My theme verse for 2013 was Acts 1:5 Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
I’ve endured a difficult spiritual year. When I received the word WAIT, I shuddered, knowing it would be a long journey. I’m an achiever. Passivity is not in my vocabulary. But those two arguments held no resistance to the Spirit’s goal. He is persistent.
As I look back over this year, I marvel at what I’ve learned. I’m so full of new truths I’m about to burst at the seams wanting to teach somebody, anybody. Sadly, I wait some more. He’s not finished yet.
But in order to offer my thanksgivings during this season, I will share a bit of this journey. I’ve studied, with my dearest friends, this promised gift spoken by Jesus to His disciples. John Piper describes it as an “extraordinary anointing for ministry.” No doubt, Pentecost brought such an anointing upon the apostles while at the same time bringing salvation upon 3,000 who were instantly filled with the Spirit.
But I wanted to know how that extraordinary anointing manifests itself in a believer’s heart. This quote nailed it for me. “The Spirit fills me with His own vision of God and His own passion for God and His own prophetic words of praise.” John Piper
Let me put it in my own words. If I’m living in this extraordinary anointing, operating in the unlimited fullness of His power, then the God in me will reveal the majesty, power, and plan of God the Father to me; the God in me will love God the Father with unhindered intimacy and passion; and the God in me will never cease to worship God the Father. Now that’s the fullness power of Christ in me the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27.
One of the books we studied was They Found the Secret. It’s a collection of powerful testimonies of twenty believers who simply believed. I summarize one illustration like this, “Some say we are a pencil in the hand of God. But a pencil can be dropped or lost, I cannot. No, I am more like a finger of God. Jesus prayed that we might be one and He always gets a Yes! answer to His prayers.”
So to solidify this truth and as a constant reminder of our Oneness, I painted one fingernail red. Every day I can say, “By the grace of God and the blood of Jesus and the fullness of His Spirit, He lives in me to do His will. So be it!”
The following words relate my year, my life. Blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Every time I quieted my heart,
Every time I heard and obeyed a truth.
Every time I worshipped in awe,
Every time I spoke the Gospel.
Every time I read His Word,
Every time I prayed.
Every time I gave a tithe,
Every time I sacrificed a treasure.
Every time I cried in joy,
Every time I loved another.
Every time I repented of sin,
Every time I conquered a stronghold.
Every time I admired creation,
Every time I sang His praises.
Every time I taught a truth,
Every time I wrote of Jesus.
Every time I trusted through a trial,
Every time I wept in sorrow.
Every time I cuddled a baby,
Every time I spoke a blessing.
Every time I fasted in power,
Every time I rebuked the devil.
Every time I stood in faith,
Every time I crawled from a pit.
Every time I felt loved,
Every time I knew security.
Every time I trusted His forgiveness.
It was never, ever me. It was always
Every time He…
Dementia is a horrible disease. Stealing the mind before the body is dead, that’s just cruel.
In this poem, I combine memories of my mom, my love of gardening, and the ravages of dementia.
I’m in there too. I’ve destroyed a few gardens in my life, thinking I was having fun.
Playing in the Dirt
I sit on the weathered wicker swing,
suspended from a gnarled grape harbor.
My dangling feet blend rosemary and thyme, like a ballet
of ten fairies over a bed of perfumed mint.
I snuggle in mom-made pillows, with her
captured scent from distant decades.
Earth’s forces battle about me.
Brittle morning breeze, robe snug.
Intense rising sun, robe loose.
The gray dawn splits open with rays of pure gold.
Glory to the gladiator of creation.
Again, he redeems darkness for light.
I watch as my dad saunters, unsure of his steps,
His body says eighty, him mind only eight.
Time has no power when life has no pain.
For hours he frolics, for hours he plays.
He frisks the pea pods, steals their gems,
He spit bombs ant hills with tomato seeds,
Pokes for carrots, crops their tops,
Thumps the melons, bowls down lanes,
Digs sleepy spuds, gauges eyes with his spade,
Serves delectable mud pies, hits the crows flying by,
Plucks the marigold blooms, threads a lei for his head,
He’s free to exist where nothing else matters.
He surveys his garden. His knees bend him to the dirt.
The tears on his cheeks reveal a moment of clarity,
a lifetime of sin.
Like the serpent in Eden, he destroyed what was good.
Rain falls from heaven, a cloudburst of grace,
He stands strong in its flow, refusing to hide.
The divine tears soak his bones. I see hope in his eyes.
A prism of brilliant colors arc the evening sky,
Glory to the gladiator of creation,
Again, he redeems darkness from light.
I wrote two poems in Intro to Creative Writing. They were torture. I hadn’t written a poem since my elementary Roses are red collection.
Writing poetry and reading them before peers to be workshopped, well that was terrifying. But I survived. Now I’m taking the next step of faith. Sharing with you. My hands are trembling across these keys. They want to run away and hide. I’m fighting to hold them steady.
I don’t understand my fear of poetry. Maybe it’s the memories of having to ‘sing-song’ them before my high school peers. Yes, that dates me. Poetry is so different now. Rhyming is out. Raw is in. Oh! That’s the root of my fear. Poems concretely reveal the inner soul. The sole reason I’m avoiding the next poetry class.
Our assignment was to write a poem with repetition. I wrote about Sisterhood. I wrote about all the sisters in Christ who have shared their stories with me. There’s a piece of me in here too.
Here I Am
There I was submerged in the womb, planted by paternal seed, fed from maternal veins; too late to be aborted.
There I was surviving within four walls and a picket fence. One parent caressed my face; the other turned his face away.
There I was stuck in the middle. I hid under the wing of one sister while exposed in my lies by the other.
There I was in the back row of student desks. I rode a lopsided seesaw, cheered from the sidelines until I walked graduation’s plank.
Here I am healed, covered in the balms of grace.
I am a virgin bride in white who once wore a scarlet letter.
I am a warrior with a sword who once was a prisoner of war.
I am an opera’s aria, a wave’s white crest, a golden thread woven in tapestry.
I am a victor in armor who once was a victim in a pit.
I am an heir to a kingdom, a child of the King, chosen from among billions.
Why am I where I am?
I am proof. I prove my life has purpose. I prove a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. I prove fire purifies gold.
I prove God exists.
I’ve never been good at keeping secrets. But I want to be. In my desire to be trustworthy, The plan is simple; I just don’t talk.
This explains why I haven’t blogged for six weeks.
I now understand Zachariah’s agony. (Luke 1) He endured nine months longing to sing out to anyone who would listen the miracle of a new baby. Yet his lips were sealed in silence. But oh, when he could speak, his tongue was set free to praise God.
Like Zachariah, I rejoice in the miracle of a baby. My lips are singing God’s praises. Grandbaby Jones is on the way. Congrats to Andrew and Morgan!
A second reason for ignoring my blog, homework. One teacher is making me write the first poems since my elementary days of ‘roses are red’ classics. Who knew creative writing could be so painful?
Though I have much to learn, I’m enjoying the process. In the few words below, I’ve tried to share the marvel of God’s sovereign hand. No baby is an accident.
Your time is now
To: baby Jones
God scans the kingdom calendar
and notes divine encounters.
There’s a scheduled angelic celebration
When your tender heart surrenders.
Your time is now.
He counts the young and old
you introduce to Jesus.
There’s a broken soul holding gun in mouth
Your compassion stops the bullet.
Your time is now.
The wedding march is playing
A spouse waits just for you.
Together you preach His gospel
when you give to save the other.
Your time is now.
Your momma holds you safe
Your dad prepares your path.
Fearfully and wonderfully made,
you’re the image of His glory.
Your time is now.
Come now, grasp our fingers
and delight our eager hearts.
Join the journey of these families
on our pilgrimage to Glory.
Mommy, and Daddy, Grandpap, Gramma, Tori, Dustin, Eli, Grandpa Bill, Grandma Carol, Lindsey, Tristan, Billy, Alex, and Janelle.