Feb 8 2018

The Sunset Tree

The Sunset Tree, in all its brilliance, has held so many rainbows high on the horizon, so many sunsets in the forever stretching western Kansas sky.

The weight of that glory from a million sunsets and a few hundred rainbows was too heavy, as the trees arms grew tired with wind whistling at her back storms blowing her branches for centuries. She lifted her arms to the most brilliant sunset her tree eyes had ever seen, then beheld a cloud full of lightning and wind coming her way. She smiled as the wind blew her branches. The leaves clapped for joy and danced in the wind and rain. She sighed, breathed out, her core broken, and gave her spirit up to God and her body to the wind.

There was a loud thud heard for a mile, earthy dust billowing from beneath her windswept body. The dust held a magic though—it knew the secrets of the tree, the glory it held had seeped into the earth, wildly electrifying everything around it with living life.

The dust that sparkled blew and blew and blew away on the wind, far as the eye could see. The magic landed here and there, glory to be found only with the most careful eye, by the Noticers. These souls are special. God gave their spirit eyes a gift to see the glimmer of God in the wind, through prairies, over mountains, desert savannah’s and high on the seas.

If you are a Noticer, you already know. In sleepy dreams or awake, you know that glory, and you are learning it by name. You don’t know what to call it, but you will. Just notice for now. You will grow into your soul eyes in time.

Live in wide eyed wonder for what holds up sunsets and rainbows. Tell your secrets, but only to a few.

You have probably guessed, but I am a Noticer too—So, my sacred bit of wisdom to you is this-

Every evening when the sun is setting, keep your eyes alert for magic especially then. Everything glitters in sunlight and moonlight. The places in the morning where the night fades into day…you will find the glory spots most bright.

Look for the trees that awaken the day with songs of praise. The yellow flowers on the hill beaming back the magic light of morning light back to the sun, the birds that sing the loudest are the ones who used to perch on the old wise branches of The Sunset Tree. They are her messengers. Listen to them.

These are only the places I have seen the sparkle of glory. So it’s your turn to Notice and tell about the places my eyes have not seen. Look high, look low, and do tell, but only to a few

There is a sacred to this glory

You will only understand one day when you are maybe as old as the Sunset Tree on the hill that once held up the Western sky. Listen, watch, wonder, and Notice the glory most especially when you see the sparkle of your own eyes in a mirror.

You sparkle and shine with the dust of the earth alive with the glory of the One whose hand created, and feet that once walked on it. I see it in your soulish eyes. Do you?

Jan 14 2018

This is Us

My family, my world. I am more grateful every day for the people God gifted me with, called family. We are not perfect. We are flawed–Pretty much all of us. But, we love. We forgive. We grant pardon, we embrace, we venture on, because This is Us. This is our family.

Jan 12 2018

What if Women…

What if women…had a more prominent leadership role in the Church worldwide?

What if women still respected men as leaders, lived Biblically sound lives, but had a chance to speak their minds in a humble and unique way? Traditionally, it doesn’t happen very much. Most women aren’t jerky and demanding about it.  They’re just quiet.  And passive.  And really quiet.  Their voices of individual leadership, uniqueness, and creativity aren’t heard very often.

More than almost anything, I want my 3 young women to know there is a place for them at the table.

It saddens me when the topic of women in church becomes a divisive thing. What if it didn’t have to be? Really.

I love men. My dad is a man.  My brothers are men.  I have a zillion male cousins—I was raised in a world of men, (sort of like being brought up with a pack of wolves, but they were generally very fun wolves. 😉 )

I married a man.  I love him deeply.  I completely respect him.

I respect and admire my pastors more than they or anyone could know.

But..what if?

I believe women would raise issues that aren’t being raised.  I believe the worldwide orphan problem might be solved.  I firmly and wholeheartedly believe more broken people will be healed.   Sharing our stories gives strength to both the listener and the teller.

Shame dies when empathy is given. Light bearing light to dark, shadowy, sometimes very sad souls brings life. Women need women to learn from. Men need women to learn from.

The women in my life are rock solid, genuine followers of the Way, the Truth and the Life. They walk and talk with Jesus. I am transformed by their love and commitment to God.

I see a trend in the young men I know.  I see them seeking after spiritual leaders who are men just like them — college professors, authors, musicians, male pastors, etc as their only source for Biblical direction and interpretation. This isn’t bad, just inbalanced.

I think women would feel better about themselves knowing God can and does use women in powerful ways. I know scores of highly educated, intelligent followers of Jesus who feel worthless because there is not a place for them in the Church in The USA and around the world.

Its funny how when you throw a subject out there, like I did with this one the other day, how others can sometimes state the way you feel better than you can.  I’ll leave you with a friend’s thoughts, then I’d love to hear yours:

Maybe there was a time when women weren’t the best choice as leaders and teachers. But we have women senators, congressional representatives, judges, college professors and university presidents, CEOs and hopefully someday a woman president. There have been many queens who ruled their countries, even centuries ago, and many presidents and prime ministers in other countries. There are many women heads of household. Women are scientists, doctors, astronauts, engineers, and inventors. Women hold high ranks in the armed forces and die defending our country. And women (mothers and wives) have long been understood to be primary influences in prominent men’s lives. There are many women who will be lost to the Christian message if they believe it can only come from a man’s tongue. <<

More thoughts and resources to come

Jan 9 2018

#metoo part 2

img_7596I am Proud of Hollywood’s women for not being silent or listening to the voices of shame trying to silence the #metoo movement.

Being a woman myself, having three teenage girls, sexual harassment is something we have to discuss together on an almost daily basis. Not much makes me more sad as a mom than to have to help educate them and empower them not to be silent about unwanted behavior targeted toward them. I wish it just didn’t exist.

I mentioned in a previous post that churches and religious organizations are not exempt from sexual harassment. Being a part of various churches my entire 44 years of life, I’ve seen men harass women, women harass men, young people, older people…the demographics simply don’t matter. Sexual harassment is in every nook and cranny of our current society. Schools, work places, sidewalks, malls, grocery stores, malls, online….it is simply everywhere.

Some are shocked at hearing this, accusing women who have spoken up as causing drama, wanting attention, etc. Some are just simply not aware. This is why we have to tell our stories.

I am proud of the men in my life who have treated women with respect and dignity—for those men who have been that example of what a true gentleman is.

I am proud of the women in my life for speaking up for each other—For speaking their stories so others know it has to stop.

I want my girls to live in a world where they feel safe, not degraded, celebrated, not catcalled, where they are treated as fine china, not a paper plate.

Keep speaking up, telling your stories. Make this world a better place for yourself, and for #metoo.

Jan 5 2018

A 2018 Woman

What Will Women Do in 2018?

I’m hoping we embrace our own best selves, That we will recognize the dignity and beauty and strength of spirit in women around us.

That we…

Bless, them-don’t curse.

Heal them with our love, don’t hurt them with our words.

That we unite because of our differences instead of distancing ourselves because of them.

That we bring truth, erase falsehood, bring joy, celebrate gladness.

And that we will create beautiful things that flow out of the joyful spirit of God living in us.

Can you imagine? I can.

Jan 3 2018

2017 illuminated

  1. It was a hard year–Very hard. But looking back at these pics, I do see beauty in the Ordinary. God’s illuminating light and love shows up in the most interesting places. I am pretty happy about that.

Here are a few of my favorite illuminating moments from 2017. God is Good. 😊