{Site currently under construction. Grace for my mess?}

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ready. Set. Go.

Sometimes when God moves, He does it slowly.  And we frantic people run around anxiously, buzzing here and there, spitting out hasty prayers and all the while saying hurryuphurryuphurryuphurryuphurryupGodpleasewon’tyouhurryup?!

And sometimes, even after we’ve lingered awhile in that fretful pace of waiting, He moves with such gusto and solidarity that we’re about knocked clean over while we sit there with our jaws hanging open, silenced in awe at the way love and power and grace and wisdom can manifest in tangible reminders that God is who He says He is.

Last time I posted here, I said I was in a waiting place.

I had been there awhile, and I was getting restless.

And boy… was I bowled over this week when He swept me right out of that waiting place and into a moving place, a go ahead place, a tie-on-your-tennis-shoes-and-let’s-do-this-thing place.  And I struggled to get in gear because I’d sat on my laurels awhile already and stuttered and stumbled a bit when my feet hit the pavement.  My legs are a little wobbly yet, proverbially speaking.  

This is also a goodbye place, and it will be crushingly hard.  And it will be good.

For awhile now, my identity has been a little wrapped up in my one-word job description.  I am a houseparent.  I do residential child care for abused and neglected teenagers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and I wear a fat bracelet to cover over the other one-word identity that is branded across my wrist…the word in black under-skin ink, the reminder, directive, and command to my heart and hands:  “write”.  

I wear the bracelet because covering tattoos is a dress code policy and I wear the bracelet because covering and quieting my fervor for writing is the way I’ve managed to fill my time with anything else.

It is scary to call yourself a writer, isn’t it? 

This will be my last month as a housemom.  This will also be my last month as a Texan.  Come October, I’ll be back in Oregon – back in the land of pine trees and evergreens, lakes and rivers and cold northwestern air, and I will drink apple cider and wear a scarf again this fall while the leaves change before my eyes and the icy wintering air sucks the breath right out of my body. 

God willing.

And the life that is before me now will have less sweet tea and less southern phraseology and less laundry and (much) less high school football and hopefully less tears, but more of our families and more of the church I love and more camping and more laughing and maybe a glass of wine every now and then.  And more writing.  Much more writing.

I happened to stumble across this yesterday, and let my heart dance a bit with possibility while my stomach flip-flopped in all the possibility already before me on this new journey.  The High Calling is giving away one spot to the Laity Lodge Writer’s Retreat this fall.  I have been drooling unceremoniously over the creative non-fiction workshop by Gregory Wolfe for weeks already, but just haven't been able to make the dollars materialize so I could attend the retreat.  Laity Lodge happens to be a short drive from here, in my favorite part of Texas, and the retreat also happens to be during the last weekend I’ll live in this state.  It falls smack-dab on the days I’ll make my maybe-only-mental transition from Fumbling Southern Housemom to Fumbling Northwestern Writer, and… well… I really can’t imagine a better way to end my Texas journey to begin another one.  Consider me, High Calling, would you?  Would it help if I begged?  

And so, while I wait for the retreat winner to be announced and I wait for the pieces of my new stage of life to come together, and I pack up a house while thirteen people still live in it, I’ll have my hands full a bit these next few weeks.  Thanks in advance, readers and friends, for your grace if my presence around this place is a little spotty over the next few weeks.  Thank you, too, if you should happen to offer up a prayer on behalf of my family, especially the children of my body and the children of my heart as we all make a big transition this October, with many tears and many hopes and many sweet memories of the time we've had in this place.  May God be glorified, despite the fumbling.  


  1. Oh. You fumble so beautifully, you do. Blessings.

  2. This is awesome Cara! I know that if you are selected for the trip, it'll rock you as a writer. I was there last year, and even aside from the workshop facilitators, you'd be surrounded by an incredible group of writers that'll bless your socks off...

    Great post!

  3. Beg away. It's hard to want to win this when I know it will be a blessing to so many others. May God be glorified, indeed.

  4. Cara, I will be sad knowing that you're no longer in the South, but I know that God is doing and will do wonderful things. His compassions are new every morning! Great is His faithfulness! I too have been rooted up suddenly, and while we're waiting for God to move in many ways, we're running to catch up to Him in others. May God give you the stamina you need to keep up!

  5. Praying for you as you make this transition!  I am sure God has awesome, soul-healing things in store for you and your family!

  6. Goodness. The idea of covering your tattoo really resonated with me. That is one of the most amazing things I have heard in awhile. I hope to see you at Laity Lodge.

  7. What a wonderful thing to say, Sheila.  Thank you, and blessings back on you, my friend. 

  8. Ooooh that I would be rocked!  My thirsty spirit needs this so badly right now.  Hopeful for a way to be refreshed on this new journey.  Thanks for coming by and for your words. 

  9. I know what you mean, Nancy.  As much as I want to win, I know whoever gets to go will be blessed beyond measure.  Wonderful. 

  10. Thanks Jeniffer.  It will be bittersweet, as I said, but I believe the road ahead will be wonderful and I am looking forward to it.  Be blessed while you wait and while you try and catch up.  :) 

  11. Thanks, Melissa.  Soul-healing... yes, please.  :)  It will be another adventure, for sure. 

  12. Hope (ooooh how I hope) to see you there too.  Just what the doctor ordered right now, I think.  :)  Thank you for your kind words and for stopping in. 

  13. Checking out all of the posts for the contest. Oh, I loved yours!

    Houseparent, grrr. Rough. I bet we could swap stories.

    Love your ink and your fun place here. Hope to see more of you around the blogosphere.


Your comments are such an encouragement. Thank you for sharing your valuable words.