{re}fresh

Covenant: more than a pinky promise

by Dawn Aldrich

Image by All Holding flickr.com_12315726084_7583df5247_CC BY ND 2.0

My mother never made promises. “I can’t promise you anything because I don’t know what tomorrow might bring,” she’d say. All spoken from her shattered heart knowing full well the pain of a broken marriage. Those words haunted me, (probably still do since I’m compelled to write about them), for years. I’d even avoid childhood pinky-promises, for fear of breaking them, so upon my own engagement, I trembled.

My husband and I spoke often of covenant promises. There was more at stake than a pinky promise held. This was our future, our family, our legacy. I could not–would not–face a lifetime of uncommitted tomorrows where we left open a window of mistrust or an opportunity to slink away. We either entered our marriage covenant fully committed–promising to fight for one another and our future together no. matter. what.–or not at all.  Read the rest of this entry »

How I found Jesus while breathing

by Dawn Aldrich

Image by c3lsius_bb
Flickr.com_29514102416_7965434bd8_CC BY-ND 2.0

The quiet attracted me instantly. Where else, besides a library, gives an introvert permission to be silent amidst a small crowd? Yet, as attractive as the silence was, I sat cross-legged, shaking in trepidation, upon my yoga mat, fearful that I was foolishly opening my heart to some Eastern religious practice and would somehow be sucked into paganism. Read the rest of this entry »

Keep It Simple

by Dawn Aldrich

Ethiopia Innocent Prayers by Steve Evans_flickr.com_3405971322_23eae03cac_CC BY-ND 2.0

For if you publicly declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will experience salvation. Romans 10:9 (The Passion)

Auntie Lou’s passionate gospel flannel graph story-telling captured my nine-year-old heart. With every new layer she added to the story of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension, my heart raced faster and faster.

She shared how Jesus sacrificed everything that I might stand blameless before God and experience everlasting life in His presence, if I simply asked Jesus into my heart. It was so simple. I didn’t question it. I simply responded, “yes” to Jesus.

Maybe that’s why Jesus liked children so much? Read the rest of this entry »

Inseparable love

by Dawn Aldrich

Image by Rudi Schlatte Flickr-com_2427705114_a686cd8456_CC BY-AND 2.0

Image by Rudi Schlatte
Flickr-com_2427705114_a686cd8456_CC BY-ND 2.0

After a week of spiritual awakening the enemy sought to anesthetize me. Sitting around the campfire listening to stories of God’s movement in the lives of my peers, I knew God had challenged me, too. He asked me to pick a side; His or the enemy’s.

You see, on the outside it appeared I was on God’s team, but I held secrets behind closed doors; secrets that I’d never admit to anyone except my future husband. They were free-will liberties I regularly practiced. It was those secret liberties God asked me to lay down at the cross. And, it was those very same things the enemy used to accuse me that night. Read the rest of this entry »

One Word 2017: Harvest

by Dawn Aldrich

Winter Apple by Justin LaBerge Flickr.com_15932703399_6966b1480b_CC BY-ND 2.0

Winter Apple by Justin LaBerge
Flickr.com_15932703399_6966b1480b_CC BY-ND 2.0

I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fileds! They are ripe for harvest. John 4:35b

The New Year approaches without pause; a natural course marked by a wintry blanket tucked in around the corners of a slumbering earth.

While silence falls outside, one word swirls like the wind inside my mind: harvest. A strange word, I think, for a snow-fallen day. But, there it is. Unshakable. Stubborn. Lingering. It’s an answer to my annual question, “What’s my one word for the new year, Lord?”

“Harvest,” He replies.

Like every season, it’s an appointed time; one that can be marked on the calendar. But, unlike the growing season, it’s a very limited time marked by urgency and the flurry of hardworking hands. For if the ripened fruits are not harvested before winter, the fruits will die and many will grow hungry. Harvest work must be done NOW. There is no “later”.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posture of Belief

by Dawn Aldrich

Believe by the unquiet librarian_Flickr.com_5215537173_0aff0e9598_CC BY -ND 2.0

Believe by the unquiet librarian_Flickr.com_5215537173_0aff0e9598_CC BY -ND 2.0

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!” Luke 1:45

Believing God’s promises isn’t always easy, especially when He promises the impossible.

I often marvel at Mary’s experience with the angel Gabriel, in the Christmas story. There she was, a simple Jewish maiden, minding her own business, maybe hanging laundry, walking back from the market or drawing water from the well, when suddenly Gabriel greets her as God’s “highly favored” one.

Scripture doesn’t say Mary cowered from his large stature or trembled at the sound of his booming voice. So, not wanting to frighten her, I imagine Gabriel may have seemed a plain man; someone whom Mary would not be afraid. But what did frighten her was Gabriel’s greeting. “Greetings! You are highly favored. The Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28)

You can fill in the blanks. “Who? Me? Favored? By whom? God? Oh! You must have mistaken me for someone else. I’m just…well, I’m just…I’m only Mary.” Read the rest of this entry »

Stop Fixing Me!

by Dawn Aldrich

toolbox“Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.” Psalm 143:8

I finally own a pretty, woman’s tool box. You know, the dainty one where all the essential tools are wrapped in pink? It sits atop my refrigerator where I can easily find every tool needed for those quick-fix household repairs.

But, it’s not always those loose floor boards or broken door handles that surfaces my urge to fix things. Rather, my uncontrollable urge to make things right erupts when those most precious to me are hurting. And before you think I’m a softhearted, altruistic wife, mother and grandmother, let me set the record straight. I don’t like broken things because they bring discomfort, disharmony and disorder. I like life simple, orderly and happy. Read the rest of this entry »

Sweet Comfort

by Dawn Aldrich

He will take great pleasure in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

A medley of hymns from my childhood rings clearly in my heart when I close my eyes and listen. They were completely separate tunes until my mother gathered me in her arms and strung them together as one. It’s impossible to count how often she sang over me, but this I know: it comforted me.

Decades later, I gathered my own children in my arms and rocked away the nights in darkened rooms gently whispering that same strung-together-medley: “Jesus loves me this I know…Oh how he loves you and me…Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. There’s just something about that name…On a hill far away, stood and old rugged cross…Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord.” Every time I sang over them in love. Every time, it comforted them.

I miss those lingering moments of new sleep when I studied their sleeping little faces, inhaled their clean baby hair and thanked God for the precious gifts they were. Read the rest of this entry »

Holy Knees

by Dawn Aldrich

day-14_365-by-megapixx_flicr-com_5747041178_5d7d312d94_CC BY-ND 2.0

Day-14_365-by-megapixx_flicr-com_5747041178_5d7d312d94_CC BY-ND 2.0

“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD.”
1 Samuel 1:27-28

I crawled on my knees, for what seemed like forever, after my babies were born. As soon as they stayed awake longer than a feeding, I was on the floor cooing and playing alongside them. When they gained mobility I crawled after them, baby-proofing the house and picking up the debris they left behind.

Before kids, a pair of jeans lasted me a few years. Post kids, holes appeared in the  knees within a year. I reserved one pair of “good jeans” to wear in public so they wouldn’t show any wear around the knees.

Children grew into adolescents and I often missed those days of holy-kneed jeans. I didn’t miss the physical exhaustion as much as the uncomplicated simplicity of those peanut butter and jelly vs. bologna and cheese type of days. It was stepping back as they made their own decisions – good and bad – when I wished for simpler days. Read the rest of this entry »

Taming the Busy Monster

by Dawn Aldrich

3-monsters-by-larry-wentzel_flicker-com_6367725285_0884ed4c47_z.jpg_CC BY 2.0

3-monsters-by-larry-wentzel_flicker-com_6367725285_0884ed4c47_z.jpg_CC BY 2.0

…keep my Sabbath days holy, for they are a sign to remind you that I am the Lord, your God. Ezekiel 20: 19b-20
Rest. Simply stop.

But, it’s not always that easy is it?

Society screams above God’s whisper to rest and shouts “Go! Go! Go! Don’t stop, keep going!” It’s like we measure success by how busy we are until there’s nothing more left to squeeze out of us by day’s end. And the worse part? Society wants us to repeat that every. single. day. Read the rest of this entry »

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