Sunday, May 13, 2018

Hello there...

I read an article, years ago, about how women frequently have their self-identity wrapped up in some way with their homes. So a messy, cluttered home makes a woman feel herself to be anxious and disorganized, etc.This resonated with me and part of why I love this house so much is that I do feel that it in so many ways represents Me.

Would you like to come and see my house? Would you like to visit it and hear her story?

She is old now and a little scruffy as to yard and shutters,
The wood siding covered with vinyl-- less glamorous, but more practical.
Don't we all turn to the practical as we age?
Her yard is lush and welcoming, but there are the scars of many happy hours of
Kickball, soccer, tag, and garden-of-statues
She has always welcomed children.
Come on in.

The front door has been replaced. It sits a little sideways in the frame
And the doorknob tends to fall out when guests attempt to leave.
As though she were saying: no, don't leave yet, 
Chat a little while longer, have another coffee
What is out there that you need so badly? 
Stay and rest.

Stepping across her threshold in the morning or in the evening, in particular, 
Light pours through the windowed walls, the french doors, the transoms.
Dust motes and dog hair dancing in sunbeams.
The light is the first thing that drew me to this house.
I thought, walking across this threshold will always lift my spirits
Here is joy.

"She's built like a tank, this house" the inspector told us.
There is an old crack in the foundation, you can see it,
But whatever geological catastrophe caused it has been well-weathered.
The floors creak, and there's a definite slope in the upstairs hall,
But she has settled well and rests on solid ground,
Unshakeable

Her walls are silvery gray.
Underneath are layer upon layer of past fads of garish blues and greens,
But here in her old age, she's taken on the restful colors;
Gray, silver, wood, brick, and beige.
She is a calm cocoon of light and gray,
A wise blend.

And out of every window you can see a dogwood tree,
Or a cherry, crab apple, lilac-- abundant blossoms.
I sit on the back deck, high up in the dogwood, and write,
And ponder, and dream, as old things do. 
My thoughts wandering out over the railing, across the mountain,
At peace here.

Monday, January 8, 2018

#wordoftheyear2018

I've finally found my word for 2018 and I"m excited to share about it, but first, a review....

The word for me in 2017 was Steadfast. When the Lord put that word on my heart a year ago, I could never have foreseen what was in store for us, nor how significant that word would be. 2017 was apparently a rough year for a lot of people, if FB statuses in my friend groups are any indication... It was rough for us, too. So much heartache, so much brokenness, so much stress and grief around us at every turn. But the Lord remained Steadfast in His graciousness to us. And He upheld me in my commitment to remain Steadfast in my various areas of responsibility (marriage, parenting, business, self-care, friendships, etc). It was a good word for a year full of difficult, but rewarding growth. And even in the midst of the raging storm around us, our little family was sheltered and kept safe.

Unfortunately, as a flawed human who tends always to over-correct in every direction of growth, I think I have let the difficulty of this year sink in a little too deeply. I think my Steadfastness has begun to harden into stoicism, even tinged with some resentment, as I've persevered under pressure. I was particularly convicted recently by a brief conversation with a family member. She said, in the midst of a conversation, "you don't seem very happy." Not in a scolding way, I read compassion in those words. (Not to worry, M.!) But the Lord was pricking my conscience... That brief comment came as a lightbulb moment at the end of a week or two of subtle hints and pondering-- and then at breakfast yesterday morning at my aunt's house, pulling this coffee cup at random out of the cupboard, the final confirmation: 



Psalm 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.


There it is. My word of 2018. Rejoice. I'm meditating on small moments, simple mercies, the everyday beauty-- noticing the Joy in the midst of the brokenness. But I'm also looking forward and rejoicing in the hope of the day that all is healed, becomes new. I have been bearing precious seed, I've been planting and tending and in many cases, watering with tear. I will hold fast to this promise that I will one day see my harvest.

I want to combine what I've learned about Steadfastness this past year with a trusting lightness of Spirit, casting my cares on Him, resting on His promises. His loveliness, and His love, is all around me.

Lord, teach me to find the joy.