Friday, September 23, 2011

New posts

Hello readers!

Just a reminder that this blog has moved locations!  Please switch your browser over to:, to find the latest from me!

I have noticed on some of the blogs that I follow that you are still linked up to this Blogger page.  I'm trying to keep everything at the other site, so please make note.

You can also follow me on Facebook--search for Everything Belongs and *like* it.  It will send the newest posts to your newsfeed so you can read from there.  I'm so humbled and blessed that there are over 100 readers!

As always, thanks so much for reading!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Annunciation

Being a mother of two boys is well...
always interesting.
I say this with a huge smile on my face and...
It is always a balancing act--how to have fun letting boys be boys without it getting too out of hand  (because boys simply can. not. keep. their. hands. off. of. one. another.),
teaching compassion
and manners (seriously, this is close to the very top of my list of "I Will Die A Happy Mother," right after loving Jesus).
As I was playing soccer with Owen yesterday, followed by a quick round of indoor hockey
(did I mention again how happy I am that we are renting this house?),
it struck me again how active boys are.
I mean really.
Arts and crafts, please?
Not a chance--well maybe for a few moments until they turn their paper into a sword, bow and arrow or gun.
What is it with boys and firearms, by the way?  (That is another post all to itself!)
I digress...what struck me so soundly the other afternoon was the passion.
The gusto.
The life.
And this is good.
Very good.
It is so wonderful to see strong, active, boys being passionate about life,
about their desires,
and about one another.
It makes me think about how lukewarm I often am.
About life,
about decisions,
about God.
What makes one person head-over-heals passionate, and another ho-hum at best?
Life experience?
Perhaps...but maybe it is also perspective.
Intuitively, my guys grasp each moment for the gift that it is--new, undiscovered, full of possibility and potential.
They are just kids, you say.  Of course they are like this. The entire world is new to them.
So where did I lose it?
Where did the luster of living go? Where did the pure excitement of getting up each day, bounding out of bed, simply because it is a new day of life?
As the sunlight barely breaks forth on the horizon in the wee hours of the morning, which also seems to through some cosmic timer cause my littlest one to pop his eyes open, the pitter-patter of his feet race to my bed,
(Running, always running!)
he gently places his sweet lips close to my ears and whispers,
"Mom, mom...I did it!  I woke up!"
And even though my first reaction wants to be, "Well, la-de-da!  Now I am too, much before I really wanted to be,"
(Am I sounding like a completely horrid mother?)
I say, "Yes you did, love!  I am so glad!"
Because Connor has it.
What a gift--he woke up.
We woke up.
What's not to be passionate about this?
From this perspective, we have been given another day of life.
To learn.
To grow.
To be together.
Breathing is miracle.
When I think of life in these terms, I can't help but be passionate.
I can't help but be deeply grateful.
I can't help but run.
For all of these things...
are miracles.

Ordinary miracles.

But miracles nevertheless.
I cannot say enough at how much my boys have changed me,
are changing me.
Each day is an annunciation--an encounter with God, proclaiming new life that has been given.
So let's live.

Owen and Connor, not only do you make me a better mom,
you are making me a better person.
The depth of my love for you both can never be described fully.
I only pray that each day you will know and feel it.
Thank you.
Thank you.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Step By Step

Life has been happening.
And that is a good thing.
So, pardon me for not being a better blogger this summer.
On our recent travels together as a family, I realized again just how important play is.
To break away, to rest, to just be.
Because let's be real, how often does that really happen?
All together--with no agenda, nothing to do, nowhere to go.
No prodding, hustling, (and well, threatening).
It just is.
And it is good.
We climbed dunes--crystal sand high as mountains (and as hot as the Sahara),
with cheers of encouragement coming from the youngest of the group that gave strength and chuckles to the older ones.
"We can do it--together--we can do anything!  Just one step at a time...that's all it takes!"
Just one step.
Just one step at a time.
Owen, you are so wise.
So why do I feel the compulsion to run, to sprint--only to burn out?
Or become completely overwhelmed at the task before, seeing the mountain ahead--and paralysis sets in.
But really, life is only needing to take one step at a time.
And I'm not alone.
Never alone.
Big hands and little ones grasp together, pulling and steadying.  The mountain is steep, but we are together.
High fives and sky high emotions as we tower over Lake Michigan proud of the feat we accomplished--and Mama prouder still of her babe that did it with such grace, insight, and determination.
He is a special kid.
As we sat in the shade catching our breath just to lose it again at the expanse of the view, I caught glimpse of Shawn's shirt--"Life is Good."
Yes, life is good.
Even in the struggle of the mountains that we face each day--and for some, each hour, minute or second--we struggle forward together, sweaty hands grasped tight.
For it is on the mountain that we encounter the Creator--the one who gave us all things, who reminds us that even still,
life. is. good.
No wonder mountains are holy places.
For it is from this place, we are given a new perspective.
God, thank you for this life.
Thank you for not only meeting me on the mountain, but even in the journey of struggle to the peak. For you walk with me all along--just as you always do.  Sometimes I am just so blinded by the sun and heat and wind, I fail to notice those blessings you place within my hands, both big and small helping me forward,
step by step.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Time Out

The other morning as the boys jumped into and promptly began tossing and turning, kicking and wiggling in our bed,
--no need for an alarm clock here, good morning 6am--
Connor sat straight up, looked at me in the eyes and said (I kid you not): 
"Jesus wants you to have a time out."
 Perhaps this came from wanting to exert his own power in control in discipline, or out of his amazingly sly and dry sense of humor, but it took me off guard.
And I saw that he was absolutely right.  Jesus does want me to have a time out.  Because life just gets too busy, too complicated, too dark, too confusing sometimes.  Just within the last month my life and the lives of those I care about have been full of cancer reports, child custody hearings, moving dilemmas, job losses, theology debates, pregnancy disappointments.  As the cares and concerns compound, I find myself feeling swept over by the inability to take away hurt, pain, disappointment.  My heart bleeds.  Overtime, what do you do with it all this?  
Take a time out.
Of course.  Thanks, Connor.
Being still, instead of trying to rationalize, overanalyze. Releasing the need to fix situations, or feeling guilty for not knowing what to say.
Because sometimes...there just aren't any words to say.
The only thing, the best thing, that I can do is to be still and release these hurts and pains to the One who loves and cares for these even more that I.
Far greater.
My job is not to fix. It is to help where I can, offer support and continued love...and to release them into the greater Light that shines forth peace beyond understanding and comfort beyond measure.
For this is the greatest gift I can offer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Exciting News...

Hello readers!
I am so excited to share with you all that I will be one of the guest bloggers at(In)courage, a website that is geared towards encouraging the hearts of women. I will let you know when to expect my post, entitled, "Hide & Seek."
As always, I love it that you continue to follow and read this blog. As you can see, it has been going through some changes, with some more to come over the next several weeks. (**If you are still reading this blog on Blogger, try to switch your RSS feed over to and see if it will redirect you to my new site. We are still working out the kinks.**)  I'd love it if you would leave a comment/thought when it comes out on the (in)courage blog.
Thanks for the support--I'm deeply humbled and in awe of how God continues to work...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When you can't find the words

What does a day filled with sun, swimming, and hungry bellies waiting for dinner add up to? 

Lots of tears. Screams.  Fits. Gnashing of teeth. 

Don't you wish you could have been a guest at the Gerber's tonight?
Consider yourself lucky.

As we sat down at the spread table with my wailing babe, and hands were extended towards one another to grasp for grace (quite literally, from my perspective), we sang.

"I can't sing!" cried the droning bass. "I can't sing."

As I held his little hand in mine, through his sputtering and gasping, I whispered,
"It's okay.  You don't have to.  We will sing for you."

I didn't really even give these words much thought as they escaped my lips, until after they touched the wind. Everyday sacred.  Here it is.  Even in the mess. Especially in the mess.

In the dark, in the hopelessness, in the fear...
when God seems to be nowhere in sight, or exhaustion runs so deep--where even breathing seems labored...

Let us sing for you.

The power of God's people.  Holding for you--for me, when things seem to be too much.  Keeping faith, when it is hard to find, as long as needed. 

I continue to think back on this dinner interchange time and time again tonight. And find myself moved at the depth of these words. This truth.

I've experienced the singing community. As has my family.  And I have had the honor of singing for others.

So wherever your find yourself today, well-fed and nourished; or pit-empty and aching, know there is a place for you at the table.

There is always a place at the table--after all, isn't that what family is all about? 
You bring the good, bad, and ugly.

And it is at this Table, that we hold hands and say grace.

 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.
~Romans 8:26

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Sabbath Prayer

A fitting prayer for me, this morning.  I hope it meets you in your places of longing...

The risen, living Christ
Calls me by my name;
Comes to the loneliness within me;
Heals that which is wounded in me;
Comforts that which grieves in me;
Seeks for that which is lost within me;
Releases me from that which has dominion over me;
Cleanses me of that which does not belong to me;
Renews that which feels drained within me;
Awakens that which is asleep in me;
Names that which is formless within me;
Empowers that which is newborn within me;
Consecrates and guides that which is strong within me;
Restores me to this world which needs me;
Reaches out in endless love to others through me.

~Flora Slosson Wuellner
from Prayer, Fear, and our Powers, Upper Room Books, 1989.

With all that I am, all that I shall be, and all that I cannot yet even imagine,
I offer to you today.
In your loving embrace, fill me with your goodness and mercy and light,
so that wherever I tread,
You are seen.
Go with me, and those who read these words, now and always.
In this Sabbath day, meet us along the road.