Friday, March 27, 2009

there are a lot of losses
for every important gain.
roadblocks. mountains. rivers.
doors slammed in our faces.
corners of our souls caving in.

and then, God
gradually begins to lift us
into the light. away from the
weariness and fray. the depression
and doubts. and He begins to breathe
life into our dreams.

i have always been a dreamer.
always believed that nothing is
impossible with a giant God.
i've spoken it. written it. and
taught my children. written the
glory of what God can do if they
don't give up across the walls of
their hearts.

brock is my second oldest. ll months
younger than taylor. since junior high,
he has dreamed of playing bass in a band.
though academically gifted, college has had
no appeal. hey, he was willing to live in
his car just to tour with a band. he spent
hours and hours at the computer in our kitchen.
scrolling to all the bands. listening to every
genre of music. i'd take him to local con-
certs. he looked normal. everyone else would
be hanging around the doors with mohawks and
piercings. terrified me.

no piercings in this family until you are
eighteen yrs. old, and NO tatoos until you
are living on your own.

brock and i spent hours at the guitar store.
i'd sit on a speaker, and watch him pick chords
on all kinds of basses. i truly knew how beauti-
ful his heart was. how he wanted to minister to
kids. i was on his team!

he and taylor moved to san diego after taylor's
college. he auditioned for a big band and got se-
lected. toured 6 wks. each summer. that band dis-
mantled. he started a couple bands of his own, but
no one had his passion. and darkness settled in.
consuming any hope. abolishing the dream. he was
with me on a trip to alabama. he told me about his
despair. mother's day, 2008. we started walking.
brock, again, handing me his pain like a gift. soul
to soul.

then, last night.
the call came.
mom! remember the band i told
you about. played background for
a big, hollywood movie? i auditioned
last night, and am playing with them
at a big gig in hollywood in may!

sometimes, it is years.
i've been through the wilderness
myself. no sound from heaven. not
even a whisper. for years and years.
BUT, with a great, glorious God, and
time, dreams DO live. never, ever, ever
give up. the losses add up, and cres-
cendo into a magnificent, new tomorrow.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

there are days
when things happen.
unexpected. out of the blue.
and our lives feel shattered.
i've had days like that.

for you maybe it was
a car accident. your fault.
your insurance. something you
do not have or cannot afford.

or someone you really, really
love walking away. saying goodbye.
forever. twisting the pain in your
soul. cutting chunks out of
your heart.

so many possibilities for what
feels like life altering calamity.
and ruin. oh, i understand.
fear and hurt that
stomp into every inner piece
of you. with their big muddy
shoes. slams you on your face.

God gave me
some scriptures today.
be holy for I am holy.
our Savior Jesus Christ came
so He might purify us
for Himself.

then, He reminded me,
over and over and over
to fear not.
be strong. He is with us.

somehow, His grace,
we just must get through it.
His power. His strength. His
arms wrapped tightly around us.
even if we feel numb.
we trust
Him. we read His word
and hold on to every promise. I stand
with you today.

we will sing for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners. may the LORD fulfill all your petitions.
psalm 20:5

Sunday, March 8, 2009

a publisher sent some quotes
from an old book of mine.
written in my 20's. to be used
in a new book coming out
by another author.

i am not a fan of everything
i write. i've cried at the
publication of every new book of mine.
cried after reading the first five pages.
wandering how i could have let ANY
publisher print such pitiful stuff.

but when Jesus chooses to put
His hand on ANYTHING or ANYONE,
He often chooses the least. the unex-

i thought a couple of lines
i penned when i was too young
to really even wear makeup
might help you today.

quote: everything must balance.
if i want to love deeply,
i should expect to suffer deeply.
this means i more or less choose
for myself what i want to put in
and take out of life. nothing great
or noble comes cheaply.

in your marriage today.
or trying to survive...raise...
adolescent children. or have
an obscure, unrewarding job...
choose to love and listen and give
with all your heart. knowing
suffering is part of the equation.
but victory, somewhere along the path,
is promised. a crease of light
rolling across the dark devastation.

another quote:
new year's eve.
it matters what you do
with a year. it counts.
the old is the foundation
for the new.

today, we've passed
new year's eve, 2008.
into the third month of 2009.
but let's join hands
and tangled legs. hearts
a little askew. let's go for more
than 2008. scratch the past failures
out with a black marker of the
second chance. race for The Star.

paint promises across the sky.
give your chilren room to
get lost and find themselves.
even if we thought we'd done
a better job and where they are
isn't exactly what we can brag
about, or had in mind. let our
children see us on our knees.

let's run to Jesus this year.
let's cry out. even if the window
is open. praise God for the boss
we don't like. and the teacher who
doesn't seem to notice how brilliant
our children are. for spilled milk
and babies crying. and our friends
who are late for dinner, and the
bread is cold.

i want to fly this year.
even if i fall now and then.
soar with the message
that Jesus lives, and He
is glorious.

i want to love
the homosexuals next door
without one sliver of judgment.
wrap them in God's big, warm
blanket that brings us together
and reminds all of us that
all God cares about is the heart.
did God say we aren't to love everyone?

i hope you are with me.
that i can reach out and
grab your hand. it will be a
much better year that way!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

God tells me things
when i am at the gym.
talks to me.
maybe because He has
my undivided attention.

it has always been this way.
even during my early years of
ten miles every morning at 5:30.
air on my skin. alone along the
charles river. boston.

what a wonder!
the eternal God of the
universe unveiling His thoughts
to me. i miss hints from Him.
getting myself, especially as
a mother, into all sorts
of skewed emotions.

i had a nasty work-out.
eight miles on the edge
of acute, abominable misery.

God reminded me
that i casually say things
to make myself look better.

how many miles did you go
today? oh, 8 or 10 or 12.
whatever it is.

how are your children doing?
well, taylor is thriving in college.
brock has a great job.
colson is so authentic.
brandt's a firefighter.

God reminded me
these are all His gifts.
my health. my children.
and that my life is full
of imperfections. He would
prefer me not to tell people
how far i have run...or
my children's victories. ever.
but rather, that some days
are good. others rough.
my children have challenges.
usually one or another at the moment.

when i have been raising
children fourteen years.
and loving my neighborhood
in complete obscurity, i find
my confidence leaking.
drip by drip. and
pride sticks its head in
with a crazy, crooked jab.

no one remembers who you are,
ann. and today, no one really
cares. suddenly, without meaning
to, i quietly tell someone
i am a writer.
was once successful.
the minute it takes for me
to say that, a cloud forms
on the horizon of my soul.
shatters the impact of who
God is and who i'm not.

last night
i fell on my face.
as low as i, a
weak, insecure, prideful
servant could be. prostrate.
shamed that i can love Him
so, yet try to lift myself
so as not to be hidden.

forgive my failures.
let's build bridges
instead of walls. too
much pain in all our lives
to brag about anything.
Jesus is our mission.
the light.

love unconditionally.
no judgment. ever.
only beautiful, clean,
glistening love.