On Saturday, as I shoved the mower along the back yard I thought, “she dead heads her neighbors dandelions?… I get it, but I really must be of the few people who love dandelions. As soon as you learn about them… you begin to love them… they are like a little message from God that He has put healing everywhere. People think they are weeds.. but they are actually one of the healthiest things on the planet. But I do get it, they do take over.” I pushed forward mowing over many puffy dandelions and many headless ones… adding to the reseeding of my own yard. I had wanted to not mow and just let the sheep take care of it.. .but the P.A. Dutch in me couldn’t let everything get that ratty. Sheep do not mow everything into nice neat rows…so there is also that. I kept thinking about that Instagram picture of a crown of dandelions that a far away friend had dead headed from all her neighbors yards.
Today a funny thing happened…. that same woman emailed me. She reached across an ocean to share the work of God. He spoke to her in the language He speaks to me in… and He said, “tell her about the dandelions.” Humorously enough… she kept trying not to insult me each time she referred to my writing as “weed seeds”. I laughed thinking if only she knew how much I love dandelions… how He has spoken to me about dandelions so many times that I would not bore everyone with all my little yellow flower stories. She referenced my book and how it will be like the dandelion seeds… being allowed to blow further than the original plant. It was some awesome prophesy which I am indeed thankful for! So much Holy Spirit all over her email.
For my entire day He kept repeating this to me…
What if she hadn’t shared her prophetic word with me?
What if her interaction with heaven was kept just between her and Him?
What if she hadn’t taken that time to hear?
What if she hadn’t responded to her relationship with Him?
I never would have known.
She wouldn’t have had that validation to know that the Holy Spirit is in crazy love and work within her!
She wouldn’t have known how very right on she is!
When you share your gifting with another person they get to see a facet of God and His love that they never would have seen! The relationship He has with you is so unique and so different than the one He has with anyone else.. the only way that piece of Heaven is on earth is when you share it with others. The more of your heavenly interactions which are shared is more of Him we all get to know.
He is talking all the time.
All the time He is talking.
Each morning when I open my eyes from prayer or look up from the Word that suits on my studio desk, I see the same thing.
Every morning she alone waits.
The others go about their sheeplike ways.
She stares and knows my routine.
She knows the beat of worship means I will be near but not yet… but soon.
The others could do the same. But they don’t.
Maybe the others know that I will eventually arrive… or maybe they are just thinking about their sheep things and not about my ways.
But she knows my ways.
Every morning is the same….
She waits and she isn’t moving until I arrive.
Every morning is the same… I am not going to arrive until He arrives… and I wait.
I can remember growing up with the stories of some long ago woman who would become a great great great great grandmother to me… she would rock in a rocking chair on the front porch of that big brick farm house. As she healed from that deep loss only women can feel… she prayed and she read with those rice paper pages of Text fluttering in her lap. They would say it was what healed her… what helped her to ever get off that rocker and return to life.
I remember for years I would sit on the bench I had slapped together one day in the back yard. I had ratted out the remains of the wooden hearth that arches over my stove. I drug it across the yard and dropped it on two stumps… and I sat. I dedicated all the space in front of me as a Throne Room. I would sit until I heard Him. Every day for years.
For years I sat. Every day I showed up… every day so did He.
Sometimes a kid or two would come out and sit quietly . They knew this was for Seeking… and for Hearing back.
They know that the whole reason He made us was for us to look back and to choose Him… to choose relationship with Him.
He didn’t create us to save us… not initially … the whole point was so we would hear Him and He would hear us.
We were made so He could get to know us … by our choice.
We were made so we could get to know Him… by our choice.
We were made for His Presence.
Now I sit, every morning in this studio with my cup of tea and my egg sandwich with my rice paper pages of Text open in from of me… and I don’t get up till I hear Him.
Sometimes He speaks through His word. Sometimes He speaks through the worship blasting out of my computer. Sometimes it is through the sheep grazing beyond my window… or the child who quietly crept in with eyes closed just drinking it all in. But mostly He just speaks… because that is why we are here.
There is nothing magical about that old rocker.
or my log bench
or this studio
Today , and every single day, there are things He wants to say to you… and you are the only one He wants to tell it to.
There is so much to be Heard.
Every. Single. Day.
All day I have felt like I am sinking in words and pages and too much of all of this and I can’t seem to climb back up to clarity. So I had tried once again by sitting and claiming the time while 8 kids wolf down dinner in a quarter of the time it took me to make it. After writing block upon writing block I felt frustrated with the feeling of time wasted and nothing accomplished. I took the whole file and threw it out. Who am I to write a book? The whole thing is just silliness. So I just trashed it. I had told no one. I had opened a whole new file blank and glaring.
Who am I to do this?
It’s absolutely absurd.
So when she had come up to me after dinner with her swirly tutu I turned to her, “pray for me… get a word for me because I feel discouraged.”
She knows the way and with closed eyes she pushes against ancient doors that give way for her.
She hears a Voice…. and a smile bends her face and her eyes scrunch and her shoulders go up… I know that same joy.
I know the feeling when He speaks and your being crunches up.
“He says don’t destroy what you wrote… He says it’s good… keep going.”
My eyes squint back at her… she laughs and spins off in a pink tutu.
There is no way she could have known.
With her word straight from a throne room…
I pulled it out of the trash file…
I have been given the most ridiculous opportunity to write a book.
I mean come on.
I laughed… I have a website.. people can just have it for free any day.
So I crawled into it very quietly…. I told no one.
mulled it over.
laughed at the absurdity and turned to tears of thankfulness.
Then when I was more comfortable … I ventured out…
“was there anything I ever wrote that inspired you?”
and it’s pretty overwhelming when the titles started rolling in from all over the world… and I look over each one and loose my self… and find myself on pages long forgotten.
So I am reaching out to you … because you all are really everything.
He tells me about you …
gives me words for you..
wakes me up nights to pray for you…
So if there ever has been an article or a painting… or even a tutorial that meant something to you…
could you tell me?
or if there is something you want me to write about… please let me know?
something you wished I would have expanded on?
something you have always wanted to know about me… or how we do things?
I need you, dear reader. If not for me… do it for the children… just look at the state of things around here (smile).
“Momma… do you think that God only brings women into church leadership when a church is mature enough? In Romans, Paul writes to a deacon named Phoebe before he says says ‘Hi’ to anyone else… and a bunch of other women are named. But when he is addressing baby churches he seems to keep it very basic for them. Like He won’t give them women in leadership because they haven’t matured … they wouldn’t be able to handle it. Because Paul does refer to how he has to talk one way to some churches and more evolved to others…. that milk or meat bible verse, ya know…. So it sounds like everyone is right on some level….” This oldest of mine has been working on this paper for weeks. It seems every day he is surprised to find out another person thinks women are not fit for church leadership.
1 Corinthians 3:1-2The Voice (VOICE)
3 My brothers and sisters, I cannot address you as people who walk by the Spirit; I have to speak to you as people who tend to think in merely human terms, as spiritual infants in the Anointed One. 2 I nursed you with milk, as a mother would feed her baby, because you were not, and still are not, developed enough to digest complex spiritual food.
“what do you mean….’everyone is right’? I have read the book he is reading… and albeit it is amazing… I know that is not in there.
“Well the churches which think women shouldn’t be in leadership, because of the verse in Timothy…(which by the way Timothy was sent to clean up a big immature church mess),.. are just aware of how much maturity exists in their body. When they have grown past the milk stage and are eating spiritual meat, maybe then God gives them women in leadership. Because clearly Paul is not only friends with but works shoulder to shoulder with women church leaders. Sort of like He made Adam first… and when Adam was ready He brought Eve. Men pursue a wife…. but the idea is that you don’t get a wife until you are more mature …,” he laughed rolling his eyes, “I mean the idea is to be more mature. So churches who are given women in leadership are just places where they have a closer idea of what their identity is in God… like God sees us all and loves us all… but humans get hung up on stuff like ‘men seem stronger and better leaders’… but a more mature Christian could receive from wherever the Spirit and the Presence of God is moving… man pastor … woman pastor whatever. So it can be that every one is right…. if a male pastor is the only thing you can receive from because you aren’t ‘there’ yet, that’s okay as long as you are evolving. But it’s still a dumb idea to think that somehow men are the only ones who can lead when the Bible is full of women leaders…. but if it’s just based on the maturity of the church itself, that makes more sense. Because when they have matured and can handle listening to women and not hung up on a pastor being a ‘she’… and more just inspired by the Jesus moving through her then they will also be to a place where they can handle bigger spiritual concepts. Like when they aren’t thinking he or she… just about the love of Jesus.”
I came home from church and there was a moaning. No one could hear it but me. Over the kids playing baseball in the backyard… over the clanking of pots and pans as we made Sunday Dinner… a playlist of cheesy 90’s music humming along… I could hear it. Nearly an hour later as I washed the asparagus at the kitchen sink… I heard it again. This time it lined up with Rose stretching her head back and lifting her lip up in a strain. Her eyes looked like every mammal ever in labor. I walked out and sure enough… two feet, a little muzzle and a concerning little tongue hung out of the business end of Rose. As I walked towards her she got up and hid behind the hay rack. Again I tried to tap into the four seasons of Lambing Live UK… I called for my son Zim. He helped with Agate’s lambs and I was still in my skirt and jewelry from church, I needed help! Rose, who normally doesn’t ‘connect’ much looked me straight in the eyes, begging me. The lolling tongue of her lamb sort of creeped me out…so I grabbed the little feet and just held them through her pushes. Rose leaned her head on Zim and strained…. she looked back at me and yelled… I held on. Then with one more push out the little ram slid…. with his weird little tongue hanging out off to one side. Rose didn’t make the sounds the other mothers did… and behind us all the other mothers wanted to take her wet newborn. We were still out in the barnyard… but it was a beautiful sun streaming 70degree day. It took her awhile to realize this baby was hers and not like all the other newly born lambs who just annoy her. Once she started to call to him and begin to lick him… I had a bit of hope for them. People started to show up for Sunday Dinner… and there I stood in church clothes and barn boots still sort of dripping with amniotic fluids, waiting for paper towels.
“What do you want me to do with these potatoes? I will just steam the asparagus,” Ashley called out through the open window. Seamlessly she took up where I had left off in the kitchen, as she could see I wasn’t really ready for food prep.
I called for my daughters… and they helped us rodeo just Rose and her new baby into the barn…. or rather they helped us rodeo all the other lambs and sheep away from the barn so Rose could get through the fray. Once tucked into our hay stall… I weighed him and at 9lbs and 7 ounces he was just 3ounces more than Zim was when he was born.
As everyone showed up for Sunday Dinner… the new lamb was the topic of conversation. Happily they are doing well. This little guy was the last lamb for us this year. He is much smarter than his mother and so much braver. Most of all Sylvs loves the new BabyBaa to add to her barn chores.