Friday, August 19, 2016

A TEARFUL GOODBYE

We have lived in five different states and eleven different houses and saying goodbye is always hard.  But this is different.

Today, we said goodbye to 790 Clinton Circle, the place we’ve called home for the last seven years.  It is the longest we have ever lived in one house and it has been the most trying seven years of my life.


As I filled in holes, touched up paint and cleaned the house for the last time, I was overwhelmed with the feeling that I was wiping away and covering up all evidence of how hard life has been the last seven years.

We moved in a family of three, in the middle of the adoption process.
We moved in not knowing how that adoption would change our lives.

I moved in the me before Miles and 790 Clinton Circle would be the place God would break me of me. 

790 Clinton Circle became a place of isolation.  A prison of sorts.  Miles couldn’t handle real life and I couldn’t handle Miles.  We stayed locked away inside because keeping Miles safe was hard and important and a full-time job.  The walls concealed the cries and screams of a broken desperate mama and it often felt more like a battlefield than a home.

790 Clinton Circle became a place of refuge.  In my desperation, God showed up.  He knocked on the door, entered my mess, and leaned in.  He reached down, grabbed my hand, and slowly pulled me out of the pit I found myself in.
Grace upon grace.

790 Clinton Circle was a great place for our family to land for a season, but we knew it was time to move on.  Our neighborhood is defined as a carefully planned, multi-use community that brings out the best in humanity, and for the most part, that’s probably true.  But the downfall of living in an area where covenants keep houses and yards nice and neat is that assume the people in those homes have it all together.  No mess, no weeds, no junk.  And when their grass gets a little too high and the landscape starts to look unkempt, you can quickly find yourself more concerned about the look of their home instead of the people inside.

So when God moved us out to the lake, I fell in love.  The neighborhood is a more accurate reflection of me.  It’s a little messy, it’s not fancy, and it’s not trying to impress anyone.   The view from our house is breathtaking, but the view I fell in love with first was the perfectly imperfect neighborhood that we now call home.  Cars are on blocks in front yards, several homes have mini junk yards around back, and weeds surround vans that haven’t been moved in a long time.  Children run and play in the streets speaking languages I don’t speak and I can’t wait to learn all of their names.

790 Clinton Circle prepared us for this day, for this season, and for this neighborhood.  Our new home is our new mission field.  It is the place that we pray will have a massive impact for eternity.  I am so grateful that He trusted us with a space that, every time we come and go, we see needs.  Physical needs that we can meet that will prayerfully open doors for us to share Jesus.

Clinton Circle, you served us well.  You blessed us with sweet neighbors who became friends and memories that will last a lifetime.  And tonight, we say a tearful goodbye.

“There is a season for everything
and a time for every delight and
event or purpose under heaven-“

{Ecclesiastes 3:1}

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

UNDESERVED GIFT

I met the sweetest baby boy seventeen years ago today and I have been smitten ever since.  Alex Harmon entered my world and stole my heart.


He was so patient with this mama, who had no idea what she was doing.
He was always so quick to love and so quick to forgive.

Oh how I wish I could go back and be the mom I am today for that sweet little boy.  If anyone deserves the mom I get to be to Miles it’s him.

I cared too much what people thought of me.
It affected my rules, my words, and my actions.

Alex deserved a mom whose identity was grounded and anchored in Christ, and not in her role as a wife and mom.  He deserved a mom who knew the God of the Bible and trusted that He was indeed a good, good Father.  He deserved a mom who desired to connect to his heart before correcting his behavior.

But God.
And Grace.

He didn’t get what I think he deserved,
but instead he got messy imperfect me.


He got to witness what it looks like to be broken.
He got to watch what it looks like to walk the path of healing.
He got to see God put the pieces of my shattered heart back together.

No, Alex Harmon didn’t get what he deserved, but God kept His word and worked all things together for good.

Alex doesn’t need broken, messy me.
Alex doesn’t need put together me.
Alex needs me to willing to empty myself of me so that Jesus can shine.  That’s how I can love him and forgive him and serve him without abandon and without regret.  That’s how I can live love.  That’s all he needs.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God
is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
{Romans 6:23}

Thank you, Jesus, for taking our place on the cross so that none of us have to get what we deserve.  Thank you for modeling what it looks like for a human to be fully connected to God.  I pray what was said of you in Luke 2 will be true of Alex Harmon, that he “grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.”

Henry Varley said, "The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him."  Alex, I challenge you to be that man.  I have told you since you were little that God was going to use you to change your world and I believe that with all of my heart.  Jesus says over and over in scripture that He came to do the will of His Father.  Make that your mission.  In John 13, an all-powerful Jesus demonstrated His power by taking off his robe, tying a towel around his waist, and serving.  He served those He loved and those who did not deserve His love.  He took their filthy, dirty feet and washed them clean.  Clothe yourself in humility.  If anyone deserved to be praised and honored, it’s Jesus.  And yet, He humbled himself, gave up all rights and all power, and became human.  And obeyed.  And served.  I pray that it bothers you, that it messes with your head, that it stirs your soul, that Jesus was more humble than you and than me.  May it never be!

Alex Harmon,  you are a joy and gift I don't deserve.  You are sweet, kind and you make life fun.  I simply adore you and am absolutely crazy about you!  You are so very loved and I hope that you have the best day ever!  Happy 17th Birthday, sweet boy!