Showing posts from March, 2018

It isn't well with my soul

In the year 1871, the Spafford family tragically lost their only little boy to an illness.  Horatio, the father, was a successful lawyer and businessman in the city of Chicago, but later that same year, he also lost many of his investments in The Great Chicago Fire.  In the pain of personal and financial tragedy, the family decided to take a holiday to Europe following these events, but Horatio had to finish up some business before leaving.   He sent his wife Anna and their four young daughters on a boat with plans to meet them in England.

Four days into the voyage, their ship collided with another and Anna was the only Spafford who survived.  She sent Horatio a telegram that began, "Saved, alone."  On his way to meet Anna, Horatio's ship passed over the place where his daughters perished beneath the dark and mighty sea.  It is said that these events inspired him to write the hymn, It Is Well With My Soul.

The first notes play out, and I recognize their tune before the w…

The power of words

I receive hand scratched notes on a regular basis from my youngest child.  They are often apologies written in marker and hand-delivered in tears.  Each one is some variation of this, "Dear Mom, I am sorry I made you mad.  Will you forgive me?  Yes or No?  (Circle one.)  Love, Eliza"

I always feel a flash of sadness as I remember some small thing I may have reminded her to do or scolded her for.  It is a rare occasion that I am actually upset with her, but her sensitivity to my tone of voice and her desire for my approval prompts these little messages written by a broken heart.  She has opened my eyes to the tenderness that exists inside of her, and the care I need to use when disciplining her.

I think a lot about the words I speak.  I frequently leave conversations wishing I had kept my mouth shut, and regret the potential error of my words for days.  Seriously, days!  I analyze the back and forth of the exchange, and wonder how my words were received.  Have I offended?  Di…

When God disappoints

There are secret thoughts that marinate in my mind long before they ever make it past my lips.  They sometimes push their way into a blog if I've found any perspective on them, but often I find that fear keeps them inside.  They are hidden behind those thin places stretched delicately over my heart.  To allow them to be seen, to be touched, is to risk tearing them away leaving the rhythm of my life exposed.

It has been nearly a year since the lies first settled over me.  Again and again I would hear them sing their terrible song.  "You are not enough.  You are not wanted."  They interrupted my thoughts while I was on a Skype call with the pastors from our missionary organization.  They had been counseling my husband and me through the difficult decision of moving back to the U.S., and the reality of where we were heading was not where I wanted to go.  It was becoming increasingly clear that we would be leaving Nicaragua.

We had worked so hard to get there, and God had wa…

The Church will fail you

It was a Saturday.  I don't know why I remember that after 15 years, but I do.  I was working a busy 12 hour shift at the hospital, but my mind was still replaying the Sunday before.  My stomach was nervous, and my heart thumped hard against my chest.  I couldn't wait another day to do what I knew needed to be done.  My hands felt the slightest tremor as I picked up the phone in one of the nurse's charting alcoves.  I dialed her number, and waited in dread as it began to ring.

I'd had nursery duty that week during service, and as I watched my young son I looked around the space to see how it could be improved.  There had been a bit of a baby boom in the congregation, and I felt the need to refresh the small space.  With permission from leadership and a budget assigned, I initiated the process.

There were removable stickers displayed happily along the walls that I easily removed and placed in the trash.  I was imagining paint and matching curtains along with organized s…