Monday, October 26, 2015

Make Meaning

We cannot make meaning here alone. We may seek to make sense of it alone, or give up all together seeking sense, but we cannot make meaning alone. Meaning and significance is made only in collaboration with others and God. If we seek others alone, we'll never find our inner anchor. If we seek God alone, we will find others.

~ Annie Dillard


Creative Schools by Ken Robinson
Voracious by Cara Nicoletti

...looking not at the world, but into it. 
~ Ellen Meloy

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

As the World Gives

I do not give to you as the world gives. 

   I drive home and ponder the above words. It's been a week of pondering words - those others have said to us, to me, and words I've said to others. Words shape and define us. We can spend our whole lives trying to overcome words, because ultimately actions follow words and words follow actions and words become us, and we become words. Words: it all started with the Word, and that word: it was good.

  I do not give to you as the world gives.

   And I wonder about the words my children are ingesting in this world. What are they are hearing and what they are reading? More than ever, we are engaged in the words they ingest because one day they will become these words and carry words into the world.

   We have been caught up in the much acclaimed story, Wonder, over the past few weeks. We have listened by audio to the gripping story of a boy with a deformed face. The story has been incredibly moving, bringing tears to my eyes, and yet there are parts of this book I loathe.

   Is it normal for today's kids to play Dungeons and Dragons, and have Halo, a first person shooter game, voted best killer app, on their computers? 

   God help us. God help us that we normalize violence for our kids in our books and in our homes. They come home asking for it, and we cave. God help us.

   Dear R.J. Palacio,


   EVERY WORD is PIVOTAL. Words INFLUENCE us. We are them. They are us. What we fill our minds with, is who we are. Wake up!


   I listened to OPB this morning and the polls about gun violence, and the majority of people believe our mass shootings come from mental illness.


   COULD WE START BY ADDRESSING OUR VIDEO GAMES, and the words we let our kids read that normalize this violence? Very few of these mass shooters are older people. They are young people raised in a culture of violent gaming. But we don't/won't talk about that!

   We bring violence into our homes. Why do we shake our heads and Wonder at the outcome? Our own Halo's are truly gracing our heads. 
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Here is a real Wonder story happening in Oregon very near you. 
This story is all about what God gives. 

   This is what the world gives...

   The school librarian recently chided my middle schooler for reading The Count of Monte Cristo (full edition, 1,000 pages long), encouraging her to read more age appropriate materials. I wasn't there, I didn't hear, but when she brings home dangerous fluff (there is such a thing) and puts down the Count at 500 pages into her story because of some librarian's words, you can bet there will be words spoken and words pondered. Thank you librarian for causing us to stop and think, yet again, about what we read and put in our minds. My mama/teacher feathers may have been ruffled for a moment, but you did us a service, and we were reminded...

I do not give to you as the world gives.

   As so as I drive home, I ponder His words and His reminder to me, and I ponder one more story about a girl, but her story is my story, and your story too. It's a story about a girl that's beginning a trek. She's trekking to find a homeland.

   My prayer for you dear girl, is that you know: He does not give to you as the world gives. As you seek answers, therapies, love, hope, and family, may you be led to resources that speak truth, freedom, light, love, and joy. May you find Him. Because every therapy we seek for our broken souls, apart from Him, will never fully heal us. Apart from the One Great Soul, we will always be looking for the wholeness, that deep down, we know exists, and it does exist, dear girl. It does exist. There is a giver of peace.

And He does not give to you as the world gives.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wordless Wednesday, Well Not Really

     We are up to our ears in school, soccer, art, FLL robotics, and now chemistry classes, but as October passes, the fall schedule shall settle down. Right now, we are soaking up warm fall days and lots of learning.

   I'm writing, but not here much. A lovely writer friend deposited a book in my hand about Thomas Nuttall that I'm delving into. I'm grateful for this hard to obtain reference book on his life. I've no more excuses for procrastination station!

    Pictures are from Smith Rocks while on a less than 24 hour birthday bash adventure. I managed to get myself up Misery Ridge on Sunday morning; it's been a while. Monday was great, but Tuesday I felt the burn and ache!

  Oh! I must share. I have a new favorite CD by The von Trapps! We were blessed to catch them in a free concert last Friday in Portland before chemistry class, and then a sister-in-law's delicious dinner under the stars.

   Love their stuff! Yes, they are related to those Von Trapps!

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Sun Rises Again

    Up in the night, I grappled with the gods of Isaiah 46 and the God who sustains me. This business of salvation, of deliverance, is and must be, new each morning.

   Each new morning, I am invited to embrace God, and to leave behind the gods who are failing our broken world. Today, He still offers you and me another way.

   And let us remember that man's brokenness and evil in the world, will never ever surpass God's hope. Hope, love, joy, and truth will one day win. They will.

   As the sun rose again this morning, pink on the horizon, so too, are God's mercies new every morning. But we must carry these mercies to the hurting, even while we are hurting shattered vessels. 

   While He yet mends us, may His love pour from our shattered places.

   And let us never forget that God's heart throbs, screams, and aches with ours, and still, He invites us to create with Him each new morning. We are called to be creators under the light of His sun, through the light of His Son.

   What are we creating, living, and breathing today that brings His hope into a shattered throbbing world?

  I needed Tonia's words today.  Maybe you do too?