Monday, December 8, 2008

favorite love letter: part one

10:30am
Jesus~
Meet with me this morning. I miss your face and I need to be reassured of your love. I believe I can see it in the faces of the people around me. Help me remember to look. Who am I and what is my family that you have brought me this far? Thank you that I am more aware of grace today than I was before. Show me something new about you today that I can keep with me as I go about the things you have given me to accomplish. Cause me to think of you often and to love you more.

10:52am
In French Kiss, Kate's (Meg Ryan) ex-boyfriend Michael, looks desperately at her as they dance in Paris and says, "It's like someone turned the light on inside you!. Oh why wasn't it me?" Yea, this is really what was going through my head as I read through Ephesians! But here's why - "I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future (God) has promised to those he has called." (1:18) I am chosen. I am loved. He has promised me a secure future together. He has given me evidence of his promise in the gift of the Holy Spirit. And he has turned the light on inside me. "For though (my) heart was once full of darkness, now (I) am full of light in the Lord, and (my) behavior should show it. For this light within me produces only what is right and good." (5:8-9) Apparantly he also points me out as an example of his wealth, favor and kindness (2:7). I think I just got the depth of answer I was looking for to the question from week 2..."as shown in all he has done for (me) through Christ Jesus" (2:7).

And I am back to the masterpiece of the cross.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

things I love.....

I am still trudging along on my journey for romance from God. If you can call standing in the middle of the trail spinning in circles, trudging. Life just is. Thanksgiving is come and gone, Christmas is coming as fast as the Polar Express. I'm on the lookout for that touch, that glance in the middle of the day to day routine. Sometimes I see it and get butterflies, many days I don't. Maybe I'm not looking as hard as I think.

My letter took more the form of a list. It was composed on the drive home from NH after Thanksgiving, and was inspired by several Todd Agnew songs, the scenery and thoughts of what I enjoy most in my friendships.

The things I love most (in order of thought):
- He waits for me
- He forgives me
- He is merciful to me
- I am at home with him
- He makes me feel beautiful
- He is strong
- He surprises me
- He seeks me out
- He sees the best in me
- He causes me to see the best in others
- He passionately pursues what he believes in
- He sings to me and about me
- He leads me
- He doesn't lead me on falsely - no strings attached per se
- I am my truest self when I am with him
- He is always the same, but I am always learning something new
- He always speaks truth to me
- He is all I need
- I love thinking about the possibilites of our future
- He is wise
- He is gracious
- I love his hands
- He sees and understands me
- He will and does see to it that my love for him never changes

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

where in the world


Saturday I surfed Google Earth with one of my favorite people, looking at all the places we'd been or lived. Hometowns, college town, Hawaii to Africa and back - breathtaking and it was only 2-D. Seeing some people in the street level views, we got to talking about how creepy it would be if we were seeing these images in real time. We watch way too many spy movies. I found myself thinking about all the things I do occasionally or regularly that I'd rather not have people see in such a manner. I realized I was making a list of habits to resolve to change.

Today I read Chapter 8 "God's Majesty" from J.I. Packer's Knowing God.

1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.

"Just as I am never left alone, so I never go unnoticed....I can hide my heart, my past, and my future plans, from those around me (and man, do I work hard at this most days), but I cannot hide anything from God. He sees through all my reserve and pretense. Living becomes an awesome business when you realize that you spend every waking moment of your life in the sight and company of an omniscient, omnipresent Creator."

I am speechless.
I am small.
I care way too much how other people view me.
I have some things I'd rather He not see anymore.
I have some habits to change.
I am scared I will forget this within the hour.
I am thankful that I cannot be forgotten.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

who knew

sometimes romance comes in the form of shrimp scampi, crusty bread and lemon cake brought home from a night out to the babysitter who was drying baby tears, coaxing a cranky toddler to eat, administering medicine and cleaning up barf all while singing happy songs and answering the phone.

hmmm....

i bow to the formerly unobserved powers of observation in the female teenage mind.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

finding the obvious - or is it

Question for week 2...

Are you for real?


"Pull Me Out"
by Bebo Norman | from the album Bebo Norman

Tell me now, when does this start feeling
Like I understand everything I’m dealing with
First I was young, now it’s all just happening
And what about the way I said that
Made you turn around and shake your head
Like I don’t even know what I’m asking for

This could be all about just letting go
Or this could be all about just holding on

I can’t get my feet off of the ground
I wanna run but I don’t know how
Can you reach down here and pull me out, can you pull me out, yeah
I wanna scream but there’s no sound
I wanna fly to you somehow
Can you reach me here and pull me out, can you pull me out

Remember when I was young and hungry,
I could take it in, without much money,
I had nothing at all but dreams and time to kill
And now I feel like I’m treading water
And I’m hardly real - I’m just trying harder
To make my way on the earth by standing still

This could be all about just letting go
Or this could be all about just holding on

I can’t get my feet off of the ground
I wanna run but I don’t know how
Can you reach down here and pull me out, can you pull me out, yeah
I wanna scream but there’s no sound
I wanna fly to you somehow
Can you reach down here and pull me out, can you pull me out

Not a moment too soon You will be my rescue
But tell me how long will it take?

I can’t get my feet off of the ground
I wanna run but I don’t know how
Can you reach me here and pull me out, can you pull me out
I can’t get my feet off of the ground
I wanna run but I don’t know how
Can you reach down here and pull me out, can you pull me out, yeah
I wanna scream but there’s no sound
I wanna fly to you somehow
Can you reach me here and pull me out – can you pull me out
Can you pull me out?
Can you pull me out?
Can you reach down and pull me out?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

loves me...loves me not....


This topic of romance gets people talking.
Welcome to the journey, Keri.
I went out to breakfast this morning.
My favorite coffee shop.
I can almost feel you leaning in for the details.
Ordinarily special.
Possible?
I 'spose.
Can I use this to describe time with God?
My verbal limitations hold me there.

Despite the pouring rain the Coffee Co. was packed. One small table near the back was free. Perfect. The owner hurried to wipe it down. I nudged the morning paper over and settled in.
Coffee?
Of course.
Did some people watching while we waited.
Noticed hair syles for some reason. Must be Leah's influence. Talked about her for a couple minutes. Fell silent.
Ah, coffee.
Hmmm. Tastes cheap today. Their lattes are better.
Oh well. It's hot.
The warmth slowly spread toward my cold appendages.
The smells and chatter surrounded me like a blanket. Swing music edged in among the lulls in conversation and kept time with the clatter of dishware.
Sigh.
Time to breathe a little.

I read some thoughts from this guy named Craig Goeschel who wrote Chazown.
Got us talking about what I want out of life. How things so far have shaped who I am. Craig's ideas weren't new, necessarily. Not to me. Just gave some structure to look at things visually, logically track the patterns and put on paper and think about what dream or vision God has given me for my life.

Breakfast arrived.
Topic changed to the paper. Looked at the CMA awards, the up and coming trends in the crafting world, some area prodigies doing big things with their life....

So, the hour was just quiet, mellow, natural. A great time to step away from the usual scenery and visit together. It made me want more. Isn't that what a great date is for? I think I might do this every other Thursday.

Summary:
No weird expectations. No awkwardness. In restrospect I feel like the morning revolved around me. In a good way. God focuses on me. On His presence in my life. And he is present in the day to day whatever I do.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

in the mood....


This time of year puts me in the mood for romance. The colors. The music. The foods. The holidays. One problem. There's no one to share it with. Ok. Clarification. No guy.

I love my girlfriends. Like most, I would assert that mine are the best. Each one shares a unique part of who I am. I shared a delightful evening with two of my favorites last Thursday. We ate at Panera and people watched and told stories and laughed and analyzed to our hearts content. We got to discussing this very topic.

I thought about how our longings are echoes of what could have been in Eden, but also what is possible when we live well and wholly. We decided that instead of sitting around moping, binging on chocolate and missing the beauty of this season, we were going to discover our own romance. We are loved by the Creator of the universe. The guy who commands nations with his word, brings life with his touch, and died to set us free.

I read this in my Bible a few minutes ago.

"God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors (and boy are my parents are a living exhibit of this). And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. He paid for you with the precious life blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him for this purpose long before the world began, but now, in these final days, he was sent to the earth for all to see. And he did this for you."

A few paragraphs back it says, "You love him even though you have never seen him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressable joy. Your reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls."

He (the guy writing, Peter) is so right. Ever love someone for no reason? You just can't help yourself? I have. I also love this being I have never seen. Most days probably couldn't give a succinct answer why. I just do. I keep talking to him. I want to figure him out. I get frustrated when I can't but at the same time love the mystery it offers.

So my girls and I made a plan. In the retelling, it sounds odd, corny, for lack of better description. But when you want something that's unavailable, you either waste time in the wanting or you replace the desire with something viable. We decided to wait well for our guys. We decided to hope with joy. We decided to find romance in the One who knows us best. Over the next weeks until the end of the year, we are going to do one thing per week to pursue romance.

week 1 - this week) Go on a date. Go to a coffee shop, or park, anywhere different than usual. Just sit and be with God in that new place.
week 2) Ask a new get-to-know-you question. Write it down and listen for the answer.
week 3) Write a love letter or poem to God describing all the things you love best.
week 4) Call another girlfriend and tell them all the things you've discovered so far.
week 5) Reread one of his love letters - the same one - every day.
week 6) Go for a walk together either in a crowded city or alone in the country.
week 7 - Christmas) Do something together for someone else. Ask God to reveal his heart for someone in a specific way then make them something or do something unexpected for them that reaches that need.
week 8) Create something (art/photos/food) to represent the aspect of God that He revealed over these last couple months.

I plan to do this with my friends over hot drinks and of course, chocolate.
Save the date girls.
Saturday evening. January 3. 6pm-?
God. Love. Art.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

idiocy

I forgot God today.
I forgot that He loved me.
I forgot that I am not alone.
I forgot that His unfailing love is enough.

I forgot to fear him.

Transgression speaks to the wicked
deep in his heart;
there is no fear of God
before his eyes.
For he flatters himself in his own eyes
that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit;
he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
He plots trouble while on his bed;
he sets himself in a way that is not good;
he does not reject evil.” (PS 36.1-4)

I forgot that this is NOT who I want to be.
I forgot that it is up to me to choose to hate and reject evil.
I forgot that I had the power I needed to do this.

The following is from The Blazing Center's post on the 23rd:

Amazingly, the most fabulous blessings and the most blood-curdling curses can’t inspire a sinful heart to obey. The law provides neither the desire nor the power to obey it.

But God’s astounding grace provides both.

In Christ Jesus, grace invades our lives, purifies us, then creates in us new hearts that delight in God. But omnipotent grace does far more than regenerate us. It keeps working itself out in our lives, renovating our thoughts, motives, and attitudes. Grace justifies us, adopts us, empowers us, and remakes us into Christ’s image. It transforms us from selfish rebels to humble servants.

How miraculous, powerful,unstoppable and amazing is grace.

'Nuff said.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

ahhh childhood

and I quote....

"Your good, Dad. Good like butter on peas." - Aurora age 5



Scene: Matt (dad) lying on floor in living room stretching his aching back.
Enter: Maddie Kate, age 3. Charges at dad, preparing to do a Hulk Hogan leg drop.
Matt (anxiously): No, Maddie! Please. Daddy's back is really sore.
Maddie (turns backwards, closes eyes and clasps hands in prayer): Dear God, Please don't let this hurt my dad.
Scene: Maddie in reverse charges her dad, landing squarely on his chest.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

book review: the road to daybreak - henri j. m. nouwen

This was a choice suggested by a friend with providential timing. I think I started it around the first of the year and have been reading a few pages here and there. It is Nouwen's journal from a season when he left 20+ years of academia to live in a community setting with handicapped people both for his own retreat and also to serve as their pastor. The book specifically details the year of visiting the different locations of the le'Arche communities to pursue and define God's call for him before he moved permanently into the community in Canada.

It is his journal, a travelogue on Europe, a thesis on prayer and intimacy with Christ, and a window into the world of the truly poor in spirit. One of the moist poignant experts I bring away from this is best quoted exactly:

"To choose the little people, the little joys, and to trust that it is there that God will come close - that is the hard way of Jesus. Again, I felt a deep resistance to choosing that way.

I am quite willing to work for and even with little people, but I want it to be a great event! Something in me always wants to turn the way of Jesus into a way that is honorable in the eyes of the world. I always want the little way to become the big way. But Jesus' movement toward the places the world wants to move away from cannot be made a success story.

Every time we think we have touched a place of poverty, we will discover greater poverty beyond that place. There is really no way back to riches, wealth, success, acclaim, and prizes. Beyond physical poverty, there is mental poverty, beyond mental poverty, there is spiritual poverty, and beyond that there is nothing, nothing but the naked truth that God is mercy.
It is not a way that we can walk alone. Only with Jesus can we go to the place where there is nothing but mercy. It is the place from which Jeus cried, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" It is also the place from which Jesus was raised up to new life.

The way of Jesus can only be walked with Jesus. If I want to do it alone, it becomes a form of inverse humanism as fickle as heroism itself. Only Jesus, the Son of God, can walk to that place of total surrender and mercy. He warns us about striking off on our own: "cut off from me, you can do nothing. "But He also promises, "whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty" (John 15:5).

I see clearly now why action without prayer is so fruitless. It is only in and through prayer that we can become intimately connected with Jesus and find the strength to join Him on His way."

Overall opinion: I could start again and get completely new things this time through; it is best read as a journey itself, in small steps, with time for thought, conversation and community inbetween, it seems that he writes from his heart and soul, therefore it is relateable...irritating, convicting, and inspiring.

It reminded me that life is not about accomplishing my to do list, or making educational, spiritual or social achivements, but rather the people in it. (Read on, before you say, "No duh.") I can look back now on the years since college, and realize that each place I have lived has been a community, a place where I shared, learned, and grew in "reading" people, sharing in their lives and allowing them to share in mine. I would argue loudly to not being a "people person." That is I used to. Now I look forward to the times when I can "waste" time with someone. I can still get focused on the lists, but I would much rather get a cuppa something and just sit with you and hear your story. Today's the perfect dark, rainy day for such conversation, so come on over.

Monday, September 8, 2008

jellyfish

There’s a jellyfish on my back today. And its tentacles wrap around my throat and into my eyes and ears. I curl up in my ultra-soft blue and white polka-dot bathrobe, but it turns to sand paper on my skin, so I snatch it off and throw it’s warmth into a heap on the floor.

It’s September. These viruses are supposed to wait until it’s cold outside, so cocoa and bathrobes are welcome friends, not prickly enemies.

A few moments ago I stood in my bathroom, foggy from the shower, and asked Jesus for healing. Graciously, He reminded me of Himself. My next thoughts were that I could not begin to imagine how His body must have felt as He was beat beyond recognition, hungry, bruised, had razor thorns jammed above his eyebrows, iron spikes holding him to His death, every bone disconnected from its neighbor, was thirsty, and alone. In this moment I want to crawl out of my skin and come back to it later. He allowed the iron spikes of my hatred and rejection to hold Him to his Father’s will of love.

In Hawaii I met a beautiful sister who had faced beating, strangling and death by bombing from the hands of her closest family and friends. The light in her eyes was captivating as she told of answering her accusers with sweet words of loyalty to her Jesus, not herself. Suffering has made her the most joyful and beautiful person I know.

I think I am healed, far beyond what I can think or imagine.

Isaiah 53: 5
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.

Romans 7:24-25
Wretched (one) that I am!
Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Forward: Colorado



You're from Colorado if...

You'll eat ice cream in the winter. (outside)
When the weather report says it's going to be 65 degrees, you shave your legs and wear a skirt.
It snows 5 inches and you don't expect school to be canceled.
You'll wear flip flops every day of the year, regardless of temperature.
While driving in snow you skid toward a ditch and you don't scream, but say, "Hold my pop and watch this."
You have no accent at all, but can hear other people's. And then you make fun of them.
'Humid' is over 25%.
Your sense of direction is: Toward the mountains and Away from the mountains.
You say 'the interstate' and everybody knows which one.
You think that May is a totally normal month for a blizzard. (or the Fourth of July if in the mountains)
You buy your flowers to set out on Mother's day, but try and hold off planting them until just before Father's day.
You grew up planning your Halloween costumes around your coat. (ah memories)
You know what the Continental Divide is.
You don't think Coors beer is that big a deal.
You went to Casa Bonita as a kid, and as an adult.
You've gone off-roading in a vehicle that was never intended for such activities.
You always know the elevation of where you are.
You wake up to a beautiful, 80 degree day and you wonder if it's going to snow tomorrow.
You don't care that some company renamed it, the Broncos still play at Mile High
Every movie theater has military and student discounts.
Everybody wears jeans to church. (unless they're Baptist)
You actually know that "South Park " is a real place not just a show on TV.
You know what a 'trust fund hippy' is, and you know its natural habitat is Boulder.
You know you're talking to a fellow Coloradoan when they call it Elitches, not Six Flags
A bear on your front porch doesn't bother you.
Your two favorite teams are the Broncos and whoever is beating the crap out of the Raiders.
When people out East tell you they have mountains in their state too, you just laugh. (loudly)
You go anywhere else on the planet and the air feels 'sticky' and you notice the sky is no longer blue.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

To Sandy T's unborn child

"I created you and have cared for you
since before you were born.
I will be your God throughout your lifetime -
until your hair is white with age.
I made you,
I will care for you.
I will carry you along
and save you.
Isaiah 46:3-4

Sunday, July 20, 2008

This Weekend I ...

- borrowed this idea from Jona
- went shopping at Target&Old Navy and bought my niece more clothes (why can't they make cute clothes for girls above age 12?)
- splurged on a Starbucks coffee
- went to a free movie in the town park with one of my favorite teenagers
- found a place to hang my art from Jona
- remade a shirt so it would fit
- baked, ate, and shared some zuchinni-caramel cupcakes (and some chocolate chip cookies)
- used 10 cans of spray paint on two huge bookshelves (and need more)
- cleaned my desk!!
- worshipped with my favorite people
- held my 10 month nephew while he slept
- eagerly anticipated the delivery of some freshly roasted Tanzania Peaberry coffee
- satisfied my craving for curry chicken salad
- read a few pages in my resolution to finish at least some of the books I've started

Saturday, July 12, 2008

missing -

Today I reconnected with an old friend via facebook. Although no conversation has yet been exchanged, the memories wash over me in waves. I looked at the pictures and cried. I miss him. I miss his face. I miss the person I recognize behind the goofy expressions. I miss our friendship. I miss how he inspsired me. I miss the crazy fun our group of friends could contrive. I don't want to go back. I don't want what he has. I just miss him. I wonder what I've missed during the last 7 years.

Friday, June 27, 2008

God Encounters

This past week was comprised of our third annual trip to CFO camp. (For the curious cats who want to know what that is go here to the camp association or here to learn about the founder.) I joined in this tradition as a staff member of House of His Creation, and go to family camp with all our girls is what we do the last week of June.

The summary is:
YEAR ONE 2006:
Seasoned campers: participating in exuberant praising, worshipping, speaking in tongues, dancing, praising some more making friends, reacquainting with old ones
Me: watching from the outside in, thinking, "is this exprsssion and emotion ok? It looks awesome, but seriously"; gingerly accepting all the enthusiastic welcome, keeping track of our grumpy girls and encouraging them to participate, and worshipping and learning right along with everyone else.

YEAR TWO 2007:
Seasoned campers: see year one only add in one formerly grumpy resident who is attending of her own free will just after graduation from our program and from high school
Me: worshipping, praising some more, making friends, reacquainting with old ones, keeping track of this years residents and seeking to keep the bad boys away from them, learning to recognize when God speaks directly to me and receiving some specific, amazing prophetic prayer as a result.

YEAR THREE 2008:
Seasoned campers: see year one...once again including the same resident who is attending in joy seeking God and His refuge from the crush of daily life as she knows it
Me: I will never be the same. Prayers said throughout all my Christian life came together in a few short days..."show me your glory", "break me so you can use me", "set me free from this body of sin"...I'm sure there are others, but the precedence to the freedom and release included not only the last week of fighting some intense warfare and losing some of those battles, but also weeks and months of teaching on grace and the Holy Spirit and my position in Christ. I can never do justice to what has changed in me this week. I could rewrite this post a huindred times and still be frustrated at how I cannot portray God. The best summary I can come up with at present is that when I, you, get to the place where you are flat on your face before God....yes, literally, telling Him it is all too much and you simply cannot, you are in a better place than you have ever been.

This past week deepened my perspective on community, accountability, the arts in worship, sovereignty, and freedom in Christ. I will have to come back to some of those individually. My mind and soul are still absorbing it all. God meets us in our everyday. Not a shocking statement....but how often do we truly see all the nuances of His presence? His sound? His feel? Yes, even His smell? So until I am anointed with eloquence or just honesty, enjoy some pictures and pray that, as promised, "He will complete what HE has begun in me."

Oh yes...and all three girls with us this year participated with ease and enjoyment.





Thursday, June 19, 2008

kate the great




graduation
tickets
proud strangers straining to see
marching band tribute
clumsy half-adults keeping cadence
blurry photos of the back of people's heads
inspiring speeches
bored distracted listeners
roll call
confetti of hats and tassles

entre vou

the real world

drum roll please

are you ready
hope you have everything you need
it's time to take on the world

In the midst of excited teenagers, well-wishers, speeches, gowns, hats and picnic food I found myself looking in from my side of the real world. I felt almost annoyed at the number of times the "real world" was mentioned.

To Katie:
I think your view of the real world is better than most. You see people as they are, not as they want you to. You want more than you see out of your friends, your family and your life. You have grown in so many ways these past couple years. I feel privileged to have been allowed to watch from the sidelines with an occasional time-out conversation. Your dad once told me that he thinks I lived with your family not as a sabbatical to figure out my own destiny, but for you. I am still stunned by that. I think it is the greatest compliment I have ever received. Whatever it is in me that you can stand to hang out with me, is....who knows. God. One step at a time, follow His voice. Learn to recognize it. Learn to wait for it. Learn to treasure it above all else. You're a few weeks into the summer now as I finally finish this draft in July. Perhaps the reality of the graduation milestone has hit, probably not fully. The cards and memorabilia have been tucked into safekeeping. Remember the conversation around the campfire. That's what it's all about. Big drawers and all!! Remember the faces, the hearts of the friends won for God. Keep going strong. Keep your heart with diligence....it is your source of living water.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

leaving

to leave; leaving
–verb (used with object)
1. to go out of or away from, as a place: to leave the house.
2. to depart from permanently; quit: to leave a job.
3. to let remain or have remaining behind after going, disappearing, ceasing, etc.: I left my wallet home. The wound left a scar.
4. to allow to remain in the same place, condition, etc.: Is there any coffee left?
5. to let stay or be as specified: to leave a door unlocked.
6. to let (a person or animal) remain in a position to do something without interference: We left him to his work.
7. to let (a thing) remain for action or decision: We left the details to the lawyer.
8. to give in charge; deposit; entrust: Leave the package with the receptionist. I left my name and phone number.
9. to stop; cease; give up: He left music to study law.
10. to disregard; neglect: We will leave this for the moment and concentrate on the major problem.

Thanks Dictionary.com; sentences 100% theirs too.

Leaving.
Someone once told me that when I find that the girls I work with cease to break my heart, it's time for me to move on. Judging by the tears I've mopped up today, I'll be here a while yet.

Leaving often implies grief. But how do you grieve someone who was never yours... someone who never let themselves be yours.

People always leave.
I know that.
Not everyone leaves.
I know that too.
Ever been there when words aren't enough? When you would do anything to make them stay? Even when they don't want to? Even when staying would make them miserable and you want to scream because they are so difficult?

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do. ”
--Eleanor Roosevelt--

So much of life I have learned only by travelling through the process. I know this beautiful young woman must do the same. I will cry tmorrow when I say goodbye. I will wrap her in my arms and pray that she and her darling daughter will be safe on their journey, no matter how difficult it becomes, no matter how many times she will want to quit. I will hold her tight and breathe in her memory and will a bit of my strength and faith into her. Relatively speaking, this loss is not as great as many. Tonight it is great. Tomorrow I will miss my young sister.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The tour of the never ending schedule is coming to a close. The last three months were a constant stream of thought and activity, however I have no profound retrospective reflections.

I journaled on Jan 1st that the New Year seemed uneventful and uninviting. I am forced to revise that opinion and have decided to join the ranks of resolutionists and declare my intentions for the year. I have no weight loss plans....getting orthodontic work done has decided that for me. Having to take in sustenance through a straw for two weeks of every month will certainly shrink your waistline.....there are only so many things that are still appetizing after an encounter with a blender! My Bible reading plans are in place, I have only to purchase The Journey of Desire by John Eldridge and I will be off on a visit through the Psalms. There is likely a long list of things I should do more or less, but after last Sunday's message from C.B. I realized only one is worthy of record.

I resolve, this coming year, to live less by my own resolution. That's right, I plan to do less. I do all the time. I have goals and projects and accomplishments and people to relate to and lists and lists of lists stacked in haphazard piles all around my life. This past three months of being in a place of being all things to all people has worn me out. I am ready to return to "normalcy" and let someone else do all the work. Now, in my fundamentalist upbringing and overachieving mindset, I am prepared to easily turn even this resolution into work. However, I want this coming year to be an exercise(well...endeavor?) in greater belief. I want to spend more time just sitting. Sitting with friends and family. Sitting with unbelievers. Sitting outside. Sitting at the cross.

I cannot repay the millions of dollars of debt I owe the grace of God. His mercy is trustworthy. This year I resolve to explore it's depths. As soon as that sentence was off my fingers the demon of condemnation poked me in the neck with fear saying,

"Now you realize you just opened yourself up for all kinds of trouble, don't you?" To him I reply that I just opened myself up for all kinds of blessing. At this time next year I want to look back and see all the ways I no longer seek to compensate for the past or achieve the future. "In Him we live and move and have our being"...all things. If you don't see me often in the next few weeks or have a hard time getting a hold of me, hopefully it will be because I am off sitting and breathing in the presence of my gracious Savior. Ask me when you do see me how it was. I look forward to sharing with you.