Monday, November 30, 2015

Day 328 Introduction:Christmas Series

November 30, 2015
Day 328

The restaurant was dark, candles were on the tables. My memory is sketchy of the details but not the emotions. It was during the holidays and I was melancholy as I felt a sense of things to come. I was a prophetic little girl though I knew not then what it meant. I could identify the feelings but had no one to navigate me towards a spiritual understanding of the gifts God had placed in my life.

Black and white is how I see things. Though, over the years, I have learned to react in gray. Gray helps keep people around in life. The black and white gets too severe, too much. But gray, the combination of black and white, is kind.

In the restaurant, during the festive holiday season, it was a little boy who made me sad, very sad. His little face was surrounded by blond hair cut closely to his head with his little professor glasses. He, so full of life, adventure, curiosity, oh his dear little heart, made me sad. But I did not know why, Christmas was just around the corner. I should be happy, we had been window shopping, this was a "special" time. Upon reflexion, this was one of my early prophetic moments, seeing into the future and seeing sadness.

I began to look at the other people in the restaurant, how were they? What were they feeling? Why wasn't everyone smiling? Why was my heart sad? Maybe it was because I felt like I could actually hear their hearts. And they were loud.

Even then the world was not my home, I yearned for something else. I was amazed at how everyone was always trying to make light of everything. Why were we trying to make festive an event that should bring knees to the ground in worship. These thoughts were too big for a little girl, I was sometimes reminded of that.

Christmas is a season I have had to reckon with. We have had quite the relationship. I want to share with you my heart, my journey. I share it not for you to learn, there is no ulterior motive behind this. I share it because I want to. Because the polarized mixed emotions have begun to stir up inside of me. The lights, the trees in the window are like waves that either I can ride or be plummeted by into the ocean floor.

The universe maker has helped me ride waves such as these, high as the Empire State Building. These waves are always meant for surfing. He has shown me how to have fun, how to be festive despite and among the melancholy. He has helped this Ecclesiastes gal to let go and not be so serious.

But I see you. I see the pain. I hear your heart. You too are thrust about. You too have the choice to surf or crash. We both are uneasy with this time of the year. We know that to share our melancholy feelings with others doesn't seem fitting. To mourn, to share pain, well, it just feels so scroogish.  And we hate to admit it, but, Scrooge is kinda our favorite character. But we are not keen on being the Debbie Downers. But it kinda seems like we are cheating on someone by not being honest. So, as you know, we are kind of a mess.

So, I will be sharing my Christmas journey. Don't even bother nestling by an open fire or attempt to make hot chocolate. In fact, this might be the only post of my Christmas series you may want to read. I completely understand.

However, I know who will be reading these posts. You! You and I make light of NOTHING. We think. And we think a lot. And most times, we think far too much for anyone to want to stick around when they sense we are about to get "Deep" on them. Their eyes glaze and do a bit of a spin but stop before they think we've noticed. Ya gotta know, us pathetic thinkers, who can't even enjoy a holiday, we miss nothing. We saw your eyes roll. Ours were rolling with yours. We get as frustrated with ourselves as you with us.

These posts might be a walk on the melancholy side, but they will never lose sight of the Sanity Maintainer, the Festivity Planner, the Hope Maker, the Tree Provider, and the Gift Giver! He navigates me through everything. I have often caught Him giggling at me, out right belly laughing. He helps me throw off my seriousness. My head goes back and I let out a deep belly laugh also.

I am so eternally grateful to have been snagged, grabbed, hoisted up and over into the Light Kingdom- the Electric Factory, at age five!  It is my home. It is my rest. But it has always made times like this even more difficult for me to "just relax" and enjoy.

Read the December posts and ride the wave with me. You'll want Him as your surfing guide also. If you know someone else who is like us, share the posts. We love company.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Day 327 Weekend

November 29, 2015
Day 327

What a fabulous weekend.
I can not keep awake to reflect upon all the lovely times.
So, I shall slumber.
And shall slumber well.

Good night, dear ones

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Day 326 Jungle of Tangled Mess

November 28, 2015
Day 326

Trust in Him 

with all your heart 



An understanding of situations 

is less important 

than a complete trust in Him. 

There is illumination 

for our feet 

but we must continually 

look to Jesus 

for the next step. 

This is a minute by minute 


We must be in the Word 

asking Jesus for directions. 

We must desire 

the Light, 


allows in the Light.

The vines intertwine with their woody arms locking and linking in a gnarled mess, 

they darken the way.

How will one get through? 


Confession is our machete.

1John1, I John 2, Ps. 119:105, Prov.3:5, James 2:2-8, John 1

Friday, November 27, 2015

Day 325 Reflective Response to Pete Steeger's Song: If I Had a Hammer

November 28, 2015
Day 325

If I had a hammer,
I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening,
All over the land.

(never trust me with a hammer...and don't let me use the Bible as one)

I'd hammer out danger
I'd hammer out a warning
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

(at certain times this could look really ugly, really bad, really messy...never trust me with a hammer...nothing would be left)

If I had a bell
I'd ring it in the morning,
I'd ring it in the evening,
All over this land

(To hear my clanging bell would make you yearn to walk past a Salvation army bucket.) 

I'd ring out danger
I'd ring out a warning
I'd ring out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

(You would beg for Chinese water me. you. don't. want. me. to. have. a. bell.)

If I had a song
I'd sing it in the morning
I'd sing it in the evening,
All over this land

(Those listening, in unison, would say - SHUT UP...and it might be duct tape you need...yeah, it's duct tape)

I'd sing out danger
I'd sing out a warning
I'd sing out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

(Screamo bands would seem like a walk in a Sunday School park. When I'm ticked, don't mess.)

Well I got a hammer,
And I got a bell,
And I got a song, to sing all over this land.

(RUN! Don't stick around for this!)

It's the hammer of justice,
It's the bell of freedom,
It's the song about Love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

(The tools are His. My prayer - that He directs me. That I only do what I see Him do. That I hammer where He wants me to hammer. That I ring the bell where He wants me to ring. And that I always sing a song of love. I am His vessel - not his weapon of destruction.)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Day 324 Come Dine With Me

November 26, 2015
Day 324

Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:19

The meal maker, daily,  invites us to a thanksgiving meal. He stands at the door, waiting. The One who loves us fully, waits. He is ready to come in and eat with me and I with Him, typical trinity fashion; a beautiful weave, in and through and through and in, but He waits.

He waits for us to say, "I need you. I am empty. I can not do this. I am wrong. You are right. I need you. Will you forgive me."

On a dime.

His voice, "Here I am, for you!" His knock, "I forgive, you." His call, "Let's eat a thanksgiving meal, together."  

Our repentance expresses gratitude, thankfulness to our lover. His deep sacrificial, painful love was for the knock on the door. Only you can open.

He is the only One who takes time, to guide, rebuke and discipline us. He is our educator, leading and guiding us to bend and mold to His truth teachings, His ways. His ways always spell L - O - V - E.

So be earnest and repent. Open the door, thank Him by repenting and enjoy the thanksgiving meal. He is the only who has exactly what you need all the time at every moment. He is the only one who stands at the door and knocks. He will come in and eat with you.

Thank you 328-350

Thank you 328-350

328. Thank you for hospitals and the professionalism that puts you at ease during a scare.
329. Thank you for taking good care of Robyn on Sunday when she discovered she had Placenta previa.
330. Thank you for Tom Tom and his need and his dearness and his love for you despite the black cloud he is surrounded by.
331. Thank you for the Saunders' family and their willingness to gather together when things are difficult.
332. Thank you for the way the Saunders have shown me faithfulness through the storm.
333. Thank you for the opportunity of knowing RJ's father, Tom. He is so beautiful and wonderful.
334. Thank you for showing me more insights regarding the Trinity.
335. Thank you for bringing me into the Trinity.
336. Thank you for helping me to see your Holy Spirit on a new level.
337. Thank you for the rich time spent with Dani C. in Baltimore on Tuesday.
338. Thank you for Dani and her desire to grow in a deeper relationship with you.
339. Thank you for Emily S. and her keen insight and wisdom. She is a treasure.
340. Thank you for bringing Emily and Ryan S. together in a beautiful way.
341. Thank you for Ryan and his commitment to excellence.
342. Thank you for Emily's affinity to correct word usage.
343. Thank you for Emily's heart for the church despite the messiness.
344. Thank you for the time Dani and I spent with Emily and Ryan and the seeds that were sown.
345. Thank you for the ebb and flow in this family.
346. Thank you for my husband whom I enjoy.
347. Thank you for my family.
348. Thank you for bringing Terri L. through the surgery.
349. Thank you for her men in her life.
350. Thank you for navigating the health professionals to the cancer.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Day 323 Hypothetical No Longer

November 25, 2015
Day 323

What would I bring? 
What would I leave? 
What would I miss?
 Why would I need to leave?
 Would the entire town of Elverson leave?
 Or would it be a particular group for a particular reason? 
Would I have enough stamina? 
What food would I take? 

I do not fully understand the refugee situation.
But these questions emerge.
They haunt.

What am I to eat when the food runs out?
How do we assist the elderly while trying to take care of our family?
How do we transport the babies and toddlers for long periods of time?
How would I wash our clothes? 
How would I take care of myself, my family, my community? 
When would my next shower be?
Does modesty move downward on the priority list when I have to eliminate?
Do we now just watch people die because of the immediate lack of medical attention?

I do not fully understand the refugee situation.
But these questions emerge.
They haunt.

Would I be saying goodbye to personal hygiene? 
What happens when you are not feeling well? 
Would I have brought enough medicinal supplies?
What about that "time of the month?"
What would I do for that when supplies run out?

I do not fully understand the refugee situation.
But these questions emerge.
They haunt.

What about my phone and computer chargers?
What about my computer and phone?
How much money would I need?
What about my children's schooling?
What if I had to leave near my child's birthday?
What would I tell my child?
What if I can not walk far?
Do I leave when I know someone in
the town is wheelchair bound?

I do not fully understand the refugee situation.
But these questions emerge.
They haunt.

What about the people dependent up electricity
for their health?
What would I do about the weather?
How could I carry shelter, food, and extra clothing?

I do not fully understand the refugee situation.
But these questions emerge.
They haunt.

Hypothetical questions
 no longer.
They haunt.
My human counterparts,
they suffer.
These questions no longer
 icebreakers; heartbreakers.

Around the Thanksgiving Table on thursday, 
how will my heart be postured ?

Potential Reading Material: --  A MUST READ

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Day 322 Early Sunday Morning

November 24, 2015
Day 322

Early on Sunday morning, before the break of dawn, I sit and begin to write a blog post. It is about hearing from God. Believing that He heals, He speaks, He leads and He guides.

I hear from Robyn.

Robyn: Mom, I am bleeding. You need to come. Theo is sleeping but he will wake up and can you please come.
Me: I will be right over. And Honey, it is going to be ok.
(Robyn is 32 weeks pregnant. She looks great. But I remember thinking, on Saturday as we were shopping together for our individual Thanksgiving meals, boy her tummy looks like it is really out there.)
Robyn: Silence, sniffling

My clothes are on. I hop in the car. I have done this before, many times. It is a call to walk into the unknown. The list varies and it is with different children each time but every moment has the same elements - The Unknown. Will they survive, will they be different, will life remain the same etc. And in these moments, you can either tense your muscles against the unknown or you can breath, and do so deeply. I choose to breath, and do so deeply.

My grandson Theo leads the way. His day is unfettered, there are no worries for a little boy who can still ride his dinosaur. And ride he does. Jesus calls us to lay down our burdens, concerns, and all worries on Him. And once you have laid it all down, you can ride your dinosaur too.

By early afternoon we have news. Robyn's cervix is blocked by her placenta. She has placenta previa.
The baby is healthy but Robyn is told that the second occurrence of bleeding is now what they are worried about. So she needs someone around 24/7 and if bleeding occurs it is an ambulance ride to an emergency C-Section. The baby received, via her mommy, two shots of steroids. This will enable the little girl's lungs to be strong upon her early arrival.

So our prayer is this: Jesus will you please protect Robyn and RJ's little girl from any harm. Will you please keep Robyn from any more bleeding and allow this baby four more weeks inside her momma's womb until December 18th when the C-Section is scheduled. And Thank you Lord for showing Robyn and RJ this so that they can be prepared!

Geoffrey, the first baby Robyn cared for, had a dream a number of weeks ago. He shared it with me and it was such that Geoff and I began to pray for the health of the baby. God does speak and He uses dreams all the time! This one brought us to pray.

Geoff calls me from church as I was at Robyn and RJ's home with Theo.

Geoff: Mom, remember the dream?
Lynne: Oh, wow, Geoff! I had forgotten the dream. But yes!
Geoff: Yeah, it all lines up.

God is good that way. So, folks, keeps us in your prayers and ask God to give this little girl a December 18th birthday!  And remember, God speaks.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Day 321 The Small Country

November 23, 2015
Day 321

Once upon a time there was a small country inside another country. The small country had different ways, thoughts, mindsets and currency. The small country's currency was paperless, whimsical and never destroyed. The large country was motivated by different things than the small country. The borders were invisible.

No one knew when someone moved into the small country. Their entry was detected by others who were rarely seen. And the parties the observers would throw were exuberant and beyond beyond. Though the small country was jammed packed it could hold the entire country. For the laws of the big country did not apply to the laws of the little country and the laws of physics was, well, wonky and non existent in the small country.

Everyone always tried to guess which country someone was from. Sometimes they would get it right and many times they would get it wrong. But it was fun trying to guess, I guess. The small country frustrated the larger country because they categorized people differently......

WHERE SHOULD THIS STORY, ALLEGORY GO?  Write to lynneburkholder@gmail. com and move this story in the direction you think it is going. In the subject line write Small Country

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Day 320 L.L.Bean

Nov. 22, 2015
Day 320

Date: 11/21/2015 10:32AM
Subject. L.L. Bean Customer Service

Name: Lynne
Order Related: no
Order Number:
Zip Code: 19520

To the person reading this- you are significant. To the company - you have been faithful, consistent and have offered me and my family warmth, comfort, beauty and help. Thank you for being that company! I am thankful for L.L. Bean. There was an ad on my facebook page from L.L. Bean and I just got warm fuzzies and felt like someone needed to know.

But you who are reading this - have a great day and always look on the bright side! It is ALWAYS THERE!

Subject: #23303008

Dear Lynne,

Reading your email brought such a warm feeling and a big smile.

Our customers are truly the Best!

Thank you for your wonderful message! I am honored to have received it.

I hope You & Yours have a Happy Thanksgiving and Holiday season.


L.L. Bean Customer Service

It matters. Find the moments and appreciate.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Day 319 Wonderfulness

November 21, 2015
Day 319

It has been a full day, a wonderful day. Thank you God for your renewed mercies!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Day 318 My Buddy

November 20, 2015
Day 318

My buddy, she is recovering. Today she had an operation, she thought it was going to be one thing but in fact it was another thing on top of the one thing. I have watched her navigate this health issue with grace, copious amounts of faith and authenticity. God gives you what you need when you need it.

But I cry out and I say, God! In your name and with your amazing healing finesse HEAL MY SISTER FROM ANOTHER MOTHER! Her sons, her husband, her India, her new grandson, me, her prayer warriors, her rug hookers, her Wider Students, her community NEED HER! I mean we need her. I speak for the nation in which she lives.

Memories swirl; learning group meetings at Paula Haller's with muffins, silly and copious amounts of laughter, her mother and the Delaware beaches, unexpected infants, same bathing suits, switched identities, homeschooling adventures, plays and the love of life.

So much the same between us and so much different. I am the extrovert, she is the introvert. She kayaks for exercise, I kayak. But we love to laugh, we love to harmonize, and did I mention we love to laugh.

Life is full, life is tentative, life is rewarding, life is challenging and life is more than we expected.

Terri, get well. My prayers are with you, they are for you, they are directed to my loving Father who loves the stinking snot, or lung out of my sister from another mother, Terri Leahmer.

Come thou fount of every blessing!

Day 317 Love on Sister

November 20, 2015
Day 317

She lives through her love teachings. The truth smothers and brings pain, it leads her through a tangled mess. His hand is holding and guiding her, her sight is dull though her faith is alive. She has been called to walk out love in a world that knows not. She does this for Him. The path is so very narrow but her guide is massive. She feels his hand directing her back from treacherous cliffs, lifting her up and over dangerous, messy spots. He loves her. She adores Him.

This is no rose garden. She counted the cost. He has lovingly made it clear, serving Him means painful sacrifice. But He clears the path as He leads. She knows that serving Him means following. Where He is, she is. She knows His Father will honor her, this is the internal pull to follow and serve.*

His all encompassing wisdom leads her to all truth. He is so lovely, so compassionate, so gracious, and abundantly full of mercy. Oh, He is beautiful. Yes, the way is narrow and the walk is lonely, but she can follow no other, for He fills the lonlieness with the essence of His all inclusive love and intimate friendship.

So she will continue to preach highly of Him. The thorny way is worth His hand in hers.
Dear Sister, your faithfulness and your life is an eloquent, anointed sermon. It is an honor to call you sister. You are an overcomer. We serve a Risen Savior!

Notes: * John 12:26

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Day 316 Tiredness Overcomes

Nov. 17, 2015
Day 316

I am tired. I go to bed. My heart is full. My spirit is willing. I will rest and rest well.
I will pray for my dear friend who will be arriving at the hospital early in the morning. Dear Jesus, give the Lebanese surgeon a good night's rest, a steadfast hand and the ability to think well.


Day 315 Stay Put in the Moment

November 19, 2015
Day 315

The day is filled with opportunities to go beyond. We can set sail and leave what is filling the space or we can stay in the present, revel in the moment and BE. Sometimes it is people, sometimes it is a task, sometimes it is a study, sometimes it is a prayer. And it is our choice. Some know we are moving on, others have no idea.

Me: I would love to talk but I'm heading out, the wind is picking up I need to unfurl my sails.
Moment: He paid a price for you to BE. You'll be fine. Relax. Stay in the moment.
Me: I would love to, there's just a lot going down.
Moment: I am to be lived in. I am to be savored.

Letting go and resting in the space allows me to enjoy a heart felt moment with a dear woman I have loved since she was a teenager, Kendra Musser. I stay. She is priceless, I savor her. She is leading a group of highschoolers in the study of the Word to the Deep. My daughter benefits and the circle of life continues. The moment is brief but a gift nonetheless.

Arlene Metricarti is lovely. I savor her servanthood, her willingness to give to a community of homeschooling mothers coffee, tea and lovely treats. She serves. Her daughter, Hannah and I, ponder how one could get rid of a husband in an hour. We did this lightly but it is fueled by a dear woman entering the door with an odd response. I squeeze this woman tight and she answers my common question, "How are you?" with an uncommon answer. "I want to know how to get rid of my husband within the hour."

The moment calls for understanding, not judgment. There is no hush in her sound for when you are pushed to the limit, you care not who listens. The moment reveals pain, it reveals a pressing need.

Hannah and I speak of the need to marry carefully. The moment becomes a celebration of my marriage and an explanation of the need to proceed carefully.

The moment allows me to go to some classrooms with Lydia, the young eager leader, Jesse, my lovely son, and Mallory, the willing cheerleader to discuss our robotic competition. I listen to the three speak of their past few weeks focused on robots. My heart is full. I then am with Sam Petersheim, a young bright man, Nicole, my dear focused daughter, who join the original three, and I listen to them speak of the robotic competition to other students. The moment serves me a full plate of strings all tying together.

The library allows me to listen to my sweet, wonderful friend Linda who allows her time to be spent with little children. We always hug and do not want to let go. She leads, she guides, and the little people learn of all sorts of things. She is loving her elderly father well, I listen and take notes. I enjoy briefly catching up with my new love, Lois Petersheim, she is a deep well. To travel with her, to be with her, to laugh with her, is mirth and depth all put together in one moment. She is a treasure.

The moment at Subway with Reagan, the bright beautiful blonde, her sister Mallory the cheerleader who rolls with the punches, my Jesse, my Nicole, Sam, the new homeschooled young man and Brenna is wonderful. Brenna pulls tables together so that our team can begin our meeting - there are no words for me. To be with these young folks is enough to feed me for a lifetime. Though my new found food moment -  Subway's Chopped Tuna salad, helped to make the time even more enjoyable.

Bringing our meeting to the studio and taking photos of the team, watching them in their individual goofiness and celebrating them, discussing details for the fundraiser that Lydia and I are planning, watching them put up the marketing display, the moment is full to the brim. Then discussing the competition and other competitions with wonderful Lori Spahr, who inspires, encourages and is willing to be a part of moments is invigorating. I love discussions, even ones with opposing views. Not many do.

I love the moments Lynn and I share during the day, catching some here and some there. Some of my moments are spent in the Honey Brook elementary school where Jesse met his new basketball team. Every year it is different and every year offers him and us something new, something good, and something challenging. I reveal in what this year will offer.  I sit on a hard wooden bench speaking with Kathy and Lori. We laugh, we discuss matters of education, Kathy and I listen to Lori's new found interest of the stock market and it stirs up my latent desire to play. I leave the moment and travel to the next. I am inspired and I am encouraged.

The list of "To Dos" mount as my moments are spent with dear humans today. How am I to spend the rest of my evening? I move here and I move there and in good time I move to the bed. My moments are sweet and dear. The moment to blog did not come, the humans filled the moments.

During the early morning I write, there is quiet. I am offered new moments. Will I rest in them or will I push them aside only to look back in regrets? Over my half century, I have learned too much to be reckless. God is in the moment. Yesterday, the dear, sad woman who walks in the doors of the Learning group, who asks me to pray for her distraught daughter in a facility in Philly. She needs me to be in the moment to hear all she is saying and all she is not. She asks for prayer. No one hears her words, the sadness, the searching, the seeking for peace. They are for me. She trusts me with them and asks for me to pray and rally others.

Would you please pray for the young girl in Philly who wants emancipation from her parents? She seeks freedom in all the wrong places. Would you pray for her parents? Right now their moments are painful. They too live in the now. Jesus holds them there.

Will you live in your moments and BE? Or will you set sail and miss them?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Day 314 Zoos

November 17, 2015
Day 314

The Burkholder Zoo Animal
Zoos, have you ever thought about zoos? I am currently reading, skimming, gulping down a book called "Zooland The Institution of Captivity" written by Irus Braverman, an Associate Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor Geography at the University of Buffalo.   Yes, I did a double take as well. What's Law or Geography got to do, got to do with zoos (Oh Tina)?

Why am I reading this?  The Wider School science class is studying Wildlife and in light of that pursuit we are creating a zoo with unlimited resources. Imagination never requires bailouts and so our Zoo is going to be awesome. The concepts I am reading in this book have been uttered by the creative thinkers and learners in the Wider science class.

We have created a mission statement. It is simple and straightforward: to promote learning and a love of animals in a fun and enjoyable environment.  Students know how to cut to the chase and through the tangled mess of verbiage to get straight to the point. Zoos have not lost their appeal.  They are still a viable and enjoyable option. "One would expect that an ancient institution such as the zoo would have long exhausted popular appeal, particularly in comparison with high-tech attractions like amusement parks. But the zoo continues to attract the masses." (p.25)

Irus Braverman in answering the question, "what is it that makes zoos so attractive in today's society of spectacles," has made me think. His answer is simple and cuts to the chase. He answers with one word, "Nature."

Monday, November 16, 2015

Day 313 An Abundance of Life

November 16, 2015
Day 313

Today they are here. Tomorrow they are gone. Today there is noise, clutter and confusion. Tomorrow there is silence, no footsteps and order. Today there are interruptions, discussions and misinterpretations. Tomorrow there is fluidity, no talking, and clarity. These contrasts are always before me. I always choose the former options.

Give me clatter, chatter, and drama. Give me loud voices, laughter and yelling. Give me shoves, pushes and no room in the ridiculous kitchen. Give me chipped paint, the need for paint, I really want paint, rather than the non smudged walls and crisp and clean walls (darn!).  Give me unexpected guests and the need to rearrange my schedule than a schedule running like a train station.

Running my home like a tight ship was not even an option. I did not have the chops for such a thing. Pulling my musical family together as a band was asking for my children to rise up and call me...names. When I suggest something new like a new schedule they just laugh and hard. But I would rather them making fun of me in my face than behind my back.

I love when they mess up the kitchen, I might not communicate that real well, I might actually be lying. But I really love them! I would rather dirty dishes and popcorn, blankets strewn all over and maybe even trash misplaced. Because it all means life. Life. Life. Life. Life. I refuse to take any of this for granted, refuse! I am grateful.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Day 312 That Girl

November 15, 2015 
Day 312

She sat in the studio speaking of freedom. She is beautiful, she is open and she is a true seeker. She is an artist, a servant, a helper, a mother, a wife, and someone who thinks, a lot. I see her speaking in front of hundreds, speaking words of wisdom with clarity laced with freedom. She has a wicked sense of humor and she uses it well. Her husband loves her and his love ministers to those in their midst.

She hears from God in more ways than one. She dreams and her dreams drip with meaning. She is a prophetess. I have never met anyone as open as her. She is asking and begging Jesus for whatever He has for her.

She is a dear sister and I consider it an honor to be in the same Body as she. God is so good to me. I so love her. Her arrows will be accurate, so accurate and I am confident she will be loving as she uses the gifts God has given to her. For anyone who wants to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, there is nothing in her that would hold back from praying with that seeker.

You know who you are and may Jesus increase because of the gifts He has bestowed on you. You bring Him such pleasure. You make me smile, Sarah. You are an essential woman in the Kingdom of God.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Day 311 Chris

November 14, 2015
Day 311

His music takes me, to places. He stretches me, leads me with notes and chords.  The music and words are full of meaning, I am moving through discords, minors, dynamics, and chords. The guitar and voice, the two integral pieces fill the room and raise emotional dynamics to and fro. My body moves, sways, piecing together notes.  Tonight was no different at the Grill and Chill in the heart of Reading, PA.

His originals and covers pull people to the places he wants them to go. He sings full and controlled, high and low. He is loved always by the crowd. Tonight was no different. Life is rich and full of musical notes, especially when Chris is around.

To listen to my son is pure pleasure.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Day 310 Still Speaking

November 13, 2015
Day 310

The question is not does God speak. The question is, am I listening?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Day 309 Blocked Path

November 12, 2015
Day 309

It is a tangled mess. Wires, brambles, vines, thickets, prickers, poison, branches, snags, logs, they all flood and mar the path. It takes work to get through, hard work and you are  often left with scratches, scraps and thorns. Many give up, they turn back assuming that if you wanted to be seen, you would have cleared the path, not have made it so hard.

But you are in pain. You are hurt. You lack security. Somebody broke some promises to you. You distrust. 

A follower of Jesus plods through. They might be slow, they might take a few, they might grow weary, but they move ahead. They push aside, stomp down, and walk over all that is in the way. Their motivation? You. 

Love sees through thickets, thorns and brambles. Love sees you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Day 308 You!

November 11, 2015
Day 308

You hear me.
You get me.
You enjoy me.
You honor me.
You listen to me.
You answer me.
You wait for me.
You walk with me.
You stop with me.
You smile at me.
You laugh with me.
You friend with me.
You understand me.
You move with me.
You parent with me.
You entertain with me.

I love you, Lynn

Thank you.

As we often say, I love life with you.

You make Christ smile.

Day 307 Hope Though Sad

November 11, 2015
Day 307

Missed opportunities. Lack of social invites. Loss of friends. Misunderstandings. Miscommunication.
Lack of communication. Disagreements. Two ships passing in the night. Uncomfortable Silences. Decisions that are hard. Sadness. Unsureness. Insecurity. Lack of eye contact. I know you know. You and I have felt this, for some a lot. For others maybe not so much. But we have all felt this.

                                                    These are tough places w
                                                                                                  drag you and me to s

Warmth. Invitations. A comforting knock on the door. Smiles. Security. Acceptance despite. Open discussion without holding back. Understanding of differing views. Standing together on the ship's deck watching the sunset. Full-on look into one another's eyes. Arms wide open. Sureness.
                                      He offers all of these in the tough places.
                                                                                               E out of P
                                                                                       P                  A
                                                                              O                          I
For He constantly builds the mountain of H                                  N.

Romans 5:1-5
And yes, I missed the blog yesterday. Last night a group decision was made that was sad to me, really sad. It had to be made. Tough decisions often bring relief, this did not. Jesse and I read before bed and not once did I think of writing. Upon realization, this also made me sad.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Day 306 Come to Me Like a Child

November 9, 2015
Day 306
Caleb Stevenson, wife and child, along with various other

She sits and plays games on her IPAD. In the Fellowship Hall. Alone.

Me: Want to come into church?
Her: No, too many people.
Her: And, I hate those benches, they make me fall asleep. 
Me: O.k. 
Thoughts: Not sure how hard wood makes you sleepy, but ok.

She is a teenager reeking of cynicism. Life has not come easy
for this precious one. She pushes away so that you won't have to.

Jesse: Mom, are you in children's church?
Me: Yeah.
Her: Children's Church? Are you in Children's Church?
Thoughts: Do I hear an echo?
Me: Yes.
Her: Can I come?
Thoughts: Heck, hadn't thought about this option! Brilliant!
Me: Of course.
Her: Great!

We sing scripture songs. It is by grace you have been saved and not by your works. It is by God so that you have nothing to boast about - something from Ephesians. Damaris is leading a game the curriculum suggested. These are scary. The last time we had injuries. Sin is trying to catch people. This is not going to be pretty. 

There is another young man who helps in children's church. This is the only time I see him. I have never seen him in the service. He and she and I are commenting, discussing, but also asking questions. Interactive church, I love it.

Him: Sin catches all.
Me: So does grace.
Him: Jesus should be in the game.
Me: Just wait and see. It will tie together.

We read scriptures.

Damaris: Can someone read this verse?

She has been asking the children to read different verses. Each time she asks the young woman's hand is high in the air.

Thoughts: Damaris, please ask her. Please.

God continues to reveal to me as I sit next to her. She has missed a significant portion of child life. I'm drawn to mother her. To hug her. To rub her back. To play with her hair, like I would my daughters. 

Damaris: Will you read?
Thoughts: Thank you, Damaris! I love your love.
She: Yes! 

She reads and I am in awe. 

Thoughts: God, I love your ways. The enemy's ways are easy to predict, not yours! Ever! You are constant in your love and willing to change how you show. 

Her: Can I come next week? I love this.
Me: Yes, of course you can.
Him: This was good. I like this.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Day 305 Living

November 7,2015
Day 305

This weekend was filled with wonderful moments. God is so good.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Day 304 Jesse Now Twelve

November 7, 2015
Day 304

Dear Jesse,

I clearly remember the day you were coming. I sat out in our suburban, having contractions, waving to your brothers and sisters inside.  Your father had many errands that day so my labor seemed to work out really well for him. He needed to come into Reading anyway. I'm so proud of your poppa, son. He has never let the birthing process impede what he needed to accomplish. He made sure of his sleep quota with Robyn. I'm not sure where he was when I was laboring with Chris. He brought me to Queen City dinner so that he could have sustenance before Kathryn's arrival. That bench never has been the same since. I finally nailed him down with Geoff! I had Geoff at home.  With Nicky, that guy was able to catch up on some long lost rest again.

All that aside, what a privilege it is to be the mother of you, Jesse Nathaniel Lynn Burkholder! You were born, November 7, 2003. You have heard many times that when I first laid my eyes on you I threw my head back and howled! Simply howled. I could not believe I was holding my father in law. Little did I know at that moment the intense youthfulness you would bring me. Yes, you were an old soul in my arms but you have kept me very, very young. If I could have seen who you were to become, who you would be as a baby, I would have never been so nonchalant about another child! I would have rushed to have you!

Many folks live life as if it is their right to carve out their own time. And they think that having a baby at 41 is like going back ten steps on the "game board" of life. Yeah, I missed out on many of the activities my girlfriends were doing. They sometimes didn't even check if I could join them. But I had you! And this made all the difference A fifty something year old and a twelve year old is a recipe for a heck of a lot of fun! Give me more of that!

I loved sitting with you side by side at the library yesterday, Jesse. Your arm around me, my head on your shoulder and you pulling me in closer still. I am a lucky gal.

Happy Birthday Jesse. I love you so much and am so grateful to be loved by the person that you are.
Please live as if you were placed here by Jesus!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Day 303 The Trinity: Deep Laughter

November 6, 2015
Day 303

The Fellowship laughs and throws back their head in a deep belly raucous roar. Their joy intensely fills the room with a wonderful sound that wraps around and pulls me close to the stone hearth where the fire crackles and a warm orange glow shoots out sparks. The warmth and the light from the fire comfort and heal my deep pain. I am filled with abiding joy, my smiles escape. My sides giggle. I love their laughter, it is delicious and it always invites me into a kitchen where nibbling is allowed, even encouraged. They want me to ask for whatever I desire to eat and to drink. They want me to ask for whatever I want. They know that the more I am with them the more I want what they want.

The Fellowship never contains their mirth. They see, feel and live humor. They are the Father Son and Holy Spirit, the Three in One, tightly knit and woven into unity, and frankly, no one tells them what to do. They will laugh at what they want, when they want, and where they want. I hear them, often, laughing. Their love is magnificent, kind and generous.

The smile of the Father throws fear to the dark corners. He adores and loves me freely, sweetly, entirely, consistently, faithfully and willingly.  The Fellowship loves when I want to swirl freely in the inner circle of constant love. My sins have been forgiven. Shame never rears its ugly head in this sanctuary. Nothing divisive is allowed. Ever.

Where do I go to be in such fellowship? There must be a special place? I'm grinning. I carry it around, twenty-four seven, always. The flame burns, the love is constant. For the Trinity made the sanctuary moveable wherever I go. God lives in me.

Like the tabernacle in the wilderness I move when the spirit says move. The fire goes before me and the cloud trails after me. I too look might look nondescript as did the dusty cloth covering the sanctuary. But inside is life, holy, sanctified, righteous and free. My insides are golden with the warmth of the Trinity's fire.

You must
want this too! He says, Come!