Monthly Archives: June 2014

Moments

I have been troubled recently by how busy I am.  I am not proud of my busyness.  I do not think I am running from anything; I am not trying to avoid anything.  Yes, there is brokenness in me.  I experience acute loneliness, but I do not run from it, or ignore it, or deny it.  Not all of my relationships are what I would like them to be, nor are they all healthy, but I do not think I am running from them either.  If I have had one realization over the last ten months (I’ve had many, but one of the most obvious ones), it is just how very important relationships (family, friends, romance) are, and how incredibly crucial it is for us to enter into them as fully, as brokenly, possible.  We are to fight for them.

Not the point of today’s entry though, however.

My busyness bothers me.  When I picture who I want to be, the woman I feel called to be, my fullest self, I envision a woman with enough time to be spontaneous.  I don’t have that time, currently.  I envision many other things for that version of me, but living a slower life is the one aspect most incongruent with the current version of me (well, the part which bothers me the most).

So this afternoon, I was given a gift of an inconspicuous realization.  With an adorable, almost-two -year old princess on my lap, blowing bubbles and watching them float above the curves of purple bell flowers that I love so much, I realized sometimes a slower lifestyle is not so much in how busy we are, but in the willingness to slow down when the unplanned moment presents itself.  Watching one large bubble in particular float extra gently, with more grace than you would expect for a mere sphere of soap, ascend above the tips of the twilight lavender fairy-skirt flowers, the iridescent magenta orb popped, and then ceased to exist, I realized that in that moment, I was given the gift of a reflecting a bit more of the woman God originally thought up when He thought of me.  It was a beautiful moment of stillness, of buzzing bees, of feeling deeply, intimately loved.

I might not be able to leave my life of busyness right now.  I deeply want too.  But, until that time comes, I am going to start searching for more delicate bubble moments.  Moments to witness the fleeting bubble lives.  Moments to watch the pearl clouds sing the harmony of a luminescent full moon.  Moments to watch the yellow butterfly flitter around, delighting in the freedom of wings after being mere mush, unable to even walk, let alone fly, not so long ago.  Moments to wonder if that flying thing is a gigantic moth, or a bat with antennae.  Moments to delight in the song of the hummingbird, or the enticing fragrance of pine in the early mountain air.  These moments are more valuable than gold, or knowledge, or anything else physical that I might try to hoard.   These moments whisper lyrics of the woman my heart strains for and is being, ever so slowly, whisperingly sung into being.

 

DSCN6429

 

Be STILL, and KNOW that I am God…

Abide in ME….

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Relationships, Self / Emotions, spiritual life

Potential Prepping and Reflections on Open Hands

DSCN6354

This particular blog post is probably more for me than for anyone else, but here goes anyway.

I think God’s prepping me for something, and in His divine wisdom, He’s not telling me what for.  See, two of my closest friends left the state on Sunday, and will leave the country in a couple days, following the path that God has so obviously laid in front of them.  These are two of maybe five or six people who know me – the ins and outs of me.  Which hurts, their leaving – for they are taking a rather large chunk of my heart with them –  but at the same time, I am so excited for them!

But, oddly enough, over the last two and a half weeks, three books have made their way into my hands – one before this last Sunday, and two within these past couple days.  All from different sources, all kinda just showing up.  But all three books have a couple things in common – they all are stories of people saying, “yes” to God, no matter how ludicrous His request is.  One girl left the US and is living in Uganda, surrounded by hundreds of children who are no longer quite as hungry,  who are getting an education, and who are (most importantly) learning tangibly of God’s love for them, because of what God’s doing through her “yes”.  Another was the story of a Texan-stay-at-home momma whose husband started seeing things differently.  And when God changed her heart too, they as a family, started a house for teenage pregnant mothers in Kenya.  The third book is written by a lawyer who, while still definitely rooted in the States, has had many crazy adventures all over the planet because he simply says “yes” every time God calls him.

Seriously – all three books have landed in my path recently.  That, piled on top of my friends who are doing exactly the same thing, and I’m left a little bewildered at the possibility of what God is trying to do in me, or with me, or prepping me for.

I’m jealous of all of them – I want to be a part ofbig, crazy, only-God-could-do-this stories.  I want to hold everything that “belongs” to me with open hands, so that when He asks me to do…who knows what, I don’t mind giving the man on the street my scarf, or spending my non-existent savings to meet someone’s need, or, or, or I don’t know.

Sunrise at St. Malo's

But, as I was praying about this desire inside me (again) this morning, my eyes landed on a picture on my wall.  A long time ago (okay, so like, 3 and a half years) I was pouring my heart out to God at a little retreat center in the mountains, asking God what was next, asking Him what He wanted of me. One of the mornings, as I was watching the sunrise, I saw the sun coming up behind a tree, highlighting the tree.  And He reminded me that all He wanted of me – was ME.  That’s all He wants from me – for me to be the woman that He originally created me to be.  The story He has picked out for me is my own, it’s not going to look like anyone else’s.  But, in order for the story to be how He intends it, I need to be as fully me as possible.  Which, of course, is only possible through Him.  Oy.

So, I don’t know what God’s prepping me for.  If He’s going to ask me to move to Africa when I graduate (or before), or if (as I suspect) it’s something far more local.  But I think, for now, I get to learn to live a life that continues to pursue Him, and the passions and desires He has placed within me.  And I get to learn how to do that with hands wide open, allowing Him to take and give what He chooses (possessions, opportunities, friendships, time, etc.).  Which is hard in our rather consumeristic society.   But those around me need Jesus too, and they need to see someone who is not giving into the overwhelming (on so many levels) materialism that numbs us to our deepest need – God.

I don’t know what that looks like exactly yet for me, but that’s what I am going to strive for.  A life that is not my own.  A life that is not dependant on stuff (I say that sitting in my bedroom which is packed with STUFF – most of it stuff that I don’t want to get rid of).  A life of open hands.  A life of saying, “yes” and trusting that He will do what needs to be done.

 

Sunrise at St. Malo’s

Leave a comment

Filed under Personal Image, Self / Emotions, spiritual life

Loved One

Sometime in the last year or so I read an article floating somewhere on the internet that talked about how we shouldn’t compliment very young girls with words like “pretty girl” and such, because then, somewhere in their psyche, they will think they have to be pretty to be appreciated, loved, and accepted.

 
I’m not sure how much I buy that, though I know that at some point in my childhood I definitely adopted that mentality.  That I had to be pretty, I had to be skinny (well, or at least, ‘normal’ – which I was not) for anyone to actually love me.   Being the child who saw things from a long-term viewpoint rather than just this-minute, I assumed this meant that I would never marry, since I would never be pretty, thanks to my extra serving of body curves.  Or, if I married, it would be a man who was a widower, and needed help raising his children.  No joke.  That’s what I assumed.

 
Which is heartbreaking, looking back.  I want to take young me, pick me up, cuddle me, and whisper truth into my younger ear.  But I don’t get that chance.

 
All that to say, I’m pretty hyper-sensitive to body-image remarks by women (or men) about themselves and others.  I’m also hyper-sensitive to comments that articles like the one I read make.  They stick with me now.
 

There is a little toddler that I babysit fairly frequently.  She’s absolutely adorable.  Blue eyes, curly hair, and the happiest, brightest smile that is reminiscent of a buttercup (that’s a flower for any flower-ignorant people out there).  She is toddler-gorgeous.

 
And while I tell her this fairly often (because I do think it’s necessary – girls NEED to hear they are pretty) I also make a point of complimenting her in other ways.  The endearment I try to use most often is “Loved One” – because that is exactly what she is, by me, by those around her, and especially by her parents.  And nothing can change that.  And there is nothing she can do to earn more love – or to lose it (not saying that she can’t make loving her harder or easier, because that is possible).

 
And so, if the names we call children when they are very young CAN take root deep inside them and help show them how to see the world, the name Loved One hopefully shows her how very un-dependent others’ love for her is based on her looks, or intelligence, or achievements.  In fact, others loving her, or her value, or her worth is dependent on nothing save her simply being her.
 

This hit me hard when I first started calling her Loved One – because I think that’s how it works with us and God.  Our value, our worth, our identity, God loving us, is dependent on NOTHING we do.  In fact, it’s simply because God made us, and we are who we are that gives us value, worth, identity, etc.  I wish I had realized that as a young girl, and especially as a teenager.

 

You are loved by God and others around you simply because you are you – not because of what you do or how you look.  Just keep bein’ you.  It’s the best gift you can give the world.

 

(Assuming, of course, that you bein’ you is a you that is striving to become more like the you that God envisioned when He made you.  I think that’s kinda incredibly important.  Of course, you can’t do that either without Him and accepting His love for you.)

2 Comments

Filed under Personal Image, Self / Emotions, spiritual life

Time Treasure

It is late, and I have had a very long day, and I am in the middle of saying “good-bye” to two very special people who have been a huge part of my over the last five years and “hello” to two others who I suspect will become incredibly special to me as well.  I am in the middle of a whirl-wind of emotions.  Planning a sermon and parties and photo books on top of “normal” life.
I’m ready for things to slow down.  I’m ready for this craziness to end.
But not really, because when it does, I’m that much closer to saying good-bye to my two dear friends.
I’m learning how incredibly precious each and every moment I am given is.  I am realizing that I need to get better at simply enjoying and treasuring life – the crazy times, the heart-wrenching times, the tired times, the wonderful times, the every-day times.  I’m not good at this.  This is something I need to get better at, a gift God has given me that I need to learn to treasure.

1 Comment

Filed under Relationships, Self / Emotions, Uncategorized