Tuesday, January 31, 2012

my favourite things/ beauty for ashes

the things we lay down
we offer up
we give up
we reconcile
were never ours to begin with

how we are clothed
when we lay all this down
of pride
of arrogance
of self will
all that is left

and here it is
that we can enter
the Holy of Holies
feet bare
and on holy ground
we find all that is beautiful
all that is worthwhile
all that is truly life

He promises
beauty for ashes

It was another of those glory days
when the sky is dark with gloom
with promises
of storm
and all around enough brightness
to crack any storm
to break through any forboding
any fear
any little piece
of little faith

as my eyes beheld this glory
my heart beheld the glory
of His working in my life...
a big thing for man to unravel
all the intricacies of a soul
to find the festering
and put balm of healing to it
but God in His glory
need only reveal a piece of Himself
and it is enough
If I can only touch the hem of His garment
I will be healed
If He will only speak the Word
I will be made whole

beauty for ashes

my friend Dawn Blanchard over at http://dschondog.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/out-of-the-cloud/
has posted a letter from her husband's grandmother's mother, her lifetime spanning from July 8, 1848 to June 30, 1915. I share that here and ask you to enjoy her entire post and see an actual photo of this precious letter... a true blessing.
Dear precious Christ I gladly give you my heart and my life in the best way I know how. I want you to own all there is of me. I want to love you with all my heart — I do not — want to share it with any one else. I want you to take my love and to take all there is of me no matter what you must bring into my life or what you must do in order to possess it. Take me any where… do with me anything if thus I may be brought to know you and to love you with my whole being. I want to be with you continually. I want to spend each moment of my life in loving companionship with you. I want to leave with you all the planning and doing. I want you to have your way in all things. I know you love me and that you wish to do the very best for me.

S.R. Clapsaddle  [Susanna Rebecca Fry Clapsaddle]

so on this glory day
my heart was again laid bare
before the One who is able
the One who makes whole
and if He should so desire
the One who heals

me laid bare before
this One
who owns me

In this I am content
whatever He must do in order to possess me 

I know He loves me and that He wishes to do the very best for me

beauty for ashes

my favourite things

To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for  mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

~Isaiah 61:3

Saturday, January 28, 2012

my favourite things/prayers on angel wings lifted

I sat on top of our hill
on one long toboggan
seven 30 litre
buckets of hot water
under me
and a long stretch
before me
to the barn

I pushed down for a good start
and yeehawed
as I made it around the first bend
I zipped past the snow covered vegetable garden
past the garden fence
hit no snow banks
and came to a gentle stop
some hundred metres
from my first water drop off

pulling all this water is a gym workout in itself
but saves me the real journey to town
my burden heavy but honest
my strength weary but determined
I begin to pass buckets
along the farm circuit
animal friends all pleased

My toboggan still full
my burden yet heavy
I am hot and flushed
I let go
and fall with abandon
into a deep snowbank
stretched out
this bed luxurious
like a memory foam

listless...I give it all up
I have no desire to move
but just feel the cool seep into my flesh
it feels so very good

this burden I bear is not mostly water
nor is it the distance to the barns

I hold a prayer in my bosom
that I have lifted a thousand times
in just two weeks to God's throne of grace
my heart crushed and aching
I lift and lift and it keeps pouring from my bosom
a prayer unending so weighted with the tears of so many
and as I lay so heavy and tired in that snowbank
I muster all the strength I can find
I make angel wings
I offer praises
to the One who is able

and then it happens

my burden is lifted ... on angel wings

my dogs come romping over
they cover me in sloppy kisses
and doggy smiles
snow splaying everywhere
but my snow angel
with wings lifted high
stays strong
and I feel my burden lifted

the rest of the water goes easily now
toboggan empty
I head home to rest
and give thanks
I know He holds the prayers of my heart
of three little kiddies
and a husband
of an entire family
and all their loved ones
for their dear
dear child of a King
a King's kid
fully loved
and ransomed

a prayer of healing lifted

all around
prayers lifted
by so many

on angel wings

my favourite things

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

my favourite things/ His grace dripping down

this night...
at Beth's horse barn
I just chanced to look 
through the space under the eaves

my eyes gazing past
the hanging icicles
drip dripping
in time to the
chew chewing
of Misty Blue


the light from
the goat stall
glowing soft

my mind
caught in
its trance

there craddled
in a lulluby
over the arch of the evergreens
lay the sleeping Dipper
the big baby
cushioned on the tree's horizon
each star placed perfectly
as if pouring grace
from heaven's wells
sliding down the tree tops
glowing peacefully
laced  around with winter glory
all the while the icicles
their slow

their nourishment
to my soul
the sleeping

God's grace
enough for all

Today was a grace day

the sunrise had already astounded me
like a cat at play I had tried to catch the light
as it frolicked across the snowy fields
caught in the strands of fence
casting itself long across
the blankets of morning shadows
settling in the deep drifts
light pockets
from this kitten's

come afternoon
I happened again
to lift up my eyes

this time the afternoon glow
was resting on the southwestern hill
the bare poplars
bathed in coral pinks
and mellow yellows
the Northern sky deep blue black
with a hint of a rain storm
the smell pure and
cool on the lungs
my face bathed in
the falling glory
grace full
and deep

empty vessel
on God's sweet grace

grace free
spilling over

must drop it
on my way
to those
who venture by
drip dripping
along my way
love craddled
in a lulluby
in the brightness of the morning ...


in the soft glow of the afternoon ...


God's grace
to a
and a thirsty

wake up
O  My people
lift up ye everlasting gates
and the King of Glory shall come in
and the King of Glory shall come in

You will find Him in the morning
He will be found throughout the day
the afternoon's last light will bring Him close

And the King of glory
will come in

His grace
drip dripping

my favourite things

Monday, January 23, 2012

my favourite things/ a swing hung from the rafters

I have a memory
and because it has pressed
so dear to my heart
I built a swing for my kids
years ago

it hung from the basement
the swing
the memories

Peter and Wendy
Randy and me
playing for hours
pushing each other
unwinding dizzy and giddy
with childish glee
a bare basement
except for the swing
and all the friendship
a child ever needs

so I wanted a swing
for my kids
and when some would practice piano
the others would swing
in rhythm
or out
but the swing
was still the same

all I have of that family
from way back
before my mom died
and people walk away
and distance separates
is a swing
and all the memories
that sway back and forth
filling my heart
with all the childish glee
and friendship
a child ever needs

one day from heaven's rafters
I will swing with
all of heaven's joy
and all my friends
will be there
and the laughter
will be shared

a swing
hung from
the basement

my favourite things

Saturday, January 21, 2012

my favourite things/ Siyanda

Your time on earth is through,
and now I say to you,
Fly little angel, fly!
Use those wings that you've been given
Fly on up to God's perfect heaven.
Fly little angel, fly!
The pain you felt is now all done,
and you've gone to meet the Son.
Fly little angel, fly!
Oh, darling life, how you did shine!
You'll forever be in this heart of mine!
Fly little angel, fly!

~Elizabeth Fortner

Please pray for the dedicated caregivers of one very special little girl as they grieve her loss
check her out here:
Sometimes we just can't stop the flow
these tears that fall
and understanding
just doesn't come

flow sweet flow of tears
for each tear's kept
by the One who understands 

one day He will reveal all

but for now
weep sweet ones
until you can weep no more

remember her beauty
your dreams for her

they are all complete
in Him now
she smiles with Him

and awaits
your journey

until then
live dear ones
and the hugs you would have given her 

fit them well around another
love deep
dear ones
always there is someone

to build your dreams upon

until that day when we shall see Him
face to face
and all shall be

blessings little one
the gift is that you came to us at all

we will hold that moment


my favourite things/cast shadows God's brightness

the cold has lifted
as thick soft wetness
covers the mounds of winter hardness
meters packed high
melted down three times
and now this fresh falling
is perfect for tongue catching
as it drifts effortlessly
clad in ballet slippers
and tutus
each flake a dance
to God's nightsong of
quiet rest and peace over the farm

from two farms over
fields large and cattle many
phoned to say a large lone wolf
tried to gain a calf
now all such young put away safe
the large lone wolf gone away empty
I should watch my herds of wandering goats he said
all resting now in the fold
Blue and Sam dogs guarding
them fenced high
angels watching

I went out with warm water for
five horses
twenty seven goats
one duck
seven chickens
one rabbit
two dogs
all pleased with the -17C
frost melted on inside windowsills
warm wetness welcome
Christmas and Easter Cacti
ready now to throw open their bloom

my face uplifted to catch the
wet flakes
cool on my flushed face

I scratched each horse
let them lick my bare hands
shared words of friendship
and how much I love them
prayed they would keep safe from hungry wolves
who must also eat

snow falling
horse Rudy dozy
as he faces into the Northern sky
white stretched soft across his back
like an appaloosa
not the son from
the line of  Man O War
that he is

then walking home praising the One who gives all this
I saw the shadows caught up in the quiet of the night
soft waves across the snowy banks
layers of soft darkness
resting upon darker layers
set against the light from the house
cast with the quiet stillness of  forest branches
their shadows quilted upon the snow
exquisite God drawing
which fades
only to my eyes
as I shut the door
and turn out the lights

cast shadows
God's brightness

my favourite things

Thursday, January 19, 2012

my favourite things/ hoarfrost

His breath catches
in the air and as it passes by
it gives life

This morning
bundled like a Joey
in a Kanga's pouch
all fur lined
I venture out

I can't breathe for all the scarves
my breath caught against the coverings
I struggle free and gasp...
the freshness of the air stings pleasant
and I feel revived
I breath gentle and then deep
I like the coolness
-35 C

At the goats I call out
the dogs come first
tails high
smiles bright
Sam amazes me so
how a dog can smile

then the goats unhuddle and I laugh
the hoarfroast is feathertipped along their whole bodies
where the breath from one rested on another
twenty white feathertipped beauties
coming out into the morning brightness


God formed Adam
out of the earth and breathed life into him
I have molded clay and tried to breathe life into it
imagining what it must be like
to have an Abba Father's heart...
to pass life
upon the likeness
of One's Image

I have made snowmen
snow angels
and they are not even 'but dust'
I breathe and they melt
beneath me

but God breathed into his nostrils
and Adam became
a living soul


is a God gift

I feel the breath of God around me
I feel Him fill my lungs
with His breath

There is no life without Him
Those who argue
just try to breathe life into clay
or snow
or yourself

this breath is a God gift
each one

When it is cold we see this invisible breath
settle around us
He reminds us that He is still giving life
He has the power to take the breath away
and power to give it back again

the Life part He always holds
even when the last breath
has been taken and
this life as we know it
is no more
Yet... He holds 'us'
made in His image
redeemed by a Son
who was there when the clay was formed...He formed us
and the first breath was given... He gave it
When God said
Let us make man in our image
male and female...He made us

He was there

In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters

And the Word became flesh
and dwelt among us

the Breath of God
the Breathgiver

this morning the hoarfrost reminded me of His Breath
surrounding us
filling us
I could touch it
He felt so close
and though it melted
at my touch...

seeing it was just a reminder
that He is always here

Breathe on me
Oh Holy One

His Breath
in the

my favourite things

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

my favourite things/ golden sun -32C

We are in a valley
the winds
arrested in the trees
beyond our land
the sun golden
and warming
though the weatherman
says -32C
and our
confirms -35 C
before the sunrise
this morning

It is my dad's birthday today
He would be 100 years old on this fine and golden day

we spent many a day like this
together through the years

my smile is big
to be so loved
my prayer for each child
as I begin this day

I wait until the sun shows her face
to go out with warm water
and to give out the sweet hay
they won't want to wander
from cuddles warmth
and chewing cuds
until the brightness warms them

This morning it was hats and scarves
wool sweaters and hoodies and over-jacket
hats all velcroed in place
ski pants and muck boots
good to -25C
I've tested them colder
and am always toasty toed

I let the dogs out
from their guarding
the goats all night


they run and scoop up snow
in their mouths
and roll in the fresh powder
then are off to their game of chase
and check the trails
How does an animal
keep warm in these elements
and smile?

just two days ago we skied together
my man and the dogs
with me
our joy full

now it is
back to the home fires
an extra log in the big furnace
snuggle kitty time

and back to drawing
study God's Word
read my friends' wonderful blogs
learn my concert songs/ alto
Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus

true Body
born of the Virgin Mary
Who truly suffered
on the cross for man

Whose pierced side overflowed
with water
and blood
be for us a foretaste
in the test of death

Here's to Song

Kings have riches widely lain
lords have land but then again
we have friends and song no wealth can buy...


I love these days that keep me in
once chores outside are complete
animals content
and all seems well
though the mercury says
... it's cold!

so we play
the animals and I do

then it is in for a warm reprieve

until afternoon
before the warm sun goes down
and we do it all again

God Gift days
my dad's 100th birthday
golden days

my favourite things