I am a fortunate woman.

I know what a man’s eyes look like when he looks upon me and sees the world. I know the ache of the heart when that love is no longer enough. I have been loved with the passion and fire of a first love. I learned that the greatest and hardest love is not a feeling but a choice. I have been blessed with the opportunity to love faithfully in times of great trial and difficulty. I know, too, the heartbreak of a love lost forever. I have a lineage that includes loves which span more than half a century, wins wars against disease and bears loss. I know the reward and cost of loving another’s children as if they were your own. I know the impossible fullness in my heart when they are little and cling to me as they surrender to sleep. My heart still bears the scar caused by the pain of never getting to see them again. I have been loved faithfully by creatures for the entirety of their lives, and I have loved them through caring for them in each of their seasons. I have been told, unsolicited, that my love is remarkable, impossible, improbable and irrational and I have struggled with knowing whether this was a positive or negative attribute. I have been set adrift in a sea of self-doubt and been rescued by an everlasting Love. I have discovered the freedom that comes with loving others without needing anything from them in return. And I have begun to love myself with the compassion, forgiveness and generosity with which I try to love others.

I am a fortunate woman to have known Love so well as this.

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When I Don’t Have Words (Story of Hannah)

I will pour out my soul

Pour out my soul

Before the Lord

And He will hear me.

 

The world will say, “Woman,

Why won’t you eat?

Why do you weep?

Your heart should not grieve.”

 

I lay the bitterness of my soul

In prayer before the Lord

Weeping in anguish to Him

Who will wipe tears from all eyes.

 

Lord, look upon my face

Your servant, weighed down in disgrace

Do not forget me

Remember she who clings to You.

 

Clinging, clinging

Clinging to You

God of the Hebrews

Cover me with Your cloak.

 

Other foreign women, I know

You claimed; You called your own

Yes, You knit them in

Into Your inheritance.

 

A Song

And all I want is you, Lord.

I just need You here.

All I want is you, Lord.

Please Abba, please draw near.

I could have the whole world

but if I don’t have You…

what good is the whole world

if it doesn’t include You?

So I pray Your Kingdom come.

So I pray Your Will be done.

Oh I beg you Lord, draw close

Draw close to me now

May Your heaven touch down

And make this sacred ground.

Oh would You draw close?

Because I just want You, Lord

Before anything else.

I just want you, Lord.

Patience

Patience is a trait that is sometimes viewed as a strength, oftentimes mistaken for a weakness and generally misunderstood. When I think about patience, I consider it to be an expression of humility and love. Pride and arrogance would demand that things would move at the pace of our self: that our timing would be right. It demands that it gets what is owed, when it is owed. It keeps a balance sheet and anyone who falls behind is, justly, left behind. Pride and arrogance insist that their way and timing is, of course, best.

Patience is lovingly moving at a pace slower than the one at which you are capable, for the sake of another. It focuses less on what the self can accomplish and more on what is accomplished together. Sometimes, we are even forced to be patient because what we desire is entirely outside of our influence or control. In such cases, we find that we must surrender control and find something or someone in which we can trust.

Patience always costs us something. In one of the running books I read (and I read a similar thing about swimming), when we train for a long time in running or swimming, our natural pace becomes very economical and efficient. Afterwards, if we force ourselves to move at a pace slower than the one we naturally perform in, we have to work harder and be more attentive to our movements. This is not easy or intuitive.

Without patience we might respond to delay or slowness with anger, shaming, frustration, hopelessness, apathy, judgment, etc. It is likely we would also feel justified in our behavior. We are right to feel this way, are we not? ‘Look at how I am hindered!’ we proclaim. How much harder is it to seek to choose the path of empathy and compassion, and act instead with patience?

I find it interesting how little people seem to cultivate patience in our society while conversely treasuring dearly those who show us patience in times of difficulty and struggle. I believe that patience is like a muscle; it can be strengthened and developed over time. Consider a two-year-old and the patience they often show when faced with a seemingly insurmountable task. It does not take long for a tantrum to ensue. Are there not places in our own lives where we do the equivalent? And yet over the last decade I feel like I have witnessed a decrease in kindness, patience, compassion and generosity of spirit from adults.

Part of me wonders if this is shaped by the nationalistic tendencies of our country (the good ‘ol USA). Our ongoing rhetoric of being the “greatest,” if true, carries with it a heavy choice. If we are, in fact, the greatest wouldn’t it also follow that we must, if we love, also be the most patient? If we are not, it seems to me that we are choosing arrogance and pride instead (companions of hatred). This is not what I want for myself or for the people of my country. I hope that someday others might describe us as models of patience and humility (fruits of the Spirit and expressions of love) rather than bullies.

My Prayer Right Now (originally written in July 2018)

Here is what I say to You, Adonai: ‘I am the Lord’s servant. May it be as you have said.’ May all the words I believe I receive from You be true and right. I ask you, Lord, to shine your Light on anything not of You so I can throw it out and forget it. Abba, May I treasure your words and your Word. May I treasure them in my heart as Mary did. When the time of Your words come, I will proclaim Your goodness and faithfulness. As I wait in hopeful expectation I will tell others of Your love and compassion. I will worship You in pain and joy, in the waiting and the welcoming, in every season of my life. I am a grateful servant; I have not forgotten the debt You paid for. I know Your timing is perfect and I trust you. Amen.

Written Words

For the Church, she was a prophetess

Here in the Now but seeing the Not Yet.

”Your Kingdom come,” she sings.

”Your Will be done,” she wept.

She lamented for the Church

who failed to heed the Wise

And called out to her God

who, she prayed, heard her cries.

“Help our hearts to be humble.”

”May pride not lead the way.”

”Protect us from ourselves,

let us not be lead astray.”

But she knew what she saw

A reckoning must there be

Either we would humble ourselves

or the Great Humbler He would be.