Monday, February 28, 2011

Hungry and Full

Tonight I ate broccoli of my own free will and it was good.  It's etched in my brain the day the green tasted good. As I swallowed surprise that broccoli I liked pride rose fierce, "I'll never tell um." I double crossed, stomped and firmly declared I'd never, ever, ever like broccoli. Sheepishly the truth came out, "I like broccoli." Family called it right, I'd learn to like it twenty plus years later.

Tonight is Monday and I often type out numbers tallying the thanks. It is easy the plating of dessert and the licking of the spoon. Flowers parading at driveways end are happy and cheery and easy comes the thanks. Yet, to double dip a triple scoop of ice cream when the world begs hungry seems shameful, prideful, arrogant, flaunting, even. Yet, I am learning slowly, learning that thanks, true thanks, Christ fueled thanks is in every morsel, in every bite.

Giving thanks in all, even in the starved and famished seems a more impossible plight than broccoli sliding down content. On this Monday night my plate is empty and honest truth is I fear what will be dished for me to eat. Or worse, how do I help myself to a double portion of dessert, when the world howls hungry? And I don't know. Life is always serving up portions and how often not fair ones.

Broccoli remnants on the plate distraught with disgust, sometimes mercy came and they would eat it for me. Grateful for His grace to do what I cannot and even more that He's patient as I learn to say thanks for all.

1,000 gifts the book is naked, raw honesty and beautiful. It's Ann Voskamp's story of learning thanks. The candy shop thanks and the bitter root thanks. It's climbed best-seller high and rightly so, because her word's lift high to the only one who can teach us to live empty and hungry, yet full.  Read it.

528. for this post
529. for broccoli
530. for the impossible becoming thanks
531. for the Great I am covering all I am not
532. for Him who IS

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Dance of the Tulips

Tulips dance when no ones watching
They hike up their skirt
and waltz the flirt
They shimmy and shake
and merry make
They dip and spin
and go it again
Try and catch um and you'll only find um still
For tulips only dance when no ones watching
Come round once more and their bow will tell the tale:
They twist and twirl
and give it a whirl
They dance content
until they're spent
And then you know it's true
Tulips dance when no ones watching

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sermon on the Morning

When Spirit takes flight to the pulpit of ancient verse He always preaches the sermon best. Message Sunday morn Psalm 77, and who is this Asaph? And don't we sound the same, overwhelmed, troubled, complaining. My heart breaths wonder he asks them too? The hard whys, and the hefty accusations. We shake our fists and preach our own sermons mad, questioning our God. I imagine Asaph's motives behind his exasperated demands and overwhelming puzzles were less wrought with self than mine.

But that isn't the point for I identify with Asaph in the bowing of my head when memory pours in and floods the doubt. My head bobbles wonder at the remembrance of who are God is. God of then and God of now. Gracious God who yields memory for our good in the lines of holy Word and in the lines of Spirit written on the heart. Remembrance of Him has the power to vanquish the haunting hollows of our souls riddled with broken memories. Eyes read Asaph's words penned by Spirit and I heartily echo amen, amen and amen. For our God is greater and our God is stronger, our God is redeemer, our God is seer and our God is deliverer. Our God makes ways in the wilderness and with fury holds back the waters and bids us part on solid ground.

When the memory and life shadows dance in the dark larger than life there is light to hold on, For, "Who is so great a God as our God? You are the God who does wonders.." 

Adding up thanks numbers for the memory

509. for pink roses full of bloom in green vase
510. for lone bird resting on the power line
511. for wind on walk
512. for malley's valentine mug holding coffee hot
513. for steam off hot milk
514. for a blanket wrapped snug
515. for the security of my mama's love
516. for egg and cheese dinner english muffin
517. for sprite in a glass jar
518. for red straws
519. for daffodils springing back to life at work
520. for pink tree blooming back in neighbor's yard
521. for 1,000 gifts the book
522. for Him who trains the memory
523. for God who stretches my heart
524. for this hymn
525. for sweet, sweet time sharing hearts with Traci
526. for holding baby girl, Claire
527. for history etched honest in His holy Word

Monday, February 14, 2011

What's Your Favorite?

Bare feet would bounce on the black tarp, jumping higher and higher as we volleyed back and forth, "what's your favorite?" What's your favorite ice cream? What's your favorite fruit? Long the time has passed since these soles have trampoline jumped, but still how I love the naming of favorites. What's your favorite? I love it, my silly little detailed mind snatches my friends and family's favorites and files them neat in my noggins own dossier  of "what's your favorite?" Those favorites are the clothes of the who, the why and the what making us each marvelously unique and sometimes the binds that tie us similar. Wouldn't I wax odd if I mailed out a survey querying favorites, color? candy? food? hymn? verse? song? memory? story? movie? It's the game that never ends.

Sunday morn and the words filled the screen and He filled my heart and our voices filled the air. On Christ the solid rock I stand, singing while heart clapped and mind reeled, "this one, pick this one!" This hymn inked with the whelm of solid abundant truth, I think it's my favorite. Perhaps, until Sunday comes again.  What's your favorite?  A hymn, a song any ole favorite will do.

Learning gratitude in the naming of thanks....

477. for multitudes of thanks swirling and waiting for the taking
478. for a kind email in response to a mass email goof up telling me "it's ok, we all make mistakes"
479. for the Spirit's planting melodies and bringing songs to remembrance in my heart
480. for memories
481. for mail trucks
482. for the vastness of the sky
483. for abundant sunshine
484. for valentine balloons colored happy
485. for being done
486. for hope again and again
487. for Valentine's pizza party with sweet family
488. for Valentine's gifts
489. for Valentine's tulips
490. for Mom who knows the favorites
491. for the sound of Cameron's voice
492. for Kimberly's comments
493. for Leanne's cards
494. for happy post office mail days
495. for favorites a plenty
496. for english muffin pizzas
497. for tastes that taste like home
498. for waking up to the smell of coffee
499. for growth
500. for books
501. for reading
502. for Malley Cat and how she loves
503. for street corner conversations with John
504. for the voice that tells the truth when the words lie
505. for the knowing of the voice
506. for words
507. for He who binds and mends and holds it all together
508. for the solid rock, Christ, our only hope

Half way there and not even close for thanks never end and favorites are gifts ready for the naming of the thanks.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What I Wore: Winter Day

An oddity struck me a few weeks back, I haven't minded winter much this year. Oddity multiplied in the fierceness of this year's winter. It's the bleak and barren and bone chill and presence of dormant death that typically turns my heart cold to winter. Seeing myself and the Father speak through the seasons has thawed my heart and I see truth in the confines of winter.

To everything there is a season and aren't we always changing and never staying the same? When leaves fall and the earth is stripped and cold hugs and paralyzes the air, we seek shelter. We cover and hunker down, we stop and wait and change the routine.

It's in me the stripping, the raw nakedness and sometimes past mistakes freeze thick around my heart. And I wonder if we're souls cemented by the stain and sin of death like sheets of unending ice? Grace melts like sun on snow and He reminds me the redeemed are fused not in the changing fickleness of the heart's seasons but in the unchanging never ending mercy. His mercies are new every morning holding these days and these seasons together.

Winter and I, we're making peace for he's only passing through and ushering in spring. All this dying brimming with opportunity for life, renewed.

What I wore last Sunday, on a winter day masquerading as spring.