Thursday, March 31, 2011

the beautiful mess

   someone asked me, "so how does it feel to be 32 years old?"
   "umm," i reply, "hold on while i short through the mess." suddenly i am a mime. eyes closed. hands in front of my body searching through an invisible file folder. the familiar sound of social laughter is outside my head and inside i stand in a hallway in my mind. it's dim and leads only to rooms with signs on the doors that say things like feelings, emotions, insecurities etc etc. each one the mess of an extreme hoarder.
    i  hear the voice. the familiar, loving, warm voice. "that's not your mess to short through." the doors in the hallway swing wide open revealing years of mess on top of mess. in a blink the rooms are clean. in another blink, it all returns.
   it seems hours have past and it hasn't even been many seconds. looking back at someone, my "filing hands" now folded in my lap, i smile. a real smile. a warm and genuine smile, i give my answer, "it feels really good." knowing later i will have to chat with Him who calls me beloved and ask Him to search me. to show me how to hand it all to Him. the beautiful mess which is not me but somehow i paste it on my face and then try to hide it. 
   why do i allow myself to jump through hoops for an enemy who wants nothing but my destruction? get thee behind me! for my Savior stands near. 
   later that day, in a room full of many, i see all the beautiful messes. standing around chatting with one another. eating. i wonder, why do we pretend? when everyone is suffering, everyone is full of junk. weather we know it or not. my chest heavy with burden for all of the messes standing in the room who do not know the Savior. where do they turn? who will clean them up and set them free? my gratitude feels as deep as forever and with no end. my humble new beginning fourteens years ago. their needs to be more beginnings. more, here in this room. with much all around i cry a silent prayer to the only One who is master of fixing all messes.  'Lord, may they see You. really truly see You. may they desire You. really truly chase after You.' and then, i am handed a slice of birthday cake.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

coffee with the king

   their was once a time i had coffee with the King every morning. it wasn't easy waking up before the kids, the husband, the chickens and yes, even the sun. i was coaxed out of bed before dawn by the lure of a small one cup coffee maker on my bedside table. the clock would scream its usual "GET UP! IT'S TIME! GET UP! SLEEP IS DONE!" and i trained myself to turn it off and press brew. the tiny one cup coffee maker would brew, perk a little and steam almost like an apology for the annoyance of the clock and gently remind me that i had a coffee date to wake up for.  every morning, for the longest time i would wake up like this and enjoy my first cup in the quiet of my prayer closet. sipping between repenting. sipping between giving thanks. sipping between asking for help in this and in that, and for him or for her. sipping between sobbing for those who don't yet know the sweet fragrance of the love song that plays in the background of coffee dates such as these.
   early morning coffee with my heavenly Father.
   so what happened you ask? obviously i'm not keeping this date as of late. no. i am not. i have been standing Him up. standing up the One who calls me beloved and blessed and desires nothing short of communion in spirit and to love on this broken child of His. one who needs desperately to be fixed of all the messy world-wounds, most of which i create myself. mind you, i am not totally neglecting my first Love, but i am reminded that my tithing time away from my comfortable bed, tithing my precious sleep, has been lost and forgotten and even accepted in my desire for more sleep. 
   not okay. not acceptable.
   forgotten in sickness. forgotten in depression. lost in my selfishness. all of which are just the things that close communion with He who is the Creator of all that is seen and unseen, can heal me from and set me forever free from.
   standing Him up. ouch! i am sure it hurts His heart by far more than mine and my desire is enlarged 10 fold for morning coffees with my heavenly Father again. for i know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He has been waiting for me. maybe not with coffee in hand at a set destination, but He always desires for us to go deeper with Him. deeper in Him. fall more madly, wildly, passionately in love with He who is Love. waiting and deserving more of me then my meal time prayers. then my while driving prayers. then my doing dishes prayers. then my cry for sanity prayers. a time, set aside for He who is the Great I am. 
   funny thing is, after a few weeks of waking up this way, i started waking up on my own not even needing the coffee or the alarm clock. surprisingly not even noticing a loss of sleep. as if He enjoyed our time together so well that He just gave me the inner wake up call and enough energy to spare to make it through my day on less sleep. gifted me the urge to wake up and be with Him alone, in the early hours of day. what a wonder...and i am reminded that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. james 1:17 shifting shadows. am i a shifting shadow? ever changing? not in this. i cannot be.
      excuse me, i have an alarm clock and small one cup coffee pot to go set up, for tomorrow i am having coffee with the King.   

Thursday, March 10, 2011

rx: stop smiling

   the other day while holding my daughter she bumped her head against my lower lip crushing it against my teeth. it split and bled. ever since i've been trying to keep either vaseline or chap stick on it. it seems to reopen otherwise.
   when my husband came home from work the next day he asked me what was going on with my lip. yes it was swollen and i was sliding it under the top lip, slippery in grease. i told him, "i keep smiling and opening it back up again."
    "you gotta stop smiling so it can heal," was his response.
   stop smiling so it can heal. i know he was talking about my lip but it spans the mess of who i am. i'd rather smile and forget. it gets me nowhere good.
   stop smiling so it can heal. stop smiling so that i can heal. stop smiling and let my face relax a little. let my eyes well up. allow the over flow of sadness, loss, hurt and whatever else needs to surface just be free. just simply be in the moment of who i might be if i let me be myself.  stop smiling and heal. it sounds like a good prescription. it sounds like a job for the Great Physician...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

burning the china cabinet

   the china cabinet shakes. from a once thought to be familiar source of hope for loose ribbons to be tied tighter, it grabs the top, the middle and even reaches the bottom where the delicate feet are carved in fine, rare, wood, and the whole cabinet is rocked. dishes once held dearly close to my heart were thrown from the shelves and their shattering can be heard echoing in my head over and over and over. every tiny piece of bone china that once gave purpose to the cabinet sang in a crescendo as slivers of glass nestled themselves in my skin because, of coarse, i was standing too close.
   a slow, deep breath of  fresh new oxygen replenishes my lungs and i am relieved of the duty of carrying these dishes any more. these delicately painted, reminders of waiting for something that will never arrive. i am able to sweep it all up, bag it and throw it into the trash receptacle; experiencing the shatter again when i toss it all in. each broken piece shifting in the bag as it settles into a resting place until "trash day".
   i feel heavy although relieved as i stare at the empty cabinet which now has no purpose. my fingers slide across the empty shelves and run smoothly over the carvings of a crafty man. i wonder how well it would be received by my husband and children if i took a hammer to it? making that lovely cabinet into nothing more then splinters to carry to the burn pile.
proverbs 13:12 says hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. what happens when that hope that has been deferred is suddenly extinguished? when the heart is already so sick with deferral, can it survive or is it impending doom? what about the longing fulfilled? the tree of life?
   i am the cabinet. shaken and now splintered. heading for the burn pile. those dishes i carried in the recesses of my mind, they looked so pretty from far away. once examined it looked as if they'd been used several times during a muddy picnic, with no washing after the flee of wind and rain. dirt i never had to display and only did by choice, sharing it with few. now handing it back to it's source. laying the messy pile in the lap of selfishness and guilt desguised as love.
   in the burn pile i am refined. the Lord sends dry winds and the flames burn hotter and lick the sky. they singe away all that has hurt my heart. in the fire i am repaired. refined. a burnt sacrifice.  i offer my brokeness up to Him that is the Great I am knowing He alone can heal my world-wounds with a comfort and love that no earthly father could ever provide. i will burn carved up, fine. rare wood and pray with all that is in me that i am to He who loves me most a fragrant sin offering making atonment for the sins of my father and his father and the ones before him as well. the hurt will stop here in Jesus name.