Poets and philosophers have waxed poetic about it since the first icy thread rent the first broken heart. They fill tomes and tombs with tales tall and true. Yet, I’ve spent more than a year trying to conjure some eloquent expression and not a one finds the grace to relent. No, they twist and trip down my tangled tongue then to stick to the tip, frozen, unmoving, unyielding, unsaid. There comes no song; no lay of lament. No sonnet to silence a cacophonous confusion. Only the aftermath, the end; the beginning of some perverted version of what ought to have been. All that is left in the din and the darkness is a single ray, as clear and cruel as the night is dirty and dank. Ruthlessly, it rings with what I’ve always known: The words do not come because, in truth, there are none.

It’s not elegant.
It’s not poetic.
It’s raw.
It’s ragged.
It’s real.

It’s painful and it’s plain:

My sister is dead.

We're Broken People in a Broken World but there's Beauty in the Breaking that Makes Us Whole

Hey all! Long time, no post. Miss me?

As you may have realized from my lack of posting, writing is a luxury I rarely allow myself these days. So, when my friend Steph over at Everyday Awe asked me to write a guest blog for her Wonder Advent Series, I jumped at the opportunity.

Steph and I have known each other for over a dozen years. We lost touch for a bit, but God brought us back together this year through the blogging community and I can honestly say I am better for it. She is an amazing woman in more ways than I can enumerate in a simple blog post. Her writing comes from the heart and is real and raw in the most beautifully humbling way. Wander over to Everyday Awe and you’ll soon understand what I mean.

P.S. No matter what she or her husband say, Apples to Apples is as much about playing to the dealer as it is playing on words. I only won so much because they love wordplay as much as I do.

What are you still doing here?!? Go!

Wonder

Wonder: Rediscover the Christmas Story is an Advent series designed to help us pause and reflect on how amazing the stories of Jesus’ birth really are. To break through the cluttered busyness of the season and touch our hearts with the awe of what God has done. Let’s make this a season of wonder and worship, marveling together at our great God.

Audrey Hepburn fairy tales quote with a nod to Narnia

I remixed this Audrey Hepburn quote at www.thequotefactory.com and then uploaded the file to www.picaboo.com to make a panel plaque for my desk. I thought the lamppost was a nice homage to the Inkling who believed, Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again: the great author, apologist, and originator of Narnia, himself, C.S. Lewis.

Yesterday, I read a bit of Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. So much spoke to me, resonated deep. I had to share.

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“I hope there’s still some coffee,” I said to Asher as we crossed the street, fashionably late for service. “Is it too much for a girl to expect to get a cup of coffee at church?”

“No,” he quipped, “some expect to get a husband.”

When a female friend recently brought up how dissatisfied single women in the church are with the action or, rather, the perceived inaction, of single men in church, I couldn’t help but flash back to that brief exchange from oh-so-long-ago.

Sadly, it’s a tune women in the church screech like a broken record: single guys not asking single girls out on dates. As a woman, I’ve felt that frustration and have been involved in my share of disgruntled conversations…especially about the “hang” phoneme. Hell, I even wrote a post about it (which, in case it wasn’t clear, was meant to be a call to women to chill the peace out and stop trying to step into men’s roles in an attempt to fulfill their own presumed destinies).

Then, I got the slightest glimpse of the frustrations of men. I am not into myself enough to presume that I fully understand, but, from what I have seen and heard, I honestly believe it’s time for us ladies to “woman up;” accept responsibility where responsibility is due; respect men, especially for discerning who to and who not to ask out; and edify them in glorifying God in those decisions.

To paraphrase one man, “Two-thirds of the church body is female, and it’s going to stay that way as long as churches keep telling the men who do show up that they are not man enough.”

Wow.

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A friend asked for an example when I told him I’ve been learning a lot lately. In light of that conversation, here’s today’s original Ink in Pink adage-in-the-making:

I have learned that I can face my fears and not die; but I cannot ignore my Hope and live.

People drive me crazy. It doesn’t matter if we are similar or different (because, honestly, we are all similar AND different), as long as people are people, and living in community is defined as the continued relationship between and among people, I will have to live with the temporary fits of insanity.

In fact, if it wasn’t for the general lack of nature skills required to do so and, let’s be honest, the complete lack of desire to attain said skills, I would seriously consider devoting myself to the wild, isolated life of an uncivilized, backwoods hermit. Unfortunately, mankind is going to great lengths to make uncivilized, backwoods areas so rare that even if I could find one, I couldn’t afford a single blade of grass, much less an entire plot. Fortunately for me, that means the closest I am forced to get to “roughing it” is an interior room with spotty wireless or, heaven forbid, dial-up Internet connection.

My roommate, on the other hand, is basically designing her own master’s curriculum, specializing her education in order to best equip herself to actively create and pursue her dream job of mixing education and outdoor activities. I wish I could explain it better than that but, honestly, I don’t really understand it—not like she does. And I think that’s awesome.

That’s the beautiful thing about community. I don’t have to understand everything. We don’t have to see everything the same way. In fact, it’s the mixture of similarities and differences, the complements and contrasts, on which community thrives and grows.

A couple of people told me the other day that they felt like they didn’t fit in Read the rest of this entry »

Today’s original Ink in Pink adage-in-the-making expands on the classic, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Enjoy!

When it comes to making decisions and giving advice, one of the most harmful (and frequent) errors of the heart is to confuse the instinct to protect with the desire for what is best.