Thursday, December 5, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Reflect


These are days of stepping back and looking inside to places of hurt and pain and to longings that seem to have gotten washed away with the tide of urgency in life’s demands of mama, wife, missionary.

I don’t know where it will all lead only that there is far to go.  Far as that country whose city and builder is God. It’s far from the deserts where I have been living full of all of the reasons why Jesus had to die…to rescue me from the pain of a world gone wrong.

And I know that I am coming to see, afresh, anew, again the wonder, the wonder the abject wonder of a God who took on flesh.  Who came from infinity to time, to the humble and low and broken at the mercy of the messed up ones struggling, plodding through this world.

I am tearing up and embracing the emotion of he who faced it all and cried out ‘my God, my God why have you forsaken me?’ so that I would NEVER have to cry in this way, to be met with the silence.

The veil has been torn in two and I can see.  I.can.see.  Straight into the heart of a God who promises because of Him, of a Savior, wild and glorious giving the scandalous gift to the harlots of heart and the robbers of grace and the murderers of good…a full and rich eternity.  Even me. Yes, even me.



Friday, November 15, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Tree


Jeremiah 17:7-8(ESV)

7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
8 He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Trees make me think of history

and of grief {like when I wrote this}

and of all of the ways

in which we fight to live another day.

We reach the roots of our lives

and touch the generations gone by.

This tree is always calling

us home.

To think beyond the narrow

confines of our own lives

and existence.

To reach for something eternal

and the weighty stuff that never passes away.

I want to sink right deep into

this place from which I have come

it seems a very real part of

a very needed healing to

the anchorless days that have sent

me adrift too often.

And to trust in all that feeds and nourishes

that I cannot see.

To know that there is a sun and it rises in

the east and sets in the west

and spans the globe as it has

throughout time.

And there are rains that fall in the humid

and the arid for her needs.

There is a hand that sustains and gives

life instead of the dry and shriveled

wherever a soul seeks the Giver of that Life

that will not fade.

And this is where I plant myself in the

dreary days of a long winter setting in

in a home still so new

from an aching

heart missing all I have seen and touched

for most of my life.

But there is the sweet peace, oh how I breath

it in to be a tree planted by the streams of living

water…to bear fruit in season and to trust

the eternal life given that will always, always



faith filled friday


Friday, October 25, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Together


To ::


That’s a Hungarian superlative that kind of means I REALLY don’t know.

And yet I do know ‘together’ is His good pleasing and perfect will for me.

But how, how to get there?

It’s a time and a season when pulling back and deeper into Him is the pulse and breath

that I must know.

It’s a time for continual re-shaping and re-visioning that may be years in the making

and that needs to be just fine.

It’s a together that holds everything loosely right now.

Whether it’s a shift to segregated life but united ministry,

Or it’s the hope of sisters here who a good God has called thousands of miles away.

It’s the patience and open invitation to others who are trying to figure out a whole new world.

It’s asking and needing that same patience in return.

It’s making much of a God who calls us to know Him in the really lonely so that we can know Him in community.

It’s stepping out in a new language when you are really not sure how to say much of anything.

It’s hope.

When the waves of self-pity come, to know that there is not one who has surrendered those she loves in family and friend….good gifts for the journey who will not receive hundred-fold in return…

And a prayer that it be so this long journey home…trusting it for now in it’s messy coming and knowing it forever in a hope that anchors.



Monday, September 30, 2013

Swing, Sway…a moment saves the day

It was a perfect moment.

As we glided on the swing together.  My ten month old and I.  He the baby born in a foreign land, never setting foot in his ‘home’ country.  Truly third culture at birth.

But it wasn’t those complicated thoughts that filled my head. my heart.

This fleeting time punctuated by how quickly they grow.  Didn’t I just have him? 

Now he’s pulling up on everything and daring as they come.  He’s making his way up and down and all around this world and I really can’t keep up.  He’s busy and jumping out of these arms; ready to explore.  And I love the life he brings into my world.

There are many perfect moments in his life.  Joy is close and there’s a contagious expectancy as he finds new things. learns new things. becomes a new thing.

But it wasn’t only his perfect moment as we swung and swung and swung and he clung and clung and clung.

To me.

To his one and only mama who fits him like a glove.  And it’s really quite mutual.

He laid his busy, busy head on my chest and gripped the sides of the swing and we went back and forth and back and forth.

Time stilled.  A thousand thoughts that jump and run right through this brain suddenly were quiet. gone.

All of that self-doubt, the wishing I were better or different.  The plague of comparison. The constant creation of new standards to justify my existence. Oh how they have haunted me. 

These 16 months of knowing there are a million others who would do this new life better.  More self-sufficient.  Stronger.  More Capable.

Swing. Swing. Swing.  A perfect fit.  Him in me and I in him.

All of the knowing so many others would have had a greater impact.  Absolute surety that this call should have landed on someone else.

Swaying and moving to the rhythm of life. true life.  A life that’s made for me.  A gift given that has the potential to right my whole world.  And has many times.

The plains of expectations have slain me a million times.  They're infinite in number and they bear down with crushing weight.  And I have been crushed, flattened, laid thin and low and impossibly fragile.

But here, in this moment, I am whole.  I rest in the rightness of who I am as a mama, the only mama, to this clinging, chubby life.  I find the courage to live simply.  To remember the gift of this moment.

My spirit expands from two dimensions. From what can be written down and checked off.  A job description by which I constantly measure.

I take deep soul breaths and cling right back to this actively passive love and I feel its weight.  I am holding him tight and my arms are tired but my heart is being renewed like the eagles.

I stand up from the swing and he’s clinging to the swing itself. That perfect sway.  And I pry his hands away and hold him tighter.  Reminding him it is me that keeps him secure and close to a love that will not let him go.

And heaven comes to earth.  His will that I know His love through a Mama’s heart.  The lessons that He stills the whole world and makes the active rest, so I might be changed. In a moment.




Friday, September 20, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: She

Susie's Birthday, etc 008

Go ::

She just turned 4 this week.

Yet limbs and words and imagination

speak to 16 at least.

I remember when she was born.

I told her the story on her birthday

night and how she couldn’t wait to

push herself into the world.

Ready to take it on with all of it’s

mess and uncertainty and she with her

determination and energy and always

her joy.

Like your mama you are, sweet one.

Like her mama too since you bear

her name.  Susanne of the generations

gone by, you reached into my heart

and took a forever claim long before

you were born.  I imagined a daughter

with your Name.

And in the heart of Your Creator, before

time began, He imagined you.

He chose you as His own before the
foundation of the world


and knit you
together in my womb

and made

a name for you that is re-made in

the timeless meaning as names go.

Lily and courage, maybe it is that flower

the stretches her petals, long and fragile

yet somehow not.  Sturdy they are to

fly in beauty into the world.  To plant

itself in this world with the extravagance

of a lovely necessity.  Destined to make

the world, your ever changing, growing world

different.  Just like your eyes when they

are concentrating, or laughing, or sad, so sad, or

filled with wonder anew…open up and never close again.

This LIFE is meant for you!



Friday, August 30, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Worship


Go ::

And it’s somewhere between the pages of the

hymnbook of my youth and the creative

songs sung today

And it’s between the pews on a Sunday morning

and the cushioned chairs of a modern building

and the converted theater that is now

my church home.

It is somewhere between the timeless

and the oh-so-present journey of a calling

that has spanned 10’s of thousands of miles

and 10’s of thousands of prayers

for this one life.

Somewhere between the singing and eye closing

and the privilege of doing it all in my heart

language.  When it’s a baby room and it’s

a great chance to practice Hungarian as kids

drool, sleep, play and nurse.

And it’s somewhere when those lines sung

in this crazy hard new language…when there is

a resonance of heart and spirit even if the mind

is catching up to their meaning

those lines of that song that talk about the earth

and sky and you sing them again and again

and you have been given wings to fly and this big

wide country in need of people whose lives

are worship that I’m finding, finding, finding the

way to live like it is all real.

To take away the barriers that can so easily define

a worship that is so very, very, very much about me…

the feelings I get, the understanding I have,

the emotions that are called forth…and it’s there between

the God who calls for the worship of the letting go of

the dying to all that’s me of the surrender and of the

trusting in the hard and confusing and you literally

can not understand what is happening places that I am

beginning to see it all be…re-defined.


faith filled friday


Friday, August 9, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Lonely

Fall to Early Winter in Bp 574

Go ::


It’s a word that kind of floats inside me.

Comes and goes with the wings of a bird.

It’s never really gone, somehow that whole

soaring sky is inside of my heart and the

flight takes shape in places on two sides

of the ocean and in relationships as vast as the sea.

Lonely is what it is to really live how we

are called to live. That may sound

strange, but I do believe it’s true.

When we live like this world is not our home

when we listen and abide in a Christ

who walked the loneliest road ever known,

we find ourselves in His blessed company.

Lonely is what shapes us and makes us fit

to carry out the purity of the will of God.

We can live in the midst of the many and

we can perform and hear the praises of men and women

and know the hugs of true friends too, but

it’s in those quiet alone places when our hearts must

find a way out of the singing, drumming sounds to be

this person who is all in all and who can never possibly

do that…that we really come to know the LIFE of the One who IS all in all.

Lonely for me has been on high mountaintops of great

exhilaration and in tattered third world villages and violent street corners

and in the vast countryside of my childhood home full of family

and brothers and sisters.

And lonely is coming to be a sort of calling song towards Home…

a getting on my knees and driving deeper into the heart and will

and song of the One who defines all…


faith filled friday


Friday, August 2, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Story

And he’s jumpin’ up and down, this 3rd child of mine

And the story it’s being written in new ways and days and times

and places.

So many surprises and so much joy and so many ways to be stretched

and often broken and to be healed and mended and to trust in the Loving Arms of God

to lead us all Home.

The story is a great adventure with a promised

happily ever after.

The plot has twisted and turned and scaled some heights and fallen

from those same heights too.

There’s been valleys and the heart of a pilgrim has been hard won

in the midst of choices that don’t make sense when

breathing the air of this world.

But I would choose this story again, in a heartbeat.

The things that were so hard, and the things that broke

my heart…they have only brought wisdom & compassion and the

unrelenting determination to stay. to keep on keepin’ on this

only path worth being on.  Where faith is real and it starts

to get gritty and heart-wrenching when a mother’s heart is born.  It

pulls and shapes and defines new steps and there is a fierce

wild joy bound up in the thankfulness that comes from the life of the

journeyer who KNOWS SHE WILL MAKE IT HOME…AND who believes that

she is raising a generation that will find their way too…that she can trust

their precious stories to the One who has held hers…who grieves the growing

cloud that cheers on from the other side yet knows that some day, in the grace of God,

she will find her way there too and join the cheers of the stories that shine

transcendently for all time of lives touched by the brilliance of redemption.


faith filled friday


Friday, July 26, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Broken

Samuka getting bigger, etc 088

Go ::

There’s a broken and it meets you at the street corner.  Sometimes it is messy on the outside and asking for money, for some coins or some shoes.  And there’s a broken inside that soul that is the journey of that life on the corner.  Sometimes there is a broken on the outside that is actually a healer within and you have to ask and learn and seek to find the treasure.

And there’s a broken on the pathway to the beach and you have a husband who is taking the kids for some ice cream and he just has to stop.  And he sits down and asks questions in the mix we now call Hunglish and there is a broken that is allowing the light to seep in.  And this new friend, this young man he wants hope & heaven and he is trying, trying, trying, but he just can’t get there…and he hears of the One who did it all and he says ‘yes’ and prays on that bench on the way to ice cream for a whole new life…

And there’s a broken that meets me in a long day and looks at me with my mother’s eyes.  She’s full of life and full of love and she just wants her mama to be with her…and I am broken in a million ways that shatter my heart and I hug her close and pray for the strength and power to lead her to the healer of her broken.

I don’t know why the broken should ever surprise…it’s the fissures of a story that’s gone all wrong and it clings to the air and clings to our lungs and we can never get away from it here in this life…but we can be broken and broken and broken and broken the cisterns that break so much there is an eternal river that has the space and place to flow and heal and heal and heal until we are Home



Friday, July 19, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Belong


Speakout Sparklers

{This is a little blip from our English Camp in Keszthely, Hungary.  During each of 3 weeks, students come from all over Hungary and we get to love on them and speak to the about the One who loves completely and perfectly…every week/day, lives are changed forever:}

Go ::

I have always longed to belong…

It is a strange thing to say, since I was born a twin

a built in best friend.  And as long as we live

and beyond I believe we will always

share that precious gift.

But the belong for which I have longed

I am coming to believe from somewhere

inside my heart of hearts

that placed that is marked

and set and positioned towards


that I long to belong forever.

I long to take one eternally deep breath

and know that all that wants to take me

away from Home can never do so again.

To breath in crystal clear that which will never,

ever pass away.

And this kind of belonging is what has begun to mark

my sojourn here in this earthly tent.

The tent is my body, but it is also this world.

I have let go and continue to let go of places

that I have loved. I cannot go back and yet

they call me back to the love that dwelt there

but they also, now, have begun to point me

forward.  Like this book that I love

and it talks about the best of all that we

have loved how we will forever be discovering

the further and deeper of the good that

it is.

But to belong is human.  To belong is real.

To belong shapes the restless journeys of

a fallen sin-weary world.  And so, as I begin

to put my hope more fully in the world that calls

me deeper and stronger every day, I live more

deeply here looking around this vast world

asking who is searching for their eternal home too…

Come weary ones…journey with me too?


faith filled friday


Friday, May 31, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Imagine

Barcelona Baby 246


A world where there was only one voice.

Where there was a melody

that aching hearts could hear

and it was louder than the din of

a million sounds, sights, internet waves…

A place where you could be safe

to know an be known.
To love and be loved.

To find the truth really does
set you free.

Where the hearts of one speak to

the hearts of another…

Where you let go of your striving

and finally rest in the work

done for you.

Where the things of material value

lose their value; almost

as if your eyes cannot see them.

And the things that do not pass

away, that cannot be seen

Actually become your reality.

Where you shed the trappings of a life

that has you running frayed and frenzied

and embrace a peace that nothing,

and I mean NOTHING, can interrupt.

Imagine you never had that clinging

sense of guilt but lived in full

vision of your great need and the

Savior who has already supplied it all…

forever and ever and ever.

And when you see the people around you, you really

see them.  You can look into eyes and not

be afraid of what you might find

for what you yourself know in the depths of

your being is more than enough to meet it.

The Perfect Love that is promised, is here. 

It is casting out every fear and oh that my heart

and yours will be willing to embrace it like

we’ve always dreamed we could.


faith filled friday


Friday, May 17, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Song



A la la here and a doo doo there

And an English song here and a

Hungarian there or even a Spanish one

these days as I prepare to use this language as I haven’t

in a year.

A worship song to pull us together and to Him in our car

as we wax the wheels and drive the roads

of our new life

It seems like song has woven together all of the

parts and the worlds that meet in

our family these days.

My daughter follows her namesake with a true

love for music.  She is a pro at

the Hungarian songs she has been learning in

school…her favorite performed on demand before family and friends

here and across the ocean is about a katicabogár {lady bug}.

And I think of the tears in my eyes as her class at school

joined hands and sang in a beautiful little clear voice harmony

a Hungarian folk song.  And I felt so alive, so very, very, very

blessed to call another country my home.

And I think about my sweet hubby who loves rap and

has fired himself up and our kids with this song.

How his laid back heart is stoked to life and he is

ready to walk the streets with the Gospel…calling out

in a humble yet persistent way, these above-all-others

words of Life…praying for someone ready to hear.

And I remember the song of Creation not sung in English or Hungarian or Greek

or Spanish or Hebrew…that song of creation the first words of man

in a language that the whole world could understand

And I remember this is the song that calls again to us

in between countries and cultures and a whole wide world

ready, oh-so-ready, yearning, breaking, longing for the song

of a God that will set them free…


faith filled friday


Friday, May 10, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Comfort


The thing that came to mind when I thought of comfort today was


Words spoken late at night with the husband I love to the depths of my soul

Words to heal and words that are so limited without the Spirit of God.

It seems like comfort and words are too, too often opposed

Pat answers and spiritual platitudes are 101 courses for too many, including me

who love God

And then life happens and pain & struggles bear down & words lose

their surface meaning and start to burrow deep.

Sometimes comfort comes in silence, the absence of words, which is

really allow space for the right ones to grow

to one day flow when someone needs them the most.

But it is the words of God echoed in the hidden caverns of the heart

that are meant to bring the greatest warmth a soul can know.

Things like the rejoicing over us that He gives, the poetry of a prophet

that rains down the smile of Heaven when our spirits are downcast.

The cries of the psalmist that remind us that we are not alone…the agony

of this fallen world has never been a stranger to any honest moment in time…

The journey of our Savior where words were spoken in love’s economy with razor-sharp

precision to wound & heal, to bind up brokenhearted to set captives free with the truth

that is the heart and worth of every true comfort for you, for me, for a weeping hurting weary world

in desperate need of these words of Life.


faith filled friday


Friday, May 3, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Brave


There was a time when I may

have thought I was brave.

I jumped at new chances

with the passion of a tidal wave.

Fear seemed far away

and the possibilities endless…

And it is often with a twinkle

of nostalgia that I peer back in time

to those days of seeming invincibility.

But this I call to mind and therefore

I have hope ::

Because of the LORD’S GREAT LOVE




For you see, I traveled with him

in these days of young and brave but

I had yet to find the end of myself

in a heart that could be broken,

betrayed, and cry with the grief down deep

of a world gone wrong.

I came home weak after days of courage waned

and I cared for a mama eaten away by cancer.

And the prayers of hope died a slow death that

she would be healed in this life.

And there are other private pains that took

my once brave and squashed it with a cold hand of steel.

But that is not the end of the story…

is it for you?

I have learned these past 10 years of a brave

that lays my naked soul upon an altar of

surrender.  That merges all of its

brightest hopes and dreams with

the light of the world to come and when

I ache to see that world come here. NOW.

My brave cries frail and full and weeps

upon the bed of this world’s sorrow and asks

for the strength to live in any small, miniscule

way that would buff the dull pictures too many

have of the God who is LIFE & more and the

only faithful for all the ages past and all the

ages to come…Embodied brave that molecule by molecule

is conquering till the end and bringing to life a life that will never end.


faith filled friday


Friday, April 19, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Jump

Fall to Early Winter in Bp 751

Go ::

I am looking, looking, looking, looking

Mostly down into the chasm that

I see as black with my own failure.

I am weary, oh so weary

and look for the light.

You sweet and full of grace

Smile with the light of your face

full of compassion and I can

feel your presence before I see

With gentle Spirit fingers you

lift my head

and beckon me to look, look, look, again

Across the chasm to the other side.

There is a heaven so real that it

cannot be denied.

And as you lead the way to what

can only be called a cosmic JUMP

you ask me to look again.

At your nail scarred hands

Your feet too

To know that this is but the

surface of an infinite suffering

the depths of darkness’ chasm

you fell into…you chose

to surrender unto

that there would never again be

a black night

that could not be

refined with the shards of

a victorious Savior’s light.

You want me to behold you

To know that You have gone

before all of this that wants to speak

of darkness’ final say…

Your power is redemptive and it is

calling out to the whole world

will I jump into the arms that will

carry me and make me a part of

what only you can do??


faith filled friday


Friday, April 12, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Here

File:Budapest night view from Széchény bridge.jpg

Go ::

Here is new, these days, in so many ways new.

Here is good and right but oh so hard.

Who knew that the constant newness, the feeling

of being the alien, the stranger would exhaust so?

I suppose I was supposed to know.


But here is also the chance to do what few

have the privilege of doing.

To make a whole new world your home 

and hug it tight and shower the love of

life and family upon it.


Here is a journey completed yet only just begun.

A chance to immerse yourself in a state of constant

failing and flailing and humbling, the oh so humbling



Here is where the heart strings are strained with family

and ministry and all that is comfortable so often

so far away.


But here is the only place where those heart strings

can break and realize their ever small ways

and ability to love the lost, hurting & broken.


And so here is the journey that has cried from

deep inside though its fulfillment make

me shake in these proverbial shoes.


It is the chance to breath out what I can do, what

I can make out of a life, my life and to

find it all surrendered.  To learn

that it is only in the letting go, the

emptying that I will receive.

It is a place to ask for what I do not have

and could never conjure up

and to find that its void is filled

by what only the breath of God
can give.


faith filled friday


Friday, March 29, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Broken


Go ::

And it’s a broken hallelujah

that this world cries

I continue to breathe shallow & frail and hope, hope for a better world.

For a world where that brokenness increasingly finds an answer

In the hope of the light of the world.

It’s overwhelming how the darkness consumes over this rounded sphere

and I am always brought to the darkness of the hour when the Father turned his face.

And broke the soul of the Son, severing the eternal bond as justice

gave the stroke called upon this whole broken and feeble world.

And on those shoulders broken by sin, those bones that didn’t need to break

but the body that did

was the heaving wail of humanity helpless to find a way

to be whole again

but for what only Perfection could do.

And I look at all that can be so hard to face when the broken lives

touch my own

And I look at what my kids may face in a world of increasingly pronounced

fissures and I remember

the broken bread that we shared in our own

simple way last night.

The lights of understanding dawning brighter on their little, tender faces

and oh how we pray reaching to their heart. their soul.

The tears that slipped these eyes reading from this book

about Golgotha, the Golgota as translated in but this lonely way in the

language of this new home.

As I held the daughter of my heart tight and felt her still

and looked at the mirrored tears of a son who so very much

wants to draw close to us, to God.  The bent knees on stair

tops that thank Jesus for His death, for what he’s done

for what their little hearts can yet see about the shattered

selves they cannot fix without the shattered heart of God

coming in and covering and

in the darkness bearing a hope that

will surely shine again and heal and clean and

make whole…

Till the whole world hears and may the generation we raise live to see the day and stop at nothing to make it so…

Please watch & share this…Falling Plates Video

Missional Women Article :: My Heat Can’t Take it…But it Has to {Part 1}


faith filled friday


Friday, March 22, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Remember

Go ::

At times they come in waves, these remembrances of days gone by…

Some times I remember a smell and I am transported…

Like the clean, upholstered furniture smell of my grandparents’ house


the earthyWinking smile smell of cow manure

or the baking smell of homemade italian or chocolate chip cookie.

Other times it’s the way the sun filters through the window

and I am taken to the places most dear

the houses, often run-down & in need of repairs, that my

mother with blood, sweat and tears made into home.

Other times it is the look of a flower that reminds me of the

gardening I wish that I had taken more of her cues for

Like the geraniums that survived each winter or the house plants

that never went un-watered…

Some times too it is the glistening of the Christmas lights or the

little knick knack with its own private meaning

Or the smell of freshly dried sheets on the line

Or the folding of towels just so

Or the scrubbing of counter corners  or

the special night for spaghetti dinners with milk

Or even the frustrated voice that can make sensitive kids cry…

In more ways than I ever think is possible the day in and day out speaks through

the caverns of time and in it I live to keep on keepin’ on another day…



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