Wednesday, October 27, 2010

all piled up


I think I write best when I am not under too much stress - some, mind you, just not too much.

Not enough stress and nothing happens; too much and all my energy is spent in dealing with it.

"Life piles up" sometimes, my good friend tells me.

Yes it does. And it is, and I am full with the dealing and the loving and the doing.

The celebrating and the aching.

We have had: out of town guests, a sudden wedding, a baby party here, a dear friend of my daughter with very serious surgery. And more. All in the last week.

I feel like the hub of a very dizzy wheel. I am the center of the gyroscope. By God's grace I am still upright, though around me life is spinning. I am fine. I am loving and loving and loving. And that is all I can think of right now.

So, I am just letting you all know that I am fine, and I will write as soon as I can, but right now I am focused on life and its needs. The needs of those I love.

Right now, I am making the stories. Later I will tell them.

Soon, I think. When the dust settles a bit.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Utterly loved

“The Lord your God is in your midst; a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy. He will be quiet in his love. He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”
(Zephaniah 3:17 NASB)

I love Zeph 3:17. When I read this, I get a mental picture that thrills and lifts me up, of my God, mighty and powerful, loving me so much that He sings over me! It reminds me of a mother tenderly rocking her precious child as she sings lullabies full of tender love, and then again it gives me a picture of God in joyous, celebratory love that bursts out in song
for the sheer joy of loving!

Think about this with me a minute. God, the mighty warrior... I picture Him here as just having come from battle, and He is victorious! Yes! He has won! The shouts of battle have faded into the background, but still He wears the aura of the thrill of victory! That thrill surrounds Him, is almost palpable, and being in His presence, I feel that thrill, that excitement! Our God is the mighty, victorious one! Always! He never loses. Ever!
He is strong.

And he loves me!

He is "mighty to save"! Oh. My. Goodness! Why in the world, why in the WORLD, would such a great God care to look out for me? It is awesome to think that He is strong enough to handle anything, and that I can be safely protected when I am with Him, but why? Why does He even want to take care of me that way?

Because He loves me! Does anyone else get stuck on this like I do? Here is this great, Awesome God, and Yeah, ok, He loves the world, and that is wonderful, and I get that, and I benefit from that, and I'm thankful, but wait... he loves ME! He loves ME? Why? What did I do to deserve this??

Nothing. Really.

That is what is so boggling about this. He loves me, not because of anything I did, have ever done, or will ever do. He loves me because I am me and He loves me because of who He is.

He takes "great delight" in me. Oh, wow. He "exults over me with joy". Oh, wow, I can hardly grasp this!

You know how you exult with joy over an adorable toddler, because they are just so crazy cute you can hardly stand it? You know how you take great delight in a little child, because you just love them so intensely? We in delight in every accomplishment, or even in their just sitting there. We gaze adoringly while they sleep, even, because our hearts just overflow with love. We love them. Not for what they do (they are too little to do anything at first), we love them for who they are. We laugh, overflowing with joy as we watch them. They make us so happy! They truly delight us!

It boggles my mind to think that I make God happy like that. I make God smile
just by being me.

He will be quiet in his love. He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” He loves me sometimes in quiet tenderness; he loves me sometimes with shouts of joy. He loves me! He gets that I have different needs on different days, and He loves me right where I am in every instance.

Another version says, "He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." (NIV)

And this is where I get the picture of a mother rocking her child to give comfort, as she sings her love over him. She strokes the soft skin, and her love just pours over that child.

But also... I get the picture of that "joyous, celebratory love that bursts out in song for the sheer joy of loving!" How fun is that?! To be loved that way satisfies something deep in me that I can't even put into words right now.

It is in God's nature to love. I don't have to earn it. He made me, and He did that on purpose. He wanted me, before I was even born. I am loved. His way is to love wholeheartedly, with abandon, and with joy and delight. With fun, and with tenderness, and with good things. His love means I am important. Oh, wow, I am important to God!!

Oh, wow!

And... His love MAKES me important! If God is for me, after all, who can be against me?

To think that my Father loves me like this chases away any kind of self doubt. I am precious in His eyes. And who am I to argue with God? I am precious to God. I am of value.
God says so. It's settled.

No wonder I love Him so. How can I not? He loves me unconditionally, constantly, joyfully! Wow. How cool is that?!

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
(Jeremiah 31.3)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

evidence that I am loved

Love gifts...

443. orchard fresh apples, still dripping with fresh air and juice, bought from the farmer who grew them. You can almost taste the sunshine!

444. stumbling upon a demonstration of wild birds of prey! Full of fun and good information.

445. petting a wild bird, a soft pigeon, white with black spots. so pretty.

446. being fanned by the large, strong wings of a turkey vulture

447. looking into the round, golden eyes of an owl right up close. wondering what he's thinking of me as we look long at each other.

448. pumpkins appearing everywhere, whispering of pies and spices and fall

449. scrubbing the dirt off fresh-dug potatoes and finding their real skin red underneath

450. huge orange carrots, covered brown with the land that grew them, rich with flavor. Readying them for dinner with thanks.

451. Multi colored carrots, some yellow, some deep purple-red, some orange, making for a colorful glad stew.

452. Indian summer... another chance at warmth and sunshine, energy and gladness, this time with colored leaves all around, one more time before the cold sets in.

453. Music playing on websites, a gentle surprise for me to enjoy as I read and learn.

454. Mullein root for backaches, learning how to make the oil that helps

455. Learning the sweetness of truth-telling

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What I learned from the Smoking Poet

It's Tuesday. And that's really close to Monday, right?

The reason I ask is that L.L. Barkat invites us to write on, in and around Mondays.

And I am practicing something a poet told me.

I sat in a crowded, smoke filled restaurant one New Year's Morning and found myself sitting at the bar between a musician and a poet. (There were no tables left and if I wanted food, I had to sit at the bar in the smoking section to get breakfast.) I love this town. It is full of artists. What are the odds of going out for a simple breakfast and finding myself sitting with a poet on one side of me and a musician on the other?

I talked briefly with the poet, and he told me that he writes a poem a day. Every day. As he talked, he smoked. The whole place was full of stinky, gray smoke. Every other restaurant must have been closed for the holiday, because it was crazy, buzzing busy there that morning. And smelly, and full of smoke. The cooks in back were overwhelmed and moving as fast as they could to keep up. Pans and plates clanged and clashed. Voices shouted. I watched. And the poet wrote. And he smoked. He didn't talk much; we just had that short conversation. And I was amazed. How could he write in such a noisy, stinky, head-buzzing environment?

He told me that he writes a poem every day. As a personal discipline. He doesn't wait for inspiration, or for a mood to move him. He just decides to write and he does. He told me that he liked the energy in that place. I didn't. It helped him write. It took away my appetite!

But I got the idea that if I want to write - poems or anything else - then I have to just do it. It is easiest for me to write when something is going on, when something inspires my creativity, or when I need to work through something. But sometimes I should just write because I decided to. It would be good discipline for me.

So, thanks to the smoking poet in the smelly restaurant, who taught me something, I am writing today. Even though I don't feel like I have something important to say. Still it is Monday...ish. Well, it is "around Monday", and that is as good a reason to write as any.

And, thanks, L.L., for the invitation.

ps- You know what? That day, I ended up taking my food out of that place and eating it where I had quiet. And in my quiet, I wrote a poem. Maybe I'll post it sometime.

Monday, October 4, 2010

good things

439. clam chowder

440. creativity, seeing it spread all over the city, watching it expressed by my good friends.

441. Hot soup on a cold, wet day

442. stellarium, Downloaded onto my computer, it shows me the sky from any time, anyplace. I can take my laptop outside at night and match it up to the sky over my house, and it will tell me what everything is! Every star, every planet! It's very smart.