Monday, January 12, 2009

Life is taking one day at a time.

have you ever watched the
Kennedy Center honors? once a year,
six individuals are chosen who have
artistically impacted the world.
pure human talent.
clean. original. magnificent.
dance and music and acting that
melts your heart. paints the air
with an energy that forces us
to recognize the awesome power of
the Divine, and we raise our arms...
throw them toward the sky...above
the cold hardness of life. because
of the extraordinary talent birthed
in these flawed, otherwise common lives, we
somehow feel aligned with the rare
beauty of the universe...and our Creator.

and we are changed.
inspired. transformed.
if God can take these and change the world,
what can He do in us?

it is like the Christmas season
for me. my children come bounding in
from their worlds. the refrigerator
is filled with goodies. there are hugs
and kisses. we are a family.
we have found our way through
difficult stuff. tried to stand together.
prayed for each other. and now,
here we are. safe because of the
walls of love that stand around us.

several days later, the bedrooms
are a mess. i have been doing laundry.
feeding everyone. X-Boxes and computer
wires and bodies sprawled everywhere
to play and sleep. chaos takes over.
a tense moment between two brothers.
one needs more responsibility.
another drinks too much.
and i zip my lips. for eighteen years
of each of their lives, i did my feeble
best to teach and guide them. to quietly
live truth out before them.

is your family perfect?
do you have MOMENTS when you all
get together? tensions?

merry, glowing, Christmas letters
make me want to curl up into
a fetal position of stark depression.
no one in the world needs to hear
of other families' perfections.
at least, i don't.

my heart beats for my children.
where they are. where they are going.
how they hurt. is Jesus everything
to them? have i messed up too much?

they know they are my stars
and sunrise, and a million setting
suns. and we are warriors. tight.
loss and sorrow and pain have bound
us together. fiercely.

but have i set the right tone?
taught the truth of what really matters?
love and forgiveness and that
Jesus is the SOLID ROCK. we cannot
go anywhere unless we realize that.

is easier than looking at my
late teens and early twenty year olds
and praying...pleading with God
that i have prepared them for life.

let me know about your Christmas.
just...please do not sound too glorious.
life is really not about a God-given talent
where we are applauded for our great
contribution to society at the Kennedy Center.
life is taking one day at a time,
and living in such a way
that all those who pass by
feel the warmth and hope and love,
and are changed.


Jenni said...

beautiful ann. really beautiful. and so are you.

theophobe said...

I like how these musings keep growing.

ReetzS said...


Christmas for me needs to remain all about Jesus and His purpose on earth. I'm single, and I struggle at Christmas. All the 'family-ness' that comes (only) at Christmas, and the gifts bought out of obligation mean very little. I keep lowering my expectations of the family times and accept them for what they are. A myriad of experiences: fun, tense, tiring, smiles. But Jesus' birth, ah, that is the joy, the peace, the reason for being!

cathyrandy said...

The realness of your words/experiences always grab me and inspire me--thank you.

Ruth said...

Hi, Anne!
I am just soooo glad to find you in websites! Thank God for Google! And thank God you have decided to have this blog - and to write another book! Your "YES" book - I love and endorse to singles. So the girl who gave God time finally got married! Who's going to speak to the singles who continue to desperately pine and hope for a mate? I see so MANY singles in Christian churches, all hoping to find a godly mate, and I know deep in my heart that, given their age range (40 to 55 - and never been married!), they would never ever see the day they'd wear a wedding gown! Yet they continue to hope, and my heart aches for them. I encourage them to get hold of God's purpose for their life in their SINGLE state and to take their minds off marriage, applying the biblical principle of "Seek ye first the kingdom of God..." I hope you will feel inspired to write a book addressed to them that will make them feel good about single and not feel like second-class citizens.

I thank God for bringing you back to us and inspiring you to write yet another book that will surely inspire us, your readers who love you.

Elizabeth said...

I want to echo that "beautiful ann, really beautiful, and so are you". I am so delighted to find your blog. You are an inspiration. I am taking to heart your message of taking one day at a time and others feel the warmth and hope and love and are changed.

Mary-je said...

I too am thrilled to see you are writing again, Ann, be it a blog or a book. I feel like I've found a long-lost friend!

Anonymous said...

Ann, I am so glad I have found your website, as you began impacting my life many years ago. You had spoken at a Jesus Festival in Florida and I recall being so moved by your gentle voice and gentle spirit. To this day I recall a bookmark that came with one of your greeting cards, "you, an everyday person, can be something significant in an enormous hurting world. you can be Christ where you are and He makes all of the difference." (I may not have the exact quote or punctuation marks, but I know it is pretty close.) This quote still inspires me today. It sounds like you have had some tough storms to weather, but you have indeed come through. Thank you for continuing to be real!

TARSmith said...

Ann, I thought of you for some reason just the other day; I have tried before to "find" you without success--until today. I'm so sorry to hear about the death of your husband. And I'm grateful that you are sharing your life and thoughts with us fellow strugglers.

Marion, IN

TARSmith said...

I am just reading this January '09 post on July 1. I'm struck by your saying what I have come to believe so deeply: that life is lived daily; that the "high" moments come infrequently but the sweet moments can come every single day; that it takes courage to get out of bed on some mornings. My favorite quote of this year, one that I find comes to my mind a lot and that is taped above my kitchen sink so that my eyes fix on it at least once during my day, is this: Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

My Christmas of 2008 was sweet. My family was all here. There were lots of gifts and more than enough food. But the laundry still needed done and the dishes, too, and I don't do well with the clutter of 5 adults and 3 children. And my grandson is handicapped; we'll see him walk one day, but it will be in Heaven, and I want him to do so now. So there's always some heartache, even in the best of times.

You simply voice what many others live through. Heartache and struggles take many forms, as you well know. I, along with many others, gratefully thank God that you write so beautifully about our pilgrimage through life and that you encourage us with your words.

Marion, IN

Diane said...

Ann I echo all of the others who have missed your inspiring words. You began to impact my world as a young mom in the '70s. I met you at a seminar sometime in the later '70s in Lakewood, CA. I'm thrilled find your blog. I have four grown kids and have one in heaven. I lost my husband in '01 in a plane crash. Out paths seem somewhat parallel. Bless you.