it’s been a hard couple of weeks for me, friends. it’s hard for me to step out of my comfort zone and talk about what i believe. what i truly, deep down, feel convicted about, but i’m 32 years old. Jesus started his ministry at 30, and died at 33. 

and i don’t want my children not knowing what they believe because their mother is too scared to be honest.

and i don’t even know what i believe, half the time, because as soon as you put a face to something it changes everything, but i think this is truth in and of itself. because every issue, every situation, has a face behind it. the face of Jesus. he is the hungry, he is the thirsty, he is the naked, he is the poor, he is …

Jesus says that if we don’t feed the hungry, and visit those in prison, and clothe the naked, and care for the sick, that he won’t know us. because we won’t truly know him.

i read that passage this morning with my cup of coffee and my peanut butter toast and the kids running around half-naked covered in eggos and syrup and watching Max and Ruby. i read it after two weeks of writing about feminism and marriage and submission and servant-hood and Rachel Held Evans, and then a guest post on Halloween about exorcism and i know you’re probably wondering what is going on. where did emily go? people-pleasing, prose-writing emily?

i am still here. it won’t always be like this. i will write happy, light posts again. 🙂

but not always. because, like i shared on facebook this week, motherhood is spiritual warfare. we aren’t just fighting for our children’s every-day survival. we are fighting for their souls. and i don’t mean this in a guerrilla type of fighting way. (as elizabeth esther reminded me, only God can win the battles) but the prayers and love sort of war. the “i will love you with my life, and pray for you until my death,” kind of war.

because i don’t want to fear sending my children into the dark places. i want to let them shine. this is one of the reasons i don’t plan to homeschool–and i’m not against homeschooling; believe me, i was homeschooled until grade five. but i personally feel convicted to send my children into the public system. this, however, requires me to pray without ceasing. to cover my sons with Jesus, front back and center. to be a bright flame, so they can light their candles at home and then carry that fire into the night.

more than anything, i want my children to know grace, and i want them to extend it with bold hands. i want them to minister to a broken world, and to know the truth that sets people free. the truth that is Jesus, with all of his many faces. with all of his scarred hands and pierced side and prostitute friends and tax-collecting followers.

i’m going to close with this excerpt by brennan manning, author of the ragamuffin gospel, and aren’t we all just this? vagabond beggars, trying to figure this gospel out?

“Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me that she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last ‘trick’, whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school.

‘But how?’ we ask.

Then the voice says, ‘They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’

There they are. There *we* are – the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life’s tribulations, but through it all clung to faith.

My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.”

(ps. i know the uploaded video doesn’t fit with the post, but i thought that after these last two weeks we could all use a little pudding-face joy)

(p.s.s. and i will write more on homeschooling later; please know, i fully support you if you teach your children at home. my husband, however, is a public-school teacher, and we both feel called to send our children. if they struggle in the system, we will definitely pull them out but for now, this is how we feel led. thank you for grace. :))