Outstretched hands

One of the things I am looking forward to is the day when I can lift both hands and arms to the sky in worship.  That will likely strike some as preposterous…crazy…silly.  But it’s the longing that I live with.  I feel the impulse in my left arm when my heart is quickened.  That impulse is strong and real.

This realization is most likely not going to happen here. I’m ok with that because I so deeply believe in eternity. And I believe God paved the way through His Son Jesus. My hope  is that.  Completely.

Three years ago I started this blog.  When I started making my writing public, it was with a devotion to authenticity.  Transparency.  Not knowing who it may reach or even offend, all i knew was that I had to, absolutely had to, write.  I had to risk being utterly myself, come what may.

So, I’m about the empty tomb.  I believe in life after death..

And I believe that I will be restored.  My body’s limitations will be set free.  No more struggle.  No more proving I can do…whatever.

No more left hand in peaceful quiet.

Up, arm!  Open, hand! Lifted up at desire.

Being able to do that will be worship with abandon.

I won’t even need to make a sound.

Keeping a promise

William Bernard Groth.  My dad. Born July 29. 1929.  Died Nov 3, 2011

Midwestern, family values.  His word meant everything. And my word means everything.  Honorable living.  I received that disposition from my dad.

I can still see him clearly as he lay dying.  Now weak, and incredibly frail, but honoring his promises to my mom.  None other.  One.  Devotion.

Each of us, as we said goodbye, promised him.  His devotion to my mom would not crumble.  The promise I made, and my sisters made, and even her grandson made.  We will care for mom.  We will seek her good. We will be a family, as he taught us.

I will not deter from that promise.

No veering off course.  No resentment.

No doing it alone.

Anne, Shirley, Janet, and me.

Connected to dad forever.  Connected to mom forever.  Linked to each other forever.

four girls

Memory

One of my sisters has always been somewhat of our family’s historian.  She is great at recall.

I am not.

I like that she can find us in years ago. The family stories are so funny.  The sister stories particularly.

One we always giggle over is when mom let us all walk to the neighborhood little store ( looong before 7-11 or Quicktrip!) to buy a “treat”, as we called it then.  Popsicle, penny candy…The only caveat was that the oldest sister had to hold the youngest sister’s hand the whole way there and back.

Baby sister wanted a chocolate bar.  Before we knew it, that chocolate bar was a smear on her face, clothes, and of course all over her hands.  The dilemma.  How to hold her hand with chocolate everywhere.

We have a picture of that day.  Mom must have snapped it when we got home.  Eldest was following the rules, albeit creatively!  Baby sister was holding onto one end of a stick, while her big sister held the other end.

These sisters of mine…

Will not let me fall.

Just beneath…

Inspired by Spring’s arrival, I’m making some changes.

Daffodils are up, trees are in early bloom, the yard needs is waking up, and the warm sun on my skin feels delicious.

Spring just sings possibility. New, fresh, impossible possibility. Spring is just so very fearless.

Physical seasons often match our walk, don’t they.  The conclusion of winter may find us desperate for new life, new growth.  Rain, sun, seedlings with promise.

Time taking time is waning, and I’m willing . Insurmountable mountains certainly are not.

Longings defined last Fall took root in the cold of winter, and I now feel those just beneath the dirt…just beneath the surface….ready to break through.

Even when I feel that progress is dormant, God waters and nourishes, knowing that Spring is moments away.

And here I am, at the end of myself at winter’s end.

Come Spring!  Do your work of renewal.  Let the seedling breath through.

When I speak …

Muse.  Musings.  Music.

My muse is nearly always music.

Earphones are never ever far from me.  Not ever.  And certainly not when I write.

So tonight Kari Jobe again(for the umpteenth time) provided inspiration.  In rotation I listened to You Are All I Need, Healer and Find You on My Knees. Her voice…her authenticity…her depth.

But it was this one that spoke exactly what I need to say:  When I Speak Your Name.

Loving the name of Jesus isn’t popular.  I get that.  I get that it might make me look…foolish.  Silly.  Ignorant.  And still I say it.  Still I love it.  Still I adore Him.

The most amazing things happen when I say the name of Jesus.

Mountains in my life do move.

It’s the only name that brings healing and strength.

Darkness really doesn’t have hold of me.

Hope lives.  All things are possible.

Jesus is the most beautiful name I know.

Insight Unexpected

Intentionally taking time for myself is foreign.  Definitely not natural.

Yesterday afternoon was really a day to be outside…in the sun or in the yard or walking by the Chattahoochee.  All of which I love.

But that’s not what I did.Sunshine Chair

Instead I took me to a local Starbucks, pen and notebook in hand.  Earphones  and water bottle in my bag.

I cozied into a comfy chair by the window, put my legs over the arm,  and intentionally focused on the task at hand.  I would rather have been outside, and I recognized that.   So instead I put on Pandora through my earphones, and started writing.

I referred recently to a self “inventory”, of sorts, that I am devoted to completing. It’s hard because it’s  just   hard.  Hard to think about myself that much.  Feels selfish somehow.  Again…not natural.

Listening to Laura Woodley Osman singing “I Will Not Lose Heart” helped tremendously.

That’s me exactly.  Refusing to lose heart.  Despite my natural inclinations to self-protect, my spirit is getting stronger.

My heart wants eternal.  I just bend that way.  Which means that this vehicle I’m on is simply a momentary affliction. And the affliction of completing this thing doesn’t compare to what I know is on the shore.

I want to know what I don’t know now. My pen helps me listen.

I will not lose heart.  I can see the shore.

Unsaid

What can I leave unsaid? What will I leave unsaid?

Depends on real willingness…listening to you, watching you, even lingering in the silence.

But leaving my love of all things verbal  on the table? How can I let that go.

Decision of the heart to do just that.  Just a step that way requires the other leg to respond. And I’m silent.  Listening but not offering.

You have the dignity of your own choices, and then your own consequences…not mine to make, not mine to feel. Leaving you to be.  Let you just be.

I’ll be here, but not to create soft landings.  Just to hold you when you are ready.

Leaving unsaid unspoken.