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Showing posts from 2012

awakening

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It was the howling wind outside that most closely echoed what was going on inside.  I didn't know it then, but it was a soul crying out for the rest of the body to come away from the slumber.  It had been years since I practiced words on page, and even then it was for my mother.  She would ask for poems for Christmas and her birthday and I would do that for her, eyes rolling, because even my worst coming togethers were her joy on page.
A year ago then, I gathered myself and a great bit of courage to begin a blog.   I stepped right out into this arena of being known in the most intimate sense.  My words, they are not empty.  They are these tender bits and pieces of who I am, what I feel.  To read these is to know the good and the bad of me.  To be known by the flaws and mistakes, the pain, the very aches that bring me to my knees is nothing less than fear.
It may seem a bit of crazy to bare the sacred soul.  It certainly feels that way at times.  My husband, a solid form of patie…

The night still

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The night so ordinary, still The quiet sheep did have their fill Beneath the stars the shepherds lay The town of David not far away
When suddenly a glorious light Broke through the dark, removed the night The terrifying sight did see By lowly shepherds on bended knee
And as the beings offered praise As if they'd sung this all their days The silent shepherds heard their song As more did join to sing along

Glory to our God on high! His son, just born, has come to die Wrapped with cloth in manger lay The prophesies of old did say
Beneath that mysterious star was found A tiny one they gathered round With awe and adoration speak Of Savior that they all did seek
And remember we that Holy night Imagining holds amazing sight As we come to worship him With heads bent low and lights so dim
And shall we sing the angel tune A glorious song in brightest moon To share with those in darkness now Good news to hearts that will allow?
Glory to our God Most High He sent his son that he should die …

Awake my soul

Awake my slumbered, weary soul
Arise to beauty's song
Hear the tender calling out
Come now, fall along
Wipe the eyes of mournful bidding
Turn blessed face into the sky
Raise an open hand, expecting
Voice to reach the One on high.
He is great with arms extended
Gentle in their wholeness prove
Comforter still hold me nearer
That my troubled heart may soothe


We mourn

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The mother's arms are barren ache
Her child's bed lies cold
She looks inside the empty room
With no one there to hold
Belief of death denies her firm
She wrestles all this truth
No cradled love in child form
Her empty arms cruel proof
How can the world spin right around
while hearts have ceased to sing?
How can tomorrow truly come
after feeling death's great sting?
Should all the earth fall swift away
It would matter not to her
A child is a mother's world
and for death there is no cure.






The give and take of gifts

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I thought of it as we were standing around its circle placing memories into evergreen hands outstretched.  The lights flickered bright and we were warm with the happiness of it all.  The excitement on the faces four reached right into me, and what I felt was unworthy thankfulness.

Here, this moment found us under black skies with a stray ordinary star and they were side by side by side by side.  It caught in my throat, the ache of what these moments would be if one of these gifts was not present.  And it's not so hard to realize that we are only one tragedy away from being broken into pieces.  But for the grace of God. . .

Those families that are missing one this year?  Do they thank God for amazing grace?  Can they find goodness in a God who's hand is in their brokenness and continue to say all is well with my soul?

I look at them and hold their precious hands.  If God should take them all away, would they be any less of a gift?  Would I be faithful to praise a God who gives…

Ordinary miracles

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There was one sun hiding just beyond the horizon until time came to beckon the revelation of its borders.  It hung in the sky as an ordinary ornament and we all went about our days taking light for granted.  And did anyone stop to think of the miracle of this strange orb hanging purposed in the sky?


















So it was with this day in its plainness.  I breathed of boring air, and I took presuming beats of heart because that's what I've always done.  Just outside the miracle was rising and peering in my very windows, and I was thoughtless to go about my way.

The day followed me as I packed lunches and kissed children good-bye.  It was just behind on my way to the grocery and again on my way home.  Still was its presence holding as the children piled into the house loaded down with books and papers and stories of their own day's followings.

 Soon the sun tired and drifted slow below the line of crowded trees leaving streaks of pinks and oranges in its falling.  It gathered but a glan…

Bent in the stillness

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I remember tiptoeing past her so as not to disturb as she was bending over the chair, head buried.  Not that she would have heard me in the midst of her deep secret telling.  And I listened as her heart cried out the hidden parts that shook her down to where she was.  Down to her knees where she stayed for a time I could not imagine, and she wouldn't rise until it was all wrung out.  Her eyes and her heart leaving behind parts in that chair where she reached out to touch heaven on our behalf.

Time ticks by and I look back at myself, the mother of two children toddling around.  My prayers were quiet whispers of safety made in a comfortable bed because I didn't understand that danger was already lurking around the edges of their souls.  The time for kneeling in front of chairs was not now, and I had all this life before me.


But the thief of souls comes to seek and kill and destroy and it's when a son grows old enough to choose how he will live his life that the fear of battl…

Skydiving

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There on the edge of the plane she looks out.  It is blue stretched wide over a miniature world.  She feels fear to the point of trembling and the cold air chills her deep set bones.  Moving closer to the edge she knows how hard it will be to jump.  She tells herself she can hold onto comfort if she stays in the plane.  The risk is far less.

It is calling her.  She hears her name echoing out above the noise of the engine.  It is ringing in her ears and her mind is this focus - obedience.  One solid leap and she is airborne.  There is no returning to that place of concealment.

Time is slowing as she free falls into nothingness.  She is wind whipped and scattered, but it is too soon to open the parachute.  She knows she must endure these moments.  She places full trust in the timing and she falls lower, lower.

She wonders again why she moved reckless into this place.  Silence is all her answer and it is screaming.

It is now that she must pull the cord, and it lifts her up.  She is no lo…

Laying down secret

Because God is good, I write to remember.

Because God gives grace, I write to give thanks

Because God is faithful to repair these broken parts of me, I write to share the story of his mercy.


The moon peaks through windows of the room casting shadows.  She is settled in for sleep, and her sister lays beside her.  When she closes her eyes she remembers all that remains unsettled.  How many nights, she wonders, has she prayed that God would forgive her?  How many nights would she remember the sickness of her secret, and lie awake beneath the coverings of shame?

Trees move against the wall, and little legs squirm beneath blankets.  She is overwhelmed by what she knows, and she tries to forget how she was held down, arms above her head.  Her stomach turns inside her as the familiar nausea returns.  She tries to forget how her eyes were opened to the disgust of sin.  She wants to escape her thoughts, and she wonders if she had been able to escape the Evil if she would be laying here right …

I am tree

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I am tree
losing parts of me
My colored beauty falls
that Spirit wind - it shakes me wild
this is Breaking

I am dying
and I am finding
Death can only bring me life
Laying down - I offer freely
all is well Sacrificed

I am growing
towards great abandon
Reaching low where roots move deep
Come the spring - still I am standing
bearing Fruit




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It's been awhile since I've felt this way, all messed up inside.

A few hours of sleep stolen doesn't seem quite enough to steady the patience I need.  What we all need is love poured out in words and actions, because love is patient and love is kind.  All I am offering today is edgy tolerance.

But words from a smart mouthed boy pushes the balance of emotions too far and I'm am spilled out all over the floor.  There it lays, an ugly mess of words that don't speak love into a soul that needs to hear that what I have for him is unconditional.

What I have given is an order to take it all to his room.  Out of sight, out of mind, out of the range of me, imperfect me who can't stop the mouth from spewing out the sickness of a weary heart.

I settle into mindless scrolling and try to forget the give and take of pain.  Cries of the wounded reach me, and I shake regret from shoulders.  I'm forgetting again all about the blessing of grace received.  This God favor pour…

promised

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Do you do it too?  Do you drop what you are doing to chase those amazing arcs stretched wide across sky?  Do you try to capture their vivid beauty through a lens or gather your children to witness the miracle?  I never tire of being part of the audience.  I could clap again and again for one more encore.

All six of us are in the van riding through a light drizzle.  Behind us falls the sun, before us looms grey clouds.  He sees it first, right out the left side of the driver's seat.  The muted hues of a rainbow calling all to see.


We stretch in our seats to get a better view.  Straining necks and excited eyes move all around to hold the beauty.  We soon come into the rain, and the colors disappear.  We travel further on to  our destination, and just before arriving the rain moves away.  Again, the sun breaks free and there in the sky is another rainbow.  This time its colors are vivid and bright.  It aches of wonder and mystery, and we can hardly wait to get outside to hold it.

I w…

When you need to be rescued

I rush around the mess of life in my warm kitchen, squinting down at those asking faces who want just a little more of me.  The bright October sun reaches in through the window and lays its beams across the paper jammed counter.

I'm feeling it today, that slowly building pressure of things piling up on top of each other.  I know how it ends.  I've done this once before and then I've done it all over again.   One begins to see the pattern of a building stacked upon a solitary foundation and knows how it was never meant to stand.

I am not enough.

They rush here, there, and all around spreading crumbs and milk over clean floors and counters.  A heavy sigh escapes, and I swallow it all down.  It swims right there in the pit of my stomach, those questions of how I will ever get caught up on life.

I stand at the sink, drowning.

The book is laying on my disheveled desk, and I remember words that reached out to me like those crazy sun rays moving through my window and lighting all…

Come to us

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Move in us almighty God
Come, we wait on you
With arms held high, expecting One
Who sings our song anew

Crying out that you would fill us
Gentle God fall all around
Feel our breath exhaled in praising
May our yearning hearts be found

Sing my God, now sing your mercy!
Heaven words please fill our souls
Amaze these weak and hurting bodies
Come sweet grace and make us whole

I'm famous! (and so are you)

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"Mommy?"

I glance down to see Ella lost in a sea of miniature dolls scattered all around her.

 "Mommy!  Look at my Polly Pocket, she's famous!"  The adoration lifts her voice, and I ponder words.

"Why?"  I ask as I look down at the figure crowned with perfect blonde hair and eyes painted lavender.  A sparkle is placed just off center.  "What has made her famous?"

"Look at her Mommy.  She's pretty."  Ella smiles that toothless smile right at the object in her hand with her own blonde hair hanging loose over her sweet face.


Words catch in my throat.  I'm surprised that it has happened already.  That she has gone the way of the world in handing out the yes and no of who has what it takes to be famous.   I had hoped that I could help her see the root of what makes us all beautiful. 

I know so well how one must unlearn what is being taught in this culture.  That perfect is normal, and the way we must get there is through the w…

My daughter lovely

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Did you know I had never desired to birth a girl child?

It was after the first one slept silent in that secret place that I knew it didn't matter.  When the heart aches loss and arms hang empty there's only desperate desire to hold onto the hand of any waking child.


You came into my world with a quiet cry, wet and vernix covered.  I had only breathed your name before you were placed on my chest and rubbed right pink.  You nuzzled your damp head right into me with your mouth stretched wide like a hungry little bird opening its beak for the worm.

I wrapped you tight and cradled you whole in thankful arms.  There was barely enough room for all the wonder you birthed in me.  I wanted to keep you there, close to that heart that pounded out your life song.



Under blankets of stars I sang into you rhythms of being all my sunshine, and in time I saw the light that you were created to shine.  That's when a mama begins to wonder how her little girl manages to swallow the sun in eight…

Nature sings

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She heard the voices of the trees Swaying arms swept wide by breeze Turning blades over the meadow Brushing yellow folded leaves Nature's song sang to her wonder A tune she held within to ponder Feeling sweet the breath of autumn Knowing that it breathed beyond her Sweeping out the present worry A lightened heart rose high with fury Soaring on this cleansing wind With ne'er a thought nor want to hurry There the rays swept golden, shining Breaking through the clouds soft lining Lighting up her face so thankful All is well in His own timing.

Love is bending

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Real love is patient and it is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It bends its humble knees in service to the object of its knowing, and the very best love is never held close but laid down where is has all this beautiful space to grow.



Their youth didn't know much of this love, but they said yes to a lifetime of figuring it out in 1969.

Time has a way of teaching if we are willing to wait, if we are willing to bend.

The good and bad of days fell away but they were faithful to love and to honor from that day forward.  The sun would rise and the sun would fall and each gifted day was cherished.  They could hardly believe that ten years had been lived out right.  Then twenty.  Thirty.  Forty and three.




 They held them all, these passing times, as they held onto each other.  They held their children four times over bending low moment into moment to show them all what love really means.


Thousands of suns later brings a day when the white coats enter the smal…

Saying yes

I push the large cart through aisles of organization.  Perfect rows of order laugh right out from their space as if they know I am anything but, and I wonder if it is always so obvious that I don't have it all together.  My girls meander behind me as we hunt for school supplies, and we are not finding the necessaries.

Frustration fans flames and I reprimand myself for waiting until the last minute just for a good deal.  I scold them for being kids, and soon the whole store is feeling hot.

The littlest one skips away on a new adventure and returns with the plastic version of a grocery cart.  She happily pushes it alongside me, and I sigh that heated plea.

"We are not buying that!  Put it back."

She continues her walk oblivious to my lack of control of all this life lived right here in the open.

I pause and look around before I follow.  I think I hear a voice calling me, but no one is there.

I take a few steps more then stop again to see a lady smiling at me.  I return the…

The blessing of peace

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A prayer was birthed in fear just over ten years ago.  I had lost one who would never be born, and now in my arms I held the first who was.

I cradled all of this love and happiness in soft blankets while holding tight to the fear that he would be taken from me.  Thoughts of peering into his crib to see a resting form that would never stir burned into my mind, and it was only exhaustion that allowed me to fight my way into sleep each night.

Weeks passed and the unrest I owned was overwhelming.  I couldn't hold onto both fear and peace, so I slowly let fear go. 

One night as I held him warm and sleeping, I whispered into him that child prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.  If I should die before I wake, I pray thee Lord my soul to take."

Can I tell you how hard it was to pray that simple prayer?  To, in a sense say, God if my son has to leave please be the one who takes him.

But I found peace in the heart of surrender.

Isaiah turned ten la…

Masterpiece

My portrait
owns imperfect strokes
black and white
marks
out of line
marks
those muddled hues of gray
No stopping now
as I re-member
It takes time
to paint a masterpiece

Why we were created

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I place the bits of plastic into each ear and hit start.  A machine rises from sleep and begins its circling as I run in place.  The music moves through wiring and straight into me, and a dry and tired soul drinks it all.

The dark of the basement falls away, and I feel light in words.  A mind turns them over again and again as they play their praise.  I lose sight of myself and what I feel now is all joy and thankfulness.

I steal a brief glance around the room to see my children busy with their playing, and I fall right back into pace, into place.  This time of forgetting all of me and breathing in all of Him fulfills the purpose of my life, of all our lives.

Eyes want to turn from what is right around me, and focus on the One who is inside me, and although my body moves I am still in my knowing.  Lips move silent with the words as I sing full my desire.


Blessed in the giving

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I see his hands resting there on the arm of the chair, my eyes tracing lines of blue.  Ninety-one years his hands have worked.  They held love and babies and in time a wife who slowly forgot all of this.














This day his hands rest in the groove as he smiles on at the group filling his front yard.  They have come to serve, and he accepts the blessing.


They move straight into the working as all bend low to rip away the neglect that grew right into the heart of the yard.  I see them pouring out, and his smile speaks of one heart that is being tended to.


I look around and see this act of serving, and I feel the truth of it in my own smile.  It is more blessed to give than receive.

The sun slowly pulls the light from day but the hearts who gave shine bright.  And he sees it all from his seat on the porch, the beauty of light.

Matthew 5:14-16 New International Version (NIV) 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put …

Thankful living

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It is underneath the surface, I can feel it bubbling close to skin and lips, burning.  How many times had it already escaped today, I wonder?  Spewing out of a mouth that should be offering kindness and love are the words of frustration and impatience heating right through the tender ears of offenders.

 I know it truth that I'm not meant to own it as I grasp it knuckle-white tight.  These foul ejections of pointing out the discontent of lives touched by imperfections coming from eyes and a heart that sees only in the dark.  But I want to break free.

Free. . . free from the struggle of feeling all wrong while trying to do all right.  Can I tell you how I wish that it were easy?  To force aside the ugly parts of the day, and claim the good of God and life and love. For love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not deli…

Grace as light

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Often when life becomes difficult the little wheels and silvery parts begin their turning in my head.  A show I watch, hit pause and replay as the screen casts shadows on this face.






And its when I'm in the shadows that I most want the light.    




I search for shining as my words move out.  All the hurt and fear, the disappointment laid down in words from a heart that bleeds ink.





In the flow of thought, tiny bits of me drip on page and I see myself in part.  The puddles form some beautiful mess of living life all wrong and somehow, somehow grace is always there to rescue.  Again and again his crazy unfathomed favor makes it all right.

The blots I've left on paper white moves whole as His words illuminate the heart, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Poetry created

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If such beauty was so simple There would be no want to bleed Brought by feeling all so wretched Words poured out in aching need Love in prose the mind is wanting  Bear euphoria's healing kiss Formed by flaming heart creating Poetry my soul's own bliss

Lessons I wouldn't teach again

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The days pass quickly and looking back I see how they fell away unoticed.  Dropping off, one by one until they were completely gone.  They disappeared, really, in the smile of the sun, and left me here questioning the length of summer.  I wonder how much of my life moves on without a second thought.












































Three weeks it was since we last visited our favored spot with its blue waving pools and twisting water slides.  I had prepared the day before with my careful calculating in the long aisles of the grocery.  A treat decided upon by the chance spotting of sale priced prepackaged lunches. 

The evening before finds me packing the new lunch cooler I had purchased for our fun in the sun. 

We arrive with the promise of a hot day as stale air blows slight to hide the secret of the burning.  We squint hard, walking far over hot pavement that steams silent through the sandals.  I hold the heavy cooler on my shoulder while my son, nearly ten, holds the larger bag of towels.

We hand our passes to th…

Fighting on our knees

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It deafens the war of chaos in the mind As one suffers silent. Few can hear when a bleeding soul cries with eyes that follow near spilling out the ache of wanting what is certain Why does the mind rage wild knowing all along the truth? And don't we just wish the deciding of right would take it all away? Capture fear and take it all away? But One knows how we grow mighty in the field of battle. In the war of men we stand not tall with bending as we fight for peace  on our knees

Remember

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It's morning and the home is quiet all around, but my ears, they hear the rush of what's coming.  A mind has already busied itself with the chores of the day in a list numbering one to forever.  The laundry is crying in the next room over to be washed and dried and folded.  From the kitchen the dishes call out in their silvery voices to be scrubbed down to a shine, and are yearning outright to be placed back in their cabinet homes.  I breathe out the cleansing breath of sleep, and stretch long beneath the coverings.

He comes to me then as he does often and always in my thinking.  It's his whispering I really want to hear, but the noise of the others dim his voice.  Still, he is patient in his call.Come to Me, you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  He remembers to remind.
It is then that I must choose a voice to follow.
I move the body out and down the stairs to an expectant kitchen.  The coffee drips out slow and steady with its vaporous steam filling …