Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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Monday, March 8, 2010

on multi-tasking and silence

First...on silence, my silence. Those of you awaiting blog notifications, thank you for your patience. I'll explain: On December 15th, Bear and I dove head first into a dream we've had in our hearts for over a decade. God has opened a door to create a lakeside retreat/mentoring home in Branson, MO!

Along with dear friends old and new whom God has surrounded us with, I've spent countless hours researching, studying, selecting colors, praying over furniture choices...designing each room with spiritual rest and renewal in mind. Here's a picture of Lake Taneycomo. More pictures and a website to come :-).

Second on multi-tasking, or lack thereof.

For years I've been intentionally simplifying, living less thickly, with fewer overlapping responsibilities...it helps build up a margin of strength to call upon in full seasons like this one. As a discipline, over the years I have been choosing to multi-task less but this is different.

With this dream taking flight, we've called upon the margin built up in 2009 and now that reservoir is running low. I'm somewhat weary emotionally and mentally from thousands of decisions big and small. In such a season, out of necessity (not from intentional discipline) I find myself less able to multi-task 

So while pouring my creativity into designing the retreat home, I seem unable to simultaneously write or blog, let alone twitter...Seems that when it comes to creativity, I'm mono-focused, especially when committed to a complex project.

Rest Inn Rivendell will open this month and the website should launch next month. I so look forward to sharing the dream with you. We know that many will encounter God in this home, emerge from seasons of sadness, have their faith and vision renewed, and I believe writers will be released within the home as well. The entire home is devoted to Jesus' invitation from Mark 6.31: "Come with me by yourself to a quiet place and get some rest."

If you'd like to receive updates on Rest Inn Rivendell or join our prayer team, simply email me at alicia@truthportraits.com.

So, thank you for your patient waiting on this lost blogger :-). I should be writing more soon.

Monday, November 30, 2009

mouth math



As Bear, Keona, and Louie headed off for kid's church, Jonathan and I hobbled (I'm still in a shockingly large boot because of my broken foot) into the Realife building this past Sunday for the tween's service.

As usual, we sat in the back row reserved for staff. Each week they kindly allow us to camp there because they know that the music and the videos and the energy are sometimes too much for Jonathan. He may jump around for joy during worship or cover his ears when the music cranks up or shout out something sincere that's somehow slightly off cue. In the back row, we enjoy the service in a space where Jonathan can be himself without drawing attention to himself. It's always a special time for us to share.

The speaker this week quoted a word of wisdom he received early on from a pastor: "Make sure your words are always plus signs." He was speaking of how our words need to add something to each environment and aptly used Caleb as an example of someone whose words added something and drew people toward the promised land.

Jonathan--a sleeping math genuis--was intrigued, "So plus words add, minus words takes away, what do multplication words do?"

"Hmmn. Perhaps that's when our words multiply how many people are walking with Jesus," I offered.

"And division?" Jonathan wondered.

"Divisive words are those that cause unnecessary conflict between people," I suggested.

Then we both sat there and thought...about mouth math.

And perhaps is would be wise for me, and for us, to think a bit more. So I invite you to along with me think through all the words you spoke today. Did our words add truth? subtract esteem? multiply the faithful? divide the family?

Mouth math...that for better or for worse, is not easily erased.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Louie's gift


Today wasn't my best day. I'm fighting some sort of cough, sinus, sleepless, tiring...head cold. A quieter person by wiring, today requests sounded like demands and talking sounded like shouting...I'm looking forward to a healthier moment in the near future.

So tonight, Louie and I began our cuddle-time ritual. He chooses a book while I prepare his milk. I tuck him in, read the book in high drama, and we pray together. Then we're supposed to "close eyes an sleep!"

Louie, however, missed his normal cue. Instead he got up and pulled up a big blanket. Struggling to get it open he explained, "Mommy sicky. I tuck you," then he patiently wrestled with the thick quilt to get all the corners smoothed around his coughing Mommy.

As he took the top of the blanket and pulled it up over my neck, he concluded, "it's cold and the dogs are going poop."

I was laughing internally, crying externally. Not sure how it's all related but I heard one message clearly: I am loved.

(and I'm grateful the dogs are outside...)

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Friday, October 23, 2009

air-time on the radio


A radio interview. A call-in. A comment that temporarily stunned me.

Click here to read my overdue response to a caller's statement regarding why I respect Atheists.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

cuddle sandwich


At night, I'm often wonderfully sandwiched between Jonathan (age 12) and Keona (age 6) for cuddle-time before the kids drift off to sleep. Thought you'd like to listen in on our "conversation":

Jonathan: "I know, we need a huge battery and tall metal post to put out during storms. Then when lightning strikes, the battery can collect the energy."

Keona: "A boy pushed me in recess today and called me a name!"

Jonathan: "And why didn't God give us two breathing holes? This way we could drink water and still breathe."

Keona: "He called me lady!"

Jonathan: "Guess I'll ask God later."

Keona: "When I get to heaven, I'd like to ask God why he didn't give us magic."

Jonathan: "What? Magic? God doesn't need magic. God is all powerful. If there wasn't God, there wouldn't be anything."

Keona: "Yes, but I still think it would be fun to go 'poof' and have a pink horse."

Jonathan: "Listen, isn't the rain beautiful??"

Keona: "I'm going to paint my truck rainbow."

(pause)

Jonathan: "Mom, can you rub my back?"

Keona: "Mommy, can you scratch my head?"

(longer pause)

All in whispers: "luv you....."

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

on tickets


(Tonight's conversation with Jonathan after a poor choice resulting in the loss of screen time tomorrow.)

Jona: "But Mom, I didn't remember that it was wrong!! Please, give me another chance."

Alicia: "Jona, do you remember when I got my one and only speeding ticket? I didn't mean to speed, but I was still breaking the law. After the policeman gave me a ticket you said, 'Thank God he stopped us. God used him to save our lives because we could have had an accident.' The policeman gave me a ticket now to save us from an accident later. Daddy and I are giving you a ticket now to help prevent an accident later."

Jona: "But I had plans for my screen time tomorrow."

Alicia: "Yep, I had plans for that $125 too. You know we're doing the right thing, Jona."

Jona: "Yeah. I do. It's just hard."

(Thank you Mr. Policeman, for stopping me, for not letting me off easy, for giving me a life-lesson in the presence of my son.)

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