Christmas peace

“Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,

God’s Sunrise will break in upon us,

Shining on those in the darkness,

Those sitting in the shadow of death,

Then showing us the way, one foot at a time,

Down the path of peace.”

Luke 1:78-79 (The Message by Eugene Peterson)

Peace to all this Christmas…

 

Shoes of Fear

The cottage on Apple Hill Road was getting a new roof.

Ladders leaned against every side safely tied off
by the safety supervisor.

ladder on unpainted house

I bend to untie knotted shoestrings of fear that
keep me tethered to solid ground.

I boldly step barefoot onto the rung. Fear is banished,
no longer in command.

I will walk the slope of the roof, stand at the peak
in glorious freedom and joy.

From there I will leap to the dark swaying branches
of the oak that sweeps to the sky.

Tree in spring

swiftly swiftly now climbing enveloped in the sheltering radiance
of sun drenched leaves and waving ripples of wind and blue,
tendril arms reach to dark limbs, feet find footholds and crevices
that only eagles have known.
toes curl around the top branches outstretched arms grow feathers
head thrown back in victory mouth gulping the liquid drops of air
the sun rays are heat and flames scorching my face
and i dare not look down.

redwoods and sky

this breadth of view this heaven of angels, of muses, of clarity;
Do Not Fear the angels say each time they meet a mortal.
They know we fear their wings their otherness
their instructions
of impossibility.
but each time we unstrap those shoes of fear (no matter how stylish the heel or brilliantly cunning the color)
and run barefoot on the shards of a cracked life,
God shouts with joy, the angels cheer
and the beast retreats into the ground.

Armstrong Redwood Forest

133. No Time to…

So what happens when one finally gets settled into a routine at the cottage where one has spent three years preparing to live?

Life.

Yes. Life.

Yes. Life. Happens.

There’s a new job.

There’s a volunteer commitment one made before the new job happened.

There’s cooking to do, gardens to plant, flowers to grow, pillow covers to make, Bible to study, VBS to get ready for, neighbors to visit, friends to talk to, firewood to haul, and, yes, there are still boxes to unpack, files to organize and a room to paint. As well as the bathroom to gut and redo, and the back porch to finish.

And suddenly, there’s no time to write.

Ha, silly me. I thought perhaps after we moved here, I’d have spare time to finish that novel… Now I can’t even find time to write 500 words for a blog post.

It’s the rhythm of life. Suddenly there is much going on, but it is the routine of day-to-day, interspersed here and there with a gorgeous full moon, the bloom of a new starburst flower, the scent of peonies, a gentle sunrise.

But that is life, isn’t it? Making the most of those boring bits of life in-between the great, amazing stuff that, if we are honest, doesn’t really happen all that often.

It’s what we do with the routine and the interruptions to our routine that are important. Read this C.S. Lewis quote and put it on your fridge.

 Yes, the unremarkable, the humdrum, the commonplace — that’s the life God is sending us. And do we sing on the way to work, or grump about the trucks that are making us late?

Do we gripe about having to fix dinner on a day when we don’t get home until 6:00, or do we look into the fridge and make it a game with ourselves to come up with the best we can with what’s there?

Do we go to visit the neighbor when we really should be…  (insert really important thing to do here.)

I have to admit that I’m only good at loving the uneventful life sometimes. I try to remember that God has given us this ordinary life to live for him. He sees when we grumble at our husbands for no good reason except a mood; he knows when we choose to be in a funk, rather than pray; and best of all, He understands when we chafe against the boring bits of ho-hum pfhh that so much of life seems to be…
Bare hill
and he graciously gives us new eyes to see beauty in the familiar.