Chase Fireflies


A Letter Came – Yeah!

I’ve been trudging out to the mailbox for 5 months now. Every day, with kids in tow, in calf-deep snow and in freezing rain.

Normally I never check the mail. Neither does Paul for that matter. And the mail carrier, I’m pretty sure, totally hates us. Cause she stuffs and crams and rearranges and stuffs some more till she gets every last phone bill and pizza coupon to fit. She really is the woman. And we’re mail checking delinquents. But anyway, back to why I’ve been checking religiously.

On September 11th, we received a heart breaker from one of our youth group’s sponsor children, Ruth, informing us that her mom had passed away. Within 10 days, our jammin’ incredible students pooled together 300 dollars, which is the maximum gift we could give Ruth’s family. Ever since then, I’ve been waiting for a letter.

And we’ve had letters. Lots of letters from Ruth, in fact. But not that letter. Not that one. Till yesterday.

The kicker? Yesterday was my birthday. I’ve been waiting 5 months for one letter and I got it on my birthday. Of all days, my birthday. Though I’m not huge on birthdays, there isn’t anything I’ve wanted more than this letter. And I got a picture to boot.

Ruth’s family was able to take a special shopping trip to Alto City with the donated money. They bought food and furniture – a bookcase, pots, a kettle, pans, spoons, knives, forks, cups, blankets, a bed-cover, rice, sugar, potatoes, flour, more sugar (I take it she likes sugar – that’s our girl), oil, and sneakers for all her siblings.

“When I got your gift, all I could do was cry.” Ruth thanks us all over and over and asks God to bless us again and again. It confounds me that she asks God to bless us more when we’ve already been given riches. Even more amazing is that this girl who has almost nothing has given us so much in her life, her letters, her love for Jesus.

You can’t tell me that this was an accident, perchance, crazy luck – that we would receive her letter yesterday. Cause I would say this is the work of a God who takes great delight in His children. A God who quiets with His love. A God who rejoices over us with singing.

By means of a letter from a child in Bolivia.


A Real Question

I’m a native New Englander. So all the adages apply.
I love long-necked clams. I sprint into frigid cold waves headfirst. I bleed Red Sox blood.

Us New Englanders are also said to be hard-headed, independent, and stubborn. Or maybe that’s just me. We are a hard working people, up before the break of dawn. We’ve got clearly defined circles of trust. And we can sniff out fraud pretty easily. Which is why:

I want people to be real.
I want church to be real.

Now I am in no way here to bash the church. I adore the church and I adore my church. I would defend the church to my grave. We are a desperate people made beautiful by a Savior.

But I wonder if we’re doing more alienating than welcoming sometimes.

First example, church signs. They infuriate me. In my opinion, they belittle and cheapen and shrink something so magnificent into a corny little quip. I would never enter a church, upon seeing:

Be Fishers of Men…. You catch ’em, He’ll Clean ’em
A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
Are you wrinkled with burden? Come on into Church for a faith lift!

Words carry a lot of weight with me. And because of that, the churchy words have gotta go also. We’ve got so many cliches. Stuff that no one would understand outside of sanctuary walls. Can our language be real and authentic? How can we communicate truth without alienating the vast majority?

All that being said, communicating one’s faith isn’t easy. I have wrecked on many attempts. I am pretty sweet at stumbling over my own words. Sometimes I sound like a salesman pawning a cheap ware. It’s been awkward and fake and too driven and weird. And for that, I am sorry. So sorry. Cause my God is nothing short of breathtaking.

Which brings me to a question I unearthed the other day in a book called The Organic God, by Margaret Feinberg. This question is the reason for my rambles. My eyes immediately welled up in tears upon hearing:

“What do you love about Jesus?”

Hmmm… Now this, this is simple and yet profound. It doesn’t alienate or cheapen. It invites and welcomes a response. I think this question goes well with coffee and a friend. Or a stranger. Or my Dad.

Gotta wake the kiddos up from their naps soon, so I gotta run. But I can’t wait to share what I love. And even better, I can’t wait to hear what you love. Anyone?

“What do you love about Jesus?”


Bestowing Dignity

At the deli.
In the Starbucks drive-thru.
With all cashiers.
To eggplant shoppers in the produce department.

“Mommy, may I ask her what her name is?”
“Yes, Selah.”

“What’s you name?”

Funny how one simple question always makes people smile.

Maya Angelou said, “A name is a sign of one’s dignity. When you recognize someone’s name, you recognize them not just as human but as a person. One of the greatest ways you bestow human dignity on someone is by calling them by name.”

There’s a whole lotta stock in knowing a name.
We’ll keep asking.
Now for the remembering…


Beautiful Disaster

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me? -Psalm 42:5

Sometimes, it’s not a crisis that gets me down.
It’s all those little things.

Fever and chills. Aches.
Too sick to take care of my own kids.
Stacked dishes, spots on the carpet.

A macaroni and cheese flop. (And it was bad.)
The feeling of incompetence.
Of putting others out.

Cancelled get togethers with friends.
Quarantined in the house.
A feverish son who bawls every time he coughs, poor little man.

I don’t mean to complain.
And certainly don’t mean to mope.
I’ve got it good, I know. Really good.

It’s just that I want to be honest today.
I want to cry. I am crying. It’s just been one of those days.
And yet, in this honesty, I feel shame.

Shame cause these tears aren’t becoming of a follower of Christ.
Shame cause I just don’t have it all together.
Shame cause of this transparency:

Raw and ugly and condemned.

Yet in this place I find You.
Or did You find me?
I probably wasn’t listening.

Curled up in a ball, like a child in grown-up skin.
You love me and forgive.
Without the threat of shame, You love.

I am a beautiful disaster, but You knew that all along.
You made me human. And that I am.
And the beauty. That’s all Yours.

Where can I go from Your spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, You are there.
If I make my bed in the depths, You are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn.
If I settle on the far side of the sea.

Even there Your hand will guide me.
Your right hand will hold me fast. -Psalm 139:7-10

Your right hand holds me fast
In laughter and strength
And in that awful crisis moment
And in every little thing that just doesn’t add up quite right.

Redemption came cause I needed it.
So I’m wondering why I default to shame over just being honest.

And I wonder what
parent/child relationships

Would look like with a little more honesty
a little less pride
and a whole lot more of the right hand of God,

Holding us fast.
In every moment we find ourselves in.


Pink Valentine’s Day Yummy

One scoop of vanilla ice cream + strawberry soda

Selah was beside herself with this pink concoction at our tea party today. I love that sweet little giggle of hers; those wide blue eyes brimming with anticipation; the delicate way she held her teacup up to her mouth for the smallest of sips; the prancing around the house in her pink tutu.

Her momma needed a good lesson today: to learn how to delight in the simplest of all pleasures.

Thank you for teaching me, sweetheart. I love you like crazy cakes:)