Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

look ahead look back

In thoughts on God, thoughts on me on September 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm

this time of year, we tend to look ahead to where we’re going.  in doing so, we are reminded of where we came from.

when people ask me if i enjoyed living in boone, my gut reaction is always yes! there was nothing like living in a simple, small town, surrounded by such thick culture of carolina and the mountains.  for three years, i could literally look outside of my window and see 4 or 5 ridges of blue mountains (when they weren’t covered in dense, beautiful fog.)  i remember simple mountain summers and traditional saturday farmers market visits to fight the lack of things to do. in the yawning hours of the morning before heading to work, i would go and purchase my favorite coffee, a fresh poppyseed muffin, and maybe some produce or plants for the porch.  but mostly i was there to look and enjoy.  i remember interning at a nearby school for children out of the worst of broken homes, and how i loved it so much.  it was tangled back into the nothingness of the mountains, truly the most beautiful drive during the kind of autumn only the blue ridge mountains can produce.  and there were stories, of the place, and of the children, and i asked the Lord for love to love them.  i remember walking around my campus at school, i could walk with purpose and wave to friends i knew, or stop in a coffee shop where the baristas knew my name and knew i would stay for a while.  what a joyful, precious experience.  i got away but not too far from home.

how very telling that is of my experience.  away but not too far from home.  i will try to explain.  one of the things i realize most now is that i didn’t take the time to really get to know other people.  mostly, i was getting to know myself.  boredom, frustration, isolation.  do you know this feeling of getting to know yourself? you have to face you, and it’s ugly.  from here you turn in one of two directions.  you or God.  i kept my eyes on me.  i was bored so i found something to do.  i was frustrated so i found things to appease my frustration, bastardized expressions of real good things.  i didn’t want to be alone so i had friends in wide ways, not deep.  i needed money so i worked.  i needed to pass my classes so i completed my projects.

looking back i see that i had plenty of friends, some very sweet and memorable, but most of them i kept at arms length.  it was not because of them, but because of me.  i knew ugly me and thought i had to deal with that first before anyone else.  i let very few people really in.  i thought all those people who i have let in in my past would be enough.  but how wonderful, how true and right it is that we are moving, changing people.  and sometimes friendships bloom in a season and then their roots are left, and sometimes we hurt when we’d love to see their bright colors again in our lives.

getting to know myself is not something i regret.  i do regret not getting to know other people better, spending good time in fellowship, being more open, more honest, and more vulnerable.  but i think we all have to face ourselves at some point in our lives.  it is when getting by is not enough.  when simple answers aren’t believable and you have to decide what it is you really believe about all this, about everything.

boone was good for me in that way.  i was nestled in between foggy, snowy, still mountains.  i was tucked away from noise and distraction of cities and malls and lights and the network of people i really know, the push of the faster life, and what was left was myself.  and it turns out i was scared.  and hurt.  and bitter.   and i felt pretty alone.  years of corridors locked behind me so i would not have to deal with old things, and i could move on in my own strength.  but that is only just getting by.  you can live life this way and never truly live.

it is being revealed to me that we will face ourselves, and not have to turn inside ourselves to fix things.  we are utterly unfixable but to one.  he is home, he is protection, he is healer, he is friend.  he is friend.  he is friend.

and the blooms of his friendship never cease.


writing exercises I & II

In thoughts on God, thoughts on me on September 17, 2010 at 1:40 am

my life is checked in little boxes.  pages and trinkets, bits of memorabilia glued to the lines.  i am writing in sharpened pencil.

laundry is away for the most part.  not all the way or i’ll feel too proud and won’t be able to sleep.

here is the uncomfortable hilt of my control.

everything pretty much has a place.  still, it is not enough.

i never have enough money to feel comfortable and stable.

i can never be enough perfect to feel completed for the day, do enough things.

this is when i am so thankful for my Father who is not so concerned with such things.  just the state of my heart.


i always want everything done so i’ll have time to create things.

what i fail to compute is that things will never be done and that’s the beautiful thing of life.

process is the it, the goal.  process is life and i create in process.

a vase of mixed flowers is sitting on my dresser.  gym clothes set out.  white board calendar up and filled.

what i realize most is that i want God.


In thoughts on God, thoughts on me on September 9, 2010 at 5:45 am

wait for the Lord

He does not faint or grow weary

His understanding is unsearchable.


leaves are starting to fall in September.

you must be brave to be so normal and small,

to write what you know,


to face insignificance

to fade in the background

and have life in your quiet heart.


i’m happy to be older

to be a bit more weathered,

to have stood through storms

to have not stood

to have lines at my eyes and mouth

from seeing and laughing

to wear badges of shortcomings

proudly as a bride wears her

pressed wedding garnments,

badges of failures where it is not me

who is strong.


an oak has no say in its standing.

it grows and it storms.

the sun and rain and soil are its good blessings.

it grows and grows in blessings

and is pruned in storms and drought.

it is taught to ration

to pray its withering branches to the sky

bare, exposed in its need

its powerless life,

but power to grow in spite,

to lean into Life

is all it knows.