"I am guiding you on the way of wisdom and I am leading you on the right path." Proverbs 4:11

Category: prose

hot cross buns

i have words and sit to write about the narrative running lately thru my mind, heart and days.

but when i come to the keyboard they vanish like birds chirping as they fly away; ‘catch me if you can’

this.

is the state of the blog.

i have been honestly questioning what wisdom there is in putting my journal out in the world rather than simply living among those in my real time and space.

and anyway, lately the journal has been a slow weave. thread upon thread cast onto the story line of my life, yet the shape of what is being made remains a mystery.

the daily obediences, the showing up to where the Lord has me, the not showing up to where the Lord is withholding, the constant wondering if i actually have all that backwords.

and then there is the practical side of being in a season where i am rarely, if ever, alone in my little house-even the writing of this post has met numerous interruptions. if i find myself resenting the life of the people sharing my roof, well is it worth it? if all i can do is start a thought and not finish it, should i even bother attempting to form words that anyone, besides the One who has searched me and knows me, could understand?

but there are some who have said they miss my words. and i have had a desire to commit to the practice of writing again. practice in the sense of a 6th grade violin player moving the bow on the C string again and again and again. then adding in the D for a time. eventually coming out into the kitchen to play for his mom hot cross buns.

i can’t say that i will publish the single notes from the daily writing practice. but the occasional hot cross buns may show up here from time to time.

below is today’s song……

________________________________________________

Evangelism

the snow falls gently. i glance up and out my window to the houses lined up like a row of sleeping children tucked away back when large families shared the same bed.

behind all those doors lie story upon story upon story.

there are names and portions i have come to know. griefs, longings, frustrations, joys, satisfactions, gratitudes.

but that is all. i know my neighbors, yes, but how much have i allowed them to know me? to know my story? to know Who has captured my heart?

~~~~***~~~~

this past weekend, i find myself intentionally seeking to share my heart deeply. it’s not the easiest as i’m socially awkward in large gatherings. i know not how to do the small talk. but dumping the depths of my inner dialog on unsuspecting friends and relatives results in lots of blank stares and people looking for a polite exit.

still, the state of the hearts of those i know matters to me. and i’m tired of just gathering together and acting like it doesn’t. so as i find myself in a rare opportunity to catch up with someone i’ve known longer than most anyone, we have enough time to move past the surface and into deeper waters. just as the moment arrives to dive in, an interruption; a child needing tended takes us off course and we never return. it could be another year before i even see this person again. and another five before real conversation takes place.

~~~~***~~~~

the failures of yesterday’s Sunday gathering pile up, one upon another upon another. cut to the heart, i feel the weight on my chest, heavy. daunting.

there was so much conforming to the patterns of this world, so much peer pressure, so much standing alone and shrinking back.

we can’t unsee what we’ve seen, can’t undo what we’ve done, can’t go back and do what we failed to do.

as i bow in repentance before the One in whom there is no condemnation my heart is still struck with the implications of my sin. we wrestle a bit, He and i. the cost of my forgiveness isn’t lost on me. nor is the cost of my sin.

He sends a bit of fire, coupled with the opportunity to demonstrate repentance before the ones my sin affected the most. “it won’t be wasted,” whispers the One who works all things for good, “remember-nothing ever is.”

~~~~***~~~~

question after question after question fuel the fire- acting as cleansing coals upon these unclean lips:

do i believe what Jesus says about hell?
do i care?
do i see those around me dying and long to ease their suffering?
is He worthy?
are they?
will all this darkness stop the light from getting thru?
is anyone able?

He is

__________________________________________________________

to draw further in: Isaiah 59: 9-21; Luke 4: 14-21; Romans 8; Isaiah 6:1-8; Something Needs to Change by David Platt

stuck

the words, they begin to form  coheasive, clear, deep.

placing the last dish on the rack, i reach for the towel, dry off and grab my laptop.

it takes time for it to boot up, time to sit.

such a short amount of time, really.

and yet.  the words they have left.  gone.

staring at the blinking cursor.

i have no idea where to begin.

why?

sigh.

ok.

i hear the birds.  through these old windows, i hear them.

this sabbath day, calling me out.

to sit.

quiet.

am i willing

to shut it all down again

and wait on the Word made flesh?

i guess, for now

while it’s quiet here

i can be found outside listening to the birds

waiting.

a study in contrasts

children-supergirl

the pictures scroll through randomly as my screen saver.  a boy with a stick and a tire amongst the red dirt of Uganda.  my two boys hugging tigger at disney world.  snow on mountain peaks.  the sunrise over the train tracks near my house.  it stops me sometimes as i walk past-these are all photos taken by me, grouped randomly by my computer-a study in the contrasts of my existence.

+++

i sat to think about the intensity of the last 24 hours.  pausing for quiet, to recover, to be restored, redeemed.  my mind moves back a day, back a day, back a day.  the intensity of the last month….year….5 years….

i breath.  in.  out.  pray prayers without words.

“if you are tired, learn to rest, not to quit.”

+++

Alleppo has fallen

refugees are making sleeping bags for refugees. 

the grey house with the green door on the corner of 7th boasts flashing lights “porn!” “Live girls”  a marajuana leaf, a car missing it’s window

my neighbor is remodeling.
her house looks beautiful,
i so appreciate it’s beauty.

one of my neighbors’ house caught fire on election night.
it was in the attic.  now there are keep out posters on the doors
due to asbestos

i stood and watched the firemen do their thing.
with smoke pouring in next door, a neighbor steps away
to close her windows
and get a cup of cold water for the one who was in the house
when it caught fire

this little house of ours is overflowing with art projects,
christmas projects, school papers, children fighting,
a broken dryer, piles of dishes,

 the heat and plumbing are working,
children are also laughing,
scheming surprises for one another.
christmas lights will soon shine their joy
into the dark of night.

one minute i lament,

the next i praise

+++

i’ve been praying,
and these are what my prayers look like;
dear god
i come from two countries
one is thirsty
the other is on fire
both need water

.later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere

-Warsan Shire

+++

i’ve been praying too.
prayers that look messy
full of stuttering, absent of many words.

i walk through these days
gazing at the world travelers
i whisper
where is the beauty?

worldsbeauty

they answer

everywhere
everywhere
everywhere


instagram: fingerprintofgod; theexodusroad; natgeo; solehope; tiinautti;theexodusroad;
there are many more expressions of beauty i’ve found on instagram.  my list is  here.

to draw further in: Isaiah 40, 58; Psalm 91, Romans 8, Matthew 4:12-17; O Come O Come Immanuel

insulated

ice on window

jack frost making art on my window

halfway down the hall he punches the wall, goes a little farther and slides down with his hood up and his head in his lap. insulating himself from his surroundings and his surroundings from himself. i pass on by saying nothing, carrying the contraband to the principle. i know he’s angry at me for catching him. i pray he doesn’t take his anger out on one of his 4th grade classmates, specifically-my son.

we talk about the superbowl and human trafficking. i mention an idea of skipping the commercials in lue of prayer. reading the response i’m aware of the desire to remain insulated instead. so i give up. my teen however was listening, and at her own party, she and a youth group mate talk about it and she does pray. she shares this with me later and i grieve that i didn’t even try.

i stand in the isle looking for a chocolate bar to give as a gift. i want to ignore what i know is true, but today i can’t. so i spend the extra and make the purchase of chocolate sourced justly and fairly. but i worry that the recipient will be offended by my choice. no one likes the feelings they get when made aware of the evils in this world.  should i have chosen to express my love for them without expressing my love for children halfway around the world at the same time?  would it be better to keep one insulated from the other?

i listen to someone speak passionately about their calling that is so very different than mine. it’s easy to mistake passion for condemnation i notice, and it makes me uncomfortable. but i keep returning to her place because it is so very different. she lives in a big house on a lake. she loves her people well with her made from scratch delicacies. i wonder if she grasps the gifts she’s been given in her big house on a lake. i think she does.

the feet are knocked out from under 3 of us for 2 days. i notice in my Daily Light devotional that this very day last year was a similar story. in my depressed sick brain fog i dream up all the ways i will fight to insulate my brood of 5-all the places i will refuse to go and the people i will refuse to see. i am fed up with always being sick. i think about that passionate one and the health of her family and how maybe if i follow her recipe for living we could enjoy health too? i dream of moving away, somewhere remote…near water sounds perfect. i fight battles in my head all the while my body fights sleep instead of the virus. realizing i’m spinning wheels that are going nowhere i begin to recite scripture to myself and pray instead. the Lord is my Shepherd, i want for nothing…..He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters…. for the first time in days the needed sleep finally comes.

some hours later i find myself up and out and refreshed……walking behind an angry 4th grader punching the wall.

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