Faith, Family, & Focaccia

A faith and culture Mommy blog, because real life gets all mixed together like that.


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The Lessons of the Waves

waves in context

I breathe in beauty to the rhythm of the waves,
their sound and power washing clean my mind
of trifling concerns and numbing stress
I’ve brought here to this shore.

The surging tide, a sharp, in-rushing gasp,
it fills me full of light, and sea, and foam,
a rolling, tumbling, crashing, deep inhale
of boundary-breaching awe.

And, just as fast, it turns to quiet ebb,
a lacy coverlet for flat-smoothed sand
gently pulling back, like a caress,
a soft and cleansing sigh.

I feel the power of this rush and pull,
feel how it trains my soul to match its dance,
how quickly this vast truth of ocean waves
reforms my flighty, earth-bound mind.

But, in that truth, the ocean stays aloof,
her surging unconcerned with my small form.
She moves and sings for her own reasons
and in her own regulated time.

She pays no mind to me and my regard;
cares not that I am learning from her waves.
I’m just a bit of carbon, barely moored
by gravity along her restless shore.

And yet… that gravity controls her too.
Her pull and rush is trained by greater might.
We both are held, and rocked, and shaped
by our Creator’s laws and breath.

Her disregard is nothing to God’s sight:
the knowledge that I’m seen and known and loved.
I can receive the lessons of the waves
while holding also to a deeper truth:

The affirmation of my love-filled worth.


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Poem: A Deeper Voice

My voice is getting deeper.

I am learning to give it time to rise up from the depths,

to speak with the sonorous reverberations of reflection and experience.

It used to come more quickly,

to beat staccato rhythms on the surface of my life,

tap-dancing with a light and pretty step,

meant to impress, entrance the audience,

and thus to hide the frantic drive

the constant shifts,

to balance on unsteady feet.

I used to hear all questions as a call to know the answer,

deny uncertainty,

fit my voice into the cadence of the scripted response.

A quick reply defeats the skeptic monster hiding in the pregnant silence,

the threat to birth exposure,

the messy, infant fear:

“I am a fraud…. I have nothing new and true to say.”

Words – high, strident, righteous (or self-righteous) words – were my defense,

building a facade to hide behind,

to awe the people I was too afraid to let inside.

As long as I appear to know, I will be safe.

Safe, but unknown.

Because I have to know myself to find my song,

my true, authentic, powerful voice.

I have to tear-down all the stage displays

and just stand still.

Not dancing.

Not performing.

But finally,

slowly,

breathing deep.

My voice is getting deeper.

I am learning to give it time to rise up from the depths.

There is slower music playing there.

The voice of living water.


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A Comforting Need

Ps. 131 — “Lord, my heart isn’t proud; my eyes aren’t conceited. I don’t get involved with things too great or wonderful for me. No. But I have calmed and quieted myself like a weaned child on its mother; I’m like the weaned child that is with me. Israel, wait for the Lord — from now until forever from now.” – CEB

174

How would it be to know my need as a comfort?

To rest my head in peace,

not from the weight of dragging cares?

To know the calm and quiet of a child

nestled on her mother’s lap,

all unconcerned with things too great and wonderful for me?

How would it be to look on life with un-conceited eyes?

To know the truth

of my own limitations,

and see these limits as a blessing,

nurtured by humility,

that turn me toward the One who meets all needs?

Could I then, with the psalmist, wait for you, Lord?

Seek not to be

my own answer to prayers?

But rather know

my need is as it should be,

and know, as well, that You will never let it go unmet?


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Slow Growth

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One Thousand years, and these great trees have barely grazed adulthood

While countries birth and die

And mountains shift their feet

Whole lifetimes only add a few thin rings

to ponderous span of living wood.

Perspective so diminishing, I stretch and ache to take it in.

 

My heart longs for the stillness hid within their shade.

To breathe the end of haste

To know my being as a rooted fact

No need to overfill each moment of each day

With proof that I have worth.

To feel the strength of standing still to grow.

 

But how can feet that itch to move take root?

What nourishment can flow

From quiet and from rest

That offers neither schedule nor result

And calls the hungry rush a lie?

Can this achiever’s heartbeat slow for open contemplation?

 

And can this heartbeat teach a rhythm of new life?

A slower growth

That does not jump to know, to do, to be

But sinks deep roots

To draw up living water

Stronger for the bonds that tie my life to the Eternal Source of growth.


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Moonlit prayers

 

Her open, glowing face pulls on my soul, insistent as the tide, compelling

honesty. A truth that whispers safely in the darkness of the night.

This light’s illumination is the gentle kind that blurs the lines and shadows,

beauty, in the ambiguities. A soft exhale of grace.

Thank you sweet Creator God, for moonlit prayers.


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Waiting For An Earthquake

Like a fault-scarred landscape,

I’m braced against the tremor that foreshadows instability.

It matters not who made the scars.

not who is to blame.

It matters only that the shaking could –

whenever that inevitable lurch arrives –

take hold.

And then, oh then I fear the shaking will not stop until it’s broken all the fragile structures I have built upon the surface,

ways to hide the scars.

And if these decorative lies should crumble into dust,

what then?

What is my silent fear beyond the quake?

From that dark chasm deep within what do I fear?

From out the depths, do I believe will come some molten pain that could deform me even more?

Or

Is there life?

A spring of living water that – like Balm of Gilead – will soothe my soul and wash the faults away in blessed baptism of grace?

Because

if such a spring is there

won’t it be worth the shuddering wrench

to set it free?