Monday, November 28, 2016

Lines from October, Part 2

Thank You for this lovely day. With Mom and Dad, with A, and at study.
You gave me courage, and protected us on the drive home from the train station, when I nearly got us T-boned by an SUV, making my left turn.
So humbling.

Jesus, show me how to seek You. Show me what life should be - this (deeper), dramatically different, or  ?
I do know that Your love is necessary. Please please give me more. In the nutty bolty, nits and grits. In all seasons. Be my savor. Please give me love for my work, especially the book. Surround me in story, in truth and beauty and goodness so real that I must depict it, irresistibly.
Wake me tonight if You like.
Bless tomorrow. Refresh us in each other's company. Use us to point each other to You, Jesus.

What a glorious day it's been with A. Good meals, conversation, beauty and activity and munching apples on the dam. Crunching leaves, basking in the day. Thank You for the chance to speak and hear each other, to encourage each other. I trimmed her hair. We watched the first hour of "Sweet Bean" and gave back massages.
And here I am, trying to sleep because I decided to drive in tomorrow. Thanks for reminding me, If I can't trust You, who/what can I trust? I can leave to You all the things I can't control about tomorrow. Make me ready to receive and respond.

Do grant me sweet rest and peace.
Prove Your presence in my heart again tonight.
Thank You for being so faithful. I worship You.

What a gracious day this has been.
I'm satisfied even if the ends are frayed, because You were faithful and generous and rewarded me for small nips of faith.

A and I talked long, finished our movie, listened to music, back massaged, and prayed. And we've been eating splendidly well: homemade pizza, pancakes and yogurt, omelets and salad, breaded turkey cutlets and roasted veggies, chocolate cupcakes, potato soup and salad and turkey and crackers and Vermont sharp cheddar, blueberry cobbler and lemonade.

Guide and protect and nourish tomorrow.
For peace and productivity and love.
For You and Your   s h w e e t    love.
Oh how do I have both for You? Your holy revered Name.

Lord Jesus,
Show me if there is anything standing between me and You. Help me turn from it. I would rather give up anything than forfeit closeness with You.

This was a love of a day. A rare fall day, windy & cloudy & bright, not bitter. Stories meeting. Photoshoot with H and S. Reading Flannery O'Connor on the back deck, wrapped in a red blanket.
Enjoying the freedom to rest. Happy Sabbath.

Goodnight, and happy watching.
(Since I know You'll be awake for the whole thing).
Thank You that there are brave people in this world, and that You are so bold.

This was the rammiest day of the fall, by far! Odd hours with You, caffeine, and sunshine gave me a good shove off the dock of the morning. Which I needed, for everything that followed. The rocky bottom of cramps, and a hole in my hull made by a four-figure car repair bill. Goodbye, savings. We're not capsized, but we're taking on water.
Enough of this boat stuff. I'm still cheerful, even refreshed by the blunt honesty of need. I need you. I do not have enough money for my living expenses. Not to both eat AND drive AND mail paintings. But right now, in miraculous balance, I am alive and well, and I can do without butter and bouillon for a week. I can run up a gas debt and still go to prayer meeting tomorrow. I can borrow from my MA savings and send my portrait north, in my place. I will survive.

You know, I'm rich. I have a car, and it's in working order (now). I have food, clothing, shelter, work, play, AND love (I sound like Brian Regan). And music - punchy as it was this morning: "The Merry Horn", "Misty", themes from "Babes in Toyland", not much mellowed by tonight (e.g. Danielson).

This feels like the summer, when I finally realized I COULD NOT do everything. I had to be ruthless, because saying yes to anything extra was a death sentence.
Here, in this new season and circumstance, I must say NO. No extras. I just can't. No buts. Only God has veto power, and He holds the checkbook.
I can throw a tantrum, sulk, and complain, or I can thank You and live this, fully accepting my limitations and even glorying in them. This, now - this is adventure. I can't wait to see what You will do (seriously).

Ha. You know? I actually do trust You when push comes to shove.
As Lord Peter Wimsey says,

Wednesday nights find me antsy these days. So many things to bring tomorrow, ha! There are just too many interesting things in the world, and not enough time to paint them.
I'm painting too carefully again. I'm pretty tired of the pieces I'm working on... but You're giving me love for them anyway. I'm calling it love, because that's what I'm asking You for. It feels more like persistence (which is probably what love does most of the time).

A few things. We had our first hard freeze last night, and the beautiful compound morning glories were a wilty mass this morning. Mom tore them down already. She also lengthened the table so as to have room to lay out K's quilt. The combination of a cleared deck and a large table makes meals feel alarmingly exposed.
Mom and Dad allowed me to join them on Part 1 of their date - a walk at Hibernia. It was good, but I found myself feeling sad and distracted. Wearing pants could have helped. I've discovered that my red winter coat + long skirt (esp. + hat) makes me look very young and dumpy, and I can't seem to banish self-consciousness when I'm dressed that way. I act out like a caged animal, and very silly.
We collected sassafras leaves. I found several but dropped my prettiest, a red one, which made me so disappointed that I DID feel very childish on the drive home. Like I'd lost a balloon or something.

The yeast I'd put in the challah was very old and weak. I opened "fresh" packets, showering the counter, and bemoaned my klutziness so much that Mom consoled me with matter-of-fact kindness and forbade me to beat myself up over little things.
Marvelous, what a Mom's consolation can do.
Finally the dough rose, and the bread emerged glossy and crackling and voluminous.
I drove a loaf to H, ate a tiny roll with Dad, and wrapped another for R. The last full loaf is for the Os, who inspired the endeavor.

Oh Lord, I'm not ready for this. I'm like Cinderella in the vestiges of a tattered gown, carefully planned out but thwarted. Show me how You can make simple things glorious, when given to you.
Thank You for giving A the opportunity to talk to J about You. Thank You that L and S are expecting. Thank You for soup, rest, and laughter and memories.

This is all passing so quickly away. Dreams remind me of feelings I forgot how to have. Take me with You tonight. Take me home in Your pocket.

"I remember now, I remember now, He loves me, He loves me."
- Danielson Famile

I've been wide awake the last hour, after sleeping ~4. Yesterday was a good, good day, perfectly punctuated by time with L.

I need Your help to pray for all the heaps of things that could crush me right now. But no. Last night, still early, at the catalpa and writing, was freedom again, and reminders of Your dispensations that I haven't felt in a while. So take me again, this morning, as I have a couple more hours in which I could sleep, paint, pray, write, just rest...
...this habit of Yours is a mercy, much as I sometimes bewail it.
Help me to do what is right.
Help me to trust only in Your righteousness, Christ Jesus.


This has been a lovely day. Thank You for this time with L, for the gift of seeing and being seen. Thrifting this morning, daytime apart, early evening shopping for food, and back at the hotel, eating like college students. Talking horses, music, life....

I'm just so hungry for You. To feel You between my teeth, or myself between Yours, that at this late sleep-deprived hour I'm inured to everything but You. Well, I like to think I am. Please burn Your words into me.

L should be close to home, now. What a joy it was to have her here. She gave me so many varied kinds of gifts. Trust and loyalty and love not the least of them. I want to give back. Help me rest in You in my inability to process all of life right now, or do justice to (let alone abundantly bless) my friends. But I can leave that to You.

A little scab from an ant bite is just now flaking from my foot. A relic of Georgia. What a lot of things, what a number of places You've brought me through in the last 6 months. Make me strong and steady. Help me trust You. Really trust You. Because You know I am still so tightly tied to what I can see and know and control, to my own wants and needs. But You've got my back.
I need this kind of clarity.
Protect me, keep me tender. I want to be the kind of woman who can match a real man. Help me lean into what is stretching me. And teach me, also, how to rest. Relax with You. Enjoy You. Meet me in these next few hours, and in our worship tonight.


Thank You for displaying Your terrible power tonight in that storm that blew through during worship practice. And thanks that we still managed to practice all the songs! Thank You for the fellowship in the gathering of believers, including these young people. It is so beautiful.
Thank You for keeping me safe.
For being    g  e  n  t  l  e   with me.
Please help me keep my word. "Give to me a stalwart heart, which no tribulation can overcome."

It's been two years since Mom and I shaved bald.
Today I subbed 4 classes, K2-6th. We drew and/or colored leaves. It was great, and an adventure, with everything falling into place at the last minute.

I used to feel elevated most of the time, gloriously immune to disaster. Sometimes I still feel that way - hedged by You. Breathless as the edge of danger, and sure (yet trying to be) that You will work everything out.
Give me faith.

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