Dear Daughters-of-My-Heart:

I’ve spent the morning puttering around my house; cleaning and folding, tidying and wiping, doing all those hidden things no one sees— those things that turn these walls and windows and floors into a welcoming place. A home.

And as I’ve puttered, I’ve had you on my heart. Watching out the window as the rain comes, the wind whipping blossoms off trees, this ache pushes deep. The Father washes His world fresh and clean and I want that for you. Every one of you.

I see the pain flit across your face when words like purity and virgin and love get said. I watch your hope dim. Your body slid deep into your coat as if it could cover what you’ve lost.

I ache because I hear your cries in the night.

Somewhere long ago you let yourself wish a lie. If only I give him all of me, he’ll give me all his heart forever…

And you did… but he didn’t.

And now you’ve spent it all on something you can’t take back and if wishing worked, you’d wish it all away. The pain, the loss, the choice you made. All those wishes in the night.

And oh how I hurt for your pain. How I wish it would all go away.

And as I wish, I pray. I talk…alone at my sink, this sacred place…to the Father who knew what you were doing and why. The One who whispered in your ear. The One who knows.

And we talk, He and I, about all that pain, while I pull apples from the fridge and ponder what to do with those shriveled skins— throw them away? Waste the fruit? Wishing I’d tasted that sweet flesh while they were fresh and ripe.

And He shows me then, just what He has in mind. For you. And for my near-done apples.

My son will be home soon, I realize, while I peel and scrape and cut away the black parts. Won’t he love the scent? He’ll bound his way into my workspace, wrap those arms around my back, and let me know he knows I did this all for him.

Just like the Father is doing all for you.

You’ve said your sorry’s, wept your tears, and He knows. And now He’s busy in His workroom too. Adding a pinch of salt to bring the flavors back, a bit of spice, a lot of sweet.  Chopping the bits all small and soft, mixing it up, bringing it in. Washing all those ugly parts away.

That’s His way.

He calls Himself a potter and you the clay. He molds and mixes. Wasting nothing.

Building beauty out of mud.

I chop some more, add a hint of lemon. Sour, yes, but something inside ignites the faded flavors to what they ought to be. I don’t know why, but it works. Always.

The bowl is full. I mix and scoop and turn it over and over again. Breaking clumps, spreading flavor, beating the mess. And I pray for you.

This mixing hurts.

Then I top it off. With good things swirled, I cover my mess of used up apples with what can only be called grace. The part everyone wants, heaped high. Crunchy, buttered, sugared things that will melt into deliciousness done right.

Into the hot oven I slide it. Shut the door. Set the timer. Forty-five minutes and then some. I’ll check it from time to time just to be sure its not too hot. Just warm enough to meld those lovely things...

into what they’re supposed to be.

Matt comes home just before its done. Says all those things boy-men say about scents and starving and best-moms-in-the-world. And I smile real big. My boy. I made it for my boy.

He doesn’t know about the shriveled skins and blackened holes. Those are gone now, washed away down deep. He tastes the beauty of my artistry, relishing each bite as my love to him. Mom’s love.

And so, dear girls, does He. My Father- yours!

He mixes and He adds and He knows just how. Then He jumbles it all ‘round and you don’t know why.

But He does. He really does.

Then the heat hurts bad. And you hear and you feel and you ache as you melt. And He watches close just then. The Master at work. Hoping, looking, checking again and again.

And someday, dear girls-of-my-heart, He’ll pull you out all warm and soft and sweet again.

He’ll make you what you never could have been before. A gift. A grace.

A love from Him to someone.

From my heart,


For I am confident of this very thing,

That He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all,

Because I have you in my heart… you are all partakers of grace with me.

For God is my witness how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:6-11