Saturday, February 22, 2014

Forced Sabbath (waxed slightly poetic)

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, 
but you would have none of it." - Isaiah 30:15

Life gets loud.
And fast.
And impossible.

Life whirls me round
as if it's taken some dare 
to outdo itself.

Life becomes a never-ending carousel.
Spinning round and round.
And round and round.

The view doesn't change.
Not really.
People come and go.
Pass by or hang around.
Take a few pictures as memento.
And they are off again.
But I am still whirring.
Trying to find center.
Trying to focus.
Trying hard to hold the vomit down.

Sometimes it feels that life just needs to stop.
Stop the world. 
I want to get off this ride that seems to resound cruel.
No matter what I've tried to do to honor weekly Sabbath,
or daily quiet;
Sometimes I am just turned round and round
til I am run into the ground.

Anger flows from stress mounted high.
Pain bleeds from my eyes as tears.
And the only thing left to do is nothing.
I am strong-armed by life into simple rest


Sometimes the end of my rope
is the very lifeline I've needed.

Friday, February 21, 2014


Linking up here...

Love that Lisa-Jo tells us our words are safe here at Five Minute Friday. 
That gives me courage.
Makes me brave to say what I have to say today about "Small"...


The thing about small is there is some kind of judgement extended.
To label something or someone as small implies a standard of measure.
I grow tired of living what most would dismiss as a small life.
A no-name in one of the country's most dangerous cities.
15 years given and sacrificed in a congregation still declining.
Living in a rental house with no home equity accrued.
An at-home mom educating three children.
Holding a degree and an ordination.
Spinning her wheels.
Or so it would seem.

But small is relative.
Small is small only in comparison to something else.
So why not change that which we compare ourselves to?
Why not embrace the fact that my life might appear small in comparison to an academy award winning actress or an olympic medal earning athlete?
Why not nod in giant swoops of the head that small has not resulted in fiscal abundance or popular renown?

My small has accumulated a faith that still holds more mystery than knowing;
a love seasoned over a decade and a half with a man knows me intimately and fully;
a gift of three children who bless and stretch and humble me.
My small has led me to paths of deep friendships with a few;
a developed commitment to God's church - imperfect and messy and beautiful;
a woman's call to ministry in spite of being raised to think this impossible.

Small is in the eye of the beholder.
Small is only small if we contrast to that which we view as bigger.
And bigger, well bigger isn't always better.
Give me small.
I'll take it.
And some days I will struggle that smallness seems insignificant.
And other days my eyes will be opened to the truth that small is never really small when it changes you. and others.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

On Olympics and Hope

They get me every time.
Something about the Olympics make me believe.
And dream.
And hope.

We let the kids stay up late to watch Ice Dancing.
Never mind that my husband would rather be tortured by a period British drama.
Even still, we all sat and watched couples flow across the ice.
Melding with the music and each other.
Footwork, lines and lifts that I can't technically evaluate, 
yet I know beauty when I see it.

I sat flanked by children.
Snuggled close to me as we stared at the TV in the dark.
They weren't particularly quiet.
I wasn't always particularly patient.
But nevertheless it was a moment.

I never intend for this world stage to make family memories
but it does somehow.
Ever since our oldest could understand the idea of sport
and competition and winning and national pride.
Every two years, we find ourselves fixated 
on the two weeks of nightly events 
shown to world through the lens of NBC.
Artistry in motion.
Athleticism at it's best.
Teamwork shining.
Patriotism swirling.
Goosebumps forming.

And every time I think I can walk away unaffected by what I've seen, 
but I am wrong.
When you stare excellence in the face, it's hard to remain stoic.
Even the observer of greatness can not help but be impacted, 
even if it's from the other side of a high-def screen.
A marginal spectator separated by continents
becomes a part of the unfolding story
of these Olympians,
their stories and struggles,
their perseverance and determination.

We watched the Americans win gold in Ice Dancing, 
and then shuffled up the stairs to tuck in tired children.
I kissed the blond head of my little boy,
and I wondered what God has in store for him.
Odds are it probably won't be Olympic gold, 
especially since he would rather stay home than do just about anything.
Except maybe go to the toy store.
But even if his future isn't doused with medals, 
I can't wait to see it unfold.
Entering into the stories of athletes across the globe
has reminded me of the joy of life.
The fullness of life.
The goodness therein.
The hope of tomorrow.

Tonight I was reminded of the value of dreaming.
Big, audacious dreams.
Crazy, spectacular dreams.
Dreams that could find you labeled loony.
After all, someone has to win that gold medal, 
or get that book published, 
or sign that recording contract, 
or invent the next cure.
And it might even be a slumbering child
nestled in Sonic sheets.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Linking up with Five Minute Friday...



That's the color I associate with my posable digit.
So when my husband declared his desire to have a garden 
I was well, nervous.
"I kill things, " I thought.
"I have no idea what I'm doing, " I thought.
And he looked into my eyes and simply said, "We'll learn."

Like it's no big deal.
To learn to garden 
and grow things
and water things
and harvest things.

We'll learn!?!

And that's what we did.
Small step by small step, 
we figured out the best way 
to pick a spot of yard, 
to get good dirt, 
to prepare the soil, 
to plot the garden, 
to sow the seeds, 
to weed and water and wait, 
and to bring our children along for the journey.

And then the day to reap; 
to pass the joy on as our six-year-old
plucks the pole bean from the plant, 

and I sautee it in the skillet,
and we sit at our table and eat
something we grew.

And I am in awe
that life won out, 
that growth actually happened.

Friday, February 7, 2014


Today's prompt: Write
Linking up with Five Minute Friday.

Sometimes the rule to refrain from editing is SO very difficult. There is much I would like to refine with this entry but have exhibited self control and not done so. And I am trying to be okay with that.


I picture a very large feather-quill pen.
Held in the hand of Providence.
Penning the story of creation.
The Divine must be right-handed because in this story
there are no smudged writings.
No words smeared because of His hand following along behind.
But as I observe my own life
intertwining into this one Story,
I can see the ink, still wet from 
being written, 
and I bumble across the page.
My own feeble feet seem to blur the words.
And I wonder if I’ve compromised the clarity
of this Story with my own humanity.
I imagine myself sitting, head in my hands, 
on this immense scroll of parchment, 
ancient and modern together,
peering at my sloppy work.
And I look down at criss-crossed legs 
and find the dried ink on my own skin
instead of the page.
I have fought the feelings of failure of that in the past.
But today, looking up into the eyes of the Author, 
I am reassured that my failings and fallings
can actually act as the gateway to allow my full entrance
into my story. His story. The Story.