Monday, February 27, 2012

From Cali, With Love

We've been California-ing with Jon's family this week.  And it's been lovely.  Sunshine, mountainside, story-tellin' kinda lovely.  The kind that takes me back to being little and wishing my whole, big family could live in the same house and stay together always.

Holy sunrise in the sky, Batman.

And no joke, the locale-Oscar for serious real goes to the Metz fam.  The thank-you list is long and the music is playing, but thanks for being you and for living in such a gorgeous place.  We double-love to visit.  

Maizy meets Great-Grammy P.

Meeting our newest guy, Bennett.

It's Monday, a brand new start to a brand new week.  And as your list of things to do and check off grows, I share some wisdom that has been humbling me in waves:

It doesn't matter what you get done if you've undone a heart.  There are no real accomplishments apart from relationship. 

We head home tomorrow, and my list of today's to-do's includes little things like laundry and packing...and soaking up the last bits of California vacationing, drinking in final moments with those we love and see not often enough.

Whatever today holds for you, I hope you accomplish slowing down and taking time.  Notice.  See.  And check off all those boxes with love.

Happy, happy Monday, all.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Take a drive down any country road or highway, white crosses, floral wreaths, R.I.P.s and their weary beacons call through the night, Life was here and is gone.  Plates are scraped and excess discarded while babies sleep hungry in other homes.  Teenagers enter the tsunami of unkindness and cruelty from their peers, haunted by thoughts of ending it all.  Grocery-shop and you'll rub shoulders with P.O.W.s of capsized marriages.  Go to work, a park, the library, out to lunch and you'll converse with those dead-eyed, sentenced to the hollow shell of a dreams-snatched-and-stolen existence.  No matter who we are or where we walk, we soldier the battle for heart.

Circumstance wields it's enchanted axe and cuts away pieces of ourselves.  Slowly, like L. Frank Baum's Tin Woodman, we discover our core replaced by shiny, silvery metal...brilliant in the sun but heartless underneath.  Cynicism and disbelief play king-of-the-castle where love once skipped and sang.

Weary.  Broken.  Hurting.  Angry.  Alone.  Time, oblivious and rude, moves on.  The sun rises and sets and rises again.

...happily ever after fails
...we've been poisoned by these fairy tales.

And just when things look really bleak.  Hope, small and faint appears on the horizon.  Dorothy and the Scarecrow find the Tin Man, oil his rusted joints, and invite him to join them towards Oz.  And the Tin Woodman can't resist.  He wants his heart back.

So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  
2 Corinthians 4.16-18, ESV 

Opportunities abound to numb the ache or to lie down and die completely in the battle for heart.  I want to carve my initials in this life.  I want to say I was here.  That I didn't lose heart.  That I didn't trade in what matters most - to live a life full of love - with what was shiny and silvery and safe.

Love is never far from danger. 

And love can't live and breathe without heart.

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. 

Soak up the good, wield the bad, and let it all prepare you, renew you, forge in you the better, the stronger, the more complete.  All the while, keeping your eyes fixed on the One who endured, who suffered, who gave it all.  A cross, a thorny wreath, a weary tomb.....a conquered grave.

Pain is real but it isn't final.  Hope stands guard, watching through the night.  Eternity rises and grows on the horizon.  And so we do not loose heart.