Graphs and anchors

We’ve had even more than our usual a-lot-going-on, and I haven’t been able to blog. I’ve also felt a need to keep silent here as friends are grieving losses, others are hurting deeply, and me too – I’m trying to find a way above my own challenges. I was looking at one of Rhema’s graphs – I get a set every month from school. Some of them are behavior graphs that chart things like flopping, bolting, successful transitions. As I looked at the ups and downs it reminded me of life, and something I read once by a favorite singer (Sara Groves):

“I made a map of my life on my 40th birthday, and remembered in broad strokes the first 20 years of my life, and then the second.  Drawn out in a sort of graph, I was amazed that there was rarely just one monolithic line, plummeting and rising, but that in the darker hours, there was almost always a counter-rise – this hard thing was happening, but at the same time, this other (sometimes completely unrelated) wonderful thing was happening.  Coming-of-age vulnerability alongside finding genuine, life-giving mentors, young adult angst alongside finding a voice, marriage joy alongside marriage pain, birth alongside depression, tearing relational missteps alongside burgeoning life-long friendships, sin and self alongside truly breathtaking revelations of grace.”

Anyway, I am thankful for the falling and rising and His grace at “each turn in the line.”

Trying to lay it all down at His feet.


Reblogging this, originally written November 2011.


My little Hope and I go down to the boat ramp just to watch the vessels on the water.

I want her to know what real hope looks like. Not just a wish or fancy, but an abiding, unshakeable expectation.

It’s peaceful just now, though wind and tide have rocked the boat.

I know of storms raging

family without power

homeless men in the subway

heartache of friends


pressures at work

babies battling cancer

a beloved aunt in her last days

I know of chaos and confusion, weakness and regret.

We should surely sink.

And yet we are held fast.

I read aloud to her the passage from my morning study – shared with a dozen women in a circle huddled over Bibles, in their own storms:

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.” Heb. 6:19-20

In the stillness I ask her,

“You know what an anchor is, right?”

“Yeah, it keeps the boat from going away.”

A pause.

“But Mama, what’s our soul?”

“It’s like the deepest part inside you. Everything you think and feel and know and makes you you. With God, our souls have an anchor.”

“Like the boat.”

“Like the boat. Hope keeps our souls from going away.”

It’s my day off from work and I cherish our time together – we talk and talk and talk and eat McDonalds, bounce around the gym and practice for piano. We pick up a happy Rhema from school. She’s had some tough days lately, but when I put her to bed she thrills me unexpectedly with a beautifully clear “night night” and “luh yew” (love you).  I seriously kick up my heels as I close her door – no medical report or school evaluation or future fear can steal the joy from the moment. And then the husband refuses to be lazy about me. He fights the weariness and frustrations of the day and all the words unspoken; he finds new ways to connect and I know I am loved.

It’s the hope of heaven. It’s God’s good gifts I’m counting in the wind. All of it, anchoring.


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