2016

2016 will dot the last period at the conclusion of one chapter.

And will stroke the first letter of another.

Continuing the growing story of a good work in progress.

May this be a year where you become convinced of God’s love, His faithfulness, and His sincerity for your good.

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For You, O Lord, are good, and ready to forgive [our sins, sending them away, completely letting them go forever and ever]; And abundant in lovingkindness and overflowing in mercy to all those who call upon You.

-Psalm 86:5

Tis The Season

I’ve been away for a while.

Adapting, 

Folding my life into neater sections.

Amending, 

Transforming block lettered hope into calligraphic reality.

Adjusting, 

Retiring from the snug warmth of what was

To reside in the tingly shiver of what may be…

…and what will be…

…and what is.

The final quarter of 2014 was a dramatic experience. 

A reminder of a few things.

Of God’s love.

His provision.

Most especially, His faithfulness. 

A season is changing.

Preparing for 2015. 


“Look, the winter is past,
    and the rains are over and gone.
The flowers are springing up,
    the season of singing birds has come,
    and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.
The fig trees are forming young fruit,
    and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming.”

-Song of Solomon 2:11-13

Playtime

Sarah’s chubby fingers gripped the crooks of her folded arms.

Her usually cherubic face contorted into a grimace.

Her eyes became chocolate tongues of fire as she watched me collect the remaining cards.

In a crystalline 4-year-old aria, she sang,

“I don’t want to play any more.”

Now, the game was her idea.

She had bounced with excitement as I set up the board, arranged the cards, and gave her a game piece.

But Sarah stomped her Stride Rite sneakered feet in displeasure when she began to lose some of her gold tokens.

Something shifted when she realized that losing was a possibility.

I don’t want to play any more.

We can feel the same way at times in life.

We are granted moments that make us float with thrill and encounters that simmer into syrupy joy.

It is when these occasions threaten to persist

When they hint at continuance

That give us pause.

Because we know that floating too high can make you fall

And simmering can ease into a slow burn

And injury to our person

Our heart

Is imaginable.

The risk gets real.

And we don’t want to play any more.

But stopping the game means cutting a journey short.

Ending the happy

And closing the door to a win.

Yeah, painful defeat is conceivable.

So is exhilarating triumph.

Let’s see what’s next.

Stay in the game.  

And keep playing.

The Wall

Growing up, there was nothing more magical to me than a department store.

As soon as my mother’s glossy mauve fingertips loosened on my wrist, I was off to explore this grand kingdom.

The circular clothing racks would transform into miniature weeping willows.

I’d part them to carefully settle into a hidden cave, a cozy and dark hideway specially carved for me.

My fantastical trek was always cut short when my mother’s voice reached through the colorful trees and beckoned me to the register.

Or as I’d call it, “The Wall.”

To a short 6 year old, the register counter was a particularly annoying presence.

Sullenly teasing me with its height, shrouding what was behind it in wallpapered mystery.

Balancing on the tips of my Keds with ballerina concentration offered no real revelation.

Just slivers of possibles.

Flashes of dollar bills in metal drawers.

Peeks of logoed paper bags.

Views of glass merchandise on clear shelves.

I’d catch only drops of what was there before I crashed back on my heels.

Back into frustrating cluelessness.

We always wonder

Always ponder

What is next.

What awaits us in the next chapters of our lives. 

But all remains hidden by the wall of time and our limited understanding. 

We can breathe easy in knowing that our Heavenly Father is far bigger than we are.

He sees and controls what lies behind

and beyond

the wall.

Jesus stands beside us at the counter

Smiling reassuredly as we see saw between our toes and heels

He sees what we don’t. 

And we can trust Him.


 

I trusted in, relied on, and was confident in You, O Lord;

I said, You are my God. My times are in Your hands…

Psalm 31:14-15a (AMP) 

The King

Recalling that I have a Father who lets His robe trail among twigs and His nail scarred feet walk upon hard cement to give His daughter her crown.
Thank You, Jesus.

the beautiful project

I can’t.

I can’t go on.

The words, weak and soft, were barely heard to her own ears.

She was so weary.

Her journey was long and rough.

Rough enough to lead her to a forest of broken trees and dead soil.

But she was so weary.

She walked a couple of steps more to a tree stump, where she eagerly collapsed.

She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply.

Unwanted tears spilled down her face but she didn’t wipe them away.

She just took a deep breath.

And exhaled.

Deep breath

And exhaled.

She lay there for a while in the quiet of night.

Too weary to move.

Too weary to speak.

Too weary to care.

Until a question came from behind her.

“What’s wrong?”

Without turning around, she exhaled,“I’m so tired. I don’t know what to do. I’m not good enough. I’m not doing enough of the right things…

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Click

It’s usually heard when something fits with another.

A short sharp chirp.

Like the grooved segment of a jigsaw part finding its compatible segment.

Or ragged zipper teeth sliding into their spaces in line.

Or the etched bars in a metal key that scrape the ridges inside of a lock.

The click.

Two pieces.

That can exist alone.

But united become a haven.

An instrument.

A masterpiece.

Designed to be better together than apart.

Crestfallen when it is elusive but elated when it is certain,

in relationships, we search for a click.

The click.

But it cannot be manufactured or manipulated.

A click, the click happens when it is meant to

Naturally.

Creak

Weak things creak.

Things like aging cedar stairs

Rusted metal barstools

Flimsy Styrofoam plates.

Certain relationships

They cry out under weight it can’t carry.

They wail from pressure it wasn’t designed to handle.

They whimper because decay has obliterated its strength

Weak things creak.

It’s the first clue of damage.

A sign that something needs inspection.

Weak things creak.

Things like aging cedar stairs

Rusted metal barstools

Flimsy Styrofoam plates.

Certain relationships.

Failure to examine such things can cause collapse.

And the frail notes of strain can become the beginning of an end.

Fizzle

Poor Wile E. Coyote.

It’s been 50 years since he’s been trying to catch the Roadrunner.

His ingenuity and tenacity notwithstanding, none of his tactics have been successful. 

Especially his rocket launchers.

After assembling a formidable amount of dynamite sticks, he’d mount the T.N.T. bundle, ready himself for launch, and light the wick.

The flame would hungrily eat the strand, making its way up to the dynamite for its triumphant eruption.

But every time it got close to detonating, the flame fizzled.

He never went anywhere.

A promising start died right where it began.

I’ve had a couple of those fizzles. 

False starts.

Like the light tickling of champagne, the potential is effervescent.

The possibility dances in the air. 

It brushes against your cheekbone and pops before your eyes. 

It’s there.

And then it goes flat.

But too much air…

Not enough space…

Something invisible.

Visible.

Spoken.

Unspoken.

Something.

Something melts the explosive start into a fizzle before it even takes off. 

And perhaps that’s for the best.

Something that can end so easily wasn’t built to last anyway.

 

Onomatopoeia

Bang.

Boom.

Pop.

It’s cool how we’ve created words to describe certain sounds.

The vibrato that defines a cat’s purr.

The hyper motion in a splash of water.

And the thin sharp taps of rapid raindrops

We can use such terms to describe relationships.

Maybe it’s because the dynamics,

the emotion,

the atmosphere,

the experience cannot be completely understood by anyone else except those in it.

The short crispness of a sound can sum up a connection neatly with little to no explanation needed.

 

Hourglass

My sand is gray

Cigarette smoke colored and fine as sifted flour

Soft enough to cushion me when I lay down, face up, my pedicured toes pressed against the glass

I tilt my chin up to watch the sand shower

Not slowly

Not quickly

But steadily

All over me

It coats my skin and hair

Falls directly into my pupils and nose

As I lay there

Unmoving

I don’t know how I got inside

The hourglass never seemed to have an opening before

But somehow, I’m here

Reclining on yesteryears and former months as the present dusts my entire being

I collapsed after entering the hourglass

The truth of time’s delicacy and the recognition of what I’d done with it made my knees buckle

How could I stand after wasting so much of it?

And how could I begin to handle however much I have left?

Gratefully, such wisdom comes from the Keeper of the hourglasses

Through Him, we can learn how to shape and mold the sand He gives us

So that after the last grit of sand has fallen, the structures we’ve built from them remain

My sand is gray

Cigarette smoke colored and fine as sifted flour

Dusting myself off and asking the Keeper what to do with it

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Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom

-Psalm 90:12 (NIV)