Friday

to share this moment

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

linking with soulemama

Sunday

to find...

Heart beating wildly and I freeze
because
I know I am somewhere I don't belong...

and there is a peace here that my seventeen year old self
isn't allowed to know,
and something tells me I am in a special place, that my feet are
on holy ground.

and the people stare
and I think they see the filth on my feet,
dirtying their holy carpet,
and I think they think if I look at their stained glass windows,
with the sun shining through,
causing oranges, reds and greens to dance around this room,
they will shatter,
just like me.

and what is worse are the stares
from those who know me...
the kids who see my school personality,
who know I listen to music with profanity,
who know I was in a mental hospital less than a year ago,
who know that I am dripping with mess and
garbage
and they know my very presence is
a stain...

and yet I keep walking,
for my hurt, starving soul is desperate to be here,
to feel this peace,
to live in the joy evident on the faces of these people...
and when my bruised feet stand before a chair,
and music starts flowing creating a supernatural air of beauty in the holy place...

Voices lifted up together,
each voice representing the wrecked person who was
built again by the precious Lamb,
and my hesitations melt away beneath this song
of common love and adoration,
of gratefulness and praise...

and though I know not what the words mean,
I sing them too,
because my heart feels them, I know they are real,
they are alive and they are truth...

and when the tears fall in a rush down my face,
and I know they are dripping to the floor of this holy place,
and my heart cannot stand it anymore,
it feels like it might explode,
I know nothing to do besides run...

out into the open,
where I can breathe again,
where body shakes with sobs I cannot control
and someone comes and whispers prayers
and shows me how to love

and I begin this pilgrimage
of love,
truth,
and peace
that I have been on for over eleven years...

and I know that I am still dripping with a mess,
but now it no longer defines me,
because His grace is sufficient
and His strength is made perfect in my weakness...

and so I give thanks...


641 wonderfully amazing starry night
642 reunion for my husband with some dear friends
643 Peace
644 daddy camping out front with kids
645 cool nights
646 titmice in the bird house
647 delicious new dessert... thanks megan!
648 piles of books still to be read
649 a beautiful, always there friend
650 discovering an apricot tree in our yard
651 beginning to feel baby move...life...new, amazing
652 being given a $50 gift certificate to a restaurant... soon to be date night
653 encouraging words

Wednesday

to have compassion and grace

Sitting in the living room, clean, perfect, the walls covered with pictures of their family...

His voice talking, constant, passionate... anger, frustration, laughter... all coming from his mouth one after another.

I am literally biting my lips to keep from opening my mouth, to tell him to stop, to tell him he is wrong.

I glance at my loving husband who is looking at me... his eyes filled with understanding but also with a gentle reminder...don't.  Don't open your mouth, don't say anything, I know it's awful but keep quiet.  Don't cast pearls to swine.

These words he has told me often before, I know they are the message he is sending with his eyes.

I sit quietly, I endure...

The father of this home is a police officer...and a christian.  He professes the name of the Lord Jesus.  He is my brother in the Body of Christ.  I do not want to think negative things about him, but...he is making me sick.  His words are making me sick.

He is talking about the people he pulls over.  He tells us how awful they are, the lies they tell.  He takes pleasure in ticketing them.

Next he tells us about the kids he meets in juvie.  About how messed up they are, how they are so disrespectful and nothing will ever change them.

Moving into the gang members, how they are all the same, they don't want to change, they won't change.

My heart is pounding as he speaks....I want to yell at him.  My husband continues to look at me with love, understanding, trying to keep me quiet.

Before the conversation finally moves onto something else, he informs us how pointless jail ministries are.  The prisoners don't care, they only go listen to the pastors because it gives them something to do.  They won't change, they will get out of jail and go right back to their life of drugs and crime, even if they "accept" Christ.

Oh how I am fuming inside.  My heart breaks... I want to weep with the woman who was given a speeding ticket, which now she must pay, though she can't buy food for her family.

I want to wrap my arms around the kids in juvie, the kids in the gangs.  I want to tell them they are loved.  I want to bring them home and let them have a family, let them see they are something, they are special.  I hurt with them, for the lack of love they have been given, for what has drawn them to this life.

I want to go to the jail, tell people there is another way, watch them choose Jesus, be their friend and advocate when they are released.

"Mourn with those who mourn..."

And I want to tell this man how terrible these things are that he is saying, I want to ask him where his love is, where his compassion is, I want to ask him how he can love Jesus and ooze judgment all over His created people, the ones He loves.

But I don't.  I hold my tongue.  I know better.  I have spoken up before, I have been met with arguments, stubbornness, denial.  I know he won't listen, I know it will only cause problems.

On our way home, still fuming, I ask my husband, "How can you listen to him?  How can you sit still and hear him and not say anything?  Don't you feel this anger that I am feeling?  He is awful, just plain awful.  He is supposed to be a christian!  He has no grace, no compassion, none.  NONE!  He claims the name of Jesus, but he has NO GRACE for anyone!"

Kindly, gently, my husband puts his hand on mine and asks, "Where is your grace for him, your love?"

I am silenced.  Oh Lord, how did I miss this?  I was so wrapped up in his lack of grace that I became the one with no grace.  I am no better.  How prideful had I become, taking pride in being compassionate?

Praying for him, asking for God to help me to have grace on this man... asking forgiveness for my own lack of grace, my pride, my foolishness... Oh Lord, help me take this plank out of my eye.  Help me show grace to him, to love him despite all, and when he is given grace, help him to give it to others.





Sunday

to truly live

On banks of lake serene and blue,
family of large black crows scavenge for worms
and food left behind.
Wind whispers on necks,
water splashes up,
kissing skin,
and we sit with poles waiting for fish,
books open to pages of encouragement and truth,
children voicing imagination in song,
running about God's land,
living,
truly living.






And Peace resides here,
speaking while waves lap against the shore,
while trees dance,
waving their arms in the breeze.
Must we go,
back to piles of laundry in need of folding,
to floors begging to be swept, mopped, vacuumed,
again and again,
to supper unmade,
toys out of place,
books strewn about on every surface.

Yet, Peace lives there too,
speaking while children laugh,
play,
read,
sing,
while family and instruments, together, make music
and little ones snore softly in the hush of the moon.

I can return
and find Him there,
and serve Bread to my family,
serve them first,
allowing them to partake of Love,
security and
nourishment.
Lavishing my best upon them,
so they do not have to be as the crows,
scavenging for scraps, for leftovers.

I can return
and there we can live,
truly live.


"We are nourished and tenderly cherished for Christ's sake"
  -Martin Luther


  On In Around button
gifts #628-640
wind's whisper
wave's song as it reaches shore
father helping, guiding children
red-winged blackbirds flying to their nest in the cattails
bookworm daughter turning 9
being given a beautiful, old dog for our family
bright, beautiful full moon
children catching fish
visit with brother and family
being cold
new antique rocker
napping next to Moses
little kids everywhere

Thursday

to the one who found me on google

To the one who found me on google
by typing in "how to make a marriage last with kids",

Whispering broken prayers for you as
I think on the silent pain you must be feeling,
your heart overflowing with love for the family He has given,
your sorrow breaking forth, threatening to flood everything else.
Oh that you would search out help in this anonymous world,
bless you dear one,
looking for that answer that will fix aching vows,
and I pray that my rocky words have spoken something deep to your heart,
and I offer to you all I have to give...
the only thing I know to do,
just
love him.
Just love him by
loving Him.
 And when feelings are lost amidst a toil of raw emotion,
when tears cover face instead of his lips,
when words hurt stronger than physical pain ever could,
and when loneliness seeps in and threatens to consume you,
remember he is gift,
just as they are gifts,
that love will win because
God will win,
and if you just hold on
a bit
longer,
just love him
no matter what,
hope will burst forth as light of new day,
and you will hold each other once again.

I pray for you.
Just love him.

Sunday

to share that girl of mine

Oh that girl of mine,
that curly haired bookworm daughter
whose emotions are more mysterious than
Stonehenge,
whose soul is deeper than the ocean's abyss.


And when she sits in silence, staring at what
only she knows,
I wouldn't dare interrupt her without necessity,
for her thoughts are great,
and I know that God is speaking to her,
that they are dining together on a feast of
ideas, of love,
communing there in her moments of silence.

And when she tiptoes as an Indian of old
under the immense California Oak trees,
binoculars hanging around her neck,
I leave her long to search out the Western Scrubs,
the shockingly orange Hooded Orioles,
though responsibility is washed away in her adventures.
For here she is basking in His goodness,
aglow in the beauty she finds in His creation,
worshiping Him by loving what He has made.
 

And when she cries, her tears flow colored,
when she reads, she's lost for hours,
when strangers speak to her, she shies away as if
all has stopped and now the world is focused only
on her,
a place where she finds herself desperately uncomfortable.


She is that deep, quiet soul that He has made her,
whispering wisdom,
growing in untold ways every passing day.
Her smile is soft and
her mind is overflowing,
a waterfall of understanding
and praise...

510. a glimpse into 8 year old curly haired, bookworm daughter's gratitude journal...

1. the birds that I hear and see outside
2. the bunny that hops around the floor
3. adorable Moses
4. my sissies playing and reading
5. the squirrels scampering on the ground
6. me and mommy making bread together
7. knowing that daddy is hard at work for us.
8. this wonderful day
9. looking at God's wonderful creation
10. hearing Moses
11. hearing Josiah rinsing dishes
12. watching the girls make a mess in the clean living room
13. looking at Moses' pouty face
14. catching a butterfly
15. watching daddy laugh
16. seeing Ruth cry
17. daddy catching a lizard