Wednesday, March 28, 2018

All the Broken Things

I felt the tears starting as I dug into yet another box of broken things. 

You can tell before you even unwrap it. That it's broken that is. 
All that's left is the extra sharp pain in the realizing of what else is broken. 

Mugs from favorite adventures and cities discovered and shared with friends.
Mexican pottery with so much laughter and Spanglish conversation all soaked up and stored in it's colorful clay. 

How could all of it arrive broken? How could my life be in this many pieces?

I padded and packed and padded some more trying desperately to keep whole the things that I thought mattered most. 
And still they meet me here broken. 

And then. 

In the center of the padded box surrounded by broken pieces and fragments of my past and all the things I held dear, this little wooden statue from the heart of Jerusalem. 

Jesus with his cross. 

I remember so vividly the Jerusalem heat. That little hole in the wall shop filled floor to ceiling with olive wood. The way it refreshed me and touched me so much more than I imagined it would. Even though it was overrun with tourists. I remember looking carefully at each face--running my fingers over so many--trying to imagine how I wanted to remember and represent Jesus in my new home. 

And this one. 
The cross. 
Always I want to remember the cross. 
That he carried it for me even though he didn't have to and even though he shouldn't have. That he did so with a heart full of joy and compassion. 

That he was broken there for me and all for of my brokenness. 

Finding him there of all places, in the midst of all of my broken pieces (quite literally), was such a lovely little personal parable. And so often that's how Jesus comes to me. In my space and my situation. Wherever and whatever they may be. And he shows me what I need to see of him right then, even if I don't know it yet. 

This time he showed up in a tiny, empty, studio apartment in the heart of Seattle, WA as I sat with shattered pieces in my hands and tears in my eyes. 

Here he reminded me that as long as he remains at the center, everything else that I believed mattered most will simply fade away. 
That I can let go of everything but him.
That he is whole even when my life is in pieces--even when I am in pieces. 
Here he showed me that my brokenness is beautiful in the light of his cross. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Begin Again

It's the name of a random rom-com I watched on Netflix sometime last year and really loved.

It is, for me, life currently.

Shocking right!? Nothing you've ever heard or read from me before. Not ever.

This time though, it's full circle. It's funny how I wake up every single day in the same house I spent so many years in and I walk up and down the very same streets. How familiar and how brand new it is at exactly the same time.

Two weeks and three days so far. Seventeen days total. Back in the city that I think I've always loved. Even before I knew her. Since my daddy and I were chasing down butterflies and endlessly rock collecting. Since before I knew it was possible to live the city life among the evergreens and surrounded by salty blue.

Back where I began the first time.
Back where I did so much becoming.
Where I will do so much more. I'm sure.
Because becoming is inevitable. Even when we'd rather not. When we feel just fine with how we are. With how things are. Becoming happens in spite.


The good news is, we're all in it together.
The becoming.
Wherever we might be planted.

For now my little roots have found their way back to the pacific north west. They're digging down into the rich, green earth and starting to settle in. To soak up the ever present pacific mist and to inhale deeply the aroma of evergreens all mixed up with dark, delicious coffee.

So many mountains still to climb.
But for now.
Just beginning again.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

s e v e n


The number doesn't make any sense no matter how many times I say it out loud or even under my breath.
It doesn't register in any form.
It seems unfathomable.

So, I try from a different angle.

Three less than ten.
Three years short of a decade...
 of life without my daddy.

January 7, 2018

The calendar is constant.
Always moving and always changing, but somehow always bringing me back to exactly the same places.

This year, I'm missing him more than most.
Or perhaps more than others anyways.
I'm back in Ohio. The bitter cold all around. The snow.
Our house.
Where he left us.
Where we wished he would stay a little longer.

That always feels a little emptier without him no matter how much we go on living.

This year, I don't want to relive it.
I don't really even want to think about it or acknowledge it at all.
The details.
The loss.
The heartache.
The emptiness.

Because after seven years.
All I know is that you have to keep on living.
Even a moment too long spent with the details or the loss or the heartache or the emptiness is enough to keep you from doing that.

And I don't want to.
Because he wouldn't.
And he certainly wouldn't want me to.
Stop living that is.
I mean really, really living.
Not on his account.
Not when he did everything he ever could to make sure I lived so fully.

So. Here we are at seven.
And next year it will be eight.
And in two years after that, ten.
The number may change.
But this will not.
That life goes on.
That God is good.
That in spite of it all, there is still so much beauty and so much life to be lived.
--in loving memory of Randy Wightman (my daddy)--