Thursday, November 29, 2012

You're Seven, Piper Chen!

Piper Chen, happy birthday! I am so thankful for you. The Lord has poured his kindness on our family in the past six years through you. You have shaped and changed my life so completely that I hardly remember what life was like before you were a Waldemar.

Pi, you teach me. And you do it unwittingly, just by being you. Here are seven things that I have learned from being your sister:

1. You have a helpful heart. You are quick to serve people and show them kindness. Thank you for showing me how to be helpful.
2. You have a happy heart. You sing all the time. And I really do mean ALL the time. I can't help but delight in your cheerfulness. Thank you for showing me how to be happy.
3. You are organized and orderly. OCD, maybe. But you are aware of the world around you and how it works. Your mind and actions are not chaotic. Thank you for showing me how to be aware and orderly.
4. You are creative and full of imagination. You love making art, becoming a character, and you have your own spin on everything. Thank you for helping me to see the world with new eyes.
5. You are curious. You love learning new things and sharing them. And you are interested in so many things. Your mind and broad love of knowledge inspire me. You do math problems for fun, narrate and illustrate stories, quote poetry, sing songs, learn new words, and delight in the natural world. Thank you for showing me how to wonder.
6. You pay attention. You always know what's happening around you can repeat back the details with precision. If I need to know the forecast for the day, I ask you, because I know that you were paying attention when you watched the weather with Dad in the morning. Thank you for teaching me how to be tuned in to life.
7. You love me. I'm not always sure why you do, but your love is a constant. I fail you again and again, and you still look at me with sad eyes and cling to me whenever I leave. Your actions tell me over and over that I don't have to do anything to keep your affection. Thanks for showing me what unconditional love looks like.

The Lord knew I needed you, and he smiles on my life through you.
Happy birthday, baby girl!
I adore you.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sometimes I'm at a loss
To express all my heart
Or any of it.
So I write about the moon.
He always makes sense.
He prophesied tonight,
Told me about beauty in pain.
My mind was convinced
And was there to catch my heart
When the sting surprised, piercing.
Tonight: mourning, veiling -
Giving credence to the problem of evil.
All is not well; it's broken and scarred.
But in the midst,
At the dead center,
Beauty overcomes.

Rest easy.

Monday, November 26, 2012

story time with grandfather moon

Pure and full of light
Even when he is not.
The teddy-bear type of jolly;
A soft, squishy rock.
See the speckles and dents?
They speak of trial and triumph,
Still making him whole.
Bumped and bruised, journeying along,
No longer swayed or phased.
Ever-changing, you say?
Maybe we are the wanderers.
"Like the moon it shall be established forever,
A faithful witness in the skies."
Telling a story of covenant;
The steadfast love, not once removed.
Monotonous month-keeping
Or illumining the path all the way to the feast?
I know you, Grandfather Moon,
Weathered and winsome,
Your eyes still sparkle.
Sit me on your lap and tell me the tale
How you've reflected faithfulness since Day Four.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

thanksgiving at midnight

there's a secret feast in the deep of the wood tonight
i know, because the moon told me so.
he tried to keep it quiet, 
hiding behind the clouds.
but they were too wispy.
the moon, he's hanging
bobbing, as if tied to the end of a string.
swaying, as if held between the fingers of a child
living the scene.
he's not simply bright and glowing,
but buttery warm. 
the kind of warm that has smile crinkles at corners of it's eyes.
it's a party, i can tell. 
by the way he's hanging, and glowing, and hiding.
i know you, moon. 
go play.
give thanks.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Coquette

Wandering, wet, melancholy pale
Lady Luna, you enchant me.
Unpredictable, ever-changing
You capture my attention
And I can't escape
Or maybe I'm the one
who can't let you go.
Winking, waning
Turning your face
But never blushing.
You're a tease of the most innocent variety.
What you do is pure and sparkly;
Full of wonder.
You distract me in the most delightful way.
Your magic runs deep
Because your magic is real.
A mystery that I cannot grasp,
And yet you cannot evade me.
I know you, Light Ruler of Night.
You do your Father's biding,
Watching as I do the same.

Friday, November 9, 2012

psalm 39

The Lord, wrecking my entitled heart. This overflowed.

Psalm 39

Words that prick, and punch;
hang, and land.
It happened again today -
the Psalmist and I agreed.
"I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,"
"I was mute and silent."
"As I mused, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!"
I asked: "But how can I love them?"
You answered: "Number your days,
O daughter of dust."
Words that prick, and punch;
hang, and land.
You have greater things for me
than harboring bitterness,
If only I would obey.
Your words devastate, but heal.
Heal me, O God.
Your will, not mine.
Your yoke is easy,
your burden is light.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

two years later

My Cape Town story began two years ago today. 

Two years, and yet it feels like a lifetime ago. A lifetime - or five minutes. Both are true today. I had to be reminded that October 9th was the day. But now that I remember, it all floods back.

A good kind of flooding, though. My heart races a bit. But I'm not angry. I'm not afraid. 

Last year, these were my feelings about 10/9:
"I don't much like October 9. I wish it didn't have these memories associated with it. I wish I could enjoy autumn in Minneapolis and not return to feelings of fear, anxiety, pain, and hurt. But God is redeeming it. He is pouring out his kindness all over my life. Today, I can say, 'This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.'"

God is my healer. He turned my brokenness into beauty. He worked a whole lot of faith in my heart. October 9 is a redeemed day. 

The Lord is kind and he gives good gifts. My heart is full of gratitude.

More of Jesus is worth it.
Because Jesus is better.