Monday, May 29, 2017

hold on....the good stuff is coming




















It has been silent over here at the Tired Supergirl blog for a more than a month.
Sometimes life comes swooping in and leaves me wordless.
I have been co-writing with my friend, Tiffany, (Plumb) and feeding boys that are never full
and getting settled into our new little cottage.

All good things.

I have been pondering what book to write next...
Jumping into a new devotional?
Finishing the fairy stories I started in college?
Diving into a book about finding yourself in the fathomless depths of God's love?
I have thoughts about them all.

All good ideas.

Then I am wrestling with the idea of going back to work full time.
Scott and I have been talking about the possibility for this past year.
With two years before our oldest leaves for college,
we know that is needed.
I was reading up on college tuition and nearly passed out.
Apparently, only Bill Gates and royal families with a secret stash of jewels
can afford to educate their children past high school.
I am having a tough time figuring out how we can pull this off.

So much to think about.

For the past decade, I have had the great privilege of writing.
It has been my dream. My dream come true.
(And on occasion, my nightmare come true...tight deadlines give me back spasms.)
So taking a step back from writing, in some ways, feels like the death of a dream.
But God has been speaking to my heart this past week.

First...

He is the dream giver.
My dream to write....was originally His dream for me.
He takes great pleasure in the fact that I write.
It was His plan for me all along,

and secondly, He is reminding me that...

Chasing the dream is not the goal.
Chasing Him is.

A few weeks back I spoke at a women's retreat about expectations
and one of the scriptures I touched on was Proverbs 16:9.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

I encouraged the women there to start their day with this prayer,

"God, I don't know what today holds for me.
I have some plans but I would like you to establish my steps."

Let's be honest. I was speaking to myself.
That is the prayer that I need to be praying right now.

I think Jesus agrees because two days ago, I opened up Mornings with Jesus
to read the devotion for the day and the scripture was Proverbs 16:9 -

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

Yesterday, three letters came to the house. My mom writes all of the grandkids each month.
She shares news about herself and Dad and what they are up to
and puts in fun tidbits about all the cousins.
Every time it comes the boys rip into it like it holds a winning lottery ticket.

I picked it up after the boys had finished reading it. And at the bottom of the letter
(after telling them how special they each were and how loved they were),
my mom had included Proverbs 16:9 -

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

It is almost like Jesus is trying to tell me something.

When I try to cling to my expectations, my dreams, my plans, my people, too tightly?
It's never a good outcome. Usually there is lots of disappointment.
Tears. Weeping and gnashing of teeth. It's not pretty.

But when I cling to Him?
There is a present peace in the midst of the chaos of my mind.
When I invite Him into my confusion, He brings Himself.
Wisdom. Clarity. Love. Mercy. Strength.

Every. Single. Thing. That I need. That you need. Right now.
Are found in His presence.

Clinging to a dream is like clinging to air.
It slips through my fingers. I am left empty-handed.

Clinging to Him means I can hear His heart beating with love.
For me. For my boys. For you. For this world.
His heart for us fills me with hope.
Because He alone has the power to establish our steps.
To make all things new.
To right wrongs.
To forgive our messups.
To close and open doors.
To renew our minds.
To heal our hearts.
To give us new dreams.
To bring about new seasons.

I don't know how this next year is all going to work out.
But He does.
I don't know how we are going to put three boys through college
But He does.
I don't know what I will write next.
But He does.
I don't know what me working full time will look like for our family.
But He does.
I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.
I don't know a lot of things.

But I know one thing.
He is good. He is love. And He is here.
And that...is the good stuff.



Friday, April 14, 2017

how can you love Good Friday?





















Good Friday has always been my least favorite day of the Holy Week.

I know it is the day that the price for my salvation is paid.
I know that without it, I am lost and good for nothing.
I know that in those holy moments of pain and terror, Jesus chose us over Himself.

I know it is our best day...but it feels like our worst day.

Because Good Friday is a horror movie kind of day.
I don't know about you but I am not good with blood.

I want to skip over the gore of Friday to the high hope of Sunday.
I want the angels with their bright glory and tombstones flung back.
I want the gates of hell to be shattered and the power of death to be broken.
I want Mary Magdalene, racing with joy down the path towards the disciples,
yelling at the top of her lungs, "He is ALIVE! I have seen Him!"

This...I love. I love everything about Easter morning.

But I wish there was a less brutal version of the crucifixion.
Something more palatable. Something a little less over the top.
My Christian sensibilities can't quite handle all that carnage.

I can't bear the thoughts of thorns piercing Jesus' forehead sending blood trickling into His eyes.
Or the cackle of the Roman soldiers as they send the whip singing into His bared back.
Knowing that He must have shouted out in pain and wept into the ground.

I hate thinking that He suffered...alone. Not a friend in sight.
That He was betrayed by the ones He loved best of all.
That His dignity was in shreds and
that people who weren't good enough to kiss His feet saw Him naked...
and showered Him with spit.

I can't stand it. I really can't.
I don't want to think about it. I don't want to ponder it.
I don't want it. Any of it.
Because it is so ugly. So brutal. So wrong. So evil.

I can hardly stand the thought of Jesus, bent and bowed, straining under the weight of the cross,
staggering up the hill to the place where He knows He will die.

I cringe thinking about each strike of the mallet against spike
and knowing that His screams tore the air.

The laughter of the centurions as they gambled for His robe?
John and Mary, His mom,
holding each other up as they watch the cross lifted and dropped into place?
The heaving of Jesus' chest as he tries to get a morsel of air into his lungs?
His desolation at feeling abandoned by His Father...
the One who has asked Him to do this heart shattering work?

 I hate it all. Good Friday is a nightmare.

I hate every. single. thing. about Good Friday until I hear His words.
The ones torn from his lips that were cracked and dry with thirst.

Father, forgive them. They have no idea what they are doing.

It is in this moment...that His heart is on display.
It is thundering in His chest.
It is broken and bleeding out for all to see.

And His heart is for us.
Us.
The ones who put Him there.
The spitters. The haters. The nail pounders. The mockers.
The gamblers. The whip holders. The deserters. The hate filled.
The killers. The despots. The bitter. The angry. The lost.

His heart is for me.
And for you.
At our worst. At our most desperate.
He is pouring out grace and forgiveness.
He is heaping loving kindness on our heads.

And He is calling out to His Dad,

Don't give them what they deserve.
Let me take it instead.
Because I want them to know you.

He held himself there in that place of pain
so that you and I could be free.
So that we could see how deeply and terribly He loves us.
So that we would know that
there was absolutely nothing that He would not do on our behalf.

The miracle of Easter is grounded in the gore of Good Friday.
The power of His love is poured out for us with His blood and tears.
His depth of His pain and suffering on the cross shout of His faithfulness.
His benediction... It is finished... ushers in our deliverance.

Captives set free.
Blind eyes opened.
Those who sat in darkness blinking in the light of hope and freedom.
Bringing all of who He is into the chaos of our lives.
Grace. Mercy. Forgiveness. Goodness. Peace.
And love.
Love upon love upon love upon love.

And that?
That is what makes Good Friday the LOVE-liest day of all.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

You guys...the cat has gone rogue...




















I don't know if it is appropriate to ask for prayers for a cat.
They are kind of haughty and prideful creatures.
They do their own thing. They can withhold their affection.
But we have to come to love one, especially, in our house.
His name is Toby.

We have had him for four years.
We got him a week after my dear friend Shelly died.
He has been a comfort. And a joy. And a source of laughter.
We especially appreciate the love/hate bond that he has formed with Flash, the dog.
They have been known to eat together and cuddle.
And when Flash gets too wild, Toby gives him a pop to the head and puts him in his place.

But when we had our crazy move two weeks ago, Toby went AWOL.
We were feeding him at our old rental until we could get into the new rental.
And there were tons of people coming in out of the house doing repairs.
People that were not us.
And HE FREAKED OUT.
And took off.

He is a tomcat so he loves to roam.
It is not unusual for him to take off for a few days.
The boys thinks that he loves the ladies.
That may be true.
But this....this is unusual.
He has never been gone this long.
And we are sad.

I keep wondering, "What is he thinking? Does he think we abandoned him?"
I have cat guilt. I didn't even know that was a thing.
Pets work their way into the fabric of your lives and hearts and become
a part of your family story.
Now a furry piece of our story is missing.

We have been leaving food for him.
He is eating it. Or we are feeding an impostor raccoon. We don't know.

We go to the house multiple times a day. Calling him.
Doing our special whistle
that let's him know that there is food for him.
But he is off the grid.

We have alerted neighbors and texted them pictures. We have gone to  the SPCA. No luck.
Our next steps is hanging posters. Flash wants his cat back.

Will has had dreams about finding him. Toby used to sleep with him every night.
Addison wants to buy a security camera and stake out the back yard.
Their hearts are hurting.
Who knew you could miss a cat so much?

Jack asked me last night, "Have you given up yet? Toby had a good run."
I said, "Nope. Not yet."
We would like a longer run.

Somehow this new house will not quite feel right until that fat cat is lying, purring on the couch, hugging my shins and taking swings at his frenemy, Flash.

























So we have been praying for Toby.
I know this may seem ridiculous to some of you.
I get it.
The world is in crisis...why am I wasting prayers on a feline?

I guess because....we love him.
He is ours.

And I figure if God cares about the sparrows and knows where each one is...
He knows where Toby is. He can take care of the world and Toby at the same time.

He has shut lions' mouths and spoken truth through a donkey
and used a whale as a form of transportation....
He has ways with His animals...He might send Toby home.
It is a small thing for Him to do but a big thing for us.

If by chance this doesn't happen,
we are also praying that Toby finds some new people to love him.
To cuddle him. And kiss him. And scratch him between the ears.

But Toby...if by chance you are on someone else's couch, eating their snacks
and reading this post...get your rear back home.
It's not the same without you. Don't be scared.
Addie promises to not squeeze you too hard when you get here.