Monday, March 9, 2015

Grace Notes (#Small Wonder Link-up)

I love this image of Christ in the Wilderness gathering Wild Flowers painted by Stanley Spencer.

I decided last weekend that I would try to write 500 words, five days a week for the month of March.  

And I nearly did this past week.  But still, I came up short, not having anything finished enough to post today.  Some weeks are like that for me, lots of planting seeds, lots of beginnings, but no real tangible harvest. 

Yesterday afternoon I took a nap and the sun came out, sending the temperature up above fifty degrees.  The kids swarmed coat-less in the driveway and later in the still-snowy field.  I sat inside by a dying fire working on a poem, then did the dishes and made a cake. 

We met some new friends for dinner and it amazes me always – how new friends can be made when you least expect it.  Since leaving the church we helped plant almost seven years ago, there's been a lot of grieving and letting go.  It's almost been enough to make me forget the life that always follows death - the way surrender opens our hands to receive something new. 

Sitting around a new table with new faces and listening to us talk, I felt keenly aware that we're not the same people we once were.  I heard a spaciousness in our lives, a reaching out beyond ourselves that feels so big and lively. 

“It’s just so much fun,” I heard myself say, over and over again, trying to explain the appeal of owning chickens. 

This weekend we celebrated the one-year anniversary of buying this good and spacious place here in Boiling Springs.  As far as we're concerned, the fact that we live here is a complete miracle, a good old fashioned act of God.  

One year ago we held our breath until the papers were signed, while drinking water out of bottles labelled "Trust Matters".  We left the lawyer’s office like two foxes leaving a hen house – wide grins on our faces, hardly able to believe we got away with it.

I'm learning that this is what grace feels like, this spaciousness, this bubble of joy that rises, this scandalous abundance unearned.  

May you be blessed with grace this Lenten season - 
may your emptying be followed by abundance, 
may your surrender make way for the new things 
already being rooted within you.  
May your grief be fruitful, 
may your joy be full. 

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Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.

What if we chose to deliberately look for the small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God? 

That's my proposal - that we might gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days. 

You're invited to link-up a brief post of about five hundred words or less about a small moment of wonder.  Don't worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right - you're welcome to come as you are.  

While you're here, please do take a look around and encourage at least one other blogger with a comment. 




16 comments:

  1. 500 words a day five days a week is ambitious and challenging to be sure. Keep persevering if it is what you really want. You can do it! Your home sound wonderful.

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. For me, 500 words a day seems to help keep the pump primed and also (you can ask my family) keeps me sane. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  2. "what grace feels like, this spaciousness, this bubble of joy that rises, this scandalous abundance unearned" ... Oh, yes. The space to move and breath and explore without fear of one wrong move coming the death of me. Of green meadows and still streams. Amen and amen.

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    1. The freedom to move without fear - yes! Thanks for being here, Beth.

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  3. This post brought to mind the verse, "He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. " (Psalm 18:19, NIV). So thankful for this reminder today!

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    1. Yes, I love that verse! It's funny how often we work ourselves into corners of one sort or another, almost as though we prefer it. Thanks for being here :)

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  4. "'It’s just so much fun,' I heard myself say, over and over again, trying to explain the appeal of owning chickens."

    That sense of wonder, joy and satisfaction in the small things of life...in the everyday miracles of life...

    I think this is much of our calling...much of what we read about in the Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

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    1. It's so funny, Joe, because my personality type almost always puts work ahead of fun. It was just so funny to hear myself so happy, ya know? And so thankful. Yes, I wish we heard as much about delight in churches as we do in the bible.

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  5. Kelly, the Holy Spirit spoke the word 'surrender' to me in the beginning of the year. At first I thought it was hard (well, it is!) but I typed these words to a friend just yesterday--'raising my hands in the air to praise Him and receive what He has.'
    Your post echoes that....I'm grateful for the way God uses you and your words to add to and speak into my life.

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    1. Yes - there's much joy and freedom on the other side of surrender - kinda like resurrection, I guess. Thanks for being here, Jody.

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  6. I love this:
    "I'm learning that this is what grace feels like, this spaciousness, this bubble of joy that rises, this scandalous abundance unearned."
    What a blessing to be living this life, Kelly. I know we don't always "feel" this grace around us, but it always is, and I love it. :)

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    1. So true, Lisa, that there are seasons where we feel only its absence, but grace is always there moving and working in our midst. Thanks for being here Lisa, and for your gracious joy.

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  7. Kelly,
    This struck me: "life that always follows death - the way surrender opens our hands to receive something new."...I always need to be reminded of this truth...Thank you!

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  8. "May your grief be fruitful." Ah, Kelly. One of these days, I would love to be one of those faces around your table, and I would be a captive audience on the joys of owning chickens, among the many other things we'd talk about.

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  9. Two years ago we left a church we had been with for 17 years. The grief was real. And then recently, as I surrendered the pain and the people who had caused so much pain, I felt the burden released and the joy replaced it. I see the fruit of where we are now and why; God is so good.

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  10. May we freely experience the "bubble of joy" that is His grace! Thanks for the beautiful post & for hosting & God bless!

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