Monday, January 31, 2011

Towers Fallen



Fortress of strength - tall and high.

Constant and safe.


Resting in the comfort that it will forever shield, she waits in its loving embrace.

Storms of life hit, it bends and bows.

Wearied. Bent. Tired. But it stands.

Hit again. Shaken. Brought down to its foundation.

Tower has fallen.

Foundation intact, rebuilt and remade.

Standing again, she smiles and rests once again in its strength.

Grown and now gone from its tender care, she ventures far and wide.

Feeling alone - free.

Building a tower of her own, she seeks the strength she once knew.

He enters her life.

Companion and friend, they build together.

Fortress of strength - tall and high.

Constant and safe.

Resting in the comfort that it will forever shield, she waits in its loving embrace.

Storms of life hit, it bends and bows.

Wearied. Bent. Tired. But it stands.

Hit again. Shaken. Brought down to its foundation.

Tower has fallen.

Foundation intact, rebuilt and remade.

Standing again, she smiles and rests once again in its strength.

Life passes. Bricks pile high.

Collapsed from the weight, she gazes upward.

Veils fall, light floods. Darkness removed.

Her tower built by hands engulfed in turrets of flame.

Truth emerges. Ashes blown by wind.

There he stands.

The Builder and Maker of all.

Spinning, whirling, taking it all in, she examines her surroundings.

While towers fall to dust, he remains.

The fortress he had built around her all these years, vast and wide.

Her tower just a twig compared to his fortified handiwork.

Towers fallen, made by hands.

Her tower not her own, but his.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Prayer

Some say that prayer changes things. Others say that prayer changes people. All I know is that prayer is the only thing that has reached down into the depths of my soul and brought up more than a gushing flow these past two weeks. I have been following the blog The Simple Wife and found that even though I don't know this woman, there is an urgent need for prayer in her life. And I've found the need in mine as well. It's surreal, but it's almost as if I have been slapped in the face by the overwhelming feeling of never really knowing what it is to pray for someone unselfishly. I have no tie to this woman except the tie that binds us in the Spirit.




Please click on the picture to read a bit of her story on her blog.

Blessed be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like that to that above.

Before our Father's throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one
Our comforts and our cares.

We share each other's woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.


When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives,
And longs to see the day.

From sorrow, toil and pain,
And sin, we shall be free,
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.

This hymn has been ringing in my heart for nearly a week, and has urged me on to pour my ardent prayers before the throne of the Father for a "distant" sister in need. And oh how the Spirit has ironically worked in me! Will you join me in unselfish prayer for Joanne? Perhaps you know her, or someone in a plight similar to hers. Let us pour ardent prayers, share each others' woes and fulfill the law of Christ! I feel more burdened than ever to do so.

I'd love to hear of others in need if you care to share.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

IMAGE


Images.

Imagery.

Imagine.

Imagination.

IMAGE, how exciting a word! Oh, the possibilities!

Why does it scare me, then?

The image that stared back from the mirror was less than exciting.

Tears flowed.

My heart whispered "See me, Lord. Not my image. Please don't mind the shell, oh see me, would you please? Love through me, and enlarge my capacity to love. Overflowing. No imagery, no masks, just you flowing through me. Make me more than just the image in that mirror."

I could hardly look at myself, not because of disgust or repugnance, but because of the thought that my shell is all I have sometimes. How often do I awake only to primp the image, and head off on my day? I want to go further than the image today. It's such a quandary for us girls, isn't it? We want to look good. We want to be appreciated for our beauty and our put-togetherness, but at the same time, it feels so empty sometimes. At least for me. Where's the rest of the image? Where's the imagination? Where's the dream to be loved because of who we are and the image we project, because really, who wants to be called repulsive, but "appreciated"?

It is an enigma I might always struggle to decipher in the conflict of my emotions and logic, but today I dare to believe that I am more than the image you see. I imagine endless possibilities and embrace the imagery I place before you, hoping you see beyond it.

See him.

His image.

His love.

Oh, how I hope you do.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Learning to Learn


I am in the process of getting my Masters in secondary education. Currently, I am taking a course about teaching middle school, and in this course I am studying the pertinent issues of adolescents today... or so the experts say. One title of a little section caught my attention and has sent me on a spiraling whirlwind of thought.

LEARNING TO LEARN

We are to teach children to learn, not how to learn, but to learn! Did the author of this book get the depth of what he said there? Probably. He's the expert. I'm just stuck in the mire of the overwhelming thought that most of us don't know to learn, not that we don't know how, but that every aspect of life is there in order for us to learn.

Elementary, you would think, so how did I come this far and not consider it? Good thing I don't teach your kids, is what your thinking right now, isn't it? But seriously, these thoughts are captivating me today. He goes on to call his ideology "lived curriculum". Again, whirlwind here! A LIVED CURRICULUM. Let me quote him.

"A lived curriculum is one oriented toward productive learning. This is a matter of transforming learning from experience into the resolution of problems concerned with human welfare and the quality of life."
* Transforming Middle School Science Education by Paul DeHart Hurd

And how could that not lead me to the thought of a LIVING, BREATHING, curriculum that I have at my fingertips, yet so often neglect to see that it is meant to be transforming my welfare and quality of life?

I love to sip my coffee in the morning and do my stretches while listening to passages of Scripture. Lately it's been Proverbs since I feel the necessity of wisdom so much more these days. But this morning.... the words were nearly impermeable. I kept thinking "How in the world can I take these words and have them be my lived curriculum?" Proverbs is practical, so I took a few words. Chapter 11 verse 12 to be exact. "He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbor: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace."

Void of wisdom. How often do I feel that way? How often am I that way? Do I hate my neighbor? Hate is a strong word, you know. But does the next statement define what the opposite of that hate really is? A man of understanding holds his peace. No gossip, no unkind word about what she's wearing or the holiday pounds she put on. No complaining about the kids who make noise or the dog that kept you awake last night.

Peace.

A lived curriculum. Those are the words I want to live today from the curriculum I could never exhaust in a thousand lifetimes. Maybe it's not the quota you would read for today, but for me, one verse is going to be a challenge. Lived.

Peace. I'm holding on to it today. I'm learning to learn.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Resolute


Today is a special day for me. It is 01/11/11. The number eleven has such a special meaning in my life and when it's doubled, there's double the pleasure, double the fun. There's a little teeny-bopper story to go along with the significance of double eleven in my life, but I won't go into that right now. However, it has unfailingly brought reflection yet again on a day only my faithful one-one, one-one, friend could.

We are eleven days into the year 2011 and for the first time in so many years that I can not even remember the number, I have not made a resolution. Not one. Eleven days, and I haven't failed to do one of the things that I purposed to do. Amazing, isn't it?

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I want to lack purpose in life, really. I just want to take 2011 as it comes. I want to feel free to learn the lessons that January eleventh has in store for me without worrying about if I'm up-to-date on January tenth's promises. I feel more resolute in my love and less resolute in my opinions is what I'm trying to convey, I guess. It's funny how I can look at my deep commitments to my family and friends and feel absolutely resolute about keeping my heart open to as much love as I can possibly muster and at the same time feel completely resolute-less in my "I'm going to be better at ______ this year". Though I still hope to be better at being a friend and family member. It's a paradox, I know, and I may have it all wrong.

My decision is not final, not resolute. I might give up coffee this year.
Nah, pick something else. But for now I'll not pretend to be perfecting the lump of clay that I am, I'll just be opening myself up more to the molding plan the Potter has for me. Hmm, maybe a resolution is somewhere in there after all.