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Launch Day!

Posted by wendy.lovecovers@gmail.com on May 22, 2014 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (2)
This is the day I've been waiting for!  Launch Day for my new site, wendyspeake.com

This is the day I've been working toward!  The day I call my blog a Living Room.  Because Living Room feels like there's enough space to actually sit down.  And these days I can, and I am, because my sons  are growing up.  

The boys, who still need me near and constant, need more of a cheerleader and spectator than an umpire and coach.  There is space to breath, and sit, and cheer, and enjoy.  Room now to try a new recipe and style my hair.  Space I didn't have when blogging through "The Hard Days" here at Love Covers a Multitude of Sons.

There is room now to sit, seep a pot of tea, and pursue this thing called The Abundant LIfe.  Living abundantly wasn't easy for me amidst each hard mothering day with young at my heals and on my hips, but now that there is space to pursue abundance I want to see if it's a discipline and a life intended to umbrella arc over every season of a woman's life.  

Abundance.

So visit me in my Living Room, friends, as we Learn to live this Abundant Life together.




Having you journey with me here at Love Covers a Multitude of Sons has been a balm to my mothering heart.  I invite you to join me on the next adventure, the sequel to this epic life of letting Love Cover each Multitude that comes our way.  

Because Living takes Room...






To celebrate the launching of my new site, my favorite Living Room style restaurant has graciously donated four $25 gift cards to be raffled off. Stop by to enter!

Three things we can do to help #BringBackOurGirls

Posted by wendy.lovecovers@gmail.com on May 8, 2014 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

The ongoing tragedy in Nigeria, suffering half a world away, has pushed my heart over the edge of grief.  Confusion and pain mingle with feelings of helplessness as I ask, "What can be done from here?"  


What can we possibly do from the safety of our Living Rooms?


If you have slipped through these days unaware of the nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls  stolen by the radical Islamic group Boko Haram (roughly translated, "Western education is sin") you are not alone.  The mass kidnapping went unreported at first, as the girls were hidden within the inner jungles of Northeastern Nigeria.  Only recently has CNN and other major networks begun covering the story.  Updates, as American forces start getting involved, has shed a bit more light on the tragedy.  But if you want to know about the girls and their plight, read Kristen's comprehensive account and observations over at Rage Against the Minivan.  Not only does she educate us on the horrific turn of events, she challenges us to action.  


After reading her words, signing petitions and hashtagging my way through  facebook, I still felt hollow.  What more can be done?  


I believe there are three Justice motivating, Spirit infusing, Bondage-breaking things we can do, right were we are.


1) Pray.  I'm not talking about the transitory prayers of people coming and going, but the transcendent prayers that rise unceasingly, over the busyness of our safe lives.  Falling down upon our knees, interceding.  Awkwardly raising hards, beseeching.  Prayers.


Dear Lord,  Our world desperately needs your captive freeing love right now.  We ask that you flood the heart of each victim with a sense of your nearness, protect them  physically and emotionally, as your Spirit guides their rescuers even now.  Bring these girls out of this hell and restore them to their families back home.  And may your justice and judgement envelope the evil men who believe they are pleasing their god through these violent offerings.  We ask this all in the bondage-breaking, powerful Name of Jesus.  Amen.


2) Hope for Heaven.  When the knees ache and the tears run dry, believe what is True.


"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Rev. 21:4)  "he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces..." (Isaiah 25:8 )  "and those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.  (Isaiah 35:10)  "Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end."  (Isaiah 60:20)


3) Partner with International Justice Mission.  My husband and I are passionate about the Work IJM is doing throughout the world:  Working with local governments as they rescue men and women, boys and girls, in this modern age of unparalleled slavery.  Girls bound in the terror of sex-trafficking, and multi-generational families enslaved over the smallest debt; stories upon stories of liberated victims, and evil brought to justice.


I am not a political master-mind, but I am a woman, and I am human, and I feel, and I have the intense need to do something... to bring our girls back!   Join with me by praying, hoping, and partnering with ministries purposed to take justice to the oppressed.  Will you?  Won't you?

#BringBackOurGirls


May the Fourth be with You

Posted by wendy.lovecovers@gmail.com on May 4, 2014 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (1)

A light saber battle is currently raging in the backyard.  The boys have watched Clone Wars, Star Wars, and the Empire Strikes Back this afternoon.  Yes, the force is strong around our home today.  


May the 4th be with you.


May 4th should be celebrated as a national holiday!  And today, for more reasons than ever, I am celebrating.  You see, while the plastic sabers still clash around our home, as they did here and here when the boys were young, they are now battling their way into a new season of life.  Fewer toddleresque screams come from their play fights.  Believe it or not, they often come in happy, not requiring my intervention, and sometimes they even wash their grubby hands when they're called in for dinner.  Finally growing up, they are... Mmmmm.  As they grow they are turning from the dark-side (some days raising young ones can feel desperately dark) and maturing into Light bearers.  I am so thankful for the pieces of scripture I have clung to most desperately during the years battling rebel forves here in our home; scripture I believed and spouted time and again throughout the dark years, when there were many disturbances in the force around our home.  


Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.  (Galatians 6:9)


There is a season for constant, hands on bottom wiping, lego sorting reminders, light saber battles that end in tears for all three of them, spilled milk and tired children who shout "No!" though they've been trained to use kind, gentle words; there is a season where this unceasing discipline feels as though it will never end.  I know, I know, I know...  

But Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us this:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 )


Mothers of padiwans, there is a season for everything:

A time for sleepless nights, a time of rest;

A time for aching breasts and backs, a time for healing and wholeness;

A time for constant noise, a time for long stretches of quiet;

A time when mom and dad lose sight of one another, and a time to recouple for ten seconds - every day;

A time for countering with truth the lies of neighborhood bullies, and a time when kind words go deep into hearts.

A time for sickness and allergy testing and broken bones and questions, a time for waiting, and a time for answers;

A time for constant correction, and a time when siblings play joyfully together for long stretches everyday:

A time in the backyard swimming pool held in mom's arms, a time for swimming independently;

A time when padawans need constant training, a time to graduate to young Jedi's.

A time to blog about parenting young ones, and a time to transition to new messages about other experiences as a woman in the world and The Word today.


May the 4th is always a day to celebrate here in our Star Wars loving home, but today I am celebrating for others reasons as well.  We are stepping over the line separating seasons.  My younglings are big and broad and wonderful; still challenging and needy at times, but growing into marvelous good men each day.  This site does not contain them, or me in this new season we have entered.


Today I am excited to share that in just three weeks I will be launching a new site to include more aspects of life, love, and parenting.  Specifics forthcoming!


May you be blessed as you press on, weary mother of younglings.  This season won't last forever.  

Love well today!

Tug of War

Posted by wendy.lovecovers@gmail.com on April 26, 2014 at 11:45 PM Comments comments (0)

They lose control, I lose control too.  

"Get control of yourself," I holler.  

"You've been complaining all days long!"  

I've been complaining about your complaining.


I have lost peace,

I have lost joy,

They can't find it either.  

"Go to your rooms."


Mom, you are the heart,

I am the heart,

We are the heartbeat of our homes.

The heart pump, pumping.


Pumping life-giving,

Love-giving,

Nutrients through the body:

The body of the home.


When you are off,

They are off,

He is off,

The family is off.


It doesn't always start with you or me,

But it must get back to right-

right now-

With us.


The complaining,

Whining,

Boredom hitting,

Sugar-spiked blues,


"More TV, Screen-time, Snacks..."

We're tired, so we cave,

to what they crave, 

But what they need is You.


You... can end this downward spin,

You... can end this downward fall,

Reverse the slowing circulation

With a renewed Pump Pump Pump.


So pull away, 

dive back in,

pick up the last scripture you read

Before the sun came up this morning.


Where were you,

Before they woke up?

Take your heart back there

And recommit.


Drop the rope 

You play tug of war with

And pick back up the Word.

Drop the rope and pick it up!


The Word is life and peace.

The rope is death and war.

Drop death and pick up life

Right there in the heart  of your home.


The imagery of the Tug of War rope in parenting is vivid.  Some days there are battles for control, battles for power, battles because they are tired and we are tired, and battles simply because we've grown so accustomed to the fight.  But an amazing thing happens when we drop our side of the rope.


Thud.


The fight falls down, falls out, falls over.  There's no one else to fight with, push and pull and flex your muscles against.  And the giving in to peace, at the end of a battle, often brings tears.  Yours, theirs, mine; as the heart begins to Pump Pump Pump life-giving, love-giving nutrients through your body again.  


Drop the rope.


Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14)


Thud.

Failed Pinterest attempts this Easter

Posted by wendy.lovecovers@gmail.com on April 21, 2014 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (2)







Pinterst is deceiving.  Instagram and Facebook are equally wrought with false hopes and photo-shopped realities.  Sunday morning church, even Easter Sunday, can leave us feeling less than and outdone.  Less than what?  Outdone by whom?  Less than and outdone by every other sinner out there; every other mother saved by grace who posts the pretty side of life's long days?  Out crafted, out dressed, out done by other helpless but not hopeless women; mothers, wives, home-makers?


If your home-made resurrection eggs were a cracked mess of imperfection, that's why we are all so aware of our need for His perfection in our lives!  Praise Him!  And if your resurrection buns did not open, though you followed the recipe again this year, the Lord still worked His miracle over death and rolled away the true stone that tried to keep Him captive.  Praise Him!

If you dressed your little darlings in matching smocked dresses and over-alls, planed out their color coordinated egg hunt, cooked a healthy breakfast (to compensate for all the sugar delights in those plastic eggs), only to lose your temper and make your mascara run on the way to church... You did not ruin your family's Easter, or mine, though I heard you blubbering a few seats down in the pew.  You are a perfect picture of the cross!  You are the gospel!  You are Christmas, Good Friday and Easter all rolled into one.  You are the reason Christ came to earth!  You are the reason He died.  And Love for you is the reason He rose again! 

If you burned the ribs, undercooked the corn bread, and over-cooked the asparagus till it was a pile of mush on each guest's plate, rest assured that your ability to smile and love and bless the name of Jesus regardless of your lack of perfection, is also a picture of heaven to come.  Heaven, where there are no more tears, failures, or lost tempers.  

Our Savior will hold the banquet on the other side of glory... and His banner over us will be love forevermore!  And He will not be posting the glory side of things to Instagram, because in an instance every eye shall see and every knee shall bow, when such glorious perfection is revealed.  Praise Him!


Oh, what a gift those failed Pinterest crafts are!  What a blessed gift our mothering moments of failure are as well —  though we'd prefer not have them on the holiest of holidays!  But take hold of those failures with assurance in the One who we gather together each Sunday to worship. However else would we learn to boast only in Jesus, had our creative little tombs, planted two weeks ago with grass seeds, grown to perfection and not crumbled as your centerpiece.  Did you think your holiness could be found in your perfection.  Only His!  


My favorite posts on Facebook this Easter were not pictures of perfection, but real life living, imperfect need, and light hearted understanding... Thank you, Lori, for this perfect example of real.  





And, Becky, when you captioned the picture of your children with this statement, "Nothing like trying to get a picture of your kids to remind you how much we need a Savior."  

We all groaned, "Yes...."

Please know that I moved away the mess in my kitchen when I staged these darling pictures of Asher rolling the Marshmallow Jesus in butter, cinnamon and sugar, and wrapped Him in his Pillsbury tomb.  Know that as our ressurection buns cooked I peeked to see if they were really opening, miraculously.  The two rolls that were not popping open, I prodded with a toothpick.   Yes I did, though I didn't post pictures of it!  And you cannot hear the fight my middle and oldest children were having in the next room — the fight I ignored to snap these holy pictures, meant  to "encourage" you.

Do not be deceived, dear moms of young children.  No blogging mom, neighbor, or acquaintance at church who seems to have it all together, is perfect.  Perfectly flawed, maybe, but not perfect.  

Today was Easter; the resurrection celebration of new life, real life, His life, our life, forever life with Him.  Nothing you perfectly craft will get you half an inch nearer His holy heart.  Nothing you can wear, or dress your family in, releases more Holy Spirit into your home or our world today.   Nothing but humility and love and truth and tears and laughter each day, celebrating Him.  

"He is risen," you can scrawl it masterfully on a chalk board or scribble it on your child's inexpensive paper napkin, or confess it in a breathy confession in your weakness.  It is forever truth, regardless of how beautiful you can craft it.  Powerful, rolling the stone away power, rising up from the grave truth.  Sure we try to capture it with a craft and celebrate it with a meal, and photograph it in matching attire... but it is all about His perfection.

And out short comings this holiday, only remind us of that.  Glory be!  

Pin that!

Sunday's Coming!

Posted by wendy.lovecovers@gmail.com on April 19, 2014 at 3:30 AM Comments comments (1)

 ...Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:5


There was an extended period in these early years of mothering young ones, where I tried desperately to keep my mouth shut in public.  I couldn't muster positive truisms, only heart-felt confessions of how dark my heart felt.  With confidants I shared the hardest of my hard days, and here on this blog I walked through many of the valleys, pointing to Jesus' promises as I trudged along in faith.  Many of you sojourned beside me.  


After five years of hard days, each one seemingly out-doing the one before, I was finally diagnosed with prolonged postpartum depression.  Relief and sadness mingled at the diagnosis.  While the prescribed remedies, purposed to bring my natural hormones back in balance, didn't bring instantaneous healing, I have come to realize in recent days that I am indeed on the other side.  It once was Friday, but today is my Resurrection Celebration of Sunday.  


These past couple of weeks as people have casually asked, "Hey, how are you?"  Both surface level and sincere, this greeting was once a knife.  But not recently!  The realization that I feel truly happy has brought tears to my eyes with each greeting the past few weeks.  


"Hey, How are you?"


"I'm good... I'm really good."


I have walked through the fire and am standing on the other side.  And what I see before me is more beautiful than I could have imagined.  This... this is what I see.  These are the smiles, still smiling.  These are the soft-hearted boys, still eager for tuck-ins.  These are the ones I colored with and made smoothies with today.  These are my sons, and their love has covered a multitude of my weary sins, though my goal was to let my love cover a multitude of theirs.  



It's all such a miracle, this Love Covering.   Jesus' love poured out is what we celebrate this Holy week!  The darkness of Good Friday; the literal darkness of the sky that horrid day, and the figurative darkness of our soul's sin and sadness.  Jesus' Love Covering, the blood cleansing, the absolute forgiveness of sins.  Hope for death, depression and darkness.  The Sunshine promise of Sunday, and even more than Sunday... forever!  Once, for all!  And I am here to attest that in your hard days, your darkest nights, your whacked out hormones and your own sin-nature... His love is covering, cleansing, restoring, refining, and transforming the hearts that turn to Him today.  


And so I ask you,  "Hey, How are you today?"


For He rescued us from the domain of darkness,

and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,

in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

(Colossians 1:13-14) 


"How are you today?"


I waited patiently for the Lord;

He turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,

out of the mud and mire;

he set my feet on a rock

and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth,

a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear the Lord

and put their trust in him.

(Psalm 40:1-3) 

 

"How are you?"


The night is nearly over;

the day is almost here.

(Romans 13:12)


"How are you?"


I'm a testimony of Sunday's power!  And, Sunday is coming, Friends!  Sunday is coming! 

Real Courage

Posted by wendy.lovecovers@gmail.com on April 11, 2014 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (1)


Courage in little boys is raw heart muscle, doing hard things.

Courage is Holy Spirit power wrapped in young flesh.  

Daniel in the lions' den, David walking out to face Goliath,

Caleb and Joshua calling out to their generation,

"Be Strong in the Lord!"  


Tomorrow Brody represents his school at a county-wide speech meet.  My gangly, speech impaired 8 year old, will stand before a room full of adults and deliver his memorized piece.  And he's going to do GREAT!  Tonight, however, my mind is cycling through all the pre-school and kindergarten concerts where he scowled out at the audience and mouthed the words in an exaggerated display, "Take. Me. Home. Now."


Brody has a metal expander on the bottom of his mouth under his tongue, and another across the roof of his mouth, and braces too.  Even if his r's and l's were perfect, his entire mouth is full of metal.  But tomorrow he will purpose to swallow down all the spit in his mouth, take a deep breath, look out into the crowd, and introduce himself.


Courage is heart muscle, doing hard things!


The night before Valentine's Day I put all three boys down to bed early.  The next day would include crazy amounts of sugar and artificial food dyes, which really rev my kids up.  A good night's sleep would help them with impulse control amidst the next day's sugar induced fun at school.  Also, our boys had all been sick, and a good night's sleep was in order.  And last but not least, I had a few more Valentine's Day decorations to hang.  At 10:45pm, before I dragged myself to bed, I checked on my guys only to find Brody pacing his room, looking over his personal stash of temporary tattoos, stickers and action figures spread across the floor.  "What are you doing, Brody?"  I sighed.


His eyes immediately filled with tears, "I need to have things for my class, lots of special things."


"But we already have fun-dips packed up in your backpack.  Those are the best Valentine's of all... they are pure sugar!"


"It's not enough..." he went on, "I need more..."  


"Why?  Why do you need more?"


"They've helped me find everything.  They deserve it."


Oh, my Breaking-Mama heart!  It made sense then, so I hugged him close, still not sure he was fully awake.  Brody had just started at this new school, mid-semester, and the stress of the transition tumbled out with tears.  "They've helped me every day, and been so nice to me.  I need to give them something really special."  


"Yes,," I agreed.  "They've all been so kind and helped you find your way around school, so you want to say thank you and give them a little something extra."  He nodded up against my belly.  "Crawl into bed and I'll go see if I can find a little something extra for you to give your class."


I came back with a bag of chocolate coins wrapped in red and silver foils.  "I bought these for you and your brothers, but if you want to write your name on each one with a sharpie and drop it in with your valentine then you may." The tears ceased.  It was then he looked out of his room and saw the red heart balloons that filled our kitchen, and he smiled.  "Brody, you've been so courageous to go to this new school.  Every day you've hoped out of the car with a smile and had a great attitude.  I know this teacher moves quickly from one subject to another, and we never went that fast in our homeschool, but you've been so brave!"  His eyes were still on the heart balloons down the hall.  "Why don't you go put one of those balloons and a chocolate coin on each of your brother's bed side tables as a surprise for the morning.  


"Can they be from me?"


"You bet they can!"


He finished his business as cupid and was asleep under the covers before I made it to my room.  As I laid in my bed later, I was impressed with the courage my tender-hearted middle-child has displayed these past couple of months.  He didn't want to go to this school, but he needed to be there.  And I thought of Courage - what it really is, and what it is not.  Courage is not doing something that is difficult for others, courage is doing something that is difficult for the one doing it.  And courage isn't just doing what is hard, but knowing that it is hard, wishing it didn't have to be done, but submitting to the hard.  Like Jesus, before He was betrayed, praying that the Father would remove the cup from before Him.  Though, "Not My will, but Thine be done," he submitted to His Father.  


Courage.  


A few years ago Brody competed in a County Rodeo as a Mutton Buster.  Like Bucking' Broncos, but bucking' sheep.  Little boys and girls, dressed in jeans, boots, and helmets, exploded out of a miniature shoot on the back of a wholly mammal. 


Courage.


He took an early nap that day, and woke up with the most serious expression I ever saw.  He didn't speak all afternoon as I dressed him in his starched blue wranglers and took him to his first Rodeo.  We checked in, pinned his number on his back, and I gave him a lollipop.  Still not a peep.  I'd never seen anything like it.  


Courage.


At the end of the ordeal, when all was said and done, and he was wearing a man-size belt buckle for finishing first, he whispered "I was so scared."  


Courage.  Doing something that frightens you, but you "Cowboy Up!"  Courage.




I've been feeling God call me to do something I'm scared of.  Stepping out of my comfort zone and following him to new places.  Like Daniel in the den, and David on the open field between the Israelite and the Philistine armies, like Brody heading to a new school, onto the back of a bucking sheep, or in front of his peers and their parents... Courage.


Courage.

FOOLISH FUN, and our hope for wisdom

Posted by wendy.lovecovers@gmail.com on April 2, 2014 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I adore making believe, trips to the theatre, and suspended reality in the darkness of a movie-house!  


However, I have never ben able to tell a lie and call it a prank!  I've had my fair share of "April Fool's!" ideas, but never the courage to carry them out, until this year.  Yesterday morning all the boys and their dad were gathered around the table with their bowls of cereal, waiting for me to join them with a bowl of strawberries.  With the help of my ketchup bottle hidden deep in the sink I covered one hand with "blood," picked up my knife and turned toward them all... screaming!  In an instant I knew that I had traumatized each one of them, my husband most of all!  


But the best prank came a few days early.  I had expected to hold the prank until April Fool's Day, but once I had my husband's faith in my hands I simply couldn't keep it up.  It all began with a text message among some of my girl-friends.  One of them send us a picture of herself in protective glasses with a gun at the firing range.  She wrote, "Date Night!"  Another suggested that the next time we're all together we ought to have a ladies night out and go shooting.  I quickly replied, "Just come to my house and my husband can leave the guns out.  Bunnies are 10 points, coyotes 100.  Not two minutes passed when Bethany replied with a real picture of a DEAD COYOTE and the caption:


100 points for me!  


Sick, right?  Wait till you hear what I did with this picture next.  But first let me tell you about the coyotes who live in the ravine on our property; they are a brazen and bold pack, bigger than average and often out in the late afternoon trying to lure the German Shepherd off the horse property behind our home.  They've come too close to my boys and when we called animal control they said that the only thing they would do is shot the animals themselves.  This was all the license my Texan needed to bring out the arsenal.  All that said, he has't shot one yet!


Now onto the prank:  When my man was away on a trip a few days ago I texted Bethany's picture to Matt with the message: "O my goodness!  O my Goodness!  Look what I just did.  He was sitting on the meadow all morning so I decided to get one of your guns down.  The boys are freaking out singing, "Mom's a better shot that Daddy!  Mom's a better shot than Daddy!"


If the prank worked!  I thought Matt would be jealous, all my girlfriends rightly predicted turned-on would be more like it.   Matt called immediately, breathless with excitement.  "I can't believe it!" He kept saying,  "Neither can I!"  Was all I could get out amidst the laughter.  The laughter fit somehow in the bubbling up of emotion over the phone.  When I stopped laughing long enough I mustered, "I hate to tell you this, but it only took one shot.  Went clean through, then he dropped."


"Noooooooooo!"  He was yelling now.  "You're amazing!   I haven't been on Facebook in six months but I've got to post this.  My wife is awesome!!!"  That's when I crumbled.


"I didn't do it... I didn't do it..."  


"What? I don't understand."


"I didn't do it... I didn't do it..."


The truth came out in one long run-on sentence, and then there was laughter.  The boys were jumping up and down beside me too, all of us howling like a pack at midnight!


No big deep post here on Love Covers today, just some laughter. It was a fun April Fools' Day / Week, one the boys will remember it until next year.  However, for the other 364 days 'til then, God's Word tells us, "Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered."  (Proverbs 28:26)  And so last night after diner,  I gave the boys a huge bag of gummy bears (actually filled with grapes) for dessert, and we started in on a new Bible devotional together;  The Case for Christ for Kids, by Lee Stroble.   


We began with a conversation about the newly released film "God's Not Dead," then discussed what it means to "make a case" about what we believe.  We are excited to see our boys grow in wisdom during the course of our evening devotions together.  And hopefully, as we do, there will still be much laughter.

The Harlot's Lesson - halfway through Lent

Posted by wendy.lovecovers@gmail.com on March 27, 2014 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (1)

Lent was supposed to take me deeper this year.  Lent was supposed to refocus my eyes on Christ.  Lent was supposed to make my spiritual journey so... so wonderfully spiritual.  Yes, Lent was supposed to take me deeper.  But now, halfway through these 40 days, I see that I didn't take Lent deeper.  


There is the part that God does; the miracle part in our transformation.  And then there is the part that we do; the spiritual exercise of surrender.  Lent is both.  We stop, set aside, and offer Him our undivided attention, and He says, "I'm so glad you've come to me, I've got great things in store for you!  I've been looking forward to Lent all year long, just waiting to give you these gifts.  During the business of Christmas, I waited; into the New Year, I waited; as you celebrated two Saints, I waited.  Now the biggest celebration of all is coming in just a couple of weeks!  Don't wait another day, because before the resurrection celebration, I want to resurrect your spirit.  Before the cross, I want to talk about the hard stuff I went to the cross for.  Before hot cross buns and jelly beans, I want to taste with you the bitter sprigs of the passover dinner.  Repentance.


Lent is the season for repentance, and repentance precedes resurrection - not His, but mine.  Repentance...


Halfway into Lent and I am convicted that while God always does His part, I don't always do mine.   He is there awaiting us in His Word, and we have the choice to sit down and hear from Him. He is there at the breakfast table, and we have the option to praise Him with our children, as sunshine filters through the kitchen windows.  He is on our BIble app, but we touch F, for Facebook.  He is in the sparrows wings, the butterflies transformation, and the surprise of the double rainbow in the backyard, but we take out our cameras to capture the image rather than lift up our hands to the One who crafted all of nature's miracles.  He knows all our sin and shame, eager to forgive and mature us, but we move on in our holiday plans, with decorations and recipes.


Repentance.


Just yesterday a faithful friend of mine sent me a short note that read:  "I thought of you as I read Lamentations 3 this morning."  Of course I was too busy at the time to go deep where God was calling me - Lent is a busy time after all - so when I did opened up God's Word I absentmindedly ruffled the pages until I came to Jeremiah 3, not the third chapter of Lamentations.  I read:

 

...you have lived as a harlot, a prostitute with many lovers—

would you now return to me?” declares the Lord.

“Look up to the barren heights and see.

Is there any place where you have not been ravished?

By the roadside you sat waiting for lovers,

sat like a nomad in the desert.

You have defiled the land

with your prostitution and wickedness.

(Jeremiah 3:1-2)


Confused, I stopped short.  "I don't think I'm a harlot.  Was this verse really for me today?"  


Later realized my mistake and I told my friend how I had confused Lamentations for Jeremiah, and she laughed, "O no Wendy, you could never be a harlot!"  We went on to talk about the marvelous, hopeful, edifying verses she really had meant to share with me.  But I continued to think about the harlotry that may be hidden in me still, and I prayed:


Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

And see if there be any hurtful way in me,

And lead me in the everlasting way.

(Psalm 139:23-24)


God pursued me with these thoughts into the afternoon when I met with another friend for a cup of tea.  We talked of many things - homeschooling, growing up, and marriage.  But one theme caught my heart.  My friend spoke of her own personal heart sin as something very slight rather than blaring.  She shared how God has convicted her own heart of sin in layers.  "He is so kind to reveal just a bit of our sin nature to us at a time; if He showed it to us all at once we would perish by the weight of it.  Instead He peels it back, layer after terrible layer, so that we can slowly see and acknowledge our guilt."


Repentance.

 

As she spoke I understood.  Harlotry in the Christian isn't always blaring, but insidious, slight and confusing.  It can even be lovely and normal and culturally acceptable. But, if it separates us from Him at all... it is sin.  Turning from Him, we prostitute our love, making ourselves the faithless harlot.  And so today, before I am aware of the specific harlotry, I take up the torch of Lent again.  "Here I am, returning to you, Lord."  Jeremiah 3 lovingly goes on to the give the faithless hope.


“‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord, 

‘I will frown on you no longer,

for I am faithful,’ declares the Lord,

‘I will not be angry forever.

Only acknowledge your guilt— 

you have rebelled against the Lord your God,

you have scattered your favors to foreign gods

under every spreading tree, 

and have not obeyed me,’”

declares the Lord.

“Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband.

I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion.

Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart,

who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.

(Jeremiah 3:12-15)

 

Sometimes Lent chooses us in specific seasons of our lives, and sometimes it chases us.  Lent pursued me yesterday!  And I learned, regardless of if I pursue Lent, He pursues me in His Grace and Love.  He pursues without condemnation, to bring me to Repentance to prepare me for the Resurrection... One leads to the other and onto the other.  


Grace to Repentance, and Repentance to Resurrection!

Here at the halfway mark!  


To follow along another woman's journey this Lenten season, read what Anne Voskamp shared yesterday.  "I stand at the sink and it’s an ointment of grace to have a season to repent. There are days you don’t feel the weight of glory but the weight of this whole gory, bloody mess that is called life together."

Reinventing Wendy Darling

Posted by wendy.lovecovers@gmail.com on March 27, 2014 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (0)

As a follow-up to an earlier post, Wendy Darling Said Goodbye,  I find myself now looking to the future.   As you know, once Peter Pan's beloved Wendy returned to London, having mothered the Lost Boys well, she moved out of the nursery and into her big girl room.  On the cusp of 40, with my youngest boy now six years old, I find myself transitioning out of the nursery as well.


Last week I spoke to a group of women about the maturing we do in Christ over the various seasons of our female lives.  "When my focus is on trusting God in the season He presently has me in," I shared, "I am not so easily thrown by the trials that await me there.  There is something transcendent, steady, and sure about Trusting God to be God.  I feel that this lesson, just recently learned, is a stepping stone to maturity.  With forty now 10 days away, I think it's about time I put my big girl panties on (spiritually speaking,) and start trusting God more! "  That is exactly what I want to do in this new season of my life as a mom, a wife, and a follower of Christ - at home, in my community, and on this blog.  


As my children continue to grow up, my role will keep changing as well.  That's why I find myself growing out of the nursery and into a new room, a new space, and a new season.  Here at Love Covers a Multitude of Sons, that new room may eventually become a new site with a new name.    With my toes on the entry line, and my heart eager for something new, I feel inspired to Reinvent Wendy Darling.  


My reinvention will likely begin with more writing - Some will be shared here, and some will be on bigger projects I've been conceptualizing for years - even during hours of nursing and swinging babies at the park, during homeschooling, and teaching boys to tie their shoes.  Today I am a guest at Christy Nueman's blog, The Write Season, sharing tips on balancing a writer's inspired life with the reality of a busy family life.   My main point echoes the name of her blog, there is a Write Season; and I believe this new season is mine.  And so, as I look from the nursery to the future, I hope to open up those archives of notes I've collected over these mothering years, and start writing the books and screenplays I've imagined. 


Stepping out of the nursery also requires stepping out of my comfort zone.  I recently questioned if I have a boundary line separating what is comfortable and uncomfortable for me, because so much of what I do is deemed uncomfortable for others.  Then I realized that promoting what I write and when I speak is terribly uncomfortable for me, and way outside of my comfort zone.  It makes me physically sick. And so this next season, this "Write Season" needs to include learning the fine art of social media and promotion.  (Gag.  Even the word promotion makes me sick to my stomach!) However, when women ask me how they can stay connected with me on my blog or attend future speaking engagements, I shrink back and stutter awkwardly.  Putting on my big-girl panties (a.k.a.maturing) requires me to get over it! When my boys believe lies about themselves, we repeat together what is true and noble and right.  Now it's my turn; God made for His pre-purposed good works (Ephesians 2:10),  He inspires me (Psalm 65:8 ),and has promised to finish what He has begun in and through me (Philippians 1:6).  


For the time being my writing here at Love Covers a Multitude of Sons will stay the same, though I hope to be moving into my big girl room sometime this Summer.   Here's to the future!


Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things; Before they spring forth

I proclaim them to you. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 42:9 & 43:19)


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