When you’re warmly invited to dream

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Oh, it is a hard thing, the speaking of dreams in a world that no longer believes in happy ever after. Dreaming gets hard when our hearts know what we’re up against, that we live in a world that holds hands with sorrow like a lifelong friend.  This world is particularly hostile to the gifts we swaddle and hold close and protect, especially if we’ve gone beyond one or two.

These little ones so fresh from God still smell of Heaven but we get sideswiped off the road of grateful and the gravel flies and the swerving back can feel like whiplash as we grab the neck and wince and crumple and cry and wave the Holy Spirit on to do what He does–speak those guttural sounds that pierce God’s ear on our behalf when we’re too wrung out to form words.

The day my sonogram showed fourth boy a woman at the ball field spoke words that stung. “Oh, wow. I bet you’re disappointed.” Blinking hard, I backed away from her, practically ran to the car to sweep my sweet boy far from her dark words. I remember wanting to blanket my belly, to never let him hear or feel or believe such a terrible thought. That day I went home and named him Matthew. “Gift of Jehovah”. I never wanted him to doubt for a second that I considered him all gift from our graceful God. He is 20 now, still gift and full of grace.

Sometimes our beautiful is the world’s ugly, and that can hurt deep. But if we understand our calling we grasp that we live in a world that needs Jesus and the hard truth is that they can’t understand Him so they run far and fast from His presence. And from His gifts.

They run from our happy marriages and our big closely-knit families and our sweet relationships with our children. They run from our friendships that put the other first and let one another breathe free and always try to believe the best. They run from our dreams because they are afraid to fly.

And isn’t it our hope for them that they are freed to fly?

In a few short weeks I will release my first full-length book to Kindle, and later to print. It is an invitation to dream and believe and fully live.

A Beautiful Life – An Invitation to Truly Live is my hand held out in warm welcome. And you are invited.

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Peace in the face of fear

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It was just past 6am when the call came. “Mama, I’m okay, but I was in an accident.”

My surroundings panned back, lengthening like a movie scene as I struggled to find my voice. “Is it serious? What happened? Where are you?” Questions popped like shots from a flare gun.

“It’s pretty serious. The traffic is never backed up or stopped on this road, but this morning it was. It all happened so fast. I got out right away to check on the lady I hit and tried to keep her calm till the ambulance came. I think she will be okay.”

I found out where he was and jumped into the car, my mind still wrapped in a fog. In the midst of the blur, phrases from the call kept floating forward. He’d been driving his future father-in-law’s car, and as I pulled up to the scene I could tell it was totaled. I felt sick. He was talking to an officer when I arrived but quickly came over and put his arms around me. I was wrecked but in emergency mama mode and my baby needed me strong.

It was two weeks till his wedding, and I fought to stop the flow of what-ifs. It was surreal that he walked away from the accident uninjured. His account of the accident playing over in my head was nearly more than I could stand. He’s 20, but he will always be my baby boy.

I’ve rarely known fear like that. Really, I don’t think there is anything like the fear a mother feels for the safety of her children. I generally stay in a constant stream-of-dialogue prayer, and let me tell you that morning God and I had quite the conversation. The fear of a mama for her babies is the kind that grips and doesn’t let go, squeezes the breath right out and threatens to smother any hope or reason.

But when the God of Peace lives deep within the soul of a mama, it changes everything.

Scripture says that we don’t “grieve like those who have no hope.” (I Thess. 4:13) That verse has always made me think well beyond grief and mourning, has made me realize that we don’t do anything like those who have no hope. Not with the Creator of the Universe in the driver’s seat.

We don’t live like those who have no hope.
We don’t stress like those who have no hope.
We don’t fear like those who have no hope.

There’s no peace like God’s peace, that unwordable calm that settles deep and assures the heart that no matter what happens God will never lose control.

My sweet boy and his beautiful wife have been married for just over five months, and the same God who settles my soul watches over our newlyweds with a protectiveness like no other. I will always worry, because I am a mama. But fear will not hold me long, because my hope rests in the One Whose perfect love casts out all fear.

It is a hope that drives everything I do.
And I pray this hope for you.

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