Monthly Archives: June 2019

BROKEN BINDINGS

When you are an English teacher and a librarian off and on for most of your life, you tend to collect books. For 25 years at my OH home, half our living room was covered by a wall of bookshelves, and that doesn’t take in account all the individual rooms that had their own bookshelves or niches where books collected.

“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.” – Erasmus

Most of those books stayed in OH. I gave them to friends. I left some to be found in strange places. I donated some to missions. I left some to the schools I taught at over the years. But there were some…
There some precious ones…
Some very precious ones…
That even though pages were ripped – or stained with whatever yukkies that had accumulated throughout the years – or with loose pages pulling away from the long-dried-out glue (in the case of paperbacks) or broken stitches in the hard covers – – –
There were some that had to make the journey to the new Covenant properties in NC.

“I can open doors and take from the shelves
All the books I’ve longed to hold.” ~”One of These Moments”/Yentl

The amazing part – it is the oldest, well-thumbed through, broken books that are the ones that I treasure the most. They have that smell that only old books have. They cradled my head when I fell asleep on them. They were there to read on the darkest of nights or in the sunniest days or as I waited for whatever thing was next on my agenda. Their pages were turned by a silly teenager who thought she knew everything – a young woman on the cusp of discovery – a more mature seeker of wisdom – an older woman still seeking and believing. And the images that those books imprinted on me at various points in my life still live deep within me.

For me, the hardest thing of all is when that strong binding – the thing that held the book together for decades – that put up with me laying it face down and open – or bending it backwards as I tried to copied something out of it – or holding to close to my chest as if I could imprint the images by osmosis, finally breaks in that one crucial place, and all of its precious leafy pages flutter to the floor much like rocky ground of the woods in late fall.

Even as I try to gather the pages in order, I know that I can’t put it back together. Not this time. The tape that I have used for many years, just doesn’t have that kind of strength anymore. The pages with all their imagery and characters, laughter and tears, babies and joys, memories and adventures are no longer held by what I once thought was an indestructible cover. The strong thread that ran through each page, tying the adventures of the story to the binding has been severed.

And I cry and cry and cry.

I know I can buy a replacement book. These days, I know I can probably find an old copy of that very same book via the internet. But it won’t be “that” book. It won’t be the one that carried me through the years. It won’t be the one that helped me find dreams to dream. I won’t be the one taught me so many things and added to my wisdom. It won’t be the same…

“A voice deep inside
Is getting stronger
I can’t keep it quiet any longer
No matter what happens
It can’t be the same anymore
I promise it won’t be the same
Anymore!”

DUSTY ENDINGS

I have a really hard time with the ending of a great book. A book full of the dust of someone’s imagination that became a living, breathing creation. A book that kept me reading way too long into the night. A book that woke me up just to read one more chapter before school. A book that molded characters so well that I couldn’t wait to see what happened in their lives or what wisdom they had to share with me. A book whose ending made me want to cry, because I would now watch those same characters that I had come to love, ride off in the sunset far away from me.

“Bye bye love.
Bye bye happiness; hello loneliness.
I think I’m-a gonna cry-y”

Movies – not so much. The time I invest in a movie or TV show is minimal, and half the time – I’m only partially paying attention. Even as a kid, I would read books rather than watch the TV show that was right in front of me. The smell of the paper. The dusty covers. The characters I loved. The sad closing of the covers when it ended.

Either way…endings – are – – well – – – endings – – – – – in life as well as books. The memory of the characters remain, and if it was a really special book, where I learned a lot from them, the strong emotion I attached to them will remain long after I carefully close the cover and the dust settles.  I will see their faces in my mind.  I will hold the gifts they brought me close.  And – at times – I will wish the book was still in my hands.

“Dust doesn’t’ have to signify the end. Dust is often what must be present for the new to begin.”~Lysa Terkeurst.

Even if endings are not my favorite thing, there are good things about closing the cover of a book that final time. Such as, I get to look for a new book to read. Yea. Double yea!Triple yea!! After all, half of the fun of finding a new book is the “seeking” journey. I get to meet new characters. Dream with them. Learn from them. Love them.

Endings – even when they have broken into tiny, tiny pieces of dust that you would think can never be anything meaningful again – always bring new beginnings. Add a little water and you get clay. Add a very talented artisan who knows how to work out the impurities by whittling a little here, a little there, pounding it against a hard surface over and over, molding it, shaping it until He is satisfied with His new creation. Add a puff of air and the ending that was – becomes a new beginning that is. After all…

“In the beginning…The Lord God formed a man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”~Gen 2:7

Best of all, at the end of my favorite book in the world, is the ending that keeps resonating within me no matter how many times I have carefully closed its cover. Seven words. One sentence.  One promise that I cling to when I feel as if I have crumbled into a dusty pile in the middle of my path. One powerful promise that He sings in my heart over and over and over. A promise that He gathers all those tiny shards from the dust of an ending into his nail scarred hands and shouts over and over to those who listen:

“Behold, I am making all things new.”~Rev 21:5

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THOUGHTSONG SINGS

I haven’t written much lately. Well – that’s not exactly true. I have been writing – – – a lot actually. I just haven’t posted anything to my blog or on FB. The Thoughtsong that flows into the blog or FB has been quiet. So quiet that I wondered if she would sing again. So in corresponding fashion – after all – I have learned over these many years to be silent when the Thoughtsong is not singing in my heart. But tonight, the song began again.

“Declare among the nations: “The LORD reigns!”
The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved…”~Ps 96:10a

The promises of Our Father, written way before I entered the chaos of Terra, are amazing. When His promises live in people of prayer, they are even more amazing. I think that is why Thoughtsong began singing once again. Reciting promise after promise and having prayer warriors reciting promise after promise continue to be all the manna one needs to survive. Thoughtsong is singing once again, and I am beyond thankful to hear her song welling up inside of me.

In the past month, I’ve moved over 100+ wheelbarrow loads of mulch and stone. Watched my plants grow – despite weather that has been all over the charts – and produce fruit (can’t wait for the any-day-now-first tomato). Walked the dogs and thrown a stick more times than I can count – but my elbow knows – in both arms. Groaned in the Holy Spirit until there were no more tears and slept in exhaustion. Waited – not so patiently – as the new song began to form.

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”~Rm 15:4

Prayer as been the wind under my wings. 
Holding. 
Lifting. 
Carrying. 
Loving.
Directing.

A couple days back another prayer warrior dropped off a book for me, It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way  by Lysa Terkeurst. I read the first chapter and cried. I wrote and I wrote about things that God knew already, but these words were for me. I was the one that needed to see – to hear – needed to sing for myself. God hears and listens when we stand on His promises – just not always in the way we expect.

“Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.”~Ps 96:1

As I continue to step forward on this new God path, I continue to find the path in the darkness with each of His promises lighting my stumbling, tiny baby steps (I am not courageous enough to take giant steps nor secure enough to be confident). New paths are challenging – hard to navigate. But every day, I become stronger. My clothes hang a little more loosely. My muscles a little sturdier. And thankfully at the end of long days, my kitty curls in my lap while one dog snores behind my chair and the other cuts farts under my feet.

Life – while not how I thought it should be – is how HE thinks it should be, and I gulp another big breath as I prepare to step forward tomorrow. Maybe…even…double gulp …a giant step tomorrow.

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and ||mighty things, which thou knowest not..”~Jer 33:3 

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