Showing posts from November, 2017

Still waiting

As we enter the season of Advent this week, it occurred to me that we, I, may need to check our, my, expectations. From the Christian perspective, the Gospels don't seem so far away from Jesus' birth. Sure, that one starts off like an commercial, but it is still merely the opening credits. We get to the action quickly.

The promise and mystery is revealed to Mary in chapters 1 of Matthew and Luke but Jesus is born in the 2nd chapters.

It is even better in Mark & John. John the Baptist is introduced proclaiming the Messiah is near and Jesus the adult shows up in the first chapters.

It seems like we just want the Messiah and Jesus shows up. Maybe this spiritual instant gratification is only found in Christians who "live" in the new covenant. But God's people didn't start there. Apparently Isaiah wrote about Jesus almost 700 years before Jesus showed up. That's some commitment. I mean, I struggle with this sense of absence lately but this gap…


It's been at least six months. The I am kind of growing used to the absence, to the loneliness of my spirit. I dream about You...about You guiding me and talking to me. I walk on, practicing the principles of truth in faith, because sitting down does me no good. It doesn't draw You nearer. It gives me no rest. I have no direction. I am torn between not wanting to wander too far in case You return and wanting to flee this barren land in search of You.

Shadows lengthen as evening approaches. The whole world seems busy, clattering with preparations. In some ways it is a relief that the day is ending. But I can already feel the tension-my head hurts and my muscles ache-because I have to wake up to another solitary walk tomorrow.

Perfect Light

There is this light, this delicious golden shimmer, that I have noticed. I have found it in the still sleepy country mornings and in the glorious autumn evenings when the sun is at just the right angle. This light is my favorite for taking pictures.

I stumbled across this light again yesterday and googled to see if anyone else had recognized its splendor. Surely it had a name. I found out that it is called "the golden hour"-a brief period soon after sunrise and shortly before sunset. It is a period of transition, a passing through time, when the soft light gives a warm glow to landscapes and portraits.

This golden hour reminds me of the nearness of God. (And I always enjoy finding things that do.) In fact I wonder if all of heaven isn't awash in golden light. Certainly it was not created with me in mind, but it just reminds me of the Light of the World and how He changes how we see everything.

Tonight an individual asked to speak to me. My initial reaction was a bit of d…


I have been struggling with anxiety and depression for several months. My greatest fear has been to be "crazy." I had been called this by people who should have protected me. This label was used to negate trauma. And I still use this label about myself when I feel embarrassed or ashamed. While I seek reassurance that I am not crazy, it has always been my greatest fear.

This week as I sat in the purple waiting room of the psychiatrist, I nervously texted a friend: "Feeling like a psych patient." Her response: "You are LOL"

 And there it was. I really am.

I try so hard to have it together, to know the next move, to have options. I am the person that others rely on, the one who gets things done. But I haven't felt like that person in a while. To admit that felt like a betrayal of who I was made to be. I simply needed to keep trying and try harder, I had been telling myself.

I don't want to be fragile. I don't want to be dismissible. I don't w…


I am so ready for Christmas.

This is not something I think every year. In fact, I think I stopped liking Christmas the year my son moved out. But for some unknown reason, I am excited this year and ready to decorate before Thanksgiving.

Maybe it is because I find myself in a season of waiting, not unlike Advent, my favorite season of the liturgical year. Advent means "coming" and it refers to the coming of the Messiah, the Christ.

To me, Advent is about settling into the waiting for dawn after the dark night, waiting for the first cries of a new babe, waiting for the wedding day. Not simply settling in...that might be the wrong idea. It is a surrender to the waiting because these events can't be rushed. There are preparations to complete, and there is palpable anticipation with just a pinch of anxiety mixed in.

Advent, the waiting for the coming, is an exercise in faith. I believe the Dawn will come. I believe that the Child will be born. I believe that the Groom will me…

Remind me

I was taught by a friend to learn from the book of Psalm when I am struggling and in pain. I read them and identify with them, sometimes even garner hope from them. In them I find myself, and my present condition, is not unique: the human soul hurts & searches for the One who helps, from antiquity until today.

In the book of Psalm, I find reminders, of both someone else's experience written down but also of my own. I know God has heard me before and strengthened me. Perhaps He has heard me this time, too, I just lack perspective being stuck in the middle of this mud.

Yesterday I chose to go to a gathering at Hope. No one greeted me coming in the door. I winced watching everyone talking, in relationship, as I weaved my way around them. I considered going out a side door really. My immediate reaction was, "What's the point?" Still, I recognize that I had to own some of my alone-ness. I had been absent, silent.

Slipping into a dark auditorium with seats open was a r…

It's a Team Sport

Sitting in a hard plastic booth at a local pizza place, I heard myself mutter to my dear friend pathetically, "I just don't feel like I belong. I am different than most at Hope-my background, my life, my beliefs. I just don't feel like I belong there." I thought I was being honest. I thought I knew what belonging meant regarding a faith community. But now, I think I was wrong.

I had been having trouble with "church," and I have plenty of excuses to go with it. The fact is that I have trouble with belonging. Well, maybe the exact truth is that I just have trouble dealing with imperfect, broken people. And maybe that isn't yet the truest truth...I think I really have trouble knowing myself as struggling and broken lately and knowing that I probably am going to make a mess, try to control, throw something or someone out of whack...and that is embarrassing.

But I live in this tension of wanting to connect and be known while wanting to protect myself and gua…

Wrestling the Word

I was named after my father: Jaime for James. It is an odd thing to be named for someone. You already share DNA but that isn't thought much of since your unique combination of chromosomes from your mother & father come together forming a separate being.

To name something is to define have an understanding of it. A complicated relationship with my name and my namesake led me to try to figure out what "we" mean.

James comes from the Hebrew name Jacob which means the Supplanter. It seemed less than flattering. Jacob comes in second though he won't let go of his brother's heel, manipulating himself into first place eventually. Supplanter might as well mean self-centered jerk.

But what I love about this ancient name connection of mine, is the story of Jacob at a place he later named Peniel. Jacob was a bit of a hot mess. He was, you see, on his way to face the brother he had wronged. After all his scheming on how to best butter up his brother, Jacob…


It is almost ironic that the last post made was on desiring what I have.

I don't even recognize this life.

The participants have changed.  The locales are unfamiliar.  The ordinary is unfamiliar.  I am lost in my life.

I have had my life take sharp turns before.  Typically painful but usually positive.  These turns are reckless like driving somewhere you have never been before where turns come up unexpectedly quick.

Taking thoughts captive...sounds like a good idea until it begins to seem like useless busywork.

Yes, God can use all this for my good.  When? How?  Where the hell is God right now?  Why do I feel abandoned yet again?

Faith isn't seeing but it would be really nice to see some light, some hope.

God is with me. Sure, remember those little paper hearts we made in Sunday school with the doors we opened to find Jesus?  God has an apartment in my right ventricle.  Which feels empty.  Like the owner closed up the house and went to the country. 

What is the point to all t…