Love finds its place – in unexpected places (pt2)

by Craig on October 26, 2011

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I have been undone, done, and redone in this 11 months of blogging…
blogging in this Christian “mommy blog” community…
not so much by the words I’ve written…but by words I’ve read.

This is part two of why I heart this community – part one is here.

The words have been of family, and struggle, and insecurity, and strength…
and hurt with healing, and questions with answers…
and questions without…
and giving – ever giving to the ones who grew inside of you…
the ones you knew before they ever breathed a breath…
the ones you will love long after your last breath.

This love slays me.

I’ll share this with you,
I really don’t want to but I promised at the start, no masks…
some lambs have been suspicious of this never married, never had children, male…
this wolf in their field.
Honestly, if I were a lamb I’d maybe wonder about the non-lamb myself.
I might ask why he isn’t out running with the other wolves.
Wolves are predators after all.

 

don't forget - read the fortune - and look out the window *snort*

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But you who have read me…
lo these many months, you know…
I just kind of watch over the lambs.

And know what?
These lambs I’ve watched aren’t feeble or frail creatures…
but lambs with the heart of a lion…
the Lion who is The Lamb…
gentle, meek, but oh. not. weak.

And this year, in this field…
surrounded by this tender strength…
this heart once encased in stone…
is now wrapped in silk…

and silk too, like the lambs…
misunderstood…
soft. yet. strong.

And from whence this delicate strength you have?
I think it’s your babies…
You carry them…
you dream their dreams while they’re still in the womb…
you understand their pangs and gurgles…
you feel every bruised knee and wounded heart…

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and it’s not only your babies…

you commit…
you commit yourselves to your men…
and you give strength.

Men are iron – strong but more brittle than they seem…
you are the element added to the iron to make it steel.
I’ve seen this.
I know this.

It only takes a little carbon to turn iron to steel…
I think the love and support of a bride does this to a man.

Love is to a man like carbon is to iron.

And you know us men…
we often can’t or won’t admit to weakness…
we have this strong desire to show our strength…
brittle as it may be.

I don’t have that need so much anymore…
because I am so blessed to read in this community…
this full of awesome community of Christian moms.

It has strengthened me.

Thank you.

And you might think this says it all…

but it doesn’t…

so indulge me please…

I have one, maybe two more days of gushing in me…

then I’m done…for a while…

please come back.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Layla Payton October 26, 2011 at 10:19 am

Men are iron – strong but more brittle than they seem…
you are the element added to the iron to make it steel.
I’ve seen this.
I know this.

It only takes a little carbon to turn iron to steel…
I think the love and support of a bride does this to a man.

Craig, that is one amazing word picture. That should be read at a wedding.

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 11:04 am

Layla, I know it might sound wee bit romantic – and maybe a little idealistic – but I know it to be truth. I know it to be truth. And I just invented it myself! Not the actual physics of it – but the words! Anyway – thank you my friend – and God bless you!

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A. October 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Craig, I have been reading, when I can, and catching up, and not able much to write, but wanted you to know, again, how much your blog, your heart-filled insight has touched my darkness…especially when you began. I was waist-deep in personal pain and spiritually weaker. Your blogs were strength, understanding, wisdom, and Father’s heart in my darkness. They were the only ‘church’ I had. Now, my pain feels neck deep but I am stronger, in Him. I continue to feel gratitude that you entered this bloggy world, and especially because I am not a blogger, and can only imagine, a bit, how much time, energy, and work this must cost you-especially in light of your sleep cross.

I am grateful that you have been blessed by entering this bloggy world, too. If it were only us out here that were being blessed, that would not be right at all.

And Laska, your amazing side-kick. No words to describe…just immense gratitude. And smiles.

Still walking through the valley of the shadow, but trusting, and growing, and learning, and very grateful for Church of Craig and Laska. Your readers are an amazing gift, too.

Maybe…someday, you will be a guide to the men out there (as you are for women, too), the ones who would benefit by learning how to better understand…helping them to realize that the fruit of the spirit and the love chapter were not written in pink or blue…but rather, were meant for all. Jesus heart is meant for all. That is what you are doing here, is illuminating heart and mind in a really unique way, a combining way that is so easy to understand and grasp. God has given you a gift, for sure. I am grateful you are using it here!

And thanks, too, for the gift of meticulously searched out pictures and jokes. Love those! Love the mama/baby snuggly one here!

Thank you for always leaving the light on, Craig. Prayers for you, too-including your desire for dark chocolate. That bear in the window was a heart-tug!!!

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm

A.,*Choking up.*You know the debt of gratitude I owe you – you have been here from the beginning – inspiration when I had six people read me in a day. You know my heart. I give this – I give both of these blogs – and everyone who reads them – everything – EVERYTHING I have – I leave nothing out. I couldn’t put more of myself into this – yes – even with the sleep cross – it prevents me from putting more in – to this – to life – but I will not give up – I can’t. And you – and everybody – I’m grateful for everybody who reads. Thank you A thank you, and I know your waters are rough – keep your nose above the water line – keep your shield of faith up – I know where your faith was a year ago – reading with your fingers over your eyes – I remember – I know where your faith is now – leaps and bounds. Leaps. And. Bounds. God bless you my friend.

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Katie October 26, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Your blog is so heartfelt. You created a picture in my mind of the carbon and steel and helps me picture my marriage differently. Thank you!

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Katie, as I said in my last comment – EVERYTHING I have is poured into these words – the faith – the heart – the love – the prayer – the effort – everything I have I pour into this. So thank you. THANK YOU. And you know what? I googled it – steel only has about 1 to 2% carbon – the rest is iron – just the 1 to 2% makes all the difference. A husband loses nothing by letting his bride temper his steel. He only gains. God bless you Katie.

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Linda October 26, 2011 at 1:42 pm

mommy community.?!! ok, trying to get there, hehehe. a wolf to watch over the sheep? I guess that without sin it would be this way, wouldn’t it? so why not make it so! blessing!

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Mommy and potential mommy – and women who were born to a mommy – or women who know mommies – the common link being “women” I guess. I have about 5 people reading me who aren’t moms – I knew one of you was going to catch me on that ツ

…and – I need to let you know that in looking for pictures for this post. I actually found one of a wolf watching. over. lambs. Almost put it in. Yes, yes I did! ツanyway, Linda, thank you as always – and God bless you my friend …

and your mommy ツ

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Nacole@sixinthesticks October 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm

this was just amazing. loved the wolf jokes and pictures–mommy lion and baby lion–so restful and peaceful. thank you for the reminder today that THIS. this. this is who i am!!!! thank you, Craig!

i loved this the best, and this may be my favorite line of your’s ever:

“Men are iron – strong but more brittle than they seem…
you are the element added to the iron to make it steel.
I’ve seen this.
I know this.

It only takes a little carbon to turn iron to steel…
I think the love and support of a bride does this to a man.

Love is to a man like carbon is to iron”

of course, its hard to pick a best one, because i was tearing up as i was reading all of it.

im sorry you had to be the target of suspicion and misunderstanding…that has to be hard. ive never felt a threat from this particular wolf, though!

*you* are a treasure. i only hope to write and reach out to my readers with as much passion as you have.

blessings in His grace,

Nacole

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Nacole, almost no words to say – this has been one of those days where my comments are making me cry – not bad tears – but nice tears – but still tears –. It! Really. Stop it! ツ

and seriously – thank you so much.

And I almost didn’t put that part in – the part about suspicion – but it’s something that someone like me – blogging in this truly astounding community will have to deal with – and I understand it – I didn’t at the beginning – but I understand now better. So thank you for commenting on that too. And Nacole – your mama heart – it beats so strong! It’s just your kind of heart that has changed me. God bless you my friend.

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amber's articles October 26, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Craig,

You have come in among the lambs and handled us with such grace and love that I, too, am grateful for your presence. Thank you for pressing on with us and for softening your heart to take the criticism you may have received from us “questioning” mommy bloggers.

Your words bless and encourage me always!

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Amber, I understand the questioning. It’s that heart of a mama lion. I get it. I get it. Thank you my friend. Thank you.

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Amber October 26, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Oops!!! I should have changed that to my new web address.

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Lisa Maria October 26, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Oh how I loved these words! And the iron and steel metaphor! Wow! I can’t get that imagery out of my head. I have to share it with my husband because its something we’ve actually discussed before. Like you said.. he as a male doesn’t want to be weak, but I wanted him to see that I expect him to lean on me just as I lean on him. You are so right in this Craig.. but there is more truth than that, the truth is that we BOTH, male and female, add elements to each other .. just as God intended.

Blessings to you.. and thank you!

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Craig October 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm

it’s so easy, the marriage thing, it’s all so easy from the eyes of someone who isn’t married. the blending of steel and silk – I can imagine it’s not so easy. And I apologize for making it sound so easy. Steel and silk – but also oil and water. And Amen. Lisa Maria, there is so much that men can learn from women – and vice versa – and it IS just as God intended. Brilliant point! Thank you. And blessings to you to!

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Debbie October 27, 2011 at 2:12 am

You go ahead and gush away. No one is minding one bit. :) God bless you and it is so good to see A back here and read her wonderful comment to you. I say an amen to that!

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Craig October 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm

thank you for the permission Debbie – but I have found that one can over – gush. A weeks worth of gushing seems just about right. I owe so much to this community – to people like you – a weeks worth of gushing – that should do it ツand isn’t it nice to see A.? I told her in a comment that she is missed when she is gone. Heart that girl! God Bless you Debbie.

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Michelle October 27, 2011 at 5:54 am

I’m not a blogger, just a reader of blogs. And you are one of about 20 I read regularly. Mostly Christian and probably half-and-half male/female.

The one thing they all have in common? Honesty. And integrity. And a willingness to lay themselves bare before God and others. And a heart for God. And a desire to know Him more. And a desire for others to know Him more. And…..I guess that’s more than one.

And you have all of these.

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Craig October 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Michelle, I’m honored. I really, really, really heart that you read me. Thank you. And all those things – I promise to try to keep all of them front and center – and if I stop – please let me know and I’ll turn right around. God bless you my friend!

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Cora October 27, 2011 at 8:48 am

I just loved that first picture of the heart being stitched back together!!!! And reading all these comments left here??? It is all about the heart, isn’t it? The listening heart and the receiving heart.

The Pieces of A Heart

It isn’t the fancy, pretty heart
God uses —
It’s not the ones kept tucked away,
protected from the hurts and dirt
and bruises of the world.
How can a person give away
a piece of a heart
that is still whole?
How can they know how to mend
and stitch the pieces
if they themselves
know not the pain
of being ripped apart?
Somehow, somewhere,
deep within the broken, mended heart,
God keeps a little drawer
full of extra patches, threads, and needles.
And they know,
As no unbroken heart can know,
how to give the pieces of their heart
and patch and stitch and mend
the heart of a broken friend.
— Cora Eelman

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Craig October 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm

okay – maybe I’m being emotional – but that poem – that poem – it made me tear up. Why do you people insist on doing this to me?! ツ and that’s your name? You wrote that?! I can see why you like that first picture so much – this poem goes with that picture. Thank you Cora, thank you. And God bless you – and your patched up, bruised, broken, mended heart.

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