God’s Big Blue Ocean

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When you are cast about in a deep blue ocean surrounded by an expanding horizon you are at The Mercy.

Some would say you are at the mercy of fate…whatever will be will be. (As if que sera had any real mercy attached to it.)

Some would say the world is now your oyster; it is the time to spend the Currency of Entitlement.

Some would say you earned it.

They would say, “Go ahead, show your I PAID MY DUES card.”

But you  are not at the mercy of fate, or random, or what ever will be. You are before the mercy of none other than Jesus. Even though you find yourself without distinct markers for the next phase of your life, even though it seems like you are floating in a sea of whatever may come, you are actually being led before the great merciful eye of the Almighty.

The One who knows the ebb and flow of every wave you ride upon.nature,oceans,Photographs,waves

Who rights you as you ride into the unknown. You are in transition, the in-between place.

This transition requires the hard work of pushing through while keeping the raft steady. Like the transition of childbirth, there is the bringing forth of what a glorious coupling had conceived so long ago; that now the new coupling of the hard work and the hard faith will see to fruition.caves,icebergs,nature,oceans,water,weather

It can be a jolting experience.

My own raft jolts a bit when I look over the expanse of the elbow worn dining room table without plates, without crumbs. It tips precariously when I walk through vacated bedrooms cluttered still with girl shoes flung and school papers strewn. I lean into the sway of the quiet, breathless spaces that a very long time ago I actually wanted.

I notice the walls are in need of a new coat of paint. The mirror in the little bathroom needs replacing, the rugs need a deep cleaning. Yet if I move things, if I re-orient, then I am saying things have changed for real.

And there it is.

Re-orienting.

Moving.

It’s in the movement of the thing, the going from one place to another, the gaining of ground,  the stepping in to new territory that requires some kind of faith.

If it’s a  Kingdom of God’s doing, then it’s all moving forward. If I am at His mercy, His leading, then I am not floating.

I am sovereignly directed.

I can be confident in the One who holds the past, present, and future in His hands to move me to the next thing.

It does not matter that I’ve really just done the One Mother Thing for the better part of thirty years and don’t really know how to do anything else.

It does not matter that I cannot see where it is that I am going and the irony is not lost that this is the year I succumb to full time glasses.

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It does not matter that I am beginning to see that loose skin around the knees comes to us all and that it actually hurts to kneel so my kneeling before Him has become my lying face down.

It is only by His grace that I attribute this particular phenomenon to His brilliance in fashioning more humility into this ever- brittling body of mine.

But this is just prep school.

It is not just a glimpse into the future but six months of learning and re-learning.

It is a continuation of  practicing the Art of Flexibility.

To be ready in season and out of season for God’s brilliance to manifest in its proper time.

When the leaves burn fire and begin to fall, the table will be elbow and crumb full and the bedrooms will once again be will be girl flung.

There will be more mothering to do until the next leaving.

For now in this transition time, I am digging down deep, finding a strength that comes from the hidden places and I am pushing toward and being led into the next thing. It is in this place that I will discover new talents, new spheres of influence and new places to lay down before Him.

A gift came to me today in one of my readings:

“Faith never knows where it is being led but it loves and knows the One who is leading.” – Oswald Chambers

The mercy and grace of His brilliance toward me is astounding.blues,calm,clouds,colorful,Fotolia,oceans,rainbows,reflections,serene,skies,waters

 

 

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Going Low On Mother’s Day

I stuck them in the ground when the leaves fell brittle and the air bit cold.

Hard little brown orbs with smudges of earth clinging to them.

I thought about what they would look like there next to the rocks and the perennials I had just deposited in the dirt.

There was only so much I could envision.

I would have to wait.

I’d done it before; waiting for something to birth thinking I had an idea, but really, what did I know?

How could I have known the first one to break from the womb, the first one to steal my heart, would pick up drum sticks and bang chairs after barely mastering walking?

This Drummer, who still bangs worship hard and speaks Wisdom quiet.

How could I have known the girl who came late late late would capture me with her flashing eyes and black hair, a girl bent toward wit and generosity?

This Fiery Irishgirl, who loves loyal and holy fierce.

How could I have known the one who breached the womb would keep me white-knuckled with all his wanderings and laughing with all his comedy?

This Traveler, whose film stories and big heart justice bends toward Jesus.

How could I have known the girl who birthed quiet on a big snowflake falling day would cling hard to my neck, hold tight to my apron strings only to bend into quiet mystery?

This Highland Lass, whose still waters run the depth of a divine sage.

How could I have known the last to come forth would be the one to close the womb behind her, the small one who would speak the loudest and the boldest.

This Pixie Girl, who speaks Jesus brave in color.

It didn’t take long for green shoots to become tall slender stalks and the suddenly of bloom to appear.

This morning five of them bend slight, purple and white fringed petals dancing in little breezes.

I didn’t know they would be this beautiful.

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I didn’t know they would hold so much glory in their fragility.

I am captured again.

Captured by God’s workmanship, His poema.

His poems wrought from the garden and the womb.

Us gardeners, us mothers;  we forget.

We forget the digging, the sowing, the laboring, the hard breathing.

The heaving of shovels, the heaving of tears.

We forget these things when we look upon all that Jesus has accomplished with us, without us, despite us.

We can’t help but forget the hard work of growing things when we see the suddenly of bloom standing before us, the bloom that He has known about all along.

This Mother’s Day I am brought low with joy.

Humbled and kneeling because of what has been brought forth with so little of my doing and despite all my un-doing.IMG_7423

It is the best vantage point for seeing the glory bloom.

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Lament Is Married To Hope

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Now that the snow has gone, the sand, flung hard and wide from the trucks rumbling past the house in the wee winter hours, lay beached on the front lawn.

It was a gravelly mess.

I could not sweep my rake wide and smooth like I do when I am raking leaves.

I had to work short, hard strokes in the same place. Over and over again the rake plunged tines until the sand and pebbles were brought out of the ground and I could see blades of new grass.

I was in a lament.

Because it was a task that I least favor.

I will collect dead branches.  I will clean out flower beds and turn mulch piles.

I will spend days in the back yard burning winter’s dross. I will even rake piles of pine needles.

These are the labors  that fall into the normal rhythm of a New England spring cleaning.

I did not, however, ask for gravel.

I did not ask my town’s road crew to spread what may have been an overly amount of road salt and sand this winter.

I did not ask for hard pebbles that blanketed the tulip bed suffocating tender shoots.

I did not ask for the bits of road tar thrown from a plow’s blade into the lilies poking past dirt.

I did not ask for the needed scraping that is required for life to emerge from the gravel places.

So I lamented.

Lament is not the selfish, singular, soulish complaint of ingratitude and entitlement.

It is the complaining prayer of the Jesus follower.

Our lament leans into God because we believe He is leans into us.

Lament is married to hope.

I lamented because I needed grace and strength for the task at hand because this spring I just wasn’t up to it. I was lacking what it takes to see past the unlovely to the loveliness of what could be.

I was lacking the strength and desire needed to clean up somebody else’s mess.

For the green anything good to breathe sometimes what is needed is the hard work of kneeling, of bending low to get all of the debris that chokes.

See, it is hope that says there is life under all that junk.

There is life under the pebbly bad attitudes and gravelly retorts.

There are tender shoots hidden, reaching reaching reaching past the debris of apathy.

Lamenting pours out and He pours in the encouragement of the keep on going.

So when the first blades of green emerged hope surged.

Even after the gravel burial, even after a shroud of sand, the lawn appeared almost breathing.

I was breathing, too; hard, tired and smiling because He did it again.

He brings me to the dirt, the hard landscape of things, to show me Him.

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