Sunday, December 28, 2008
Haven't lost inspiration. Just nerve.
On one hand, I hope people read it.
On the other hand, I hope it's people I don't know - so I can speak my mind.
Tell me about it.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Today, my stony heart has been cracked. As though tapped with some sort of magical tool. One that can penetrate even the hardest of hearts. The swell of emotions that threatened me had to be re-routed, ignored, pushed down - and still it's on the brink of overflow. I have been distracted by it all day. What happened?
I was forgiven.
And old friend contacted me today. Completely out of the blue. A name I hadn't heard in 15 years - and didn't expect to hear ever again. But, the name alone conjured up a mix of wonderful and difficult memories. A relationship started in innocence, and then twisted and ravaged by cruelty, hurt, resentment... and then ended in deafening silence. Time didn't heal this wound. This wound that I inflicted on another... and on myself.
It was a brief, pleasant... and straight to the point conversation.
"I hurt you. I'm sorry"
"You hurt me too... and I forgive you."
The words echo in my mind. A simple, short relationship. Long time ago. Long forgotten. No one remembers me from back then. I didn't matter. I meant nothing.
"You hurt me."
The words didn't accuse... they weren't meant to harm or blame. It was a fact. I'd hurt someone. Me. The wallflower. The free-spirit. I'd been careless... unthoughtful... even hurtful... I caused real pain. I was stunned. Me? I was free-falling.
But before guilt could kick in and do it's damning work... the words that followed...
"I forgive you."
Immediately I was saved. Snatched from the free-fall. I was safe.
I was safe, and didn't deserve it. I was at the mercy of the forgiver.
And, then. It was over. The conversation was done as quickly as it had started.
My mind has been restless. The wrinkle in my forehead (the one I get when I think too hard) had moved in - threatening to stay permanently. I was distracted. Calm. Serene. Peaceful. Distant. And, every once in a while - misty-eyed.
I had mistakenly believed that I was the only one wounded. I was the one being challenged to forgive. I suffered. Me! I was preparing myself to "grant forgiveness" to those who had caused me to suffer. I had a list! I'd been praying about it... reading about it.
But first... God wanted me to experience forgiveness. Reminding me of my own participation in life's cruel games. Reminding me that I too, had been a player.
And, today - I was forgiven.
Today, because of an old friend - an unlikely connection... I am understanding just a little more about forgiveness.
I am humbled.
I am not worthy.
But I am forgiven.
And my stony heart is broken.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
So, it's been hot.
Today was especially overbearing - the rain was threatening to come - but first we had to endure thick, oppressive, stuffy humidity.
The last several nights we've slept with just sheets leaving the doors and windows open. The kids have called me into their rooms late at night asking me how they can cool off, and wishing that they too had a ceiling fan in their rooms like Derek and me.
But - I reminded them - we also live on the second floor. It's even hotter up there.
Tonight as the sun was setting between the clouds, a huge rainbow lit up in the sky. And not just one or two - but as our family gathered on the porch, we counted four rainbows in one and then another a significant distance above that. FIVE rainbows! Glorious!
I stayed outside a moment longer and relished in the cool breeze flowing over the mountain. The rain is coming - and with it - relief!
My weeping willow tree is moving for the first time in what seems like ages.
I've realized that I'm still a cold-weather person. I've never acclamated to the regions I lived in - Arizona, Arkansas and California - because I stayed where it was air-conditioned and was careful to never be caught in heat's immobilizing trap. I remember rushing to the van and cranking up the air-conditioning as high as it would go and praying it would just hurry up as it blew my hair back. And, within a few miles it would deliver. And the walk from the van to the store seemed like the green-mile, but when the doors parted, the air-conditioned blast was ever-so- welcoming. And in reverse, the walk to the van was hot and brisk and the desperate rush to get the air-conditioning going again was on...
Most of the year here has been without the need for air-conditioners. Even on hot days you can step into the shade and find the relief you're looking for. Or, if you still find it too oppressive, there's always a body of water a quarter of a mile away - whether it be a river, lake or ocean. And no matter how hot the day, the breeze off the ocean is always the right temperature.
So, I'm not complaining in the traditional sense. I think I might be appreciating the rest of the year through the lens of these few weeks.
I lamented that I didn't have enough memory on my camera left to take a picture of that rainbow. I was reminded that I could use my cellphone to take a picture and so I did. And walked away. A few minutes later as I prepared to send the picture to my mailbox, I realized I had failed to "save" the picture... and rushed out to take another snapshot of the rainbow...
But the rainbow was faded and nearly gone - and now just a memory...
All of our doors and windows are open this evening. We're sure we're going to freeze and have to get up in the middle of the night to close up the house. But that will be a welcome relief.
We'll all return to our beds and pull the comforters up from the bottom of our beds...
And snuggle in their warmth.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
- apples (okay, that's normal... but read on)
- strawberries (lucky me!)
- pineapple (yummo... but read on, it get's weirder)
- dried mango (ya feel me?)
- vegan, low sodium, no transfat trail mix with dried fruit (yah.)
- two tire tubes for his bike (which he will be riding to work from now on)
And then he said the following:
"Oh! I forgot the Yogurt!"
We're finally taking a turn for the healthier. My husband recently found out he has really, really, rediculously high blood pressure. He's fit as a fiddle... "has the body of a god" as they say. (I do too... Bhudda.) We've decided to quit complaining and do something about it.
I've been working out 5 days a week, controlling my refined sugar intake... and he's been controlling his sodium intake. I've lost a few pounds... and he's dropped a few points.
So, these granolas might be on to something.
Just hope their fashion-sense isn't contagious too.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
My mind is so full of thoughts and ideas... but my heart just hasn't been into it.
I was going to tinker in my garden today... under the promise of sunshine. But... when I woke up this morning... and glanced through the blinds... I gazed upon my neighbour's snow-covered roof. Sigh. My brave early blooming flowers are shivering under a blanket of snow. And, I am sitting in my warm studio with the kettle brewing.
I'll tell you what's really going on.
Since I've been in Canada - 10 months, now... I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have had such - traumatic? - experiences in churches past, that I have been holding my breath - wondering if or when we'll get canned - again. I've been holding back. Waiting. I haven't deleved into ministry like I usually do. I've certainly helped my husband with his... but I haven't jumpstarted my own like I usually do in a new place. I've waited. Wondering what God has in store... but at the same time... wondering if it's all too good to be true.
Utter faithlessness disguised as self-preservation.
Last night during our young adult bible study, I let my mind wander for a minute. I was faced with my very personal struggle... and I forced myself to define it.
Early in our ministries I kept myself guarded from real, intimate relationships with people around me. I suppose it really wasn't anything more than just the fact that I wasn't mature enough to know exactly how to handle it. Nothing sinister... just half-grown. (How absolutely ineffective was I?) Later on, I dropped the "act". I was ready. And... just like any other human being on the planet... I discovered both immeasurable joy and devistating pain in those flawed relationships. I've nursed the hurts long enough. I'm over it. And, I think I might be ready again for real heart-to-heart ministry.
This is where the revelation interrupts my thinking last night... and sheds light on my actual struggle. It isn't with flesh and blood. It isn't even with the churches. My personal relationship with God has suffered through all of this. I have remained faithful TO Him, but am no longer intimate WITH Him. I have continued in His service, but have neglected to continue in my dialogue with Him. Not completely. Not intentionally. But - the effects have been the same.
My fear that the other shoe will drop has less to do with the church that I am working with... and more to do with my lack of faith in the God I serve.
So, a preacher's wife has a lack of faith? She struggles with intimacy with her Creator? You bet. Satan's been busy. I've been distracted. I've been running on fumes. I've been... maybe... a little bit self-absorbed. And, now... I risk being absolutely ineffective in the work He has planned out for me. And no work right now is as important as restoring my faith in my God.
So, it's no wonder that God has placed us in ministry in a place where there are no real expectations of me. (I was confused for a while, thinking it would just take time to realize what my special ministry was.) God wants me to re-introduce myself to Him. He's given me the time. He's taken me to a small island, filled with His beauty. He's surrounded me with people who have incredible patience and understanding. He's even sprinkled the congregation with former preachers' and elders' wives who completely understand... and have reached out to me.
And 10 months later... my stubborn soul has just come to realize it.
The other shoe isn't going to drop. I am safe in His care. Right here, right now. Always have been.
So... that's what's been on my mind. I've been restless. Uneasy. Until today. Now I know what to do. And I can't wait to get started. Guess it's good that it's snowing... my water's boiling and my bible is waiting.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
28:1 “Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold that they refine.
7 “That path no bird of prey knows, and the falcon's eye has not seen it.
9 “Man puts his hand to the flinty rock and overturns mountains by the roots.
12 “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?
20 “From where, then, does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding?
23 “God understands the way to it,and he knows its place.