Saturday, January 31, 2009


Today we visit the prison that houses my nephew. His home for now. Next week he will be moved somewhere else, yet still the same. Prison. His home.

Last week my heart was broken. Delayed by an unexpected meeting, my husband and I rushed to get there. I thought we had time. The clock said "2:10"-ish, the visiting hour sign said "9:00am-3:00pm". But they said, "Too late. Can't get in."

"Can I leave the box of books?"

"Nope. If you don't officially visit, you can't leave a package."

Wiping the tears that began to flow, I packed away the books we had been hurriedly sorting, hoping to leave just the right ones (they had told us upon arrival that 10 was the limit; that was before they told us we couldn't leave them, but after they said we couldn't visit.)

I hope for more success today. We want to discuss his dream with him. We want to find out what he's been reading in that 40 yr. old Bible that was handed to him by his last "bunkie" (God is so faithful...) We want to reassure him of God's unending faithfulness and mercy and love and peace and joy -- all those things which are His in abundance and can be his just for the asking. We want to love him.

Tomorrow another group will hopefully go and share a smile and some love. Then he will be moved. Another chapter will begin.

I am praying that God will send him to a place where there is a strong witness of His love and grace, where discipleship can begin in earnest. Join me? Thanks.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Sadness Defined

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. John 1.5 NIV

And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1.5 NKJ

This week I have pondered this verse and found it gripping. Our God, wonderful in every way, has determined to reveal His great love and faithfulness through His own dear Son. His Great Father heart knew pain as He turned His face from His only Son hanging there on that cross, experiencing separation, suffering, and agony.

"...but the darkness did not comprehend it." "...and the darkness did not comprehend it."

If that is not sadness, there is none.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snow Fun

I know that getting fresh air on a daily basis is a good thing. Not only for me, but for the kiddos.
But somehow I am not managing to make sure it's happening.

The girls take walks to the library or to sister's house. Or wherever. So it is not a lost cause altogether. But my little guy? He heads outside on command to do the 20 minute quota thing, but it is no fun for him whatsoever with no one to play with. He's just that kind of guy. Likes aparty -- a group activity -- you know, someone to run around with. Alright, alright -- I'll say it. He's a sanguine type.

Our front yard boasts a very large snow fort these days. Every wall is well-fortified after all this snowfall. Fort Sinclair begs to see skirmishes, battles, a few full-blown snowball fights with defensive and offensive maneuvers well carried out. There's plenty of room for an entire brigade with full arsenal! But it hasn't seen much use. Somehow he just doesn't know what to do out there all alone.

Mom's answer? A play day with buddies! Actual bodies running and playing and throwing snowballs and plotting strategies -- this will be too much fun!

Hopefully I will have enough hot chocolate to keep them all happy! (And I'll try to get some photos for you CA relatives!)


Here are some photos!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Valentine's Day prep:
  1. make paper hearts for window
  2. get out garland to hang or make a new one -- or both
  3. bake dozens of cookies
  4. make booklet like hers for Grandma and Grandpa
  5. make cards for lots of special people!
We'll start today and see how far we get!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

When Sorrows Like Sea Billows Roll

"I'm sorry for all the bad news," I wrote to my sister-in-law. "But this I know -- the Good News still reigns supreme!"

In the midst of trouble on every side, I must look up. When sadness engulfs, He is there. Look up, soul. To the hills. From whence comes your help. Always and forever.

There are seasons of extreme trial, seasons when we fear we may break. Without Him we very well may. But with Him, through Him, held by Him, we endure. The day of victory is at hand.

It is not wrong to feel the pain.

Today I am overwrought with agony of soul for the grievous sorrow of others. So much pain, on every hand, in so many lives and in so many places -- and I cannot take it away. Although my heart is aching and full of grief, it does not diminish their own suffering. They bear it alone, save His amazing grace. Oh, let them find His grace! I long to ease the pain, to remove them from their situations, to take the anguish upon myself that they might be free from it. But I am not able to do so.

So I pray. He can and will take the pain, the sorrow, the ache, the loneliness. He will give them the oil of joy for mourning. I pray that they might allow Him to do so.

Oh, my God, rich in mercy, I ask you to move. Shower with your grace. May your Good News reign in every place. Amen.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time seasons moved slowly. I anticipated them then, waiting not so patiently.

Once upon a time I was eager for that new season, tired of the old. It would bring change, adventure, something new.

Once upon a time.

Now a new season arrives, catching me unaware at its appearing, finding me unprepared. The business of the current season is still undone. But the next one has emerged, so move on. Move on.

Now the seasons arrive without great excitement or anticipation. I am too busy savoring, or surviving, or subsisting.


Is this usual? Is this common to those my age?

Is it because we have learned that seasons disappear like sands through the hour glass? Has the wisdom of living fully in the present become ours? Do we know a secret -- a season, once past, is truly past, not to be experienced again?

Once upon a time I hungered for change, seeing the possibilities.

Now I look for change, knowing the expense.

"Lay down your life,
Take up your cross.
Die daily and find new life in Me."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Perfect Follow-up

The following poem came my way via Mom and Us. It is such a perfect continuation of the thoughts I began yesterday, a contemplation of this momentous occasion in our nation's history.

The recognition that sin always taints human events, touching even such an inspiring occasion as this ascent to presidency by Barack Obama, brings an urgent realization. How we need God's mercy! May our nation turn to Him once again.

Read. Be blessed, be moved. May our eyes see more clearly the impact our choices make.

A Shadowed Hope

It can be heard on the wind - in the words that are written,
in the faces of the gathered who watch him ascend.

“Change”, it says.

I see the hope. I even sense it some, and want to
grasp this moment in history - to be able to say
“Yes. I saw it. I watched. And I prayed.”

To spend tomorrow with my African American sons,
watching what is just outside their ability to understand,
but is no longer outside their ability to achieve,
that is remarkable joy to me. A future for my sons that wasn’t there

But when After comes,
this hope has a shadow for me - a shocking
incongruous paradox of “Yes we can”
chanted while marching in a field of white crosses
as far as the eye can see -

cross by cross, marker by marker, one for each voice
that never had the chance to say this “yes”,
that never had the chance to dream this dream,
that might well have marked the voice of those same two sons,
once considered disposable by many.

My hope in this man of so many people’s dreams
bears a very long shadow.

For I cling to an Unseen Hope who knows the end from the beginning,
and hears and holds each discarded voice,
and loves with an everlasting love.

This is the God I believe,
and I can’t keep silent His name.

Stephanie Seefeldt,
inauguration eve 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Day After Inauguration Day

Inauguration Day 2009.

Eventful, to say the least. Moving. Heartfelt. Tears of pride misted over my eyes as I watched this momentous happening. A man, a common black man descended from an African father is president of this nation, this great nation. That is telling. It is still a land where freedom rings and hope reigns and dreams come true. These ideals continue to thrill every true American. Stirring, truly stirring, swelling the heart within every patriotic bosom. Only in America, my dear America.

Rick Warren's prayer focused us, if we cared to listen, on God. He is our true and constant hope. It isn't a man, it isn't a governmental paradigm, it isn't a nation. Our hope is God -- Him alone. To that I will choose to cling.

Choose, I say -- for as the day's happenings unfolded the warm emotions deceived. "This doesn't seem too bad. Maybe it will be alright. It is good to see such a charming family. (So Fred Astairesque, is he not?...and Michelle always looking suitable for Vogue fashion covers -- you all know how I love that stuff...) How good they look up there, representing such incredible breakthrough on that podium. So I didn't care for the closing prayer...what of it?"

But here we are. This morning reality sets in and I am reminded that business begins in earnest.

Tomorrow, no doubt, Obama will sign some papers putting the United States firmly behind international abortion efforts again, and will begin the work of enacting a massively wasteful spending bill, and our politics will begin again to take up the great arguments that have long given it shape: about the proper relationship of the state and the citizen, about America’s place in the world, about the regard and protection owed to every human life, about how we might best reconcile economic prosperity and cultural vitality, national security and moral authority, freedom and virtue. These are divisive questions of enormous consequence, and they are neither petty nor childish.
The Inauguration by Yuval Levin

I am sobered as I spend my quiet moments in prayer. My eyes fill with tears, but not warm fuzzy tears. I weep for my nation, for the sin we will promulgate, for our refusal to honor God in deed as well as word. My heart is grieved as I recall the words to a song my daughter sings:
"If life is, oh, so beautiful,
Why do we outcast all the young?
If life is, oh, so beautiful,
Why do we condemn them for what we've done?"
We like to kid ourselves. In actual fact, we have become self-deceived.

We are not understanding liberty for all any longer. Liberty for all -- a lofty notion, a demanding principle. That kind of passion begins with God-sized caring.

We are more concerned with economics than issues of life. We worry more about the funding for excessive programs than the unwarranted death of millions of innocent lives -- lives no longer innocent before proven guilty, but condemned to the death penalty.

This is the day of real beginning. I pray for this president, this administration, this nation, these people of America. May we be known as God-seekers, Christ-bearers, and leaders in righteousness. Amen.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Request

The weightiness of my nephew's plight lies heavy on my heart. It's inescapable. A moment's pondering and I'm sure you will feel it as well.

I will be 68 years old when he gets out. That puts it in perspective.

I can only imagine lying on the bunk, alone all day, everyday. The overwhelming gut-ache of homesickness, normally comforted with the recollection of, "Only 2 more weeks and I'll go home." Or, Mom saying, "It's just a year, Louissa. You can do this. It won't be long and you'll be home." But where is the consolation for his homesickness? What comforting reminder can be offered?

Some of my favorite memories, my best years, were lived out during my young adult to middle age years. How unimaginable for me the thought of spending them as he will. Such sorrow grips him if he allows his mind to go there.

Yet -- this I have to offer: knowledge of a God who promises hope, a God who can redeem the years the locust has eaten, a God who helps us realize that a day in His courts is far better than life lived anywhere else. I experience peace that passes understanding and reconciliation with God Almighty. I know complete and utter forgiveness, a removal of every wrong-doing. And I have joy -- deep, unending joy.

My nephew's choices had led him into a pit, a prison of his own choosing, shackled by sin, a slave to passions. Now, although he may live in a bondage devised by man, he is looking upward toward the One who can bring liberty that cannot be removed, a liberty in the midst of his prison.

My prayer is that he might find freedom from sinful passions of the flesh, a lifting of the weight of shame and sorrow. May he know that life with Him is better than life in any other place apart from His presence.

Please, join with me in that prayer today.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Place, A Person, A Dream

I feel compelled to put into words the experience. Yet I am without a cohesive thought. Where and how do I start?

I could try to convey the physical surroundings with poetic phrase, carefully crafted words. Barren. Foreign. Uninviting. Colorless. Except for the greens. I remember the greens.

Eyes watched from every corner; although not entirely suspicious by nature, these eyes were trained, however, to notice and mistrust. Voices from loudspeakers shouted questions when we were lost, confused and dismayed in a maze of corridors. Where did that voice come from? Who did it belong to? Where are these people who see our dilemma? Watching. Ever watching.

Black metal bars on two small windows. A miniscule peek at the snow and sun for us - not for him. This was our corridor, not his.

Heavy doors shut with finality at every turn. More questions. Another door. Bare wooden benches. Metal stools. Painted, cold steel grids. Cream colored walls everywhere. Cement floors.

There he was. My nephew. Twenty-three. His head was clean shaven. Last time I saw him it was covered with long red hair. He smiled with a surprised recognition. "Uncle Rick, Aunt Darlene. Louissa, you're alot more grown up than I remember."

He had changed a bit as well. Maximum security has a way of doing that, I suppose.

"Fifteen years, twelve if I keep my nose clean. I'll be 38 when I get out, if I do the whole thing." He had been pretty stalwart until those words were said. He choked a bit now, his eyes misted. "I try to just think about one day at a time." Of course, I thought. How else could you do this?

It's a long story, though simple; a tale as old as time. Sin crept near his door, and like the simple lad of Proverbs fame, he fell headlong.

"I pray every night for the Lord to forgive me. But then I find myself having to ask again the next night, too." There was a tinge of desperation in these words. "My parents told me that God is kinda like parents. When a kid does something wrong, he comes in and tells them he's sorry. They forgive him. A couple of hours later he comes in and apologizes again. They remind him that they forgave him. That night he says he's sorry again. 'Son, at some point you just have to stop asking and start reminding yourself that God has forgiven you.' "

"Ten minutes and visitation ends," the voice boomed.

"Let me tell you the quick version of a dream I had," he said with excitement. I will abbreviate the telling even more than he did. I wouldn't get the details right, but I sure remember the main points. He was at a town square in the midst of a crowd. A wounded man was near him. Another troubled man as well. Soon the speaker arrived on stage. It was Jesus. As Jesus addressed the crowd, my nephew felt Him looking directly at him. Soon he called up a guest speaker. Much to my nephew's surprise, it was him. My nephew began talking, then reached out to touch the wounded man that had been next to him. The man was healed. Others were helped, too.

"I think the Lord was showing me that He has something more for me to do. Somehow He has something for me to do."

His story was truncated as the voice interrupted again, this time to send us on our way. We reached under the iron grid and held his hands. His eyes misted once again as we assured him of our love. We prayed together and promised another visit soon. Next time we would come with books, lots of books. He is allowed to have books, he has plenty of time to read, and Jesus has lots to tell him.

If you think of him, pray for him. Pray for an understanding of salvation, for a sincere heart of love for God, for God's grace and mercy to be his. My nephew has done hideous things. But our God's arm is not too short. Even in that place.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Simple Things

Song walked through the room to the kitchen. I watched her open the cupboard door to reach for a mug. She got a drink and went back to the piano where she had been diligently practicing. I breathed a prayer of thanksgiving for my kitchen cupboard where mismatched mugs were housed. They were available to this young student from South Korea to use freely.

In a moment I heard the front door open. "That would be Johnny, home from a long day at school," I thought to myself. Another prayer is ushered to God in thanks for the door that swings open to welcome him. This home is a refuge for him; his home is splintered for the time being, ravaged by wrong choices. I'm happy that he finds a safe place here.

Kara wipes the counter after finding a bite to eat. She is at home here, finding chores to do without prompting, wanting to do her part. I thank the Lord that she is here. Although far from home, she is dear to my heart and I am happy to share these days with her.

Home. How grateful I am for all that God has made this place to be.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Be Careful Little Tongue

Words flow readily for most of us. Even the most shy will typically have an arena which affords them enough comfort to hang themselves. After all, the scripture guarantees that where there is a multitude of words, sin is not lacking. It is inevitable.

Home is usually an arena where we let down our guard. Or perhaps a close circle of friends affords us freedom to "be ourselves". We laugh loudly, quip saucy responses readily, contrive jokes laces with sarcasm. Or if our mood is worse, we grump at the little one or the big one or the one who happened to be in our way. Or we complain about the choice made by a sibling, or loudly point out the forgotten phone call they didn't make but should have, or soundly and roundly criticize the announcer on TV or some friend's parents or the new kid on the block -- and on and on.

Words can damage, even when we don't intend them to. Next thing you know, those parents of that friend are belittled in the eyes of someone listening who is currently struggling with their own parents for similar issues. You just put one more hurdle in their lane. Or that younger sister, who has issues of her own with that older sibling, has just heard one more claim against them. The devil, who loves division, adds one more accusation to the litany that resounds in her mind. The battle just increased. Maybe we made fun of a haircut, a nationality, someone's weight or fashion, their use of words or lack of schooling. Meanwhile, the new friend across the room has a favorite sister who wears the same clothes, or they have a weight problem of their own. Maybe their dad talks that same way and has just as little education. Now what have you done.

If we want to be peacemakers as the Bible suggests, we need to guard our words, our laughs, our complaints, and our chuckles. Would that inconsiderate word have been withheld if you had known the harm it would cause in the months and even years to come? Did your snicker wound deeply, leaving a hurt of insecurity and painful doubt? Did you stop to think how your expressed thought might be received by the hearer -- what might he think lies behind the smile, the cynical comment, the funny joke, the cross frown?

We do need to take more care, have more thought of consequence, be more considerate of the feelings of others listening, even if they are in the background. Words, like arrows, find a destination. When shot into the air freely, they will land somewhere, piercing and causing damage.

Please, stop, think, and even listen to the sound of those words forming in your mind before you release them to reach the ears, minds, and souls of others.

Ben Wins Again

The almost inevitable has happened, thanks to time and Ben Franklin. Today I picked out frames to hold my new bifocal lenses.

Yup. Maturity, so they say.

Element s of Defrocking

Although I'm a bit tardy by some standards, at least it's finally happening. Christmas decor is coming down, getting sorted and boxed, and dragged up the stairs to the attic once again.

I have my excuses: a holiday wedding followed by my two youngest girls away for 9 days on a missions trip. And me. I just plain didn't feel like doing it sooner. How's that for a reason.

It's not because I loathe taking down the festive color and sparkle. I agree with another blogger: it provides a great opportunity for deep cleaning. Spring cleaning eludes me -- I'm usually too, too busy with other things when spring arrives. So January offers the chance to get in there and scrub.

Yesterday I pulled out the stove for just such reasons and, YUCK -- double YUCK!! Whoa! "Who's been neglecting this job? Was this needed or what?!" And then the pullout pantry shelves were next. YUCK. Not double yuck, but yuck just the same.

I called Merrick to remove the Advent calendar ornaments from the little lighted tree that stands in the dining room. He gladly took them, one by one, and placed them back in the calendar that will hold them for next season's daily story-telling. Tears filled my eyes as I peeked in through the door, listening to his boy soprano voice quietly singing Away in a Manger, a song inspired by his glancing over the little booklets. "How much longer will this enchant him?" I wondered to myself. "He is my last one to do this with. How much longer?" Oh, my heart. He seems to understand these things himself, clinging to his childhood happily, not eager to relinquish it but rather savoring its specialness. Is it because he sees older siblings growing, or is it because of nephews who change before his eyes? Or is he sensitive to my twinges of sadness? Whatever the reason, I will enjoy his enjoyment of these days.

Oh, the cost of such lessons.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Yesterday I spent 5+ hours at an auction. I came home with a partial set of china (soup bowls and a couple of covered serving dishes) and an old copper boiler. The latter now sits in the family room holding some wooden logs for my fireplace. The china did duty at today's lunch of fish chowder. I include the recipe because it was absolutely the yummiest chowder I ever made. Did I follow the recipe precisely? I'll let those of you who know me take a guess at that...

Today's lunch was inspired by the recommendation to view an HBO series on John Adams. Family and friends gathered in our family room for almost 3 hours as we viewed the first of three discs. Now granted, I'm an easy sell on this stuff; I love historical settings. I really, really love them. But none-the-less, what I've seen so far is sincerely great stuff. If you're not currently a fan of history, this might be the series to convince you otherwise. I'm renting it through Netflix, but your local library may have it available. Highly recommended.

I've somewhat successfully completed a full week of silence. On to week two. I say somewhat because at least a few times each day I find myself either talking to myself in a whisper, or blurting out the beginning of an answer to a question posed. It's pretty automatic, I'm afraid -- but I'm trying to break such familiar habits.

My two youngest girls are home from a quick missions trip to some churches in Mexico. They were handing out Christmas gifts at special services, touching the lives of children and their parents. Tomorrow we will hear all the wonderful details. I have confidence that God did great things in their young hearts, as well as the hearts of those they served. I'm happy they went, happy they are home again.

Presently the game is on. Pittsburgh is winning handily. The little yellow house down the street is full of happy celebrants at the time being, of that I am sure. But it's not over yet.

Saw some wedding pics tonight. Soon they will become public. Pretty special, I must say.

Maybe there will be something of substance here tomorrow -- maybe. Hey, you never know...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Big Things, Little Things

We all dream of doing great things. What in the world those great things are depend on you -- your talents, your background, your friends.

Until God intervenes. If you allow Him to intervene, that is.

But if we do let Him meddle one thing is assured: what was big becomes trivial, what was small takes on significance. His ways are most definitely not our ways.

If you're looking for your pride to be fed, you may not want Him to intervene. If you're looking for accolades galore, try another approach. If fame, riches, and worldly success matter -- or comfort, pleasure, and earthly delights -- I think you may be disappointed with a life invested in service to Him.

But if you prefer to touch eternity with your fingerprints and see broken lives healed, sign up for His will. If you would rather please Him than yourself and are willing to sacrifice your momentary comfort for heavenly treasure, His is the plan you are looking for.

Put on Holy Spirit glasses, see from His perspective. Things turn upside down; small becomes big, big - small.

Lord, hear my heart today. Let me see according to Your will. Let my vision be Yours. Help my husband to live for You, seeing what You desire for him and therefore for us. Let us get right perspective on the little things.

Hear my mother's heart. Turn my children's understanding around that they might know what is truly significant. Let them run after the truly important thing: Your Holy will, Your Holy heart.

And hear the cry of a friend. In this New Year, may my friends be those who pursue You in all ways, in all things, in every place. May we see that 2009 is a year full of Holy design and purpose, and may we relinquish our loves, our dreams, our very lives to see the fulfillment of Your Holy plans.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

25 Years -- What Does It Mean To You?

My dad celebrated his 80th birthday this past year.

In 25 years I will do the same. At one point in my life, 25 years seemed like a long expanse of time. It is now diminished in my mind's eye to a mere blink. After all, my oldest daughter will be 28 this year, and her birth was just yesterday. A blip in time -- a wink of the eye. Wasn't it?

Or was it long ago and far away? Events transpired between this point and that one are innumerable. Births - deaths, gains - losses, smiles - tears, healing - hurting.

Still, I envision that in no time at all I will be 80 years old. My youngest son will be well-established in life. Some of the grandchildren will be married with children. Where will I be? What will life look like? Who will be around me then?

Twenty-five years, safely held in His Hand, waiting for their time of revelation. One sand at a time, released moment by moment. All in His keeping. All for Him alone.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Sunlight spills onto my kitchen floor, inviting me to linger in its warming rays. Happy, happy sunlight.

A moment of lingering reveals more. Dust particles dance in the air, soon to add themselves to the collection. Fingermarks present themselves for easy counting all across my windows. The splatters from yesterday's dishwasher loading can be seen on the baseboard.

Sunlight reveals need.

Sonlight reveals need.

Sonlight also provides the answer. Soon we are sparkling like fine crystal. The light shining through dances with color, windows are a clear vision of the beauty beyond, and we are whiter than snow.

Is it possible to be whiter than snow? It is. And this morning I am.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Cones, Pinpricks, and Ripples

Ah. A bit of quiet in the morning hour. The struggle to turn these lazy habits of vacation and partying around. Inching back the hand on the alarm clock bit by bit. I love it. Tomorrow will be a half hour earlier still until I'm back in my 5am "rise and shine" groove. At this rate I'll get there by Thursday. Coddling myself, I suppose. But I learned some time ago that I'm better off taking it slow and succeeding than biting off more than I can chew. So half hour increments for me.

And I find myself in yet another spot in the house. Every season seems to find me relocating to some different nook. Last winter it was the family room. Spring found me in the dining room. Summer leads me outdoors to my porch. And the early mornings of the fall/Christmas season found me in the sitting room. Today? Here I sit, curled up on my salmon colored loveseat in the corner of my music room. I like it. Guess my sanguine tendencies are showing, eh?

I'm reading a book called Brothers and Keepers by John Wideman. I can't recommend it to everyone. The language is rough, nitty-gritty, streetwise, telling of places and cultures unfamiliar to me. Not pretty. But I'm catching a glimpse of life in a different place, yet right around the corner. And as usual, I'm finding that Jesus is the only answer. It seems that in every place, at all times, whether I'm discovering history or exploring a new friendship, Jesus is always relevant, needed, and true.

Here's an excerpt from this book, the authors meditation on heritage. Where do we come from, how did we get here? Who in the world could have mastered such a plan? I know -- do you?

The strong survive. The ones who are strong and lucky. You can take that back as far as you want to go. Everybody needs one father, two grandfathers, four great grandfathers, eight great-great-grandfathers, sixteen great-great-great-grandfathers, then thirty-two, then sixty-for, and that's only eight generations backward in time, eight generations linked directly, intimately with what you are. Less than 150 years ago, 128 men made love to 128 women, not all in the same hotel or on the same day but within a relatively short expanse of time, say 20 years, in places as distant as Igboland, New Amsterdam, and South Carolina. Unknown to each other, probably never even coming face to face in their lifetimes, each of these couples was part of the grand conspiracy to produce you. Think of a pyramid placed on one of its points, a vast cone of light whose sides flare outward, vectors of force like the slanted lines kids draw to show a star's shining. You once were a pinprick of light, a spark whose radiance momentarily upheld the design, stabalized the ever-expanding V that opens to infinity. At some inconceivable distance the light bends, curves back on itself like a ram's horn or conch shell, spiraling towards its greatest compass but simultaneously narrowing to that needle's eye it must enter in order to flow forth bounteously again. You hovered at that nexus, took your turn through that open door.

Pretty amazing stuff to contemplate. Could leave your head swimming or your mind reeling or your emotions confused and overwhelmed. For me, it leads to Christ. He created me. And my part in future generations is His plan, my privilege -- and something I need to take seriously. I do believe I will answer for my impact on this generation and the next. And the next as well. The ripples will continue long after I'm gone, the inverted pyramid growing larger. May grace and mercy, holiness and truth, love and justice mingle in the circles I leave behind; may Godly substance fill that continuous cone of light.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

So Far...

...I've had a couple of goof ups when my mouth gets in gear before my mind does. Hubby is there to stop me right away.

My hardest moments are when I'm alone, talking out loud to myself. I never realized how much I do that, and there is no one there to remind me. So it's not until after I've said a sentence or two that I catch myself.

A bit lulu? A touch of something mental? I don't think so. I bet you all do it more than you realize, too. Try a 6 week sabbatical and find out!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

On Your Mark, Get Set, GO!!!

It begins today. A 6 week vocal sabbatical. That means no talking for all that time. No sound production. No humming. Not even clearing the throat (that will be impossible.) But hopefully the rest will be doable.

I damaged my vocal cords a couple years back and now it's time to do something about it. My husband, a gracious and loving man, is fully supportive, knowing that my ability to sing and talk brings me great joy. He realizes it is important to me -- so he's willing to put up with this attempt to regain vocal strength. Isn't he a sweetie? Because you do realize, don't you, that this will be hard on the household. Mama is not talking, not giving commands, not discussing things readily. Oh, I will carry a small notebook. We will set up a whiteboard in a common room. And I am even considering the purchase of a small computer (I do not have one of my own presently). All of these things should keep communication happening. Fun, fun...

Last night the church in Moira prayed for me. They asked for grace, healing, and a better voice than ever (watch out, Renee Fleming). But someone also asked that during this time of silence I would hear things I've never heard before. I like that. I hope for that. I'll take an answer to that prayer, thank you very much!

Meanwhile, my keyboard may be more active than usual. I will be writing school assignments, sending info to students for the upcoming musical production of Seussical, tweaking a booklet I've written for publication, and blogging.

We shall see how this goes.