Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The post on top

Wow, October was my last post. Somehow I feel I need to have something else on top. Something that says,

Dear friends, I'm out of inspiration for blogging and don't know when it will return.

Good things are happening, I got a promotion at work that will keep me off the phones more than on the phones, and also I got a raise significant enough to be able to afford an apartment on my own. This is very good news for my life.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Entering the Season

Last night I gave in and turned the heat on, just enough to be comfortable under the covers.

This morning I woke up before my alarm. I lay there thinking how it might be nice to sit cozy on the couch with a cup of coffee and wait for the sun to come up. I have this thought frequently and then I just fall back asleep, but to my amazement I found myself getting out of bed and making coffee in the dark.

Snuggled on the couch I looked out the back window. There was a thin layer of snow on the ground, heavy and wet. It’s slightly early for snow, and I’m not sure I’m ready for it.

I sipped for a while and thought about the meal I’m making for friends tonight, anticipating the house permeated with smells of bread, stew, rum baked pears and the warm glow of burning candles.

When I got in my car to drive to work I plugged in my ipod. Without my consent it just started playing on shuffle. The first song it threw up was “Wintersong.”

I took the clue, let song play, gave up my last bits of resistance to the coming season and let myself enter this years winter.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Eyes Open

The oddest thing while I was singing today. I felt more present with my eyes open. Usually it's distracting, but the thing was. I felt more of God's presence looking about than with my eyes closed. This is a different quality than ever before.

Usually if I open my eyes I start looking around and getting distracted, but It seemed to not matter. I could not push the presence away with anything I did. I felt like . . . "well here we are right here, Lord. You have not tucked your self away and made me look for you. This is nice, very very nice and very good.Thank you."

Sometimes he is not so hard to know and you can see him with your eyes wide open.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"God's pursuit of praise from us and our pursuit of pleasure in him are one and the same pursuit. God's quest to be glorified and our quest to be satisfied reach there goal in this one experience: our delight in God which overflows in praise."

~John Piper

Friday, August 14, 2009


Last night I spent two and a half hours worshiping. I wished it would never end. I wished I could fully explain why that space was the most lushious, peacefully, enlivening place to be. Latley I have no idea how playing music and singing passes for worshiping God. All I do know is that God seems to enjoy it and keeps coming to be with us when we start playing and singing.

The whole experience is a strange exercise. Half the time I'm singing about things I don't really know about and then when I do I feel that the words are never quite saying it. Words like holy, or worthy, or beautiful. What is holy, or worthy or beautiful about God?

What I experienced last night, but could not explain is that God was with us. I felt seen and heard. I was filled with the desire that his goodness would be known. I did not want to move from that space.

This whole experience reminds me of the Mary Oliver poem up there under the name of this blog. "I will sing for the veil." It's all hidden, there is enough to guess at what is there, there is enough to show us that it may, it might, it could lift and the singing is the work, that is the call. Singing for hope of what is there, for more of what is there waiting to be revealed. Now we sing for the one we do not see, but when he comes I believe that we will know that we truly saw him all along and he will be instantly recognizable to the ones who foolishly tried to see his face in the dark.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rejoicing and Mourning

"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. " Romans 12:15

This past Saturday I attend the wedding of a friend and the next day I was at a memorial service for a very young member of IAC.

One day I was celebrating and the next I was weeping. As I went from place to place through the weekend I thought about this verse in Romans with it’s call to rejoice and it’s call to mourn. I was also struck by the extraordinary nature of the stories of the people I was celebrating and mourning. Neither of these two lives have unfolded in an ordinary way.

My friend Jan has always wanted to be married but has had to live a much longer span of her life single than she ever bargained for. As I have know her through the years real possibilities have come and then suddenly disappeared. But she has always remained open to her desire even while it hurt or even made no sense to keep doing so. And in the midst of her own suffering she has been a warrior and a face of hope to many who needed it. Saturday was finally the fulfillment of her long held hope.

The story of how she has waited made her wedding all the more joyfully.

Omaru, was one of the most loving and tender hearted boy's I've ever seen. I spent an afternoon with him several months ago. Mary Ellen and I took him, his youngest brother and some neighbor boys to the park. I watched him be with them like a father would. He was still playful and adventurous as a 15 year old should be, but tender and aware at the same time. When he saw another kid on the play ground who was needing help he didn’t look around to see who was minding him but just went to the child and helped. A woman who was standing near me watched as Omaru did this, she turned to me and remarked, “what a tender hearted boy, he’s really special.” His glory was so apparent.

The shortness of his radiant life makes the mourning so much deeper.

I was thankful for this command to rejoice with those who rejoice and to mourn with those who mourn. I wanted to be all there for my friends joy and all there for Omarus family in their loss. I was thankful for this lamp post that says the rejoicing doesn’t ignore the weeping and the weeping doesn’t overcome the rejoicing. You can freely enter, you can let your heart be alive to your condition all the way and you will not be consumed. Thanks be to God.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Run for Rwanda Take 2

It's here again! Last years race was overwhelmingly successful and everyone hopes for an even greater participation this year.

Through last years race we were able to contribute enough money to complete the maternity and HIV wings of the hospital. This year they will start work on the pharmacy and hospitalization wings to complete the project.

I'm excited to be running again having gotten my foot issues resolved with different shoes. I'm planning on running even faster this year ; ) Watch out.

If you would like to sponsor me or even participate in the run you can visit http://runforrwanda.org/. It's the First of August.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Myself a river

A friend of mine prayed for me the other day and as she was leaning in and trying to listen to what God was saying she saw a picture.

Something like a river or ribbons of different shades of blue, moving and turbulent, yet with a rhythm. When she asked God what it meant she perceived that it was something like contained chaos and, even more, perceived that the river was headed somewhere.

In that image my heart hears that all the elements all the misdirections of my life, all the dead ends are accounted for and are the many shades of blue in the stream. I feel many shaded in my make up with inclinations and abilities that don’t coalesce, but the picture would say that who I am and the events of my life are all flowing together to one destination.

That is a great comfort to know that my life is contained in God’s sight, in his desire for my redemption and his desire for a kingdom of people that is his own. Nothing about me has got him stumped. He is not wondering what to do with me.

Thanks be to God.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Mean Time

I've been over optimistic and will have to retract on my said plans for going to massage school. The very plain truth is that there is just not money to do this and there is just no way I am willing to dig myself a larger pit of debt to climb out of later.

In all honesty it hurts. Initially I cried, then I was hopeful and peaceful, and now I'm back to stuck and waiting. I am no longer feeling relieved of the what should I do question? So I've embarked on trying to be thriftier and to save something so that I might have more when the opportunity comes around again.

What do I do in the mean time so I don't go crazy? I confess that I tire of waiting for these far out on the horizon hopes. I also confess that I have this strange hope that what I find in the meantime may actually become more meaningful than the destination.

The whole situation though, begs larger questions. Larger questions about the ordinary of life. There is so much waiting, at least my life has had a lot of that. I think so often that the only thing that matters is arriving, is doing the thing you where made to do or having something or finding someone, then the real life starts, then you will be satisfied.

That way of thinking sets up this sort of rightness or wrongness of things. I tend to think that while I am not being or doing the "thing" I am wrong. When the truth is that I am merely on my way. I think that this might be the most liberating truth I could take hold of and yet it has been the most difficult to receive. It's a truth that I constantly bat away because if I can't believe in arrival than what should I believe in?

You know what I really want, and want to believe is that I'm fine, that I will move through my life in time, that I will move through my life near to God and not opposed to him. That the nearness will be enough, that it will satisfy all the time and that the doings of my life will be free from carrying the weight of my happiness. And that ordinary will be just as lovely as all the rest.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A radical thing

Last night I was at a small gathering of folks who wanted to worship. There were eight of us who came together with just two guitars and our voices.

The Spirit of God was with us, to my delight. With us just as much as when I'm in a big gathering with a whole band and a whole congregation. There was something sweeter though.

I could pick out each persons unique voice and sense each persons particular delight in God. Though each of us agreed at some point in the evening that to delight in him is a paradox and a strange thing.

I spoke something aloud that I want to remember. It's a radical thing to be in the presence of God. He has done wonders and miracles to restore us to Him. God could have made a much tamer world, a much less dangerous or painful world, but he didn't. He is quite serious about rectifying what went off the rails, but even the going off the rails was not a surprise to him. He's not scrambling to get things fix. On the one hand that makes me feel very safe and secure on the other I wonder what else he will have to let happen in order to have us back in his Kingdom. But getting us back to the Kingdom is what I believe everything is about. It matters to be with God and it's radical. Just making it through this life is not enough, jobs and homes and families and all that stuff is not the point. Returning to living in the presence of God Most High is the point. And then from that all the other stuff flows and much better than with out him too.

"No eye has seen, no mind had conceived what God has prepared for those who love him."

Friday, May 22, 2009

The luck returns

Did I forget to mention that the plant survived. About a week or so after whacking off all the dead stuff it started shooting out new leaves. At the same time it started shooting out blooms.

It's lush and full again, fuller than it ever was, in fact. The leaves are a dark green with a burgundy hue underneath and more vibrant than when I bought it.

Maybe I have to thank the mystery bad do-gooder who desecrated it in the first place.

Is this like how God used the Babylonians to judge Israel or how Jesus took hold of what every farmer knew, the seed has to die before it can live.

God uses everything, everything. Doesn't matter what. He is more confounding and wonderful than I think I will ever understand. Even when we get to heaven, I think there will still be things to wonder at and not quiet understand, but there will be love, lots and lots of love, Oh and some lush green plants too.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bring me your naked muscles

I've embarked on a whole new thing. After swallowing my pride about acquiring yet more education, I've decided to go back to school. This time I'm nearly %100 sure that what I'm doing will be something that I will like, maybe even love. I am leaning toward love.

After how many years of disliking one's work, I am going to risk that there is actually something out there that fits me. I honestly think I'll be good at it. No more sitting all day in a chair, answering the phone or staring mindlessly at a computer screen.

I might have more time, more money for the things I really do enjoy and want to do. Write, take a trip once in a while, ride horses (not just clean up after them). Oh yeah and pay off all the debt from the what am I doing, things will get better years.

The next year won't be the easiest. I'll be working full time while I attempt to go to classes, study and complete the necessary practice hours for certification. That's where your naked muscles come in. I'm sure if your lucky I'll be kneading some sacrificial volunteers.

So get in line right behind my mother. You will have to wait till sometime in later July or August before I actually start using guinea pigs. Classes don't start till June. Hallelujah it's a new day.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The luck runs out

Well after being out of work, due to a voice stealing cold, I've returned to find that some concerned citizen watered my Shamrock while I was gone. Unfortunately it looks as if they have watered it to death.

After a whole year of keeping it alive, actually green and healthy it's foliage has now been reduced by half. I don't think I want to know who it was. That way I don't have to feel personally angry with someone. I can just be mildly grumpy at the universe. I just don't know that I can handle looking at such a scragly looking thing for another year before it decides it's time to shoot out new leaves. This is where I give up on plants.

Hmm. . . hope you all had a better Monday.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Keeping Track

So yesterday evening I was totally exhausted when I drove to the store for some essentials. On the way at lest two people pulled out in front of me, didn't accelerate and drove five miles below the speed limit. I tried not to be frustrated, but felt personally slighted anyway. I zoomed around them, not above the speed limit
being so careful as to not break the law myself.

I parked, shopped then headed to the check out. The express lane, 10 items or less, was looking wide open. Another woman gets there first, with a cart. I start counting her items, sure that I am I being slighted again for the third time on this trip?

Then suddenly very quietly I hear, "love keeps no record of wrongs." Oh busted? I stop counting, have a little giggle and drive slow all the way home.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Things I'm thinking about

In no particular order

1. Oatmeal

2. Ted Haggard

3. Getting off coffee

4. Green Tea

5. Guitar lessons

6. When I'll get to sing again.

7. Spending less money on food.