A Lesson At The Hearth: we have arrived

“It (God’s will) is the living flame of God’s own Spirit, in Whom our own soul’s flame can play, if it wills, like a mysterious angel. God’s will is not an abstraction, not a machine, not an esoteric system. It is a living concrete reality in the lives of men, and our souls are created to burn as flames within His flame.

The will of the Lord is not a static center drawing our souls blindly toward itself. It is a creative power, working everywhere, giving life and being and direction to all things, and above all forming and creating, in the midst of an old creation, a whole new world which is called the Kingdom of God.” — Thomas Merton, No Man Is An Island

We’re here, and our GPS is attached to us as close as our children at the hip.

Our apartment still needs the heart of our furniture, and until Trav arrives with the U-Haul tomorrow, I fight my toddler, who just wants his toys back. Unpacking will be like Christmas.

And I’m chasing my unleashed husky across the parking lot and through the pine needles, the ones he dragged me through earlier in the morning.

And I’m nursing the wounds on my leg with a piece of my aloe vera plant, a housewarming gift from my step-dad. It sits in the sunlit window and brings peace.

Today is a cool, rainy day, and I’m sitting with that latte I’m always wanting, and I’m quiet.

coffee book

People smile here, make eye contact, walk their dogs and talk to your children. Beautiful black women sport shaved heads.

And I’m thinking that every person who walks through this coffee shop must go to the church we’re planning to attend, that everyone around me must love Jesus and community.


As we drove through Tennessee, Travis asked me why we’re here.

“Because God brought us here,” I said.

Sometimes he asks me these questions because he’s curious about my reply, because he wants to keep our hearts in check. A PhD program? My genius husband? My mothering skills?


And no, we weren’t brought here blindly, without direction.

No, God’s will is direct and it’s unmistakeable in this.

But as I’m pacing the parking lot and my body shakes from the adrenaline of almost losing our dog to the woods, I ask God to help me.

Help me love my boys.

Jesus, help me walk this damn dog!

Jesus, sorry I cussed…

Jesus, we trust You. Get us settled here.

I’m aching to talk to anyone– hoping the woman next to me at this table will ask where I’m from, as if she can tell I’m an Arkansan.

Have I said yet that we’re already falling in love with this city?


I’m a simple soul, easily entertained by food and coffee, books and people.

What I’m falling in love with here is the security of God’s will over us.

It’s a “living concrete reality” that pulls us close to its hearth for warmth.

I’m tired and stressed, but I am so warm, so secure within the fold, and so ready for more Kingdom Come.

Kingdom, come.




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