Love

Yesterday, love looked like you loving me when I was grumpy, reading Dickens all day in an effort to forget the pain and letting the children run wild.

It wasn’t pretty.

And when you came down after 5, you sent me up to take a hot bath, making supper and feeding the boys.

Yesterday, love looked like you going down after 10 to make me hops tea like so many times before.

Today, love looked like me bringing your pancakes and coffee for breakfast up to your office even though I was annoyed you didn’t come down to eat, and maybe I shortly considered being spiteful and let you starve until lunch.

Love means staying, even when I want to run hard and fast. And I love you. Also when I merely know it and don’t even feel it the smallest bit.

I love you, because I promised. I promised I would stay in the hard times and although there have been hard times, in which I wished I hadn’t promised you anything, I always end up being glad I did.

By which I mean: I’m glad I’m stuck with you.

Love is staying. And staying means having […]

Caleb

Caleb asked for the hard part.

He went and asked for the hardest part.

Not the ready-made fields Gad and Reuben wanted.

Not what Manasseh asked for: more land, land that didn’t need to be cleared of trees, in which Canaanites no longer lived.

He went and asked for the mountain with the fortified cities and their giants.

Because 45 years ago God told Him that the land upon which his feet trod would be his inheritance.

And He knew God would keep His promises. Always. Caleb had waited for 45 years and had never stopped trusting God.

Those 45 years were not Caleb’s fault. But he still had to go through them.

He didn’t forget the assignment: Be strong and courageous. Also in these long, dreary years.

God kept His promise.

Because Caleb wholly followed the Lord. Because he had a ‘different spirit in him.’ He, who went and asked for the hill with the giants, and if he could please go and fight them.

I can’t stop thinking of Caleb, and how he saw the blessing in the hard part.

At 85, 45 years after he was supposed to have gotten his inheritance. He was still ready […]

Slow, really nice and slow

I sometimes complain that life is rushed.And then I rush you.I complain everything is fast, and busy,And then I busy the life out of you.You do it so very well. Living slow.The toothpick falls.

Slowly, you get of your chair. You crawl under the table and find not only the toothpick, but also a ball and a spoon. This delights you.

Your mouth curls into a mischievous, satisfied smile. Your cheeks deliciously go along, not wanting to miss out.

The cheese is lost.You check your t-shirt. Your pants. Your chair. And find it under the table a few minutes later.

Slowly, you push the chair away and I restrain myself from bending down to just do it for you. Your little fingers rub the cheese, relishing the texture. To me, it looks unappetizing. To you, it is a piece of gold.

I tell you to hurry up and finish eating.

You twist around on your chair in an everlasting dance, bumping your plate and your milk. All I can see is the possibility of spilled milk and all you see is the crumbs in the shape of an airplane.

Staring at the ceiling, you contemplate…something? You can’t and won’t […]

To be closer

I’ve wanted to read through the Bible since I was 10 or so.

My dad encouraged us to come to him with any questions about our Bible reading, so when I came to Leviticus I went to ask him something.

It resulted in a series of sermons of Leviticus.

I was immensely proud that I was the, um, founder of the series. I do have to say that I thought them exceptionally boring and very long. (Since then, my opinion has been revised and my unbiased opinion happens to be that my dad is the very best preacher in the entire world. But that was not my opinion when I was 10.)

I tried reading through the Bible 4 more times, and the furthest I ever got was Chronicles. Or was it Kings? In any case, it was about kings and battles.

Last year I followed Breeze’s Bible reading plan.

And this time at long last, it worked!

Some days I only read in order to check of the day. Some days I was completely inspired and other days not at all.

At the end of the year, I found that I had grown closer to God. Or […]

Under the sandstorm

To me, sometimes. To you, right now or then.I wish I could wrap you tight in a circle of safety. I wish I could give you my certainty, that everything will be all right even when everything is too hard.

Would that steal your own soul adventures?

I wish I could show you the hope that burns bright, even when you can’t feel it. It’s always there, like the sun, but it might not be visible in your today. It might be just around the bend, waiting for morning.

I wish I could make you understand that you don’t need to feel it.

That you don’t need to feel okay.

That someday, this darkness will recede and you will step out hesitantly, finding out you are so very victorious. Then you will smile and square your shoulders and take the next step confidently.

I wish I could show you the height and depth and width of His love for you… I wish I could always have the right attitude and speak the right words so that you’d be convinced.

I wish I could fast forward. I might be tempted to do it, but would it rush you through something […]

Because sometimes, we don’t “get over it”

I’m a list-maker. I just love making lists.

I love that feeling of putting a check beside a line, of crossing out a line. It gives me a thrill.

When it comes to dealing with the though stuff of life, I want to put it in a list too. I want to deal with it and get it over with so that I can put a check beside that line.

But it just so happens to be that you can’t deal with everything by throwing it in a list and checking it of. A pity.

I started writing baby names in my journal when I was 13.

99% of them girl names.

I made it my mission to repeat my favorite names to my husband before we were even married, to get him used to the ones he didn’t like.

It worked (yay me), but we didn’t need the girl name for the first, the second or the third baby.

And I had the hardest time with that.

I brought it to God and tried to leave it there, I read this wonderful book about how God redeems our pain, and wrote down in my journal that I was […]

When you wonder when you will find yourself

A myth persists that as a child we grow up and develop a character, as a teenager we discover who we truly are so that by the time we are adults we are ready to step out into the world with self-confidence, ready to be who we are out there.

And then we don’t find out who we are and we don’t feel very grownup and we think our life has started of without us.

What we don’t realize fully, what flutters evasively just out of reach? Is that we are who we are and have been all along. We change and we keep changing.Discovering that you enjoy something when you are 30 doesn’t mean that you didn’t fully know yourself up until then. Or maybe it means exactly that, and that’s just it: God made us in such a beautifully complex and changing way that we need a lifetime and more to figure out ourselves.

As something new enters the story, it doesn’t say that who you were up until then was a lie. It was just a different chapter of your story, but the last chapter is just as much a part of the book as the […]