Sunday, August 28, 2016

Lines from July, Part 2

Thanks for all the sleep last night. And for all the grace today, with Mr. N reminding us to pray, and with more than enough help, and with the quiet evening!

Thank You for being my lifeblood and grounding my haywire mind. Please help me be attentive, humble and watchful, not lax, not a gossip, not self-absorbed. Delight me on Yourself.

Mom and Dad visited! It was short, but so sweet. Their reactions to the Army Navy Board were priceless. I didn't expect them to be so surprised or pleased. Mom said, "You painted that?!", Dad put his arm around me, beaming, and began to tell me what kind of ship it was and about the guns.

The T.R.I.B.E. is gone. R is here, and helped me pick wineberries, and her Mom is out of the hospital.

Thank You for a blissful walk. I might not have been paying enough attention to warrant the word "blissful", but I know I was surrounded by holy goodness and beauty, even if I didn't take it in. I took in plenty of wineberries, perfect and filmy, tart-sweet and tender. A few honeysuckle flowers. Saw a cohort of girls riding bareback, with a friendly accompanying dog. Bullfrogs, green herons, a dull-eyed dead fish. A picturesque sunset while I did yoga on the dock. A few moments to play piano in the chapel, before scooting back to shower.
I don't want to lose all this. I am terrified of missing out on what You are, what You are doing, what You could be doing if I was willing and ready. Please help me be ready. All that matters is that I'm Yours.
Please let me be Your carrier pigeon.
Give me another good night of rest, if You like.
As You Wish.

Three good nights of sleep!
The door is filling up with notes, postcards and prayer requests. Today was a smooth day in the office and store, for me anyway. Tonight I skipped the cookout and picked a quart container of wineberries.
Something else happened, but I forget what it was. Thank You for doing things for us without our noticing. These blessed sandals. My hair growing out. J's message... more than I could handle after a cup and a half of coffee. I was jittery when I went back to the office.
I remember. John 11.

"When he heard this, Jesus said, 'This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it....'
'Lord,' Martha said to Jesus, 'if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.'
Jesus said to her, 'Your brother will rise again.... I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die, and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?'
'Yes, Lord,' she replied, 'I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is come into the world.'

....Then Jesus said, 'Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?' "

-John 11:4, 21-23, 25-27, 40 NIV

Please keep us soft and open and teachable to You.
Help me (be willing to) swim.
Make strength out of our weaknesses.
Protect and establish the tender vitality of the things You are doing in our hearts and minds. Heal us.
Healing can be such long, slow, messy work. It is worth it.

P.S. Thanks for the songs You brought to mind and ear today, including "It's You I Like".

Oh God. Guard us. Guide all our hearts and affections. Help me; I'm not a good listener, even, let alone a wise counselor. Oh, how badly I want to be. Make me, at least, an effective intercessor. Stand in the gap again for me? Give me a whole heart for You.

H   O   M   E.
It's a sensation like climbing up onto land after swimming, or stepping down after an amusement park ride. It took me a bit to get my spacial bearings - I felt too big, or like everything had shrunk (I realized it was, in part, because I was wearing shoes).
I helped Mom cut up apples and zucchini, staying in the main parts of the house and the yard, mostly. My room was dessert (or, shall we say, a black hole? Always things to absorb my attention). I was surprised by the garden(s). Oregano and cilantro gone to crazy seed. Borage flowers mild and delicious. Poppies little winks of red and orange amidst the weedy profusion. I waved to the neighbors. Mom brought me a knife, and I carried in my massive zucchini singing, "The Boar's Head". Dad laughed.
I played piano, and we tucked in to pork, applesauce, and zucchini, finished off with fresh cherries. I ate most of mine while we watched an old classic film. The first movie (non-documentary) I've seen in over a month. It's been about 5 1/2 weeks since I've been home. It is so good. And a little overpowering.
I paused reading a letter, and heard Dad's footsteps thumping up the stairs to bed, and it was like heartbeats, weighty and fleeting. It always is, every day. We miss so many chances.
I want to see them all wrap up in You. I want You to finish all my dreams.
Thank You for protecting Mom on Wednesday, when the radiator failed. Thank You for making her such a steadfast woman, and for caring for her always. For all of us. Help me believe in You, and keep praying. Help me sleep, and wake refreshed and serve You with my entire being, free and true and delighted.

You are brimming with surprises, with veiled blessings.
I want to learn Your ways.
Thank You for keeping me up last night, for making a placid little pool of time in the wee hours for me to copy quotes, buy music, and mix and burn CDs. Without that, I doubt they would have been sent out today. And they are one of the happiest endeavors of the time at home.
Thank You for time to pray, and think, and collect things to bring back. Thank You for stimulating and directing my brain.
Thanks for a tiny nap, for strawberries, for a storm as we picked up hotdogs from Harry's, for the Wild Game dinner and the company if proffered.
Thanks for finally showing me it was time to swim, and making it a welcome, sweet, short experience.

You must never stop. Open wide my mouth, and flow down my throat, gently over lips and teeth.
Help me love You and trust You like a child again, and be ready for everything coming.

I feel like things have hit such a "normal" that they almost aren't worth writing about. But I'll try. There were some small things today...

Rain. A thunderstorm, actually, and it influenced my dream: Mom, Dad, and I were storm chasers, and Mom was throwing glowing blue pills out the vehicle window. When a tornado sucked up a pill, it would burst and the whole funnel would blaze electric blue.
I met J, the Nelson's deliveryman, who makes the Monday delivery.
I videochatted with A. So, so, so good to talk. I love her. I miss her. It is wonderful to have technology, and You, to bind us together. Thanks for the generous time we had. I walked to the office to talk (for the better wifi), singing in the rain in my red poncho, with a mug of tea.
When I came back, R was mixing up frosting, and D's cake was cooling on the hearth. We talked and worked for a while. She is now asleep on the couch.
The store time today was great! You gave me enthusiasm and presence I would not have had on my own. Please make it a week of joy and generosity.
I stayed in and made pancakes for myself this morning. And they were scrumptious. I ate one with A's strawberry jam, one with a melted chocolate truffle.

I need You more than anything ever. I need You to endue me with much strength. And with sleep and healing. And hope. And wisdom, and love. A love that wills and works for the Good. For all. Specifically and intimately and unconditionally.

Please protect and guide the Dem Nat Con.


Today was splendid. Thank You.

This was a long day. Coming up against myself again, and Your backbone inside of me. I'm thankful for Your precision, especially with the timing of everything. I had just enough time in the morning to prep for the store halfway, so when we needed to open early, it was actually feasible. And chaotic, and fun.
My head was so ready for silence and privacy, though, that I wasn't sure how I would survive the rest of the day. I'm still not sure how (or if) I did.
But I'm coming to You now, washed and folded, and wanting to be tucked up into You for a long, dark, quiet time, until I am ready to be used again.
C's visit was a very good thing. 2+ hours with someone who has known me almost half my life. Who has such a beautiful soul. Thank You. Thank You for Mama and Papa, married for 32 years today.

P.S. DayCamp quote from Tuesday: "I already have 'obtain' in my vocabulary; sorry."

I think I remember this feeling. I think it has happened before, at college. At times like this, I would wander off in the woods. I might get lost, and appreciate the way it kickstarted my introversion metabolism and made me hungry for people again. Right now I'm torn. I want real depth and connection, silent understanding, trust. I want no more brushed shoulders. I would rather be alone - alone -  a    l    o    n    e .
I just want to dissolve in Your mouth, pressed against Your tongue. I want to know that everything eating away at me is You, not Your negligence.
You hefted me through the afternoon, prevented my light-headedness from blooming. But I am still tired. Not excited about You. And I want to be. Maybe I don't need to be; maybe I just need to keep looking at Your face. "Eyes looking into eyes looking into eyes." (W. Berry)
Lord, You have given me so much. Don't let it be stolen, don't let it be spoiled. I am spoiled, refresh me.

It's nearly midnight, but I'm glad. Glad for a long, clarifying walk, and time guarding. Hearing about 13 decisions this week, and what You're doing in the A family. Spirit, move without restraint. Soften the hearts of these girls. Protect them; they've been hurt. Heal and open them. And us, here in Lurch. And J, at home. And me.

It's a lot for a heart, this life.
I need Your cherishing & protection.
Guide me, only as You will. Help me TRUST You. Go before us this week.

They were funny night hours, again. Finally slept around 2am. But tonight I'm feeling ready to sleep, and it's scarcely 10:30. I took Benadryl around 9, and painted, and spun. In a skirt, in the living room, listening to "Dream 13: minus even".

Tonight was so sweet. Even with the sickening scare of Dad's hornet encounter. We had fresh air and music. Fresh air, though clingy as silk. Swinging was wine.

     "And though the last lights off the black West went
      Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward springs  - " (Hopkins)

The allergy conversations went pretty smoothly, and I got to talk to lots of people, and hold a tiny, smiley, completely edible baby.
B and A are engaged.
R left, with tears in her eyes, leaving sweet notes behind. S sent me a precious text. T is back for the week.
D uncovered a root of oppression. Lord, break every chain. Like the song said in that baptism video at church this morning, which actually made me emotional. Keep making "a holy fool of me" (mewithoutYou).
Bless this week with every blessing.
Open our hearts.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Lines from July, Part 1

Lord Jesus,
Help my unbelief.
Defeat this darkness. Help me not be so afraid of it - in them, in myself. Seeing that loss of control, that self-destructive madness, that choice (?) to be untethered. I hardly know what to think. My words and my prayers are calm, soft, but my heart is tripping. Forgive me for so quickly judging others. Or for making excuses for them.
Show me, us, truth. Holiness. Wisdom-love, which is not always sanity. Make this night one of peace and security. Protect us.

Thank You for a lovely day, even though I felt numb with compounded emotions, and like a flirt, and like a child. Help me "just keep going. No feeling is final."(Rilke)
You are, Omega.

Yesterday: "Where's the lunch lady with the skirt?"

Thank You that tonight is peaceful. Thank You that T stayed. Thank You that P wanted to sit on my lap. Thank You that J brought snacks.

Thanks for freedom, for blessings, for privilege and education. Thank You for forgiveness and grace. Thank You for R reading "Love Does" and L & L eating plates of bacon, and for J's beautiful dress.

Help me pray boldly, intently, early and late and everywhere in between, alone and with others.
Help me stop doubting. Help me stop hiding. Help me speak out my fears and wounds and bitterness to You.
Thank You for the shattered china vase.
Prince. My Peace.

It's 11:11 and You want me to dance.

"Glory be to God for dappled things", like today.
Roughly 140 bags of popcorn. Conversations with a homesick camper, with T.R.I.B.E. girls (fresh & wonderful, about heaven), with E about justice. Rain and flower gifts and a late night working.
Please keep me ever, only, Yours.
Woo my whole attention, again.
Help me rest, and relish each moment of living. I can't get any of this back.
My awkwardness, my silliness, my beauty, all for You. Whatever strength is left, whatever wit and vitality. Whatever desire - take and transform me. Shape me for You, and help me see it and accept it, and refuse self-pity.
Enlarge us all tonight.
Speak truth and love into our hearts.

My tambourine just fell on my head.
I caught it, and I've been trying to laugh quietly.
"Where morning dawns and evening fades, You call forth songs of joy."
-Psalm 65

I have nothing original to say. This is another Thank You.
Thanks for clarity and concrete statements that help me understand where the girls are coming from. Thank You that I could look at them and say, "You are worthy of love. God made you for love..."
Don't let that brief light in her face be smothered by lies. Speak truth AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN to us, all of us, as we need to hear it and believe it.
I know I do.
JESUS. We need Your wisdom, Your intention, Your Love. On and on...

I'm grateful for a walk, greeting people:
Me: "Good evenin'."
Lady: "Hi, how are you?"
Me: "Doing well, how are you?"
Lady: "Good, thanks."
Me: "Good."
(as I walked on, overheard):
Her Husband: "Who was that?"
Lady: "I don't know. A neighbor.....a nice person."

Let me be dangerously good. To let you feed my soul. Help me mean this, what I give to You and intend for You. Make me free from dependence on the good opinion of others, or on my own personal safety, or on my level of "control".
I want to go where You go.
Thank You for 30 days of Ramadan, and what You are doing in the Muslim world.

7. Army/Navy Day
You redeemed such an awkward start to the day (feeling compromised and angry). This was all in all a beautiful day, because You moved in it. You guided it, You bookended it. Thanks for the long walk, the luxurious waltz, the secrecy and the wide sky. Thanks for reminding my soul where it is, and where it belongs. Thanks for granting safety today in so many potentially disastrous situations. Thanks for the good sportsmanship, the brotherhood, the fun.

Thanks for the ability to give good back massages. For the deliveries coming in perfect time. For the chance to give the kitchen's deliveryman a cup of ice water. Thanks for prayer with B & A, and with T tonight.
And for the camper(s) who came to You this week.
Bring us all closer to Your   h  e  a  r  t .
Please take tomorrow.
Thanks for the camper that called me "Mr.", and all the laughs it elicited.
My beautiful foot callouses are peeling disgustingly.

Show us Your face. Meet my lonely hungry heart.

Many times over the last month I've thought to myself, 'You can always go farther and longer than you think you can.' Picking raisins out of Raisin Bran. Smiling at another human with genuine love. Pushing forward with that last ounce of energy.
But there are times that we push ourselves too far, that God lets us feel our mortality. And it feels like a flashlight without batteries. Or in my case, tonight, like a flashlight with a fritzy connection and a cracked bulb.
Four and a half hours ago I felt like I was losing my mind, I was faint and out of it. Up in the office, with my Gatorade and the A.C. on full blast, I still felt like I was going to lose consciousness, which in the moment felt like dying: I couldn't will myself into being OK, or staying with the world.
It's terrifying. It also starts to matter less and less. One imagines what one's body will look like to the first person to discover it. One feels compelled to tie up loose ends, leave no one in the lurch. And one longs for some calm soothing competent companion, some mother/nurse/lover. One wonders at one's childishness and melodrama.
I cry out to You, God, and Your answer seems to be my continued existence.
I beg You for rest and protection, and You hold me waking and dripping tears like a soggy rag. An Old Rag the Hag. A towel seeping melted Blue Raspberry water ice.
I scan songs, verses, through my mind. I mumble, "Jesus." I pray this all matters for something, these laboring, wasteful hours. I pray over brothers. I cry again. I sense each false mental refuge for the rubber cheese it is.
Holy Spirit, bite sharp and real into me. Sanctify my weary, clingy prayers. If you must persist in cutting me apart, send my 12 pieces as a warning, as a sobering call to repentance.

"Lord, the LORD Almighty,
may those who hope in you
not be disgraced because of me;
God of Israel,
may those who seek You
not be put to shame because of me."

"But I pray to you, LORD,
in the time of Your favor;
in your great love, O God,
answer me with your sure salvation..."

-Psalm 69:6,13 NIV

Psalm 71. It was right for this day. A full night's sleep, finally, and I'm feeling more alive. Was able to work, and interact, and paint today. Thanks for a sublime moonlit swing with S. The reminder that this little Lurch IS a home, a place to share. Help us learn from You, and share You, more and more. To follow Your Spirit, to feed the new hearts You have given us. Help me to be brave and patient.
By that I mean... why am I still single?
You are utterly perfect. I DO believe You. I believe Your timing is the most loving, the most skillful, the most wise. Forgive my dismay and ingratitude. Here You've thrown me a party, and I'm criticizing the guest list.
I don't feel much like anything, but please use this matter to make whatever You like.

Please cover us in peace and the knowledge of Your presence tonight. Help us hunger after You, meditate on Your Word, obey it.

Jesus, this is a day to trust Your ability to carry us. We are small and ineffectual on our own, but You are a masterpiece.
You wove today in so many ways: and praise You for J's earring. I got up this morning when I heard A drumming on J's bed and preparing to pull her out. I stayed up and talked with the girls a little, made coffee, and before they left I heard J remark that she'd lost an earring. I caught a glimpse of the one remaining, but the search for the lost one was brief and unsuccessful.
Later, as I set up the store extra early, I saw R come into the Trading Post and offer an earring found in the Dining Hall to one of the Horse DayCamp counselors, with the supposition that it must belong to them. Again, I caught a glimpse, and intercepted the earring with, "I think I may actually know who that belongs to." Sure enough. J was astounded. I told her, "God loves you!" and I think it was perfect timing.

Tonight I got to give several people back massages, pick berries around the Maintenance field, and paint.  Also play with P (see the "white rabbit", "sleep", watch lightening bugs, twirl).
R has a frog, Quintillion, in a trashcan in the kitchen.
S comes tomorrow. You are coming soon.

Come, Lord Jesus.

Lord, I need Your direction... called H tonight, and had a good convo... what's next? Where do You want me? What do I do about wanting to be married? How do I pursue that, appropriately?
Wowza. This week is almost was full. Prayer, deliveries, store talk, all 3 groups, meeting the counselors, painting... keep me freshly juicy on You. Guide me. Steer my heart. Make me true, help me point TOWARD You, not be a distraction from You. Make me a sister and a friend. Teach me how to be a lover.

And so Boy's Camp closes out, not with a bang but... whispering voices in the next room (T and J, talking about You), Miss R outside on her hammock, S home preparing to move. Thank You for this week, this long day, starting with a rush to wake the girls (whose alarm was on mute) and go down and help in the kitchen. It was energizing, actually. But I came back here for breakfast - picked berries and had cereal and coffee.
The store was beautiful today, so prepared, though it took a long time. Never got to mop. At all. This whole week. Oh well!
I watched a bit of the ceremony and saw the video tonight. And painted more. S came up, and we exchanged massages. Apparently we had great rockets tonight; one landed at Traber.
J was crying as dinner wrapped up, I found him outside fighting his tears. Talked a bit, brought him a cup of water and let him be, knowing I couldn't say much else and he probably needed the privacy.

I really need to know You're there. I need You to help me think about You, and eternity. Because right now it makes me frightened and angry. How could You entrust such a critical, precious message to such selfish, arrogant, lazy, stupid messengers? To me?
I am not ready.

I forgot to say... I accepted the job today. This feels so abrupt. I seriously didn't think I'd accept when I called H last night, but so it happened... I'm also quite unused to making these kinds of decisions without at least one conversation with Mom and Dad... that's partly why it feels so risky. But I know they are not You, and You must be my guide, and my adult life must be grounded in Your counsel.
This summer has me feeling funny about my age. It's the perfect age, really: too old, too young (?).
I still hear your voice above all others,
...remember the color you wear and notice
when you enter;
want to be seen
and also want to hide.

J is right that I'm still a brat. Still insecure, thirsty to be queen bee. I can already feel it as Girl's Camp approaches. I'm gathering up my usual comforting achievements and uniquenesses to fight the threat of fresh, godly, attractive, hard-working women. This is very uncomfortable to write, but it is honest.
Pare me down to You, my Savior Lord.

Form tomorrow after Your will.
All of me, forever.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Lines from June Part 2

I have the hiccups.
Today was a nice day. You are answering prayer.
Candy and soft drinks came today, I had fun putting things away, and I had great helpers (J and B). We had staff devos/worship tonight, and that was what we needed. Also prayer (office girls) this morning.
Tomorrow feels big, again. Giving the talk, but other things, too. Help me just trust You.
That time on the swings with D, T, L, & L was wonderful. Also spinning with L & L afterward. Thank You for the benedictions W spoke of me: sensitive, considerate, team-player, things like that. Team-player, as an unusual term, sticks in my mind. Am I? I'd like to be. "A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me." (Fleet Foxes)

But I do keep thinking of the bees, and the make of the minder. He was trying to tell us. What are You trying to say?
You alone are my heart's desire 
and I long to worship You
That song is like John 3:16, or the Eiffel Tower, or the Mona Lisa.

Please help me. Flow through Mom and Dad like milk through a funnel.

Momentous tomorrow...elsewhere, for others, but no so much for me. It'll be my desperately-needed DAY OFF. Only desperately because I put in such a long day today (banking on tomorrow). ~8:30-9:30. And there's still more to do... but I made good progress. And I enjoyed almost every part. The store talk went well. The iPad snafus didn't crush us. The popcorn machine was a major stinker (took me ~2 hours to do all the steps of cleaning, making a trash batch, cleaning again, re-assembling; not counting the hour+ while it cooled) but it gave me time to talk with K. The marquee, staff shirts, menu board, Lance delivery, CBD delivery, sweeping & cleaning & mopping are accomplished in large part. I had J's help with a few things. He and F kept me company during the last half-hour of mopping/cleanup. And I shared a leftover ice cream with J and L.

Help me know how to be. I'm still picking at scars. No, that's wrong. I'm still bleeding, still haunted. I can't escape the music and the people and the stories that remind me. And I don't want to escape - they are part of me, and some of the best parts. But I need Your help not to build up false images and inner promises and dreams. Not false ones. True ones. You as the center and the starter and the goal.

Forgive me my vanity. Make me tender and true.
Thank You for delightful dreams last night. The last part I remember was swinging from a vine back and forth over the border of two countries/states, without a passport. We were risk-takers, my companion and I.
Help me be patience. Patient. Help me stop writing and turn off my brain and sleep.

Giving me Job 7 last night was pretty clever and perfect of You. Thanks for making today OK, even though I felt like the precious hours of it were wasted on my weary self.
Thanks for the nap. That helped. And it was good to write letters, and make a chore chart, sketch, and visit the old haunt. And the rest on the suspension bridge - probably my highlight. Praying. Remembering how that place has been (and still is) in my mind the epitome of peace and rest - floating down Your river, tall shadowing trees and birdsong.

Two hurting, hurting families. Pour out POUR OUT Your balm Your blood Your fire Your Spirit in each of these situations. Don't allow them to fester and grow numb and die - bring new life, use each thing intended for evil FOR GOOD; show up, and make Your Name glorious as we see love flowing pure and strong and patient, with a never, never ending supply, laughing aloud at our disbelief and flooding us with hope.
Jesus, do all this and more.
Make my spirit sharp to You, not the dead murky thing it is now. Carve out clarity and rest for me tomorrow. Thank You.

19. Father's Day/MM's 80th Birthday/Boy's Camp Day 1
You're a good good Father, it's who You are,
And I'm loved by You, it's who I am.

Bless You for a good first day. Exhausting, and rewarding, a team effort.
Take me, and tomorrow, into Your arms.
Keep my spirit alive, keep my face toward Your light. Cry "Mine" over me.

Thanks for a smooth day "on my own," so very pleasant. But I feel like I might not have ordered enough for next week - !
Please help me be at peace in You. Thank You for opening us up like shy children, reluctant flowers. Please protect every choice to trust, to obey, to love. Thanks for my only prayer request note: "I pray for a wife."

Jesus. This is a charmed life, being Yours. And being part of Your net of love, letting You use me, letting You use others to bless me and carry me. Thank You for all the people loving me and praying for me right now, when I hardly have time to think. Thank You for T visiting, and notes from S and S, and R opening up and wanting to be here.
Thank you for B sharing his Take 5 bars, and B being patient, and my great help in the store. Thanks for Bible Study together. Thanks for the Ms equipping us with air conditioning. Thanks for so many camper smiles today.
Thanks for bleeding for me. Thanks for taking all the long tiring days to get there, and for loving even from Your weariness. Thank You, Father, for hope.
I love You.

Lord, I'm such a goober. Other people are goobers, too. And You are really kind.
Thanks for a long, varied day. Thank You for helping me through the rough points, and bringing joy out of it somehow. Like sweet juice from a spiny fruit.
Thanks for making me flexible enough for all these things. I am not. You make me so. I'm not good enough, but I am. Thanks for all the affirmation You gave me, in little ways, today. For sweet prayer time. For a real, legit prayer card as well as a dumb prank one. Thanks for R saying, "I will never say no to you," and little J being suddenly cuddly. You know what I need. Thanks for J trusting me enough to just come over, and spill, and for our prayer time together.

Please help me accept Mr. J's help. Please help me not be so self-conscious or awkward around B. Please help me not be so jealous and selfish and dense.
Please help me not be so sharp-edged. I find it hilarious, absurd. But there's a bite of satire there, and a bite of bitterness too. Here I am, the humble brown hen, beside a peacock. You know the story. Help me stop sticking borrowed feathers in my tail. Help me be content, not proud and covetous. Help me wear my skin and feathers so that anyone who sees me sees You.
Thanks for helping the popcorn machine break when it did. Please guide all our patchwork tomorrow.
I love You. Man Oh Man.
Meet me here tonight, be more than I think You are.

Dear Jesus,
Highlights of this week:
The T.R.I.B.E. helping out in the store.
Counting coins for returns and talking with B.
C returning the screwdriver.
First mopping.
T's visit, times with J.
A and B and A visits!
Tomato-Basil-Provolone salad.
Whistling in harmony with R.
B borrowing my pens and then replacing them on my desk 1 per day for the next 3 days.
A telling me precisely what he was going to order each day (and then getting completely different things).
Furnishing Lurch cabin.
R warming up.
T making my fist into a TIE fighter.
Take 5 Bars from B
J being cuddly (again today)
Time to pray this morning.

Thank You for all the people who literally give blood, sweat, and tears here. Please give each of us Yourself, the very best. Quiet my heart. Restore me.

It's been a long, lovely day off. Like two days - yes, it was full, but there were restful parts. And maybe tomorrow I'll nap. I could add new highlights to the week: reading Narnia to the kids at Pinesite, having the girls sleep over, and a visit from F, H, and L. We probably had the most fun at Creekside, but we romped all over. It meant a lot to me that they came. I'm glad I also had time to garden, bleach the skull, do laundry, and read Dostoevsky. Plus write 2 letters, and call Mom and Dad.
We had a game night tonight. In Apples to Apples I was Unnatural, Unusual, Disturbing, Odd, Sensitive, and Fresh.
I am so thankful You care about my small schoolgirl wishes and prayers. About my need to be understood. You understand me. You orchestrate things beyond my imagining, and You answer my prayers.
We picked berries today. Made lemonade. Put flowers in each others' hair.
Tonight the T.R.I.B.E. is gone, and it's quiet, after a mighty giddy ruckus of running, singing, sliding, and dancing. Nail polish and hair brushing and gimp. Opera and cereal and Narnia. And 1 Cor 13.
I am so thankful for T and R.
They were meant to be here this summer.
We all were, right?
But I'm not ready for tomorrow. Make me ready.
Speak to C's heart. Help me stay connected to my darlings. And mostly, mostly, completely to You, my paragon Aragorn Paraclete bleeding heart holy Lamb of God. I close my mouth.

It's been a beautiful day, and a fun one. We decorated/vandalized M's golf cart about an hour ago. And I painted the skull this evening, and T and R and I went to WalMart.
S and J are here. Today went smoothly. N told me he traded for store duty all week. I seem to have poison ivy on my knuckle.
I'm lonelier than usual, and I'm afraid of being a lightening bug. I'm afraid of the crazed little brat inside me screaming, "ME!"
Jealousy, defensiveness, pride, insecurity... and no praise and no approval is ever enough. And I'm tired of my own morality (or lack thereof). Help me be teachable, humble and gracious, and above reproach.
I nearly blacked out blowing up balloons. A reminder of how frail and silly I am. I want to see with love again. I need to see You. To be a prayer, burning every moment, filling us both with the fragrance of communion. I don't want to do anything without You. Show me what Your heart wants. Make dry bones live.

Thank You for carrying me through this crazy, cranky day with something like victory, sweetness. Thank You for L's notebook gift and note, and that D is here, and that Mom and Dad are coming tomorrow. Thanks for great help in the store, and time to write notes tonight. And that the cut on my thumb from that silly popcorn machine isn't worse. Thanks for B FIXING that silly popcorn machine.

Feeling the love. Tonight it feels like clean sheets, sheets that don't pop off the mattress or slide along with me, sheets bought & washed & delivered by Mom and Dad tonight. I don't know who owned them before, but bless them. And bless my parents.
Bless J, S, L, B, and whoever mailed my letter from the credit union. Bless us all with Your presence, with the knowledge of Your intimate love and care, and how You enjoy us. How You love to help us flourish.
Thank You for lavender, daisies, borage, and poppies, fresh kale and spinach and oregano. Thank You for a peaceful house, J in her hammock outside, the T.R.I.B.E. on their grand adventure. T home. T... I don't know where, but please, please be near her.
Thank You for seeing us through a stressful afternoon, with joy in the process, and more spoons, and no catastrophes. Thank You for all the million gazillion perfections, gifts, and providences You wove into today - I love You. I need more days like this, the cushion (ease) of comfort worn away enough to feel, so sharply, the burning touch of love.
Needs, met.
Happy Jam Day, Merry Christmas. Hallelujah. Save us.