Wednesday, December 21, 2011

i've been crawling around with the devil
on my back. kicking and swatting at him...
and carried down the swollen banks of darkness
by hanging on to a scratch of Jesus' robes.

slap the drums.
dance with the choir.
out of deep desolation and sinking
despair, hold on to the Ship. the Song.
the ONLY One who knows how to bind our
wounds and keep our dreams from seeping out
of broken places and being swept away from our vision.

i have been so discouraged.
dark and late, with heavy fog, i ran my car into
a center divider. ruined my two left tires and wheels
and leaving the custom-made rims cracked...
it sits at a body shop while i wonder how i'll pay
for the coverage.

my children are spread far apart. two of them work
over the Christmas week-end. one is in dallas. another
in monterey bay finishing his college degree in film, and
has a full-time job. we are all short on money. it's complicated
and we are so close and Christmas is about being together.
and we always have been until now.

several weeks ago, i opened my front door and thought
the devil himself had walked in. someone i didn't know.
and it was the fiercest, darkest spiritual attack i'd ever
experienced. i would lie on the floor at the foot of my bed,
and ask God WHY i had to try and survive this?!!
oh, the Blood of Jesus. He covered it and reigns the Victor.

quiet the drums. the music.
settle into the roar of silence. so quiet we can hear
the air and smell the noise of the breeze against our

"though the fig tree
does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vine...
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food...
though there are no sheep in the pen,
and no cattle in the stalls...
YET i will rejoice in the Lord...i will be
joyful in God my Savior...
the Sovereign Lord is my strength.
He enables me to go to the heights."
habakkuk 3:17-18

inspite of all our broken pieces,
and the yearnings over our children and
grandbabies, remember to love and help the poor.
to have love radiating on our faces. and know...
just absolutely KNOW...that God will always be

have a beautiful Christmas, and know that i'm really
a failure in keeping blogs up to date, BUT i truly love
you. my children are recipients of your vast love. you
make us better and richer. ann

Friday, November 4, 2011

roll, oceans, roll.
run rivers run.
purge and cleanse and redeem
us of all the untouched places within

it is only a dark, tiny fist.
locked against the vast, washed sky
of clear mornings and rolling sunsets.

a tiny fist that takes the glory
of life and the victories promised
right out of the core of all we are and
wish to be. that keeps us stuck and sick.
crooked in our bent. our yearning.

i'm not sure all of you know that almost
two years ago, i went to the gym and ran 15 miles.
that evening i was invited to a home for dinner before
flying out the next day for alabama and a special
event in my honor.

walking out of this home, i tripped, fell and shattered
my left femur and broke my hip. i knew about pain,
but NOT this kind of agony. bone pain wins.
leg swelled three times its normal,
skinny size. i genuinely thought doctors had
transplanted my leg from a corpse in the morgue.

i thrived. that's my m.o...
nurses lined up and watched me fly down the
hall on my walker. i never had to go to a physical
therapy facility. however, suffering became my moan
and plea for relief.

over two weeks ago,
with a rod from my knee to my
hip bone...and screws and pins...
i decided i had to face that little, tiny fist of
blurred struggle planted in my soul. it is not
EVER the SIZE of corruption; just
the fact that it exists.

though i was taking mild pain meds, i knew
how God had once delivered me, and i wanted to see
if i could make it. pill free. checking into a 5-day
detox center, the pain pills were cleansed out of
my system, and i was sent home. i was left with
agonizing pain. insides raw. all endorphins
gone; with weeks to be rejuvenated.
Jesus and i and that tiny speck. doing business.
tough business.

i don't know how to explain this kind of pain.
nothing to soothe the fire that was subdued by
meds. i only know that my enemy is subtle.
slick and smooth in making us believe those
little rocks of trouble that grow in us are easily
wished away. that they are nothing. dear friends...
just check and evaluate. is there
a little, seemingly-inocuous fist planted
somewhere in you. take the leap.
remember courage isn't generated from
within us. courage is a gift from God.

roll, oceans, roll.
run, rivers, run.
until we are purified
and ready for the great things
You have for our tomorrow.

many of you are way ahead of me.
don't have this scratch of darkness.
pray for us who do. i genuinely
love you all, and pray you will forgive
me for my first blog in two months.
just trying to do my
Master's business.
i deeply love you all.

shine stars. shine on.
i already hear the music.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

i had one of those dreams you
don't ever want to awaken from. I was, say
28 yrs. old. lithe and willowy and dressed in
wrinkled linen. a flower pinned in my hair.
a large room. somewhere in the south. packed
crowd who had hired my father to be their pastor.
that frightened me because he was so human.
so...i smiled. radiantly. holding a beautiful, frizzy-
haired little girl that we, as a family, had adopted...and
adored. love rained down. and i felt ebbulliant. captured
with joy. of course, my father had not spoken yet.

george clooney was even in the dream. eyes focused
on me. flirting. obviously, a fantasy. i haven't ever...even...
dreamed of a movie star. nor has one, i'm positive,
ever dreamed of me.

the sun slid into my bedroom.
spilling the reality that night was done.
over. and i awakened to reality. i am no
longer young. my children are 22, 23, 26, 27.
my hair has to be high-lighted. often, i am yanking
little white hairs from their roots.

the most beautiful, shivering joy that remains
unmarred is my pure passion for Jesus...and my
sons. every day, i search for opportunities to speak
the name of Jesus. so much POWER in just saying
His Name. and my children? i am the
richest lady on earth because i get to be the mother
of taylor, brock, colson, and brandt. we have had
so many hardships that not even silly contradictions
among us quiver with the raw, tight, coarse rope of love
that binds us. uh-huh!!! when one of my sons calls, and
i am on my way out the door. arms loaded with stuff, and
lots to get done. i stop. drop everything to the floor.
plop down. and listen. silently praying for God to guide
me in advising them. God's given us so MANY answers
and promises in those moments.

if you are younger than 55 yrs. of age,
listen to those who have walked much farther
down the road. shhhh. listen. hear the rushing
water of lessons learned. let the roar of trouble
lead you to those who have lived long enough
to know the ways of God. roar, waters, roar. then...
quiet us so we can hear and see and brush the
troubles far enough beyond us that the
music becomes a choir.

please forgive this blog.
i typed an original story of hope,
and realized that only the first few lines
were all that took hold. everything else was gone. disappeared.

don't let magnificent dreams
excuse you from the adventures
that can only be learned by the laid out
footprints of rugged, holy living. remember,
dreams can only live if they first die. and
sunrises come when we finally lay down our
sorrows, and keep our faces turned skyward.

Jesus lives. Jesus lives.
hallelujah, He reigns.

Friday, July 8, 2011

is someone reading this blog
have a perfect child? or someone who
believes he or she has perfected a piece of living?
being a parent. or wife. or writer or pro football player?

i want to meet you or your child.
just to see what pefection looks like.

all my life, i have wanted to be perfect for
Jesus. strong enough to see my father happy
because, somehow, my brother would become
a Christian. and protect jan, my twin, from harm.
i vowed, in my young adult mind and heart, to never
disappoint the Lord. you know. to stand strong and faithful.
to stay pure until marriage. have an amazing relationship with
my husband, and deliver babies that were going to set the
world on fire for Jesus.

well, my babies were just about perfect. and
today, they are strong. resilient. unbelieveably
precious to me. but they are special because of
Jesus. never ever have i parented perfectly. and
NEVER will they make it without deep devotion to
the Savior. uh-huh...i've failed in almost everything
i had vowed before God to be.

yep, every one of us.

every morning, the sun rises.
every evening it slowly dips down
and touches the long, often golden horizon.

when we need food or friends or a touch
of sunrise in our lives, He provides. comes through.
makes a way. not because we are perfected.
NEVER. just because He so LOVES us. He tells us
to not seek great things for ourselves. that He loves
the meek and the broken. that He understands we are
dust. He knows our frame.

so, for all of you today,
living with the repercussions of disobedience
and sin, i sing to you. a beautiful song. of love and
redemption and the pure chords of deliverance.
you will find the music by reading psalm 91, the Living Bible.

i have messed up alot.
have gotten lost and confused.
but i know it is my difficult journey that
draws us together. i love you. let us sing
the song together. and listen for the roar of the
oceans and see the giant redwoods and laugh with
friends over even silly things, and utterly understand
that nothing is too hard for God. He lives. oh, yes,
He lives.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

i believe.
i believe.

i believe when the sun
is not shining. when my prayers
seem unanswered. when i am misjudged
by others. when the rains come, and the
rivers are swollen, and my life is torn by
pain and inadequacy.

i believe that my children
will never be disappointed by God.
that what i have tried to live out for them,
and teach them, will stand steadfast in their
darkest hours. their entire lives.
that His love will pursue them in places
shadowed by disobedience or failure.

i believe that God is love.
and when i am weak and broken and sinful,
He still celebrates my life. that my sins are
really buried in the deepest, dark places of
cold oceans and seas. vanished and forgotten.
that He is so good and so omnipotent that He never
sways in His love for us.
never. ever. ever.

i believe that God makes up
for all our injustices. that if we have faith,
as tiny as a speck of sand, He will honor it.
He will expand our horizons, and surprise us
with beautiful tomorrows.

i believe that a clear, morning sky
and a stunning, setting sun are God's
creations. that He is greater than all earthly
boundaries, and the Heaven of heavens.
He cannot be contained.

i believe in faith.
in the simple confidence that
God is who He says He is. and
that He will do everything He promises.

i believe in dreams.
that God plants them in our hearts.
and if we never, ever give up,
they will live. that we should stand,
and turn our faces to the sky. and lift our
arms. and shout and yell. and cheer and dance
because He is a glorious God. who loves to give
His children good gifts.

i believe we are in a Race.
all running, side-by-side. along
the often narrow and chastising road,
to the Celestial city. i believe we should
grab hands. and pick each other up when
we fall, and whisper hope even when our
spirits are down and we are weary of the
twists and turns of life.

i believe that if we abide in Him, He will
abide in us, and mountains will quiver and
be leveled. and paths will open through the
deserts. and we can walk on water, and not

i believe.
in a Savior who lived and died for our sins.
and because of Him, we are free. free. untangled
and delivered from ourselves and our addictions.

"how precious is the Flow
that washes white as snow...
no other Fount I know.
nothing but the Blood of Jesus..."
(old hymn of the church)

believe, too.

"i have finished the Race.
i have kept the faith." 2 timothy 4:7

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

i looked, and found, a
celebrate recovery group close by.
the Christian version of AA. for me,
when i attend a meeting, i go to do
WORK. on myself. my struggles. my
bent to addictions of performance and
praise and pain pills. i call it doing

this night,
there was a new woman in
the group so we went around to
introduce ourselves. the circle came
to me.

hi! i'm ann.
an addict. and
probably, like each of you,
genuinely broken by life,
and my human bent to
fix things on my own terms.

sharing started.
my name is....., and i am
a shoplifter, with many convictions
behind me. i need prayer as i get
ready to go before the judge with my
latest offense.

i am an alcoholic,
among other things. i am
really struggling. every night,
God says to me, "go to bed
with your husband."
but i like this t.v. program. or...
i'm not tired. or...i just don't want to.
God keeps calling me, and i keep resisting.

my name is lindsay (not real name).
i'm an addict with an anger problem.
pregnant, and very impatient with my
three year old daughter. my husband
comes in from work. blood-shot eyes.
tense. exhausted. not always very nice,
either. i need prayer. i just know how
hard it is going to be when this baby comes,
and i'll also have a toddler running around.

it is quiet.
earnest. big, black boots
of fear and failure and terror start
rolling around. stomping.
making noise inside our heads. telling us
to be quiet. that the great shame that
owns us needs to stay inside us.

my name is rosie. i'm an alcoholic. i've hooked
up with EHARMONY because i don't want to
be alone the rest of my life, but then i keep
asking myself if any guy will want me if they
know of the gay relationships in my past.
tears glistening in her eyes.

all of us so broken that we cannot
imagine even holding the mildest judgement
toward each other in the circle.

a tiny seam of light flickers. the whisper
that deliverance can be ours. God promises...if
we fully grasp that we are POWERLESS in and of
ourselves...and look to Him, the ONLY Power greater
than ourselves...then we can find hope. we are all enslaved, and Jesus,
beautiful and pure, listens. to our ragged, raw breathing
slicing through the thick enslavement of ourselves.

well, i am ann.
i flew to a speaking date
last week, and instead of
receiving my negotiated fee with
the speakers' bureau, the sponsor coldly handed
me a check that was just pitance for my
flying across the country to speak. i
was rushed out of the large church,
tears streaming down my face. stunned.
hurt. no, devastated. i'm struggling financially,
but worse was the feeling that i wasn't worthy
of my assignment. never once, in my thirty-plus year
career of speaking and writing, had this happened.
i feel like a worm. no good. as with
others, tears began to balance on the lids of my
eyes, and i was trying to hold onto them. to NOT
reveal how deep this wound felt.

psalm 91:1, 2, 4, 14, 15
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty....
He will cover you with His feathers, and
under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart...
I will deliver him and honor him..."

keep marching, warriors.
do not let fatigue and failure
lure you to hopelessness.
the Son shines for us. the warmth
healing our deepest hurts and failures.

ann kiemel anderson

Thursday, May 5, 2011

colson berry anderson
married christina, and took,
as his own, her beautiful, baby daughter.
in a small cove by ocean waves above san

brandt, his brother, was best man.
and i held my one grandbaby, colben,
sitting next to my first daughter-in-law,

taylor and brock were proud of both
their younger brothers. speaking love
and commitment to them. i sat, with humble
gratitude at the amazing way God's vast love and
grace have followed us through so many beautiful
AND tumultuous years as a family.

roar, oceans, roar,
shine, glistening sun, shine.
and may rewards come.....and
surprises we toil,
day in and day out of our ordinary lives,
tangled in extraordinary adventures and

i'm a softie as a mom.
will believed that almost everything should
be absolute, and i have always held to only a few
absolutes, but many negotiables.
two years ago, colson was home. smart. clever.
a genius as a salesman and a writer, but he wasn't
going anywhere. he announced, one day, that he was
moving back to modesto. another quick decision.

okay, colson.
but you cannot come home when it gets tough.
i spoke with tears in my eyes, and silent prayers of
deep resolve. one evening, he called.

mom, it is pouring rain, and i am
cold and hungry and i have no money. will you
please come and get me?

oh, honey, i'm sorry. i'm just walking into a
prayer class. find a bathroom somewhere, and
get on your knees and pray. tell Jesus what you need.

you are going to LEAVE me here like this?!!!

tears running down my face, i calmly said,
yes, darling. it is just you and Jesus out there.
today, he tells a sad story (makes me feel horror and pride)
of being homeless. sleeping on a bench some nights.
it was the most difficult, hands down, task I had EVER taken
on. forcing colson to find his way in this big, hard world.

he went to colorado. via train. for awhile.
back to modesto. a hard worker. had good jobs.
and when anyone peeled back the rough exterior, there
could not be a sweeter, more honest and loving heart than
colson's. he KNEW God. he had a moral conscience. and
he would vulnerably confess things to me. i would chew the
inside of my gums, but be silent while he talked. hugging and
kissing him after, and reminding him that some day, i felt he
would run my ministry of dreams and changing the world
for Jesus.

well, colson perservered. and i did.
i loved and pushed and prayed. hanging onto his shirt
for all my might, but not letting him come home except for
a family get-together or a week-end. and i would cry and cry.
but he could not hear me.
he did not know. God was
helping me make a man out of my son.

so, when april 23 came, and colson, with christina's father's,
and my blessing, married, i threw balloons through the air.
i laughed at the sun. i danced on all the trials and sins and temptations
colson had conquered, and i wrapped my arms around another
beautiful daughter-in-law and a new, grandbaby girl. buying her
ballerina slippers and lots of pink.

and i knew that my son, and i,
and his brothers, understood
better than ever before, that Jesus died and lives and
always, always, always promises
bright, happy tomorrows after the
darkness of hardships.

glorious Savior.
beautiful grace.
the glory of motherhood, and the suffering, too.
believe! believe! believe!
stay on course and watch the lip of the horizon
as it rises and sets, finally, on your dreams.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

hit the wall.
drop the jar.
touch a hot iron.

listen to the noise of chaos.
hear the cries of pain.
feel the torch of rejection.

and stand. quiet and still.
feet flat on the ground.
paint the glory of the Cross
on your forehead. your breath
even and calm while life shakes
and rattles around you.

nothing about growth and faith
and hardship is easy.

it is late Saturday night.
my day started with the early
service at church. then, lunch with
a friend.
and a quick drive to san francisco
to see jan. whatever positive and beautiful
and kind that I could put into today is over.

did i smile at those around me?
grab a warm hand and squeeze it?
feel no judgement for anyone?
only love and compassion and hope?

we live in such a critical, judgemental
society. and more Christians are addicted
to judgement than anyone else in the secular

life can rattle and shake
all around us, but Jesus is our Conqueror.
our steadfast Hope. the music of His songs
still the waters and renew our urgent
longing for deliverance from ourselves.

we are warriors. Jesus is our passion.
and we march together. deliverance shines
on our faces.

i love the artistic, beautiful, little house
i rent from my friends whose
large house in front is theirs.

and, yes, i am hopelessly smitten with my
three month old grandbaby. my daughter-in-law,
who i truly love, is being deployed to dubais for
four months (brandt was deployed to bagdad a year ago),
and i get to take care of colben. he has a head of
black curls. smiles. blows bubbles. and tries to
carry on a conversation. all at 3 months.

let's not judge anyone.
love is the ONLY hope.
love! so simple and clean and
pure. always believing God has
the real picture of all our hearts so
He can do the judging and we can
love unconditionally.

fight the good fight.
stay the course.
i love you.

proverbs 3:5-6

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

gushing with God's love.
running the race for His glory.
with all of you at my side.

the wilderness comes and goes.
but God has amazing surprises that
restore us and keep the passion alive.

the sky sometimes darkens.
the holes we fall into can be very deep.
very hard to crawl out of.

but...God...glorious God.
He is our story. He is our joy. He is
our perfection in brokenness. He does
the miracles. He creates the music.

i know. i have lived long enough
to see the miracles.
to watch the sunrise.
to see the seemingly-impossible
live. from holes to mountain peaks.

i love each of you.
this is our Race.
the Runner we are following is

never give up. never let fear rule.
never take credit
for victories. never forget to praise
the One who forces the desert and wide, lonely
places to clash into honor and wisdom
and celebration.

love wins.
not judgement.
not pride.
not criticism.

if you don't know how
you will pay the bills. or
how you can conquer your
addictions. or how one of your
children is going to make it.
or how to turn loss to gain...
i can promise you that, with God,
you can. i've run way down
the road...and i have seen
the victories and
heard the music shattering
our feeble faith.

God looks at our hearts.
He asks that we keep them with
all diligence.

today, i don't notice people's externals.
with my children, i care only about their
hearts. the rest is periphery.

"everyone who competes for the prize
is temperate in all things..."

"therefore, i run thus; not with
uncertainty. thus i fight. not as one
who beats the air. but i beat my body
and bring it into subjection, lest, when
i have preached to others, i myself should
become disqualified."

I Timothy 4:16
I Corinthians 9:26, 27

on my most difficult days,
i remember you all are with me.
grab hands and never let go.