Tag Archives: write

There’s Hope

There’s hope for the house on the corner,
The one with the tub in the yard,
The one that’s been rundown and empty,
That looks as if life has been hard.

For now the dark house on the corner
Has workers that come and that go.
It has a large bin in the side yard,
A place where old fixtures they throw.

Some doors and some windows stand open.
There’s light shining into the dark.
The house on the corner looks hopeful,
As if they’ve ignited a spark.

It’s brighter down there on the corner,
In spite of the shade of the tree.
The brick has been lightened and brightened
By whitewash applied expertly.

When I take a walk to the corner,
The dog trotting next to my feet,
The progress the old house is making,
Feels to me especially sweet.

For as long as I have been passing,
The house has stood empty and sad.
For a long time my heart has been pining
And struggling with being glad.

But to everything there’s a season
It may be a house or a heart
That needs quite a bit of reworking
To give it a fresh face and start.

It might take some scrubbing and scraping,
And things could look worse once begun.
A job taken on in excitement,
May suddenly not seem so fun.

Then one day the turmoil and trouble
Will be as a thing of the past,
That opened new space in the spirit
For changes to stick and to last.

The hope for the house on the corner
I’m holding for you and for me.
It’s never too late to get started
To grow into who we will be.

Fierce Persistence

I have decided that this is what I need if I am going to make any movement forward. My word this year is persist, and I had to go back and read the original post to remember, even though it stares at me from across my room each day. Persist.

Fierce Persistence

I am tempted to tip towards the opposite.

Mild Apathy

Maybe even extreme lethargy

If I am going to make a change, it has to be decisive, yet also kind. That is where the struggle lies. Where is the intersection of rest and productivity? Where is enough?

August brings with it feelings of summer’s end, even though summer is technically not even halfway over! Extended family visits filled June, vacation took July, and back-to-school appointments and band camp are the order of business for August.

Then school starts at the end of the month.

That makes summer feel over, though it runs into September.

This post is not what I hoped it would be. I have been interrupted no less than five times as I settle in to write. Each time brings a dire need from those around me which offers a clue to what is next. Tending to now.

So that is where I will persist. I will continue to tend to my home and the people and things inside of it. I will tend to me. I will persist in writing, even when my inspiration is fleeting, and I feel uncertain. I will do what is next, which, for now, is answering the call of the tea kettle.

Because

Because you are my Shepherd, I have all that I need.
You allow me to rest in beauty.
You guide me in peace.

You renew me when I am weak, direct me to where I must go.
You are close when I feel afraid.
You protect and comfort me.

When I am surrounded by enemies, you prepare for me a feast.
You anoint my head with oil.
You overflow my cup with blessings.

Your goodness and love are not only available, they chase me down.
You are with me all my days.
You take me to live in your house forever when those days have passed.

Forever.

Because you are my shepherd.

 

Not Behind

I am not behind, though it feels that way.

I am right where I am supposed to be right now.

This is what I am supposed to be doing.

Today that looks like still being in lounge wear at 3:17. No condemnation. The voices try, but I choose to refuse to listen. At least in this moment.

Day two of Christmas break has been a full one. Somehow I passed enough kitchen skills along to an eleven-year-old that she was able to mix up the gingerbread cut-out cookie dough by herself while I drove her brother to practice saxophone with Grandpa.

When I returned, she was ready for her little sisters to join her in rolling and cutting out Christmas cookies. I mixed up another batch for the inevitable, Can we make more?, but I did not have to be involved with any rolling out or cutting. I only had to slide pans in and out of the oven.

I did have to listen to conflict which just about did me in. I let them resolve it, though, and things were fine.

Not behind.

I messaged with a friend who is in a similar-yet-different season of hard, because the hard doesn’t have to look the same to struggle through it together. Just like our cookies didn’t all look alike coming out of the cutters or out of the oven.

Christmas cookie theology? Don’t worry. I’m not going there.

But wait. The crumbly broken deliciousness. . .nevermind.

So I am writing this mainly for myself and the ambivalent struggle I am currently having with my words. Feeling paralyzed about writing anything, because I feel so behind in life, I choose to combat that you’ll never catch up lie (or actually truth, because I won’t) and just jump in.

Hence, being right where I am supposed to be.

And the real thing about that is I am here now.

Sun comes up and we start again. ~ Mason Jennings

Anchor Me

Anchor me.
Tether me.
Bind me to your heart.
Lead me to the higher rock.

I feel the drift.
I’m drifting.

As you hold me together,
I am held.

As you sustain me each day,
I am sustained.

Yet I struggle.

Please calm my heart
as it races and wrestles
your work in my life.

You are not far from me, God.
You are here.

You are with me, Creator God,
Lord of my life.

You are the potter ~ I am the clay.

Throughout the disruption and disrupted,
You rule.

This hymn from my IFB roots has been playing in my head, lately. This is the only video that I could find with lyrics, so that you can actually understand the words. Enjoy!

The Darling Blouse

Each spring, as the school year came to a close, every class in the small K-12 Christian school I attended would gather on the pull-out bleachers in the gym for an awards assembly. I was finishing second grade and vaguely remembered going forward the year before to claim the “Highest Academic Achievement Award – First Grade.” I had my turn to win.

Assembly morning rolled around, and end of the year excitement filled the air. Mom came into my room to help me choose an outfit. This was unusual, for it wasn’t picture day or any other special time. Why did she care what I wore?

Oh no, PLEASE not that.

I choked back the protests that threatened to escape my lips as Mom reached into the closet and said, “Why don’t you wear this darling blouse?”

Wrong on so many levels, the first was the use of the word darling to describe a despised article of clothing. Blouse. Resplendent with buttons, a Peter Pan collar, and certainly pinstriped in various pastel shades, I hated it.

Mom loved it.

I wore it.

I’m sure it choked me.

Maybe the wraparound skirt or suede shoes or knee socks that I chose to complete my ensemble softened the blow. Maybe it was the last day of school that triumphed.

Several hours later found me sitting on the bleachers of an echoing gym waiting to hear who would receive honors this year. Maybe my stomach fluttered. Maybe I should have had a clue.

“Highest Academic Achievement – Second Grade, Julie Kozel.”

I rose and began the long trek down the bleachers and up the aisle between folding chairs filled with beaming parents. Ascending the steps to the stage, I shook the hand of the rotund principal who handed me a plaque, all the while looking sweet and smart in my darling blouse.

Writer Girl(s)

I’m pretty sure that if we lived in a time where vocation was based solely on family heritage and calling, maybe by castes or clans, then ours would be that of the creatives ~ the musicians, writers, jesters; those and the teachers.

Today was the last for picking up my daughter of ten from school. Tomorrow eleven arrives with all of its angst and disappointment over the laptop, chromebook, iphone or at least POD, that will not be wrapped as birthday gifts (though I have promised to keep receipts to return the disappointments in exchange for cash to build her stash to purchase the desired electronics).

My girl is creative. She is a writer as demonstrated by the big stack of books that she was checking out of the middle school library as I waited for her out in the car. It only took one mistake of going in to fetch her over the loudspeaker that time to learn that when she is in the library she will come out when she gets all of her books. Today I got that part right.

A Big Stack of Books

My girl is a comedian. This is demonstrated by two things in these pictures. First, the Rules for Writers book on the top of the stack above is sub-titled A Brief Handbook. She found that hilarious, which is why it is on top. Second, the version of A Wrinkle in Time that she chose to finally read because we rave about it so much, but no matter how she tries it’s just hard to get into is. . .

A Wrinkle in Time

. . . the graphic novel version, in case you can’t read the fine print.

I love my funny writer girl.

I also have a bloggy girl and a college girl who sent me this in a message today, Yesterday someone told me that I stress too much over grammar that normal people don’t understand. Simple sentence and word structure-type things they said college seniors learn in high English classes. I credit you. Haha! It was a funny thing to hear.

I was at a poetry and story reading coffee house with my fourth-grade girl tonight.

Yes, this is a family of writers and creatives with lots and lots of words. That and laughter. And some yelling and strife thrown in for good measure. Real life.