Passport of Peace

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I didn’t tell you the whole story. I wanted to understand what all of it meant first, and though I am still unsure, I think it is time to share more of the story — at least in part.

Maybe it is pride, but I hate that even for a moment it has to be about me. My life’s been poured out, a drink offering…and I am spilled out faster than I have refilled…and the cup has been found bone dry. Ann the Counter says, It’s a startling thing to witness: a breaking heart can break down a whole body.

My arms have reached toward Heaven and Father and my cry has been that of a toddler, “Up! Up!” Arms that have reached toward others and the same others over and over and over….now reach to Daddy God that I might be (en)raptured.

The other day I dreamed a dream. You may have read about it, I wrote about it here. I don’t usually remember my dreams, but occasionally I have a different kind; different than the kind that makes sense while you are sleeping, but not so much when you’re awake. You see I had a dream of fleeing to Canada, to a heart that understands pain. A heart that I only know by her words illuminated on screens of many sizes, and a little yellow book begging me to count. I know her by heart, you could say. But in my dream I couldn’t get across the Canadian border because I had no passport. And she was disappointed because she had wanted to soothe my heart with ordinary beautiful things. And then I woke up. It was then that the miracle occurred. You see, when I scribbled my heart in bleeding words that day, I hadn’t read her words on her graffiti wall. This is when I knew it was no ordinary dream, for her words that day were all about forgotten passports and grace to enter in anyway.

I felt like the double rainbow guy with , “What does it mean?”

I determined that my passport of grace was the invitation to count again. I was rusty. Out of practice. No longer could I see on my own. Hands trembling, I put on Ann’s rose colored glasses, her calendar of prompts. A pinprick of light shone bright in the dark of my storm. And now she writes these words straight to my stormy heart,

“Sometimes God will calm the storm for you, but sometimes God will calm you for the storm. Sometimes God calms the storms — and sometimes the storm stills swirl and He calms our fears.”

And then today these words, “…and in You, Lord, there is always the relief of a quiet retreat — the relief that Peace is a Person, not a place: “You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me.”‘ Ps. 119:14 MSG

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I need not rock in Ann’s chair on her front porch, for we share the same place of retreat; His Words. Because Peace is a Person, not a place. He is my retreat, my Destination, and all I need is a passport of grace.

Still counting…

Three things full
32. My day was very full!
33. My stomach
34. My fundraiser is getting full of participants!

35. Thankful that He has made even my enemies be at peace with me.

Three things smelled
36. Fragrance after the rain
37. Peonies laden with dew
38. Stuffed peppers given as widow’s mite

39. Left overs from senior’s group
40. Wet screens

A gift unexpected, unwanted, unlikely
41. Lunch brought by client

…sharing a playdate with Laura:
and at a new place for writers Unforced Rhythms of Grace.

and with beautiful Jennifer Dukes Lee…{\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252
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And with my dearest Emily…

On The Error of Rain Songs

wet drip

“It’s like rain on your wedding day…”

when once upon a time, when man depended on the sweat of his own brow,

the working of the very ground from whence he came;

once upon a time, in an agricultural society, long before cars and trains;

rain used to be a sign of good fortune,

significant of wealth and abundance,

But no more.

No more do we recognize the tears of Heaven

for what they really are…

the protagonist of growth.

We strive against what feeds us, and we are stunted, dwarfed in our efforts.

CYP0900138
Photo courtesy of miyukiutada
...and although "April showers bring May flowers..."

and rain intoxicates rock hard terra

kissing virgin earth

as she blushes Irish-green,

we pout and wish away steel grey clouds, from the moment they appear.

“Rain, rain go away…”

and we shrivel up and die.

Long visible rainbow in the sky through wooden fence

photo courtesy of Horia Varlan

“It takes both sunshine and rain to make a rainbow.”

Yet we want sunshine everyday, and we want our rainbow with a pot of gold too.

Heaven’s forehead furrows, eyebrows wrinkled and furies a storm

we cower afraid of churning sky,

afraid of what damage the storm may leave

what change it’s winds may bring.

Shaking our heads, “NO!” resisting help from Heaven,

but it insists against our kicks and screams, prying

mouth open with rubber-coated spoon of steamed peas.

Then sunshine shatters now-blacker clouds

a column-beam of tangible light

breaking beyond billows, teary fears,

until prisms sparkle promise

an arc of hope to remind us

that He is at the end of our storm

and He is better than gold.

My teaching, let it fall like a gentle rain,
my words arrive like morning dew,
Like a sprinkling rain on new grass,
like spring showers on the garden. Deut 32

Counting the blessings as numerous as the raindrops…

210.  Having my phone break down…Yay! quiet time!

211.   Silky bushes waving tendrils

 

212.  Trip to the Passion of the Christ in St. John, Indiana on an absolutely gorgeous day! 

 

213.  a peaceful Preparation Day.

214.  Imaginative home owners….

215.  Spongy lime green moss, making travel springy….

216.  Date with husband to Hunger Games.

217.  Phone fixed!

…sharing a playdate with Laura:

…hanging out with L.L.: On In Around button

and a new face, Rebecca…Moms Against Manic Mondays

Thunderstorms and Homemade Donuts – New Glarus – Saturday Morning Serial Linky

Welcome to Saturday Morning Serial! This is the place where you can link up your continuing story! Here are the rules, 1) Fill out the linky form below 2) Scroll down on the sidebar for the Saturday Morning Serial Linky Badge and copy and paste onto your blogpost. That’s all there is to it! Please keep in mind that this is a family show. G and PG content only. Enjoy your breakfast!

If you need to catch up on the New Glarus Series, check out the New Glarus page…

Steve and Sue

My dear friends Steve and Sue, now owned a business and were putting in long hours. This was especially hard on their 2 children:  S., now five years old and their little girl E. who was 2.  Sue, being practical and organized, was always concerned about how I was getting on, so she suggested that I help them in the area of childcare.  It bothered me that I was unable to watch their kids for free, especially since they’d been such a help to me, but this was Sue’s way of finding a way to be a consistent blessing without hurting my pride.  So, on Friday evenings S. and E. came to spend the night, and I kept them all day Saturday.  My son J., now 4 years old, was excited to see his friends on a regular basis.

Pals

S. ended up being a funny little boy.  He still hadn’t lost his baby fat, could be very silly like his father, and loved to win.  In fact, he would get very cross and pout if he didn’t.  E. had red hair just like her mother, freckles and light brown-almost orange eyes.  She always turned her head when she spoke. She had a real flair for the dramatic;  a regular Shirley Temple.

The night was stormy.  If you have never experienced a storm in an older single-wide trailer, you’ve never lived on the edge.  It was about 8:00 at night, the children had just finished eating dinner and were playing Mario Bros. 

“You’re cheating!”  S. shouted at J.

I hope the sirens don’t go off, I thought. Whenever there was a threat of dangerous weather, the park manager would go down to the clubhouse and unlock the door so that the residents could go somewhere safe until the weather had passed.

Keeping this in my mind, I began preparing shoes and blankets and a flashlight, in case the power went out or the siren went on.  After all was ready, I took the flashlight and went back to the kitchen sink to finish the dishes. Thunder echoed in the metal trailer. 1 Mississippi…..2 Mississippi…..3 Mississippi.  According to my calcuations, the storm was about three miles away.

“Aunt Kimmie, I’m scared,”  S. said after pausing the game, “and hungry.”

“You’re still hungry?” I asked.

“Do you have any dessert?” S. was hopeful.

Dessert was a novelty around my house.  We simply couldn’t afford it.  My figure benefited.

“Well, let me see what I have.”  I thumbed through a recipe book.  Flashes of light…1 Mississippi…2 Mississippi.  The storm was closer, and I tried to swallow away a feeling of panic.

“How about if I made some homemade donuts?”  I asked.

“You can do that?”  S. was amazed.

“Sure!”  My voice squeaked as a clap of thunder made all of us jump.  E. started to cry and J. put his arm around her.

“It’s okay, E., it’s just thunder,” J. tried to reassure her.

“How would the three of you like to help me?”

No sooner had the words come out of my mouth than all three of them rushed into the kitchen.  I found a pretty apron for E. and two white chefs aprons for the boys.  S. had slid a chair into the kitchen for E.  I began to heat the oil on the stove, thankful that I had a gas stove and not electric.  The wind rattled the siding, lightening flashed and the hum of the appliances stopped.  Mario was quiet and we stood in the dark except for the blue glow of the stove.   The electricity was out.

E. squealed in delight, and said, “Peak-a-boo!”

I reached for the flashlight.

“We’ll have to finish mixing the dough by hand,” I was surprised at how calm my voice sounded.  S. was mixing the dough, and J. wanted a turn.

“I’m doing it!” S. demanded.

“Boys take turns,” I carried E. on my hip as I lit all the candles in the room.  The lightening looked even more creepy in the candlelight, and the house seem to shudder in fright.  I heard a snap, and then two and then the sound of hail pelting the roof and sides of the little trailer. Simultaneous lightening and thunder.

J.’s eyes were big and wide, and S. stopped stirring and handed the spoon to him.  “Here, you can stir now, J.”

The siren wailed.

“Children!  I have an idea.  Let’s turn off the stove and head over to the library in the clubhouse,” I tried to sound cheery.

“What for?” S. demanded. “I want my donuts!”

J. started to put on his shoes.  He’d been through this drill before and knew the routine.  I turned off the stove and blew out candles as quickly as I could.

“S. put your shoes on, now!”  I barked.

Grabbing E.’s shoes and the car keys, I slid my feet into slippers.

“But we’ll get wet!” S. whined as he pulled the velcro on his shoes.

“You’re just going to have to trust me S.”

By the time we got to the car, we were drenched.  The wind whipped the rain in waves like a sheet on a laundry line.  My hand shook as I put the key in the keyhole.  Reluctantly, the car started and we headed to the clubhouse.  There were only a few cars in the parking lot, as most of the residents ignore the tornado siren.  I hated to get the children even more wet than they were, but the car shook with the intensity of the storm.

“S., on the count of three we will open our doors, okay?”  The trees were bowing to the ground now, and swirls of rain made tiny funnels in the parking lot.  “One,”  My ears were beginning to pop.  “Two,”  my hand was on the handle.  “Three.”

The boys slid out of their side and I grabbed E. from the backseat.   She was laughing hysterically, as I placed her blanket over her head.  “Peak a boo!”  I could hear her muffled voice say.

We ran up the stairs as the park manager held the door open for us.  An older woman held out a wool blanket for the children, and we all felt safer in the brick building.  Safer and closer.  S., E. and J. were huddled together, teeth chattering, arms around each other.  Someone had started a fire in the fireplace.  Any cross words that had been spoken earlier were forgotten and the boys were interested in taking care of E. and me.  Until…

“Aunt Kimmie?” S. inquired, “I still want my donuts.”

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Flushing, A Simple Pleasure?

The candlelight flickered on the curved ceiling, causing creepy shadows and suggesting eery thoughts.  Camera like flashes and crashing thunder echoed throughout the house.  I had just driven through the worst storm I have ever experienced.  I had dodged fallen trees, driven over downed power lines and hit metal buckets.  The fan in the car wasn’t working, so on top of the blinding rain, I couldn’t see for the fog on the windshield.  My clothes clung to my shivering damp body, and my hair hung in ringlets.

And now, I needed to go to the bathroom.  The nerve wrecking evening had finally caught up with me.  But…wait…no electricity.  No water.  Typically, how small a thing it is to flush a toilet, but tonight I recognized it as a simple pleasure.