Life on the Edge of Empty

These are thoughts I’ve had on a lifestyle I can understand now, because I once had to live it when I was single.

“Living on the edge of empty” means not being concerned with taking time to be fully prepared and ready. It’s more important to keep on going, no matter how much “go power” you have left. It is enough to have just enough to keep moving, not watching the dial, but just the road ahead, and the goal to reach, pushing past your last known extremity. You stop long enough to replenish, and don’t mind running out, or being on empty. You keep on hoping there will be enough and there usually is.

Becoming “empty” is not a problem, or a worry.  Push the dial below empty as long as you can. You don’t calculate it may cause you to stop. Let everything run out to a zero. It’s not a catastrophe. Tomorrow is another day. No need to be on “full”, or be “full on”, or even feel full. I thought it was  better to be slightly hungry all the time. Nothing wrong with that. Though I must admit I never liked to have an empty fridge, or a bare cupboard, because I grew up in poverty. A different extremity.

I lived this way as a single woman, and also as a single mother. I was often on the verge of collapse because I didn’t know my own limits. Now I have a companion who constrains me as we journey on together. He has helped me to slow down, and think about the next steps. He has probably saved my life, or at least has added years to my life. So, it’s a life process that goes from extremity to moderation. It may not bring a rush of adrenalin but it has brought order from chaos, and peace of mind.
Does that mean I give up spontaneity, a very important part of creativity??? Never! May my necessities ever be the mother of witty inventions.

Does that mean that I’ve stopped flying by the seat of my pants? Yes, a little, and maybe a lottle.
I still like life a little bit edgy, and find that life has its exciting turns, edges and presents us with new vistas. Don’t want it to ever be “cookie cutter predictable”. Oh no. Living by faith never is. There’s adventure enough to make every day exciting, if only we stop to listen, watch, and learn what’s really going on around us.

Here’s to every season that brings us to turning points.

 

Christmas Love

 

CHRISTMAS LOVE

– paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at
mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china  and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of LOVE will endure.

-Author Unknown

A Magnificat Morning

Today I woke up much earlier than normal, and John called me to the window. “Just in time”, he said, “to see this beautiful dawn”. I was absolutely breath-taken by the depth of color spreading out before us.  “It’s a rainbow sherbert morning” he said with a big smile, remembering his favorite childhood ice cream. Yes, it was delicious to watch, a feast for the eyes, the windows of the soul. I turned off the lamp, and sat on the little loveseat in front of the living room window, trying to remember all the colors before they faded in the rising sun’s glory. But these were colors an earthly artist would find hard to replicate. I couldn’t paint what I saw, but these are the words that came as I quietly waited in adoration….

 

Wakened by a magnificat morning:
my soul magnifying the Lord of Creation,worshiping at the footstool of my couch,
before the horizon’s altar, laden with a blue lagoon of silk,
 bands of singing robins filled the branching chambers all around me,
then moved in waves of throbbing praises, east and west,
weaving the shadowed pattern of fabric unwinding from their wings;
and the window, a portal of beauty above me, latticework  of gold and rose,
filtering the soft pinked flock of clouds, gathered into lace with lilac thread,
soon scattered ribbons of light upwards, till all was luminous,
and the day star ruled the winter solstice sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John’s Christmas Story

Luke is usually the preferred storyteller when it comes to the birth of Christ. He includes the many human, homey details we love to hear, and children never tire of hearing about: angels singing, shepherds running, kings traveling from afar to worship the King of Kings born in a stable. But then, even in this most beautiful story of all the stories we will ever hear on earth, there are the negative details. An earthly king, fearful of losing power, seethes with jealousy and rage after he hears about the birth of a king, foretold centuries before him,  by the prophet Micah.  Feigning an interest in this prophecy, he uses the information about the birthplace to issue an unthinkable order to his Roman soldiers. “Kill every child, two years old and under, born in and around Bethlehem!”  Alongside all the masterpieces depicting Jesus’ birth, there are some horrific ones graphically depicting the slaughter of babies by the Roman sword. Birth and death, beauty and horror, the slaughter of innocents, the lust for power, the untrammeled greed for wealth and position, still comprise all our daily news feed.

John’s Evangel gives us an eternal perspective, and takes us behind the headlines of that day:

Shepherds reported seeing and hearing a choir of angels singing…A caravan of monarchs  following a star arrive in Jerusalem…Reports of an infant King born in Bethlehem…Herod denies any connection to local Judean infanticide; 28 children brutally murdered!!

What’s really going on here? According to John 1:9-14  NLT:

” The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

Beautiful words that hold great promise and hope. Surely this light was so welcomed, especially after centuries of great darkness, and silence. But men have always preferred to hide in darkness because their deeds were evil. Remember Adam?

“He came into the very world that he created, BUT the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him.”

“BUT all who believed him and accepted him he gave the right to become the children of God”.

Wait a minute! How could this be? And what gives him the right to offer this?

“They are reborn, not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, BUT a birth that comes from God.”

John later explains this “rebirth” in detail as he records Jesus’ secret meeting with Nicodemus in Chapter three.

“The Word, [the logos, the principle that governs the world, the agent of creation, the source of God’s message to his people, the one who “holds all creation together”, “the express image of the invisible God”] became human, [became visible and tangible], and made his home among us.”

This is so overwhelming. We bow before such mystery. And we can only ask, why?

“He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness”.

How do you know this John?

“And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”

John was a living eye-witness who wrote about seeing the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Now, you yourself, look upon an image of his face, painted by a young Russian girl, who had visions of heaven and many encounters with Jesus. This is how she saw him.

a vision of Jesus
a vision of Jesus

She sees him as the Prince of Peace. How do you see him?