Posts

Showing posts from January, 2011

Influence

Image
It has been a long while since I have posted anything here. I have been busy completing three years toward my B.A. in English and my senior year is underway. My current class (Creative Writing) has finally given me the space to take off the tight harness of academic writing rules, and it feels SO GOOD!! After reading my first assignment, Mom and Daddy gave it their thumbs up and suggested I make it a blog post, so here it is. It is my story and their story. It's a little longer than my usual posts, but as with everything I have ever posted here, I pray it encourages you to run "up the sunbeam to the sun" (C. S. Lewis).


"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV


I sat above them on the stairs. Looking down through the window-like openings in the partition between the living room and the stairway, I listened to the basketball players, football players, baseball players, wrestlers, track athletes, both the lettermen and the also-…

In a Season of Fog

Image
--
Inhale . . .
Exhale . . .
Breath of earth . . .

With the fall of eventide the ocean sighs a soft slow breath and the fog overwhelms the shore in giant-scale waves like the ones that crash on the beach. Air weighs heavy, time suspends, vision diminishes and things of size and substance disappear as everything is swallowed in the swirl of minute drops of water flowing like the ocean from whence they came.

Fog has been a frequent visitor this winter, more so than any other I remember.  One night as I drove, fog lights brightening the cloud around me, the fog was so thick, I literally could not tell where I was.  All the usual landmarks and street signs, intersections and buildings were completely shrouded from sight.  At times I couldn't even tell where the curb was to follow the contour of the street. Even though I was never more than 3 miles from home, on a route that practically has my own personal groove in it from repeated trips, I could not navigate in the fog.  
Is this my turn…

So That You May Overflow

Image
--
My keyboard has been beckoning.

I have been avoiding.

My mind is a blank.  A void, empty, white page.

The old fear oozes and drips from my workspace in the dining room and I recoil even as I am drawn close.  I deeply long to write, but . . . what if I've had my last idea worth writing for eyes other than my own?  What if I've already shown my last picture worth seeing?  What if my own limitations are all I have to draw from and all my ideas are exhausted?

Fear notwithstanding, it is hope that drives me to sit once more, to finger-dance across the keys whose letters are wearing off, to haltingly put the spark of an idea into black-on-white.  It is hope that pulls me like a magnet to grab my camera and go in search of inspiration--IT always finds ME!


Fear notwithstanding . . . because ultimately fear never can withstand HOPE.
Hope--the silver lining that compels me to KNOW the sun is above and beyond the menacing cloud!

Hope--the WILL to TRY before the idea has shown its face …

A Lesson From Hezekiah's War Room

Image
--

Sometimes you look up and all you can see is a tangle of details and circumstances and you can't begin to see a way through.  Ever been there?

Maybe for you it is the daily chaos of being a young mom with little ones, trying to cope with all the demands on your time and energy.

Or maybe your tangle is the pit-in-your-stomach-producing thought of your finances in this very uncertain economy.

Maybe you have big responsibilities at work and the expectations from above and the truth on the ground seem impossible to reconcile.

Maybe for you it is the weight of your own potential and the feeling that you don't know how to put it all together or that your resources don't match your dreams.

For Hezekiah, king of Judah, it was a threatening, taunting, mocking letter from Sennacharib, king of Assyria who was trying to undermine his leadership and take over Judah.  The threats were real, devastating attack was imminent and everything was at stake.  But Hezekiah, unlike so many kin…

Stumbling Heavenward

Image
--
I don't know whether I'm relieved . . . or numb . . . or just quiet.  I'm glad it's over.  It had better be over.

There is just so much to process.  I want to do like I always told my kids about playground politics at school and "be a duck"--to just let it all slide off my back like a drop of water off a duck's feathers.  I want to . . . but it's hard.  The tape in my head keeps looping on the words they chose and threw at him--words that charged, tried and convicted . . . words without understanding . . . or grace.  I keep seeing my mind's video of the superior expressions, the smiles that felt cold, the judgmental, down-the-nose looks, the moments of thinly veiled aggression that felt so out of place, there of all places.

It felt like a room full of fences that divided us from each other.



I recall too that there were words of real understanding and reaching out from one who sounded genuine.  Finally a moment that felt like love. I try to hold…

Words that Ring On

Image
"It's your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words.  . . . Words are powerful; take them seriously." Matthew 12:34b & 36b MSG


Sitting in the library, I work.  I study.  I stretch my ideas out, smoothing out wrinkles and unfolding them to see what they are.

There, surrounded by syllables, I can feel the thrum of thoughts, all those thoughts in all those books.  In the quiet I can hear clanking swords . . . and tender declarations of love . . . and the roar of cheering crowds as I feel the unseen motion of the countless pulsing stories.

Oh the stories that ride on words!
Real and imagined, the good ones are ALL true stories.
I plunge in . . . in to the flow of word-smithing and I pursue my King who is the Word.  He is the origin of all human desire to make known the thoughts we think.  He desired to communicate, and we as His image-bearers, desire to communicate too.  It is evidence of our likeness to Him that we want to sculpt and play and work in words…

Life Under the Mistletoe

Image
First, let me say that I understand why you will think this should have been a Christmas post when you see that I'm writing about mistletoe.  However, this time, my thoughts about mistletoe actually have little to do with Christmas, and maybe when you've read it, you'll think of mistletoe at times other than Christmas too.  Let's see . . .


I had never seen mistletoe growing until I moved to California when I was 18.
I had only ever seen the stiff plastic Christmas decoration kind, or the overpriced, wilted, bedraggled bits of it tied with a crumpled red ribbon that they'd sell alongside live Christmas trees.  All I knew was that I found it both a little thrilling and a little terrifying to be at social events where there was a sprig of mistletoe hung somewhere strategic, plastic or otherwise. Well, nothing magical ever happened to me under the mistletoe, but I always liked the idea of the tradition anyway.
As I said, never having seen how mistletoe grew, I was so surp…

Shattering the Shadow of Evil

Image
"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."
Ephesians 5:15-16NIV 2010

" . . . because the days are evil."
Evil is a strong word.

Evil is a word some are afraid to say, thinking it "intolerant," which no one wants to be in a world where TOLERANCE is seen as the greatest good.

But evil is real.

We are well acquainted with the symptoms of evil, but it's "nicer" to call someone "misunderstood" rather than evil.  It's more politically correct to speak in societally acceptable postmodern gobbledygook about "my truth" or "doing what's right for me."

Then something happens that is so glaring, so stark in its evil that most of us have no qualms about saying the word and applying it where it fits.  The shooting in Tucson is such an event. While less widely publicized, there are murders and other violent crimes every day that are bare…