scripture for sufferers

Dear one – yes you with the pain hidden in your eyes
And the shoulders slumped with the weight of it all
Did you know? 
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
I know you ask, what does that even mean?
It weighs a hundred pounds
Yes, but He’s carried millions
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
We belittle; mock Him as He hangs naked and suffocating
We shudder; pronounce Him disgusting
Not seeing – that is us
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The bruises, the lashes, the hellfire, they were yours
Come, weary one, lay your wounds in His lap
He holds you in His infinite battle-scarred hands
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
Yes, peace – in this broken world it is possible
Past this broken world it is sure, complete
And by His stripes
Ah!  The blood spurts, washes over
“See how I love you.”
We are healed.

Isaiah 53:4-5


"What's in a Name?"

What do all these lovely ladies have in common?

When I was in my preteen years, (I think!) (sometime in that general vicinity anyway) these are the kind of faces that came to mind when I heard the name "Lizzie".  Weird how you have connotations with certain names.  I don't even know where that one came from!

I went through more than my share of nicknames in my childhood and early teen years.  I discovered that there are far more nicknames for "Elisabeth" in the baby name book than there are for, say, "Heidi" =)  I had a violin teacher who wrote a new nickname in my book every week for a while...  I tried to use a good deal of them.  "Beth", "Lisa", and "Liesl" were probably the most often used (other than "Lizard-breath" by a select few) (and these days, there is one young gentleman of my family who has decided that "Wizzy" is somehow, somehow fitting.  I am trying most ardently to break him of this notion) until my family decided they liked calling me "Lizzie".
Now, these ladies above are quite wonderful.  But are they me?  They're nothing like me!  So after me complaining about being called "Lizzie" for a while, we compromised.  They could call me Lizzie if they spelled it "Lizzi" - because I didn't know anyone named "Lizzi".  Not even a redhead.  It seemed like... Me.  It fit.  So, to this day, I spell it "Lizzi".  Why I didn't just use "Lizzy" I have no idea.  Just didn't think of that I guess.  

This is a random spiel but when you move somewhere new and introduce yourself to new people, you realize it is kind of a pain that you always have to clarify "oh, that's EliSabeth spelled with an S instead of a Z" or "L, I, Z, Z, I... Yeah no E.  No, it's I.  Not Y".   And you sit there thinking "why exactly do I spell it with an I?"  But by now it's grown on me.  It is me.  So when people write "Lizzie" or "Lizzy" I want to correct them because otherwise I feel like I've neglected to let them know that they're not talking to me. 

Actually I've taken to introducing myself as "Lizzi, as in Elisabeth" because apparently "Lizzi" sounds like "Lucy", "Izzy", and "Lindsay".

Life is weird.  Or perhaps I am...  I'll leave you to be the judge of that.  And I'll leave you with a few fitting words from other people.  While I try not to think of my car sitting at Westminster with the third flat tire I've had in the last month or so...  And all the homework I have this week between work.   I could use another 12 hours of Sunday for my poor brain.  But I am super thankful that I have friends who stand by and offer encouragement and mittens while I wrestle with a screw that won't stay in the grip of my torque wrench, and find people to fill my tire with air for me tomorrow, and drive me home in the meantime!  And I have to shake my head and think God has a sense of humor.  When I am super stressed about life and obsessed with scheduling my every moment in order to stay in control, He throws me for a loop and reminds me that things are never really in my control anyway.  I am comforted to know that He is, and oh how He loves me!

On that note.

What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose  by any other name would smell as sweet.
— William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Nicknames stick to people, and the most ridiculous are the most adhesive. — Thomas C. Haliburton

Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell the name will carry. — Bill Cosby

images courtesy of Google.  =)


every good gift comes from above

A few more highlights from my gift list:

"Freedom", my word for 2014

Seeing my sweet cousin's face, even if it's over Skype

Wind-chime chorus on my street

Unexpectedly discovering a kindred spirit

Facebook messages all full of wedding plans

Breadsticks from the Olive Garden 

How you know, when you walk in the door at CCEF, you will be kindly treated no matter what you're there for

Thabiti Anyabwile and new crochet stitches at unearthly hours of the night

A classmate who cleans the snow off my car for me

"Speak Oh Lord" in church

The mechanic telling me I'm "quite a lady" just because I drive stick and change my own tires...  lol

The sweet lady in the grocery store who finds and returns the shopping list I dropped

Being trusted with a dear friend's struggle

Good coffee, given by a new friend
A super sweet "just because/beginning of semester" gift from a friend

Neighbours who push my car out of the snow

How a grumpy afternoon that was supposed to be class turns into a sweet sharing with a friend...  And the comfort that comes from burden-sharing

"Table-Talk" at Dr. Trueman's after church

That week two of "Helping Relationships" was not canceled because of the weather...  Unlike five other classes in two weeks!

Oma's voice: "How's my girl?"

That she tells me Opa is blowing me kisses

5C and 10C on the forecast for next week! 


to all the little boys I've loved

I miss my students.

Lord, you know this little one
he is Yours
he grows
love him?
teach him to love
to protect
to be a gentle pursuer
make him an honest fighter
oh please, never let him grow numb
never let that fire die
please, grow him into a man who sees others
unashamed to cry for the broken
delighting in our laughter
let him take pride in creating something with his own two hands
make him an encourager, teacher, provider
but more than anything
let me meet him on the other side
my fiery little man

how my studies suggested a word for 2014

when you think you've figured it out, take
just a little longer
there's no prize for quickest prescription.
How many time have you thought through these thoughts? Again?
turn, spin, cast
"for every look at yourself
take ten looks at Him"
you will drown in puzzle pieces,
immobilized by this inner monologue
unless you
let Him in
tip that head back
in His words
the pieces settle into place
navel-gazing only trips you
and you are not alone
this furious wrestling inside takes on meaning
only when you see your surroundings
and vertical
For He is
and sometimes you do need to ask the silly questions.
Because you are only really alive when you
learn how to love
learn how you're loved
Because you need to come to the end of yourself
to be

There is a fairly recent trend that goes along with or replaces new year's resolutions by chose one word for your year, as goal or in order to identify and learn from life themes. 
My cousin has done it, and I've done it for a few years too.  The way that I see it, God teaches us many different things in the different chapters of our life, and if we are intentional about seeking out some of those lessons, we may be more teachable and more active in our learning.  I don't pretend to say I'm figuring out what God is doing, but I may be less resistant if I am asking to be taught.  All that to say...  2011 was Gratitude, 2012 was Perseverance, 2013 was Self-forgetfulness, and 2014
Because submission and understanding leaves you so free to fight. I am learning so much about this already.

Did you choose a word this year?  Have you heard of this idea before? 

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Sometimes I am melodramatic... Bear with me. My favorite thing is finding hope in hard places. If you enjoyed something (or not) I would love to hear from you! You can make me very happy by leaving a comment :)


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