Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Resurrection Day Reflections on Parenting

We didn't go to church today;
we were the church, instead.
We loved one another,
encouraged one another,
were patient and kind with one another,
spurred one another on to love and good deeds.

We sang.
Me, my old favorite,
Keith Green's classic Easter Song
sung by The Second Chapter of Acts
(my favorite version)
Followed by Lisa Wickham's
amazing No Greater Love
which I used to have on cassette tape,
but can't find to share anywhere on the internet.
Then onto puttering about the house
and my customized Wailin' Jenny's radio on Pandora,
which I love and listen to always when I putter about.
The boy puttered too in his room
first to rap or whatever that stuff is,
but then to Simon and Garfunkel,
which made my day.

At breakfast I fished his mind a bit
about the resurrection and all;
he gets it, knows it, believes it
deep breath, thanks be to God.
Then I mentioned coming nearer to the end of
my in-home parenting days with him
so I asked him how I've done
On a scale of one to ten
and he said ten without hesitation.
I said wow, really?
He said yep.
I said why. He said the nutrition, mostly.
Meaning hardly any sugar when they were small,
no french fries then either.
Funny the things they remember
and forget.

Today my girl returns from New York City
with her theater class.
She took it like a champ
and I realized also that one of my goals
for my kids was that they would be travelers
see NYC and DC.
And, amazingly, they have seen both.
Experienced both and also traveled
alone and with me;
Sometimes dreams really do come true

This parenting thing is simply not to be missed.
And I'm so thankful that
above all else
what I have been able to offer these two kids of mine
is hope
They have seen it in me
day after difficult
joyful day
They know it is real;
He is real,
Love is
and that Love cares deeply for each of us
What else could I ask?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus. Just to take Him at His word...

All my years of crying has made me a pretty good crier,
which is to say I cry pretty easily nowadays.
Today I cried hearing a man tell why he was in Seattle.
Turns out he's a fireman by trade,
but he has realized that many of those he serves
on the worst day of their lives
experienced many things prior to then that led to this sad day.
He wondered how he might help.
and God led him to The Seattle School.
(and his sweet wife came too, for support.)
Everything he experienced today at The Preview
told him that this was where he belonged
(and his wife felt so, too. How good is God?)
and, so, he came
not knowing how it would all come together,
but believing God had sent him.
What a gift for me to hear this,
for I, too, have come sensing God's call.
Despite the objections of others
and the battle within that says it's impossible
and will probably never happen,
I have come believing God has called.

Later I cried
as I realized that although I've been lonely and whining about it for years,
I have, in fact, been experiencing the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
also for years and years,
and that the courage I have to do this crazy-seeming thing
(and other crazy things which I have done)
comes from the strength and the encouragement
that I have received from The Holy Spirit.
God humbles and He lifts us up,
often in the same breath.

Later I met a guy in his mid-seventies.
He honed in on me because of my grey hair.
He's overseen the building of hundreds of homes in European counties
with Habitat for Humanity,
and now feels like he could benefit from a bit of education.
What a gift listening to him was.
And what a pleasure to be able to recommend The Seattle School.
Both of us marveled at the privilege of living life with God is,
and both of us realized how incredibly lucky we are to know that.

I'm staying at a hotel on the water across the street from The Seattle School.
And, believe it or not,
I was almost exactly here thirty-three years ago.
I'd hopped a freight train from Northern California,
the very train that runs between me in this hotel and the school.
So I was here then
questing after God as a hopeful hippie child.
How amazing is that?
All things, ladies and gentlemen.
He makes all things work together for good
to those who are called according to His purposes.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Tempus Fugit

And before you know it, six months have flown by.
It's been quite a time.

My father passed away the morning after having celebrated fifty-eight years of marriage with my mother,
my daughter and me.
Talking on the phone with a friend, ballgame on in the background
one second he was here; the next, gone.
His best friend had passed a month earlier,
and a dear niece two weeks after that
all of it much too much for his old heart to take.

Thank God his suffering is over.
Thank God he didn't have to languish in a hospital bed.
Thank God my mother was with him,
and knew to get our neighbor.
Thank God.

And now I sit and look at our pretty little Christmas tree and realize this:
Next year we three may just be in three different places for Christmas.
So we've divided up the ornaments, and packaged them for travel
so each of us can have Christmas with us wherever we may be.
And with a promise to be together when possible.

Bring it on, 2015!
I'm ready.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Drums Keep Pounding A Rhythm To The Brain

And I'm changing.

I've taken myself to yoga class the past twelve of fifteen days.
I'm so proud of myself.
I've been regularly exercising for two weeks now.
One more week, and this will be a habit (or so say the experts).

This has brought discipline to my life which has not existed before.
I must drink enough water.
I must eat three hours prior to class in order to benefit fully.
I have a new rhythm, a determined focus which I have longed for.

I cried through the last half hour of my first class.
Sad for having waited so long to care for my body, my health.
Asking what sort of woman neglects herself for so many years.
Wondering why I would treat myself so poorly.
Devastated that I have believed the judgement of others against me.
and not God's voice.
But, then, after the tears, I found myself free.
Once again free.

Why, one might ask?
Why now and not before?
Why this and not that?
Who knows?

But I've been reflecting on this relatively simple transition a bit.
(When one is doing hot yoga for ninety minutes nearly every day, one has ample time for reflection.)
And I've discovered some things that are true now were not a year ago.

I am more free now than I was a year ago.
(With many thanks to and the work I've done with them this past year
And to God for giving me the courage and the cash to do it.)

I'm more free from the shadows of shame that have darkened my heart for decades, and kept me in hiding.
Free because I have described these frightening shapes honestly in the presence of trusted companions
and come away unashamed.

I'm free from the voices which have called me unlovely.
Too Much.
Free from these lies.
Free to believe Truth.

I see myself honestly now,
and I see Beauty.
I know that this is me,
that this is Truth.  
I see gifts and power.
I am no longer afraid to be who I am, what I am.
I see my life, my self as creation that God calls good.
And I agree with Him.

You may not believe me.
My own body doubts me,
and clings stubbornly to the mantle of thick flesh in which it has hidden itself.

But I know that my redeemer lives.
And that he is making all things new.
Revelation 21.
(I have never been a dispensationalist.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Forty More Years

The other day I caught myself speaking forth life.

After worship a group was selling cookies. I told them "No thanks. I'm hoping to live forty more years."

I said it without thought. Without reflection. But it's true. I'd love forty more years.

So what am I doing now toward a goal like that?

Writing. A lot. Whenever I have focused time alone. I'm enjoying snatching those chunks of quiet space to play with words.

Reading more, which is good for the brain, as well as the heart.

Rarely turning on the TV.

Purposefully calling friends to make time to be with them over the weekend. In the past, I have mostly been alone all weekend while my kids are with their dad.

Commiting to an exercise program at a gym where I will get personalized attention, which I think has been the missing element for me.

Being more intentional about food choices almost all of the time.

None of this may seem like much, but for me these things are HUGE.

Here's to forty more years!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Walking in the Dark

Walking In The Dark

I learned to walk in the dark when I lived in the woods.
My space was beyond the big garden, in a clearing just beside the trees.
It was a tiny egg-shaped house,
complete with bed and space for books.

Here I learned to read by candle light
and to dress in the dark.
Here I learned of mullein
and tinctures good for blood.
And here I learned to get myself home
late at night after time spent with friends
down the road in the dark all alone 

through the woods to my home.

Walking the dirt road was easy because it was so obvious,
but when I cut back to head down toward the clearing,
I had to make my way around the pathless garden
then through the woods.
Here my faithful trees stood sentinelling,
kind and brave, beckoning me home.

On the road the giant limber trees danced spirited wind songs.
On the road I danced and sang with them,
but these trees in the woods stood silent, watching.
I memorized their silhouettes;
Spoke to them, trusting.
I kept my eyes toward the sky,
for looking down held no clues for my journey,
only uneven blackness.

Their unfailing shapes and symbols lead me home.

I learned to walk in the dark while living in the woods
and the trees taught me to keep my head up
and my eyes open always to the sky.
Looking down only caused me to stumble
and fall in the dark, feeling very much a fool.