Wednesday, May 29, 2013

And It Is Good

She walks through the meadow, green grass past her ankles, brushing up against her, soft and cool from the morning light, releasing its fragrance.


Photo Credit: http://pinterest.com/pin/5136987046786652/



And as the sun makes its place in the mid-morning sky, the clouds, so fluffy you dare believe you can touch them, break forth, opening the heavens to show the bluest of skies. She looks up to take in the creation in all its glory and holy air fills her lungs. And she yells out, as the poets and prophets have done from years past and still present. 

BEAUTY! 

BEAUTY! 

BEAUTY!

Here, in the hills and valleys filled with wildflowers that spread their intoxicating scent, she scans the horizon. She claims this space and calls it His. 

Here there will be beauty. Here there will be love. Here there will be truth. 

There will be words of praise and cries in the dark. The ground will grow wet with rain - His tears of joy, His tears of sadness.

And the mighty, righteous oaks will grow strong over the years. She will rest in its shade - rebuild - renew. She will find renewal from the desert place.



Photo Credit: http://pinterest.com/pin/488922103265978874/


This. This place is where she is grounded, where her strength will rise up. And this ground, this holy foundation will not be trampled with anything other than holy wrestling and the dancing that comes from the most raucous of parties.


Here we celebrate it all.


And it is good.



This was a three minute write, scribbled down on a legal pad during a writing retreat. As we sat in a circle talking about what to do when you feel "stuck" during the creative process, I looked up and saw my friend and for whatever reason, in that moment I knew what I wanted my blog to look like and these words poured out. Thank you for reading and for your comments of support. I like this place.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Breakthrough - A Reflection on Psalm 57



I've spoken before, about these Psalms, about my heart clamoring alongside David's very heart. I have felt it coming from all sides and cried out to my God, praying for deliverance, asking for help. I look back on my Bible and I can see tear stains next to some of these Psalms, the ones that I would read aloud over and over as my prayer to God when my own words failed me. 

But today. Today I read this Psalm, a Psalm of deliverance and praise.

Praise.


I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!Awake, my glory!Awake, harp and lyre!I will awaken the dawn.I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples;I will sing praises to You among the nations.For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavensAnd Your truth to the clouds.Be exalted above the heavens, O God!Let Your glory be above all the earth.

How did I miss that? How have I never noticed the words of praise that came from David's lips? These are words that have filled the songs we sing at church. These phrases and word combinations are ingrained in me and as I read them I can hear the melodies that accompany them. And yet, in my fear, in my longing, in my desperation the only words I saw were his words of supplication. 



Today I am sharing at my friend Steph's blog, Everyday Awe. If you haven't managed to read her encouraging words, be sure to check it out. Each Tuesday morning she leads us through a Psalm, encouraging us to dig in and let the Scriptures meet us where we are at. I'm so grateful for her and for this opportunity! Join us!



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chasing The Green Light

I haven't opened up my blog page much the past few weeks. The more words I have floating in my head, the less I seem to put in this space. I don't know what to do.

I've wanted to write, but when the sun shines, and I have to choose between going home to write and taking the girls to the zoo, I find myself surrounded at night by sun-kissed girls, hair curled with humidity, dusty feet, and mouths turned up in a content and exhausted smile. I think I've chosen well.

Today the sky is gray and wet, although the sun is trying to break through. The air is muggy. I've resisted putting on the air-conditioner.  No babies. No pregnant women. I can suck it up. After all, it's only May.

We finally got the last of the school letters in the mail. My dream school? We are on the wait-list at #337.  We received two offers, neither we are accepting. As my friend Danielle said, it's time to roll with the punches.


Photo Credit: http://www.iwallscreen.com/stock/green-light-nature-desktop-wallpaper-forest.jpg


I've been thinking back to those literature classes in high school, and how I did far more work for those than I did for any of mine in college, even as an English major. We would fill three inch binders thick with research from the University of Dayton library all day Saturday, making copies at Kinko's at midnight on Sunday. T.J. Eckleburg, I still remember you as Thomas Jefferson, looking at what the United States had become, watching us in our sin and frivolity. 

I spent so much time in high school and college surrounded in words. They hemmed me in on all sides, guarding my heart. When I remember that time, I can never decide if I wish I had spent more time lost in those books and in my words that I scratched out, moved by what I had been reading, or if I should have spent more time living outside the printed page.


My husband took me on the absolutely most amazing date a few weeks ago to celebrate 13 years of being together. Our favorite restaurant complete with celebrity chef sighting and then the Great Gatsby.

And I held my breath, tears rolling down my face, as the words tattooed in my mind found themselves spoken:


He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. 
He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther....
And one fine morning - 

So we beat on, boats against the current, 
borne back ceaselessly into the past.



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Joy - A Reflection on Psalm 55

Dear Lucy,


I can't believe my baby is two. You entered the world my love on a a laugh and you have been full of joy ever since. Your eyes sparkle and tell stories that your words aren't able to yet. There has not been a day gone by in your time with us where you have not serenaded us with your laughter. 



Lucy, I pray the joy that brought you into this world, the joy that came into our lives with you, never leaves. Your birth, your arrival was a tangible reminder that joy is possible. That joy should be sought after and tended to with care. You made me believe that I could feel joy again.



But someday. Someday someone might do something to you and the pain you feel will seem unbearable. They may seek to take your joy. Hang on. Don't let them. Your joy is a gift given by your Creator when you were formed.

When I crack open my Bible to Psalm 55,  I can see where my tears fell on the page and instantly I am transported to a different time, a different place. And the emotion comes back almost as strong as it was all those years ago and I struggle to catch my breath.

I would curl up in a ball crying, holding my Bible close, praying for the madness of the situation to stop. I'd read David's words and I knew he was the closest person around to understanding how I felt. 


Listen to my prayer, O God,

do not ignore my plea;
hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
because of what my enemy is saying,
because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me
and assail me in their anger.

Your arrival, my dear, is a reminder that those days are over. That the time of being under the weight of other peoples' words and opinions are at an end. 

I'd love to think that you will never have to go through all of that. But the world.....well.....

If and when it happens baby, don't do what I did. Don't find solace in David's cries. I don't want you to let your heart be soothed by his words of anguish and requests for "justice." I want you to be so rooted in Him, your Creator, that when you read Psalm 55 all you do is cast your cares on Him, for He will sustain you, not allowing you to be shaken (v. 22).

The world is full of hurt people. And in their hurt and pain they may hurt you. All I can say, is grace. You will need all the energy you can muster to give it, but it's better to spend it parceling out in small measure the grace that has been given to you extravagantly  than to focus on the hurt.




So Lucy dear, read these words and tattoo them to your heart. They will carry you through.


But as for me, I trust in You.

Happy Birthday, dear child.

Love, Mommy



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Beloved - A Guest Post for Imperfect Prose

Photo Credit: http://asharedlens.smugmug.com/Other/Interiors/25021761_xNzH4k#!i=2050592430&k=brPdmzJ&lb=1&s=A

I think I might be like Saul. I was listening to a sermon as I cleaned my kitchen, and as the words were spoken aloud through my speakers, the weight of them fell heavy on me. The difference, the preacher said, between David and Saul was that David understood, truly knew, how much he was loved by God. Saul and David both did horrible things, but what made the difference, ultimately, was David’s sense deep down that he was beloved.

Beloved.

What is that? What is it to really know that God loves you? To not doubt that the Creator of all delights in you? When I became a mother, I knew more. And I instantly knew that God loved my girls.  That He sang over them. That He held them in the palm of His hand. The words spoken and recorded in Zephaniah became real to me. My girls were beloved.  But me?

If you asked I would say I know God loves me. But 35 years into this walk, I don’t know if I really have felt it. 





Today I am sharing at Em's Imperfect Prose, where we gather each Thursday to write out the broken, the beautiful, the redeemed. Join us there?




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