Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday reflections

Isaiah 53:4&5
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
         And our sorrows He carried;
         Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
         Smitten of God, and afflicted.
    But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
         He was crushed for our iniquities;
         The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
         And by His scourging we are healed. 

His wounds.
His Love.
We are healed.
We are known.

I'm a bit wordless. A bit overwhelmed. I really can't wrap my head or heart around the depth, patience, and ferocity of God's love for us all. 

Sometimes loving people takes a mad lot of emotional strength. Watching as they make choices that hurt themselves... being pushed away when they seem to want rejection instead of love... Loving even then hurts like lead clogging the bottom of your heart and drains you of emotional vibrance.

If my love is weak and imperfect in comparison to God's, how does He survive, loving every single person in the whole world so passionately?

He watches us sabotage ourselves, hurt ourselves and others, and settle for the cheap version of His good intentions. And still He stays engaged, returning even when we shun Him. 

I might have grasped a tiny corner of his strength. My heart is moved to trust and adoration.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

worth waiting for

Spring! Finally!
And it is so immensely worth waiting for.

I can hardly sleep these days. But it's not because of the office chair rolling around on the other side of my ceiling. I've been in Majorly Creative Mode, and my head goes right on creating when the rest of me tries to sleep. It's not a curse, really. Ideas turn into things like this:

These pins are made from an antique, handmade lace doily. I'm opening a shop on Etsy within the next week or two, and you'll be able to buy these and other upcycled goodies there, as well as prints of some of my artwork. I'm excited... hope you find the shop worth waiting for. :) 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Curls and Kindness

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." -Aesop "The Lion and the Mouse"

I found this picture in the deep, dark archives of the past few years. I think Kelsey was two years old. Carol was lying on the couch with a headache, so Kelsey was "reading" to her. I came upon them and am glad I had a camera within reach. Those chubby little hands and curls just melt me.

Add a little sweetness to someone's day...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

When all is said...


They're so intangible, thinner than the wisp of curl from a blown-out candle.

But, set out into the center of silence, they seem to take on a life of their own. Even as we form them, they form us.

Perhaps this phenomenon is partially limited to females, but I noticed that when my girls are angry, they talk about fighting the person first. And they do it loudly, as if volume can cover fear and insecurity. The bluffing has a curious effect on everyone present. The bluffer becomes more infatuated with the sense of empowerment they feel, while the witnesses quickly move into survival mode. Everything goes downhill from there. No one feels safe, not even the person trumpeting away.

Of course, my professional duty in this scenario is to "de-escalate the client", but, reaching further, I really and truly hate the emotional damage this stuff inflicts on my girls. They have lived most of their lives on edge, in survival mode. They shouldn't have to. Especially not here. My heart for them all is that they feel safe and loved.

So I am trying to teach my girls this: what we say MATTERS. It has weight we might not intend.

Someone says, "Imma punch her/him." Instead of ignoring it as normal ghetto conversation, I'm learning to ask, "Are you seriously making a threat? Should I report what you just said?"

Then this ensues:


"But did you hear yourself? What did you say?"


This scenario happens a lot, too:

"What the *&%@#?"

"Hey, you're not trash. So stop talking trash, huh?"

These scenarios happen often, but I love the looks of realization that result. I love how their demeanor and the atmosphere gradually softens, as if we all knew all along that words are important... and someone saying so allows us to be our truer selves.

When all is said and done, more is said than done. And power for hurt is always equal to power for good.

For instance:

"Becky, why you always smilin' at us?" J. rarely causes problems, but she's one of the few that seems to have a built-in resistance to interaction with staff. I was surprised she initiated conversation at all.

"Because I love you guys."

"Aw... we love you, too."

Just a few words, but I hold them in my heart and treasure the quiet acknowledgment that lingers between us because of them.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Signed, sealed, and caffeinated

Everything that happens at work gets logged. Most of the time, we keep it pretty professional.

6:10 AM: Becca goes to cafe for elixir of life

Some mornings are just like that.

Monday, April 4, 2011

dancing again

feet dancing on the ground
mossy and heaving with life
arms outstretched and face to the sky
low, smooth, and strangely tangible

i laughed in exultation and
hugged the nearest tree and
thanked God for the strange, most glorious
gift of life