A Perfect State Of In Between

provider mcclellanvilleA Perfect State Of In Between

When the door opens on the old white ice box
he peels back the Reynolds
aluminum foil, covering the prize he’s purchased
and reveals the blue guys from the sea.

We’ve been waiting for awhile, well a year
for them
and I see myself.
But don’t tell him, or anyone.

Timing is important.
Well it’s everything in fact.
And seasons come and  go.
It’s their season now.
The soft shells are ready, and I am too.

I see myself in the metal pan under the foil.
In them,  in this  perfect state of in between.
Change made them perfect.
Life stopped for them, perfection frozen
At this time of molting.

I hear the excitement in his voice.
The eyes stare up, the pairs of beady blues
Row on row.
We know this soft shelled state.
We know it well.
And we know the seasons too, the ones of change.
Are there really any other.

And it is where we live most of our days,
In between
The shedding and the growing
The softening and release.
Gone are layers, left to float ashore.

I want to thank them for the gift.
An offering, a delicacy.
For stopping at the perfect time
And showing me the joy
that shedding brings

A perfect state of in between.

How I Am Learning One Size Doesn’t Fit Most Or All

rope hammock chain rain mcvl

We find ourselves living in another new normal again. And it’s okay. It’s more than okay. Because we are being washed in a torrential outpouring of grace.

We are learning in the stretching. We tore down some of those self-imposed walls. Or were they man-made? I don’t know. I just know they are crumbling down a bit. The rigid, concrete walls which keep out change. The ones that conform us to some preconception, some loose ideal whose origins we do not know.

We seek to lean into God ‘s will and plan. And to bend without breaking. Yet welcoming the pruning shears. To stretch and grow. And break free of shackles that bind. To let Him mold us, shape us, lead us, change us. The heat from the fire refines us. The molding reshapes us. We hope that we are beautiful when we come through the tumbler’s wheel. More beautiful and stronger than before. But more than any superlative or standard or ideal, we hope to more like Christ.

And I am learning in the deep recesses, the places that like to tuck away and hide the false, the myth, the half-truths. That one size doesn’t fit all. And that even the one size fits most isn’t always the right fit.

Because the God of the universe created with an eye on originality and uniqueness. An unfathomable ocean of possibility and endless beauty in the physical world. Mountains and months of snow blanket the earth, no two flakes alike. Endless variety. Infinite variation.

I word searched “normal” in The Message Translation because it matters to me how scripture sees and views “normal”. It’s not a precise study in theology nor a tool in stating a case. It simply gives me pause. There were nine “hits”. Some how that seems infrequent for the whole of scripture. And I long to know why.

And I am seeing that God’s highest and best, it may lay outside the cookie cutter ways we write paradigms for our lives. We are looking at new paths and ways to live out this life for our children and ourselves.

My lens on this life sees beauty in different ways of doing and making art. Of writing. Oh the myriad of writing styles there are to ingest. The cup is full to overflowing with poetry and prose of every imaginable style. Each sip satisfies with it’s original beauty.

And doing church is going through some transformation. We are hungry and thirsty for community, fellowship and teaching. A shift in our life is shifting possibilities here too. The world, our world, our very lives are changing. And there may be another new normal on the horizon for us. I am learning to break the lens of tunnel vision. And to replace it with a lens of grace. Grace for us, our children, and throwing out stale ways of seeing possibility.

One size fits all is too small for a God this big. And His love is too grand to squeeze us into shoes that don’t fit as we run this race of life.

Our new normal feels more beautiful everyday and we are starting to settle into our new skin. Just in time for the new new normal that waits with open arms around the next turn in the road. We travel with a spirit of expectancy. And we walk by faith covered in grace.

A

The Land Where The Unknowns Live – (The Power of The Wind)

Cracking the door open a smidge and peeking back in for a moment or two. Oh the challenge of keeping the writers quiet with their paperless canvas, when all the world is swirling and brimming and blustering and shining.

Voiceless it cries,
Wingless flutters,
Toothless bites,
Mouthless mutters.

-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

The Land Where The Unknowns Live

the mt storms, the wind

She sailed her boat on the seas of life where the winds blew white capped waves

Deep cracks and crevices on broken seas crept over her vessel’s sides

She sailed her craft under a sky so grey, with tears on cusp of breaking edge

Salty, stockpiled and ready to roll

Stealing salt from the tops of waves

And she sailed her ship, solo, so alone

To a land where the unknowns lived

Under night dark skies, painted  charcoals, ebonies,  and slates

Highlighted in battleship greys

Mirroring the melange of a heart and soul

And the sails they flapped and flailed and feinted, tattered and torn

So weak and wobbly worn

Ripped under the power and might of the storms

The swirling howling honking sounds came

And the all arounds blew

Under its gale-force currents of power and might

The breakables broke and the sediment shifted

While the trees they snapped, the roots gave way

As the wind tears all that’s shallow and weak

And the limbs bent, broke, tumbled, tossed

Then felled

As the howling power, like a runaway train

Brought the loose things loose while the winds swept the land

And carried things off in a current of cleansing

As the wind blew through, cutting a jet black night

But oh the morning it brings the new

A cleansing of a dark and broken soul

And rolls back all black

And saves the tears for some

Other day

And shines the light of Joy on all dark

As the sun shines radiant through the trees

The wind blows fresh through the cheeks puffed full

Of Hope through the land where the unknowns live

So she mends her sails, or did He mend them for her

And  re-rigs her boat, or did He repair that too

Her working parts and pieces

Sending her off on a journey new

On a sea of redemptive swells

Where the pitch and toss

And the windswept new bring Hope to a journey, new

Fueled by the breeze so gentle and soft

Of a kind and whispering wind

Touching tender the cheeks of the smiling face

Of the land where the unknowns live.

Day 19 – Peace In A Sea of Change

Today is Day 19.

{Writer’s Prologue – Strangely my spirit grieves the two/third’s way through, my math mind is icky, or so, I find myself in this Series. It has brought so much richness and fullness and I release to God the Day 32 which is to say the first day without the Series guiding and shaping.  And your eyes and heart here provide me a richness of community. If you would like to receive posts via email click here. The future is full of endless possibility and words beyond this series. Thanks for being a Pilgrim with me. ]

There is what is called the “cushion of the sea.” Down beneath the surface…there is a part of the sea that is never stirred. The peace of God is that eternal calm which, like the cushion of the sea, lies far too deep down to be reached by any external trouble or disturbance…
Dr. A.T. Pierson

Do you know this place where change looms all around. And it feels like sediment stirred up from ocean’s floor. You seek the sieve to filter what of it is good. Perhaps its all. Good. From the God of Good.

Can you hear the seas roar loud like Lion’s roar, a strong bold change.

We sit for long sessions now, The Patient One and I. And there is so much for us it takes my breath away. So much for us to discuss and navigate through. This ship, our lives.

Our church is experiencing deep and wide and profound change. We may make one too as it makes its, change. I walk around with a grievous spirit. And fear that I will weep on Sunday as I serve communion at the rail. I look in eyes that experience a ripping kind of change. Division and confusion. We vote on change.

In our church in days, in our country in days.

And colleges will vote on whether my child comes to them or not. Or maybe its a sweeping decision of a committee of one at these institutions.

But God knows. And he loves. And we desperately seek His will in a sea of change.

For us it may involve boxes and change of address forms, but it may not. That is the way of releasing all to Him. That is the way of abandoning plans while seeking His.

There may be changes in schools and there is a deep desire to seek this path He has for the middle one, the one who looks at schools for art and schools based on Military dictums or simply coming out into the world.

It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean revel in Him.

The Message, Philippians 4:4-7

And maybe peace in a sea of change is handing him the oars, the paddle, the motor, any steering mechanism on board and drifting.

Drifting on the swells of trust into His arms.

And praying for Him to guide and steer and love us.

Into oceans of change. While we release and abandon our compasses, our course.

He the Map Holder. We fall into His arms.

And I weep.

My ocean is one of tears. May they be salted with sweet and savory knowing that His ways roar with excellence and perfection.

And that the cross is squarely in our cross-hairs, our plumb line His horizon.

{Writer’s postscipt- Thankful for a community of tear-catchers. You know who you are}

To read the collective click here. Today is Day 19. I weep. Todays word is Change.

Linking this post with my friend, Shelly at Redemption’s Beauty. She is writing for 31 Days. Can you hear the release in the air.