Simple Goals

A p r o n h e a d -- Lilly

I had simple goals as a child:

I only wanted to be famous and change the world.

Now,

I realize with any and all accomplishments, my real goal should have been to change myself—

or at least place my life in a position to be changed.

What good is a song,

a poem,

a story,

a photograph, even if it gets recognition,

if the singer,

the poet,

the writer,

the photographer

wears the same old shabby faith of yesterday?

I have simple goals as an adult:

I only want to be changed into the child God wants me to be.

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Oh Sole Mio! ♪♪

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My Book of Uncommon Prayer–Surrender

A p r o n h e a d -- Lilly

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Divine incursion, whisking away the holy subterfuge that makes me look so good,

making quick work of my earthbound building blocks, so pretty yet shallow—

tearing down to build again.

Divine intrusion, making my thoughts Yours, when I thought I had a much better idea,

making wisdom wise beyond my capacity.  If only I could

release these cherished idols, these glimmering obstructions—some of my best work, but

it is flaccid diversion that stills Your intervening presence.

Divine inversion, making what is upside down upside right, a new way of being,

making new what is tattered,

making pure what is sour.

Holy Invader, I surrender.

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Eyebrows Tell All . . . Hardly!

And you thought things would get better! 🙂

A p r o n h e a d -- Lilly

I read a magazine article that says the shape of a person’s eyebrows says a lot about the personality.  I mean, how wrong can it be since folks at Yale conducted the research?

Thin:  Says you are a fashionable, forward thinker.  I guess that’s because you have to lean forward to see well enough to do all that plucking, because you certainly weren’t born that way!

Full and natural:  Says you are passionate and independent.  But you keep some of that fiery autonomy secret and expose only for a select few.  Couldn’t it also mean you are too lazy to pluck like the fashionable, forward thinker?

Arched:  Says you are feminine and also powerful.  Supposedly, curves over your eyes are as sexy as curves on your hips.  Curves obviously have nothing to do with simple genetics, nor the Ding-dongs you ate for lunch.  Oh, wait!  We weren’t really talking about…

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Reel Faith

Many things you fear come to pass, but

most don’t; and

since you never know which will or won’t, it makes more sense to fear none. But

my Pollyanna is more my Puddleglum, and

my optimism quotient is tempered by what is truly possible on this broken planet; so

how does a glass half empty gal have faith without feeling like it is more about wishful thinking and cooked up certainty?

How to live in the real world with real faith when real is often reeling with the now and the what could be? Yet will I praise Him.

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“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~Matthew 6:34

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Running to Catch Up

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Cycles of life, ups, downs, the twirling and twisting threads that interlace a life from time and biology and divine design, and

it speeds up and slows down till I am dizzy.

The simplicity of youth protests into the complexity of aging, and I keep reaching back to finger and figure it all out—what was solid, what ephemeral—to bring forward raw materials for the life I’m living now.

The fears of ago that never happened are the lessons for my future, yet the new has fears of its own—and the lesson to trust is obviously not as well learned as I had hoped.

If I could just slow down this moment to fully analyze and so perhaps be wiser than before—but my now keeps slipping into tomorrows, and I am running to catch up.

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My Book of Uncommon Prayers: I Still Believe

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Your brokenness has broken me; what has shattered in you has sent thin shards, piercing my surety, and I have been left with disappointment and sadness, lying limp on this rock foundation. I still believe—help Thou my unbelief.

What has shattered you has shaken me, and I have to wonder if I could have done anything different to have kept you from flinging off faith like a childhood toy to the winds of the world—

could I do anything now?

My now is not as daring as it once was, so aware I am of my need. I am crawling heavenward, not so sure I have the strength to take on passengers.

When I feel cocksure confident, remind me of this weakness.

When I feel weak worn, don’t leave me alone.

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“Let the weak say I am strong.” Joel 3:10 (ESV)

The Lord God is my Strength, my…

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Your God is Too Small

A p r o n h e a d -- Lilly

Your god is too small—

this science, this rational-dependent mind, this earthbound philosophy.

Since when did such a god ever come close to redeeming,

ever come close to blessing?

Does DNA love me?  Does nuclear fission long for my relationship?

How many prayers has biology answered,

and how many musical compositions have risen unbidden, undirected,

from tectonic activity and volcanic explosions?

Marvelous observations!  Yes.

Marvelous discoveries.  Certainly.

But if this is all there is, if this is how big your god is,

what a small god.

What a small pitiable god, this science.

Your hungering heart is not just chemicals and firing synapses.

Your weeping eyes are not just lysozome and water.

Open your eyes to the largeness—

to the other.

Beyond the brokenness, beyond the tainted veil, beyond this war zone,

open your eyes to wonder,

to the largeness of Creator.

Listen to the call of Love, wanderer, both bruised and blind:

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Asking you, asking me . . .

Does your faith-life even require Jesus?

Got the maxims memorized.

Got the rules down.

Is religion more your bulwark than relationship—

behavior and image more important than face-falling service,

open-hearted devotion to His worthiness?

Has purpose surpassed person?

Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate this substance-hoped-for idea.

Are we a scattered and lost flock, devoted to a text but without a message?

I think I would rather falter on a rough road than walk resolutely down a worn and wrong path,

stuck in a form of obedience . . . but without a desperate, clinging trust.

My will is contrary to my dedication;

my rituals supplant my connection, offering a form without reality.

Am I so right-on religious that as a Christian I can do this thing without Jesus?

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Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. ~Psalm 51:10

I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.

~Romans 7:19

 

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Angel in the Rough

A p r o n h e a d -- Lilly

She was an angel, I think, if angels can be plain, rough, and all crisp around the edges, dressed in hygienic blue.

I had read all the La Leche books; and so as it pertained to breastfeeding, I was good to go.  I was an expert—at least, a book expert!

I so wanted to nurse this child, this live wonder, lying in my arms.  After the loss of my first full term little girl Noelle three years before, and after leaving her lifeless body at the hospital and walking home to emptiness, I wanted bone-deep for all to be made right this time.  I wanted the pained watercolor memory of uterine life to be replaced with the vibrant flush of this squirming child in arms.

Christian nibbled, but would not latch on, as much as I coaxed and gentled and hoped and prayed and tried-cried.  But the book was just…

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