Tag Archives: God

Making God Laugh

28 May

It’s 3 am and I am 41 weeks pregnant. That’s 2 weeks longer than my first 2 kids, and those 2 weeks have felt like eternity. I’ve been having steady contractions off and on since 36 weeks which makes it seem like over a month of labor.

In that month we found a new place to live. It came as a gift after a lot of ups and downs, wondering, stressing and praying about leases and landlords, location, timing, and finances.

God brought it all together, and as always in this adventure we live, it is happening fast. Fast enough where now I am giving myself and this baby a deadline, where I am pondering furniture and boxes and exactly where I am gonna give birth. Because I decided on a homebirth, and now I am switching homes. So much for “nesting.”

I had a momentary freak-out yesterday and my dear husband gave me a foot rub, told me to breathe and reminded me that my ancestors gave birth in covered wagons and next to battlefields. And I carry their DNA, their strength.

Then I thought of one of the most famous birth stories as I ate leftover chicken pot pie in the quiet of 3 am. I thought of Mary and how she must have been having contractions, longer and stronger and closer together and how Joseph must have felt so frustrated he couldn’t find a bed for his very pregnant wife. How they had been entrusted with this crazy precious gift and they probably thought they might have to birth him in the street.

I wonder if Mary stressed as another painful contraction rolled through her body, if she wondered if maybe she had screwed up, or what the heck God was doing, after all, this was horrible timing having to make this journey so far from home.

I often think of the quote I first heard in the beautiful movie “Bella” (which ironically revolves around pregnancy and choosing life) the quote originally by Woody Allen:

“You wanna make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.”

There is no better way to remember how little control you have then to have children. From the moment of conception, from seeing those 2 lines on the pregnancy test, you are thrown onto a chaotic ride that just doesn’t stop. And often there is vomit, too.

But birth is other-worldly. And we lose part of the wonder when we over-analyze and over-medicate and make it all about the numbers and the dates and everything lining up just right. We play into fear and wonder why the stress is too much.

Maybe it would be better just to let go of imaginary deadlines, stop trying to plan and control and just be grateful we get to partake in this incredible miracle.

Because we talk about “God’s timing” only because our limited minds are currently trapped inside of timelines. Yet our spirits are not, and neither our babies preparing to come earthside.

I know “this too shall pass” and right now there are so many lessons to be had in the waiting.

In the (once again) trusting last minute everything will fall into place.

In the embracing of the unknown because really, this is all just a great adventure.

I see it now: that moment when heaven and earth align and my body releases this brand new soul I’ve been carrying all these long months.

I smile, as tears of joy come, and then laughter from pure relief.

God laughs with me.

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Translating the Wind

11 Jun

somewhere between where I was and where I am going,

I reside

abandoning all other options

careless to the chaos of choice

the noise ceases and I am still

Oh restless heart, make peace with yourself

a decade ago I wandered from city to small town

overwhelmed by the meaning

in every place, person, and moment

every noun was a sign

nothing my senses experienced was an accident

I wrote like it was the only way I could see where I was going

and even though it tortured me

I knew I could exist in the moment

I knew Purpose

like sun and rain and soil

and it didn’t matter

that I only had if half-right

that I was cowering to fear

rowing against the waves

to an island I could never land on

Oh restless heart, stop for a moment and rest

at last the illusion broke

I screamed in a hotel room in China

I hated what my beliefs had made me

while loving grace for the lies it exposed

I fell apart and came together

I stood on a bridge far above snow covered streets

and knew impossible was nothing

a remaking of self

a transition from winter to spring

I guess I am not done yet

uprooting, planting, blooming

the layers that ultimately become my being

and I’ll keep going

wondering, wandering and questioning

even if I stay still

the Wind speaks and I can finally translate:

Oh restless heart, this is your home

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Where’s Jesus?

2 Jun

Every night, I pray with Aurelia. Sometimes it feels special and even sacred. Mostly it feels like routine, and occasionally just meaningless words.

Lately, she’s been talking and communicating and understanding more than I could have imagines for someone who is not even 2 yet.

The past week or so, when we pray she asks a question, and innocent question that stops me in my tracks and pulls me out of the mundane into something more.

“Where’s Jesus?”

“….He’s here, baby. In our hearts.”

“I don’t see him.”

I swallow, choking on some invisible fear, a memory, a doubt.

“He’s here, baby. Whenever we feel love, or happy or full of joy, that’s Jesus. Whenever we see anything good and beautiful.”

I struggle to form the words.

I’ve never had a problem believing God is real.

I don’t remember a moment in my life ever doubting his existence.

I’ve always made my home in ethereal places that don’t count on the tangible and logical to exist.

I don’t have a problem believing what I cannot see.

I don’t even necessarily struggle with the fact that He loves us.

I know he’s a good father.

It’s how good, how joyful, the “bigness” of His grace and love I think I know deep down, yet somehow I don’t apply to every day moments when I need it the most.

“I don’t see him…”

When my prayers feel like they are hitting the ceiling, when my feelings seems too loud, to real to make sense of the Truth.

When I just want my way, my timing.

When I let those old voices in.

When I believe fear instead of love.

When it feels too hard for too long.

When I am about to give up on my dreams.

When I am tired from struggling to believe how good.

How big.

I pause.


Last night I had a vivid dream.

I was hiking in a dense, dark jungle with my husband. We were trying to get somewhere important, somewhere where people were expecting us.

Somewhere we were meant to be.

To get to this place, we needed to cross this terrifying chasm on a swaying, frayed rope bridge. My heart in my chest, I followed my husband across. It was so high up I couldn’t see the ground. I panicked, half-way across.

I can’t do it. It’s too hard. It’s not worth it…

I don’t see him. 

Somehow I kept going.

Somehow we made it across.

On the other side was our destination. A beautiful hotel, more majestic than anything I had ever seen. When we walked inside, we found out that someone had anonymously paid for us to stay there. We walked into the beautifully decorated, enormous suite and looked around laughing with pure joy.

It was a gift. We could rest.

I woke up with a jolt.

It’s a risk, stepping out. But there is an enormous blessing waiting on the other side. 

 


I don’t have trouble seeing Him in the small things, in my daughter’s eyes and in the little ways he provides our daily needs.

Sometimes it’s the big-ness I struggle with.

“He’s here baby. Everywhere. He never leaves us.”

She looks at me, innocent and whole, with more wisdom in her little-enourmous heart than I can understand, and says,

“He’s in the stars.”

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Sparrows and Eagles

10 Apr

bird

I’ve got to get off the ground somehow
If the wind would only create enough lift
For this tattered thinking
Facing destruction
I need a resurrection

I am tired of these rocks in my shoes
Broken views
Hardened by a misuse
Of my mind
Always looking for things I can’t find

But you
You said wait and you’ll renew
My strength
My ability to see
You’ll heighten my view

I am tortured and plagued by this feeling of dread
I’ll never be there
I’ll never be her

But you
You feed all the small birds
And count every missing feather
You know when the snow makes them shiver
How far they roam
Every stick that makes up the nest
They call home
How much more

When I can’t take one more step
When I feel shriveled and used up
When I don’t know what I believe anymore
I am knocked to the floor
Breath gone
Fear seems like it won
My heart feels like rocks
And my chest caves in
And as stones crumble
Light seeps through an open door
How much more

My daughter laughs
And it’s like a crack in heaven’s door
Like love burst forth
A breaking dam
Overflowing, powering cities with joy
How much more

A hand stretched out
Offers bread, a smile, a cup of wine, a song
Conversation that makes you feel you belong
Warmth, connection, pure affection
How much more

Love is here
Complete light
Total hope
Unending flights

I wait
I soar

When I am Feeling Lost

14 Jun

Sometimes I feel lost.  Lost in my head. Lost in worry.

I forget I am not doing life alone.

Photo Credit: …bmd… via Compfight cc

I tend to try to go at it by myself, and I know that isn’t healthy.

Sometimes I forget simple child-like faith is all I really need.

I’ve done a pretty good job rejecting religion, but I don’t want to get stuck there.

I don’t want to stay at the “what’s wrong with Christianity” party.

Trust me, it’s not worth it.

There is so much goodness and light and life when people just embrace Jesus. 

When they truly love God and love others.

I want to focus on that.

I know the old phrase,

It’s not religion it’s relationship.

I know it has meaning, but what does it mean to me?

Today, I sat in church and thought about it.

Often, it means not doing things “by the book.”

It means figuring out what works for me and throwing myself into it.

It may mean doing the opposite of the crowd. It may mean looking heretical to others.

It means having nothing to prove to anyone, because I am secure in our relationship.

Sometimes It looks like fights. Like any relationship. Hard questions. Moments of anger, followed by intimacy.

It doesn’t always look like feelings. Sometimes it looks like believing I am loved even when I feel hideous and unlovable. It’s constantly remembering the commitment that has been made.

(You know, the one between God and Jesus. The one I have nothing to do with but still get to partake in.)

It means keeping my heart open when I just want to crawl into a corner and be left alone.

But it also means when I chose to do so, I am never alone in that corner.

It often looks like struggle, because it seems “easier” to fall back into a lifeless routine.

But it also looks like rest, because fundamentally, it is.

It looks like a breath of energy when I am worn out and piling burdens on top of my self.

It looks like that calm, certain thought in the middle of confusion, in the midst of worrying about the future:

“This is exactly where I need to be…”

It looks like comfort in pain.

Joy in uncertainty.

Creativity in the midst of a dry spell.

And love. 

Always love.

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