Category Archives: Writing

What is waiting?

Wait on the Lord.  Something that appears over, and over, and over in the Bible.  Wait on Him.

Is that the same thing as patience?  I say a little bit yes, but mostly no.  Patience doesn’t mean to wait.  The dictionary definition defines patiences this way: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.  The Bible defines it this way: endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance…

I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve been told not to ever ask God for patience.  “Don’t ask for patience,” they’d say in a joking tone, “because God will give it to you.”

I heard that from the time I was a little girl, and it made me terrified to ask God for things…are my requests double edged?  Is there always something to fear in the gifts God gives us?  Is it because God will make me wait forever to give me the desires of my heart?  I wondered about His character…this loving God who gave His son for me, did He have a dark side?

This past year I’ve finally developed my own understanding of patience.  We took our family to Oregon, only to feel our dreams fall out of the bottom of the boat when Jon’s illness seemingly took control of our lives.  There we were, 1900 miles away from home, at a crisis point.  One of those things in your life you don’t see coming, one of those places that can derail your faith and send you spinning off into a totally unknown place.

I knew in my heart without a doubt that God had taken us to Oregon.  However, I felt the need to almost defend that to my friends and family, and sometimes even to myself.  I had to remind myself of His goodness and the things He had done to get us there.  In my mind it didn’t make sense that we were going home.  It didn’t make sense that God made it clear that there was work to be done in Brookings, Oregon only to take us out of it before much was accomplished.  Still, I trusted Him.  I sought Him in the midst of our hurricane.

What I can see now is that He was also starting a work in our lives, and it was something that could have taken us a lifetime to learn.  Instead, because of the wholehearted leap of faith we took when we let our Jesus carry our weight across deserts and mountains and to the coast and then back again, we gave Him an opportunity to do something mighty in a short amount of time.

At home we rested.  The foundation that had been completed in Oregon was now being built upon.  We were learning what it means to seek out the Kingdom of God, to seek out heaven on earth.  Lessons I’m sure we will continue to learn all of our lives, but they all started connecting and weaving into a beautiful entanglement of God’s plan, of God’s love.  Then came the healing.

Jon’s horrible affliction was gone in a moment.  Scars and wounds supernaturally healed, God the Father taking them and feeling them for me, instantly healing my heart.  Sweetly and intimately showing me who He is and how much He wants more of me.  Why?  Because my deepest and most passionate desire is to know His heart, to know Him more.  To be set ablaze.

This journey has taught me what patience really is.  The Lord calls me to wait on Him, He wants me to wait because I’m antsy and as a human being I’m restless.  My mind continually is thinking of the things I need to do, the kids next meal, the messes that are being made, work and relationships and so much more.  I flit from one thing to another and could easily be described as ADHD but I refuse to wear that label, to own that name, because I know that the Lord is calling me, calling me to wait on Him.  In that waiting place, He speaks.  In that waiting place, He fills.

How can I have a conversation with my very alive and powerful and full of grace God if all I do is talk to Him and then leave His presence to go about my day?  How can I truly live a Spirit-filled life if I only enter His presence to do my morning devotion and then go back to living in the flesh when I’m actually living?  Waiting on the Lord is conversation.  Waiting on Him means I want a relationship, not religion…I’m not going through the motions to avoid feeling guilty.  No.  I am waiting for Him to move and trusting that He will.  He never disapoints.

Patience can happen during the waiting.  You can endure and persevere while waiting.  But you can also endure and persevere while walking.  There are so many crisis points…so many moments we don’t see coming that can throw our spiritual lives into a blender.  Patience happens when you trust the Lord completely, when your faith is strong even when you feel like everything is coming apart.  No matter where He’s taking you, you know you want to be with Him.  Patience is getting through that crisis point and pressing in, letting Him take you deeper when it hurts.  Letting Him in when your instincts tell you to close everything and everyone off and protect yourself at all costs.  Patience is clinging to Him with all you have, your fingers white with the effort of holding on.

Patience is what I learned about when I went to Oregon and back.  Patience is trusting God with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength and leaping into a different kind of living.  My advice from this journey is this: never, ever be afraid to ask for patience.  Always desire more of Him, more of the fruits of the Spirit, more of God’s presence.  Always ask for more.

patience

 

the dragon of yesterday

“Like sunlight burning at midnight, making my life something so beautiful, beautiful.” (Francesca Battistelli)

When I was right in the middle of pensive college years, getting the majority of my creative writing minor classes done, I experienced the greatest loss that to this day almost breaks me, just thinking about it.  And how I felt afterwards.  Because when you lose someone, even though there is joy that they are no longer in pain, bound by a broken body, and in paradise…

…the loss is like a hole.  A deep, jagged hole.  Every year, that hole comes around, like I’m running in circles and have to find my way around it.  While my path changes, the hole is always there, somewhere.  So I’m feeling it, again, and feel that depression of my soul.  When someone not only touches your life in an astounding way, but is a majority of the fabric of your life that was bound together from the moment you were born to the time they left, it’s pretty easy to see the difference in your make-up.  The before and after is stark.

I miss her.

When I was writing so much, I wrote this for her.  Or maybe because of her.  I was haunted by my loss, by what I didn’t realize I was losing, even when she was fading from me.

MEMORY

So rapidly she faded away
Hardly had time to say goodbye
Constant questions pervade my mind
But a reason? I can’t find one
I miss the years when life was fun
These tears I cry, they took so long
And my fear, it finds a stronghold
The winter’s grown so cold

The dragon that breathes the flames
Of yesterday-I thought I’d tamed her
But she just won’t let it go
She just won’t let it go
I’m moving on

That dragon keeps following me
Hauntingly-the fire she breathes
Is slowly, but suredly taking
Ahold of me, until we meet
Regardless, I will feel my way out
Through darkness, avoiding the sounds
That echo all around me.
I’ll make it, I’ll be free

The dragon that breathes the flames
Of yesterday-I thought I’d tamed her
But she just won’t let it go
She just won’t let it go
How suddenly I’m all alone
With just a memory; no one to condone
What I do and what I don’t.
What can stop me: I don’t know,
I’m moving on

Fickle Autumn

The air has grown thin.  The sky is so blue, the sun is shining, but it doesn’t thaw the parts of me that are frozen to the core.  This time of year always makes me pensive.  On warmer days, I could sit in the sun amongst the leaves and let my surroundings soak into my skin for hours.  Days like today, however, freeze me.  Remind me that autumn is just a fleeting idea, a stepping stone to winter’s deadly grasp.  Soon all the leaves will have fallen, the wind will work its way through every layer worn, and the world will turn in to itself and hibernate.  I wish I could sleep through winter.  But it is only October, and the sun is shining and, despite how cold it feels to me today, something much worse is on its way.  The sun is like a lover, she burned too hot, and now she’s turned a cold shoulder and she is leaving.  I can feel it happening, but I am powerless to stop it.  So I will choose to delight in the sun, the fact that I can still bare my skin and feel her warmth, even if it feels farther than it did even a week ago.  She’s still with me, for now, and every moment counts.

“Keep moving forward,” he said.

What am I?  Who is this person?  I am a shell, fragile and flaky.  The wind could blow me away, the rain could wash me clean from the earth.  I grip my place here tenuously, as though I’m not sure I want to hang on or not.  What is this place anyway?  Is it where I am supposed to be?  Is there such a thing?  

The past two months have been…um…..let’s say stressful.  But I don’t really get to say that.  Or at least, act out in a fit of rage and throw things.  I see clearly, then my vision clouds and I am left with my hands full of the ashes of my life.  Each day blends into the next.  I lose time, I lose myself, and I am broken.  I stand in anticipation of something, wanting desperately for it to happen, but I don’t know what it is.  Am I actually waiting on myself?  Am I supposed to do something now?  I. Just. Don’t. Know.

If only this were different, then things would be better.  Or this one thing.  Or this.  Or a million tiny, minuscule pieces of my life.  If only.  But that takes me to a place where I am thinking backwards, and I want to move ahead.  I don’t want to ponder or depress in this spot in the ground.  The mud will surely over take me, slowly creeping up my body and sinking into my soul until my mouth and nose and eyes are shut to the world.  

Today is a day where I just have to repeat Walt Disney’s favorite saying: “Keep Moving Forward.  Keep Moving Forward.  Keep.  Moving.  Forward.”  That’s all I have today.

As I Sit Here and Think I Begin to Wonder

As I sit here, I think about too much.  My mind is scattered.  It lands on one thing, but doesn’t commit, and flits to the next before I have time to recover.  I am tired.  Jon is tired.  We just keep on truckin’, but sometimes I wonder how we’ll keep up at this pace.  Our house is a mess, and nothing we want to do ever gets done.  Sometimes I wonder what it was like before kids.  Could I really just do anything at any time just because I felt like it?  I don’t remember cherishing that kind of freedom.  The funny thing is that I don’t really want to go anywhere in particular.  Really, I just want to do things like clean out the storage room.  Or do ALL our laundry.  Or really scrub the kitchen floor.  Things that just take too much time and energy.  I get tired just thinking about them.  Then I start to feel guilty.  Am I lazy?  I’d like to think that if my baby ate like a normal kid, I would have more time and energy to do things, and I would do things.  But I feel so lazy, and guilty.  I want to provide my kids with the best life possible.  Instead I feel like I am failing in this.  They are happy, this is true, but will they be in the future?

Last night Jon gave me a few hours away.  A friend in a similar situation and I were able to get out of the house for a bit, then go to hers and watch a movie and drink a little wine.  It was soothing, and nice.  Even though we talked about our kids most of the night, I think we both needed that person to talk to face to face.  There are bright spots, more bright spots than darkness in our lives.

Today is the fourth of July, and it is a reminder that there are much larger problems than mine in the world, and that people in much crazier situations than mine are able to function.  We will figure this out.  And it won’t last forever, things will change…in one way or another.  God is our mainstay, our eternal help.  It’s hard to grasp when we need help physically so much, but I am clinging to Him in this time.  I don’t have much time or energy to devote to my spiritual walk, something I also feel guilty about, but I know that He is there and will pull us through.  We are in His hands.  I feel like we are dangling from his fingers about to fall deep into the depths, but He is holding on.  I’m sure we got ourselves there in the first place.  We pray for His blessing on our home and our children, and we are thankful that He always provides and has given us two of the sweetest and happiest babies ever.  If you are reading this, I hope you pray for us.  It’s not always going to be like this, and we will make it through.  And having support from wonderful friends and family has helped.  Having people praying, some people we don’t even know, is amazing and we appreciate it so much.  When I think about it, my heart swells with gladness.

Like a Firefly in a Jar

The weather is turning warmer…the kind of warmer that, when the sun goes down, you can still feel it in the air.  It’s almost salty, despite living a thousand miles from any ocean.  Our happy feelings come out of hibernation.  Our souls fly like butterflies for the first time, so joyful and free, and a little uncoordinated.  All because it’s spring, and there are flowers, and leaves, and green grass, and the sound of mowers in the morning from annoying neighbors.  It’s so wonderful.  And with it comes the restlessness.

Wanting to move forward, come alive, but feeling so dead inside.  Winter still has a cold hand on something deep down….it froze so hard that it won’t thaw.  Need a spark, a serious burst of energy to break it open and let the flame begin to flutter.

I can be beautiful and stark, and seem to fly free, and still be a prisoner.  The walls may be of my own making, but that doesn’t mean I know how to deconstruct them.  Seeing it from the outside, I look intriguing, content, and full of life.  This is the surface.  I am a bug, lit up, but a dirty little bug underneath the glowing warmth of light that surrounds me.  And I’m trapped behind invisible glass.

Freedom is close enough to smell.  I can feel it in the air, not tangibly…just a hint of something wonderful.  I cannot see it, not yet.  It’s there, though, out of reach.  We will touch, we will wrap our bodies around each other and become something new and the restlessness will go away.  The weather will stay warm, the flowers will not die, and life will become something no one has thought of yet.  Sigh.

I can’t wait.  I wish I knew how to get there.  There is no map, the journey is supposedly more rewarding that way.  Feeling around in the dark is ok, though, as long as the weather holds up.

Knots made of Red

I sat in a restaurant today with dim lighting, and the entire time I felt dazed from the half-light, like my eyes were only half open, even though I knew they were wide open, and the red light filled my eyes. A friend recently told me that in films they use fake blood, and it is referred to as “red”–not blood. It is the viewer that interprets the red as blood, and it’s interesting to me and I can’t stop thinking about it. So I sat there, in that booth, and I wanted to know why I wasn’t seeing blood, in that red light. Or here, in the coffee shop. Why aren’t the walls covered in blood to me? They are just red.

Or if you go the other way, why do things that I know aren’t real feel so real and tangible? Abstract things? The thought takes me places that I can’t quite grasp yet. Why doesn’t blood, or other real things, like the black lamp in front of me, represent something else? Why am I not seeing death or depression? Is it because it is a lamp? My mind is one giant knot. Maybe i just need to know the difference between an adjective and a noun.