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.

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