People often ask me about the name of my blog... click here to read the story.

Friday, October 29, 2010


**this is a repost from last's how I'm feeling today...***

For what seems like the millionth time, I click "favorites" and check Facebook or this blog or my email. I just checked a few minutes ago...I'm sure nothing has changed...yet, I need to look again.

What am I doing....what am I looking for?
In all these various checks, what am I longing for?
Friendship? I have friends.
Information? I have Google.
Inspiration? I have the Bible, art, nature, music, & books.
God? I have God.
Since I was 7, I've "had" God or more significantly He's had me.
But knowing God, having God, doesn't mean the end of longing.
In fact, I think it means the beginning of longing...true, deep, passionate, yearning for more of the One True God.
And the more He gives, the more I realize I lack and the more I want. Frustration sets in as it seems like God gets more & more elusive the closer I get to Him...but that's another topic...

So, back to my incessant need for meaningful human contact, even if it's via electronics... I realized this morning as I kept checking my various modes of communication, that I am searching for God: searching for Him, longing for His love and His words to me, through His people.

Last week I read Romans 12...verses 4 & 5 say Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
We are the body of Christ.
We are the hands and feet of Christ-a familiar enough phrase- but have you stopped to think of what you're saying and what that means?
It means you're desperately needed. Not just by the world, but by other Christians (Galatians 6:9).

A few weeks ago, a lovely couple visited our church. She's an occasional customer of mine, so of course I visited with her & her husband after the service. They loved it. And I know her well enough to know, they genuinely loved it. They felt at ease & at home with our informality and the spirit of community we have.
But they didn't come back.
Talking with a mutual friend, I realized that they (the couple) saw the need for community when they were hurting; when they needed something. But they didn't see how valuable they were to someone else's community. When have I done that? Underestimated what God wanted me to be to a certain group of people? Underestimated His presence in me and how it ministered to others?
We think we're being humble by deflecting praise or denying our worth, but we're actually being selfish...withholding something we're made to give.
"...we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10
You, dear reader, are needed.
There are things God has planned for you. Jeremiah 29:11, a beautiful passage, is quoted so often: "For I know the plans I have for you , declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future."
But how does He prosper you and give you hope and help you realize your future? Many times, it's through others. Yes, He wants to bless you and prosper you, but He wants to bless and minister and provide for someone else also and through you.
Someone in your life needs what you have to offer.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Lounging on couches, talking over glasses of wine my friends & I discussed our cravings.
One friend who's lost a lot of weight recently shared that she really didn't miss some food she'd cut back on, but she craved exercise now.
Another runner friend said that her recent half marathon left her craving more races.
I could not relate to either of them.

Rethinking the conversation later got me wondering about my own cravings.
What would it feel like to have good cravings?
To be desperate for exercise or leafy green veggies or flossing your teeth or more self-sacrifice?
I don't crave anything good for me.
I crave chocolate and coffee and time alone and distractions...I never crave exercise or healthy food or sacrifice.
I wish I did.
At my parents home a few weeks ago, I was in the holy of holies (that's my dad's study) and saw his Bible on the desk amidst writings of ancient theologians, countless Biblical commentaries and stacks of note pads filled with his thoughts, studies and reflections. Glancing through the old, worn, but cared for Bible, I noticed that every page had notes.
Every page.
And not scribbled messy notes and questions like the ones in my Bible; but neatly written, logically arranged notes on texts or specific words. As I leafed through it, the precise handwriting in the margins on each page amazed me. This Bible has not only been read cover to cover, but studied cover to cover.
How you can account for writings on every page? Yes, he's been a Christ-follower for a long time. Yes, he's a scholarly man who loves to study.
But, to me, nothing but craving-an intense longing for more- could explain notes on every page.
So, can cravings be cultivated?
That seems counter intuitive to me.
A craving is something on a gut level--there's primal need involved--involuntary. So, can you learn to need something?
I suppose if you look at the world of addictions, people do it all the time.
If I eat more leafy veggies will I want more leafy veggies?
If I floss more will I want/need to floss more?
Is that a craving then or simply something that becomes a habit?
Or can a habit turn into a craving?
Ultimately, do we control cravings?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sun Soaked Skies

Every fall I miss my home state of Michigan. The vibrant oranges, reds, and fluorescent yellows of the trees, the crisp air and even crispier apples, the rolling hills, and the wild untamed forests speak home to me.
Over the last 19 years of life here, I've grown to respect and admire Iowa's own beauty during harvest. It's kinda like the people who live here: modest, solid, quietly displaying beauty, never needing to be the center of attention.
Harvest time this year is like none I've ever seen.
Absolutely gorgeous.
Not the changing, bright colors like Michigan.
No, here on the plains the trees turned brown and died like every other year. But the spectrum of native grasses sport as many shades of colors as the trees back home.
And the beauty in the skies is breathtaking.
In the morning, the golden sun rises over newly shorn fields highlighting the gentle rolls of the earth.
At dusk, as the dirt from the farmer's combines kick up, the display of color it causes on the horizon is amazing; reds, yellows, oranges, purples and pinks beyond imagination change each moment for a new picture to revel in and soak up.
And all day long, all month skies.
Clear, blue, cloudless skies day after day after beautiful day.
I just want to breathe it all in and tuck it away to treasure for the cold months looming in the near future.
Each day presents another vivid picture of the splendor of this world and the timeless majesty of it's Creator.
And even though all this beauty is born out of death and the end of a growing season and signals the coming of a long winter ahead, I hear Hope whispering to my heart and mind.

**photo: Just 20 miles south east of our home the landscape is vastly different. With beauty tucked around every bend in the gravel road, it's one of my favorite places...**