March 15, 2013

:the one where i build an altar:

"life is either a daring adventure or nothing"

-helen keller

"the last place most people look (for adventure) is right under their feet, in the everyday activities, accidents and encounters of their lives. what possible spiritual significance could a trip to the grocery store have? how could something as common as a toothache be a door to greater life? 
 no one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are standing on it. The treasure we seek requires no lengthy expedition, no expensive equipment, no superior aptitude or special company. all we lack is the willingness to imagine that we already have everything we need. the only thing missing is our consent to be where we are."
-barbara brown taylor, an altar in the world

there are times when snotty noses, dirty faces and sibling rivalry consume the days of motherhood. other times fading into books while snuggled under blankets or long walks and outdoor adventures rise high. 

some nights are full of whack-a-mole, repeated efforts to keep little ones in bed and off to sleep. other nights i sit next to that man that makes me swoon, listening to the conversation of little ones, unaware, host bedtime parties with the tune of happy birthday in unison as the dark creeps in.

daily i read things like this and this  and begin to question my role as a christ follower. i believe in the doing. i am compelled by the love that jesus exemplified during his life on earth. he loved the outcasts, broken and oppressed. he drew lines in the sand in defense of women. he washed dirty, stinky feet and filled hungry bellies. jesus was a do-er. he put his words into action. he lived out love.  poured it out, writing it in to existence with flesh and blood.

at times i have been so busy thinking of the more i should be doing that i forget to acknowledge the divine More sewn within the fabric of everyday moments. tiny specks in the broad spectrum of kingdom life overlooked.

so my loving the broken and and oppressed looks more like wrapping arms around weary mamas, encouraging them to press on. my lines in the sand look more like giving little girls the freedom to rise up and do great things. oh and i wash dirty stinky feet, the toes are simply smaller.  pleasure is found in filling hungry bellies and teaching them to do the same. so today i am building an altar in this place. this is my spot. this is my place, my treasure.

"altar :: ordinary-looking places where human beings have met and may continue to meet up with the divine More that they sometimes call god."

-barbara brown taylor, an altar in the world

join me, won't you, in recognizing the divine More in the every day.


  1. Beautiful! Thanks for such a great reminder.

  2. the divine in the ordinary places. Yes, that is our call, our gift, our hope.


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