Keep Watch, Take Heart

Wait.

“Wait for the Lord whose day is near. Wait for the Lord, keep watch take heart.” This Taize chorus has been running through my head lately. I passed my hospital’s waiting room as I came into work today. I said a little prayer for all the people there. I pray for the patients that are waiting to be seen. I pray for the families that are waiting on news, any news. I pray for the nurses that are waiting for orders. I pray for the docs who are waiting on results. Waiting is hard. Maybe that’s why the Taize chorus rings so often in my heart. Keep watch. Take Heart.

2 Peter 3:13-15a

But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.

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Wannabe Gardener and the Promises of God

Plants

“The Word of of our God will stand forever.” For a girl with a black thumb, this is quite comforting. I have tried and tried to become better at gardening. My grandpa had the most wonderful vegetable garden growing up. My mom’s roses are beautiful every year. This girl in the picture, that’s Co, my sister. She breathes on a plant and it blossoms. Gardening seems to be a gift that I am without. (That doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying.)

Reading and and expounding upon these verses has been a sort of relaxation ritual for me. This passage had me puzzled at first. Perhaps I am not fully understanding the meaning of scripture, but what it is saying to me is that plants will die. They wither, some come back yearly, some will never be seen again. God’s Word, love, and presence are not like plants, or flowers, or grass. They are forever. They are binding. They are steadfast. Like I said, I have a black thumb. (See Troll in the Park for reference…though I am not saying I’m Queen Gnorga!) With my black thumb, my plants will probably never thrive, but it’s good to know that even a wannabe gardener can’t kill God’s love.

Isaiah 40:5-8

Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,  and all people shall see it together,  for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’

A voice says, ‘Cry out!’ And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’All people are grass,  their constancy is like the flower of the field. 

The grass withers, the flower fades,  when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;  surely the people are grass. 

The grass withers, the flower fades;  but the word of our God will stand for ever. 

Wannabe Gardener and the Promises of God

Plants

The Word of of our God will stand forever. For a girl with a black thumb, this is quite comforting. 

Isaiah 40:5-8

Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,  and all people shall see it together,  for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’ A voice says, ‘Cry out!’ And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’All people are grass,  their constancy is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades,  when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;  surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades;  but the word of our God will stand for ever. 

Comfort Ye My People

Comfort.

Sometimes in life, all I want to do is cuddle up with a blanket. But, then I remember, I’m a nurse. My job is to provide what comfort I can to people who are suffering. I have been a nurse now for three and a half years and in that time, I have seen people conquer impossible diagnoses. I have held the hands of people passing. I have taken coffee to the family members waiting at the bedside. I have laughed with, cried with, prayed with, and celebrated with patients both young and old. I once wrote that my goal in being a nurse was to make at least one person smile per day. If I can accomplish that, I have accomplished much. Isaiah states, “Comfort my people.” Sometimes I picture the prophets speaking to me, “Lanita, comfort God’s people.” When I am at work and having a hard day, I try to remember that all of my patients are God’s people. When I remember that, my job becomes so much easier and more meaningful in my mind.

So I say to you, comfort God’s people. Whether it is a patient, a friend, a parent, a pastor, a stranger…yourself. Comfort God’s people.

Isaiah 40:1-4 “Comfort, O comfort my people,  says your God.

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,  and cry to her

that she has served her term,  that her penalty is paid,

that she has received from the Lord’s hand  double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:

‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,  make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be lifted up,  and every mountain and hill be made low;

the uneven ground shall become level,  and the rough places a plain.”

Awaken

    I really love words. I have a particular interest in the meaning behind words, so I often find myself on dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster.com or, the ever so entertaining, urbandictionary.com just to see what interesting words I can find. I think this began when I was about 7 years old and I found out another word for kneecap is patella. So started my desire to learn cool words. Anywho, enough about childhood, on with the blog!

Woke

chiefly US slang

: aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).

I told you I like dictionaries…

     Our eyes are tools to see the world for what it is. Tools to see what the world could be. Tools to see what the world should be. Tools to see what the world absolutely shouldn’t be. I hope more than anything that when we see what the world shouldn’t be, we use our other bodily tools (brain, hands, feet, heart…patellas) to make the world more like what it should be. 

Mark 13:33-37 (NRSV)

“Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.’”

#staywoke #AdventDay1 #Dec3 #Awaken #eyes #AdventPhotoChallenge #Jesus #Advent #feminism #beautyintheworld #AdventwithLanita

Advent with Lanita

     Advent photo challenge blog coming! Ive been doing a photo challenge on Instagram like this for a couple years now and it always gets my brain pumping. So, I’ve decided this year it would be my daily practice to write a blog along with my Advent insta-posts. Here we’ll talk about feminism, Jesus, big beauty, love, and , obviously- Advent. Hopefully you will laugh, maybe you’ll smile and nod, possibly you’ll get inspired, you might roar a rapturous,”You go girl!”, or mayhaps you will learn something new or think a new thought. My true desire is that this blog brings you hope, peace, joy, and love. 

Let Beauty Happen 

     As Jess, Meaghan, Nick, and I we walking the grounds of the only city palace in Munich (which pretty much every building looks like a palace to me…) we stumbled upon a gazebo. It was the stuff of daydreams. Beautiful architecture, surrounded by flowers, backlit by sunshine, and stone work to envy ancient Greece. We walked closer and heard music from inside the gazebo. There was a man playing violin for the many passersby and the good folk who decided to sit and enjoy for a while. Many more were sitting and enjoying which seems to be in much better practice here than in the U.S. The violinist was playing a familiar classic piece, “Time to Say Goodbye.” We stood for a while, taking pictures, as tourists do and when he finished his song, I joked (only partially) with the others that they could just leave me here and come back for me in a few hours. I really would have been content with that, but being the over cautious person that I am, I would never stay alone in a country with which I wasn’t familiar. As I very slowly began to move away, the violinist began playing my favorite song in the universe.  

🎶Moon river, wider than a mile. I’m crossing I’m style someday…🎵


As the familiar notes lept from the strings into the air, I was moved beyond measure. Phone was put away. There was no desire to capture this moment for Instagram, but rather the whole desire to drink in every moment of this beauty that was before me. Tears were falling. Smiles were on the faces of all those around. Little children were swaying to the music as they cooed in their mother’s arms. I am tearing up just writing about it. 
     Thank you universe. Thank you for reminding me that “Go go go,” is not always the way to live your life. Thank you for reminding me that life happens at the in betweens. Thank you universe for reminding me to let beauty happen.