produce the same effects of continual love, joy, peace, gratitude, and praise, if there was nothing to counteract it. But (I am) not all spirit.” Until my spirit matches that of my flesh fully, there is struggle. There is suffering. There is death at work in my body in all that is attached to it. In a letter to a friend, Newton writes about the mixture of pain and joy in this life and our experience in the hands of the Sanctifier:

…though we change, the Saviour changes not. All our concerns are in his hands, and therefore safe. His path is in the deep waters, his thoughts and methods of conduct are as high above ours, as the heavens are high above the earth; and he often takes a course for accomplishing his purposes directly contrary to what our narrow views would prescribe. He wounds in order to heal, kills that he may make alive, casts down when he designs to raise, brings a death upon our feelings, wishes, and prospects, when he is about to give us the desire of our hearts. These things he does to prove us; but he himself knows, and has determined beforehand, what he will do. The proof indeed usually turns out to our shame. Impatience and unbelief show their heads, and prompt us to suppose this and the other thing, yea, perhaps, all things are against us; to question whether he be with us and for us, or not. But it issues likewise the praise of his goodness, when we find that, maugre all our unkind complaints and suspicions, he is still working wonderfully for us, causing light to shine out of darkness, and doing us good in defiance of ourselves. ~The Works of John Newton, Vol. 1, Banner of Truth

This is my experience. Can you relate? As curious the sufferings of those being swept toward God our Father in the current of salvation, we are all in the process of being remade. And most of the time, if real dying is happening, it feels terrible. Maybe if I remember how hard it is and how terrible it feels , I will have more love for those feeling it too.

Yet for those resurrected with Christ, it is not death to die.

Resurrection happens after we die. Not before, not instead of, but after. Sometimes it is abrupt. Beauty arrises from ashes— not from nice-looking parts and pieces but instead burned up, unrecognizable, inharmonious heaps of soot. The result is not better looking and hopefully functional— but true beauty. Sometimes— most often, it happens slowly. Regardless, it is the prerequisite to life in His name. It is the way of the cross.

I keep trying to convince myself that I’m not really that bad. I keep trying to manipulate and gain control. But in the depths of me, I know. My brain needs rewiring. My thoughts need a complete overhaul. My motivations need more than en example to follow. And I cannot do it for myself. I do not need a renovation. I need resurrection.

Maybe if I have some idea that this is what it is going to be like and I can hold on long enough, something beautiful can be born. Even a small glimpse of resurrection whispers exponential possibilities. If you know the story of my family, it is a good example. The remembering and the reality now bring hope. Here, the glimpses aren’t perfect or without hardship, but they give encouragements that what He designs is far better than I could dream. The promise is that even if I don’t see it here, it is coming.

The only person in human history with the innate power to go from death to life is Jesus. No other religious leader can claim it. Our suffering Savior looked quite different after He conquered death on the cross. He was unrecognizable to Mary Magdelene then later his disciples on the road to Emmaus after His body broke. This is the hope of resurrection. Our lives, hidden with Christ in God, will be made new.

As much as I hate it and as painful as it is, dying is the prescription for receiving life. I need it in my life. I need it in my relationships. I need it in my body. May God give mercy as I feel it and as it follows me. In the midst, He promises to never leave or forsake, remember my frame, and not allow me to be consumed. When a glimpse of resurrection shines above the fray, may it give lasting hope and focus my eyes again on the One in whom it is secured.

Lord I believe, help my unbelief.

Throwback to 2012: Jumping on the Furniture

Friedrich Nietzsche and C.S. Lewis are sitting at my kitchen peninsula having a most important conversation (I won’t disclose to which of the boys each description refers).

“What if parents make up God as a way to get kids to obey?” Nietzsche asks. This is not his first intuitive question about the existence of God. C.S. Lewis comes to the defense with creational logic and catechism recitation. “What do you think, Mom?” I am asked in reference to one of the most pivotal questions in the universe —as I step in squashed watermelon on the floor and clean spit-up off the exersaucer. Just moments before, my escalating voice could be heard over all five children requiring adherence to the simple house rule, No Jumping on the Furniture. I was definitely not engaged in meaningful, patient conversation with my boys. Micah of course is working this particular evening so I have been stretched in every way to get to this point in the day and I am mentally and physically exhausted. Here we are, big and small products of the fall. And here is where things matter most.

These are the conversations I so desire~ when my children have been considering the eternal, asking intelligent questions, and want my input! I pray for opportunities that ears are open and ready to listen. Then, it suddenly occurs to me that I have already answered the question, over and over throughout the day… and throughout their young lives. It does matter what I say, but then again it really doesn’t. I could sing “Blue Skies” but if I live in gray, they know. They are smart like that… especially Nietzsche. This realization puts me into a bit of a panic. For me, words are easy… actions speak louder.

Enter pain. God made what is most inherently near to my heart and most true to my biological fabric ~conception, birth, and the raising of children~ the thing that always brings me to the brink of knowing something is terribly awry. My relationship with Micah does too, but it is not built and nurtured in the same way. Who are those in the animal kingdom we want to avoid for fear of serious retaliation? Mamas with babies nearby. On top of nature and nurture, the ways I am called to love my children make the stakes much higher. I love my little ones with a fierce love; a love that is unmatched by any other.  It was indeed painful to bring them into the world and it is painful to love them so deeply as I watch them learn lessons for themselves. I have 18 years to prepare my completely dependent babies and fewer for the boys starting to make independent logical connections to go out into the world alone. It is painful to discipline and constantly morph into the mom they need as they grow and develop. All the time, they are a mirror to the very worst in me. I know from which side of the family tree they inherit and perpetuate behaviors both helpful and harmful. I want to do right by them. I want to do all those things stated in Proverbs that show I am a wise mom. Their souls are at stake. I want them to rise and call me blessed. How do I do that with watermelon on my foot, feeling overwhelmed with my own lack of patience, while drowning in a sea of laundry?

Not too far from the curse it the cure.

Interestingly enough, the cursed Eve mothered by extension the One who would crush the serpent’s head. Clothed in animal skin, she lives out her life connected to the Cure~ the Victor and One who abolished the curse for all those who believe. There is life changing power in His name and work. There happens to be so much power that the fact I am simply carried through the day by my Loving Shepherd is enough to challenge my questioning children. They need more than a right answer. They need to see me needing Jesus. And in God’s wisdom, mothering provides an unending number of opportunities to do so.

It is obvious to my husband and especially my children that I am not able to do the right things always, often, ever… Sometimes I do and there He shines through me quite clearly. Whether drawn to the cross for forgiveness or continuing to realize who I already am in Christ, He living in me is the attribution and I pray it is obvious especially to those who watch me the most; my children. I can have compete confidence in His work in me and there is absolutely nothing more assuring. He who promises is faithful. All I can say on this particular evening is that God saved me. I sit and confess to my boys that I once was lost and hell bent. I own all they already know about my current state~ sometimes struggling, many times failing. But God saved me. He knows me. He loves me. He has clothed me, like Eve, in garments fashioned just for me that make me beautiful in his sight. Jesus Christ is my righteousness. I can trust Him with all my desires for my children as He weaves my prayers into the fabric of their lives (Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief). And that makes me want to jump on the furniture, too.

Grace Upon Grace

Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace might also reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 5:20-21


As children grow, the number of opportunities to parent in a gospel direction grows. (Duh, you say). It is a little more complicated than that. I guess what I mean is that as my children grow older, I move from giving straightforward, simple commands (like “Don’t touch.” or “Come here.”) to giving directives where a whole counsel of rules take effect. I think of sending my older children outside to play with the admonishments to be respectful of our neighbors’ property and show love to them in the process (just to name two). All past simple commands combine and problem solving takes place. The more the rules increase as well as imparted wisdom, the more the opportunity to mess something up, somewhere.

When major messing up occurs, that presents a big opportunity for me as a mom. I realized this the other day as I considered disobedience that carried with it other failures— like lying and blaming others. The list of wrongs had piled against the child. I could tell that on this day, this particular child was feeling the crushing weight of the list of wrongs against him. The situation had moved from bad to much worse very quickly. Defenses mounted. Fear and shame were visible in his eyes and heard in his words.

Then there was my response. I must admit, many times, when failures and complications land at my feet in a heap, my frustrations pile with it. Instead of speaking life, I get bogged down by the consequences of actions. Even worse, I think of how this situation has affected me and breaks into my day. I get flustered and add my struggles to theirs. To up the ante even more, all the laws that have been written on my soul for 35 years accuse me all the more.

The worse the situation, the more opportunity for grace to be just what it is— it is and should always be good news. It washes away all the eternal weight of our failures and even makes temporary consequences bearable. In contrast, its beauty is unmatched when held against our worst. God help us not pile sins to see grace— yet grace is seen most clearly because of our piles of sins.

So if the ultimate goal of parenting from a Romans worldview is to train children who never fail, then I fail. Failure is inevitable. As the law increases, the trespasses increase. But what happens when they fail? Or when I fail? That is a distinctive Christian question.

Our worst is precisely where the gospel operates. There is something bigger than training children to keep rules.  Sure, I want them to stay safe and love their neighbors. I want them to be good citizens and maintain a reputation of a trustworthy person. I want them to not bear hard consequences in the horizontal plain of this earthly domain for bad choices. But the function of the rules that speaks the loudest is the demonstration of how they (and I) need a rule keeper. What a better time when they are experiencing mounting failures to move into, “God has loved you so much that He sent Jesus to do everything all right for you… in your place. You can repent, believe and move on.” Even when the situation warrants a good grounding or time out, they will grow to know (by grace) they are safe to bear the consequences. My relationship and posture toward them has not changed nor has their relationship with God. I love them because they are mine. When I am able to speak good news into the situation the load lightens— every time. When I don’t, the gospel brings the good news to me.

Regardless of the failure or the success, our focus is out — not in — to the beauty of Jesus. Our sins are great, combined, and complicated, but the One who bore them is greater.

This is one way the gospel is relentless in taking hold of me these days.

Had I Not First Wept

I was so happy, I related to the popular phrase, Over the Moon. I felt weighty euphoria, then happy tears, accompanied by happy sobs. I paced around and around, back and forth, shook my head, and smiled one of those smiles that begins within the well of the soul. I felt relief— deep relief. And joy. Real, surprising joy.

All because my baby sister told me she is expecting.

I remember clearly when I was childless, navigating what seemed to be seas of pregnant women, beating myself up with, “rejoice with those who rejoice.” I was (and still am) so aware of the miracle of a life conceived, then born out into the world— so much that it physically, emotionally hurt. There were times I wanted to rejoice but the hurt in me was so deep. I could never only rejoice without weeping for me.

One of the fears I have had for many years is that my sisters would suffer the same difficulties I have had when it comes to childbearing. Genetic predisposition is not in their favor. My lot and portion in life made me the biggest cheerleader for her in the mommy department— which may seem kind of strange. When a woman has experienced the sadness of infertility and loss, she would rather the women she loves be spared the same suffering.

This announcement embodied so many good things. The Centerpiece of all the good things, my Creator God, has given us another life to love; another made in His image. But it also gave me a glimpse again of what He says about His pursuit of me~ about His love for me.

I wish I could say I have been thankful for the bitter cup that makes the honey sweet. I wish I could say that I pursue it and even ask for it. I might have said something to that effect, pre-suffering, when inexperience made me green and theory was a fantasy, not reality. I used to read the Bible differently, preemptively using scripture to plot the future. Post-suffering, when real life has taken over, the weight of the words sink deeper than is comfortable and is far less manageable. When confronted with frailty and pain, I have tried to pray the hurt away and asked for mercy when wounds are fresh. Yet all the while, God has moved me along and has remained with me. Even when I wasn’t sure. Even when I felt weak. In His moving me, though the path has included pain, I know I wouldn’t have rejoiced in this way, had I not first wept.

I am a fickle person. I don’t know what I don’t know. And I run from pain. I would much rather things be easy than hard. It is a good thing my life isn’t up to me. I try to enter into other’s stories and experience, but the real ~death to life~ change that affects a part of who I am is brought about within the crucible of suffering. It is suffering that imparts substance to joy. More specifically, coming to terms with who I really am, who Jesus is, and what that means for me.

The heart of the Gospel communicates that I don’t need a renovation, I need resurrection. And that is precisely what Jesus provides. When a bit of resurrection pierces this present suffering, joy breaks through. Because my life is hidden with Christ in God, the process is safe. And it is so encouraging when God gives me Gospel specificity in personal, meaningful situations. God is patient with me. Because Jesus always wept and rejoiced appropriately, I have as well all along, thanks be to God in Christ.

One of the most beautiful experiences of this saint/sinner, drawn in by God as a part of His story, is that the Bible begins to read me. David recalls the presence of the Lord in Psalm 30 at the dedication of the temple. He also contrasts his own insufficiency with what God has done and what is to come. I have always resonated with verses 5 and 11. While my circumstances are different, weeping is for a night, but joy comes in the morning; You have turned my mourning into dancing, You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness. God has given me tastes of this truth, in so many ~But God~ ways. While my mornings  and night are still cyclical, they are temporary. One day the Son will be the Sun. And when light rules eternity, joy and dancing will be commonplace. I believe, Lord help my unbelief and continue to give me future hope.

I am an aunt again to another precious nephew. And I get to watch my baby sister, whose newborn frame forever changed my thirteen-year-old soul, mother her little boy. Hallelujah.