Stand and Tip

Not certain the exact date I wrote this, but it was before 1990. The last two lines were added after the first writing at a time when I was trying too hard. God and I have a joke. I say, “Lord, I’m trying!” And He says, “Yes, dear, very trying.” Then I rest in His presence and try to allow Him to work in and through me.

Perhaps I Could Ask You Just to Stand and Tip? ©1990       Molly Lin Dutina 

Lily pads at the pond		
Grow on stalky stems
Leaves unfold an opened palm
Cupped at center point
Summer shower starts to drop
Mercurial glistening spheres
Gathering in the center spot
‘til bulbous weight smears silver drops
Into glistening globs
And tips the leaves so full
To pour their contents overboard
And rising from the spill
Stately shielded lily-hands
Begin the cycle once more

Keep my stem flexible, Lord
My hands open and cupped
Eager to receive Your all
Questioning not Your skill
Only trusting the power of Your love
To melt my rigid will

Drench me Lord 
In Your shower of love
Let me gather and drink my fill
Then spill over on those around
And rise to await Your will

Send water of Your Spirit
To tip me over, pour me out
Then wash over me once again
Fresh cleansing by Holy Words

Shine Your light through
This enshrouding mist
Color me with covenant this:
Abiding presence and constant love,
Indwelling grace that conquers sin
Transfigured rigid I
Yielded and bent
In Your service	
Spilling forth rivers of living water	
And giving rest to croaky voiced frogs	  
Who, when Spirit-kissed,
Become priests and kings	
Singing their praises to You.

Perhaps You ask me just to be Your lily leaf
Stand and tip

Yield to His calling. He has your best in mind!

One Thing Missing

One thing remains missing. I owned a small yellow paper sign that said YIELD. This past decade it hung on my office closet wall. I saw it more often than you might think.

Since the move we have not been able to locate it. There is always the chance that I threw it out, but I find that highly unlikely.

Over the years I have tried to learn this concept in relation to my Lord. “Constant, yielded, joyful, peaceful obedience to the Almighty.”

"Shine Your light through
This enshrouding mist
Color me with covenant this:
Abiding presence and constant love,
Indwelling grace that conquers sin
Transfigured rigid I
Yielded and bent
In Your service" - 1990
"Mighty love overwhelming every fear
	If I yet yield
	Turn once again
	Open my hands
	Release it all to You.

By grand design and holy
You rearrange the pieces
Until components black emerge
Glistening silver, white, bejeweled
Beyond my hopes.

So here in wonder
Again I open my hands
That You may have Your perfect way
In this one yielded woman." -2011
"Refresh, renew, anoint, empower
immerse, drench, wash in Living Water
alive to God
yielded to Holy Spirit." - 2014
"The clay is very still,
not quaking with expectation, but yielded.
Not disappointed with clay life
just allowing the Potter to create
and re-create, shape, mold, spin" - 2012

So as I ponder where that little paper sign has been placed, it hit me (like a 2 x 4 in the head!) I am suddenly THINKING about YIELD more than usual. I even went on-line to try to replace that old one with a new one. I was dissatisfied because new ones are red and white whereas my old one was yellow and black.

Surprise, Molly Lin, there is a new yield that applies to your life now! A cardboard red and white sign would fit with international road signs.

YIELD in Irish Gaelic

Instead of merely thinking about YIELD it is time to yield to the days and times as they unfold. Yes, I commit Monday and Tuesday mornings to writing. Obviously, as noted yesterday, that does not always work out.

Waking the writing muse can be beyond my powers. One often just has to wait until the stirring comes. I can, however, determine to try to yield to my Lord as I am moved to love, be gentled by God’s love, stir to obedience in each hour, make notes (even inside black and white paper bags) and show up for life.

Perhaps the loss of that little paper sign has been more powerful than frustration and aggravation. It has renewed in me a sense of obedience, drawing me back to the most important thing, the one thing.

1978 Humor and Hymn

 The Lord answered her, `Martha, Martha, you are worrying. You are troubled about many things.

Only one thing is needed. What Mary has chosen is good. And it will not be taken away from her.’

Luke 10:41-42 Worldwide English

Be certain to choose well!

Stuck Stymied

I was pondering what to write for this weeks’ blog entries. I realized I was stuck. We went to a craft store in New Richmond called The Collective: Local Handcrafted Goods. I only purchased one small item. As we drove away I told Bob that seeing the creativity of all those artists (over 120 of them) I was stirred within me to capture my own creativity.

Then I remembered the “Just Look” observation from the morning. I grabbed the shopping bag from the store that was lined with white paper and began recording my “Just Look.”

21-9-20 One Leaf Falling ©Molly Lin Dutina
I saw a leaf fall
From high in the tree
It drifted down, down,
Down 85 feet
Reminding me soon
There will be millions of leaves on the ground
Wind and rain beating
Forcing them to the ground
Naked wood branches
Bearing testimony to
Endurance for decades

 

I was relieved and delighted to awaken that muse again. Then Monday morning came and writing time arrived. I typed up the poem from inside the paper bag. I hit a stone wall. Just nothing. no ideas to put on the computer screen. Nothing to share with you.

Except, as I stepped away from the computer and the day unfolded I realized I am just like that leaf in some ways. Yes, the seasons change and the difference in sunlight and water to the leaves make changes for the trees to drop them. We have moved. I have told people that for the most part we are unpacked.

Over this past weekend some things occurred that help me feel more settled. Bob got the bedroom TV hung on the wall, thus freeing up the surface of my bookcase for other items. He also hung my curio cabinets. I have a collection of miniature items from childhood into adulthood. I had not unpacked those as the cabinets need to be in place.

All Three
So many memories in one box!
And yes, there is room for a few more if they are tiny.

I had no idea how much I desired to see those items. There are still many drawers to be emptied and reorganization to take place after the move. With those tiny items up on the wall in cases I really do feel like I am home here. For me, those little things ‘bear testimony to endurance for decades.’

Who knew?

I Was That Girl

Never really fit in with the “In Crowd.” Frankly, I never really cared to try that hard. When my Dad died (just ten days after I turned eleven), I went on a quest to replace him. Nothing and no one came close. Gradually I turned to the Lord and He has filled my every need. While others were scrambling to fulfill the ways of the world, I was usually in my room reading Scripture.

When I was 17 my family of origin blew up. My stepfather was by then entrenched in our lives. My mother was a full-blown alcoholic. My sister was pregnant. Having spent hours on my own studying the Word I was familiar with Psalm 27:10. This verse helped save my sanity and grounded me in His care.

If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.”

Psalm 27:10 RSV

I was ready to attend the University of Cincinnati, the age when most kids have some sort of family departure launch. Instead I was launched into being a Ward of the State until I turned 18. I left the organized church, not being able to reconcile what was happening in my life with the seemingly hunky-dory family lives at my church. I left church and I took Jesus with me.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me,
    uttering slanders against me,
my adversaries and foes,
    they shall stumble and fall.

3 Though a host encamp against me,
    my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
    yet I will be confident.

4 One thing have I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life
,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
    and to inquire in his temple.
Psalm 27:1-4 RSV

What is this ‘house of the Lord?” We are told by Paul that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

As a child I was dropped off at the Presbyterian church. Loved the choir director, the church school lessons, not so much the services. They would read from the Scriptures “Bow down before the Lord,” yet no one did.

Come, let us bow down in worship,

    let us kneel before the Lord our Maker

Psalm 95:6

By the age of 14 I had never been baptized or confirmed. My mother refused to let me go to the Catholic church with my best friend. I had been introduced to the Episcopal Church. I liked the bowing down and prayer book and though the worship music was not the best, it would do. I made arrangements for my own confirmation classes. I was too old for the children’s group and too young for the adult’s group. I met with the the Pastor privately. I was delighted the day I was confirmed. Just delighted.

I will try to unfold my life with Jesus in the coming weeks. Hoping not to bore you. It is the story I can tell best because I lived it!

From the Inside Out

Inside Out © 1988 		Molly Lin Dutina		


I want to live from the inside out,
always within the center-down silence.
Having to struggle to get back 
is not the direction I choose.

Teach me, Lord, and help me 
know how to grow 
from the peaceful
sanctuary within.

Show me please where 
to refresh our love.
Give me attitudes that will unravel me
from the sin which so easily entangles.

Make me one with You, Lord,
so I will know 
how to be close 
to all that is around me.

Help me, Father,
and be glorified in my life.

Sue Monk Kidd says “This prayer isn’t about talking and doing and thinking. It’s about postures. Postures of the spirit…. Such interior postures are themselves the prayers that transform, heal and yield the answers in our waiting.”

The still point from which we live our lives. How do reach your still point. What does it take for your creativity from the Spirit to flow forth from you? Have you practiced that lately? Are you willing to do that this day? This week?

Haiku and Other Forms I Have Not Mastered

I often read a blog by Suzette Benjamin. Click on the link to read her work.

https://suzetteb.home.blog/2021/04/09/wets-his-whistle-a-haiku/

She amazes me with her mastery of Haiku and other forms of poetry I can barely pronounce. So I was feeling challenged.

Looking out the kitchen one day last winter I saw this and tried to put it into haiku phrasing.

Burritos © Molly Lin Dutina 2021

Burritos in the trees
Like large Chipotle made
Perched winter mourning doves.

Nah - not the right numbering, but similar idea.
Maybe I will just stick to my forms. Nope, I will keep trying to learn something new! Good for an old person to do!


“Drench me Lord”©2009 Molly Lin Dutina

Not meaning to offend anyone, but if the Spirit and the bride say come, then certainly might we bathe in the free gift of the water of life?

 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

Revelation 22:17 NIV

Drench me, Lord, come and flow.
Wash, renew, and overflow.
Show me how to soak then splash
Rest and float in Your life-giving bath.

Let anyone who wishes take (REV 22:17)
Let anyone?
– so unlike human ways!
Let anyone who wishes
– even those who just wish
Let anyone?
What are we to make of this holy declaration?

Come one and all, old or small
Drink from the provision of the Manger King.
All heaven says to you,
“Come, freely have this gift,
the water of life from Jesus Christ.”

Why do we so often choose to remain parched?

Choices to be made here! Examples of spiritual truth in nature! What will your decision be?

Spring Inspiration

I was in the living room chair watching the news when the light seemed to change outdoors. I looked out the window and was wowed. I am always fascinated with the creation. God did not have to make it so diverse and He did not have to share it with us. Daily there are things to marvel at. The photos below could not quite capture the intensity of the stormy looking sky.

Golden Lace © Molly Lin Dutina 2021

Golden lace in treetops
Against storm cloud sky
Evening sun highlighting
Tenuousness of life
Bear forth wooden boughs
Bring us spring delight

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
    their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
    he puts the deep into storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
    let all the people of the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it came to be;
    he commanded, and it stood firm.

Psalm 33:6-9 NIV

Hearing Spring

Sometimes my husband asks me if I am writing poetry recently. Well, actually, yes. Here is one!

21-4-6 Hearing Spring © Molly Lin Dutina

Under the bird song
Below the raucous calls of mating
Rhythm of tree frog
Melody of spring peepers
Ah breathe in spring
Through your ears

Hmmmmm they seem to say
This is lovely
Exhale on their melody
Inhale during the chorus
Slow your breathing 
Tempo of April

There are pauses
In their score
Wait for next stanza
Focus here now
Find your center
Cadence does not vary

Catch the next bar
Tame frantic monkey mind
Bring all to peace 
Lower your shoulders
Tiny amphibian power
Tames futile mind race

7:27 and song seems to cease
I listen and recall
I have this power within 
Enter center down silence
Direct me Lord
On cusp of next breath I am led

How About Some Poetry Posts?

The other day I was thinking of this poem from 2014. Enjoy!

Pot Bound © 2014 Molly Lin Dutina

Spring rains
	wind	thunder
	fragrant hyacinths
		hillside purple with flowers
	demure trout lilies quickly go to seed.

Forsythia blooms
	lilac buds opening
		pussy willow full blown
		soon to send out leaves
Twisty willow branch from florist
	rooted in the arrangement and sent out one leaf!
	hope to nurture it and plant it outside
February Primrose is pot bound now
	ready to live in the garden

I’m pot bound in homemaker duties
	Lord help me enter
	Your center-down silence
	and glory in praising You
	even in activities of the mundane

Oh fragrant April morning
	gusty hyacinth perfume
	raindrops glisten on garden border fence
Symphony of bird song
	sidewalk littered with night crawlers
Insistent bird cries, “Awake! Spring is here. Now."

I praise You in the work You have given me
in this part of Garden Earth.