Catching Up: a few favorites

This was from my mother's house. She was a librarian who loved poetry and people. This  describes her heart perfectly. Our first names have the same meaning, and my middle name means house. This is one of the legacies she passed to me.
This was from my mother’s house. She was a librarian who loved poetry and people. This describes her heart perfectly. Our first names have the same meaning, and my middle name means house. This is one of the legacies she passed to me.

Hey, if you are reading my blog for the first time ever, I’ve gathered up a few favorites.

On the dusty back roads of your life, I hope you’ve found my humble abode here the perfect stopping place for a little rest and re-direction.  On these kinds of roads, you meet all kinds of private kinks…. and choices….and faith is hard to grab onto or materialize when you most need it.  Those are the moments I am digging into.  When there’s no one there with the step 1,2,3, and platitudes about God have already been abandoned.  When the details matter about what you believe and hold onto, and what you let go of in order to survive. Read more

Welcome to the newly renovated joninichols.net

On the dusty back roads of your life, I hope you’ve found my humble abode here the perfect stopping place for a little rest and re-direction.

Some of you have followed my websites over the years as they have morphed and changed, maybe first knowing me as a songwriter, teacher, or writer. You know I love to uncover and reveal what gets overlooked and pushed aside. I’ve tried to put it all together here via  a music roomschool room, and of course the ongoing blog {rooftop} of stories on the actual-not-theoretical intersection of life and faith.

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Night Terrors–and Jesus



I don’t care what the child psychologists or the sleep experts tell you, a night terror is true evil.

And if you ever wondered, say the name Jesus, and watch your child scream the most evil blood-curling scream.  And do it 10 times if you need to. Then you’ll know.

It is no surprise to me  that these night terrors have accompanied my daughter’s sleep the week of my walking away from some lie-bondage  involving my motherhood–ideas/philosophies which I would pass on to her.

When you’re dealing with the evil one….there’s just one perfect little problem with his schemes (2 Cor. 2:11), he is lying.

I won’t waste time describing the awful-ness of a ‘night terror’…but I will tell you how it ended.

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Just Say “LET ME GO!”

Pharoah, Pharoah, Oh whoa, let my people go!— remember the song from your childhood visit to the local Vacation Bible School (referring to Moses who went to Pharoah and simply  told him to release the Israelites who were slaves of the Egyptians.)

What kind of leader goes to another leader and just says, “Let us go.” What kind of tactic is that? ‘Let’s not fight. Let’s not put my skill against your skill. Let’s not reason. Just let me go, ok?’ That puts great generals and their scheming to shame!

On what basis? Uh, like, ….why? Why would your requesting to be let go just simply cause a ruler who has a grip on you …. to let you go.

That’s what God told Moses to do.

And like many things in the old covenant, it is a shadow of Christ to come, a picture of the gospel.

What kind of minister spends all night in a mental ward with his hands on a person’s head saying, “Let him go,” until the man is completely delivered from his insanity.

What kind of wife looks her husband in the face in his drunken rage and declares, “Satan, let him go,” only to see her husband drop on the floor, weeping, completely free, delivered from the grip of the darkness of addiction which was destroying him and his family.

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Encouraged in a crisis of double vision: when what we see and what we hope for are black and white opposites.

I woke up earlier than normal that day, heavy-hearted about horizons that didn’t line up with what I thought was coming. Life. Details. Promises. 20140714-125018.jpg

I sat in my living room floor and wondered what my options were. Give up or thank God that his promises are still SURE no matter what I see? Read more

Failing kids…by being their source.

I was circling my house trying to get a grip on what my problem was.  It’s one thing to know I’m not meeting my own expectations, another thing to know that Zach has to put up with a season of me being overwhelmed in his lifetime commitment to me, but it really hits home when you think, “I am the source of my children’s comfort and instruction, and if I am not able to give them that, I’m really messing them up!”  I’ve seen the look on older women’s faces when they recall this season of life. They admit they were deeply afraid that they were messing up their kids.  (They don’t say it out loud, but you get the hint and grimace.)

In the spin of all my questions of why I couldn’t get a grip, I landed in the pit of, “How can I just let everything else go [laundry, cooking, cleaning, social sanity time, shopping] so that I can just try to be what my kids need? I’m FAILING!” Read more

Seeing Ourselves with the Right Backdrop

It’s easy to get in a funk, I’d say. Our lives are changing year by year.  We have seasons just like life, and new growth comes at the price of perfection.

We get angry at others when our choices don’t look favorable on the backdrop of their choices. (If the world would stand still, the whole world could see I’m moving!)  The pace of their lives blurs the meaning of our movements.

Screenwriters know they have to use extremes to get a point to come out. (For something to shine, it must be dark beneath.) In literature, we learn about how foil characters contrast the main guy to make his nuances pop.

So we’re not crazy to get sucked into this game, but we can’t win it. Read more