30 November 2010

Memories of redemption

David Wheeler posted the following Random Acts of Poetry challenge:

This week, I dare you to write a poem about Noel Ghosts. There's an old tradition of telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve. Charles Dickens is perhaps most famous for his: A Christmas Carol. Be they spirits of Christmases past, present, yet to come, or altogether fantasy, I love a good ghost story.
My thoughts wandered back a short eleven years ago to my first Christmas with Christ in my life. As I stood in a church or Christmas Eve singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing (peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled) I knew that I had been both redeemed and forever changed.

Who was and Is and Is to come
Who waited patiently
through tinsel, glitter
and lights
escalators jammed
with those sweating warm
in winter wools
ascending to
the higher floors
to secure the choicest gifts
and finding more
of nothing.

Who Was and Is and Is to come
Who wrapped a gift
for me, not hidden
yet left unseen
year after year after
meaningless year.

Who Was and Is and Is to come
Who never stopped
knocking
until I was seeking
and finally asking
to find my centre
not in the tinsel, glitter
and lights
but in His love
unwrapped
revealed and received.

Another time, another tree
where sweetly drops
the blood
of reconciliation.
Who Was and Is and Is to come
born to live
and die
for me.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord God, He Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty (the Ruler of all) Revelation 1:8 Amplified

I am also submitting this as my Wednesday One Shot at One Stop Poetry

Rejoicing

This morning I am rejoicing in the overwhelming sense of victory and wonder at all that God has done as I determined to surrender again and again to His leading, allowing me to write Redeeming Silence, the story that He chose.

Last night, even knowing I still had today to complete the NaNoWriMo 50,000 word challenge, I felt the need to press hard and get it done, in a sense compelled to feel the breaking of the tape at the final lean into the finish line.

To anyone I have ignored or neglected during this past month of hiding out in front of the keyboard, please forgive me.

To my beloved Rick, nothing I do would be possible without the love you allow God to pour through you. I will continue to lean on your encouragement and support as I work with and trust in our God to complete what He has begun.

I have may have reached 50,000 words, but the story has much more to go. I pray that with His strength I have the courage, boldness and conviction to see it through.

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me Philippians 3:12 NKJV

26 November 2010

Momentary rest

Feathers fluffed
against the wind
this chickadee
finds momentary rest
a frozen foothold
providing peace.

The intensity of NaNoWriMo is coming to an end. November has slipped past me and I have likely missed many things along the way. The work God has begun in me and through me shall continue as December turns the calendar but perhaps with a bit more time to participate in life as it continues all around me.

May I also find my foothold, strong and secure, in the shadow of His wings.

24 November 2010

Imperfect Prose - Horses

Jessie was tall for her age, all gangly arms and legs, so thin she looked as if a rough touch would snap her in pieces. Her hair, the colour of weak coffee hung straight and limp without a curl or wave, cut chin length with bangs. During the days of summer her skin would turn a deep golden brown, for she stayed outside as much as possible, but when driven indoors for the winter she would grow pale, her thin skin almost transparent. This had the effect of making her green eyes seem larger than usual, deep, glowing, following every movement around her, every sound. She was skittish, like a racehorse, easily startled, ready to run and hide whenever she sensed danger.
She truly loved the animals she resembled, tearing out magazines pages that had pictures of horses, talking about them, pretending she was riding when she sat straddling swings in the park.

“If I had a horse I could ride away. I could ride away anytime I wanted” she would say to her brother Jack.

“When you are dreaming up horses, get one for me too” Jack would reply “and I’ll ride away with you.”

Jack had already seen too many things that a boy of eleven should never see, the ripping of clothes, welts rising on his mother’s arms and legs and bruises on his own skin when he stood in her place and took blows that were intended for her. An icy hardness had developed deep inside and a fierce protectiveness. He would lie in bed at night and promise that he wouldn’t let anyone get hurt. Each time he failed to keep that promise he heaped the blame upon himself.

“It’s your fault” repeated voices in his head. “You’re just not good enough to stop this.” He didn’t know how to shut out the voices, the thoughts, the blame.

One night, when all was silent and he couldn’t sleep, he wandered out into the living room. Larry was sleeping or passed out on the sofa and Jack found a couple of beer cans that were still half full. He took them back to his bedroom quickly. He had tasted beer before and did not at all like the flavour. Holding his nose, he drank quickly, from one can and then the next. He started giggling almost too loudly when he heard himself burp. The taste lingered, so he decided to go back to the kitchen for a pop to wash it away. There was a strange, unstable feeling beneath his feet, and he fell back on his bed. In the spinning, he found a softness, a blur, as the voices grew faint. He struggled to remain awake, enjoying the unusual sense of peace, but sleep overtook him. He had found his horse, his getaway.



Stop by Emily's In the Hush of the Moon for more words imperfect.

Monochrome interrupted

Colours fade
winter's truth
displayed in whites
and blacks
and shades of grey.
The eye locks on
the joy of red
the almost blue
of drifted snow
yet in the monochrome
rainbow dreams
sustain a heart
through too many months
of brittle cold.
Lonely, yes
but in the vast
silence
there is space
to hear
what summer's noise
distorts
crisp, fresh, clean
and straight to the heart.





Come visit One Stop Poetry to read more One Shot Wednesday poems


23 November 2010

The moon was full

Sunday night
clouds cleared
the presence of the full moon
filled the yard
drifts of snow on glittering display
in the frozen chill.

Our eyes could see more
than they camera lens would capture
in the light
and the chill
of the moon
so full.

The magnificent spruce
that crowns our front yard
seems to have lost it's head
to the camera
when indeed branches reach up
almost high enough
to touch that same moon.

A reminder
that there is so much more
than what we think we can see
and the Lord we serve
continues to entreat us
"Look up. Look up and find Me."

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” Revelation 4:1 NIV

Linking this morning to L.L. Barkat's Seedlings in Stone for On, In and Around Mondays

and Unwrapping this gift with Emily at Chatting at the Sky.

22 November 2010

Covenant

I'm pouring out about about covenant today at the Marriage Counter at Internet cafe Devotions.




Stop by for a cup and while you're there check out what some of our others writers are sharing.



19 November 2010

Drifting

If you had only heard the reported amount of snowfall yesterday you would not have believed what the world looked like around us last night and this morning.

Rick's truck didn't make it home yesterday, sliding to a stop across our gravel road about half a mile from the house.

The drifting continued along with new snow through the night. Rick phoned in to work to say "If you want me there, you're going to have to come get me" and we were both surprised when they did just that!

I never went out, even to take pictures, preferring the warmth inside. The picture above is another day, another year. I used the day to to try to write, with NaNoWriMo and an article on deadline for the Marriage Counter at Internet Cafe Devotions.

I sat to type, my head pounded. I got up to look out at the snow. My head pounded. I read emails, I looked at the snow. I wrote a few words. My head pounded. I chatted on the phone. I wept before the Lord. My head pounded. I read some blogs and prayed about the state of our yard. I got up to look out the window at the snow. Outside and inside, drifting continued. A friend prayed on the phone about my headache. I ate some cheese. I wrote the words God provided.

A neighbor arrived to plow and blow snow, working to clear the yard. Rick was delivered home, safe and sound and is back outside shoveling what can't be plowed.

Inside I remain, headache still hanging around on the fringes. More words will come as He wills. I am warm. I am sheltered. I am blessed.

And drifting continues.

18 November 2010

Imperfect Prose - Snippet

I'm accepting a large dose of the Lord's courage and boldness and sharing a bit of my NaNoWriMo work-in-progress. It certainly qualifies as imperfect prose.

Instead of turning on the television Jessie opened her new Bible. She re-read the verses she had already read in Johnny’s Bible and they did seem to be a little bit easier to understand. “Maybe I’m not too dumb to get it” she thought. “Maybe I can learn what it all means.”

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

If she became a child of God, that would mean that God would be her father. Jessie closed her eyes and tried to imagine what it would feel like to know that God was her father, but because she never knew a father she couldn’t put the pieces together. She never knew that a father should love you; she only was told that a father leaves you.

She had a night filled with dreams of babies and fathers coming and going. Some of the babies were taken home and others were left behind. There were babies that screamed and babies that were silent. In the dreams Jessie was trying to unlock the secret of which babies were loved but there was no predictable pattern to it. It seemed to have nothing to do with the babies and everything to do with the men who were supposed to be their fathers.

In the last dream of the night, all of the babies that had been left behind grew up very quickly and as adults, all of them were holding up signs with writing in different colours that said “There is something wrong with me.”

Jessie woke up thinking “That’s exactly how I feel, but if it wasn’t the babies’ faults then maybe it wasn’t my fault either.”

“I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions if I were you” said the voices, though they sounded a bit muffled.

“Maybe I was already jumping to conclusions” she answered back “and they were the wrong ones.”


Stop by Emily's In the Hush of the Moon to read more or perhaps even share some of your own words imperfect.

17 November 2010

Peels and layers

I am in the middle of NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. I have surrendered my words to the Lord, allowing Him to write His story through me in whatever way He desires. Not only do I have to give up any sense of control I must also yield to His timing. It is my own lack of patience that prompted today’s One Shot.

My approach
to dicing an onion
is to chop through
both ends
then make a long
shallow
cut
part way through
removing skins
and flesh
in one action
to get to the clean
usable
fruit
my impatience
rewarded
with time saved.

God’s approach
is painstakingly
slow
as He peels
layer after
paper thin layer
concerned
not only
with result
but process.

In the midst
of my frustration
gratitude flows
in tears
of thanksgiving
for in His abiding
deliberate patience
my very life
was saved.

The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people's conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 Amplified




Stop by to read more One Shots at One Stop Poetry

16 November 2010

What His hand has done

Our favourite way to get to the city 2-1/2 hours away where we can find a variety of shops not available in our small town is to travel the main road through the National Park. Morning or evening, no matter the season, we never fail to see the beauty displayed there.

Snow covered ground
muffled the noise of traffic
speeding past
not taking the moment to savour
what open eyes could see.

How quick are we
to ignore the hand
that painted the frost
with such precision
on each twig
of each branch
of each limb
on every tree?

This day, we stopped, to capture just a glimpse, to praise not merely the creation, but He Who created, all for His pleasure.

Yes, it made the journey just a little bit slower, but richer and more joyful for the opportunity to worship and wonder.

And who do you think is the father of rain and dew, the mother of ice and frost? You don't for a minute imagine these marvels of weather just happen, do you? Job 38:29-30 The Message

L.L. Barkat hosts us as we write about place for On, In and Around Mondays. Find more at her blog Seedlings in Stone.

Also, stop by Emily's Chatting with the Sky and share what you're unwrapping today.

13 November 2010

This place is not my home

Our barn kitten Pepper is experiencing his first winter, the cold and wind and feel of snow beneath his feet. He rests for awhile in the straw bale hallway to Faith's doghouse.

Faith doesn't use her house until temperatures drop near -20 or worse.

Some nights instead of returning to his place in the barn, Pepper has found warmth and comfort in this shelter that is not really his home.

So too do I seek shelter in a place that's not my home.

Let me take what comfort this world offers
as well as all its trials
knowing beyond knowing
that it's only for awhile.

Perhaps this is a more profound picture than I first believed, for what better place to dwell on this earth than in the house of faith?

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
John 14:1-3 NIV

11 November 2010

Imperfect Prose - Day of Remembrance

The fog was chased away
at last
by snow
descending
through the night
a blanket, clean
fresh, sparkling
awaited morning's
rising light
and in the muffling
of noise
silence honors
and recalls
those who fell
and those who stand
to purchase freedom
for us all.

As we remember and pay tribute to those who gave their lives, spend time today in worship of the One Who gave His life, One life for all, forever, eternally.

Lest we forget.

Even as [truly as] the Father knows Me and I also know the Father--and I am giving My [very own] life and laying it down on behalf of the sheep.


Stop by Emily's In the Hush of the Moon for more words imperfect





10 November 2010

Enough Fog

Fog settles
here
a blanket not
warm
or welcomed
but thick with dark
as if morning
can not quite
begin.

Damp hovers
between
almost warm
and the freezing point.

I wait
not quite patiently
for clarity
decisiveness.
Yes
even if snow
shouts victory.


Stop by One Stop Poetry to read more One Shot Wednesday poems.

09 November 2010

Tuesdays Unwrapped - Loving support

A word, a touch, a knowing glance, all these from the man who shares my life and knows me better than anyone else who walks the earth. He is the one who grounds me by reminding me to set my focus on the rock.

When I am scattered he helps me find my centre.
When I am battered by arrows flung by the enemy, he fights for me in prayer.
He makes me believe I can be better than I think I am.

Today I am unwrapping the gift of Rick, my beloved husband, the one who reminds me to breathe in the life Christ died to grant me. My prayer is that I offer him the same.
Stop by Emily's Chatting at the Sky to see what others are unwrapping today,

His call remains the same

L. L. Barkat asked us to write a catalog poem for Random Acts of Poetry. I rarely work for rhymes, but when the Lord provides them I can't refuse.

The Lord is calling His people with a call as true and genuine as He Is, Was and ever will Be.

For Jesus doesn't change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he's always totally himself. Hebrews 13:8 The Message

He calls to me, He calls to you
beloved come away.
He calls to you, He calls to me
to drop our nets, follow.
He calls to me, He calls to you
let Me untangle every snare.
He calls to you, He calls to me
let this be the day.
He calls to me, He calls to you
in truth there is release.
He calls to you, He calls to me
to walk His narrow way.
He calls to you, He calls to me
find comfort, joy and peace.

His call to all
with ears to hear
clear, simple yet profound
repentant hearts will find Him

if they would but turn around.

Stop by The High Calling Blogs to read what other writers are sharing as Random Acts of Poetry

06 November 2010

Revealed glory

The camera catches what I can not. All I could see when I ran outside in the chill of the morning was a deep vibrant pink stretching across the yet dark sky. The spreading of the light, in brilliant streaks of gold, was hidden from my natural eyes.

So too, is His glory invisible to those who do not yet have eyes to see.

And His brightness was like the sunlight; rays streamed from His hand, and there [in the sunlike splendor] was the hiding place of His power.
Habakkuk 3:4 Amplified

05 November 2010

Word fight

Boxing glovesImage via Wikipedia
For many years,
I had left poetry
behind
and for reasons of His own
in this season
my Lord has led me
back to rhythm,
meter
and rhyme.
If I try to force
a poem
what flows is prose.
With fictional prose as my goal
the words tumble out as poetry.

Words with a life of their own
seem to have donned boxing gloves
and taken to the ring.

So I wait before the Lord
Who has a story
He desires unfolded
and I lay out adjectives,
verbs, nouns
like a jigsaw puzzle.

I ache for these newly developed
characters
that they would know Him.
Then I think
how much more He grieved for me
before I turned.

I am behind in my word count for NaNoWriMo, but feel I can only move as quickly as He allows. I am not writing my story this year, but instead I have surrendered to Him and will allow Him to lead me.

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04 November 2010

Imperfect Prose - Impatient Hare?

I would never accuse myself of moving too fast. I feel large, sluggish and slow. Joint pain often restricts even the simplest of movements. Yet what I see and feel in my natural self does not hinder my spirit.

That spirit jumps, races, sprints. That same spirit is what my Lord looks at. To the surprise of my natural mind, He is asking me to slow down.

I am teaching you to wait on Me. This is not easy for you, not easy for any flesh.

Yet you do surrender, bit by bit, even as pasrts of you struggle to hold on.

Hold on instead to Me.

We have come far together, My little one, but there is more, so much more to come.

Sometimes you want to leap where only a small step will do. Trust that I already know the way, for I created the path.

Wait. Be still. Know that there is progress even so.

I can hear your voice, your "but Lord....." and ask again if you can simply trust Me.

Have I not yet proven to you that when there is a need to move quickly in your life I move very quickly indeed.

Speed is easy for you, My impatient hare. But there are times that do call for a tortoise pace.

I desire you at My side, step by step, not ahead of or behind Me.

Step by step by step - the Kingdom comes.





Stop by Emily's In the Hush of the Moon for more prose that is imperfect but very real.

03 November 2010

Pour me out

This shell contains
too much
of me
not room enough
for all that He
desires to pour.

I've been leaking
yes, but far
too slow
progress hindered
as if a "no"
was whispered in the dark.

Accept my "yes"
Lord, even though
it seems so late in coming.
To brave the pain
of letting go
I spill my cup
releasing all
in a fresh fall
of tears
to let this shell
at once grow thin
to let Your glory
shine within.





Stop by One Stop Poetry to read more One Shot poems today.


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02 November 2010

Tuesdays Unwrapped - Prayer

Today I am celebrating truths about prayer that my Father unwrapped for me this morning as I sat quietly with Him in my journaling time.

Thank you for covering your husband and friend as they worked on cutting trees - for you were praying almost without knowing, for that is how I made you.

Prayer need not be eloquent or comprised of many words - though I do enjoy the rhythms and pattern of your words when you allow My Spirit to grip you.

Prayer might be one word, no words, a hum, a breath, a tapping of fingers on the table. Prayer is a releasing, a surrender - a cry that you can't and I must. Prayer is a turning, turning from the world and fixing your eyes on Me.

My disciples asked "how then shall we pray" and I say unto you the very same - ask for the Kingdom and My will.

Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Luke 11:1-2 NKJV

Emily's back from her month of grace, so stop by Chatting at the Sky and share the gifts you've been unwrapping.

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