Sight on loan from the maker of reality and I glimpse only a fraction of the picture
The parade of time marching before me and I am subject to the constraints of the sidelines
Deep calls to deep, leaving me wanting more
Spirit river laps gently
Calls me in, downward to the deep well
Subaqueous beauty pouring forth from printed page
the spoken word of the infinite Godhead
I’m allowed to fall into the spring
until I become fully submerged
I am pulled under until I’m drinking the cool liquid deep
into my lungs and I drown in the glory
Under the surface of earth I find life
Streams making glad the river of God
I am undone
Fully consumed in His presence where I can rest tonight
It’s been a whirlwind of a week. School’s back in session. The big kids started last Monday while the littlest guy comes to work everyday with me. I’ve been back at work for several weeks now since having the baby. Honestly, I didn’t really take a maternity leave at all. I stayed away from the office for about a week and a half, all the while answering calls and questions from home, then packed baby man up and headed in. I’m so thankful that having the baby with me at work is an option. I realize that I am blessed abundantly!
Still, I’d cut back on my hours of actual office time. I’ve been working from home a little more and also reminding myself that the world will not end if I don’t accomplish everything in one day. For some reason when school started on Monday, it felt like my (imagined) maternity leave was over. My hectic schedule is back in full swing. I’m busy with backpacks and lunch boxes and drop off and pick up. Now I’ve got diaper bags and feeding schedules and an infant screaming in car-rider line added to the mix. I know many of you can relate to this.
Let’s face it, life can get a bit chaotic from time to time. Yet, somehow in the midst of this, we are expected to dig deep and pull out the gifts within us and do something great with them. For years, I shelved most of my writing. I didn’t bother sharing many of my original songs because I knew I wouldn’t have time to invest in finishing them and performing them. I allowed the chaos to overtake me.
Thankfully I’ve learned that the only way I can truly live is to dig deep. All those things I shelved for later are the very things that bring me peace today. A life of order and balance includes our passions. If we don’t allow our passions the fuel and air they need, we will suffocate beneath the weight of the mundane.
This week, in the midst of the hectic, I took a few seconds to breathe, to write, to pray, to snap a picture or two in the yard. I am alive and free. Don’t let the jungle swallow your soul. Let your soul be the soil for beauty to flourish.
I’m in love with you
the light in your eyes when you look at me
the smile that graces your lips when I am near
the sound of your laughter
the sound of your voice
the faithfulness in your hands
the strength of your spirit
you are a rock that steadies my anxious heart
you are a pillar I lean in to when the ground seems shaky
all elixir, I can drink in and enjoy
it’s an honor to be your wife
did I mention that I’m in love with you?
Singular, I stand, speaking to the air
Lost, all things escaping my lungs, gobbled up in earthen noise
Singular and driven as my arms flail like ribbons at the mercy of the wind
Together we accomplish more
As one we cry
One voice lifted above the madness
One army united before the fray
Joined to free the captives
Joined to free ourselves
I can be cynical and critical by nature. I blame the gift of discernment. I once heard someone say that our greatest weaknesses are our greatest strengths overextended. My intuition and wisdom can lead to an attitude fast if I don’t temper it. That aspect of love from 1 Corinthians 13:5-7 where love thinks the best of people and not evil does not come naturally to me. It’s something I have to be diligent about. I’m constantly crucifying my wary self to allow someone a bit more like Christ to come out.
This morning, I may have found the key to this in Psalm 20,
“May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;
May He remember all your offerings,
And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah
May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,
And fulfill all your purpose.
We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.
Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
They have bowed down and fallen;
But we have risen and stand upright.
May the King answer us when we call.”
I’m determined today to have a Psalm 20 heart toward every one I meet. I will cast my cynicism aside and choose to think the best about others. I will pray that they be strengthened and encouraged and that their prayers would be answered. I’m thinking if it will be a lot easier to truly love others when I’m busy thinking good things and praying blessings upon them. Let’s all find practical ways to honor those around us today.
We’ve had a lot of rain over the past month here in Southwest Florida. The ground is saturated and consequently when more rain comes, we flood. The odd thing is that most of our street is high and dry, but our yard is a swamp. It’s inconvenient in a lot of ways. We can’t mow certain areas so the wild is overtaking the manicured. Bugs are invading the house more than normal.
If you’ve never visited South Florida, I can tell you that it is an education in strange bugs and arachnids. We have some mega spiders and odd-looking creepy crawlers. Most of these don’t bother us a bit, but I have to admit that spiders the size of my hand appearing in the bedroom (as a general rule) do not inspire happy thoughts in me.
I warn my son daily to be on the lookout for snakes and gators when he’s playing in the yard. Living by a canal, we usually look out for these anyway, but with the extra water, comes extra cottonmouths and you never know when and where a snake will pop up as we learned earlier this year (The Snake in the House).
Despite all of this, I’ve been intrigued by the water. It’s random beauty standing out from the otherwise consistent. The fact that it’s just our yard strikes me as well. It’s like God sending a little beauty just for us, washing us with the water, changing the landscape. Sure, problems sometimes come with the beauty. God never promised us a life of roses and relaxation. The greatest character is built through the storms and the chaos. In the midst of these, we learn to trust him and find the wonder. In that, he is glorified and we are changed a little more into his image.
I pray I always find the wonder in the midst of the flood, that I find the beauty in the chaos, that I look for the ways he’s romancing me and reminding me of his love. Nothing he does is haphazard. He paints the skies with us in mind. He plants flowers to amaze us. He smiles at us in the midst of the brokenness, wraps us up in his love and inspires us to be completely his. There is truly nothing better than that.
Stretched thin am I as faith and fear collide
Cascading plans, as towers, tumble to the waiting ground
Opens up to absorb them
Covers them with dust
All other ground is sinking sand
And I hover, helpless to save
In breath, I reach
Stretched upward like flame pulled higher
I become vapor
Seated on the air
Growing wings that carry me to the heavens
Prayer whispered, measured in golden bowls before Him
Worthy of all my praise
Worthy of all my trust
I gaze at the empty place my plans once stood
Knowing His are better
Knowing tomorrow He’ll open the heavens and restore all that was swallowed by the hungry ground.
Stretched am I as my fear and faith collide
Stronger I am on the other side.
Morning view from my back porch
This morning I wasn’t myself. Don’t ask me who I was…just someone different.
All the things on my mind were hazy under the fog still attached to me from lack of sleep. Ambitions for coming endeavors sat numb on my tongue. Words came out but didn’t really connect with my brain. I told the Lord I really had nothing to say. No inspiration was moving my spirit to action.
In that soft and loving way He sometimes speaks, I heard him say, “How about saying thank you?” Then baby man smiled at me and I remembered stopping to watch the way the light slowly illuminated the backyard with the dawn as I walked by the window. I remembered the rise and blend of colors in the sunrise as it peeked over the trees. I thanked Him. I am so blessed!
Days come when I struggle to muster up words, divine things to move big mountains, revelations to bend will into submission to spirit. I try to inspire and encourage others and myself with grandeur, love and perspective. Maybe everything would fall into place if I woke up tomorrow and remembered to thank Him.
I write this now when things are good to remind myself on days when life seems ‘not so good’. His faithfulness is never dictated by my circumstances. Future self, remember to give thanks in everything!
I think I would love to lead a group of imaginary people.
I could preach for hours and imagine their response as they are moved by my words.
I could lead them in worship and see them cry out to the Lord in praise.
I could watch them as they are moved to tears when I hit that ‘big’ note.
I could show them love and compassion.
I could give them imaginary money when they are in need.
I could take them shopping and spoil them a little from time to time.
I could have them over and cook them a splendid imaginary dinner.
See them respond in amazement at my awesome cooking skills. Move over Rachael Ray!
They’d always heed my advise.
I’d always be nice.
They’d always be on time.
My kids would never whine.
They’d laugh at all my jokes.
Nothing would ever begin to feel rote.
As excitement fills the air, I’ll let each one of them share.
Ah, imaginary people would be fun, but I’d never get anything of substance done.