Tag Archives: mission

Dear Children… About Your Inheritance…

“I need something.”

The cryptic words from College Son flashed across the screen. After 3 weeks of minimal contact, this could mean almost anything. Historically speaking our relationship dictated this typically meant some research advice or proofeadery.

“What?” I replied while  bracing my jetlaggy brain for a challenge.

“Your recipe for spice cake.”

I stalled.

Ummm….  Seriously?

Inheritance Title

See, this is no ordinary recipe for no ordinary spice cake. I’ve been making and perfecting this dreamcake for over 20 years. This is my closely-guarded recipe for THE spice cake  I’ve kept tucked under my (ahem) “belt “ all this time.  It’s the kind of recipe a Ninja-Chef really must have in their personal arsenal for special occasions and surprise guests, new baby welcomes and potlucks. Savory, spicy-sweet and best of all: sinfully simple. I don’t part with it easily.

My daughter asked for it a year ago. Unbeknownst to me, she entered a contest and won a 250-dollar gift card to Ikea. She bought a chair. A chair. (Isn’t that like selling your birthright for stew? Never mind.)

Something they’d grown up with, now it was College Son’s turn to ask.

“Never.” I teased. Emoji-smiling, he explained that his girlfriend (the one I am trusting God to make my DIL someday!) wanted to make it for him.

At least she can cook.
From scratch.
My mock-resolve melted.
I sent it.

“There.  Now you have your inheritance.” I said Emoji-winking back. Digitally, we exchanged smiles, hugs and kisses and he was happily on his way with a piece of his family history. Truly, as silly as it sounds, he now possesses a solid piece of his shared inheritance.

Doesn’t seem like much, does it?

It’s no surprise though that if you took any of our children aside and asked them about their inheritance, three out of three times, their first response would be a mixture of low-toned laughter and chagrin. They know, by the worldly definitions, we’re “broke” and planning to be “broke-r” before it’s all over with. At least this is the current nature of our estate in terms of dollars and not a whole lotta sense!

Love And Marriage

Still I have a strong feeling in the pit of everything within me that their next response will be a knowing and satisfied smile. Because in reality, they know we have given them everything we have to give and oftentimes it’s been far more than anything our parents were able to give to us.  They also know it’s never been about money in the bank.

Make no mistake: it’s been a touchy subject through the years as they’ve reached the ages and stages where their friends were given cars, educations and luxury items we never were able to afford—at least not the way most people have done it. There have been many tears and tantrums on both sides of the equation. But we’re here. We’ve made it and we’re better than intact: we’re whole.

And while we pray there’s still plenty of time to amass more “wealth” to add to their inheritance, there are many things besides a knockout recipe for spice cake we’re striving to leave as our legacy– solid and eternal things we hope they’ll always treasure and, if Jesus tarries, preserve and pass along to many future generations.

The Family Bible

I hope they’ll find treasured comfort in knowing that we not only loved them and each other to the highest best of our ability but that it was a love deeply rooted in our shared love for God.

I hope they’ll find great inspiration in how we found this God-love so wild and wonderful that it was worth risking our place in a world-driven status quo to spend an adventure-filled lifetime stumbling along the lesser travelled path towards His greatest good.

I hope they will hold close and share often the stories of these adventures–many spent with them– and discover this same courage in themselves to step out in new directions to spend and experience their one beautiful life serving our one amazing God.

Humbly I hope they’ll cling as tightly to Jesus as we have because they’ve witnessed time and again how His grace, mercy and forgiveness have seen their two imperfect parents through many…  many….   many times of failure.     And every success.

I hope they’ll talk about how their Mom “trusted God and sought to pray the hell out of any situation!”, how their Dad was never so afraid of failure that he wasn’t willing to try—fail and try again and how both of them together fought arm in arm against the enemy who came to seek, kill and destroy their marriage and family.

And how through that same powerful grace from God, together… they won.

The Great Commitment

So that here now and in the future when they’re possibly surrounded by little ones of their own and telling the “once upon a time” portion of our newly-written family history— when they talk about the things they share together, most of the story will be told from the perspective of vast wealth and riches— of lives that were shaped and held together by God— all the while knowing and communicating that their inheritance from us was never merely “enough”:    it was always everything.

That’s our prayer.

And that amazing spice cake?
Well,  that was simply a bonus.

Lorretta signature

well-seasoned

calvin-on-the-purpose-of-writing

For a brief few months I lived in Louisiana with my biological Father and his family. During this time, I was introduced to some of the best food I’ve ever eaten made by some of the best cooks I’ve ever met. I mean it was

DELICIOUS.

There, my sweet Aunt Della taught me a few things and although I am by no means an “accomplished” Cajun cook, I’m proud to say I can turn out a decent jambalaya and gumbo and I can surely make a roux!

Aunt Della taught me about the Cajun “holy trinity”: bell pepper, onion and celery…the three main ingredients found in nearly EVERY dish on the Cajun’s menu. Contrary to popular belief, while some recipes are known to have some “kick”, good Cajun food is not always spicy….it’s simply well-seasoned, balanced and flavorful.

Seasoning is the key issue.

I’ve spent time thinking about seasoning these last few weeks as I’ve wrestled with and have begun to unravel answers to one of life’s pivotal questions:

Who am I?

Probably much like you, it’s a question I’ve been trying to answer for most of my life. I have a whole host of words I could use in response:

  • Woman
  • Wife
  • Mother
  • Friend…

 the “no-brainers”; easy to recognize, easy to proclaim and easy to “own”. But it goes deeper still. I am also:

  • Teacher
  • Missionary
  • Writer
  • Artist
  • Editor
  • Musician
  • Thinker…

Sometimes weightier, these are my highlights– by no means comprehensive in describing the person I’m learning to be or these gifts I’m discovering how to lean into.

So…uh…excuse me Lorretta, what’s the point?

(Hang with me….I promise there’s something more going on than some sort of psycho-self-reveal)

See, I’ve pondered this for a while especially since I’ve stepped out into the wide open range of the blogosphere and have been traveling it’s inroads and outer circles now for over a year.

There’s a lot of talk in these places from people I hang out with about mission, purpose, size, shape and reach. We talk about our readership and influence and seeking to discover our “niche” and audience.

So, I feel it’s important to be clear about my purpose for writing here. I think at this point, I owe it to my readers and to myself to state what it is I’m doing and why I will keep on doing it…and for Whom.

See, there’s a HUGE overlay for all those words and titles I used to describe myself.

I am a Christ follower.

 I don’t think this comes as a surprise to anyone who knows me but it’s worth stating again because you need to know this is much more than a simple, surface adjective or modifier placed upon my life and work.

It’s important because it might be easy to assume I could write about whatever’s on my heart and mind–express my opinion and perhaps throw in a little “Jesus seaaoning” to balance out the “flavor” while attempting to make what I have to say a little more palatable…sound a little more “spiritual”.

No.

It’s something I need to be careful and acutely aware of at all times.
Cuz we don’t need more “Lorretta” in this world; we need Jesus.

{Oh God, I pray, help me to never abuse these great gifts in this way.}

I am aware that if each one of those words and titles, gifts, talents and purposes were to be stripped away, at my core and on my surface…

all I am… only…ever… is HIS.

 I will and must always write from this place and this awareness God has birthed in me. It’s the overflow and the natural byproduct of my deep conviction and all-encompassing world view.

I will write about God and what He has done in my life and what I see Him doing all around me in the lives of others because

It’s where my identity begins and ends.
It’s where I live because it’s who I am.
It’s how I see the world He loves.

And the words written here are, I pray, from the Me you’d discover anywhere we’d meet.

These words from Colossians 4:5-6 challenge and inspire me:

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

This is one place and space I must make the most of
EVERY opportunity God affords me.

I’ll hold NOTHING back from Him if it means He can get the glory and another can learn more about this great God I serve. If my pain, my mistakes, my joys, embarrassments and triumphs can be used to guide another along the path to knowing Jesus better as I go, then

my greatest joy and service is that His MESSAGE would be found in and through my MESS.

It’s time.

  • So yes, I will continue to share stories and insights.
  • I will go as God leads and lead as God guides.
  • I will seek to share the saving Gospel and shine the Light of Jesus into the darkest corners of this part of the universe.


My prayer for you is that as you join me, with the Spirit’s help, we will together taste and see that the Lord is GOOD and my words here will be flavor-FULL of Jesus, balanced and well-seasoned with grace and mercy.

by-his-first-work

It’s my calling and mission.
It’s who I KNOW I am.
Do you KNOW?
I really want you to…so let’s find out together.Lorretta signature