Blackbird Take Your Broken Wings and Fly

blackbird song

  Listen to Blackbird

Click and Close your eyes.

Let Miss Farris hug you with hope.

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What If Wednesday

What if change insisted on a
different road?

A Different Road

Finding Grace in the 5-a-day challenge

 
5 a day
 
I am finding grace in vegetables and fruits. Let me explain…Part of the wellness program here at “the” hospital involves 30-day challenges; last month was water. We had to drink a swimming pool of it.

This month it is 5 fruits and veggies per day. This is getting a little burdensome for me as I rarely eat 5 servings of anything that doesn’t end in “ocolate”. There is a swirling whirlpool of things for me to remember and adding 5 fruits and vegetables every day for everyday has almost maxed-out my capacity for obsession.

The burden was especially poignant last night at 11:30, when I bolted straight up out of a ColinFirth dream and screamed,

“I only got 4!”

I slid, baggy sox and baggy-eyed across a newly waxed kitchen floor to the ice box, grabbed and devoured, a cup of carrots like a dog attacking a can of Alpo.

 {Closed-caption for the decade-impaired: 11:30pm is late night for those of us who work for a living. Ice box is another name for the appliance that holds the tofu, leftover Chinese, and also, in my case, cans of tennis balls.}

I approached this consumption problem with the trial-and-error of a scientist in a Mel Brooks’ movie. The answer: Smoothies!!! These two little smoothies are making it easier for me, 

Kale Apple Smoothie: Kale, of course being the latest IT vegetable.

 

Carrot-Pineapple Smoothie: a little taste of the islands when I add a tiny paper umbrella

Looking at the ingredients, I think I can get credit for two each, because if I ate everything separately, it would count for two.

Both were easy to make and I thought they tasted swell. But I also taught in a public high school for 17 years so my threshold of comfort may be a little suspect.

To gain perspective, I enlisted the help of two friends.

My friend, Clarice visited from California via Skype. She “loved/loved/loved” both smoothies but she is a turbo~vegetarian of the “don’t eat anything with a mother” tribe so, admittedly, she is a little partial to rooted things.

My other friend who came over in person for the taste test wants to be Anonymous, because perhaps she may also be a hospital employee.

Anonymous took one sip, wrinkled her nose, went to the freezer, retrieved then proceeded to put a scoop of Haagen-Daas vanilla-bean ice cream in each glass. She took a judicious gulp, and pronounced both drinks a success. Anonymous is a carnivore but gets queasy during NCIS, just so you have full disclosure.

And Anonymous is going to count them for 3. Each. Challenges like these bring out the crazy accounting side of us all.

So today, she is strutting around like a banty-rooster because she tallied 6 total for today. There was a tiny piece of kale in her tooth. Think I’ll wait just a bit to tell her. After I finish my apple.

 

  
 


I Come to Pray but Sit in Silence

Is there an i in Escape?

Another personal icon in my life fell this week in a crushing torrent of rage. A surprise to my ego since this icon, This Voice,  did damage so close to the bone of my identity. So close to the identity I thought defined me, since I had inherited parts of it.  So surprising the suddenness of the quake of it.

And all I wanted to do was escape. Run. Leave.

And keep going. Keep walking. Away.

I retreated as far as the job listings in a familiar place. And there was one. There always is. And a friend there too. And an invitation.

To escape. But escape is a gilded temptation. Because when I escape, I take myself. And my problems. And my fears.

“Only leave when the crisis has passed and things are calm,” the mentor once said.

I remember those wise words now. And that is the wonder of it.So, what? So, what now?

From my memory, something familiar develops, fuzzy at first before Polaroid-clarity.  

Return to the basics. “Watch the ball,” the good coach would say. “See it meet the strings of your racket. See it until your focus slows it down. Breathe through your shot. Good. Do it again. And again. 100 forehands. 100 backhands. 100 overheads. 100 volleys-each side. 100 serves. 100 lobs.
Always end with the lobs, because they take the most patience.”

And fast forward to today~~Return to the Basics: Stay Present. Breathe Deeply. Return to Water: drink it, submerge in it, splash in it, soak in it, let the tears remain from it. Return to what God says about me. Remember my identity in Him.

He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. Isaiah 40:11


and the paradox
Ann Voskamp

Return to Gratitude and the wonder and truth that you and I are here because of grace .
And the escape comes in what The Father is making new.

This song is a gift for the escapee in me: Click to listen: Solid Ground by Shelly Moore Band

:)

To read Ann Voskamp’s entire post, with her quote included, please gently click here.

A Word From My Sponsor

Titus 3 7

Saturday Hike

wendell berry poem

Poem I by Wendell Berry, layout by helen

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