It’s Okay to Change Your Mind

It’s Okay To Change Your Mind

Decide you want to stay another day
To wake the morning of the First

And then
With the whole Earth

Rub the sleepness from your tired & wondering eyes
Wash  your weary face
Look up to the heavens
Feel a hundred flakes of confetti,
Crimson gold guilt leaves
Blow over you, thrown in celebration from the sky
Oh what a party it shall be

Then choose to find sweet beauty moments in

The midst of almost
unbearable

Pain

See

Over the horizon, this new and glory-filled day

Made by The Artist, who loves us

And knows well the grief of pain

Decide to look out on this life

To hear we love you

And embrace mankind’s collect cry

We’re so glad you chose

To see the Earth unveil her love

What amazing grace,

You changed your mind, its okay

You chose to see another day

We’ll name it, call it, celebrate with you

Your miracle,

Your second birth, your

Changed-your-mind birthday

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To read the series in its entirety click here

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Bending Into The Blue

oak park tree my fave

bending into the blue

we’re dusted up a bit
after a storm blew through
roughed us up a bit too
the days cracked open like
a meteor fell from the
heavens
akin to the Russian one
the cracks wide
like caverns of crazy
gaping
and then death marched around
this place
in twos again, but it could be three soon
we’re dusted up a bit with
death and sadness

but we bend into the light
till the ground to bury roots
not heads
hold them high
toward the light, it pierces the dark
and melts the frozen sheets of sadness
the calm after the storm
can’t come soon enough
we look for redemption to sing loud soon

we are still dusted up a bit
like we were thrown off a horse at the rodeo
bruised the tender places
like the heart and soul
more than the backside
pain wakes up the sleeping
it rocks and jolts
realigns
cold water on the face wakes up the
ones dozing off into complacency
smacks the sleeping from their slumber

we were banged up a big
surprised by the sting
rocked by the moving currents
blizzard conditions prevailed awhile
bundle up hold on hunker down
when the artic blast comes your way
put the covering on, layers and layers of
the garment he gives
the full armour

but we bend into the blue
the color of strength
IBM chose it for a reason
the meek shall inherit the earth
and these are the days leading up to
more of it, redemption
the robin’s eggs and bluebirds will deliver spring
and songs will awaken the frozen earth
praise has a way of healing the broken
Lord we are ready, the table is set

we are bending into the blue
the color of heaven
we cried to them, the celestial places
loud and long, joined by a chorus of angels
we are certain we heard their harmony
we’re made strong when weak
because heaven heard and hears
our cries
he sees the sparrow and we are seen
bruised, busted, broken, blue in spirit

bend into the blue with me
the color of grace and mercy
there is melting of the pain
when the light comes down and warms our
frozen frigid frosty souls and hearts
out of the blue
the sting of death
has lost its sting
a bit

we are bending
bowing
praising
and singing
together

into the blue

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joining emily and the imperfect prose community for some words on redemption

The Big Yellow Metaphor

{This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting on  my experiences on a wild and wonderful journey. A big colorful artful adventure, one  from New York to South Carolina as part of a team on The Art Bus Project roadtrip.}

Audrey. And others. They were my teachers.

I just went to summer school. And my classroom was a big yellow school bus.

The bus, my classroom screams loudly the lessons over the din of heavy black tires on I-95. Yells out over hot highway with her yellow zippered lines marking the lessons. Shouts Truth over the swoosh of passing eighteen wheelers in the fast lane and the screech of breaks on near missed turns. Through tolls and toils she lays out the lesson plan to her student held captive within the yellow walls.

My team members on The Art Bus Project, part of the teaching staff. I a student, a sponge soaking in the lessons. Some hard. All good. Life teaches well along the way. In the messy living.

The old, big, gas-guzzling, loud and sometimes hot classroom is a good teacher too.

When God calls us into ministry He is good to change us. And challenge us.And He is wise to teach those he taps . To instruct those whom he woos to come along for the ride. Moving us from Point A to Point B, never leaving us where we were found by Him. Transforming lives with Grace. Mercy moving us along. Increments of Truth and more of Him, measurements of movement.

And He is a gentle teacher. Loving His children and wisely never leaving His rag tag band, His co-laborers, His students of Grace unchanged. He lovingly shapes. He gingerly molds. We show up in a place carrying the now of what we know on our backs like a Patagonian hiker ready for a trek. He adds whats important, filling the pack with more of Him.  The weight of the important strengthens the sojourner’s back. Shoulders stronger, legs less wobbly, back braced for carrying the significant.

We show up ill-prepared. He refines the red clay of the soul on the spinning potter’s wheel.

And He uses His people in a beautiful way. There is no circumstance on the journey that He has not known. There are no combinations of facts or missing pieces which leave Him caught off guard or suprised.

So when I say yes and I show up He tilts the lense and sharpens the perspective. Divine fingers wipe the fog, remove the smudge on the window to the world. And over the shoulder on the looking back, He speaks. In the ear of the rewinding mind, He teachess.

And He takes one little, two little , three little travellers and more and binds them together over the bumps, through the wrong turns, past the monuments, through the dark tunnels, past the missed stops, and onward  on the road of learning.

The one about Him. And the one about us. And the one about the others along the way. The ones with the hurt and the pain. The ones with no one to listen and no one to care.

The weary woman on the way home, eyes blurred from hours in the office. The mom with a whispering heart, bruised by circumstances. The tender recovering soul who in her young life as a mother to two is now a widow and hurting. But aren’t we all.  And who doesn’t.

The eager child with the can of spray paint, eager to find a place to write and express. His name,his identity on the black asphalt, on the sides of the yellow walls. He teaches to listen and look for signs. They have a voice. They want to speak. They want to shout.

They all have a story to tell.

And we would do well to listen.

And we would be more like Him if we did.

{Counting gifts today with Ann over at A Holy Experience dot com. And linking up here at the Extraordinary Ordinary and here with Michelle and also with these two ladies here and here}

* the gift, possibly a first and a last, but hoping not, a mission trip with my daughter

*watching her serve, use her gifts and leave childish ways behind….way behind

*watching my daughter grow more and more into the woman God has purposed her to be

*meeting a freight container full of new friends this week, well I am prone to hyperbole

*seeing new places, exploring new corners, falling in love with the art of discovery all over again.

*regaining my sense of adventure and inquiry

* Asking and accepting the privilege to pray for two women, God grant me faithfulness to pray faithfully and diligently for their circumstances

*Eight new puppies in my world

*Watching my son care for the furry babies and seeing how nurturing He truly is

*getting  a text from my son at camp that he is homesick.  An unexplainable gift.

*counting down the days until we trek up to our beloved mountain home, where memory lives, and story waits to tell us more of the past, the present, and lend hope to the future

* new inspiration from new twitter folks, a welcome surprise. Reading tweet after tweet of words pointing toward the Father


Can’t Go Around It, Must Go Through It

Do you remember Red Rover. Did you play the game as a child where you called out “Red Rover, Red Rover….” to the opposing wall of linked-armed children? This is a game I remember well.

But what I remember most is the phraseology of the child’s game that went something like this– can’t go over it, can’t go around it, can’t go under it, must go through it. And so with steely eyes, and a huffing and puffing of all my might, and as much determination as a grade schooler can muster up, I would go running toward the chain link fence of gangly arms and attempt to break through. If you played this you remember the feeling of bouncing off the flesh and falling down on the ground, defeated and giggling if you failed. But if you won… well you were prideful, and pompous and celebrated the victory. You had smashed through the linked arms, broken the wall of defenses and crashed through the best efforts of your peers.

Dread has moved in, invaded my space, and is encroaching on my personal bubble. Do you know that space that is yours alone into which no one is allowed to enter? Dread is there. She is causing me to feel uncomfortable. She is robbing me of Peace. Dread steals Hope and belief in the best outcome. But what magnifies the discomfort is that I have given her space in my heart. Just handed it to to her. Dread, you may have a big chunk of me today. Take what you need.

So like the child whose turn it is to run the gauntlet of linked flesh and bone, I usher Dread out the front door, withdraw the invitation she sneakily stole to the party which is my life, and I run with Hope.

That which I dread, I have to run through. I can’t go over, around, or under. I will walk through it knowing that through Him all things are possible.

I may hurt. I may sting. I may feel disappointment. But I choose not to dread.

I choose Bold. I choose Courage. I choose God’s hand in mine, linked as I run into the wall, into the
obstacles.

I have over a half a century of life to look back on and see that He was there. Lifting me, encouraging me, carrying me, and teaching me.

With Him, we will toss Dread under the proverbial bus. We will take back that which she has stolen. We will set a place with fresh flowers and fine linens at the table of life for Hope. And open the books to learn all that He has for me from this chapter.

This is not a child’s game, this running the gauntlet of life. And I am not Brave, like a grown-up. I do not have Courage, like a mature adult facing the challenges of life. But rather,I am like a child nestled in my fear. I am vulnerable and scared. I long for someone else to take my turn. I wait until I have to go, to go and face the wall. I want to be last. Or worse, not go at all– into the wall.

But through Him all things are possible. in adversity and in challenge. So I grab the hand of the Friend of the Afraid and say, let’s run hard, this race together. I am white-knuckling the hand of The One Who Made Me and relying on His strength to knock down Dread.

And as I release Worry and release Distrust, I slowly gain Peace. And I gain the knowledge that right there in the bruised flesh from striving and straining against the wall, He sits with open arms. Right there as I tumble down, not laughing nor giggling in a pile of defeat, He is there to wipe the tear. He comforts me. He embraces me. He dusts me off so I can get back into the game with renewed Hope and renewed Courage.

And this time He has ushered the school-yard bully Dread, off the playground. I have called on His name. I have yielded my struggle to Him. I have sought help from The Advocate. And I am not afraid.

Can’t go around it, must go through it. Let’s Go God.