Friday, August 31, 2012

Showing Grace

One of the lessons that God has been teaching me this year, especially since Whitney Houston died and everyone started speculating and gesticulating on her last days on earth, is that grace is something none of us deserve but because out Creator loves us, He freely gives it. I wondered where was the grace for her, despite the issues she dealt with in her life. I wanted there to be some justification for what appeared to be so much unfairness in her daughter being left behind. What was the point of this girl losing her mother at just the time when she needed her most? What was the real lesson there?

The real lesson...the real intangible...the real beyond the obvious...

My best friend reminded me of the answer to that question today. She told the story of a young lady that was hired to watch her children this summer. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, this young lady decided to steal from my friend and her husband by changing the amount of her pay on a check.

Lots of people had a lot of responses to this action and the decision that my friends made. Some understood my friends' showing of grace rather than pursuing prosecution. Some felt that the only recourse was to enter the court of law - dragging her in there to teach her a lesson about being sneaky, being a thief, being dishonest.

I wanted to say something equally as biting, that she will only learn not to steal when she is prosecuted. She has to learn her lesson or she may do something far worse. She needs to be judged for her decision to make such a stupid mistake. But then I remembered something that God told me back in February at three in the morning.

"Stop looking for life to be fair; start looking for my grace."

I am looking for grace everywhere now, like a hidden jewel. I am looking for it, not just for me, but for others. I am seeking it out like a bloodhound on a scent, sniffing it out, wanting to see it manifested in this earth. Where grace is found, the Grace Giver is somewhere behind the scenes. I am not looking for fairness because although we'd like to think so God is a just God but what happens on this earth is not often fair. A just God allows unfairness.

God demands that we sometimes do what is not customary or according to the laws of this earth to teach a much bigger lesson. He wants us to live a life that isn't always easy, isn't always cut and dry, isn't always as simple as 1-2-3. He wants those of us that have found grace and been found by grace (when the lights get turned on and we are caught red-handed doing something we KNOW we had NO business doing) to show the same measure of grace on an individual basis.

"What was the lesson?" Jason, a friend, asked.

Maybe it wasn't what others would have done but I believe that my friends showing of grace to this young lady was the lesson. It wasn't what happens after; it is the showing of that thing that matters most of all. What the young lady does with it is entirely up to her, but what my friends do with the showing of grace points back to God. They showed what God shows us all and for me, I saw His face in their action. For me, my heart started beating double time, because yet again I sensed Him in the room just over my shoulder, reminding me that His grace is the perfume saturating my life.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Yep, I Know You're Going to Delete Me

So, here's the thing I didn't want to say. I haven't said much to anyone about wedding colors or bridesmaids or flowers (mainly because there actually aren't any). At first I had made the lists and started stressing over music and venues and caterers and dates. I thumbed through the bridal magazines (mostly out of obligation) and felt my stomach churn over all the things the articles said I was supposed to be doing right now.

But then I figured out that there was something of more importance than all that. It was actually speaking vows and not being put on display while I did that with the one that preferred privacy and intimacy. These actions are preferred over making our day about everyone else, keeping up appearances, hooplah, gray hairs (as if I didn't already have some I'm trying to cover up).

With that being said there are three reasons a lot of friends and associates are going to delete me off their Facebook and possibly out of their lives (but if they love me as much as they should, they will not even consider it):

(1) They won't have time to book an airplane flight, take time off from work, buy gifts, pick out outfits or make any other plans surrounding my wedding. The wedding is a lot sooner than people know. And due to fiance' privacy laws, I cannot say when or where or how or why (and no, I'm not expecting a tiny person in nine months before people start speculating).

(2) The invitees are on a very small list. Those whom have spoken to me within the last few weeks about this are on that list. Those others that have not called me, have not spoken to me lately, or had pointed discussions with me about my future can best presume they are NOT on the list. I love you all anyway, no matter what group you belong to. Hopefully there will be no hard feelings. But if there are, I apologize in advance, and maybe next summer you all can party with us when we continue to celebrate life, as we all should.

(3) The life I have dreamed off sincze I was a little girl did not actually start with a wedding dress or all the details of weddings. I have such a hard time with overwhelming events and moments in life that I never even considered the prospect of a wedding. I was more interested in the marriage itself, so my focus is on the preparation of being a wife and not just being a bride.

The rest of the world will be able to live vicariously through pictures after the unnamed date. I promise not to keep those secret. But, for now, despite the trepidation of hurting people's feelings, I am breathing a sigh of relief.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


And these are the days that I have waited my whole life for. Days when I can see a future that is much better than the days when life hurt too hard to breathe. These days we can be distracted by the lie that our lives would be better if we just didn't disagree about the small things, if there had never been a disagreement in the first place if the introduction to a possible love had never happened.

It would not be easier.

It would not be easier without him here.

I think now that is the point of love, that when raw life tries to intercept the healing, we realize we are so much better together than apart. We learn to love more when our presence in the lives of those we cannot live without makes them want to be whole and healed by the love flowing through unseen veins.

He and I are about to do the unthinkable. And I have never felt the reality of being so crazy obedient as I am today...we have seemingly thrown convention right out the window. We are about to intertwine lives separate for now one day soon, although I have watched the cleaving apart of marriages around me. Are we nuts?


But would I be crazier or lonelier or sadder or angrier without him?

Absolutely. Nonplussed.

If I wasn't able to answer this so truly, so definitively, then I am nowhere near ready. Other tangible issues, other carnal realities, may demand years of waiting. But this love demands that we embrace it. NOW. Can loving another ever be a mistake taken? I know some that are asking this when the cleaving apart happens.

But because free will to do foolish things are evident, the foolish decisions do not undo the essence of love. They do not undo what the heart speaks and what those blood-words, those covenant words do to us. They make us become better, even if circumstances get worse. If one loves and the other does not, there is no pretense that love changed somebody - most likely the one that gave it their all.

I am not better without this one, this man being right here - willing to do the most foolish thing in the world: throwing caution to the wind and becoming physical covenant on earth, giving all, no apologies. My world demands this covenant, so those who are watching my life from afar can be challenged to love again and again and again.

So we will stand there, face to face, with all our imperfections and say yes to a perfect love that will undo everything we thought - everything that almost destroyed the hungry hearts beating beneath breast-bone. We take that healed heart and hand it over to the other across sand, the expanse of time, the eraseable past that we were once ashamed of.

And I know now, before it ever happens, that I cannot live without doing this.

These days this is what I think of.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Myama Boone's Last Day On Earth

The original birth records will be sealed as if they never were.

The identity that was presupposed for most of my existence will no longer be.

The name of a man that I never knew will not be attached to the me that I have grown to know and accept. Finally.

The end of the one me that wrestled with legitimacy in an unsafe world will be the beginning of the one me that doesn't know what it means not to belong to a safe Kingdom. She does belong there. She has worth. She has not been forgotten. She is her own, that belongs to the One that has called her His Own. She sings softly:

"And He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me that I am His Own..."

I am Myowne.

God made me His Own, so I could embrace Myowne. How beautiful His love and saving power is.

And today is the last day that I must legally answer to an illegitmate name, at least in spirit. Though the name I will use after tomorrow will return to its original position as simply the one in the middle in about four months,I am most proud that I will be the me God knew before I was formed in my mother's womb during this time of preparation.

There is something to a name given...there is something even more majestic about being given an identity hidden in the Name which is above every Name. On it's own Myama Myowne has no significance but when He whom became insignificant for me over 2000 years ago calls me by it, I know that He is intimately connected with me and knows my beginning and my end. I may have been given the wrong name at birth, but in my life, I am now surnamed by the name of the One and Only God who legitimizes and brings worth to my life, my survival, my existence.

And I am the little girl I am on the inside taught to say thank you in appreciation of good gifts...I am in awe that I am here and God is with me. Immanuel...He is with me. I make it personal. Because it is. Because He is and has always been with me...even when I was just a microscopic cell dividing in my mother's womb, He was with me, knitting me together gently with materials built to stand and last the test of time, materials hardened through difficulties but softened by Love.

So on my last day as the old me, known by the wrong name, misread and misunderstood by many, what will I do in remembrance of the life I have lived for 34 years with it? I will thank God for His grace, for I am truly named by it - the grace of Blood shed for me and the mercy that has kept me here, favored by God. I do not despise the day of small beginnings. I thank God that His infinitesmal reach touches me here and covers me under the shadow of His Wings. I am safe here. I am Loved here. I am His Own Myowne here.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Carrot-Hating, Vanilla-Ice Cream Loving Chihuahua

I adopted my five-pound chihuahua/son about two months ago from a great event the Michigan Humane Society puts on annually at the Detroit Zoo.  The "Meet Your New Friend" gave me the opportunity to find "Five Pounds" as Mr. so affectionately has nicknamed him.  His weight has very little to do with how grandiose his attitude and his disposition is; it, in fact, enhances how huge he thinks he is.  Since his larger-than-life arrival into my home, he has gained a definite place in my life.

His name is Barklee.  He has the biggest brown eyes and this tiny whine that can make you give up all the meat on your plate if you didn't have the inner strength and will-power to fight off his Jedi mind-tricks.  He also has the fastest little legs of any Chihuahua ever seen. Just ask Mr., whom, had the lovely opportunity to learn this one afternoon when he thought going to the park WITHOUT his leash was a great idea.  He has cute little clothes that he wears when it is too cold for him outside.  I honestly look forward to the brisk November air when he can wear either his "church coat" (which is tweed with fur around the collar with gold buttons) or his red, faux-down coat with the hood.

Basically, he has taken over my house and my life.

And I suspect that he is a little bit human...or at least has the same taste buds as my oldest nephew.

This is how the story goes with the nephew and how it interplays into Barklee's tale (no pun intended).

At 10 years old, the nephew decided that he was allergic to cooked carrots, or at least hated them enough to make himself throw them up.  Hence, a food allergy with a reaction that is best avoided.  He proceeded to inform me that he was allergic to the little round discs on his plate, which is why he didn't need to eat them.  I laughingly told him, as I recalled his babyhood and toddler years when he pretty much ate everything, including cooked carrots (and displayed no allergic reactions after eating them whatsoever), that he probably just didn't like them.  I even called the Queen that birthed him and she laughingly told me that I was correct.  He stated that I couldn't possibly tell him anything about his body since he lived in it, with his eyebrows furrowed and his hands on his hips after I reiterated that he was being melodramatic.  Amazing that his dessert was totally okay to eat, even though he avoided his veggies that night like the Black Plague.

Fast forward to last night's doggy chow down.

The first time I fed Barklee this particular dog food with peas and carrots and beef, I thought he was eating every bite.  That is, until I spied a row of orange discs lying neatly in front of his food bowl.  Barklee had long since returned to his bed, licking his chops.  I got up and walked over to his eating area and saw that every single carrot from his dinner was lying on the floor in a single file line.  I called him over and pointed at the little abandoned carrots that had not made it into his belly.  He bent his little head, looked down at them as if it were his first time seeing them, looked up at me, and returned to his lounge.

Last night I tried feeding him the same meal again with cuts of beef with gravy.  Looking at the picture, at least he didn't line up the carrots on the floor.  And is it any wonder, that like the nephew, my chihuahua has absolutely no aversion to dessert.