Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Simple and Small

There is something soul-feeding about noticing and appreciating the small and lovely things about a day.  The way curtains whisper and tell secrets in a breeze.  The way a song can pulse through your limbs and move your feet.   Light in a baby's eyes.   


Notes from friends tucked away in good books.  

The way an old record wobbles and warbles around a turn table. 

The way textures diverge and contrast.  

Reminders to tilt heads back and give laughter wings.

And the way words, no matter their age, can still slay your soul.

It's Wednesday.  And you may be smack dab in the middle of a really long week.  Life is hard.  It just is.  We live in a broken place with broken people who break things.  And the heaviness of some seasons seem to last forever.  But life and hope can be found there, too.  Pops of color among the backdrop of grey.

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.

The quiet, little beauty of this day is calling to you, waiting to perch and sing it's simple song.  It is not too late to change the direction your heart is heading.  

Go.  Discover.  Breathe it in.  And enjoy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


We and the world, my children, will always be at war. 
Retreat is impossible.
Arm yourselves.


Today (for a few more minutes) is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

I should tell you that I believe people are sacred, personally crafted and dreamed up by the hand of God, Himself.  If there was a CSI of hearts, God’s fingerprints would be all over us all, whether we acknowledge Him or not.  And try to scrub Him off, though we may, we cannot get rid of His DNA, whether we twist and pervert His dream or not.  We have an enemy of our souls, one who hates the One represented in our fabric, whether we believe in him or not.

And if you weren’t convinced before that life is sacred and that a force throws all it has at cutting life off at the knees, the 27 million people—men, women, children—bound and silenced by slavery today should scream its truth at you.

I’ve mentioned them before, but I love the organization, IJM.  The International Justice Mission not only rescues those prey to abusers, but they prosecute offenders and work in countries worldwide, changing laws in order to protect Humanity’s citizens. 

In India alone more than three million people wake each morning to the bars and chains of sexual slavery.  More than one million?  Children...  Children like Suhana, uniquely made by God’s own hands...dreamed up for life.  Suhana—trafficked and trapped in a brothel at thirteen.  Rescued by IJM workers, healing in an aftercare program...only to be tricked and re-trafficked...dumped off and lost in Mumbai, a city of 18 million people.

And IJM found her...again.

My team was unwilling to give up.

(IJM Worker) 

One person?  In a city of 18 million?  That’s insane.  Or maybe just a few people armed with the knowledge of Insane Love, Himself…

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.


I believe that people are irreplaceable.  Each of us has a role to fill...there’s no one else to hire.  It’s your job.  It belongs to you.  

I don’t know if you belong to Jesus or not.  But wouldn’t it be incredible to stand together, to refuse to look the other way when we know our fellow image-bearers are being stripped of their God-dreamed-up right to life?  It doesn’t have to be to IJM—there are lots of great organizations that battle human trafficking—but would you consider to give something, even something small just to say, on this day, “I refuse to slip silently into the night, pretending I do not see...hear...know…”

In the heat of battle it ceases to be an idea for which we fight. Or a flag. Rather we fight for the man on our left, and we fight for the man on our right. And when armies are scattered and the empires fall away, all that remains is the memory of those precious moments that we spent side by side. 
 The Four Feathers

It isn’t about standing against the idea of trafficking, though that’s vital.  It’s about standing up for the precious persons affected by it.  It’s about speaking for those who have no voice, no one to defend them.  Let’s speak with our money and time and prayer together and say, “You matter.  You were created for life, full and free.  And we see you.” 


To learn more about IJM or to give through their organization, click here.

Please do watch more of Suhana’s story.

And thanks to my sister, Anna, for the new banner.  My littles live in her hats.  You can check her out on Etsy, here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Brand New

New Year's is fast becoming my favorite holiday.  We good-bye a year in a night.  We hello brand new in the wee hours of morning.  Clean pallets, empty canvases, wide open horizons of possibility.  Minds poised, ready to dive in to change.  Big or small.  Stopping, starting.

Diet plans and exercise regimes.  To pick up a new hobby.  Save for that trip.  Work hard.  Play more.

Maybe you find cynicism in the resolutions of a new year.  It's true - the year ahead doesn't change the year behind us or the obstacles we face.  And yet the New Year extends its hand to us just the same...its open hand.  A hand free of judgement, void of record.  Yup, there is snow on the ground...but it can still be summer in our hearts.

My sisters and I dove in and started a 365 (+1 - leap year, baby!) project.  A picture a day for a year.  I want to learn my camera.  I want to link arms with my sisters, no matter the miles between our front doors and welcome mats.  And while I have no aspirations of becoming a photographer, I do hope to always be a student of life.  I hope that when I'm 86, I'm heading off to a pottery class just to get my hands dirty and learn something new.  To push myself creatively.  To pause for the beauty in each day.  Because it's there, ripe and ready to be enjoyed.

We are all moving toward something.  No matter the direction we're heading, we are shifting, changing.  So why not dream up the people we want to be, pin it up on the Pinterest boards of our minds and.....become.

Listen to the mustn'ts, child. 
Listen to the don'ts. 
Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. 
Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... 
Anything can happen, child. 
Anything can be. 

Shel Silverstein

My all-things-new-resolutions are simple.  Open hands.  More love.

Let's embrace the new.  Quiet that noise heart.  Point our feet.  And become...

Forget about what's happened; 
don't keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. 
It's bursting out! Don't you see it? 

Isaiah 43.19, The Message

Viva la Vida!  Here's to the adventure of a brand new year.