Me

I think I was me once, when nothing else interrupted the light.

I could call out and hear the echo of tomorrow, regardless, the darkness that threatened.

But I think I forgot

What does it mean to hold a candle and illuminate the shadow?

Am I here in the midst?

Am I breathing?

I guess we will know tomorrow.

And even if we don’t, I’ll get up and start again

Because that’s what it means to fight!

The embrace of every day

The inbounding hope that fills the gap between dark and dawn

We get up and go again and hope the light can find us when we’ve lost our way.

So step forward, one tentative step at a time

And keep going

One foot, then another.

Tomorrow brings no promise of light and life but it’s what we have.

So push through the breech and find your strength dear friend.

Tomorrow is worth the fight!

On falling and getting up

If I’m going to fall, can I please fall hard and hit my head?

Can there be concussion and bruising so I don’t look like a fool?

Can I rest in the “okay-ness” of my weakness?

If I do, do I have to wait for a diagnosis?

Fallen, in need of grace?

Can’t we just be human?

Wake up sleepers

Wake up church!

In the land of the living, an anchor holds

And we get to reveal it and show it to the masses

That’s enough

Love is enough

We can kick and claw and scream at the wind

We can cry behind closed doors

But we can’t stop reaching

For real love!

THAT is the anchor

Nails and thorns and mercy on a cross

And death giving way to victory

Who are you?

Who does He say I am?

Where is victory?

Can you see it today?

If not, look again.

It’s worth fighting for!

Time…in a bottle…or not…

Time is a funny thing.

It flies

It pauses

It groans for tomorrow

It longs for yesterday

It moves

In waves

While the world continues, as it seemingly stops for some

But it is.

Time is

And we grovel at it’s feet

And we wonder where the break pedal is

And we clasp onto what we can hold

And we long for bricks to put on top our children’s heads to stop the growth

All the while praying they will grow, healthy and strong, and prepared for tomorrow

I watch you grow and I beg for it to stop and continue while I sit like an Alanis Morissette lyric, contracting truths against each other.

And we grow and move

And live and have our being in the moment

Sweaters on backward and inside out and all

Until we feel the most of a new day

And breathe

Deep

Because today is wrapped in tomorrow and yesterday at once

And I am you and you are me together, bracing for the impact

Life is more than we see

Life is wrapped in the endless toil of a day well lived, and a tomorrow, begging for something

Whatever that may be

My tomorrow is different from yours

But it’s the same

The hand of God, making meaning, while we go

And that’s enough

At the end of the day, it’s enough

Forward motion makes for meaning

So RUN!

Then look at yesterday and today and smile

Knowing tomorrow is breath

And we’re all running

The embrace of more than time

When time stops do you feel it?

Is there a moment when everything is okay and the world is right and stands the test of time?

Or do we wait, with hunger, for another moment?

Maybe that’s the beauty.

Maybe the hunger fuels the fire for tomorrow.

I don’t know. I’m just you, reaching into the void, waiting for the voice of God to smile on my weakness.

Maybe clay cries out to potter longing for completion.

But the journey is worth the wait. So I’ll stand in the light, knowing the dawn is brighter.

And I wait because you’ve always met me there.

Nothing becomes something beautiful in your embrace. Sometimes it just takes a minute for me to catch up.

Who can imagine

I sit at the table of a hundred imaginings

Holding my breath for the light

And the darkness can feel suffocating at times

But the light encompasses

And I wait for the music to rescue so I can sing along

But tonight, melody is fleeting

But God…

Superlative and encompassing

Beautiful and victorious in the midst of me.

Hope can be found in breathes…in moments when I inhale and exhale song and melody and the brooding chaos of the ache.

Tonight, the song can capture the waking wonder and I can imagine tomorrow

And maybe that’s enough

I’ll keep you posted.

Exhaustion

Few times, in my life, have I ever felt this exhausted.

Blow me down like the air pumped into a balloon and I will pop

Mull me over with words and I will implode to nothing

Sink me in the earth with a step and I will cave to dust

Sleep is underrated to the, truly, tired!

The promise of heaven on a pillow where nothing comes in but surrender.

These are the nights that test the soul.

And I stand waking with the promise of dreams while the world slumbers.

Life is messy

Sleep is treasure and my pillow is screaming lullabies that should be quiet

In the place of the mind where the quiet goes to die, I wait

Until tomorrow when the siren blazes another day has come.

Until then, don’t speak or I may blow away.

When steal hearts rust, the breeze is threatening.

Goodnight world. I’ll see you on the other side.

Hope

If we don’t protect it, hope can feel like a balloon, filled to maximum capacity for a moment then let go to float into the air, sputtering, and flying unhindered.

Hope is so much more precious than this. I wish it were easy to tie the knot and seal it in all cozy and safe but even inflated balloons lose air over time.

There is only the constant application of pressure to save us. In the pressure, we stretch and hold firm to what we know. God is able. We are not alone! We can stretch farther than we think.

Don’t let gravity, the environmental circumstances of everyday, the pin-hole leaks in our defenses, deflate you. Keep your tank full! Let breath and air fill your lungs and your spirit. Lean in and believe.

Each breath is a moment in time lost once it’s accomplished. Steady your breathing. You can do hard things! And when it’s too much and you feel like you might burst, remember He is stronger than anything and He’s fighting with you and for you.

Breathe!

Hidden

Maybe there’s something poetic about hiding in plain sight.

Or maybe it’s weakness.

Or maybe it’s strength to stay composed while the world crumbles and stirs around you.

Maybe it’s survival. Maybe it’s faith.

Maybe I’m not hiding at all! maybe I’m standing.

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Job 13:15

On Neighbors and Whether They are Loveable

Unwittingly, and despite my best efforts, I am at war with my neighbors. Well, they live a few houses down, but same idea. It’s a silly feud, which I take partial responsibility for, though I revel at the length it has come to. I, as an empathetic pacifist, cannot fathom the depths one would take to prove their point…but maybe that’s just me against the world, who knows…

Still, tonight, I’m stuck in thought about the events transpiring to a war I never signed up to fight…a war waged against me with no retaliation or prompting, and I wonder at who we are…really as people locked in humanity…who are we?

My neighbors have never spoken to me, other than once when they cussed at me while I walked in the opposite direction. They don’t actually know me. They don’t know my situation or any of the events leading up to their alleged offense (which isn’t even proffered in actual evidence to date). They just accuse and assume. Never once have they asked if there was an issue or if they could help. Just accusatio) …

I should, I suppose, take it all in stride. I should ignore the onslaught of hostility towards me. That’s what my faith insists. Still, I want to fight. I want to defend. I want recompense. I am human.

My real point is, tonight, I realized something I had missed. In my concern for them and the circumstances, I forgot who I am for a minute and that is wholly unacceptable to me. I am a strong woman who has survived more than most. I have seen lives restored and hearts healed despite far more egregious and daunting obstacles. I am a freakin’ warrior!

Suddenly, in the face of threat, I am strong. Suddenly, when the world closes, I find an opening. Suddenly, when life jabs, I block. I am a fighter who doesn’t want to fight. I am a warrior who would lay down her shield if it meant you would be whole. I am STRONG!

I have to remind myself sometimes that I am who I am. Some nights, it takes a tear and a sword (not literally) to make me whole, but I AM whole!

I am who I am. Bring your worst and I’ll bring my best and let’s see what happens. I am me! I’ve made mistakes. I’ve been rude. I’ve been kind. I’ve been passive. I’ve been bold. I’m a warrior fighting to find tomorrow. Aren’t we all?

Still, what I know beyond all else, is that I WILL WALK IN LOVE!!! No one can take that away!!! No attack can make me forget that LOVE is the only thing that matters.

Go ahead and hate me and haunt me…I’ll be here with compassion and love wishing you the best tomorrow has to offer. That isn’t weakness, it’s strength!

What now?

There are many inconceivable stories around us every day that we haven’t heard. We have no idea what the person next to us has lived. We can’t conceive the stories that aren’t ours…that aren’t open to the vast space of the known. We hold glimpses not substance. We hold illusions and self-constructed paradigms, based on our own experiences. We can’t fully grasp the depth of the experience another has walked because we aren’t “another”. We are “we”, “us”, something separate peering in from beyond casting opinions.

And it’s almost inevitable. We do it. We can’t help it. I caught myself tonight. The judging voices from my worldview, looking upon someone else’s experience and thinking, huh???? Why is that so easy? Maybe it’s just our nature.

Regardless, I found myself looking at someone. They were saying a trigger from their past was causing them to look at a present circumstance and look for an exit route. My first reaction was (ashamedly) disdain. It seemed such a trivial thing. It seemed like something wholly redeemable. I tend to look at things as opportunities. If something from my past causes me to be triggered in my present, I want to rise above and kill the giant. I want to slay and once and for all triumph above the thing I know I really haven’t killed, but at least pretend I’ve brought light to the darkness. It’s my way of coping I suppose. But not everyone is wired that way and that’s okay.

I admire the strong who can say, “this is too much. I can’t right now.” Honestly, I’ve never been that brave. I have to conquer and do it anyway, damn the consequences to my own mental health. I figure all of that will work itself out eventually. But what if it doesn’t?

What if I’m left at the end with the trophies of my own self-proclaimed victories and an empty soul pleading that I was really trying to be strong? What if my desire for strength stifled my ability to lean in and find a strength to lean on?

I walk each day proclaiming the mantra that “I’ve got this” and all the while, I hear this small voice saying “My strength is made perfect in weakness”. And I KNOW this! And I lean on this, or pretend to, while I hold the world on my shoulders and pray against avalanches and earthquakes. Because I KNOW, I don’t “have this”. I need others. I need more than I alone can bring. I am not really the bionic woman I was named after (true story, I was named after the bionic woman’s character).

Yet, the weakness is the beauty. I am strong when I know I am weak. When I can stare at the wave about to toss me like a pebble and say, “You can’t break me”. Then feel myself being thrown about until the turbulence subsides…and I’m still standing in the end. That is strength. In that way, I am strong. And I hate that I’m so strong. Why do I always have to be so stinking strong?

Still, I can’t help but think that the beauty is in the response. What do we do with the giants we face down? Do we run and hide or dig deeper? Do we know at the bottom of the rockpile, there is a purpose only we can achieve? I suppose that may be the real question.

Maybe we as a people should quit running and face, with eyes ablaze, the next thing and then the next and then the next until we have finished our race.

I don’t know the answers but I know I will not go down without a fight and I will stop trying to be a lone warrior. I will find my army. Maybe it’s one or two to hold up my arms or whisper a quick, “you’ve got this”, when I feel like I’m going to break. Maybe it’s a tribe. But even when I break and crumble into a million pieces I trust the one who always puts me back together and I hope you do too. The breaking isn’t easy, but the beauty that comes from the rebuild is stunning. I’ll try to look for that beauty in others even when I’m tempted to get snarky and I hope you can see it in me as well.