Monthly Archives: January 2013

Recovering

The other day I was recovering from a cold. I was not feeling very energetic so I lay down for a while on the couch to read. An old companion of mine entered the room and started making his presence known. Actually, it was a feeling.  It was the feeling of not doing enough, not being productive enough, not really having my life together enough, like I should have. For heaven sakes Julie, what do you do? The last few years I’ve spent a fair amount of time getting rid of this “old buddy”, but here he shows up again.

I think about the years I spent living in Central Asia. Many of my early years there I was nagged by the feeling that I wasn’t doing enough.  I should get out there more, meet more people, have more people over for dinner, and learn language better. I had an unending list of shoulds. Now I am learning I was not meant to do the shoulds but be me, right there, right then.  Be the person I was. Love and care for people the way I could.  Love and care for my family.  Words were a small part, living and loving the bigger part. I think about the gifts I received, in the form of what I learned from living among a people different from me.  I learned so much! Not by being told how to do something, but by the example of my friend’s lives. They just did the things that were normal to them and what were normal to them became important things for me to learn.  Here are some examples. I learned the important place that elders have in society. They are honored, taken care of, and listened to.  I learned how to speak blessings over people.  That’s what they do, all the time. I was blessed when I came in and when I went out. I was blessed when I was met on the street. I was taught how to treat guests with great honor because the guest was bringing great honor to me by visiting. These and many more were gifts to me.  They are gifts that have become a part of my life.  I treasure them and I treasure these friends who taught me.  I wonder if there were things about me, gifts that I left with my friends in this the same way.  I have an inkling of what they might be, but I don’t really know. What really matters now is for me to continue to be the person I am.  I am growing in paying attention to the day at hand and the opportunities that come to do good in each day. In doing that I have gifts to share with others just as I have gifts to receive from others. I enjoy life so much more when I live this way.

Categories: borderlands, Faith, Hospitality, Life, Love, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Farmer’s Life

 

The farmer’s life is one of great patience.

Sowing seeds does not result in instantaneous miracles.

Although, when the first seeds sprout and break through the ground

It certainly feels like one, (which of course it is).

We just do not get to see what has been going on,

Microscopically, beneath the surface of the earth.

 

Sow people!  Beloved ones!

What do you want to see more of in your lives?

Don’t be surprised at the fiery ordeals that come your way.

They expose the unwanted seeds of destruction.

Instead, cooperate with the fire and let it burn away

Focus on the good seed at hand:

Love, joy, peace, kindness, wisdom, patience and

All the good things you see and desire.

It’s one act or response at a time.

 

Living is becoming.

Life does not stay stagnant,

We move forward in one direction or the other.

We get to choose by our sowing

Which way we want to grow.

 

© 2013 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Faith, God, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Half a Good Deed

It started with a morning prayer: “Teach me Your Ways.” Unexpectedly on the way to church an elderly woman crossed the road.  The temperatures were below freezing.  We turned around and gave her a lift to the grocery store a quarter of a mile away. She needed some essentials that her group home didn’t offer.  I felt uneasy leaving here even though she assured us she wasn’t far from home.  So we left for church where we had other duties, and frankly we love joining in worship with our small, informal, fun community.  This was the Sunday many in our area struggled over the Seahawks game at 10:00 or church.  Some went to church and some stayed home to watch the game. For us this wasn’t a huge issue, although we do like to watch football sometimes, but we had made a commitment to go, so off we went thinking that was our personal test.  No, the real test was were we going to care for an elderly woman out in the sub freezing weather.  Of all people, I who am trying so hard to not be a religious person, but a loving person missed it.  Well, to be fair I got half of it, but how much better would it have been to wait for her to do her shopping and take her home.  I am grateful my prayer was answered even though it was painful to see where I still need to grow.  So I will keep praying to learn and practice the ways of Jesus and hope I do better next time.  A sweet ending to the story for us was that after we left the church building we wandered down the Ave. with our son looking for a place to eat and perhaps catch the last few minutes of the game.  Sure enough we heard hooting and hollering from a pub.  We walked in, found a spot and were able to catch the last minutes of a very exciting game, albeit disappointing for Seahawks fans.  That’s what I love about walking with Jesus: it’s grace upon grace, no condemnation, just a steep learning curve to be like Him.

Categories: Faith, Life, Love, Paths | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Found A Red Ribbon

 

Found a red ribbon today

While sweeping under the rug

Because my vacuum is in the shop

Due to too many dry pine needles

Because we only had fifteen minutes

To pick out a Christmas Tree

Before Home Depot closed

And we managed to get a very dry old tree.

 

The red ribbon reminds me

Of my search for the Path

That brings meaning into my life

And I for one can’t live without it

Because without meaning I have no hope

And I am not giving that up for sure.

 

As I write this

I am recovering from a bonk on the head

That I am calling

“My ski accident”

Even though I was only in my skis for less than 30 seconds

Before the playing pup buckled me on the back of my knees

And down I went hard.

 

I am wondering if anyone can relate

To any of this

Or am I as loony as feel?

 

© 2013 Julie Clark

 

 

Categories: Faith, Life, Paths, Poetry, Trees | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making Sense of Life

 

Making Sense of Life

Finding the patterns

Meaning and messages

Following the thread

That becomes the ribbon

Leading to the Path

Walking with You

In the cool of the evening

If I gathered all the pieces

There would not be enough

Baskets to hold them

It’s grace upon grace

Overflowing and abundant

Enough to satisfy my soul

And gladly share with another

© 2013 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, God, Life, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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