Press In and Press On

I have a tendency not to remember.

I write to remember.

I write to empty myself.

I write because over the span of my lifetime I’ve learned writing is a good medium with which to express myself. In all honesty I do not feel that alone I am any good at it. I have come to realize and understand the words are a gift from the King. He gives the words, I just pen them, or type them actually. I am not even a good typist, but with time and practice I have become a better typist. I would say I am a 60 WPM gal, but I don’t peck at the keyboard like I once did.

For my birthday Scott Martin gave me a large print, extra-space-to-write-in-the-margins Bible.

I needed the large print so that I could make out the words even before my eyes were fully awake and functioning. She is a hefty thing. Larger print begets larger words which beget more pages filled. Despite her size I have grown accustomed to her clumsy nature. At present she is held together with a rubber band, her cover came off weeks ago. She is crammed full of stray papers, hand written notes, and an occasional candy wrapper turned bookmark. I tote her back and forth, she gets tossed around more than her fair share but she is truly a treasured possession. Despite all of her unique characteristics, it was her extra space to write in the margin which made her a perfect candidate to become mine. Scott Martin recognized in her something I needed, substantial note taking space. He knew I would appreciate that more-than-adequate note taking space to serve as a tool of remembrance, a place to jot down the things I did not want to forget.

Recently as I sat down to have my quiet time, I was seated at the kitchen table, Scott Martin was talking in the background and everyone else was still sleeping. (The early morning sun streams through my kitchen window and hits the table in such a way that I especially enjoy my quiet time when it is sunny out.)

That particular day, I was directed to read Psalm 5:1-3 and then I was supposed to answer a question about hopefulness and expectation in prayer.

Give ear to my words, O Lord;
consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you do I pray.
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

As I looked in the space I noticed an imprint of my own handwriting, as I turned the pages I noticed it was present next to Psalm 8 and by the time I had gotten to Psalm 10 it timelapse-photography-of-falls-near-trees-707915was just beginning to be less noticeable. I flipped left until I found the original text next to Psalm 1. I had dated it, and written a note to myself about the home of William Faulkner. A friend of mine had been there for a visit recently and was telling me about the red cedars planted all about the grounds. Legend has it those cedars were thought to “cleanse the air and were planted to ward off a typhoid outbreak long ago.”

She read Psalm 1, with a focus on verse 3,

He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.

I made note. I wanted to be like a tree, a cedar tall and straight, not withering beneath the foreboding conditions of this world. I wrote to remember.

The force with which I had written the original text and had pressed down so firmly, made its way onto the pages of the next 10 Psalms.
I laughed at what I had done.

My mantra these days is to “Press In and Press On!”

Press tight into the hem of King and Press On to the next thing.

The fact that I had pressed in so hard I’d marred the next 10 Psalms pages is not lost on me. I’d pressed down so hard with my pen, writing furiously in a time of desperation that the lasting impression was made and would not soon be forgotten.

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Library Lover

I was a library aid once.

I used to know the Dewey Decimal System and it’s complimentary card catalog with such accuracy that I rarely had to use any resource or cheat sheet when shelving books. Now the library boasts a librarian from the computer… a cybrarian. He or She’s not very personable but it gets the job done. In my opinion the Cybrarian is not nearly as tactilely stimulating. I can still feel my fingers glide over thousands of tiny cards alphabetically organized. Their yellowed hue and unmistakable scent a testament to their age. Only the new additions to the the library shelves boasted crisp white cards. All of their text, typed out with an old fashioned typewriter, they held the key to knowing where knowledge lay.

When I was younger, like maybe 5, I remember sitting cross legged on the floor of the nearest public library sounding out words that would string together to make a sentence. backpack-books-bookshelves-256431Sentences constructed together to make a page and those pages made a story. The day an old house in Paris covered in vines came alive to me was a day that changed my life. Perhaps deep in the recesses of my mind that emergency appendectomy (it would be 17 plus years before I heard that word or knew what it was) and that smallest of girls helped to persuade me into a medical profession. Perhaps not, but one thing is certain, I always have and do love a public library. I could list the reasons and they include but are not limited to:

-Magazines I am too cheap to buy, but still love to peruse are not in short supply.
-The library is quiet. I need quiet to think, therefore it is a thinking space.
-I love the the smell of books. Smells solidify memories for me I suppose.
-The library is free. A good public library is a good budget friendly way to spend an afternoon indoors. I am sure those in-door-bouncy-parks are nice too but they cost money and the library does not.
-My children have a shared love of the library. They frequently ask me to drive them to a favorite one or two.
-I’ve found myself lost and in need of healing, many times that healing has resided within the pages of a book.

I have come to understand that within words there is power. The power to transform, Words are transforming and none more so than the Bible. Perhaps, long before I loved the King’s Word, I learned to love the place where words were housed. Perhaps am element of foreshadowing as it were, that would illuminate my path just as it is promised in His book of Psalms.

Psalm 119:105, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

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