Posts tagged restless
An Interview With Me

I sit, this morning, propped up in bed, given a couple of hours to spend as I wish. And what I wish most of all is to reconnect with you, my girls, in this over-the-top, crazy, transitional, less-than-controllable time in my life. And since I’m as confused as anyone about why everything seems so bone-jarringly bumpy right now, I thought I’d ask myself a few questions to see if I can clear my messy mind.

Diane:  What do you see from where you sit?

Me:  A worn-at-the-edges sheet covering my window, clothes hanging to dry draped all over my dresser, a suitcase half packed, a desk piled with stuff that needs doing right-now-this-minute!… and baby Scarlet’s new red shoes pattering by while she chatters joyfully to her Amma about who-knows-what.

Diane:  Why is your life in upheaval?


1.  We just moved into a not-yet-finished house.

2.  A few days after the move, our daughter and her family moved in with us for a couple of weeks.

3.  All their boxes joined ours in our garage, leaving the smallest pathway possible to the jury-rigged washer and dryer.

4. Two days ago Brook, Elizabeth and Duke climbed into a moving truck to caravan to their new home in L.A.

5.  I’ve been teary over the move for weeks.

6.  Scarlet stayed with us because her parents couldn’t quite fathom the 20-plus hour drive down I-5 with a two year old.

7.  And I couldn’t quite fathom saying good-bye to the two-year old. And like said two-year-old, I’m employing strategic delay tactics.

8. Soon I’ll fly with Scarlet to L.A. I’ll stay a few days to help Elizabeth get settled and spend some time with my other daughter, Rebekah, who lives just 15 minutes away.

9.  I’ll be home for one day, then fly to San Francisco to teach an Intentional  conference with Phil at Reality S.F. to a really great group of young parents wanting more than anything to raise children who are passionate about Jesus.

10. Then we’ll rent a car and go see my parents in the mountains east of San Francisco for a couple of days, checking in on both of them as their health declines, wondering aloud with them what the future holds.

Diane:  Just normal life stuff, it sounds like. What’s the big deal?

Me: I am supposed to be writing a book… and writing for this blog. And I’m not.

Diane: Well, girl, you’d better just work harder and longer and faster and smarter!  Clearly you’re not doing what you should… you’re not enough.

Me:  Hush! And stop all that incessant scolding!

I am listening to the Spirit of God, not to all the worries and fear that suffocate my spirit and leave me crabby and anxious.

He promises rest, and peace, and strength, and honor to His name. He says He’s enough so I don’t have to be. (Ps 23).

And He says things like: “The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness… He will show them the path they should choose… Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart…”[1]

Diane:  Oh, sorry. I thought scolding myself was the best way to avoid failure. You know, motivation to get to it.

Me: I am learning that scolding myself makes it all about me. As if it’s up to me to control every aspect of my life. As if worry whips me into shape.

I am choosing to take those runaway worries captive— catching the fiery arrows before they sink deep.

I am determining to stay sheltered close to the Shadow of the Almighty so that He can be to me all that I need.

I am recognizing that His way of working through me is different than my way of intimidating myself into productivity.

Diane:  What advice do you have for other women in a season of too-much-to-do?

Me: Carve out space to listen closely to the Master. Is it His voice that is driving you? Or could it be the spirit of guilt and obligation? In busy times we need to purposefully listen… to Him. And when life is hectic and less than perfectly tidy we actually need more time for the silence.

Diane:  Then what?

Me: Do each day with determined joy, deciding to hope, to trust, to believe God. At the end of the day go back and thank Him for His presence in each hour. See Him and listen to Him.  His presence makes all the difference in our days.

Diane:  Have you heard or read anything lately that is helping you figure this out?

Me:  I just closed the last page of a book that is so full of wisdom I want every woman to read it. It’s called Restless, by Jennie Allen. I plan to write a full review next week (but who knows, at this rate?!), but for now a quote or two:

“As you become more secure in Christ… you will feel a new tension surface: a life that feels semi-chaotic. You realize that what you had been calling “balance” in your family was really a determined effort to control your life at all costs. You see, God never promises balance. So this new life that feels semi-chaotic is likely a symptom of a couple attempting to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.” (from the author’s husband)

“I wanted to be comfortable more than I wanted God’s will for my days.” (from the author)

And this…

“Great people don’t do great things. God does great things with surrendered people.”

So here I am surrendering the order I crave. Not passively shrugging my shoulders and simmering below the surface… but really surrendering to the One who knows me and wants to do great things through me— in spite of my mixed up, semi-psychotic self.

I’m surrendering my daughter too. To run with the Spirit into all the beautiful, chaotic, mess He wants to use in her, through her, for her.

And I’m praying for you, my girls. Because I believe that God has great things for you… things only you can do… things that won’t get done unless you choose to surrender, to listen, to face your fears, to let go of comfort, and to fling yourself unreservedly after the One who is leading you.

From my heart,


P.S. You know I’m needing to hear from you too!  Are you learning to delight in the chaos of a life lived hard after Jesus? Can you tell us about it? Please?

[1] Psalm 23, Psalm 25, Psalm 37




Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant

nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain,

but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.


Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.

In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age,

so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 

1 Timothy 6:17-18


Balaam was an interesting guy. His story resonates with that restless I so often sense inside of me.

He was drawn to godliness, intrigued by God’s people, danced around the edges of what Paul called “the life that is truly life”.  And yet Balaam just wouldn’t let go of what he was certain he needed.

He needed more money. He craved prestige. He’d do about anything for a good word of approval and praise.

I can so relate…

This morning I woke up restless again. Worried again. Uptight and fretful and without joy  again.

I delved right into the Word without so much as a Hello, God, how are You? I had a list to cross off and I was behind on my list. Again.

Deuteronomy chapter 11 was first. All about the blessings of obedience and the misery of disobedience. In spite of my task oriented determination to fly through a few chapters fast this morning, my heart just stuck right here.

Why don’t I feel blessed? Why am I so… grim?

What’s wrong with me?

I couldn’t think of any outright disobedience. No obvious sin came to my mind.


I felt a little Balaam-ish… wanting, striving, craving MORE.

More perfection in my slightly messy home. Surely if I get my house cleaned up just so, then I’ll be happy.

More things crossed off my list. Surely if I can just get ahead of all these tasks that need doing, then I’ll be happy.

More approval from people. Surely if I do something, that person who is so critical will like me and then I’d be happy.

More stuff. Surely, if my sofa wasn’t sagging and my carpet was newer and my fridge worked better, then I’d be happy.

And suddenly I know exactly what’s wrong with me. Like Balaam, I’m skirting around the edges of the life that is truly life, unable to fully embrace that life because I’m clinging to other gods.

And the One true God, the One who calls Himself my Father, just won’t have it. He insists on being enough.

What sweet relief! Joy! I feel the start of a smile unclench my grimness.

He is enough!

I don’t need a perfectly clean and alphabetically ordered life.

I don’t need everyone to like me all the time.

I certainly don’t need a new sofa when mine is nicely broken in and slightly tattered, just right for grandkids and good friends and my coffee-sloshing family.

I don’t know if I’ll ever learn this lesson enough to not forget again… but I’m so thankful for my Father’s reminder this morning.

He is enough for me. More than enough.

He, and He alone, satisfies my cravings. He, and He alone, is what I long for.

It is His perfection I want. His beauty I need. His newness every morning that fills me with that wonderful sense of acquiring something really good— something great.

I’m still behind on my list, still surrounded by imperfection, still sitting on my sagging sofa…

and all settled into that life He gives…

From my heart,


And you? Have you figured out what it is you’re craving? Dare you be honest enough to let us know and give us hope? I’d love to learn from you…


8 Scary Things We Women Do…

when we think we need a man to make us happy.

Dear son,

A couple of letters back, I began to warn you to be alert and aware of the kind of woman who has the potential to sap you of your God-given and much needed strength. I let you know how close I came to being that kind of wife to your dad. And how he took me by the hand and helped me to know that only in utter dependence on God would I ever have the hole in my soul filled full.

Because even though I was honestly seeking God with all my heart, I still thought that being married to a godly man would make me feel forever loved and happy and fulfilled.

I think most women think that deep down. And it’s wrong.  It doesn’t work that way, not even a little. And it’s not supposed to. No man can satisfy a woman in those deepest places of her restless heart. Only God can do that— and for most of us women it takes a lifetime to figure out how that really works.

Now that I’ve scared you half to death, let me offer just a couple of words of practical description to help you recognize and avoid a needy woman. Remember, I’m describing who I once was, who I fight not to be even now.

#1  A man-needing woman will need more of you than you have to give.

#2  A man-needing woman will insinuate that you are not “there for her enough”.

#3  A man-needing woman will put you on the defensive- a lot.

#4  A man-needing woman will use her sensuality to bind you to her.

#5  A man-needing woman will often give in to intense expressions of emotion, requiring excessive      amounts of assurance from you.

#6  A man-needing woman will want you all to herself all of the time.

#7  A man-needing woman will generate a great deal of conflict.

#8  A man-needing woman will argue that you need to help her more rather than seeing her calling to be your help.

Please notice, my son, that a man-needing woman is not a bad woman. She may be beautiful and gentle and sweet and sitting in the front row with her Bible open at every gathering.

But until a woman figures out for herself that men are not meant to fulfill her craving need for more, and that only a close and intimate and dependent connection with God can fill that craving, she’ll be a strength sapper.

And you, my dear son, need every ounce of your hayil to do what God is calling you to do and to do it with the “vigor” (vs. 3) of a king.

From my heart,


Dear girls,

Don’t hate me! I get it, I really do. Yet I also know that the truth is what sets us free from ourselves.

So let’s be honest with each other, confess our weaknesses to each other, and go after all that God has waiting for us if we’ll only ask.

So… comments anyone? Do you see this in yourself?

Go ahead and make up a “pen name” for this one if you want… no need to completely terrify our guys!

Somehow I think if you’ll be honest here you’ll give all of us the courage to keep learning.

From my heart for you,