{Site currently under construction. Grace for my mess?}

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Five Minute Friday: On Going and Growing



I miss you around here.  Sorry I've been a bit absent, lately.

The days have been frantic in a mess of boxes, last minute to-do’s, and hugs and tears and the like.  I’m carving out a quick five minutes, though, for my favorite five-minutes of the week…the ones where I pour my heart out without concern for perfection and invite you to join us.  Linking up with the Gypsy Mama.

Today’s topic, as usual, is quite timely.  It’s about growing.

GO

This has been a year of growing.  Stretching, twisting, bending over backwards to stretch my influence just a teensy bit more… reaching higher that I might internalize every single second of this journey.

I’m a tall girl, and wrought with decades of midnight aching, legs being stretched internally with agony.  I know that the act of growing produces pain.

And, that pain produces growing.

I’ve burnt that candle at both ends around here… hurt to learn, learn to grow, learn to heal, hurt to heal, heal to learn, grow to learn.  And I’m ever amazed by just what the Lord is up to in the midst of all this, the majestic sort of unknown that requires such faith to stand in the midst of the pain it takes to grow.

Today for some and in previous days for others, I have said goodbye to the boys we’ve cared for here… the boys not of my body but of my heart… the boys that have called me Mom anyway, and meant it… the boys that don’t have to love us, but do and they love better than I’ll ever know how.  Pain is at its tipping point, today.  Would you offer up a prayer for us, if you think of it?  A prayer for them, for their too-often-hurt-already hearts that shouldn’t have to bear another leaver?  And for me, for the lump in my throat and the shards in my heart as we take one more step, out of one kind of pain and into another, for the sake of growing.  For the anguish Husband and I will put ourselves through for being more ‘leavers’ to come and go from this place?  For transparent love, for traveling mercies, for healed hearts, and mostly, for grace.

STOP

Thank you friends.  I’ll be back around this place again soon.  We’re jaunting all through the desert landscape of this country through the next week, but my fingers will find their way back to this keyboard once the evergreens outnumber the cactuses.

‘Til then

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

(LINK FIXED) - We Are What We Eat: The Sustenance of Words



As soon as I was old enough to talk, and though he was never a believer, Dad read me Bible stories as literature.  Not the kid-ified ones about Noah’s Ark and Jonah but ones out of Revelation, ones about locusts that looked like horses and fiery dragons, and a scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns.
I thought Christians must be crazy...
(Read the rest over here -- honored to be posting at BibleDude.net today. )

(Note:  My apologies if you tried to access this link and it didn't work or you received a warning message.  There were some technical difficulties at hand yesterday.  The trouble has been fixed now.  Thanks for grace!)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Get {Real}.


For 5 Minute Friday, I'm gonna get {real} on ya, with The Gypsy Mama and lots of others today. 
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In real life, women are {real}.

We cry.  We wrinkle up our face and laugh open-mouthed with crooked teeth.  We smooth our hair and rub our fingers together, sometimes, in awareness of our {real} struggles and {real} fears and {real} imperfection.  But when we’re in the right company… we are free to be us.

Messy.

Loud.

Insecure.

Beautiful.

Quiet.

Imperfect.

Amazing.

Real.

And yet, too many of us spend too much time out of the company of other {real} women.  Too many of us let the busy-ness of daily living crowd the place we have for fellowship, mentoring, laughter, and good company.

This is why I love {in}courage.  This is a {real} flesh and blood place… even if it’s virtual.

But this April, {in}courage will transcend virtual-life for {real}life.  And I can’t wait.

True to the way {in}courage operates, they’re making it easy for you to be a part of it, too.  No plane tickets.  No savings jars.  No worries about travel to far away locales.

Because {in}courage {in} real life is coming straight to you.

Check it out:

I’m super excited to tell ya… I’ll be hosting a Southern Oregon meetup.  We’ll be partying it up in our own little Oregonian wing of the {big, big} (in)courage beach house this April, and I’m just pleased-as-punch.  Aren’t you?  Save the date!  April 27 & 28, 2012.

For {real}.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Words and Cardboard Boxes


You might already know, but we’re moving.

Far.

Texas to Oregon.

                    Awesome prints like the one above, found here.


Two-thousand one-hundred thirty-eight point six seven miles, give or take.  

And this means piles of cardboard boxes and packing paper and clear plastic tape as far as the eyes can see.  It means busying myself in serious ways to avoid ruminating on the heartbreak at the end of this – which, of course, is always only just another beginning.  It means more time-outs with good friends and late night talks with stubborn teenagers and more heart-sharing from my mouth than from my fingertips, lately.

This is strange for me.

I’m not good with words.

Which is probably a contrary sort of thing for a writerish-type-person to say, but it’s the truth, and I have to wonder if I’m in good company. 

When I speak, in conversation, words fail me.  And I’m reminded of the quote: 

“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.  ~Ana├»s Nin

And while Ms. Nin may not have had this in mind – I’m aware that, so often, I can pour my heart out to a blank page and post it into cyberspace with enthusiasm…

(and, by the way, I learned in my morning devotional today:                                  enthusiasm = en theos = “full of God”.
                                                                                                Love it.)

…but as I was saying… I can post my heart online for the world to see, but sometimes, I’m paralyzed by the fear of opening my lips, of pressing teeth to tongue and the power of voice saying, out loud, “Let me pray with you” or “You’re really special to me”, or even…“that really hurt.”  And I sometimes wish I could press the pause button on life and take to my keyboard for awhile, to throw all my words out there on the page, rearrange them and process all my internal reactions and copy and paste and backspace to my heart’s content.  

So often, I don’t know what I’m thinking or feeling or doing at all in this life until I write it down, rearrange it, tweak and edit a bit, and click the ‘save’ button.  

And maybe this is what creativity is for, in the end.  Maybe God gives us this method to make tangible the scattered pieces of our hearts, to cut and copy and paste, paint and scratch into masterpiece, beautify and hit the save button -- commit to memory -- the creative reflection...the wellspring of our hearts mirroring the very Creator.

So I work on words… the wrong ones that often fall from my lips and those that have such a hard time coming.  The ones that uplift and the ones that spear the hearer.  The ones spoken, with the same power as the ones written.  And all the while I dance around the blank page with its black font and thank the God who gave us creativity (and roads that lead us home). 

Grateful, with Ann today (whoops, the holiday de-railed me on this one.  Totally thought it was Monday.  Counting Gifts on Tuesday, today):

-          Purging belongings, simplifying our lives
-          Much laughter over dinner with our boys last night
-          Enamelware dishes, even if I don’t have any
-          Spontaneous rain dumps
-          So much overwhelming peace, even in the vastness of the unknown
-          This giveaway, the chance for someone’s whole life to be blown wide open by God and words, and by God’s words
-          Options
-          Surprising generosity
-          Falling into new ways of be the gift, as Ann writes about