the time is coming

forgiveness is terribly hard for me. i do believe there are people who can pump it out of a bottle and slather it on generously, but i'm alot more "careful". i'm not extravagant. in fact, you may as well call me frugle. believe me when i say i'm not proud of it--it's a conviction these days.

alot of Bible prophecies began with the words, "the time is coming". i never really thought much about them until tonight, when i picked up an incredible book i'm reading called Gilead. it's a pulitzer prize book by Marilynn Robinson--it's the first novel she's written after her first one 24 years ago, and the book is one to muse over for hours. i was thinking about how i bought it months ago--probably in march or april. i started it but got bored, and for some random reason, felt drawn to it this fall. in light of certain events in my life, the time certainly came for it to be relevant. the time came for me to read it, and it's made an impact on my dedication to forgiveness.

i said in my last post that i feel more prepared for Christ. . . for once in my life, it's like i truly believe he'll be here on Christmas. it's like i'm a kid again and i truly believe in santa, only there's no comparison because a son of God full of peace is a whole lot better then we can imagine. and i believe i'm more ready this year because God's teaching that, if my heart is going to enthrone him, then i've got to make a place for him. he can't be in there with crappy guilt or bitterness. even if they could both fit together, which they can't, how can I subject a pure, perfect child to it? and when i can't forgive properly, how can i love him?

the time is here--i've hemmed and hawed enough and now i just need to pray and ask God to help me forgive. when it comes down to it, it's really that simple. we ask, he does the work, and here's the hard part: we let it go. can i just get that printed in neon lights somewhere? it'll coordinate nicely in downtown Reno!


my apologies. . .

lately i've been suffering bouts of guilt for not keeping up with my blog. it's really not what i want it to be, not reaching its potential, as a teacher might say.

but lately i've been suffering bouts of guilt for everything. the enemy's been laying it on thick, and i haven't been able to muster my way through the fog of regret surrounding me. it's difficult to be rational. it's true that Christmas business, family health problems, scheduling, work stress, church stress, etc has been heavy this year, but i'm blowing it extravagantly out of proportion. i shoulder burdens i'm not responsible for, i feel particularly untalented and ungainly at life,

and through it all, i noticed the other day that Christmas has a deeper meaning for me this year. i wish i could explain it in words, but it's more of an impression. i've taken more ownership of preparing my heart for Christ.

maybe that's why the guilt? it's hard to tell. but i would like to say that this blog will soon be up to par, and until then, i won't let guilt smother incarnated grace.



tonight Jonathan and i were laying by our beautifully decorated Christmas tree listening to music (we cut down our own tree this year, and so it's more sparkly then ever in our eyes). the voices rose into an emotional crescendo during O Holy Night (my favorite Christmas song), and at the moment i was thinking terrible thoughts. . . thoughts about the evil in the world and the darkness that tumbles uncontrollably into our lives. i realized then that if i were ever to be emotionally furious, that is, powerfully full of feelings, good or bad, then singing would be the only way for me to express it fully. i can imagine myself singing in the deepest of grief, that being the only way to rid myself of the toxicity of pain.

at the same odd moment, i was astounded with the perfection and purity of music. . . the joy of it so raw it makes us hurt. I've always wondered what makes it as influential as it is, and my reading this morning shed new light on it.

it was a verse i learned as a song when i was little, so i found it again tonight because i remembered the reference as a melody. "the Lord, the Lord is my strength and my song" (Is. 12).

i have a great aunt who struggles through alzheimers, and even though she can't talk and doesn't remember people, she remembers every single hymn she's ever sung.