on fire

I asked him for fresh forgiveness this morning.

I asked Him for fresh forgiveness this morning.

It was the one thing I had to do.

The only thing I had to do.

I was this::::

Sharp glances and sharper words from a spiny tongue,

Splintering and stinging fire-ant fierce

How great is a forest set ablaze by such a small fire!  +James 3

peppered hot.

Prideful and self-righteous,

Indignant and contrary,

Assumptive and insolent.

Graceless.

Grace-less.

without.

Grace.

And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. +James 3

Who am I to not give grace?

Who am I to not spill it out over and over and over again like He spills it out to me?

Over and over and over again?

Who am I to spit salt into fresh water?

I breathed it out

kindled it007

fanned it

til it flamed

with sighs and eyes

and pouting and ultimate-ing

self-glorification:::

the tongue… staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life… +James 3

Singing praises minutes before,

with the same mouth,

With it, we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God… +James 3

celebrating my Lord and Savior,

On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand… all other ground is sinking sand…

Seconds before he walks in the door and says the one thing,

a little thing,

that sparks,

and sinks me,

the thing I could have doused with the clean waters of grace and mercy and love,

the thing he did not intend for tinder,

instead it smoked,

flared orange and red,

soaked in the gasoline of puffed-up self-love.

Til He intervened

and convicted

and extinguished

And my day would not begin without the joy of being His

burning in my bones.

Is not My word like fire, declares the Lord… +Jeremiah 23:29

Hi, I say, I’m so, so sorry.

And he says, Me too.

And that was that.

Like that.

Like that forgiveness flowing freely from the cross where His love bore our sin.

Like He tells us when He washes us clean and white with life-giving Spirit-filled fountains of living- breathing- water.

Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water… +John 7:38

You are forgiven.

You.

Are.

Forgiven.

Now go fill your heart with pure and lovely and true.

Now go.

Now go be on fire for Me.

the breathing out

earlyoct08 014He was out on the old tractor at our family Farm.
Rolling on black tires tall,
Meandering through the high grass
Mowing it away
harvesting his refreshment
Happy to find time alone, although he didn’t say.
A breezy afternoon, red Farmall plaid shirt and jeans with a fleece kind of day.
A little late for mowing this year,
Golden rod bowing their heads in the field by now, swaying in the How Majestic is Your Name chorus,
As my love exercises an Eden- gift of dominion over the land, back and forth, to the edge and return,
Back and forth :::
across the once-pasture
Entering into the praise-song of the Earth,
back and forth::
Praising the Creator on this day, blessed to breathe in,
                                   :: back and forth
And I
busying myself about the farmhouse,
sorting the silver and throwing the gingham dishtowel about my shoulder
hearing the slam-click of the screen door while the kids wildly scream in freedom and laughter
Wondrously realizing satisfaction to the once-eluded primal pull of house and home::
soaking in::
giggling in the moment of sheer peace
                                                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My Gramma arrives early for Pinochle
While crockpot chicken-dill stew bubbles
And I forget to make the brownies
So I greet Gramma in her pearls and ice-blue cardigan that matches her eyes
And to find my own Mama, still outside
hurting in the deep- broken- breaking of this world
and wrap my arms about her too and look in those inherited- blue eyes
Saying::
Let’s go, let’s play a game ::
Can I get you a drink::
Let us sit,
Glad you came,
Today is the day the Lord has made,
A gorgeous day,
The weather you love, right, Mama? Remember?
Breathe it in, Mama, that chorus, do you hear it?
Out in the field, the hallelujah chorus?
The whirr of the tractor cannot out-do it, Mama::
I promise.
The Earth pours it out to Him and you just need listen::
It’s all praise,
Mama, you just breathe, because He cares for the sparrow, you know that,
                                                 ~smile
I know you do.
Praise Him, even when all is hard, Mama.
I inhale deeply, quietly
too
eyes closed with
thanks, wonderment
                                   :: weariness
as I linger to the screen porch.
The sparrow,
The lilies,
Yes, Lord.
Yes, Lord.
My brownie bowl cradled in my arm,
wooden spoon circling,
I call through the screen to my love who has rested a moment
outside
on the tractor looking at the sky:
::::Gramma wants to watch you mow, I say
I whisper in my heart to him:
{She wants to! To really stare out to the trees and the sky of brilliance and the Son that warms and join the chorus and fill that deep longing to praise she can not quite satisfy!}
Wait, Love, to say hello to her before you go
And my Mom is here too and she’s broken in pieces, Love…
{She says she can’t, Love, she says she cannot find Him now in the midst of this pain. Can I say to her with truth and faith in the middle of this:: praise Him? Can we reflect Him by our doing? Can she watch you refresh yourself in Him as you busy yourself in His Creation? Can I serve her here in this place where I am and where she is and let Grace fill in our brittle cracks?}
He smiles his smile
That God-gifted smile
the one that belongs only to him
and to me:: us, together
The smile that makes me breath
quietly reassured
The smile full of God-given wisdom in the middle of this open, baring field
The smile that knows where I have been
and knows where we are going::
                             {with Him}
             :::: joining the hallelujah::::
the smile of my love whispers to me as he sits atop a farmer’s seat in the sun
and
I stand in the shade waiting:
{Yes, he smiles, yes, THIS is where we are and who we are in Him and this is where He has us and this our walk in His will today. We are strong in Him. I’m going to mow now. Have fun playing Pinochle! Go…}
And all he needs to say aloud as I watch his smile…
He waves and yells out, loud enough for her to hear,
HI GRAMMA!
I set the timer for the brownies,
gather the well-worn Pinochle cards,
while I pour my mama a glass, right full,
peering through the window at the giggles and quarrels in the sandbox,
I settle in a chair on the porch where I can face the field,
so when I look up from my cards, I can see him,
praising God with his hands,
as he joyfully toils,
with the ravens flying
and the pines whispering
and the apples ripening
and the clouds moving
joining in the Everything-That-Hath-Breath-Praise-The-Lord Chorus
And I have no choice,
no desire,
to do anything else, but be right here, in this place
in this place,
Where God has called me to
for this moment,
Where Earth and sky and obedience and brokenness and submission and gentleness and thanksgiving and uncertainty and peace all meet:::
::: in the wide open field of PRAISE.
“Oh, come let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation! Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God… In His hands are the depth of the Earth; the heights of the mountains are His also.  The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land… 
We are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand…”
Psalm 95

the aroma

089
She came to Him, quietly, with her alabaster jar.
Her face, sweet, like the oil held.
She came to Him, reverently, with her sin breaking in His heart.
Her hair, flowing, like His mercy.
She came to Him, helplessly, with her one gift.
Her repentance, spilling, like His forgiveness.
She came to Him, simply, with her offering.
Her humility, pouring, like His grace.
He said,
Let her come to Me.
  Oh, she did.
She emptied her heart and her flask to Him,
The sin ::
so expensive to her soul,
Tumbling out with the oil unto His feet,
Giving it all
All::
All of it::
To Him, to take with Him:
To take with Him:
Please, take it from me, she yearns.
“She has done a beautiful thing…”
She wipes the King’s feet, dusty, worn, travelled, tired::
With her crown of locks::
He wipes her offenses away::
With His crown of righteousness.
This King::
Come to this world::
“…what she has done will also be told in memory of her…”
We?
Remembered?
Yes.
Oh, that gift of grace.
Our sins?
Oh,no…
Remembered?
No, my friend.
They are wiped away.
Wiped away with Him.
Oh, that gift of grace.
                                               ::::::::::::::::::::
And the aroma of her oil-gift filled the room.
And the aroma of His blood-gift imminent filled the room.
And the aroma bursting breaking into the night,
as it followed Him,
stayed with Him,
                                                                         :: I think::
Through the breaking bread,
           “Take, eat…for the forgiveness of sins…”
Through the blood-sweating prayer to His Abba,
           “My soul is very sorrowful… Father… let this cup pass…”
Through the fleeing of his friends,
            “Friend… do what you came to do…”
The scent of the 
NEED of the world 
continued with Him,
remained with Him,
stayed with Him,
Through the binding and the shouting and the mocking and the striking and the pulling and carrying and the mother:
watching, shattering::
and the crying, and the pushing, and the parading, and the jeering and the hurting and the scarring and the nailing and the bleeding and the
breathing:::
 
The final breath of
sacrifice…………….
when the aroma of LOVE broke free:::
:::unbound, uncensored, unkept,
Unleashed:::
and the fragrance of grace poured like oil over the world…
                                                                                                             

Bear Hunting with Jesus.

bear bait 011For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been enjoying some time in the woods lately “hunting” bear.  So far, I’ve only seen a female with 2 cubs who were delightful to watch. I loved it. As I was walking into the treestand one day, enjoying the day and being alone and talking to God, I suddenly became nervous, in the woods by myself… which doesn’t usually happen to me.  I usually love my alone time traipsing through the woods in the solitude.  This writing came from that afternoon. … which also happened to be the evening I got to hang out with the Mama Bear and her babies…. which was a wonderful night I won’t soon forget!
I am a bear hunter.
That’s what my love calls me  (~smile)
When he gifts my new gun
One I dreamed about from the pages of Cabela’s and the aisles of Kittery Trading Post
And put together in my mind
That he sought after for me at gunshops and with phone calls,
and worked to buy for me,
While I was unaware
and
Surprised me
With his knowing, loving grin::
And I received it as a lady who was gifted diamonds :::   (~smile, again)
I am a bear hunter.
when I’m dressed in my camo, pink on the very edges of the pockets,
my .308 Ruger rifle, stainless scope
and a little bravery
slung over my shoulder
walking into the woods.
Woods.
Where I yearn to be
bear hunter or not::
to refresh my soul and breathe in moss and trees and trail
and Him
                                                                Be not wise in your own eyes…It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Proverbs 3
I step from the field, open and bright, golden with sun and straw
into the forest, focused and keen, alone in my thoughts and quiet
close to the leaves unfurled and settled into the twilight of a late summer-fleeting afternoon
adjusting my eyes
surveying my land
following my path
welcoming my stillness
Being.
Expectant of the time ::
Excited for a glimpse ::
of perhaps
bear or owl or coyote
wandering through this small piece of His glory spilled so green in front of me.
To ponder and seek.
Not so much the seeking of the animal I hunt,
That would be a grateful gift,
But the seeking of
Him,
When my soul is laid bare in the peace of this place ::
my little corner of the trees,
Where joy comes,
Where I am nourished in His presence in the middle
of His natural cathedral
                                                                   He makes me lie down in green pastures…He leads me beside still waters…
                                                                   He restores my soul… He leads me in paths of righteousness… Psalm 23
and where I am refreshed in the midst
of
My life::::
the birds sweet song and the mud that sticks to my boots :: shaking it off
unencumbered
here in the woods::
where He always speaks to me gently
where I am not distracted by time and lists
where He seeks ::
me.
Oh, the gift of that.
He seeks me.                                                                         …………..Remembering that…..
When the peace fills and the joy erupts and all is pointed at Him ::
Here
In the woods::
And
I am on my merry way, over the hummocks and through the hollows to my little spot in the tree::
to hang out with my God
                                                                                         (and wait for my bear…)
                                             :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Unbeknownst…
out of the quiet thicket,
at first glance unnoticed,
padding along too close to me,
the animal
                          …it comes prowling,
and I shudder
a little
and my eyes skip around to the darkness beneath a bush or the flutter unseen above me
                              Be sober-minded;  be watchful. Your  adversary the devil  prowls around  like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
                                                              1 Peter 5:8
And my guard is down::
When that anxious moment sometimes comes ripping through the birdsong, sticking like the mud to the bottom of my soul………..
So often it can happen when I am alone and feeling purposeful in Him,
it comes to intrude and knock me unsteady…
In the peace that reigns when I am working in His will,
An animal fierce tries to tail me
spitting fire and throwing me off my narrow path,
And I feel nervous,
Walking through the deep, silent woods towards the high place where I can finally rest::
In Him…
and my steps become more timid ::
…………. and I didn’t even know
and my thoughts are more distracted ::
……………….. and I didn’t even notice.
And robbed from my joy in Him, I quiver and falter, just
a little
until I realize
Until I remember
WHO I AM::
because
of
I AM.
And I remember this:
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil…. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit… Ephesians 6
And I think about who I am actually walking with::
I am walking with Jesus.
And I say it out loud and stir up the deafening silence:
“I belong to Jesus!”
Unafraid. Bold.
I say to the enemy, who is unwelcome here in this peaceful place:
“Depart from me, you schemer with your arrows of doubt and uncertainty and lies and folly and fear.”
I am walking on this path with HIM. 
My Father.
My Physician.
My LORD.
“In His holy name, I command you to flee.”
And I stomp down my trail with my boots crushing that prowler’s desire for my demise.  I raise my shield of faith and weapon of the Word of God,
that must stay on my lips…
for that is the only way…
And I’m not walking down that trail in the deep woods with an animal of destruction at my back.
I am walking through that soft, mossy, green, growing path with my Friend and Protector, Jesus Christ.
And the birds:: 
start singing again
And the Lord speaks, gently, as only He can:
“You are my child, I am your Father. I will never leave you nor forsake you. My Spirit is always close to you. Quiet yourself. Still yourself.
I am here. I am near you. I am the God of this creation. Walk on.  Walk on with me. I am always protecting you. I am always loving you.
I AM.”
And the sunlight::
pours through the trees
and falls on my path ::
The narrow, blessed one that leads straight to Him.
He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler… He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler… you will not fear… the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness… When he calls to ME, I will answer him… I will rescue him….
Psalm 91
My friend in Christ, Karriem said, as I heard him preach from the book of Acts on a beautiful Sunday in June:
“You WANT the enemy to know your name… cuz when he knows your name, he knows who he’s messin’ with… you know… that needs to build you up… if the enemy is testing you… he needs to know you come with the power of Jesus Christ… [and you say]  “In the name of Jesus, I know who my Father is…”
Friends::
Oh, I, we…
We are His……  (~smile)
Praying for you, today, that you find yourself walking with Him down the path that He has set for you before time began,
that you believe who you are in Him,
that you don’t believe the lies that can snare us in this world,
that you REST in the shadow of His wings….for He, and He alone, will make your path straight.
What joy in that!
You make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence there is fullness of JOY.
Psalm 16:11
Love, Brooke.

Fear and Victory

(from May 2012)KingsLanding 062

You know,

When that little fear that you swallow in uncertainty rises in your throat and forms a faith-less lump in the pit of your stomach?

When your priorities are askew

and the pride settles itself in a cozy corner of your pocket and you decide that you can take care of the world,

your world,

and you forget where your praying knees are

and you think you know something,

and it’s all figured out
because you figured it out…
Alone

and those bible verses you diligently rehearsed are glimmering somewhere in your mind,

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Phillipians 4

But
they become a faint whisper on some days when the willy-nilly wind is blowing just right

And needless fear roots itself in the absence of your seeking Him,

and the words fade away
in the whirlwind of decision-making, doubt and dread.

Dusty.

And you end up beaten-down and searching, low and discontented…

Where?
…are those words that prompt the steady beat of my heart?
Where?
…is the Voice that calms the dissonance and straightens me when my path becomes tired and winding?

With me.
All that time.

All that time I was walking on my own strength,
All that time I feared,
All that time I questioned,
All that time I felt alone,
All that time I was isolated in that deep crook where the enemy and the flesh kept me…

Until, we, with that one weak, yet strong
upward glance,

when you stretch out your arms into His perfect love

Where

He plucks you out of fear’s craggy hand and

Settles you
deep in the comfortable blanket of His Word,

His words,

written on your heart,
in the folds of the pages,
in the encouraging voice of a friend,

dusted off

and spoken right out loud
Yes, right out loud:

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
Psalm 118

out of darkness and into the light

until the fear goes running

and the loneliness flees

and He cradles you and keeps you

and His perfect timing comes knocking to rescue you
Again and always

and you have that moment when you wonder why the worry wallowed so long
and why you allowed your heart to harbor it
and you let yourself languish in a moment of fear when you know the mighty hand that keeps you—-
and you say

and why didn’t I run to you first, Lord?
and He grabs your hand as a loving Father does and quiets you in His blessed assurance…

That He has you.
That He keeps you.
That He knows us.
That He promises us.
That He carries us…

In our heartache, in our celebration, in our laying down and rising up

Forever and always.
We are His.

Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed.
1 Chronicles 22

Salt

DSCN0771

seaglass: tossed and turned and new again

He took me to the ocean last night.

Not because he wanted to.

But because I wanted to.

He is giving and sure and gracious like that.

He knows my need and gives up his time and makes things happen even when I do not give him thanks for it all.

I know Someone else like that.

I told my love I needed to smell the salt and breathe in the dripping air and watch the water retreat,

Because that is what I wanted to do:::

Retreat like that. To leave for a bit and roll back in with the moon and tide, washed and refreshed and ready to take the world on again.

I told him that I needed to hold his hand and stammer through the tidal mud and lift  the ‘weed and find some treasure. Something pretty and rounded on the edges.

Something with a story to tell.

Something once-birthed jagged and cracked and broken- all- up.

Something tossed and turned and flailing on the waves.

Something trusting the ride, because it knows the end.

Something sanded and worn-down and full of grit-scoured wrinkling.

Something like that.

Something that ends up re-fined and re-curved and re-shaped and re-polished.

Lost and found again.

Washed free from the bottom and catapulted high to shine in the sun.

A glistening gem buried beneath the ‘weeds and rocks and water.

Something-fractured-separated… turned something-brand-new.

He bought me a milkshake with a cherry on top and we walked along the pebbled shore.

He laughed and looked his for-me-only grin while he found mussels and pieces of glass and metal and rest.

He joked and talked and I listened and breathed in the salt air and him and the warmth of his hand.

And found rest right there.

With him.

With Him.

I felt pretty and found and picked up and brushed off anew again.

Right there in my muck on a rocky beach near the sea.

Breathing in salt.

So I can be.

Oh, I pray to be:

Salt.

“You are the salt of the earth… In the same way, let your light shine before others…” Matthew 5:16

Like her…

376347_2621308852470_1959762796_n

Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God… Luke 18

And she danced.

Brimming in sequins and joy.

Hands swaying about her head: singing off key and just perfectly all at the same time:

gilded in gold boots and heavenly peace.

Uncommon she is to me.

But I want to be like her.

The way she sparkles in her laughter when her very favorite song plays just for her:

The way she stomps her foot down for something she believes true:

The way she faithfully prays through her verses and lets them fill her up:

The way she chatters away about the sun and the woods and moon rising:

The way she gets hurt and says so aloud and finds comfort and picks herself up:

The way she bursts in happiness when she has been generous and giving and sacrificing:

The way she loves with purpose:

The way she asks a million questions and looks for answers and seeks them out until she knows:

The way she dances:

Unabashedly dances.

Free.

Unbound.

Joy-filled.

This life.

She is dancing.

I want to dance like her.

Shining with glitter and faith.

Dance.

Today, for a little bit:

::::::::: just

Dance.