Death looks good on you.
These are the days when I fight three teenagers for the shower EVERY morning.
I'm half frustrated because I want hot water and half thrilled to pieces that each of them want to be cleanly.
Apparently I have had some fears that my kids won't grasp personal hygiene.
And I am actually satisfied with the emphasis on personal hygiene and crazy fun poems these days.
Multiplication will always come.
But these days are running fast and I am learning that they don't come again to re-do.
They each begin becoming more and more of their own wonderful person each day and week and month that passes and it is beautiful and funny and really amazing.
We took a fall trip and amidst apples and cider I snapped a happen-chance cellphone photo of my second girl and in the screen she turned 16 right there in front of my eyes.
It reminded me to look with fresh eyes on the miracles in the moments that are my Royalty days.
And I write in a messy kitchen because the coffee shop just didn't happen this week, or the last.
It's still wonderful to open a computer and share two-week's worth of living with you my friends.
It's wonderful to sit and smile thinking of who out there needs one or two.
Last weekend I was able to speak to a room of ladies and make them laugh and look up.
Does it even get any better than that?
And I took one of my best friends with me.
Having her there was like homemade caramel on top of ice cream- she covered the whole morning with sweetness beyond what was already lovely and sweet.
And when we she drove to New York and I drove to Ohio we caught each other on the phone.
And something she said still catches in my throat.
"God created you for this. For encouraging women."
And it was humbling and wonderful to hear her speak new life into me while I drove home sans nylons and earrings.
Don't we all need someone to come alongside and see God using us in miraculous ways to keep us looking up and leaning forward in our race to the finish line?
I am sitting here wishing I could follow you through your day, a pair of fresh eyes, as you get up to feed and dress little ones for the day, as you wipe all the milk off of the floor and let you know that God is using fantastic you.
To remind you of your own miracles happening all around you.
Yesterday I made it to my favorite hiking place and had to keep stopping myself to just take in all that was around me for beauty.
And amazingly enough, all that beauty in the leaves- the bright burnt oranges, the almost translucent yellows and deep dark reds have been there all the time, just under the surface.
Colors we would all love to see each month of the year, but the Lord uses Fall to remind us of the miracle that is losing your own strength.
The leaves begin to stop receiving life from the tree and through amazing chemical processes they show us a beautiful dying to self.
And what's more, temperature changes change the brilliance of what we see.
One website even said, " Rainy and/or overcast days tend to increase the intensity of fall colors."
Isn't there so much Spiritual application to be gleaned here?
They die to self- they show who they really are to everyone around them- And the darker the day, the brighter they shine to those around them.
I want to always die to myself.
How badly I want to remind those around me that God is the only beauty in me to see, and on the drizzly days He shines even brighter through me because I am putting one foot in front of another.
Because I am obeying, and showing-up and giving him glory in the sheet washing and dinner fixing.
I want my dying to self to make people look up and know that there must be a divine creator who cares about the sparrow falling.
It matters to Him that you salvaged that almost freezer-burnt pound of ground beef.
He delights that you took time to let someone go ahead of you at Aldi because your cart could wait and because you could show her Christ in your kindness and smiley eyes.
He sees you stopping during correction to call them back and pray with them because their hearts are so quickly drawn away.
It thrills Him too when you go the extra mile for your sweetheart because He created Him to be loved by you.
He loves it when you tell him over dirty dishes that He will just have to come and rescue your spirit that becomes more and more bitter with each mess.
Those colors are just under the surface for all to view.
In a moment that leaf takes flight and rustles around our feet and the tires of our car rushing to the next thing.
But it was seen. It was enjoyed and it made us stop and sigh with gratefulness for eyes and opportunity to take in the little miracle that it was.
And until the rains come and the Lord calls me I desire to make someone look for the little miracles in their life.
And I desire to enjoy brown sugar chunks melting in hot oatmeal to the fullest.
To let the hot tea vapor remind me that I got a small glimpse of how fast this life is going dropping my son off at college.
It's speeding by and we can only enjoy each day, rotten potatoes and all.
On that walk in my favorite place with beauty all around me, the beauty radiating from my oldest girl just about brought me to tears.
Good thing for her I was too out of breath to cry.
She spoke and my heart sung with seeing her own dying to self in this situation and that.
A hurt healed, the Spirit prompting, a moment rescued by humility, and so much more came rushing out of her heart right into my own.
And it made me smile to see my course correcting wane and the Spirit's keep on going.
I will pour poems into her until I cannot speak, but I will turn to my prayers for the rest of her growing.
I will just sit back and watch her change into brilliance even after a dreary rainy day.
How I enjoy seeing her die and grow.
Keep dying my friends.
Keep letting the real you come out. The you that God has created, be it shy or funny, bent on teaching or singing or painting beautiful things.
Die to all that is just under the surface.
Keep remembering that you shine brightest for Him on the messy days, when grace seems to have gone to live with the neighbors for a while.
And get a new glimpse of dirty faces, dishes and clothes.
They are little miracles in the moments we have been given to steward for the King of Kings who designed us to bring Him heaps and heaps of glory with our little miracles.