Thursday, March 20, 2014

for the even if times.

i say it. but do i believe it. even if. 
it is not unbelief that you couldn't totally above and beyond outwow me in any situation. 
but a resigned. no, not resigned, a submitted... 
we know God could do this and so much more but we will remain faithful even if he chooses to do something else.

what about me?
what if he never chooses to right, at least in my eyes, my friend's life in this life? 
what if the job-redone-story is told later. like in heaven? 
what if my brother's story never gets better? what ifs of what ifs.
i surrender. i submit. i utter the even if.

* From Daniel 3:18 when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednefo tell Nebuchadnezzar that God can save then but even if he does not they will not worship a false god.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Little white flowers

Light streams in from the window, and the dust bits curl up and dance. If nature could talk she would beckon me come and sit. Kaiya and I do so on the swing in the backyard- she with an iPad game and me with a cup of coffee. I stare in wonder at little white flowers on a tree. Sunlight catches the edges and makes them shock white like the middle of a bolt of lightening. There are moments that when you fully enter into them, you grow into something more. Noticing these, and truly being thankful for them seems to be the way to enter in.
I breathe out the long, tiring work week and breathe in my weekend that has gloriously come again. My child wrinkles her nose, in reference to something I only half heard and I notice the way her freckles splay out like a firework in the sky. She herself is a moment of glistening gold from heaven, every single bit of her.
Joining us is the boy child, a comet stream of energy dashing across the yard. Thank God we have a big yard. He could barely be contained when we lived in an apartment and he had largely skipped the whole walking thing in lieu of jumping straight to running. Don't we all. Jump straight to the next thing? 
I know I do. And if this, if entering into moments like this and slowly savoring them isn't the answer to stopping all the jumping then I don't really know what is. 
As the flowers get blown I see that they have a tinge of pink towards the center, like the poor little dears wear their hearts on the outside. Some of us do. For all of the dangers in this world one would think that wouldn't last long, but then again stranger things have happened. And wearing your heart on the outside doesn't necessarily make you weak. It makes you open.
My coffee is finished with just sugary dregs left, and it is time to leave this moment and get dinner started. I rise and walk towards the house, my eyes turned towards the branch laden with white flowers that is now billowing in a robust wind. Savoring the last moments of a sea of bobbing white flowers, splashed against a sky spasming with color as if it simply must get all the colors on display before everything goes dark again. 
It is moments like these that I carry with me when I have to go back out into the darkness. Moments like these that make you open. Moments, that if you stop for a bit to appreciate them, and fully let them in, will change you for the better.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Missed ashes and leftover candy

"I wish there was some place I could just walk in and get ashes real quick," the husband says and I nod as I feverishly play my video game one more time. The decision to give them up for lent has already been made but since I had to work last night I am operating under the assumption that today is my Fat Tuesday. Since I'm also hedging towards cutting down sweets this season I'm tempted to bolt to the store to stock up on peanut butter eggs. 
Instead, overcome with the same laziness that made me sit on the couch instead of go to the Ash Wednesday service at church, I raid the kids' leftover Valentine's candy. Because that's how I roll. 
Perhaps this year the focus can be on what is put in the empty space rather than what is taken away. For I have some crazy ideas swirling around this little, curly head of mine. Like running a marathon for starters, and the hope of making more art. Not to mention I decided to start writing children's books too, because, I'm out of my mind apparently. 
So it's no wonder that tonight, when I finally had a night off, I opted to become one with my chaise lounger rather than a church pew. And at least for now, I feel a sense of grace. Like The Lord isn't up there 'tsking' and shaking his head because I missed a service. Nor does he care that my calendar is a day off. Instead he rejoices to have more intentional time with me this season. Like a dad whose kids are home from college and finally out of that sullen teenage phase, so he's stoked they get to spend some time on a holiday break together. Yeah. Like that.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Waiting rooms

We sit and wait at the doctor's office

You only get to live once, they say.
A brief roll of moments to fill the time.
A limited number of words to exhale.

Worry can put on clothes and attack.
Like a warrior with a shield and sword.
So why not strap on your armor too?

Speak truth out into the murky lies.
Breathe in hope and let it fill you up.
Sit next to her and just simply pray

I wrote that little poem while at my mom's appointment before her surgery. Before I prayed the crazy thing, that the cancer would just be gone, and before it just simply was. Gone. 
That is no small thing. Have I truly taken in that joy, that belief, and let it change me though? Did I ever when I first encountered the Christ? Heavens if he doesn't change you then you haven't met him. That I know full well. How easy it is to snap back, like a rubberband, back to a place of believing in small things. 
Waiting rooms can be such wretched places but I think back to that crazy-good news I just got in one a month ago. It hadn't occured to me that the doctors coming out to tell such and such to so and so might occasionally get to bring good news. 
There is so much waiting that goes on in our existence. Like for all the world, this life itself is a waiting room. A small bit of time where our normal, full, lives are put on pause while some work is done. Only, surely like with real waiting rooms, all the news can't be bad. Some of it has to be good. The best news of all, that we truly can be with God and have a full life of love simply by believing he sent his son to die for us, for instance. That news is floating around. Waiting for us to take ahold of it and make it our own. Or we can go back to the small things. The shrunken, stalled view of a waiting room. We may not get to choose what life throws at us, but we do get to choose what we throw back at life. We do get to choose what to believe. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My valentine

My dear husband and I celebrated Valentine's Day a little early, and we then both got a stomach bug. So in honor of the love of my life here is what I had written for him for his birthday, a list of things I love about him.
Hope you and yours have a good holiday, and especially a healthy one!

40 things I love about you 

1) Your eyes, green like the rich part of a leaf,  just like I special ordered them to be when I daydreamed what my husband would have.
2) Your servant heart that quietly toils away even when no one is looking.
3) Your butt (sorry anyone I'm related to...) 'nuff said.
4) Your sense of humor, for I love laughing with you and that I have to keep lamenting that one of us is supposed to be the adult.
5) The way when you smile your eyes crinkle.
6) Your fabulous, inventive cooking, that somehow sustains my extremely pick self.
7) Your love for deep discussion and the way you get excited when one starts.
8) Your writing and even more that you don't change it or dumb it down just because the masses are begging for stupidity.
9) The way you give the best, most complete hugs, especially when I need them most.
10) Your ability to meet a complete stranger and have them sharing deepest, darkest secrets within a matter of minutes.
11) Your deep, Barry White sexy, voice. (Again, sorry anyone in related to. You may just want to stop reading because I have 29 to go...)
12) Your legendary potato soup and how you make it at the drop of a hat for a bunch of ladies.
13) Your beard. Yes. It has grown on me, though I do like it better when it is more closely shaved and not so Duck Dynasty.
14) Your Noah-like love for animals, but I still am not letting you get a second dog...
15) Your batch of wildflowers you planted me.
16) Your poems that always seem to have the rhythm of a city street.
17) Your love for your neighbors, that was there long before any pastor ever talked about it.
18) Your laugh, that I love to hear and am of the opinion I don't get to hear enough.
19) Your fashion sense and the fact that if it weren't for you our poor daughter would have none thanks to my genes.
20) The way you spring into action when something happens, like when one of the kids gets hurt or you saw that neighbor kid get hit by a car.
21) Your cheeks, and this time I mean the ones on your face, that I am tempted to pat like I do CJ's but I know it would weird you out being so close to your eyes.
22) Your desire to live naturally, eating vegetarian and organic and gardening.
23) Your love for coffee.
24) Your obedience to (and love of) authority, of all kinds, from the church, state and most especially from God.
25) Your love for and service to our children. It truly is amazing.
26) Your hair, it's soft like a baby bird!
27) The questions you ask people, that are soul-splittingly good.
28) Your relentless pursuit of converting me to a beer drinker and the fact that you still find the best wines when you fail at the former.
29) Your sensitive hearing towards God and willingness to go talk to a stranger when you feel prodded to do so.
30) Your ability to build us all, me and the kids, and even your friends, up.
31) Your random facebook posts that make me toss back my head and laugh.
32) The way you let the kids draw all over your back some days.
33) Your ability to encourage artists, writers especially, and your steady pursuit of that exceedingly difficult task.
34) Your 'suck it up and get it done' attitude when one of the kids gets sick in the middle of the night.
35) How you keep the house heated toasty for me despite you loving it in the negative temperatures.
36) Your support of me, and the kids, that is helping us be the best versions of ourselves.
37) Your desire to hear from God and draw close to him.
38) Your love of stories and truth.
39) Your entire person, that I simply can't get enough of and I want to do naughty things to. (Insert apology to related folks here.)
40) That you are most definitely my soul-mate, the one I choose, and perfect for me.