the sun at matthiessen park

It’s not the cold or the snow that can be difficult in the winter. For me, it’s the lack of sunshine. We seem to have the following four seasons in this part of the Midwest: Cloudy, Spring, Summer and Fall. So, I was so grateful when the clouds took a break and allowed the sun to brighten a recent hike at Matthiessen Park. Hope the sun is shining where you are. Thanks for stopping by.

just be

what if today
you stopped

and decided
to be
and not just
to do

stillness
instead of the illness
of this
or that

can you be with yourself
can you open your heart
to the presence
of He who made all of the stars
and thought of you
before your first cry
before the first time
you opened your eyes

just close your eyes
breathe
He knows your name
breathe
He loves you
just be

take time
to remind
your mind
that you
are
loved
you
are
His
just
be

november rose

november rose
i wonder if you know
that there is snow
that the cold and chill
and wind will still
your crimson petals
will fall and tumble
your proud will
will be humbled

i wonder if you know
that the season
will bring death
but in the midst
of dark cold air
and icy nights
there
right there
new life

and so we all must wait
through the winters of our days
we all must breathe the cold air
surrender what we fear
and let the clear icy skies
revive
restore
and make us alive
and help us remember
that there is more
that needs to die
surrender
in order
to be alive
once more
alive

still as the tree

all the color will soon fall
and the barren trees will sing
cold and wind snow and ice
will paint the boughs with chilled beauty
as leaves are tossed
and lost are the
dried and cracked memories
of hues and tones
that proudly shouted
i am here

let's welcome winter
when it enters our souls
sometimes what we think is gold
needs to fade
be swept away
in the wind of the Spirit
may we bend and break
let proud color and hues
fall in surrender

self must fade
and give way to the dark
long
nights
He will hold us tight
through the cold
and the questions
and the monochrome feelings

we must stand
still as the tree
and wait for life
to start again
in His time
His way
His truth
His life
will spring
for we wait
and in the waiting
He is present
we wait
He is comfort
He is love
we wait
in
His
love

a prayer

dear Lord
when i am restless
let the tranquility
of your Spirit
the comfort of your word
the light of your love
be my peace
and still my stirring
when i am anxious
let the power
of your grace
the assurance of your sovereignty
the goodness of your will
warm the frozen fear
i feel inside
release the heart shackles
and settle my thoughts
in the river of your presence
when i am triggered
angry
let your mercy
help me remember
how much is broken in me
let your justice
be the end of my longing
let my heart be open
to you and this world
send me
as your loving healing presence
as i receive your love
and your healing
when i am lost
bring me home
when i am so sad
that light seems a memory
and hope a forgotten song
reorient my mind
reset my spirit
help me see
that the suffering is but a moment
that all i long for
awaits in your house
no more tears
no need of light
or sun
no darkness
thank you
my dear Lord
thank you

guatemala part 5a

In part 4 of this series I talked about our missions team arriving at a children’s home situated near the Bay of Santiago Atitlan. Some of the team members stayed at the home with the children and some of us hiked to the top of a ridge above the home. It was a wonderful hike along a narrow, steep path, with thick trees and plants. By the time we reached the top, clouds were carried over the ridge by the wind and we stepped into a mysterious world of beauty shrouded in mist. I thought a Hobbit might step into this Middle Earth-ish world. Part 5b will have more images from this location. Thanks for stopping by!

the sad sad shadows

so i think that we should sing
about the sad sad shadows
why do i keep remembering
their darkened glance
it seems that they want to dance
into the story
and at any moment
the sad sad shadows
fall on me

so about those sad sad shadows
inside those weathered picture frames
a broken promise here
something undone there
framed fractures and failures
each one calls my name
and the struggle starts again
with one word
oh the shadow
of shame
falls on me

so listen sad sad shadows
i remembered today
that you don’t have to stay
you’re not the whole story
Light and Glory
can rewrite your songs
mend all the wrongs
and scatter the darkness
not just for a moment
but for eternity
all these parts of me
will be
restored
once more

oh sad sad shadow
the final say
will not be yours
the Light will end the night
and all the sad sad shadows
will go away
and there will be
only
Light

guatemala part 3a – volcano hike

Guatemala is a beautiful country that has at least 37 volcanoes! On one of rest days we had the opportunity to hike Pacaya. The path itself was easy to follow, but it was a challenging, steep climb. The locals followed us for quite some time hoping to get a passenger for their horses. More Pacaya pics in the next post. Thanks for stopping by.

letting go

at this ripe young age
can it be three score
as i turn each page
i know less not more
and the more of less i know
it seems
it’s about letting go

i let go of the boy
i used to be
though he still
seems to want his own way
so still letting go
of my selfish ways
that boy won’t go away
that’s okay
i’m learning
letting go

i let go of just me
“i do” means now “we”
can it be two score
and there is so much more
of letting go
that i need to know
for “we”

letting go of
seeking me in her
letting go
of smashing mirrors
with my pride
letting go
of thinking
it’s better to hide
letting go
of staying inside
my head
letting go
of keeping my heart
to myself
i guess
the long slow road
of letting go of self

letting go
of expectations
of
well
everything
and
everyone
letting go
of just taking
letting go
of just faking
that we’re all okay

i pray i practice well
all the lettings go’s
that wait for me
‘cause someday soon
the last let go
will come into my room
and i want peace
and i want to know
that all those other letting go’s
will help me see
what waits for me
is an eternal embrace
it really is amazing grace
He never has
and never will
let go
of me