Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Thanks of a Wednesday Morning...

Thank you for night and for dawn,
For new days built on yesterday's investment and yet free of failure.

Thank you for children soft in their sleep and strong in their waking,
For silly puppies and warm floors.

Thank you for work and for challenge,
For knowing and for learning to know more.

Thank you for a friend to meet in safe acceptance,
For the person whose rejection can breed my compassion.

Thank you for cough medecine and hot tea,
For dirty laundry and the chance to make something clean.

Thank you for this new day and the people we will do it with!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

With What Surely Will Be...

This blessing is for the goodbye that comes unwanted.
When no amount of preparation makes one ready, but it arrives anyway 
with it's ugly promise of tearing-loss.

This blessing is for the hanging-on, the holding close memorization of every detail 
before the letting go, the opening up and releasing in farewell. 

This blessing is for the part that comes after when a new normal is needed, 
but still so far fetched and foreign. 
It doesn't fit, but is there when the waves of undefinable ache intertwine with feeling okay, 
and false guilt tries to seep around both.

This blessing is for receiving with palms open and raised, 
for it was this same blessing which authored the hello;
that very wonderful first hello, without which this horrible goodbye never would have made it's way to us, 
and in that, we touch a tender mystery.   

This blessing wraps around, before, underneath, over and after, 
because it is His fullness filling all in all; 
the hello and goodbye, the receiving and losing, the now and not-yet....
All of it, filled with what surely will be!

"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, no powers, nor height nor depth, no anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans8:38-39

Friday, September 30, 2016

Sitting Under a Cloud of Invitation

Friday of the 18th Week Trinity/Ordinary Time 

It is early morning with the inky blackness of these ever-shortening Autumn days.
I compensate for the dark chill with lamplight and slippers.
My heart, likewise, feels that it needs some lamplight and slippers....

I woke this morning weary, with that sense of having labored all night through stressful dreams, even though now awake, I can't remember their specifics.
I wake such a blessed woman with my needs supplied lavishly, but I wake with a heart holding heavy for the hurting, the running, the rejecting, the trantrum-ing (yes, we have one).
God is so good and faithful!
I am so grateful, and yet equally sad.

My Lauds prayer {The Divine Hours /prayer at daybreak} is a necessary one this morning, and I love what it does in positioning me for His help with what was not coming easily.
 "Let my soul wake up to praising you."

I brew coffee and sit to read the lectionary scriptures assigned for today.
God speaks to Job (Job 38:1,12-21,40;3-5)
"Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know it's place? Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the path to darkness?"

Immediately I hear God's voice over my soul. Here I am rising, feeling, thinking that the dark weariness of my emotions holds requirement of me....
That this sadness is something I must fix or suppress in order to obey God.

God ask me if I really know His power and design over my soul all that well by asking me to remember the turning of night into day....
If He commands the rotating earth and orbiting stars for the succession of each new dawn,
can I not trust Him with the rise and fall of lightness within my soul?

Emotions have received such a bad rap in my personal formation.   Distrusted and condemned or alternately elaborately worshipped, I often miss the invitation they offer my soul, and sign up for sheer mess instead. Much work has been done, but there is still much left to untangle as God shows me His way.
As always, God's way; the way of truth is higher, better, best!
He commands the light and darkness, the ups and downs, the highs and lows...both within the skies above and across the horizon of my emotional terrain.
They are His, not for us to neatly package and conquer, but for us to lean into and simply receive.
For He gives us something more of Himself in the drawing near; in the knowing and being known.

Because He is above and beyond the clouds that sometimes fill my soul, I can abandon myself to them fearlessly. Chase the eye of the storm. Ride the ride.
Does this make sense? To me, not entirely...
I still long for the sense of control that "just choosing joy" has always offered me.
It feels nice to be the one choosing.....until it doesn't.
Band-Aids cover, but they never last, and they leave behind that awful sticky outline...

I continue reading the morning's responsorial Psalm... (Psalm 139:6-11)
"Where can I go from your Spirit?
Even darkness is not dark with you; the night is as clear as the day..."

It's time to wake my kids, but there's that light and darkness again...
interposed with the inseparable closeness of His Spirit.
I mull this over throughout the triumphs and failures of the morning's beginnings.
All of the waking, feeding, supervising, reminding, comforting, cajoling, reminding again, forgiving, reminding again that suddenly culminates in 6 arms and legs unfolding themselves out of the van into the doors of a new school day.
Oh how we are all so ready for the weekend ahead...

I drive alone with raindrops falling on the windshield.
The words of my Terce Prayer (The Divine Hours / mid morning prayer) are a simple whisper alongside the rain,
"O God, come help me with all of it. Bless the work of our hands today."

There hasn't been a sudden lift of the heavy in my spirit. I am still holding weary and sad, but I am starting to see that He wants me to let that be the point of my worship for right now.
As I follow the rhythms of stopping to pray structured prayers at set times, my inner life gets gently rearranged into worship.

I will neither wallow under or suppress the sad cloud in my soul today.
I will open my hands, my eyes, my heart and look up to the One who uses clouds to channel light.
I will linger patient with myself in this place, while He gives me something of Himself I've not yet known ......
Until now.

Monday, September 26, 2016

::the place before writing::

I want to write, 
For the words to form, align, and flow.
Some days they do and will,
But there is this place before that.

Where words whisper and nudge,
Trying to fit before scooting off again,
The heart's message asks much of them,
It needs words neatly right to carry it free.

To scribe well, one's pen must hold patience.
For the best words take time to collect,
Before coaxed and refined, they do sort out their place.

Bursting free with life to convey,
They fill purpose in the places they land,
And the writer receives joy from a process worthwhile.
This waiting, and picking, and sorting.

I want to write,
But there is this place before that…

Thursday, September 22, 2016

::some words for the desert::

It is a desert. 
It is gritty and hot and stretches too far. Trudging and staggering and wallowing through feel necessary. 
They are options.
You can pick one of those. 


Praise calls to Another. 
He always hears the exult of humble lips busy with thanking.
Charging, He comes on the Steed of his own Faithfulness. 
He needs nothing else. 

Will you be swept up astride and carried over it all? 
Will you let him turn what blisters into dazzle and glory? 

Look, my heart, to your choice. 
Chose praise and grab on. 
For the one who answers that call, 
is The One who Rides upon the desert. 

-meditation on Psalm 68:4
"sing to God, sing praises to his name; 
lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; 
his name is the LORD; exult before him!"

Thursday, August 11, 2016

:: the quiet ::

I haven't written in this place for a long time.
It wasn't a planned quiet.
It just kind of fell, and I'm still not quite sure that it's entirely lifted.

I wonder, kind reader, if this has ever happened to you; this falling of quiet in the channels that your creating naturally flows through.
Have you ever woken up one morning to find it feels best; necessary even, to lean into a growing sense of stillness, not a numbness for lack of feeling and creativity, but a stillness where it all just begs to be known quietly, in the places where expression has not yet wrapped itself up and around it.

Some kind readers asked after me.  They wanted to encourage, but all I could offer was a mumble of something that I don't now recall. The quiet was that formless in it's fullness...

Because how?
How do you communicate something you have not yet fully received?
How can you unfurl in quick, cheerful precision, a journey that is so new, so flinty sharp and heavy in it's tumbling about, that your heart is straining to ride the free fall; finding itself wordless in the process.

It has been equal parts a painful and a beautiful quiet; a season of wonder, of listening, and of abiding growth.
Would some call it a wilderness?   I don't know..... Perhaps, but I was never once thirsty or alone.

Were there circumstantial elements that contributed to this long quiet?
Could we blame it on change, transition, identity shift, rejection, straight up suffering?
Of course, all of those players and more have been present, most just playing their typical earthy roles, others lurching with a sharp stitch into my story, but not a single one holding sway as the source to my quiet. No, rather than play the role of cause, these have played the part of seasoning, of augmentation to the quiet's work in me.

I've contemplated a box in which to neatly package and label the quiet,
but nothing fits or closes properly around it.
It has been simply, the quiet.

In recent days, words have started flowing again, not just around, but up and out of my soul,
charging my mind with their clarity, and the urge to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard.
Although familiar old friends, I find them sourcing from new ridges and plains within my soul;
places that must be gently explored.
It is as though the renewed outflow of expression draws me up to a mirror and puts reflective insight within my reach. As I do so, I am catching up to the quiet from behind and discerning what it was all about. I do not find my soul the same as it was before, and I believe this is the point.

I do find clearly, always clearly, this...

The One to whom I am perfectly known, has held me always-fast within the pounding waterfall of a sharp mercy. The sort of mercy that pierces through with freeing death and leaves tender formations of new life in it's wake.

There has not been a cessation of this mercy, but rather under it's rhythm, a new terrain unveiled where the waters flow along new etchings. What pounded in over the last months has begun to gently sift itself into the new shape of my soul, and as the quiet lifts, it can be mapped.

I do not yet know how much of what I received in the quiet is meant to be given voice?
I suspect that, like the sacred secrets of married lovers, there will be much that goes unannounced, but which leaves a lingering glow and new shape across my story.

Of this I am ever more clear:
~There is my Father Majestic
~ There is my Savior wildly loving
~There is His Spirit - now mine, making me His.

The quiet has been good.
My formation in Christ responds.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Morning's Musing at the Sky...

Because sometimes all I can do is ask why?

Why does He so faithfully do this every morning?
Why does He let me see it and enjoy it for what it is; His glory?
Why does He keep loving me? 

These questions are good.
 They are the stuff of a soul running up against Big Glory!

Bold colors layered hazily together on this day's first horizon.
It was a view that promised a beautiful unfolding, and one that I tried to absorb through my windows while moving about inside.

Mister and I had overslept our usual alarm.... on purpose. It was good.
A shower and coffee were postponed in favor of the ruffled sleepy-eyed kiddos emerging with all sorts of planning, laughter, and even a little fighting over the bathroom.

All of the three breakfasts, teeth brushings, lunch packings, homework checkings, hair tamings later, we emerged from the garage out into the morning's slow but sure advance.
The unfolding was indeed beautiful, as I had just known it would be.
They asked me to take some pictures.

All was soft and bright and full of the sky's layers reaching down to touch earth.
Whisps and shafts of cloud giving way for the still-rising sun to meet the earth in gentle color.
We talked about the glory; about how it is different each morning;
about how we never tire of seeing it.
We talked about the why of God's display and love for this lost world,
of His faithful mercies present in every dawn for His people.
We talked of the declaration of His name over, in and throughout all of creation....
how very short and tiny we really are; a breath.

We did not talk about these things because of some good quality in their hearts or in mine,
but because God's glory all around us simply required it; drove us to it.
Because, designed to seek, respond to, and reflect glory, sometimes all we can do is ask why? 
His love so deep? 
His power so great? 
His glory so beautiful?

And there in that asking, 
His name is declared all over again across our souls in resounding grace! 

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. 

Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. 

There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

In them He has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber. 
and,like a strong man, runs it's course with joy. 

It's rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from it's heat." 

Psalm 19:1-6