Answering my Own Questions

A. Do you read love stories? YES. Not Harlequins, and most often as part of a bigger story, but if a book does not include a romance, what good is it?

2. What do you think makes a really fine love story? I like it when the two people in question are mismatched. I like it when they are friends first. I like it when they are completely taken by surprise by their feelings. I like it when the man is a hottie stud and the girl is only plain (just being honest here). Not surprisingly, these are the elements of my own life story.

Also, I don’t want sex scenes, but if my heart palpitates a little harder during some scenes, then that’s just fine by me. I am a firm believer that the sweet agony of anticipation is a HUGE part of enjoyment. Furtive sideways glances, quaking realizations, desperate stiflings of emotion…ending with fearful confessions…again, my own story.

III. Must someone die in a story in order for it to be satisfying? Hell no. But Rose’s response was the best. She said “only if it’s done properly. Fred, for instance, was a mistake, while Dumbledore was perfect.” If you’ve read Harry Potter, you know what we’re talking about.

4. What makes you gag, put the love story down, and walk away forever? All of you nailed it for me, and here’s the synopsis: graphic goings-on in the bedroom (or elevator, or beach, or top of the refrigerator, or wherever), shallowness, actions that don’t hold to reality, perfect characters, sappiness, again, characters I can’t relate to, no other plot, and sermonizing.

Also, I must quote Rose here when she said “when the guy apologizes for kissing the girl. be real, dude. you’re not sorry.” and might I add, if you ARE sorry, I don’t like you, you’re a pansy-ass.

E. What’s the best love story you ever read (no fair saying the Bible)? Besides the obvious Mr. Knightley and Emma in the book by Ms. Austen, I have to say I loved the Secret Life of Bees and the sweet tale it told. I was terrified it (the love story part) was going to end badly, and when it didn’t I was just so delighted.

(thought of a sixth): What book did you take with you on your last vacation? Some stupid beach romance. I can’t rememer the name of it. How sad! I fear writing a book that no one can remember the name of.

A few other thoughts: infidelity is not okay. It’s just not. I don’t care what other flaws the characters have, but if they can’t keep it in their pants, you’ve lost me. Tempted is okay, in fact, it might be awesome, come to think of it, but they better walk away or the book is in the fireplace.

Here are my problems: I like my characters too much. I think a writer has to be a little indifferent towards those she has created. Less like God and more like Zeus. Also, the love interest in question is definitely perfect. I mean, aside from being obnoxiously perfect, he has no flaws. How can I change this? I like him. I tell myself that my main character has enough flaws for the both of them. Will that work?

Also, I must confess that the story I’m writing is, at the heart, a love story. There are peripheral events, but essentially, there it is. I was agonizing over this fact and trying to figure out how I could fit in some time travel or a murder investigation, but I had to admit defeat. It is what it is. It is not a world-changer. It is not a NY Times Best Seller. I had to ask myself: if it is only a book someone might take to the beach and get sand all in its dog-eared pages, sigh with pleasure when it’s over and forget all about, then can I live with that?

Yes. I definitely can. And I hope I will.

To History, and Imagination

Her name was Placida— my mother’s mother– but to me she was Pat-Pat, the fixture of our family vacations, waving from her back porch to greet us as we turned onto the gravel driveway that led to her door. She was soft and welcoming (as the best grandmothers are defined) without being overly indulgent, and going to her house meant coca-cola in bottles and playing with cousins and swimming at my uncle’s pool and all the bliss my small heart could hold.

During our visits my mother became younger, once again the baby of the family, the little sister, the darling daughter, and as the days stretched on in our East-Texas surroundings, her voice settled into a familiar accent and made itself comfortable. We teased her about it, but only because we loved the glimpse it gave us of the person she was before she was Mom. Inside my grandmother’s house, layers of love surrounded and encapsulated me, the tiniest matryoshka doll within the cocoon of generations.

I never thought much about Pat-Pat’s life in my self-saturated youth, never wondered about her upbringing or probed her for details of her hopes and dreams and joys and sorrows. I’m not sure she would have appreciated the impertinence of the questioning anyway. It was enough that she was the woman whose heart had shaped the heart that formed my own.

Nowadays, though, I want to piece together what I know, to make a whole person out of her, to catch a glimpse of what bits I might have been blessed enough to claim for my own, beyond noses and brows and what formal portraits can give me. I rifle through photographs and pepper my mother with questions and speculate extensively.

Placida was a child of the new century, arriving at adulthood in the roaring 20’s, a time I imagine as wild and frenzied and perched on the edge of possibility, when new discoveries were met with excitement instead of glassy-eyed indifference by a society inebriated with technology and bloated by progress.

She was born and raised from French and German Catholic stock, the sixth child of nine. She lost her father, a jovial man who ran the town’s telegraph, when she was eight, and was raised by her no-nonsense mother into a sensible young woman with a prodigious musical talent. Her family was well-respected and genteel. She met my grandfather, surname Patterson, and married him at the age of 20, in the year 1924.

Those are the facts, as I have been told.

Poring over family photos reveals a bit more of the picture, gives wings to imagination and fleshes out the story. Here we have Placida, on a summer outing in the hills of East Texas with a group that included my yet-to-be grandfather, a man who loved to take pictures and later made a living out of doing so.

scan0026

I love this photo for so many reasons. I love it for the fact that her hair is in braids and she is poking around with a stick in the water and she is barefoot and she is wearing overalls. I love it because her smile says to me that she is a woman besotted with her photographer, whether she knew it herself at the time or not.

Another picture from the same day shows the photographer himself, claiming space next to Placida, whose right hand is in parts unknown. It is the only photograph I have ever seen of him where he looked the least bit uncomfortable, and whether it is from the sun in his eyes or the suddenness of the shutter, or the fact that he was sitting on her hand, I will never know. I do know that he looks just enough the part of a bad boy to make me like him immensely.

scan0005

I like to believe that we would have been great friends, this braided beauty and I, had I belonged to that earlier era. I imagine myself in the picture too, poking into streambeds and giggling over the attention she was getting from Mr. Patterson, lands sakes!

This girl joined her life to the just-bad-enough-boy, and together they raised a family of six through the depression and war years, the optimistic fifties and beyond.  She lost her beloved photographer in 1974, when I was six years old, and I saw her cry. That event is one of my most vivid childhood memories; it was raw and real and startled me with the realization that some things were so sad they caused even grown-ups to discard composure.

Placida lived another 20 years after him, outlived 7 of her siblings, and saw the gracious house she raised her children in levelled by the city to make way for a hospital parking lot. The building had suffered from too many structural impairments to warrant moving it, so she bought a mobile home and infused it with so much joy and life that we hardly missed the old place; if she could be philosophic about it, so could we.

As I became an adult, visits to Pat-Pat’s grew less frequent, as tends to happen. She welcomed the first few of my children before she was unable to differentiate one from the other, and the last time I saw her was a heartbreaking event that impressed upon me the truth that death is most often like birth, painful and confusing and lasting far longer than seems fair.

When she died, I felt that my childhood was officially over, although I was already a married woman with five small children at that point. But I was not the grandchild of anyone anymore; the outermost layer was gone from the nesting doll and I was pushed forth with only my mother between me and the largeness of the world. 

One day it will be only me there, the outermost shell around generations spiralling down through the years. I hope to be like Pat-Pat to my grandchildren, larger than life, a solid and steady fixture no matter how much changes in the world around them, always ready to peel the years away and let them be children again.

Just as she is in my mind, standing on the back porch of a house long-gone, waiting to welcome me back.

10 for Christmas

Purloined from Lifenut, who poached it from Clover Lane, who, ostensibly, conjured it up right out of her own brain. And here I thought meme’s were plucked from the Great Meme Tree in the middle of the vast Forest of Self-Absorption!

 

If you post your own answers on your blog, please share! It’s what life’s all about.

 

1. Best childhood gift from Santa: You know, it’s really funny. We “did” Santa as kids, but I have no recollection whatsoever of anything he ever brought. He just wasn’t a big deal to me, apparently. My older sister, on the other hand, was permanently scarred when she was told he wasn’t real, and went on to categorically deny the truth until well into her tweens in spite of being the brunt of much fun-making on the part of her classmates. She then went on a tri-state killing spree for 6 months at the age of 14.

 

Okay, so the last sentence is a slight stretching of the truth. But only slightly.

 

This is a long way of saying that I don’t remember anything Santa brought me, but the year I received a Steiff bunny from my own loving mother pretty much set the bar for gift-receiving euphoria from that moment forward.

 

2. Best childhood memories: Helping my dad shingle the garage roof to our new home on Christmas Eve at 10pm in the freezing cold when I was in the 5th grade. I, along with my older brother, was handing him shingles as we discussed JUST HOW COLD we were. My father said “my nose is running like a faucet!” and my brother and I both thought that was really, really funny, given that my father did not normally discuss his orificial conditions.

 

Okay, so it’s probably not the “best” memory. But it certainly was memorable. And a telling clue to the fact that I come by my obsessive habits honestly.

 

3. Favorite Christmas cookies: Gingerman guys. AKA “gingerbread men”, but Gabriel re-dubbed them at the age of four and I think it’s a vast improvement.

 

4. Icky Christmas memory: Helping my dad shingle the garage roof….wait…

 

5. It’s not Christmas without: Visiting family!! We lived on the east coast for two years once upon a time and Christmas was so very, very…quiet…and lonely…and boring!!…without family to descend upon or upon which to descend.

 

6. Our Church Service: Sadly, our church doesn’t really have a Christmas church service. In fact, we hardly even sing any Christmas carols at Sunday services during the advent season, which is a real beef I have. There’s an evening Christmas dinner, but we don’t usually attend those because trying to seat our brood and actually get any food on our plates is an exercise in real exhaustion.

 

7. Christmas Pet Peeve: The pink Joseph:

pink

 

Or the 5,000 year old Joseph:

 

nativity-scene

 

Why, people? Just….why?

 

8. Favorite Christmas CD: Whoa Nelly that’s a toughie. I’ve gotta have Bing at Christmastime, and there’s an album from my childhood by Tennessee Ernie Ford that tickles me beyond all reason, but the most fabulous modern Christmas album that simply MUST be played in order for me to get in the mood is Relient K.  By turns traditional, hilarious, poignant, punky, and did I mention hilarious? you will not regret purchasing it.

 

9. Real or Fake: Why, they’re real, of course!! Oh…you mean the tree. Ahem. Sorry. Well, it’s real too! This year it was REALLY DEAD as soon as we put it up, so we went out and got a REALLY REAL second tree, and it’s the most beautiful thing ever.

 

10. I spend Christmas Eve: During the day, I spend it with my family, hysterical with laughter and eating and drinking and singing Happy Birthday to baby Jesus. In the evening, I spend it wrapping the 1,001 presents I thought I had already wrapped, stuffing stockings alongside My Beloved, and breathing deep breaths of delicious, oh, so very delicious, anticipation.

 

Because anticipation? It’s the best part.

We Interrupt this Gloom to bring you a Meme…

 
Okay, okay, enough of the freakin’ depressing self-scrutiny. Let’s talk about something bright and cheerful, shall we?

 

I can’t think of anything.

 

But nevermind! Linda, over at the 2nd Cup of Coffee blog, has come up with just the thing. A cute little meme to supply some thoughtful fun, should you desire it! I had never visited Linda before, but I found her via Heth at the Laundry Pile, and methinks my blogroll just got longer.

 

Again.

 

I can’t figure out if the button picture is of donuts or apples. I’m really hoping it’s donuts, but either way they look a little disgusting to me. Food just shouldn’t come in those colors. If you want to do the meme, she has the html for the button over at her place. If you participate, don’t forget to let her know you enjoyed it!

 

 


 

1. When you go to Wowmart, what one thing do you get every single time, besides a funky-wheeled squeaking cart full of frustration?

 

That would be toilet paper. And bread. And bananas. And peanut butter crackers. Oops, guess that’s more than one.

 

2. What is something that people are currently “into” that you just don’t get or appreciate?

 

Vampires.

 

3. What is something that really hoists your sail that other people might feel “ho-hum” about?

 

This. and This.

 

4. Favorite song to sing in the shower or car?

 

Lately, it’s David Crowder’s newest “How He Loves Us”…I cannot wait until the new album comes out (the 22nd of this month)

 

 

 

5. A really great salad must have this ingredient:

 

AVOCADO (sorry for yelling)

 

6. Advice in a nutshell to new bloggers (one or two sentences):

 

Do it because you love it. Do it for you. Nothing else lasts.

 

7. What was the alternate name that your parents almost named you? Do you wish they had chosen it instead of the one they gave you?

 

I can’t remember the name they were going to give me…(mom? a little help?)…but I think I would have made a good Cornelius.

 

8. What in your life are you waiting for?

 

Thanksgiving. Anniversary. Christmas. Any possible beach trip not yet on the horizon. Celestial trumpets.

 

9. You get a package in the mail. What is it, and who is it from?

 

A random assortment of fun from my SIL in Texas, usually.

 

10. Today–what song represents you?

 

 

 

(except for the “born in Tennessee” part. And the “trouble since the day that I got here“. And the “broke the rules” part. I was kind of a straight arrow. But the rest is all true.)

 

11. What is one thing that blogging has taught you about yourself?

 

Too much introspection makes me morbid. Actually, Amy Carmichael said that once. But it’s still accurate.

 

12. How are you going to (or how did you) choose the clothes you’re wearing today? What do they say about you in general or specifically how you’re feeling today?

 

They were the first things my hands lit upon in the semi-darkness of my room. They say: I’m a free spirit, baby. I am a unique snowflake in a blizzard of conventionality!

 

or maybe It’s a miracle I’m even dressed today…

 

 

If you’d like to do the meme youself, feel free to copy and paste the original questions from here…many thanks to Linda from 2nd Cup of Coffee for coming up with a fun one!

Limbo

Sorry if I’ve been a little enigmatic lately. Sometimes poetic is easier than blunt frankness. Blunt frankness is just so dang ugly sometimes.

 

Blunt, frank words are just dang ugly. Why does the medical profession insist on ugly words?

 

Words like “blighted ovum”.

 

And “missed miscarriage.”

 

Nothing rhymes with those words. They don’t flow easily into conversation. They make me feel incompetent, faulty, and apologetic.

 

They make me question who I am becoming.

 

I sat in the OB’s sonogram room last Wednesday and awaited the verdict that would soon be doled out by the large, phallic transponder designed to detect life in the quiet recesses of the womb. My Beloved’s eyebrows lifted every-so-slightly when he was confronted by the obscene thing, sitting quietly it its holster. I, in an attempt at levity, warned him gravely:

 

Don’t show any fear. It can sense fear. Don’t look directly at it.

 

 

Don’t bare your teeth at it. He countered. It will perceive that as a threat.

 

 

I laughed. Harder than I needed to, probably. It was a welcome release from the mounting tension that was causing my heart to race and my stomach to turn. I was supposed to be 8 weeks pregnant. I was trying to think positively, but the spotting had already begun and I felt only a growing sense of doom.

 

My OB broke the news gently. He pointed out the empty sac, the absence of the baby that should by now be the size of a blueberry with a merrily beating heart. He called it an anembryonic pregnancy. AKA blighted ovum. There had been an implanted egg, he explained, but the baby had stopped developing for reasons unknown, and was now gone.

 

I was braced for the screen to show a still baby, as it has in the past…a baby quietly floating like a tiny astronaut frozen in space…but I was not prepared for this nothingness. I was not prepared for my body to be so reluctant to let go of the idea of pregnancy.

 

I might expect to stay in this limbo for weeks, the good doctor explained. Even months. If I got tired of the waiting, and the endless spotting, I could have a D & C.

 

I am tired of waiting already.

 

I do not want a D & C.

 

I am sad, and afraid. And a little lost. I do not know how to be this woman, this 7-time miscarrier, this habitual aborter (yet another lovely medical term; they do come up with such tender monikers, don’t they?). I don’t know how to be the older woman with fading progesterone and halting fertility. I have for so long been defined by my prolification that I must admit, though I have resented the label in the past, I don’t know who to be without it.

 

I knew, theoretically, that there would be an end to my fertility. I knew there would come a day when no tiny baby arrived in the characteristic pattern, and slowly the diapers and sippy cups and pacifiers would be relegated to a drawer for the grandkids. A day when bras without flaps would fill my lingerie drawer and I could tuck my shirts in, for good. I may have even looked forward to it once or twice, in fatigue and aggravation.

 

I thought I knew who Jenni was, but I’m afraid of these uncharted waters that I’ve been thrust upon. I don’t know how to read the charts, and the stars are unfamiliar. I’m want to sail with confidence and trust, knowing that He won’t let me shatter upon the rocks, but I’m curled up here in the bottom of the boat with my head under a pillow.

 

Can I be just Jenni? When it’s all stripped away, can I be happy with that?

 

Just Jenni. Just the girl who loves the Lord with all her heart and wants to trust Him to the bitter end. Just the girl who struggles with her past and longs for a future Home. Just the girl who grieves the babies who never were. Just the girl who is learning that she’s still got so much to learn.

What God will Use…(exhibit E)…

to remind you that there is a purpose, a plan, and a Perfect Planner.

 

Good Company

 

It goes right along with that great cloud of witnesses thing I referenced in the post below. The realization that we are not alone. I am fully convinced that one of wormtongue’s most pervasive and most sadly-effective lies is that we are each of us islands. Alone in our misery. Unique in our sufferings. Outside the realm of human experience.

 

And while it is true that no one save God Himself can really, truly know precisely how you are affected by something, it is an unequivocable fallacy to think that one is beyond the reach of a compassionate and understanding soul who Has Been There And Lived To Tell The Tale.

 

We are to comfort one another with the comfort with which we have been comforted.

 

(Say that three times fast.)

 

Which necessarily implies that we are not alone. It would not be putting too fine a point on it, I believe, to say that it is a form of pride to think that you are. Don’t bother looking for help; you’re hopeless. You’re the One In All Creation Who Can’t Be Reached. What an honor!

 

Those that struggle with depression and find any measure of victory and comfort in the Holy Spirit are expressly urged to bolster those in the pit. Which made reading this man’s story in the midst of my own floundering yet another way that God reached out to me.

 

I’ve read Shaun Groves’ blog over the years, and he’s not just a brilliant musician and one of my favorites, but he’s also one of those deeply convinced types (like me) who is very, very certain of Things, and The Way Things Should Be. So reading the story of his own plummet into the pit and subsequent lifting-from was very comforting.

 

There is a truth about depression that cannot be overstated: it is humbling. Once you reach the point where you stop believing that you are beyond help and reach out for the help that is offered, you naturally wind up with a greater appreciation of others’ weaknesses. Less quick to judge just how such-and-such should do this-or-that to solve their problem.

 

There is a new humility to Shaun’s blog that I have not seen there before. There’s a new humility at work in me that I know could only happen through being broken–repeatedly–and being utterly incapable of putting myself back together each time. When someone comes along, picks up a piece of your fragmented soul and pats it back in place, gratitude is the proper response. And gratitude necessitates humility.

 

I find it really interesting that Shaun received a harsh word concerning his witness right before his descent began. Often a criticism has been the trigger to my plummets as well. There seems to be an inability in me to simply receive a criticism without spiralling downward. I’m trying to submit to the Holy Spirit in this area.

 

I don’t believe that depression is God’s will. I believe, however, that He can use it for His glory; turn it into something beautiful. Redeem it. And what greater victory can be had than to find humility waiting on the other side?

 

    O for a thousand tongues to sing
    My great Redeemer’s praise,
    The glories of my God and King,
    The triumphs of His grace!
    My gracious Master and my God,
    Assist me to proclaim,
    To spread through all the earth abroad
    The honors of Thy name.
    Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
    That bids our sorrows cease;
    ’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
    ’Tis life, and health, and peace.
    He breaks the power of canceled sin,
    He sets the prisoner free;
    His blood can make the foulest clean,
    His blood availed for me.
    Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb,
    Your loosened tongues employ;
    Ye blind, behold your Savior come,
    And leap, ye lame, for joy.

~Charles Wesley

What God Will Use…(exhibit D)…

to remind you that there is a purpose, a plan, and a Perfect Planner.

 

You Guys

 

If I didn’t already make it abundantly clear, your comments, every one of them, those that sympathised, empathised, offered advice, hugs, and prayers…they were rays of light shining the way to the stairs that led out of the pit.

 

So great a cloud of witnesses, indeed. With so many voices cheering one on, one finds new strength. Your words led me to His word, which is where wormtongue gets an ass-kickin’ every single time.

 

As I have been reading through your words again, I wish you could see me, tears running down my face again in gratitude to Him for not leaving us as orphans…sending His sweet Spirit to inhabit the the body of Christ and reach out to those who are floundering. I want to share some of these words with you, so you may take them to heart also; they are truth for every one of us.

 

So thank you again, my friends; although we’ve never met, we are His Bride, and I believe that when we encourage one another, we are most beautiful to Him. Be encouraged today. His banner over us IS Love.

 

We’re here for you, holding on to you by the ankles, keeping the devil from gulping you down

 

 

fortunately for us, Christ’s specialty seems to be in those who are broken. There is no one he cannot reach and there is no way he will allow that lion to swallow you

 

 

The thing I love about recognizing our own darkness is when He shows us that He sees us as beautiful even in the midst of our crap…

 

 

It is just as inspiring, thought-provoking, and, yes, even encouraging to hear about the bad times as the good. If people never tell the truth about being depressed, then all the rest of us who are depressed feel even more alone and crazy!

 

while you can admire someone up on a pedestal, you can’t really know them very well

 

 

You are not alone in your struggles. Ever.

 

 

Praise God for the hope we find in Jesus Christ that we cling to daily.

 

 

May you soon FEEL enveloped by a very different Lion. Because He will never release you to that other one. I know you know He’s there, I’ll just pray that you’ll FEEL it soon.

 

 

I have been so lifted up to read that you come out of the dark times, even if momentarily, to praise him and trust him. It encourages me to have hope too. There is also no room for pride when we know we rely so heavily on his hand for provision. If we were perfect we would not need him.

 

 

I love history, my history with HIM. It is good to remember my history with HIM. My Rock, My Beloved, My Provider, My Protector, My Rescuer, The Truth, My Unconditional Father, My Healer, My Faith giver, Gift giver. It is unbelievable what he has done and will continue to do. I know it is HIM who gives freely.

 

 

I also struggle with depression and my own dark place and I used to get so frustrated and desperate every time it resurfaced because I thought it was an indicator that I was somehow losing the battle despite all my best efforts and God’s intervention. I’ve learned that it is not the absence of my struggle that means progress. It still comes around all the time, but has less and less power over my life. What used to paralyze me for months, even years now may only take hold for a few hours or a couple of days. And God continues to be faithful to teach and refine me so none of it is wasted.

 

 

Depression is a dark, lonely place. Your words allude to feeling all but smothered by that black blanket and that you feel unworthy of the words of “praise” from others about your faith. But, dear Jenni, although your faith may seem as small or smaller than a mustard seed to you, that’s okay. You may not see the growing branches of the mustard plant, but they’re there. We can see them through your writings. Your words are so often that beacon of hope to us that you want them to be. You may not feel that way, but they are.

 

I just wanted you to know that even in the depths He has often allowed you to be in as of late, He is using you mightily… perhaps even more mightily than you would have otherwise been used.

 

 

You are not alone.

What God will Use…(exhibit A)…

To remind you that there is a purpose, a plan, and a Perfect Planner

His Word

…after the carpet was saturated with my tears…He used His servant David, speaking my heart’s cry, somehow knowing what I’d need to hear 3,000 years later…

 

Psalm 27

 

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
         Whom shall I fear? 
         
The LORD is the strength of my life;
         Of whom shall I be afraid? (of whom indeed…)
 2 When the wicked came against me
         To eat up my flesh, (halfway down his throat…)
         My enemies and foes,
         They stumbled and fell. (oh the glorious thought…)
 3 Though an army may encamp against me,
         My heart shall not fear; (are you listening, heart?)
         Though war may rise against me,
         In this I will be confident. (pay attention now, you wretched organ)
         
 4 One thing I have desired of the LORD,
         That will I seek:
         That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
         All the days of my life,
         To behold the beauty of the LORD,
         And to inquire in His temple. (what peace is found there, at His feet)
 5 For in the time of trouble
         He shall hide me in His pavilion; (He SHALL)
         In the secret place of His tabernacle
         He shall hide me; (He SHALL…i’ll take that promise)
         He shall set me high upon a rock. (goodbye, pit, your days are numbered)
         
 6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; (satan’s gonna get it in the teeth)
         Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
         I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD. (my voice is almost inaudible amidst the yammer of Wormtongue, but I will sing…)
         
 7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!
         Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. (please oh please)
 8 When You said, “Seek My face,”
         My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.” (I have, I have…You know I have…and I do…)
 9 Do not hide Your face from me; (it feels like you have…)
         Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
         You have been my help;
         Do not leave me nor forsake me, (it feels like you are…)
         O God of my salvation.
 10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
         Then the LORD will take care of me. (damn the feelings, THIS is the truth!)
         
 11 Teach me Your way, O LORD,
         And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. (I don’t want to stumble forever…)
 12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; (not him, Lord…he’s licking his chops…)
         For false witnesses have risen against me, (he’s just so good at framing his lies…)
         And such as breathe out violence. (he’s threatening to consume…)
 13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
         That I would see the goodness of the LORD
         In the land of the living. (I believe…I do…I know there is more…the land of the living is my home…)
         
 14 Wait on the LORD;
         Be of good courage,
         And He shall strengthen your heart; (it’s not something I have to conjure up…HE promises to do it…)
         Wait, I say, on the LORD! (okay. You know where to find me.)

I Would Be Remiss

If I did not take a moment to tell you of the buoying effect your words have had upon me.

 

Every…single…comment. Every single comment (yes Carol, even yours…perhaps especially yours…) was used by the Lord to give that blackout curtain a good swift kick. The sun is shining again, and though I know it is a battle that will continue til Kingdom Come, I find the strength again in both the Lord’s Goodness and His great cloud of witnesses.

 

I hear your cheers of encouragement. Those that sent up prayers, be assured that I felt them. God spoke to me in so many ways in the days following that post that I cannot wait to share. But for now I’m just letting it percolate.

 

Percolate all the way to my heart, a drip at a time.