The Uncaged Roundup :)

Here are my favorite posts from the week. I pray they bless you as much as they’ve touched me. Enjoy!

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For When we Clothe Pride with Generosity by Sarah Markley. This is one of those cut-way-deep posts, the kind that lovingly splays you open, lets you see your heart. And, yet, as it always is with Sarah, grace is there.

It’s when we buy Christmas gifts for others not because we want to but because we will worry how people will see us if we don’t. We fill our virtual shopping carts of of obligation rather than love.

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The Death and Redemption of a Stepford Mother by Robin Dance. I so resonated with this post about being the perfect Christian mother only to have life and moving and stress interrupt. And yet, God makes His way through to our kids despite our perceived shortcomings.

My children are becoming who I prayed they would become, even before they were born.  They know and love Christ, and though imperfect and on different paths, they’re following Him.

Despite me…my intention then lack thereof…my arrogance, rebellion, doubts, spiritual malaise.

Why God doesn’t let me go, why.he.won’t.let.me.go, is beyond comprehension.

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Why Face Time (The Real Kind) Matters by Michele Cushatt. Oh yeah. I needed this. Why? Because I so need real-in-the-flesh friends. I had coffee with a friend this weekend and left alive and refreshed. Cyber is cool, but in real life is the best.

With each story and smile shared, relief spilled from me like water freed from its dam. My tired mom-self talked like a teen girl chugging Dr. Pepper at a slumber party. As I rambled, she nodded with understanding. When she shared, I smiled and asked questions in return. Within a hour (okay, two), she’d put both feet into my world and I put mine into hers. And by the time she went home, I felt more alive than I had in quite some time.

Why? Because there’s something magical about being face-to-face with another living, breathing human.

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Waiting for her to die by Shawn Smucker. Caught between the death of a grandmother and his baby, Shawn reflects on life and grief. Such a beautifully written post.

An understanding sits there in the living room, like a long-lost cousin, that these are moments of simple faith. When someone I love is dying, I don’t find myself arguing fine points of theology. Doctrine takes a back seat to wonder and amazement at this ending of a good life, at the way the soul and body separate. I even sense within me the subtle traces of an unfamiliar longing to follow her into the unknown. I drive home at 3am.

The next afternoon my wife comes out of the bathroom with a strange look on her face.

“I’m bleeding,” she says. “A lot.” So we go to the doctor and they do a sonogram and there’s no heartbeat and a lot of empty space inside of her that should be crowded by a fourteen-week-old baby.

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The Christmas Party that Almost Wasn’t by Jennifer Schmidt. I love her honesty here, how she wanted to cancel a party because her house was a mess. She decided to practice hospitality anyway, and was blessed.

That night a few years ago, sparked so many thoughts about hospitality for me.

I often wonder why we make opening our home to others so difficult?

Yet, it is. It makes us nervous and tentative and self conscious.

Sweet friends. Hospitality isn’t about creating a Pinterest perfect home. It’s not even about the yummy food, although I love to create in the kitchen.

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