What Is It That’s Telling Me…?

 

What is it that’s telling me,

“Don’t try your best,

Or you risk losing the best”?

What is it that’s telling me,

“Don’t love too hard,

Or you risk falling hard”?

What is it that’s telling me,

“Don’t get too close,

Or you risk hurt and rejection”?

What is it that’s telling me,

“Don’t expect too much,

Or you risk disappointment”?

What is it that’s telling me,

“Don’t venture too far,

Or you risk getting lost”?

What is it that’s telling me,

“Don’t be too joyful,

Or you risk trouble around the corner”?

What is it that’s telling me,

“The more you open yourself to live,

The more you open yourself to risk.”

Fear. Get out of here. 

I’ll take this risk.

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For All the Lonely, Aching, Confused, and Everyone Else Doing Life.

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Child.

I’ve got my eyes on you. 

Not with a paper and pen

To keep track of

All your mistakes and failures,

Not with an ear tuned

To catch any details

That might produce the juiciest gossip.

Just open eyes, open heart, open hands.

I’ve got my eyes on you because you are my beloved.

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Child.

I’ve got my eyes on you.

Not because you’re a handful,

Not because you’re a problem child,

Not because no one else can tolerate you.

Just because absent of you,

There’s an empty space in my heart.

I’ve got my eyes on you because

I can’t take my eyes off of you.

 

Child.

I’ve got my eyes on you.

And don’t think I don’t see your pain, your struggles.

It wrenches my heart.

It opens a well of tears.

It burns my eyes,

And burdens my chest.

I don’t just see your pain, I feel it.

I’ve got my eyes on you because

You are a part of me.

 

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Child.

I’ve got my eyes on you.

Because you are my joy.

You’re the reason I died.

You’re the reason I came

To this earth in the first place.

You’re the reason I keep

Extending grace in a million little ways.

I’ve got my eyes on you because

You mean the world to me.

 

Child.

This is not cliche.

This is not a joke,

Or a feel-good mantra.

This is not flattery.

This is real, and it is true.

For you. Personally.

Can you grasp that?

 

Child.

I’ve got my eyes on you.

So I was just wondering,

Could you keep your eyes on me?

 

 

 

 

 

All Because We’re Unworthy

 

He walks into the quiet room,

The beauty of a joyful secret written across His face.

He makes His way over to the

Farthest, darkest corner.

There sits His beloved,

Weeping, and broken.

Tears of frustration and confusion

Stream down her face,

Causing the deep well of love

In His heart to overflow.

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He stoops graciously,

Brushes the tears gently from her eyes,

And, extending His arms,

Reveals the beautiful secret;

A gift.

But not just any ordinary gift;

It’s most beautiful, most breathtaking, and most valiant.

He has come to rescue her.

To help and save her.

To lift her spirits and set her free.

It is the gift of abundant grace.

 

With joyful anticipation,

He waits for the moment

When she will receive the gift

With exceeding joy and gratitude.

He waits,

And waits,

But the moment never comes.

His tender heart breaks.

His joy is turned to the deepest of sorrows.

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He pleadingly beckons His beloved

To turn her face toward Him

And receive the gift He offers.

Drowning in pride

And the false belief

That she has to do this

On her own,

She scarcely turns her gaze

Toward Him.

When she does,

It is only to tell Him of her unworthiness.

Only to tell Him that she’s not good enough.

Only to tell Him of her imperfections,

And then she turns back to her corner of confusion.

 

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With freedom at her fingertips,

She refuses redemption.

With the winds of hope dancing through the very hairs of her head,

She turns down

What she most desperately desires:

The gift of abundant life.

She rejects

The love she longs for,

The hope she hungers after,

The freedom she fights for,

The Christ she cries for.

 

And it’s all because she finds herself

Unworthy.

Not realizing that

If Christ would not offer this gift

To the unworthy,

There would be no gift at all.

So here she sits, in her

Corner of confusion,

Refusing the very thing she’s fighting for.

The gift is available right here, right now.

What are we doing with it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mystery of the Missing Silverware

Today’s post is rather…unusual, I guess you could say. It’s as much a surprise for me as it is for you. It’s a guest post by my big little brother Rylan.  He’s three years younger than me but I’m very quickly beginning to feel like one of  the few shorties around here.

Perhaps you would like to know what inspired him to write the following story. It is strictly for humour and there’s a chance that it’s so blonde you might not even get it! You’ll have to read it and find out for yourself.

To put a long story short, it all started on Family Day when we were out for supper and little sister comes out with the most random question: “What if everybody would walk out of here with their silverware?”

Perhaps she was inspired by the memory of this past summer when Dad accidentally smuggled a spoon home in his shirt pocket after visiting some relatives of ours while on vacation in Ohio. We ended up stopping at his cousin’s workplace on the way home to try to return it but ’twas all in vain. He was nowhere in sight and we didn’t exactly feel like hunting him down all over the premises of their paving company with a spoon in hand so we gave up and headed home.

Whatever the case, we began brainstorming the lamest, most sarcastic mystery in history. This is what he came up with when he wrote  his own version on the way home. I was provided with some amusement when I read it so I thought I’d share it and perhaps you will be too. If you know him at all, you might better understand the peculiarity of it all.

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Mystery of the Missing Silverware

by Rylan Gingrich

“Hey, Wilbur! Got any spoons left in the cutlery tray?” Wanda implored.

“Only three,” I moaned.

“What can be happening here?” she pondered.

“I thought it was a smart idea to spend a fortune on such extravagance as pure silver cutlery, but now I’m having second thoughts,” I reminisced.

It all started when my wife, Wanda, and I had one of those light bulb moments and decided to start up a cafe in our backyard garden shed. With a bit of determination and a whole lot of creativity, we had a neat little cafe in business.

We had been having a growing problem with disappearing silverware ever since we started our garden shed cafe. We had about three main customers and the occasional new one. We were holding up well with a weekly income of almost twenty-five dollars. It was sad that almost all that money was going towards new silverware. We were considering switching to plastic cutlery but we knew how much our regular customers enjoyed the silver cutlery.

My homemade bell above the door rang as Donald, our most faithful customer, waddled in with his usual long, baggy jacket on the hottest summer days. He always sat at the same table and wasn’t very sociable. He always asked for extra silverware. I always granted it to him. Another strange feature of him was how he entered and exited the building. He always walked in silently, but would exit with a slight tinkle to be heard.

We had almost given up on the matter when our own customer, Donald, saved us from despair. He lived only one block down the street from us and he was holding a garage sale! How nice! This was a perfect chance to spend all the extra money we had made in the last year with our cafe business.

On our way to the garage sale we wracked our brains to come up with a solution to our problem, but we just couldn’t make ends meet whatsoever.

“Surely the silverware will show up eventually,” I soothed.

“I’m not so sure about that. Where could it possibly be getting to?” she complained hopelessly.

As we walked into Donald’s driveway, we were welcomed with a pleasant surprise! Among the other items he was selling, he had nicely laid out an array of beautiful silverware! It was just like ours! We could now purchase silverware one block away at half the price the kitchen store charged! What a deal! We were so delighted to have our cutlery collection restocked. The missing silverware remains a mystery, so please notify us if you have any idea what could be going on here. Thanks in advance.

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A Lesson From My Four-Year-Old Self

I still remember the day I thought I could fly. Perhaps it’s my first memory. I’ve always wished I would know what my first memory was, but I don’t. It was a long time ago when I was about four years old, but it’s still vivid in my mind. I still remember earnestly trying to convince my mom that I could do it. Of course, in all her motherly wisdom, she smiled knowingly and reassured me that no, she didn’t believe I could.

“But I’ve done it already!” I objected proudly. With determination and confidence rising in my chest, I declared, “Come! I’ll show you!”

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I’m sure she was greatly amused by my impossible imagination, but she graciously followed me anyway. I led her to the bottom of the steep flight of steps in our old stone house and proceeded boldly to the top while she waited at the bottom, waiting for reality to hit me. I never doubted myself for a moment until I was standing at the top. I marched confidently up those steps, my bouncing auburn curls as stubborn as I was. It wasn’t until I was standing at the top, looking all the way down to the bottom, that I began to second-guess myself.

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Had I really done it? I began to question. But the picture in my mind was so vivid. I could still see myself floating gracefully all the way from the top to the bottom. It was so vivid, I could nearly feel the floating sensation you would imagine when there’s no gravity. I was sure I had flown gracefully from the top to the bottom of that flight of steps but as I stood at the top again that day, I could not muster the courage to do it again.

Mom stood silently at the bottom, still waiting for the realization of the impossible to finally sink into my innocent young mind. It finally did. The light went on and with a little help from her, I began to realize that it must have been a dream. Yes, it was a dream. I had gotten my dream world and my real world mixed up. Again. Maybe beloved Anne Shirley could relate.

So I couldn’t fly after all. That was kinda disappointing. I began my descent down the steps in a much more humble fashion than I had first intended. No wings or arms flapping. No triumphant smile or “I told you so, Mom!” as I floated down and landed gracefully at her feet. Just my little stocking-feet, padding down the climax of my dreams to reality.

She was right again, like always. I couldn’t fly. If I had tried, there would have been bumps, bangs, and bruises. It would have been “flying” alright, but far from the flying I was imagining. Most likely it would have ended with me doing a face plant into the merciless carpeted reality: the floor.

And now, every time I look back on that day, I laugh at my fiery, ignorant little self. The thought that I could fly? It was ridiculous! But then the thought hits me while I’m cleaning up supper and thinking back to that moment. Maybe it isn’t so ridiculous. Maybe it holds just a little more truth and wisdom than I thought. Maybe I can fly after all.

A certain bible verse slips into my mind and I smile to myself as I make my conclusion. Yes, I can fly! The Bible says so!

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:31

Okay, so it’s a little different than the flying I attempted as a four-year-old, but it’s even better than that. We can be free! God promises wings to anyone who waits on Him. Do you believe that? Do I?  Do we claim it as truth?  It’s not His will for us to be living powerless lives of bondage. With Christ, there is always strength, no matter how powerless and hopeless we feel. It’s not about who we are, but who God is. 

How many times have I been stubbornly stuck on the ground, beating my fists in the dust, crying out to God in my desperation, but never waiting long enough to hear His voice? How many times have I been complaining so loudly saying, “I can’t do this and I can’t do that” or “Life is too complicated for me” or “I can’t do anything right!” and miss the chance to rise above in faith and fly?

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It took my four-year-old self to remind me that, indeed, I can fly. But the key is this: to wait on God. If we attempt to fly on our own, we’ll end up exactly the way I would have that day in our old stone house. Broken, bruised, and in worse condition than ever. It is God who gives the wings, and God who gives the strength to fly. Our duty is this:

“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”

Psalm 62:5

 

How It All Started

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Hey everyone! Welcome to this new venture of mine. This is my first attempt at creating a blog and my plan is for it to be an outlet for my writings and also some of my photography. Perhaps you would like to know a little about how I got myself into this.

I can’t tell you exactly when I discovered my love for writing because as many other things in life, it was a process. I didn’t wake up one day and decide, “I want to be a writer!” In fact, though this may seem a little odd, it still seems weird to give myself that title. I am far from obtaining a degree or writing a book. Really, I’ve hardly publicized my writing at all yet! Nothing has really happened to me to officially give me that title. No wait, something has happened. I’ve written! If I stop and think about it, someone who bakes is a baker. Someone who reads is a reader. Someone who runs is a runner. Someone who teaches is a teacher. I write, therefore I am a writer.

I still remember the first poem I ever wrote. I was in Grade 3 or 4 at the time, and for some odd reason, I decided to write a poem in my spare time at school. When I was finished, I showed it to my loving teacher and her bouncy, energetic assistant. As you can imagine, it put a feather in this young girl’s hat when they both exclaimed over it and asked for a copy. Okay, so it wasn’t that outstanding, but their enthusiasm gave me a boost of confidence and planted a seed of encouragement for my future.

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I was always known as a dreamer, probably even before the day I learned to ride my bike without training wheels, or the day I learned our fire number for the first time and wrote it on pieces of paper several times in succession, placing them in any spot I could find (That was probably the first mail delivery our furry white bunnies ever got in their respective cages out in our shop. They probably knew that number backwards and forwards by the end of that day). I really have nothing to say in defense to that “diagnosis”. I was the child whose list of ”things to do” looked like the following:

Things to Do

  1. gas station with fix-up garage
  2. dog trainer
  3. The Great Depression
  4. slaves
  5. indians
  6. naturalist (What??? Did I even know what that was? Probably not…)
  7. a person lost in the wilderness
  8. amusement park or dolphin show or something like that (yeah- or something like that;)

And after all of my 110 ideas which were at least 75% imaginative play, number 111 was a classic: “HELP MOM”.

I may as well accept the title, even though sometimes I consider it an honour, and other times not. There have been so many things I have done and said in my life that can only prove that statement to be true.

For example, when I was in Grade 5, I decided I wanted to write a book. Hardly knowing at that point what Microsoft Word was, I sat down at the computer, received a crash course on it from my gracious big sister, and began the laborious task of chicken-pecking my way through nearly 40 pages of a classic story about a slave girl named Sarah and her escape to Canada. It was “captivating”. Literally. (For those of you who fail to get my terrible puns, I have used emphasis to assist you.)

When I finished my “book”, I printed it out with the help of my dad and with some force punched the stapler through the thick stack of papers. At the last minute, I realized I did not have a cover for my book, so I quickly drew some handcuffs and a fierce-looking slave-catcher on a piece of paper with my pencil crayons, attached it to the front, and handed the copy to my teacher for her to read. She came back with a response I was not at all expecting.

She asked me, “May I read this to the class for noon story?”

I consented, and it was with a mixture of feelings that I sat there on the lush green grass in a circle with my classmates and listened to her reading the words I had written. It felt like an accomplishment, but at the same time, it was strange to hear my words read in her voice. And when she would stop in that moment of suspense and say the usual “we’ll find out what happens tomorrow”, it was a new experience to have classmates turning to me as if trying to read my mind to see what had transpired from the very depths of it to create the next chapter.

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Those projects were the baby steps for me, and then when I switched schools in Grade 7, I learned a wealth of new things in English and Literature classes. That was where my passion went beyond a dream. I learned, and I was required to apply it through essays, stories, reports, poems and other writing projects. And now, many writing projects later, I am here; writing not because I have to, but because I want to.

Over the past year or two, I began to take note of the way I was writing. Without really realizing it, I was writing as if I had an audience, a group of people to whom I was sharing my inspiration. Truth be told, I had no audience besides some family members and several friends. If I was actually writing to people, then I wanted some way for them to actually read it. Hence, the blog.

I want to make it clear that just because I write doesn’t mean I have things all figured out. If you’ve come to read from a person who’s got it all together, you’ve come to the wrong spot. Try the neighbour next door. And the next. And the next. And once you’ve made your way all the way around the globe until my neighbour on the other side of me has sent you over again, perhaps you’ll step inside and chat awhile?

‘Cause the truth is, none of us are perfect. None of us have it all together. I’m not at all professing to know everything, and if you don’t agree with something I say, say so and we’ll talk! I’m learning just as much as anyone else. I’m writing not because I know everything but because I love everyone, and I hope that maybe there’s at least a little bit of something that you can take with you from here.

Have a blessed day!