Like the Tide

ImageHow can it be that the wave is unexpected by now?
The crush of it.

Just when I think the beach is safe for me to wander, that tide comes in and knocks me over, clears my lungs of breath.

Just when I am certain the levees will hold you back, certain I can control you, or at the very least how I react to you.

Just when it seems that the waves have found a new beach to reduce to rubble, clay in your hands. Just when I am certain another bay makes a better home.

Just when I think I can walk as if you don’t exist, that I can walk my own way.

I guess, the tide is subject to gravity.

There are some things that cannot be stopped.

Wash me away.

Reflect

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We had the biggest snow fall of the season on Saturday night. Waking Sunday, with the snow so deep the car had to creep. The plows don’t come on time on a Sunday. The plows keep better sabbath then the lot of us.

The day was all white. White on white. The trees layer over the mountains, the mountains onto the sky, the fog creeping over all of it. The heavy flakes still falling.
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Did you know that snow absorbs sound? The deafening stillness is not imagination. The snow, takes the noise and dissipates it. It creeps in your soul too if you let it. Quiet down, listen closely. It is poetry too.

 

 

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Sometimes praise shouts. Sometimes it just whispers so quiet you can barely breathe for fear of missing it “You are free”.

 

As quietly as the snow began.

 

As heavy as it fell.

 

It will stop again.

And peace will reign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things I learned in August

August.

Where have you gone and how did you go and can’t you come back for just a few more days? Something about this summer feels incomplete and rushed. Like somehow I missed a bit of something. I don’t know how it happened. What with all my planning and intention to be slow and quiet somehow I still rushed and blustered. So today, slowing before the rush of a crazy fall to ask the big question….what was it I learned this fast and furious month?

I learned I do jazz hands and open my mouth as one at the dentist every ding, dang time someone points a camera at me. I don’t know how it started but now I just cannot stop.

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I learned how much I respect people who bite their tongues sometimes. Who might know the best answer, might have the better story, might be related to the subject but don’t feel the need to dominate and dictate. I like the quiet and the wise. The ones who tell their stories with their lives and affections not with the wagging tongues turning ships on their sides.

I learned the only garden I can grow is the kind that grows all alone. A garden that keeps growing when the sprinkler timers go out and when I don’t notice for a week. The hip kids call this planting native plants I think? Or experiments in survival of the fittest? Either way, the russian sage is doing well. Otherwise? Um…lets talk about something else…

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I learned the most important lesson about living in the woods is that one must be perpetually on guard to ‘things’ moving into your house. A marmot made his home in the engine compartment of the plow truck. Something scratchy was in our drain pipe last night. The battle is on. My husband says he is really ‘manning up’. Me too I guess. I killed more wasps this summer than anyone else ever. They stung my kids ok? Wasp – apocalypse is what happens then.

I learned I love the words of Christian Wiman and got stung by another great work by O’Connor.

I learned some people are even better in real life than they are online. I learned that community is big and expansive and ‘your people’ exist. Find them. I learned that my life is big enough to share and that inviting people in can be very rewarding. I learned it is ok to take space too…that sometimes NO is the only appropriate response.

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I learned my husband can parent solo near flawlessly…much better than I can. Ten days and nobody even blinked. Everyone was combed and clean and fed…not only that they went to mountain retreats for treasure hunts and found water slides and the worlds biggest truck and “MOMMY YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN…”. I learned I am recklessly blessed by a man that encourages me to open every door and holds it open for me to walk right on out sometimes.

 

I learned some things  I can’t unlearn. I walked the night markets of Bangkok and found I could buy near anything, save the redemption of the world. I got all righteous and angry and then I met her eyes, the huge brown ones that have not yet seen 15 years.  I met her eyes and I wiped the smugness off my face and I gazed at her with the adoration of Christ. I wondered what we could change to keep more little girls singing in mirrors with their hair brushes instead of on stages with men making plans for them…

 

 

 

I learned I might not be able to change the world, but I can do the next tiny thing ahead of me with great love. But I learned I can’t even do that without extravagant amounts of grace.

 

I learned that my patience is short, and even the next tiny thing (like a bedtime without drama) might be too much for me. I learned I am immature sometimes and I still feel that repulsive need to prove myself to you. That compulsion to defend and insulate from your critique. Even if I know the axe you grind is your own insecurity, I will still need to claw my way out. Barf.

I learned one cannot take ten days off from half marathon training and expect to feel good upon return. Especially after eating curry for breakfast for 7 days… Lets just say Saturdays plans feel a bit grandiose.

So that is August for me….What did you learn this fine last month of summer??? Linking with Emily & Leigh about what I learned and what I am into…

 

 

 

 

 

I See You.

Here, now, across that church foyer, that social gathering:

I see you.

I see how you struggle to fit, the way you shrink or expand depending on the audience.

I see you tying that legalism noose of religion tight on your neck, hanging yourself on the belief that nothing that looks like passion can be part of Gods plan.

I see you there. You with your cup full, wondering why you don’t get to see God making water into wine. Funny how that happens when our malt is overflowing.

I see you, the way you want to please. I see the way you care more about what people think than what is right.

I know because I’ve been you. In the space of one day I’ve been called an oppressive conservative and a raging liberal. I’ve had grown women hide their cigarettes from me, grown men question my intent.

I’ve seen you pulled along these ragged rocks too, the expectation of man. The here and now that shifts like tide, changes like a runway.

And it isn’t just the church you know.

I’ve been called an academic fraud and an intellectual in the same day.

An athlete and a sluggard.

A feminist and a submissive.

A good mom or that my kids ‘run-amuck’.

An environmentalist and a ‘ozone hole producer’.

The atheist might preach the loudest you know? They seem to have a lot to prove to themselves and the world. That says something. All those who preach with themes are struggling. This I know.

Sometimes the most virulent voices are the weakest of faith. I know. I’ve been that.

Those of us that like to live out the question…relish the exploration…we are most prone to grace-less religion when a question demands black and white. Trust me. This is an answer I can give with authority.

So here, now. I want you to know I measure my heart to the standards that don’t change.

Today. I ask for insight from those that lead me.

In this moment, I want feedback from those who I love fiercest.

The rest? With voices that chorus around us? I will hear you.

And my heart will take in the messages that are truth. Those that bring me to my knees and remind me that perhaps, my actions look different from my intent. That… my values are not seen clearly. The things that ring clear with the Truth teller…those I will hear.

But.
Otherwise? Your voice will not paralyze me. I will not cower at your vitriol.

Here now. I hang my coat with the One who sees me rightly. The One I can trust.

Linking with friends this week.

Emily, Ann, Jen, Laura, Lisa-Jo & Jennifer

2013 Word of The Year

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Oftentimes I suspend myself between two nearly fictional worlds. I move into the past, the ways I failed, the people I hurt, the chances I didn’t take. Or, I settle into some mythical future. As if I could predict what is to come. As if planning my response to an imaginary tragedy will help me to avoid it.

I keep waiting for something in some ways, always rushing to the next thing. I rush the day I am in trying to get there, even though I don’t know at all what could be in store. Maybe it will be worse? I  rush bedtime so that I can hustle off to….where?

This year, my 35th on the planet of earth, I want to live in the NOW. I want to be FULLY engaged in the life I have today. There doesn’t feel like there is time to waste in the ‘becoming’, my life is NOW. Tomorrow may not even come, and today is the only true story.

NOW….My kids, I want to press into them, 6 and 4 is magic and I don’t want to miss any of it. I will enjoy them in each moment.

NOW…I feel Gods not so subtle invitations back into the ministry fray that he pulled me out of (I did not kick or scream). I am planning yes to any NOW he puts before me.

 

NOW…is the time to learn how to love my husband with the kind of love that frees him, builds him. None of us is promised every tomorrow with these loved ones as they are now. How can we love them better?

NOW…I will call myself explorer of this life. I will look for opportunities to chase the dreams long placed in my heart. NOW I will open doors, pick up my pen, write it down. That mythical perfect writing day is not coming, I will make room NOW.

 

NOW…I will notice the days, count them, consecrate them. I will live them with intention knowing that this, here, TODAY, is my life. I will fully live it.

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know I am brilliant at starting things. I just never seem to finish them, so no resolutions for me, just the declaration to fully live the life I have NOW (also since I am turning 35, I am going to lose 35 lbs, read 35 books, spend 35% less time on the computer and exercise 35% more…jokes, jokes).

Joining with One Word 365…pop over and have a read:

2012: Life and Blogging Year in Review

2012 was a good year for us. It began with our feet on an island in the middle of the Nile in Uganda,

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it will end with those same friends on our own Canadian soil. In between we learned, we grew and adventured more than our fair share.

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Some of us learned all the sounds that a vowel can make and our little girl softened around the edges, gained some logic and burned off her three-year old rage. Our church launched a church service, my work launched a research study.

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Here are some other 2012 Feddersen stats:

FEDDERSEN2012In between I wrote it out here. Some of the favorite posts of the year are here:

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More people than ever before or since joined us on our journey with World Vision to Kenya.

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People seemed to really get excited when I am excessively open and write letters on marriage, mothering, or being a teenager.

A modified Mother Theresa quote

A modified Mother Theresa quote

And the most read post of the year, was the only one ever pinned to Pinterest including a printable I made. It is sort of unfortunate on account as it isn’t my favorite writing. Ah well.

I really appreciate you who spend your precious time with me here. Look forward to getting to know you this coming year. Leave a comment, let me know you stopped by? What was the highlight of your 2012?

Prompt “The Sweater”

Joining Amber Haines and Emily Wierenga as we seek our written voices. Playing with fiction and the prompt “Sweater”. I am also attempting to play with a slightly longer piece of fiction this November. I will use this character sketch in it and  this little piece takes my word count to 4354. It is awful…But I am having fun. 

He pulls his favorite cardigan from the closet, pulls it over his vintage t-shirt, his black rim glasses. It was the sweater he bought for that ‘ugly sweater party’ a few years ago and he has since noticed that all theme parties are brief apparitions before a new trend appears. His girlfriends hot pink tights, his moustache. We laugh loudest, rail most extravagantly, just before we fall off every fashion cliff. We scream the loudest at the demons in our own heads.

Martin is a man of strong conviction, though his convictions are subject to change with extravagant frequency and fervor. One day he will fight hard against women in leadership and the very next he will be the most ardent of feminists, astounded that anyone could still hold such archaic beliefs as he had just held the day before. He loves to talk about music and the books he pretends to read but especially what he calls ‘serving the Lord’. To him, the walls between secular and holy are high and solid. To him stacking chairs at church is entirely different from stacking chairs at school. But that was today. Tomorrow he might tell you something entirely different.

He waxes and wanes with the seasons, with the articles he reads, the conversations he has and no man in the history of earth has simultaneously loved and loathed himself so intensely. He is the sort of beautifully broken that women fall in love with from across the room, they stand in line to be the one who can finally save him from himself. The problem is, he turns to sand in their hands, sub atomic particles, he dissolves into the black hole of his narcissism, vanishes from their sight. In the end the women walk away fairly unscathed; somewhere down deep they knew that he had no capacity to love them no matter how much passion he had shown.