Rambling thoughts

Gray January day

Our nation celebrates

Our nation weeps

The divide is palpable

Fear pulses

Anger boils

Victory cheers, expectant

What will happen?

What will be?

 

Homeless are still homeless

Children’s blank faces

Wonder what is a CPS worker

And where they are going

Hunger roars

Lonely sit silent

People pass by, coming and going

What will happen?

What will be?

 

Big houses, busy families

Working parent’s too engrossed

To notice their daughter

Lured into the night

Sold for entertainment

Their son, retreating into depression

Their marriage, crumbling

What will happen?

What will be?

 

Problems, we have so many

We fold our hands and acquiesce

Too big for me

Some march in protest

What difference does it make?

We toss coins at million dollar problems

Our small adds up

What will happen?

What will be?

 

Gaze deeply into the faces

Of our circle of influence

One need helps moving

Another, a job

A widow weeps

Parents mourn their child

One celebrates new birth

What will happen?

What will be?

 

Send that “thinking of you”

Allow someone to go in front of you

Look beyond the surface

Listen to stories

Tell yours

Build relationships

What will happen?

What will be?

A revolution?

We will see…

 

 

 

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Voice Recognition 

When I arrived at the window after a rare drive-thru coffee order, the young girl at the register turned out to be someone I knew. 

“I thought I recognized that voice,” she said. 


It happens so often. Apparently my family and I have a distinct sound recognized by our community as “Cyzick” before they even see our faces or we say our names. Sometimes people who only know one or two of us will hear another of us speak and ask if we are a Cyzick, just by our sound. 

On the other hand, Siri, my iPhone voice assistant never understands me, leading to unfortunate and sometimes downright embarrassing mistexts. 

There is a beautiful story in the Gospel of John in the New Testament that talks about how sheep know the voice of their shepherd. In the literal sense, a Veterinarian friend of mine who provides services in one of the most remote regions of the world has experienced this figure of speech first-hand. With every visit he is astounded that the thousands of sheep on the mountainside know the unique call/whistle/or sound of their shepherd. The calls all have similarities, but there is enough variance and the relationship with sheep and shepherd are such that when the shepherd calls, his sheep, and only his sheep from among the thousands, follow. Each flock knows their shepherd. 

In this sheep/shepherd/voice recognition figure of speech in the Gospel of John, Jesus uses this example to explain how children of God know their Father’s voice. When we spend conscious time in the presence of God, reading the Bible, praying, listening, paying attention to his voice within and around us, we become more familiar with his voice. 

Just like the sheep on the mountainside, there might be any number of other shepherds calling or voices clamoring for space in our hearts, heads, and lives, so it takes practice and familiarity to recognize the unique sound of the True Shepherd. The more familiar we become with the True Shepherd, the more we can discern whose voice is calling. The True Shepherd loves us and will not lead us astray. 

May we all be tuned to what the True Shepherd is saying to each one of us today. 

Risking love and loss… Again

Emotions swirl like a whirlpool in my gut. Thoughts circulate my head like a tornado. We have found ourselves at a place we never really thought we’d be. As foster parents, we knew that any number of circumstances were possible, but subconsciously I think we really only saw two outcomes; adoption or return home.

But now we have this precious little human that has been with us for several months. Home is not ready at this time, but we must let them go. We never anticipated a pet allergy severe enough to become unmangeable. We never saw ourselves too busy to give all that some little ones might need, but that is also the case.

There is relief on one side, that this little pumpkin will no longer have to suffer ongoing severe allergy symptoms. There is hope that a new home will be able to provide them more attention than what our already busy schedules allowed. But there is sadness, a deep sense of loss, and absolutely no regret for saying yes to the initial placement call. I can’t see through the tears to type these words. Writing them makes it all that much more real.

We can only pray that our time together has been productive, fruitful, and life-giving and affirming.  Releasing a child I’ve grown to love into the system, outside of the perimeters of my mothering heart, is requiring more faith and trust than I ever dreamed. My heart feels broken and fragile.

If you are so inclined, please breathe a prayer of blessing over this little person, unknown by most of the world, but created and deeply loved by God, and for the new home. Pray for the biological family as well, and for our own dear children who will grieve this loss deeply.

Our hearts will need time, our souls, reflection.

“I guess by now I should know enough about loss to realize that you never really stop missing someone-you just learn to live around the huge gaping hole of their absence.” ― Alyson Noel, Evermore

 

Simplifying in 2017

Six people in a 1700 square foot house has caused me to re-evaluate “stuff.” We’ve always had clutter but I never saw it as excess, just disorganization. 

I’ve long felt the call to live simply and sufficiently and in many ways I feel like we do. I cook nearly every meal from scratch with many homegrown preserved ingredients. I make our own variety of soaps, detergents, deodorants, and try to live as closely to the earth as possible. We have one TV in the whole house, which is one too many if you ask me. I shop at second hand stores and we wear our clothes completely out. We live and work and play very closely as a family, focusing on building character, relationship, and communication skills and try to avoid excessive digital/electronic time. 

But now, now we’re busting at the seams of this sweet little brown brick ranch and I realize the piles of dirty dishes and clean unfolded laundry are more because of excess than disorganization. It’s not that I’m disorganized, although my husband and brother-in-law would sniff at this comment or rather burst into fits of uncontrolled laughter, but we simply don’t have the room for what we have.

 This sign on the door of my kitchen cabinet aptly sums it up. 

I’m responding to the internal tug to minimize, simplify, reduce, and refocus. I’m pretty sure God and the universe are trying to tell me this, because I’m seeing shared links, blog posts, books, and quotes about simplifying everywhere. 

Besides clearing clutter and excess from our home, I’m also taking a hacksaw to the commitment calendar and it feels oh so good. I’ve had to practice saying “no” in the mirror, but I’m getting the hang of it. My life is of little value to others when my own well is empty and dry. My prayer is that I maximize my opportunities to serve in the capacities to which I am called. 

I will share more with you along the way, but here’s our pretty little cabinet that contains all our dishes now. (And it’s still more than what we need daily.) Imagine, I thought we needed an entire cabinet for cups and glasses and one for plates and bowls and I still didn’t have room for everything before the purge. 

I hope you all have something to look forward to in 2017. I’m looking forward to a slower pace. 

Peace and Love, y’all.