One and Another

I push too hard sometimes 

Or not at all

Afraid to hammer the next nail

Or struggling to hold what connects the next piece of the bridge

Folly, the Pier


Or the path or the persistent part, mine. 

One thing, then another thing. 

That is all faith is. 

Beginning with uncertainty becoming possibly certainly, a bridge. 

Free writing, wanderings whimsical and or weary from one step, two, three steps back then, here now, a steady stride. 

Tide is turning. Freedom is caling. A tug towards the treasured and 

determined thing.

Prayer doing what prayer does. 

Wait and See, He says. 

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Thinking Grace


If it hadn’t been for the tide coming in

I’d have sat longer. 

I prayed. 

I pondered.

  I dozed, the soft thickness of fading easy.  

Legs outstretched and eyes closed behind shades and ball cap. 

I was praying, not napping. 

I was recalling grace. 

I’ll spare the details of it all, the times grace came near in forms other than answer or reprieve. 

Real rescues, touchable.

People. 

There are some times grace looked my way and were it not for grace 

there are places there and 

then I’d have gone.

And maybe not come back the same. 

Grace, so very hard to grab hold of like oh, goodness thank you God, when you had no idea of grace 

being grace back then. 

You were gone, too far gone to see. 

So you think of grace as evidence, as your protector standing from a distance watching and nodding to say, 

told you. 

There’s a reason you are still here. 

Little Specks of Much

Nothing but space and words between us three. 


Rambling and Random words.

Birds overhead not necessarily in search of crumbs, just happy to hover, excited it seemed. 


The day so pleasant in the midst of the miss part of hit or miss thunderstorms. 

We headed down to the beach, a quick little walk and when the radar was favorably wrong in its prediction,


 we stayed three or four times longer than the okay, we’ll head back in a minute pact, postponed seven or so times over. 


And the wide open space of blue gray bluer made me feel like the sweetest, most tiny speck of nothing significant but oh, so very much more. 

Oh, God, the nearness of you, I thought. 

Comfort and Perfection

I sometimes write on Friday morning for five minutes because I’m not nearly afraid of a challenge as I used to be. I’m not nearly as mislead by the day when it is new and I sort of appreciate the Five Minute Friday idea, keeping me from analyzing every word.

Go. 


It’s not late enough for someone who is on vacation. Still, I rise and I meet me in the place of solitude. I scrunch into the corner, bordered by pillows on one side and my books on the other, some of them study, some sketch, another the book marked with the year. 

Coffee cup chosen to match the mood. Paisley, a keeper, every thing a reason, a season, a remembrance. 

Barely opened my eyes from the tossing of the night and not alert enough to fret. 

The morning still breaking, I sit void of lamplight and I read another’s words on perfection, the I AM definition. 

Find my comfort for this day, more to come 

in this year I called, still calling “breakthrough” with breaks that seem only tiny cracks letting the light in, the air out, the door creaking its hinge. 

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me. Lord, your faithful love endures forever; do not abandon the work of your hands.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭138:7

Comfort for today, bright hope for tomorrow. 

This post is prompted by Five Minute Friday: http://fiveminutefriday.com/linkup/

A Prayer for the Uncertain Creative

I must have tucked the words away, the ones shared by David Kanigan about writing and reluctance and for me, waiting to see if others may approve or even just read.

It was wisdom for me, a jewel: Permission to just write without measure of success

I let it linger, mingle with lyrics and truths until it commingled in a good way to make me pray.

I wrote out a prayer last night, cause you know, writing for me, makes it more likely to stick:

God, guide me so that my writing honors you only.

Help me to help others have hope. May my only desire be to please you.

me

Then I wound up again, in the beginning of my Bible and I remembered when Moses told God he absolutely was incapable and God said, let me show you.


Lots of ways to pray it, say it…the prayer for me, the uncertain creative.

Lord, open doors you want opened or Lord,

equip me to glorify you, not me

or you might pray,

God, help me to get me out of your way so that you can have your way or

equip me to write, to paint, to live in a way that brings you honor,

not me

not notice or concern or praise or

sometimes pity because

my words ring too true.

Because of mercy, in Jesus Name,

Amen.

 

Vulnerable, Uncovered 

img_8021

Only just a few minutes filled up the space of the time the storm moved in and I went outside to notice the sky and then a little more space between us sitting by the pool.

We talked of God and Eden and things we keep covered or rip off the cover, I thought, exposing what we feel must be better, must be ours to know now.  I’d walked outside after the storm had shaken all the windows, my husband walked in the room and announced, “Well, that was some show.” Paused and then to make sure I noticed added “I probably shouldn’t have been standing out in it”.

I listen, knowing he’s talking about the lightning; but, he does this thing lately, like a conversation starter game.  If I hadn’t said, “You mean the lightning?” He’d have come back with “Don’t you wanna know about the show?”

And I would have listened as he told me something I already knew.  Such is the play of who we are now, husband and wife aging, grace and more grace. (Smile.)

I walked out front to see the sky. One big chunk to the left, clearing with a puff in plump peach colored sun popping through enormous cloud.

I turned to face the road and wide bands of dark cobalt stretch out to border the horizon with more clouds warning,  it’s storming over there.

Stood there for a while and wondered how it’s possible to see the sky and not believe.

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭8:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Why the sky and its display of power and authority in itself is not enough to make us sure of God.

Why we don’t stay sure for as long as we should when we get to see such glory when we go looking for it, notice it’s God.

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭8:3-4‬ ‭ESV

The night, too beautiful to be ignored, I walked out back to sit, turned back to see the view and the moon had broken through, full.

I tried to capture it; but, realized I can never do justice, so just gazed instead.

Still thinking about God.

When my husband came out to join me, I asked “Don’t you think it’s amazing how we get to experience earth’s beauty even though creation was not exactly as God planned in Eden?”

He replied, “Do you think we’d all be walking around naked, if Eve hadn’t messed up?”

And since I didn’t answer, he went on to wonder what I thought and said “We would all just be walking around naked and nobody would care about being naked…wouldn’t bother you at all.”

“I guess so.” I replied. Such is the dialogue between us, I’m thinking majesty and beauty, he’s thinking freedom and unclothed bodies. (Smile.)

I thought about Eve later, Adam too.  I reread the account of creation, reminded myself of the earth and sky’s forming, imagined God stepping back like I step back from a canvas, satisfied and thinking it turned out the way I wanted.

And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:26

 Adam was created, then Eve and the plan was complete, they’d multiply. The earth would be filled with men, women, children and families.

God welcomed them in, gave instruction on living and left them with a final word not to eat from the tree called knowledge, the tree that distinguished good from evil.

And they didn’t for a while. They must have enjoyed the garden; been content in their state, knowing all they needed was already known.

I wonder about this time in between, how contented changed to discontented and sufficiency became insufficient, how enough became never, always more.

Eve succumbs to the need for more knowledge, more control, more knowing and she eats the fruit that will help her know all, she’s been told.

The serpent’s rationale, well God must have surely known you’d want to eat from the tree or else he’d not have put it here. He wants you to be wise…your eyes will be opened to the bigger the better, the all, you’ll be like Him, the all-knowing.

Then they did their best to hide from God; they’d both become ashamed and they covered what God had intended as beautiful, uncovered.

So began the lots of our lives here on earth.

Wanting to know more than we need to know and then hiding away when we’ve rushed to know it all, certain that we can’t be expected to not know, to trust the one who made us, surely it’s okay to take control.

Yesterday, I read a favorite verse, clinging to just a few of its words.

The secret things belong to the Lord.

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭29:29‬ ‭ESV‬‬

There are some things that I might never know, that aren’t meant for me to uncover.

Yet, there are so many more I’ve waited to understand that I now see clearly.

Why the road led me to Carolina, my father’s instructions to return to college, the  plans I forced that fell through my fingertips and the healing that I prayed for, believing, but was not given my mama.

There are stories for my children, how things that didn’t turn out, did after all.

Adam and Eve tried to conceal themselves, told God, you can’t see us like this. We know you’ll be angry, we’re afraid so we’ve covered ourselves.

And He was disappointed.

Disappointed they didn’t believe his promise for them, that it wasn’t enough.

He called them out of hiding, asked if they ate from the tree, did someone tell you that you were naked or do you know things now you should not have known, things that weren’t necessary for you to understand?

You will see, some things are too wonderful to be known, to not be sought after, to not be taken hold of by force.

I think of David and his prayer to be restored to the joy of his salvation after giving in to lust and then trying to cover it all up.

I remember Rebekah, the mother who made it her calling to have one son favored over the other, their demise, her legacy.

And I treasure the story of Job. I see him abandoned and grieving, his body covered in sores and his commitment not to question. His friends, his wife all unable to wait alongside him when he’d said no to cursing God and dying.

I hold close his truth, my truth, all our truths…some things are simply too wonderful to know.

“’Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭42:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I told someone just now, the major planner that they are, looking far ahead into our futures and the things they expect just makes now look less than enough.

Makes the grand of now go unnoticed.

 

Told them, there’s no way to know that this good thing we expect will come for us. I’m not looking that far ahead nor am I assuming what the wonder of tomorrow will be or not be.

These are the things too wonderful for me to know, not mine to uncover.

Only mine to ponder, to have make more sense when the thoughts become words and I get to spread them out here or in the pages of a tiny pencil marked book, I get to be vulnerable, uncovered. (Smile.)

I’m linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee to Tell His Story.  Read here about why we shouldn’t be afraid to take scary chances.

http://jenniferdukeslee.com/scared-heres-shouldnt-take-chicken-exit/

Where the Book Falls Open

If you’re a Bible reader, you’ll know what I’m feeling. On my way to the back of the Book where the chapters are listed by date, I rested in the front, almost the very beginning, Deuteronomy. 


The other choice was read the Book of Philippians again, thinking, you remember how much stronger you felt then; but, instead I sat with some words faintly underlined from a couple of years ago. 

A time I needed to not know everything; but, couldn’t stop trying to figure it all out. 

I prayed last night before sleep, here I go again, Lord, agonizing over things I don’t know and reasons for things that I do. 

The secret things belong to the Lord. Deuteronomy  29:29

The thing is, that’s only half the verse. Moses goes on to say, “but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law”. 

I flipped the page and there’s chapter 30 reminding us there will be blessings and curses, yet we return with all our heart and soul and our fortunes will be restored. 

Now, I know Moses was talking law and not grace or mercy; but, I was craving for just a glimmer of light to keep me keeping on. 

I scanned towards the bottom of the passage and saw the place I’d written “beauty, the thing of grace” in the margin and the promise I believe is an answered prayer, 

The Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand. Deuteronomy 30:10

The same God who led me to this passage when I had plans for another is the God who will lead me on closer and closer to the bend in the road. 

The place where I see the works of my hand as worship and honor of a God who is worthy of my praise. 

All my heart and with all my soul. 

High Fives

Joining others to write for five minutes on the prompt “play”. 


Here goes!

You’d have to know me even more than the content of my blog to know I’m not really a “playful” person. 

I’m in the fourth week of boot camp and last night, I welcomed a new person, tried to give her a feeling about the energy level of our trainer. 

 The trainer, a petite woman, wiry and strong, she is “theatrical”

She’s a “live wire”!

She pushes hard after playing a little game of bonding and I’m telling you this is not who I used to be…we’re all gathered up in a circle, our arms around shoulder or waists and we’re trying to keep one boot camper from grabbing the towel off the shoulder of another. 

This is our warm-up. We laugh, we sigh, we bend at our waists and let out long breaths of “wooo”!

The kind of thing I would have hufffed over before, too silly, are you kidding? 

Then we train; plank, push-ups, punches, lunges and curls. 

I’m able to finish. I’ve not given up. We stretch long and low, hold for just the right feeling and “Bless it, Bless it!” She says. 

“Done!”  then prances towards me, two hands in the air and we smile, slapping our hands together, two high fives!

Just like she knew the me before, fat child hiding, too thin person hungering, now it feels I’ve found the right one in between. 

 How far I’ve come, how far I want to go…all things through Christ and to make me stronger for His good glory! 

fiveminutefriday.com

Understood 

I unhooked the clasp on his collar, letting go the tension of my command. 

The sky cloudless, air thick and lethargic, summer feeling too long already. 

I put no pressure on his wandering.

Unleashed the leash and let the high grass rub his belly, swoosh, swoosh, swooosh. 


Then he meandered around, circled back when I called “Hey!”

I’d had things on my mind an hour before. Running errands, traffic light, I look up to notice blankness of the face in the rear, then wait for the change. 

Tapped lightly on the knob to shut out the noise of radio and decided to pray. 

Prayed for my friend again. She wants the cancer in her brother not to have spread. She says he just decided he needed more time, more time to make up for the time he had not honored God. 

So, I prayed and said to no one around

“I understand.”

Then prayed for another heavy hearted for no certain reason, prayed somehow they’d know their value, know they’re loved and that whatever heavy weighted thoughts and concerns had them bent down low, they’d see relief and they’d see themselves as good despite whatever their own voice has been saying. 

Then, again…out loud for no one to hear, I added “because, I understand.”

I understand. 

So, I allowed myself a moment as I drove, it happened, just a hint of an invitation to cry.

Slightly moist little place on my cheek, I tap lightly with the tip of index finger and touch there, the place where understanding puddled up. 

Then decided once home, it’s not a workout I need, it’s a walk with Colt. 

So, I guess that’s why we walked the long way ’round, the way with no bounds, the overgrown places, open fields and no expectation or rule. 

I waited. I let him be

Understood. 

And I believe, me too. 

Freedom and Light

I woke with no set agenda and allowed myself the luxury of slowly becoming wide awake. 

I’m thinking a new thing today, I keep singin’ “Free your mind and the rest will follow…”

Because, yesterday a change began to be considered. I’d taken a step, asked for feedback, been honest over my angst. 

Been brave about my being afraid. 

I’m remembering this morning, the power of changes I can make, the power of asking God to help me; but, me being able to move towards the bend in the road. 

Ever the one seeking approval, yearning for affirmation, I had become overwhelmed by advisors, critical thinkers, step takers and this is how, let me show you contacts! 

I told the consultant I was overwhelmed by measuring up, by following recommendations and by being good enough in the eyes of others. 

I took a step. I discerned who to believe. Made perfect sense, she knew a little of me, why not show her more? 

I was honest. She listened and responded with a tangible and godly plan: 

i) Has become a little overwhelmed by the whole process of writing and the whole process(1) Too many voices clamoring into her head.
(2) A lot of peer pressure
(a) A lot of other good writers out there
(3) SUGGESTION: Turn off the other voices (unsubscribe, choose not to engage in self-imposed expectations) and just write the manuscript.
ii) Doubting God’s will
(1) Does not want to glorify herself
(2) Does not want to shed light on the trauma
(a) There are some dark times she had forgotten
(b) Does not want to bash
(c) Does not want to remind her family of the hurt
iii) SUGGESTION: Just Write. Do not let the fear of saying too much keep you from writing. Everything can be edited.

So, this morning I stopped counting at 30, the choice to unsubscribe to all of my advisors on writing. I’ve honed it down to five. 

I’ll follow the advice of Stephanie Haynes 

http://www.stephaniehaynes.net/
(oh, I believe it’s a God thing, her name, her frame, her role) and I’ll become independent in my writing. I’ll not hold back. I’ll pour out my heart with the goal of rough draft by July of 2018. 

I reminded myself today of the meaning of independence, of freedom; but, most fitting, I believe is autonomy: the freedom from external control. 



This is where I am this morning, I’m shutting out the voices of too many well meaning and informed advisors and I’m making room to hear my own voice more clearly, more freely, more unafraid. 

More ready to shine my light unhindered by comparison or critique. 

“”You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:14-16‬ ‭ESV‬‬