I sat there as she delicately drew lines and swirls on my hand and arm with henna. I was amazed at the intricacy that flowed from her brown hands.
Beauty…sitting across from me and on my left arm.
How quickly these feelings faded as insomnia ripped through my body that night, and quickly drudged up all the anger that had possibly, slowly begun to fade.
I laid on our couch. The glow of the street light out behind, and the nightlights in the kitchen illuminating the anger seething from my heart.
Where had it gone? That happiness I’d felt just a dozen hours earlier.
Where as I had begun the process of re-trusting, and of re-experiencing the grace between Creator and creation, I now screamed.
I fear that if you could see this anger, this distrust that swells my chest and juts out my chin – you would shake your head at me in contempt.
………….or, maybe you wouldn’t.
I wonder at how hard we fall sometimes.
Why we distrust One who is so magnificently in control.
In these handful of days that have past since that sleepless night I still wrestle with the accusations I placed. And I fear them.
They hold power if I allow them to.
But I want to get that place I was at with the beautiful Indian woman creating filigree on my hand. To the place of joy I experienced as we were swamped by the culture of a land our hearts cries for.
I need to remember and believe that He is not looking at me with contempt but with eyes full of tears and a broken heart.
I know I’m gonna have to do this on my own.
……and i know it’s going to take some time.
The healing and the trusting.
Because even re-trusting the One who hand-crafted you can take time.
This space may be a dark a little more often while I wrestle through this season I’ve
found thrown myself in. I shared with a friend that I know healing needs to take place but it isn’t something I want to rush. I want need it to be intentional and deliberate.
If I don’t heal and learn to trust again, I know it will affect future seasons and future breaths.
The words that I can wrestle out that can be shared I will do so. I know that we learn from one another, and while your story won’t be the same as mine, one day…….it may help.
I’m also making some breathing space on twitter. I find myself leaning in too much to social media to find my value and at times it hurts my heart.
Thank you for your patience with me. And humbly I ask for prayer.
Last night I finished reading the Bible.
From the Levitical Law to the the drippings of grace that left an empty tomb.
From in the beginning God spoke creation to the the indwelling of the new heaven and the new earth.
Over the last nine months, I noticed a thread, or perhaps a beautifully woven ribbon throughout the stories of creation, the repeated rise & fall of Israel, the Messiah, the church, and the last days.
Throughout the whole Word, God wove grace. In times where you would expect ungrace you experience grace flavoring the circumstances as salt flavors food.
Father forgiving the son who attempted his murder. Brother forgiving jealous, conniving brothers. Savior forgiving executioners.
Oddly enough, I even find grace in the Law. I see that it was God’s grace to give us the law in order that we would know that we could never stand in His holiness without the grace of the cross.
In grace, God repeatedly sent prophets to the Israelites. Calling for their repentance. And even when He allowed them to be taken into captivity, exiled, warred upon, He – in His grace – rescued them.
I loved that God took the time to show me how grace is not only woven into my life, but into the very existence of all since the creation.
My plan for the remainder of the year is to read Psalms; and at the beginning of the year start reading through chronologically. I trust that as He whispered my OneWord of grace throughout these last several months, He’ll do the same with my word for 2012.
Saturday morning I did not want to get up. We’d spent nearly 12 hours the previous day at the Together For Adoption Conference, but it wasn’t exhaustion (mental or physical) that weighed down my body.
I’d been awake since probably 4am and as the imminent melodious sounds of One eskimO, that would soon sound the alarm to rise & shine, I felt every ounce of my body repel against the second day of the conference.
I rationalized ways we could leave the conference early, as it felt that all my nerve endings were hyperactive and stretched their fingers prickling my skin.
Friday had been amazing. I walked away overwhelmed not only by the amount of information I received, but God’s heart for the orphan and God’s heart for me.
I reached over and turned my alarm off and laid there for a few more minutes. I felt heavy. And I realized the weight of opposition that did not want me to attend the conference.
I knew I needed to tuck some truth and encouragement in my heart and in my mind.
I’d been reading in 2 Kings for a couple of days and I realized I hadn’t come across the story of Elisha and his servant being surrounded by the enemy. I silently prayed, “Lord, if only I could read that story today. If only I could be reminded of your faithfulness in protecting me.”
And I drowsily began to read, and this is what God did:
“It’s not us, my lord the king,” one of the officers replied. “Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel even the words you speak in the privacy of your bedroom!”
“Go and find out where he is,” the king commanded, “so I can send troops to seize him.” And the report came back: “Elisha is at Dothan.” So one night the king of Aram sent a great army with many chariots and horses to surround the city.
When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha.
God more than met me where I was at. He knew what I needed. I was bowled over that He had ordained this passage, for this day in my scripture readings.
I honestly can’t recall another time, when He showed up this explicitly.
The second day of the conference was wonderful. We learned a lot. And had we left early like I’d been conniving to do in bed, I would have missed out on an incredible encouragement from a very unexpected source, and I would not have met a beautiful woman from India.
On our way home that night Shawn and I were discussing how much God had ordained us being there. We’d planned to attend the conference last year in Austin, but we weren’t able to. And if we had, we probably wouldn’t have attended this year.
And today….five days later I’m still moved to tears at His faithfulness. Even a year ago He had this past weekend in mind and all the at would happen.
Monday morning, and I’m nursing a latte. Making the goodness last more than just a handful of minutes. Florescent lights buzz overhead and the aroma of my orange clove candle perfumes the wide open expanse of my work area.
A friend’s daily morning email exclaims her determination that she will start the week off with an attitude adjustment, and choose not to be in a bad mood. And I applaud her.
This past weekend was the last of our crazy busy month of October……….and I feel physically drained. I’m looking forward with great anticipation of a few weeks silence before Christmas begins to take hold of my life.
Another friend says she can see can see the breaking of day, and together we rejoice that there is hope there.
….and so I write them out – the gifts, the graces – because seeing them in ink makes them more tangible.
0041 Choosing to forgive.
0042 Meeting my first niece.
0043 Baby girl smiles & kisses.
0044 Hugging my grandpa.
0045 Sister “in-law” hugs.
0047 Nephews playing with uncles.
0048 Unexpected encouragement from an unexpected source.
0049 Seeing the dreams of God become my dreams.
Rest. Peace. Relaxation. These do not come easily for me.
I have to strive to attain them. With a brain that would rather go 127 mph than shut down and experience silence, I’m learning slowly ways to let go.
When morning light is inching it’s way through burgundy drapes that aren’t quite closed all the way, or the laying down of my head with melodies of rain and rivers singing me to sleep, I try to be consistent in laying these burdens my shoulders feel the need to carry & place them in the hands of the One who cares so much His hands knit me together with delicate precision.
This past month and a half has been a lesson in rest. A lesson in breathing deep and letting it go slowly. This month of October has pushed the boundaries of rest to places where finding it has been difficult.
We took this past Sunday as a day of Sabbath. True Sabbath. We rested without worry of the dishes piled up in the kitchen or the laundry tucked in the dryer. I tasted the sweet refrain of manna and allowed True Words to drown me.
If you participated and/or donated in our Water Drive last Christmas, I want to say thank you, and show you what you did:
Our little community helped a community in northern Ethiopia.
So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. For these precious ones in Ethiopia, thank you.
I tried to tweet this out several times, and from my phone, twitter.com, & tweet deck to no avail. Apparently Twitter doesn’t want us to celebrate this awesomeness.
**teaser: I’m hoping to do a similar project this Christmas. I’m working up the courage to ask the, hopefully, appropriate people.**
My heart is tender this morning. A rough night of sleep (or lack there of) coupled with the hard hallelujah of a friend no longer in pain and a few other held-tight-against-my-heart situations, leaves me not wanting to face the world.
Coming off a hard week last week where choosing joy and finding God’s gifts in my life seemed more difficult than wringing water from a stone.
Today (Sunday) is a new day and the beginning of a new week. I write upon this tender heart of mine, the truth that His mercies are new every morning. I remember to celebrate the breath that He, moment-by-moment, fills my lungs with, because today…and tomorrow…and the next…are a gift.
removing the veil from my eyes and looking for His graces & gifts…..
0031 The morning drive cool enough to drive with the window down.
0032 Getting a free upgrade on coffee size.
0033 My beloved swinging by my work because he wanted a kiss.
0034 A vanilla latte.
0035 Snuggling with my husband before he has to leave for work.
0036 Blessing a friend with a small token of love.
0037 An unexpected instant message that sends the broadest smile across my face.
0038 Knowing that in God’s plan hope never dies & never gives up.
0039 That, while marriage is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, it’s without a doubt one of the best things I’ve ever experienced.
0040 Irish voices singing hymns & upward exaltations.
Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes her life, her experiences and her crawl back to hope. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.