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Sometimes, we journey to the dark so we can be moved by the Light. We trace the furthest boundary lines behind our eyes. We get deep next to demons, weighed down from evil within and without. And when warmth first touches cheek or shoulder or the back of our knees, the weight may not lift but there is relief. . . . And it is the same magic— to feel Light's warmth after a cold night or a long stretch of summer, it is the same glory— to be reading the lectionary in a Home Depot parking lot with sleeping car seats or having a morning cup of coffee on the front stoop with my co-laborers. . . . Somehow, God has anchored the pale blue ombre sky above me like an endless umbrella. He covers and cloaks with Light and sometimes I have to go deep in dark to feel it's warmth. . . . Morning Call:  Lamentations 1:12 Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if  there is any sorrow like my sorrow which was brought upon  me, whom the Lord hath afflicted. . . . Opening Prayer:  Loving Father, as we journey with your Son in this week of remembrance and hope, help us to experience and receive you and your love for the world more clearly. Transform us by the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. In the name of your Son, our Lord, we pray. Amen. #holyweek #notredame #outofthedarkness #intothelight
Naked morning comfort and I'm just basking in the humble light of it. They wear all their affections like clothes and this one makes me melt because they aren't so attached to their wholeness. They are ready to be broken to make peace with one another -- more ready than me, so I take notes. . . . The making of our Peace broke Him, completely. His humble persistence was full of glory because He was God, not because it looked good. Making peace means breaking pride, breaking selfish gain, breaking the sin inside that so easily entangles us, and breaking the power of the sin outside that so deceives us. . . . #newblog #momswhowrite #writersofinstagram #motherhood #siblings #siblingsasfriends #braveryofsmalllife #Godseconomy #kitchen #atlanta #family #teamkolts #teampixel #teampixelnofilter #nofilter #morningglow #morning #liveauthentic #kids #georgia #southernsummer
"Look, Mom! Edelweisses!!!!" And she passed the peace to me with flower weed stems and smooshed petals. The brisk tickle of Spring wind swept my elbows as I reached out to receive. . . . And it got made again, Peace. Established with delicate weed offerings and vulnerable outstretched hands, peace mended for a moment the breaks of the morning. The Great Deceiver's attempts to put us at odds— to wound one other with war words thrown in defense and pride— got smooshed underfoot in the backyard. . . . And I thought of Jesus making literal Peace, because the world doesn't allow it to come and be kept. Peace must be forged with active rebellion against the forces within and without that would rather war. We are a peace breaking people made in the image of One who carries Peace in his character, One who made Peace for us forever with God so that we can make peace today exactly where we are. . . . "For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility." Ephesians 2:14 . . . And the little child shall lead us.
I studied Job's friends pretending comfort, while withholding kindness and refusing to revive a weary spirit. I taught about the people in Jerusalem spreading their coats out like a royal carpet for the King of glory to ride in on a borrowed mule. I learned about the invisible God we try to force fit our image but our invisible spirit is made in His. I chased my littles in circles in the newly cut backyard and followed Foster's gaze to find birds high on budding branches. I heard Zella yell to our neighbor two houses down to move her apple trees far away because our juniper tree has a bad disease that could infect it. I wrestled through pride and failure and defending ideas. I made a very late afternoon cup of coffee and cooked with my baby strapped on my back. I snuggled my girl and gave her choices while praying she would choose right. On the first day of Spring. . . . We rode to Bible study, the kids and me, in an Uber because I ran the battery down on the van. I caught the sun glory streaming in to hit all our faces in the backseat as Zella chatted with the driver about music, imaginary children, and her preference to not wear socks and shoes. Our Wednesdays have so much Bible in them — sometimes nothing connects and I arrive at the end with mush brain and then sleep in my day clothes. But yesterday, I fell into bed so thankful that there are constellations in all these bits of Light. He is holding all things together and sometimes He connects dots and reveals a special glimpse of the glory of it all. #writersofinstagram #momswhowrite
My brows converge over my nose and my face squints against the dark. I pray, "O, God. O, God." I lay flat on my bed between two littles and take a deep breath that reaches my shoulders and sides and ankles "O, God." . . . It feels like Spring shouldn't come, that it is so *wrong* here that Lent should last forever. That, though our hope for Spring is strong, it is mostly about escape and not about salvation. We have made ourselves at home in winter, comfortable with the frosted ground under our hibernation. Our evil isn't seasonal. It isn't an epoch, a phase, a time period. It is in us— bones, marrow and evil. And we don't even want out. A Stockholm syndrome sickness that's eating us up from the inside but we refuse rescue. . . . The mercy of the Lord comes anyway, budding trees and blooms for the just and unjust. He woos us— relentlessly— out of our captivity with kindness. He calls us to repent of our soul's winter so we can finally see and taste His Spring. He calls us out of shadow and into marvelous light where our winter is exposed and we can squint to see our salvation. And we can know even a little bit more the extent of His glory and the depth of His grace. . . . Spring is coming and we are Easter people, but today there is lament. #light #shadow
Why is it that when we talk about the beginning of the United States it's always "when we founded this great nation" but when we talk about slavery it skips to the Civil War and it's always, "they were fighting to keep slavery in the south." The same humans who founded this nation bought humans and made them slaves in it. And today, for that, I mourn. . . . Every human made in the image of God is the same amount of invaluable. The same amount of mysterious wonder is knit up in our bones, from those first moments curled up in the womb. Lord, have mercy on us for acting like it is not so. . . . . . #americanlent #lentenrose #whiteprivilege #slavery #lent #lament #foundingfathers #letstalkaboutit #repentanceproject #didyouknow #spring #teamkolts #liturgy #reflection #monday #teampixel #atlanta #blackandwhite #slavetrade

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tuesday

Every once in a awhile, I’ll have a Tuesday where it seems like Sarah Masen was telling my story when she wrote, “Tuesday.”

tuesday after a reckless and used day
i was running and running without a chance
to stop and chat at the sky

finally i stopped for a breath in the evening 
suddenly. i was caught by the scenery 
painting a picture of You

day set, scatters of clouds in the distance
they whitewash the backdrop of secrets
whispering shadows of blue
in more delicate hues

“Reckless and used” couldn’t better describe yesterday’s pace. Maybe it was more that my running and running felt ineffective and unreliable. I wouldn’t say Excel spreadsheets or organizing registrations give me energy or joy – ever. Though I’m the first to laugh at myself and all my secretarial screw-ups, I don’t enjoy feeling ignorant or getting things wrong (does anyone?). Menial tasks that make perfect sense to a more secretarial sister read like Greek to me and the added stress only multiplies frustration. Several times, a boss stepped inside my office to say I was doing a good job and that this is just a season. Running, running, running. 

I left job one for job two and set my eyes on stealing back my joy from the schemer. Sadness is failure when it comes from self-pity – and that’s exactly what the schemer had convinced me was a worthy adversary to Tuesday’s stress. I stopped to get coffee (every midday resolve needs a little caffeine boost) and the nice young man behind the counter asked, “How’re you doin’ today?” after I ordered the strongest thing that comes in 16 oz. I muttered around a response until I ended with, “Well, I… am doing okay.”

He nodded like he’d heard that before.

I couldn’t let him think that I was like every other caffeine-crazed customer, so I added, “I’m not about to let this day steal my joy.” He smiled. We talked about his tattoo that took 4 1/2 years to finish. I picked up my coffee at the counter, where the owner had upped the size and made it fancy, in support of my joy resolve.

So, I walked into job #2 with a bounce in my step. With some amount of surprise, I responded to, “How is your day?” with “Actually, really great.”

I had turned a corner. Tuesday didn’t seem so terrible anymore. I was even 3 minutes early. Then, as I surveyed the scene, I realized the longest part of Tuesday was only beginning. Between the “priority” print orders and the room full of design students meeting a deadline, I barely stopped moving long enough to go to the restroom.

Then he walked in and I didn’t recognize him at first in his plaid shirt and khaki shorts. When he stopped first at the popcorn machine and looked at me disapprovingly, I knew it was the mailman. He comes in on Saturdays and I always have the popcorn fresh. We banter back and forth once a week but this Tuesday appearance was unexpected. The computers were on the fritz, so I helped him print off the study on Isaiah 49-52.

We zipped around the store like a mini-factory – loading paper, cutting cardstock, replacing toner, gritting teeth – Mike and Derek and me. Those two guys are part of what make the mini-factory on Tuesdays a joy. We laugh… a lot. We fume and joke and tease and laugh… a lot. When one of us throws up our hands in exasperated surrender, another picks it up and carries it through. And there was a lot of exasperation last night and a lot more of that I’m-not-naturally-good-at-this feeling.

An hour and a half after I was supposed to get off, I walked out and the mini-factory was still swirling with activity. Walking out to my car, I tripped over a crack in the pavement and cursed behind my teeth. Really? Even the ground couldn’t resist being a part of my “reckless and used” day?

Before I headed home, I saw a text from Derek, “I just want you to know that I love working with you and Mike. I wasn’t in the best mood when I came in, but you both made it a lot better. I look forward to Tuesday nights every week!”

Hm. As I pulled away towards home, I thought about all the ways God had painted my Tuesday scenery – in the form of co-worker encouragement, laughter, extra coffee with conversation, the mailman, co-workers, laughter, and the way the rain smelled when I left at 11:30 from the printing place.

Sigh. Even reckless and used Tuesdays are canvas for the Lord’s scenery.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

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