Monthly Archives: December 2010

Christmas Eve

This time of year always reminds me of my gaps and limitations.  There are so many things I can’t do.  I can’t bake enough cookies to give away to neighbors and friends and still have enough for the family.  (My mom always seemed to be able to do it!) I never send out enough Christmas cards or buy enough gifts.  There is always someone I leave out.  I forgot to get the butter out of the microwave last night when Suzie was baking our Christmas bread and I was helping her.  Hence, the Christmas bread is not moist and rich like it is meant to be.  Good natured, Bill suggested we just lather extra butter on top when we eat it!

Continuing on the theme of not enough.  I remember as a child opening my last present and being disappointed that there weren’t anymore pretty packages to open.  The gifts I give or receive aren’t always just right.  Sometimes they need to be exchanged for a different size or color. I also remember when taking back gifts, was the exception not the norm.  A gift was just that, something to be received and thankful for, not looked at with a critical eye as I’m taking it out of the box wondering if I can’t exchange it for something I like better.

I wonder if those who often suffer depression during this time, aren’t more keenly aware of these limitations.

Maybe this is just what I need reminding of each year.  Maybe this is the point of why that baby was born in a manger.  We could not do it ourselves.  We could not keep the laws of God perfectly to win our way back into his favor.  Our only hope was a Savior, champion, redeemer, who could do it for us.  And what a wonderful Savior he is! Yet, in his humanity he also experienced limitations.  Was that why he said his disciples would do greater things than he did?  We collectively, over the centuries, empowered by the Holy Spirit, pooling all our resources and talents would be able to accomplish more than one man on his own could do?

I am learning that it is OK to have limitations.  In fact, it is just how it is, so the sooner I accept that, the more at peace I will be.  I cannot save the world, but I have a part.  Sometimes that part seems insignificant , but it is my part and added to the whole it is making a difference in the world.

Categories: Faith, God, Life | 1 Comment

Vancouver Impressions

City of green windows

Prosperity and success behind those windows

Far east meets far west

Meets far out and away from home for many

Struggling immigrants

Meets Christmas pageants

Old meets new

Again and again

Violence breaks out in the neighborhood

While we are sleeping

The pressure was in the air as we parked our car

Dreaming that night of a lost baby, lost hope

Their spirits grow faint

Their enemies are great

Will the residents tucked away

Safely in their comfortable homes

Lend a hand to the struggling ones

I met some who are

The uncertainty of the darkness is confusing

Distorting reality

The voices in the mist

Some malevolent

Lead the immigrants on paths

Deeper into darkness and fear

© 2010 Julie Clark

Categories: Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stanley Park

Paths laid out in forests and along a hidden lagoon

Swans sail in the peaceful water

The view opens up to green windowed downtown

Confronted by a kind of city beauty

Sea wall closed to all but those who rules aren’t made for

Only to end at a lookout

Scramble up the hill and join the rule keepers

Naval barracks and tea houses speak of an earlier generation

Walking behind the aquarium

The gate swings open

The rule bender takes a side step inside

While the rule keeper stands guard outside

He comes back beckoning her to come see Beluga whales

She can’t resist the temptation and takes the risk

Glorious smiling mammals of white and grey with soft eyes

This small walkway is for all not just the ticket buyers

She would have missed it if she stood on principle

He would have missed it if he “cut his losses” and turned back to the forest path.

© 2010 Julie Clark

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Christmas Season

Another Christmas Season is here

There is something contagious in the air

Anticipation, excitement, preparation

Makes you want to decorate your house inside and out with lights and color

Get out the flour and start baking cookies

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside

Some of the lights and decorations, however, start having another effect on me

Makes me nervous, like maybe these people are out of control!

The goal seems to be put out as many lights as possible on every eave and tree, along with Santa, reindeer, snowmen and candy canes

You have to understand

I haven’t lived in this country for several years

I notice differences, changes, and extremes

They aren’t subtle for me

How deep are those warm fuzzies anyways?

Do they last?

I don’t think there were a lot of warm fuzzies on that first bleak Christmas in the stinky stable

Animals don’t smell like cinnamon and spice

So what are we really looking for?

Faith, hope and love run deep and stick to the ribs, lasting long past the season

But, they cost much more than lights and tinsel

They are worth the price

That manger baby thought so when he later gave his life for them

Categories: Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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