Friday, December 23, 2016

Lines from November, Part 2

There are times You startle me with consciousness, when I am aware of my raw need of You. Maker, Savior, take me to Yourself. You are all there is to live for.
I love You.


There is so much that I want to remember about today - that I had just enough time to prep for class, that the first two classes went SO WELL and the students were SO ENGAGED and enthused that several of them came back at lunch to paint.
That S returned, and we've made pax.
That N said, "Thank you so much."
That J showed me his one ring, and I responded correctly with, "Keep it secret, keep it safe."

That there was so much joy, even in the crazy, back-to-back rush of things.
I delivered the B's portrait, successfully parking and leaving, and A gave me snacks, and the kids wanted me to stay and see projects and new beds, and the portrait looked beautifully at-home. And I've been paid 3 times this week, and my debt for the car repairs is already roughly halved.

And people were kind in traffic, and I read aloud to Mom and Dad, and Mom and I laughed heartily because she remarked on the "similarity" between our birthday cards for Dad (mine, Loyola's "Go forth and set the world on fire" and hers, a chipmunk at a campfire stuffing his face with marshmallows). Send forth the Jesuits! Eat s'mores! I don't see the similarity quite the same way. ;)

I can tell I need to sleep. My body is stiffening and my writing is becoming atrocious. Take all the glory from me. Be praised, Great Finder of Lost Things. Redeemer of the Lacklusters. Stone Heart Dissolver.

Love us into oneness.

I am choosing You. And You are choosing me. Yes.
I am coming. Seek me and find me. You are my One True Friend.

Mm, it's been a while since I wrote after midnight. But tonight was a contra night, and that changes things. It was a windy, sleety night, but we drove to the city and danced, long and hard. All except Q, who danced once with each of us and went to rest in the car. When we danced, we spun so fast my right earring went flying and bounced against the doorframe.

Thank You for 2+ hours of talking and praying with C. Catching up about K's passing, after 6 1/2 weeks without IV, so slow and painfully. Thank You that we could be honest with each other. Our needs are so real. We need You. To be really rooted and secure in You.
There will always be an overwhelming amount of need, sorrow, and cynicism around us. Help us to approach it ONLY from a place of rest in You. Protect us from our own tender hearts, our own laziness, pride.
Give us humility, love, and patience. Patience also with the feelings that may or may not accompany obedience.
There is a faith that is seen best in hindsight - it does not feel glorious or triumphant at the time.
As always, You must provide everything we need. Including synapses.

I am thankful for this long Sabbath Day at home. I am restless, but You are patient with me, and even though I cannot claim anything remarkably successful about today (my work or my small endeavors), You have been gracious. You are gracious.
I am accepted.

I'm still shaking, but thanks for bringing me home safe, for giving me courage.

Thank You for seeing fit to heal her leg and arm through the prayers of Your servant. I am lacking in faith. I am very wary, if not cynical. I am sulking like an offended child, and much of me still thinks I'm justified. Why is there such stupidity alongside such suffering? Why do some make quiet devastating sacrifices while others scheme and mock? Why is what is noble so often made foolish? Why does foolishness have its charm?

If I spin myself in circles enough, I will fall down, which is what I want to do. I want to be covered in sleep, and wake with answers as natural and new as the dawn.

"I have told you these things,
so that is me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart!
I have overcome the world."
-Jn 16:33 NIV

Thank You for this good day that wasn't what I hoped for or expected. Grace was evident in it:
A turkey from the H's, S's stamps (so perfect and well-timed). Feist's "The Reminder".  Progress on J's face. A car bill I can at least scrounge up. Rides to/from Bible Study. Lots of good hugs, and people who care about me.
Draw us through even the smallest pipes back to You, like Santa through the vents. Despite our fighting, draw us.

Help me to come back into my true self in You. To love You first. I've been living as if I much rather love busyness, Netflix, and my own importance. Help me fear You. Help me be content in this season. Thank You for Your kindness in this day, even though I wish I had painted longer, with more focus.
I'm thankful to have the car back, and for the walk with Mom.
I'm thankful for Your second chances, and the simplicity of me and You. I cannot live for anyone else. Take me by both hands and swing me back into freedom. BLESS tomorrow.

It feels good to be alive tonight. To be a little brave, a little tired and creative. Just got back from a singalong in Lancaster City with H and the gang. I brought them jam. T and I talked. I drove home in the peaceful dark, reminiscing over similar drives two years ago. That route at night is a dream.
Thank You for helping me PAINT AND GARDEN today, and for the Christmas tree. I'm not very gentle or understanding. Help me learn to de-escalate, and to let go of my own wishes without bitterness or martyrdom. Continue to school me in this. Thank You.
Refresh my heart. Pierce me with Gospel. Please keep me praying and giving what I can give.

This was a lovely evening with Mom and Dad. Good banter and laughter at the table, looking at jewelry from Grandma, arranging the living room for the holidays, reading Sayers and watching "The Crown".

Lord, show me what You would have me do today. Already I feel "off" from my plan (or non-plan). Help me to be secure, prepared, joyful, flexible. Let me see You. Work through me, things of beauty and truth. Give me a great rumbling hunger for goodness. Lead me to the nugget of joy in creating, again. The freedom in giving. Remind me where I'm forgetful.

I think "diminish" is a beautiful word. I took note of it from Galadriel's lips a few weeks ago, but Mom has been using it recently as well. There is something very John the Baptist about it. .

Lord, I need Your help to be grounded and ready for tomorrow, and the day after. Good as today was, I left a lot of loose ends. And I don't want to be scattered between small tasks.
Keep my string taut, help me sway and dip, but not careen or buckle.
Help me give You my whole self again, whole and dense and flaming like a Christmas pudding.
Or smaller, calmer, like a green pea popped in Your mouth. 

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