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He makes me new, He is making me new

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Like little children...

You can learn a lot from watching kids....

I observe one particular trait in our little ones in the classroom very regularly, and that is, the tendency to want to take over, be in charge.

Many times in one day I will hear myself say to one of them: "Are you the teacher? Do you trust your teacher?" In other words, do you trust the one who is in charge? And that the one who is in charge can see the whole situation?
Do you trust that I care? Do you trust that I will be fair, kind, and want what's best for you even when it isn't what you want?

Their answer is usually yes. I mean, they know their teachers are kind and loving. They know that we want good things for them. And yet....

They want to take charge of the situation
They believe they are the only ones who know what the right answer/response/ course of action is
They are tempted to take charge of others' and their behavior/decisions
They are tempted to take for themselves whatever it is they want. Whether it's an actual thing, a privilege, or even "justice"

And I see their dilemma so clearly. I trust my teacher. I trust My Father. I really do. I know He wants good things for me, I know He can see the BIG picture, I know He is just and loving
And yet....

I want to take charge, I believe I know what the right course of action is, I want to tell others what to do, I want to get for myself what He isn't giving me.

What do you suppose is going on there? I mean, I am a smart woman. I know these truths about My Father, not just theoretically, but from actual experience. What is the matter with  me?
Why do I still want to grab control and do for myself what God isn't doing for me?
I mean, I am a pretty smart cookie, but I'm not smarter than God. If He isn't intervening, might there be a reason? a lesson? a purpose?

That's the hardest part for me to swallow. If there is a purpose (and there always is) to my frustration, I may not get to see that now. I may just have to walk forward in faith and not see the purpose, lesson or reason for a while. And all the while, all I will know is that I am trusting Him, more than I trust me. More than I trust my eyes, my ears, and my heart.

I ask as much from "my kids":
trust me
follow me
listen to me

You will learn that I love you and care well for you, you will learn that you can let go, and that being in charge is not what you were designed for.

Be the child, I will be the teacher. And how much happier you will be....

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Holy Boomerang

This has been quite a week...One of those weeks where after it's done, you figure you'd better write some of it down before you forget.

On a night earlier in the week, I tucked in my sweet boy, turned off his light, and as I was walking out of his room,  seemingly out of the blue he said, quite urgently and emphatically :"Mama, I don't want to feel what death feels like" ...um, WHAT!? his words hung in the air...time stopped for a minute or so, I felt blindsided.

I rushed back to his bedside, held him and we talked for a while. We talked about our Father who loves us. Our Father whom we trust with our lives. We talked about not being afraid because we follow Him.
Then, inexplicably, I felt strongly that I should say these words to him: "You don't need to be afraid, because Jesus fights for you". So I did. I told him, and it seem to soothe him. We talked a bit more and I felt that again. So I held his perfect little face in my hands, looked into his eyes and repeated "Jesus fights for you". He smiled. My heart could hardly stand it. It was one of those moments you never forget as a mom. I pray that he will never forget it either, but, who knows, he's only 6 :-)

We continued with our week, and as it turned out it was a more eventful week than we had planned. I will not sit here and talk about all the details. Let's just say some things happened. We felt sufficiently turned upside down, a little stunned, a little shocked, and sad. Just sad.
Paul and I talked, a lot, we tried to make sense of some things, we sought advice, we analyzed, we tried to understand and in more than one way tried to digest what was happening.
We were hurt, and we were scared. Then one night I shared our week with a dear friend, and she said :" We happen to be studying Kings at Community Bible Study, and we just talked about the story of King Jehoshaphat, look it up". She gave me the chapter and verses of this most amazing story.

Here's the part of it that stunned me:
 "This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you...Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’(2 Chronicles 20:15, 1)

My own words came back to me as I read this, straight to my heart:
"You don't have to be afraid, because Jesus fights for you".

There's this Chris Tomlin song (that I just happen to have heard for the first time this week) and it goes:

"I open my mouth And You speak for me You moved the mountain And rolled back the sea
And I will not be afraid I will never be ashamed For You are with me You are with me

 
That is exactly how I felt. I opened my mouth and He spoke for me, as I tried to comfort my son. And then those words came right back to me like a holy boomerang,just days later, to soothe my soul, and quite frankly, to shock my socks off. It's not that I don't know that our gracious and almighty God does things like this, it's that I do not remember the last time I felt that I had opened my mouth and have Him speak for me, and TO me, at the same time. Maybe it had never happened before. It left me speechless. Wow, what a liar, that's not true at all. I am almost never speechless.(if you know me, you can stop laughing and nodding in agreement). No, actually, the opposite happened, I could not shut up about it.

As it turns out, the next day I went into work, and we were discussing a delicate matter involving one of our sweet students. He's been having a hard time following rules and respecting his friends and teachers .
But we know this boy. We love this boy. And we know Jesus knows and loves this boy. He is smart, kind, strong. But he struggles. As we talked about him, His truth just rose up in me....JESUS FIGHTS FOR HIM!He needs to know that. 
 
So I drove over to his classroom, and I sat with him. I read him the story of King Jehowhatshisname, as he listened attentively. Then I looked at him and I said "do you understand? The King didn't even have to fight. He just prayed, praised God, and was courageous enough to just walk in faith"
He understood, of course, because he is smart, so I continued. "Jesus fights for YOU.You don't have to do this in your own strength, because He fights for YOU, ok? Will you remember this?" 
He smiled his big beautiful smile and said "YES" enthusiastically. I hugged him, gave him a high five and went home. 

I came home and the whole weight of it crushed me, in the most wonderful of ways. The boomerang went around more than once. His word will not return void to Him. His word is truth, His word comforts.

The book of Isaiah says:  
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
 
The book of Isaiah, interestingly. That's our student's name: Isaiah, as in "The salvation of the Lord".

Are your socks off yet?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Lord is my light

I struggle, I fight, I clutch.

As I seek God, I also flee from him,fearing his inevitable disappointment in me.
I know me, I know what I'm capable of...I know my heart, my desires, my weakness.
I am sadly familiar with my ability to break Gods heart and my own .
At times it's all I can do to simply not succumb to my worst wishes for self destruction...
At times I crawl on my knees asking Him to save me from myself..
At times I realize, all I ever need to do is give into His heart.

But it's a dance, it's a coming and going, it's an up and down, to and from, it's a tornado of confusion, sheer willpower, brokenness and freedom. It is paradox, it is up and down at once, it is black and white intertwined.
 Only one certain truth: His love
 Only one real freedom: His peace
 Only one true life: His life lived in me 
 Only one thing I can do, only one clear choice:
To fight, still
To get up, once more
To continue to choose life, in the midst of death

His grace redeems me, His peace soothes me, His love surrounds me.

 The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the [a] defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? Psalm 27:1

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What to write...

what could I write?  When nothing inspires me but I know I'll be glad I sat down and started clicking on the keyboard... When it seems that I should have something to say (I always do) and yet nothing specific shows up to get things going... What would I write about then?  I'll write about writing... About the feeling I get as the words roll out and take shape and suddenly just make perfect sense  About the sensation that something else is taking over, someONE, inside and finding the words I can't.  About the joy I experience when I read what I have written and recognize it as my own. And about how I marvel at the fact that it came out almost in spite of my effort.  When I sit down to write and feel as if it is a futile exercise, that's when I know something will be written for sure.  It always finds a way through and out, because after all,  I always have something to say .

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Smelly Rambling

You know what I love? Well, many things, but today, I am loving this morning scent.
The distinct smell of a summer morning, the warmth permeates and it affects everything. Sitting in the backyard smells different. It smells like hope. It smells like serenity, and peace.

Fine, you think I'm nuts, so what? That's a risk I took long ago when I wrote my first post on this blog, I'm ok with that!

I am very much a smells person. Certain scents can transport me instantly to a different place and time: my grandma's house, my elementary school, my first job...most scents I encounter are quickly filed away and I find it almost impossible to NOT stop and smell the roses. Smells are just, powerful to me.
My father smoked throughout my whole childhood and to this day, although I hated his habit, when someone lights a cigarette, I am drawn to that new cigarette smell. I hate cigarettes, makes no sense. And yet it makes perfect sense to me.

I love smelling Paul's shirts when I do laundry...I love the smell of summer skin, the way skin smells when it's just warm but not quite sweaty yet (I told you, I'm ok with you thinking I'm crazy), I love the smell of a freshly brewed cup of coffee. I love jasmine....my favorite plant smell.

What I am really soaking in this morning is the gift that is just sitting here, smelling my backyard, and thinking about how crazy God made me. And relishing it. I enjoy the world in a way that may be just a little "off", but the point is the enjoyment. Taking a moment to sit and smell, and just....

taste and see that the Lord is good. And smell....can you smell it? I can :-)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Freedom


I sang songs in the car, my heart deep in worship, delighting in a wonderful morning....And then, suddenly the image that came to mind while I sang was of my heart... The organ itself, wrapped in sin.... Literally engulfed and tied up in an unravel-able web... Knots of selfishness, idolatry, egotistical thoughts and actions, preoccupation with myself, my self esteem, my image, my performance, my satisfaction, on and on...
 It didn't disgust me this time, as it has before-- It saddened me, as I imagine it deeply saddens Jesus.... But the truly beautiful thing I felt was the utter dependence, as I so clearly not only realized but also felt my need for grace.
I Stand broken and sin ridden, TODAY. I don't know why this felt new, but it did.
I'm not confessing some far away sin committed when I was young and stupid... Lesson learned, forgiven, moving on... I am living in the reality that my heart is under siege, taken over, like a neglected garden overgrown with weeds,overtaken by sin, NOW.... Even as I observe that I've been walking with Jesus for so many years, the truth is, sin has been my most consistent companion all along, and Jesus has been patiently waiting, coming in and out as I've allowed Him to...in momentary lapses of clarity and need.

As Brennan Manning says "to be alive is to be broken, and to be broken is to stand in need of grace"
Never have I felt this more clearly than I do now. It's not about a specific action, one large and obvious affront to His perfect grace. It is the daily, ongoing battle that rages on in my heart for my freedom, my very life.

Is it possible that I was dead to this for so long, even while in my mind, knowing the truth? Asleep perhaps? or just blind....That I really thought all this time, that it was possible to love Jesus and live so utterly consumed with myself? "You cannot serve two masters" No, I cannot....So the inescapable conclusion is, I have been serving one. 
One master: Laura. I have been serving at the altar of Laura, worshiping and catering to myself. This is a hard truth to swallow and admit, and yet unless I do, I cannot be free of this utter megalomania. The thought that it really is about me, my life, my needs, my wants, my "happiness". It isn't. IT SO ISN'T. 

If I have life, it is for His glory. If I have any good in me, it is through Him. If I have value, it's because HE loves me. All things are from Him, through Him and for Him. All things. That includes me. Not master Laura, but servant Laura. It's not about my happiness, it is about His glory and the freedom and joy that I can find in Him.

I read a while back about how we say we want to experience God more fully, and yet, we do not dare pray the prayer, because that is a dangerous prayer. It means to be open to being broken. I put the book down that night convinced I wasn't ready to be broken. Too worried about what that would mean for me. I put the book down and thought: "not yet, I'm not ready yet."

Foolishness. As if whatever I am holding onto can come even close to what He has for me!
But He knows better, and so brokenness came, all the same. My heart was already open, though I tried to close it down. My eyes could already see, though I tried to un-see the unsettling truth. There was no going back, and so it washed over me as if all this were new truth, new knowledge, when in reality it is all familiar to my mind, and yet it was a new awakening in my heart, in the midst of the pain. The pain of who I've been, who I am, and how far they are from who I want to be. The pain of the hurt I've caused, the blind selfishness I have inflicted on others, the emptiness of a life lived for self. But most of all the pain of realizing, that while He always holds onto me, I have not been holding on to Him. I have chosen to cling to this world. I have chosen myself over Him, again and again.

Yet the pain is sweet when it comes interlaced with His grace and freedom. When I am ready to see that I have nothing of worth that comes even close to what He has for me, I grow, I cling, I seek desperately, for His life, not mine. His freedom is real, His life is full. And my striving can stop. My desperate need to defend my ego, my worth, my existence, can stop, and I can rest, truly rest in Him.

And I have to cling daily. Because daily my body and heart want to serve the wrong master. I have to cling daily to His grace, or all is lost. Thankfully His grace is infinite and so are His love and His patience. 

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Broken

This is where God met me and broke me today...

In my car, heart open and wounded, music blaring, tears falling:

(From East to West by Casting Crowns')
 
Jesus, can You show me just how far the east is from the west
'cause I can't bear to see the man I've been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
'cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other

I know You've washed me white, turned my darkness into light
I need Your peace to get me through, to get me through this night
I can't live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals
I'm not holding on to You, but You're holding on to me
You're holding on to me

(From Word of God Speak by Mercy Me)

I'm finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it's okay
The last thing I need is to be heard
But to hear what You would say

Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty

(From Stronger by Reuben Morgan & Ben Fielding)

 You are stronger You are stronger
Sin is broken you have saved me it is written Christ is risen Jesus you are Lord of all

No beginning and no end You're my hope and my defense you came to seek and save the lost you paid it all upon the cross

So let your name be lifted higher
Be lifted higher be lifted higher

He captures my heart and lifts my head. He moves me and reminds me. He holds me.
He is holding me, He is washing my eyes, He is stronger.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The love of God which is in Christ Jesus

"All that is not the love of God has no meaning for me. I can truthfully say that I have no interest in anything but the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. If God wants it to, my life will be useful through my word and witness. If he wants to, my life will bear fruit through my prayers and sacrifices. But the usefulness of my life is his concern, not mine. It would be indecent of me to worry about that." Dominique Voillaume

I read these words today in Brennan Manning's book "The signature of Jesus", a fantastic book that I am already to the middle of (and wishing I didn't go so fast so there'd be more to read longer!) since starting it Thursday.

I read them and so wished those words spoke of my soul, my heart, my love and relationship with Jesus. I read them and thought, this is who I want to be.
I've spent so many years (and especially recently) trying to "figure out what I want to be when I grow up", and today I thought "THIS!" This is not what but who I want to be. What I do is secondary to who I am, and what I want to spend my energy and focus on is being.
I want to live for, from and through the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. I want to not be concerned whether or not my life is "useful", because my life is His, and He will do with it what He will, for His purposes and His glory.
I want to not care about my appearance, my reputation, my accomplishments, and what others think. I want to count it all as white noise.
I want to be single minded, I want to live a simple life. If as quote above, Dominique Voillaume lived a simple life it is because he had only one priority: the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. Everything else pails, everything else fades, everything else is fluff.

I've spent so much time thinking, worrying, planning and striving focused entirely on myself. And where have I gotten? I am still as lost I have ever been. But one thing continues to grow over the years. My desire to get closer to what Manning calls "the center". My desire to be closer to the simple and powerful truth of Jesus Christ grows as I get older and keeps me awake at night, inconveniences me while I go about my day, interrupts my selfish and idle thoughts. And I thank God for it. I want to live in His interruptions, not in my plans. I want to live in His inconvenient setbacks, not my carefully concocted agenda. I want to live in His uncertainty, because He is all that is certain.

I haven't been honest. I have been carefully staging and covering and maneuvering so as to appear. Appear smart, deep, well read, sensitive, spiritual, you name it. Appear. I still act, and talk and post so as to appear a certain way. What an incredible waste of time and energy. I am not here to appear. I am here to live by the love of God who is in Christ Jesus. I am here to love and cherish and point to Him. What I want to appear as and be is the love of God .

I don't know how. But I do trust Him, and it is the desire of my heart. And He says something about that in Psalm 37, doesn't He? Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

My desire is to delight in Him, kind of a "chicken and egg" situation, wouldn't you say?
It would be just like God to make it this simple: I desire to delight in Him, and He promises to give me the desire of my heart.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Bliss

I was having a conversation with a very wise man recently, and yet rather than feeling inspired, I was left confused and annoyed.

This wise man was perhaps, in his signature style, condensing the truth (as he saw it) about the subject into one or two sentences, which troubled me, since I process everything verbally, and speech (whether written or spoken) is truly where I find my peace as I unravel the knots and work things out.

The conversation went something like this:
Me: "I don't know what to do, I want to do something, I just don't know what it is"
Paul (yes that's right, he is the wise man I am referring to): "Just do what you love" (notice how many fewer words he uses)
Me: "But I am just not sure what I love! (in a whiny childish tone...endearing, I know)"
Paul:  "Just follow your bliss" (ok, this statement was a bit frightening as it sounded more like Oprah than Paul, but I swear that's what he said)
Me:"ugh, you don't get it!" (sounding like an angry and rebellious teenager)

Of course, if I am referring to Paul as the wise man, it's because I realize,  in hindsight and a couple of months later, that I am the one who "gets it" now and who was not getting it before.

The truth is, his statement troubled me because it was simple. It was an action statement. Unfortunately I am the kind of person who will go about something in circles and never-ending speculation and regurgitation before I will actually DO something, which I am sure, drives Paul crazy, but that's besides the point.
The point is, action is scary to me. Fear. Action implies commitment, desire, movement and consequences. That is scary to me. Talking about doing something, writing about it and considering all the pros and cons, THAT is where my strength lies, right? Or maybe that is where I lose my life. I lose my life while I am considering what to do with it.

It also troubled me because I truly thought I had lost touch with what I love and would not be able to discover what it is I wanted to spend time exploring and doing. And then what? Scary. There's that fear again.

And it unsettled me because I thought that "my bliss" would translate to my life's work, my career, the thing I spend the rest of my life dedicating myself to. And sadly,  I just did not see anything in my life that could become that, which left me feeling a bit like a loser quite frankly. A scared loser.

Then I started trying to think of it in different terms, and just truly find something that gave me pleasure, and do that, for a while at least. Even though I was still scared. Even though that wouldn't be enough, even though I still had so much work to do to find what I truly wanted to do (or so I thought).

I forget exactly how it came to be that I took a step forward, but I did. Amidst the fear and the doubt, I was SICK of myself and all my "researching" and decided to pick something-anything-that I had been considering and, in the wise words of a very rich advertiser, just DO IT.
Then I promptly found some excuses for why it wouldn't work:

It's too far away
We don't have the money
I don't even know if I will like it
It will probably be a waste of time

Then the annoyed "I've had it up to my ears with all your wishy-washy pondering" side of me took over and the decision was made. I am going. And that's THAT!(that is a reference to "How the Grinch stole Christmas" in case you missed it).

The thing I had decided to do (and had been considering more or less for about SIX YEARS) was sign up for a dance class. Modern dance to be exact. Something I have loved since I was a teenager and have missed since I stopped doing it. You would not think it would be this difficult for a person to realize they love and miss something and decide to bring that back into their lives, but what can I say, it's a gift. I am my own worst enemy.

Much to my own surprise, when the day actually came, I got in my car and drove the whole half hour to the studio (I know, SO far!!!!), I went in and danced.
I danced, boy did I dance. It was like coming back to life. Being in the studio with other dancers,moving and flowing and learning a routine, piecing it together, the rhythm and the sweat, feeling my heartbeat in my throat, and the sore feet.

The whole experience left me wondering "WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH ME" I could have been feeling like this for the past six years! But, that is the side of me that likes to beat me up, so I promptly shut her up and continued to bask in the glow of my reclaimed inner dancer.

I have been dancing for only a month, but I cannot conceive a time when I would choose not to dance. Or when I would again say that a half an hour in the car is too long or too big a sacrifice. Or when I would find there is something I would choose over this for that time.

For the 90 minutes I am there, something beautiful happens to me, and I would be an absolute fool not to give myself that gift, as often as I can. That is bliss. It's only one little piece of bliss once a week for now, but it is the true definition of bliss. It's not a career, a life's work or anything beyond one dance class. It is the sense of truly belonging in my own body. It is the feeling of closeness to God Himself, to the one He has made me to be,and closest to her full expression. This is bliss, and I am following it, one class at a time, all the way to wherever it takes me.

I guess the wise man with few words was right. Boy, I hate it when he's right!


Thursday, April 05, 2012

Enough

So often my posts begin with a quote from a book....yes, I admit it, reading is my crack, and Lord help me when I find an author I really enjoy..I end up reading all their work in just a few days. I guess I do have an addictive personality after all? I was sure I didn't, but I digress

I was reading the book "Lost and Found" by Geneen Roth (whom as you may be guessing is the author du jour for me, or more precisely du week) and she mentions the concept of "enough", which resonated deeply within me, and kind of echoed what I said in my post about contentment.

She writes:"Enough isn't an amount; it's a relationship to what you already have"

Well, we can probably all agree with that statement pretty readily,I think. And yet, in my own life, though the theory of this concept is something I can completely embrace, in the daily comings and goings, not so much.

The fact is that I want more, always
I have been living as if there wasn't enough to go around
I have been living as if I have to "make up" for who I am by getting "more"

If I surround myself with "enough" accoutrement's I can accessorize who I really am (not enough) and hope that everyone will see that what I have clearly demonstrated my worth, and agree with me.
From that standpoint, enough is unattainable. Because enough has to make up for my perceived lack, my deficiency, my inadequacy. And since it is my perception, no amount of outward accessories can come close to that which is inside my faulty head.
For a long time now I have worked on being as genuine as I can be with everyone around me.
I am transparent, honest and open about who I am, my shortcomings, my doubts, my fears. I always thought that meant that I was being "real". But where is the definition of this particular brand of real coming from?
As I am finding out, a big part of it is really a poorly constructed persona. Something my head has developed over the years, and not the best reflection of who I actually am. As it turns out, my version of "real" has more to do with the things I believe about myself (for many intricate reasons) than with the actual TRUTH about myself. It's not that I was being disingenuous, I was just being ignorant and stubborn.

How many of us live this way,I wonder? What do we really believe about ourselves, deep down? What things about ourselves do we take for granted as being "facts" about us, that could maybe stand a little closer examination?I ask because I think maybe, therein lies part of the reason why enough is just not within reach for so many.
For some of us enough is a number, like the one on the scale, or the one in the bank account. They represent security, identity and comfort.
For some, enough is a look, an outfit, a pair of shoes. For some is degrees, titles, accomplishments. There is of course nothing inherently wrong with these "things" in and of themselves, the question is: are these things that we believe about who we are? are these the things that propel the search and striving?
It's really not about the things themselves, it's about what value are we placing on them, what power do they have over us?

For me, the answer to that question was simply: too much.

I can slowly see that I subconsciously thought of myself as the child of long ago. Defenseless, unworthy, broken, insecure, inconvenient, and needy. This child needed comfort wherever it could be found. But there was never enough comfort anywhere. Not in a number, an outfit, a place, a home, a person. I looked for comfort and I looked to be MADE worthy by the "enough-ness" around me, not within me. Because I did not believe there was enough, inside.

Now, don't get me wrong, on a CONSCIOUS level I knew who GOD Made me and how much He loves me and that I am worthy simply because He made me and loves me.
But did this reflect in the way I lived? Did it show in my countenance, my joy, my heart? I was even using THAT as a shield, as an identity. It was not changing my heart, as much as I did try.

And what was my relationship with "what I already have"? Well, it was all going into a bottomless pit, so my relationship with what I already had was fraught with frustration and dissatisfaction. Nothing gave me meaning, nothing gave me peace, nothing brought on the fullness I was searching. Nothing was ever enough.
And another layer of sadness about this is that it robbed me of the joy of taking in what I did have. Those things that I fought hard for, those blessings God had brought into my life, I didn't even "let myself have them". I didn't truly believe (deep down in my broken subconscious) that I deserved these things, that they would last, that I wouldn't somehow screw them up.
Consciously I was grateful, but inside there was no peace.

So enough is a relationship. It has to start with the relationship I have with the one God has made perfect through His holiness. She is within, and she is enough.
Enough is my relationship with the One who has made me enough.
Enough is my relationship with the life He has given me.

Enough is not the number on the scale. Not the list of accomplishments. Not the amount of "likes" on my posts ;-) It isn't attainable "out there". It's IN HERE. It's in dismantling the lies I have believed about myself, and in discovering the freedom of the person He has made, not the prison of the person others have broken.

Enough is attainable because all I need is a willing heart, open and willing to look in and question things. It is attainable because He promises fullness and joy.
I want to spend the rest of my life reminding myself of that and looking for ways to have my "enough" spill over and be poured out for others.

I want to practice living what I know is true, and no longer letting my subconscious choices sabotage what I know. He has made me, He knows me, and He leads me inside for peace.
That is enough.

I want now to be...enough.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Fix you

I have shared my love for music before, and here are two song that are really wrecking me as of late...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdBym7kv2IM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY9b6jgbNyc

Lights will guide you home....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Only children know...

"No one is ever satisfied where they are..." 'Only the children know what they are looking for" said the little prince...

No one is ever satisfied where they are, the words ring in my ears and I think, no one is ever satisfied because they, or rather we, chase after things. Things to buy, to own, to be, to do. We search outside of ourselves and in the world, for the peace that comes from God, and from within.

How does God speak? Quietly and slowly, in the silence. Not in the frantic pace of our ceaseless striving activity, but in our quiet pondering.

Only children know. They know because they listen within and only seek the desires of their heart.
A child always has time. A child smiles easily. A child laughs heartily.
A child prioritizes love, almost always above all else. A child is content in mom's embrace and dad's smile. A child loves purely with very little expectations for anything more than love, care, and security.

Simple is better
less really IS more
An uncluttered mind is focused on what is most important: here, now, love

Less striving, pushing, demanding, greed
More accepting, giving, releasing, grace

A garden, however small, in spring
A hug given, every day
The truth spoken in love, as often as possible

Beauty is simple, unassuming, quiet and powerful, a child can remind us of that, if we let him

Monday, January 16, 2012

Free write...

Stream of consciousness...sometimes for me, is the only way to write, I guess that's what they call free writing

I sit here, I let my thoughts run out of my head and through my fingers to the keys, and I am typing, I guess that means I am writing...but do I really have anything to say?

Maybe that's irrelevant, maybe the exercise of simply sitting here and letting my fingers go and run free, is what gives my soul respite, although it isn't my fingers who need freedom, it is my heart, my soul.

Why do I seek freedom? Is my heart truly imprisoned? Perhaps I have created a prison for myself that I need to break free of. But if I am the jailer, I hold the key, yes? If only it were that easy.

I need Jesus, I need Him to break the chains that enslave me, I need Him to open the doors I have shut and locked for myself.

Am I spending all my time spinning and striving, only to always find myself in the same place? Is it time to finally let go and be still and know that He is God?
I have so little control over most things...isn't it time that I just, let go?
Isn't the truth that we cannot control life? And why would we want to?! it's not as though we know what we're doing!...on most days I don't even know what I want for lunch, let alone know what I want for my life...

I do know I want love, and love can be painful sometimes. Love can be hard work, and it can hurt. And love is sacrifice, and to love is to see someone else first. Maybe that's something I need to focus on, see others first. Stop looking inside so much, and pay attention to the souls around you. Is there redemption in selfless love? No question. No doubt.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Do I know you?

I was thinking about my blog today, and about how, if you are reading it, then..I am talking to you, so then I wondered...are you likely to get what I'm saying? Do you and I have some things in common? For example:

Have you ever found yourself thinking and analyzing so much that you worry about your own sanity?

Have you ever read a book and thought to yourself, "I have to read every other work by this author?"

Have you ever been moved to tears by the pure sound of music, whether pop, classical, jazz?

Have you ever watched the same movie (or read the same book) tens of times and experienced it at a different level each time?

Have you ever felt almost as if you might have a split personality disorder, because in the same day you are capable of reaching the deepest depth of the pit and also the highest peek of joy?

Have you ever thought that you belonged in another time, that you should have been born at a different time in history, or in a different place?

Have you ever seen a character in a movie and thought to yourself, "I could be like that!" except...you're not?

Have you ever felt paralyzed by too many options or choices?

Have you ever had one of those days when you thought "the only way I will get through this day is if I am able to pretend this is someone else's life for a while"?

Have you ever thought that you were meant for something really special, but are quite convinced that you will screw it up?

Are you fascinated by people like Hemingway, George Bernard Shaw, Henry David Thoreau, Thomas Merton?

Did you ever read the book or see the movie "Into the Wild" and were you haunted by it? By how much you identified with the main character?

Do you ever listen to a Jack Johnson song and just dream of leaving everything behind and moving to Hawaii? :-)

These are all things that either have happpened or currently happen to me, and I wonder how many people out there are a little bit like me...strength in numbers, right? Feels good to know that one isn't the only crazy one out there sometimes. But then some other times one would prefer the silly notion that one IS uniquely insane...or maybe that's just me.

I have had times in my life when I have examined how many little pieces of me I have left scattered across the world, and wonder, if I could somehow piece it all back together, what that would feel/look like...Because of how many times I have moved around, I have entire "lives" lived elsewhere, with other people...I have moved on from each life, each time with the sense of loss, along with that sense of adventure and excitement. But after so many years and so many losses, I start feeling as though I need to mourn those lives..and let them go, while somehow maintaining the parts of me that were changed through them, the parts of me that were loved and nurtured, and the parts of me that grew and learned...

If I could I would simultaneously live all of them at once...because they are all part of me, all three countries, all three languages, all three cultures, all those wonderful people who knew me, loved me, helped me to become a more genuine version of me. They liked me in spite of myself, cared for me and genuinely found something of value inside me.

I am pretty sure YOU are one of them, so thank you. And thank you for reading my crazy ramblings. Thank you for liking me, at least a little, for indulging my narcissism, and not judging me for it ;-)

really, thanks!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

A Simple Life

I have been thinking lately about how much I crave a simple life, only to realize, I am not quite sure what that would entail.

I think it means being close to who God has made me to be, focusing on the ones I love, decluttering my mind, my life, and my home of those things that are just not essential. Easier said than done, right?

I feel a little lost but definitely very motivated to figure out what it is that a simple life would entail for me. Micah 6:8 pops into mind: "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

When I think of what it is that I want my life to be about it always comes back to love, joy, companionship, beauty, simplicity. I think of Jesus, sharing meals with his dear friends, no home, no possessions, no real ties to the material world. And I so wish that could be me. Unencumbered by physical and material desires, free of the want and need to amass things, to create structures we then work to support. But I suppose that's wishing I wasn't human, which sometimes, I do.

I just want life to be SIMPLE. I want LESS. I want just the ESSENTIAL. Life is so short, we really don't have time to be messing around with anything else.

Followers