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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Where Rainbows Hide

The hum of the motor.  The warmth of the sun beating down.  When I look out from the front of the boat the beautiful view of the placid lake is breathtaking.  I lean over the side and dance my fingers in the spray of water coming from beneath the boat.  The view this way is nothing  spectacular.  Dark water.  Hazy spray.  Kind of like life.  When our nose is to the grind,  head down, there is often not much to see.  Perspective can be elusive.  We see just what is right in front of us.  

A new school year is fast approaching. The grind.  The rushing.  The challenge to be organized.  School. Meals. Laundry. House. Sports. Work. Breathless.  Hazy.  The feeling that what’s in front of me is the most important thing- even if it’s not.  

I tilt my head as I peer into the white spray of water cascading over the lake.  And then I see it.  Just a glimpse.  A glimmer.  A rainbow!  With all of its beautiful colors dancing right there in the water by the edge of the boat as we whir along.  It disappears just as fast as it appeared.  I keep staring and every few minutes when the light hits the water just right, I see it again.  

And it’s there in the monotony, too.  Amidst the whir of life as we speed along.  If we look hard enough, we can catch a glimpse.  Of the beautiful.  The surprising.  The promise of God to not stop loving us.  To refresh us and fill us with life and hope.  To remind us that the eternal is all around us.  Laundry and homework and meals will not be remembered.  But the laughter and the kisses and the hugs after work will be impressed on the hearts of our loved ones. Futures will be shaped by the prayers that are uttered... not the clothes that are worn.  When we peer deep into His word and whisper His promises into the ears of those around us,  something awakens in them.   And in us, too.  

A purpose beyond what we can see.  His glory waiting to burst out with brilliant colors.  To refocus the eye and the heart.  Lord help me not to miss the magical moments.  Help us to take our eyes off the screens and peer into your Word and into the eager eyes of our loved ones- your loved ones.   To look.  To see the gold within them.  To really listen.  To wait for You.  Pull us deeper and cause joy to spill over into the mundane.  To be refreshed.  And to refresh others.  Cause us to find thankfulness amid the everyday tasks... 

  • Psalm 19:7 NIV
  • The law of the Lord is perfect,
        refreshing the soul.The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
        making wise the simple.
  • Psalm 23:1-3 NIV
    The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
        He makes me lie down in green pastures,
    he leads me beside quiet waters,
        he refreshes my soul.
    He guides me along the right paths
        for his name’s sake.
  • Philemon 1:7 NIV
    Your love has given me great joy and encouragement,
  •  because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of 
  • the Lord’s people.

Somewhere between the laundry and the hairbows....

Friday, May 11, 2018

Heaven and Birthdays and Happy

From where I sit in my bed I can see real life all around.  The pile of dirty laundry spilling out from the laundry room into the hall.  Pictures I bought for the twin’s room lean against the wall chiding me for not managing to hang them yet.  Clean, neatly folded stacks of kid’s winter clothing waiting impatiently to be tucked into bins.  And then I close my eyes.  And I try to imagine.  What your view might be like. 

Pristine water flowing over perfectly rounded rocks.  Sparkly “tiny fings” hidden like treasure among the stones just waiting for curious fingers to find them.  The patter of little feet and the rolling of laughter as children race to the water’s edge and plunge in without a care in the world.  The perfect feel of warmth as your feet dance their way into the stream… stepping effortlessly on rocks as smooth as solid silk.  Reaching for the sparkly surprises that He knew you would find.  His eyes full of merriment and all the anticipation of a parent delighted to surprise their child.  Ohhhh the squeals!  Perhaps you can peer inside the little gems and see scenes of wonder.  One minute you see a majestic mountain view.  Then inside another a funny scene in motion that pulls the laughter right up from your belly and spilling onto your lips.  Then you grasp a purple stone and peer deep within to see a mystery of the universe being explained in a way that your beautiful childlike mind can grasp- a way no earthly teacher could teach.  Not just knowledge, but Revelation.  Wonder and awe fill your face and light up your eyes.  You rush out from the water to share your treasures with eager friends.  The instant you leave the water you are as dry as if you had never stepped in. 

And maybe you rush to Him.  His arms are open wide and He embraces you and spins you around effortlessly. Your looks and laughs are full of thanksgiving and adoration as your heart swells in response to love that is so complete.  And perhaps He tells you that we whispered your name in the wind today.  That we love you and can’t wait to join you.  And the news brings only joy because there is no sadness and the boundaries of time have been erased. 

Maybe one stone He had hidden for you to find carried pictures of your sisters picking out balloons to send up to you.  Or of the preschool class where you sat and the very teacher who hugged you each day and how today they had a cake with your name on it and a party and they brought in money they had saved for the well project.  The project you started when you gave all the money in your piggy bank to build wells for kids with no water just two weeks before you went home!  Oh Makiah, how those loaves and fishes you gave have been multiplied!! 

And I am so proud of you!  Your tiny gift has been magnified so many times over and so many people have been reached with water and the Good News.  Your life here was short but the return for the kingdom has been rich.  And I am so challenged not to question the value of the small things- a small act of kindness, the far reaching effects of simple giving.  We just can’t see in our life time the ripples or how it will be used.  But your life reminds me of that often. 

So today I will close my eyes on the laundry and the to do list and endless stacks of dishes.  And I will wipe away some tears, and I will let myself feel the peace that I imagine is just a glimmer of what you are immersed in daily.  And I will let it spark a Hunger… for the Eternal. For what is Really Real.  For Perspective.   For the Desire to know Him as you do.   For the Belief that He is Good and that this Adventure is but a precursor to the Story that is to come.

And I will keep telling it Little One.  Because it is worth being told.  The story of Him.  And the story of our Love and Loss and new Life again.  For both of us.  You there and me here.  And all day you have felt so far away, but in this second the wall between us feels so paper thin.  In Him all things were created and move and have their being.  And we are both in Him.  A mystery.  Profound yet simple.  And so I know tonight that you know my love, and I know tonight that today was indeed a happy 12th birthday for you, my sweet Makiah.  I’m sure far better even than Mommy can imagine.  Sweet dreams and kisses my princess in heaven!

Isaiah 64:4 From ancient times, no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any god but you who acts on behalf of those who wait for him!

1 Corinthians 2:9  But as Scripture says: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him."

Thank you FUMC Cairo Pre-K for Raising Well Project $ and Remembering!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Not Anymore

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night.  I couldn’t stop thinking about her.  The mom of four who is about to face one of the hardest days of her life.  Or the littles who cling to her and how they cannot possibly understand.  Neither do we.   But they feel and they cry.  Perhaps she lies awake tonight,  too.  Her pillow wet with tears.  The sunrise brings with it a funeral.  The light ushering in an hour that makes all of our knees tremble.  She lays her young husband to rest today. Remembering all the good and treasuring his memory and love.

I can scarcely stand to think of the day I awoke to a funeral.  The day we buried my baby girl.  So I don’t and I won’t.  Not even here.  It is too painful still to let myself go back.  And perhaps not wise.  I don’t live there anymore.  There was a time when I had to grab my thoughts daily  as they reached backwards and remind them constantly that that is not where I live.  Not in Those Moments.

But. Not. Anymore.  I hurt for my friend because she is in that day.  I weep for her because the road is long.  But I rejoice for her because of the secret I can whisper across the miles.  There is Hope!  Hope of heaven.  And Hope for Here.  On earth.  We aren’t doomed to carry our sadness to the grave- as I once believed.  Jesus came to defeat death.  And all the grief that it brings with it.  It is not fast.  It is not easy.  But it is sure and true and I can whisper Hope across the miles- the same hope that ushered in the resurrection life of Jesus in my own deep brokenness.  I was once the living dead.  But not anymore.  My joy is a miracle and makes no sense.  Except that He is real and He really will bind up our wounds.

The link below is to the Easter message my sweet husband preached this week.  It’s our whole service (both I think) but you can skip to the message easily.  He shares about our daughter and things about the accident that few have heard him utter. And he shares about Resurrection.  I pray you will be filled with Hope as you listen....

Cameron’s Easter Message at Newsong

Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Thursday, January 18, 2018


I am thrilled to have one of my favorite people do a guest post today!  My mom is one of my dearest friends and heroes!  This is a reflection from her this week...

"This morning I woke up to a magnificent Winter Wonderland! The snow blanketed everything with pristine white.  I walked outside with my morning coffee to breathe the cold, crisp air.  I was very thankful that I did not have to go anywhere.

Just two days ago our family celebrated the life of my father-in-law, Bill Arnold, after his home-going a few days before.  He was a good man who loved his family, contributed greatly to our nation’s defense as an aerospace engineer working in the fields of radar and magnetics, and he grew from a rational relationship with God to a deeply personal one. 

I am reminded that our life has seasons, just as nature does.  The Winter season where all the leaves have fallen, the air is frigid, and no flowers are blooming, can also have its own beauty – the pristine clean smells, the crisp white snow rarely seen in these parts, the wonder of small ducks perfectly at home in the freezing waters of the lake outside our house.  The blue birds and red cardinals stand out against the stark background of trees with no color.

I truly believe God wants to open our eyes to the beauty that exists even in our darkest seasons, when we bring our hearts to Him, cry out to Him, and ultimately choose to trust Him – regardless. After our little granddaughter Makiah died in a seemingly senseless car accident caused by a driver on drugs, I fell into a dark place and tasted a despair I did not even know existed.  Where was the loving Father I had known and trusted most of my life? Where were the angels that fateful day? Why, oh why, did He allow such a tragic loss of our beautiful little Makiah, and such intense pain in the hearts of our family, particularly Rachel and Cameron, our daughter and son-in-law? I grappled with it for months.  Finally I surrendered my right to understand and began to choose thankfulness – at first just for the small things like a red bird outside my window, or a flowering plant.  Gradually a grateful heart began to grow in me and I could see the mercies all around and the love of God through other people that poured out comfort and support.  Finally, I knew that I could, would, MUST trust in the unfailing love of God – even if, no, especially if I could not understand!  There is pain all around in our world – pain I can relate to in a way I did not, could not before.

And I know that an everlasting beauty and peace awaits those whose hearts belong to Jesus. My father-in-law knows that first hand now; he and Makiah are in that great cloud of witnesses! Seasons – all of them – have their own beauty."  - Jeanie Arnold

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 KJV
“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die.”

1 Corinthians 13:12 TLB
“In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror, but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face to face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now.”

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Christmas Picture

The twinkling lights.  The humming of familiar tunes.  The smell of cinnamon and spices.  Late  nights of wrapping after littles are tucked in. Christmas movies in pj's with snuggles and hot chocolate.  Warm embraces of loved ones who live far away.  

The things I love about Christmas float through my mind and land gently on my lips in a smile. Oh, there are hard things, too.  Loved ones who aren't here anymore.  Relationships that have changed.  The stress of spending.  The need  to meet magical expectations.  

One of my littles trying to play a game she was given declares, "This isn't how I thought it would be."  Neither is most of life I find myself responding.  The words jump out of my mouth before I think.  But we can't despair.  "Keep trying and when you figure it out it will be worth it," I say.    

It's in the hard that we wake up.  When entertainment and busyness and life lull us to sleep on the inside, the hard sends little shock waves through our spirit that cause us to Look.  For more.  For the deep.  For the real.  And the magical  moments are a hint that there is more.  That heaven is real and happiness that isn't fleeting is possible.  We make choices all day long.  We can choose to let the good and the hard birth hope.  

And focus.  On Truth.  The One whose life mingled the good and the hard from the very beginning.   God himself made a choice.  To chase us.  Down into a stinky, cold barn where he would lay in a feeding trough peering through bleary eyes and facing the long years of growing up in a poor, displaced carpenter's family.  I sit in my silky, Biltmore sheets from Belk and shudder. I would never choose that for myself or my baby.  But. Someone. Did.  He chose it. He did not run from the hard.  Not from the pokey, scratchy straw or the rough splintery wood of the cross.  From His first cry to His last,  He chose the hard to birth the hope of heaven. In us.  

I found it displayed on the outside of the stairs facing into the living room.   Propped up against the iron bars just below the velvety stockings hanging from the stair rail.  A simple drawing with words misspelled.  But it grabbed my heart. A treasure of truth right out from the hand of a six year old.  And the letters in red.  A quiet gift declaring what we all need to acknowledge this Christmas.  It was for us.  The hope of heaven.  Given from the One. So we could have an eternity of Christmases.  

Monday, November 6, 2017

Not Enough

Do you ever feel like you are running a rat race?  And you just can't seem to win?  For me that looks like flying around trying to get all the lunches packed, breakfasts made, folders signed, hair fixed, barely making it and wishing I had time to do more than just pray with my kids on the way to school in the morning.  Even when I'm in a good rhythm of getting up uber early and walking and praying, I can't seem to make devotionals with the kids happen in the a.m.  At night we are trying to make sure everybody reads to us for 15 minutes each, gets a book read to them, squeezes  in a bible story and says prayers before I'm too grumpy and tired from sitting on kids beds in the dim light and trying to keep myself awake.

The goals I have in my mind are so lofty.  I envision what it looks like to keep the main thing the main thing.  But then reality comes screeching in, and what I feel is it's not enough.  And when I am not paying attention, that little feeling can begin to whisper something subtly different.  "You're not enough."  Just a sly, seemingly insignificant switch of pronouns.   Such a profoundly different implication.  One that can keep me up at night.  Or open the door for that opportunist called guilt who is ever lurking just outside my thoughts.

A few Sundays ago I thought I pretty much had everything under control.  Until the girls and I pulled into the church parking lot,  and I decided to back into a spot.  Just before I did
Eliana, my three year old, said "Mommy, you are a good driver."  About three seconds later I heard the crunch of metal as my giant tank of an SUV smashed the rear tail light of a tiny, silver car.  The worship pastor's car.  I walked around my vehicle in disbelief- thinking how great this was.  Pastors wife smashes worship leader's car during first service.  I just couldn't believe I did it.  As I am saying that over and over, Eliana pipes up and says, "Mommy, you're still a good driver."  "No I'm not!"  I exclaim.  "Don't you see what I did?"  But she holds firm and repeats herself again.

Now fortunately for me I hit the most gracious person ever.    I mean, she couldn't have been kinder.  I don't advise running into staff members cars at your church just because they are nice about it though!  So anyway, a little later in worship, the whole conversation surrounding the fender bender floods my mind.  It's strikes me that it's so strange Eliana said I was a good driver just before I hit that other car.  And that she kept insisting it was still true afterwards.  While I'm wondering, a little heart tug interrupts me, and all of a sudden I get it.  There is a picture here.  A lesson if I will see it.

God calls us His beloved.  Everyone of us is the one He died for.  Even if we don't know it yet.  And if we have wrapped ourselves in the gift of Jesus, then all He sees when He looks at us is goodness.  His goodness.  His loved ones.  His destiny over us.  His beautiful, unmarked creation.  And when we wreck things, when we do something that seems to scream we are someone different, what He says about us Does Not Change.  Because it doesn't depend on us.  It depends on the finished work of Jesus on the cross.  He is enough.  Enough to cover us from everything we have or ever will do.  Enough make us new inside if we will let him.  Enough that our new identity is impenetrable.  Enough to fill in the gaps with our family.  Enough that when that little feeling starts to whisper I am not enough, I can shout back with confidence that He is enough, and I am His!

And I feel lighter and a little more free.  Knowing that it doesn't all rest on what I do but on who and whose I am.  And humbled that he would use my littlest one to paint me such a clear picture of this deep truth.  Lord, help us to hear your voice and not the voices that try to distract.  Focus our hearts on the truth of your word and help us believe we are who you say we are!

"The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Makiah's 7th Heaven Day

It's gray outside today. As if the world is wearing a shroud. And in someways it's appropriate.  It used to be gray, dark and heavy in my heart.  A hidden abyss of brokenness. For so very long.  Breathing was painful and wetness never left my eyes.  I thought that stabbing heartbeat might stop.  Wished it would.  

But then the sunshine broke through.  And gifts from heaven came.  To convince me I was still loved.  Not forgotten.  Four little girl gifts to be exact.  Wet kisses straight from heaven brought through lips that were new.  And I got an inkling. A wild hope.  Just the faintest scent of it.  That a resurrection might be in progress.  

Slowly.  One weeping step forward at a time.  He has done it.  He has wiped the tears from my eyes.  Not Father Time.  He has nothing to offer but bitterness.  And reliving.  And wishing.  And regret.  Time does not heal all wounds.

But Abba does.  The one who calls himself I Am that I Am.  The only God who cares enough to come after us.  The only One who would bear our pain so that we can catch a whiff of hope.  The scent of heaven.  Of resurrection. 

And today, Sunday, was exactly 7 years.  The number of perfection in the Bible.  And I was a bit nervous this morning.  How would my heart do around so many?   But God's presence was so sweet in worship. And we sang about His eyes like fire and His hair like snow and His voice like waters.  And in my imagination I felt I was in His lap.  On one knee.  Being pulled in tightly for a daddy hug.  Peace rippled through me.  In the next second I was surprised to envision Makiah on the other knee.  Just across from me.  Tossing her blonde waves and laughing with delighted giggles at my surprise and the joy of His embrace.

And for one second I felt the wall between us was not fathoms but paper thin.  Like the distance of one breath.  Or the time between a heartbeat.  And it became so real to me again.  That all this is fleeting.  Such unfathomable joy awaits us.  In the Father's embrace.  If we will have Him. He is reaching out. If. We. Will. Crawl up in his lap with all of our disappointment.  Or anger.  Or brokenness.  Or questions.  This is not the end.

And my heart knows it now.  Not just my head.  There is a miracle waiting for you.  

7 years since I held her.  Maybe 70 will pass in all before I hold her again.  But the day. Is. Coming.  And it will feel like 7 seconds.  And today it never stopped raining.  But my heart felt victorious.  And I have a hope.  That does not disappoint.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Messy Grace

Fall is here!  School is in full swing and if you have kids, then so is your life.  I miss the long,lazy days of summer break, but it's nice to finally get into a good routine.  Well, at least that sounds nice on paper!  The truth is life is unpredictable.  

I  am not exaggerating at all when I say one of my four kids has knocked their whole cup over at the table once a day for the last week!   And last Sunday one of my twins came running to tell me Eliana was eating someone's half chewed up candy from the grass!  I seriously had to dig in her mouth to get it out.  She did not want to give that thing up!  Then there was that quick bath on my sweet middle daughter's birthday... it turned into an ordeal when she jumped out screaming that little sister had pooped in the tub!   I told her happy birthday.  Her sister had her a present all right!

As much as I love my kids, children truly are disgusting!  At least in  that early stage until we teach them some social norms!  But I have a confession.  I am afraid I took the award for gross and parent of the year all at once during the first week of school.  The second afternoon after I picked the girls up, I was standing in the kitchen, and Alena opened her lunch box.  She pulled out a bag, and said, "Mommy, why did you send me this for lunch?!"  I glanced up from the dishes to see something horrible.  It was a ziplock bag with a sandwich inside that was absolutely black with mold!!!  "Where did you get that?" I asked in horror.  She informed me it was in a small zipper pocket on the side of the lunch bag.  I suddenly realized I never looked in that pocket, and it must have been a sandwich from last school year!!!  And here is the real revealing thing.  My first question wasn't did you eat any but did your new teacher see that?!?  I laughed until I cried.  I mean what mom does that?   Who sends their kid to school with a moldy sandwich from last year? Well,  yours truly apparently.  

Just when I get too focused on trying to do things perfectly or make things run smoothly something like this happens!  Something to remind me of how Much I need grace.  Grace to love those around me when life is messy.  And a sprinkle of humility to remind me how much God has grace with me.  

When I was sitting by the side of the tub feeling completely irritated with my three year old while I cleaned the poop up, she looked at me with those big brown eyes and said, "Your a good mommy."  It totally caught me off guard and also made me thankful I happened to not be yelling in that moment.  "Why do say that?" I asked.  "Because how you are cleaning me up!" she replied.  And all my frustration melted in a second.  Thank goodness she couldn't read my mind 10 seconds before.  

And I can't help but be reminded that we have a good Daddy.  How do I know?  Because of how He cleans us up.  Only he isn't irritated on the inside while He is doing it.  He is looking at us standing in the mess we have made of our lives and even if it stinks, He is cleaning us up with eyes full of love.  And when we respond with thankfulness, we invite Him to pull us closer.  And I can breathe a little freer in the craziness because I know I have a good Daddy right there with me, and I am not in this alone.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Treasures in the Sea

On the beach outside of Wilmington, North Carolina

Walking by beautiful houses all in a row with perfect white porch rails and muted pastel colors. Each house sitting up tall and peeking over the dunes as if to get a look at this great thing we call the sea. The sunlight glistening all bright and shiny with an almost silvery trail through the water as it begins to rise.  So powerful and majestic. White foamy waves crashing gently on the shore. Giving just a hint of the strength that lies beneath. But their gentle whisper is calming and soothing to the soul.  Washing away anything ugly on the shores and leaving behind colorful, sparkling treasures for curious little ones to find in the sand.

And it reminds me of You.  I see but the surface of You.  Only a hint of the greatness and power that lies within is evident to my frail, human eyes.  But what I can see is so awe inspiring.  Heart quieting. Be still my raging thoughts!  Hear the sweet whisper of His calming voice beckoning me to peace.  A gentle whisper that also roars with strength.  

And even when the weather is cold or stormy the sea remains.  Unmoved.  Hidden from me.  The waves continue to pound relentlessly with their whisper call regardless of sun or clouds.  I just don't see it because I don't come very often. Only when it's warm and the conditions are right in my life. And so it is with the Lord. You are ever present. Ever steady.  Ever here.  Ever calling.  We should slip down to the edge of Your presence to sit in the quiet more often. Wind, rain, storm, heat, or cold... You never change. But the opportunity for us to be changed by coming close to You is always there.  Your love.  Beckoning.  Deep calling to the deep hidden in us.

David said my heart pants like a deer for water.  It longs for you, Lord. Stir up a hunger within us God.  To visit your shores daily.  Your word says it is the glory of God to conceal a matter but the glory of kings to find it out. Help us to dig  our toes into the sandy beaches of the knowledge of You and unearth the treasures that You have waiting for us.  Hidden in your word and in Your presence.

Some treasures are for us, and some are for us to unearth and take to others. The thrill of excitement in my children's eyes is priceless when they find a whole shell.  They marvel that even far away from the beach they can hear the echo of the waves when they cradle it close to their ears.  And it's His plan for us to find treasures and take them to others.  When they hold it up to their own ears, they can hear the sound of their Daddy's powerful whisper calling to their hearts.  Echoing over and over again with a heartbeat that says I love you. With the whisper that is inviting them to the shore themselves to find the many treasures awaiting them. 

 For the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Awaken our hearts, Lord, that we might be wise and not miss those hidden things that were meant to be found.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

When you try...

I picked my sweet Alena up from her final dance rehearsal yesterday.  The big recital is tonight, and we have lived and breathed her dances at our house for the last few weeks.  When I was helping her buckle in she asked, “Mom, it doesn’t have to be perfect does it?  Nothing on earth can really be perfect, right?”  It’s amazing to me how profound questions can come from the mouths of little children who just finished kindergarten.  And there was such earnest seeking in her eyes.  Sometimes you know your kids probably won’t remember what you say but that you have a chance to plant a weighty seed that will burrow deep into their little hearts and bring fruit later… for the good or the bad.  It was one of those moments.

After a quick talk- there were  four of them in the car and Eliana was screaming for Dora while Alena herself was actually crying from a fall- we headed home.  While I was walking this morning and praying about a follow up conversation and pep talk for tonight, I thought of the last morning I spent with Makiah.  I was 16 weeks pregnant and not feeling great.  We snuggled up on the couch for a few minutes before breakfast.  She ran her little fingers all over my face and when I pulled back so she wouldn’t mess up my makeup, she said, “Mom I just want to feel your face.”  It was so unusual thatI let her and pulled her close.  Then out of no where she declared that I was perfect.  Sort of taken aback, I assured her that Mommy was far from perfect but that I did try.  She said. “Mommy, when you try, it’s perfect.”  Sometimes kids questions are profound, but sometimes their answers are too.  Words from heaven that have rung in my heart many times since then.  And words that I determined to pass on to her little sister today as well.

Sometimes we feel that a little is not significant.  Or that what we could do is so far from perfect that we shouldn’t try.  What we forget is that our Daddy God is pulling for us.  That he is not that parent on the sidelines screaming at their kid on the field.  Zephaniah 3:17 says He rejoices over us with singing.  When we are in relationship with Jesus, we get to wear his team name on our jersey and every attempt we make on the field of life brings encouragement from our coach.  Each play we learn to hear his voice a little more clearly, and we literally bring joy to his heart.  No nothing is perfect on earth, but in our weakness, He is made strong.

On Makiah’s 11th birthday last month, her four year old teacher, Laurie,  and one of her babysitters, Jenn, both “tried and it was perfect.”  They both did special things with their students to raise money for Makiah’s Wells (to hear more about the well project and how it started just keep reading) and if the joy in my heart is even the smallest drop of how God feels when we “try,”  then it just blows my mind how happy he must be with us!  I have been bursting to share some pictures with you…

Jenn and Phillip teach school in Israel and their students raised 622 shekels ($172) for the well project and sent me a video of the kids singing happy birthday to Makiah!!  What compassion they are teaching these precious children!!

Makiah's Spot on the Rug
Makiah's sweet preschool teacher, Laurie, also sent me a copy of the post she made for the parents of her current class and I just have to share...

“Today we made a birthday card for a sweet little girl that used to sit on the butterfly spot of our classroom rug.  She loved bugs, tiny “fings," butterflies, and Jesus.  She was a dancing princess.  Her name was Makiah Kaitlyn King.  She will celebrate her 11th birthday in heaven.  

It amazes me that our classroom curriculum has us studying caterpillars and butterflies almost to the day of her birthday.  So many things about her celebration of life seem to be hugs from heaven.

Each year we take time to teach the children about Makiah’s sweet life and one part in particular… the day she gave her piggy bank.

At church one morning Makiah learned that little children like her didn’t have clean water.  And they sometimes got sick because they had to drink dirty water.   Her mommy said that Makiah showed up in the kitchen with her piggy bank in hand.  She wanted to give it all to help those children have clean water.  And she did.

Since her heaven day many wells have been dug in her honor.  With clean water came renewed hope.  The hope opened hearts and many souls have been saved.”

This precious lady went on to explain to me that when she shared the story she also told the kids they would be having a big birthday celebration the next day on Makiah’s birthday!  They each took home a butterfly bag and brought it back full of change.  The class gave Makiah a birthday gift as they sent their “piggy bank” money to help dig a well.  She said one of their precious children said, “We’re gonna help her finish her job!”  With her eyes a little wet and her heart so proud, the teacher gave this tiny one a big high five!  

Weighty words.  Hope from heaven.  We get to help finish her job.  (Click HERE and scroll to the bottom to join us in building wells.)

And we get to finish the job of Jesus.  He entrusted us with the last task.  To re-present him.  To proclaim the Father’s love.  To try.  And when you try, it's perfect.