Friday, July 28, 2017

North Shore

The north shore is intoxicating to me.  Wild beauty, lost adventure, edited memories......  I find myself craving the water, rocks, culture, air, and wonder why we left.  But I know the answer.  Reality of life, of work, of education, of calling.  It is so easy to romanticize a place in your past and even though it still makes my heart skip a beat and awakens a lust for life that I thought was lost to me, I know that this isn't the place for me any longer.  My people are not here.  There are sweet remnants, dear friends, beautiful memories, but the roots have been cut.  I have been rooted and established in the urban wilderness, drawn my boundary lines, spoken my commitment and planted my heart there.  It is a different kind of wild, a different need, a different call to deep.  And while the north may refresh me, it no longer sustains.  I miss this place, crave it, romanticize it, but ultimately must let it go.  It is the affair that draws my attention away from practical life.  I have made my choice and now I must own it, but north shore you shall always be a sweet memory and place of refreshing for when my person is dry and thirsty from practical life.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Swimming to shore....

I probably need therapy....  Treading water, keeping my head above the waves, getting knocked down over and over, always surfacing and surviving, but never making it towards shore.  Lost in the abyss of expectations, giving away pieces of myself to any who demand my time while watching my family slip away.  I have always been a giver, a supporter, sturdy, but the cost is getting too high.  I feel trapped, trapped by obligation.  One person told me that I don't have to help people.  And she is right, I could just look out for myself, but I don't want to end up like that person.  Only looking out for myself, placing my needs above the needs of others.  If I didn't care about people it wouldn't be so hard.  But I do care, deeply......  And so I give, and give, and give till my hand is slapped away.  10 years of living in community, 10 years of giving, 10 years of expectations, of people getting angry at us for being human.  I chose this life, and continue to choose it.  I believe that it is a life worth living, even though it feels so hard on days like today.  I am not perfect, my children are not perfect, my husband is not perfect.....  We will fail you.  This drive for perfection in Christian leadership is stifling.  Everyone else can fall to pieces, but not you..... I look at my children.  Fern is in nothing but a diaper from nap time, pen on her legs and arms, messy hair, dirty face.  Yet as she sits in the sunlight watching her brother play with Lincoln logs I think that there is no one so beautiful as her.  She is completely lovely, griminess and all.  If only we could view ourselves and each other with such grace and compassion.  Am I okay?  Yes, I will be fine.  At this moment it is hard, but I am still treading water, and hopefully soon will begin swimming to shore.

Friday, June 9, 2017


My children are at the age where Sunday school answers are the norm, neat and tidy.  So it should have been unsurprising that when asked for ideas to write about they gave me "Jesus" and "Aslan".

 Oh to have the answers be so simple, so absent of grey.  Sweet child the world does not think as you do and perhaps that is the problem.  We are unable to follow one simple direction.  

Turn.  Just turn.  No formula, no equation, no check list, no shame, no guilt.....  Just simply turn around.  See, taste, follow, pray, seek, find, love, forgive, and share.  

Humanity mucked it up, added to it, and thus removed from it the power of simply trusting.  Trusting that God is good.  Trusting that we don't know all.  Trusting that there is hope.  Trusting that redemption is possible.  Trusting that Love is real.  Trusting that transformation happens,  Trusting that death has been defeated.  Trusting that there is more.  

But we don't trust.  We want to know.  To be demi-gods.  To have all the answers.  Back to the garden we go, day after day, eating the fruit, saying that we want to be like God.  Not understanding that the only way to be like God is not to steal it from him.  To be like God we only need turn, open our arms, and accept a gift that could not be done in our own strength, complete and total forgiveness, through the sacrifice of Jesus.

When Digory was tempted to take the fruit from Aslan's garden the witch promised him all those things, having just eaten it herself.  Not realizing that from then on beautiful things would be bitter to her, and life would loose it color, just as her face had lost its.  Digory choose to not take for himself but rather give of himself, lay down his desires to heal his mother, and honor the agreement he had made with Aslan.  Once his journey was complete Aslan spoke to the longings of his heart and told him of the peril that would have befallen him had he taken.  But freely given, the apple gave life, health, beauty, and a doorway back into Narnia some day.

We like to teach our children many things, one of them being that it is okay to ask for help.  Another being that we will never stop loving them.  That we will hold them accountable.  That we will encourage them to grow.  And that we want to see them become the people that they created to be.
Maybe we should start practicing it ourselves.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

My People

I have a people, a tribe, a family.
They stay.
They comfort.
They sit.
They listen.
They give.
They love.
They stand.
They speak......
They are the ones on whom I know I can depend.
They are the ones who have stood the test of......
At my worst, they are the best.
They are my people and I am theirs.

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Devil Can Go To Hell

The scream bubbled up from within, originating from my toes, from the empty aching place in my chest, shook my body and the filled the car.  The car that I had been driving in for over 6 hours, had left my house in early that morning, and now was in as it was bringing me to the funeral that I was in the process of missing.  Whether by a hair, or the skin of my teeth, or by mere miscommunication I was missing it.  The damn broke and out flowed all of it.....  The sadness, the rage, the hopelessness, the longing to understand why?  Why?  WHY!!!!!!!!  7 years, 5 deaths of note, all too young, all too soon, all so loved, all family.....  It felt as if I was buffeted on every side, so many things taken in the last few years, with no explanation.  Just the dull ache of something lost, someone lost....... Senseless...... God and I have become intimate sparing partners, and so I readied myself to plunge in, to grapple, to sink my face into Gods chest, wetting it with tears, beating it with my fists.  I knew God could hold me, so I screamed, and screamed, and ran my voice ragged.  Readying myself for the fight, the questions, the reestablishing of trust.....  But as the last remnants echoed from my throat, as the air became still,as my body trembled, and the hot tears flowed, the emotion changed.  WAR.  I was at war.......  Analogies of war have always deeply troubled my inner child, the idea of celebrating and validating mass death due to a political ideology chills me.  We drop bombs on brown skinned people like they don't matter, many of them our brothers and sisters in Christ, sacrificed to the idol of  nationalism.  It is something that I will never support, and yet I was at War....  Like coming out of a fog I saw the enemy for who he was.  He comes to steal, kill and destroy.  Anything...  Anyone....  Indiscriminately.......  Savagely........  With lies and corruption, with depression and suicide, with sickness and sin, he comes to take away anything good and beautiful.  And if you are good and beautiful he will try to cut off all that you hold dear, to turn you away from your only hope.  Abusive and manipulative, he strips you of those you love, and plants the insidious question of Why?  Why would God?  Where?  Where was God?  How?  How can God?  Cutting down all you love and then manipulating you to blame your only hope of his defeat.  I will no longer take part in this abusive, manipulative relationship!  I so I readied myself for War.....  Come at me and I speak Jesus.  Attack me and I will praise my Lord.  Hurt me and I will cry out to my God.  Every attempt you make to separate me from the Great I Am will only plunge me deeper into in his presence.  Kill me, and I will be with my Savior.  Kill me, and my funeral will sing the praises of the most high God.  You can do nothing to me, my salvation is secure, Jesus's name will always be on my lips.  I will invite him into every place, bring him into every dingy bar, every shot of whiskey, every dysfunctional family gathering, every dimly lit place, the light will shine,  Come at me devil, I dare you!  Every strike you take at the ones I love will be met with the battle cry of  Jesus.  Your time is short, your sentence pronounced.  And as far as I am concerned......  The devil can go to hell.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Things are broken

We are broken

Celebrating life and mourning death

We are never prepared

All die, and yet......

Yet war against it

As if something tells us it has all gone wrong

Eden lost

Far reaching consequences of personal choice

We thought we knew

We wanted to know

It was humanities undoing

Seeking what was not ours

Taking what was not meant for us

Finite understanding

Finite lives

So now we mourn

But not for long

We are finite

But there is infinity to be found

if only.......

We would step down from the throne

Friday, May 5, 2017

You get what you get...

I found a new wrinkle the other day, it just magically appeared one morning and decided to stick around.  I would like to say that I welcomed the new friend, that I welcome this new me.....  But I find a war of ideal vs real playing out.  Surely I am not that....  That vain, that weak, that old, that conceited, that fat, that saggy, that woman grasping at what has already slipped away.  Down and out the back door, secretly, quietly, till one morning what you see is what you get.  You get what you get and you don't throw a fit......

Thursday, May 4, 2017


Beauty in the mundane..... How?  Why?  I am much more drawn to things of the romantic persuasion.  Give me life, give me death, just don't give me somewhere in between.  But life is found in the moments of in betweens.  Time has passed as has life, moments come and gone.  If I am not careful life will pass me by as I wait for moments of grandeur.  Romance being the cocaine of life, the upper, just one more hit, oh to feel so alive.  Coming down being so much harder, life being so much less.  But the air is thin when you are high, rich when you are low.  Weighty, dense, complex........ I will take richness over high airs any day.