Thursday, February 17

a million places

My sister Autumn and her husband Justin live in a swanky old apartment building in downtown dallas. It's similar to my apartment that i had in chicago - hardwood floors, multiple paint layers on the door jams, well worn creaks. [as a side note, every time i've stayed with them i've gotten stuck in their bathroom. you can't close the door all the way due to the door jam sticking, and I inevitably forget that each time i've visited, and reach the point of crying at 3am because i can't get out. i have thankfully avoided this dilemma this time around. (house=4, erin=1)]

Being with Autumn has been refreshing for my soul. good sisters have a way of doing that, i think. I miss Blair. I wish I were with him. and at home. And i've been reminded that I'm not fully present anywhere, all the time. My mind was a million different places today. I went for a walk in the Dallas Arboretum, determined to do some listening to God rather than all the talking. Amidst the magnolia trees and gravel pathways, this is what I observed and heard:

"I am glorified in all my creation."

"I bring forth the flowers in their right time."

Beauty will spring from the dead, frozen earth.

"I will restore joy."

One day you will bring your children here, and reflect on the day when you were sitting here alone, missing your child.

"To him who has no might He increases strength."

 I want to elaborate on His reminder that He restores joy. At one end of the Arboretum is a huge grassy slope that overlooks White Rock Lake. When I was about 10, my family went for a picnic to the gardens, and I remember Autumn and I rolling down this hill along with a bunch of other kids. At the bottom of the hill after a breathless roll, a boy came up to us and announced, "This is my game. I made it up!" And i remember my sister giving him a mouthful about how he did NOT make up rolling down hills. I'm not sure why this particular memory has stuck in my head all these years, but it did.

Today I laid in the grass on the hill (which was awesome, let me tell you. grass is non-existent in the hill country) and asked the Lord, "What is it that you want me to hear from You, God? I want to hear You." And I opened my Bible to Isaiah 40:6-8:

A voice says "Cry!"
And I said, "What shall I cry?"
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the LORD blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

After reading, I laid back down to contemplate the meaning of this word at this exact moment in my life, when i heard laughter behind me. I turned around to see a small girl with curly hair and her big brother rolling down the hill. The moment was so precious to me - that I would see a repeat of a picnic day from long ago.

Even now as I contemplate on this, I see Isaiah's words blooming into meaning: Things repeat. Sorrow increases and replays. but Joy is better, stronger, and eternal. It repeats. We're just people, and we will see the same habits and stories and sorrows and joys replay in every person's life; it just fleshes out in alternate ways. but the word of the Lord stands forever.

What is the word of the Lord? It is Jesus. He stands forever. He will never change. He will always be true to His character, His actions will always proceed from it. He does not act one way toward me that He will not do for another. He is not like us, with our masquerading faces. He will show compassion, because He is the definition of Compassion. He will heal, because He is the Healer - He cannot act in a way that is contrary to His nature. He is unendingly Himself. It is not that I need Him to be compassionate, or healing, or faithful, or loving. It is that I need to have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart that is receptive to His person. When He is fully present, I will be knocked off my feet, and overflowing in every aspect of my life.

Oh how I long for the fullness of Your presence! Give me eyes to see, Lord.


  1. Erin, I pray that you WILL have the fullness of His presence and that He WILL give you eyes to see! Amen!!

    Happy 4th month in Glory to our Precious Gwenny!

    Love you Sweet Erin and praying for You and Blair.

  2. LOVE.
    Words that never fade...mean Words that are just as true and brilliant today as they were 4 months ago. I love you.

  3. I love this. Love love love this. Thank you for sharing. It was lovely to picture everything you were describing.

    It also encourages me to make time to LISTEN to the Lord, and He will be faithful to speak.

    So glad to know you, Sister.

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  5. i would just like to point out that you, my dear sister, posted this at exactly 10:18...Gwenny baby's blessed birthday

    i love love love you