Psalm 71:19-24

Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens,
    you who have done great things.
    Who is like you, God?
20 Though you have made me see troubles,
    many and bitter,
    you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
    you will again bring me up.
21 You will increase my honor
    and comfort me once more.

22 I will praise you with the harp
    for your faithfulness, my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
    Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy
    when I sing praise to you—
    I whom you have delivered.
24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts
    all day long,
for those who wanted to harm me
    have been put to shame and confusion.

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Bring me back to this place

O Father, I have to remember that this is a vacation. In real life, whether in this physical place or another, there is work and there are uncomfortable conversations and things to face.

Still, Lord, I feel so surrounded by your presence here. Please let me come here physically again… but spiritually, let me always be so taken with you.

Let my life feel like last night, scream singing praise songs in a room full of people until all of the pent up terror that has been brewing inside of me is drained. Let me be able to be physically anywhere giving you everything, unafraid of anyone else’s thoughts, able to drown out the voices in my head with your promise. Keep me ever in your presence.

Thank you for loving my broken heart and receiving my breathless, desperate prayers.

When I go out with my friends, when I go back home, when vacation ends, when I go back to work– remind my soul that I still have access to this intimacy with you. I love you.

Mon. 3/26/18 Last night was Singspiration at Biola.

Maybe it’s a March thing.

Or maybe it’s a season changing thing.

At any rate, they way I felt last March is the way I feel this March. The fact that I have a job, the fact that I am changing my space, none of that has changed the way I feel. The nearly debilitating misery comes up on me and I want to make everything stop.

But I don’t.

I have a job to do, people who trust me to fulfill my commitments, a calling to answer. I can’t just abandon all of this. It is hard, but I will persevere; I have to.

Fact: A dramatic interpretation

I pick last year up by its drawstrings, pull them loose. It is too late to wring the sweat from my hands as I brace myself for the sound the contents will make as they hit the hard floor.

The anxiety makes it all happen in slow motion. I imagine what the marbles must look like from underneath.

I am so gifted with the pulling things apart, with the memorizing of how each marble fit into my existence, but I cannot quite make sense of how they relate to the future. How does these cat-eyes help me see into the tomorrow? I can’t tell.

I pour this past year’s memories out, trying to see the future in them like tea leaves. And now that I think about it, I know better.

I know that the magic eight ball is no better than palm reading. All leave room for devils and hot air.

Empty, anxious, I wonder at the weakness of my wick. Why does my fire fail me? Why do I fail to pull over and get the headlights fixed?

I just call the darkness a fact. Press my palms and say, “What can I do?”

What am I doing?

Why do I fall so shy of glory when outstanding is within my reach?

I ask a lot of questions for someone who is supposed to have answers…

via Daily Prompt: Fact

Daily Prompt: Branch

Today they came and got the tree from the front yard of our new house. Somebody said it had contracted mistletoe, that it was dead before I got here.

Before I entered its shade, its protection, the soul of the thing was gone.

I feel like I’ve been quietly set adrift again. My anchor’s been pulled without my permission, instead a johnny-come-lately notice and someone says its grace that I had any advance warning at all.

I wonder about that, as I prepare to do to my children what was done to me. Do I say goodbye before I before I go? Do I just quietly, pull back my branches slow…?

Whisper last “I love you’s” in a language only I speak

Flat, unwelcoming, don’t say it back “I love you’s”

Do I go out misunderstood

Let my name be an unsolved mystery re-hashed at future reunions where I won’t be invited because I left no room to be reached out to…

Do I bury my body in the void and let my spirit disappear from memory?

But, even then, won’t I find myself like the tree? Carried off almost entirely, but learning my loss with time…?

The stump still sits out front.

The tree with all of its unfallen branches, yet unpeeled bark, couldn’t have predicted its own last breath. What heartbreak to find yourself suddenly severed from your roots! To grapple with the finality of distance from the grass you didn’t say “good bye” to…

I feel like a bush that knows it’s about to be moved– all my sprigs still soft and green.

I war within myself whether or not to warn them– let them quit themselves early into the adults they will someday be.

via Daily Prompt: Branch

transition

So far, I have noticed that I am missing three books (She’s Still There, Turtles All the Way Down, and The Land).

In this moving process some things are eluding me, but I think I will be able to locate them before it ends. And, unlike pretty much any of the other times I have moved, this relocation process does not force me to reassess my identity.

I will still be choosing to like school and students. I will still be living with my parents. I will still be a dogmom of two. I will still be a Godmom to one child. I will still be paying student loans and preparing for the sophomore year of “life.”

 

I hope that you make your own space, Trailblazer, then hold it for tomorrow’s children who will follow your path and carry your legacy beyond your resting place.

September 2017

You’ve entered your career. You’re far enough in to have made some mistakes– some big ones– and begun to acknowledge them for what they are. You have not done so much damage to anything that anyone will be ruined or anything cannot be salvaged.

You were an overly indulgent mother– moved by her child’s every act.

I don’t know what you were thinking.

Sure, it’s cute when they’re young. When they ask those questions with big, bright eyes, when they smile like they’ve won something…

But it’s not cute when the one losing is more often than not, you. It’s not cute when they turn twenty-two and are still saying, “I just get so mad sometimes– let me go before I punch somebody.” It’s not going to be good if the only self-discipline your kids learn from you is to remove themselves from the situation.

If you don’t teach them how to stick it out–!

What a season this is! You’re in a season of growth. Something has to be buried and broken for a seed to become a plant. A hardening stem has to allow soft shoots to burst forth in order to become a proper tree. And you, you have to endure as the soft parts of you harden and new softness– more appropriate places to be vulnerable– appear. This is that sort of season.

It hurts.

Living feels like dying, but  it isn’t. Even when you don’t have time for it, breathe. In the words of your grandfather, “you’re going to pass out and breathe anyway” so just do it now.

Make space to be a person. You are not just an employee.

It’s late and maybe I’m not making a whole lot of sense right now, but go back to Jeremiah 29 as many times as you need to. You are being told to stay. Bloom where you’ve been planted and stop holding back your best for another patch just because the weeds here choked your first few flowers. Endure until God says the season is over and takes you to the next place.

9:26

I look for me in you and you in me.

Find nothing save the holes we’ve drilled to blow our breath through one another.

Emptying one another, vanity.

Looking for the most important part to steal and keep.

Blinded by our own anxieties about being left lonely again, we miss the opportunity to t value the people we destroy.

I look for you in me, and myself in you

And come away wondering at how wholely holey I’ve made you.

How much of the holy in me you undervalued, and we leave each other

A messy breakup sitting in the same room.

Smudged mascara, black eye

Loosened tie, broken necklace

How did we allow ourselves to be so reckless?

trophies

Even if you never get a trophy that says you shined the brightest,

You will remember what it feels like to be lit up on the inside

Praise to the Highest.

That sort of light will warm you.

That sort of warmth will carry you.

Trophies are dust-collecting relics to prove that you once were what you now are.

Your skill is much more worth the work of maintenance.