Monthly Archives: November 2008

today: running

No photos today. Sorry, kids.

I ran alone and fast today. I finished well. Lately running has been tough, with tired finishes. The adrenaline rush that is so addictive has not compensated for the work running has been. Today, though, cold air and effort reddened my cheeks. My lungs filled with morning crispness. My feet pumped the ground, steadily, rhythmically. I enjoyed my run. A lot.

The weather suited running. God seemed to be speaking. My thoughts did not overwhelm me. It is for days like today that I run on the days I don’t feel like it. Someday I will write down the story of how I became a runner. For now let me say that the runner that is me felt deeply satisfied with running today.

I enjoyed it so much that I am going to sleep tonight in my running clothes. I need to be out the door before 7 AM tomorrow if I am going to get a run in. When the alarm goes off, all I have to do is pull on my shoes and find my I-pod. It’s all Coldplay all the time these days. Since I can’t take my boyfriend Harry Potter running with me, I settle for the Coldplay boys…

I love the days when sleep comes blanketed in anticipation for what happens next.

quotable: anne lamott

img_66331Reading Anne Lamott tends to result in that feeling of familiarity and thankfulness you get when you hang out with someone you haven’t seen in a long time but who knows you and you know through and through. I love that.

From Grace (Eventually), p 10
“This was the day I pecked a hole out of the cocoon and saw the sky of ingredients that would constitute my spiritual path. This was the day I knew the ingredients of the spiritual that would serve me- love, poetry, meditation, community. I knew that sex could be a sacred as taking care of the poor. I knew that no one comes holier than anyone else, that nowhere is better than anywhere else. I knew that the resurrection of the mind was possible. I knew that no matter how absurd and ironic it was, acknowledging death and the finite was what gave you life and presence. You might as well make it good. Nature, family, children, cadavers, birth, rivers in which we pee and bathe, splash and flirt and float memorial candles- in these you would find holiness.”

today: limits

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the sky’s the…
…endless possibility
…hopeful resurgence
…forever out of reach
created and called good and beckoned to believe
change is possible
change is inevitable
change makes new
day in and day out
in season
the sky’s the limit

Today started with Debo and scones on the couch while we looked at Facebook and rushed to get out the door. Had we skipped Facebook, we’d have avoided the rush as well. I took photos of friends and came home to hang out with my boyfriend Harry Potter. I needed to read, to pray, to proof photos, to run. I booked flights for some December stuff. I thought about Christmas shopping. Bridget and I shopped for some Vamos Tamaulipas kids for shoes.

Today finished full. I have all these questions lingering in my head about today and tomorrow and future and life. I so, so want to hear God speak very clearly and write specific detailed instructions about how to do the things he’s called me to. I so want certainty to alleviate relating to a God who made faith the way he loves his children. He lets us in. He lets us choose. He gives us questions and doubts and decisions. I want answers and certainty and orders so I don’t have to figure things out.

The figuring things out is at times wonderful when childlike curiosity and trust mingle. Today it felt cumbersome. I wanted a list I could itemize and check of as I completed the task at hand. This season is requiring flexibility. I hope in the midst I keep being beckoned to see beauty all around.
fall

today: thankful

thanks for the good stuff of life
everywhere
especially seen
in people and places
everywhere
everything, in one way or another
reflects beauty, truth, wonder
at times only as a means of revealing redemption
but given this world
this life, this story
with the at times
redemption is enough
the good stuff of life
hits hard
and thanks seems a word too small

Today we had a lot of the good stuff of life.
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It’s not that life is perfect or easy. It’s just that there is so much to be thankful for. Family. Friends. God. Love. Stories. Places. Music. Books. Running. Laughter. Life.

My sleepy head forgets, often, to pause and see the world around me, the world that beckons thankfulness. Being thankful displaces pride. It displaces entitlement. To say thanks is to recognize that all is grace.

I love this holiday most of all, with the eating and running and playing and family and lack of stuff. It is life at it’s best. Today was a good day. My heart is full, thankful.

today: quiet

Old photos, favorites:
little
show me which way to go
you say there is a better way
and often i see near on far-sighted days
hesitant, tired, apathetic
a contrast: risk, alive, allows authentic
this loud song, melodic and fluid
draws hearts towards contemplation
arms ever outstretched for more
arms ever reaching for solace
pounding, pounding on your door
bound (self-imposed) by internal fortress
tears and sweat and fragility
these marks of humanity
are weighing down on me
did you say we could be free?
the cost, great?
the risk, all?
the way to wholeness
eternity’s bliss
unhindered by the fall
this loud song, melodic and fluid
revises me truly
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I wonder what it looks like to bring hope to any and every circumstance and if that is an idea that can become reality. The thought is attractive, compelling. How does it play out in real time?

today: love

if done well, open handed
if done poorly, controlling
needed, wanted, hungered for
refused, numbed, shaken off, ignored
when aware, beautiful
when afraid, bashful
always wanting, always needing
at times open
readily receiving
love is patient, love is kind
love forgives but is not blind
love is peaceful, love sublime
love sees clearly
love hears fully
lennon said all you need is
God said that it is what he is
love completes
love makes whole
love fills crevices of broken souls
tenderly, fully, mercifully, truly
love’s revision? a solid identity
anchored in love
full and giving
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dreaming of making my escape

“No I don’t want to battle from beginning to end
I don’t want to cycle and recycle revenge
I don’t want to follow death and all of his friends

And in the end we lie awake and dream of making our escape”
-Chris Martin
(If you go to a Coldplay concert Wednesday night, you feel the need to quote Chris Martin, still, on Saturday.)

In Vamos Tamaulipas, the colonia we go to several times a year, when it rains, some of the streets flood to the point of being almost impassible:
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Our shoes get muddy. Our vehicles struggle and sometimes get stuck. We take the long way around to avoid the mess. The earth, over-saturated with the water it so desperately needs, is overtaken, water displacing the hard ground that we want beneath our feet when we walk those should-be dusty streets.

It’s Saturday morning. I am doing the coffee/reading/praying/thinking routine. I read Matthew 7:28-29 this morning. Jesus had given the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Matthew records that “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” There was something about Jesus. There is something about Jesus.

This time of year means prepping to go to the colonia takes a lot of time. I so, so want to see the team succeed, and success in this venture means connecting with and deeply loving people. I suppose that is how Jesus amazed the crowds with his teaching. He had authority because he understood God’s heart and thus naturally put it into words and action. That, in turn, displaced the crowd’s assumption that teachers of the law taught without the grounding of reality underneath their feet. Their lives and words did not match up. Something lacked.
saturday-morning
What is compelling about Jesus, about humanity, and about our interaction strikes me in those couple of verses. Why is it that we are struck by someone speaks with authority? Why is it that someone who is fully alive, fully living out of who they are supposed to be… why is it that someone like that is unnerving? Why does it amaze us? Is that not how we’re all supposed to live?
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My heart is desperate. Really, it is. It is desperate for love
and grace
and peace
and kindness
and wonder
and beauty
and truth
and rest.

I suspect what helped the crowd understand the authority of Jesus was the way he looked at them and love them. Fully. As they were. And the way that changed their lives?

Well, it saturated their hearts to capacity so that the overflow flooded the streets. Truth displaced hardness of heart. Those who were passing by could soak in the crazy, beautiful mess of it or else take the long way around and miss grace personified.
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When we go to Mexico in a couple of weeks, I hope our rubbing shoulders with the kids and their parents so saturates all of our hearts and the overflow fills the streets. With hope. With healing.
For them.
For us.
For me.
For you.
That makes it all worth it. This life…it’s the best possible way to live.
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