Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Obscured

As early summer-soaked sunlight streams though my window I quietly list all that comes to mind to thank Him for, the good and the bad, when I stutter over this thought.

424. HOPE - You are taking me somewhere even if I cannot see through You - I know You are leading.

And I flash back to the Israelites crossing the wilderness one day at a time. The throng tromping across hard scrabbled earth following a cloud by day and a fire by night, stopping when He stopped and only moving when He moved. So often I have judged these desert walkers for their lack of faith, after all He was in front of them. The God of the Universe, the Creator of All made Himself visible.  Even if it took the form of cloud and fire, they had proof with their own eyes, right?  How I've longed at times to just see. But did they really see?   After all a cloud more often tends to obscure and a blazing pillar of fire in darkness could blind.  How wide did this cloud or pillar stretch?  Could they see through God to where  He was taking them? Could they see around the billowy white mist or the crackling light slashing
 the dark to know where their feet would fall before they stepped? So is it really all that different from my own life? This place where I am so often asked what my plans are after 2 years of no full-time vocation only to answer I don't know, I am just trying to follow Him and do the good I see in front of me each day. As I chase the fog which both hides and illuminates my path I pursue the One who obscures, clinging to who He is not my unknown destination. And though I stumble, I do not fall, the One in the Cloud holds me tightly by the hand.

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linking late with Jen



sharing my epiphanies while counting with Ann

Saturday, May 28, 2011

7DS: Tink



I love Tinkerbell.









 Have I ever told you that? I know this will come as a shock to you. After all everyone dresses their full grown Dalmatians up as Tink for Halloween.



Don’t they?  I think it was sometime in high school when I realized how much I admired Tink. We had so much in common. Blonde…check. Petite, she’s tiny



and well, I have to hem petite pants to get them to fit…check. Body issues …


check.  Tends to use anger to cover more vulnerable emotions…



check.  Loves to laugh and is slightly clumsy…


check.  Attracted to cocky boys who crack her up but are determined to never grow up


uhhmmmm….plead the Fifth.

But really, I think it’s her personality where I feel the most kinship. If you think about it, Tinkerbell is the most developed of the Disney heroines (hhhmmhhh, personality wise.) Her choices aren’t always wise but they are choices. If someone comes along to steal her man, she doesn’t sit around waving her wrist crying waiting for an animals deus ex machina to rescue her like some characters I can name.
Yeah it’s instrumental but you know the story, I couldn’t find the English version on YouTube.
No! Tink flies faster (because hello they can all fly due to her not some wishful thinking) and tells the Lost Boys to shoot the Wendy-bird down. So maybe her ethics need some help, (I’ve never hired a sniper myself and I don’t recommend them, just sayin’.)


And later on when she’s hurt and rejected by Peter, Tink’s manipulated by Captain Hook to betray him.


But we’ve already established that she has issues. Doesn’t that make her more vibrant and interesting? Far more real than the abused yet perfectly patient and kind princess (cough Cinderella cough). And she made choices, sometimes bad ones, but actual choices. The story follows Tink, she doesn’t follow it. I just love that.

So now Disney is waking up to the fabulousness of Tinkerbell and building a brand (cause that what they do best folks, build brands.) Borrowing on the prolific talents of Gail Carson Levine, Tink now has a profession, friends, she’s actually mourning the loss of her relationship with Peter (Tink has found recovery, y’all) and there’s a new guy. Terence likes her for who she is, is slightly more appropriate in size and just wants to be there for her; even if he is lamely called a sparrow man I like him.



So will Tink ever wake up and find love? I don’t know. This pixie’s got issues but she’s got tons to offer, too. After all she’s held audiences spellbound for over a century. But if she ever does I have the perfect gift for her. Can you believe it, while crawling the internet I found a bridal gown for Tinkerbell!

This lovely gown is not my style but I can’t even fathom more ideal bridal array for my favorite fairy. I have no idea who designed and created this dress. Perhaps dressmaking fairies clandestinely market through madeinchina.com. But I’ve stumbled onto their secret. Can’t you just imagine Tinkerbell floating along a balmy May breeze in Meadow Vale? It would be a wedding to make all of Pixie Hollow proud!


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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Word Women Wednesday: Three Pesky Little Words

*Today I'm guest posting (for the first time...yikes!) at Word Women Wednesdays with the oh so kind Tiffini at the House of Belonging.  (Isn't that a scrumptious blog name?) Please join me.

The holy LORD God of Israel has told all of you,
"I will keep you safe if you turn back to me and calm down.
I will make you strong if you quietly trust me."
Then you stubbornly 
Isaiah 30:15 CEV

I’m memorizing scripture with the Beth Moore’s Siestaville this year. This is the first time I’ve systematically committed the bible to heart since I was a little VBS’er. Interesting experience. I’ve never found scripture to be so vital or challenging. In a year when my feelings and interpretation of events say some pretty harsh things about God these verses have been freedom filled correction: guardrails in this steeply winding portion of my journey.

Isaiah 30:15 drew me because of the words safety, strength and comfort. I was attracted to the translations that talked about resting and quietness, those are messages I often like. But there was something about the straightforward directions in the Contemporary English Version that captured my attention: turn back, calm down, quietly trust. When I was searching for this last verse I felt as if my whole life was being shaken and possibly turned upside down. This was not a moment for gentle as much as it was for clear and direct.

But then there was that weird half sentence at the end... To learn more about my deep-seated issue with unfinished sentences please pop over to Tiffini's House of Belonging, read and leave some love behind.  While your at it, feel free to explore Tiffini's gracious home.  It's a sweet  spot.
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holding friends' hands and diving in deep

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Seven Days of...

Is it just me or has it gotten really heavy around here.  Sigh.  See, right there, that sigh.  There has been way too much sighing around here.  It's just not balanced.  Now I realize that this is just where I've been lately. 2011 has not been what I expected so far and I'm not gonna lie; there has been a whole lotta hard.  And I tend to be introspective when I write.  Scribbling brings out the deep thinker/layered observer in me.  But I need some sort of break here.  So I have been pondering how to let a little more light in and I've discovered an ancient remedy, a magic spell of sorts that just might do the trick.  All together now...
you put your right foot in
you put your right foot out
you put your right foot in and shake it all about
you do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around
that's what it's all about!

Yes, I feel a little better already.  How about you?  Did shaking it all about free you up a little?  I think I need a bit more of this. 




Smilin' yet?  I still think I need more, June gloom can be thick (especially when it begins early.)  This nest requires more levity and light.  But how to be consistent when I'm running a little glum, hmmmmm.  I know a series.  I like series and I tend to follow through when I m accountable to you.  So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it is my sheer delight to present to you...



TA DA!!!!
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Legal Disclaimer: Seven Days of Silly do not mean seven consecutive days of silly or even seven consecutive silly posts as the blogger has already written her very first please come visit and comment guest post and it is Word Women Wednesdays not Seven Days of Silly although the alliteration may lead to confusion blogger is not responsible for said alliteration confusion. Blogger makes no guarantee of actual silliness or laughter resulting from said Seven Days of Silly Series as she is posting what tickles her fancy and she is an acknowledged odd duck. By reading this series reader agrees to indemnify blogger from any injuries due to unexpected spasms of laughter, shortness of breath resulting from giggles or guffaws and embarrassment arising from snorting in public.  Read at your own risk.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Judging Hearts

Judging hearts. I've been judging hearts. I believe we can discern the right and wrong of some actions. God gave us His Bible which lays out some clear directives of what each looks like. But a heart, that’s a different matter. My eyes have no x-rays and I can’t definitively state a motive though I sometimes try. And I have been judging hearts, and I'm a harsh judge. Lately I've spent sometime with someone who makes me uncomfortable. When I am around them the scar tissue from healed soul bruises throbs somewhere deep. And I try to practice the new confident tools of knowing and acting as one accepted and loved exactly as I am, in Him complete. But old survival skills rise to the surface and do battle with new leading to a general sense of disturbance. And this is just what is going in within me. Add that to the awkwardness of a relationship built strained with one who has never offered me acceptance, safety or friendship without stringent terms, choking obligations and expectations I can't meet without surrendering who I am and how He has shaped me. In the subtle withering breezes of a relationship I long to run from/be accepted into I begin to judge a heart that does not pump life in me. Analysis pops up longing to dig deep into a psyche with tainted surface data. I cry out help! And He is there reminding me that I am His beloved. That I can listen without either arguing or accepting what I hear. In fact I can even choose to not ruminate on what was said but quietly accept the differences without taking an inventory of them. I can pray lavish blessing: all that I want, all that is best, for them. And I can release, to you and to Him. Accept. Bless. Release. Repeat.
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This season, so much sifting, so much being cleaned out, so grateful for Em and friends to share it with.


Monday, May 16, 2011

A Hoarder's Prayer

Dear Jesus,

There is this room in my heart with ______________’s name over the door. I need help. When I’m in here I'm surrounded by festering wounds of rejection and disappointment, empty unmet expectations growing bitterness and resentment, anger and envy, sadness and discouragement. There’s even a self-pity luau raging in the corner over there.

Jesus, I need you to come in here and clean it all out. I’ve tried to do it myself, really I have. But each time I lift one thing up to throw it away anger comes growling over to remind me of how all of this stuff got here in the first place. Then I feel justified in my hurt and I can’t bring myself to toss it out.

And I’ve just got to get rid of this stuff. It stinks and the odor is beginning to permeate my whole heart. And this isn’t just my room. This is the room where ______________ lives in my heart: their guest room. I can’t have a guest room this messy and maintain a clean and honest relationship with them.

I’m sorry for treasuring the hurt and self-righteous resentment. For taking rejection and carefully displaying it, rehashing the grievance tales until it becomes permanent and insurmountable. And I was wrong to try and change ______________ when I need to be the one changing. Jesus, I’m sorry for being mad at you when Your restoration in______________’s life doesn’t look the way I wanted or even seem to include me. I confess that I’m being an envious sibling to Your prodigal child when You are wrapping them in grace that I wanted for myself. Please forgive me for all of this.

And quickly, help! I’m hoarding hurt while I really need your healing. Please scrub this room spic and span. Open the windows wide to let the sweetest room freshener I know fill the place-Your love. Can we repaint their name over the lintel so they know they’re welcome? And will you help me to stock it with gifts just for them? Acceptance, forgiveness, generosity, short hurt memory, long love memory, mercy, peace, grace and joy; I’ll need You to provide. Thank you. Thank you.

Love, Your messy girl,
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linking for the first time with Jen and friends

Friday, May 13, 2011

Embrace...

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while; other stuff just keeps coming up. But now I'm ready, so let's start with a story.

Years ago I was in a real bind. Stinkerbell and I were moving because, quite frankly, I was broke. It was a devastatingly stressful time. Then a woman who had only met us once opened up her home and invited us to stay with her for a few weeks. Just gave me a time to rest, to get away, regroup and refresh…one of the very best gifts I’ve ever had; Nancy if you ever read this, you really are the best. This writer/college professor lived in a vintage bungalow in a quaint town at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains. For two weeks I read, prayed and just remained as well as exploring and hiking in the mountains with Stinkerbell.

In a neighborhood of painted ladies, the home we stayed in was a unique little charmer with a completely custom and unexpected layout filled with classic books and art.  I was so impressed at all of the original art. I have no idea if any of the pieces were particularly valuable but up until that point it hadn’t crossed my mind to own original art. So when I began perusing the blogosphere I was enchanted to find so many talented artists blogging. Earlier this year I purchased this piece and was thrilled. Then when Bev began following my blog I was delighted to discover this in her Etsy store.


I added it to my Amazon wish list and hoped that at some point I could afford to buy it. Sadly, a little while later I checked on it and it was gone. So disappointing. I loved this piece: the blue and green, the vintage details, the little bird and the message.


See, it is my distinct pleasure to mentor a couple of precious women and I've told them that you can’t fight a lie directly; they're slippery and sneaky and it's easy to get all tangled up. I’ve found the best way to defeat a lie is to embrace the confronting truth, repeatedly. And the most powerful truths I’ve found are in the Bible.


So I'd recommend identifying the lie, then searching out the truth and hanging on for dear life. I shared an example of this (in a kind of long post) early in my blog.


But it seems that whenever I share an idea out loud, a pop quiz always follows. These last few months I’ve needed to cling to the truth with all I have. If you’ve been tracking the verses that show up on the sidebar you’ll see where I’m struggling. I pick verses which challenge me the most, challenge the lies. So art which says embrace his truth….awesome. But it was sold and not to me, bummer.


So how did it end up here? Well, I had a birthday and DBB read my wishlist. (And actually approved of it.  Normally he reads my wishlist and says I don't want you to own any of that. Brothers!!!)  So he's the one who made my painting disappear.  Which brings me to the (tons of very similar cause I love evening light in my backyard) pictures that I'm finally sharing with you. Embrace His truth! (And buy local blogger art!)
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Language of Tears

You bottle them, It says,
they are precious to You.

is the cabinet with my name on it getting full?
I’m sure it’s overflowing by now
for at times I think I'll drown in salt.
but I have learned to worship You
in this language of tears.

the first language
the most primal sign of need
though as I grew, I learned to speak another
the language of protection, harsh, loud, obscene,
fist breaking drywall, stoic silences flaying heartflesh deeper than words
soon the tears were locked so deep inside that only privately could they be freed.

but You wooed me back,
in song laid open
I could not hide the need
my first language again broke through, Sunday after Sunday.
softening my heart I began to see
that tears were not my enemy.

now relieving waters so easily flow

the old tears,
discovered hidden away, biding their time in torment, released from the deep to final relief

the frustrated droplets
shed so that my body can express the impatience or anger with a tongue stilled and damage averted

the weeping with others
on page, on screen and most poignantly, vitally, next to me.

sadness, longing, joy, disappointment, tenderness, fear, moment by moment feelings
baptized

and always the awareness of You prompts worship bathed in brine;
the bowing of my knees seen glistening in my eyes.


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PS  I'm ok. Still pretty peaceful.  I just noticed how often I type "it made me cry"  and it got me thinking.


Pondering with Em' and friends

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Glimmer

Finished reading this week’s Imperfect Prose offerings today, kind of late, but like I said yesterday, I’ve been busy. There was a definite theme to all that I read today; a sacred echo in each post. I listened, I noted and I want to share it with you. I have some big dreams but there are humongous mocking giants I cannot slay. Not alone. And I’ve had some dreams that I thought were from God, but now I’m not sure as they seem to be dead ends. That hurts. No answers there. But I read this post by Flower Patch Farmgirl and it just brought all that’s been brewing today together. So I wanna share part of my comment with you. (Is that weird? Oh, well)
“...my heart has been whispering that God is "God of the Wild-Goose-Chase" and not God of "This Will Rock Your Socks Off." I think tonight I want to lean into that and ask God to prove my heart wrong or change it. Not for me exactly, but because I want to worship and follow and do believe in the God Who Rocks My Socks Off and fulfills dreams that will make my toes curl. What I've been hearing all afternoon is to let my not enough bring me deeper into His abundance.” 
That ladies and gentlemen is what I want tonight, my not enough enfolded into His abundance. And truly not (just) for me, but because I can’t do and be what He wants without it, without Him. I think finally I might be getting a glimmer of understanding into Philippians 4: 11-13. A slight glimmer.

 

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Philippians 4: 11-13 NLT
Off to bed

acting early in the morning

love ya more than my supercute luggage (which has a sweet story I just might tell you one of these days,)
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Friday, May 6, 2011

Guess, Go on and Just Guess

Hey y'all, I'm all tied up this week with rehearsals.  Our kids are putting on the sweetest little Mother's Day Musical.  And there's this tiny little number in the middle sung by characters inspired by a certain classic sitcom.  Guess which one I'm playing.

via

And Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Blogger Public Service Announcement

original via
I just thought you all should know (especially if I ever comment on your blog) that when it comes to typing my fingers are dyslexic. That is all. Over and out.

PS. That is never all. If that was all I would tweet. I'm doing a bit better.  My earth is still trembling but my heart has a little more peace.  At least right now.  Plus I went for a nice walk and my BFBSRT playlist + 3 miles in balmy darkness =  happy little endorphins.
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Song of the Quake

As Lent drew to a close I was longing for the freedom, the fun to return to my blog. I had a least one post half ready and was bubbling over with more ideas to explore. But I became quiet. A rest, I thought while waiting for the fun to bubble back up; maybe a small rest. Then the walls began to shake. The supports around me are quivering, threatening to buckle under. Some have already cracked and crumbled, never to be rebuilt. Others seem to be holding firm but with web like fissures exposing the need for repairs. But some walls are still trembling and I do not know if they will hold or break. Funny, most of these walls are not mine. I did not build them. But as much as I'd like it I am not a lone cottage by the sea. I am a row house, crowded in and buttressed by community and family. Around me I see painful changes and potentially painful changes and though none of them are about me, all will directly effect me. None of them point a way to those dreams most dear to my heart or the promises I have received. So I am feeling abandoned in the quake. Jericho’s walls groan and I thought I was on the side of the conquering warriors but perhaps…and the anxiety builds and there are no words in this heaviness.

Last week I curled up in my room and whispered in low tones to a young one I cherish about the constant symphony of my emotions; the soaring arias and the crashing crescendos, the awkward lulls, the harmonies found in the disorder. I tried to explain the simple melody in the lowest register, the notes I can usually only hear if I carefully listen. Peace, hope, joy, they all sing their plaintive messages in the foundation of my emotions. They are not my composition but the song of Christ within me, proof of His Presence. I am longing to hear those notes, that song which will delight me, but the buzz of anxiety drowns everything out but sadness and fear.

So I arise after a restless night filled with heartbreaking dreams heavy and in such need of Him. Come, He says, do not delay. You need me now. So I drag my tired self over to the living room, heavy with want and fear, and sit. I pick up the book which walked me through Lent and read again about the hard eucharisteo: the giving thanks for what is, even if ugly, knowing that God is always present. The thanksgiving in hopes of seeing not just a miracle but the miracle Maker and the miracles that have always stuck with me are those He has wrought in my unwieldy heart. So though I am recording the beauty I see in a book just for Him, today I share a portion with you. That and memories of dust motes circling like fairies in a hushed church glowing with autumn sunlight are all I have to offer.



353. turmoil – in it I value Your faithfulness




354. shaken security – reminds me to only build on You




355. lack of words – You are in the silence most active




356. exhaustion – You will have to be my strength




357. harmful songs blasting on my soul iPod – only you can turn them down and now I’m willing to ask




358. bad dreams – I get to wake up




359. heartbreak – You will bind me up




360. 2 year old giggles




361. 7 year old hugs




362. a leader I can trust




363. crushing anxiety – drives me into Your arms




364. breaking down the strongest parts of my life – making room for Your blessing (?)
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sharing the symphony still disordered with Em and friends



joining with bookeepers of glory
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