2019 this is the year I purpose to…

It’s New Years eve and I am reflecting on something wonderful. Aside from the times we live in, aside from my health, financial and relational struggles, aside from the daily reminder of prayers unanswered I know this. GOD still loves me. He loves the scrappy, crappy me. He loves the weakened me, the discouraged me, the faithful me, the me who has not given up, who has watched loved ones die, who has been rejected by those I believed would not do that because they too profess GOD, yet somehow they do. He loves the me who keeps doing things the same way, even if those ways lead me down the same rabbit hole. He loves me when I feel like he is so far away, when he doesn’t answer my prayers, when he continues to do what he will do without my assistance (I hate that one) In other words, he loves me in spite of me. So here we are in the eve of 2019 and I purpose to

  • Spend more time with GOD. I notice when I don’t I become much more of that scrappy, crappy me and less of that God winged me.
  • Be kind even when I don’t feel kind. In fact I notice the older I get, the more pain my body is in, the scrappy, crappier I become. So I have to be purposeful to be kind. Bite my tongue, say a prayer, pinch my skin…anything to remind me to be kind. That old saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” is wisdom.
  • Move my body more. Last year I hurt my foot and leg badly. I was bedridden and then on a scooter or crutches for almost 7 months! I learned that I really need to move to feel like myself. It’s been 8 months now and I am starting to go for very short walks and I am lifting really light weights. I purpose to be hiking by summer.
  • I purpose to have more fun and to meet new people. As I have aged it is harder to make real friends. People on social media can be great, but I miss that cup of tea and a hug kind of gal. So I am going to join some social groups wherever I end up this year. (planning on a move)
  • I purpose to forgive even if it hurts like hell and even if they continue to hurt me.
Seize the day!
Happy 2019

What do you wish to purpose for your life?
Let me know!
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A House Of Sharp Stones

With the up coming release of Lynn Schriner’s latest book called, A House Of Sharp Stones  we wanted to peak your interest a bit by sharing a few snippets from the book. First the book is divided into three sections. The first is called The Lovers Chapter, the second is called God Thoughts and the third is called Wandering Words. Each brings Lynn’s unique way of expressing her world. For instance from her poem Sugar lips comes this line : “I thought, bring me your prayers and your sugar lips, entwine them on my heart with a kiss.” Or this one from In the Dark, “We mark our souls like dogs mark their yard”.   And from the God Thoughts comes this line ” It’s church and Christmas eve, sugar coated people in distress”. Finally from the Wandering Words comes this line from the poem If My Heart Were A Garden “And when my time is over on this earth, let those who loved me best come and sit, listening for the heart of my soul and to breathe in the scent of all that was good in me”.

Coming the end of June 2017 A House of Sharp Stones

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What about me? Thoughts from a pity party.

So I am a voice, one of millions calling out from the pockets of peril that are known as our lives. We awaken every morning, some of us in the back alleys of a major city, some of us in the forests, some by the oceans. We are a race of people, created by a GOD who “knows when a sparrow falls.” We arise from soft beds of grace and mercy, rising up with the first thought being “What about me?” Oh it may not be exactly the first thought, but believe me it rears its ugly head at some point in every single day. We are selfish creatures. Even when we are “doing good” we are, somewhere in the back of our minds having an unconcious agenda. Even if that agenda appears to be righteous (like orphan work, or our family first, or whatever we perceive to be good works on this earth) there is a pay off somewhere for us. It’s our selfish nature. “What’s in it for me?”

The world as I see it has gone mad. It is people free-falling in their “safety nets” they call life. They think they are fine, controlling the circumstances of children or jobs or marriages to maintain their comfort zone and then one day the net breaks (illness, infidelity, a child rebels) and where do they go with the pain? “What now?” is the thought of the bewildered. “Why me?” “What did I do?” Not to insult anyone but we in our highest glory are tiny little minds of selfish thoughts. We are never satisfied (not really) always seeking, always looking outward to conquer the next mountain whatever that might be. Missing, missing the gifts that are right in front of us. Birds singing, flowers blooming, dogs running, children laughing, food on our table, hot water in the shower. Gifts and blessings..unmerited blessings. Yet we whine, complain, blame.

So I am rewiring some truth into my day today. I am choosing to breathe deep breaths and turn up the edges of my mouth and look hard into the strangers eyes and if I see need I am choosing to inquire after them. Yes, there is A LOT for me to focus on that is scary and hurting me. From health issues to government to relationships, but for today, I am choosing to be aware of grace and gifts and blessings I so take for granted. So those What about me thoughts? Well, I am choosing today to ask instead “what about you?” What can I do to ease a burden in your life? What do you need today?

I think, the answer to that and every stinkin problem is to take our eyes off of self and allow love to be our highest goal. Tiny steps of loving thoughts, which lead to loving actions. Are you holding a grudge? Clean it up. Are you withholding money for yourself while people are dying of hunger? Give it away. Are you absorbed in your circumstances of no mate? Take the love you long to give and go volunteer your time to others. Obsessed with your bad marriage or relationship? Choose radical acceptance and find one small way to bring love back to the person who has let you down. It’s a peace gesture, an olive branch, quietly extended with a smile.

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Angels in trees

Angels lite in trees, a variant of light, some well worn verse of amen on their lips, I hear them like a radio tuned in just a shade to the left of the source. The manna dropped from heavenly skies are dew drops of sugar on my tongue. I am small and with a face lifted, mouth open and desirous of this holy sustenance, courting, skirting, mangling the truth before it even passes my lips. I am the woman under the table of Holy, accepting crumbs because enough crumbs will fill the hunger. I will wear my faith, bleeding red with desire, bearing the signs of quiet grief because Holy has brought me to myself and I am found wanting and incomplete. It is the “loneliness of soul” that lays me at the feet of Jesus. It blesses me because I am not enough without him. It reminds me that I was taken from his side and breathed into by his breath and washed in his remembering of my need. I am small and I am great in his sight as he hung by his hands, nailed, beaten and looking me in the eye.

Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing….a well worn verse…AMEN

 

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I am a Jesus follower

I have had a rough time this week. {Understatement} A struggle between my heart and my head. My head says things like “Be afraid, America is doomed!” my heart says “God is good, all the time.” I have had some people in my life who openly battled with me this week about Trump. I DID NOT VOTE FOR EITHER CANDIDATE. First time ever. I just couldn’t do it. (Nor thankfully could my clan) so peace in our homes amongst ourselves has been good. I knew that voting the green candidate wasn’t going to amount to a hill of beans in the dung heap of our election but I did it anyway. I felt some peace afterwards, like a slow building storm had passed within my sleepless soul. I then watched America begin the knock down, drag out fight, of the my way or the highway. I heard perfectly lovely people spout hate. I heard both sides ready to fight with the other side. I retreated behind closed doors for a day and wept when the election was revealed. I felt sick at the message of the likes of Donald Trump being voted in as our President. That Americans were okay with this person leading us, being an example of all things American to the world, to our children and grandchildren. It crushed me actually. I also was unfriended and reviled by Christians. They are starting to leave a truly bad taste in my mouth.The magnitude of which the judgment, hate and condemnation flew took me to my knees.

So I am announcing to the world that I AM NOT AN EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN. Nope! Leave me out of that mess. I thought that is what I was, but I CLEARLY AM NOT.

There…I said it.

I was talking to my beautiful dad last night on the phone. He spoke about a man who was fixing the door on my dad’s Presbyterian church where he has gone for over 50 years. He spoke of the man pouring his broken heart out to my dad and my dad sharing Jesus. They hugged and they cried together and so did I. You see my prayer for my dad has been that he will grow closer and deeper with Jesus. This Presbyterian elder and deacon and servant of a man for years never talked about his faith. He told me once he never led anyone to the Lord. My prayers have been that he would be used in greater measure to show this hurting world Jesus. Last night’s conversation together was like the breaking of bread and the drinking the cup of the communion act known as love. All those tender prayers answered. All those rag muffin moments of grace upon a hurting world, when Christians (Jesus followers) take their broken hearts and share his love. It’s all that heals and it’s all that reveals. I am convinced of this. I spoke about my not being an Evangelical and my dad, said “I have never seen you that way, I have only seen you as someone after Jesus, a Jesus follower.” I wept into my hands. Thank you GOD for that! I am not a religious person. I bristle at the thought. I am a love child, a lover of Jesus. My Savior, yes, but my deepest friend.

I also had a talk with one of my oldest and dearest friends. He is so angry right now, a tight ball of pain and bewilderment about the election. He told me he wrote a scathing post about Christians and said he was going to post it and then he thought of me. He erased his thoughts about the church and the Evangelicals because he thought it would hurt me. When I told him I am not one of those labels or those actions or those beliefs, he called me an angel. (We all know that’s not true) but I am thankful that somehow love triumphs over condemnation, hate, bigotry, slander and self righteousness gone rampant. We all know that no good thing comes from labeling and criticizing and yelling obscenities and trying to manipulate and control. I know I have done my share of all of the above at times. Give me the right circumstances and I am a street urchin. But God/Jesus is the healing balm. He is the peace maker of my soul and I am finally this morning able to say” It is well with my soul.

I love you

 

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Touchstone

I bow my head

I look up

I cry out

I shout

I sigh

I question

I release & search for peace.

The sky is forever blue

Full of the sounds of longing, winging their way to you

How many cries do you hear upon your wind

How many alleluia’s are swirling by

We are running across sand and desert and sea

Calling out to you

This touchstone upon a cliff

Tucked under a rock

In a lovers kiss

Snow falls gently & mist rises

babies cry & the lost lift fists & fire guns

and wail & wail

Calm or restless your created beings, you see them all

this night

this day

nothing & no one is greater than you are

You are the rock

the touchstone for all of humanity

for all time & never changing

scarred perfection at the infliction of your own design that you might become like us

You died to be our shelter

The touchstone for life

Infinity

Forever

Amen

 

From the book The Keeper of Me 2015

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The Cross, love & me

I’m watching, this word, this test of all tests, this reason that being a Christian is one of the hardest things I can imagine.Forgiveness. It’s the thorn in the flesh, it’s the burr in your pocket, it’s the boil, begging to be lanced. It hurts and it isn’t fair and nothing prepares you for the release of the DUE punishment that someone should have. It can’t be so simple can it? That murderer, that adulterer, that liar, that cheat. They hurt me, were indifferent to suffering, raped another. Someone was tortured, someone believes in another way, someone judged us, someone gutted us with their hatred. The reasons to NOT forgive are endless. We want justice don’t we? We want another to pay for their crimes, their sins against us.The politician, the neighbor, the parent, the teacher, the cop, the corporation, the banks, the cheating mate, the indifferent friend, our boss, our doctor, the bus driver, the bill collector. We can’t just let them go free when they deserve to be punished can we?

It’s coming on Easter….the leading of the cross up a hill, bloody and beaten and forsaken. His friends left him, the people for whom he came traded his life for a murderer. He is naked and he is broken and they laughed and mocked him.He is nailed, nailed by his hands and his feet on a cross.  There is nothing fair or right or just about this. He is innocent. He is perfect, and they nailed him and beat him and whipped him.” Crucify him” they screamed. Such thirst, such bewildering sadness. He hangs.

His dying words, through bloodied lips

“Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.”

So much to think about this week, leading up to Easter. I stand before the bloodied truth of the gospel that cries out Forgive.  While I see a reflection of myself in the light of his words. I falter and I break. I lay low. I am the one who cried out to crucify. I am the one who judges that which I fear. I am the one who hates another. I know the stench of the truth. If I think I am without sin…I am a liar. If I curse my brother on the Interstate when he cuts me off in traffic, I am the murderer. If I stretch the truth to another, I am the liar, If I lust in my heart for another, I am the adulterer. These are the words. These are the teachings of one who truly has forgiven, every one of us… Forgive, that you might be forgiven.

It’s coming on Easter…the message is clear. I am searching my heart to clear the veil between this magnificent gift of love and me. If I don’t forgive, if I won’t forgive, there will be no truth or love or acceptance of the gift.” Forgive me Father I do know what I must do…..help me to do it…”

Sweet love to you friends…