Products of our belonging

Life is not so much of what we make of it, but what it makes of us and what we allow ourselves to be made into.  A great fallacy common to man is that life is for the taking - and it must be taken - and only the strong survive.  We grow to work long, sweat plenty and push hard to be all that we dream we can be.  That is what we are told - work hard and your hard work will pay off.  We, with poor identified hands, long to be more, always.  Instilled within us is the idea that we can be self-sustaining, if only, we put in the hours and make the grade.  These are the success stories that are brandished bold and held high - an ill-descript tale waiting for every man.  This just isn’t so. Not all will live the same story.  In fact, there are many who live through days unbearable, and worse even, unexplainable.  Life does not always bend to our liking.  Circumstance wiggles and writhes into days without announcement like darkened clouds covering the sun.  Then, gone are the glimmer of promises and whispers of life secure as you know it.  You feel unprotected, uncovered and uncared for fully, as if you were dropped in the middle of a desert without rations or way out.

We are products of our belonging, grown into that which has us.  Whether we pledge ourselves to the work of our hands, the promise of our dreams, others’ expectations or best, something better than ourselves, we will fall close to that tree.  So then, it is absolutely important that we remember now, in a moment maybe absent of failing, that we will never achieve lasting self-sustaining.  All changes and fades, but One.

This is a truth my heart was planted into as I learned to live in the wake of grief.  My life was no longer conducive to happiness and promise as I watched my daughters sink in tears and absence of their mother.  Death left me a stranger to all certainty, even God.  But HE being bigger than life and circumstance stooped low to lift me out.  It was in darkness that I discovered true light.

Here’s an excerpt from my upcoming book, Earth & Sky:

I SAW A MAN ALONE, subdued by pain, frightened by all that might someday be. A man stumbling, drunk on why things turned out the way they did, mumbling angrily to himself—a man clinging to fading memories like a thief clutching a leaking bag. I quietly asked not to become that man. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t be him. I refused to be afraid of shadows and terrified of the future.

My daughters will never know that man. They might see me wince and wrestle with life’s haunting questions, but they will never know that man who has a hollowed heart and is comfortable only in isolation. I may not have much more to offer than my courage, but my healing will be an echo that resounds like bells of freedom in their hearts.

And their little hearts will be warm. I couldn’t leave us stranded on the roadside and stuck forever in hurt, loss, and sorrow. I couldn’t let pain unravel the strongest of loves, ours, sewn together by life’s untroubled waters and God’s goodness.

The future man I saw was one clung to life as he could make it.  I will never know that man, for we are not the same.


*My book officially releases June 10th.  I will be offering a pre-sale within the week.  SUBSCRIBE for the latest updates.

coffee and words, almost.

After a long few days of work in Mexico City and returning home with more than memories - exhaustion and 'something I apparently ate' feeling - this morning was an especially relaxed one.  I wish to you a very happy and relaxed weekend!  Here's to another cup of coffee. Here's some warm words for your Saturday.

...and this blast from the past

...and get your workout on

...and a strong case for more sleep, and lastly, one step to making everything OK.

While we are planning a view getaways for summer, we've decided to take these destinations off our list.


coffee and words, almost.

Up early after a delightful few days in Nashville for Q.  Q conference is a good gathering of room full of varied people ready to engage, and at times, wrestle with questions that demand attention.  Our time was full of intriguing presentations, questions and time with friends.  We returned late last night and rose early this morning to little hearts excited to talk and recap their homemade videos with grandma, oh and their new band - the Neon Hearts.  Here are a few links for your enjoyment and a couple of really solid articles for your reading and viewing. Happy Saturday friends!

An intriguing passing of time

Shadow art

Near future technologies

'What if?' - a great talk by Erwin McManus

'What's So Great About the Common Good?'


A Stroke of Bad Luck that Looked More like Selfishness.

stormhouse The words we held spoke clearer then, on the couch miles apart.  Our eyes turned inward unable to see the bliss which so enraptured us in the months before when valiantly broad words such as‘forever’ and ‘love’ and ‘I do’ rang joyously from our ready to speak mouths.  But then on the couch, as far apart as strangers strangely aware of intimate knowledge of each other, then encased in silent defiance, not so much.  The both of us there in the moment okay with undoing the sacred us.  We’ve been married nearly five months.

She’d never been a wife or mother before.  I’d never been married again before.

Independence dies slowly at the hand of a hesitant love.

I couldn’t understand her frustration with me and my lack of initiative in areas that I didn’t value in the same way she did.  After all, I was busy with a growing to-do list at work, a book being readied to release, managing the projected idea of me always being okay, friends that I couldn’t keep up with and daughters still wrestling with too much change in too little time.  I am a freight train rushing headlong into dreams pushing against the rails that hold me on course, and she can’t understand that?  She can’t empathize with the pressure I put on myself and my lack of time to get some things done?

She’s a strong woman whose chest houses a heart burning to love and unafraid of taking on too much.  Her shoulders are stronger than they should be.  With a delicate touch she came into us caught up in our own little adventure just as she always belonged.  No one small could’ve done so.  She’s not small at all; her heart swallows it all – love and pain.