Tag Archives: God

today: a Wednesday not so long ago

Some days are about stopping, forced pauses and seeing. Life abounds. God, here.

On A Wednesday not so long ago, I felt walls closing in on questions I could not answer. I lacked sleep and perspective. Blinded to goodness, I staggered through the day, wallowing and grumpy. The sun shone, though, beckoning me outdoors. I leashed the dog and packed my camera. I walked. And I saw. It was a return to gratitude and perspective. Life abounds, God, here.

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tonight: horizon

“Bravery is leaning into love.”
-Emily Wierenga (her exquisite blog, here)

This image, from summer? Sigh. Love.

wide horizon,
and sitting, chilled so pulling a sweater tighter
broad expanse,
and dreaming, filled so opening arms up wider
deep wonder
and believing, still so soaring ever higher
grateful dancing
and God, here, so I’m alive-r
grateful dancing
and God, here, so I’m alive-r

tonight: mud

“I love a God who makes mud on the Sabbath.”
-Trent Sheppard

I’ll wear this mud on my face from here to eternity
if it means sight for these blind eyes
because in wearing this mud, a reminder of this
God reaching down, reaching in, holding on
God making mud, setting free
hands letting go
feet running home
depth coaxing soul
life taking hold
this is the process of broken pieces
made whole
God reaching down, reaching in, holding on
God making mud, setting free

I do believe; help my unbelief.

today: the new year, finally

There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.
-G.K. Chesterton

The first trip of 2012, a visit to Bellingham to visit Carla and her family. Carla and I became friends over conversation and coffee in Poland where we did mission work. It’s been over a decade, and our friendship grows and thrives in spite of distance and sporadic connection. We last visited almost two years ago, when her daughter was born. It had been too long.

I arrived to snow in Seattle, and the shuttle that took me north on I-5 crawled as the storm dumped inches and inches of white powder. Cars swerved, some into snowbanks along the sides of the highway. It was slow going getting here.

It’s been slow going these days here too, the temperature creeping down, down, down while the pile of snow went up, up, up all through yesterday. Today the temperature stayed well below freezing. I ventured out for a few minutes for a walk, but other than that, we stayed indoors, simmering chili and baking brownies while we played with little Luci, talking and laughing and enjoying the slow quiet a winter storm allows.

It feels good to be quiet, to sit here with my dear friend. The restfulness of this trip came unexpectedly. At first it seemed like the snow might slow us down; now it’s evident that the whole of this visit will be a full stop. Limited to the confines of Carla’s home, I read and pray. My only work, responding to emails and phone calls. These few days are the perfect beginning to a New Year (of which the first two weeks were spent wrapping up the previous one, at an almost frantic pace). I finally find myself awakening to expectation for all that is to come.

Here all that is before me is to be in the moment in a warm house with yummy food and like-family friends. In this place, my heart has stilled and my mind has calmed. I hear God whispering words true and love deep that makes me anticipate this new year. The last year passed a whirlwind, beautiful and busy and at times chaotic. I grew a business and a relationship and traveled a lot of miles and photographed many, many families. My sister married; my brother got engaged. My dad had and recovered from a stroke. When I stopped and reflected throughout the year, I was mostly grateful but often tired.

This year God’s whisperings are of life full and thriving, of learning quiet and rest, of trust and generosity. He invites me to leave behind the chaos and the busy, challenging me to believe more is possible. Perhaps I will learn to sleep and rest and play right in the midst of it all- is this not life abundant? Perhaps so doing will eradicate the chaos. I wonder if that is what could be.

I guess this serves as my new year’s post, a couple weeks in. More to come, hopefully soon.

tonight: oh this? itislife.

“It is not length of life, but depth of life.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

oh this? it is life
with turns unexpected and twists dramatic
with soft-spoken hopes and bone-jarring fears
with a yieldedness (or not) to grace
and a drifted-ness from doubt to faith
with a quiet, quiet, quiet way that stops my stumbling

bread, cup
broken, bought
death, life
redemption (always)
aware or not
incarnation and oh,
resurrection

and oh, this? it is life
and oh, here? here I am
alive

today: the wonder of it all

“Wonder is the basis of worship”
-Thomas Carlyle

No matter where, no matter where, no matter where my story- or your story- takes me or you, the deep breath yielded by a few minutes outside really looking at creation provokes wonder. It steadies me to see flowers and trees, sun and sky, and the cycle of life. Seasons shift and change. Transformation occurs. The world retains so much of the good God saw when he made it. In the midst of war and failing economies and broken relationships and sickness, even in the midst of death, a walk outside reveals new life. Some days that’s the grace to regroup and calm the heart and slow the pace.

God is here, everywhere. And we are his, loved and capable of loving. I’m captivated.

It’s outside that I most often find myself beckoned into his kingdom and story. I know I am small in the midst of a great grand scheme that is the world. That humbling reality- that very revelation- invites participation into the story of God’s great plan of redemption. I’m certain that truth ought to be taken literally and metaphorically.

today: month fifteen

It was fifteen months ago that Collin turned to me and said he didn’t want to leave things undefined. We didn’t have much of anything figured out. We did know we wanted to see if there was something there worth figuring out. And I suspected he meant business about pursuing me. Today I know that he did.

For this I am grateful. It’s been quite a year and a quarter. I see God’s handiwork in our story. I know that this is grace.

Yesterday Collin had flowers delivered to the house I’m staying at in Kentucky. I’ve been away for work for this past week. I love his thoughtfulness, ever looking for ways to make me feel beautiful, wanted, loved. I love that when I called to thank him I could hear the smile in his voice. I love that this is the page we are on.

Someday maybe I’ll write some thoughts on dating and love and how we’re walking things out. But that’s for another day. Today all I want to say is this: it’s a good story we are living, fifteen months in.