30 June 2013

Who do you suppose?

Can you find your way to where lightning is launched,
or to the place from which the wind blows?
Who do you suppose carves canyons
for the downpours of rain, 
and charts the route of thunderstorms

singing His praise with Deidra

29 June 2013

nothing to do with me

The point is that when I see a sunset 
or a waterfall or something, 
for a split second it's so great, 
because for a little bit I'm out of my brain, 
and it's got nothing to do with me. 
I'm not trying to figure it out, 
you know what I mean? 
And I wonder if I can somehow find a way 
to maintain that mind stillness.
Chris Evans

seeking the quiet place with Sandy

Eight things I learned in June

At Chatting at the Sky Emily Freeman posted the following:
At the end of each month I like to share a few things I've learned. Sometimes it’s educational and informative but usually not. Usually I've discovered a quirk I didn't know I had or a fascinating-to-me celebrity connection. It’s a mishmash of ordinary life stuff, things that may go unnoticed if I didn't decide to write them down. This month, at the suggestion of a reader, I decided to invite you all to share what you learned in June as well.
So here's my few cents with links back to the posts where my thoughts wandered.

I learned:

the old must be removed to allow for new growth: cultivation

I need to let go to allow God to do His work: open hands

living in the middle of the rainbow is where all the beauty shines: here, now, middle

there is beauty in imperfection: windy free

nothing will stop time but it is in His hands: slippery time

grief has its own schedule: two months gone

we are not meant to stand alone: two are better than one

there is something stronger than darkness: there is a light

Joining Emily at Chatting at the Sky where we're all learning

26 June 2013

time in-between time again

I needed to write a paragraph about myself to accompany a poetry submission. I wrote brief and from my heart:
I am a former lost city soul, found and transplanted to the Canadian prairies where the beating of my heart better matches the pace of a slower life.  Forty-four urban years have been cleansed by thirteen years of country air.
It is here on the prairies I am learning to lean on His patience as I find myself one again restless in the time in-between time.

I feel like a plane circling the clouds, in a holding pattern until receiving clearance to land; or like a strategically stacked pile of logs and kindling, waiting for a spark to catch the flames.

Day follows night follows day, simple and familiar.  There is comfort here. But I know we're not meant to stay in the boat when He asks us to walk on water.  We have taken faith steps as we reopened our application for long term mission placement with Operation Mobilization.  And night follows day follows night.

The kindling seeks the heat.  The soles of my feet itch to feel the water.  Soon those small steps will be replaced by giant leaps.

"Soon" my heart cries; "soon".

walking with Emily and the broken but redeemed

25 June 2013

there is a light

clouds press heavy
containing dark
threats of unpredictability
the air snaps electric
chills crack through
humid thickness
I hold my breath
waiting for the rain

yet there is a light
in the centre of the storm
a wind that elevates
allowing me to fly

hanging out at the pub today


22 June 2013

two are better than one

The poetics link-up challenge today is to write a poem using idiomatic expressions.

two are better than one

come to me
let's put our heads together
life is too bitter a pill
to swallow alone

burning that candle
from both ends to the middle
left us bone tired
barking up wrong trees
and weary beyond weary

we can hide away
snuggled in close
two peas in a pod
find our comfort
and refreshment there

linking at the pub today 

Learning to Love - Heidi and Rolland Baker

I have known of Heidi and Rolland Baker's work in Mozambique for some time but never had a chance to read their words until Learning to Love Passion, Compassion and the Essence of the Gospel became available.  The back cover alone tempts and convicts:
  • What does LOVE look like?
  • Love is food and comfort to a ten-year-old amputee, abandoned on the side of the road
  • Love is a new roof for an elderly widow installed before the rainy season
  • Love is sharing hope with the homeless man on your street corner
  • Love is not just an ideal. Love is action. Love looks like something.
Heidi and Rolland alternate telling the tale of how our mighty God has worked in the lives of those who need Him most.

Heidi reminds us that the message of the Gospel is simple:
Despite what many would have us believe, the Gospel is not complicated.  It is very simple.  Jesus has given us everything we need.  It is so simple that a child of three can get it:  Love God and love the one in front of you.
This book reads like both an action/adventure tale and a richly moving romance novel, heavy with love.  If you want to be moved by the things that move the heart of God, this is a must read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Practice leaping

Silence is like a river of grace inviting us to leap unafraid into its beckoning depths. It is dark and mysterious in the waters of grace. Yet in the silent darkness we are given new eyes. In the heart of the divine we can see more clearly who we are. We are renewed and cleansed in this river of silence. There are those among you who fear the Great Silence. It is a foreign land to you. Sometimes it is good to leap into the unknown. Practice leaping.


in the stillness with Sandy

20 June 2013

two months gone

It feels like much longer 
than two months ago
or perhaps just yesterday 
Mom drew a last difficult breath 
then stopped

it seems impossible 
that she is gone 
hand and mind reach daily for the phone 
to check in with no one

grief travels a winding road
often silent, shadowed
a walk through the woods
trees in full leaf

grief travels a winding road
screams, memories flashing
clouds drawn back
exposing the raw 

I can't predict, or dictate
as I open my hands
to the wind, trusting
storms of tears
wash clean


19 June 2013

Slippery time

We are past the midway mark in June.  
Morning wakes before I do and light lingers deep into the night.  
It seems like only yesterday there was snow 
covering places now green 
ablaze with the delight of flowers.
Time feels so slippery, impossible to hold.

Journal open today, the Lord spoke to this:

Days will come.
Days will go.
You can do nothing to stop time.

Watch. Listen. Each moment has its reason.
I build moment on moment like brick upon brick.
I have the master plan that you cannot see.
And I, yes I, must remain the chief cornerstone of anything that is built
or it falls in time to nothing
or less than nothing.

What I Am saying is having those things
that don't contain Me
are more dangerous than not having anything.

Watch. Listen.
Keep Me in the middle of it all.

He will be the sure foundation for your times, 
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; 
the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure. 
walking with Emily and the broken beloved ones

Sharing stories of faith

My sweet southern friend Leah Adams felt God urging to gather and share stories of faith.

I was happy to chip in my few mites --
Jesus met me and changed a woman who had no heart at all into the tenderhearted woman who writes these words now, indeed replacing a heart of stone with a heart of flesh. 
One evening I sat at the computer, in my Chicago suburban home. An internet message came through from a stranger, like many  I’d regularly receive, asking simple questions. The info he provided included the fact that he was in a committed marriage, satisfied with his life, and a Christian. We began chatting online. He warned me that somewhere along the way he’d try to save my soul. I took it as both a joke, and a challenge. 
Come on over to The Point to read the rest of the story...


17 June 2013

Compassion in Nicaragua

Compassion Bloggers Nicaragua Trip 2013
Tomorrow a team of bloggers is flying down to Nicaragua to experience Compassion International’s ministry.  They will be sharing what they see and feel and how God touches their hearts in ways only He can.

I will be following their journey and so can you at the links below:

Shaun Groves - Team Leader at ShaunGroves.com
Brianne McKoy - Team Leader at Compassion Blog
Christy Jordan - blogger at Southern Plate
Edie - blogger at Life in Grace
Kelly - blogger at Faithful Provisions
Traci - blogger at Beneath My Heart
Mike Varel - Photographer/Videographer at Mike Varel Digital Storytelling
Keely Scott - Photographer at KeelyMarieScott.com

Today Edie posted the following pre-departure words on her blog Twas the night before...:
Am I ready? 
No.  I’m so not ready. 
But, I stand in good company with those who were unsure, doubtful, fearful, and  ill-equipped, and went anyway. 
This time tomorrow, I’ll be on the other side of a giant wall;  a wall made of oceans and money and governments and  wars.  I’ll be on the other side of what separates our world from theirs.
My prayer is that Christ will give us ears to hear and eyes to see;  that He will make us know that what unites us is so much more powerful than what divides us.
As I read Edie's words, the following prayer stirred within me --

None of us are ready Lord, not one.
It is not our abilities that you can use but our availability.
I pray for a heart that yields and a spirit that bends to Yours.
May the words and images that these sojourners share
break my heart while they inspire with hope.


16 June 2013

Father's glory

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, 
ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 
This is to my Father’s glory, 
that you bear much fruit, 
showing yourselves to be my disciples. 

May we bring you glory Lord, on Father's Day and all days

singing in the Sunday choir with Deidra

15 June 2013

In the secret place

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
Psalm 91:1-2 NLT

in the quiet with Sandy

abiding with Cheryl

13 June 2013

windy free

loose edges
free in the breeze
delicate and wild

here I see
my heart
shredded beauty
perfect in imperfection

walking with Emily and those who are broken yet redeemed


11 June 2013

here, now, middle

the beginning
blurs into the years
no longer visible
or remembered

the end lands 
in a spot unknown
a future not revealed

all I know
what He gives me eyes 
to see, is here
now, living
in the middle of the rainbow
where all the beauty

hanging out at the pub, where poets meet

When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey

Thomas Nelson, the publishers of Billy Coffey's latest novel When Mockingbirds Sing begin their description of the story with this line:
What marks the boundary between a miracle from God and the imagination of a child?
In this new novel, Billy Coffey introduces us to a world of faith, doubt and God's mysterious ways, seen through the eyes of a lonely child.  Leah believes in "the maybe" and has to face the sad truth that many people around do not.  When she begins painting prophetic pictures the town begins to swirl.

As he weaves threads of lives together into a stunning whole, Billy holds up a mirror that reflects not only our faces but our hearts.  I'd like to think that my faith is strong, but like the people of Mattingly, I admit that I too can waver when I see things I don't quite understand.

I will not share more because I fear spoiling the story, but I encourage you to take a journey to Mattingly, to meet all the people dwelling there, including The Rainbow Man.  If you are anything like me, you will smile, you will weep, spend some time on your knees and then you'll hunger for more.

I was given a complimentary copy of this novel.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.

and now... the winner of their own copy of When Mockingbirds Sing is --

Holly Grantham who wrote:
What gives me courage is hearing other folks' stories. To know that someone else in the big wide world has braved something hard and challenging and lived to tell about it--well, it infuses me with strength I didn't have before. Vulnerability begets vulnerability and vulnerability is fueled by courage.
Contact me with your shipping address Holly and we'll have the book on its way to you!


09 June 2013

bursting out

Be alert, be present. 
I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! 
Don’t you see it?

joining Deidra and the Sunday chorus of praise

07 June 2013

Rest. Rest. Rest.

Rest in God's love. 
The only work you are required now to do 
is to give your most intense attention 
to His still, small voice within.  
Madame Jeanne Guyon

in the quiet with Sandy