Merry Christmas – Christmas: A Time For New Birth

Merry Christmas friends. Thanking God today and everyday  for you all. And wishing each one of  you a day filled with friends and family, love and hope, peace and joy.

And rest for your weary souls.

Today I am honored to be at my friend Diane W. Bailey’s blog telling a Christmas story filled with memories and gratitude. You are invited to hear a story that brings me joy to share. Click the link to read……and Merry Christmas with love and rejoicing. ( Oh, and it is snowing on my blog. Did you notice.)

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Fear

Today is Day 16. The collective can be read here. I am joining The Nester for the remainder of October with other 31 Dayer’s .

I don’t even want for fear to have its own title, headline, place in bold, upfront in this series.

I want nothing to do with fear, for I have given enough space and time and energy to it already.

Writing about it is even painful.

But isn’t that giving in. Letting fear sap energy. Tremble knees. Shake confidence. Rattle senses. Muss up the mind.

Isn’t fear numbing and paralyzing when it gets any room in a life.

It is greedy and boorish. Demanding and a bully. It saps Joy, drains the good, pulls the plug and lets hope rush down the drain like dirty bath water filled with bubbles of maybe.

Just maybe writing of fear, restores Hope. Writing of fear and meeting it head on pushes it back, meets it head on, faces it down.

Fear has erased days and bound me up. It has named seasons. It has defined seasons of  unknowing, of infertility and waiting years to add children to a family, by birth and adoption.

It has crippled in seasons of waiting for a husband to return, after a season of separation, marked the days dark and long. Tried to wrangle all life out of the days of healing, to rename me the one whose husband left. Fear says failure and brokenness rather than Hope and Security.

Fear takes the good plans of God for redemption and restoration and leaves you frozen in unknowing, hopeless, hope dwindling and the self demanding an answer now, the self commanding and controlling outcomes.

Fear robs the days left with a child at home, when the self chooses to demand to know the future, and it demands to know it will be labeled good by the world’s standards, good by the description of the self-focused soul.

Fear teams up with frozen and frightened and steals the hours and days of a life with a power that is unbroken, but for Jesus.

When healing and His redemptive love restore a Hopeful, Trusting Heart, the fire of fear is doused and diminished. And the pile of ashes is blown anew with a Spirit of new-life and radiant restorative re-birth.

The days of waiting on children’s birth, marriages restored and even financial struggles to end are marked by a wholeness from leaning hard into Him and softening the stone-cold places that fear and trembling have made tough as a frozen tundra. Made life-less.

Anxiety and worry have fueled enough days, with OCD re-routing a life ,bound it up in chains, set the heart on a new gear worthy of a NASCAR winner. Chased me round and round,  like a pack of rapid dogs. Spun me round, dizzy, like a child on a playground whirly gig until nausea and fatigue take the weary spirit to the ground.

Fear fuels the tongue and raises the volume and chooses the words. Takes control when control feels lost. Shouts orders demands her way. Raises the blood pressure, raises the stakes, reddens the face, and raises the roof.

Who wins when fear is in charge and shouts at the top of her fearful lungs and blow her battle weary bugle – CHARGE. Who falls in line, follows? Who feels called in love to go her way. There are no winners when fear leads  the weary into the unknown places.

And slips into the night, commands the dreams and rattles the sleepy, gets you up to pace the floors at night, creaking lonely in the midnight hour, draining the life from a tomorrow. Re-naming the days to come as weary and hopeless.

Fear gets the title here. Fear gets a word in this 31 Day Series of Words, but only because Fear gives Hope an opportunity to do her best work, to come in and breathe a breath of new living and redemptions glory.

The reigns are dropped, the bridled grip on frozen frightened doubt and worry loosed, and Hope and Trust ride off on wings of eagles, bound for a life lived with glimpses of the glory of heaven.

Today I am joining the lovely Nacole at Six In The Sticks. She is writing on fear for 31 Days at The Nester. You can read more of her hope-filled writing there. And I will not let fear cripple my attempts to workout the technical glitches to guest post there. Still Hopeful. See you at Nacole’s, but still here.

Joining Eileen and Jen and Emily

Thank you for adding to the conversation by adding your beautiful words to the discussion. You bring so much more when your words are apart of this community.

Story: Remembering, Praying, Healing

“Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the intrument as one goes on.” Samuel Butler from Chapter 10 “The Life of a Storyteller” from Annette Simmons “The Story Factor.”

She cuts hair and her words cut my heart.  And I listen to the story. Someone has released a colony of bees in my insides, the buzz and sting compete with the sweet honey making in one stirring moment.

I hear the happy. But I process the other.

There is a man who has walked this earth for close to a half of a century. He just connected with his birthmother. Worlds and emotions collide. And the telling is a beautiful mix of God and man and life and living.

In a flash of living a man with a mother now has two.

Hearts and life and souls and God are on a course moving foward and the lines of grace and redemption criss cross like the tracks of zipper teeth.

A forward moving narrative.

She cuts my hair. Her words cut my heart. Because I have a child with a birth mother. And so I release the possibilities of circumstance and discovery in his life. She cuts my hair and the story cuts deep my momma heart.

And the story is being written.

There are chapters and pages and lines with hurt, in my own. Wet smears the line of the ink still wet. Dries in a blur. But dries nonetheless. And the pages stay in. There is no ripping or removal. It all stays in.

The beautiful bound spine can contain both and.

Remember,  praying, while healing.

And the violin solo, played in public only gets more beautiful with each note, with grace like resin on the squeeky bow.  With grace like resin smoothing the out of tune and the parts that sound off key, seeming beautiful in the learning of the living. Seeming beautiful in the practice done on the life stage. There is no rehearsal.

And yesterday’s story and today’s story are bound in guilded gold, saved and savored, while remembering, praying and healing.

The same salt that enhances flavor and adds to, can rub in a wound, or help make an icy road passable. Or bring a non-believer toward a Jesus Follower questionning the beautiful, questionning the story, seeking to know more.

Or in excess make us thirsty, with a thirst that feels unquenchable in the longing for wet to hit the parched, the dry, the brittle.

Releasing the thoughts of my adoptive son seeking his birth mother in a one day page of his story, and hoping that when that chapter is written on our pages, we will pray, while remembering, pray while healing, and pray in our  forward living.

And God,  tosses mercy, like coins in the velvet-lined violin case of the sidewalk city  soloist. His gentle affirmation, His constant love. He listens in love. And finds the story of the soloist, beautiful. And sings the chorus of grace.

Amazing, how sweet, it saves.

Linking with Heather and Jen and Eileen and Jennifer, Duane, and Ann. As well as Courtney

(You are cordially invited to follow on wynnegraceappears facebook page. And you are warmly invited to follow this blog by subscribing below. It would be pure joy to have you along on this grace-filled journey. Scroll down to learn more. You bless.)

 



Why There Is Always A Back Story

“Say what you need to say,then leave.”

Seth Godin’s words today on his blog intigue me. A lot. His blog is wonderful. If you haven’t discovered it you should. Great insight, wisdom, and just plain good stuff there.

My heart crosses the concept of narrative and story often. I am reading “The Story Factor” by Annette Simmons, the full title of which is “Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion Through the Art of Storytelling.”

In it is a stirring quote from Jim Harrison, “The answer is always in the entire story, not a piece of it.”

Yesterday’s sermon focused on Isaiah 40:21-31, our story, our life’s narrative. And God, He plays a major role too. As He thankfully does. And did in the sermon. Its a good thing, right. (There is already a back story raising its not-so-ugly-head here. You may want to go to the archives of the blog to read of my love for Him and some of my Christian “story”.)

So much to gnaw on. And I love stories. I seem to learn well when story is used as a tool.

I seem to remember events when there is a story woven like silken threads through a snapshot of life. Is that what story is? Isn’t that what Jesus did when he told parables. Very brief. Very powerful. Very important.

But what of the back story? The parts thinly veiled or left untold. What of the living that lead up to the event?

Are we left to wonder, to guess, to write a narrative around the unknown parts.

“Say what you need to say, then leave.” I love the one, two bunch of the brief. The potency and power in the short. In the very  intense, undiluted telling. The concentrated strength of the brief.

Is this why I love the poetic.

Is this the beauty of poetry? Isn’t this the beauty of poetry?

Can the backstory show up in poetry in a way unique to the poetry format.

There is a beautiful backstory to these pictures, of my daughter, taken by The Patient One.

I want to tell you the story.

I think I’ll write a poem. But knowing my bent toward longer forms, maybe I’ll go write a proem, entitled “Salt” because that is why the beautiful winged-one lit on the beautiful girl-child.

It was all because of the salt.

Have I been salt to someone today?

{Will you come back tomorrow to hear more on story, the beginning the middle and the glorious endings. It’s really our life narratives. And aren’t they beautiful?

My heart is about to burst wide open to tell a beautiful one of a man I know. Its his story. It is beautiful. And I will ask permission to tell it this week. What a glorious story he is having? How is your story going.}

Counting gifts with Ann at A Holy Experience dot com.

Today as I think of writing my “Salt” poem, being brief when I write (because your lives are busy and you may not have time to ready the longer posts), and as I dream of how to tell the story of my friend which my heart bends into because it is an adoption story. I have a particular fondness for adoption stories, did you know that?

….. I am counting gifts, quietly, because you may have places to go, people to see, and a story to live.

Go live it with an extra dash of “salt”. I hope I will see you tomorrow.

Linking with Laura at Laura Boggess dot com and Michele at Michelle DeRusha dot com

And L.L. Barkatfor In On And Around Mondays