Tag Archives: love

He never stops giving

I was resting in bed tonight, head spinning with excitement knowing that our newly decorated tree and Christmas-a-fied house was on the other side of the bedroom door.

Finally I could stand it no more so I returned to the living room, opened all the windows, and now I sit facing the glow of tiny white lights while the rustle of palm leaves outside competes with the symphony of crickets (and a few guest appearances by the odd frog).

Gosh, I love this time of year.

Cliche? I don’t care. I love it. I so, so love it.

Today was a storm of a million emotions. Amidst the merriment of the holidays and the buzz that I get from the decorating kick-off, there’s so much going on in our little world right now that’s vying for headspace. Most of it good, but some uncomfortable.

At one point this afternoon I sat down for a few moments scrolling quickly through emails that I knew I’d not be responding to until later. But curious, I read a few anyway.

The first one I opened had some disappointing news. Understandable, and yet disappointing, deflating.

The second one was from a stranger. A woman who belongs to a people I’ve fallen in love with (PNG) who now lives in a place that I once called my own (USA).

We’ve been writing back and forth this last week and I teared up a few days ago when she told me her family thanked God for me and my family around their Thanksgiving table last week.

I don’t know her. But she knows Him.

And then today her email – the second email I opened – contained news so sweet and so personal and so unexpected I couldn’t control those big, hot tears, from rolling quickly down my cheeks.

You see, He is faithful. He really is so faithful.

And sometimes you think everything’s just fine and then grace comes in a million forms and you realize how much you really did need it after all.

I had grace in many different forms this week – friends arriving at my doorstep to mow our lawn and clean my floors, another bringing us dinner one night, another offering childcare, and now another (who’s face I can only imagine, and voice I do not know) with an offer so simple and lovely it makes me close my eyes and shake my head and whisper, “What did I do to deserve this kindness from a stranger? From anyone?”.

But it’s not a matter of “deserving” anything at all. I receive because they give. And they give because they want to. And they want to because they also know what it is to receive.

Because He never stops giving.

And that’s it – the way I want to start December and the preparation of my heart to celebrate – really celebrate Christ’s birth: I want to see Him around me, recognize Him as he weaves worlds together, hear Him through the noise, and breathe deeply of His of goodness.

I want to receive Him, all over again.

Thank you, dear grace-givers, for helping me to see Jesus. You represent Him so well.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How has someone’s kindness been grace in your life lately? 

 

Love,
A

p.s. Forgot to use the timer tonight. Definitely blew the five minutes… probably doubled it, but who knows, who cares.


How far is too far?

Working with Christian young people, a question I hear regularly is “how far is too far?” when it comes to sex and physical relationships.

I usually tell them that the better question to be asking is “what is best, most loving, and most honoring to the other person?”

We often have our perspective wrong. We wonder what we can get away with, what’s in it for ourselves, and what the consequences we will have to face.

But fundamentally, that’s a wrong perspective and is rooted in selfishness.

As followers of Christ we are called to think of others first, to serve, and to put others above ourselves.

This principle is not just for romantic or sexual relationships, but for all areas of the Christian life.

Instead of trying to figure out where the lines of sin are and what we can get away with, why don’t we start asking ourselves a better question:

What’s best, highest, and most loving toward others?

What’s best, highest, and most loving toward myself?

And ultimately, what’s best, highest, and most loving toward God?

STOP.

 

Q for you: How’s your perspective lately?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


What a woman wants in a man

Strong and gentle.

I love this quick phone snap that I captured of my husband and youngest son from this afternoon. It represents so much of what I love about Ryan as he does a handy-man job around the house while simultaneously wearing our son.

The handy-man component: strong, resourceful, smart, innovative, capable, able to provide, always looking after us, holding things together, creative, dependable, faithful.

And the baby-wearing component: gentle, sensitive, sweet, humble, loving, caring, tender, servant-hearted, coaching, cheering, embracing, kind.

Of all the things a woman could want in a man, of all the things a child could want in a father, I’m pretty sure this simple photo represents the best of it.

I love him so.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What do you want in a man?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Like a wave

It caught me by surprise.

He climbed up onto the side bar of the swing set yelling, “Watch, mommy!” over and over again.

I’ve heard that phrase many times before.

But this time it came from a little boy with striped socks, a zippered hoodie dotted with robots, too-long hair covering part of his eyes, and green “big boy undies” peeking out the top of his just-too-short-jeans.

Like a wave it hit me – my baby is not my baby anymore.

This is not my first “moment” in motherhood. Nor will it be my last.

But today in that 4:00 shadow where my son enjoyed his freedom to climb and jump and be his funny, brave, amazing self… I realized the one who made me a mom is a boy I must get to know all over again.

I’m so proud of him. And yet I want to hold on to him just the way he is. Right now.

Dang. I love him so much it hurts.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When’s the last time you wanted to freeze time?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Gush gush

It’s far too late to be writing anything coherent tonight, but I’ve just now finished a few hours worth of editing my last two months of photos. (Otherwise known as deleting about five thousand similar shots of blurred little people.)

Oh, it feels good to finally be caught up on that little area of my life. (Prepare for an onslaught of Booker boys on facebook over the next week.)

I actually don’t intend to write tonight except to say this:

Lately my heart is bursting for my little boys.

Obviously I always love them (and would probably always say something similar), but at the moment they are just killing me with the cute. And the new skills. And the personality.

Everything.

Gush, gush, gush, I could write a massive old gush. (But I won’t. I’ll save that for their personal blogs that I write without succumbing the world to.)

And since it’s approaching the coach-turning-into-a-pumpkin hour, I will just finish by saying this:

My eyes are heavy but my heart is full.

Thankful, I am.

STOP. (early)

 

Q for you: Are you an out-loud gusher? Or do you prefer to just reflect internally on your emotions?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


To my gay and lesbian friends who feel excluded and alienated and discriminated and rejected:

I am sorry. We have failed you.

We have not represented him well.

We have not taken seriously our calling to be ministers of reconciliation.

We have ignored peace and mercy and opted for justice (at times narrowly defined by our current political systems).

We have sought morality above love.

We have been proud when we should have been humble.

We have defended our rights when we should have laid them down.

We have picked up our knowledge of good and evil instead of picking up our cross.

We have picketed when we should have been washing feet.

And for that I am sorry.

The way of Jesus is always tender. His mercies are new every morning.

His reach is not limited by any human definition.

I love his Church–fiercely–and I am a part of her. But I recognize her reflection of him is still being polished.

She is still learning, growing, being made into his likeness. (And I, along with her.)

Please know that Jesus is infinitely more good than what you see through us.

There is nothing about him outside of good. Good, good, good, good.

Pure, unadulterated, goodness.

(And we–his Church–are good too, but only in him, and because of him.)

We are weak and growing up and in need of his grace too.

We are beautiful and flawed and holy and human.

And you may not always believe it, but we really are trying our best.

As much as you need grace, we need it too.

From each other, but most of all from him.

Help me as I learn to love more completely.

Help me.

Help us. (Oh God, help us.)

STOP.

Related post: What if compassion moved us? (Thoughts on gay marriage and the church.)

 

Love,
A

P.S. I went over my time limit on this post. Please also note that I will delete any comments that I deem as unkind or disrespectful. (You are free to agree or disagree with me in the comments – that is not the issue. Just know that I will not engage in on-line debate or tolerate slander in my little space here.)

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Love him with my whole heart, I do. (Dad)

Since watching it sail off into the sunset just a few hours ago, it seemed obvious that I would write about our ship tonight.

About the amazing people that are on their way to Papua New Guinea to give their very lives to others. About the ones that waved them off from the shore who have spent long hours preparing, assembling, building, welding, painting, cleaning, praying. About the many people that have rallied, given themselves, invested their time, emptied their wallets.

I was going to write about the people waiting on the other side of the journey. The ones who have hope rising because of the heart and help that the ship brings and represents.

And these are worthy things to write about. (I will.)

But then I realized that today is my dad’s birthday.

And maybe no one else in the blogosphere cares about reading a wee post from a girl about her dad… but I care about writing, about giving him space.

I have so many memories of my dad growing up. I kid you not, they are all happy.

He was just that good of a dad.

But you know what I always remember when I think back to him during our “little” years?

Bike rides.

And tennis.

And softball in the park and soccer in the yard.

Whatever was my current whim, there he was right alongside me, helping me to learn, helping me get better,

but mostly… just having fun with me.

What a great dad. Dependable, available, approachable, relatable.

Always giving, always fun, always involved (in the best possible way).

Sixty years of being the best dad (and now granddad) I could ever imagine having.

Love him with my whole heart, I do.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How do you remember your growing-up years with your dad?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Do you think it’s possible to spoil a baby?

I’ve sometimes wondered…

Do I love my babies too much?

Do I hold them too much?

Do I think about them too much?

Do I talk about them too much?

Do I dream about them too much?

Do I look at them too much?

How much is “too much”?

But then I think about God –  The way he looks at me, thinks of me (so many thoughts), pursues me. The way he loves me.

I’m pretty sure I’m always on his mind.

I’m pretty sure that I’m his favorite.

I’m pretty sure that his heart wells up with pride as he talks about me whenever given the chance.

(Sort-of like he does with you, too.)

And if my role as a parent is to reflect the heart of God to my children…

Then perhaps there’s no such thing as loving and hugging and holding and thinking and dreaming and kissing and snuggling and caring and nurturing too much.

After all, my “too much” is woefully less than His “enough”.

I’m so glad He holds and hugs my children with me.

Our love, together, is complete. (And it’s soooo not too much.)

STOP.

 

Q for you: You know, I really do try to not write about parenting or motherhood too much on this wee blog since that’s what the other one is for… But sometimes I just can’t help myself. When I took that photo today it made my heart well up with this I-love-my-baby-so-much-I-don’t-want-to-even-put-him-down-when-he’s-sleeping kind of warm fuzzies. And even now, at midnight, after he’s been up several times already tonight with teething pain… I think to myself: I’ll never be able to hold him and comfort him and nurture him “too much”. Do you think it’s possible to spoil a baby? Not a child, a baby? (Clearly, I do not but you are free to disagree.)

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Fear and love and letting go

If I’m honest with myself I can see a few areas of fear in my life:

Fear of doing something that I feel is important but turns out to be viewed by others insignificant or a waste of time.

Fear of doing something that has the potential to be much bigger than I think I can handle.

Fear of offending someone by offering an alternative opinion.

Fear of not being able to finish what I start.

Fear of being misunderstood.

All of us have fears, and if we’re not careful our fears can paralyze us, keep us from even attempting to move beyond hte comfortable here-and-now.

As someone who is not typically “fearful” by personality, I’ve been thinking about fear a bit lately. I’ve seen it creep into areas of my writing and sharing and living and… I don’t like it.

Since I’m a Christian, my view of fear directly stems from my understanding of scripture and of God’s character. The bible says that “perfect love drives out fear”. If that’s the case, then I must need more “perfect love” in my life.

I also know that fear correlates with my view of God adn my attitude toward him.

Do I place his opinion above that of others? (In “christianese” we call this fear of hte Lord vs. fear of man.)

So how about facing some of tehse fears? How about trusting on a new level?

How about letting go just a little bit more?

How about choosing fear of the Lord?

STOP.

 

Q for you: What do you do when you recognize fear creeping into your life?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


What I hate about Australia (besides giant bugs)

There are so many things to love about Australia:

The sun.

Gorgeous beaches.

Ridiculously cute animals like koalas and wallabies.

Cool buildings like the Opera House.

Indigenous art.

Bush dances.

BBQ culture.

Passionate sports fanatics.

Words and phrases like “mate” and “g’day” and “no worries”.

The amazing (Asian) food that you can find everywhere.

Teh fact that most people don’t take themselves too seriously and are quick to have a laugh.

Morning tea.

Afternoon tea.

I love so much about this nation. So much. (I’ve been here 12 years, duh.)

But there is one thing I hate. (And yes, I know “hate” it a very, very strong word. One I don’t use often.)

Yes, I hate the cockroaches, the ants, and the mosquitoes that I come across on a daily basis… but that’s not what I’m talking about.

What I’m talking about is this:

THE AUSTRALIAN SHOPPING TROLLY.

(Otherwise known as a shopping cart.)

I have never, ever, EVER driven one of these things that steers correctly. Tehy are not made to balance and flow like the American ones.

They simply will not go in a straight line when in less than perfect circumstances.

Going around a bend (with a full cart) is like trying to pull a semi-truck around a hair-pin turn on the side of a mountain pass. Ugh.

Trying to push a cart with 50+ pounds of groceries in it and steering it in teh right direction when there is any remote slope to the ground is virtually impossible… Comparable to crocodile wrestling. (Just try to imagine that.)

I’m convinced that the CEOs of Woolworths and Coles have never gone grocery shopping a day in their lives.

If they had we would be seeing some radical reforms in the trolly department.

A nation that’s built the Sydney harbor bridge, hosted the Olympics, and engineered countless other modern marvels…. yet they can’t figure out how to make a decent shopping cart.

(Embarrassing.)

So this, my friends, is the thing I hate about Australia.

Shopping trollies.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have you ever tried to wrangle an Australian shopping cart?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited