Anthology: Parenting

An Open Book
You have, O Lord, shone me Your Light,
          Calmed fear of storm
                    and dread of night;
Yet new day dawns, an open book
          The leaves are white
                    I fear to look.

But You are here! Your Presence still
          shines from the leaves
                    your Holy Will. 
It's mine to read, mine to commit,
           Remain in You,
                    humbly submit. 

So order now for each dear child;
           Make my spirit
                     meek and mild,
For You, O Lord, behold our day—
           I'll follow You
                     Who leads our Way. 
                        -- Nov 5, 2001
The Gift of Today

I long for solitude, silence, requite
Time to wonder, pray all  night,
Peace to reflect upon your love,
Dismiss all care
That damps and spoils this heart of fire 
And dims the Goal of my desire.

I cannot wish for no more pain,
Nor threat of harm would I disdain, 
But ties that bind my thoughts to earth:
Careless thought, and thoughtless mirth.
The little voices that me surround
And circle in my head, abound!
Those willful threats of haughty pride—
Of mine, not theirs—I hotly chide.
Where is there, then, your calm in this? 
It's solitude and You I miss!

"I have given a perfect gift—
This day is Mine! So you must lift
Your thoughts much higher than distant day,
For I am here...not far away!"

Oh, Lord, You live Your life through mine, 
Why should I ask for further sign?

Those voices that my thoughts all cloud,
With needs and wants and clamour loud,
Are vessels of your love to woo
And fill them all with love for You.
They are arrows given for Your bow
That more on earth Your love can know.

It's an awesome task with which You test
My faith, and yet I know it's best. 
To love You now as I will 'then',
To show Your peace while teaching them,
To see with joy the little flower
And learn the depths of Your great power,
While still in business here today—
This is my anchor, and my stay.  
                        --Nov 28, 2001
Permission Granted
May I, please? 
Or will it offend?
Will a smile weaken firmness, 
Must I break the will, or bend?

Will the arrow fly crooked
On a zig-zaggy path
If I give up my railings
And calm my hot wrath?

Will the bent of the tree
Thrust its rangy boughs low
If I put an arm 'round him
And give room to grow?

If I smile and I serve,
will I make myself slave? 
Will the 'master' brow-beat me
And scoff o'er my grave?

I can't think that it's better 
To cross my brows so
Demanding perfection 
When growing's so slow. 

I think that we're born 
Without much hope for such,
So I look for each reason
To soften my touch. 

Life is hard and teaches
Much on its own;
What we need is a Comfort
And a place to call Home

Where courage is lifted
Higher up than despair,
And perfection is our Savior
Who shares every care,

Where laughter is hearty
Acceptance is sure,
And the scent of "I'm sorry"
Is the sweetest and pure.

Pharasaic and grieving,
I once thirsted and panted,
But now I know joy
For Permission is granted. 
            --April 29, 2003

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