I want to tell you about the good things.

It snowed last night. Big, wet, gorgeous flakes, of which I just now realized I haven’t taken one single picture.

Annnnnd, bam. Just remedied that little issue. Here you go:

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Though my iPhone camera doesn’t do it justice, this is the view from the plentiful windows of my new favorite hangout — the Corner Bakery, maybe an 8-minute drive south from my kids’ little preschool.  It’s cozy and warm, I can see the mountains (which are in and of themselves balm to my soul), I get unlimited refills on coffee, and they have the best pancakes I’ve tasted in my entire life. Boo-yah.

In the weeks since I last wrote my heart in this space, I’ve found myself wanting to tell you about all the good things, because even in challenging seasons, there is beauty. There are tenderness and extravagance poured out all over and around me, straight from the Father’s heart. And if I can lift my gaze from the minutiae of my day-in, day-out life, I can see it. Can reorient myself to His tangible goodness. Can take it in like oxygen. Like life.

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There are snow boots from Costco – inexpensive and cute and they fit my feet perfectly even though I didn’t have time to try them on before purchasing.  A small miracle.

There’s a baseball team that WON THE FLIPPING WORLD SERIES and though we no longer live in Kansas City, my heart absolutely swells with glee over their victory after so many years of underdog-dom. ROYAAAALLLLLS!!

There’s this fiber-rich, healthy-ish, easy pancake mix, and a husband who loves flipping pancakes on the griddle several mornings a week lately. (Did I mention I like pancakes?)

There is Stan’s current work situation — adequate provision for our family even with Littleton’s high cost of living, a supervisor and coworkers who are understanding on the days his wife ends up in bed with a monster of a migraine… like yesterday.

There are in-laws just an hour away who love getting “Nana and Grandpa time” with our kiddos, and who spent the entire afternoon with them yesterday while their mama slept off said migraine.

There are new days with significantly less pain, and though we’re still in the process of getting my headaches figured out with a neurologist, there are pain drugs that sorta kinda help for now, and for those I’m thankful.

There are plane tickets to North Carolina, a fast-approaching trip to spend Thanksgiving and my impending 35th birthday with my Mom and Dad, my brothers and their families, my aunt and uncle and cousin and her family.

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{Also: What?! 35?! Is this for real? Because I cannot possibly be that old. Or that young, for that matter.}

But I digress.

There is this imperfectly beautiful, loving church family who allow me to speak into their hearts, to lead them toward beholding Jesus’ face and experiencing the Father’s heart in worship. I continue to be undone by the privilege. Over and over again.

There is the way the Holy Spirit shows up and moves on hearts during our corporate worship times. The way Jesus is teaching and leading us as a worship team, the way He asks me to step into challenging leadership situations and holds my shaky hand while I direct and bring to bear whatever wisdom He’s given me. {{Oh God, hold me. This is scary. But so good.}}

And there are soul friends, y’all. Both new and old. Both local to the Denver area, and scattered across the country. Sisters who tenderly hold my story, my right now life and my heart within it. Who create safe spaces where I’m invited and drawn to expose the entirety of who I am. Spaces where my heart’s learning at deeper levels than before that I can bring my big emotions and my big questions and my big opinions, and I am not too much. Words fail to do justice to the depth of my gratitude for these several girls, for their trust, for their precious companionship.

There is the way Jesus is more deeply connecting my heart with Stan’s these days. He is doing something new in our marriage and it is beautiful and good and it feels like hope, and I am so, so thankful.

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There is the fact that our kids are more peaceful these days. There is creative play. They’re more often extending kindness toward each other instead of this constant competition and frustration with one another. Isaac invites Maia into his world of trains and Legos and he suddenly has this miraculous, growing capacity to engage and play peacefully with his little sis.

Isaac is, by the way, more centered, more grounded, more generally at peace these days than ever before. And there are all these small moments lately when Stan and I look at each other, eyebrows raised in surprise and relief, because we are genuinely enjoying and not merely surviving our times together as a family. More. And more. And more.

I’m sensing the quiet leadership of the Holy Spirit as I engage my kiddos day-in and day-out. Sensing Him leading me in connecting with their hearts, in practically shepherding them rather than merely trying to correct outward behavior. He is expanding me as a mama, enlarging my heart for my children, increasing my delight in them.

And things are still messy and we are by no means perfect, nor will we ever be, but as a family, we are growing together up into Christ and this is one of those hope-laced seasons where if I look closely, I can see it happening.

*****

Isaac delayed eating his breakfast the other morning. He put it off and put it off until he was apparently hungrier than he’s been accustomed to being, like ever, and he suddenly hollered from the living room that he was HUNGRY, that he NEEDED his breakfast, NOW!

There was this desperation in his voice that I’ve never heard from my children before, this hunger that utterly squelched all respect and dignity and self-control and the capacity to wait half a sec for his food to be ready.

And the desperation in my son’s voice, y’all, it gutted me. We quickly got his breakfast ready (again), but his cry for food somehow pulled me into this place of considering the reality of real hunger, of poverty here in my city, in my state, in our nation, across the globe. Contemplating how many, many mamas there are on our planet who over and over again look their own hungry children in the eyes and tell them, “I’m sorry, love — we don’t have any breakfast this morning.”

I was wrecked that day. I’m still wrecked. And I look around our small apartment, y’all, and see excess. I see overflowing kitchen cabinets and more clothes and toys than we really need and even though we gave SO much away before downsizing from our 6-bedroom home in Kansas City, we still have so much. So much.

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And I’m grateful. And I’m an emotional mess, kind of. And I want to simplify even more. And I want to give. Oh, do I want to give. And I want to honor Jesus in the way we steward our undeserved resources more than I ever have before.

And I think that’s all I’ve got this morning, y’all. I’ve gotta move toward picking my littles up from school, heading home, working with Isaac on homework for his music class.

And in these weeks as holidays draw near, my prayer for you my friends, my prayer for us, is simply that Jesus would draw our over-arching focus from all our minutiae and our to-do’s and our perceived inadequacies, toward experiencing His heart for us in the good things and the mundane things and the hard things, too.

And if He’s after our hearts and He’s offering us Himself — the sweetest gift — in both the good and the hard, can we really differentiate between the two? There’s goodness in all of it, isn’t there? ‘Cause there’s Him, you guys.

There’s always, always Him. And He is more than enough.

This entry was posted in Attending to His Presence, Community, Confidence in God, Encountering God in the Beautiful, Encountering God in the Messy, Encountering God in the Mundane, Family Moments, leadership, Learning Authenticity, Ministry, misc. walking with Jesus, Parenting, special needs parenting, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to I want to tell you about the good things.

  1. Tara says:

    Snow! And the mountains are balm for my soul too! Oh how I miss them! Also you are younger than me. I turned 37 in September. So glad to read all the good. God is indeed enough! Love you dear friend!
    Tara recently posted…Care-giving for a ParentMy Profile

  2. I’ve missed your writing! You just open your heart and pour out your feelings. I am so thankful for the blessings God has poured out to your family. Sounds like He placed your family in the right place at this time in your family’s life. Our God is so good!

  3. Jerusha says:

    Ughh…Dane! I love your heart’s expression of the goodness of God in the midst of “challenging seasons.” Beauty is magnified when you do this. You sharing where you see beauty lets me see the beauty and I tear up a bit, provoked by His faithfulness – in your life and in mine. Love you!!

    …oh, and Isaac looks like such a stud in his suit by the way😎

  4. loved your newsy update, your heart and seeing your pictures. I love hearing about your role in leading worship. I’d love to be in your congregation and part of your worship team, ]
    carol longenecker hiestand recently posted…A Widow’s Reflections – an exceprtMy Profile

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