hidden faithfulness

Audio Post:


It seems quiet here. The sun is not quite up yet.

My husband and daughter have packed tools and briefcase and left me—alone—with the day.

And I think to myself: Sometimes it’s easier to have your day ordered for you by the clatter of the obvious than to be faithful in shadow’s hush.

Squinting my ears, I hear the hum of the air conditioner as it labors in steady, untiring service.

So often, like the gift of the shell that sits on my shelf, gorged with hidden sound of ocean’s roar, it goes unnoticed.

And I wonder who ever first discovered the magic fullness hidden in languishing, emptied shells.

My life is full of sounds like that—people—beauty—gifts

Unheard. Unappreciated.

I seem to never notice until they stop

Doing. Giving. Being.

And I hear the Spirit of my Creator ask me,

Self, are you willing to be like that shell—emptied of the animal that resides within and filled to the brim with the unseen sound of the ocean? 

Are you willing to labor faithfully in hidden solitude until God knows it’s time for someone to pick you up and listen?

And I answer,

Teach me to be willing, Lord.

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numbered days


That’s how many days passed between my father’s diagnosis and the day he left this earth. He had more time than many who hear the words “it’s pancreatic cancer.”

We may have grieved the short time he had left, but I don’t ever recall any betrayal of regret or anxiousness on his part because, you see,

His days on earth may have been numbered, but long before the diagnosis, the Lord had been teaching him to number his days.

Do you ever try to imagine how long you will live and what that will feel like? I do.

I think about how old I will be if I live another 10, 20, 30 years, but the idea of how long the time between now and then will feel always eludes me.

How long or short does 10 or 20 or 30 years in real time feel?

It’s a question I ask myself a lot. And one I don’t have the answer to.

It’s not easy to determine how long life feels when you’re busy living it.

One thing I do know; unless I live to be well over 100, no matter how I crunch the numbers, I always get the same answer:

days left on earth < days lived on earth.

It’s a sobering thought.

But that isn’t the lesson God taught my dad or wants to teach me—the mere counting up and weighing of days.

He wants me to think not so much about how many days I have left but about how I am using my today!

That’s a sobering thought too.

How do I begin to know how to use this day before me?

The Psalmist asked God to teach us to number our days so we can present to God a heart of wisdom.

True wisdom is this: “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…”

My dad was given 30,079 todays with one year, six months and three days of knowing that his life on earth would soon be over.

Even then, he didn’t know the exact number of days he would have; he only knew he had the day he was living, and that was enough.

So I ask myself, “Self, is that enough for you?”

And because I know this creator and and maker and grantor of days—that His ways are perfect—I ask Him to give me ears to hear His voice and a heart to receive and obey with wisdom and grace the day He has planned for me and for those He longs to love through me in it.

This day…

See Psalm 90:12; ; Psalm 95:7 Hebrews 3:15
Note: the redbud tree pictured was planted by my dad before he passed away—a memorial that graces the walk up to the house on Markland
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teach 2

With school starting this month, I thought it would be fun to share this throwback post that was a originally written in January of 2008 when I first became an empty-nester. I can hardly believe it’s been almost 9 years:


Monday I did something I haven’t done for almost 30 years…I threw my glasses and a notebook in my purse and drove the 12 minute drive to the local community college where I attended my first National Government class of winter term.

I can already tell this will not be a routine memorization of statistics and facts sort of course but one full of dynamic, thought-provoking discussion.

The professor came highly recommended by my oldest and youngest daughters, who, when dual-enrolled, collectively, took several classes taught by him…. I would have been perfectly content to have just audited the class, but they insisted I sit for the exams.

“It’ll be good for you,” they said.

I suppose they expect me to get an “A” too….hmmmm it’s tough feeling like you have to live up to your children’s reputations.

When I went to register, the class was full, but I was told I could call the prof to ask if he would let me in.

“This is beginning to be a pain,” I said to Leah.

“It’s part of it; it’s good for you,” she said.

Good thing I had connections (thanks Jenna and Leah); he did let me in.

After he signed a permission card, I had to go back to the registrar’s office where I was told there was a block on my registration because they had no record of my ever having taken English 1101…

ha ha ha ha ha…

I have a BA in English….

Of course, my English professors would probably take back my degree if they ever read this blog and saw my abuse of grammar with all of these “……..’s”

ha ha ha….they didn’t care….they needed proof….

I quickly managed to get a transcript and then made my THIRD trip to the registration office.

I had forgotten what it’s like to have to stand in line FOREVER x 3 to register for classes and to stand in line FOREVER to get into the bookstore to buy your books and to drive around the parking lot FOREVER looking for someone coming out of class to follow as they walk to their car as you stalk them like a vulture to get their parking space while at least 400 other drivers are doing the same!

Anyway…to make a long story just a teeny bit longer…I FINALLY got legally registered and got my book and have been able, so far, to find parking to make it to class on time (a bigger challenge, I think, than making a good grade) I am also the oldest, and quite possibly the dumbest, student in the class….and…

Don’t say it…I know what you’re thinking….

It’ll be so good for me.

Note: For those readers who are wondering, I did manage to make an A. And if you ever want to take an engaging national or international government class—Dr. Kevin Walsh at Broward College—I highly recommend him.
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seasons of love

We were just two kids then when all was rosebud pink and green and fresh, in love with love and maybe a little with each other—but mostly just our selves.

And it has been a long time coming—this love: tender and bold and broken.

Spring held her secret far too long it seemed, but she did not abandon us forever. Ever loyal, she bowed in deference to fairest summer’s face that, for awhile, lulled us into sleepy satisfaction.

But then, things not quite perfect (the way we wanted them to be), and not knowing spring’s glorious secret, we tried harder. And while guarding secrets of our own, under summer’s scorching sun, the chasm of our hearts grew ever wider.

Where was this promised spring that eluded us but found so many others; why so long in her arriving?

bud 1

But there are times and seasons, and each is summoned forth to do its perfect work, preparing the way for others to do their own.

So came fall’s holocaust, ringing out doomsday incantation: “death, death, death—all is dead; it is time to die.” And though we didn’t know it then, faithful fall had come (it seemed in cruel abandon) proclaiming the edict of the King: “All seeds, even this long hoped for seed of deepest love, must fall to the ground and die.”

Immersed, hopeless, entombed in winter’s icy dread, the love we had naively sought was dead, and so were we. And that was that; life of love denied.

But far away, I hear a song with words so beautiful I know they’re not my own—the song of love for you I always longed to sing. And now I know the secret of the glorious gift of spring— it’s not my love at all; it is the King’s.

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calling uber god

delivery 205
Audio Post:


Did you know there’s a company called Pop in NYC that guarantees to deliver your food order in 15 minutes or less? Uber-Eats used to make an even bolder promise—no more than a 10 minute wait. Think about it; at a dine-in restaurant, it sometimes takes longer than that to get the waiter to come to your table to give you a menu or take your order, much less bring your food.

I know because I’m kind of a fussy diner. Slow customer service happens to be my biggest pet peeve—aside from insanely impatient South Florida drivers and people in a hurry, who cut me in line, and well, a few other things that involve time.

Yeah, I see the hypocrisy; I’m in a hurry, but I can’t stand for anyone else to be.

Well, sometimes I can.

Last week, my mom-of-four-kids daughter was under the weather, so I made a big pot of soup for her family and made the drive to her house at a snail’s pace to keep the soup in the backseat from sloshing all over the place.

The drive to her house can be frustrating because part of it is through an area heavily populated with illegal immigrants, who I am pretty sure have cars but no drivers’ licenses. In an effort to stay under the radar, they drive at least 35 miles an hour under the 25 mph speed limit.

I know—I shouldn’t judge—maybe they’re delivering soup to their sick relatives too!

And now that I’ve told you all that, here’s what I really want to confess: most of the time I want an Uber delivery experience with God. I want Him to deliver what I order, and I want it now!

I somehow think I should be able to circumnavigate the process of becoming a daughter of glory. I want the fifteen-minute-I-choose-you-deliver-no-responsibility-on-my-part delivery.

But God is not an Uber God; He just isn’t.

He wants to teach me the art of fine dining: to slow down, enter the eternal time-zone and savor the experience—to trust Him to order for me—to learn to swallow and enjoy delicacies that may at first seem unpalatable—to be nourished with kingdom food.

He doesn’t want me to know Him as Uber God; He wants me to leisurely DINE with Him: break bread, partake of the wine—to taste and see that He is always always always good.

His timing is perfect; He is always on time, and as I heard someone quip one time, rarely a minute early!

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the broken & the proud

pride 2

I know this looks like a lengthy post, but if you are looking for life-changing truth, read on.

I read somewhere this year that we can choose to toss a stone into a body of water, but once it’s thrown, we have no power over the ripple effect it will have. The author was comparing the stone to sin, but, you know, that works both ways.

Thirty-something years ago Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth threw a stone of truth into the lives of my parents, and I am forever grateful she did.  The ripple effect of her friendship and ministry in their lives changed the whole course of ALL our lives: my parents, we three girls, our families, and our families’ families, and, now, maybe even you.

Her inspired thoughts about proud people vs broken people are something the Lord has used to speak to my heart over and over again. The first time I asked God to take inventory of my heart with what you are about to read below was quite a shock to my subtle, heretical I’m-a-pretty-good-person mentality.

With so many checks in the PROUD column, I had to remind myself of what John Lynch in his excellent Two Rooms message [definitely worth checking out] muses about what God might say to us when we begin to get honest and come and lay our sin before Him: “That is a lot of sin—my, my, my—and we’ll work on it when you are ready… I’ve got you covered. I’ve known all about it from before the world began. My shed blood…is powerful. I’m crazy about you…”

And then there’s the story my dad always liked to tell about the guy who was so humble that his community awarded him a badge in honor of his humility but took it away from him for wearing it….gee, I miss my dad’s jokes…

okay, okay, here’s the meat…

Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth
(with permission)


—for a summarized printable PDF click here

Proud people
focus on the failures of others, but broken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need. Proud people are self-righteous. They have a critical, fault-finding spirit. They look at everyone else’s faults with a microscope but their own with a telescope, and they look down on others. But broken people are compassionate. They can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven. They think the best of others, and they esteem all others better than themselves.

Proud people have an independent, self-sufficient spirit, but broken people have a dependent spirit and recognize their need for others. Proud people have to prove that they’re right, but broken people are willing to yield the right to be right. Proud people claim rights and have a demanding spirit, but broken people yield their rights and have a meek spirit. Proud people are self-protective of their time, their rights, and their reputation, but broken people are self-denying.

Proud people desire to be served, but broken people are motivated to serve others. Proud people desire to be a success, but broken people are motivated to be faithful and to make others a success.

Proud people desire for self-advancement, but broken people desire to promote others. Proud people have a drive to be recognized, to be appreciated. They’re wounded when others are promoted and they are overlooked. Broken people have a sense of their own unworthiness. They’re thrilled that God would use them at all in any ministry. They’re eager for others to get the credit, and they rejoice when others are lifted up.

Proud people have a subconscious feeling, “This ministry is privileged to have me and my gifts.” They think of what they can do for God, but broken people have that heart attitude that says, “I don’t deserve to have any part in this ministry.” They know that they have nothing to offer God except the life of Jesus flowing through their broken lives.
Proud people feel confident in how much they know, but broken people are humbled by how very much they have to learn. Proud people are self-conscious, but broken people are not concerned with self at all.

Proud people keep others at arm’s length, but broken people are willing to risk getting close to others and to take the risks of loving intimately. Proud people are quick to blame others, but broken people accept personal responsibility and can see where they were wrong in the situation.

Proud people are unapproachable, but broken people are easy to be entreated. Proud people are defensive when criticized, but broken people receive criticism with a humble, open spirit. Proud people are concerned with being respectable. They’re concerned with what others think, and they’re working to protect their own image and reputation. But broken people are concerned with being real. What they care about and what matters to them is not what others think but what God knows, and they’re willing to die to their own reputation.

Proud people find it difficult to share their spiritual needs with others, but broken people are willing to be open and transparent with others as God directs. Proud people, when they have sinned, want to be sure that no one finds out. Their instinct is to cover up, but broken people, once they’ve been broken, they don’t care who knows or who finds out. They are willing to be exposed because they have nothing to lose.

Proud people have a hard time saying, “I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?” But broken people are quick to admit their failure and to seek forgiveness when necessary. When confessing their sin, proud people tend to deal in generalities, but broken people are able to deal under the conviction of God’s Spirit to acknowledge specifics.

Proud people are concerned about the consequences of their sin, but broken people are grieved over the cause, the root of their sin. Proud people are remorseful over their sin, sorry that they got found out or caught. But broken people are truly, genuinely repentant over their sin, which is evidenced in the fact that they forsake that sin.

When there’s a misunderstanding or conflict in relationships, proud people wait for the other to come and ask forgiveness, but broken people take the initiative to be reconciled. They race to the cross. They see if they can get there first, no matter how wrong the other may have been.

Proud people compare themselves with others and feel worthy of honor, but broken people compare themselves to the holiness of God and feel a desperate need for His mercy. Proud people are blind to their real heart condition, but broken people walk in the light. Proud people don’t think they have anything to repent of, but broken people realize that they have need of a continual heart attitude of repentance.

Proud, unbroken people don’t think they need revival, but they’re sure that everyone else does. Whereas humble, broken people continually sense their need for a fresh encounter with God, for a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit.”

Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth

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