Posts tagged secret

For mothers, moms, and mamas:


… I wish I’d known

 “For all who enter God’s rest will find rest from their labors…”

Hebrews 4v10

‘Come to Me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,

and I will give you rest…”

Matthew 11v28

“let Me teach you.”

Matthew 11v29

I sit, this morning, in my snug cabin in the woods. It is early, the day just arising—still crisp and cool. I am alone in the quiet, welcoming the day in the presence of the One who bids me come.

I flip the pages of my bible to these words, given me long ago when neither alarm clocks nor discipline were enough to pull me from my bed:

… He awakens me morning by morning,

wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed…

Is 50v4

Here in the silence I quiet my mind and still my soul. I lean in to listen, to wait with the intensity of another seeker from long ago,

I waited intently for the Lord, and He inclined to me, and heard my cry…

David, in Psalm 40v1

And I remember how I got to this place of craving Him so much that neither discipline nor alarm clocks are necessary anymore. How I slipped in the muck of my own ugliness, how I couldn’t find my way out, how I raged and wept bitter tears of despair at the unfairness of life, of my life.

And then I remember how He rescued me, setting my feet on solid rock, washing me clean, inviting me into this place I love. A place of surrender, of satisfaction, of genuine, all-the-way-through-to-my-heart happiness.

This place of Rest. 

I wish I had known about this place when I was a mother of little ones.

I wish I had known how to hide from the chaos and the neediness and the incessant conflict that sucks the life out of a young mama’s world.

But I didn’t. Instead, I tried. All the time, every day, I tried.

I tried to be patient… and failed.

I tried to be happy… and wasn’t.

I tried to be good and kind… and ended up irritated and mad—

and tired, just so tired.

I wanted so badly to be a good mama—the best—but I couldn’t be who I thought I should and wished I would be.

And this, my dear tired out mamas, is what I wish I had known then:

That trying harder is not the solution to your inadequacies and ineptitudes.

That the way to be the woman, the wife, the mother you wish you were is not found in books or podcasts or seminars or blog posts—but in Rest.

His Rest— God’s.

I wish I had understood that discipline is not what gets me there. That I will never deserve it… or Him… or any of His benefits. That being better and trying harder just managed to entangle me hopelessly in great knots of uptightness. And anger, and impatience, and self-pity and… shame.

I wish I had known that the Father is so madly in love with us— with me and with you just-as-you-are-right-now-in-this-flaw-filled moment— that He stands at the door and invites us to enter this place we all crave.

This place of Rest.

The key to this place? Not trying, not striving, not ten steps to a better you, but simply…

Belief.[1] Which is trust, entrusting yourself entirely and without reservation to God.

Entrusting your children to Him.

Entrusting your worries to Him.

Entrusting your failings, your past, your future, your wishes and dreams and happiness— to Him.

And then doing it again. And again. Over and over every day, every hour until your head begins to believe what your soul tells you is the truest truth:

That God is trustworthy… that He is good… that He is able… that He is beautiful and He brings beauty and He makes you—and your children— beautiful.

Just because He loves you that much.

And so my one wish for you this Mother’s Day is this:

That you would cease striving and know… Rest. 

I’ve offered no solutions here, no formulas. Because I have come to see that every single one of us has a different story… a story that urges us inevitably towards this place of rest.

I cannot tell you how (exactly) to get there, but I can and will pray for you if you will leave me a hint of who you are, of what you want and need from Him.

From my heart,


[1] For more, read Hebrews, the end of chapter 3 and all of chapter 4


 “Does He not see my ways and count my every step?”

Job 31v4

“You are a God who sees me…”

Genesis 16v14

“Every moment You know where I am.”

Psalm 139v3

This morning the woods are awakening. Squirrels have emerged from their winter hiding to scurry and scramble up the trunks of the firs and cedars that surround my cozy cottage. The black spruce right outside my window trembles gleefully, dancing in delight as I watch. Gnarled ash trees unfurl new leaves in incremental waves of life.

Fresh, vibrant, resurrected life.

And I wonder, as I tuck myself into this safe place—my cabin in the back, about you.

As I pray for you, my girls, and as I lean in close to the Father’s heart to listen, I hear stirrings. I wait— still, craning to hear. A watcher in the woods.

What is it, Father? Creator of all this tangled beauty, what are You saying? To me… to the women I love… the ones I write for?

And one phrase won’t leave me alone. A handful of words jingling like change in my pocket.

… your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Matthew 4v4,6,18

His words warm me through on this chilled morning, because He sees you….

In your giving to those who need you— again and again and again— until you feel turned inside out from the giving…

In your nighttime vigil, pacing the floors, praying for someone in your life who needs more than you have to give…

In the intensity of your fasting, forsaking what you need for that one whose needs overwhelm your soul…

Three times these letters in red dance like squirrels delighting in new-found freedom.

Your Father, who sees in secret… Your Father, who sees in secret… Your Father, who sees in secret… will reward you.

A promise. A pledge.

And I wonder who needs to know this.

Who are the hidden ones— giving, praying, doing without— who need to know, right now, that You see?

I don’t know who you are or what you’re giving.

I can’t see what you’re doing or what you’re doing without.

Yet as I sit in my cabin surrounded by swaying branches and dancing squirrels, I bring my heart for you to the Father who sees and knows— who rewards the secret things.

And I feel Him bring me in close to say…

He is proud of you. 

He knows it’s hard to keep going.

He understands loneliness.

I pause and I pray. I make my way into the house to warm up my now cold coffee, all the while wishing I could hold you close. Feeling the weight of this burden that is yours alone. The burden no one else sees and even if they could, they wouldn’t understand— not really.

I hear more…

He is with you. He is for you.

He wants to feed you and strengthen you.

He, only He, is your rest.

The woods are still now. Just the barest whisper of wind sways the branches above my watching place. They’re working now, those squirrels. Doing what they need to do: gathering food, burrowing holes, feeding young.

My day beckons with work that won’t get done without me, as does yours. And so I leave you with the One who sees and knows and is with you always.

May you know that sweet there-ness of God in your secret place of giving,

From my heart,


P.S. I am here to pray for you— and would love to hear how He is meeting you in that place no one sees.

(Image by Bethany Small)



"Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue; God's voice is its most essential part. Listening to God's voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine."

Dear girls,

It’s time I let you in on a secret I’ve kept close to my heart for a long while. As open as I try to be on these pages, there is a part of me that cringes at revealing too much.

What will you think? What if I fail? 

But I have learned to trust your hearts.

You are gracious women who know about failure and yet have the courage to dream. You are women who risk, women who know their limits and choose to reach further.

So here’s my secret: I am writing a book. Or at least trying to write a book.

This has been my dream for so long I’d almost stopped trying to make it a reality. Until I got an email from a literary agent who told me his wife read my blog. Low and behold, he thought I might want to write a book. And more, he’d help me learn how.

That was well over a year ago. Since that time, Bill has become a friend to Phil and I, encouraging, pushing, patiently enduring my foot dragging perfectionism and overloaded schedule. With his help I’ve finally finished my proposal, all 50+ pages of it.

Next week he’s sending it out to real live editors. People who will flip through the pages I laboriously wrote and rewrote and agonized over. People who will make a choice to either throw it away or take it to the next step.

And I tell you because I just cannot wait alone. This does not feel like waiting for Christmas… more like that long, drawn out, stomach-clenching wait for the results from Final’s Week.

“Don’t take it personally”, my husband warns. But that, as every woman well knows, is not possible. For a woman, for me, everything is personal!

And I probably shouldn’t tell you because now you’ll ask… Have you heard yet? And I’ll pretend it doesn’t matter. Shrug my shoulders and act all cool and nonchalant. When inside I’ll be hoping every day that someone will want my story.

But you’re my girls, my friends, the ones who listen to my stories and tell me your own. The ones who give courage and take courage and delight together in the Father who cares.

My book is simply my story. In it I give all the details and events that led up to my diagnosis of deafness, then the miraculously beautiful rescue I didn’t deserve. In it, I try to let you see who I really am— how I felt, what I feared, why I fell, what brought me back. I’ve written details even my own daughters don’t know, dredging up memories I’d tried to push aside in order to capture the lessons learned the hard way.

My goal in writing this book is to help you and other’s like you. Because I have this crazy sense that you want intimacy with God as much as I did and do. And that you want to hear Him. That you don’t want to miss those messages He has for you everyday. That you want to know what He is saying and why. And that, like me, you have am insatiable appetite for more, something that no one but the Father can ever begin to satisfy.

So now you know. My secret’s out. I’ve dared to tell you about my dream even before it’s become a reality.

Will you pray? For me as I wait with heart in hand… for each of those editors are who will find a file in their email and decide… for Bill (my friend and agent) who will do his magic…

I promise to let you know because I love you, girls.

From my heart,