A Home for the Uprooted

Home is sewn into the seams of my suitcase –  

Caught up in the fragments of childhood memories

Where I can’t place the country or state, let alone the date;

But I remember who was there

 

Home is in the beauty of silver-tipped mountains

And sweeping red canyons;

Where snow sneaks in for Easter

And July Fourth bakes the earth to a crisp

 

Home is in fierce, drumming rainstorms

Crashes of thunder

And the soft blink of fireflies;

Where stars pierce the sky

And mosquitoes outnumber them

Rachel olson home

Home.

The land of ever-changing, ever-flying, ever-new.

And the question, “what are roots?”

 

The longing for something constant in life –

Something else besides “goodbye”

 

The familiar taste of spicy meals and bustling market stalls

A far-off airport terminal I’ve known for as long as I can remember

And the voice of a treasured friend spanning oceans

Or sitting next to me

Home Rachel Olson

Home.

Both everywhere and nowhere

In heartfelt conversations or the scent

of my grandmother’s Irish Spring soap

 

And when it seems shattered, scattered to the winds

In a million pieces too tiny to recover

Home is still here in the promise of the Psalms:

 

“Lord, through all the generations you have been our home! 
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God. ” (Psalm 90:1-2)

“Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, 
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.” (
Psalm 139:7-10)

 

Inspired by this post from Communicating Across Boundaries.


Rachel Olson moved back to the US last year after making Africa home for a while. She is now living in her 17th home and has yet to find a simple answer to the question “where are you from?” She longs to see Jesus at work in all of life’s changes and is currently wondering if that might mean returning to Madagascar (one of her previous homes in Africa). You can find more from Rachel on her blog and Instagram, or visit here to help her get back to Madagascar.
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Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

Author: Chara Donahue

‘Twas the week before Thanksgiving and all through the house,
people were nauseous and I looked at my spouse.

The children were stirring, up late in their beds,
with buckets, in case, next to their heads.

Daddy disinfected and I took a nap,
trying to elude a nasty virus’ trap.

Then the night before the meal, the pre-heat buzzer was beeping,
reminding us to cook while little ones were sleeping.

Away to the oven the pies would be taken,
and soon after sunrise the turkey’d be bakin’,
but “Who would be well, and who would be sick?”
was the question that lingered, as the clock ticked.

We kept prepping the food for the Thanksgiving table,
while praying the tummies would “please, stay stable.”

The best laid plans diverted by things unforeseen,
…but that isn’t the end so pass the caffeine.

We’re better together – so together we’ll be!
We’ll eat what we may, and then play Yahtzee®.

We’ll watch movies, and football, maybe a parade,
Charlie Brown might make it, if his story gets played.

Rolls and applesauce, with Turkey and pie,
each meal hand-picked, to singly satisfy.
Whether sick or well, we’ve been given each other:
sister, brother, father, and mother.

“I am grateful for life and my family today;
for grace, for love, for Jesus!” I say.

We treasure the memories that the day will have made,
not too soon, too quickly, or too easily fade.

We’ll heed this blessed lesson, to take through the years,
one destined to bring joy, and save many tears.

Things don’t have to be perfect for things to be good,
and don’t always turn out how we think that they should.

Focus on the praiseworthy, the noble, and true,
and look to the One, that will bring you through.
Don’t give into despair, but fight for delight.
Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night!

Before I Rise

Author: Chara Donahue

Before I Rise

I must make the choice. It’s on me.
What to believe? What to negate?
Today I ask, which voice will it be?

Live in the light determined to see,
or let depravity poison today’s fate?
I must make the choice, It’s on me.

Passively cower? An internal absentee?
Will truth employed set lies straight?
Today I ask, which voice will it be?

Deciding in the morning hour is key.
What will my life communicate?
I must make the choice. It’s on me.

Resist  and make dark thoughts flee.
Leave behind these chains, this weight.
Again I asked, which voice would it be?

From accusation and doubt, an escapee.
With mind renewed I celebrate.
I will make the choice to live; be free.
Today I declare: His voice it will be.

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.'”~Isaiah 6:8





Readers: Do you think about what you are thinking about? Is it important for us to watch our thoughts? Why?

Ballade of Bleached Blemishes

If we can make laundry poetic it makes it better, right? Well, here’s hoping. 😉

 

I cannot face it. I will not look. Let it be.
I will not take the bait or tease the hook. The stress,
it mounts thinly—layer by layer—I will flee.
No, I will fight. I fold the shirt. I hang the dress.
My swallowed room, my bed, I stand to repossess.
I make stack after stack out of the disarray.
Sorting away the mending and the stained. The mess,
it stalks like a predator coming for its prey.
It piles up, slowly builds; crags and peaks I see.
I push it aside, close the door to convalesce.
The ebb and flow of forsaken fabric debris
sucks me in and pulls me under. Nevertheless,
I take action.  This constant strain I must address.
It is proof we live, and have dear offspring at play.
The grime is washed away the fun can stay. The mess,
it stalks like a predator coming for its prey.
Chores will always be, but from dread I can be free.
The issue is not pants and matchless socks.  What? Yes
the real disorder reigns painfully within me.
Tinges of depravity venture to possess.
Striking at identity, tempting to transgress.
But Christ I see, paid the price that was mine to pay.
Meeting in the scandal of grace, He wiped the mess.
No longer stalked by a predator as weak prey.
Conquered cliffs of clothes won’t justify. I confess
fabric softened lies have provoked my peace to fray.
A redemptive act, this purgation of the mess.
When the predator comes round, I begin to pray.

IMG_5282

Hope for the Hard Journey

Author: Chara Donahue

CAFE

There is this running theme found in every work of creation – literature, poetry, and movies: the life you see before you is all there is.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” While a beautiful thought with a thread of truth worth contemplating, there IS a destination. For those who see their need for Jesus – to heal their hurts, to wash their stains, and assuage the pain they have inflicted on others – this destination is heaven. A place of beauty, perfection, and eternal life beyond anything we can imagine, and filled with the glory of God.

Yes, we can learn as we live our individual journeys. We should always be praying that we remain teachable, see the beauty breaking forth from each day, and have eyes to see what God is revealing here and now. Yes, we should enjoy the journey on the way to where we are going. But for the Christian, the journey is always pointing toward and longing for the destination: home.

I love the hope found in the story of Ruth. It’s the story of  a woman that many can relate to, because her journey was hard. A dead husband, no children, a bitter mother-in-law, and  she is moving to a culture foreign to all she has known. Yet, she faithfully places her life into the hands of the God of the Israelites, and continues to walk even when her knees are buckling from the weight of the world. It is on this labored trek of endurance that she meets her redeemer (Boaz) a foreshadow of our own (Jesus <3).  This poem was inspired by my interaction with God as I processed Ruth’s story.

Ruth: I know

You invite me on a journey immersed in chesed*.

A woman burdened by bitterness, longing, and dread.

You called me away from the place I thought home

And you beckoned me from the dessert I roamed.

Seems too good to be true, but I draw in a breath.

I weep forward, my clothes of mourning find death.

Here you cleanse me, and draw me to your table of grace.

I am willing to be willing, please show me your face.

My redeemer, true comfort, I find under your wing.

Where you go I go, and your redemption you bring.

A great love story you offer, and here I will stay.

The birth of hope makes up my eternal bouquet.

A veil of legacy flows as you transform my life

That has been rescued from hell, rescued from strife.

I began almost drowning in the tears that I cried

But the conclusion is perfect when you’re Jesus’ bride.

YES, this journey is hard and it is good… but the destination… oh ladies, the destination is better.

IT IS BETTER, no question.
HEAVEN AWAITS.

Heaven awaits, but let us live our lives so that when we get there we hear our Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Let’s live well women, let’s live for our Jesus. Let’s risk loving, risk stepping out in faith, risk having the courage to hope, and may the source of our hope be anchored.

*Chesed : To show kindness or chesed is to act in a loyal, loving way to a person. This is true of kindness in human relationships and of the kindness God shows us.

For further study on the book of Ruth check out Kelly Minter’s study: http://www.lifeway.com/Product/RUTH-LOSS-LOVE-LEGACY-MEMBER-BOOK-P005189427

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For a little dreaming about what her story may have looked like in a different time and place, check out Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs.

 

Verses used to inspire this poem: Ruth 1:8, Ruth 1:16, Ruth 1:14, Ruth 2:14, Revelation 19:6-10, Ruth 2:20, Job 19:25, Isaiah 54:8, Ruth 3:9; Psalm 17:8, Ruth 4:14, Ruth 2:21-22, Hebrews 2:14-15, 7:25, Revelation 19:6-8