Partaking (Thanksday #80)

I was out running early this morning, while the dew was still on the ground. And I thought more about how the manna fell with the dew in the night (Numbers 11:9). And I thought about how the dew leaves everything so wet and hydrates the grass and the plants and the flowers, and how the manna fell with the dew.

Isn’t just like to God to send daily bread with water? Throughout scripture it’s always the bread and the water, the bread and the water, the bread and the water. Physically we can’t survive on just bread and we can’t survive on just water — it’s a balance of the two. Always. And spiritually it’s the same thing. We daily have to get our daily bread — the word — and drink the living water — Jesus.

Always. Both. Together.

Eat this bread, for it is My body, broken for you. Drink this blood, for it was shed for the forgiveness of your sins.

Always. Both. Together.

And so when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell with it.

Always. Both. Together.

Bread and water — the two most basic needs for our survival as humans, and the two most basic needs for survival as Christians on this earth.

 “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” – Jesus

Always. Both. Together.

The Bread was pierced in His side and at once came out blood and water.




I’m thankful for this today.

What are you thankful for this week?

Running (Thanksday #79)

The breakfasts were ready and the lunches were packed and the backpacks sat by the front door ready to go. I kissed little heads goodbye and kissed the scruffy cheek goodbye and left to gather up my manna for today and run.

The weather was crisp and breeze was cool and the leaves have already started turning colors a little bit here in the mountains. And I jogged along, my breathing shallow and loud and I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. No music, no distractions. I didn’t look even once at my phone to see what my pace was or what time it was or how much distance I had covered. For the first time, I decided to just enjoy it. And I discovered that the birds chirp louder before 10 am and the cicadas are still here singing their songs and the dew stays wet longer on the left side of this particular road and if someone were to hear me run they’d worry I’m about to collapse. And there was some blue sky and some gray clouds and I noticed too that the leaves that have started changing color are brightest against the gray sky, not the blue.

And that’s what I made out of my manna today: It’s the backdrop of gray and rain and discouragement and disappointment that makes the colors of our true character shine the brightest, not the sunny days when everything looks wonderful.

What I love most about running isn’t the actual exercise but everything else that goes with it. The time totally alone and to myself and the fresh air and the sunshine. With each pounding step I take, my thoughts shake to the surface of my brain and escape into the air, and the ridiculous and mundane thoughts get skimmed off and the good stuff sticks around and takes root. The stuff God shows me and the stuff I learn about myself and the stuff I see in His creation — that’s the stuff that sticks.

Today marked three weeks of starting running again, and while I’m so very, very far from the half-marathon training runs I used to do, I noticed the past few runs have been smoother. I’m getting stronger and a little bit faster and I’m running more than I’m walking. And today was the first time I got to the top of the big hill and didn’t have to stop to catch my breath…I was able to just keep moving on. And for the past few runs, it’s actually felt really, really good to run and I’ve felt like I could go on forever. That’s what I like to call “progress.”

I’m thankful for legs that are strong enough to carry me for two-mile runs. I’m thankful for a husband who’s willing and supportive and does what he can to make it possible for me to pursue the things that excite me, like running. I’m thankful to live in a gorgeous part of the country where it looks and feels like fall in the fall, and that each week I get to see the progression of the season a little more at a time, up close and personal. And I’m thankful that God speaks to me when I’m there.

What are you thankful for this week?

Gathering (Thanksday #78)

The Israelites were grumpy and complaining and shaking their measly fists at God asking why, why had He brought them to the wilderness to die of hunger? And the Lord saw their need and supplied for them and said they would see the glory of the Lord in the morning. And He rained down bread from heaven and the glory was to be seen when the bread was rained down.

And so when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell with it (Numbers 11:9).

The Israelites woke up the first morning and stretched with the sun and saw the dew laying around the camp. And when the dew went up, they saw it. The manna. And they didn’t know what it was. It was like coriander seed and the taste of it was like wafers made of honey (Exodus 16:31) and the appearance was like bdellium (Numbers 11:7) but they couldn’t specifically identify it. So they called it What Is It. Manna.

And the Lord tells them each one to gather as much as he can eat. And so they go around the camp after the dew is gone and gather up the What Is It before the sun could melt it. And there was no lack for any one of them. And each morning for 40 years (Exodus 16:35) they woke out of their tents and stretched with the sun and waited for the dew to go up. And they gathered their What Is It, enough for that day.

God rained it down What Is It while they were asleep — tucked nicely into their tents sleeping and resting and gaining strength for their bodies. And while they slept, God set to the business of sending down What Is It. And when they woke up and they walked out of their tents and set out to gather their What Is It  and bring it back to their camps. And they then ground it in handbills or beat it in mortars and boiled it in pots and made cakes of it. And the taste of it was like the taste of cakes baked with oil (Numbers 11:8).

This imagery is glued to me. Every single night, God showers down His manna to me. I might not know what it is. It might be like something I know and taste like something I’m familiar with and appear like something I’m comfortable with, but I might not be able to identify it clearly. But it’s there. And it’s His glory. And like the Israelites, it’s my job to wake up and get out of my tent and before the sun gets too hot, go gather it and grind it or beat it and boil it and make something of it.

Did your breath catch in your throat like it did mine?

Each night while we sleep and gain strength for the next day, God has rained down and provided to us exactly what we need for that day. But it’s up to us to go and gather it and make something edible and tasty and satisfying out of it. Every. single. morning. Long term. For forty years, or even more.

It’s incredible. Sleep, wake, gather, make. Sleep, wake, gather, make. It’s a beautiful partnership, our relationship with God. I’m so thankful for His provision and His trust in me that I can make something with what He’s given me today.

What are you thankful for this week?

Five Minute Friday #7

Linking up with The Gypsy Mama:

“Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays. We write because we love words and the relief it is to just write them without worrying if they’re just right or not. So we take five minutes on Friday and write like we used to finger paint. For joy in the process. No matter how messy the result.”

Today’s topic: LIGHT


I toss for the third time in bed and finally look at the clock. Three am. Why am I awake already? I turn back over and start deep, rhythmic breaths that usually lull me back to sleep. They work this time.

When I open my eyes again, I can see the bluish-gray haze through the blinds, telling me it really is time to get up and start the day. That first morning light…it starts as a blackish-blue, and then a grayish-blue. And then it’s day. The the sun permeates everything reminding me I can never escape its presence.

As I sit here on Good Friday, the concept of light takes on new meaning. My life can at times feel like it’s midnight — dark and black — and my circumstance can feel oppressive. But as I continue to walk in faith and trust and obedience, the sun starts to rise. The black gives way to blackish-blue. I can see silhouettes now. There’s just enough light to make out shapes and see reality.

Then blackish-blue gives way to grayish-blue. I can see colors in the trees and details in the flowers.

And as He fully has control over my circumstance…as I finally relinquish control of my circumstance…it’s suddenly day. I see everything around me in full bloom. And it’s beautiful.

Just as darkness is a natural part of the day, darkness is a natural part of life. But the sun never stops shining. And morning always comes. And with it…joy.

Darkness came to earth all those many years ago. Sin took over and thought it removed the sun completely. But death did not have victory. Because day came on the third morning. In full bloom in all His glory. And He’s never stopped shining. And He brought joy.

And He’s beautiful.