slow today, be still

This morning I need slow. Rest. Quiet.

Weary body. I can feel my nerves tickling as if they're saying to me, "Don't move."

Push, push, push. This has been my week. This will be later today. So this morning, "don't move." Rest, restore, take moments for the soul. And your heart. And your body. And your mind. 

Rest in Christ, the restorer. Rest.


Actually take a minute to type, think, read. Breathe in ... breathe out. Let's not rush for five minutes. Today, those five minutes will make a difference.

Rest. Quiet. Slow.

"Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul." Psalm 86:4

What does five minutes of rest look like for you today? Can you take five minutes?

*Photo taken on a trip to Carmel a few years ago.


san francisco

Stopping into La Boulange for cafe au lait on my walk to "work" this past week was the highlight of being in San Francisco and staying in the city. I've always been fascinated with city life and loved the concept of walking to work, especially in a clean and nostalgic city like San Fran. I was lucky enough to attend a conference there for work this past week and enjoyed the break from Los Angeles, driving, and sitting in an office all day. Working in a different environment and learning about my craft always restores me a bit.

The Cable Buses. The joy of public transportation. Seriously. I love it. Low cost, city immersion & it's much easier to multi-task when someone else is driving ...

The Wharf. If the clam chowder or crab doesn't draw you, then the sea inspired restaurants, docks and views should.

The Trollies. There are some cities where you go and you're better off not doing anything "touristy" and there are others where you are better off doing everything "touristy." Luckily, San Fran melds the two together nicely. Trollies are practical and a must whether you want to be a tourist or not. And really, who doesn't want to ride on a trolly? (I'm five when it comes to things like this.)


lawless, augustine & God's love

The blurry lines began to take shape. Like when you smudge fog on a car window and the interior is revealed. I was taking it in, continually smudging a little more fog away as I slowly read each line of the excerpt from Augustine’s The Confessions. I knew there was more to be found — so I read it through again. The fourth or fifth time, it hit me. 

The Lord is PASSIONATELY in love with us.

This isn't new. It's not a revelation. But it struck a new chord. A resounding one.

The depths of the ways the Lord calls us and loves us are immeasurable. Once we taste it, we hunger for it and search for the peace that only the Lord offers us.

How often have you searched for that peace?

Augustine wrote, “You called, shouted, broke through my deafness; you flared, blazed, banished my blindness; you lavished your fragrance, I gasped, and now I pant for you; I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst; you touched me, and I burned for your peace.”

Augustine burned for the peace of the Lord. Oh, how I have burned for that peace. How I have burned to even realize the ways God calls us.

And little I’ve understood just how powerful that call is.

Lawless was released in theatres a month ago. I’m not sure how to describe the genre — perhaps a combination of drama, action and blood. My friend and I gravely underestimated how much more action and blood there would be than drama in the movie when we entered the theatre.  

Telling the story of three brothers who are in the “family business” of moonshining during prohibition, the brothers, believed to be invincible, live into their mythical immortality as they repeatedly escape death. The oldest, Forrest (Tom Hardy), examples this after his neck is sliced from ear to ear and is said to have walked to the doctor in town, saving himself.

Cut to scene (slight spoiler alert): Forrest sits calmly, but swiftly loading his gun, about to enter another blood bath. The girl he loves, Maggie (Jessica Chastain), is asking him not to go.

Eyes on fire and clearly distressed, she finally spills the truth like a waterfall that was holding back.

Breathlessly, stern, desperate and with earnest, Maggie asks, “Are you going to make me drag your body in a pool of your own blood to the doctor again?”

Forrest, a man of few words, replies, “I thought I walked.”

How many times has God breathlessly called our name? Looked at us with eyes on fire, asking or even commanding us in love? And how many times has God carried us to healing in a pool of our own blood?

And we thought we walked.

In his account, Augustine wrote, “You were with me, but I was not with you. They held me back far from you, those things which would have no being were they not in you.”

As our priorities cloud our mind, we lose sight. We lose our ability to hear. Perhaps even our ability to smell or taste or feel.  But as Augustine writes, “Lo, you were within.”

God is within us. He is calling, shouting, blazing. And offering a peace for which we will hunger and thirst.

How is God calling you currently? Is he breaking through your deafness and blindness or does God seem silent? Is there a fog that needs to be smudged away?

And is there a possibility that he is carrying you to healing in your despair?

“You called, shouted, broke through my deafness; you flared, blazed, banished my blindness; you lavished your fragrance, I gasped, and now I pant for you; I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst; you touched me, and I burned for your peace.”

God is PASSIONATELY in love with us. Let this strike a new chord today.

*Photo taken in Gig Harbor, WA, Summer 2012


sweet rescue

I've been pondering Psalm 124 the past few days.

  Had it not been the Lord who was on our side,
Let Israel now say,
2 Had it not been the Lord who was on our side
When men rose up against us,
Then they would have swallowed us alive,
When their anger was kindled against us;
Then the waters would have engulfed us,
The stream would have swept over our soul;
Then the raging waters would have swept over our soul.”

Blessed be the Lord,
Who has not given us to be torn by their teeth.
Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the trapper;
The snare is broken and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

How many times I have believed, like Israel, that God had forsaken me. That the waters have indeed engulfed me. Today, I am reminded to look at the moments in between. The ones amidst despair that bring hope, joy and love. Moments of freedom and grace.

I'm reminded of victory. There is a day coming where today, however grave, will be in the past and God's victory will be known wholly.

God has not forsaken me. For if He did, I would not be here today. I would not have made it through life up to now. I am reminded of the times God has rescued me. The many times he has brought peace and comfort in sadness, friends and community in loneliness, listening ears when my heart needed them most, hope in despair, strength in my weakness, and love — love that even tells me when I'm wrong.

Lord, thank you for rescuing me. Thank you for rescuing your children. You are with us even when we believe we have been engulfed by raging waters. Later, we will be able to stand back in praise and realize you somehow parted the waters.

How has the Lord parted the waters for you recently?

What do you need to be rescued from?

*Photo taken in Catalina, Summer 2012


perfect timing

Warm lights dotted the sky like fireflies. Popping up as the sun faded past the trees and the blue sky deepened into pink and yellow hues slowly darkening to navy. Porch lights. Lanterns. Cozy living room lamps. Homes.

I looked down over the acreage dotted with light from my perch on the second story cupola and wished I could be invited for after supper tea. Comfort. I was seeking comfort and rest — hospitality. My heart yearned for it. To be with another person. To be in a place of comfort.

A few days later, I made my way into the city for my day off from solitude.

White knuckled and wide eyed, I navigated my car towards the city. Glancing at my iPhone occasionally felt much more like a death dare than usual. I hadn’t driven more than 20 miles per hour or more than 20 minutes a day for two weeks. Now, I was making an hour trek into the city.

People drive fast in the city.

… I did not feel fast. I felt like sludge.

As my car progressed, I continually felt further and further from it, as if my body was watching the car move along the freeway as I sat at the on ramp. I was being forced along like sludge down hill. Exhaustion overcame my body, overwhelmed.

“I should just go home.”

I pulled off my exit for Pike’s Place. An immediate hour drive back did not sound ideal, but neither did a market with crowds and noise.

I really wanted to be invited for tea. To sit with someone I knew. To be able to talk about life or nothing at all. I wanted to be in a home. A cozy home.

That’s when I got her text. Perfect timing.

Relief washed my mind and body.

I had told her I may be in Seattle that day, but had held the idea of seeing her loosely.

She invited me for coffee. In her home. So simple and so perfect.

I couldn’t have cared less about the space needle and experiencing the market. I was going to see someone I knew, someone I know ... someone who knows me. Not a stranger or a neighbor that I waved to on a walk, but my dear friend, Carly.

I was getting my wish and it was better than what I had wanted. I was getting the comfort of a home and the comfort of being known.

Carly invited me in, introduced and handed me her six-week-old son, Jameson, to hold and brought me coffee as I sat on her plush couch. Carly, Jameson, being in her home, and that cup of coffee were the most restful moments of my weekend out of solitude. And a highlight of my time spent in Washington. I've learned that the best hospitality isn't planned nor premeditated.

Carly apologized for not being able to go out, but being invited in to share life for an afternoon was exactly what my heart desired. She provided rest for my soul at the perfect timing.

When has someone offered you hospitality and rest when you needed it most?

Thank you, Carly, for the blessing you were to me on my three-week.

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