Doing Our Part

The New Christianity is not a passive religion–we do not get to sit back and live our lives however we desire and still achieve salvation. We have to work for it. So much of Easter for me is remembering all Our Savior went through and accomplished: His crucifixion, glorification, redemption, establishment of Christianity… This Easter, I’ve found myself contemplating “but what is MY part in all of this?” How do I make use of the opportunity the Lord has created for me through His first coming? How do I best make use of the Truths He has given me through His second coming? How can I find the resolve to take up my cross and follow Him today? And tomorrow? And the next day…

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Matthew 16: 24-26
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Poems on Motherhood

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord” (Psalm 127:1

Motherhood is such a mix of blessing and labor. Mundane and ineffable moments are all wrapped up together in this daily grind and daily magic. And how easy it is to lose sight of the magic midst the grind! I wanted to share these two unpolished poems of mine which help me to focus on the bigger picture, and the gift it all is. 

Dimpled legs as you stretch
on tiptoe to the bowl placed carefully out of reach 
of your curious cocked finger. 
Your chortle, a babble of indiscernible gifts, erupt around
your two-toothed smile, 
and then you turn to me, and raise your hug-soft arms 
And your need is the easiest wish I ever could fulfill as I 
scoop you up to my chest and 
for a moment
your sweet-warm head rests beneath my face and I breathe in
And then you are wriggling down, away from me, to a ball, a cup, a block:
any of the undiscovered joys of today.

And I watch your supple body squat and crawl and stand and grab and reach. 
There is such impossible perfection in your tiny form. 
And I can only wonder that it is given to me–
this stumbling, seeking, striving me–
to witness
your being. 

I Said a Prayer Today 
I said a prayer today 
as I stroked the sick head of my first baby 
lying listless on the couch, 
her eyes watching me with solemn trust 
as her younger brother chattered at me from the kitchen 
certain that I can see and know and fix,
because I am 
All while their baby sister nuzzles warm head into my lap with small giggling grunts 
as if to burrow her whole being into mine. 
Lord, I pray, 
help me to catch these moments 
that are dropped 
as Gold
into my lap

If only I notice. 

“An atmosphere of innocence flows into little children, and through them into the parents so as to affect them… Little children have this innocence, because they do not think from anything interior; for they do not yet know what is good and evil, and true and false, so as to think in accordance with them. Therefore they do not have any prudence of their own, nor any design from a deliberate motive, thus are without any purpose for evil. They do not have a character acquired from love of self and the world. They do not credit anything to themselves. All that they receive they attribute to their parents. They are content with the little things they are given as gifts. They do not worry about their food and clothing, and are not anxious about the future. They do not pay regard to the world and covet many things on account of it. They love their parents, their nursemaids, and their little companions, and play with them in a state of innocence. They allow themselves to be guided; they listen and obey.
Such is the innocence of early childhood, which occasions the love called storge.” (Married Love 395)

Finding My Tribe

Recently, I returned home to Scotland in the UK after many years living abroad. I left home for university at 17 and spent a year in Japan at 20, returning to complete my university education and move on to decide on my career, never thinking of returning to Scotland. 

I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but my choices took me to London where I met my husband, and then to South Africa to raise our three children. When the politics and economics compelled us to leave our home in South Africa, we made the arduous move to New Zealand to start a better life. 

But Coronavirus had other plans for us… Our lives were turned upside down as jobs disappeared and opportunities diminished. We decided to move back to the UK. A radical and devastating move for all of us, but especially our children: uprooting and moving them across the globe twice in two years. 

In the car recently, the children reminded me that even though I lived in South Africa, I’m not South African. But I felt like I belonged in South Africa, like I had found my tribe. New Zealand never felt like my home, but I found wonderful friends who then became my new tribe. Here in Scotland, the land of my birth, the place I should call home, I feel disconnected, not part of the tribe that I thought I should be part of. I started to wonder where I really belong and what is it to belong? 

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How Does the Lord Speak to Everyone Today?

Sometimes it amazes me how unceasingly the Lord’s truths filter down into our world.  For me, the natural sun helps me to understand it better than anything else I know.  The  sun reaches everywhere in a universal way–with light rays–but depending on the receptacle, it appears to have almost infinite variety.  Light on a table at dusk in the tropics vs. light dancing in the trees in a northern winter–same light, but such a different picture!  And of course, without it we would die instantly.

It is comforting for me to observe that one can avoid light completely–by never going outside during the day, or by going into a cave or a basement, for instance–but it’s pretty hard to do consistently.  Virtually everyone is exposed to light, regularly.  

Which is why I’m always thrilled when I hear a shaft of light–a thought, a line from a song, a comment–that seems (to me) to express a pure truth.  It reminds me how infinite are the Lord’s ways–and I admire the person for figuring it out, probably without the Writings like I have. 

Recently our (Methodist) pastor said, in the pulpit, “I don’t know about you, but I think heaven is a pretty busy place.”  I was awash with admiration.  How did she figure that out?

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