kingdom come

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The kids are napping, it’s raining (again!) and so I’ve made a hot cozy drink, pulled on my long woolen socks and sitting here in the quiet.  I’m entering that deeply pensive end-of-year state that I go into every year around this time.  This whole month has been so busy, I haven’t sat down to write hardly at all and my soul feels a bit like the ground outside.. so full and saturated with water from all this endless rain, and needing a run-off.

I spent the morning packing away all the Christmas decorations, making all the spaces seem quiet and empty.  All is tidy now, but I can’t bear to put away the tree + the last strand of twinkle lights.  I hate this part of it, the part where it’s over and now all the green and red seems obtuse and I feel sad that it’s done for another year.  I crave the clean and empty space again, ordinary life again, but the holidays really are magical and holy and happy and so chock full of celebration that ‘ordinary’ feels strange and empty at first.  Will there be any more magic to be had in our ordinary moments, our Mondays in January, where we get back to real life and attend to our lists and waistlines?

I’m prayerfully holding open hands these next couple of days, as we say goodbye to and tie up the very last strings around the year of 2015.  I’m asking the Lord to show me His work over the last year, to show me the state of my soul, to speak to me a word over the year 2016.  Ultimately our days are short, these years are flying by now, and I’m always left wondering if I’m living my days in such a way that count for the kingdom of God.  Reading in the Gospel of Luke this morning these words by Jesus:

“The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is! or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
(Luke 17:20-21)

In Jesus’ day, when He walked the earth, the kingdom of God was literally in their midst because He was in their midst.  Today, the kingdom of God is here because His Spirit is in the midst of us, His children.  His deposit, His guarantee, His Spirit, His life + breath in us.  Immanuel, God-with-us still with us and walking among us by His always-presence in us.

This has been my pondering over the last many months, the mystery of the kingdom of God.  The mystery of Christ in us, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).  This has been the mystery I can’t seem to explain or to shake: that His kingdom has come (upon His arrival on this terrestrial sod) and that His kingdom is still here and active in our midst because His Spirit is in us and accomplishes His redemptive work through us, and that His kingdom is still yet to come fully, awaiting His final return.  This could be the thing that gives meaning to all our moments, all our days.  This could be the magic that we find in our Mondays in January, in our ordinary moments that feel empty and unholy and unnoticeable.  This is the way of the kingdom, to come like mustard seeds and leaven, like a pearl of great price and treasure hidden in a field (Matt. 13).  This is the way of the kingdom, treasures hidden in the small, the overlooked, the everyday.

Maybe this prayer to reign supreme over 2016: Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

 

 

the bond of sisters

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How did this happen, that you are already days away from being O N E, my littlest one?  I love these ordinary days with you.  Ordinary, and yet when I look closer, when I quiet my complaining and squint past the piles of mess and the squabbling, days that are heavy with glory.  These days are full and exhausting, but I think they will always be my favorite.

Older sister clambers over crib rails into bed with the younger.  Giggles and laughter and momma rocking quiet with camera in hand, freezing ordinary glory into little squares.

Mother’s Day

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My soul has felt a bit crowded lately.  I’ve realized that I “write” constantly, usually in my head because I often don’t have time to scribble down the thoughts in between dirty diapers that need to be changed and sibling squabbles that need to be mediated.  I’ve found that whatever I’m learning, whatever God is teaching me needs to find expression, usually in the form of writing.  It’s how I make sense of it, but more than that, it’s part of the process.  We come to God thirsty, He pours into our souls, and we fill up, we overflow, we spill over.  Writing is how I spill over.

But lately?  There hasn’t been much time or space and thus, a crowded soul.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day.  It was one of the best days I’ve had in a while, and it was so simple.  Breakfast + coffee made for me by my husband and the kids.  A bouquet of azaleas picked from the yard.  Worship at church with our spiritual family.  Then we grabbed a few items for a picnic and headed up to one of my favorite spots on the Blue Ridge Parkway near where we live.

We talked about it on the drive up, my husband and I, that there has always been some part of me that craves getting up on the mountains, in the mountains, yes, but more so up on the very heights of the land.  Where the wild whipping wind and the faintest flapping wing of a bird riding the updraft are music to the moment.  It was perfect yesterday.  Holy ordinary.  We captured a few moments, chatted with a few other hikers out enjoying the glorious day.  We played and laughed and got a little sun-burned.  The landscape was moody and dark with rain clouds one moment, pierced by sun rays the next.

I can’t find words for it, but it just does something for me.  So spacious, so abundant, so other-wordly and wild, it feels like my soul can expand and exhale.  A perfect little escape for a weary momma with an overcrowded, busy soul.

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To all the mommas out there, I hope you had a sweet Mother’s Day, feeling the celebration and the smile of God over you as He so highly esteems your every effort + work of faith!