Sunday, November 25, 2007


we all began the same way. tiny seeds in sturdy pots, with just the right mixture of soil and water. some pots were larger than others depending on the expectations of the nursery attendants.all of the pots reflected the seed within, a window into what kind of plant they may become. some grew wildly, breaking out of their pots and demanding rich, boundless soil. others lifted their limbs slowly towards the sky, eventually requiring a more ample space. but some of us grew into our pots, wrapping our thin fingers into the crevices of stone and wood, clinging to that which we knew. rather than commit to this or that orchard, we preferred to maintain our pots. we compared pots and boasted our pots and even scoffed at those planted firmly in their orchards. we were "progressive". mobile and clearly a cut above those other trees that chose to be rooted. i liked my mobility, my self-contained soil that allowed me to be in control of what i took in.

but then came the thirst. the wilt in my leaves and the weakness of my branches betrayed my foolishness, my cowardice in clinging to my pot. those strong and graceful oaks planted side by side rose majestically above my feeble attempts to blend in and "offer" something to whichever orchard i happened to be at. i begged the gardener to finally pull me out of my pot, to plant me alongside these other trees. so he did....but my roots were so compacted, making my transition excruciatingly painful. he did not allow me to stay in one orchard for very long....long enough to stimulate growth and loosen up my roots, but never long enough to dig in deep and intertwine with the roots of my fellow trees. i began to get restless as my roots spread out and dug into the earth. i knew what i needed...definitely not this continual uprooting. i mourned the loss of each new orchard i had to leave, and my whole being ached to be planted, firmly, finally. this most recent move has been the worst of all. i found him hovering me over the open earth, my roots pressing towards the ground but unable to secure themselves into anything. i loved this orchard and became convinced that this would be a resting place for once, a place to be still and soak up the sunshine, strengthen up these branches. yet i knew the gardener was already planning my next move. even still, i found myself hoping that this orchard would be it. i see him walk by me everyday, sitting with me and nourishing me. but i am frantic to grow, to be established. i tell him this, each time he passes. i writhe into the dirt and try to find another's root system to intertwine with, anything to show him i can do it here. i can make it.

today he said to me, be still. stop trying to be what you are not. you are not the gardener. you are not able to grow your roots or your branches or your own blossoms. yes, this orchard is lovely and good. and for this time, it is what you need to prepare for this next transplant. but it is not the place to be rooted just yet. trust me. i have tended you before you pushed your green stem through the soil. believe me. i know what you need. i know how you grow and what type of tree you are to become. wait for me. don't stop living, don't stop being the beautiful maple i created....but trust me to set your ground. you are going to foreign soil..a hard and rocky soil. but i am the creator of all living and growing things. and i will not allow you to perish. this season of transplanting i have taken you into, the many orchards we have entered and left since you gave up your pot, have all been preparing you for this upcoming place. it is barren and not many grow. but you, my dear one, you will be planted there. and i will be your caretaker, your faithful provider. you will grow and you will provide a place for the impoverished to rest their head in your shade and food for the empty bellies of strangers. you will fertilize and till the ground with your roots and your fruit. you will draw in things that are needed to cause a renewal in that place. and all of this you will do when your roots are placed down by me, trusting me to fulfill your needs. trust me.

so with my roots exposed, some cracking from weariness and thirst, i will wait. i will not fear the vulnerability of this season, the potential for damage to my precious roots, nor will i covet the rich soil i see so many rooted into right now. i know my gardener and i know that he is good. i will wait for him.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


it means waiting...and hope...beautiful, yea?

there are these moments where all the junk falls away and you remember what the hell you were doing in the first place. and WHY. and in this moment, there is this sweet breath you take in, the refreshment in the simplicity and clarity.

oh please Jesus, please help my heart stay upon You. i get so lost when it's not there.

i have 12 days left with my students. i'm not ready. for anything. but i will be there, in each moment, reminding them that they are loved. that they have purpose. that they are not forgotten or lost or broken beyond repair or ignored. they are not alone.

"The sustaining power of the Beloved Presence has through the ages made the sickbed sweet and the graveside triumphant;transformed broken hearts and relations; brought glory to drudger, poverty and old age; and turned the martyr's stake or noose into a place of coronation." -Dallas Willard, Hearing God

Friday, November 16, 2007


it's funny how sometimes the one thing you need to do and "desire" to do is not actually what you really want. i've wanted to slow down all semester, to catch up. and here i am, head cold and hoarse, and all i want to do is NOT be still. because in this stillness, there is nothing to hide the fears that have been bubbling under the surface. there is nothing to distract me from the doubts that i have. and i don't really like facing these things, yet here is Jesus. holding my hand and saying do not be afraid. I am with you. these things are not going to master you nor are they a deciding factor in your life. trust Me.

and though they are still there, prowling just beyond my heart...i will look to Him. i will fear no evil, remember? i will not be anxious, because He is the sustainer and giver of life, of all good things. i do not have to have it all together. sometimes these truths are harder to believe than their false counterparts.

in some ways, though....i'm glad to be at the end of my rope. i can't really explain why, but i am thankful for that tiny seed of gratitude.

"The truth about it is, whether we is rich or poor or something in between, this earth ain't no final restin place. So in a way, we is all homeless-just workin our way toward home." -Denver Moore, Same Kind of Different as Me

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

soul harmonies

this song is lovely...reminds me of quiet afternoons in the arms of sunshine and breeze.

Iron & Wine "My Lady's House"
there is light in my lady's house

and there's none but some falling rain
this like a spoken word
she is more than her thousand names

no hands are half as gentle
or firm as they like to be
thank God you see me the way you do
strange as you are to me

it is good in my lady's house
every shape that her body makes
love is a fragile word
in the air on the length we lay

no hands are half as gentle
or firm as they like to be
thank God you see me the way you do
strange as you are to me

running in brookside. smoothies & honesty. no more portfolio! peace in the midst of storms. He is better to me than i deserve...why then does the ache remain?

"happy birthday miss ternes because you own it!" - one of my ELL sixth grader's cards...i think she meant earned :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

colossians 3:15

to God my deepest heart,
to God my deepest heart,
to God my deepest heart,
You have all my heart.

to God my deepest love,
to God my deepest love,
to God my deepest love,
You have all my love....

all my love, all my love, God, You have all my love

such simple words and yet dug deep in the well of my soul. thanks to Jesus for Jon Shirley and my brothers and sisters at the gathering.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

i sat beside you and became myself

i saw it before i actually touched it. the rich textures and glossy cover. the soft, weathered leather stitched in perfectly arranged patchwork. supple thickness and just the right line width. the invitation to travel and accompany one another through the upcoming season. and then there was this pause, as if i was wondering whether i could justify the purchase of this lovely journal without the peace corps. i really had to stop, because the immediate answer [no] was what bothered me. what? like life isn't going to be worth recording or living if i don't do peace corps? not worth reflecting on or wrestling through? not worth telling? you and i both know such is not the case. yet here i was, pretending like it was. i think this was a particularly interesting vein of thought because a seed has taken root in my heart...a seed of desire to remain, while the rest wishes to go. i've been avoiding that seed, refusing to water it but also refraining from digging it up...because i honestly have no clue where i'm SUPPOSED to be next year. and i'm not really certain that i should know. all i'm asking is that He would speak and that i would listen. because only then can i really be confident in the path...and i'm beginning to find that regardless of path i choose, He remains with me. it's not like path A is the only one that He is in....that presence comes from abiding in Him, from His grace and love...all of which have little to do with location or vocation.'s a bit like claustrophobia. it's gonna have to be really clear if i'm supposed to stay. and it's gonna have to be really clear if i'm supposed to go. and it can't be driven by fear. or false hope.

trust seems to be the only option. and no, i didn't yet buy that it cost about 45 bucks. but at least i can say confidently that it was out of financial not faith lack.

"el amor no es un sentimiento. es un habilidad" -marty, dan in real life.

once upon a time...

i had one of these. and i can't for the life of me remember any of the login here we have another one. i really like writing, and this lovely electronic format doesn't require the effort that selecting a new journal does. Not that you'll get everything the journal gets, but still, this saves me from a couple hours in borders.

can i just say that i am beginning to enjoy being present? i have fought it so hard this semester, as He has stripped away my defenses and abilities and sense of bring me here. In this place where i could spend hours with friends chatting and never once look at the clock. just soaking it up, listening and sharing and learning. trying to grasp His hands.

belated birthday celebration with the fam, loose park, good coffee and buca di beppos. awesome.