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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Finding truth in the “me too” movement

This whole week has been about the “Me too” movement. Women are standing up and expressing the sexual harassment and trauma that they have carried with them since they were young. Secrets hidden deep in their minds and hearts and in their DNA code. Once young and hopeful becomes used or disrespected or even (as was the case for me) violated. I once wrote in a diary that “men rape in many ways.” They rape with indifference of feelings or respect, they rape with rejection of heart and spirit, they rape physically as well. Rape being used in the vernacular of power, disregard for the other “An act of plunder, to strip something of resources”  is one definition. The act of seizing and carrying off, violation or abuse”  is another. So yes, rape is mostly understood as sexual violation, without consent, but I venture to say it goes further. Violation of vows strip the marriage of its resources. Violation of trust strips the relationships between a parent and a child as it strips the relationship of its much-needed foundation. We are careless with our relationships. We pledge to protect, care for or nurture another (either through parenthood or marriage) and then we plunder the very soil we have planted our lives in. We have lost so many human values of kindness and decency in our society. We are without filters, blurting out anything our over worked and stressed minds can conjure up and when people recoil, we blame them. No acceptance of one’s own responsibility in the matter. No accountability or soul-searching to see how we might have harmed another. Accountability is a rarely used word or action any longer. Kindness is lost in the stress of offense. Where do we find our compassion for one another? How do we forgive the unforgivable? I have had a lifetime of “unfair stuff” and so I have had a lot of time to think on these things. When I first heard about forgiveness in the bible “Forgive your enemies. pray for those who use and abuse you.” I thought WHAT? Why would God have me forgive the abuser? The rapist? The neighbor who made our lives a living hell? Why should I forgive my ex-husband who cheated on me two weeks after our vows were exchanged in the mansion covered in ivy where we pledged eternal love? OR the Dr who broke my neck, the neighbor who raped me in some bushes. How is that fair? WHAT possible reason would God have for that? How about all the people who sprayed pesticides and herbicides and forced us from our home after saying they wouldn’t? (Never to be able to return) Why is any of this forgivable? I have had to forgive my abuser in my childhood (my Mom) and help care for her at the end of her life. I had to forgive my closest and dearest parent (my dad) for not believing me about my mom. I remember bathing my mom and turning to see her looking at me with hate in her eyes. I remember something Mother Teresa said about caring for the unlovable. She imagined them to be Jesus and she was tenderly caring for Jesus while she cared for them. It’s what I did with my mom to the best of my ability.

I think God commands us to forgive others because UNFORGIVENESS brings poison into our own life. It’s called a bitter root. I once heard it said this way “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  It does me NO good to hold unforgiveness and anger against those who have wronged me. It gives them power that holds me in chains.  I am smart enough to realize that the greatest gift I can give myself is to forgive someone else. 

So in this time of “Me too” I want to suggest that to hold anger and resentment and hatred towards those who sexually harassed us, or touched us inappropriately or even those who rendered us mute with the suffering and trauma of being held against our will and violating us, those people need to be released. They are holding us in chains if we don’t. They are poisoning our lives with our unforgiveness and we can never be free if we don’t or won’t forgive. Forgiveness is not condoning or accepting that what was done to us  was ok. IT wasn’t and it never will be. Forgiveness is saying “I release you because I love me. I know that I am going to be ok and I am strong and that you are released to GOD and I am blessed because I am the stronger and the better for having released you and your act. You will one day answer to God for what you did to me. It’s enough to know that day will come. I release you to God, to be blessed and to be changed. Amen”

 

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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…

 

 

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Modern day poet & writer/ a love story

Sometimes love stories are images in our heads, rumpled sheets, half empty wine glasses, rose petals on water, clothing shed.

It’s ice and snow here, in our hearts and in our dreams. We are paradise searching, footprints in the sand wandering, while the waves take the road map and we can’t follow one another home.

I want walls in our beautiful house to sing-to be privy to the sounds of laughter and not tears. To hold our secrets in it’s creaking floors and not loud voices flung to the moon afraid that this time it’s really too late. Lonely in my bed, but settled as the moon watches me struggle.

I want to hold hands walking mountains of goodwill and changing seasons, as soft brown hair and an old mans face dances on lines of wisdom, laughing.

I want the broken pieces of change upon our lives, to come together and create a soft, rounded mosaic of our time together, instead of splinters in our feet so painful we wear shoes and socks and put blinders on and won’t look anymore at the pain-

There is still heart and stubbornness and some tentative steps towards talking and we bow our heads and pray for change, as we linger, hoping for renewal and sometimes our eyes still meet in the middle and they are kind. We are not done reaching, and we are too afraid to touch any wounds left bleeding. So we stay, praying for the balm to come and the laughter to return and to know that deep place of peace-

                              &

we will kiss, naked in warm water and tasting of summer and peaches and start over writing our love story.

 

This thing called the tongue

The light is soft in the forest

the morning has broken

life awakens

birds are singing good morning

puppies are wrestling in the kitchen

I am bare footed and bathed

washed clean

Oh the tongue

We hold hands and pray

for another

for her pain

the water is soapy

the dishes are clean

Oh the tongue

The morning show

the world news

the blood pressure will rise

hearts grow cold

Oh the tongue

the hands release

the air is clear

a voice will speak

shouts in the air

and all is lost

Oh the tongue

A heart wrenched

A trembling soul

The devil dances

sack cloth garments

clothing shame

anger dances

Oh the tongue

Oh the tongue

Church and the lost love

Most of the time I am thankful and at peace with being labeled a Christian. I love Jesus, he is my most precious relationship. I decided almost 38 years ago that I could never turn from him. He changed me, wooed me with his love, has shown me more grace and love than I deserve and for that I am blessed. In his heart I have found my identity and my mentor, my Savior and my friend. I want to be more like him. I want to carry him to the world. I also am often lumped (by well meaning people)  into the category of “religious.”  I must clarify for myself and the reader that I am most certainly NOT religious. I think that religion is “Man’s last defense against GOD”  I find Jesus/GOD in the forest which surrounds me, in the animals I have loved, in the created things. I find him in music and in peaches from the tree. I find him in kindness and in grace. I find him in silence and in cracked bells that ring a morning greeting. I find him in babies and in dying hands and in the rush of a cold stream. I find him in mercy. I find him in love. I have never been much about the buildings. I voted in congregations to NOT build new wings or buildings. I found him perfectly in a folding chair with 10 other believers on a ranchers land. I have been judged and hung by “Christians.” For not wearing a bra, for having an abortion when I was younger, for voting for Obama, for cussing when I could be praising.  Seriously, I can’t get over the things that divide us. I am more and more wary of politics and religion as bedfellows. It’s no way to vote in my opinion (Which is humble and remember I am the gal who started a new political party called  ” The party for the bewildered.”  of which I clearly am when it comes to politics.) I know what sin is and I am a sinner.  I cleared that up years ago. I have had personal and intimate encounters with Jesus/GOD and I have been a part of miracles both large and small. It’s humbling and life changing and life affirming. So this past week as I have been watching the thoughts of division, anger and bitterness. The “I told you so” and your side is wrong and your side is wrong and so on and so on. It’s making me want to duck and cover and dive under his love and hide. There are posts that say God is going to smite America. That GOD is an avenging GOD and we need to be put in our place. That he demands holiness.I used to think that way but then I realized that I AM NEVER going to be good enough. If GOD is a Vengeful GOD then I am never able to appease him. I can never be holy enough or righteous enough. I am just me, Lynn living in Colorado, running in and out of his arms, falling upwards and downwards, reading his words and listening for his voice and doing the best I can and sometimes not even wanting to do the best I can. I just imagine he will continue to be what he has always been and doing what he has always done. Loving me and the world he died for. Because he is GOD, the everlasting Savior, the Holy one.

So those are my Sunday evening thoughts. One’s that might offend some of you, (which is not my intention) I sometimes devour the Bible and it’s messages and other times I can’t relate or comprehend.  I sometimes just express to my loving GOD that I am bewildered and sad and mad and offended with all the madness. Then I lay me down to sleep…in his loving arms.

Peace out….

Have we forgotten that we belong to one another?

I am struggling in this season of Lent. Struggling with the hate in the name of religion. Struggling with judgment above grace. Struggling with the battle lines of “My way or the highway”  rigidity. This right and that right and they shouldn’t have rights and they need to do it this way and they need to believe that way. I can sit in the pew and I can sense the deep love shared all around us and then in the aftermath of the holy bath of peace often found when two or more are gathered beneath the pealing sound of the cracked bell, the divisions between us rises up like a poisonous mist. We shut out the spirit of grace that came like a warm blanket upon our brokenness. The same grace that carried a cross upon the hill and was hung there, naked for all the world to see. Mocking the holy of holy, the Christ. That one act changed all of creation for all time. We mock it every time we fight and squabble, with our inability to be his heart for one another. To place judgement above love and hate above mercy.

I am not perfect. I am as flawed as the next guy, struggling with my humanity in the midst of the holy gift of which I partake. That gift is his mercy, when I am wrong about him. That gift is grace when I am unlovable. I am imagining that the tears are flowing and mixed with sweat and drops of blood as he looks at me. I am imagining that he sweeps me into a corner of his heart as he cries out. It is the silence of the death that will stun me. He in his perfection not calling out my sins.

I hear the bitter cries of the cold harsh religious judgments and know that they have lost sight. They have taken their eyes off of him and they have become blinded by their own hatred. They are mocking his act of love and surrender. They are believing the lies of you must be this way or do that thing, or don’t do that.  The voices grow loudly and the lines are drawn and the shades are pulled down and the heart is cloaked and love is forgotten. The love of the Saviour releasing the chokehold upon all of man.  Have we forgotten that we belong to one another? When we fight and bleed and draw lines and build walls and pass sentence, where is his love through us? Who have we become when we lose love for one another?