Take My Life

This morning I randomly remembered. Triggered by a song, I was suddenly back in the water. My memory sent me back to my baptism. 5 years ago, standing up to my waist in water, in front of family, friends, community, I made a statement. It was about dying to my self and publically choosing a new Life. The watery submersion symbolized my commitment; like putting on a spiritual wedding ring. One life direction exchanged for another. An oath. A pledge. A merged course.

I am a Jesus Follower. If you're a Spill reader, this shouldn't be new news to you. Hopefully you've suspected as much. To me, it is news, the essence of Good News, the bottom of hope in this world. A few years ago life circumstances drove me to believe that truth in new ways. I had already believed for years. My re-baptism (word?) was a symbol of my re-started passion to follow Jesus. It was a statement of new understanding about how I am Loved. Forgiven. Morphed. Redeemed. Rescued.

And, in response, I am prompted to say, "Take my Life." Some days, I don't make good on that offer. I take my life back for myself. That's the truth. But, thankfully, the Spirit within me keeps prodding and nudging. And every day is grace to try again.

This song was playing after I took the plunge. It is a 130 year old protestant hymn with a face lift. I love every olde english word. And so, it's posted as my own meditation, memory, and plea.

May you find peace, this Sunday.


Take my Life
Original Text: Frances Havergal, 1874
Arranged: Chris Tomlin

Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice and let me sing
always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as You choose.

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it's all for Thee

Take my will and make it Thine
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is Thine own
it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord I pour
at Your feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be
ever, only, all for Thee.
Take myself and I will be
ever, only, all for Thee.

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it's all for Thee.


Humpty's Last Stand

Avoid eye-contact. Do what you have to do.

Egg Evil

Entirely Uneggspected.

You never know what may be lurking in the fridge. This morning I reached for a normal egg carton in order to make scrambled eggs and encountered this (pictured) posse of resistance staring back at me. I have my suspicions about which son was behind it.


In life's most loosely-woven and frazzled seasons, sometimes simple pleasures show up as gifts that sew themselves into the tangle. These days I have 5 new threads in the fray. A handful of things have brought unexpected relaxation and/or happiness to my frazzledom. Nothing profound. Just 5 little things. I'm sharing them.


1. Sage Tea

Steve and I stopped at a greek restaurant on Valentines Day. I ordered sage tea. It's earthy and herblike. There were actual sage leaves floating on the top. And I can't swear by this, I'm just telling you what happened: I was really grumpy when I started drinking that tea, and when we left the storefront, my mood was altered for the better. I don't know. It's suspicious. There may have been something else going on, but I'm blaming the tea for my mood lift.

So, yesterday, Steve and I went to "Taste of Jerusalem" down in Manitou Springs. I ordered sage tea; no floating leaves this time, honey instead. Delicious. I ended up asking the guy at the counter about how to make the tea and he told me that he's had so many questions and requests about it that he's had to make a sage tea side business. He made me up a little to-go box with fresh dried sage from the Middle East, and a mix of tea leaves. I felt like I was buying some sort of underground mood-manipulating contraband.

2. R5Sons Alaska
A reality show about a family with 5 sons, running a lodge way out in remote Alaska. www.r5sons.com

I stumbled on "R5Sons Alaska" during commercials for the Winter Olympics, and now I'm a fan. It is both a website and a cable tv show. You'll only find the show on RFDTV; A rural farming type of channel that usually has instructional programming about farm equipment and sheep husbandry.

I absolutely love this little show because it's an honest hour of real-life back-country adventure among sons. Great wind-down time.

3. Interesting Blogs.

I won't say much about them. They are just all good for different reasons. I check in with one now and then and find myself enriched by the honesty of each. You can go check them out if you get some time.

4. The Family Room Aquarium.

It's not new. I just cleaned the tank. Same difference.

We've had the same watery herd of silver dollar fish for over 5 years. I call them the "cows" because they are chicken egg sized version of large farm animals. They graze around the tank in wide-eyed ignorance. The Cows are oddly endearing and reliably kind to the other creatures around them. The catfish on the other hand, is just plain spooky. He started out smaller than a fingernail and is now as big as my thumb. He lives under the gnarly creepy log. We've named his cave "Apartment A". Sometimes we go without seeing him for so long I'm sure he's dead. Then, for no apparent reason, he'll come shuffling out at feeding time and I get spooked like he's an aquatic ghost or something. We also have invisible shrimp, gouramis, and a couple yellow guys that I don't expect to live long.

While I'm thinking about it, I may as well warn you: Don't ever get an aquarium crab. There's nothing relaxing about them. They are always trying to escape. We found our last one under our couch, dried up like a piece of popcorn. 'No idea how he got there. I still get the willies if I really think about it. Don't get a crab.

Anyhow, the aquarium makes my list of five because lately I find myself pausing by the tank and staring at the way those fish silently fly in the water. It's a good way to slow down and relax.

5. Books.

I have not ever had the discipline to be a reader. I tend too much towards obsession. My house falls to shambles when fiction steals my focus. Consequently, I don't read recreationally. It's like those people who just know they have a predisposition to be alcoholic even though they don't drink. That's me with fiction. I have the potential to be a ruinous addict. Sad but true. Until lately. Now that I'm writing aggressively, I'm reading. For some reason, this season is allowing me to read in manageable doses. 'Can't explain it. But it's enjoyable.

The Latest:
  • My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
  • The Gift of Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
  • Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, Madeline L'Engle

There you have it. Take five.


Where have I been? Juggling.

I'm that lady in the picture, juggling worlds. There are seasons when days and weeks take on a familiar rhythm, like a juggler's constant catch and release. And lately, I've been feeling like some mean instructor has been tossing extra objects into my circle at an accelerated pace.

I usually think of my life in segments like classes in a schedule. In each, I am learning, growing. The schedule changes according to season. My current life-classes are:

Raising Sons 101
Music Appreciation
Practicing Christian Spirituality
Writing for Money
Communication & Intimacy in Marriage
College Scholarships
The Art of Home Management

Let's just say, those classes are balls. More specifically, those things that demand daily learning and attention are juggler's balls. According to my list, I have at least seven. That's the kind of juggling I'm talking about.

Life Juggling. It takes practice.
This much I know:
    Discernment. Over time, I'm learning to stop and set down some of my balls, because honestly, you can only juggle so much.
      Timing. Since I tend to be kind of obsessive compulsive, sometimes I'll hone in on one ball too long and everything else crashes to a halt. My laundry room and office desk are my barometers for this. When left in a holding pattern too long, they lose momentum and crash explosively into mounded piles of clothes or paper.
        Limits. Or, sometimes I overestimate my ability and let someone throw in one project too many -- like a tossed chainsaw or a bowling ball. This usually happens when I utter these words without stopping to think first:
        "Sure, I can do that for you, real quick."
        "No problem, just let me know when you need it."
        (Cue the toss of a huge dangerous object.) I can't juggle chainsaws or bowling balls. It's important to learn limits and balance.

        Like I said, this takes practice. And it matters.
        What we juggle takes our focus, attention, contact, time.

        For the sake of describing the abstract juggle of life, I did a little reading on the actual art of juggling. Maybe I'll fill you in on that sometime. But for now, some food for thought ...

        Think About It:
        What 'life-classes' are you juggling right now?
        What things takes your time, your heart, your focus?
        Is any one thing stealing too much time and causing you to drop other balls?

        Pause. Think.
        It's worth evaluating.

        Whatever You Call it.

        Happy Valentines Day.

        Not prone to swimming in the wider current, my son Isaac has opted to create and celebrate his own Valentine alternative. So, just in case you agree with my fourteen year old, I now also wish you a very
        "Happy Singles Awareness Day."