Friday, September 11

if dreams could speak....

 ... I wonder what they would teach us.

if people couldn't hide their feelings,
I wonder 
what would we realize?

if we were all transparent
and our dreams
didn't scare us at all

then what would we do,
where would we go,
how would
we live?

I wonder
at the beauty
and mystery of it all
the frustrating, inspiring, 
unrelenting secrecy of
what really lies within
our hearts
our minds
our lives.
what speaks most clearly to me now?
is it love?  peace?
do I feel a sense of calm and readiness
when I'm faced with the future - 
an abiding knowing that
I am His and He is mine?

Wednesday, October 15

I Will Show You

He says, she says... the story goes:
Ready for an adventure?
No, not really.
How about a time of growth and reflection?
No thanks.

Another chance to embrace strangers and moments to learn with your family?
Nah - I really think I've learned all I can; I'm already feeling stretched.

Well, then... it seems we are at an impass.
All I want to give you is so beautiful, but it is always wrapped in something unpredictable: I'm intentionally proving to you my creativity, my love, and my unchanging purposes in every action and gift. just receive it!
Each day, open up to new opportunities in the familiar, tragic, chaos, or the unexpected.
I am always here for you, but I am not always as you see me or wish me to be. 
I am more than paper and ink can speak and much, much more than your imagination can guess at. 

Just trust! I am here, I am revealing myself to you, my child - my own kin! You are not alone... you are just afraid (you don't have to be).
I love you. come away from your selfish ambitions and rest in my affection and intentions.

You will be amazed, and probably undone in a good way, as I unveil my master plan. 
You will see only if you believe past the book,
past the spoken prayers, past the religious looks and the pats on the back you give yourself.
Allison, I am here for you and you are not looking!

You are aware of the confusion but not of my sovereignty; you are looking at the chaos not my authority and will to restore perfect peace for those who seek me.
I will show you the path of life, my dear friend, and you will see me when you awaken from your selfish/scared slumber and find me waiting here for you, as I always have been.

Here, now take my hand, and let me lead you home day by day... I wish to open my heart to you and let you peek inside, and be changed.
You will see, it's better this way - that I lead, and that you follow -- closely. I want you near, and I will hold you, if you let me!
OK, I see your point now, Jesus... and I am ready ... 
not really, but help me let go and meet with you.
Thanks for waiting for me :)

Friday, September 26

letting go of being God

heavy eyelids, aching bones,
sighing yawns & wistful tones
finding sorrow in so much
letting go of each old crutch
of my fears; so free to be,
free to carry, free to leave
all my worries at your door,
dropping tears to see you more
softened in love's reality
flinging down the apathy
once reserved for my own fate
a child restored, out of my crate.
touching Grace, I find a will
to step beyond the frightening thrill,
loosened from the haunting past
to find I hear your voice at last
a daring, mighty, deep-set sense:
you are Sovereign, regardless
of my darting, flighty tricks
-adolescent in this fix-
showing off my pride to you
tripping over all you do
wanting always to appear
less fragile: God's own peer!?
thank you, Lord, for making new
days that open hearts to you
exposing self-embedded lies
freeing us of filthy ties
starting a fresh work in us
Faithful, True from dawn to dusk
amazing Father - truly how
you know and love us, even now.

Saturday, September 20

letting love


what does that word conjure up for you? does your imagination smile? does your heart ache for a rich love in a secure home?

what exactly IS a safe & secure home?

do we think we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from being hurt, broken, or lost?

how has any one of us loved without risking, even giving up something - or much?

are we captives to our parents' good intentions and designs? destined to appear just as they'd dreamed?

are we our own family's possession? if we haven't found our true parent(s) then do we have any chance for freedom to love unafraid someday?

are we chained or freed when we're possessed by a love greater than ourselves?
maybe, in our weakness, illusions, misunderstandings, and hope all the more likely to embrace the gift of love.

i hope so!

sometimes it seems that only in failing do i have the real chance to gain grace... to be freely accepted without conditions... to be discovered, and instead of unravelling i can find hope of being truly real.

maybe we can help each other uncover hidden goodness (of another world's shimmering imprints obviously!) and to find freedom to grow and mature in the seasons that are ahead of us.


that word holds so much hope - so much power - so much suffering - so much commitment - so little of "me", "mine", and so few "never"s.

it's as if we've been asked to let go of our own inhibitions and to run away from whatever tempts us to do or think wrong.. and to hold on to that which is good. even if it's hurt and ugly. even if it's hidden under layers of bitterness, pride, and guilt. rejection haunts us all, i suppose... but let's risk it. let's beat it.

in letting Love love us
can we be free
to pursue the gifts
of hope and life
that Jesus lives and breathes
to pour out in and through us.
let's live, letting Love be
in and among us.
let's give what we've received,
and learn to let go as we inherit more than family can offer us,
more than we can take from others,
more than we ever
asked for.

Friday, July 25

moving with the times

time flies, doesn't it?
or, do we - while time stands still & smiles as we pass... in our fine frenzy, missing subtle signals to stop or slow down for just a while?
have I only been dreaming?
have I really been living?-----what has happened may have just occurred - but I want it to count for something, in this no-time, so that in the reality of eternity I may be welcomed as more than a traveller and be named a runner for the very precious prize.-----my goals may not be realized as I imagine now; nor will they ever be possible to win on my own -- but I may, in throwing down my dressing of depression and my dripping pride, attain something worthwhile if only I press on, press on, and resolve ~not in presumptuous planning or daring feats~ to rest and to begin
enjoying that quiet restin-----in your embrace... your timeless gaze... your beauty getting in between my toes; your unfathomable love saturating my soul's searching, hoping gasps for air.-----you are my longing fulfilled; you are my soldier in the night & fountain of laughter during the day... even when I feel crabby and uninhabitable - you're there, in the midst of it all.-----thanks, Lord. Jesus, you're my perch, my words, my life...what do I have that is not from and in you?-----something tells me that this is just the beginning of enjoying resting - of not only waiting, but of smiling, looking up...
you are where my help comes from, Maker of the heavens & the earth (that doesn't leave much to claim glory by, does it?). thank you for being beyond and yet through everything we know and exist to proclaim. may we reach for something higher than ourselves; may we glory in knowing you -- not just our own interpretation of your works!
-------there's nothing that can be said apart from the words & breath you give us; there has never been an author apart from your inspiration or gifiting; there will never be another who can rightly claim all of the universe as his/her own.-----thank you for remaining the same, in the middle of all this pudgy pride and rude self-pity of mine. Keep me safe but not too sheltered to enjoy a good rainsoak. It's in your presence that I find life, and life more abundant.... full of wonder, and of my failings - honesty and creativity being found while letting you unleash your unpredictable love in my life.-----it's wonderful in a way to have brokenness if only because you are aching to help me up & make me whole again... to make me yours during this struggle of being still - and to remain your child even after Time goes by forever!

Saturday, October 7

up in the air but hugged in his grace

Well, I feel slightly tossed across the globe right now - as if I'm a child thrown up in the air by my everlasting Dad... wondering how high my little body will soar before an exhilarating turning point thanks to a sudden gravitational invitation. I know I'll be caught precicely at the right time after seeming to fall, but as Brooke Fraser (New Zealand-born singer/song-writer, at Hillsong) said recently, God is 'creatively faithful' - - we never know exactly how He'll come through for us!
My beautiful 26-year-old sister & her amazing husband (see are faced with the adventure of adjusting to a completely new way of life teaching English in S. Korea for a year. In comparison, my transition to life in Australia seems ridiculously easy! I am settled into an English-speaking, Western country where my skin/hair colour aren't noticed, and my Canadian accent is no more than a conversation starter. Wow! How do you do it, Em & Trent?! I'm glad that God knows our limit, and enables us to go just a little (or lot!) further than we thought we could, with His direction, comfort, closeness & limitless strength. We can never get away from the fact that He loves us unbelievably! :)

'(His) love has always been our lives' foundation,
(his) fidelity has been the roof over our world'
-- Psalm 89:3 The Message.

Seeing that it's Thanksgiving in Canada, I thought I'd share some things I'm really grateful for..
Communication is definitely at the top! ... whether long, late-night sisters' chats or quick morning calls to my mum & dad, or spontaneous conversations sitting in a random hallway near the local food court / shops while bathroom-seeking customers curiously happen by... I absolutely love every minute!! Then there's food - how can we forget it, around Thanksgiving - like the variety that my housemates eat. Something I recommend from my Japanese housemate is stirring soy sauce in with eggs before frying... yum! She makes a compact, adorable lunch box each day, with mini portions of rice, veggies, fish, & soy/egg - I'm inspired to steal every idea I can!
Here are a few random blessings which I too often take for granted...
a bargain on a box of Twining's Earl Grey Tea,
neighbours who are in love with Jesus & invite us in to chat over tea & 'biscuits',
people's generosity in driving us home after Wednesday night worship/rehearsal etc., & other groups' stand for justice,
having to walk to church/college several times a week - good exercise & fresh, construction-enhanced pollution!,
computers & internet & Dad's long-distance assistance/expertise,
too many great books to read all at once,
brilliant practical teaching day after day at college & church,
not having a dishwasher or dryer (lower water/electricity bill),
friends of all different nationalities & cultures & languages to get to know better,
Australian beaches, TimTams (chocolate cookies), & occasional trips to Sydney's finest flea markets (wish you were here, Becky!) :P
I could go on all day, really, and I think that's what I'll try to do since all day my Maker pours out life/friendships/scenery/love/understanding and I hardly even blink in response!

'God is all mercy and grace--not quick to anger, is rich in love. All eyes are on you, expectant; you give them their meals on time. Generous to a fault, you lavish your favor on all creatures. Everything God does is right--the trademark on all his works is love'
(Psalm 145:8, 15-17, The Message paraphrase by Eugene Peterson).

Monday, October 2

all the while...

Does it ever seem to you that typing a blog is pointless if it's going to be erased accidentally once the written thought is complete? I seem to have a hidden psychotic affiliation with deleting my own blog after many strenuous minutes of contemplation and exertion! Please forgive any subtle frustration in this post... I must admit I was tempted to forever reject the idea of blogging after tonight's incident.
let's think about life in 2006 AD. What comes to mind? 2006. I think of a history of amazing feats & heroic appeals for justice; ugly jealousy & malice; creativity & education (whether richly indulged in or lacking to the point of cruel embarrassment); a mix & match of war & peace & fragments of families; scattering languages & cultures; technological development - all the while relationships being shoved despairlingly, foolishly, beneath financial gain's cellar... soon forgotten & rotten.

I wonder why we don't more often learn from our elders, & why we choose not to listen more readily to wisdom - from a toddler's inquisitive mouth or from the man down the street whose children moved out (emotionally, relationally) long before they changed address.
If we were the only generation left before Jesus returns, would we consider more wisely the outcome of our thoughts, actions, speech & priorities? Would we be consistent? Would we care? I wonder.

All the while.. I wonder what's going on now, as we speak, as we live day by day. I sometimes wonder what effect one life could have on a nation, a church, a family, a child - the future seems so elusive, like it's either a mysterious thief of our dreams & plans, or like a flighty fairy that always dances just in front, colouring our path with soft & beautiful sprinkles of hope.

We can never know what's happening 'all the while' - now is all we have, and our finite minds couldn't handle a teaspoon of God's super-galactic ;) knowledge even if our life depended on it. Thankfully, my life doesn't depend on knowing tomorrow's treasures or troubles, victories or griefs... Knowing my God is enough, & having His love, guidance, strength & peace will be my security (not my blogging skills!).

Remember, your life is not a post which could be erased as easily & foolishly as mine often are... your life was purposed deep in the heart & mind of our Father 'before' time even arrived.
'Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in your book they were all written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. Search me, o God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.' (Psalm 139: 16,23,24)
Knowing what really happens during your life (all the eternity-shaping moments with friends & strangers, love & forgiveness, conversations whether in-depth or light-hearted, life-changing decisions, cultural/relational/educational/spiritual breakthrough) has already been seen & counted in heaven! Just imagine what could happen all the while you're simply doing life alongside the One who gently, firmly holds & preserves your future & mine.

Please remind me to keep life in perspective by learning to trust Jesus' priorities & promises instead of Sydney's. May we see our day's interaction, contemplation, words & activities as part of heaven's communication with people rather than personal, independent functions. We are His, & the Lord is eternal... never underestimate the lasting effect of our daily lives of love!

Our expectation is in Him, and He will make great things happen by His Spirit's might all the while... miracles are taking place all over the world in hearts & lives as we speak! How exciting that my life is not as isolated as Australia feels. :) Jesus said, 'you didn't choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won't spoil. [If you keep my commands, you'll remain intimately at home in my love... when you're joined with me.. the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing] As fruit bearers , whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you. But remember the root command: love one another.'

-- John chapter 15, a mix of verses 4,5,9,16,17 paraphrased by Eugene Peterson in the Message]