Thoughts on What’s Next

Heading out

some day

We all are

One way in

and another way out

 

Could be serious

or not

my friend tells me

of her illness

Too close again

for comfort

My heart is achy

 

Is it a mere door or

will we go through a tunnel

to another world

or a dimension

just beyond ours

where all is well and whole

one day to be

together

as heaven reunites

with earth?

 

© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: borderlands, Faith, Hope, Life, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Calculating Angels

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9……… 

Are there certain angels

just really good at math?

Figuring out the

sowing and reaping

equations for every

single person alive?

Or calculating

resources versus

generosity?

Or how much faith

it takes, to say,

throw a mountain

into the sea,

or for that matter

be marked

with the Holy Spirit?

Does all of heaven

just know these things

while most of us are just

scratching the surface

or scratching our heads?

 

©  2015 Julie Clark

 

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

Simplicity

SprintPhoto_bleyay

Could it be

as simple as

paying attention

to the messages

God sends me

every day

and

loving

those put in

my path?

 

The messages

(love notes really)

delight me

and call forth

gratitude and

praise.

 

The loving part

stretches me

to become

more of the person

I am meant to be

and strengthens

the other

on their

journey.

 

Strengthened bonds

build communities

and the world

becomes a better

place

for all to live.

 

© 2015 Julie Clark

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

On the Way to Meet Isaac

Isaac

 

The full moon called you

You answered and came to us

Leaving the warm secure

for the adventure of life and love

We are so glad you are here

No one like you has ever been

or ever will be

Unique beautiful creation

You

I love how I can see both your parents

in your beautiful face

I cannot wait

to hold you

breathe in your fresh scent

straight from heaven

 

© 2015 Julie Clark

 

Categories: beauty, borderlands, Life, Love, Parenting, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

On the need for ears

DSCN1750The voice sometimes takes over,

all good intentions of course,

but it forgets

the ears have a job to do as well.

As the lips move, passion builds

as a case is made,

losing connection with the heart of the other,

forgetting the words of the Holy Book:

“Be quick to listen,

slow to speak

slow to become angry.”

 

How much better to first give the ears

their chance,

rein in the tongue of fire,

and opinions for awhile

Be prepared to learn from another’s

point of view.

Wisdom’s treasures

are often found

in hidden places,

for the quick to listen

to hear them.

 

© 2015 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Faith, God, Hospitality, Life, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Winter’s Light

The house was filled with light

as the sun rose

over the tree tops

over the lake

Warmth and light

expanded our hearts

We drank it in

as we had not seen the sun

in several days.

 

The light also pushed

into the shadows of the house

Showing what needed

dusting, cleaning

a smudge here

a dust bunny there

a streak across the glass

 

Not to be afraid of the light

Let it in

Let it bring healing and cleansing

Not to be afraid of the hard work

of the soul

to bring deep lasting

much-needed change

to the shadow places in my heart

 

Oh that I would run to the light

and stay there

just as my small dog finds

a sunny spot

and curls up to nap

The past experiences

of facing my shadows

and not dying

but living through it

to become more whole

reminds me that I will again

live through any pain

the light may reveal

 

© 2015 Julie Clark

10917969_10152567693267407_7367992672991804502_o Winter's Light 1 10620243_10152567693252407_4443533071498272476_o Archie in the Light

Categories: beauty, Dogs, Faith, Hope, Life, Photography, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Call to Prayer

Sometime before we reached Mumbai

The crickets started their part

in the great symphony of the night.

“We’re still here!  We’re still here!”

They sang and called me to God.

 

A song rose in my heart in response

that I could not sing aloud.

What would the taxi driver think?

He may have thought I was a little off.

 

So I let it sing inside of me:

“Lord forgive us.

We have not honored you.

We have not cared for your creation.

We have not loved one another.

We have not cared for the poor and the weak.”

 

We reached Mumbai.

Waited for hours to be told

No room for you on this plane.

We were escorted out of the airport

and put in a taxi

by some kind airport officials.

The taxi drove off.

The driver and his co-worker

working the phones to get us

on another flight or into a hotel

in the wee hours of the morning.

A call came,

“You are lucky! Confirmed seats

available!”

They raced us back to the airport.

Same kind officials

escorted us quickly through

the lines and waved good-bye.

There was room on the plane

after-all.

We made it, last to board,

walking in a dream.

Very grateful.

© 2014 Julie Clark

Categories: borderlands, Faith, God, Life, Poetry, Prayer, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For the Sake of our Children and Grandchildren

 

I am novice when it comes to crocheting.  I’m making some progress in and learning new things slowly in what my daughter calls “Venture Crocheting”. That is the kind of crocheting where you don’t really follow a pattern just your instincts. Sometimes it works for simple things, sometimes it doesn’t. I am making a baby blanket for her new baby arriving sometime in February.  I got the basic pattern down for a nice little blanket for him.  The one thing I did not do, which I am learning now I should always do, is roll the yarn into a ball first.  I’ve had two incidents now where I have gotten my yarn all in knots and it has taken me much time and help to get it unravelled.

 

The other day we were visiting friends in their lovely mountain home.  A great time to bring out my blanket. It was cold outside, nice and warm inside, great conversation and food.  Unfortunately, I had one of those times where my yarn got all in a jumble.  It was bad. Fortunately, my friends kindly volunteered to help out.  Some of them more willing than others.  We we will not mention any names or gender here.  The interesting conversation we were having did not exactly stop. We were talking about peace and peacemaking.  How can we be peacemakers in our world filled with conflict?

 

As we were unravelling my knotty yarn, I thought about the knotty problems we were just talking about.  Wars, conflict, ethnic cleansing, apartheid situations that are happening today.  It was a great metaphor as we worked together and didn’t give up, hopeful that the yarn truly would be unknotted.  And finally it was.

 

I thought how for the sake of our children and grandchildren we must do this work and not let the world “go to hell in a handbasket.”  There are obstacles and often it seems impossible.  There are naysayers who don’t believe it is possible, just cut it off (the yarn)!  But how often do we want to cut people off?  Or worse?

 

What if we all were engaged in some way with bringing “peace on earth, good will towards men” and not just waiting for the angels to do it? What if we all have a part in the world we live in or we are called to serve? What if the great areas of conflict were addressed with “faith, hope and love”? What if we practiced forgiveness and truly learned how to “live in peace with each other”? I’m quoting lots of Bible verses here that some will recognize.  Sometimes we who claim to be followers of the Prince of Peace are missing a really important part of the message that He brought us.

 

I was encouraged in my little yarn fiasco.  I have learned a lesson about rolling my yarn ahead of time.  I also had faith and hope it could be worked out.  I had done it before. I want to have this kind of faith and hope when I approach conflict today.  “All things are possible for those who believe.”  It is hard work and takes time and perseverance.  For the sake of our children and grandchildren let us do our part, small or great in this good work of peacemaking.

IMG_3162 IMG_3164 IMG_3165 IMG_3166 IMG_3169 IMG_3171

 

Categories: Faith, God, Hope, Life, Love, Peace and Reconciliation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

MacGyver and The Christmas Season

This time of year is not the best time for a vacuum cleaner to go on the fritz.  Not with pine needles from the Christmas tree and all the muck brought in the door even though we take our shoes off in the entry.  Not to mention the 10 pound long-haired Weiner Dog who brings in his share of the outside, besides all the gorgeous fur he sheds.

 

Taking  the vacuum cleaner to Sears for repairs was an unappealing option.  I really dislike going to the mall, especially this time of year.  Crowds and the perilous parking lot that you may enter but the possibility of never leaving is out there. Besides who knows when I would get it back, probably late January. Too late for my pine needles and other seasonal muck.

 

Borrowing my son and daughter-in-law’s vacuum was not a sustainable option, so this morning after working on a Sudoku puzzle in the paper to wake up my brain, I put on my MacGyver cap. I must confess here that I really liked that 1980’s show when it first came out and have been inspired a few times to attempt some interesting repairs. Some have worked and others not so well. Nothing major, and definitely nothing with electricity or on our cars. Although, we did once stick some gum in our leaking gas tank in Kazakhstan when we ran over something that put a hole in it.  It worked well enough to get us down the mountain to a little town for repair.  But it wasn’t my idea and that is a whole other story. I have to mention also, that I was quite proud of my youngest son with said vacuum cleaner. A couple of weeks ago he came out of work and his car door was frozen shut.  He managed to get it open, but it wouldn’t close properly, so he used his apron to MacGyver it closed to get safely home.

 

Back to the vacuum cleaner. I narrowed down the problem.  It was not the motor or clogged in the hose.  It worked fine when I was using the hand tools. But that is no way to vacuum the whole house. The problem was it was clogged in the base.  I tried earlier to put a chop stick in there to loosen things up, but that only helped temporarily.  So this morning I took a few moments, said a wee prayer, and tried to think what I had in the house or garage that I could stick in there to clear the clog.  The idea of a plumber’s snake came to mind, but we don’t have one of those.  The thought of a plumber reminded me that I had a long plastic tool that came with some drain cleaner I had bought a while back. That plastic tool was just what I needed, with the little teeth on it like fish hooks. I laid the vacuum cleaner down on it’s side fully extended and went to work clearing the clog in the base.

 

Today I am grateful for many things. I’m grateful for how our brains work and how a small prayer can be answered in a few minutes. I’m grateful that I don’t have to put “go to Sears” on my to-do list. My husband and I talk about how we missed the 80’s because we spent most of it in China. I am grateful we didn’t miss everything.  Glad we did miss all the funky big hair, but if anyone could rock a mullet it was MacGyver.

 

Categories: Life, Prayer, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Winter Solstice

IMG_2879Winter Solstice is rapidly approaching.

The darkness continues to fret away

the light at both ends of the day.

 

How much darkness can we bear?

What can we learn with this weight

heavy on us?

We often rush too quickly to

shop, to decorate, to party.

 Like an olive press,

There is rich value

that only flows with the pressure.

 

Can we stop and feel for a moment?

Lay aside the many distractions of this season?

Lament the loss in our pasts?

Hope for light in our future?

 

We will be better and stronger for it,

if we can resist the strong pull

to neglect our souls.

 

© 2014 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Advent, Faith, Hope, Life, Poetry, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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