Monday, December 30, 2013

Lines from the months of this last year: November and December


1. All Saints'
Thank You for being my God. For being all I need, all I really care about, when it comes down to it. I just love You.
Waste Nothing.

Dear Jesus,
All my life You have led. Lead me now, through all this woodsy woodsen. It's not a bog. Where I don't see, I am protected (cf. George MacDonald).

Do I transgress? Show me true righteousness. Rooted in love.

Lord, I DO want to understand. And I DO WANT TO KNOW YOU.

Thank You for the safe trip back, sweet time in the airport with C. and J., the man asking if we were twins or at least sisters.
Alim Qasimov.

Aching to work.

Thank You for this blessed and very beautiful life You allow me to live.
Keep leading.

Jesus. Your many, many kindnesses. What You started You will complete. You do not bring to the moment of birth and then not give delivery (Is. 65).
Do not abandon the work of Your hands.
All of tired, delighted, soul-hungry me.

A.'s tea in the morning. Fog, barefoot.

Lord, thank You for Dad just coming in and saying the perfect things. About being an artist/creator - about realizing that all my life comes out in my work, and is necessary for breaking up fallow ground, being patient, knowing that the real work is often outside the typewriter.

Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
-Matt. 4:4 NIV

Pour YOURSELF. All the things I can't describe. All the inner longings to see You.
So much in me burns and longs and heaves. Stoke me, temper me. Guide my passions into their places. Harness their power for good. For virtue, righteousness, obedience. Zeal for Your Name.

How can I know You better? How can I welcome Your Spirit? How can I grow, not fear, not hold back from good disciplines?

Lord, my God.
How do You even have patience with a thing like me? How can You be so kind? Never let me forget.
Thank You for all the truth she pours into my life.

I have been so easily distracted.
I want Your face, Your hands, Your love, Your embrace.
Your blood.
Thank You for our tree. Make my body more and more Your temple, holy. Help me strive to please You, not men.

"How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?"
- John 5:44 NIV

And now I ask You for a very big thing. Bind us together in unity. Make us of ONE mind, heart, & soul - to love You and see Your kingdom come. Help us sacrifice, delight and rest, see You as You are, work with our whole hearts.
Bring back the wandering. Strengthen and encourage the weak and discouraged. Do what I can't do.


Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace (Saint Francis). Open up the arteries. Even though I cannot do much, please use me. Help me flame out boldly, brightly.
Make me less - as long as I'm content in You. I am thankful for the Isaiah 62 favor, but man's favor is addictive and ultimately unsatisfying. Woo me to You again. Bring me gently into the stillness of Your heart.

I'm awfully glad I'm here. It was strange but lovely, walking around the old haunts, my pine, the swings.
Prospects, prospects. People to see, and be seen by. Meet us all here, because what we really want is You.
Delight of my soul, my Jesus,
You are still a stranger to me. I do not know or understand You. But I want to. Wed me.

"Love more, care less."

Thank You for dances.
Help us wait for you.

What is this new name You give me?
I want to be brave. To have an anointed tongue. To be a peacebringer.

"I think you are the first sip of new milk." (Jessica Yu, "Mother Near Death")
Virgin colostrum. Your maiden mother. Why?
What need have we of prophecies, of promises?
What in this could not be otherwise?
"Something there is that doesn't love a wall." (Frost, "Mending Wall")

Love us up.

You are
i am
Your mother
still a child
I crave You
firstborn, still unsuckled.

14. Feast of Santa Lucia
Help us really be real, these next few days. Trust each other and you, not play it safe. Help me know how to talk about what matters. Help me KNOW what matters, have open ears.
Go before us, multiply our gifts, disperse our bread, take these many broken pieces and feed a multitude. And satisfy US on Yourself - Your body and blood. We are so hungry for You.
May this be the beginning of something new. Make a Sabbath in my heart.

Communion today was mulled wine
passed between us in a blue and white china cup.

Letter to Santa:

a phone
Danielson: A Family Movie
new paintbrushes
a gramophone
red shoes
chickens and a goat
true love

Thank You Lord, for caring so deeply, so well. For breakfast with T. - a celebration, a feast.
I've been washing dishes, giving back massages, sharing food, but mostly receiving - so much.
Cream, cream, I'm walking in a dream. Headstrong, walking headlong into open arms,
a kiss.

Bless Your holy Name. Jesus.

"She had that spontaneous quality of aliveness which illuminates people who have already done a lot of their dying."
-Madeleine L'Engle, Summer of the Great-Grandmother

Guide my way, all my thoughts and emotions, as I depart, travel, and return home tomorrow. By Your Spirit, which dwells in me, comfort and remind me of all I should know and remember.
Give me a noble heart.

"The path of the righteous is level;
O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth.
Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you;
your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.
My soul yearns for you in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for you.
When your judgements come upon the earth,
the people of the world learn righteousness."
-Isaiah 26:7-9 NIV

"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
-Matt. 6:11 NIV

HOME. Has it ever been more lovely?

Ah, that old warm, loud, happy, silly, beer-scented, cuddling ruckus that is the gathering of these families.

I just asked Dad if he minded closing my door. He paused, and said,
"Only if it doesn't hurt," and proceeded to close his fingers into the door, yowling. He laughed as I laughed, and said,
"Why do I do things like that?"
I said,
"Because it makes life so much more fun!"

Help me love fearlessly tomorrow.

Groan, intercede through me. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Lines from the months of this last year: September and October


Please show me how to please You.

Please remind me that You never forget about me.
I'm never forgotten or neglected for a little while - You are ALWAYS involved, loving. Wooing.

Tonight, after reading Hebrews 1 to J., I said,
"Just think. There might be an angel in this room right now."
J: "It's you."
Me: (pause, laughter) "Oh!"
J: "Did you only just get that? Tzss."
Me: "I thought you said, 'Achoo,' like the whole thing where if you sneeze it blows the angel off your shoulder, and someone saying 'bless you' puts it back on. I was waiting and thinking about saying 'bless you.'"

She called while I was home alone. I knew it was something bad. Mom called her while still in the driveway, and sobbed and prayed while I tried to unload the groceries, needing something to do.
When Mom came in and told me we cried together. It was especially hard waiting for Dad and J. to come home, because Mom knew she'd have to tell him.
Most of the day since then has been phone calls, processing, reading/watching the news, and prayer.
Psalm 79 and Hebrews 2, my readings for today, were fitting, comforting.
Lord, make good grow from this hard, sad day.

Today has been one of those days where I remember how it felt to move, or to start college, or to travel far away on my own. Sort of raw, sick, yet attuned and eager and prayerful.
Mom and Dad left today. They've called home twice.

Thank You, Jesus, that life is so much more than sex and beer. But thank You, even so, for the Renaissance Faire. There were a few redeeming things. Friends, costumes, mad skills, peasant dances - yes.
And You.
          Oh, I need and love You.
Love You most of all.

Thank You that You have given me such a love with You... I don't have to run elsewhere - even when I do, they are only empty, idols. You alone are my heart's desire.
You are so kind, You know me through and through.
You do not despise me.
I am often childish, wrong, sinful, silly -
but even in that You draw my heart to some exalted place, some glory I can't even name or pin down - joy. Solace, comfort, meaning. Zeal. Love that desires while it satisfies. Wabi-sabi. Perfection found in the imperfect. Beauty, that is.
I love the light. I love Your touch. I love Your Words.
I love You.

"Love that loves us,
Thank You."

- from Terrance Malick's To the Wonder (which I have not seen)


To Whom do I belong?
To You.
To Whom does the work of my hands belong?
To You.

It's official, again. Help me remember that tomorrow. Help me be winsome, so that You will be honored. Give me energy, kindness, insight, words.

It was very good. Magical. It was, I believe, covered with Your presence. Thank You. And for such fun and silliness!

Thank You for the dear souls who came. So many people, Lord. I pray You would cover over any sin or weakness of mine, speak from every aspect of what was shared...
So many are hurting. So many are lonely. I, myself, am so small and naked and needy of You. Thank You that I can be vulnerable before You without fear. And that You do not despise Your captive people.
Open the way, I pray. And give me patience and grace in the meantime, to flourish where I'm planted, to love right where I am.

Help me have just enough light for each step, and the courage and faith to go.
Thank You for this dreary day with a wedding sunset. For glimpses of Your plan singing out. "Some clear joy is coming..." -Karen Peris

No brave chickadee ever
came to my window.

The slack skin between finger & thumb.

The second breathtaking sunset in a row.

Give me FAITH and PEACE and a warm, confident, quiet flexibility. You answer prayer. You are endlessly faithful and kind. All I ever am is Yours.

Out of the overflow...
Remind me of the things You told me in Italy.
Remind me that You desire me. That You love my love. Show me Your face.

Keep making music through A.

We were singing & teasing and talking back and forth between the studio and guest room, as he worked and I painted.

Oh, thank You for those prayers. That kind of sincerity and care so quickly expressed. For Your Spirit, convicting me. Reminding me of the importance of obedience. Obedience, which builds trust. For Isaiah 58-64. Your justice, and Your mercy and compassion. Your unimaginable love. Please keep me coming back to You, again and again, never doubting that Your way is best and most satisfying.
I am so quickly enticed. Help this not be a barrier, but a gateway.

J: "Don't be Moses."

Lord, so many weird things, rising to a head.
I'm all juiced up now, high and flighty and not sure how I'm supposed to go to sleep.

"The LORD is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
...Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you."

-Psalm 116: 5, 7 NIV

Joy today. At the catalpa, spruce.
Thank You for letting me live.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Lines from the months of this last year: July and August


Please show me how Your power and promises can fill and become my very day, my life.
Help us find You. Hunt us.

Lord Jesus.
Am I getting any closer? Any nearer You? I feel as far - maybe farther...
But You held me, cared for me, came back for me this morning. We are all safe in our rooms. We are safe, but I feel so sick. Wrong. Like I couldn't get past the awful wall. To to be sullen and blame him for something. Had to make sure everyone understood my martyrdom, or my annoyance, or just appreciated me. Lord, I am ill. I need You. Not a single other "Like" for my art -
just You, You, You.
Thank You for grace. For keeping me unhappy when I'm not looking at You.
Remind me I am Yours and then let me FORGET myself.
May we not fear truth.

O Lord, You died for me. Of course You care. Of course You're coming back.

Thank You for this heathen (yet not) morning with J.
Skipping church while Mom & Dad were out. Eating cornbread, driving to the corporate center and "drifting," speeding, skidding. Eating wild raspberries. Turning up the music and dancing on the grass. Watching water in a cup vibrate.
J. made a bomb. I read & wrote. Dad called Mom to see the clouds. Mom called me. I called J. And we all went outside to see the glory.
A big thunderhead was coming in. Mom got concerned. Dad and J. stayed by the fire. I went on the deck. We had dinner watching the storm and listening to Beethoven. LAUGHED.

Help me make my family more themselves. To paint boldly, and trust You. I am reminded that worry, carefulness can absolutely KILL art. Kill worship, exploration. May it never be. But do, do give me patience, help me make the most of this malleable time, and love well in it. Hear Your voice more and more.

Thank You for loving me with all Your waves and breakers.

Good morning. I bless Your Name. For You loved and saw, and You love and see, everyone. Thank You for allowing me to be Yours. To lean on You, follow You like a clingy dancer.
Thank You for having compassion on me. Helping along even my most pitiful baby steps.

"Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final."


I want to be like the Marys. Your servant, your friend, doing beautiful things, listening at Your feet.
May I decrease.

Please help me let go. I am too full of small, tight little fears. Self-protective, and self-destructive.
I want to live carefree before You,
because You care for me.

Help me get rid of this shallow funk. Have zeal for You. Not be slothful, but desire and pursue righteousness, not comfort and entertainment. That is so much of my day, or at least my thought process, it seems.
But let's count some blessings:
A cooler day. I could both RUN midday and walk with Mom later.
I'm not sick. Poetic, isn't it? (Chesterton)
I have a pleasant room.
I slept with the window open two nights in a row.
Today I got lovely letters from K. and S.
J. and I made faces at each other through the kitchen window while he mowed the grass and I washed dishes.
I shopped with Mom this morning, bought fruit and goat cheese and shared it.
We had sausage for dinner, and it was delicious and I wasn't queasy.
I did a backward somersault in my room (though not a forward one).
Dad bought me two books of vintage stamps.
Mrs. D. gave us zucchini and cukes and told me I could take cleome (spider flower) seeds. Smelled like basil and honeysuckle.
H. is engaged.
I know how to read.
I have 10 long fingernails.
Mom bought me 7 yogurts. They taste funny, like fabric softener, but could be worse.
My first zinnia is blooming.
My boards are here, gessoed, and the first layer painted.
Our new fridge is working.
There is glorious music (Aradhna, Welcome Wagon).
I am well-supplied in every necessity.

Lord, praise Your Name.
For these things and the better presence of You, here working.


May all be clear and pure between us. Purify me. Merciful Lord.
You have been my hope since my childhood.
Your pleasure is my highest goal.
Show my Your jealousy. We could write a good romance. Yes, I am referencing Lady Gaga.

Oh, so many of us, Lord. So many faces, histories, hearts...
so many headed toward death some day not far from now, and needy of You.
Come, Emmanuel,
with us, to us,
woo us.
A man woos by loving, pursuing gently & persistently. Showing his character, proving that he can be trusted.

You never know what can happen, what can change, wherever you are.

"Oaks of righteousness"... deep roots needed. Oaks take time to establish.
But they grow tall & strong, and live a long time.

How incredible. The day has finally come.

I pray for

GENTLENESS that we may be sensitive to You and each other, feel safe, cherished and understood.
PATIENCE with ourselves, our circumstances, each other.
COURAGE to move forward in our friendships, not fearing rejection or discomfort.
JOY that we may fully enter into the beauty of what You are doing in H. & F.'s lives, our lives, our world.

GOODNESS that we may take pleasure in all truly good and whole things, not content ourselves with cheap substitutes. That we may desire and love YOU first.
TRUST in You and each other (and perhaps even ourselves?) that we would continue to grow in our confidence and respect, love and appreciation for You & one another, and be content while moving forward.
KINDNESS to all people we encounter, from other semesters, on the road, in our thoughts. Enlarge us and confirm our efforts at hospitality.
PEACE that whatever complications may arise, or whatever difficulties we leave at home, or whatever time crunches or relational strains this trip may cause, that we would come to You for rest and solace. That we would find our still point in You. And a shalom in Your presence. May we acknowledge Your presence, welcome it, recognize Your constant invitation into it.
FAITHFULNESS: May we be true to You, each other, and ourselves. Not neglect or forget anything to which we owe fealty. May we do this quietly.
SELF-CONTROL: May we show deference and restraint in our interactions and activities. Keep calm under pressure, show temperance, battle covetousness with thanks. May we praise You in all things, for all things. In spite of anything.
LOVE that we may know that power that sustains the world, that holds our lives and eternity so firmly and tenderly. That we may know and love YOU.

The hugging was enormous.

What is all this about if not grace?
Lord, I must have a reason to get up each morning. I must be needed. I must be loved. Show me what I'm meant to be doing here.
How can I rest when everything could be indulgence? How not fall into sloth, sluggishness, guilt? Help me find a new home-rhythm. One that truly prepares me for life, for love, for service. Where am I still weak?
And now, Lord, where do I look?
My hope is in You. Help me not feel cheap, for any reason. Help me live transparently, decreasing, but magnifying You.
Help me do beautiful things to You.
Today I wanted to cut my hair. I felt fat again. I felt beastly and incapable of any constancy, any good. The euphoria of the trip seemed a little fanciful. I felt stupid hula-hooping to the TV show. It felt stupid. If I were at school, I think I would go to the cairn. Let Your wild, quiet heart put me back into sorts. Never leave me. Please never give up on me.
And give me patience, perseverance, love for this time. There are so many people. I don't know how to behave. And I get most bitey and impatient with those I love most. Please forgive me. Help me start tomorrow fed on Your grace, hope, courageous love.

"The point was that now I knew it didn't matter whether or not I understood. It didn't matter because even if I didn't understand, there was something there to be understood."
-Madeleine L'Engle, "The Moon By Night," p. 208

Thank You for waking me ~4am to come look at the glorious sky.

Lord, You are my one comfort. Please help me heal. Help me sleep tonight. Renew me again, make me less of a wuss: cowardly, weak, ineffectual. Life is always adjusting to one thing or another, isn't it? But we're headed somewhere. This is not a closed system. Hallelujah. Thank You for Israel.

"Meekness is teachability. It is the readiness to be shown, which includes the readiness to lay down my fixed notions, my objections and 'what ifs' or 'but what abouts,' my certainties about the rightness of what I have always done or thought or said."

-Elisabeth Elliot

"I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry."
-Psalm 40:1 NIV

Seamus Heaney died today.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Lines from the months of this last year: May and June

How come it is so easy to lose track of the story?

Be all. End all.

Dear Jesus,
It's art show eve.
Make me very clear tomorrow. Something You can shine through, where no praise or snub or comparison even sticks.
Because I am nothing without You. Make me Your pure joy.

Jesus. I want to be in the belly of Your great fish.

Hearts of flesh. That is what we ask for.

Today was a splendid day.
I woke up with a runny nose. And wonder of wonders, after taking some allergy meds I WENT BACK TO BED! Imagine!
Then N. and I went for a walk around Coy and Gull. Encountered a snake. Sat on the rock at Gull, talked and sang and felt such a kinship. Prayed, watching the water glitter in the sun.
A. helped me make challah. I braided her hair during the first rising, and we gave each other back massages. Her Mom came. C. wrapped books on our floor.
I practiced music with H....we played "When Mac Was Swimming."
Which was perfect.
Nobody knows, darling
Nobody knows how they are loved.

Lord, You are so gracious. I could die now.

Just over a year ago You saved BF and Miss E. and J. in their car accident. THANK YOU.

I've been feeling so sick - I didn't expect it to be this hard. Jesus.
I don't want the wonder to seep out...

I was made to love. We come alive when loved. So drown us in our sleep,
and steep us in love.

Help my unbelief. Give me the courage to give up everything.
I feel threatened, naked.
Oh, grow me steadily in this time. Increase my compassion, do not let me harden.
Make me a holy woman.

How will You make Yourself known? What do You desire in this world?
What does Your kingdom look like? Let me be a (decidedly unfashionable) part of it.
Prune me some more. Help me trust You when I can't love You (Davy's poem), and Love You with all I am.


Me: "J., if I had a juicy ripe peach in my hand, I'd give it to you."
J: "Why?"
Me: "Because I love you."
Mom: "And I would give you a plate."

Make me a fool for You.
I am as small as ever.

Help me serve,
and in serving find You, find joy, know that I am never useless to You,
and You will put me wherever You want me to be.

You know how to form a heart with strength, vigor, bounce, and endless tenderness. Create that in me.

What has brought me to this place?
Feeling so powerless. Angry. Feeling against everything.
Knowing my own helplessness and disgusted with it, vengeful.
What else could Tamar do? He was stronger.

Later -

Holy asperges.
Thank You.

Well. It must be done sometime. Why not me, now?
"For such a time as this" - to clean out the garage.
Please show me Yourself, myself, again. This world. Those gentle, gentle hands of Italy.

Helped Mom clean out her closet, listening to lovely music. We found love letters from Dad; she read me three and said I could read the rest after she died. Then laughed and said maybe sooner.

Prepare for the convent. Give things away.
Rely on no man. That's what I'm feeling. Jesus, You keep me awake and I'm afraid I've stopped listening. Stopped hearing Your voice. Become a shell.
Help me, I am aroused and combative but more from desperation than strength.
Oh, let this cost me everything.
I will not sacrifice what costs me

I love You.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Lines from the months of this last year: March and April


Everyone on the side of truth listens to You.*

I am ready.
Jesus, You, right here. And me, too.
Because You are welcoming me into something.
Then show me. And help me believe and come,
all of me, none behind.

Take charge.
Lord, I know you so little. And even though
my every atom is Yours,  I am not aware of You as I should be. Or so
near You. Or so like You. Or so believing in You.
Perhaps I made You up.

Perhaps You swallowed me whole.

*(see John 18:37)

"He who is bearing others knows that he himself is being borne, and only in this strength can he go on bearing."
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, 103

"Sticky little leaves."

There will be enough.

You look as if you learned things from trees.
"How can I be here for you, even after everything that's gone?" I let the words roll off my tongue like any others.

I was in Rome this time last year.

I am glad You made me. I love living.

Help me not do anything that would blunt my consciousness, my conscience. Make the world real and sharp to me.
Lure out my ant lions. Help me feel Your fingers pressed against me. Your face inclined.  That freedom, again, in taking the gift. Choosing trust. Choosing acceptance.
Believing in grace. Giving absurdly.

A warmth along my legs and in my temples gathering.
Make me just right for whatever You have for me.
I love this beauty. The man in his small schooner, "PROPHET." Watching us from the cabin window. All the colors of winter. Stark, exquisite skeletons against the snow. Dark maples. White birches. Rich, subdued pine, spruce, and fir. Variegated stones, rippled or craggy or split clean as logs. The fog cloaking the mountains, gliding through the harbor like a ghost. The shrubs and sparse undergrowth, russet and tufa yellow. Ochre. Piled buoys. Gray and cerulean.

Felt pretty alive.

Thank You for a lovely day.
Also, a highlight: picking up dog doo and being caught by Dr. B.

Now yogurt, Bible, bed. You take such good care of me. You don't despise me. Help me care well.
H. said I have a lovely face. And they like gap teeth. Thank You for giving me such friends, Daddy.

Show him how rich solid GOOD You are. Make him insatiably hungry for You. Reorder his past, his thoughts, his visions, toward Your will. Give him at least one very faithful, very trustworthy friend, to talk straight, love him.

At one point, sitting side by side and drawing, she laid her hand between my shoulders and stroked my back a little, and it almost made me cry. A little reminder of how much I miss Mom, those safe, familiar, not exaggerated physical affections.
They forgot to pay me. And I literally forgot to mention it until M. was driving me back.

"But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit." (1 Cor. 6:17 NIV)

Please show up again. Help me see the world full of grace and light.

One of the best birthday parties ever.

And You. Lovely, Lovely, Lord.
Loving me with wind even when I was angry as barbed wire.

28(29). Maundy Thursday
Oh, this time last year...You were making symbols for the rest of my life. Stations of the Cross.

I feel like I failed her, in some way. Was too namby-pamby, wanting everyone to feel good, stifling my doubts, the hard truth. Did I? When is it humility, and when is it cowardice?

Please bring me closer to You now, more ready to enter into Your humility and suffering. Raise us up again.
Abby: "'This is my body, pre-sliced for your convenience."
Oh, Lord. You broke Your body for me.
Help me enter into brokenness, vulnerability, with You. Extravagance, faith, trust.
I love you, Lord.

You told me I was wild
And You loved me.


The most important thing I can do now is be close to You.

"God our Savior...wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."
- 1 Timothy 2:3b-4 NIV

Jesus. Lord. Is that true? Do you hate Esau? You don't show favoritism. And yet You chose people. And you harden hearts. Why? What are You doing?
Why not today?

Pollen. Each plant has its own pollen.
I want to be a poet. You are my love.
I want to write You the sort of letter You will linger over, marking the flourish of my letters, the loops and knots on the D of my Dear.

Monica's love is still growing.

There are so many of us, Lord.
Lord, I could die well if I knew all these, and all the others swirling in my mind & heart, would know, would come to know, You.

This is a time where I feel like cutting. Simply because nothing seems so eloquent as blood, so concrete as pain.
But You Paid.
Keep on with Your steady healing.

Praise You. For this apartment, these friends. For air and light, siblings. Thunder. Not sure why I thought of that. For the already very promising Peace Like a River.

Lord, please show us Yourself in ways we can accept, see, believe.
Increase our faith. And give us daily bread, steady nourishment for training. Help me to be diligent and devoted.
Thank You for hope.

Jesus, I choose contentment. I am so glad You placed me here, for this time. It is good.
You are good. You are to be fully trusted.

"Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD
who has compassion on you.
- Isaiah 54:10 NIV

Make me soft and singing clay.

God, we cry to You. Our arms lift to You without our trying.

The cross is blooming, and so am I.
I am Yours.
I can't help feeling that the moon is a little bit mine tonight.

Swallow My Will.

Keep my heart thirsty for You, looking for You,
like sleep.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Lines from the months of this last year: January and February


Perhaps someday I will love holiness in a beautiful way. Until then, if I must love and choose it in an awkward, stilted way, so be it.

Jesus. Gesu. Moshiach.
      let these marks mean something. Not just the old words I've said before, but something that burns from paper to skin, as if You were calling me out of myself.
Show me how to touch. How to be. How to listen. How to move. Open the way for greater lessness. Humility and confidence and unashamed love. A realistic estimation of myself. A willingness to be wrong, to change.
Help me see.
                     I mean it. (I want to -)
                                 And take my things.
Let me live as if I was preparing for my birth, wedding, funeral.

Thank You for this day that mattered.
Mom's kindness & love and singing hymns to me even when I felt beastly.
Kneading bread together.

Renew my vision of what we could look like.

She's very happy being married....not to be compared with knowing God. Nothing is better than knowing God...
She encouraged me it was good to wait, and wait for the right man. He wakes up at 4am and kneels at the foot of their bed and prays.

Mom and I prayed kneeling at my bed, after looking at photos. Dad came and put his hands on our backs.
Lord, it was a good day. And help me know how to live as Yours to do with. I mean not half there, but all there.

I love Amish farmland. And I love my family. Yet I need Your help to be present here, to take nothing for granted, to live fully, fearlessly loving. Like A. talked about last night; how Americans seem so friendly and yet reluctant to form close relationships - because people leave, and it's hard to be hurt.
But everyone must leave.
"Everything Must Go!" has a ring of truth. Well, right now I want to stay right here, so long as there are things for me to do. Help me hold the world lightly.

It looked like a movie; car frame visible through engulfing orange flames. Dark smoke towering into the air. A string of emergency vehicles. You were there, Lord.
And so I trust You for all this. This year.

Be kind to them. Very kind and true and persistent, I pray. Open doors and windows and mouths and hearts. Keep working, I beg You. Thank You.

Lord, how will You ever teach me to trust You? I'm a pretty tough case.
...So much pain, Jesus....Show me how to be a friend to her. But mostly, Jesus, please be her friend. Patient, constant, gentle, forgiving, kind.
Oh, kind! PLEASE! Lord, I believe You are kind. You just helped me find my watch, and You helped me find my key in the snow the other day. But You are much kinder than that. You are redemptively kind. And we need that. We need incarnation, Lord. We need to touch You. To feed on Your body. To know the depth and the lengths of the suffering You went to for us.
You are not cold.
And I am not lost. Not hipster. Not bonk. I am Your child, Your young bride.

Dad: "These are my expectations: Come home and be yourself."

Slip Yourself into his drink.

Dear Jesus,
You are a beautiful guide. But help me be a better follower. For all this tomorrow, guide, I pray. As for today, thank you. The lovely, lovely Burns night. Helping make haggis (delicious). Seeing so many good faces. Talking & catching up. Singing, reciting, listening. Eating. Had only 3 sips of whisky. Teeny ones.
It's nice to know I can make conversation - good conversation. Though sometimes I can't.

27. (Sunday)
Dear, Fair One.
Now help me rest in You these hours. I don't know what I want. But I do know I want You, at least. Help me create enough space to listen. Like on our rock this afternoon, when it grew still suddenly, even the wind, and the slanted winter sun felt warm.
Anoint our tongues.
     Feed me.
And help me feed others like Mononoke.

Dear Jesus,
I love You.
I feel the great need now. The great emptiness - fullness. The thinness. Like the battle's coming closer. The battle's tomorrow, and I'm already tired, and I've already won and suffered. Or lost and acquiesced.
Make a strong yes in me. Teach me the texture of words, of "I love you." Of smiles and of listening without seducing. Teach my soul to rest in you.
Help me wear the armor. To pray the things I really want to pray (bring them to You). Make me lovely. Don't give up on me. Show us how faithful You are to keep Your promises. Comfort deeply. Purify, prune, nourish. Speak.

It is almost the end of January. Thank You, Lord, for this good month. For H. asking me to pray. For good classes, and Little Women, and barefoot swinging with N. and A.
Please help me to be faithful and obedient.
Thank You for making the world.
Slow me down, Lord.


"With the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:38 NIV)

I feel so spent. So unready for tomorrow. But I give You myself and I trust You, and I ask You to use me. Thank You for such a beautiful apartment. And such great friends. Your closeness to me. Help me both give and hide and keep secrets.

Thank You for naming me.
Please name me again.
I would love to make my name true.
To air these things (on kitchen cabinet doors -)
You know what this last week has been. You know my plans, my fears, my already-weariness.
But thank You for being here. For the joy and comfort and challenge of friendship.
I don't know much further. But You have been perfectly good. And I bless Your Name. Over every curse.
Jesus, Christ, Son of the Living God,
be worshipped and glorified.

9. (Blizzard)
Please help me as I get so irritable and narrow. So fractious.
Help me see and love well.
Live fully in Your grace, in COURAGE.
Like staying on the swing and singing tonight when I was TERRIFIED.
Glory, glory, glory. Have me.

I need Your help now. I hope to go gluten-free again. And to be well. And to know myself and not hide from questions. But I am so afraid of the ugliness of navel-gazing. So come with me. And show me Your world, Your self.
I am less sure of things than I was, but I believe You are completely trustworthy. As I.G. said,
We are not single players in this. That is why there is a God. You lead us and You empower others.
Take me down from my ivory tower.
But please promise me You'll feed me Nothing but Yourself.

Why not today?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Honey After Milk

Communion today was mulled wine
passed between us in a blue and white
china cup. The sleigh bells chimed,
"Look up! This is a never-again,
a just-like-always,"
an eternity. Their faces encircling me.

Knotted hands, orange
peels, soft brie
and popcorn and truffles.
Honey after milk -
that first ecstatic
memory of home, primal and dear to us
like the sun, like mother,
even when unseen.

When what is between us comes clean,
slides off in one sheet
like snow from a roof,
this is what we prayed for:
to see You.