Monthly Archives: August 2013

Letting Goods Go

Wonder how many times in my life I have sung these words in A Mighty Fortress:
Let goods and kindred go…
without truly understanding the implications.
These days they seem to come to mind more often than not. As we watch our belongings leave to find their place in another home, or pack them up in totes to be seen again in 3-5 years, or throw them in the garbage (though in my mind, my kindergarten yearbook or college scrapbooks hardly seem like “trash.”) Much more comfortable singing them on a plush church chair than truly “letting go.”

The thing is, I never thought stuff mattered to us. And whenever it started to feel like it did, I would go a year without buying clothes. To help loosen the grip. But when you’re figuring out what to do with the rocking chair you rocked all three of your babies in… Or, the Twister game that entertained precious little friends on many a life group gathering here… Or, the oil painting of our sunrise engagement that got started and never finished… All the while, spending your final days in this house you have worked so hard to call home…and trying to figure out how to squeeze the necessities (and 3 years of gluten-free pasta) into 12 suitcases…
it matters.

The more we sort and sell and store and give and pack, the less it becomes about the stuff.
It really is the memories that have been made. The people we have made them with.
But, the stuff? It comes and goes.
A dear friend told me this week “a coffin has no pockets.” And when she said that, it clicked.
The only thing that lasts is what we have given away.

Sometimes only in the letting go are we able to fully embrace what matters.
I may not carry our rocking chair with me in Brazil, but will my boys still have a momma who takes the time to sit with them in their hurt?
We may not have a Twister game anymore, but we will always gather with precious little friends. I mean, there’s still bugs for them to find! 🙂
That sunrise oil painting may never find its place so perfectly on our bedroom wall, but every morning the sun rises and I am next to my love should be enough.
And this home we have enjoyed? We always knew it was a gift for now. But we never wanted it to overshadow the longing for our heavenly Home.

Not that it’s really necessary for you all to get rid of things.
This is probably less helpful for you to read than it is therapeutic for me to write.
It’s just where we’re at. Because when the Lord calls you to another country and you only have 2 suitcases a person to fill…
Well, you learn to
Let goods and kindred go…
But hey, guess what’s next?
His kingdom.
And it is FOREVER!

I wish this were a lesson that would just stick. But learning to let go can be an ongoing process. Our Lord is gracious. His Spirit continues to convict and counsel.
Below are some resources that have been helpful to
Fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,
since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4.18

LINK LOVE
Something to read. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
True story of a mom who identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against modern-day greed, materialism, and overindulgence. In living a deeply reduced life, she discovered a greatly increased God.

Something to listen to. Experiencing the Presence of God’s Spirit by Francis Chan
Francis shares both the dangers of staying in the “shallow end,” and the joys of jumping in the “deep end” of our faith, to truly live out what we say we believe.
He says “What are we afraid of? I’m afraid of holding on to too much stuff.”

Something to watch. Living on One Dollar a Day
1.1 billion people live on less than $1 a day. This statistic moved 4 college students to live on less than a dollar a day for eight weeks in rural Guatemala. A dollar a day. How richly blessed we truly are. Blessed to bless.

Something to put on repeat. Oceans by Hillsong
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand…

P.S. Learning to let the goods go is enough to tackle for right now.
I’m trying to ignore the second part of that phrase for as long as possible. 🙂

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Cool Dudes

Our little buddy starts kindergarten tomorrow. That sentence alone makes me want to grab my kids and crawl into a hole in the ground! And come back out in June.

I’ll spare you my sappy sentimental thoughts and share what a fun stage we’re in.
Jude has been teaching us all about cool dudes.DSC_0578

We chuckle at his 5 year old observations. But they are worth noting.
In case you want to be a cool dude…

Cool dudes always have a tattoo. When one of them rubs off, they put on another one.

Cool dudes ride skateboards while they talk on their iPhone.

Cool dudes shrug their shoulders instead of say “I don’t know.”

Cool dudes always keep their hands in their pockets.

Cool dudes listen to “Call Me Maybe.” And they know the words.

Cool dudes do have trophies. Some cool dudes win their own trophy.

When it’s cold outside, cool dudes wear short sleeves.
When it’s hot outside, cool dudes wear long sleeves.

Cool dudes mow the lawn while they’re playing soccer and walking their dog.

Cool dudes drive with one hand on the wheel.

Cool dudes wear their hat backwards. Or sideways.

Cool dudes compete. When they see another cool dude, they look at each other and compete.
Like this:
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(But not even sure how you compete with that :))

No matter what the world may tell them, in my book – my boys are the coolest.
And that’s what matters.
Because my school years taught me that when you’ve got a momma behind the scenes, praying for you,
it’s easier to face the world.

Lettuce Walk by Faith

We have really grown to enjoy gardening. One of my favorite things this time of year is to step outside and see what additions are ripe to add to our meal. This summer, it seems our garden has been bountiful…lettuce, strawberries, peas, carrots, beets, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers…

It seems crazy I ever doubted. But when it’s May and I’m spacing those seeds into the ground, the temptation is to wonder whether or not it’s worth it. Will this ever grow into anything? Did the seeds go bad? Is the soil ready? Will the critters ruin this?
But we planted. And we waited. And hoped.

Then there’s that glorious moment when you spot a brilliant greenish hue springing up from the brown. As the ground bursts forth with new life, it’s almost as if you can hear a Hallelujah! It really all is miraculous. How this tiny seed turns into a juicy strawberry. Or a plump tomato. Or a pod of peas.
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For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before ALL nations.
Isaiah 61.11

The Lord has given us a burden for the people left to themselves to figure out how to live. We cannot imagine trying to make sense of this world without the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And so, we are in process of leaving it all behind and heading to Brazil, where there are still 120 different languages (nations!) that have never heard of Jesus. The seed has never been planted.

Part of me is tempted to wonder how is this going to happen? are we ready for what’s ahead? will we raise the partners needed for us to leave in November? This is where we look to the Lord of the harvest to do what only He can do. Because we wholeheartedly believe our Sovereign Lord will make Hallelujahs! spring up before ALL nations. So, we plant. And we wait. And hope.
And play this song on repeat.

Love in Focus (July)

Didn’t I just do one of these…?!
I knew it would fly, and here we are ready to turn that calendar page to August. I could really use a few more weeks in July. Cuz when I turn that page, I see scratched down the dates we will be moving out of this house and our littlest will be starting kindergarten. But in light of all that is to come, we have tried to slow down time by savoring these moments.

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July was pretty great. We held on and had a blast.
We lived it up as best as we can.
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But. Let’s face it…
August is ripe with some wonder-full opportunities as well.
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And we will continue to do our best to…
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Psalm 34.8

I hope you will join along in savoring the little things to love within the day.