Posts tagged worth it


 Be careful! Never forget what you have seen the LORD do for you. Do not let these things escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.

Deuteronomy 4:9


Yesterday I got a note from a young mother who reads my words in the early morning hours as she is nursing her baby. She had carved out time to write me in one of those rare moments when her two-year-old was napping and her six-month-old was playing contentedly.

And I felt as if I’d been given a treasured gift. As if this woman somehow knew I needed something only she could give… and she weighed the repercussions, thought about what it would cost her… and gave away her time wrapped in loving words, courage giving words.

I found myself thinking about her early this morning, praying that God would give back to her one hundred times what she gave to me. Because she’s one of my girls now, though we have never met, and I see her as I write.

If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure,

Pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over.

Whatever measure you use in giving— large or small— it will be used to measure what is given back to you.

Luke 6:38


She just let me know that my life is making a difference. That my words have helped. That her life is better now because of me. That my stories, all of them about “what I have seen the LORD do…” have helped her to notice the same.

I see her in my mind… toys strewn around the room, dishes piled in the sink, a dishwasher needing emptying. I see the diapers bought in bulk and I wonder how many hours of her week are spent in front of the changing table, wiping bottoms, soothing fussy babies, trying to get the toddler to hold still.

And I wonder if she could have possibly known this time was coming.  When she was studying for an exam at a university far away, dreaming great dreams, trying on her wedding dress amidst giggling friends. She couldn’t see these days.

And then I see her later.

Still beautiful, but with that kind of worn-in beauty now.

You know what I mean: crinkles along her eyes, but her cheeks are smooth, her smile welcoming. She’s a woman comfortable in her never-perfect skin.

The kind who looks elegant because she wants to— first thing in the morning while she’s sharing a cup of coffee with her husband, and then later as she’s doing something— something significant, something important that requires the skills of a capable woman who has lived well and wisely.

And I wish she could see what I see.

I wish she could know that someday she’ll have hours and hours to write notes and give courage. That younger women will need her stories then, that she will be the one with “more life-giving encouraging words” from “lessons learned” as she so beautifully wrote.

I wish I could hold her when the storms come, when the doubts and worries and grief keep her awake at night. I wish I could point her to the words God has used to feed me full in the early morning hours when it’s just Him and I.

I wish I could bring her with me this week as I prepare to entrust my baby boy— the one grown tall and strong now— into the capable hands of a woman who will commit the rest of her life to him.

I wish she could see me as I pick up my once-babies at the airport, as we hug long and close, as we cry and laugh and empty our words all over each other.

I wish she could see how all those hours were worth it.

That out of the loneliness comes an intimacy that cannot be bought or achieved or had in any other way than what she’s doing now. That the babies whose bottoms I wiped are now my best friends, my stalwart loyalists.

I wish she could see that my baby boys, those toddlers who didn’t nap when I wanted them to, who worried me every day for too many years— how they grew up and they married the best of women. I wish she could see how those girls are now my girls. Women who love me too, just because of all those lonely hours when all I did was work and nurse and rock and take care of the boys who would become their men.

I wish she could see the future while she’s in her present because the future turns the present into the best days of her life.

Not the easiest— never that— but the most valuable, the most effective, the most investment-worthy.

I am like a wealthy man who looks back and sees the brilliance of the risk he took early on when the company whose stocks he went without extras to buy, went world-wide and made him richer than he ever could have imagined.

Because I am richer than I ever could have imagined. And this is one of those weeks when I am counting the gold. And someday she will too. But she won’t have enough time to count it all because her kids will be calling her to come, to talk, to see, to be a part of the beautiful times of their lives. Because she’s mom. Because she did what she needed to do, and then did more. And then did it again.

I wish she could see…

From my heart,


P.S. If you are one of those who “needs to see that the future turns the present into the best of days”, will you let me know? I would be honored to pray for you even as I relish my present-future.


Ruth 3v1-18

The Proposal (Part Five)

Click here to listen to the fourth teaching of Ruth)

The Verse of the Week




More Words From the Father

Revelation 22v17

Isaiah 53-54v5

Psalm 46

Mark 12v29-31

1 John 1v1-5

1 John 3v1-3



From my Heart 

Pages from the Past: September 1998 Memories Well Worth It

Yesterday, I took my son to college. With a quick hug and “See ya at Thanksgiving, maybe,” he turned to begin the next stage of his life.


Today, all I can remember is the past.


Just yesterday, it seems, he was born. Not squalling and screaming, but wide-eyed and silently staring at these two strangers who would love him, and discipline him, and teach him, and wipe away his tears for the next 18 years.


I remember the moments.


His hand resting on my breast as I nursed him. His first flinging steps as he raced from his dad’s outstretched hands to mine. His squeal as he ran naked down the sidewalk.

I remember the first time he opened his Bible and read it on his own. Listening as he led his little sister to receive Jesus. His ear-to-ear grin when he was baptized by his dad.

I remember playing army, dramatically dying, imitating machine gun fire, throwing waterfilled grenades. I remember playing hide and seek when he thought no one could see him if he covered his eyes.

I remember matchbox cars in the bathtub and G.I. Joe in my purse. Melted crayons in the car and rock collections in the washing machine.

I remember skinned knees and stitches, pimples and braces, loud music…and soft serenades on the piano as he waited for the carpool. Late night talks…and tears. Silly jokes with no punch line. Artwork on the fridge.


Eighteen years of memories.


One thing I know now - one thing I want to pass on to every mother of every little boy - all that work, the lost sleep, the worry, the spankings, the cooking, the cleaning up of little-boy-messes, the reading and rereading of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, the hours of listening, the carpooling, the cuts and scrapes and trips to the emergency room…


Every moment is worth it.


When you kiss him good-bye, when your job is done, when you send him off to his future, you too will remember the moments. And you will agree…


It was well worth it.


From my heart,




Saving Ruth

Redemption is at the heart of the story of Ruth. Some would say it is the whole point - the very premise of the book. It is more than a rescue, for Boaz lifts Ruth out of a precariously uncertain future and hands her hope. He rewrites the rest of her story by redeeming her from a life of poverty and rejection and loneliness.

In one breath-taking scene, Boaz concocts a plan to combine two ancient Hebrew legal institutions into one brilliant strategy. He takes the premise of property redemption by a close relative (Kinsman-Redeemer) and mixes it up with an entirely different concept which involved a brother providing for his widowed sister-in-law (levirate marriage).

Kinsman-Redeemer (go’el)

This was a way by which property would be guaranteed to stay within the tribal divisions set by Moses and Joshua as they divided the Promised Land. Families descended from the patriarchs in Genesis stayed together in an assigned vicinity within the boundaries of Israel. Further, families stayed together in close community, caring for and looking out for each family member in a sort of preemptive welfare approach.

When one head of a family died, the closest relative was required to buy that man’s land and take the dependents under his protection and provision. He got the land, but he also inherited all the responsibilities that went with it. The go’el took on hero status as he redeemed the land from the possibility of hostile take over by someone outside the family (see Leviticus 25v23-25).

Levirate marriage

This concept comes out of the latin word levir, which means husband’s brother. Simply put, it meant that when a man died without leaving an heir, a single brother or next of kin was expected to marry his widow in order to carry on his name and family line2 (see Deuteronomy 25v5-10).

Read the story in Matthew 22v23-33 when Jesus takes on a crowd of Sadducees (a group of religious scholars who refuted the idea of life after death) over this idea of Levirate marriage. Trying to trip Him up, they twist this simple concept into a complex argument. Rather than enter into the fray, Jesus urges them to see the big picture: God’s redeeming love for His people throughout the ages. In response, the Sadducees were silenced and the multitudes who were listening in “were astonished at His teaching.”





In Boaz’s response to Ruth’s proposal, he calls her a “woman of excellence” or “woman of noble character.” The Hebrew word is hayil, meaning a person of wealth, character, virtue, attainment, and comprehensive excellence. This is the same Hebrew word used to describe Boaz in Ruth 2v1, translated in most versions as “wealth” or “man of standing.”

Clearly, Ruth and Boaz had both gained reputations as people of integrity and spiritual strength.



An interesting note: The ideal woman described in Proverbs 31 is also named a woman of hayil.

“An excellent (hayil) wife who can find?

For her worth is far above jewels.”- Proverbs 31v10