Hope and Soiled Hands

When small seeds of hope, planted in fresh soil, are stolen by the ravens it’s easy to become weary.

We toil in darkness on hands and knees. Prayer lifted in desperation can seem to hit empty air when the harvest waits.

Still, I’ve found hope doesn’t lie in seed. Hope lies in the waiting soul and the hands of the sower.

Tomorrow will grace us with newness and we can plow and dig. We can take life in our hands and cover it, willing, in the dirt and start a revolution. We can wet it with tears wrought in prayer. We can wait hoping for rain. We can harvest the rewards of diligence.

My hope isn’t in one seed. My victory not taken by one theft. My hope is bigger, stronger, cared for by work, and harnessed in faith. My hope, the anchor of my soul, is in the giver of life. I will win and I will rest in Him.

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Peace Out!

peace

“Praise the Lord!  I will praise the Lord with my whole heart.” Psalm 111:1

“Life’s full of tough choices isn’t it?” Ursula in The Little Mermaid

Let’s be real…life can be hard! We live in a culture that seems to chant the mantra, “Whatever makes you happy must be right.” Where did we get the idea that we were meant to be happy all of the time? It’s an unrealistic expectation to put on ourselves. Life will hit us with all kinds of tough stuff. Job loss, divorce, sickness, pain, relational drama, car accidents, stress, the list is long. The reality is that the good stuff is often born in our response to the bad stuff. We have a choice to respond in faith or in fear.

When we allow circumstance to drive us, we end up fractured. We kick and scream against the pain. We worry. We lose sight of the light in what appears to be overwhelming darkness. We forget that the light doesn’t ever stop shining even when it is blocked by the storm. Even when we can’t see it well, the sun is still shining. Our trust and faith should allow us to find it regardless of the current view.

I choose to live my life from a whole heart. I choose not to allow circumstance to dictate my joy and my compass. I don’t have to be happy, but I can choose to be whole. I WILL praise the Lord with my WHOLE heart. My heart is full even when my world seems empty. My heart is whole though the world seems broken all because I choose to believe in a God who sees me, who loves me, and who makes a way for me when there seems to be no way. He has always provided and He won’t stop now.

If life hits hard today, just keep moving. Realign your focus and choose to praise when you feel like panicking. Adjust your eyes to find the light. You have the choice. Peace isn’t the absence of trouble. Peace is the knowledge that trouble doesn’t win, doesn’t define us, doesn’t get to control us. Peace is found in praise and trust. Peace out everyone!

the simple things 

Rest, weary eyes, I’ll keep watch

Breathe in deep while I listen

Among the noise, tune into the sound of my voice, carrying you high above the chaos to a place of freedom

Too mired you’ve been in the temporal

Mud sticking to your shoes reminding you who you were, ash formed into beauty

I see you lovely. 

Awake among the leaves and learn to fly

Dust Buster

boy in duststorm

Photo credit: Arthur Rothstein, A young boy in dust storm, Oklahoma, 1936 PBS

 

“Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust” Isaiah 26:19

The dust hangs heavy in the air, swirling around hiding the light with haze.

It’s easy to become lost in the chaos, caught up as the torrent of fear flows by, catching us unaware, unprepared.

It’s easy to break and stumble. It’s easy to give in and crumble as the mud starts to cake, heavy, on our skin. We become a sculpture of something else, a figure we never expected to be.

The mirror betrays us. We can’t recognize the person staring back, glass eyes, with fire dimmed to ember.

But there’s a song, a melody resounding above the thickness and our eyes suddenly open to the wonder.

Open your mouth and sing along. Let praise emanate from within. Let it cleanse the air with the sweetness of Spirit. Let it wash the skin and mind with life.

Sing of His greatness, hear Him call you by name, and know that nothing else matters. He sees, He hears, and He adores you.

Figure of dust, know that you are a treasure, transformed by love song into beauty.

The Secret to Peace

walk on

I hear his sweet voice from behind the door. A squeaky, tired, “mom”, queuing me to come near quick. He stands in the middle of the bed looking at me with those tired eyes; bed-head pointing in each direction. I smile as he runs towards me. Wobbly feet carry him along, one resolve motivates his movement. He must get to mommy!

This same pattern repeats throughout the day. I work on my laptop on the couch as he plays with blocks. I print to the wireless printer across the room. The noise startles him as foreign sounds fill the room. He jumps to his feet suddenly and runs to my arms. Later, the thunder claps as the afternoon storm rolls in (if you’ve ever been to Florida in the summer time you will understand the severity of a little afternoon thunderstorm). The house shakes and rattles as he leaps into arms, safe and sound, secure knowing I’m near.

He, at 15 months, knows the secret to peace. Somehow it falls out of our awareness as we grow, older, wiser, more independent but the principle remains. True peace is found in the knowledge that we are loved and secure in the arms of one bigger and stronger than us. True peace is found in trust and surrender. It’s harder for us. The art of growing allows us to learn to believe in and rest in the arms of one unseen. Through faith, we know we are held. We often settle for comfort from other sources because it’s easier to lean on something with skin on. But skin fails, hearts grow weak and weary, wisdom falls victim to selfish ambition. People may fail us, but we are safe! We can be perfectly secure in the knowledge that there is one who never fails and He loves us more than we can fathom.

So today when your fears rise up and the thunderstorms rage and the rooms grow dark and you feel alone, call out. Run to the arms of The Lord. He is always near! He will never fail! He is completely trustworthy! Just as I smile and comfort my little one, He longs to comfort you. You are not alone!

Balance

Beach
She walks as if beauty lives in her eyes
In one hand she grasps the wind
One foot pressed firmly into the sandy substance of time
Purposeful peace released in her gaze
Prayer for the needy ones escapes on her breath
Effortless
She strolls alone through the hazy twilight 
She waits for me – (JD Oct. 2013)
2014 is just around the corner. It’s doing what most new years tend to do and coming up with lightning speed aiming to throw a wrench in my otherwise good intentions until I’m sitting still in December next year mulling over the year in review and wondering what I accomplished.
I spend a lot of time thinking about how to accomplish things. How to obtain balance in my overstuffed life is a theme that repeatedly comes to call. It knocks on the door of my heart each morning as I plan my day. It beckons me from the window of my soul each evening as I lie in bed. There are demands that vie for my attention each day and often I succumb to their weight until I’m crushed and defeated.
Then all at once, it hits me; I look around at the baby in my arms and the child squishing into the chair cozy next to my husband. I see that look in his eyes that reminds me how much he really loves me. It’s that moment reminding me that this is my life and it’s such a blessing. Suddenly, I’m overwhelmed, not by all of the crushing demands and responsibilities I take it upon myself to master, but by the wonder of how wonderful life is.
I’m reminded that the biggest reward of balance is peace. Perspective brings enormous meaning to the seemingly trivial. So I’ll begin my day and this new year remembering that of all the things I accomplish, the things that bring the most meaning are found in the simplest of places, the light in another’s eyes.