Thursday, December 31, 2015

Lines from the Months of This Last Year: November

14.
Thank You Lord. What a crazy day. Couple of days. So much painting yesterday, none today.
But getting lost in West Chester...
THANK YOU, because You do what I can't do.

Oh God. The bombings and shootings in France.
Help us overcome evil with good. Individually, corporately.
Lord, dig out the sin and bring wholeness, healing, redemption. True repentance.
Sin is so easy when you're hurt or angry or stressed.

Bless us, Lord. Guide our energies.


15.
Dearest Lord,
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and because the paintings are finished, and because today was so lovely.

Thank You for conversation and sisterhood and prayer. For the deja vu as A. was praying about my commission on the way back from the shower. You comfort me.

I want - I need - to know You are at work in all these unseen things. Help them to be my first reality.

God, I don't want flirtiness. Help me to be true. And help me trust Your timing. Gesu.
Provide, still! Help me be grateful, and trust You, give and see and mourn and rejoice!


28.
It was a beautiful Thanksgiving. Thank You. I'm glad to be single. Thankful for the help recording.
I need You. I need help loving. And taking teasing and insults - or not. Help me not be a wimp. And help me have freedom and discipline, and care for the temple.
Thanks for a weepy day - the Macy's parade made me cry.

I can't grasp or accomplish anything.
Daddy, teach me.
Lover, take me. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Lines from the Months of This Last Year: October

4.
My Dearest Friend,
Thank You for life. For this particular day of it, this afternoon. Seeing J off from the train station, huddled against the cold, laughing and talking.

Where is my heart? It belongs to You. Please be its jealous keeper. Guard me and protect me. Chasten me. I desire chastity.

"Holiness takes us outside ourselves,
my heart can barely beat.
You've a lot of courage
to give Yourself to me."
-HJB

Make me more and more a lover of what is good, and help me coruscate with it. Yes, coruscate. I am so touchy and restless today. Feeling helpless and rash. Help me "heal for the honey" (Brooke Waggoner).
O God, O my delight. Take this offering.


6.
Thank You for what You are doing. DO IT.
Abba, flow through me. We beg for truth and light.

Help me to be as wise/shrewd as serpents and as innocent/blameless as doves. To be a fierce loveress, and a torch-bearer.
Carrying truth, exposing sin.
Thank You for my dear, godly parents. For true friends. For new beginnings (and sleep).
GLORIFY YOUR NAME IN ME.


7.
O Lord. Carry me. Thank You for this long, strange, good day.
I don't know what to do, but my eyes are on You. Let Your love flow through me.


9.
Dear Jesus,
Thank You. Complete this. Make it truly good, whole, pure. Use Your Word.

Thank You for Nicholas, whose first words to me were, "You don't have any kids yet." He offered me an earring he'd found in the grass. And later a hair tie. He called the guitar a banjo.

Bring truth and comfort to all of us tonight. Remind me that I am not the Savior - YOU ARE.
God, You do these things. Thank You. Chase us down. Don't let us get away with our sin. Take off the wrappings. Remove the infection. Wash us.
Jesus, Thank You. Hold me.


11.
O Lord Christ.
Show us the true weight of our lives. Help us tread lightly. And grow those strange lumps on our shoulders into wings.

Abba, we need You. Help us think not too lowly, and not too highly, of ourselves.
With loving precision You made all things, and all that goes awry is righted in Your hands. Now bend, and bloom, and piercingly infuse us with Your Essence, God, that we, though only lately born and soon departing, may not let one day pass without imparting goodness, truth, and beauty to Your world, ourselves, and back into Your bosom.
For there we lay our heads, entrust our hearts, and rest our earthly bodies.


15.
Today in the library I saw an album cover that caught my eye: "Strict Joy", by The Swell Season. It was gorgeous, haunting-looking, and I realized why - Mar & Glen. Sounds like things didn't work out for them, though. It rattles me. I've just been reading some of "Every Young Man's Battle", and it had some good things to say about sin, sexual sin in particular. It's not a cancer inside us to pray away and fight internally, at least not primarily. It's a series of disobedient acts. And likewise, holiness comes with choosing to heed God in hundreds of small ways, it's not a nebulous idea or a heavenly dispensation.
God, help me hate sin. MY sin.


23.
Began the day with Carl's poems. 'S came over, we planned. I made about 20 phone calls for church. One couple is divorcing. I got an intercessor's email for a family whose niece was killed by her father on his tractor today. A 3 year old.

"Fox's book of margins"... Oh Carl. How true.
God, don't let me be a might-have-been. Help me thrust all these fears and pettinesses out. Persuade my heart to trust You more.
Tolstoy was so staggering and simple. I'm afraid when I realize how little I perceive or understand, how childish my mind is still. There are many kinds of circles to travel, I know. Let me ride the one that's a screw, driving me deep into You.


26.
Help me care less about myself, but delight in You.


31.
A year ago today, Mom & I shaved our heads.

And last night Mr. B emailed me, and I can't handle how generous and considerate he's being. Multiple times today I've laughed. Or gone limp.
O God. Keep caring for us. Give us only our daily bread.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Lines from the Months of This Last Year: September

5.
Lord Jesus,
I don't know how to thank You for this last week. How full of goodness it's been!
Make no bones about it. Take me to You, imprison me,
for I, unless You enthrall me,
never shall be free... (Donne)


10.
Lord God.
Take me fresh, as if this was the very first time.
Thank You for the newness You've been giving me; the sick harshness of other's doubts (because I can share them) and the inner certainties that I, also, can share.
Thank You that tomorrow is TOTALLY in Your hands. And that today was, too.
I am Your little squishy hard one.
LOVE ME. HELP ME.
I am desperate for You.
And I trust You.


14.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Please help me pray again. Talk to You again. Journalling, speaking, in my mind & spirit, whatever. I just need You. And I must be closer to You. I must know You and love You first, and not be fooled by imitations.
King Jesus. You have ownership of me. Thank You for giving me rights and respect and privileges all the same. Help me to intercede. O God, help me not say no to You. No sweeping noes. Help me say yes to You, every moment, as it comes, and yes to whatever Your purposes are.

Ugh. Help us just live, not taking anything for granted. Make us generous & joyful, ready for the long hard roads, forgiving, praising You.


17.
Dear Lord,
Please keep reminding me of the Gospel.
Help me love righteousness, to be humble even in the background.

And guide me, Jesus. I realize I may not need to "figure out" these things. There may not be any "figuring out." But help me to know my own heart before You, and trust that you move the hearts of kings, and help me know what is right and wise and godly. Give me greater love, real love, for what really matters.

My Friend. My Lover. You are what I want.


23.
I trust You to give me wisdom. Help me to know You, and therefore know myself and where I'm headed. Help me to praxis. That's not a verb, but I'm making it into one.


25.
Lord, save me. I'm rotting. I'm stagnating. Make me willing and obedient. Don't cut me off. Help me wash myself. Help me learn to do good, to love justice,
and mercy.


26.
My Lover. Who am I? What am I?
What am I becoming?
What do I love?
How sluggish I am. And how slow to believe all the prophets have spoken.
Help me to lose myself. To write more, again, and work for hours on end, out of LOVE, and use my body in glorious ways.
Thank You for what You did today. And the chance this afternoon to do photoshoots with C, A, and H. But I also feel a little foolish now. What if I looked affected, or chubby, or a bit too bizarre? That can all go.
Grant my heart peace. Speak to my Your mercy. Your endless mercy. Help me walk with purpose, in grace. Make me a great lover.

P.S. Use us. Do not by any means let the devil get his way tomorrow, making our time ineffectual, tense or trite, irritable or pushy. O Jesus. Bring Your kingdom.
Help me. I love You love You love You. YOU ARE ENOUGH.

P.P.S. Make a mystic out of this cheese.
(ref. Flannery O'C.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Lines from the Months of This Last Year: August

8.
Dear Lord Jesus.
Please. I'm not ready for this, really. One bout of indigestion, or one dismissive act, and I'm back in the puddle of neediness. Help me trust You for great things. To seek after Your heart continually. Make me ready for tonight, next year. I want to be with You.
Ground me. Help me love
and more love
and more.

Keep that sweet singing, singeing flavor in all things. I want to see the sacred in the ordinary. I want to know. I want to be enlarged. Make me as Mary,
Ready.

Convict us. Win hearts. O Lover. Win mine again. Keep me childlike. Help me care for this temple.


9.
Things are so wrong without You. Fear, and pride, and greed. Oh Jesus. Have mercy...
Thank You for reminding me that that is what You want - for me to accept my sin and Your righteousness. And yet, to act in a manner worthy of You? To resist evil? To dwell on what is good? Help me. I'm so faded and immature. I'm such a small bean. Don't lose me.
Don't let me lose You.

Teach me to swim, and paint, and birth children, and save lives & souls, and do useful things. Amen.

P.S. I love You


16.
This has been a beautiful day of rest, here and only here.
But thank you for yesterday, goodbyes at camp and contra in the evening. It is so good to have friends. And brothers. I can't imagine life without them, or Mom and Dad's steady loving sacrificial care. So many gifts You've given me. Help me keep my hands open.
Lead me into Your great joy. The small points of fulfillment and of Your presence overpower me.
O God. Let us meet.


20.
God. Thank You for that. For the conversation I just had with B. Thank You that You knew, almost 2 years ago, that he would need those Isaiah 30-20-22 verses this summer. Show her that You are the God who sees her. Help him to love as You love, patiently, persistently, fiercely and tenderly.

It is all a gift. Help me trust this.
Help me not cling to what I want, or even to how "constant" I would like to be. But only to You, who will, WILL guide me into what is holiest, best, truest.
Oh Jesus.


29.
I didn't deserve that; my glass SHOULD have tipped over.
Thanks for taking me through today, which "felt" rather unspiritual and agnostic. Thanks for helping me do things. Laundry, painting the apple tree, pancakes and cunapes, mowing, talking to D, painting portraits, starting "True, Love Waits" for my composition studies.
Oh Lord. I'm bad and tired. Please take over.
I LOVE YOU.

Lines from the Months of This Last Year: July

9.
O Lord.
You have seen me through the last 2 1/2 weeks (Thank You).
Help me to invest, to stay focused, to love and choose grace over anger, self-entitlement, or frustration/worry. Grace. More than enough for all our needs today.
Help us all keep choosing life.

Thank You for Mr. A mopping for me. For J helping me in a pinch, and W saying such encouraging things, and A's kindness to S, and K's enthusiasm and sacrifice.
Thanks for Miss B's hugs, and the campers who smile, and for J enjoying his food.

Help me to EAT Your Words.


24.
Lord God, make me malleable, soft, ready. Be my rest.


25.
Thank You for all Your enduring wildness & faithfulness.
You've seen me through so much. Draw me back. Deeper, interceding, and one with You in the first place.


26.
Oh, Father, remind me of my welcome, because I feel apart from you, and dry, and I want to apply my whole self to You, to prayer and intercession and satisfaction in you.
What do You intend from our loves?
Make us actually ready to be good lovers. Seeing You for who You are, not the rules or the trappings or the tidy boxes. Keep us from evil and temptation in Your Name, Jesus.


---

What are you trying to prove?
Look at that fool with her hands in the air
too far gone
I am the song of drunkards
I myself am drunk on love. Eh.
Sticking to the tree by your clenched fists,
brown feet, carving into the smooth side
His name, saying, in insinuating ways,
'I hope you know.'

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Lines from the Months of This Last Year: June

3.
Love does things to your face.
I'm older, closer to surrender. I still chase thoughts and pride in circles, but somehow it seems simple: accept this, weakness and grace, and go on.
We tremble to trust our welcome. Kiss our faces quietly until we remember that earliest extravagance of giving, remember the arms that met us so soon after the womb released us, the food that touched our lips and the eyes that looked back into ours, full and overflowing.
This is what it is to live, when we are truly alive.

God, O Lord, tender Lover, I could not have planned this day. It was blessed beyond my ability to recount.
Thank You for her clear true words about the way abuse shouldn't be tolerated. Thank You for a short respite, and Dad taking me just in time, and for giving me strength to work. For a quick catch-up with A, prayer, and the way You answered. Such rich real sharp time.

You gave me that song in the first place.
Help me not miss any opportunity to know You better.


5.
As Dad counseled me, I come before You, eager for Your will, and enough clarity to know how to go forward. If You do no make it clear to me, show what I should do. I want to be right there with You, and accept all Your gifts and withholdings.

Love is elemental and prayers
are never wasted and grace
is the face of the sun.


9.
In the midst of my pouting You have been so inexpressibly kind.
Please heal my sick small mind. Help me pray according to Your will, in Your Name.


12.
Thank You for Dad saying, "You're a special woman," and Mom, "You're our treasure."


13.
Meet me Lord. Spirit, speak. Whatever it is I need to hear. Help me be receptive.
Psalm 28

What do I really want, want to do, and why?
- Create beauty in collaboration
- Speak truth to people
- Develop abilities to show love & compassion, bring healing
- Cultivate a secure, vibrant environment for questions, learning, growth, exploration, full shalom flourishing
- Develop disciplines of simple, sustainable, creative living
- Learn to give and receive love, grace
- Partner with individuals and churches on the outer edges of Gospel/Kingdom movement
- Learn to be a better listener/counselor
- Share my dreams, quirks, thoughts, questions, delights, beauties, fears, weaknesses with someone who cares, who loves me and is committed to me
- Become the confidante, collaborator, comforter, lover of a "worthy" man
- Understand the truth
- Understand the inner workings of mankind, the world
- Give tangible, specific, intimate, creative care
- Show hospitality and learn to give generously
- Stay connected to my family and friends, maintain and deepen relationships
- Find and cultivate stillness and peace in a hectic world
- Live with integrity, be an example of faithfulness, trustworthiness, graciousness & mercy, wisdom, courage, love
- Walk in obedience, sensitive to the Spirit
- Be ruled in all things by love


15.
Thank You, God. Papa. I just realized that You answered my prayer for a dream...
this morning, "Dame su mismo," which is "Give me the same". Or if "Dame tu", "Give yourself."
Help me do it.


16.
Thank You for taking Miss E home on the 15th. You are good for preparing me. Good to let me know through N's text. Good to give me Mom and Dad to pray and cry with, and calls from A and C.

You surround me on every side.


21. (Father's Day)
Hi Daddy. Help me to feel utterly safe and loved by You. Help me to trust You completely, implicitly. Thank You for the kind, gentle way You're breaking me in here.



Lines from the Months of This Last Year: May

2.
Thank you for a lovely May Saturday. Cleaning Cherry Hill and Esbenshade roads with ladies from GPC and CMBC.
Grooveshark died yesterday.

TOO MUCH, DADDY. Help me. I'm talking too much. Help me just live. Write and sing this stuff. I'm SICK of it. Dirty. Melodrama, chess piece people. I'm angry and ashamed and afraid. And does any of that belong?
Sleep. Sleep it off. NO I CAN'T SLEEP IT OFF it's my own face looking back at me, I don't understand divorce and betrayal and yesses into "justified" noes.
How does one live?
Does good always die a martyr's death?
Deepen, broaden, sharpen me. Harden and soften (temper) me. Make me ready.
I need to love You.


5.
Thank You, Jesus, for the sweet parts of today. For a blissful earth, green and warming. For time to talk with friends. For J home. For the rain beating down - even though I just went out in the dark to water.

THANK YOU for the blast Mom and I had with the Bs yesterday. Those kids. I sang songs to them I hadn't sung in a very very long time. They were a magnificent audience (also choir and interpretive dancers). Loved playing telephone, giving piggyback rides, holding little T, petting the dogs, teaching origami (and learning it) with J. Giving real tangible help to A.

Forgive me, Daddy, for my self-centeredness, my desperation for comfort, my flippancy in love.
Help me choose You every moment when, like this afternoon, bitterness and curses rise. Or when, like tonight, I feel like proving myself. I have nothing to prove. I have You.
You have me. Remind me.


10. (Mother's Day)
So many reasons to need You, Abba.

W     I     S     D     O    M

Thank You for safe driving. That he picked her up during the father-daughter dance. That L smelled rocks for me. That I got to sing to You and the cows.
That K gave me $5 rather than $1.75.
That I have a Mama so loving and beloved, that C cried writing to her, and she cried reading from him. That all my bros called.
Thank You for honey sticks. And "new" clothes. And this much hair. And that I'm a woman. And that I can use who and what I am to bless people, and to please You.

Please give me love for You, Your FACE not just Your hands. Help me live for You. I mean, not to win a man or deserve a deep relationship & career; for You.


12.
You are the most interesting thing ever. Help me realize that.


22.
I haven't written much recently. I guess that's OK. I don't have to feel like myself.
Everything doesn't have to be tidy and settled... and it's not.
But help me, O God. Bring to mind and heart what must & should be there.
I will drop and spoil everything otherwise.

Hone my skills, God. Help me work well, while I can, and not be wasteful, and not be slothful, and not be selfish. Help me to be wholly generous.

Thank You for a lovely afternoon with the ladies. For her willingness to tell me about her mom's cancer, and to let me pray with her by the energy bars.

Life is so short. O God, I don't want to hold back from loving, obeying, or saying the truth. Help me. I don't want any secrets. Not even crushes. Bind my restless tongue. Help my words, from my heart, be true and without sin, shame or lovelessness. FILL ME WITH YOUR LOVE and that will make me right. Right with You, O God.
I am, praise Jesus.


24. (Pentecost)
Help them know how to grieve. May what overwhelms them most be the LOVE they experience from YOUR PEOPLE.
Oh Jesus, defeater of sin and death, Satan and all his influence. You Are LORD. Amen.


27.
Will traveling always do this to me?
But You can make me willing to do anything.

Settle me into you, O God, and may I not be afraid of any feeling.

Glory to You, Lord Christ.


Lines from the Months of This Last Year: April

1.
How sweet, how deep, how vast and satisfying is Your love, O Lord, giver of life and love. Thank You for this achingly blessed day. Thank You for revealing Yourself in Your Son.
Again I throw myself on You.
Help me to be mature as EE described it:
to carry within myself unanswered questions.


4.
Clutch us tightly in Your glorious resurrection this weekend. The way You did three years ago, in Orvieto, or two, in Vermont, or one, in my quarantine downstairs. Don't let Your life and death slip by us. Please renew the depth and utter abandon of our reliance on You. Make it absolute.
Help us be steady in the next two windy weeks. Bring us into space and quiet.

And Oh, God, again take this small heart. Prepare me to love as You love, not to run away from love, not to dominate it. Let me cultivate it, out in the air and sun, digging deep into honest earth. Let everything that dies bear seeds. Let the seeds split and be established. Waste nothing. Let the air hum with life and the pollinating ministry of Your Spirit, Your angels. Strengthen us for rain and wind and drought.
Lord, I long for a love I can run in. Open me up, prepare me. Help me be in tune, in time, with You. Not running ahead (guard me, chasten me, keep me from doing harm with my words and thoughts and actions), not lagging behind (show me how to love, not expecting, not controlling, but confident and pure and free). I believe You when You say You will give me the desires of my heart. You will give me Yourself, and all the rest is in Your hand.
Ah, my Lover.


5.
I want so much to be able to cry cleanly, and I can't - I'm still too hard and tight. Loosen, soften me. I'm asking again for vulnerability, for Your Spirit to stir, let my heart be as quickly felt as the dove's, beneath the breastbone.
Oh God be true. Are You or aren't You? PROVE YOURSELF.


9.
Lord, I prayed for vulnerability. And I am feeling vulnerable right now... owing so much in taxes, feeling tired and about to "perform"... but let me just be. Like the students who went to Mississippi, to be there and survive. But in this case, flourish through me. Help me obey You from the get-go, trust You, have the quiet courage and drive that CAN come when we are faced with cold facts and obstacles. Somehow You will do this.


11.
Psalm 50:15: "And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me."
Also v. 12... the cattle are Yours. And so am I.


12.
Dearest,
Thank You for a beautiful day.
Help me now as I feel beastly and grumpy. Help me love You with all of me this afternoon. Guide the things. All the things.


13.
Help me Jesus, keep going and loving and trusting through this awfulness. Feeling lonely and scared. Feeling like a weakling, a disappointment. Father, lover, You're pleased with me? Take it. O Lord, take me, it, everything. Let me keep soft, not fake or hard, but strong. Help me take heart in You. Not stop praying. Protect us from the evil one, from ourselves. Be glorified no matter what. Amen.

(later)

Jesus. Oh how. I need You.
Thank You for a beautiful day.
Help me praise You.


15.
It's all Yours, all.
Thank You for everyone who loves and gives and is learning. Please help me know Who You are. Jesus. May this please You. Through the truth and the shimmer of the truth and the lies and fear and selfishness, break through.
Help me truly love You, want and work for what is good. Help me process this.
It's beautiful to feel I could say anything. To be cared for and applauded. But help me let all these goods go, for You.
Where is the treasure of my heart? Who is? You.

(later)
Jesus,
It's so surreal. J is singing "not letting fear or doubts or sorrow" from the kitchen as I sing quietly in my room. We've had a longish day, not as much progress as we wanted until just now (post supper). Thank You for that. For it all. For making this possible. Even now, without You, everything rots.
You have made everything good, and everything good possible. And I implore You to give us all that is good, Yourself, the blessings that speak of You, health and love and wisdom, comfort, courage, hope. The lessers there, to point to You, not complete themselves. I long for You. You fulfill all my desires, my desire for holiness not the least.



18.
And this is the love You have for me.
Like a husband for his wife, tenderly, burning at the chest, hands and eyes so gentle, overcome. Wholly given to Your loving. Likewise I am hungry for You, crying softly at this passion, the beauty and the ache of it, the way you cherish me and wait for me and woo me so persistently, while I am shy or blind or deviant, hardened.
Lift me from these darker, lonelier thoughts. Show me Your love. Splice our hands, our bodies, until, as they say, "I did not know You from me."
Make us one today, this hour, eternally. Show me by the truth of Your love what love is. That I be not seduced by counterfeits. That I may learn to rely on You, even when we feel estranged. Even when I am afraid, to know the largeness of Your love that makes everything OK, for I am with You.
All of me, all my love.



22.
Only You could have planned such a day.
I love You, and I want to love You more. Help me pray.
GIVE ME YOU.


24.
Again, "slip Yourself into his drink."
May he fear nothing but You.


28.
"My Mate, [He] hears me when I call
and answers swiftly to the sound..."

("Epithalamium", Forest Mountain Hymnal)

Dear Jesus,
Thanks for everything You are doing, that I can stand back and watch.
Thank You for helping me. Help me. Love You. K


29.
Thanks for today, "digging" raised best in the woodpile. Such exhilaration. Finishing "Into the Wild" round 2.
Lord, help me to know what's going on with these friends. I hate having disconnect, hurt, avoidance...
And Lord, I realize I'm such a me-pleaser. Measure people inwardly. Measure their use or how they make me feel. Please break me of this pride. I hate it. And I hate gossip. And I hate lust...but Lord, I also hate feeling insignificant, or uptight, or prudish. Help me look at You long and hard.
Look at, into me. Come.


30.
Psalm 10...O Lord, You hear the pleas of the oppressed, You strengthen their hearts, Your ear hears their prayer.
Lord, heal us in all these gaping wounds. The sheer terror - take it in hand, Lord, it is too terrible. Submerge us in Your peace. When things are not OK... help us not pretend. But in the worst of times, help us keep turning to You, and show us that all, at last, will be well, no matter what.
Thank You for more things planted, a letter to HJ (and a text from her in the middle of it). Thanks for jokes with Dad. Thanks for finished paintings and paintings underway, and for photos of me pretending to be Dwight.
Thanks for all the ways You enable us to do what needs to be done. Your abundance, Your sufficiency, Your kindness to me are real.
O speak, and let me listen!




Thursday, December 17, 2015

Lines from the Months of This Last Year: March

5.
Dear Lord,
What do You want from my heart? How can it be made more and more Yours, without cheating or mortifying? Or is a kind of mortification necessary?

I don't even know how to approach the compounded beauties and pains of the last week. My life has been pretty easy though. I'm feeling sluggish. I WANT to feel alive.

Thank You for the chance to be, and putter... but see, that's it... I don't want to putter. I want to build, gather, scatter, make things that deserve to be made, for people that need them.
Father, I don't want to be a big gassy hard-armoured robot. Lord, I want to be free. I buck and kick and fight and scream or am sullen; almost the last thing I do is obey. Help me do the impossible: obey and embrace.
Let me be vulnerable, not in control, not the center of attention. Pull everything in us back to You.

Help me value our intercourse and value You, so much that I don't care if it's strange or embarrassing. Be my great desire. Absorb my attention. Free me, unleash me, make me fearless in Your love.
So take this (whatever it is, huzzah!)


15.
You are the tenderest, the only comfort I know. Thank You.


16.
Lord, my God, my TRUE BLUE.
Thank You.
This day has been pretty much miraculous. I have been given, and I can't repay. But help me try (I mean, help me freely give, because I have freely received).


21.
Dear Jesus,
Thank You for opening doors and windows, and letting in sunlight and air.
Feed this river. Console me, Holy Spirit. Make me fresh and ready. Or at least willing. Oh God.
Amen.


22.
Holy Spirit, we depend on You. Lord, we worship You. You are wild, You are good, You are worthy.


25.
Dear Jesus,
I bless Your Name. You exalt it above all things.
Oh Lord, my Saviour, my Troubadour. Win me, woo me, lull me to sleep again. I am content to be caught in You, tangled in Your arms and hair. Help me dig into You and not chase an image.
Please protect our hearts...not from hurt so much as from fear, bitterness, conceit, or callousness. Keep us tender, forming and reforming.
"Break, blow, burn and make [us] new."*
Christo pieta!


26.
Help me to be faithful to our covenant. Help me serve you with all my heart and soul, to yield my heart to You.


27.
If You want to make me well for tomorrow, I know You can. And if You choose not to, yet will I trust You. You know how to make everything work out for the very best ends. Help me trust You and not be so stiff and cynical. Make me humble, and something You can use and fill.


30.
Hosanna. Blessed are You above all.
Prepare my heart for this. Help me trust You enough to let down my nets again in deep water.


*John Donne, Holy Sonnet 14

Friday, December 11, 2015

Lines from the Months of This Last Year: February

4.
Saw an ocean of geese...one of the most beautiful things in a while, though the sunsets & moonrises have been prime recently.

Help me to be earnest. I need need need more of You and what You care about; I want to be obedient. To the people I'm meant to love, the work I'm meant to do.

I threw away my shoes today!


5.
Just briefly, I want to thank You.
For a dream prompting me. For a possible new commission. For "Smoke Signals" with Mom, a call from JL, the reminder that You knew me before I was born.
For the small miracles of Your Spirit guiding me... and my obedience (if stilted).

You're asking me to dance.
Show me tomorrow?


7.
The wink of You in my Isaiah verse...bitterness. Isaiah 38:17

Please help me this week, to give all burstingly. And also to be still and comforted.
To draw on Your sap. To give it out. To know You.


8.
Dear Lord,
Thank You. The last two days have been so full, and in many ways I'm still in the thick of it all. But You're here, thanks. Rich thick porridge blanket lather sleep.
Please keep stirring us up.
I am very glad to be rid of my black shoes. I am very glad to have a full tank of gas & oil.
To have fruit. Milk. Eggs. L's contra videos. For the prospect of MAKING IT to CA, OR, ME.
Thank You for my thick-skinned feet. My short hair. My whole body, which I underestimate and criticize and adore. Help me love giving You myself drop by drop and whole,
holy,
healed.

Please speak through me.


12.
Thank You that You don't cheat, lie, or disappoint. If anything, You give better than You promise.


13.
Thank You for purifying me.
Emeth. For being that live bird dipped in dead bird's blood, released in the field, dripping pink water on my arms and face.

Thank You for the rich undeserved kindness You give to me, through S, Mom, L...
Such a sweet morning with the granddaughters and S.
Sweet messy noisy sensitive inquisitive generous selfish adoring children. Bless You for making them.

Thank You for the very small ways we see our duty, see where virtue lies, and can follow You. Please help us do this.

God, they swell and press against my ribs. These brothers and sisters I could spend all afternoon spelling out and crying out for.
Still me and plant me.

Yesterday, in that raw moment with Mom, she observed that I care about place. It would be very hard on me to be a nomad. And, though she did not say this, I care about words that are...gracious. Savory and undiminished. Courteous. Acerbity would wear on me like acid.

Grazie Dio. What a week. I feel a bit weathered. Like the numbness late at night when you've been up too late and don't know how to put yourself together enough to sleep.


15.
Sunlight is streaming in, glittering on the candle holders and wine glasses, illuminating the cut paper cards and spreading amaryllis blossom.
There are lots of things to grow this spring. To do and be. I'm afraid, but I'm trying not to over-think it.
What things will I have learned? How ready is my heart? The seeds are there...

I want to be capable and sweet to the core, unafraid because I know Your love and trust it. Trust You, because I know You. Help me.
Help me make "critics into coaches". Help me live the Gospel. Speak the Gospel. Believe the Gospel (prove it true).

All this helpless expense of life. Help me live carefully, generously. Giving thanks, making do, doing without. Help me be present.  God, show me Your heart. How do You want to be known? What are You up to, here?
If I am in a hurry I will miss it completely.


16.
Thank You for making good out of even today.
I do want heroes, but not idols. You are all the sweeter. Speak Lord.


17.
Unclog my heart so the love only flows out thicker and faster. Help me be ready to live with You.


18.
ASH WEDNESDAY
Thank You for helping me pray this morning, early, even after that horrible sex-with-a-crocodile dream. Protect me through all this. Help me breath and heal, laugh and enjoy and be firm and true unto death. Save Your people.
Thank You for for the ashes still clinging to my forehead like a bruise.
Bring things to mind. Be glorified in me.
Prepare me for great love. Lover, love You, me.


19.
CONPRESDU   CONtinue PRESent DUty

Such a happy, blessed day. Thank You.


20.
Dear Omes,
Thank You. You are everything.
I <3 U.



21.
Buon Gesu,
Thank You for taking J and I to Longwood and back in one piece. Terrible, like the ocean. I'm safe, You're with me, but at the end, with my frayed nerves, I want to blame You for allowing me to come so close. Like Eliot's anarchist, ~"I want to know why I hurt so much."

Jesus. I'm too full and stretched. Help me quiet tonight. Thank You tremendously for the reminder (via The Amazing Spiderman 2, no less!) that I, Your Woman, don't want to just be protected. I want to be involved. It's my choice. I want to help, even if it means danger, even if it means death (and You've told me it does...death, and life). Give them to me. Prepare me to be such a one as can take it.

Bless You for a day ended in love and hope and laughter. "Baci, baci, abbracci."
Lord, reign over our recalcitrant and discombobulated hearts, REIGN SUPREME. In peace and power, grace, justice, love.


23.
It's still a mystery to me how these songs even happened. They are Yours, take them.

We only know love when it's modeled for us.


27.
Cowardess.

Lord, this is small of me, but I feel cheated. Here I am with my noble plans, "giving" them to You, and what do You do? Take them. :P
Ughhh okay, do. But I need You to take out the poison that makes this another ocean, where I stand confused and suspended, asking, "Is this my invitation into danger? Or my warning to stay away?" and hold my cowardice like a fish.
Do I release it into the sea, or let it die, sticky and subdued, in my hands?

To lose the poetry, I'm up, it's before 6am, and I'm at home, rather than at church for prayer, because of a delicate coating of snow. Before Saturday I would have hopped in the car, geared up the engine, and sloughed off the windshield, thinking nothing of the unplowed road. Now I'm terrified. Like walking my familiar route...but not feeling safe now, because last time I was mugged. I take detours. I take the bus. I wonder if I should be changing at all - after all, You protected me, and that's all I ever need...


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Lines from the Months of This Last Year: January

January

2.
Please bring me back to the very basic basics, my Lord. Humble me enough to do the bottom-rung work, drink milk, if that's what I need.

4.
What do I need to learn? I'm feeling the need for love. For more love, truer. To really love. To not be worried if I am taken amiss.
Open my heart to You.
And please show me how to love him as You do, not controlling, not worshipping, not suffocating - clear and fluid and unafraid. Help me be ready. Make the way upright completely.

8.
Today I chipped a tooth.
Honestly, You're almost unbelievable. So creative and precise with everything. Be always bringing me in.

11.
So, yeah. You really do answer prayer. Thank You. Oh, man. Wut even iz this. On a day when I was especially feeling the pinch.
And now. Help me Sabbath rest/worship/do good with You, come closer, mean it more, glow from our conversation, our intercourse. I hope You like the smell of nard...

12.
Boko Haram killed ~2,000. Jews, jewish bodies. Casper ten Boom. I need Your help. Will You help me? Do You really love me that way? Spoiled. Rotten?
Compassion? Obedience? Surrender?
You, I want to please You. I want to remember that this room, too, is a coordinate in Your universe. I am known by angels. "Doubling" again may be a problem, or it may not be. Please till me. I want to share all this, to make You sweat and tremble. To look in Your eyes, have You look into mine, 4 whole minutes plus forever and forever amen.
Help me love so much that I won't seduce. That I won't manipulate, enslave, tear apart. Bring him only good all his days. And You, too.
Teach me love love love love love LOVE.

18.
Thank You for cherishing me enough both to let me be stretched and to help me feel safe, have heart.
What a concentration of power there is in a place where walls are broken down and people know they are broken and have motivation to get well.
Thank You for real love from family, friends. For the promise of You even when I am disoriented and still afraid of dogs and driving and the city and every real thing about life.
I choose You. Aye. If I'm mumbling, claim me.

21.
Help me submit myself to You today. Not because I mentally know it's best, but because I love You.

Chastity. . . oh . . . sometimes I just hate things. The bald empty ugliness of promiscuity. It's like a slavery, a whimpering for acceptance, a hollow grin. Help me recognize holiness for all it is, and not be afraid of being misunderstood. Help her to be honest and simple, even in complexity. I don't mean simple. But true.
The way an arrow is simple, hitting the mark.
The very hardest most vigorous and trained (and oft-failed) simplicity.
Dad and I started a crummy "Scarlet Pimpernel" and switched to a second-rate Alfred Hitchcock. The male figure said he wanted his girl to be "simple, honest, loving." I asked Dad, scoffing, what he meant by simple. Dad said, "Uncomplicated". I wished him luck.
Living is complicated, man or woman.
But there are some things to stand on.
"Who is this coming up from the desert, leaning on her lover?"
It's me.


Do not by any means let me grow into myself like a toenail. Let it be like "bent head under wing."


23.
Snow. Mom is HOME.
Thanks for the weeeevils in my mac & cheese. I ate the whole box, for dinner and snack. Thanks for prayer this morning.
Help me be a nurturer, not an exploiter (Berry). For Your sake, Jesus.


28.
I still don't understand.
I'm thankful for the way You speak to me, and through me sometimes, but I'm not sure I really believe all this about the fame and the money. When are things intrinsically good and worthy? Am I being entitled, lazy? Or am I still TOO WORLDLY in my expectations of productivity and success, and need to get over myself and be still and weak and willing for once?
Who am I? Does it matter? Does it matter if I feel consonance with myself? Feel anything?
Lord, I am feeling a little un-made all over again. Gather me. Subsume me...chirp chirp.
I am thankful. I am content.

ALL of this is GIFT. Pure gift. Words, talent, possessions, any taste or compassion or intelligence or wisdom I may have... it's from You. Gloria.

Right now it's strange, my Orvieto memories are heavy. Like walking past that creepy shop with the poster where a kiss was cannibalism. Like the condemnation I felt in Florence. Oh free me. Like the night at the monastery I finally stretched out on that green bed and blessed my legs for taking me through the day. Like the times I let myself be swallowed in a hug, or the ascension of voices. Or the quiet first hour of our pilgrimage.
Make me a good donkey.

31.
The last hour of January. Thank You for this month. I haven't been thankful for all of it, but help me be thankful now.
Help me talk and love and be taught and led. I am such an ass. I do know I asked You to help me be a good donkey...
You are so beautiful. Your wooing can be trusted. Help me trust You.
Please guide all tomorrow. Protect & guide Pope Francis.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.