Keeping Kinship @ Joy of It

Our phones these days hold many clues about our lives.

But the simple group text in my messages labeled BFFs tells you nothing of the foundation of love that led to its treasured existence. There are three of us closely connected, and we couldn’t tell you how exactly it happened if you asked.

We didn’t have traveling pants or an important quest to destroy a ring that cultivated this closeness. We did risk the voyage through the hormonal halls of junior high, high school, and what waited on the other side of childhood. We learned to simply be with each other as we grew and the bonds that wove through days that would become the past, cemented our places in each other’s futures.

Together we have bled, wept, and laughed until the snorting became unbearable.

We witnessed terrible choices and wise moves. We threw down and forgave. And we turned our backs on God, then lived in hope as we set our eyes on Him and His mercy again. We belong to one another and always will; we are indelibly written into one another’s memories, affixed to the emotions of the moments that propelled those memories into existence. We didn’t know it at the time, but what we were developing was kinship.

Yes, time has progressed and life has led us to new places. We each have developed beautiful connections with other people, but each relationship shines its own kind of light. These seem to shine like an eternal flame — reliable, steadfast, constantly offering its warmth when the world feels cold.

We are keepers of one another…

Read the rest over at Joy of It


Hope in the Face of Death @ Joy of It

I grew up surrounded by my Grandfather’s bookshelves. Stacked high with the Romantics, Victorians, and Transcendentalists, myriads of voices lined up in rows, classics which birthed my love for the written word. Sitting beneath these towers of authors’ musings intensified all the world’s beauty. So it only felt right that I read a sonnet from his treasure trove at my Grandfather’s graveside service.

Looking back, it wasn’t so much a reading as a declaration of my animosity with death.

I was in the anger stage of grief, because I felt like life had been stolen, his body had been taken; the gentle father-figure who had always, always offered security could no longer provide sanctuary. I was furious with Satan and his destruction, with Adam and Eve and their thirst to be like God, and at the sin present in my own self. Why must the wages of sin be death? How could we fail so fatally that death and disease had enough cunning to rob the earth of someone as true as he?

That day, I hated death, so John Donne’s poem Death Be Not Proud offered words to my lament. I read through stanzas that threatened to choke me, and my pulse danced with the rhyme scheme as tears fell. Through gritted teeth I hit the last line and with ardent finality the conclusion left my cracking lips:…continute reading at Joy of It.

The Promise of Peace

I have had to stay off social media more than normal this week. There was too much needed discussion about “rape culture” and “hook up culture”. Every time I logged on I felt a weight of concern for so many women for whom I knew the threads of awareness would be a trigger. Who am I kidding, I had to check my own emotions as well. I am not typically susceptible to triggers. The healing I have experienced reaches deep and wide, but every once in a while old experiences and memories sneak up on me.

Then a singer was slain, and the next morning Orlando. Oh Orlando, how I wished I had words that in some way, in any way might be helpful. I wanted to cry out, but for some things there are no words.

fruit of the spirit peace (1)In all the stripping away, in the weeping with those who weep, in the dark night of the soul’s grief—when the brokenness of the world has become too brazen—peace is not completely lost.

In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.~ Jesus (John 16:33)

There is a God who is bigger, a story that looms larger than the horror, and a peace that meets inner turmoil with the hope that this world has been overcome. Society breaks down; people suffer (or worse, serve) terror; there is much that is troubling to the soul. Peace can still be mine. It is a promise from the Savior who knew that darkness would persistently press in.

…Continue reading at Anchored Voices

First (Five Minute Friday)

This is a Five Minute Friday post. Where I link up with other writers at Kate Motaung’s and we free write for five minuets. It is simple, unpolished, and fun. And yes, technically today is Monday, but that is just how this week went. 😉 Our prompt this week is first.

“So the last will be first, and the first last.”~Jesus (Mark 20:16)

Not My Fight

I will not fight to be first, or allow myself to become scarcity’s slave. My heart, my life, and my soul will not bear this weight or wage this war. It is a skirmish of worldly peril, not honor that holds eternal hope. I need not run over others to find myself where I need to be. I will not shoot down the beauty of those around me, or make others martyrs for my glory. Instead I will lift others up, and be willing to lay down all for Him. For I serve a big God, a Holy God, the God of angel armies. He must become more as I become less. In this doing, I am more fully alive than ever before. I will not be afraid that there will not be enough, for He always is.

My Jesus is first.