As if in a Dream

I look through my own grid, and I’m not sure how to see differently.
I know just how you feel–
well, not really. I can imagine walking in your shoes,
but truth is I don’t. I can imagine feeling what you feel,
but truth is I can’t. Small wonder we feel the separation and division strongly,
but so often
so alone.
And that warm, fuzzy unity is an out-there goal, a hope,
but
until I am you, I walk as if in a dream.

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Life Changes

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I have often said the loss of my first child changed my whole life—

how I look at the world, how I look at comforters, how I look at God.

My husband’s motorcycle accident and my youngest son’s car accident changed my whole life—

changed the way I hear telephone rings and wait for late arrivals.

The loss of a treasured friend changed my whole life—

changed the way I open myself up and how soon I trust.

Having an emergency appendectomy at 11 changed my whole life, as did

getting glasses and

being schooled in a one-room school by a sometimes tyrant.

But come to think of it, marriage changed my whole life, as did

my beautiful boys and my wonderful grandchildren,

my research on the Internet,

my teaching,

my art,

my photography.

My publishing and recording career changed everything.

Baking whole wheat bread and learning to juice changed…

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A Reminder

I cannot publish photographs here anymore. Met my quota! So just a reminder that my other site has my photography with my writings.

http://www.apronheadlilly.wordpress.com

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Surrender

Surrender feels like failure.
It feels depressing, like giving up.
There is a darkness to it, a weight to it—the unwilling outmanned, outmaneuvered, surrounded, and pressed to defeat.
Surrender feels like exhaustion.
It feels compressing, like yielding up the last breathless bits of me.
And yet You call me to this laying down of arms jazz
in exchange for Your loving arms.
And I find that surrender to You is not as much giving up as over—not as much failing as falling into a tender pull,
deference to one more wise and able, after all my best ideas have faltered and failed,
after all my excuses have dried in my mouth,
after all my tears have washed away nothing.
It is the unclenching of a fist, the unmasking of a façade.
It is the baring of a war-torn will, the stripping of all that chokes and hinders.
And I find that surrender to You is not as much like crying “uncle,”
but more like a hallelujah.

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John 15:4-7 (ESV)
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
James 4:10
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”

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Whispers

Whispers thread through the flaming rage,

almost lost, almost imperceptible, drowned out by opinion, history, frenzied fury, and flailing fists.

The whispers tip toe in my tossing mind, seeking a place to land and be heard.

They are the filaments of hope, the clinging truths that cannot be destroyed by rhetoric or abuse or repeated dogma.

They are woof and warp, the solid underpinning of this spinning, unsettled mess.

Are you listening? Am I listening?

We are all the same—blood and bone.

We are all broken—body and soul.

We are all human—color and kind.

God loves. And

He whispers in the tumult

to see as He does and love as He loves.

————————–

Romans 13:10 (NLT)

Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

1 John 4:7-8 (NLT)

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Proverbs 10:12 (NLT)

Hatred stirs up quarrels,
but love makes up for all offenses.

 

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A Limping Life

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IMG_2810 - Copy

I heard your whisper in the wind, and

I leaned to listen; but

my lisping voice rose rough and rasping, replaying all the shame moments,

the named moments—over and over,

owning their bite.

I glimpsed your face in the greening breeze of spring, and

I opened my eyes wide to see and be seen, but

the haze of doubt drifted down like a curtain, so I was unsure of what was there; and

blinking long and hard only tired my eyes,

my heart,

my will.

I put my knee to ground in weakness,

convinced that my limping life would never be anything more than this,

that tears would ever flow; but

you met me there

where

words are soft and

light is clear and

belief is birthed from unbelief.

*****************

Be still and know that I am God. ~Psalm 46:10a

Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. ~Mark 9:24b

 

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There is a trust . . .

There is in trust a writing between the lines.
I trust you, but that trust expects an outcome acceptable to me. My blank slate of surrender has a lot of smudges around the edges—things like “Don’t make it hurt,” “Let all end well,” “Let love be stronger than hate.”
There is in trust a whining between the lines
that holds hands unclenched, but my heart is hidden behind my back with fingers crossed.
Is there a kind of trust without the small print—Yours and mine. A trust that knows I and my loved ones and my cares are in the arms of Someone not only able but willing to do what is good—
no matter what that looks like.
There is a trust, and I am learning and yearning for it.

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My Book of Uncommon Prayers: Willing To Be Defeated

I used to be cocksure,
willing to trample fragile souls for the sake of being right. And
it hurts to think I was so unlike Your sacrificial kindness, so unlike Your bleeding, selfless truth.
May I be willing to be defeated to win one. May I grow accustomed to embarrassment to at least appear humble as the pride prickles are chiseled away—one by one, by weary one.
My kingdom looks ever dim in the bright hues of Your shining presence—and may all see You
in spite of me.
If I would feed on Your words more than I feed on my need, I would be so much more nourished
with life to give.

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There is a line . . .

There is a line in the sand, and I dare not cross—
but funny thing about sand and funny thing about lines,
they wash away with beating waves, leaving a skimming reflection where surety used to be. So maybe instead of lines in the sand, I should head into the surf and just ride out these waves.
But some days I feel more infidel than faithful.
When the press is great and rescue far off, help me not to fail
but to fall
into You.
Without You, I will sink in the undertow and be lost.
Are Your arms bigger than my sorrows, Your view wider than my narrow vision, Your heart tougher than my doctrine, Your compassion deeper than my loss, Your love hotter than my tears?
If there is a way that I must walk, can it be a yes-way, a water-walking way—a path of fullness and yeses.
So often I walk in these in-betweens, chained to an accumulated load that fills my soul with the hollow No.
Piercing doubt, filling, spilling. Knocked sideways. Sinking in the swells.
But I am ready for the Yes, Lord, not a way that seems right,
but is right.
No variance to the right or left, but straight-ahead trust
to joy, unspeakable peace, unbreatheable, that just is.
When the press is great and rescue far off, help me not to fail
but to fall
into you.

 

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Significance

S ensing the need to feel
I mportant, –> that thoughts, actions, and
G ifts really matter, not just in the big scheme of things,
N ot just ticks on nature’s timepiece,
I ntertwined with myriad others, who
F ashion a purposeful life, a fanciful life, going somewhere–>
I t is inbuilt, this need to belong, this feeling that
C reation matters, that we matter,
A nd that I as one lone voice matter,
N ot just as a cog in a
C osmic wheel–> but as imagio deo–
E verlasting because He has given me significance.

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