Monday, February 25, 2008

when people stare at taco bueno and other tales

What a weekend. It was refreshing and and relaxing and inspiring and a much-needed change of scenery. My friend Meg and I wound our way to Kansas City to visit Meg's sister, Jen. I love Kansas City. I also love Meg and Jen. Throw a few inches of fluffy snow in there, some time for contemplation, good church, fun games, walking around Taco Bueno only using 90 degree angles, and've got yourself a great weekend. Oh, and now if you talk about Wii in front of me, I will know what you mean. Yup. Kansas City gave me my Wii initiation. My mad wrist flick is gonna take me places, I can tell. Megan had already played Wii, but here she is at her initiation into the Quik Trip Taquito club. The only thing better than Taco Bueno is QT Taquitos. (Joking. Please. Believe.)

The Lord spoke to my heart about contentment this weekend. I'm a "feeler." This tendency can be a bad thing because what I'm feeling always feels so true to me, even when it's not. I haven't been feeling contentment lately, but the Lord showed me this weekend that it is a choice. I have to reach out and take contentment. I have to choose it when nothing in me feels it. And this choice is not unauthentic because it "feels" false. It's obedient. Obedience trumps feeling.

And hey, the blessing of today is that I AM NOW A WORKING WOMAN! My mom fielded the 6 am wake-up call for me and gently roused me to ask if I wanted to be a substitute. Oh yes I want to be a substitute even though I am so very sleepy because I stayed up way too late last night not knowing that Monday, February 25, would be the day to catapult me into the world of wage-earning and oh yes I will be in on time and I will be nice to the children and I will try hard not to laugh when they write things in their journals such as "I did nothng this weekend. guess what. I am releted to the queen of ingland."

Finally, Happy Birthday sister! I love you. Scope out 26 for me, okay? Tell him I'll be there in a few years.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

pickin' up and pressin' on

Well, well, well.

I do suppose it's time for another update.

A good perspective births a good life. I'm working on perspective here in B-town. Searching for the beauty in the quiet life. It's here. I've had a lot of time to look, believe me. Lots of time.

I am not a full-fledged substitute teacher yet, but I am well on my way. All the paperwork is turned in, and now we wait for the state of Missouri to examine my fingerprints and confirm that I am not a criminal. Meanwhile, I pray and rest and bake peanut butter toffee cookies. Peter tells me the cookies are awful and then he eats five. I love my brother. Really. I do.

As for the beauty.

Bribing my dad to help me rearrange the furniture in my room. Now my bed sticks out from the corner like an awkward teenager at a school dance. It's a trade-off. Slightly un-aesthetic bed position being the cost. Reward being facing eastward windows, meaning I can see the sun rise when I wake up in the morning. The Ozarks are having some mighty nice sunrises.

Taking a run through the city park. This park, Dunnegan by name, appears in my childhood memories as far back I can reach. Even in winter it's beautiful. A friend and I were talking the other night about the glories of winter trees. Their bareness compels me to notice them more. When they are green and full, I see a mass. One big green blob. Sans leaves, I see shape, I see shadow, I see arms reaching to touch periwinkle February sky.

Celebrating life with others. A wedding in St. Louis for a much loved cousin. In a pew with my father and mother and brother and sister and niece (call that pew "the row of those I love most") and watching commitment and honor and love be exchanged for keeps. A dinner with a good friend. She doesn't mind new recipes, so I go wild. We light the candles and post-dessert, take funny pictures with her digital camera. "Act like someone just gave you a million dollars." "Now like you haven't slept in 72 hours." Ahh. This is good.

Here I am. Chapters are being closed. New pages blank before me. Risking on love again. Sara Groves sings, and I listen. "Even though your heart feels raw, love is still a worthy cause."

I'm finding a bottom line in this mixture of days. Here, love is still a worthy cause. If I can give no other objective or goal for my time at home, let it be that my heart presses on in love. James says it well: we consider blessed those who have persevered.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

w a i t i n g

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth."

It must have been crowded in that room, Jesus and all twelve disciples, eleven after Judas slipped out into the night. Crowded and maybe hot. I wonder, were they sleepy? Did they shift positions as the Son of Man spoke, their minds a little confused and foggy?

Jesus told them of the Comforter. The Spirit who would live in them and give them truth.

I hold to this promise tonight. I am confused. I do feel foggy. I can't see into the months ahead. I said no to something my heart wanted this week, and I think the "no" was the answer the Spirit was giving. But I am sad, and waiting for the whatever yes He is going to reveal feels lonely and long.

Pray for this sister in Missouri, if you think of her. There is more than this moment, I know. More beyond this achy night. More. Coming.

A thing resounds when it rings true
Ringing all the bells inside of you
Like a golden sky on a summer eve
Your heart is tugging at your sleeve
And you cannot say why
There must be more

There is more
More than we can stand
Standing in the glory
Of a love that never ends
There is more
More than we can guess
More and more, forever more
And not a second less

-Andrew Peterson

Friday, February 1, 2008

Träumerei (dreaming)

"I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind." -Emily Brontë

of when brokenness becomes a mosaic of pieces so beautiful
of when women are free
of when children have all they need to eat
of when pain is a thing of the past
of when the pinholes of light blaze into eternal glory
of when He comes, and we see His face

In the middle of the night
We try and try with all our mights
To light a little light down here
In the middle of the night
We dream of a million kites
Flying high above
The sadness and the fear
-Patty Griffin