Archive for August, 2011

Dear Ones,

I recognized the first time I posted from Here that somewhere south of the border brokenhallelujah reconfigured itself anew.

Suddenly, it was no longer a simple venue to rise up in Praise, but a portal to you.

Unexpectedly, writing became the same kind of travel I remember in cherished books as a child.

Instead of a static platform, it’s become a dynamic space where I feel a connection to you in real time despite the virtual bandwidth.

I see your faces,
imagine your eyebrow vibes
and wonder if I can twist a phrase
shrewdly enough
to make you laugh out loud.

As I upload my heart,
I cry up to Him,
and out to reach you,
like an oak branch
against a window pane
and the 1,000 miles between us
for the brief,
fleeting,
precious
time I post
mutes.

I feel the breath of
your Hallelijahs
on my face
and lean in to listen to
Communion bells.

Brokenhallelujah became a biway somewhere on that highway.

Now more, because “(f)or where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them,” Matthew 18:20.

The very idea causes me to rejoice.

As such, I want to thank you for joining the conversation.

I want to tell you how much your readership feeds my Spirit. It fuels my hunger like a big pot of snow day chili on simmer to study more and celebrate this gift of life from our King of Kings.

I want you to know how much you matter to me.

Your love sweetens bitter like honey glaze paints cinnomon buns.

Thank you.

You enrich me.

I am humbled and blessed.

My tech geek architected a new skin to mark the new feel.

I pray you feel my welcome.

Finally, with permission, I’d like to be able to call us something other than bh-ers…

How shall we be named?

and am open to suggestions…

Fellow travelers?
Singers?
Choir?
(bell)Ringers?
The Orchestra?

I look forward to your thoughts.

Much love,

jael

xoxo

Well Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
she tied you to her kitchen chair
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

I’m so in love with Paul right now.

His encourage words slap slips with the supreme reminder of His glorious strength shared through us and in us.

He’s a marvelous enjambment to my Beatitudes Fall and Spring.

Paul doesn’t mind the heat of the Summer, even Here, because he’s learned how to be happy in whatever circumstance God places Him:

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content, (Philippians 4:11).

In terms of dynamic duos, Batman, Paul delivers!

He uploads our Father’s Promise that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, and also that we can learn to be fully content in every state.

Given the poison of ingratitude in me, I neglect the power of Christ in me.

I more often cringe in fear than stand content in the power Christ.

If we’re looking at what matters,
and telling the hard truth-
like a Supernatural
echocardiogram…

This move, for example, is something
I can go all rogue about like Paul in prison,
and be content whatsoever state I am,
or I can allow a seed of malignant bitterness
grow crab weed tumors
in my heart.

This weekend,
the venom of thanklessness
flooded my thoughts
again
and again
and again.

I,
little i,
sinful i,
cleaved grievance,
pulled it close like a precious babe,
and allowed it suckle.

Hard to think holy and nurture hate.

The same daughter that seeks Obedience, His path for my feet, and His Face of Love was the woman that screamed at her husband Saturday,

“… I want to go home!”


ellipses

candid as I am,

I am unwilling submit

the entire quote

Let’s leave it that this Baby Girl, full-bred daughter of Eve, choked on the wormy apple, pride.

Large!

In default mode already,
I did what I do
when in that blind dark.
I ran away.
Aerobically mind you,
athletically,
no sense not getting
the workout
in midhuff…

Thankfully, in lieu of more futile rehearsal about how I feel tranfers onus on anyone else, I began to think about Paul’s orthodox view that I could bear any circumstance because of the strength of Christ within me.

Pique aside, even I am stilled when I consider His Glory within me. Certainly, I want him to be glorified more than I was mad at my husband, wanted to be right, or even wanted to go home.

In fact, Paul would chide that I am not only already home, but that I’d better get busy on my gratitude education just like in Proverbs 3:11-12:

But don’t, dear friend, resent
God’s discipline; don’t sulk
under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that
God corrects; a father’s
delight is behind all this.

A Father’s delight,
A Son’s strength,
an imprisoned apostle gratified…

The idea that I can learn what Paul mastered through Christ’s strength
and be happy in every circumstance
oh so stokes my go fire,
my go,
Go!
GO! Fire,
my more walking, less takling blaze,
more than kettlebell Bella,
more than the eyes in my pen,
more than hard runs on wet sand…

I trust my Lord Deliverer has done more than put me in a new town.

He’s new expectations for me Here too.

I will not resent them nor sulk, instead, _content_ I will seek His Delight behind it all.

I will also remember, loved one, there’s a bigger THERE than There that I’d best concern myself while HERE Here…

Later the same day, The Husband and I took the girls to the beach and where, like when an opthamologist asks which lens it better,

“1 or 2?
A or B,
Now this
or that?
More clear
or less?”

beauty was easier to see and the content like sand between my toes was more tactile than socks:

Salty prayers on soft sand as wind carressed my shoulders like a reassuring touch…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 A cloud angel waved her wing,
parted,
and crowned
a perfect baby rose.

 

 

 

 

 

A child splashed forward,
like the tide,
stick in eager clenched fist,
to etch
the perfect message
in the sand

 

 

 

 

 

 

and seashell mulch
crispy as Captain Crunch
under content heels
headed home.

 

 

 

 

 

Prison ain’t got no seashell mulch.

I imagine I can muster me some Paul juice on Jesus rocks this Winter…

 

There’s a blaze of light in every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

 

 

 

August,
noble,
eighth month,
venerable,
midsummer,
regal,
Harvest time,
distinguished,
vacation time,
stately,
hottest season,
imposing,
driest season,
grand,
Height of a long,
hot summer,
Majestic,
Worst of a long,
hot summer,
Birthday.

August hosted several key birthday in our family circle.

My Cars-entranced BB turned 4,
brokenhallelujah.org celebrated its first year,
and my birthday was yesterday.

The Middle Girl began my morning with a sweet hug and greeting, “This is our first birthday Here.”

“Yep,” I replied in a tone that I hoped captured reassurance as sweet as icing, “I get to go first.”

“Just like a flu shot,” she rejoined without an ounce of irony.

Just like a flu shot.

It was innocent levity that I was happy quote throughout the day as people from There called me Here to share a Love that transcends geography.

I am so grateful
for that kind of Love.
That kind of family
and precious friends.

Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

Such agape love tats the lace of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

And we can Love this way only because He loved us first.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever, (Hebrews 13:8).

Oh, how He loves us.
Oh, how He loves.

The immutability
of our Lord’s character
promises Forever’s gift.

Love wins.
He’s alive,
and His life
is our Victory.

I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

I remember as clearly as I fixated over the color of the skirt I wore my first day teaching how amused I was by the tilda eyebrows of one of my most beloved students of all times.

Her glorious brown brows wagged up and down simultaneously,
a glorious earthworm of indignation,
or perhaps incredulity
at my assignment
and too hasty Nothern vernacular.

I was so delighted by her radiant sincerity that I stopped talking midsentence,
and pointed my finger at her,
surprised,
horrified,
perplexed
and noisy eyebrows.
“Tilda!” I exclaimed amazed,
“You’re eyebrows are tildas!
Go write that down!
_one of the advantages of the bastion of my own classroom_
Happy to escape me if only for a moment,
she did and recorded
tilda (eyebrow description)
on the pad I keep by my computer.

When she returned to me more animated than she had left, a praise song of well-groomed, question-mark, eyebrows inquired without words, “Now what?”

I had always thought this student exceptionally beautiful and brilliant, but never loved her more than that day as there is something elastic and time-stamped about a 13 year-old’s ability to express herself exclusively through the subtle, arced mustaches above innocent yet wordly eyeballs.

I knew I wanted to write about the vignette and how it connected me to my own adolescence.

Alas, it was poetry never penned as our lives somersaulted from There to Here. Also at that time, my oldest was 12, not 13, and I ignorantly considered myself immune to the domestic challenges furrowed once noisy eyebrows take root in a peaceful and unsuspecting home.

The Boy can simply look at The Oldest Girl and she’s ready for combat like a grunt on juice.

As for The Mamma?
I might need to be fitted
for a bite plate,
what with all the tooth-grinding
his eyebrows inspire.

Perhaps it was the shock of the move,
or the humidity here,
the hormone poisoning,
or the salt water swims,
but somewhere between the land of There
and our arrival Here,
The Boy got him some noisy eyebrows:

 

These brows say,

“You did NOT just say that to me;

we are not amused.”

 

 

These brows ask,

“You did NOT just say that to me;

you’re a waste of good oxygen.”

 

These brows gasp in social horror,

“You did NOT just say that in front of me (and/or my friends):

You embarrass me and humiliate yourself with that mouth of yours.”

 

These brows chuckle,

<genuine laugh, giggle, hiccup),

He had these same beloved brows _then blonde_ when he was five.

 

These brows challenge,

“You did NOT just say that to me,

You want me to do/say/wear what?”

For those of you who enjoy backstory, when I was around his age, I admit that I spent precious time in furious practice to perfect the questioning-one-eye-brow lift.

If you haven’t ever seen me do it, it’s only because The Husband made me give it up cold turkey  because it so irritated him. He found the look to be condescending. Given the context of when he saw it on my face, I had to submit and repent. Ironically, it took me longer to extinguish the lift than to perfect it.

As such, it’s not that I don’t respect how much can be conveyed in a good brow lift  or its relational implications.

Like when we were kids, my brother could stand across the room and just give me the look and I was furious. Of course, he had practiced and perfected the look that was all eyebrow, by the way, and knew it made my skin crawl.

My reaction was his Payday and better than the candy bar.

Naturally, all my parents observed upon me catapulting myself across the room like a ravenous vampire toward his jugular was him innocently standing there with crossed arms and a perplexed brow.

Let’s just say, the gene did NOT skip a generation.

Now it’s The Boy,
and The Oldest Girl
just might draw first blood.

The Boy versus The Mamma,
The Boy dares a stare down against his old man
(like he could win).

And it’s all so raw,
and real,
and naked,
and intense,
without pretense
or life experience.
Painful,
funny
and oh,
furry
bittersweet.

May it ever be my boy’s elastic brows express his heart as transparently as the cross pours Grace.

May he ever feel free to test limits and find safe boundaries in our Faith and home.

May he never, ever bait his sister unto the point of death.

And however bushy, may his own tilda brows ever raise Hallelujah to the One who made Him ours.

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

For me, the first 10 minutes on a piece of stationary equipment like a treadmill or eliptical machine is like the first 100 miles of a road trip.

Slow.

Just as something shifts when the tripometer flips from 99 to 100, so too is there a momentum revolution when minute 9 vaults to minute 10.

I am aware that both measures trigger more of a change in attitude than behavior.

If you were to photograph me driving mile 99 of a trip, my behavioral posture would not appear measurably different from a shot of me cruising mile 101.

Likewise, you can’t cheat a treadmill (or Bella). It goes as fast as I set it and I have to work my body the same way to run minute 9 and 11.

The attitudinal delta intrigues me.

I sense it houses
breath,
hope,
peace,
and epiphany.

So what is it that changes my road trip mentality from, “We’re NEVER going to get there,” to, “We got this, we’re already 100 miles in!”

Or, “Oh, I’m so tired! Argh! This is hard, pant, pant, whine, pant,” to, “Oh yeah, I got this, I’m strong, No problem!”

Common to both initial phases is anxiety. What is underneath each endeavor is more than not wanting to do the unplesant or difficult, but not truly believing that I can.

And, of course, I can’t in my own strength.

Concert to both shifts is confidence that what is being attempted is also obtainable.

Peace is the fruit of confidence. The sweet nectar that drips honey and thick syrup certainty that God tabernacles with me:

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be you thankful., (Colossians, 3:15).

This is the Peace God gives in Philippians 4:7: Then God’s peace, which goes far beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your hearts and minds in union with the Messiah Jesus.

The image of Peace as a guard of the heart is like an umpire behind hoomeplate. Peace is there to govern the calls and choices in our lives.

An historical allusion to Olympic games, the message here proclaims that God gives us the authority to act like the govenors of the Olympics as rulers our hearts.

We are to guard our hearts and protect them from the world, to preside in our hearts; sit as umpires there; to invite the indweeling of God’s own Spirit, that divine calm and peace to govern and control us.

We are Called to Peace,
liberation from anxiety,
freedom from agitations,
control of passions,
rest from tumult.

This is not the promise that we do not face anxiety, agitations, passion and tumult, but that through the Grace of God’s peace that transcends all understanding, we may heed His call among the white noise of those elements and be at rest to press into Him and acknowledge our need for His Merciful intercession.

I don’t know about you, but I am utterly dependent upon Him now (as ever) and need his intercession like CPR for for my transitional attitude.

More than ever, I seek
God’s favor,
His calm presence,
His harmony,
His signature peace,
His love song in my life.

As in Ephesians 4: 4-6

There is one body
and one Spirit—
just as you were called to one hope
when you were called—
one Lord,
one faith,
one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

Nothing better tills Peace and Order than gratitude for the mercies of God’s abundant garden.

 

I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

Today was the first time since before I graduated that I did not return to the classroom on the teacher’s first day.

It has been a sadly surreal day Here.

The smell of crayons triggers anxiety and I miss my babies.

I know I am where I am Called to be.
I just wish I wanted it with the same certainty.

I feel like layers of my skin have been rubbed raw by sand paper and rubbing alcohol.

It only hurts a bit at first and then the pain blots out reason.

I also discovered that I have substitution resistance like an allergic reaction to a generic prescription.

I sat among a group of Godly women tonight and felt more alone and anonymous than I have in years.

I know I can not replace what I had There Here.
I don’t want to be replaced There either.

I,
I,
I,
I,
I,
I…
how very Veruca of me, Dr. Freud.

Thank heaven there is YOU!

In actuality He states my only, ultimate need:
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; (Psalm 46:10).

I trust Him.
It’s a good plan, not easy, but good.
I am not in my classroom.
I am in His classroom.
He is Teacher.
I am student.
It’s a whole new kind of year.
He is with me.

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah,
Hallelujah
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah!

I’d like to introduce you to a new member of our family rhythm:

Her name is Bella.

Her name now is Bella.
I used to call her Beasty.
Admittedly sometimes even Witchy-poo…

Because she intimidated the pee out of me.
Sadly, I do mean this both figuratively
and literally.

And this little precious is Babe.

She’s Bella’s sister.
Both issue from the family Kettle.

Like a training bra, Babe was my first encounter into the clan Kettlebell.

Similarly, like a tween I wasn’t completely certain I wanted to wear a kettlebell, let alone swing one around like a Spring Fling dance partner.

Sweet as she looked, I was pretty confidant she’d pinch, bite and grab me unawares if I gave her any leave.

Frankly, she scared me.

And Bella?
Bella Girl came home on The Husband’s arm.
She struck terror in me as would a shark under my Boogie Board.

The first morning I stood on the mat in front of Babe I cried acrid tears of frustration. My legs trembled; I got a charley horse in my calf during my attempt to stretch away the shakes with leg extensions, and, for the first time since The Husband dragged me to a free CrossFit class three years ago, I feared that I wouldn’t be able to do something in the gym.

Now, before any newer reader misunderstand this statement with pride, allow me clarify. I’m not a jock, juicer or power lifter. I am, however, more often than not, too stupid to factor my very real, human limits in my attempts at fitness. Such judgement lapses have demanded Stupid Tax in precious salt and injury more times than I want to confess here.

So, for me to vow that I was uncertain that I was capable of the demands of a workout instead of reckless self-reliance gives you context for how much Witchy-Poo mocked my confidence.

And her little sister, Babe too.

Another comparison to CrossFit (aside from that workout also made me pee my pants),
is the Kettle ladies were The Husband’s initiative.
His kind of thing.
Just how he rolls, ya know.

I stood there across the mat as I watched The Husband toss Witchy-Poo around like she was a Swifer.

He was all glide and
“Pop your hips hard,”
and “Don’t let your heels come off the mat.”
Mind you, his sweet little Swifer weighed 45 pounds,
and he popped off 50 reps like it costs him nothing.

Once he hit 20, I knew that I won’t be able to do it.
I am not that strong.
My base strength notwithstanding,
this level of weight and intensity is not my kind of thing.
Not how I roll, ya know?

However, another way I don’t roll,
is I don’t let a piece of equipment be my no.
My yes is my yes,
and my no be my no,
and no Kettle gal gets to swing my man or make my call.

So, I pick up Babe that first morning, all awkward and goofy because she’s heavy and her bar is curved and I’m used to free weights. Somehow 35 pounds feels more solid the way Babe bears it like how different people store excess body fat differently.

My first 5 swings are so poor that I cry.
I simply can’t get the rhythm of the movement
all glide and
“Pop your hips hard,”
and “Don’t let your heels come off the mat.”

I barely got to 20 before I had to take a break.
It took me 3 more sets to get to goal, 75.
It was an ugly 75.
Poor form.
Tight muscles.
Locked hips.

I didn’t quit her, though I thought I wanted to at the time. We did our dance every day I worked out and Babe became a central piece of my workouts.

That was three months ago, about the time The Husband and I began to seriously investigate this transitional sabbatical.

Babe and I don’t dance anymore unless I take her on the road because she’s lighter and easier to transport.

Bella’s my dance partner now.
And I lead.
And I am so in love with her that our dances together are my favorite parts of each workout.

Bella is honest too like a judge that can’t be bought.
She weighs what she weighs.
She won’t swing unless I pick her up and swing her.
It’s always hard and sometimes she can still make me whistle pant,
but she’s honest as the scale.

Bella wasn’t in the range of my established strength when I first met her.

Heck, even her little sister, Babe wasn’t.

Three months ago, Babe and Bella remained exclusively in the category of my potential strength.

I wasn’t strong enough to do a set of 75, let alone 100 with either gal.

I had to work,
train,
pee,
cry,
swing,
over and over,
and over and over,
and over and over,
and over and over again
day after day
after day
after day
to grow my base strength
strong enough to heft either lady.

I relied on the established level of finess I had to enhance my performance to reach my potential strength with the Kettles.

I thought a lot about Bella in church yesterday. The Pastor of the church we shopped taught on Paul’s promise, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” (Ephsians, 4:13).

When I first connected with our church There, it was similar to my first encounters with Babe. I not only didn’t have the skills, but I relied on my own strength.

It was only when I met Love’s Face that I began to understand that I don’t have to attempt to do life reliant upon my own strength alone.

Thank God

In fact, who I was before I became His bride was similar to my physical condition when I stood before Babe on the mat.

Once I said, “I do,” to Him
he had to teach me,
and I had to work,
train,
pee,
cry,
swing,
over and over,
and over and over,
and over and over,
and over and over again
day after day
after day
after day
to grow my base Faith
strong enough to heft His call in my life
through Grace
His strength
and for His Glory.

Like Bella,
He’s a Gentleman,
He’s the perfect Judge
and He’ll never push.
He won’t make me pick Him up
or meet Him where I am
every day beyond
my willingness.
My heart must be available for His Lead,
I trust Him on the dance floor of my life.

This realization demands that I stop to imagine with wonder what is possible when I cooperate with God’s will through His strength. Surly, that’s the stuff that grants the richest treasury of His Glory. Paul asserts that we will be strengthened in full measure of His infinite Glory.

I want to be the kind of strong Timothy talks about in 2 Timothy 2:1, “(S)trong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

That’s how I want to be cut,
Grace cut.

He knows our base strength better than we as He made us perfectly and well.

He also delights in our potential strength through His supernatural Grace and Glory.

The Hope of His heart is our continual
growth,
training,
development,
movement,
and fullness.

He seeks communion with us
over and over,
and over and over,
and over and over,
and over and over again
day after day
after day
after day
to perfect our Faith
and Light our lives
like a lamp at our feet.

As for me,
right now
I can’t get me enought of Him
or Bella.

May it ever be so with me.

It’s not somebody who’s seen in the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

 

Like a jewel in a box, I discovered this YouTube clip in my inbox today:

Figuring Life Out- One Thousands Gifts by Ann M Voskamp.

As I referred to this very title earlier this week, I feel certain it appropriate to play this precious pearl forward and trust you too will recieve it as a gift.

Since I first viewed it, it invited a dance of poetry upon my heart. Her words tango in italics and mine simply follow her dazzling lead:

Stay Awake!

We are born
with heaven’s scent
upon naked skin
to capture
moments,
microscopic,
fleeting moments

with butterfly net
marvel
like children
come to Him.

Inoculate atrophy.
Stay fully wake!
Dilate the aperture
of your lens
to seek Up
and out
and within.

Life is NOT an emergency
and God is NOT a 911 dispatch operator.
Life may be cherished
only in the hands
of the unhurried

like a meal carried to a new mother
with freshly baked,
still warm,
chocolate, chocolate-chip
banana bread.
Life is the True dessert.

Stop gulping!
Savour the icecream cone,
pause between licks
as vanilla beans
paint your throat sweet.
True love smiles
from this green patch of life
All for YOU, beloved!!

Sing gratitude for the
seemingly small and insignificant
jewels of life like
a Swallow Tail butterfly
lights like a queen
on the open kiss of your palm!
Puffs from your own
breath polish
Hallelujah crowns.

Count the ways He loves!
NEVER stop!!!!!

You can slow.
You can wait.
You can Trust.
You can Love,
Holy
Ordinary
Amazing Grace
.

There’s a blaze of light in every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah,
Hallelujah.
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah!

750,362,957 work stops from the children
(I’m suddenly as popular with them as I was when they were two-years old)

17 boxes

7 loads of laundry

5 more damage claims
(including vintage clutch purse my mother carried at her prom)

5 more times to exercise Grace
(less than 7×70…)

4 meal cycles
(another day when it seems all the kids do is eat)

3 crying spells
(Middle Girl, The Baby and The Mamma)

2 family meetings

2 broken outlets

1 sibling mediation
(Don’t even get me started…)

1 broken garage door

1 workout

It’s a challenge not to brew overwhelm like sun tea.

I think the boxes might actually be asexually reproducing.
For all I know sexually reproducing
given the perversity of the prospect.

The discovery of damage continues to rise and each box takes 2-5 times longer than it should to process as most are so poorly packed that it looks like a boxed Goodwill donation bin.

I worked most of the day and did not accomplish half of what I had hoped.

I am seriously contemplating tossing boxes unopened into the pool as a new water sport like polo. We could host a tournament. What a great way to meet the neighbors.

Speaking of the neighbors, we haven’t seen any. We learned yesterday that we arrived not only in the “hottest season,” but also the “like Winter season, this is the time of year that people stay in and don’t come out much because it is too hot.”

This news thrilled the children who are so sick enough of each other as to consider me good entertainment. We spend lots of time together. It’s like the old days and I once again can’t go to the bathroom without interruption. It’s not a good hiding spot; they keep finding me.

A little sore and cranky, I nonetheless look forward to many things:

Like the first day I find a box without something in it broken,
the first morning no one cries,
when obligatory food no longer tastes like sandpaper,
the first room empty of boxes,
art hung on yellow walls,
familiar photos on wiped,
well lit shelves,
empty laundry hampers,
a full larder,
being able to do the splits for the first time in my life,
(I’m getting closer every day)
the first new friend,
the first visit Here from somebody from There,
a church that fits like Dansko clogs
and ready to walk this with us,
the first day of school,
being able to bench 120 pounds,
my first visit There from Here,
the first waffle as it melts pools of
butter puddles
in square pockets of yum,
sleeping through the night,
(even the Mamma regresses behaviorally here…)
and puffs of breath
that polish hope
like silver Hallelujahs.

And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah!

I chatted with one of my friends today. Like a Spring bouquet, she rainbows color and sports many nicknames, Captain and Princess among them. She creates a delicious, tangy tension in my life like sweet and sour shrimp. She’s got attitude  aplenty and I am never certain if she is going to spank me with accountability or give me a hug.  And that’s just one of the reasons I love her.

As we swapped sass, she challenged me to claim a scripture to which I had just alluded as a verse over my life on this coast of change like a lease on the house in a dead market:

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me, (Philippians, 4:13).

Sounds just like Paul, doesn’t it?

Talk about a guy you never know is going to slap you up side the attitude or give you a hug!  He and Captain are two peas in a pod!

Paul calls the church to Faith over and over in scripture. Like a General, he’s got pristine standards of conduct for his troops too. However, he is simultaneously Gentle and always remembers who paid to make him free.

In this verse, Paul claims victory through the strength of Christ.

Moreover, he asserts that he can “do all things,” through the robust, living vitality of Jesus. Who better than Paul can tell me that any trial, duty, temptation or condition is bearable?

He’s got quite a vitae that one.

His words echo without an ounce of vanity, reckless self-reliance or pride. His biography warrants him experience and he knows that he knows his source of strength.

I too can do all things through Christ Jesus.

Like Paul and you, I have complete championship through Jesus who is my strength and redeemer.

I stake this claim with an admission.

Every minute here is not bathed in sun and charged with amusement park joy and funnel cakes.

There are many tears.

Tides of grief
rotate shores.

Valleys of boxes,
panic attacks,
and uncertainty so visceral
that I sleep
badly
with a paper bag
under my pillow.

There is also Jesus.

Jesus is one colossal PEACE ATTACK!

Yesterday,
Today,
And Tomorrow.

This, however, is not a handkerchief place.

This space offers another altar from which I may Praise His Holy Name.

And I can do all things through the strength of Christ Jesus even when I when I weep, grieve, hold a sobbing child, attack boxes or wipe just as a nursing Mamma multi-tasks!

Postpartum blur and memory issues aside, I know that you remember how many things you could do as you nursed like a human octopus with nipples.

That said, like many adult children, I still call home.

Because home is a handkerchief  place.

When I called home yesterday,  Nana told me a story about a treasure she had found in her dresser that very day.

She had saved an email that I had written to her during a time of challenge and transition.

She soothed,  “What better than words from your own mouth to comfort you today?”

See how strong is my Champion Jesus?

I can do all things through my kind-hearted Brother who strengthens me so WELL with infinite buckets of living water.

I can do this.

My children can do this.

It’s a good plan, not an easy, but a good.

I Trust Him.

Well there was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show that to me do you?
And remember when I moved in you?
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!