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Lie still, lie still,
my breaking heart;
My silent heart,
lie still and break:
Life, and the world,
and mine own self,
are changed
For a dream’s sake.
-Christina Rossetti
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Unexpected Hope

“…a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

For about three weeks, it has looked increasingly more certain that our relationship with Jamie is completely over. Over, over. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

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“I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.”
― Sylvia Plath

One Day at a Time

21167012_893575297474395_259381035523609244_o“There is a time for everything…
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance…”
-Ecclesiastes

Tears are a gift. Grief is a journey.

Laughter heals. Friends comfort. Time helps.

God is still good.

Soul Soap

There were times, indeed, when the vigor she put into her work was more of a relief to her feelings than it was an ardor to efface dirt… -Eleanor H. Porter

I was peeved. I was irritated. I was mad and the longer I cleaned, the more time I had to think, and the more time I had to think, the madder I got.

I was being stubborn that day, dwelling on an offense and refusing to soften my heart. Normally, when I don’t want to forgive someone, God reminds me of how much I have been forgiven until, convicted (and ashamed), I forgive. This time He took a different approach.  I answered Him through gritted teeth, “Lord, if I have to scrub until I’ve forgiven her, I’m going to have to scrub all day!”

It took almost all day. I cleaned the roof, the sides, the windows, the floorboards, the rug mats, the rubber mats, and the dashboard. I even scrubbed the tires with a toothbrush. Slowly – painfully so – my anger faded and forgiveness became possible.

That evening I was cleaning up my cleaning tools (yay!) when I realized the parallel. With each consecutive wash and rinse of a rag black with grime, the water ran off a little less gray, until finally all the dirt was gone. The only thing that remained were the stains that hadn’t been washed away before they set.

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
-Ephesians 4:26-27

Sometimes my soul needs a good scrubbing.

But Hope Does Disappoint

 “…and hope does not disappoint…”
-Romans 5:5a

I know what this verse actually means, but I have been subconsciously (and slightly willfully) misinterpreting it for a long time. It’s given me a dislike for the word “hope” and caused me to wrestle with the concept of hoping – and really stop hoping altogether – because I know that I have almost always been disappointed by my hopes.

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24 Hours

“But Sam was now sorrowful at heart, and it seemed to him that if the parting would be bitter, more grievous still would be the long road home alone…

…to Sam the evening deepened to darkness as he stood at the Haven; and as he looked at the grey sea he saw only a shadow on the waters that was soon lost in the West. There still he stood far into the night, hearing only the sigh and murmur of the waves on the shores of Middle-earth, and the sound of them sank deep into his heart. ”
―Tolkien