Love finds its place – in unexpected places

by Craig on October 25, 2011

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Never been married, never had a child, never been a woman…and I write in and for this Christian “mommy” blog community … and read almost exclusively Christian “mommy” blogs?

Why?

Because something happens when a woman becomes a mom…
something magical and wise and elegant…
and it’s reflected in their words…
and it lights up my brain…
and it utterly and completely stirs my soul.

I originally read nothing but male written Christian blogs – statistically they have all the top ones.
They fed my head just fine, but they’re all uber authoritative, and fact-ish…
and they don’t have enough pictures (I heart pictures)…
and they don’t reach in and tug my heartstrings.

But in this charmed community…
I learn just as much…
but through hearts poured out in words…
love in between every line…
there is so. much. more. than simple knowledge…
there is indescribable wisdom.

It’s the love.

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Soul words envelop my brain…
and filter through my heart…
and trickle down to my spirit,
and fill it up to brimming over.

Nobody writes theology like a Christian mom.

I went all through seminary and was assigned only one book written by a woman.

As a Church we have nothing written by the mother of God…
nothing by the transformational spirit of Mary Magdalene…
nothing from Prisca – that was Paul’s nickname for Priscilla…
she was like a 13th apostle – and we have nothing from her.

Incomplete.

And it wasn’t God who made these exclusions.

And I heart love…

I big puffy heart love…

and trust me I never wrote that in a Seminary paper…
but I can write it here…
and I heart that!

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The love of a mom is simply put,

the closest thing on the planet to the love of God himself.

The heart of a mama toward her babies is blindingly brilliant…
and it doesn’t stop there…
love of bride for husband…
friend for friend…
sister for sister…
it’s the heartbeat of life.

And I heart that!

This post was born of a sleepless night.
These thoughts invaded my not so sleep filled sleep…
like a soft but insistent pitter patter of rain.

And that’s another thing…
the male written Christian blogs are fine…
but full of hard driving rain…
and barely a sprinkle among them…
and hardly ever a rainbow.

One type of blog is all Autumn bluster…
the other, refreshing Spring showers…
a place where even the occasional thunderstorm…
leaves behind the sweet smell of Spring.

So grab an umbrella…

I’m not done yet…

I have more to write of being surrounded by a sea of love…

the strongest love on the planet…

and what it does to me…

and why I don’t want to read anything else…

or blog among, or for, anyone else…

so please…

please come back.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Christina October 25, 2011 at 8:22 am

You are amazing! You have been a huge blessing to this community of bloggers. Your wisdom has taught me significantly. Thanks for sharing like you do.

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Craig October 25, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Christina, thank you – that means a lot to me. God bless you my friend!

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Hyacynth October 25, 2011 at 8:39 am

Craig, I love your heart for Christian moms; it’s so encouraging to have a man who loves deeply and who so deeply encourages mothers.

One thing you read resonates with me so much; there are two different seasons in these types of blogs — the autumnal men’s blog and the spring of the mothers’ blogs. BOTH are necessary. Both are part of God’s design. Both are needed and necessary and useful. I know that mothers’ blogs fill my heart … but sometimes, as a woman, I do admittedly get too wrapped up in feelings. And I appreciate the sound theology and head knowledge, the God-given sound theology of my Christian brothers.

I love that you’ve found so much renewal and restoration through the words of Godly women. :)

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Craig October 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Hyacynth – thank you – and there are so clearly two seasons – there are differences in the sexes. give me something written by a man – and something written by a Christian mom – and I can tell the difference in an instant. Maybe it’s just a personal thing with me – I’ve had oodles of theology without feeling – I’ve written oodles of theology without feeling – I’ve spouted it from the pulpit – what I’ve learned in these last 11 months of blogging in this community is that the gospel without “feeling” is useless. Head knowledge without heart knowledge only makes for pride. It’s taken the reading of “mommy blogs” and learning from mommy bloggers that I have learned this really important point. And I’m glad you read an occasional Christian brother – because that’s what I am – so everything’s good! ツ God bless you – and thank you Hyaciynth.

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Cora October 25, 2011 at 9:52 am

I’ve searched through all the blogs, and I did read several “men’s blogs” for a while, but found them boring with lots of “blah, blah, blah” and strutting. They mostly reminded me of my sister’s rooster. When I found your blog, Craig, I thought I would stick around for a while, as I was drawn in. I found you through some comments you had left somewhere else. And, of course, I loved Laska.

First of all, you don’t overload. In a world of blogs, email, etc., the brain overload can happen fast. Even though I HATE WITH A PASSION having to wait for the end of the story, it does give me a chance to chew my cud for a while and digest stuff.

Secondly, there is an art to mixing feelings, correct thinking, sound theology, and a deeper Christian walk. You did that with the horses, that’s for sure. You’ve risked a lot by entering into the world of women, moms, kids, and HEARTS! For a man to look at his heart is a big thing in and of itself, but to look at a woman’s heart is almost unheard of. But you have done it and it is not only changing you, but us, too!

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Craig October 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Cora, I really don’t know what to say – I’m very seldom speechless – I really don’t have a word. Just thank you my friend – what you said means the world to me!

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Andrea Dawn October 25, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I big puffy heart loved this post, Craig . . . you are one in a million!

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Craig October 25, 2011 at 1:14 pm

and a big puffy heart your comment Andrea Dawn – with sparkles – thank you my friend!!

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Ruthiey October 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I heart pictures too! And mom-blog theology. It’s the lived life kind. :)

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Craig October 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Ruthiey – EXACTLY what I think – exactly!!! God bless you!

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Mela Kamin October 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Craig – WOW – so cool! It made me smile and nod and Amen! Can I just brag on you for a moment? You are a rare commodity – and I’m not just saying “a man that chooses to read what women write,” but you encourage us to not be sweeter versions of our male counterparts, but wholly and uniquely the creations God intended. You nailed it when you said,
“the male written Christian blogs are fine…
but full of hard driving rain…
and barely a sprinkle among them…
and hardly ever a rainbow.”

I feel the same way and coudn’t have said it better if I wanted to. Beautiful illustration and post! A big puffy heart rainbow with showers of blessings to you!

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Craig October 25, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Mela, I am so humbled – really – thank you. I wasn’t going to blog in this community at all – I didn’t even know of this community. All I knew was the other Christian male bloggers – it was just by chance (?) That I found first Amber Haines, and then Ann Voskamp and I knew where my words belonged – I knew where I could grow – and this year – well – this 11 months of blogging – spent among mommy bloggers – and the wisdom – and the love – and the Bible shared like I’ve never heard it – it’s really been indescribably good – inspirational in a way I never thought it would be. So thank you, and a big puffy heart rainbow with showers of blessings to you too – and don’t think for a minute that last line didn’t make me smile – and to be honest – I really needed a smile – so it was perfect – thank you!

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Susan@ThoughtfulSpot October 25, 2011 at 8:25 pm

I heart the way your writing turns my head to look in new directions – up, down, over my shoulder. . . the perspective in this one turned me inside out. . . so true and so sweet. You are a blessing.

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 11:07 am

Susan, I’m completely, and utterly, and thankfully humbled. Really, thank you. I heart blogging in this community – there simply isn’t another one that is any better on the whole internets! Thank you again – and God bless and keep you.

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Lisa Maria October 25, 2011 at 9:48 pm

This was so beautiful Craig! I think its wonderful that you are not boxed in by any invisible boundaries and you’re not afraid to write the way you do. I don’t think many men would have the courage to write these things! God definitely has a special purpose for your writing and I know it touches MY heart for sure.

Thank you for your sweet words at my place.. its always a blessing to know that my writing can touch someone else. I started blogging in January myself and I am so grateful for the places the Lord has led me and the people I’ve met. There’s so much wisdom here, so much encouragement and so much inspiration. I love being a part of something so filled with community spirit and love of God.

Keep on writing Craig…. I will definitely come back :)

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 7:59 pm

oh, Lisa Maria, I’m boxed in by invisible boundaries alright – they exist – I have to be very careful blogging in this community – there are lines not to cross – there are places I don’t belong – posts I shouldn’t comment on – I have learned over time to be far more sensitive about that – this community is charmed – and I have to understand that I’m not a mom – I’m not a woman – and there are boundaries. I get it. But the rewards of reading the people I read – and writing for the people I write for – well – there is no other community I want to be blogging in. And your kind words. Lisa Maria – they’re so nice – thank you, thank you.

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Layla Payton October 25, 2011 at 10:15 pm

You’d better have more to write! This is my favorite blog(s), and I cringe at the thought that you almost didn’t join our community. If there was an Honorary Mom Blog Badge, you’d be the one to get it!

You are like a twisty ice cream cone. You have the deep richness of the “manly” type insight, swirled in with the sweet “mom blog” touch.

Have I ever mentioned how much I heart ice cream? 😉

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Layla, actually, something that just a few people reading know, and then just a handful of others – is that my first week of blogging in this community – there were things – people – well – I almost stopped blogging. Without the support of one absolutely superstar – rockstar blogger – and amazing woman – and a handful of really nice people who still read me – and they know who they are – I would have been gone after the first week. This year – blogging in this community has been – well – I say it at the beginning of my next blog post – the one right after this one you’re commenting on – it says – “I have been undone, done, and redone in this 11 months of blogging” so thank you Layla for being so accepting, and so nice, and ready to give the badge – and I have to stop typing now because – darnit – your stupid comment made me cry! ツ (by stupid – you know, I mean – well – you know) ツ I’m gonna go take Laska the love Kitty out for a walk in the rain – he thinks he’s going to like it – we’ll see.

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Layla Payton October 26, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Oh, for crying in a bucket! (My grandma used to say that.) Now I’m all teary-eyed!!!

I’m also chuckling, because I don’t think Laka is going to think that’s very awesome. But a cat has to do what a cat has to do…

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 7:02 pm

IT WUZ HAVINGZ UV MENEE WATERZ EVREEWARE – I HAV BLOGGINGZ I MUST BE OF RITINGZ!!!!

RAINZ IZ NOT NISE!

LUV, LAKSA TH LUV KITEE

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Katie October 25, 2011 at 10:40 pm

I may not be a Christina mom… but I have a heart like one. I have read several men’s and women’s blogs. There is a time for both depending where you are. I love how God creates us all as individuals in HIS image and it shows up on our blogs. Your blogs are from all of you and what God has created and grown in you.

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 7:08 pm

well you’re a teacher – and that’s close to being a mom – and your a woman – and you came from a mom – and we blog in the same community – I just stick out more ツ

and I don’t know – I read hundreds of male Christian blogs before I read my first woman written blog – the difference in heart is astounding. If you find a man written blog that has heart like yours – and sometimes like mine – let me know. But I’ve been all over the internets and have not found a community like this one. God bless you. Katie.

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Katie October 27, 2011 at 7:09 am

http://www.marriagesrestored.com/marriages/

My friend, counselor, and Care Pastor at my church and his wife have this blog. I work with him in the recovery class I help out with. Your writing styles are different, but I find his heart is very much like yours.

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Craig October 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Katie – at your suggestion I went and read a bunch. And I like his words – but you know whose words I hearted – I hearted his wife’s words even more. See – this is what I mean. I wrote a post just before attending blissdom last year – I think I’ll repost it in February – it was about how I learned how to write better just because I read people like Ann. I described it something like this – instead lining up my words like blocks of concrete, I’m learning to arrange them like bunny prints in the snow. I think I still heart the words of a woman – mom or not – better. Keep on the lookout though ツ I probably need to be balanced ツ

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Katie October 27, 2011 at 10:07 pm

And maybe it is because I know him and his wife so well, that I see between and hear his heart through his words. His story and life of sharing is what began my road to dealing with and finally learning to deal with my parents divorce and abuse in my life.

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Kris October 26, 2011 at 5:50 am

Love the way you contribute to the “mom blog” world. We are all blessed to get to tea you. Can’t wait to take “you” to relevant with me 😉

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 7:17 pm

thank you Kris – and thank you for taking “flat Craig” to Relevant – Hug his neck!! take pictures! Take him to dinner! And thank you again my friend.

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Nacole@sixinthesticks October 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm

i LOVE this, Craig! i simple adore “i big puffy heart love”….i mean, thats just so chock-full of awesome. and i agree with Layla, if there was such a badge, you would deserve it! i love your blog! its my favorite as well, besides Ann’s and Katie’s. and i totally get what you mean about the gospel without the heart behind it means nothing–couldn’t have said it better, my friend! theology means absolutely nothing at all if we can’t be Jesus’ hands and feet! that is the whole point to Him coming and doing what He did. He tried so hard to pound it in the disciples’ brains…how many times and how many different ways do i have to tell you, he asked them. and they finally got it–they really did. i love reading Francine Rivers about the times of the disciples and other characters after Jesus had gone. i think it would have been neat to have lived then. these book inspired me in a way i cant describe. they understood love, serving, and the gospel. thank you for being here in this community, Craig! in a world full of voices that harass, you have something to say worthy of listening to! there is no point going over and over the 5 steps to never committing a sin again…Paul asked why we have gone back to the law, as if we had never known grace at all? and he said if anyone, even I, preach a different gospel than the one you’ve heard, then let them be eternally condemned! and he said that the gospel they were turning to was no gospel at all. strong words. so, i heart reading about love. :)

blessings,

Nacole

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Layla Payton October 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm

See??? See??? I knew it! I’m not the only one who thinks you deserve that badge!

We all *LOVE* “Deep Into Love.”

This is such a cool community, and I truly hang on every word. I love everyone’s comments/discussions. I’m starting to sound obnoxious, but I can’t help what I heart & I heart everyone on here.

Craig, you da man!
Laska, you da kitty!

We all have an awesome GOD! That is what makes this blog so amazing.

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 7:19 pm

ツ that’s it – I’m too busy drying off Laska the love kitty’s fur from his walk in the rain. God bless you Layla!

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Nacole, I WAS at one time all theology and no heart – then there was some heart – and now it’s a big puffy heart – it’s this community – and reading people like you – I think I have a heart much more like our Lord now. And Nacole – I kind of have nothing to add to what she said – I just read it and nod my head – and in the end I smile. Thank you my friend. God bless you!

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