Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Me - at my beloved writing station - at 54
I will love this year.

Today marks my fifty-fourth year here among this beautiful human race.  I am deeply grateful and richly blessed.  My whole life has been defined by the grace of God.  I feel like His favorite daughter, one that often disappoints humans and yet delights Him.  I am tethered to Him –the source of my life and love.  For some inexplicable reason, I have received a greater measure of everything just because He loves me. 

This is truth.  This is real.  This is who I am.

The by-the-ways about me are in a constant state of flux.  By the way, I am a mother.  By the way, I am a wife.  I am a sister, a daughter, a student, a teacher, a writer, an artist, a lover and a musician.  I have learned not to define myself by the by-the-ways in my life. 

If someone would have asked who I was ten years ago, I would have answered that I was Mario’s wife and a homeschooling mother.  Five years ago, I would have answered that I was kind of an American Christian missionary living in Africa.  I am learning how to define myself without presenting the accreditations of all the temporary roles in my life. 

If you read this on the 28th of December, I will most likely be actively grieving with friends and family.  Mario and I will be at David Smith’s memorial –a celebration of a friend’s life.  Dave was here one minute and then gone the next, leaving us all looking around and asking how something like this could happen.  He was a Christian man, one of our closest confidants and advisers.

This year, more than any other, I realize that one day I will die.  I look at my own precious Mario, my beautiful rock, and know that I will grieve him one day –or he will grieve me.  When that day comes, all of my temporary roles of wife, mother, writer, artist, etc. will not matter as much as me being a daughter of God.  That is the role which is eternal, one that defines me on this earth and in the next world. 

For Dave, I am happy.  For his family, I am not.  It is hard to do without one another when there is love that has held us together.  The bonds of family and friendships are beautiful here, but I am grateful for the better bonds: the ones that bind us together with God.

Today I have wisdom in a measure – and next year I will have even more.  I treasure all of you, my friends and family who build me up and shape me into who I am.  Because of all of your human contact, I am constantly reminded of how beautiful this life actually is.

This day, I give you the first three verses of Isaiah 54.  This is a promise from Our Father to Israel.  We inherit these promises because we are grafted into the vine through the righteous branch -and I am looking forward to another triumphant year.

Blessings, today and always.

“Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child;
Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed;
For the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous
Than the sons of the married woman,” says the Lord.
 “Enlarge the place of your tent;
Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not;
Lengthen your cords
And strengthen your pegs.
“For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left.
And your descendants will possess nations

And will resettle the desolate cities.