Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I have been praying for a word/dream/something that signifies this next year. The last two days I have read tow different devotionals that both talked about God and Surprises. January isn’t over and it has already lived up to this.

God is a creator, not a replicator. I don’t know why I am surprised when God shows up in ways I don’t expect. It’s what he does.

God is the giver of life. Life is full of surprises. 2013 is going to be full of surprises. I guess every year is full of them. But this is different. I don’t even want to think about how it will be different because I’ll probably be surprised that its not what I think!!

I want it to be different because I am eagerly waiting for how God is going to move, not waiting for how I think he should move. I want it to be different because I wont be upset, angry, shocked that life didn’t go my way. I want it to be different because I will know who God is and believe it in the core of my being. He never acts out of character.

Each and every “surprise” is part of the story he is writing with my life. I am hopeful for 2013. There may be pain and heartache, but I think this is the year of summer!

On Being a France...

I am a France. I guess if you don’t know the France Family that will mean nothing to you.  But it means everything to me.  It is who I am. From personality traits to the unusually long second toe, I am a France.

During a family gathering a few years ago, a slide show of pictures was being played in the background. As I sat there looking at the faces that came on the screen, I would pick out the aunt, uncle or cousin that is the spitting image of said face on the screen. The France’s have strong genes.

It’s not just the physical characteristics that make me a France. It also connects me to a piece of land.  Land that has been home to the France family since the 1930’s; from the 9 original France kids, to spouses, to cousins, to the numerous cats and dog and anyone else to claims France as their name.

I love being part of this family. I love the stories that make us who we are, the good, bad and ugly. And there are plenty of each of those. I love that the majority of this large family has at some point lived in various parts of this world, but home is still the Ranch.  I love that I had the privilege to grow up there. I love that I had my grandma live next door. I love that summers meant weekends that were filled with visiting cousins, swimming in the pond and peach cobblers. 

I’ve been thinking about this idea of names for a few weeks. “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” To some, their last name is nothing more than a label; something that distinguishes the difference between Bob Smith and Bob Jones.  A Hebrew name wasn’t a label. Their name was viewed as equivalent to the person himself. A name showed the person’s worth, character and reputation. You see this in scripture when God changes Abram’s name to Abraham or Jacob’s name to Israel. God was saying who they were and who they were going to be.

These thoughts came about while discussing the Israel/Palestine conflict. In my limited knowledge and understanding, I tried to explain a little about what the fighting is about- land. Of course there is much more to it and it is much more complex. But both people want the same land. Both have connections to the land. It’s not just about X number of square feet that belongs to them. It’s about their history. Their story. Their family. Their name. It is at the core of who they are.

I am not just a France. I am a daughter of the Most High. I am an heir along with Jesus. He has given me his name. When he looks at me, he sees his perfect, holy, righteous son. Why do I struggle to embrace this name? It is who He says I am. Am I proud of the legacy I now have? I have a responsibility to live a life that reflects the name I have been given. 

Do I believe I am who he says I am? Does it shape the way I act, the things I do, what I say?

The Heart

A friend asked if I had written anything to process what had happened. I hadn’t at the time and this is still a rough draft of my thoughts. That evening I sat down to started writing, and with the first few words I began to weep for the first time. I hadn’t cried yet. Really cried. I teared up a bit as I talked on the phone with my aunt while we were in the emergency room. I teared up a bit as I left the heart hospital to drive home once the stent was put in. But that was it. I am a crier and I didn’t cry.

About a month ago my Dad’s heart broke in a manner of speaking. He had a heart attack. I watched as he grabbed his chest in pain. I watched as the heart monitor kept showing more and more that something was wrong. I watched as they wheeled him to another room on a gurney he barley fit on because he is so tall.  I watched as they gave him life saving drugs that also had the power to potentially kill him. I watched for five days. I watched my dad lay there with a broken heart.

He has healed now.  He even has some metal reinforcement. And while I wasn’t the one in the hospital bed, my heart broke at the same time. That was my dad lying there.  My first thoughts were of my grandfather, whom I never met because he died for the very same reason we were taking my father to the hospital. I thought about what that did to his family and how they were forever changed. I thought about how very grateful I was to be home when it happened. I thought about how common heart attacks were these days and how much progress has been made with technology and medicine and how none of that mattered at the moment because this was not a common thing because this was my dad.  I thought about how Peter was out of the country and how he might react when he heard. I thought about how I was supposed to get coffee with my dad the next day, but that wouldn’t be happening anymore. I thought about how I would rather be anywhere else than that hospital room, but that was also the only place I wanted to be.

The heart is a great many deal of things to us. In a physical sense, it is the source of life. It is the muscle that pumps blood to the rest of our body to keep us alive.  In a Spiritual sense, it is the source life. It is where our passions, desires and feelings life.

While both of these hearts can be the strongest parts in our body, both of them need great care. Both are fragile. When either of our hearts isn’t working correctly, our entire body suffers. Both have the ability to break. They can break for any number of reasons. Some we have control of and some are no fault of our own. Sometimes they need to be broken in order to be set straight again. Other times we can see the ways the broken pieces are put back together to show a beautiful new heart.
I am praising God that he is the creator and healer of both of our hearts.

“Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.”