Tag Archives: encouragement

don’t feel the need to impress

I was talking about an ideal vacation: books, great food that I don’t cook, friends that I don’t feel the need to impress… there was more in that verbalization.

I’m trying, trying with all I am, to get to that place…the place where I don’t feel the need to impress, or even do my best. It’s not about me quenching my desire to care, to choose carefully my words. Words are arrows and all. They slay and wound with love. I am not renouncing my call to wield well.

But, there is a place – a dwelling – a moment between…  rarely known… with a safe, secure sentinel, in a  garrison of grace.

The strong listener who can hear, hold and not tremble.

Where… all impressions will be the marks of  bent and  twisted  characters. Contorted beyond recognition, I hope… I star in these long silenced stories.


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It’s good to be gotten

One of my good friends came by to see me in my classroom today.  I was working on a few ideas, away from my sweet, noisy family.

I had lent her a book that I read this summer, one that I particularly loved: “Chasing Francis.” She had texted me the first day that she had it to say that she liked it very much.

“How’s the book going?” I asked.

“I am loving it.”

“I thought you just might.” She so has the make-up of someone who would love the contemplative lifestyle.

“Yeah.” she offered. “A friend of mine told me the other day, “You are a mystic! Did you know that? You all about connecting to God in places, like specific places and all.””

My friend laughed and said, “She is exactly right, I am a mystic.”

I love having my friend around. She makes me feel not so strange, not so out there. She gets me. I remember when we first met many years ago now. One of the first real things she said to me was, ” I’ve been watching you, reading what you write, listening to you talk to people – I get you.”

She didn’t know it, but it was maybe one of the most important things that anyone had ever said, had just volunteered to me. It turned a key in me, here…in this place, this hard, rocky place which felt nothing like home – where even the ground seemed to resist me.

I don’t think you have to be just like someone to “get” them. I think you just have to be open to see them in all their glory, for who they really are. My friend is an inspiration to me, to try to do that also – to “get” the students that I teach… to watch and listen so as to let God render a bit of who they might be – in all their glory.

It’s good to be gotten, really good.

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I love it when someone believes in me

I had three conversations in the last 24 hours where I left sensing someone’s belief in me. One was with a close proximity friend, one was with a far away friend, and one was with a friend with whom I wish I had more relationship. All left me feeling empowered to keep on growing, changing, dying and coming alive. I told each about goals, struggles and anxieties and each listened and said things that helped me to believe and trust God in me.

Belief is pretty paramount in relationship. My ability to convey it or not fuels so many outcomes. It takes time, a few more seconds to listen and speak to doubt, spoken and unspoken. But, I have traveled so far on those deposits of belief. God, help me not miss the opportunity to believe and communicate such to another.

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I can’t love you like You love me…

This line of lyric ’bout says it all. It’s been bouncing around in me, banking up against things that need  to feel the press of it.

God knows we can’t love Him like He loves us. He tells us so…that we are just, earth. So why do we push to do so? And why the focus on sin, on our failings? Why do we highlight them, examine them, define them? Over and over, God is telling us, those who will listen to Him, “Let me love you. You are the child. I am the adult. You can’t even understand how I love you. You job is to let me love you.” Change comes in that posture and place.

When we let love do its work, trust it, we identify with and become like those who love us. Change doesn’t come so much through battling sin. Change comes in the arms of God, in the earshot of God’s whispering: when we are near and known.

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passing on kudos from a friend

I have asked several of my most literary, most talented writer friends to read my blog. They have graciously done so. I received some interesting feedback the other day. One of my brightest adult friends had this to say, “What exactly are those Lectios you all are talking about and where did you find these kids who are linked to your blog. I am reading their stuff. Wow! How do I learn and experience what they are?” (my paraphrase)

She is about 30 and fairly dang-well educated. She has done the church things quite a while, as well. She is jealous.

This is what Jeremy and I were trying to convince you about Saturday night. You have no idea what opportunity to grow has come your way through the venues that have been introduced into your life via Edge. You also have no real grasp of how much they have produced fruit and ability to connect in your life. I don’t even know how many blogs and lectios or just whose she read. But she was impressed.

You are just kids. I make myself say that at least  once a day. But, at the same time, and I say this more seriously, y’all are not just kids. You are not just another flow through of kids. From the get go of KCS for me and the dream of Edge for Jerm, you have never been considered – just this year’s crop of kids. I have never sensed the weightiness of responsibility that I sense toward you and your lives. There are times during a church service or an Epoch gathering or just watching you talking, having fun together, that I am moved to tears, and I sense that God is photocopying what I am seeing into my memory. Sometimes for a moment, for a a flash I see far forward and the now at once.  And always there is  heavy blanket of light that drapes about you, a covering to you and signal to me; you are clothed in Christ.

You are, have been capable of much, much more than we initially dared to hope. Please know that we are privileged to work hard to give you the best of what we know and will come to know in the days ahead. We offer you no “kid-menu”; we serve you what we eat and drink.

I am praying for the wonder of God and His workings to overtake you. Wonder is my response to all I sense in your regard.

Thank you for a wondrous year.

In preparation for an even greater season,

Mrs. Kim

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The door opened; kindness met her glance ’round… and on came  tears.

The kind make us safe. They overlook our faults and our failing, they underscore with thick black markers all that we have come to be. The gaps in us are as growth plates to them. They do not take no and never in our regard, they see past and far.

When I meet the eyes of the kind, so much rushes from me toward their embrace. One glance into me and I am laid by…

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A friend came by today…I don’t get to see her enough.  She is one of those people who make the effort, who leave their own schedule to come into mine. She inspires me…to pour it out, all I have. God has so poured Himself all over/into her and infiltrated her life.  Someone asked me about her this morning…another teacher, “How is she?”  Words didn’t form…just images that I have yet to render out. I dropped to my most tender place…so on the edge of tears and tried to reply, “Really good.” And she is “really good,” to be around, to be near. I never want her to leave.

Life for her has not been easy since His pouring on. It has been difficult for her to navigate, to steer through. All around her are those whom she has had to steady, to hold up and hold toward God. And she has.

She came in to my room today, holding one near, and up and toward…just a little fella, with eyes that held mine and questioned… and questioned. She had him like it was nothing. When he forsook all baby lovers who surrounded, she whispered to me and Halo, “Don’t feel bad, it’s just his Mama and me that he’ll go to. He’ll only go to me.” It wasn’t some silly gloat. He needs her holding, hers, he somehow trusts, knows to be safe and good.

She is like that with us all, those who need holding near, and up, and toward…

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