Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Green Magyk

Do you understand photosynthesis? 
Espeically the whole making-trees-and-leaves-and-fruit-out-of-thin-air part?  
Go blow on that bush. 
You can't see it, but the bush will turn your breath into raspberry juice.  
We could improve on the name. 
Photosynthesis. 
I've suggested Green Magyk, but no one listens to me.

(Notes from the Tilt-a-whirl, ND Wilson)



Or tomato juice.
Or pizza. My children like to imagine that this is how God grows pizza for us.

The smell of tomato plants reminds me of home-- the old one where I caught earthworms for fun while mom planted flowerse and dad grew tomatoes and rhubarb.


Have you noticed, lately, the miracles that God is doing in your own garden?
Or do you reap the benefits of this Magyk through the grocer?
It is no less amazing.


The sun shines, but you cannot simply open your mouth and drink it.  
You require the help of these- these green machines miracles. 
They are more impressive than machines. 


Broccoli, harvested too late. 
I feel guilty about that, since it's grown so big.


But there are flowers, and beauty comes even from this vegetable.
Grace in my garden.


2 potatoes sprouted in my cupbard by accident.
They gave us these:


See the one with eyes?


Green Magyk in God's creation. 
He blesses our bodies with the fruits and vegetables of the earth. 
He makes them taste good, and sometimes, for the fun of it, he makes them look funny, too.

Thank you God for the fruits of the earth.




Monday, July 29, 2013

Haitus (guest post)

Warmest welcome to my sister Amy Orban. Today she writes about writing (and life, of course.)

Haitus by Amy Orban

I haven’t written much lately.
You see, I decided to take a writing hiatus this summer.
I started school again in the Fall of 2013. Now, by started, I mean tackled ferociously, I mean attacked head-on like a starving drooling lion ripping apart a hearty wildebeest. Adrenaline, excitement, pure joy, and the hunger that only a college student can have pushed me through sleep-deprived days and nights. I devoured the nourishment of theological musing to my heart’s delight.
Friends, it was pure joy, like jumping into the shocking and brilliant cold of Lake Michigan. Like perpetually being startled by the intense smell which accompanies the rain in the summer. Like that first kiss, like that first time you saw two lines on the pregnancy test. Like when you were a child spinning in the merry go round at the playground and realized it was going too fast and you were about to fly off and get a face-full of woodchips.  Most of the year was like standing under a great waterfall, getting pounded by its weight, just trying to grab and keep as many droplets as I could.  
By late Spring, I was ready for a nap. A summer-long nap. A hiatus. I couldn’t squeeze anymore creativity out of myself, because I was exhausted. Not just a break from the work, because work is not really work when you are madly in love with it.
A break from myself.
Dearest writers, do you ever need a break from yourself?
When I write, I have to draw out of a deep well. This well is an elusive place inside of me, a place that at once bubbles over with gifts and yet has cost for this writer. Before you judge me as an intellectual martyr, whining over the pathetic woes of being so “deep”….well, that assessment would be somewhat true; but nevertheless, please read on.
This well somehow captures and keeps those things that I see, the sadness and beauty and grace, the pictures I capture because I know I have to explore them later.  It is the storehouse for all of the times when life is so beautiful that I get goose bumps and have to leave the room to cry and gather myself. It is also the storehouse for my alcoholism, for the distorted perceptions I can have, for the heavy weight of life and depression and the way I would still like to escape the feeling of feelings.  These things are all mingled together in the well…it seems I cannot have the beauty without the weight of sadness, nor the grace without the lurking ghost of insanity.
The well is the thing in me which holds onto that smile on my little boy’s face, so I can slow down and stare into it later. It is that place inside of me which sprung forth tears this summer when I hugged my sister after our family vacation together, and was, in one hug, flattened by the reality that mom and dad are getting older, that our kids are growing up, that we live in different states and that time is like sand running through our fingers.
There is beauty, delight, and profound wonder in this well…..but frankly, I cannot live there perpetually. It is exhausting to live in the place of constant deep feelings, reflection, and examination. Feeling feelings sucks the life out of me, and gives me life at the same time. What I really wanted this summer was just some time to disconnect from myself, from the depth and the seriousness of life. Maybe I just wanted to be shallow for a little while. Is that so bad?
I don’t think so.
Like children, we have seasons for exploring, for wrestling, for growing and examining. And we have seasons of just being. I am just being right now, but even in the being I am storing up gems for later. Sometimes I am afraid that I will lose them if I leave them in the well for too long, but the truth is that the best ones will stay there forever, waiting for me to travel the writing journey with them.  (For example, that farewell  hug from my sister was in June, and has been living down in the well, crying out to me like a gift begging to be unwrapped, ever since).
I read over what I have written so far, and I know without a doubt I sound like a fruit cup to some, but I also know I speak the heart language of others. I am writing today, only because I told myself that I would not write again until it came from a natural spring rather than from a bone-dry desert as I found myself at the start of summer. The spring is beginning to well up, and slowly I will start to draw from the well again.
I am always befuddled when people compliment my writing. I feel like this well in me, this place where it all comes from….it was something that just came with me when I entered the world, just this thing attached to me.  I have never been without it.
So in this sense, writing is much less something that I do, than it seems to be something that just happens to me. I am nothing more than a cup that someone set out on the back porch, and I am collecting precious droplets of water whenever it rains. My hope is always simply that as I filter the water of words through my own channels, they will come out sweetly refreshing to anyone who reads them.
Or perhaps I will just be viewed as a raving lunatic, which, after all, sometimes has more appeal in terms of expectations than being called a brilliant writer.



Friday, July 26, 2013

Hard Silence

Just before he left I noticed that unpleasant flutter of my heart- what was that? Fear? Panic? Why would I be nervous to be left alone? Haven’t I been waiting for this all week?

So I busy myself with surface things while I wait for him to leave. I check email, chat on facebook, pick up my socks. I learn about indoor gardening and research strength training, because we all know I’m going to start doing these things soon.  Even after he leaves, when I am free to create, I read a light articles about becoming a “beautiful badass.”

Why am I afraid of the silence?

Perhaps I will find only dullness. Perhaps there will be nothing to create, nothing to say. Perhaps I will be (horror of horrors) unproductive, and a failure.  Perhaps I will be bored. Perhaps I will be empty. Or challenged. Perhaps I will bleed or cry, alone here in the hotel room.

Silence is unpredictable.

Writing is hard.

I must take it in small pieces: this project, and the silence. I will turn off my phone and disconnect from the internet if only for a half hour.



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How much noise is in your life?

Do you ever shut it all off?

What is it like for you?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wheatgrass. Really.

 What kind of crazy hippy have I become? The kind that grows her own wheatgrass. Yep, that's me.

How to grow wheatgrass.
1. Get wheat.
2. Put it in dirt.
3. Get it wet.
4. Wait.

While you wait, magical things happen inside the pot. Sun, air, water, and wheat mold and meld and mix and the nutrients change and the grass grows. Amazing stuff.



Or, forget about it while you go on vacation. 
Leave it outside, and come home to something like the picture above.

After vacation, who looks more frazzled, me or my neglected wheatgrass?




Why do I throw wheatgrass in my smoothies?  Click here.

Have you ever tried wheatgrass?
What's your favorite green?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Life Resting

We walk through the air that smells like life and growth.  Boys run ahead. The smallest one stays to hold my hand, but only for a moment. He races ahead on the uneven ground, doing the best he can in his little body, in those little, fat shoes. 





"Respect the corn!" I say, catching up with them.  Respect the corn, the farmers, the life growing here.  They slow down, walk carefully. 

The warm air is full of life, but behind the bright corn field, I see the shadow. I see the seeds that have been planted in love and in grief; seeds that have not stirred. Not yet. They need more help than the sun can give.


The earth is warm and fertile, and God gives life and growth.  He gives to some and not others. Questions ache, and mix with the beauty.  The waiting is hard. 

Walk softly, boys. Life is resting here.

Yet the blood pumps in my veins and I breathe deep.  Today, life flows in and around me. I am one of the chosen receivers, one sustained by His Word for this moment, this day, this scene on this stage. 

My flesh is unstable, weak, dust. And yet I--what grace!-- I am grafted into the ever-living vine.  I receive my eternal breath from Jesus, I drink from my God who is stable and strong, stronger than death.

I will die, and when I do--whether it be in my bed as age creeps over me, or struck by lightning, a meteor, or a UPS truck--when my body and soul find their divorce, His hand will be the one that cuts the thread and shows me the path He blazed through tragedy.  

(N.D.Wilson, Notes from the Tilt A Whirl)




Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: 

"Death has been swallowed up in victory." 
"Where, O death, is your victory? 
      Where, O death, is your sting?"

 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:51-58

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Recommended Reads

I'm in St. Louis this week, with ample time to read and write.



I don't mean to brag, but it is delightful.

Here are some of posts that are worth your time, in no particular order.

Reflections: Portraits of the Elderly as they once were.
Teach us to number our days.

What happened to God's agenda?
Battling the flesh is not a matter of keeping "them" out. Every one of us will have to keep up the war against our flesh until God dissolves our flesh at death. What does this mean for the church's agenda? It means that the world's agenda lives in every Christian and can creep into our churches through our own fleshly mouths.

Enemies with benefits
their presence in your life is a constant reminder of how deeply and madly you are in love with yourself. 

If you have never read this, read it. If you have, read it again, and read it to your children. Beautiful.
Think about it.

Blessed in the Journey
My friend has a new blog! Check it out and join her journey!

What would it mean? 
I relate to Katharine, and the way she wanders around with her camera, collecting beauty.

Baptized for this moment  By Rev William Cwirla

A paper given at the recent LCMS convention. Worth your time and careful study.

You no longer live, but Christ lives in you. And the Christ who lives in you is Christ wearing an Adam suit that doesn’t quite fit and whose sinful reflexes aren’t up to the business of holiness. Outwardly, we are wasting away, sinful, dying. Inwardly, we are being renewed day by day. Inwardly, we have the mind, the will and the Spirit of Christ. God is actively at work in us both to will and to do according to His good pleasure. But this new man in Christ is buried in, with and under an outwardly uncooperative body of death.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Our Arms Cannot Contain It (Lake Michigan freewrite)

“Mama, are we going to go to the big lake while we are in Michigan?  Can we please, please, please?”

“Oh honey, don’t worry about that… if we don’t find time to go to Lake Michigan I’ll probably shrivel up and die. We will go.”  She looks at me with big eyes, suddenly not knowing this mama who speaks with such drama.  I smile, and turn up the music—a pop song.  We must go, or I will shrivel up and die. The thought spilled out of me as if I were my teenaged self, prone to jokes about death and hyperbole.  Just thinking about the lake makes that person want to rise up in me- the girl who jumped off the pier even though it was against the rules; the girl who ran down sand dunes, flailing and yelling like a maniac, in a body full of life that had not yet carried life.

Friday comes, and we go, and as I drive I can feel the lake approaching even before I can see it. My feet are restless to shed the shoes and run in the soft, smooth sand.  I remember how the sand squeaks when you walk just right, and I wonder if my children will notice.

But the stuff must be carried, and so we carry the stuff. As I carry I breathe, and the air is sweet and full of memories and water and youth. The children hobble on sand with arms full, bare feet awkward but happy. They finally approach the water front, drop all things in a pile, and they run.  They run with arms spread wide and fingers splayed, as if they could embrace the vastness of the beauty.  Their arms cannot contain it, and their small legs are slowed by the weight of the water. They flail and fall, and the water is freezing.


The sand is so soft, and my son has noticed. He sits and lets it fall through his fingers, over and over.  This is exactly what I would like to do with glorious days like this one. I want to let them run through my fingers, to examine them in my hand, to set them down and pick them up again.


But new blessings come to distract us both. The sand is forgotten and he runs for the pier.

I watch them with mother-eyes, seeing the danger that was once invisible to me in this place.  These eyes cannot be closed again, and there is sadness in the realization.  But, as the memories of this place play before my eyes even as I watch my own children, my mother-eyes see a new depth in the memories. They see little me, protected with sunscreen and a hat and a lifejacket. They see my own parents struggling with the tension of letting-go and holding close. They see a child oblivious, yet loved.  They see prayers answered and grace poured out.

I see my dear mother with her wind-blown hair that matches mine. What is it like to look through grandmother-eyes?  Does she see layers upon layers?

Memories flood, and my face flushes, but this time, not from the sun. I see the danger with which I flirted, and the boys.  I wallowed in more than just the lake when I was a teenager. 

 Remember not the sins of my youth, Lord, I pray with David.   

The past can chafe like wet sand if it is not washed away.  How often I have prayed such a prayer? And my patient Father has answered, once for all.  His answer came once in His Word made flesh, and His promises echo through history to me on this pier on this day.  The sins of my youth, the sins of this morning, all have been laid on Jesus.  My “stuff” has been carried for me, across the sand and onto the cross and through the tomb and into the depths of the sea.


The memories mix with the present moment, and the cool breeze of God’s grace blows through everything.  This day, this God-- it is all too big for me to get my arms around. 

I see my children running ahead as we return from the edge of the pier.  They run, looking for the place where the pier meets the sand, where the running-jump makes a heart leap before a body hits the soft sand below. 

Arms up, free, open heart and arms and splayed fingers, we jump.



Jesus said,

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
    to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Luke 4:17-19


Linked with Just write

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

bad ways to cope with summer vacation

Can you feel it? It's the middle of summer, moms.
Are you enjoying your "vacation?"

Or are you starting to dread walking into the same room as your kids?
When you hear them, when you hear your vocation callling (with screams and fights and spills,) are you starting to feel likea cat being shoved into a bath?



My favorite lately has been the fighting.
It's just my... favorite.
It's inspiring all kinds of creativity in this frazzled mama brain of mine.

Here are some things I've considered doing to help them grow in the fine arts of social interaction.
(Perhaps these thoughts are red flags?)


  • Drop them off in the woods somewhere and make them find their way home.
  • Try leashes, and maybe duct tape.
  • Lock them in a small closet together and see who comes out alive.
  • Separate them for the rest of their lives.
  • Separate myself from them for the rest of MY life.
  • Quit. Just quit being mom and make them fend for themselves. (Remove all junk food from the house first. Eat it. Laugh.)
  • Bring it on: throw three pieces of gum in the middle of the six kids. Stand back. Take pictures.
  • Make them run laps... around the entire city.
  • Make children who act like animals stay outside. Require manners and decorum in the house, Downton Abbey style, including fancy clothes.
  • Dress them in the get-along shirt, first thing in the morning.




(I've really only used this once. I set a five minute "love timer." It ended in laughter, so that was good.)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Recommended posts

Should my friend get help?
When a friend struggles with depression

What PMS really stands for

More wisdom from the Orange Rhino- she gets it.

Praying in Tears, Snot, and Screams 

Have you ever lacked the language?

Grieve and Rebalance

On finding your footing again. Great writing by a new friend.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Lies

 I painted on the obligatory smile, locking up the grief when others were around, lest someone discover that I too was a frail human being beset with weakness. By then I had years of practice in the fool’s art of keeping up appearances.

Alright and Okay

This one had me in tears. Read it, please.


Friends, there has to be a better way.  A better way to support one another when they are walking a painful path.  There has to be a better way to encourage and uplift and love without undoing the brutality of the journey, without negating the reality that for some, it doesn’t get “all better”.  

Top ten reasons why we use the liturgy
Faith comes by hearing.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Doesn't God know how weak I am?

She had tears in her voice, and I could hear them through the phone, when she told me the news. She was already spread thin, so thin. She loves her children, of course, but she was bone tired. She didn't have enough for them, not even close. They wanted more of her attention, more of her love, and she was failing. They wanted meals, again and again. She was behind on everything.

And the worst thing? She wasn't handling it well. And the mommy-guilt was starting to suffocate her.

And did God give her relief?  Did He lead her to green pastures and still waters, and send someone to clean her house while she rested there?

No, at least not on that day. Instead, He sent her another baby.
Another one.

And I could hear it in her voice when she said, "Doesn't God know how weak I am?" Another one. Another that needs. Another one to fail.

Doesn't God know how weak I am?

And yet this God, He chooses the weak things in this world.

I see it- I live under and in this grace that surrounds the weak, and yet I do not understand. I do not understand how God gives imperfect parents a child, and more children. He gives, and they need, and we fail, and somehow a family grows, blessed, and children know they are loved.



Doesn't God know how weak we are?

Of course He does. In fact, I am certain I underestimate my own weaknesses. Why else would I be so surprised by them when they appear? But God, He knows them fully, and He knows yours, too.

And yet He has called us His own in Jesus. We are His own.  And Our Father who gives growth to the crops, and life to the dead, He can use even your weak hands to bless those around you.


--------
Are you surprised at your own weaknesses?
Do you ever feel like weakness disqualifies you from serving God and others?
------

Please pray for the Lambert family (another friend, not the one in the story above.)

This week, they found out that another of their children has epilepsy. (That makes three.) Dana shared her story (at the time) on this blog here.  Read her blog for the latest here.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Book giveaway

Would you like to win a signed copy of one of my books?


There are two ways to enter, and they're both easy!

1. Visit my facebook page. Tag yourself in this photo. (If you win, you get to choose which book!)
2.  Leave a comment on this post and tell me which book you'd like if you win!

Winners will be chosen on Friday at random via random.org

Read more about these books on my book page.

Monday, July 8, 2013

In God's Sandbox

To Marcus, on your "best day ever."

We told you that we were taking you to a sand mountain, but none of you really understood what that meant. When you Sleeping Bear Dunes, you all were shocked. “Can we climb it?” and I said “Of course,” and I could see in your eyes that you had no idea mom and dad would ever let you do something so awesome.

Marcus, ever since you were a tiny baby, you have had a certain sparkle in your eye.  It is as if you are amused by everything. Now that you are older (five,) I understand the sparkling soul behind those eyes a little bit more.  You see it. You see the wonder, the absurdity of this place we live in. You see the irony and the hilarity and adventure around you (and if you can’t find it, you create it.)

Nana was with us, and every kid, and daddy, too. The weather was perfect- low 70s, cloud cover, and a gentle breeze. The hill climb was steep, but you ran ahead with the older three.   We climbed the first giant dune, then a smaller hill to the dune cliffs. When we caught up (I had to carry Peter for a short ways,) daddy taught you to dune jump while I caught my breath.

My foot has only been out of the fracture boot for two weeks.  But it doesn’t hurt, it only pinches a little. “Hun, be careful,” daddy said. “We can’t handle another six weeks with you in a boot."  Indeed… but dunes are just so awesome.  I think my eyes sparkle like yours in such a place.

My first jump was a quiet one, because I didn’t want you to see me learning any hard life lessons if there were lessons to learn. But I landed in the soft sand on my heels, and it was WONDERFUL. No pain, only a body that can still fly in Lake Michigan air.  I made sure all the kids watched for the next jump.  I love when I impress you and make you laugh. (Nana thinks I’m crazy to act like a kid when I’m a mother of six.. she shakes her head, and even that makes it more fun.)

I jumped 3, 4, 5 times, then I stopped to catch my breath. Where did Marcus go? On another cliff I saw you, ready to run. And run you did, like a cartoon character whose feet move so fast that you can see only dust.  And your laugh--- oh, how you laughed as you ran!  It was a giddy, almost maniacal laugh.  It was the laugh I hear when you take your bike down the hill and the pedals move so fast you can’t keep your feet on them. 

You stopped where the ground leveled a bit to whoop with joy, then you ran back up the hill to do it again. Your brothers and sisters joined you (though Eldon and Peter needed to hold a big person’s hand), and we played until we were too sand-logged to take it any longer.  (As I write this I still have sand in my ears.)

We gave you the green light to run free down the giant hill. Again, I saw it- that look that says you can’t believe your mom is so cool that she would let you do this. And I thought, what a God, who made a sand mountain like this, for children like YOU, and a mommy like me.  

And everybody ran, and I ran too. Lorraine had Eldon’s hand, so we went more slowly. I remembered how to take ridiculous giant steps down the steep sand hill, and I taught her. Even stepping feels like flying on the dunes.  But Marcus, you ran, and again I heard your crazy laugh.  Your wheeling legs worked hard, but you lost control, and you crashed, a cloud of limbs and sand and laughter.

Back at the van, I passed out water cups and your eyes continued to dance. “I will never ever forget this day, mama,” you said to me.   (Have you, son? I want to remember too, but will we?)  You told your daddy about your crash when he caught up (he’d been running slower with Peter.)  “That was a sweet wreck,” you gloated, “I will never forget this day!”  I want to remember this day, too.

And on the way home you couldn’t get comfortable, so I let you lay on me. You slept, and you drooled on me, a little, and I teased you, but not too much. I didn’t want you to move away. You rolled over to your back and rested your head on my lap.  You let your mouth hang open and your fists unclench. I noticed the rock you had taken from the beach, resting in your hand. It was a speckled rock, and you wanted to save it forever because this day was so great. 

You sound like your mother. I save days too, with words not rocks. I am saving this one for me, and for you. 


(added to my Gilead. )

Friday, July 5, 2013

Beautiful (Five Minute Friday)

Five Minute Friday
The word: Beautiful

--------

We're out late for a campfire, and I'm running out of patience.

There were no fireworks this year, not for us. The kids are too young, or the parents feel too old. We chose to say close to home and to our beds.  We will need them after kids weild hot pokers for s'mores, then play with more hot pokers called sparklers.

But the lightning bugs come out, and how can I say no?  So I say yes, and I gather jars and watch the lights on the bugs and the light in the eyes.  And I grabbed my camera to capture the proud, fat cheeks, but then I saw the other beauty. Do you see it?


The sky!  I did not notice it until I looked through the lens, but once I saw it, it continued to become more and more amazing.    Days, hours of rain fell this week, and the campfire itself was a surprise.  But now, oh, the sky!  



Who needs fireworks when God does this with the sky?


Sometimes I don't notice the beautiful until there is a camera in front of my face.  God, open my eyes!

Flourishing

It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning, and your faithfulness at night

For you make me glad by your deeds, O Lord;
I sing for joy at the works of your hands.



The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.



They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green
proclaiming, "The Lord is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in Him."


Psalm 92:1-2, 4, 12-15

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It feels odd to say kind things.

I read this post a few weeks ago, and it's got me saying some weird things in front of my children.

"Isn't it wonderful to have a body that can hike like this?"
"Thank you God for a body that can swim!"

Instead of "I'm so glad I didn't break the zip line!" I said, "WOW that was so fun! Let's do it again!"

me on the zip line!


There are other thoughts about the body bouncing around in my head, unkind thoughts. And they are loud thoughts, too. But they are not the most important thoughts.

So, even as I fight my own temptations and try to better care for my body, I do not want to do it in a spirit of self-hatred.  

I pray that God helps me keep my eyes on the many, many things that are more important.  

"Let us honour and respect our bodies for what they do instead of despising them for how they appear. Focus on living healthy and active lives, let our weight fall where it may, and consign our body hatred in the past where it belongs."

Read this post!

http://www.essentialmums.co.nz/mums-life/health/8757837/Passing-on-body-hatred


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Even if you are unhappy with your body today, can you think of ONE kind thing to say about it?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Grease stains

Sometimes my stomach gets so full that the ears of heart cannot hear. 
No, it's not that they can't hear. They just don't care to hear.

And as I fill up on that which does not satisfy, my spirit withers.

Yet even bloated, I am not filled.
I thirst.

I thirst, and the thirst itself is grace.

Thirst draws me back to Him.
My lips are stained with Daquiri and Pepsi, my hands greasy from grasping for comfort in melted cheese.
I've been drinking from other wells, eating from strange tables, and it's making me sick.

Yet He is not afraid of grease stains on His robe.

Hear, ears. 

Hear what Jesus says to the thirsty.

“Come, all you who are thirsty,

    come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
    listen, that you may live."
(Isaiah 55:1-3a)

Ears of my heart, receive the Word of the Lord, for in it there is life!  
Soul, feed on the food God provides for you!

Father,
Open my ears and my heart and my hands to receive what is good, and to let go of those things that are not beneficial.  Keep me from the errors of legalism and laziness.  Fill me with fresh delight in You and in your good gifts.  Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise. 
In Jesus name, Amen.
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