Tell Me A Story

grafting trees

Tell Me A Story

tell me a story all covered and cloacked in miracle and love

hope and wonder, the starring roles

tell me a story all colored in bright, shaded in laughter loud and so long

start near the end where things are closed, grafted in love and tender delight

each stands alone and each one merges in love with the others

no open unendings, no unfinished business

no, add the happily everafters all day long

or even everafters will do, they’ll do

tell me a story all knitted and sewn by hand in love

stitches of  tender mercies  mixed with intimate whispered i love yous

and tell me a story

i won’t miss a word

of family present bound by blood, tears and  love

the one where they are joined together so very tight

all wrapped in bright shiny, like packages with bows

gifts from Good Giver, presents of love

stop at the good parts, rest there awhile, turn your page slowly

rush not, don’t hurry

please tell it slow and steady in every detail

rest and pause often, stop at the good parts

savoring the best places and times

tell me a story of love and forgiveness

tell me a story of family redemptive

tell me a story, uniquely mine

Telling The Story In The Middle: A Study in Wait & Pause – Living In The Waiting

If there is a protocol for blogging or a template for writing blog posts or a committee of oversight for writing, they may tell me this one is coloring outside the lines too much. Well at least the long and winding title. In which I tried to say too much and didn’t opt for the pithy. The brief. The succinct.

And who has time to read through a long title? Today things should be brief and catchy and short and simple is always better, right?

How incredibly ironic and frustrating and so very timely is the spinning chrome ball forcing me to wait as I write a post impatiently on waiting. Pausing.

There would be no reason to write on waiting and patience and finding myself in the middle of much if I didn’t know in my deep down places that it is  a core human struggle.

And in the writing, in the sharing, there is  a collective group sigh or exhale or head nod— I know this place too. Or there could be. If you can make it through this long post. If you feel up to waiting for the end.

And yet in the middle of it all  are such deeply personal and individual lessons from God for me that it feels like a sacred tutorial. He is  sanctifying my heart and soul in a season marked for me. A something I need to really get and embrace and be challenged by. And grown by.

So who tells stories in the messy middle before there is closure and a neat and tidy ending? Who leaves the reader hanging, saying why did you tell me this if you couldn’t also tell me that?

I know only that I write from the heart what I feel lead to share.

And there are things upon which I wait. And it feels like a first world problem, and yet I know He cares to speak to me in all of my living. And He cares deeply about all the details of all of our lives.

As I wait for a return to a call and an email and a text from a woman, I wonder why the delay. The Patient One says I have made her mad. I can’t think how or when or what caused the quiet from her end.

So I will tell you how it ends when I get the return from my call in which I said I need to apologize to you. I don’t know what I have done but please tell me so I can say I am sorry.

I don’t know the ending but I know the peace in the middle. I told her I needed to hear her voice. I hope she calls. I have a measure of peace. I want complete peace. Don’t we all.

I have a child with a desire to be accepted to a specific college. We wait. I pray. We feel like there is a pregnant pause in the air. And God and I are tethered to One another in a way we would not be if a child’s future didn’t hang in the balance. He knows me well. He keeps me hanging. He keeps me waiting. And I know these periods of waiting well.

Of waiting for long cycles of infertlity to end. And being lead to adoption and receiving the gift of  another biological child, a daughter after the blessed adoption of a son. He meets me in my waiting. I should long for periods of waiting with Him. They have marked my life with the beautiful. Building my family through waiting, just the way He intended it to be built.

One of the most precious people in my world, my inner inner world, is going through a painful divorce. And I want it to end. I want the pain to stop for her. I want closure and finality and decision. I long for her suffering to end.

She is in the messy middle and she texts me and calls me and I hurt for her. But God will sustain her through the dark period. I reminded her yesterday to hold on to her Joy and not to lose sight of her “what is good”. She has four beautiful children. She texted me thank you for reminding her not to lose sight of the Joy. I wasn’t sure she heard me through her pain. I should listen to my own advise.

We wait for healing in our church family and  in my small community. For a new day and a rebuilding of our body after division.

I long to receive a letter from my Compassion Sponsored child in Peru. There are, I believe, long delays in correspondences between Peru and me, typically normally. This will be the new normal through the years of corresponding with her. But much more importantly, she must be waiting on me. I am overdue a letter to her. It saddens me to think I have left her waiting. I have caused her to wonder where the letter is from me.

And I wonder if God is waiting on me too. I want to be obedient in my living and in my writing. I wonder if I haven’t heard Him clearly. What does He intend for me to do and when with this writing. I am working with a friend on a poetry project, Adagio. And we wait to discuss the next season for this our fledgling poetry project. We wait a little.

My daughter wants her room redecorated. Its in process, unfinished. A stark reminder of the physicality of waiting. I walk in to make the bed and its a work in progress. And that is it. That is really a large part of it.

We are in process, we are a study in waiting, we are unfinished business and unfinished creatures and souls daily. God is refining us. And working things out through us and in us.

I lean into the understanding of this and seek to know it all better. We are unfinished until we are perfected by Him. And the right here is full of things to embrace, to learn, to hold to, to study, to enjoy, to celebrate.

On my porch sits a Christmas tree, our second tree. I received a gift which I want to unwrap and use, a box of ornaments from my parents. But there were so many they needed their own tree. And a wide eyed teenage daughter said I really want to decorate the porch.

The tree is lopsided and propped up. I can’t figure out how to “install” the tree in the newfangled tree stand. It is a mess of beautiful. A mess of white lights waiting to go up on the horizontal tree. Maybe the tree could lay on the ground and I could color outside the lines. Hang the ornaments from a laying in wait tree. Maybe that would symbolize the waiting.

We wait for Christmas Day.

But  isn’t so much of the joy in the days leading up to the day.

Fining joy in the right here right in the messy middle.

The tree on the porch and I have a lot in common. We wait.

I want to be beautiful in the waiting. And learn from the pauses.

Wait with me, pray with me, learn with me.

It would make the waiting even richer. To wait with one another, in community. As we work through and work out the days of our waiting.

The chrome colored ball has gone for the moment. But I know it will pop back up and make me pause. I hope I rest and pray and find peace in the pauses.

And the disposal is broken and the sink is clogged up and I am waiting on the electrician. Maybe I can spread some Christmas cheer while he is here.  While I am waiting for him to fix my brokeness.

Amen? Amen.

Joining Ann, Emily,Emily at Chatting At The Sky, and Jennifer



A Donkey, Carol, and A Soul In Need At Walmart

donkey 1

I wonder if The Water Walker, the stretched out on the cross Christ came down into my Advent heart what He would find. I feel dirty as the dusty donkey that his parents road into town in the dark cold night, looking for warmth. And I passed a woman lonely at Walmart a few weeks back that I had known, she walks a lonely road herself and I didn’t speak. When I had a mouth that works my heart did not. I left her there without a touch of grace, not even a hello. So I could be the keepers of the inn whose heart would turn away the Mary and the Joseph of today. Looking for warmth and a place to birth the King of Kings. And I wonder if He were to walk in as I am covered up in paper and plastic if he would speak gentle correction and have me strip it all away. And say the tree with glitter shiny looks like excess in a world of want. That you can peel it all back and find just bone and flesh and marrow and beating hearts and Him and that is celebration enough. But then you’d have to peel back all the stuff, the boxes and the bows.

And so I wonder if He were to knock like Carol did a few weeks back, the Jehovah’s Witness at my door, what He would find that pleases Him of my preparing Advent heart. And if He were to shadow me in all my ways during all my days leading up to the 25th day of next month, what would he say of me. How when I walked the dog I hoped the neighbor didn’t speak because I wasn’t feeling particularly friendly at that moment. Too cold and focused on getting on with my selfish life.

Yes, I could be the innkeeper who’d turn away Messiah, if I’d turn away a neighbor on a cold November Day.

I wonder as a wander down the days leading to His birth, how I could prepare like a knower of and lover of and believer in Him. How I could honor Him and bless Him and glorify Him in all, that’s ALL I say and do, my every breath my every word, my every deed.

I simply wonder what the Knower of All and Lover of My Soul is beholding, of me and my house and my heart this Christmas Season.

I pray for grace. And I pray for eyes to see anew, all the Wonders of His Love.

Its a season of miracles and I long for the miracle of a worthy Advent heart, perfected at the Hands of a Stable Born King.

And a heart to seek and speak and love like one who knows better.

cross on a wall

Today I am participating in a five-minute writing excercise with others here.

And I ask for forgiveness because it is highly likely I ran over five minutes. Colored outside the lines….got grace?

Broken: Simply A Story of Hope

Something in my world  was broken.

Injured. Wounded. Hurting.

It looked as though all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put something back together again.

Broken beyond repair.

To many. To most. To the world.

Hope was fading.Hope was dim. There were days when hope was gone.

And hearts were hurting, aching, bruised. Hearts were busted. Tears ran down the cheeks of man.

They ran hard, they ran fast, and they ran wet.

And they flowed, these tears.They flowed long. They flowed steady.

They delivered the sting of grief to the puddled places of the pained.

And the words flew all around.

While the sting of pain seared red hot mad.

Hope  slipped away. Despair settled in.

For some, hope was no more.

Until God.

Until God the Healer breathed His healing breath into the brokeness.

Until God the restorer of Hope touched the broken.

The hard is made soft. The tough turns to tender. The Light shines in the dark.

The broken begins to show signs of healing where Light pierces the charcoal black,
the pit dark, the ebony shadows of hurt.

God’s touch brings new life. Restores the busted.

Delivers change. Re-builds hope. And rebuilds lives.

Restores souls.

And God writes the  change. He writes the story new. He bold proclaims the title changed, to one with Him, of Hope.

With each new page, Healing stands up and stands strong in the middle of the mess.

With each new day, Love pours out and finds a home in the heart of the hurting.

And broken mends at the hands of the Healer. And pain fades dim while Hope shines bright.

And man looks on and says, this is miracle to me. This is  miracle to us.

The story is told anew by The Author of Hope.

An ending is rewritten, for today. An ending of Hope and Healing.

And man stands in awe of God. A witness to His  work of love in lives, in hearts, in hurt.

And the King of Kings puts all the broken pieces back together again.

And man tells of this change. And of these things. And speaks of the work of The Re-creator. In his life. And in his heart.

While Hope grows strong and steady.

Where hope was lost, new songs  now sing from the lips of man.

The eyes see, anew. The ears  hear anew. The heart is witness. And will never forget.

The Broken fades and the Healing continues.

The wounded reach out to the Healer and hang on, with Hope, in Love.

Tears dry. And happy has a place to be. And Joy moves in and finds her home among the hearts of the once-broken.

And God delights in the renewal of the Hope, of the Love, of the Wounded Heart.

He binds up the broken, with restorative Love.

He wipes the eye and clears the tear again and again.

And the Human heart sees. And the lips give Praise. And tell. And show.

And the life tells its new story.

Of God, of Love and of the Healed.

Lives point to  Him who  is Good and Him who is Great.

And the Broken are mended in love, once again.

And the lips and the words and the lives tell of this.

And the restored cannot keep quiet. And the healed cannot sit silent.

So they tell of the Editor and Author of Grace.

That God’s Grace and Love poured out into the cracks and healed the broken shards.

And  lives were restored, with God Love.

To the Healer be Glory. Forever and ever Amen.

The beginning. NOT the end.

Because He writes these stories for all.

And the power in the telling of one gives Hope to the stories of many.

What’s your story of God’s restored Hope and Healing? 

Linking with Duane and Jennifer and Ann today.