a tale of two horses

horses

2 horses
one wagon
one yoke
only one way to go…the same way

however, each horse wanted its own way…
one pulled this way
the other pulled that way

the wagon stood still

one horse thought mostly…
logical
rational

the other felt mostly…
emotional
compassionate

how to get them to work together?

they were, after all, attached
yoked to each other

but one was in its head
and the other in its heart

how to reconcile?

all in my head….
how do you feel in your head? – at least adequately
how can you be sad or grieve in your head?
how can anger be only in your head?

think about it…
ponder it…
stew over it…
process it…

then what?  where does it go?  where can it go?
what is the outlet for logic?

then there’s the heart…
feeling, emoting, expressing
pumping the life-blood so everything works — including the head

what if there is a disconnect?
how does that happen?
how do you fix it?

the horses need to work together…to communicate
right??

all heart….or all head – the result is just going around in circles

permission to feel
it truly will be ok

the healing begins

freedom

….a tale of two horses — the ending has not been written
yet

when grace collides…

from shard to lovely

Seaglass

shards
tumbled
smoothed
worn
beautiful

do you resemble this process?

shards of brokenness….
hurt
despair
loneliness
grief
unanswered questions

tossed around like a wave…
tumbled
overcome
knocked down

the rough and sharp edges smoothed…
trials
growth
maturity
the crud

worn…
tired
exhausted
paralyzed
powerless

beauty…
because of the waves of despair
the tossing around of emotions
the powerlessness and paralysis
the grief
the questions

the slickness
the shininess
the polished appearance disappears
and is replaced by
frosted beauty
telltale marks of the journey and the struggle

now…do you resemble this process?

the beauty of sea glass
the agonizing process of becoming

you see, that’s where I am….
in the middle of the agonizing process
and aren’t we always?
constantly being worn and tumbled
waves crashing down
all with a purpose
to remove the rough stuff
to soften our edges
to grow us into beauty

I see it
in my friendships
my family
my job
my relationship with God

His purpose is greater than what my eyes can take in
His love consumes
His grace envelops

He takes the fragments, the shards of my life and tosses and tumbles and rounds the edges off and creates  something beautiful…not perfect, but lovely.

tumbling, learning…God’s unforced rhythms of grace…

I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

echo of love

a Saturday sound for your listening pleasure…

Echo of Love – by An Epic No Less

We are the lost, we are the hurt
With thirsty bones as dry as dirt
We are the hands, we are the feet
We are the love of God that people will meet

I hear an echo of love
We are the echo of love
I feel an echo of  love
We are the echo of love

You are the strength when we are weak
You are the breath inside of me
You are the love that pierces hearts
You are the light that’s shown into our darkest parts

I hear an echo  of love
We are the echo of love
I feel an echo of love
We are the  echo of love

You placed the lights up in the sky
You are the  brightness of our eyes

I hear an echo of love
We are the echo of  love
I feel an echo of love
We are the echo of love

echoing grace….

 

XXXIII

 

33

the atomic number of arsenic

+33 is the code for international direct-dial phone calls to France

Jesus performed 33 miracles

Jesus died at the age of 33 in 33 A.D.

the numerical equivalent of AMEN: 1+13+5+14=33

thirty-three
the number after 32 and before 34

and also the new number my best friend is receiving today…the day of her birth!
33
Happy Birthday, my friend!!

it’s all about you today…

we’ve had our share of ups and downs
of heartache and celebration
of questioning and searching
of cuisine nights
of needed separation
of prayer for each other
of solid support
of fierce loyalty
of smothering (on my part) and uncovering the new
of unending grace
of love – pure and simple

my heart bursts with pride for her…of the woman she is and is becoming
of the risks she takes
of her commitment
of her obedience

I am proud of the mother she is growing into…the hole in her heart is truly going to be filled with a precious little one…God has picked she and Jason for the perfect little one who needs
safety
compassion
love
mercy
grace
peace
kindness
gentleness

all of that is in God’s hands…and that is what we have to cling to
His perfect timing
His strong hands holding us tight

thirty-three
is also the perfect age for change and challenge
thirty-three
is just right for renewed commitment
thirty-three
is ideal for you….because this is your birthday

thank you Rachel and David for raising a strong, beautiful young woman…
thank you Jason for loving her deeply

thank you Kristine for being my friend…

it wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t have a song to go with this….so, I am pulling from my plethora of tunes and revisiting a Fernando Ortega ballad

Take heart my friend, we can walk together
And if our burdens become too great
We can hold up and help one another
In God’s love, in God’s grace

I love you to the moon and back!
Happy Birthday!!

unending grace…

they say it’s your birthday

white birthday cake
she liked the flavor, the texture maybe?
the reason will remain a mystery

it was my mom’s favoritecake

today is her birthday

is/was….I don’t know the correct way to say that
will she have a birthday party in heaven?
with angel food cake and a trumpet solo by Gabriel?
streamers…balloons…

it’s been 4 months since she went to be with Jesus…

if there are parties is heaven – she’s having the best!!

so today, we’re eating cake.

happy birthday, mom!

grace…and cake!

help me find it

I don’t know where to go from here
It all used to seem so clear
I’m  finding I can’t do this on my own

I don’t know where to go from  here
As long as I know that You are near
I’m done fighting, I’m finally  letting go

I will trust in You
You’ve never failed before
I will  trust in You

If there’s a road I should walk
Help me find it if I need  to be still
Give me peace for the moment
Whatever Your will, whatever Your  will

Can you help me find it?
Can you help me find it?

I’m  giving You fear and You give faith
I giving you doubt, You give me  grace
For every step I’ve never been alone

Even when it hurts, You’ll  have Your way
Even in the valley I will say
With every breath, You’ve  never let me go

I will wait  for You
You’ve never failed before
I will wait for You

If there’s a  road I should walk
Help me find it if I need to be still
Give me peace for  the moment
Whatever Your will, whatever Your will

Can you help me find  it?
Can you help me find it?

I lift my empty hands
(Come fill me up  again)
Have Your way my King
(I give my all to You)

I lift my eyes  again
(Was blind but now I see)
‘Cause You are all I need

If  there’s a road I should walk
Help me find it if I need to be still
Give me  peace for the moment
Whatever Your will, whatever Your will

Can you  help me find it?
Can you help me find it? – Sidewalk Prophets

finding grace…

shades of grey

get your attention?
no…I am not going to talk about the book – I haven’t even read it, nor do I have the desire to.

I was challenged today…in my thinking, my outlook, my worldview
I see things as black and white – – that’s what I’m supposed to do, right?

lightbulbthen….the light bulb!
my thinking has been consumed with the “black-and-white” – obey or not obey – believe or not believe – truth or not truth – – and while I am not abandoning that thinking entirely, the challenge came to think outside of my black and white box and into the grey

so, perhaps a more apropos title for this would be…”what is black and white and grey all over?”black_white_flowers_grey_

the grey….
the mundane…
the everyday life…
the crud…
the ups and downs…
the good and the bad…
the weeds among the flowers…
the arid and the fertile…
that’s where we live!  in the grey…so, wouldn’t Jesus meet us in the grey??

God is not calling us into his grace to a life of black and white morality and simplicity. He is calling us to the messy business of relationships. – Antwuan Malone

many times I have said that the Gospel is simple…but it’s not easy.
although I believe that in its entirety, the Gospel is simple.
but, what about the grey? where we live and breathe
what about the questions?  (and we all know I have voiced my share)
where do they fit in a black-and-white worldview?

there isn’t room

as I have been processing things lately, I have tried to fit everything neatly into my “God-box”…

black
white

except, things are not just black and white for me anymore.
the simple and the complex have meshed into this unknown territory for me…
yearning…craving…not settling…

looking at God-things differently…
“To experience God is to live in simplexity, an unfathomable mystery of absolute sobriety and almost giddy intoxication. To know God is not to banish mystery, but deepen it” – Leonard Sweet, Viral

simplexity…I like it!
(go ahead look it up…)
simple and complex – and maybe that captures what I have been meaning all along
but, the meat, the mystery of what that means…is fascinating to me

I am still working through this thought….
but being called into the messy business of relationships means not only living in the grey but admitting that it exists and is redeemable…
after all, isn’t that where Jesus spent His time?

so, what is black and white and grey all over?
my life.

…grace and simplexity

to shoot the already injured

I heard this phrase last night: “shooting the wounded”
in the midst of swirling thoughts in my own head.crosshairs
the emphasis on performance….on numbers…on perceived growth…
accomplishments…milestones…achievements…

I am speaking from a Christian – born and raised in the Church, walking with Jesus for almost 35 years – background.
growing up in an environment where my thoughts and ideals were formed around Biblical standards.

learning what is truly is to walk with Jesus – to essentially “be Jesus” to everyone I meet.
leading others to do and be the same.
questioning.
pondering.
feeling.
being hurt and disenchanted and wounded.
setting my standards “too high” (although I don’t understand how that can happen).
and ultimately….being injured, being shot, if you will.

being in the crosshairs, albeit unknowingly – and maybe putting myself there with my questions and objections and opinions

all the while, feeling that those in opposition (or at least perceived opposition) are from within the Body –
those who are the digits, the phalanges, the limbs, the organs, the inner-workings, of the anatomy of Jesus

they I have the munitions
they I  have the weapons
how many times do I participate in the blasting of those already wounded?

when is enough enough?
how hurt to we have to be?
is a “bump” bad enough?
or do we practically have to be losing a limb and profusely bleeding to be considered wounded?
oh, I know…we have to have a tragedy – an accepted tragedy (there must be a list of acceptable and unacceptable things somewhere)
am I being cynical?
yes, I probably am.
is that what it will take?

cynicism, pessimism, despair…
perhaps.

or maybe, just maybe…I wish, I desire, I yearn for the Church to be the Church.
to love
to guide
to disciple
to stand in the path of the bullets and not allow the wounded to be shot!

am I willing to take the bullet for someone else?
and am I willing to not be the one with a bullet in the chamber ready to shoot?
Heaven help us.

I often refer to the Scripture (Matthew 7:3-5) that talks about the plank and sawdust…how often we try to remove just a speck of sawdust from someone’s eye while we have a 2×4 in our own eye.
then today, I just finished a book entitled, Choking on a Camel…which refers to Matthew 23:24
You guide the people, but you are blind! You are like a person who picks a fly out of a drink and then swallows a camel
how many times have I, in the guise or the attempt of doing what is right, seemingly cleaned up my life just to choke on a camel?
then try to rinse it down with good deeds, or the right “churchy” words, or achievements, or generosity, or responding appropriately and efficiently?
but still…choke.

this post comes from a place of woundedness…of freshness…of meatiness
of honesty and candor
of searching for healing
of a desire to love more deeply
of a yearning to understand

so, as I drink my coffee and search for gnats…I pray that I avoid the camels – the places of hypocrisy in me
and more fully understand who Jesus is.

I pray that I will stand in the path of the bullet meant for those who are wounded….
clothed in Kevlar

I pray that as I lay wounded, someone else will be willing to take the bullets meant for me

armed with grace…

earlier bits

June 2013
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