Easter morning

{a repost from 2014}

“Hear the bells ringing, they’re singing that you can be born again!” That melody floats through my head this morning. The melody that drew me into salvation as a child of 4-years-old who inquired what it meant to be born again, and then was … Keith Green’s invitation set to music.

Another phrase that seems to capture what Easter means for me this year, today:

Be free and have fun!

I overheard these words spoken by a grandmother sending her grandson off to play at a park a few weeks ago. And they have reverberated through my mind and heart ever since. Not only as such a good (different) parenting focus, but the words I need to hear from a resurrected Jesus this morning, every morning.

Easter means I am free and so are you who are united to Jesus by faith. Free from sin, free from slavery to the effects of my sin and others’, free from anxiety and worry, free from performance on the treadmill of perfection, free from my past and my failings, free from others’ judgments or opinions, free to say “no” to doing too much, free to love – to serve wholeheartedly – to create.

Free to have fun in the truest sense of fun. To be creative, to delight in a world that can be as delightful as it is broken.  To have fun with my daughters and not only be a disciplinarian. To have fun with my husband and in so doing make both of our loads lighter. To take myself more lightly and laugh a little easier. To have fun doing what I don’t give myself permission to do in my quest for achievement and success: to have fun painting, reading novels, blogging, sharing a cup of coffee with a close friend, making life and our home beautiful.

What about you? What could it mean to live in the light of Easter morning? Of the empty tomb calling out to you – “be free! and have fun!”? Where are you still living under the weight of “Silent Saturday”? Of the agony of Good Friday?

Three posts I recommend for your perusal. “We are the Sunday morning people” by Lisa-Jo Baker, “Woman, Why?” at (in)courage, and “We Need All the Days of Holy Week” at Grace Covers Me.

Enjoy … be free … have fun! The tomb is empty; Jesus our Lord is risen; death has lost its darkness and sin has lost its power. 

Five Minute “Friday”: free

Wow – another week has flown by, with less blogging than I hoped for but more summer moments like I’ve wished for. Catching fireflies, homemade ice cream, pool-splashing, etc. So I return to Five Minute Friday (or Saturday) which has become a writing anchor for me – a non-negotiable in a week where writing too easily slips me by. Join me? Hosted by Kate Motaung, it’s an encouraging writing community where we write for five minutes unedited each Friday.


freeFree is like flying, soaring like an eagle high in the sky. Or a child running through a field of wildflowers laughing. No care or thought of how she’s viewed. Simply free to enjoy what gives her delight in that moment. Free takes practice, ironically enough.

We the redeemed must practice our freedom from sin and shame. Too, too easily they take hold of us, try to weigh us down and keep us limited. But we are freed. Free to live according to a new power – not of the law, sin, and death, but of life and hope through the Spirit. Free to love as we have been loved. Free to try new things way outside of our comfort zone, and free to fail – because our identity is not dependent on perfect performance. We are freed from all that wants to bind us: expectations, laws and demands to perform, pressure to produce, conditional love that says “do this to be loved,” other people’s opinions, our own past, what happened yesterday, our fears for tomorrow.

Free. Practice freedom, not to become free but because you already are free. What would that mean? What would you do? What wouldn’t you do? I would write and write and write without editing or worrying whether it sounded ok. I would take hold of the promise that I’m forgiven for how I interacted with my family yesterday, and I could engage them today with love instead of withdrawing in shame. I wouldn’t obsess over whether my clothes hid the extra pounds I dislike. I would take a few risks and say yes to more adventures. What about you?


day 27: free

Monday morning comes rough and early and with the background of a scream-crying 4-year-old who can’t find the flashlight I gave her as a reward for good behavior yesterday. {And now I wish I’d never done that.} I feel a hair-trigger anger in response. How dare you interrupt my guarded, quiet half hour? This is all I will have of that commodity [quiet] today. And you are robbing me of it. 

It’s too familiar. The anger because my agenda is interrupted, my will has been crossed, what I thought I needed for my day, for my week, is being taken away. By my child.

I hate my anger. And I hate the selfish heart from which it arises. I want to be free. Really free. And I know I am promised that in Christ, I am free. The old has gone; the new has come. … Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, for the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death. … Stand firm, therefore, and do not be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 

photo credit: pixgood.com

photo credit: pixgood.com

So why do I feel the weight of the shackles still? I am in Christ by faith, and his life is in me. I am free from sin’s power, but I still live terrorized by it in moments like this. Perhaps “free” is to be the battle cry of my heart to press in to what is truer about me than my anger and my selfishness. I am free, and I will be free completely one day. Let me live in this hope in the in between place (the already and not yet).


Part of the 31-day writing challenge in October. {Five minutes of free writes from a daily word prompt.}

Five Minute Friday: release

It’s Friday. Hallelujah! It’s been a good, important, hard week. It’s been the best of times – news of two close friends having babies (Shelby’s #4 and Katherine’s #3); my most shared blog post ever over at The Gospel Coalition Blog; and then some intense ministry and life pressures and stressors that are inevitable when married to a pastor and working as a counselor, all while parenting two beautiful and strong-willed three-year-old princesses.

So I come here to this page thankful to be able to write and join in again with Lisa-Jo’s “Five Minute Friday” community. Five minutes of unedited free-writing on a different topic each week.


firefly image


Release. What could it mean to release my art, my words, my love freely into the world? It’s an image of the fireflies we captured earlier this week and put in jars flying into the wild blue yonder again. They didn’t light up in captivity (much to our disappointment). What made them beautiful is the art they made when they were free. When we tried to capture them, to own them for ourselves, the art died (but they did not). Art can only be free when I am released from the cage of my expectations and my perception of yours. 

What would I do if I were released (which I am)? Released to create – to dabble again in painting for the sake of painting, to play the piano just for fun, to write words because I want to and I need to but not because I am expected to or need to get a certain number of stats to prove my worth.

Couldn’t I then in my freedom release those around me from the suffocating pressure I exert? To know I am released by one who was chained to a cross – the worst suffering imaginable – who was enslaved to death and chose not to be released – this makes my soul sing. This makes your soul free. I don’t need your applause for my identity and self-worth and writing. I simply need to release Jesus through my words and my art and my laughter and my relationships. And so do you. Jesus imprisoned that my soul would be set free. That ushers me into true release of the best kind – release from slavery to self’s corrosive power on my heart. 

Thankful Thursdays: Independence Day edition

On this day of celebrating and commemorating our independence as a nation, there is much for which to be thankful.

{I am thankful for} our freedom purchased with the lives of all who have fought for us and continue to fight to maintain and guard the freedom we hold so dear.

{I am thankful for} a nation where peaceful elections are the norm.

{I am thankful for} a country whose freedom allows for a diversity of views, opinions, perspectives, and political parties. Even those I don’t agree with. It’s evidence that we are in a truly free nation.

{I am thankful for} freedom to worship God openly without fear of arrest.

{I am thankful for} a small neighborhood parade to celebrate our red, white, and blue this morning.

{I am thankful for} the right of every American to vote regardless of gender or race.

{I am thankful for} a fireworks display tonight to celebrate our country’s birth, and a friend with whom to enjoy it. (Since my husband doesn’t like them so much … see this post.)

{I am thankful for} the hundreds of rights and freedoms I take for granted and don’t notice because they’re there. In their absence, there have been (and are) wars and political unrest and persecution.

{I am thankful for} living in a country whose wealth compels us to give and serve the nations and whose freedom allows us to pursue such international endeavors.

{I am thankful for} the imperfections of this nation that remind me of the true Home I await.

Hebrews 11:16 speaks of this Home –

But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.






Want to join up with me for “Thankful Thursdays”? If so, grab this button:  leave your blog address in the comments below, and link back to this post. I’m thankful for “Loved and Lovely” for such beautiful artwork that I’m using. No rules on this as far as how many “thank you’s” or that it needs to be profound and deep. Let’s practice together opening our eyes to the grace that we’re showered with daily.