On Joining Me in Another Place

Dear Ones:

If you are reading this post because you happened here from the crazy place that is the internet, Welcome.

If you are reading these words because you are a follower or subscriber of this blog, Thank You. For following along on this writing journey. For your support and encouragement, your comments and your own words here.

I am popping in to say that this is my writing home, my blog, my website, my place. But I want you to know that I also have another place, designed for people who choose to share a little space in their email inbox once a month or so. That decide to invite my words into that guarded space, the inbox —in the form of a letter. It has grown to be one of my favorite places to create, to communicate, and to correspondent with my readers.

You are invited, and I would be honored to have you join me here: The Notebook. 

Emails are free, and are sent once a month-ish. Once you subscribe, you have access to all letters in the archives.

I hope to see you there. (which is right here: The Notebook – a subscriber only monthly newsletter.)

with grace and gratitude,

elizabeth w. marshall

(join me on Instagram where I am apt to write a miniblog post, a poem, or a short prayer or two, too. I am a huge fan of Instagram as a place for telling stories and weaving together pictures and words. It is like a picture book for grown-ups.)

My Post-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wait With Me

“One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God.” Oswald Chambers

I sift through the most difficult times of my life, draw circles around painful periods, connect the dots between each hard part, every challenging chapter. As I take inventory of my almost sixty years, I find that in some way every important page holds a story of waiting.

Often my waiting felt like wading through the weight of heaviness and fear mired deep in murky waters of questioning. How long would our adoption take? How many years of infertility would we face? How long would momma battle dementia? When would we know healing and restoration within our marriage?

From birth to grave we are asked to wait. It is a necessary requirement, a prerequisite for living. We often feel most human, most vulnerable when we are made to sit in a holding pattern. Like a plane low on fuel, asked to circle while it waits for its turn to land, we become dizzy and impatient.

Our course is altered, outcomes are on hold, as we hang in the balance of action and pause. We are a people on the move. And waiting goes against our “on the move” grain. For a generation or two we have become a people who are accustomed to instant gratification—a concept out of sync with waiting. Have we forgotten how to wait?

This “great strain,” of which Oswald Chambers writes, offers us beautiful opportunities for deeper dependence on God. Isn’t this where the growth comes, from strain and tumbling. We are the diamond in the rough. We are the pearl at the mercy of the oyster’s grit. We are the waiters. And yet, if we pay close attention,  remaining awake to possibility, we will witness the miracle of His mercy laden timing unfold. Every time. We become like the pearl.

We encounter it on a deeply personal level when we rub up against anything that stops us from moving, acting, creating, and doing. All the “ing’s” that fuel our living. And yet, to wait in faith, to wait with trust, to wait wholly dependent on a God who holds me in the darkness of uncertainty—this is my spiritual challenge. And perhaps it is also yours.

To read this post in its entirety click the link and join me over at Grace Table.org where this post first appeared. Click to continue reading… Thank you for joining me. 

 

The Good of Now

The Good of Now

February 8, 2019

Photo by Scott Webb on Pexels.com

Genesis calls me back
With a new creation invitation

Simple phrases of affirmation
Spoken by the Creator-of-the-Universe

By example, He teaches
By example, He declares
Repeats it
Because it bears repeating
If anything ever did
This does
Six times in One

Look with the simplicity of Genesis
With a Genesis ear
Hear with a Genesis heart
With every word
That ever was
and is

and shall be
to choose from
He chose good

The Word Made Flesh says it is good
now and forever more

And I am called back
In the lines and phrases, the poetry of Book One, Chapter One
into the goodness of Now
Moved by the power and majesty of
In the beginning the words
Were simple
Truth

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Promise Me

Join me at The Notebook: Pages of Mine, a monthly subscriber-based newsletter delivered to your inbox…quietly. Click the link to sign up to receive the upcoming November letter (its free!) and to have access to the archives containing all past letters.

 

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Promise Me

You will
find love in the places where love is hard
and learn to know it there
Walk the trail that’s hard to blaze
Pressing on, though tripping up
On a broken wing and a cryptic prayer
Your walk will be marked by the limp of grace
Mercy, your salve on every blistered place
Remember the Psalms of Ascent
Came before

Contemplate every word that expires from your lips’ breath
And know with certainty
That each word was first birthed
From the inspiration placed in the well
within (where the echoes grow)
Remember that “think comes before speak and pray comes before it all”
And pride comes before the fall

Promise me
That excellence will find you seeking it
And it will mark the work of your hands

You won’t permit perfectionism
To entangle you, hold you captive
Wrap you up in the bonds of your own creation
Bury you in the mire of doubt
“Carry on” will be your anthem song

As you blaze root-laden trails
Settle without settling
(the third cousin of compromise)
Compromise, the first cousin of grace,
Can yield “and it was very good.”

You’ll always remember
That proximity of heart can be hard to maintain
But never let distance, brokenness, and pride
Place a wedge the size of east Texas
Between you and anyone
You love big back

Promise me you will make peace with
Both and
And
Tough and tender
Fragile and strong
And there are more
You know them well
Just promise me

You will always remember
The world is filled with grand and glorious wonder
Waiting
And there is more where that came from

 

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