a lament for aimee

01/24/2010

Lord,
Right now, we cling to your truth.

So many of us wish we were there with Aimee.  We wish she were not alone in the car.
LORD, remind us you were with her.  She was not alone.  You did not leave her or forsake her, just as you will not leave us or forsake us.

We want to know Aimee did not hurt, that she did not suffer.
LORD, help us to believe you– the Good Shepherd, the Great Physician- bound up your lamb.  You carried her to safety.  You took her into your realms of glory where she will hurt no more, forever.

We have thoughts of last words, glances, hugs with Aimee.  We regret we did not love her perfectly, we wish we could have!  Oh, how we hope we loved her well.  We hope she knew we loved her, that so many people loved her.
LORD, you tell us we love because You first loved us.  You tell us love is Christ laid down His life for us.
LORD, you are the only one who could ever and will ever love your daughter Aimee perfectly.  We thank you that when our love was not enough, yours always, always was and always will be.
LORD, give us peace knowing Aimee knows only your love now.  She wants for nothing.  She longs for nothing.  She praises YOU, all the glorious, blessed days of her eternal life.

LORD,
calm our fears,
extinguish our doubts,
give us peace,
anchor our souls in you!

This morning I remembered how I love to watch the cardinals visiting my water oaks in winter.   I sit, hands wrapped around my tea mug.  While I prefer the liveliness of a green tree top, the striking red beauty of the cardinals is only capable because the limbs are bare.

For me, 2009 was the year of “All Things Considered”.  I had to consider everything.  No matter how illogical or impossible an idea seemed, I entertained it.  It was a good year.  I visited seven countries over two continents.  I trust the Lord more now than ever.  I forgave.  I asked for forgiveness.  I almost got trampled by a herd of cows.  I learned the importance of opening my hands to receive more than I could ever imagine instead of clinging tightly to only what I can see.  I washed down butternut squash raviolli in sage brown butter sauce with a glass of wine and nutella gelato…in Italy.

I’m naming 2010 the year of “Domestic Tranquility”.

After traversing hemispheres and spending a year as a vagabond, I’m ready to let my roots settle into the ground a bit.  Unusual for me.  an unexpected desire, but one I’m excited about.

What does this look like?

1)  Literally, in my home:

After being at L’abri, I have a tremendous desire for my home to be a place of rest, nourishment of body and soul, peaceful and warm, full of space for whomever enters my doors to be themselves.  Not just for myself, but for others as well.  In this sense, domestic means literally on my .21 acres of land here in Charlotte.

– herb garden in the front bed.  the lineup:  basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, mint, cilantro, lavender (please, please, lavender!)

– design and build a raised bed in the back yard (with dad’s manpower and awesome new truck).  the set list:  tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, spinach, broccoli, zucchini, butternut, sweet peas… maybe a few more.

– learn how to can.  in case you don’t know, that’s making and preserving pickles or salsa or homemade sauces or jams/preserves in glass jars.  it’s a tricky process and an art that’s being lost with our grandmothers and great-grandmothers.  i want to find a woman from those generations who will teach me how.  sure, i could read a book and figure it out myself.  but that’s what i always do.  this time, i want someone to teach me.  i’m certain to learn about much more than canning.

– paint a room in my house green.  it’s my favorite color.  it makes me feel alive.

– choose curtains for my house.  i have serious inability to choose decorating items or hang art.  i can see exactly what i want in my head and no one in the planet has made it yet.  now that i’m writing this, i just need to find someone to help me do it.  help!

–  make soups and curries.  i’m really enjoying these two genres right now and my parents gave me some fantastic cookware for christmas, i plan to put them to use.

– have people over to eat a meal in my house at least twice a month.

– listen to more Lyle Lovett.  I think I discounted him out because of his hair.  He’s an amazing song writer.  I’m sorry, Lyle.

– Write more poetry.  Twelve good poems is my goal- one a month.

– watch some films:  i have a list of about 20 to work through, including:  persepolis, tsotsi, kitchen stories, man on a wire, italian for beginners, children of heave, the lives of others, my life without me.

– read: khalil gibran, steinbeck (east of eden), anne lamott, food not lawns by flores, morrison (paradise), tim keller (the reason for God),  paul miller (a praying life), pearl buck, henri nouwen

2)  In my city/state:

– visit the museums in Charlotte (Betchler Modern, Mint Craft and Mint Main, Levine, Museum of History, Light Factory, Billy Graham Library)

– Enjoy the Catawba.  Using my annual allsport pass at the whitewater center (merry christmas to myself!), I want to trail run/kayak at least 4 times a month.  Starting the first day above 55.  Way too cold right now.

– MerleFest.

– Another 2 segments of the AT:  one with the gals, one with Dad.

3)  In the good ol’ USA:

–  Sit and stare in awe of the Grand Canyon.  I’ve never been.  Conveniently, neither have two of my best friends.  Sometimes God makes it that easy.

–  Oregon/Washington states… maybe.   If not this year, next year for sure.  These places own a piece of my heart and I’ve never even visited.

and in all of this, my goal is to not be busy.  i want to be calm, relaxed and soaking in life, not rushing off to the next thing.  enjoying God’s good gifts of red birds or shady limbs, whichever is in season.

and this little blogishness has served it’s purpose.  kind of.  well, it did what it was supposed to do, which is share a bit of my adventure with you all,  although it depended on me to make it share and i  wasn’t that great at giving it material.  it was all in my head or on sticky notes, trust me.

so, i won’t be updating this anymore.  mostly because i’d love to share life with you in person.  let’s go for a walk.  come over and eat some soup with me.  or we can make zucchini bread.  or maybe pickles, if i have as many cucumbers as i did last year.  play catan.  wander through a museum.   watch a movie and eat homemade pie.  sit in my big red chairs (the closest thing i have to a front porch) and sip tea or wine or beer.  drive out of the city and wander around the woods, up a mountain, or across a field.

these are simple things and i cannot wait to enjoy them.  and i hope to share them with you along the way.  really, i do.

see you soon.

There is, apparently, hope for intractable souls.  Moses knew it, and Robert Fisher knows it, too.  There is a heart of wisdom, a way of living that lessens the divine fury and ameliorates the sting of death.  It comes from remembering the end, the constant, ever-present knowledge of our finite span.  It’s the simplest thing in the world, and it costs us everything.  And so we enter a new classroom every morning, trying to learn this most elementary of math lessons – counting the days, counting the cost, over and over again.  It’s revealed in the choices we make, the way we spend our limited time. It’s revealed in what we hold dear, and in the mystery of choosing messy, frequently unrewarding relationships over pragmatic material gain.  Perhaps it’s revealed in what might be the greatest mystery of all – finding the love of God in the midst of the fine art of dying. I wouldn’t know yet. But I’ve seen some clues.

I listen to the news, the daily litany of the horrifying and the mind-numbingly banal – suicide bombers and Ricin in the water supply, the Afghan rebels and the New York Yankees, American Idol and Survivor. Survivor? Here’s a clue: Death is the ultimate reality programming, and nobody wins.

None of it matters compared to the unfathomable intersection of cancer of the everything and mercies that are new every morning,

the promise of inevitable death

and the promise of new life.

I walk through these hypercharged days, and I want to shake the world from its complacency.  These silly squabbles, these petty diversions – you don’t have time for these things. Let them go.  Life is too short.  Another day is past and gone.”

-Andy Whitman (Mars Hill Review)