My Awefull Life » A Pilgrimage of Wonder

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Photo Jul 10, 11 17 19 AM


O Lord, God of vengeance,
God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O Judge of the earth,
Render recompense to the proud.
How long shall the wicked, O Lord,
How long shall the wicked exult?
They pour forth words, they speak arrogantly;
All who do wickedness vaunt themselves.
They crush Your people, O Lord,
And afflict Your heritage.
They slay the widow and the stranger
And murder the orphans.
They have said, “The Lord does not see,
Nor does the God of Jacob pay heed.”

Pay heed, you senseless among the people;
And when will you understand, stupid ones?
He who planted the ear, does He not hear?
He who formed the eye, does He not see?
10 He who chastens the nations, will He not rebuke,
Even He who teaches man knowledge?
11 The Lord knows the thoughts of man,
That they are a mere breath.

12 Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O Lord,
And whom You teach out of Your law;
13 That You may grant him relief from the days of adversity,
Until a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the Lord will not abandon His people,
Nor will He forsake His inheritance.
15 For judgment will again be righteous,
And all the upright in heart will follow it.
16 Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
Who will take his stand for me against those who do wickedness?

17 If the Lord had not been my help,
My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence.
18 If I should say, “My foot has slipped,”
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.
19 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul.
20 Can a throne of destruction be allied with You,
One which devises mischief by decree?
21 They band themselves together against the life of the righteous
And condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the Lord has been my stronghold,
And my God the rock of my refuge.
23 He has brought back their wickedness upon them
And will destroy them in their evil;
The Lord our God will destroy them.

Psalm 94 NASB

The sun had been shining full and bright in our January skies for three days straight, bringing with it a tangible lifting of souls. My own now acutely aware how even with the unwavering knowledge of its sure rise each morning behind all those clouded over and gray days- it is the beating down warm on my face days I crave. To watch light’s rays dance through tree branches and eyelashes, to chase it down on country roads at dusk. My appetite for light, insatiable, increasing with every monochromatic winter.



Arms raised and voices loud on a Sunday morning we sing,

“All eyes will look on Your glorious face

Shining like the sun

Who is like You, God?”*

For just a moment it’s as if the roof has been pealed back, my face turned to the sky shines warm in the presence of Glory. And I see – behind all my clouds, all my soul-gray, Jesus is there shining like the sun down upon me. Never leaving nor lessening in burden-lifting Glory, despite what my weak curled-in-a-ball-until-fairer-skies faith says.

Standing, head lifted to meet His warmth, it is the three days of restorative earthly sunshine for which I give thanks, yet in the exhale of gratitude my spirit is given a glimpse of eternity’s Light awaiting. Our promise of no more clouded view, no veil of gray between my face and His. If three days of sunlight has such power to lift, filling sleepy lungs and spirits, what unimaginable wholeness awaits- an eternity spent face to face with the Light of the world? Moment passing, I am left with a peace.  Resolved to the persevering in hope and promise of Home; with a bottomless craving of Light to feed me through all of life’s winter.


*lyrics: Holy, by Matt Redman

I haven’t been able to put my finger on it – the blanket of heaviness quietly settling over me sometime between dancing in the kitchen mashing Thanksgiving potatoes and the start of Advent. It could simply be the suffocating pace of the season, another December birthday screaming at me from somewhere there in the back- something about one more year of time and talents slipping away…Or maybe the flood of memories as I pour over Christmas cards is culprit – the missing of champions and friends who have graduated from this world, and the list growing daily of beloveds battling trials of great pain and illness. I could blame the headline news from around this creaking, caving-in globe – stealing breath from lungs and clenching jaw tight against the depravity we humans seem bent on showcasing to one another. This sadness- could it possibly stem from that Christmas three years ago when we were stuck, mired in an excruciating adoption process – an empty crib, wrapped gifts untouched, our baby girl on the other side of the world alone while we sang carols? Past trauma just showing up one festive day, snaking its grip as I tighten garland and wrap twinkling lights…Broken relationships, the buckets of parenting mistakes made this week alone, the constant ache for that some day, that one day, when every tear will be wiped away…No, I haven’t been able to put my finger on it.

Our church’s annual Christmas production is this weekend and I am participating for the first time – interesting how God weaves our lives even as we are busy unraveling the ends. Last night as I stood on a choir riser during dress rehearsal tears stung my eyes several times, threatening to spill out over lashes, splash and pool atop my polyester costume. The production tells the story of a traditional Blue Christmas service turning into a very untraditional evening of honesty and ministry. One by one as each character took the spotlight, they all spoke my story or sang my song in one aspect or another. And the thing is – I am not a unique case. The twinkle and flashes of glistening eyes all around me on stage representing the collective ache so many of us seem to be walking around with this December.

“I think if the year were to have a “dark night of soul” moment- for many it’s this season, when the nights are longest, and our surroundings are coldest, and our hearts are actually more susceptible to being broken.” – Christmas Blue

The line in rehearsal causing me to catch breath and in the still of a delayed exhale, the Holy Spirit so kindly speaks to me:

‘Broken, susceptible hearts are hearts, ready, desperate for a Savior. I allow the sharp wounds of this life to drag across your fragile soul so you more fully recognize and know my acute, abundant Peace. Do not wear shame for your brokenness, it is the brokenness that pulls you close to my manger, wraps you tight to my heart and lifts your head to see the Star of Wonder shining bright through all the night’s blue.’


A week or two ago, I drove along with my kids listening to carols and one of my absolute favorites came on. As the song built, my voice cracked with emotion. “I have never been able to make it through this song with out crying,” I say to my oldest. “Even when I was your age.” “Why?” She asked with a 9-year-old’s curious tenderness. I turn the volume up – “be mindful of the words.” Be mindful of your tears….

“Truly He taught us to love one another…

His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Chains He shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in His name, all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever
His power and glory evermore proclaim”

Again, Artist diligently about His work – weaving a gorgeous and lovely tapestry from my messy and often ugly threads. From all these blue, heavy December threads – Divine beauty emerges.

I had the sweet opportunity to attend The Greatest Christmas Tour with some friends, and would you know the evening was capped singing “my” song. Hearing voices fill the sanctuary with sweet hymns of joy left me full and aching for Home evermore. I thought I’d share the video (as rough as it may appear) so you too may let the choir of brother and sisterhood sing over you and your Blue Christmas. Merry Christmas, friends. Emmanuel, God is With Us…Always.

p.s. If you happen to be in the Nashville area, please please consider coming to one of the Christmas Blue performances – I am so confident it will speak to you. Feel free to message me if you need more details, but they can also be found here: Christmas Blue