The ability to post my thoughts online for whoever happens to stumble upon my blog is fascinating. But, I have a deep obsession with paper. Sometimes, I just have to see my thoughts mark a tangible medium. One of my favorite sections of a bookstore is the stationery section. I have a vacation coming up, which will be unique to our family. We normally go to one spot and stay for a week, but this year we are going on a road trip. We will be visiting several different states and seeing whatever we happen upon. I made up my mind about a week ago to buy a journal just for me to scribble down my voyage. Yesterday, I went to a Barnes & Noble store and explored the journals. I loved many of the different styles, the Italian leather ones with beautifully embossed designs, the journals with a magnetic clasp, spiral journals with an inspirational cover, and handmade journals made with recycled silk. The latter is the one I chose. It has a rough multicolored cover made with recycled silk. I guess my daily dealings with thread in my work, draws me to that type of material. The paper inside is deckle paper. It is a textured paper made from the Lokta plant in the Himalayas. I am now on a journey to find the perfect pen for this journal. I’m in dire need of this vacation and really hope to fill the pages with what I discover along the way.
Tear stained face with a bruised heart,
Sitting between walls of solitude
Falsely reasoning within herself
That no one understands.
She’s a complete mess
Who’s waiting to be mopped off the floor of her despair.
She listens to inner lies that have lingered from harsh words
That was spoken in quick temper or without thought.
The accusations, disappointments, the inability to achieve acceptance
Have created this complete mess
That is tangled in her mind.
Interwoven and pulsating from her veins
A need to be seen, heard, and most importantly loved.
He sees her and knows her.
He hears her questions and doubts.
Her heart is naked before Him, but she thinks He doesn’t see.
He knows that she isn’t a complete mess.
He knows how to mop her tears and untangle her mind.
He sees that she is a beautiful mess waiting to be cleaned up.
He’s awaiting the word from her to help.
He can’t help without her asking.
He watches and waits with a heart ready to gush out love.
His arms are ready to grab hold of her and untangle her mess,
He’s ready to recreate the pieces of her that is broken
Into His original masterpiece.
Adjusting the focus through the eye of his lens
He captures beauty of God’s creation.
The Earth poses silently as the sun rises
Awakening a new day,
A day of new possibilities,
A day of discovering something that was unseen before.
He takes a deep breath before pressing the button
A beautiful image he doesn’t want to miss.
Snap…… perfect exposure.
It’s just a number. Another year to celebrate. I remember a few years back having a sinking feeling in my gut because I was quickly approaching the big 4 0. I dreaded the fact that I was getting older, further away from my days of youth. Today, I’m 42. I find that funny for some reason. It’s my geek showing. “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,” says 42 is the answer to the great question of life, the universe, and everything. I don’t really believe that, but it is humorous to me since it is now my age. I feel the older I get, the more appreciative I am of the smaller things that life brings me. I’m thankful I have a son who couldn’t wait to give me a card and a kiss this morning. I’m thankful for a husband who is my biggest encourager and admirer. He continues to look at me like I’m young and spunky. He’s very patient with my erratic emotions. I’m thankful for the breath in my lungs and being able to still feel younger than the age I represent. I’m thankful for the teens that are placed in my life because of youth ministry. They remind me how hard it is to grow up. I’m thankful that I know God. He gives me fuel to continue moving forward every day, especially the hard days. I’m thankful for the difficult lessons that I’ve learned in life. Those lessons have made me see God’s grace to the fullest. I’m thankful that I’m still learning new things everyday about myself, others, God, and life in general. I’m thankful for family and friends who love me for me. Yes, there are a lot of reasons to celebrate today. Forty-two years ago I begun this journey called life. I hope that I will always embrace the opportunities that God places before me. I hope that I will learn to be more positive and not let life’s obstacles get me down. I hope that I will be mindful of others and cautious with my words. I hope to be more grateful. I hope that I will let God lead me more instead of trying to take the reins myself. I hope that I will always find humor in life and remember that yes, life is marked in numbers, but it is remembered by character.
“Forty-two!” yelled Loonquawl. “Is that all you’ve got to show for seven and a half million years’ work?”
“I checked it very thoroughly,” said the computer, “and that quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you’ve never actually known what the question is.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Last night, I ran into an old friend of mine from school. We locked eyes and were genuinely happy to see each other. We embraced each other and talked about how quickly time passes and she nodded toward her daughter when I asked if she had grandchildren yet. Her daughter was pregnant with her first grandchild who would be arriving in a few months. She spoke briefly of struggles she had been dealing with but that she was doing better. The new baby gave her renewed hope and direction for her life. I encouraged her and told her that she could continue to come out of her struggles. Hope is often something that seems lost in the moment of struggle. At least it does briefly, until you refocus on the goal at hand, but more importantly hope is found in God.
Our community has been hit lately with some tough weather. We’ve had two weeks of snow and slick roads. Then it warmed up, which was great, but then yesterday morning the rivers and streams began to overflow. Many areas are dealing with flooding and being trapped once again in their homes by weather. Today it is sleeting, so the roads are very icy. The weather is affecting business. It’s also affecting others paychecks because they can’t get to work. But, we can’t let it get us down. We have to still live and do. I started thinking of the much quoted scripture in Jeremiah. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” That verse has often reminded me that God’s hand is on my life and that He wants the best for me. But, I decided this morning to explore the whole chapter. I think we should really remember to look at the whole context of the passage. Jeremiah wrote a letter to the exiles in Babylon, this is what Jeremiah 29 is about. He reminds the people that God knows where they are and why there are there. It makes no sense to the people why they are captive and dealing with trouble, but God knows the full picture. Jeremiah reminds them that God hasn’t abandoned them. He also warns them about listening to false prophets. These false prophets were telling them that their captivity would be brief. That wasn’t the case; their captivity would be for seventy years. Jeremiah tells the people that in this time period continue to build homes, plant gardens, and marry their sons and daughters. It’s hard sometimes to continue living even when the circumstances aren’t good, but we have to continue on. If we just sit down and do nothing when things are bad, we would not do ourselves or our future any good. Why does Jeremiah encourage them to keep building, planting and marrying? They needed to continue doing so because they are readying the future generation to come into the Promised Land. When we are struggling, we have to look past ourselves and look toward those who will benefit in our struggling. We have to teach the next generation that hope comes from God. We have to endure, so that we will survive, but more importantly so that the future generation will survive.
Think about your life and tough moments in your life. It was tough to go through those things, but have they helped you to be compassionate to others who’ve went through similar circumstances? Have they given you the ability to feed into someone else who is going through what you have already overcome? I know that through tough moments in the past and even current ones, I question God and ask why. But, we have to be ok with the fact that He knows and that His plans aren’t to harm us. He wants us to call upon Him and seek Him. He wants a relationship with us. He wants us to rely fully on Him. He wants us not to be selfish but to think of others. He wants us to build our future through people, our offspring and our community. We need to keep building and planting. Our relationships with mankind need to be reaching and lifting. Our arms need to embrace each other. We need to encourage one another. We need to pray for one another. We need to love one another.
“For the Lord says, ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you and keep My promise to you. I will bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for well-being and not for trouble, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will look for Me and find Me, when you look for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ says the Lord. ‘And I will bring you back and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have made you go,’ says the Lord. ‘I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you away.” Jeremiah 29:10-14
The cursor blinks at me
I want to write
But my mind is as blank as this page.
Do you ever have those moments where you just want a masterpiece to unfold?
By the tap tapping of the keyboard?
Yeah, it’s not happening tonight.
Just random words splatting on a page,
Filling up the void in front of me.
My mind is frozen like the tundra outside my window.
Winter…..stillness, frozen in time.
I’m hoping as I tap upon this keyboard
Those thoughts will thaw out and a moment of inspiration will awaken me.
It’s just not one of those nights.