Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dreaming of Mountains

Last night I dreamt of mountains again.

I dream of them now and then--enough that I notice and remember when I wake up, even when I can't recall many details. The mountains are always beautiful with great peaks topped with snow, and sometimes there's a lake. There are usually many of them, and most of the time I'm traveling through them. Most of my dreams (that I recall) tie back to some random incident in the previous day, but my mountain dreams don't. They just come. Since the impression they leave is always one of refreshment and a longing for beauty, I've come to take them as a reminder of God, his creation, and what he's doing in my life.

Perhaps I read to much into them. Perhaps I don't read enough. I guess that depends on the analyst. Personally I love how God can use a dream as a reminder of himself.

This morning as I crawled out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen to start breakfast, I relished the fragmented images of vast spaces and fresh beauty. As my brain woke more I remembered that today was that day. That is, the anniversary of Keren's death. The seventh anniversary. I haven't forgotten it, but it hasn't weighed on me this year. It didn't last year, either, and I think part of the reason is that here in Guadalajara we aren't in the dead of winter like it is in Michigan. I love winter and I miss it. I love that the day Keren died the world was covered in fresh snow. But there is no denying that the days are dark and short in a Michigan January, and one is constantly reminded of death. Here in Guadalajara the air is chill to temperate this month, and now and then the scent of spring wafts in, stirring the blood, the heart, and the mind. Life quickens.

So yes, all that to say that death wasn't the first thing on my mind this morning. Instead mountains and beauty were. And for me, that turns my mind to God. As a result, when I did think of Keren this morning it was in the context of God and his work. I was thinking of how he uses dreams of beauty to remind me that he has things in hand, and those mountains of life that we are wending through are not just challenges. Rather they are works of art beyond anything I could ever create.

The mountains and gorge on the north side of Guadalajara don't do justice to the snowcapped peaks in my dreams, but they're definitely beautiful.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Let the moment begin

The music,
   The lights,
      The nativities,
         The tree--
Let the moment begin!
Advent opens with hope,
   The Nativity
      Leads to the Tree.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Confession

I am not a big fan of shopping--
   Grocery shopping is an evil necessity,
   Gleaming malls make my brain freeze.
But I must confess
That there's something alluring
   About exploring the shops of a quaint town,
   And discovering the beauty of arts and fabrics,
   And sniffing the intoxicating scents of leather...
      and grilled corn...and fresh fruit...and grilled meats....
And I admit I have succumbed
To the delight of browsing for goodies online,
   Like books, music, art supplies, games....
   So many exciting options--
   Christmas presents sent to the door
      with the click of a button.
So I guess I like some shopping after all....


The allure of Tlaquepaque, Mexico


Saturday Night

It was a still and quiet Saturday night,
The kids were asleep, each tucked in tight.
Kraig plowed ahead on student exams,
I vegged and zoned, free from demands.
Not a vacation or any such fun,
Just a night for this and that to be done.
I do look forward to these silent nights;
They bring calm and clarity, and a little light.


Friday, November 27, 2015

Leftovers

Leftovers
   Remade
   Reformed
   Redeemed
   Repurposed
   Resurrected 
There's something miraculous that happens
When something old is made new. 
Have you ever seen
   What God does
      With the world's leftovers?

Hutchmoot 2013, a mural created by conference attendees. We each had a separate piece
and we didn't know what the whole looked like until it was assembled.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day today
   But not in Mexico--
   Kraig had work,
   The kids had school,
   And I struggled
      to be thankful.
I missed bare trees,
   And rich brown turkey,
   And cranberry jewels,
   And spiced pumpkin pie,
   And our kids going to Grandmother's house
     even if not through drifting snow.
It's understandable
   But silly, really,
   Because in reality
   We have been given an indescribable luxury
      of life,
And Someone
    We can thank for it
      every day.

Giving thanks for ice cream at the end of November


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Stories

Stories at night
Stories in the day
Stories of light
Stories for the way 
They weave their lines
Through thoughts and lands,
They shape our times
And affect our plans. 
Stories of sorrow
Stories of pleasure
Stories for tomorrow
Stories to treasure 
May our lives be full
Of these tales of glory,
May we take time to mull
On the power of each story.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Laughter

Today's prompt was to write a love poem (or anti-love, but I have no use for that). I was going to write a beautiful treatise on love and marriage and why it's all worth it, even when there are hard times. But the world will have to wait for that masterpiece because too much of life happened today. Ah well!

However the day can not go by without writing something, so I think it's a good day for a haiku :) . We had fun tonight watching two VeggieTale Christmas films at the home of friends who are doing a weekly holiday movie night till Christmas. Here's the result:

Christmas movie night
Where children's laughter rings out
Is worth late bedtime.


And now I need to get back to putting our latest newsletter together....