The Pearl of Great Price; Being Fully Loved.


The following is an excerpt from Henri Nouwen’s, The Inner Voice of Love, titled, Stay With Your Pain.


When you experience the deep pain of loneliness, it is understandable that your thoughts go out to the person who was able to take that loneliness away, even if only for a moment. When, underneath all the praise and acclaim, you feel a huge absence that makes everything look useless, your heart wants only one thing- to be with the person who once was able to dispel these frightful emotions. But it is the absence itself, the emptiness within you, that you have to be willing to experience, not the one who could temporarily take it away.

It is not easy to stay with your loneliness. The temptation is to nurse your pain or to escape into fantasies about people who will take it away. But when you can acknowledge your loneliness in a safe, contained place, you make your pain available for God’s healing.

God does not want your loneliness; God wants to touch you in a way that permanently fulfills your deepest need. It is important that you dare to stay with your pain and allow it to be there. You have to own your loneliness and trust that it will not always be there. The pain you suffer now is meant to put you in touch with the place where you most need healing, your very heart. The person who was able to touch that place has revealed to you your pearl of great price.

It is understandable that everything you did, are doing, or plan to do seems completely meaningless compared with that pearl.  That pearl is the experience of being fully loved. When you experience deep loneliness, you are willing to give up everything in exchange for healing. But no human being can heal that pain. Still, people will be sent to you to mediate God’s healing and they will be able to offer you the deep sense of belonging that you desire and that gives meaning to all you do.

Dare to stay with your pain, and trust in God’s promise to you.


What Does It Profit to Gain The World and Lose Your Soul?

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In her book; Present Over Perfect, Shauna Niequist writes, “What kills a soul? Exhaustion, secret keeping, image management. And what brings back a soul from the dead? Honesty, connection and grace.”

My soul feels a little lost lately. I am a bit exhausted. I have not been keeping secrets, but I am ever ridding myself of image management. This blog is a hashing out of my mind onto virtual paper.

Honesty: Deep calls out to deep. I live to feel the waterfalls, breakers, and waves of God roll over me. I seek and need that revelation and encouragement to live out this day. If I strive, it is to know who I am in Christ. It is a longing to understand and believe my identity in Him. My value and worth are not in what I own, but in who owns me. The world screams at me that I am foolish and lazy, that I am independent and capable of making my own decisions, to create my own success. Sometimes I lend an ear to that. Too many times I align myself with the voice that says I have failed, and that I am worthless.

Connection: Out of this struggle and and dependence on God, I realize that I am just the container. A cup. A vessel. A receptacle. I hold something of greatness. I am great because of the greatness I hold. I am amazing because I am a unique container, created by a potter in which no two are a like. I am connected to the One who knows all things, who is all things, who owns all things. I reach out to others, I connect, I engage, they drink, and I drink. I apprehend the living water that infuses with my cup to create one unique soul that is like no other and was not meant to be.

Grace: I cannot fail because it is not I that lives any longer, but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live, I choose not to live for myself, as if there were such a thing.  It is Christ in me the Hope of glory. Christ being extended to others with the love and mercy that has been poured into me.

There… my mind is starting to be renewed, and set right. The world is starting now to dissipate, and my soul is being nourished and fattened.

A Beautiful Heart


My husband gave me a card today, inside it said,  you have a beautiful heart. If I read that on a great day, being in a euphoric state of mind, it would have been humbling. But I read it today. Today which came after last night, in which we had quite a spirited argument.  I woke up just as angry as I went to sleep, even though we both take “do not let the sun go down on your anger” quite literally!

My heart wasn’t beautiful! I had a card for my husband, but I couldn’t bring myself to give it to him. When I write something or give a card, I have to be in complete agreement with it- if I am not, it would be a false representation. But he not only left this card for me to read, he wrote in it one of the most expressive notes I have ever received from him! It was extremely real, loving, kind and humbling. No one knows me better than him and no one sees the whole package like he does….and yet, he calls it beautiful.

We took time to pray before we went to work today, we prayed through, until all of the misunderstandings had subsided and the peace that surpasses all understanding guarded our hearts and minds once again. This is new for us. We didn’t used to allow work to wait before and we allowed other matters to have preeminence over our relationship. This was the right thing to do! Ask for forgiveness- Go to God and say we are weak, our wisdom lacks and He is the answer!

To tell you the truth, the card and my husband’s expression reminded me so much of Jesus. He thinks my heart is beautiful too no matter what! He doesn’t look on the outward appearance, but He looks at my heart. That is solid and mature and I am not always there. This Valentines day, is such a great reminder of that other-worldly love. A love that dies to self so others can live. A love, not always sexy and romantic the way we think of love, but solid, mature, and always there no matter what. It’s rare and I am humbled to have such beautiful hearts hold mine<3

Sorrow And Joy

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Can you  be grateful for everything that has happened in your life-not just for the good things but for all that has brought you to this day? Remember, it was the suffering of God’s Son that brought forth a family of people known as Christians.  My own suffering is what God used to bring me to where I am today.

Right in the middle of the tears, the dance of joy can be felt. Seen from below, from a human perspective, there is an enormous distinction between good times and bad, between sorrow and joy. but from above, in the eyes of God, sorrow and joy are never separated. Where there is pain, there is also healing.  Henri Nouwen

I found an old photo album that I had made my husband for his 4oth birthday.  I had asked people to write him notes or letters of how he affected their life. I peppered the letters with pictures of the writers and our family. Looking upon it made me smile and I was so grateful that I had the thoughtfulness of mind to do that when I did, for our mothers are no longer here with us. Their letters are especially special!

But looking at the album also brought a deep sense of gravity to all of the trials and tribulations we have been through. There have been so many, down- right, ongoing, hard times, with little release. I haven’t always handle them with grace. I have had an emotional break down and I have tried escaping. I understand what Nouwen is saying about our perceived distinction between good times and bad times.  And I can also bear witness to what was the apparent worst time of my life, bringing the exact change and healing that I needed.

We are all on this journey together. We can help each other become more grateful for life even with pain. God is hidden in the pain and suffering of the world, and we get to reach out in compassion and show our love to others…that is the point<3



Please Cover Your Butt Crack! (Sorry; I don’t know how else to say it!)

jeans picAs parents of an autistic son, we have had our share of embarrassing moments. Our son doesn’t have much of a filter. He is the youngest of four, and our first three were always quite well-mannered in social settings. I have had a myriad of experiences in the last few years to get me over people pleasing, many situations of my own making, but nothing calls for instant humble acceptance more than social faux pas with your own child!

There was the time when we were at a quaint, conservative, outdoor wedding and our son pelvic thrusted front and center … oh! Bad timing, really bad timing on a lot of levels! My eyes, already rather large, grow three times their regular size and my smile turns inward as I clamp my lips into my mouth! There were the times when we attempted to visit a restaurant and my beautiful son would expel gas from various parts of the body in fairly quiet setting with all eyes on us! (See my It Took Nine Years To Go To A Restaurant.)

But nothing turns me inside out more than seeing my son’s butt crack exposed when he bends over! Why does this undo me so fiercely? I think it’s because so much of this journey feels out of control for me. I didn’t get the instruction book for this child; there is so much to learn, so many new tools to try in a moment’s notice.  I already feel so inept, so unqualified for this job description. When my son bends over and inadvertently exposes himself, it’s another reminder that I didn’t plan appropriately, I didn’t do enough, and that I am not the best caregiver for this person entrusted to me. (All these thoughts I work through, by the way, one minute and one day at a time as I walk out my humanity.)

You would think that after it happened more than once, we would have put a plan together to ensure that it didn’t happen again. But you just do not understand, unless you understand what a cascade of events happen in a single day of an autistic adventure.

Well, the catalyst day came while we were at a Christmas party. We were having a lovely church Christmas party held in a picturesque, historic castle in our area. There was a white elephant exchange going on and it was time for our son to pick out his gift, which was done one by one, in front of the congregation. He walked up front to pick his prize out of the basket and displayed a lovely, round, full moon for all to see.

That was it! We had an epiphany. It was NOT going to happen again on our watch! It is OUR responsibility to ensure his dignity and teach him to care for himself when we aren’t around to remind him.

We bought him long tank tops and a new belt! He is not to leave the house with out tucking his tank into his jeans and putting his belt on, with a shirt over both. It works so well. He has a new routine, which he thrives in, and we have peace of mind that he has self respect.

I have had the opportunity to work part time at a school this school year. My eyes have been opened (literally) to the amount of buttock cleavage that is on display! It is just gross. I mean, don’t we all wince a little when someone bends over and the moon comes out? It is not reserved for just the kids either, which is even more disturbing! Remembering my son, I have bought a belt and tuck my shirt snugly in my pants because I bend over quite a bit on my job, speaking to children and otherwise.

Sometimes I want to shout; “Please cover your butt crack!” as I am sure people felt like  shouting to our son from time to time. But it is our responsibility as adults to teach these character qualities to our children. I know I must sound like a dinosaur in such a free spirited and filter-less culture, but I see what this one small shift has done for our son’s confidence and showing concern for some one else other than himself. We were all made for quality, importance, and distinction—this is just one small way of showing it.