Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Anything but thunder

i read this lovely post in a little bit of awe, i think.

how did i forget that he spoke to fishes? that he clothed lilies? that he knew every sparrow in the field?
when did i stop knowing?

i think there is a personal directive for all of us, much like elijah's: "what are you doing here?" and then, "go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by: (1 kings 19: 11). we mutter our incoherent excuses, and He simply says go SEE.

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper (1 kings 19: 11-12)

i see myself everywhere--my interests, my needs, my wants, my way. i cry out, "where are you? WHO are you?" all the while i stopped seeking him in anything but thunder. i cry out for writing on walls and earth ripped wide, but he whispers loudest in silent tears and my own broken heart.

how do you remember the grace of invitation, the call to see him in the wind?

a grateful nod to amy for her gentle nudging, her beautiful words to hear the only voice that matters. i am learning to sift through the rubble to see his ways; now i must sift through my own heart to see him.

and i know that i see him now in my children's eyes: the colors of the ocean, a stone, the sky; i see him in my husband's pewter circle; i see him in the knitting of stitches and the breaking of bread. i see, Lord. help me Hear.

writing imperfectly, sharing grace with emily.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Waiting to exhale

head leaning on cool glass pane, window frosting breath-puffs. here, the glass is cool in early morning light, but, too, the A/C's been on all night.
and he, so high and breathless in mountain snow and glory, exhales shivery clouds.
(the photo he took to share with us, gold-capped beauty for waking's taking.)
the coming and going marks us.
we wait for homecoming.
today he will walk on some site, crunching through snow and sales-speak.
today we will probably bake boredom away, perhaps make those traced-hand turkeys, find some way to curb all our tired grappling.
waiting is interim. sometimes interminable.
but hope waits, expectant smiles upon return. the little ones and i wait for him: give and take. it marks us raw, but it is our brand; we are his, and he is ours.

my head pounds. this is the reason i lean on glass. new medicine is still fighting its way through my body, foreign agent, muddling. i'm eager for the promised relief and expectant that new eyes can see rightly with fog lifted high.

i pray for homecoming. a return to the One i love, a turning toward instead of away. i know i've been lifted in prayer by friends. the blessing is a fresh breath, making it easier to breathe my own halting prayers.

and of course, you will notice my new look here. many thanks to my beautiful friend Sonny for transforming this space to match my vision. i think we're still tweaking it, so let me know if there is a problem!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Worship in thanks

Healer heal me
Savior save me
Maker change me
Lover love me
Cuz I'm so tired of living for
The kind of love
That only lasts for a while
The pain, the shame
Tear me up inside

So I fall on my knees
To get back on my feet again
And I cry out for You
Would You please speak to me

these are the lyrics of the ten shekel shirt song healer. they have been my prayer for so long.
i have written here that my spirit has been unrestful, that my heart has been hurting. He has answered prayer in the most "not my will" kind of ways, and i have met with my Healer. unexpected places and the giving in of wills are balm to this hard heart... He knows, He always knows, doesn't He?

in a babe-new attitude of joy creeping in, with thankfulness wanting to gush no matter the week's coincidence, i continue to count his gifts, freely given, and thank Him for eyes to see the miracle in the ordinary. today, i worship soft on knees: eyes seeing, fingers flying in this space.

201. for sin that brings me to knees
202. and the forgiveness that unbinds
203. and the fear-turned-resolution to ask for the hardest thing i've ever had to do
204. and the answer, there, in chocolate skin and crinkly santa eyes, white lab coat, doctor saying, "yes, i know. i've been there. we can help you. please, misty, don't forget to run to Him, and i will pray for you."
205. for eyes that couldn't see anything through tears at his words, and then eyes that felt they could see everything thereafter:
206. the love of husband--soul-matched--hurt so much for me, how helpless he felt, the relief weighing heavy in his tears seeing me new again.
207. the love of three little boys, that only comes from little boys, the shared knowing--mama.
208. for ordinary blessings so long overlooked.... magazines with croquembouche towering tall on cover like golden dreams (and recipe! salted caramel and ricotta cream, oh my!)
209. and oatmeal made at home with butter, cinnamon, and sugar, just the way they like it
210. and dinosaur jammies with footies worn thin, pitter patter
211. and laughing RAWRS as boys fight-play, not knowing this is how they learn their place in this world
212. for maternal health and quick heartbeat--excited all over again to meet this newest ____ (he insists it's fourth boy, i wonder at pink possibilities)
213. for new bed this week to cradle growing belly and aching back
214. for pantry, full of expectations and bounty, already we give thanks before that big meal and family gathered
215. for him, so willing to travel when he'd rather stay. for steady work even when it's hard
216. and praise! for job for friend's husband... God is so good!
217. for seeing and getting to love on golden retriever rescues at the store yesterday, memories of growing up and the gentle old "tiger lily" who no one thought would be great with kids, and her surprising everyone. my children loved her best of all, her fur hardly flax anymore.
218. for the return of words and desire to write, my friend on this journey
219. and words from youngest, little parrot mimicking everything we say, so funny, so challenging!
220. for heart's fissures healing... for grace that binds me whole.

Thank you, Lord.

(joining w/ ann but i can't seem to get her button to work now. i'll try again later)


Friday, November 12, 2010

Hallelujah and living love

first, i should probably warn anyone reading this blog that i'm already in the "christmas spirit." i am anxiously awaiting socially acceptable christmas songs on the radio. one of the things i've always appreciated about my favorite christmas hymns (and this probably started with my first viewing of "hark, the herald angels sing" on it's a wonderful life) is the reverence and awe of the coming savior. this is still true, and i get lumpy-throat even now at "o, holy night," "silent night," and the haunting "we three kings."
so, when a friend posted this lovely video (i'm also a huge fan of the improv "freezes" and breaking out into dance or song videos on youtube) on facebook, i was teary and proud and amazed, but also hesitant. i wish that our lives (and by our, i suppose i should mean my own) were so attractive and amazing and inviting that we were truly living testaments to our savior, pointing the way and drawing in. breaking out in glorious song is beautiful and inspiring, but i think loving the unlovely is even more beautiful and holy.
none of this is to be preachy, because goodness knows i need the message as much as or more than most. i think my heart breaks sometimes because all i can see is the inside of my house and my duties there. i read an article i refuse to repost here where a mom compares motherhood to being a prison, but one thing she said was that perhaps the "fad" of attachment parenting lifestyles kept parents (mothers in particular) so locked into their kids' lives that they couldn't see the scope of the larger world around them. there is so much wrong with that statement, and yet a teensy part of me sometimes feels just like that. like i can't see the hurting world around me. so my prayer today and this season (almost christmas!) is to simply see--see the hurting, to try to love in as practical way as i can, those around me. and if i sing a christmas song while i'm at it, i hope it's just the icing on the cake and not the main course.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Jacob's limp

this space has been quieter than usual, even for me. i've never subscribed to so many posts per week or month; i've just tried to write for me, when i need or want it. writing here has felt a little vulnerable lately, and i think somewhere in the depression and fear, i simply froze. i've felt the effects, that desire to pull away from (not in just the virtual world, but the real one), withdraw, stop speaking. then, too, the struggle to maintain mama in a world of word-writing, and one feels frivolous on days of frozen pizzas, laundry piled high, and too many cartoons just to survive the day. how can i pit words of being broken in this broken place against the living broken in a broken place?
so these have been my struggles: the fear i said too much and the knowing i'm not speaking all that is in my heart.
and yet
through flood of tears, and simply-asked question to my earthly love last night, i think i've found my voice again. i asked, "is it possible to love myself?" he cried shining tears with me at the braveness in asking if it's okay and if so how, and he gently held and talked with a Voice bigger than his own, and i think the time stood still in prayer for us. big question, little self. and ruefully i admit i think it's time to see my counselor again.
i also stumbled upon my former pastor's blog (he's now a missionary to hungary), and this is his tagline: The wrestling angel gifted Jacob with a limp as a permanent reminder of his encounter with God. Jacob's life-long policy was to run. His final glory was that he learned to lean (Hebrews 11:21). A wound is a good thing if it is accepted as a stewardship from God, appropriated as a channel of God's strength and consecrated to God's purpose. Where dependence is the objective, weakness is the advantage.
i wrote of choosing life, and in so doing i think i need to make peace with this limp, this weakness in me--a reminder that i am His--His! that He has touched, seen, held, and loved me not despite, not through it all; He has loved me Everlasting.
so i am limping, and choosing to see the advantage: to give this back to Him, all my depression, fear, worry, self-hatred....i choose to lean.

linking this post up with emily at imperfect prose this week.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pause and privilege

(a repost from the archives. thanks to those who've written to me and prayed for me; i have lots to share when next we get a free moment!)

i pause, "consider all the world thy hands have made."
i, just dust, can star-gaze and sea-wonder,
revel in my own ordinary and know that
i was made for this--
beyond this--
of this.
moments to breathe in, savor, hold in, exhale.
i, muddy soul, love-struck and faith-child,
swallow daily pride and try to remember
i was made for Him:
his pleasure,
his worship.
giving thanks in all things, i drink full moments of
stop-don't move-remember this scene
remember in stones and banners
how He paved the way,
i, ragamuffin beggar
wearing white linen Privilege.

grace to you today.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Choosing life

time inches or sprints, and the telling is in graying hair and hands looking worn from so many dishes washed. it's also told in waist-swelling, and we're already done with the first third, and i can barely recall any first trimester troubles. i'm grateful, with three little ones to chase around.

time tells stories in first-times, and we saw that, too, last night, with the policeman and the dalmatian all eager and unbelieving for free candy. i found myself welling inside tears at how these little boys are growing up, doing firsts, and i have no stop over the time gone.

entering into a gratitude season, (for isn't every season filled with thanks?) i'm acutely aware of my lack of thanks in this space lately. i've been in a hard season, tainted with depression, and that's the time to proffer thanks, i know, but i didn't have words.

heart is still weary, but i'm reminded to NOT be weary of doing good, and i cling to hope, both in the restoration of self and a hope for a future different than the present. i still have so much to learn and to teach my boys, and that starts with joy and thanks. so today, i choose life.
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. ~ Deut. 30:19-20a.

continuing to count with ann and the rest of the gratitude community. she calls it the great elixir, and i think she's never more right.

holy experience

185. for one-third way there with relatively no discomfort or debilitating nausea
186. and continued ability to mama while husband is away
187. for provisions-so many!
188. for an OB i like
189. for excitement from family and friends
190. for family outing and candy-gathering
191. not just ours, but chance to see so many other families sharing
192. and this mama's heart happy to see her little ones so eager and polite
193. for the wonder of total strangers sharing in this tiniest way
194. and second-hand costumes bought almost last minute
195. for puppies and policemen and pumpkins!
196. for cooling weather and fall delights
197. for more time to play outside and friends to join us
198. for continued health of twin nieces and sister doing well
199. for husband's love and sacrifices for our family
200. and as ever, for the grace of heart-fog lifting, and the chance to choose life.