Thursday, May 26, 2016

Why I Haven't Unpacked My Toiletries Bag

image of toiletries bag and carry-on brokenbreadandsmallfish.com
It's not because I have a separate toiletries bag for travel.  I never fully unpack.  When we go on vacation, Joey unpacks his things into the closet and dresser drawers in a hotel - I don't.  I always keep my things  safely in the suitcase or bag - and live out of it. But not just when we're on vacation.  We've been in our house for awhile now, and my daughter recently asked me pointedly why I haven't unpacked my toiletries bag into the nice empty drawer in my bathroom.  And I realized that it's actually been years since I've unpacked my toiletries bag...and, I'll go ahead and admit, years since I've unpacked my carry-on.  I use what I need out of them. Daily.  When I mentioned this in the Velvet Ashes book club (discussing Looming Transitions), Amy encouraged me to write a poem about it.  I began to understand why I don't fully unpack.   

There's something "gallant" 
in not unpacking - 
a certain nobility, 
a demonstration of willingness 
to be always ready to go 
when the cloud moves.  

But that's not why.

The Israelites 
put up their tents 
when the cloud stopped over one place.

Me - 
I leave mine packed up.  

It's inconvenient, 
but 
I'm just not good at packing.
This way, 
I take out what I need
when I need it 
and carefully put it back 
in it's "packed- up" place
when I'm done with it.

Inconvenient
and damp when it rains
but
I am ever ready 
when the cloud moves on
again.

It's not a protest
against being in this place - 
I've loved 
and embraced 
every place we've been. 

But I stay packed.  
Because  
I'm not good at packing.
Because 

I don't like to pack
Because
I like knowing I have everything in one place

But that's not why. 
    

 I'm afraid
that once I unpack it
I'll never get it all packed again.

I'm afraid 
I'll Ieave important things 
behind.  
Things I need
or
things that are dear to me

I'm afraid
of losing them.

I'm afraid
of losing part of myself
leaving myself behind 
as the caravan moves on
and only discovering the loss
miles
years
away
when it's too far
and too late
to recover 
to collect
what was left behind.

So, while everyone else
is setting up their tents
unpacking their things
I keep mine carefully folded.
 

But
it's starting to rain.
And I'm getting wet.

And - 
Oh God - 
Lord of the cloud
and the fire
and the journey

can I trust You
to give me the time I need
to unpack and pack again?
Will You not move on 
when I'm still in the middle
of the process?   

Will I have to scramble
after the cloud
with my belongings 
myself
half packed 
and straggling in a mess
clenching the toothbrush in my teeth
stuffing my notebook in a pocket
mashing everything in
and things spilling out behind me   
while I try to lug my bags 
as I chase after You? 

Leaving pieces of 
Everything   
of me

dotting the lonely landscape as it stretches out
to the horizon
behind?
 
Can I trust You
that if

when
I leave something important
that if

when
something I loves spills out
abandoned 

forlorn
in the distance  
You will

provide
in other ways
other things
along the way
or when we get where we're going
Can I trust You
that where we're going IS 
the destination - 
and will have everything I need?
That whatever I lose along the way
You can hold?
that You hold all these things?

Even all these pieces of myself
that I've scattered
all across these lands and ways
of Yours
these bits of me
these places I've been
people I have known
I am so afraid 
I will NEVER get it all back together again
my tears
my breath ragged
as I think I might lose it all

as I lose it all
everything that I have to lose
that I 

have to 
lose 

already lost 

in You
 
  I am already lost in You


...where everything is found.
                                             (Mark 8:35)

~

I know
You will never lose any part of me
                                            (John 10:28)
that doesn't need to be lost.

And 
I know
Even if it all flies apart
and it will all fly apart         
(Heb. 12:26-29)
if I lose all these things
and all of me
I will never lose
You.


All I ever had
and have
is in You.
                                (Col. 3:1-4)


I'm wondering...

if maybe... 
it's time for me to unpack... 


Linking up with Velvet Ashes at The Grove where the theme this week is "ReEntry"

Share This:    
   


Related Posts
Link to: Change
Change
Read: Spiritual Disciplines (poem)
Spiritual Disciplines (poem)
Link to: Ode to My Suitcase
Ode to My Suitcase
   
Link to: ReEntry
ReEntry
   

You Might Be Interested In
Link to: My Own Story and the Twists and Turns It Took - Velvet Ashes
My Own Story and the Twists and Turns It Took - Velvet Ashes
Link to: Pieces of Siberia in Atlanta
Pieces of Siberia in Atlanta
Link to: Close, But Still Outside - Mark 3:31-35 Post 2
Close, But Still Outside - Mark 3:31-35 Post 2
Link to: The Calling of a Priest - Song/Video
The Calling of a Priest - Song/Video

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mark Series - Mark 3:1-6

This week I begin to post archives for the third chapter of Mark, starting with Mark 3:1-6.  I hope you enjoy these oldies.  It's taking longer to make this transition than I expected (isn't that always the case?!).  Please pray for me to settle in to a rhythm so that I can return to something I love - writing about my journey through Mark.





There are four posts for Mark 3:1-6

Link to: Is It Lawful to love? - Mark 3:1-6 Post 1
Is It Lawful
to Love?
Link to: Shriveled Hand, Shriveled Heart - Mark 3:1-6 Post 2
Shriveled Hand, Shriveled Heart

Link to: When You Ask Me to Give You My Heart - Mark 3:1-6 Post 3
When You Ask Me to Give You My Heart
Link to: I Am the Man With the Shriveled Hand - Mark 3:1-6 Post 4
I Am the Man With the Shriveled Hand


Share This:    
   


Related Posts
Link to all posts for Mark Chapter One
Mark Series - Mark Ch. 1 All Posts
Link to: I Am a House Divided - Mark 3:20-30 Post 9
I Am A House Divided - Mark 3:20-30 Post 9
Link to Mark Series - Mark 2 All Posts
Mark Series - Mark 2 All Posts
Link to: small Boat Ready - Mark 3:7-12 Post 3
Small Boat Ready
Mark 3:7-12 Post 3

You Might Be Interested In
Link to: One Year After My Surgery in Siberia
One Year After My
Surgery in Siberia
Link to Water Is Not Enough Part 2 - Mark 1:1-8 Post 9 (Video/song)
Water Is Not Enough
Part 2 (Video/song)
Link to: Ode to My Suitcase
Ode to My Suitcase
   
Link to: Not That Kind of Fairy Tale - Video/Song
Not That Kind of
Fairy Tale -Video/Song

Friday, May 20, 2016

Change (poem)

Changing Leaves (Change - poem) brokenbreadandsmallfish.com
Change 
You know I hate it
though 
there was a time
when it was exciting
when I looked forward with anticipation
to what's coming next
to the new experience(s)
but now
I look to change
with weariness
with a desire to cling to the old...

because of accumulated pain of loss

or maybe
because of a certain amount of guilt

guilt for letting go
for being willing to let go
for not clinging more steadfastly...

I dread change.  

I love it
and 
I hate it

I embrace it
and
I push it away

I anticipate with joy
and 
I wake up nights
haunted
with pain
loss
and guilt

guilt for embracing change
when others are left behind.

Maybe...
maybe I don't hate change.
Maybe...
I hate guilt
the guilt of walking away.

But teach me
to embrace it
to head into it with joy
acknowledging sorrow
sidelining guilt

head up
shoulders back
chin set
walking confidently forward

every change
every transition
every loss of something old
and 
gain of something new

is practice
along the road
that brings me closer to You

embracing change
I am practicing
training
preparing
for the day
when all I have ever known
will fall away (Hebrews 12:26-29)

and I am left with

You

~
Change - how can I hate it?
When it brings me to You.

Linking up with Velvet Ashes at The Grove where the theme this week is "Change"


Share This:    
   


Related Posts
Read: Spiritual Disciplines (poem)
Spiritual Disciplines (poem)
Link to: Commune
Commune
Link to: Why This Craving...?
Why This Craving...?
Link to: What If?
What If?

You Might Be Interested In
Link to: My Own Story and the Twists and Turns It Took - Velvet Ashes
My Own Story and the Twists and Turns It Took - Velvet Ashes
Link to: Pieces of Siberia in Atlanta
Pieces of Siberia in Atlanta
Link to: Close, But Still Outside - Mark 3:31-35 Post 2
Close, But Still Outside - Mark 3:31-35 Post 2
Link to: The Calling of a Priest - Song/Video
The Calling of a Priest - Song/Video