Monday, February 28, 2011

before my King.

Job did it.   And, he was found blameless.

David did it.  And, he was a king after all.

So I did it today.  I ushered myself before my King and shared that I am not pleased. 

And, I asked him to blot that lousy state out of my heart.  I told him that I am craving him. 

I want to hear his heartbeat.  I want to feel his hand.  I do not understand him.  I wish I understood why I would give him my life and he would allow these difficult moments to enter in.  I do not see his plan or how his hand could be in it.  I cried at him.

And, I knew it was okay.  I knew he holds my tears and my hand. 

It was okay because he already knew everything I was feeling and he welcomed it.  He welcomed all of it - the lousy and the ungrateful along with the belief and the grateful.  That is just the kind of God he is.  He wants me as he made me, not a me who wears a mask or pretends I have it all figured out.  

Job received joy.  David received purpose.  I know he's got a plan for me also.  And you, too.

We'll find it.  We'll see it.  He promised.

Reaching for his hem,

Saturday, February 26, 2011

forever surprised.

Anne Rice, in her book, Christ the Lord, gives Jesus words, words she might imagine him saying.  At one point, when asked what he will do next, he tells his seekers, "I will go on from surprise to surprise." 

I love it. 
I claimed it. 
I had the words engraved on a bracelet. 

Surprises.  He greets us with them daily.  I wear the words to remember that I must open my hands to receive them - the good, and oh it's so hard, but also the bad.

Yesterday was a struggle.  Somehow, I put the struggle on the shelf and decided to live like it wasn't there.  Oh, if it were always that easy.  I spent the morning at my daughter's preschool brushing up against the amazing love of children, and decided I was going to soak up the creative.  Forever 21 looked like a fun store to check out.  I forever felt way too old to be shopping there, but I dove into the fun with my girls.  We laughed.  They picked out necklaces and helped me pick out a cute shirt.

The struggle didn't join us.  Surprise.  The pain slipped away.  Surprise.  My living in the moment of who I was made to be and not in the storms that threaten my sea - it was possible.  Surprise. 

And then, he reminded me he was there and he had been the one who let the joy in, who brought the strength to find the joy.

Surprise.  On the bottom of my Forever 21 bright yellow bag - there it was, in simple bold letters: "John 3:16".  Surprise.

Don't you love when he surprises you?

Reaching for his hem,

Friday, February 25, 2011

he notices.

“ . . .God notices the most trivial act, accepts the poorest, most threadbare little service, listens to the coldest, feeblest petition, and gathers up with parental fondness all our fragmentary desires and attempts at good works. Oh, if we could only begin to conceive how He loves us, what different creatures we should be!”
-Mrs. E. Prentiss, Stepping Heavenward

Reaching for his hem,

Thursday, February 24, 2011

she waits.

She waits after class for me each morning.  Lecture ends, questions are posed, students gather at the front of the room and then they weave their way out.  Each morning she stays.  Her heart is so heavy. 

She can't eat.  She can't think straight.  She can barely get through a sentence without filling up with tears.  Life has been so difficult.  His abuse, his nasty living, his put downs, his mean words, his manipulation.  She has decided to make a different choice.  She will live free of this.

So, we talk of divorce law and custody and support.  But, what we really talk of is pain and freedom, tears and hope, sadness and possibility. 

And, I pray.  I pray for her, for hope, for her heart to be safe.  And, I utter a huge thank you.  Thank you for this moment where I can feebly attempt to support.  I wonder how many times I fail to see these moments because I choose hurrying through the moment instead of meeting the needs of the moment.

Reaching for the hem,

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

my job in heaven.

"Mom, you're so good at drawing butterflies," she said proudly and thought deeply.  "Maybe when you die, that will be your job, you know, making butterflies."

Ahhh.  I love the way a five year old thinks and dreams.  Through my children, I begin to see more and more why he asks us to come to him as children, to have faith, to dream, to love as children do.

Reaching for the hem,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This very moment.

During our recent visit to Mexico, I stumbled across this mask. That portion of the mask that appears to occupy the area of thought contains what is, in fact, the Mayan calendar. It led me to think about how we so easily get stuck on thoughts of the calendar, the next thing, the next moment, time, plans, rushing, hurrying. It's nothing new. My desire. You've heard it before. Simply said, I want to focus on the moment. I want to be present. I do. I want to breathe in each grace filled gift. Or do I?

Well, maybe. Maybe not.

What about the moments that I just want to fast forward, the ones that are painful and hard and mean spirited and beat me down. What of those? Do I really want to remember those and embrace those and be in those fully? How does one live in even the moments she wants to run from as fast as she possibly can, the moments she wants to erase from that calendar in her mind, the ones she wishes were not a part of her life?

What of those moments?

His grace is present there also. Oh for eyes to see.

Reaching for the hem,

Monday, February 21, 2011

Buried. Words that no good can come from.

We gathered in the kitchen, programs in hands, laughter under our breaths and serious understanding in our hearts. The burial ceremony had begun. We buried "words no good can come from."

Really. We listed them - put downs, nasty comments, names, stupid, freak. We named them - mean words, idiot, jerk, critical words. We dug up the earth and made a place for them. We will strive to keep them in that place, pray that we can. These words, written on small strips of paper, are gone forever. These words are to decay in the ground and be wholly absent from our relationships, we pray.

We needed this important reminder that the words we use have power beyond our understanding. These children need to believe in and with every fiber of their being that they are not what words are spoken about them or called out to them in anger. And so, this simple ceremony was theirs, an indelible memory of the choices we will make with our words.

It seemed right to give the laughter and giddiness that seeped through smirks and smiles its proper place and so, we ended with an apple juice toast in colorful classes to celebrate the gone forever words that no good can come from.

Reaching for the hem of his garment,

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Beautiful Things.

There are beautiful things in this journey,
even when the pain is immeasurable,
when the person you love cannot be found underneath their facade,
when you cannot figure out how to take yet another step.

This, even this, all of this, will be made into a beautiful thing.

Reaching for the hem of his garment,


A shift.

It's time for me to make a shift, to crack through the ice and emerge with purpose.

Three posts in and I feel the nudge.

I am walking through this journey with a bipolar family member.

It is rocking my world. Bipolar is difficult, gripping, painful for those effected.

And, support is hard to find.

So perhaps, this can be my place to offer some of that needed support to others.

Here goes . . .
Reaching for the hem of his garment,