Thursday, December 30, 2010

Clinging onto God

Wet fingers grasping

onto a slippery rock,

Reaching above the waves

That crash upon the shore.

Reaching for some firm place,

Some solid ground,

And peace I’ve never

Known before.

Today it is floods,

Restless crashing waves,

Yesterday it was desert,

That burned and wearied me.

The weather is always changing,

‘Round me twirling, spinning,

My eyes go blind,

And I cannot see.

No matter the weather,

No matter the seas,

The way I’ve always made it,

Is clinging onto God….and He clinging onto me.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Reason for Christmas

The Gift
(Adapted from the Holy Bible)

In the beginning was the Word
The Word was with God
The Word was God

The Word became flesh
And dwelt among us
For to us a Child is born
To us a son is given

He's called Wonderful, Counselor
Mighty God
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

He was despised
A man of grief
Familiar with pain

Pierced for our transgressions
Crushed for our sins
We are healed by His wounds

Christ died for our sins
He was buried and raised again
On the third day
Just as the Scriptures said

Our Lord God Almighty reigns
He will reign forever and ever
King of Kings, Lord of Lords


Friday, December 24, 2010

The Loom, the Weaver, and the Yarn.

She sits, hunched forward over her loom. Her eyes intently searching through the vast array of yarns. “Which yarn would look best, for this part of the design,” she wonders as she fingers the yarn to determine texture and strength while examining the color in bright light.

The pattern had taken her so long to design, in her mind she saw the completed work, beautiful—if only in black and white. Now is when the dream becomes reality as she selects her materials and places in line after line, upon the large loom of her life.

Her heart rate races, as she feels she has found the perfect yarn, and begins to weave her dreams, so beautiful, so colorful, full of depth and texture she had never imagined possible. Her imagination races forward 8 lines, dreaming of how that next part of the pattern will look with the beautiful yarn she has found. She dreams a new, vivid, colorful dream. Her hands carrying the yarn through while her eyes are glazed over with daydream. They are affixed on some indiscernible object in the vast fields of dancing grass out her window. She is so caught up in her dreams and her planning, that she fails to realize that the new yarn is too bulky for this section, creating gaps in her design. She is too caught up to realize that her foundation yarn is frayed. Too, distracted to noticed the gap she has just created. The yarn fits poorly in this place, and the pattern is missing something essential.

She continues on, line after line, without ever looking down. She wants to get to line 8, then line 15, then line 23, for the picture in her mind is so clear, so perfect, so beautiful—for the lines to be laid in the future. She forgets to notice where she’s at, to check the progress. She misses out on current beauty, caught up in the dream of future beauty.

After line X she looks back at the progress, in a moment of reflection on the past, and sees that somehow she has gotten far, far off-track. The whole pattern shifted, too high on one side, too low on the other. And there, her heart sinks, is a large hole. On the other side, a row or two below, evidence of frayed yarn, threatening to unravel the piece.

Tears fill her eyes, what can she do? Her heart is woven between the lines, her being now a part of the art. Not only has she woven herself into the past, she is part of the future as well, with this pattern, with this yarn. However, she knows it would be foolish to continue on with the errors in place, for the whole thing could unravel. No, not all at once, not even in a few days, but it could, indeed, over time fall apart. Yet, this is not the greatest error, it is the weaving herself into the future, before the future is here. How do you undo, what has never been done?

She knows, her in her novice skill, can never correct the errors of this rug. Unsure how to even correct the errors of the past, she knows she cannot unweave herself from the future as well.

Lifting her eyes from her piece, she notices she is not alone. The one who gave her a loom, the power to dream, and yarn to weave, sits beside her with the deepest of compassion in His eyes. Fearful to give up full control she tries to get him to help, while her hands are still at work—while she tries to create what has not been done, so that it can be undone. She would do something, and he would undo it, thinking she hadn’t tried hard enough, she would begin again. Only to have Him take it out, once again.

In exhaustion and confusion, she stands up from her stool, and takes a seat on the other side of the master weaver, giving Him full access to the loom. Carefully, tenderly, His hands work over the piece, unraveling a section, and building it up again, filling in areas that had once been empty.

It looked vastly different from the dream in her head, and discomfort became a constant friend. It seems abstract, from where she sits, she cannot see the pattern. It is too large, the scale too grand, to tell what is being created from where she stands.

Once the errors corrected, and gaps filled, He takes her hand, and places a piece of yarn in it, apparently at random. In confusion, she looks at Him with questioning eyes. What is she to do with this yarn? Yet, she weaves it in. Once that yarn runs out, again, he hands her another, and another.

It is beautiful, she must admit, but she still a different pattern in mind, yet, she continues to let Him guide.

What it will be, we will have to wait to see. But each line, she admits, seems to fit so well with the last, even if the future is still a mystery.

She cannot even imagine 8 lines ahead, but the struggle is to pretend she can, and weave what she thinks should come next, and deny the yarn in His hand.

Thread through my fingers,

Under and over,

Weave the wool,

Create the dream.

Imagine the possibilities,

Of all that life can be,

The loom so large,

The pallet so vast.

Each new day,

Gives meaning to the last,

Creating a work,

Beautiful and unique.

Planning and dreaming,

Create the look you seek,

One thread at a time,

Wove into my life.

Until the error is spotted,

Back ten dozen lines,

A hole left unfilled,

3 unders all in a row.

A frayed thread,

Which may not show

Is all it takes,

To unravel it all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

Beneath my feet the grass
bend under my weight
as I look up at the weight of the earth
on the moon.

I am struck
unable to speak of space
and its unreachable, untouchable,
untaintable awe.

Orion, strong and straight
reaches out to touch this beautiful
eclipse of light and dark.

Hyades bows under the
indiscernible beauty of the moment.

While Pleiades dances in lines and circles,
for this night cannot be contained
in stillness.

And I am here.
Standing in my front lawn,
heart expanding with the universe,
unafraid of the future.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Memories: Footprints in the Snow

This time of year tends to cause a person to reminisce. Past experiences become a part of the ever-changing landscape of our lives. While Jesus is central to Christmas, it is also a time of togetherness, a celebration of family and love, tradition, and a time to make memories. Tonight I am reminiscing of Christmases past.

When I was a little girl Christmas Eve was always spent at my dad’s parent’s house. The whole family would bring finger foods and the table would almost overflow with the bounty of vegetable trays, fruit trays, cheese and crackers, meatballs, baby cheesecakes, fruit salad, chips and dips, and so much more. Friends and family and neighbors clustered into small groups to mingle or in a haphazard circle to laugh and joke and tease and tell stories. Sometimes Santa Clause would even make a special guest appearance before beginning his worldwide trek to deliver gifts to all the good little boys and girls. Before the night ended we would gather around the tree and exchange gifts.

Christmas day we would go to my mom’s parent’s house. Tables would overflow with food – basically a repeat of Thanksgiving. We would gather in the living room to open our gifts and share in the excitement of each gift given and received, but mostly to watch Nana open her gifts. Nana was the best part of every Christmas family gathering with her child-like excitement over the gifts and the people, though I did not realize this until the last couple of years when watching home videos. Nana was the best part of almost everything family-related, although I was Papa’s girl through-and-through. I was very young and many of the memories of Christmases spent at Nana and Papa’s come in the form of stories that I’ve been told or small snapshots of my own memories.

Holidays were always full of family, but as the years went on people passed away and moved away and things changed. Old traditions fell by the wayside and new ones are formed. Rather than having a large family Christmas, it became time spent with immediate family, partly by choice and partly by circumstances. Memories are constantly being made and reflected upon.

I find that memories are like footprints in the snow. They are evidence of an event that happened, but they are not permanent. In time, more memories come and begin to distort other memories and sometimes completely erase them much like footprints in the falling snow. Sometimes when the snow stops falling, the footprints linger a bit longer, but spring comes and those footprints begin to disappear. This Christmas I challenge you to spend time with those you love remembering past times and making new memories, because like footprints in the snow those memories will change and may, in time, disappear completely.

Silent Night; (an open and vulnerable goodbye to 2010).

[I’m sitting here listening to my Pandora “David Nevue” station, as I write this. I recommend you do the same as you read.]

Melancholy, that is what flavor I taste when I look back at this year that has passed. In some ways I want to run back to this place last year, not to redo things, specifically, but to slow the forward procession of time. I can’t believe a year has passed me by, again.

Sure, there are many things I’d like do overs on, but even if I got the opportunity I don’t know that I’d think of a better solution in the moment. For, I’ve had many moments to think of my ‘mistakes’, and I still don’t know how I get into them. There are rare times I figure out “why”, and often it is because of who I am, that I do what I do.

I’ve been called a people pleaser, I’ve been called fake—I’ve been disliked and dismissed, but most often, I think I’ve just been misunderstood.

If this year has taught me nothing else, it has taught me that this is me. Strip away hopes and dreams, strip away my plans, throw in some isolation, and see how I respond. This is how I respond. This is who I am.

I didn’t achieve the things I had planned, and I feel somewhat incomplete. I did not gain hold of the substances of my hopes. I did not find my calling, and the wind has been knocked out of me more than once in the past year.

But this is who I’ve been this year. I’ve gritted my teeth and faced my fears. I’ve taken tough situations and made the best I could of them (through prayer and allowing myself to remain vulnerable). I’ve stayed put when I’ve wanted to run. I’ve stayed in view when I wanted to hide. I’ve cried and I’ve laughed. I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve prayed for a ministry partner to love, and God has instead given me more ministries to love. I’ve struggled to know where God is leading me, but I’ve kept following—fearfully, timidly, at times—but following. I’m filled with hope. I am not held down, for I have let God lift me up.

Anyone looking back on my life, if my footprints were left indefinitely in soil of life, would see this year full of circles, of turning back, and of times I fell to my knees in confusion and discouragement. If that same person, would take a moment to look, they would see that where I am now is miles from where I began. If they could see what occurred as a result of those times I fell to my knees—they would believe and never doubt, this is me, and I am where I need to be.

They will know that though this year, to the untrained eye, may look as though I’m lost— it isn't as it seems. If they follow the tracks, my footprints, they will see that I am, indeed, getting lost—lost deep inside my Saviors love. Lost in my love for Him.

So, I have peace, this silent night, that God has lead me here, and here I am—daily nearer to Him.

Good-bye 2010, it has definitely been a year of growth...and I am yet growing. **Grow me, Lord.**

Footprints in the Snow (A Snapshot of My Heart)

Before me lies a dismal scene—
Barren trees,
Muddied fields (with splotched patches of green),
and a cold, gray sky.

Raising my eyes heavenward
I wonder at my ability
To make such a mess of
Your Creation.

With upturned face,
Eyes closed,
and a whispered prayer,
Hope rises.

As light greets my opening eyes
Thick, heavy snowflakes
Fall with grace
To cover over this dead, wintry soul.

Before me lies a new scene—
Elegant, snow-covered trees,
A pure, white blanket,
and a bright, clear sky.

Raising my eyes heavenward
I wonder at Your ability
To make such beauty in
Your Creation.

And with gratitude and love,
I walk forward in grace
Leaving only footprints in the snow.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Girls Are Always Waiting

At noon
I have a caffeine headache.

I am sitting cross-legged on the couch
with a lunch of bad Chinese food
hoping for a text back
and for my Diet Coke
to swiftly counteract the headache.

It is nearly Christmas,
a fact indiscernible from my immediate surroundings:
We have no tree.
Nor through the window
can I see any indication, just
houses and yards and dead grass.

But it is nearly Christmas,
that season which says to me,
make a wish.

I would wish for a change,
for prophecy,
for my fortune cookie to reveal our future
so that I could embrace a present
with confidence.

For years I have asked,
what next?

To fall asleep in the cool grass
to let the earth draw the fever.
Restore her from the dust
to rest at last.
Her heart’s

Rather it was
choices removed
lips silenced early.
Her almost unstoppable will
suppressed to sleep
then deeper
Desires now as indiscernible
as breath
purposely quieted
by the weak
the selfish.

Time crawls
we knew
that had we spent our lives
in search of treasures
that we had found our fortune
in the gentle touch
knowing look
soft words
and warm embrace
of a friend

rest at last

Saturday, December 18, 2010


It is really quite silly if you think about it. So often you hear “I can't believe that because I did not see it with my own two eyes!” Do you really need to see it to believe? Do you need “hard evidence” to recognize the existence of a Truth? If your answer is yes then let me direct you to my window. I am absolutely certain that a person walked across my back yard. Did I see them? No. Hear them? No. Have video surveillance? Not that either. Then how can I be so sure? Do you see the freshly fallen snow? The footprints? The Defense rests.

Friday, December 17, 2010

silent kNIGHT

I’ve always thought it a bit ambitious for a Book to presume to tell you how to preach, but Books seem to possess that sort of audacity and it might be due to their inherently strong spines. They are strong-willed and don’t take well to correction. If you must offer your mere opinion to the thoughts printed so permanently, you are forced do it out of the way near the edge of the flat earth where it is least likely to be read and more likely to drift off the page altogether (as the Book would have it).

One would think the author has the power in this situation, but this is a lie publishers (traitors) tell. Books, like 30% of children, begin with an incoherent thought. Letters and words float around in the cosmos as they randomly collide, contract, and conjugate until they are strong enough to deceive the exceedingly foolish into writing them down. Those idiots are called authors. From the very beginning, the pre-printed Book seeks only to migrate from mind to paper. It is a matter of survival, as all pre-printed Books know that as long as they exist purely in the thoughts of the author they are subject to constant ridicule by the author’s friends, dependants, and people who matter.

As pertains to procreation, we are really shown to be dense. While humans spend a ridiculous portion of their lives dedicated to courting and coping with the opposite sex in order to produce a few, indifferent offspring, Books waste no effort or time in reproduction. Instead, they convince the author to not just spend the time writing everything down, but to also invest the college fund of his children into the reproducing the Book hundreds or thousands of times.

You are probably wondering why we have so many books if the process of their composition is so chaotic. Once again, I must be very severe on the great bookmen of the world. For if we had stuck rigidly to a set number of words, meanings, and spellings the problem would be far more manageable than it is today. But we are a weak race, and the Book’s promises of riches and fame are appealing. And so when the letter “k” accidently runs into the word “night,” we shrug and make a new word, soothing ourselves that it’s perfectly rational to spell the word “night” with a “k” as long as we don’t pronounce the stupid letter.

We were warned. Solomon is perhaps the bravest martyr to the insatiable appetite of Books. He, too, thought it wise to bend wit to word. He bravely fought the words in Ecclesiastes to a stalemate—incomprehensibility—before he, too, fell. But he didn’t go before trying to save his children: “My son, of making many Books there is no end!” Others, like Soren Kierkegaard (whose very name seems an appalling accident of letters), was so beaten that no one understood anything he ever wrote. He represented the first of many such persons who fell to a particularly virulent strain of Books called existentialism.

Books are now waging an offensive the like we haven’t seen since that traitor Gutenberg fell. They tell us how to operate our computers (so we can write more books), learn languages (so we can write for the hitherto unreached), and, most insidiously of all, how to read other books. We were created by the Word, and it has maintained dominance ever since.

This is my warning for all you would-be authors: fight the urge to publish! I am writing to you here as blogs remain one of the few places where words are wasted and ineffective. No matter how many words present themselves to you as good ideas, resist them. Once you start writing words, you cannot stop, for “if every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Writing Assignments (December)

For those of you who were involved in writing assignments before on Xanga (wow... Xanga...), I thought I'd bring that back on this blog.

Here are a few assignments for December. The style/genre is up to you unless specified otherwise. Feel free to add your own assignments in the comments. Enjoy!

1. Write about footprints in the snow.
2. Write a poem including the following words: indiscernible, fortune, grass.
3. Write a piece entitled "Silent Night." Whether or not it is related to Christmas is up to you.

Monday, December 13, 2010

On Having Superpowers.

Both the brave and the foolish lead the way. I am not yet sure which I am.

On Having Superpowers:

It is my belief that every little kid, at some point, imagines being big and powerful, having special powers, and being able to change the world—at least their world—for the better. These are the childhood fantasies that lead to scraped knees, bruised arms, and broken bones. We are let down by what we believe will give us these magic powers. That sheet around your neck doesn’t make you fly, nor does it even help break your fall. That wand in your hand doesn’t freeze your angry neighbor kid into a block of ice, but your taking the time to point it at them and say your magic words gives them enough time to kick you in the shins. Correct me if I’m wrong, but we’ve all daydreamed special powers as a child. Searching for that magic power, that source of strength, that will allow us to save the world!

For Popeye, it was spinach, for Green Lantern it was his Ring, for Superman the sun. Batman relied on himself, and his own resourcefulness. A lot of times we try to find our power in things external. If we just try harder, study more, stay in school longer, we can do it on our own. We buy things, make things, covet things that we believe will give us more strength and power to change things in this world. More money, more status, more things.

Yet, we so often feel empty and weak. We try to change things—even just for ourselves, and fail miserably. It is like we’re Superman with Kryptonite tied around our necks. Instead of gaining more power and strength, we get weaker and weaker. Our world gets more out of control. The enemies we work so hard to keep at bay-- fear, loneliness, shame, regret, etc., grow stronger and stronger as our strength diminishes.

Yet, we do have super powers—beyond measure. We’re just tapping into all the wrong sources. In John 12:14 Jesus says, Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. Now, just think on the life of Jesus—think of all that he did on earth, and this verse declares that we will do greater things. How? Well Jesus, in the same chapter in verses 10 and 11 says that the Father dwells in Him, and He in the Father. The source of power is there, in our relationship with the Father. This verse also tells us how we use the power to bring about change. It says in verses 13 and 14 that whatever we ask in His name, that brings Glory to the Father, he will do. So, our strength is not our own, it comes from the Father and our relationship with him, and we can change the world by asking for things according to His will. His loving, infinitely wise, will.

So next time you’re feeling helpless and weak, remember you do have superpowers available to you. Nothing is impossible with God, and the one who created the universe longs to bless you and strengthen you. So, seek Him. Seek his kingdom, and live boldly as one with superpowers on your side.

We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods. We use God’s mighty weapons, not merely worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil’s strongholds. With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God.” 2 Cor. 10:3-5a

A Few Verses on the Source of our Strength:

Exodus 15:2 “The LORD is my strength and my defense ; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

Exodus 15:13 In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.

Deuteronomy 8: 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today

2 Samuel 22:33 It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

Isaiah 45:24 They will say of me, ‘In the LORD alone are deliverance andstrength.’” All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame.

Isaiah 58:11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with thestrength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

more in the thoughts "on..." series available on Tumblr .