Post a Day, Post a Week?

WordPress is starting a post a day/post a week challenge for 2011. I want to do this, I really do. It will be fun. I doubt my ability to write anything worth posting on a regular basis, but maybe that is only part of the reason for jumping in. Some of this will be about developing regularity and commitment, discipline and perseverance. What can you lose?

Here is the sample post and challenge from WordPress:

Title: I’m Posting every day in 2011!

I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog once a day / once a week for all of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.

Signed,

<Your Name Here>

Sound like fun? Are you up for it? What is holding you back?

For me there is some fear associated with this. What will I write about? Who will read it? Will it stink out loud? Likely some of it will, but at the end of 2011 we will all look back with a sense of accomplishment. We’ll see growth and development in our skills. We’ll have a new community of readers and writers.

Will I make a post a day, or even a week? Likely not. There are already some weeks ahead that are tightly scheduled and won’t allow the luxury of an unintimidated keyboard. But somewhere between 52 posts (if you post once a week) and 365 posts (if you post once a day) is what I’ll shoot for. That leaves some wiggle room. That is something I can do!

From where I sit, the positives outweigh the negatives.

So, as morning light gains a foothold over the snow draped mountains, I’ll look forward to the coming year of posts. What’s the worst that will happen? I won’t make a post a day, maybe not even a post a week, but I’ll end the year having written more than the year before, and that will have made it all worthwhile.

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Does God See?

“He sees you,” she whispered, bent low, hands on my shoulders.  Later another woman crossed the room, knelt by me and said, “God sees you. He sees your tears, your faithfulness, your years of hard work. He sees you.”

How odd. I hadn’t been aware of the need for such encouragement, yet twice in one morning the same word came through two unconnected women. The following week a third person delivered the same message.  Spoken with no elaboration, almost as an afterthought, the words struck with an intensity and depth that left no doubt of its significance.

God had my attention.

I went home feeling ravaged. The message had sheared my armor and exposed my soul. So what? He sees me? He sees everyone. I’m still here, alone. Instead of giving strength and comfort these encounters had marked a deep sense of abandonment. I had walked through the forty-nine months since my husband’s illness and death wrapped in God’s presence, like a blanket insulating me from the harshness of the reality. Yet there was something else deep inside, untouched and unacknowledged. My response to the message was mystifying, yet God was using it to uncover something hidden deep in my heart–the depth of aloneness that comes with separation from our “one flesh” partner.

And a seed of bitterness trying to find the light.

Days passed. I came across in Laurens Van Der Post’s A Story Like the Wind a moving reference to the African Sindabele greeting, “I see you, indeed I see you.” Spoken with the right hand lifted high, palm out, it is a sign of “being recognized and accepted…almost as good as an embrace.”

This touches me through. It makes me want to draw closer, to pull out the meaning of God’s message. I draw a shuddering breath. Okay, God, I’m ready. Please show me what You want me to see. I get out my Bible and begin to study.

“The God Who Sees,” El Roi, is found in the story of Hagar in Genesis 16. Hagar is a run-away Egyptian slave. She is pregnant with Abraham’s child, was treated cruelly by her mistress, and has struck out across the desert to return to her homeland. In her loneliness and distress El Roi finds her.

This is one of the few places in the Old Testament where God appears in physical form, a theophany. Not only does He appear, He ‘sees’ her depth of anguish and despair. He makes Himself visible and speaks directly to her. The cultural implications are similar to Jesus’ speaking to the Samaritan woman in John 4. This was something that wasn’t done. Men did not lower themselves to speak with women, much less a female slave.

But He speaks to her, confronting her deepest need and bringing comfort and encouragement. He gives her promises for the son she is carrying, and blesses him with the name Ishmael, meaning “God Hears.”

Before God appears to Moses in the burning bush, before Jacob wrestles with Him at Peniel, God appears to Hagar. A woman–a slave, an Egyptian, someone out of God’s chosen line–was seen by God. Here she names Him El Roi, and the place she names Beer Lahai Roi, “The Well of the One Who Lives and Sees Me.”

Following this meeting, Hagar obeys God and returns to her earthly master, Abraham. He also listens to her, hearing with an obedient heart, and honors her encounter by christening their son Ishmael, the name given by El Roi.

Reading and studying this short passage begins to open my heart and mind to God’s message. Like the loving God He is, he was answering a need before I was fully aware of it. He was working deeply, rooting out a seed of bitterness and abandonment I wasn’t aware of. While I had chosen to stand on the Word of God, trusting that He never leaves us nor forsakes us, that He is a Father to the fatherless and a husband to the widow, there was more going on in my heart than I realized.

Two weeks went by and another woman pulled me aside, looked into my eyes and said, “He sees you.” This time I could hear and receive the message as God intended, a message of love and encouragement. But, if I hadn’t been willing to face the sense of abandonment and work through it, the message could have been lost. Worse, it could have hardened the shell developing over my heart.

Instead, it has brought healing, growth, wisdom, and thankfulness. I know now that He not only sees me, my needs, my heart, and my future but that He also cares for me at a depth that is unfathomable, except by His grace.

And I am blessed.

God bless you and keep you,

God smile upon you and gift you,

God look you full in the face, and make you prosper.

The Aaronic Blessing, Numbers 6:24-25, The Message


A Multitude Monday

Flowers for you on this Multitude Monday!

Endless gifts on this Multitude Monday:

Rubies in my garden: geraniums blooming

Scarlet orbs, flavorful: cherry tomatoes

Beans sprouting in window boxes

Open windows with fresh air sliding through

Rain, and the smell of its coming

Thunder, a vocal promise

People that help others

Tea, a good thing

Tea, with friend: even better

A son coming to visit

An opportunity to blog through Daniel’s deployment

My laptop, holding all my dreams and communications

The Right to Write project, and writing through it

Journaling, and the freedom to do so

My Savior, who holds our worlds in His capable, loving hands

And another gift from artist Lori Vafiades: Fine Linen (The Bride of Christ)

From Revelation 19:5-8. Lori’s other work can be found at http://www.greatcompany.org

Grace to you, dear readers. May God’s peace find its place in your hearts.

~Love,

Kris


An evening walk

may-mist-033“Solvitur ambulando” It is solved by walking,  Augustine.

The evening air is cool, in the low 40’s, and the mist is thick enough to soak your clothes. The blackbirds are in, their warning sharp in the air as I approach. Even the horses coming up from the gap are shy, and stand watching through the bushes on their way to the feeding troughs. Tulips are starting to bloom and color is coming back to the earth, though the days are gray and chilly. What treasures this needed moisture will cause to rise from the earth.

The Move

It took seventeen years of attitudinal discipline for my green coastal mindset to accept the desert.  Since then the wide skies, subtle colors, and unmatched sunsets have grown a place in my heart.  It has been thirty years since unflinching sunlight began to bleach out the surroundings of my daily life.  In sixty days I’ll be leaving this awesome spreadout land for a place with: seasons, green grass, trees, creeks, and–most amazing of all–rain more than three times a year.  Yes, I’m smiling.  Yes, I know there will be things to miss.  

Hello world!

Things that happened today:

  • Prompted to turn on the broken dishwasher, I first checked the water line valves, made sure there was no impingement, and turned it on.  It worked!  Sometimes machines need vacations, too .
  • This time of year the weather is too beautiful to shut the outside out, so the front door stays open.  As I was crossing the living room a brown winged creature swooped past and lighted on the ceiling.  Our visitor spent the day there, perhaps disturbed by the construction across the street, and rested until dusk.  I then turned the indoor lights off, covered the computer screen with a towel and sat outside on the porch, waiting.  Very shortly, our silent creature swept out into the night to hunt out his dinner.  Our visit from the bat was over.