Ageless and Innocent

She cried tonight
the little girl who sees.
Trapped behind the eyes
helpless and caged.
Bloodshot and red
she cried to me, 'Why?'

I could only stare back in response.
I had no answer.
I don't know either.
I'm the one who has to dry the tears.
I'm alone to try to explain disappointment and heartache and fear.

She lives in bliss today,
in confusion when bliss disappears.
I'm her friend,
she's my refuge.
Sometimes we'll still color and whisper old songs
as she shares her bliss with me.

She plays in the background.
I live in the world.
We meet in the mirror and confront
the harshness of the elements on my side
immortal innocence on hers.


Faith: Experience vs. Education

     This post already has the air of formality and wisdom, doesn't it?   Do you know how I did that?  I prepped you.  I put two four syllable words in the title on both sides of a 'vs'.  Now, I'm not sure that's an exact technique they teach in marketing class but you learn over the years that certain words and phrases catch the eye and leave the reader curious enough to want to know more,  entertained enough to want to laugh further or outraged enough to keep reading in order to form his/her own counterpoint.  It's manipulation in print.

Welcome to politics.
Welcome to the world of business.
Welcome to Bible study!

     I once told a friend of mine that he made a great preacher.  He was humble and honest and faithful and you could tell from the pews that his intentions were to share the love he had been shown.  He felt inadequate for not having had any formal training from a bible college.  Having been the wife of a bible college student I told him, 'Bible school isn't where you learn about God.  It's where you learn how to sell Him."  It seems I'm very wise.

     And before I go further I want to state as fact that I love my God.  I love His Word as well and there are very few things in this world that disgust me more than seeing either of them misused or misrepresented.  I don't believe any form of manipulation is appropriate or necessary to get the point of God's love across to an audience.  I cringe at women centered studies which always seem focused on emotional pleas and flower printed cries of confession and outpouring gushes of sisterhood.  Yech!  I feel manipulated again.  And after it's all said and done and the study or conference or small group is over we go back home, sometimes reread, recry and pray about what we've heard, and more often than not change is not present.  Things don't change in your life when you're manipulated.  Do you know why?  Because you're smarter than you probably think, and not always in a way that helps you.  You've picked up on the forced emotional trigger and because you've played your part by reacting in the predictable way (gasps, sobs, looks of shock and disgust) nothing more is required of you.  You've participated, have been affected, shook hands with the speaker or leader on the way out and exchanged comments on the importance of the lesson or sermon.

     If you really want change, you need to seek it out yourself.  To know God you must engage Him.  Call Him out!  He's there, waiting for the smoke of advice-givers, study notes, and all other means of distraction to clear out of the way so you can experience Him personally.

     So here's my point, which perhaps I just should have started with in order to save you my rant;  Knowledge is not faith.  Forced emotional breakdowns do not represent growth.  No one's inspired sermon, life story or personal transformation will grant you a closeness to God by having been present during its recitation.  Notches on your bible study notebook mean nothing.....IF you in any way believe that they get you closer to God.  You can not know Him more by reading, even if you're reading in order to recognize Him.  And really, if you think about it, does that make sense to you now that you've read it here?   If you believe you were created by Him for a personal and utterly unique relationship between the two of you, how is it that we seem to labor under the delusion that outside means and introductions are necessary for our knowing Him?

     We find God by trusting Him.  There is no other way.  Action will always be the path to a relationship with a god who asks you to seek after Him.


The Art of Options

 I found myself in the cool night air
on a hill
with no sides.

No left, right, forward or backward
were given to me
for options.

So I jumped up.

Caught by the sky it held me
above the hill
with no sides.

I looked down below
my dangling feet to the
hill with no sides and saw
it looking back up at me.

"Where are you going?"
cried the hill.

"I didn't like your options, "
I cried back down to the hill,
"so I took the sky up on his."



The crunching is deafening.  Tiptoe doesn't help much despite my practice at this particular dance.  But always underfoot they lay, taunting my big laborious steps that insist on forward movement.  They are loudest, it seems anyway,  when I most need to be quiet and they set my stomach churning as my breath catches in my throat.   Those pesky triggers seem more to me, landmines, than eggshells.
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Michele and Me

The sign said  'Closed'.   Through the window could be seen cleaners mopping, organizers straightening and stockers refilling cubbies, cabinets and counters with fresh merchandise.  Maintenance was underway.  It was a necessary pause in sales to keep the store in fit condition for when the sign got flipped back to 'Open' the following morning.
Have you ever met someone who clearly had no 'Closed' side to the sign of their life?   Or 'Open' side for that matter?
Both types are out there; the frenzied sales vs. the mellowed maintenance.  My sister and I seem the perfect personifications of each extreme.  She's a constant planner, a driven go-getter, and she chases down experiences for her family so they can taste each wonderful flavor this life has to offer.  I , however, don't chase much of anything.  My personal palette doesn't crave many flavors nor do I feel the same responsibility to deliver the varied spectrum to my family.   The quiet enjoyment received from fully appreciating vanilla is where I find fulfillment.  Contentment in present circumstances, for the time the circumstances are upon us is the most valuable experience I feel I can ever offer my son.
Am I unambitious?  No!  By far, no!  I am a convicted and driven vehicle against religious intolerance and complacent Christianity as well as being a voice and example for the responsibility of personal influence in our own spheres.  I am valuable while appearing stand-still in the wake of my sister.
Is she unappreciative of her present circumstances?  No!  By far,  no!  She sees the  responsibility she has, while she can still be a tool of influence, to acquaint her family with the opportunities this world offers and the potential of her children to interact, grow within, and claim these experiences for themselves.  She is valuable while appearing to be a chaotic tsunami against the backdrop of my calm waters.
So why am I wasting your time?  I'm not; stop being so quick to judge!  There!  Did you catch that?  We judge.  We might not always like it about ourselves but we do it.  It's a reflex, call it survival if you like, where we assess possible risks in our environment in order to know whether we should pull away or draw close to someone.  And we judge more quickly in circumstances where we have very little information.  In short, we judge what we don't understand.  So here I have placed before you what would appear to be the lazy sister vs. the self-absorbed sister.  But now you know a little more.  You know we are both driven by what we evaluate to be the best circumstances for our loved ones.  You know we are both passionate in our roles as human beings who seek to get the most out of their lives.  You know I love my sister very much or I wouldn't have taken the time to introduce her strongest and most noble characteristics instead of relating the bitter feud that raged throughout our childhood concerning a certain dollhouse that......never mind.

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I'm rewriting an old list of poetry prompts for myself. This is what I just jotted down:

Does anyone else think this is telling of my current state of mind?
Do I like my life? Yes, absolutely I do! But there are evidently some feelings churning just underneath the surface that hint to my current almost ever-present scowl.

And I look around me and the singles look at the married and the married look back at the singles and they both feel the same list.

The young look at the adults and the adults would give anything for one more day in the sandbox with their friends.

So we know it's not circumstances, or at least not a checklist that can be filled out to insure a lifetime of happiness.

Is it in the spouse you find? No. People change and as a married person its not your role to stunt that growth but to accept it and continue to love.

Is it in the freedom of living your dreams? No. Who knew so much would have to be compromised and sacrificed to get where you are now?

The house, kids, money, fame....if immortality were a reality it would be on here, too, sitting next to our accomplishments, desires, and expectations which inevitably at some point fall short of satisfaction.

Is it about having enough faith? I'll tell ya, 'No' to that as well. You can't always blame 'lack of faith' for an emotionally low time. Sometimes the day just seems darker than usual. Sometimes you cry and you don't know why.

I'm sorry. I should've warned you at the beginning; I don't have a moral, lesson or any advice of hope for you today. If you find comfort in the co-suffering of others then I guess you can be assured of that.

The wealthy, famous, married, independent, successful, young and old
all sometimes cry without knowing why.