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. 

 

Quietude

wpid-20140611_095308-1-1.jpgQuietude

And I imagine underneath
What seems to be a placid sea,
Life churns the silted sands of time
Years and years
In the making
Marking
Grains of brokenness
Teeming now with signs of life
Cycles of  the salty chains
Concentric circles
Connecting
Old and new, life
In the quiet, creatures spin
Watery webs of
Sea life, below a murky grey tinged
Surface, ceiling to their room
Dwelling there in the
Quiet

And I too
Live
Underneath a paradox of quiet
Swirling, churning, cycles of this
New growth
Birthing
Beginnings
Witness to ends and endings
Too
Too
Many to recount
In this space
This
Quiet

Preparing
I design my own
Land-locked home

And words leak out in advance
Of a watery avalanche
Story-telling prepares
To wash ashore

It will come
Perhaps
On the next high tide
Or the high tide after that
Perhaps

But waiting in the quietude
Life teems with
Pregnant thoughts

The words won’t wait forever

Quiet holds its breath
But for a season
Tides wait for no one

Won’t you come ride the swells
With me
Fueled by
Weeks of
Quietude
The dam prepares to burst

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Joining Jennifer Dukes Lee for #tellhisstory

 

 

 

Still Here

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Still Here

Cut grass, sweet and fragrant
Spring’s trademark
You could bottle the stuff, sell it
At Neiman Marcus
It punctuates my days
From sunup to sundown
Like the lady with the beehive on the elevator
Heavy handed with her perfume
In an effort to try hard, too hard
To cover her transgressions
Sweet smell of store bought grace

Smells like childhood and memory
Out there
Skint knees and day-light savings time
And those pint sized 747’s  go from here to there
You could set your clock by their work
Pollinating and cross-pollinating
So focused on their work
They produce guilt
In the poet
They, single-minded  and task oriented
The artist, wavering and wondering

And I am still here
Left in the wake of new beginnings
Wallflower, wondering
Why poetry dried up
A heart mining deep
Caught in transit are the words

I come to a ghost white page

Blinking cursor like an old school marm
Tapping her impatient brograns
Where are the words you claim you
Bought and paid for with your living

Where is the poetry
Saved up
On the floor of the mason jar
Like lightening bugs
Gasping for air

Still here
Polishing, pruning
Mining the story
And praying hard

The words don’t return to ash
And dust
For lack of air

Breathing deep
Still
And restless
Poet warrior
Her pen, her weapon

Seeking peace
And moving the sprinkler
To water the words

Celebrating
Poetry Month
In the still quiet
Of irony and longing

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Joining Laura Boggess for Playdates at The Wellspring

Catching Up With Gratitude and Thanksgiving

So there is a place. This space, a canvas, a carved out place. Where there is a gathering of souls. My blog. A gift.  And things have been quieter, a little quieter, recently. Here.

And sometimes when I write in this place it feels like prayer, or speaking to an empty room, or a  crowd of no one, or a gathering of kindreds. Very often it feels like releasing words on wings not knowing where they will fly. But God knows. He always has and He always will. Good and gracious.  Everlasting to everlasting. Eternally. World without end.

So this feels like an accounting and a catching up. And in this season of Gratitude and Giving Thanks, I am called and lead to do both. This week that is ending, is the week before Thanksgiving Week, though I want to live in a place of Thanksgiving  always. And everyday.

And so in a spirit of Gratitude and Thanksgiving I say thank you. For reading my art, my offerings, my poetry, my prose. Thank you for hearing and seeing the words that fly from this place.

You may want to know that for the last 12 weeks I have been working, though it has felt more like playing some days,  in a workshop entitled “The Writing Life” offered by Tweetspeak Poetry. So for 12 weeks much of my writing has been in the form of writing assignments. Some of it will appear here. It has kept me busy, away from here more than usual. But I hope that you will see a new passion in my writing, new focus perhaps, or just more of the same with a little more prose.

You heard more prose, yes you did.

Poetry is driving my writing. It will influence my prose. But I am pushing myself into other genres. Or flinging open doors, taking my metaphors, my lyricism and compression, an economy of words, into my prose.

And I have been scheming and dreaming about my art and where it might go. And how it might look. And what changes I may make and what projects I may undertake. I have some projects up my sleeve. You will likely be some of the first to know. They really just involve more writing. Which is what this place is about.

In addition to being grateful for you, I realize I have been enormously blessed to have had my work appear at Burnside Writer’s Collective. I have a poem running this weekend. I believe it is my fourth there. But who is counting. When it is up I will link to it.

And I have a by-line/bio appearing under the tab “Meet Our Team” at Tweetspeak Poetry. This has been a wonderful community for me. A place where I have developed friendships, learned about the craft of writing and had some of my work published on-line. I am submitting a new piece soon. I may have the privilege of having it appear there. I will share it when it runs over there.

So thank you for reading and commenting. For encouraging me and supporting my art.

I have added some new tabs to my blog header and have made a few changes. Did you notice? I am still working on all of it. So thanks for grace and patience.

I hope it is a peaceful place, a quiet place. And a rich and soulful place to come.

Gratefully and thankfully yours,

Elizabeth

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Quiet Is The New Loud

Quiet is the new loud, a reconstitution
of noise, watered down background
Sound, sounds hushed
like peace
and quiet. If it were a color it would be
White
Noise is the new normal.
Transformation is everywhere.
Orange is black.
And simple is complicated.
And renaming is everywhere.
Just calling is so doesn’t make it
but somehow quiet seems to want
to take over and rule me.
And I concede, give up the reigns
Loose the bit and bridle
As let it take control, run away with me.

Because quiet is queen.
And she wears a crown of humility.
A simple garment.
And whispers all I need to hear.

For if I thought I had much or any
Control,
I, thankfully, do not.

Everything I have ever needed to hear,
I have heard in the quiet,
still, small voice,
of a whisperer.
The new reigning queen
Of a quiet and peaceful world.

Hush, you might hear her pin drop,
Her scepter
Light as a feather
makes
no sound.

And quietly she takes her place
Upon a humble
Muted throne.

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