Sunday, May 04, 2008

Popcorn Parables

popcorn was always a family favorite
tiny kernals under pressure
blooming to puffy white deliciousness
microwave beat-boxing
to the sweet redolence that fills the room
or better yet on the stovetop
with mom's special oil and that rough, blackened pot
a few minor blazes that looked like little orange tongues
sharing my craving for sweet and salty tastiness
watching the lid rise as it overflows with yummy white ambrosia
this weekend was the women's retreat
three days of delicious popcorn truths began with a gentle reminder

"God has an appointment with you this weekend.God knows where you are and what you need. The divine finger of God will make its way through the crowd and touch your heart." Mark Beeson

and I lean in to meet You
scared of the one kernal that's been popping up for a few weeks
a challenge that I'm afraid is just beyond me
and might just be my neurotic, bee-buzzing brain
a word that just doesn't seem to fit me or my capabilities

"There's an interesting tension between the sovereign will of God and your will." MB

I'm always looking for the next class to take
the next book to read, the next calling
the next curve of the pen as you design who I'm meant to be in You
but this one is different, and the voices scream
I'm just not worthy, I'm just not good enough

"What would it be like to have so much confidence in God and vision for what God wants us to be that we would stay the course no matter what trials life throws at us? The question is not how do I get out of this trouble, it's who do I want to be in this trouble? " MB

but it just doesn't make sense
there's not enough time, money, logistics
there are those days
just enough energy to keep all the balls in the air
and everyone's smiles on their faces
and You might want me to add something new?

"You don't see an apple tree straining and screaming 'Apples! Apples! Got to make some apples!' Stop focusing on the fruit and start focusing on the nourishment and nutrients of Christ."MB

it just feels like adding another page to the list
that list that keeps everyone cared for and loved
and gives me a grade at the end of the course

"You don't need to check a list to see if you're a success as a wife and mother and woman of God. The lists were torn at Calvary. Lists are a way of whipping yourself for not being who you think you should be. You don't need to try to prove to God that He made the right decision to sacrifice His son for You. He knows. You have two paths. You can choose to stay performance-oriented or you can choose to be loved. Burn your list." Dr. Bob Laurent

living in "should-land" can be exhausting
and for a moment
I feel a little lighter
shoulders rising with the corners of my mouth
and even my chin lifts a little
then I remind myself who I really am
still feeling like an 8th grader with the wrong outfit on
taking the measuring tape out of the back of my mind
forcing my chin to submission to stare at my hands

"God loves you more when you show who you really are. God looks for his kids in the reject bins. Don't stumble over his outrageous love. Maybe you've been living so long in winter, you forgot God's calling you to the springtime." DB

How do You do that?
speak so clearly it can't be coincidence
answering the riddles of my heart before I can even voice them
but that one word keeps popping up among the kernals
and it just doesn't fit mousy, unheroic, simple me
who never really seems to fit anywhere but You

"God calls us to a life of adventure, not a dusty tour." Mark Waltz

I've always wanted to be zippered up to You
as close as I can, along for the ride
but this . . .
there are others so much more worthy
I just have so little to offer

"It is the smallest part of me that wants to find a way to you . . . could it be that you bend down low to hear a voice so weak? Will you take the smallest part and make it large? Will you take the smallest step and carry me far? The best intentions reside in a corner of my soul. Now I need some help in conquering the whole." Jason Miller, "The Smallest Part"

maybe humility has a new definition
with You as the context
maybe it isn't a child's game with clasped hands
eyelashes batting away the compliments
begging to change the subject back to You
maybe it's really about becoming a slave to You
in order to taste the real freedom
the confidence of a megaphone
to shout You from the rooftops
so others can find the same sweet and salty deliciousness
but there's that word again
that frightening Everest word that makes no sense

"Like Heather says, change is like going up a down escalator. But what would it be like to have peace despite the circumstance? After a mountaintop experience like this, you will find a valley if you try to do it on your own. The methods of this world are our will. We have to surrender to God's will. He has an appointment with you every day." Kathy Guy
-pop, pop-

I love our daily appointments
especially lately
soaking in the simplicity of pen pal Paul
his honesty and lack of perfection
like an embossed invitation to a party I've already been to

"You'll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God's master stroke, I didn't try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified.
I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it—and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God's Spirit and God's power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God's power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else." I Corinthians 2: 1-5

I love how You answer me when I don't want You to
I love how Your smarter than me
I love how You flip a lightswitch in the dark places
even when I still keep my eyes closed
I love how You stretch me out of my cotton complacency
into itchy, chaffing truths that keep me squirming
enough to move me forward

"No one escapes the storms. Jesus offers one solution. Hear the words of the book and put them into practice." Rob Wegner, "Call of Duty" sermon May 3-4, 2008

so when the routine returns like regimented calendar squares
I'll just keep diving in the popcorn kernals
listening, watching, chasing the next explosion of truth
to understand why that scary one keeps popping up
and more importantly to stay in the heat
trusting in the pops to come



Sherry Ingle said...

What a great, rejuvenating weekend!! I took home so many nuggets to ponder over! I especially loved when Holly Laurente said..."sometimes all we can do is ice it and cry". Amen!

Sarah Rulli said...

Kristin, you are such a kindred spirit. I can't tell you how often I feel the way you describe in your post. It was just recently that I heard Jesus calling me to spring. I have no idea how long he was calling me, but I know winter lasted a long time. Spring is a wonderful place to be, but I know winter will come again. Spring can't last forever... we can't stay on the mountain top forever...

gregsmith said...

Wow. I'm glad you and Buh were able to attend together. There are so many popcorn moments we miss. Thanks for sharing yours on this blog. Love you.