The Way Back Home

The way back home is hard.

I want to stay and cling to the familiar, all that we knew for so many years. And you can’t just pack your heart up with your luggage when you’re leaving bits of it behind with beautiful people. To love is to be willing to have your heart broken in a million pieces. So if it hurts to say goodbye you’ve found something precious to cherish, to miss.

And oh how I’ll miss these souls that have prayed and cheered and seen beauty from ashes before we did. Who believed in miracles when we dared not whisper them. I know tomorrow will be easier and brighter because home, this home, is a gift beyond words. But today in the middle of Mount Laundry, allergy shots, grocery shopping, meal planning that stretches for miles, and a sick child tears flow and all I can muster is His name…and yet even in that there is praise.

And then there’s this one of a kind friend who shows up tonight with watermelon and hugs and I know, I just know, tomorrow is going to be beautiful.

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Never…Going…Back

Not if they threaten, or whine, or cry  or dump every Lego while shouting and screaming will I ever go back. This slice of heaven screams artisan, chewy with a bit of crunch and anything and everything delightful about cheese and sauce and dough married together (and I even used 100% white whole wheat flour shhhh). Since I stumbled across this recipe late in the day I employed the sponge rise method.

One bite later and I know I will never go back to my old pizza dough recipe. Not even if they drag me.

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Less Is Really More

Why is it that I forever want more? More space for just me time without kids bickering and demanding sacrificial living. More money to worry less about the future. More talent and I’ll rise to the top. Just One.More.Clothing item and my closet will be set. More time, more friends, more (and the blank is yours to fill) and this crater sized hole in the soul will be filled. Really? Is that really what you believe Joanna? If so you’ve been searching for an awful long time and it hasn’t ever done it yet for you.

And then I see pictures and read stories of those with less and my heart is cut in two and I long for contentment, for the satisfied life. To be grateful for less so I can give more. To cease from this exhausted state of gathering and striving and find rest.

It’s here I find it, almost as if it’s written in red just for me. I read it long and slow. Breathe in each word. This now the prayer of my life:

Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say “more, more.”

I have God’s more-than-enough,

More joy in one ordinary day. Psalm 4

Ahhh, joy in the ordinary not the unattainable or the cream of the crop or everything I don’t yet have. And when I need less I become full of God for He is more than enough. I think I get it, and I know I’ll forget, but for now I’m drinking deep basking in the here, the now, the given.

For When You Need to Know That Love Really Does Lead the Way

The text comes through.  Gone. In the blink of an eye.  So young, and yet so beyond his years.  A boy and yet a man who knew what it was to worship, to adore the Savior in whose footsteps he followed, whom he now sees face to face.  Hearts are shattered and yet we know, we believe with Bonhoeffer, as he was facing imminent death:

“This is the end–but for me—the beginning of life.”

Mark’s thoughts on heaven a few weeks before going home are worth pondering.  I know my heart is a little closer to heaven because he has gone before.