31 July 2014

cracks exposed

we have all been shattered
in ways we can't yet comprehend
and perhaps will not understand
until the day we look into His eyes
the One who collects every shard
to rebuild His beloved creation
torn apart by the ways of man

it is our brokenness
that both sets us apart
and unites us

if we could lay down the burden
the heavy weight of trying to hide 
the cracks and bruises
and see them instead
as holy places
waiting to be healed
accepting His mark, scarred 
but shining for His glory

Going through the motions doesn't please you,
    a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
    when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
    don’t for a moment escape God’s notice

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace breathing in the whitespace with Bonnie 


30 July 2014

small but brave

the world keeps getting bigger
for a small kitten, brave
each day adventure waits
new scents, sounds
exploration calls strong
to discover what life holds
in long summer hours

 

29 July 2014

land rhythms

 taking a morning ride
to the dump
more discarding of things too broken to use
or save, or give away
Rick takes a longer route
avoiding the highway with the pickup full
the dump is not
a lovely place
but the ride, yes here
on the prairies late July
boasts of her crops
even in this year where farmers dread
the latest weather reports

the fields live and breathe
with a timing all their own
in farm country, the land's rhythm
overrules clocks and schedules
but feels right, more sensible
than the pressure rush
man creates in the city
for no good reason at all

I have grown to love this, here
even as I prepare to leave
for rhythms still unknown

Listen to me now.
    Give me your closest attention.
Do farmers plow and plow and do nothing but plow?
    Or harrow and harrow and do nothing but harrow?
After they've prepared the ground, don’t they plant?
    Don’t they scatter dill and spread cumin,
Plant wheat and barley in the fields
    and raspberries along the borders?
They know exactly what to do and when to do it.
    Their God is their teacher.
And at the harvest, the delicate herbs and spices,
    the dill and cumin, are treated delicately.
On the other hand, wheat is threshed and milled, but still not endlessly.
    The farmer knows how to treat each kind of grain.
He’s learned it all from God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    who knows everything about when and how and where.

joining Kelli in celebrating unforced rhythms

 

26 July 2014

within the storm

To be at peace, 
does not mean that you are amiss of every storm, 
it only means that you can find a calm within the storm
Tania Elizabeth

I placed an order
this morning
for mosquito nets
to create in the natural
a refuge
like that I find
in my God
safety
security
peace

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday
looking for a still place with Sandy

 

25 July 2014

packing

we are sorting through our life
in natural and physical ways
discarding, donating, gifting, selling and packing
there is the packing away
box after box after box
the wrapping, stacking, storing 
for a future time continues

but now also begins
the packing to go
sorting, stacking, sifting

with only two bags
and 40 kilograms each
books and other heavy things
must be selected with much thought
choosing the must haves
the wants and the maybes
preparing for two years
in the new, unknown
like walking blind
takes more faith than skill
I am leaning on the wisdom of those
who have walked a similar road
knowing that one day
I too will leave a trail of crumbs behind
for someone else to follow

He is sending me
He is taking me
I am packing Him
breathing in Him
loving Him with all my heart 
and with all my soul 
and with all my strength

Love God, your God, with your whole heart: 
love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you've got!

Velvet Ashes: encouragement for women serving overseas 
linking up at The Grove at Velvet Ashes talking about packing

 

23 July 2014

morning walk

the morning rose clear
bright and fresh
perfect time to take a walk
around the bend
soaking in images
of the land I am leaving behind
turning back toward home
the house nestled in the trees
that soon will be home to others 
while we are away
the Shasta daisies
reaching to the sun
wild, invasive beauties
tended by the Master gardener
our water source
man's design to draw
what the Creator provided
may our hearts ever be open
to receive His promised
Living Water
if that is all we have
it is much more
than we will ever need

 On the final and climactic day of the Feast, 
Jesus took his stand. 
He cried out, “If anyone thirsts, 
let him come to me and drink. 
Rivers of living water will brim 
and spill out of the depths 
of anyone who believes in me this way, 
just as the Scripture says.

 

22 July 2014

rest

she lived free
to run, exploring
and defending the acres
that were her home

her only trips away
were to the kennel 
for boarding or the vet 
she went cheerfully to both
with tail wags and licks
always willing to share
her joy in the moment

even the pain that settled
in her bones did not hinder 
her desire to give love

yesterday morning
was no different she jumped 
happy into the backseat
of the car, only surprised
that I chose to climb in beside her
instead of taking my usual place 
in front, next to "the boss"
she didn't know 
it was her last ride

she didn't flinch or complain
when the veterinary assistant
held her back leg so the doctor
could shave through the thick fur
making room for the needle

she was too busy
giving and receiving affection
as we held and stroked her
cherishing each of her sweet kisses
as much as she enjoyed bestowing them
until the lure of sleep
called far too strong
and she lay down her head
breathing peaceful into death
in the same way she lived
with a rhythm all her own

joining Kelli where rhythms are never forced

 

19 July 2014

aptitude of stillness

No domestic animal can be as still as a wild animal. 
The civilized people have lost the aptitude of stillness, 
and must take lessons in silence from the wild 
before they are accepted by it.
Isak Dinesen (Out of Africa)

I will to be still
to listen and hear
to watch and see
each new moment
an adventure 
to breathe
taste and tell


Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday
seeking the stillness with Sandy

 

preparing for goodbye

The longest I have ever been away from home
for work, or pleasure, or short term mission
is three weeks, but now
we are in final preparation
for two years in Zambia and Malawi

the fulfillment of dreams brings
packing, paperwork, prayer
and a long series of goodbyes
perhaps one of the most difficult
will be the first, scheduled for Monday morning

my beautiful girl Faith
has grown stiff with age
the brilliant blue of her eyes
fading with years and pain
anti-inflammatory drugs
have given her time
to run, jump, play
enjoying the acreage
that has been her only home
Rick and I her only owners

she has known love
and given love
unconditionally
life has been good
and twelve years long

I cannot bear the thought
that she would continue to ache
or grow confused in our absence
waiting and wondering
when we would return

all this, and then the lumps
appearing at random
beneath her thick fur
forced this impossible decision

Monday morning
we will release her
back to her Creator
holding her paws, as the medicines 
remove the pain permanently
filling her with peace

a peace we can take comfort in
even as it will take longer
to find us

Velvet Ashes: encouragement for women serving overseas
linking up with my friends at The Grove at Velvet Ashes
 

16 July 2014

unplanted

Rick did not plant
this year, knowing
we are leaving 
mid season, why spend
time and money
on what we can not harvest
and yet
a few flowers
are springing up wild
amongst the weeds
a delight of colour
a gift, unexpected
a tickle 
from a loving Father
His beauty on display

 

15 July 2014

lasts and firsts

this is a season
of both endings
and beginnings, firsts
and lasts

yesterday we drove through the park
under the glory of His painted skies
headed to a town two hours from home
for the last time before we leave

we made the most of the day
happy in each other's presence
checking things off our shopping list

in the middle of our series of lasts
we chose to share a first
and instead of a sensible lunch
we dove into a dish of poutine
a French Canadian standard

french fries crisp
cheese curds melting 
beneath hot dark gravy
we savoured simply
to say we had, finally

knowing we wouldn't have
the opportunity later
for the days after the days 
of lasts will be filled
with other firsts
too many to count

we licked salty lips
left smiling

 

11 July 2014

eating the stillness

Silence helps us to understand our inner self. 
If we want to understand God's way for us, 
silence is needed. 
Stillness and quiet are like nourishment
O.S.B. André Gozier

all I want, need
to know
is the stillness
in Him, of Him
with Him
may I open wide my mouth
and see that He is good

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday
seeking to be still with Sandy

 

enjoy

there is a sense of urgency
to the work I press myself to do
the packing, the paperwork
the running about to set things in place

this is new ground
never have we packed up a life
to leave it behind
crossing cultural bridges
to follow God's call 
to Malawi

Rick's last day at work is July 31st
the plan my mind holds
is to be finished or near finished
with all but the packing of suitcases

this will leave us
eighteen days in August
to gather with loved ones
those we have held
and will continue to hold
dear in our hearts

eighteen days
to dive into the work
of goodbyes
to embrace
to laugh
to cry

strange to think
that enjoy could describe tears
but oh, their taste
even salty
shall be sweet

Velvet Ashes: encouragement for women serving overseas

sharing in community at the Grove at Velvet Ashes

 

10 July 2014

writing a life

in posts and tweets and status reports
it seems that more and more
of those I know, are writing books
in my honesty, transparency
I admit, here
that my heart stings, aches
turns toward envy
then, yes, then
I console myself with this --
they are writing books
but I am not still
I am writing a life

I have grown accustomed
to much time alone
to breathe, expand
ponder and play with words
now time rushes past me
filled with the tasks
of living my word for 2014
prepare

soon, in the blink of an eye
I will transition yet again
from preparation
to actualization
as we step into our new life

my heart both races ahead
and lags behind
and words will come 
when they will

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

joining Bonnie in a small act of creation

 

08 July 2014

learn to learn

I know that
life will slow
time will come
and linger
and I will sit
with words, enveloped
snuggled in

but for just now
those moments
belong to all
I have surrendered

fighting for peace
steals my peace
as I learn to learn
to find stillness
in the rush

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
 A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.
 A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
    A time to keep and a time to throw away.
 A time to tear and a time to mend.
    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
 A time to love and a time to hate.
    A time for war and a time for peace.
 

05 July 2014

softly home

the day dawned
anything but still
as we drove into the sunrise
to host our fundraising yard sale

now the heat of the day
the swarming mosquitoes
and the noise of the shoppers
is merely memory
as I find my silence
here, in the refuge
of words, typed softly
home

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday
trying to find a still place with Sandy

 

03 July 2014

other side of the fence

I have been making frequent short trips to town
running errands, collecting necessities
all part of our preparations for Africa

there is a  farm near the end of the road
right before I hit the highway
and it seems like each time I pass
a different calf has found a way
to wander free, exploring life
on the other side of the fence

by the time I make the return trip
everyone is safely back 
in the same pasture

I too, rejoice
that no matter how far
I travel, thinking I can
make my own way
I am never far from His sight
and always, always welcome home

But for you that honor my name, 
victory will shine like the sun with healing in its rays, 
and you will jump around like calves at play


 
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