Thursday, April 4, 2013


**UPDATE 10am, 4/5:  thanks for praying.  ken is finished and the surgeon said everything went as planned.  It will take several weeks to several months to know of the procedure's effectiveness.  he is doing great, including making me giggle with some lines that may or may not be the anesthesia talking...."lin, you're like Gillette - the best a man can get."  and when we got in the car he requested "inspirational music"**

tomorrow we will go in for ken's procedure at 6am.  please pray for our hearts to know God more through the results of this.  we're also asking God for everything to go exactly the way it's supposed to.  and that God's plan would include complete healing of his hand!

thank you for still being a part of this journey.

"but there's one other thing i remember, and remembering, i keep a grip on hope:  God's loyal love couldn't have run out, His merciful love couldn't have dried up.  they're created new every morning.  how great is Your faithfulness!"  {lam. 3}

Thursday, March 21, 2013

kenny & our sweet girl

happy spring.  goodness, even through the flurries falling in front of my eyes & the bitter chill that begs to differ, spring indeed is here, and i am overflowing with hope for a new season.  and it's with great joy that i am focusing on the redeemed quality of easter this year.  from ashes to beauty.  from a veil guarding intimate connection with the Father to it being torn in two, Jesus is a Savior who redeems.  oh, praise Him.
. . .

ken will be needing hand surgery.  the numbness, sensitivity, & tingling in his left hand has not changed.  we feel confident in a great hand surgeon and his care for us in describing why this is really ken's only option for possible healing in his hand.  god allowing, it will be a simple surgery (thankfully, outpatient - for our girls) to give relief to the carpal tunnel nerve.  unlike most who would get the same surgery, he probably won't know of its effectiveness for a while following surgery.

god has a specific plan in this weakness for ken.  i am certain that He has something for ken in this source of pain and frustration.  my heart longs for ken to be free of these "burdens", yet as we remain open to what God would have for us in our future, i want to be careful to assume that what i want is what's best for him.

i would love your prayers for this, yet really don't even know what to ask you to pray. . . for hearts of gratitude regardless. . .for ken to experience some kind of relief . . . for us to be on our knees, hands open . . . really, just for us to be transformed.  that's all i long for lately.  maybe in evidence seen today or barely made out, hazy hope for what's to come.  i find the weight of a tragedy and the ramifications that linger on as the sun rises and sets, and does it all again - i find the weight of it all lightens when i see God's hand moving in our hearts.   the joy is that He won't leave me unfinished.  and that "greater things are still to be done"  -- all the while, rejoicing in our past!

and maybe to add a little something for prayer?   our sweet oldest.  she's still struggling with sleep that doesn't get interrupted by some bad dreams.  it's really the first time as a mom i've had to be lighter on the practical, on the doing and fixing and solving end, and had to step back, trust the choice she made close to two years ago to invite the living God in her heart, and surrender her to Him.  fill her heart with Truth - for sure.  teach that precious mind of hers memorize the promises that are hers to claim - yes.   but at the end of the day, i just pray.  and then pray again.  and just wait & watch Him grow His daughter.  it's another kind of surrendering, for sure.  entrusting her to the only One who can make this trial for her count for something.  again, it's the hope i am coming to treasure so dearly - the hope of heart that's  transformed.  even in my not-yet-five-year-old. 

~ please pray for kenny's hand surgery on friday, april 5th.
~ please pray that God would be more real to our first-born than these dreams

Thursday, February 28, 2013


one of our girls' favorite things is stories.  they love to "read".  the joy is only magnified when we read with them.  and then our oldest, she gets so lost in the story itself.  she can't just stop short of the satisfaction that comes after finishing the last line of a new story.  the girl needs to be the story.  i become mama berenstain bear or doctor dan or the man with the yellow hat.  she's obviously the character upon which the entire story rests...hero, princess, beauty.

and our youngest may have learned from the joy of our first.  often she's disappeared...where has she been?  wandered upstairs bookshelf calling her, she's plopped herself directly under it, chubby little legs straight out in front of her, book on lap, head down.

and after a day that's been full and hearts that are spent, moments away from the exhale of babies' doors closing behind us, comes pleeease tell me a Little Linny story?  i wanna hear a Little Kenny story.  and we go on for the giggly joy that appears across her face from hearing the "adventures" of seven-year-olds who operated backhoes in their backyard and transformed their huffys into galloping stallions.   it's worth it every time.

and then lately, when my littlest lady and i are snuggly and reading before bed, she's been looking more at me telling the story than at the story itself.  huh.  adorable, but strange.  it's strange until i remember how my life.  her life, too.  yours as well.  it's a story.

and paul miller's words in a praying life return to me as i feel her blue eyes staring at me while i read.  miller has been challenging me to see God as Storyteller.  and to pray for a heart that willingly - joyfully - revels in the unfolding of it all.  miller talks of the relationship that comes from a heart of endurance, one that remains under its circumstances.  creating perseverance.  

i know my little girl is looking more at me because sometimes it's less about the story and more about who's telling it.  when she is looking at me reading to her, she's telling me that these moments we're spending together aren't so much about the book in my hands, but what i'm sowing while i'm reading.  and my hope is to reap a relationship with her.  true and honest.  deep and unconditional.  what i might be seeing is my little girl making the connection between telling her a story and loving her.  she's warm and safe at that moment.  she likes what she feels and what it does for her heart, and the pages bound into a book in front of her is just the way to get there.  in fact, with her eyes fixed on my face and my arms around her, the story ends up not even mattering to her. 

how my relationship with my girls would differ if every time they wanted  a story, i sat them on the couch, all cozy with a blanket and pillows, opened before them the pages of a fabulous story right before their eyes. then turned on an audio book.  our relationship might lack something precious and sweet.  there would be less moments of bonding between us for sure. 

just like little one does, keeping my eyes on the Storyteller settles me when i'm not really happy about what's found on the next page of the book.  the comfort i find in a closeness to the Father quiets the concerns of what's happening around me. 

miller teaches (unbelievably well, by the way) what it means to live in our Father's story.  to surrender completely, not demanding the story goes my way.  to look for the Storyteller - developing an eye for God's hand at work.  and he calls out to the reader: STAY in the story.  refuse to shut down when it goes the "wrong" way.  it changes a lot, when a heart remains focused on the One telling my story.

yet i know eyes fixed on the Storyteller can only mean something if i choose to trust the One delivering me my story.  reading to my little one these past weeks has revealed to my heart that i cannot simply will myself to stay committed to a story whose lines read fear and struggle woven throughout its pages.  the story will only fade into its rightful position when my main priority for today is to build connection with the only One who is writing my story.

like my littlest, i am most enjoying my story, experiencing life full of joy, with peace abounding when my heart's connected to a Storyteller i know will never write a bad ending.  for He knows no such finish for His children.

Friday, February 8, 2013

thanks & prayer

wanted to take some time to share what God's been up to with us.  thank you for continuing to come alongside of us, pray for and minster to our hearts.  i'm so grateful to you.

: :  i had asked for prayer for the EMG that ken would get regarding the numbness and tingling in his left hand.  i don't have a lot of details, but it seems like he has a separate wrist(ish) injury that happened during the accident.  we will get more details wednesday when we meet with the doctor to discuss the results of the test.  it was a pretty painful test, and i'm grateful that it's over for him, so big relief

: :  thanks to Jesus - and lots of knee time outside her bedroom door - our oldest's nightmares have not been happening since we asked for prayer...thank you

: :  God is teaching us some Truths and very practical how-tos for staying in God's story that He has for us, and we are so grateful to learn from Him - and while the challenge of it stretches us, it's changing our perspective

: :  a praise for our oldest, who was filling out a little prayer calendar that she brought home a while ago from sunday school.  she decided some of the things we would be praying for as a family at dinner time.  her choice for what to pray for on mondays made my  heart overflow with hope that God is accomplishing in her heart something for eternity, and He gave me a glimpse of an answer to my prayer that her pain and fear from this tragedy would not have happened in vain.  may it be so.  and i'm praying her heart would continue to be soft and yielding toward jesus and His people. 

: :  ken just now began his outpatient therapy that decreased to twice a week.  please pray for us to prioritize the details of our day.  to choose Jesus, to choose love. 

: :  and probably a forever prayer would be that we'd choose to be connected to God so we might understand how we can remain in His story for us and live out His plan for our lives.  all the while magnifying His name.

my gratitude & love,

Sunday, February 3, 2013

His love

a friend who really is more like a brother to me challenged me from psalm 116 in the deepest darkest valley moment of this whole experience.

the Lord protects the simplehearted; when i was in great need, He saved me.  (psalm 116:6 niv)

it wasn't even a week since news of the accident - i had a heart that had been racing with the events of the night and tears running freely, i was desperate for something secure.  i so wanted to embrace the challenge, yet honestly did not have the strength or mental power at that point to think into it, "so what does that mean for me?  what do i do with that?" i asked him for more.

"well, what's the opposite of simple?  complicated.  complex, right?"

in that moment, the new world that i was thrown into felt like being in the center of a tornado - fast, furious, and wanting to squeeze my eyes shut until it was all over.  there was just so much unknown, the pain in my heart so very intense.  attack almost unbearable. 

i loved the sound of making this day-to-day of mine simpler.  not just simple for running away from the difficulty simple, but having Something true that in looking to, everything else could fade in the background.

since that day we spoke, i have been wrestling with the Lord for how i could connect the dots in that challenge.  i went before the Lord again and again.  begging Him to show me what it would look like to keep a simplehearted focus in a very un-simple circumstance.

it's manifested itself in different ways over the past months, but this past week i've felt God being really direct to me about having a heart of simplicity.   and it's been found in no crisper a picture than the life of Jesus:  His very purpose for coming to this wreck of a world.  the way He responded to every person He encountered in His 33 years of life here.  why He died.   the way He died.  why He didn't stay dead.    and still, over two thousand years later - the picture no less clear than when he actually walked on this earth --  the way He ministered to my broken heart.   and upheld me when i thought i'd crumble.

this fall - that is when He started in me this idea of being simplehearted.  the weeks went on.  listened to some sermons.  days pass.   read a new friend's blog.  pick up a book i started with our minichurch close to a year ago.  i listen.  i wrestle.  and i'm hearing the very same message.  they all declare what's almost deceivingly simple:  love.   you have something for me, i know.  open my eyes.

i think of the Scripture i know.  if i had to boil it - simplify - how He feels about me:  lovingly.  and if i needed a sole mission for how to spend the rest of my days:  love God.  love others.

it makes my head spin with thoughts yet clears away the clutter all at the same time. 

i breathe in what it feels like to let go of a life that tries to figure and learn and suppose all that God might be changing in my heart through my circumstances.  exactly how He might be making everything work for good.   what to do with the challenges our new life here at home.  how to love a heart-still-healing daughter and a physically-still-healing-husband with a what-on-earth-just-happened-to-us marriage and still do "real life" in the midst of it all.

too exhausting.

i see now that each of those circumstances do not require different methods of approach.  yes, good and right to pray for wisdom and direction in certain areas of decision-making.  yet, in light of this simple heart i believe the Lord's asking me to embrace, it becomes fruitless to run in various directions.

"but the Lord answered her, 'martha, martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things but one thing is necessary.  mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.'"  (luke 10)

while the approach is simple, it - for sure by design - requires such connection with the Father.  if i have eyes of love in each of my day's circumstances, it eliminates the what?  yet creates a deep need for the Spirit for the How?  if i am now clear on mission, that leaves the work of the holy spirit inside of me to handle how that will be accomplished.

"I am the vine; you are the branches.  those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.  for apart from me you can do nothing."  (john 15:5) 

and there it is.  the Gospel in its simplest form:  God longs for a relationship with me.  so simple, but it took me time to get there.  i think back to the words i've seen all over the pages of my life lately.  things like

I've never left you, nor will I ever leave.  

if the miracle comes too quickly, there is no room for discovery, for relationship., Jesus is engaged in a divine romance, wooing us to Himself.

when i first met you i drew you in close to Me.  *

so that makes my time with Him in the morning instrumental.  and trains the thoughts that run throughout the day to be teachable.   if there's one thing i know about love.  the rich, satisfying kind of love, is that it takes time.  time to learn and know and understand.  uncovering layer after layer until you realize you'll never actually be finished learning and understanding - and that's where the richness is found. 

so i will ask God for the power to love.  and then i'll wake up tomorrow and ask again.  i'll regret what i just said, and ask again.  and i'll remind myself that every moment is a "weak moment" because  a heart that wants to be like Jesus needs some serious tapping into the Source.  for i know so very well that without the connection to the Father, my efforts fail.  been there often. . .as i lay my head on the pillow, sky dark with finality of the day. . .the events replay.  conversations, choices, tone, messes tended to that could have been left undone, opportunities left void that held potential.  but instead of seeing it all as failure, i remember my simplehearted focus. . .love.  and know it's that very quality of Jesus that covers it all.  He is just so complete. 

*quoted above:  the praying life by paul miller.  carry me by jenny & tyler.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


had a moment to listen to music while i cleaned up from dinner.  this new chris tomlin album, burning lights, wow, let me tell you.  the verb of listening doesn't do it justice.  feeling the music on this album is an experience.  i was finding such refreshment in one song after the other, realizing that the maximum volume on the laptop wasn't cutting it, but the loudest setting on the ipod would work perfectly.  know that feeling?  the worship on this album is just outrageously amazing, yet i found myself drawn again to awake my soul.   the lyrics quote verses in ezekiel 37 - so much of what i prayed for ken - when his body could very literally could not breathe.  for what felt like so long.   "thus says the Lord God to these bones:  behold, i will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live [!]" ez. 37:5

one of the most precious moments i'll remember with ken when i read to him the blog and my journal was his observation of how the medical and physical shift in him happened.  stepping back from the day-to-day, looking with a wider lens, it does seem like one day my heart was still broken over whether i'd ever be able to talk to or hold my husband again, and then, some day in october, like only a Hero can sweep in and do, according to ken, "it was like God said, 'it's done now.'"  and then hope for his spared life scattered itself over everything that once felt heavy and dark. 

all glory to Him. 

in my moment of thanking God for His completely beautiful, unmerited gift of my husband here with me. bathing his daughters.   listening to the nonsense of my heart last night.  growing in his love for us.   this song became a flashlight, stretching its beam of light, making clear some truths i might not have seen otherwise.

i'm learning the difference between going to the Lord when i'm feeling weak and choosing to see pretty much every part of my day as a "weak" part of my day.  pretty much having a zero tolerance policy in my heart for the prideful assumption that i got this.  i got the morning routine with the girls.  i got it - what i choose to pray about in the morning.  i got this - how this phone call is supposed to go.  really?  do i want to have it?  or do i want to surrender it to the One who can orchestrate those moments into something more beautiful than i imagined? 

i want it to be true of me that the testimony of giving life to dry bones isn't something i talk about having happened to my husband in the fall of 2012, but the cry of my heart every day.  jesus, help me see my bones as dry and needing your refreshment always.  all ways, every moment. 

"i realize
i breathe out, i come alive
Your word gives life to my dry bones
Your breath tells death it can ride on
awake me
make me a living stone
a testament to your throne
i, i'm nothing without you, i’m on my own
the only one who satisfies my soul"

you have to hear this song.  

(and lay me down.  and god's great dance floor.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


this summer, ken was taking our oldest up the stairs on his back and little girl was following close behind.  out of no where, little girl tumbles down a few steps (not the first time or the last, sad to say.)  ken was caught in a tough spot because he was responsible for the oldest going piggy-back, yet wanting to run to try and soften the landing of the littlest.  in the two seconds that all of this happened, ken ended up abruptly letting go the one on his back and sprinting down the steps toward the littlest.  although the bigger one had never been in a position for getting hurt in the least, she was shocked at her daddy's seeming roughness and abandonment.  tears flowed from her way more wild than from the one who had actually taken a fall.   she didn't understand in the moment the bigger picture of what was going on - of what needed to be done.

yesterday, ken asked our oldest if she wanted to ride upstairs piggy-back.  with her head tilted to the side, eyebrows in question and eyes that told him i remember.   he said,  "i know what you're thinking.  last time we did this your sister fell down the steps and i needed to help her.  you were never in any danger when that happened.  come on, get on."

and up she went, assured by his words.  or maybe it wasn't his words at all.

i guess she was more assured by who her daddy is.  she has a long track record with this man, and time and again he's proven himself a man of his word and having her best interest in his heart.  she's seen him act out of selflessness to read just one more story. . . she's laughed with him playing in the backyard more times than she could count . . . and she's felt the deep kind of love that she probably couldn't even explain yet when he's had to discipline her - temporary displeasure in exchange for a lifetime of security.

i watched this interaction between ken and his daughter.  my eyes stared with some anticipation, wondering how she would respond.  no one - me included - would call her crazy for saying "nahh" to him.  yet, even in her trepidation, she was able to overcome the memory of the past - look into her daddy's gaze - and remember that if it comes from him, no matter how uncertain it appeared, it would be good.

and her daddy, her i-can-see-and-touch-him daddy is imperfect.  there are flaws in him that will let her down.  how much more should my heart trust the perfect Daddy, the only One who will never disappoint, and because He's so very not human - nothing He does ever gets in the way of my absolute best. 

God's character will never disappoint when i can look away from my own perspective for a while and soften my heart toward simply letting Him who is enough for me in anything.  thank you, Jesus, for being Constant and Love and Good.  all the time.