Uneven

I visited Virginia City, NV, a few years ago. The old part of town looked like it came out of a Hollywood western, complete with rustic building facades, saloons, and wooden sidewalks. Strolling along, you had to be careful where you planted your feet because probably like bygone days the  planked sidewalks were uneven. Sometimes where one board met another, there was a lip that could send the unwary sprawling.

Now in my town that would be an occasion to sue. But in days gone by, the assumption was that you watched where you walked and took charge of your own life. Though efforts were made to safeguard the community, it was assumed that life happened, so walker beware.

It seems that in this day, we want everyone to be aware for us and to be held accountable for any mishap–whether it be a physical situation or a misspoken word. Life is uneven–sometimes a result of our own choices and sometimes others’. To take responsibility for our actions and own the resulting consequences is a skillset that needs cultivating.

So yes, I am taking that Facebook post down right away!

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Infinite

I ncreasing in time and distance, pushing back, back, back and forward again,

N ever finding a beginning or an ending. It is like the game I used to play as a kid,

F illing my mind with as much intentional emptiness as I could,                                                              pushing, pushing to see

I f I could drive my way back to where there is

N othing.

I t never quite worked because somewhere in this exercise my brain would                                          stop—just stop.

T oo full of thoughts to be empty, expanding space. Too busy and impatient                                               to persevere to the end of my self. Vanity. Human.

E ver seeking the end of things, the majesty where God lives and where He                                                finds it in Himself to love even  me.

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Daily Prompt: Specific

Let me be SPECIFIC: I had hoped to FLOAT into the New Year with a new determination to daily respond to the Daily Prompt; however, it has been 3 days without posting, and I guess I was just TEMPTED by other things–photography edits, hiking, cookies, school corrections and lesson plans, and other engagements. It just had not CROSSED my mind that I was so late.

Now let me be SPECIFIC: Though I didn’t post on time for the others, I feel much assuaged in my guilt, having included 4 prompts in one.

See, I feel so much better.

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My Book of Uncommon Prayers: Pulpit

May my life be my pulpit.

If ever my words outweigh my actions,

if ever my professions overshadow my deeds, I will have given up abundant life for at the very least shallow, vain repetitions,

and at the worst, dead religion.

May my faith-life seek not to coerce others by God-words but convince others by Your God-love working in and through me.

This is my broken prayer.

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Daily Prompt: Interior–The Eagle Version

I have been watching the live feed from Florida of bald eagles and their eggs. One has hatched and is fed raw fish from a very conscientious mama (or perhaps daddy—hard to tell). The other egg’s hatching looks imminent. Mama sits on her nest, rearranging the twigs and grasses, protecting the hatchling and the one yet to come. The nest does not look particularly soft or comfortable, but obviously fits the bill for this little family. What makes this nest safe is not the materials of which it is made, but the presence of formidable parent-raptors who not only shelter the young but stand ready to fend off any foe.

The home my husband and I made for our kids is not very fancy. It is not filled with rich furnishings or decked out in ostentatious accessories. Granted, it is a bit more than twigs and grasses perched high in a tree, like my eagle friends, but it is warm, and hopefully welcoming in its simplicity—and with no more eggs to hatch!

I have visited immaculate homes with rich furnishings, but sometimes the décor does in no way compensate for the pain and dissatisfaction present in its inhabitants. I would prefer to invest in simplicity and a happy hearth for my home to one of cold perfection.

The same goes for an interior life, I suppose. I want my interior design to be straightforward and honest, not cluttered with the thoughts and arguments of someone on the run from themselves and truth, not decked out with the lies people tell themselves to keep guilt at bay. Not cold and aloof, fearing exposure, but open, honest, and welcoming.

As is my home, so I want my heart to be—hospitable to life. Simple, clean, and suited for the task.

Now back to my eagle live cam. It is not a great movie because the plot doesn’t move quickly, but the characters are awesome!

 

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Daily Prompt: Year–This Clean, Blank Page

It is just another sunset and sunrise,

another day and night, a long exhale, but

somehow turning the page of a calendar to the start of a new year,

a new number,

is like a deep breath of hope

that the future, rather than a serial plot line, is a new story to be written on

this clean,

blank page.

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Happy New Year

N ow has accelerated through another day, another week, and

E very moment I thought I had left has evaporated into yesterdays

W ith unfinished to-do lists and unmet obligations.

 

Y et with this new beginning, I take a fresh look and a fresh breath, which reframe what

E ach new year can be—a chance to forgive, to forget, to dream big again, but to

A ccept my limitations in the context of what is possible. With

R enewed hope and a prayerful heart, I face what can be in this New Year.

 

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Daily Prompt: Mope

M elancholy muse–a formative part of myself, but

O nly a part, since I also love to laugh and live light.

P erhaps it is manic to observe from the outside, but to me my

E vanescent emotional swirl is the color of life.

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The Daily Post: Renewal with a Hitch

Renewal always sounds bright and shiny, like a beautifully restored vintage car or a vibrant blossom in the spring bursting from what had looked like a lifeless branch. But the problem with renewal is that something has decayed in order for it to require a new life. So restoration is a good thing. Right?

But renewal comes with a hitch. What is new is chained to what is old. When I walk in fresh ways, my past self is not dismissed like a cast-off piece of clothing. My past is the chain tied around my ankle, reminding me that whatever lies ahead, whatever bright, polished penny-of-life has brought new promise and vision, I am only separated from what has gone before by my willingness to step intentionally onto a new path.

Sure there are helps in people and programs. There is spiritual renewal that comes from the supernatural. But as long as I walk in this skin and bone, my whole story is part of me. Deaths, accidents, betrayals, and sufferings, both physical and mental, do not suddenly and totally disappear in the presence of some mysterious regeneration of self or circumstance. Glass-half-empty does not of its own accord morph into glass-half-full. Renewal is the gritty process of intentionally looking to what is ahead. It is the planting of one foot in front of the other, heading toward a brighter prospect. It is the recognition that what is really real will become actually real when faith becomes sight.

In faith, I may be a new creature and all things may become new in some spiritual sense; but in truth, renewal here requires the commitment to press on in weakness, not forgetting the other chapters of my story, but putting them in the grander perspective of the whole story.

“Now I know in part; then I shall fully know, even as I am fully known.” ~I Cor. 13:12b          

 

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Waiting on Christmas

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