Posts tagged he speaks

For a week now, I have been swimming in the fitful waters of mourning. Sadness surrounds me. Loss weighs so heavily sometimes I find it hard to breathe.

I have been pulled up short—surprised by this unpredictable ebb and flow of tears.

I sit at the desk my dad made for me with his own hands. For a man of few words, the eloquence of his handcrafted message was just the affirmation I needed to gather up courage to write. He approved, and I bask in both the affirmation and approval even as I grieve the fact that he will never run his hands over the cover of my book as I run my hands over the surface of this desk.

Somehow I had convinced myself that I wouldn’t really grieve Dad’s death. After all, he’d been diagnosed with this terrible terminal disease of the lungs four years ago. I’d watched the devastation, prayed for his release, begged God to take him home.

“I’m grieving with Dad,” I’d said, “so that when he’s gone I’ll just be happy for him.”


I’ve heard of people who have a definite sense of their loved one’s presence even after death, but I only feel his gone-ness. He isn’t here, hasn’t been since I held him in my arms frantically searching for signs of life.

I know where he is. I know without even a hint of doubt. But as assuring as that is, I am still reeling with the realization of the separation.

And so I mourn honestly— not the man who was so terribly weak and struggling for air— but the J.H. Waterman who gave me life, whose love never wavered, the man whose steadfast faithfulness informed my view of God.

It is His presence I sense so near in these hours of sadness. As if the Father is nearer or clearer, as if He pulls me closer in my longing for Dad. As if I hear my Father better because my dad is with Him.

There is a strange sweetness in this place of mourning, a deep rest. A togetherness with God.

Because I think He is sad too, that He weeps with me. It wasn’t supposed to be this way and that’s why we mourn.

That’s why tears redden my eyes and sighs escape unbidden. Why grieving and loss of any kind cannot be stuffed into a nice clean package and tied with a tidy bow. Why life screeches to a halt and only resumes at half speed.

Why we dread death.

Life was supposed to be a grand celebration in His presence, a great cooperation with God. Life was planned as an endlessly eternal connection with the One who made us in His image, for His delight.

And Someday it will be again. Because of Jesus. Because He chose to die to make it all right.

While we wait for that Someday, sadness is part of our stories. We cannot will it or wish it away. We dare not pretend or push it from sight.

But we can invite Him in to mourn with us; we can sit in the quiet of loss and hear Him speak. And we can listen to His words in the silence and let Him pour oil on the raw hurt.

I’m listening now, finding joy in the midst of sadness. Relishing His presence here.

From my heart,


Have you heard Him in the silence of sadness? Have you seen Him at work even when life stops suddenly? Can you tell us how? Remind us what to listen for as we navigate our own stories?


(image by Bethany Small)

WAIT... for what?

Since ancient times

no one has heard,

no ear has perceived,

no eye has seen

any God besides You

who acts on behalf of those who

 wait for Him.

Isaiah 64v4

My listening in the Word this morning took me on a wild ride that started in Matthew chapter 3 at the fascinating moment of Jesus’ baptism. My heart caught at these words:

At that moment, heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (v16,17) 

It’s that “well pleased” comment that has always drawn me. The idea that now, because I am adopted by His Son, I am included in that phrase. Not because I’m good or I try hard or I somehow stand out—but just because Jesus brought me into Himself.

Will I ever grasp that?

But this morning I heard that softest whisper from the Spirit on this phrase:

At that moment, heaven was opened…

I’ve seen heaven opened.

And the story is longer than I can include here, but it’s true. When the elders of our little church in Santa Cruz circled ‘round me to anoint me with oil and pray that God would heal my broken ears… right when I hit bottom and the blackness in my heart threatened to sink me,

I saw… or felt… or experienced… heaven opened.

Light streaming through, engulfing me, surrounding me, warming me in those frigid recesses of my soul. My rebellious, angry, blasphemous soul.

And ever since then I have been different.

Like Moses when he stumbled down the mountain after meeting with God… Like Peter and John and James when they heard and felt and experienced God on the mountain. Like Paul when he was “caught up” and saw things he could barely describe.

Imperfect, mixed up, broken people who caught a glimpse of… Glory.

This morning as I curled up with tea and a soft blanket out in this cabin in the woods where I meet Him early, I realized something wonderful, something I’d not noticed in all the telling of my story. Just this:

Every time we turn to Him, every time you or I open His Word and ask Him to speak. Every time we ask Him to show us His glory…

He does.

Not normally in a nice zap that would make for good T.V…

Nor usually in grandiose Las Vegas style glitz…

Simply because His glory isn’t mostly like what we think…

His glory is Himself.

When we come messy, needy, desperate.

When we know our own limitations and despair at our ineptitude.

When we get to the place of such poverty that we cannot go on.

And when we wait, hands open, heart yielded, wanting only Him,

That’s when He shows us His glory, Himself.

I want to be that one He finds waiting.

I think you do too.

I want to wait every day, not passively wishing for a zap, but actively waiting on tippy toes for His glory.

Listening, looking, hoping… for Him.

From my heart,


P.S. Can you tell us how you hear Him? How you see His glory? Because He speaks in the ways we can hear and shows Himself in ways we can see, sharing His glory with each other opens our ears and eyes to Him in new ways.


(image by Abi Porter)



As I write these words I am nestled in a soul-refreshing nook carved deep in a canyon in the hills above the Pacific Ocean. There is a camp here, built in the 1960’s, restored recently, used by those who need to get away and think.

I am with a small group- less than 100 of us— talking about global church planting. Phil and I are the older, more experienced, supposedly wiser couple, though Chris and Meryl Wienend of Genesis Collective are the real brains behind all that’s going on here this week.

Last night we answered questions and I was surprised by how few wanted strategy and how many wanted to know about life and love and ministry and how to manage all the important pieces well. We feel honored and humbled by their queries, knowing full well how often we have stumbled and failed and managed nothing well.

I look into their faces and see courage.


A choice to leave the comfortable place and dare— to dream and do.

I see greatness.

And I know that these choice men and women will struggle. Planting a church is by far the most difficult, challenging, stretching, exhausting endeavor we have ever undertaken.

I wouldn’t want to do it again.


I am so glad we did.

I don’t tell them that. Instead I pray and give courage where I can.

I scurry back to my room to write their names down because, gosh, they will need me and anyone else they can gather as stand-in-the-gap prayers.

I want to hold them close and remind them that it is worth it- that He is worth it.

And I want to hand them each a great big stash of cash so they won’t have the worries inherent in any act of heroic faith. I want to take all the girls shopping because doesn’t a new outfit just make everything easier? 

Instead I know that they have chosen to do without. To leave comfort to embrace a vision. They have heard God beckoning them to come, to follow, to trust.

I am so proud of them I could burst.

And so are you.

You are listening, seeing, hearing God in the moments of your days. You look for Him. You find Him, sometimes in surprising places. And when you point Him out to others, to me, to us here on this site, we see Him too.

That’s why we are starting an Instagram called @hespeaksinthesilence. And that’s why we are inviting you to send us your own glimpses of God in the moments of your every days.

So that we can see and hear together.

In the innocence of your toddler’s joy, in the comfort of your friend’s embrace, in the beauty of something God has created and called to your attention— in any and every place you see and hear and delight in this One who we get to call our Father.

Want to know a strange thing about me? I am deaf woman who hears God better than she sees Him. So when people take pictures or create beauty of their own, I feel like a blind woman seeing for the first time…and I love that.

So, if you’re a lover of Instagram like I am, I invite you to join us. Please. Show us what you see in your own moments by tagging your pictures #hespeaksinthesilence. Tell me what you are hearing.

Then let’s see and hear together and call out our absolute delight in a God who speaks. 

From my heart,


P.S. Here’s a great spot to tell us what you’re hearing and seeing. And how you hear best. One thing I love about listening to God is the discovery that He adopts our own dialect to make sure we get what He is saying.

P.S.S. I’m keeping @dianewcomer too just for fun and dedicating @hespeaksinthesilence to listening and seeing God in the moments of every day.


For the next few weeks we will be reposting from He’s Not Your Prince Charming, reaching way back in the archives to remind and reteach and rethink what we’ve been learning together. I have asked my blog team to help choose their favorites, and I am hoping you will add fresh comments to shed new light on these posts. In the meantime I will be writing ahead for the new series, studying, reading, thinking, and praying about what to say and how to say it. Any suggestions and thoughts about what you’re wondering about will be most welcome— after all, you are my girls! 

From my heart,


(image by Hillary Kupish)

Healthy people do not need a doctor— sick people do.

I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough.

Mark 2v17

God blesses those who realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.

Matthew 5v3


It is early.  Deep dark, winter cold…quiet and still and… welcoming.

No alarm clock woke me, just a quiet whisper… an excited urging… an expectant sense of something more, of something I need.

Something I want.

And this: the certain knowing that Someone wants me by myself… for Himself.

That He has something to say… to me… today.

And that if I don’t get up I’ll miss it.

I’ll miss Him.

And so, hair wild, barefoot and barely awake, I shuffle to the kitchen to start my tea. While the kettle heats, I make my place: furry blanket, shiny tea cup, pretty napkin, scented candle.

Like a fort for a grown-up girl, this is my tucked-in place, my refuge before the day begins.

And He’s there, I know He is, with a knowing that cannot be explained and will not be denied.

I relish my first cup with Him. Heart open, mind still half asleep, I sink deep, listening.

I bring no list, no worries.

I don’t pray.

I just listen… and sip tea.

And after a while I open His Book of Words to the place I left off the day before, reading, listening, talking, asking, taking notes.


It didn’t used to be this way for me. For years and years I got up because I had to. Because someone told me I should. Because I needed to be disciplined and do my duty and do it right and do it every day, no matter what.

Because I like rules and this was rule #1: A good Christian reads her Bible every morning. Amen.

And so I’d be up when the clock said seven and I’d put in my time. No yearning, no feasting, no wanting, never listening. Just a list and my Bible and the clock ticking.

And sometimes I’d miss and feel terribly guilty. Ashamed. Less-than. So I’d resolve never to sleep in again, never to miss my “devotions”, lest I mess up somehow and miss the mark.

That went on for years.

Until one morning. A morning seared into my soul as if it were yesterday. Not a memory so much as a mark on the inside of me. Forever I will call it The Morning After.

That morning I woke up early too. Mind racing, questions clamoring for answers, I snuck quietly into the living room while three children slept, hoping they’d sleep a little longer than usual.

Desperate to hear.

The night before, at my husband’s urging, I’d met with the elders of our little church in Santa Cruz. In a cramped back room they’d prayed for me, prayed over me, anointed me with drops of less-than magical oil and asked God to heal me.

For no reason any doctor could find, my hearing was failing. And I was terrified… and angry… appalled that the God I had dutifully served would allow deafness to swallow me.

I’d come to these men wanting healing, willing to beg God in their presence as I’d been begging Him every day for months.

And as they prayed, something happened.  Something magical and mystical and biblical and wonderful— I heard God.

I mean I really heard Him. Not an impression, not an idea or a quote that somebody else had said about Him. I heard Him.

I heard words.

Not the words I wanted to hear, in fact, the words He gave me sounded much like the ones my dad had used when, as a little girl, I’d panic and he’d calm me with a stern sort of love. Nothing sweet or quaintly Christian.

To all my begging for healing, for ears to open wide, for the deafness threatening my world to go away— for the healing I knew He could do if only He would… I heard this—

Diane, it’s okay. It’s okay, Diane, it’s okay.

And let me tell you, girls, those were the most beautiful words I have ever heard. Rich with knowing, dripping with the kind of love I had only dreamed about, His words enveloped me in… glory.

In that moment of NO, I felt more joy than I’d ever felt before. It was okay! Gloriously, beautifully, magically okay.

I floated home from that impromptu prayer meeting, holding His words close in. I’d heard Him, really heard Him. He’d called me by name.

God spoke, He speaks… to me!

That is why I was up in the dark hours on that Morning After. I had to know if it was true, if I’d heard what I thought I had… or if I was just overwrought and delusional, a pathetic mess.

And that, my dear girls, was the beginning— the first morning of my love affair with the Savior. Because He met me there, filling my heart with more words— stern words, truth words, words about life and joy and trust.

He wrapped me in words and drew me into an intimacy I’d never known possible.

By the time the children got up and Phil started coffee, I was ablaze with joy. Spilling with hope, feeling so loved and known and cherished and full.

And every morning since it’s been the same. Quieter, for sure, less drama and more restful entering in. I come to meet Him, to talk and more than anything else, to listen.

Every morning, with the house all quiet, I come to Him— the One who knows me, all of me, and still wants me for Himself. I open His Word and let His words speak deep.

Sometimes, to tell the truth, I can barely hear Him. On those mornings I wait. I sip tea, I make another pot. I read further or I read it again. And slowly, if I’m willing and wait long enough, He quiets me enough to hear.

Because He is always speaking. Through His Word and around His Words, using words to love and teach and reveal and convict and set free. But sometimes I cannot hear… and always I hear imperfectly, like the deaf woman I am.

I know this post was a bit rambling again… but next week I have less mystical, more practical thoughts to share with you.

For now, know this:

  • God speaks… really says things… to you and to me.
  • He speaks mostly and most clearly through His Word.
  • We hear best in the quiet, and it’s up to us to clear space for that restful listening.
  • He speaks loudest to those who come in need— the ones, like me, who fail and cannot get up. The broken and thirsty, the desperately repentant.
  • He wants to be felt— experienced, heard, seen. He has sent His Spirit to make sure that happens. And He has given instructions to pave the way, with guidelines to keep us from getting… sort of… well… weird.
  • If you can’t seem to hear Him yet… be patient. He knows you want to and He’s helping you even now. Nothing happens fast in His Kingdom. Just let Him bring you close and teach you.

From my heart,


P.S. If you’ve heard Him, will you say so? Will you leave us a note to encourage those who are still wanting to hear but frustrated in the silence?

And if you’re one of the many who’ve told me you’re still waiting… will you leave just a simple message so I can pray alongside you?

Just your name is enough… and maybe “still waiting”.





(image by Hilary Kupish)

Dear girls,

For too many years I spent all my relational energy loving my husband the way I wanted to be loved. After all, doesn’t the Bible tell us to do unto others as we want them to do unto us? 

So I did unto him in the hopes that he’d do the same unto me.

But it didn’t work. Because Phil was too busy doing unto me what he wanted me to do unto him.

And, in truth, we got into a lot of crazy-cycle struggles over this well-intended-but-doomed-to-failure way of thinking.

So I started over.

First, I let the truth sink deep that my handsome, godly, charming, and ever-so-strong man was not and would never be my Prince Charming.

Then I began the long, slow learning that all my hopes and dreams for a love that satisfies can really, honestly be known in Jesus. I drew close. I heard. I began to feast on His love, to see His affection for me—for the me I really am.

And though we all sigh and swoon when someone sings a song about loving every part of me just the way I am

… it’s not true… or possible. Because no man will ever love any one of us just the way we are…

Except One…

And now I am learning something new. Something no one ever told me.

I am learning how to love a man the way he wants to be loved.

And so, for the next several weeks, I will attempt to unlock the mystery of loving a man in a way that actually makes him feel loved.

As you read my list, remember this: every man is different. Same species, vastly different variations. This is my list for my man: a good man: a following-after-God man.

And remember this too: I am writing about marriage. Which puts #20 (for most husbands, most of the time) right there at the top of the list.

Twenty Ways Of Loving Your Man:

  1. Respect: Respectful words, facial expressions, gestures, actions.
  2. Encouragement: That strong undercurrent of belief that brings courage to a man who wars for his family every day.
  3. Friendliness: A woman by his side who likes him.  A lot.
  4. Freedom: To be who he is right now and who he wants to be someday.
  5. Acceptance: Of who he is and who he isn’t.
  6. Space: To breathe deep, to spread out, to be a man in a woman’s world.
  7. Loyalty: Fierce by-his-side belief in him.
  8. Forgiveness: For all those every day mishaps that make you crazy.
  9. Fun: Laughter, light-heartedness, surprising joy.
  10. Intrigue: Mystery and mystique without drama and confusion.
  11. Agreement: As in the antithesis of constant conflict.
  12. Help: To make his life better, easier, more fun and more fulfilling.
  13. Adventure: With you by his side… or at least in the sidelines, cheering him on as he meets the dare.
  14. Food: It’s still the way to a man’s heart.
  15. Understanding: A refuge for real relationship.
  16. Mercy: When you don’t give him the tongue-lashing or eye-brow raising he deserves.
  17. Grace: When you do give him the warmth and welcome he doesn’t deserve.
  18. Submission: Pouring all of yourself into his mission.
  19. Solutions: because fixing it is the way a man takes care of his own.
  20. Sex: lots and lots of warm, welcoming, fiery, consistent, memory-making, always-available sex.

And so, my dear girls, we begin another series. Starting next week I’ll be posting every Monday one word about loving a man in the way he really wants to be loved. The way, I believe, God designed you, uniquely, to love your man.

From my heart,


PS: This list is incomplete! Can you add what you know? Show this to your husband or your friends and ask them? I’ll be rearranging this list and adding yours as I delve into this next series.

PSS: Jay Payleitner has written a book I go back to again and again called, 52 Things Husbands Need From Their Wives. It’s insightful, funny, encouraging, convicting, and wise. Read it if you’re in need of inspiration.