I was made to be wide-eyed all the days of my life.

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Meeting by Wendell Berry

A Meeting
In a dream I meet
my dead friend. He has,
I know, gone long and far,
and yet he is the same
for the dead are changeless.
They grow no older.
It is I who have changed,
grown strange to what I was.
Yet I, the changed one,
ask: “How you been?”
He grins and looks at me.
“I been eating peaches
off some mighty fine trees.”
Wendell Berry

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Luther's Road

Luther's Road

“This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, 

not health, but healing, not being but becoming, 

not rest but exercise.

We are not yet what we shall be,

 but we are growing toward it,

the process is not yet finished, but it is going on,

 this is not the end, but it is the road.

 All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.”

 ― Martin Luther

I've returned. 
To write again, once more.
Of all You have done for me. 

"But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand
Psalm 31

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wang Wedding | Preview


March and mirth
Woods and words
Weien and Grace

Two hearts
vowed for life
Two lights
burning bright[er]
as One.

Let there be love.


More light and love to come.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Psalms: 27 | Safe


Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation,
or distress,
or persecution,
or famine,
or nakedness,
or danger,
or sword?
As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

in all these things
we are
than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am
that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present
nor things to come,
nor powers,
nor height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to
us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:35-39 ESV)


For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble
(Psalm 27:5 ESV)

Paul David Tripp

I am safe,
not because I have no
or because I never experience
I am safe,
not because people
affirm me,
or my plans always
work out.
I am safe,
not because I am immune from
or free of the potential for
I am safe,
not because I am protected from disappointment,
or separated form this
fallen world.
I am safe,
not because I am
or strong.
I am safe,
not because I deserve
comfort or have earned my
I am safe,
not because of
or power,
or position,
or intellect,
or who I know,
or where I live.
I am safe because of the glorious mystery of
I am safe because of the presence of
boundless love.
I am safe because of
divine mercy,
divine wisdom,
divine power,
and divine grace.
I am safe,
not because I never face
but because You are 
with me in it. 
You have not given me
a ticket out of danger.
You have not promised me
a life of ease.
You have chosen to place me in
a fallen world.
I am safe
because you have given me
the one thing
that is the
only thing
that will ever keep me safe.
You have given me

I am safe from my evil heart and this shattered world,
not because I can escape
them both,
but because in the middle of
temptation and trial,
danger and disappointment,
sickness and want,
You give me everything
I need to
fight temptation
and avoid defeat
and point others
to the safety
that can be found only in You.

So I will wake up tomorrow
and face the anxiety
of not knowing
the fear of my own weakness,
and the reality of the fall
I will live with
and hope.
An when danger comes,
and it will
I will whisper to
my weakenng heart,
"Emmanuel is your shelter;
you are safe."

Thursday, March 7, 2013

EMS Academy

Checking off goals,
crossing off the bucket list,
whatever you wanna call it,
I have the feeling that 2013 is going to be filled with it.

Since my early highschool days, I've been interested in emergency care- working with a outdoors girls program, keeping up my CPR certification religiously, hanging out with paramedic/emt/firefighter/lifegaurd friends- and have always wanted to pursue taking an EMT course. The timing never seemed to work out. Not until this spring.

For the past 8 weeks I've had the great privilege of studying emergency care with Saint Paul Fire Department's EMS Academy. We're about half way through the program, with 8 more weeks to go, but I'm loving it so far. Loving the people, loving the culture, loving the concepts. It's weird but I think I love emergencies. And people.

I've been blown away by the human body. Things I once thought were 'simple' -respiration, circulation, sleep, the fact that I have bones holding me together- have now become some of the most complex ideas to me- miracles, really.(Respiration is currently one of my favorite things to talk about. Why? Because it's crazy, that's why.) The human body is a masterpiece.

There have been a few moments, over the past months, where I'd lean back from my anotomical perch over my 1283 page text book, breathless.
"Is this even real?" I'd ask, after studying anatomy and physiology. I'd look down at my hand, take a deep breath, check the pulse at my wrist, just to make sure that I wasn't kidding myself.
I'm alive.
I can't believe I get to have a body and to be alive.
It's breathtaking, God's design of the body. Our bodies are perfused with His name and it is beautiful.

God is beautiful.

And he's really, really real. He's not real as an idea is real, he's really real. Like my hand is real. Except even more so, and in a different, better way. And he's making me real.

Below are a smattering of photos from class and beyond.
Keep it real.

"All my bones shall say, “O Lord, who is like you..?” Ps.35

A motley group of new emergency-esque friends? Check.
Love this life.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Variations on a Theme: Death VI / or / Beginnings, Glory


In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
(John 1:4-5 ESV)


We are sorrowful, yet rejoicing for Grandpa Tom Clawson, an honorable man. 
The door on which he knocked his whole life opened at last:1931-2013


"For anyone who says yes to Jesus, For anyone who believes what Jesus said
For anyone who will just each out and take it, then God will give them this wonderful gift: 

To be born into 
a whole new Life
To be who they really are
Who God always made them to be-
Their own true selves
God's Sons and Daughters" -JSBB

"We have good fathers, you and I" (Painter Alfred Manessier to his friend the actor Charles Laughton. Chartres Cathedral, 1959)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Snow and Snow Day by Billy Collins


I've moved it off the front steps, 
back steps, and side walk at least a dozen times this winter. 
It moves back.
I've spent a good amount of time 
trying to twist-and-turn drive in it. 
It won't give slack. 
I've sled down a hill
in the fat of it. 
It moves fast. 
I've stood in the stillness
of fall of it.
It shows that
Grace is a daily broadcast 
like manna 
it becomes our wintry daily bread. 


Minnesota Snow

Snow Day by Billy Collins
Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,   
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,   
and beyond these windows

the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost   
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.

In a while, I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,   
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,   
and I will shake a laden branch
sending a cold shower down on us both.

But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,   
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.   
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,   
as glad as anyone to hear the news

that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,   
the Ding-Dong School, closed.
the All Aboard Children’s School, closed,   
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with—some will be delighted to hear—

the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School   
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and—clap your hands—the Peanuts Play School.

So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,   
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,   
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.

And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,   
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down.

Billy Collins, “Snow Day” from Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems (New York: Random House, 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Billy Collins.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Beginnings, Thirst.

" are having such a long
conversation in my heart."

Duluth Morning Sunrise


Another morning and I wake with thirst

for the goodness I do not have.

I walkout to the pond and all the way God has
given us such beautiful lessons. Oh Lord,

I was never a quick scholar but sulked
and hunched over my books past the hour
and the bell; grant me, in your mercy,
a little more time. Love for the earth
and love for you are having such a long
conversation in my heart. Who knows what
will finally happen or where I will be sent,
yet already I have given a great many things
away, expecting to be told to pack nothing,
except the prayers which, with this thirst,
I am slowy learning.

— Mary Oliver, Thirst,

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Beginnings, Restoration

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


[This past Autumn, in the midst of a whirlwind of work and family and photos, I had the chance to take a counseling course through CCEF under author and speaker, Dr. David Powlison.  The course itself was fruitful, a good time of looking under the skin of my daily life- a much needed time of study. And while the course finished in December,  I'm still ruminating over the content, still thinking  over the insights and still learning how people change- how I change.


"If your past year was a Psalm, which would it be?" a friend recently asked me. 

At first, it  seemed to me  like a cheesy, Christian conversational one-liner. I laughed it off,  mentioning something about Psalm 119 and this " being the longest year of my life" but later secretly scribbled the idea into my journal.

I've been thinking about the Psalms a lot lately. One in particular. 
Throughout this past semester we dug deep into the Psalms, hoping to look at life the way the Psalmist expressed it: real, fresh and direct interaction with God. And in the midst of a difficult time this Autumn, I found myself returning to some familiar words I grew up reciting, going back to the old pillars of my childhood: Psalm 23. (Maybe the psalm of my year?)

In the past, Psalm 23 has always evoked images of a softly painted shepherd in luscious green field, or a cow-eyed, pastel colored, precious moments figurine holding a harp and a lamb. It was cute. It was for old ladies and for children's Sunday-school classes and AWANA Sparky's but not for real life problems.  

It wasn't until I took a fresh look from a different angle that I began to see the nearness of this anything-but-cliche psalm to my life. Consider David Powilson's Antipsalm 23:
I’m on my own.
No one looks out for me or protects me.
I experience a continual sense of need. Nothing’s quite right.
I’m always restless. I’m easily frustrated and often disappointed.
It’s a jungle — I feel overwhelmed. It’s a desert — I’m thirsty.
My soul feels broken, twisted, and stuck. I can’t fix myself.
I stumble down some dark paths.
Still, I insist: I want to do what I want, when I want, how I want.
But life’s confusing. Why don’t things ever really work out?
I’m haunted by emptiness and futility — shadows of death.
I fear the big hurt and final loss.
Death is waiting for me at the end of every road,
but I’d rather not think about that.
I spend my life protecting myself. Bad things can happen.
I find no lasting comfort.
I’m alone … facing everything that could hurt me.
Are my friends really friends?
Other people use me for their own ends.
I can’t really trust anyone. No one has my back.
No one is really for me — except me.
And I’m so much all about ME, sometimes it’s sickening.
I belong to no one except myself.
My cup is never quite full enough. I’m left empty.
Disappointment follows me all the days of my life.
Will I just be obliterated into nothingness?
Will I be alone forever, homeless, free-falling into void?
Sartre said, “Hell is other people.”
I have to add, “Hell is also myself.”
It’s a living death,
and then I die.

It gives a new light to the simple words I've heard since childhood. 
Returning to this psalm over the past few months has left me staggering in my steps, mouth open at the implications. It's not a child's psalm at all. It's a psalm for weary adults, for those walking a hard road filled with all kinds of versions of death. It's for the deepest, grittiest, most pressing problems of life. For the mounting bills in the mailbox, the sudden loss of a loved one, the tensioned family gatherings. It's  for those who are waiting and suffering and still waiting in the midst of it. See, I'd become so familiar with the words that I zoned out what Psalm 23 was actually telling me about who God is and what he does. 

He restores. Forever. 

He doesn't just do these things theoretically-in books and blog posts, in adjectives and announcements. No, God meets real needs in real life. He is my Perfect Leader in the face of immediate need.  He is trustworthy and helps me to follow Him. He is real and he is ready to give me what I really need: Himself. Psalm 23 was the psalm of my 2012 year. He has lead me well. 

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

"If God pledges his absolute fidelity to you,
 if indestructible love will see you through to a good end, 
then you are able to walk a very hard road.
You will have to walk a very hard road." -David Powilson