Amongst One Another

I suppose it might be possible.

That there might be some amongst us who don’t know struggle, haven’t had it woven intricately in the layers of their skin, embedded deep deep deep in the pits of their tummies.

I saw someone last night and I remembered how she’d been real with me and I, with her.

How I’d said yes to her unexpected invite for lunch, just wanting us to know one another more.

First of all, how often are we so honest? How rare are women that brave?

She shattered my illusion of her life more sublime than mine. She told me her story.

And, I mine.

I guess over a year or more ago. She listened as I shared the colors of my Bible, my story.

And I saw her and I told her what that meant to me, her opening her heart, her curiosity of mine.

What if we did that more? What if we left each other loved and uplifted, caressed on more than typical passing platitudes?

We’d know more the feeling of being amongst one another. We’d be more generous with our giving of time, less greedy for dominance in conversation.

Another friend made me cry when I held her and let her cry. It was hard.

Then soft.

She said it, what I already knew.

“I think I just saw God.”

I read a beautiful prayer this morning, a prayer by a French Archbishop whose name I can’t pronounce. It was a prayer asking God to find us when we can’t find Him.

Take my heart, for I canst give it and when thou hast it, oh, keep it for Thee and save me in spite of myself. Archbishop F’enelon

Someone mentioned feeling as if in an abyss yesterday and we then talked about the “cliff”.

If you’ve ever been in a deep place feeling like you can’t pull yourself out or if you’ve found yourself on the edge, on the cusp of disastrous choice worn out and miserable over what’s come your way, having to get real quiet or real loud and maybe say God, come near, be my rescue, remind me again.

Save me, yet again.

The Lord is my strength and my song. He has become my salvation. Psalm 118:14

We’re not made to cower.

The “change-up”

Slowly, my perspective is changing.

Consistently, I am enlightened by God.

Finally, I am beginning to create a space for freedom to be true.

I heard a sermon from Lamentations last week, the highlighted passage was on the steadfast quality of God’s love. It’s well known, an affirmative promise.

My mind wandered, I admit.

I have a hard time in a room with noises that distract, so I’ll focus my attention on my little space.

I’ll buffer the outside and go inside, reading ahead, veering a few lines or a chapter away to the other verses, protective of my focus and intentional in my holding close what’s mine, what’s beneficial.

Same way in my daily readings. this morning, only a few words because of time.

Yet, timely, so timely.  Gone, going are the days of holding onto hurt like a treasure, a badge marking honorable mention for making it through.

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I’m adapting.

We talked about my story last week, my friend and I.

Talked about the possibility of a changeup.

“Change-up”, the phrase paints a memory for me and I digress. My son’s reaction when he got that one right, priceless was his joy! The batter befuddled by the sudden change in pattern, tricked by his expectation of the fastball or the curve, he couldn’t adapt.

He couldn’t throw it too often, the batters grew to expect it, prepared and anticipated and they’d connect, triumphant their expression, they adapted, adjusted and met what was thrown a little differently, refusing to be struck out, struck down and defeated.

My story is wrought with trauma and it made…makes me vulnerable, just the thought of its presentation and mostly, its lack of completion.

Beginning even.

But, a changeup is in the works, slowly the perspective is changing and my mind is catching up to the curve.

Not fear, not remorse, not hard heard recollection, rather an authentic expression of gratitude and hope in the midst of every stage.

I’m adapting. I’m hopeful, less hindered by my vulnerability and my striving towards redeeming my wrongs and the wrongs done towards me.

Adapting my story from a fearful perspective to more of a welcome gift of forgiveness to others.

Not about me, my fears or my falters, rather about those steadfast in their hope for me.

My life, an adaptation of God.

“I called on your name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit; you heard my plea, ‘Do not close your ear to my cry for help!’ You came near when I called on you; you said, ‘Do not fear!’ “You have taken up my cause, O Lord; you have redeemed my life.”

‭‭Lamentations‬ ‭3:55-58‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Linking up with others, writing for 5 minutes, prompted by “adapt”.

http://fiveminutefriday.com/2018/05/03/fmf-link-up-adapt/

 

Happy Way of Life #6

Creativity is either bliss or burden.

No one might ever understand, your own little ways,

Only you.

I found old beaten down wood, peeling white chips on muddy tinted grain, a “2 b’ 6” the shop owner said.

I decided it must’ve come from a little place in a house in the country, a kitchen with a window that looked out on wide, wide field the same color, the field, a cushion of green.

I asked my husband to make three of the one and I’d forgotten sort of.

Until home from work today and he’s done, the pieces leaning against the back door for me saying, Here, I did this.

For you.

I’ve added white sheathed gowns to all three, shades of peachy pink on soft tilted faces will come later.

But for now, the green on old wood, the white paint thick and the shape of shoulders, hinting a disposition.

Brings me joy.

We decided today, a friend and I that creativity makes you vulnerable, you try and feel fulfilled or you attempt and over attempt and wonder

oh, my goodness why do I continue?

But, you go back to the place where you tie the apron thick with paint around your waist or you sit and take a deep breath until the authenticity of you comes through in nouns and verbs and considerations.

And you know, you know God made you different, made you to not cower; made you to create.  Me

Made you unafraid,

Of you.

I’ll go back to the old desk covered in splattered thick colors and I’ll return just as soon as I can to the desk neatly sorted, copies of my words on white sheets and I’ll write there.

The desk that looks out on the birds.

I’ll have the courage to become me again, the one who paints angels without faces without caring who wonders why and writes stories about hope lost and found and grace.

my happy way of life

more to follow

Impatient Wonder

Two or three things stuck last week, adding to the mix even more this morning and now, afternoon as well.

The first is the perspective changer that uncertainty is a gift, an absolute gift.

Uncertainty, held by grace.

And wonder.

Last week, I berated myself out loud to another, her commentary brought new perspective, brought me to consider a kind response.

To realize I had not been “resourced” back then to choose alternate responses.

Too much wrong food, buying stuff just because and giving in to a pattern as if there was no other way but back and so scared I might be moving in reverse not forward.

“Coping mechanisms” she called my overindulgence(s).

You’re self-aware, you’ve called yourself out this time, that’s progress.

You’re not stuck.

“Oh.” I remembered later, what a gracious choice. What a gracious idea giving permission to mess up and even more so, a prompting to step surely and rightly again.

I’ve been talking about turning 60 for months now, anxious that I might not do the things I said I was gonna do when I was a year younger than I am now.

I’ve got about 30 months to 60 and I guess about 900 days. I’m no math person, let me use my words.

Words are my thing, not numbers.

Wondering if I will, uncertain if I can.

Impatient to see what I will.

Stuck.

If you’re Southern you might remember a ready reply your mama, your grandma or grandpa would give in reply to whether and when.

Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise!

What might happen depending on God being willing and I imagine whoever started this go to reply, the road might have been impassable, their door might have guarded the way out and they may have decided not today, gotta wait for the creek to settle, gotta wait for the water to flow back downstream to the river, to the sea.

Gotta wait for the settling.

Today, I read about the woman in Proverbs again, the passage that tells a son what to look for in a wife. The verses are filled with guidance, the descriptive nature often causes wonder of worth.

Today though, one part stuck.

“She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The part about considering, about patient wonder, about tentative even proceeding.

About waiting patiently for an undertaking, taking graceful steps towards uncertain yielding of creative crop.

Giving myself a pass on not perfecting.

I hadn’t cooked for days. My husband was having omelets, pb&j’s and pizza from a box.

I’ve a meal in the oven now, rosemary roasted turkey, potatoes and carrots to be beside asparagus drizzled in butter and warm grain rice.

An assignment for a magazine had me insecure and regretful, due tomorrow, 1000 words for a hundred.

I find a little teacup and steep the bag in steam and down the hall I go and I pray

Father, help me to write the words that someone is needing, that they read my words and begin to be better.

Because of mercy, Amen

Me

I go back for the tea, meet the waiting laptop and the notes scribbled and scattered and I read, I read before I write, the little teeny words on a square on a string I’ll tear off and keep.

And now, the article is done, pool time and blueberry creamy coolness to be followed by dog walking and sky studying.

Sunday, oh, Happy Day you have been!

Maybe Something Other

I’m beginning to consider other than what I’ve decided always.

Starting to let go my old responses to come what may, my old way.

Who does that? Brings a dandelion inside and places it next to the delicate dogwood bloom, adds it to the water in the little bulbous jelly jar?

I’ve never seen such a pretty arrangement. The contrast of the sticklike stem beside the velvet leaf of other.

The grass had been freshly mown and my day, not long into. The Lab and I returning inside and I paused to see the sun through the pines land on the solitary weed.

I picked it and blew towards the sky, the stem strong in my grasp; but, the feathery frond like fluff would not let go, held tight to the middle.

So, I’ve decided now, in my morning spot, that it was meant for other. It wasn’t meant to be blown away by my forceful breath and it dodged the destruction of the sharp blade of mower.

It was meant for more.

It was meant for other.

I have a task today and another tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s, I’ve asked God to help me reconsider what I’ve decided it’s purpose will be.

To cause me to let go my preconception and to be open to other.

To be accepting of what I will see, hear, feel, knowing I’m made by God, His plans for me planted and not fully seen.

I cover my eyes and my heart with other often, handicapping the growth, deciding my part.

“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭19:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

His desire is that I not be blown away.

To carry what comes my way in a different way, to do maybe something other than before. To not fade away nor be destroyed.

This morning I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday, prompted by the word and thoughts of “other” .

Trees and Me

I’ve a friend who invites conversation by asking, “Where did you see God today?”

And I’ve loved it so, the thought of it.

But, even more, my own thoughts and ponder,

“And what did He say?”

I find God in places happened upon, causing my pause.

A puff of moss amongst high weeds, a purple flower on a single stem, I consider it there for me, burst forth, break through it seems to say.

Morning was a compilation today of happenstance and truth.

The sameness of my journal, the place where thoughts land and the habitual sometimes same old requests I pencil in carefully, thoughtfully certain.

This one’s a slate grey blue and has a delicate copper colored lettering “notes” in its center.

I’ve many journals, pages full, I bet you can only imagine.

This morning I read via Anita Ojeda that journaling is medicine. It wasn’t news to me, still, I felt it new.

This one, “I know this much is true” kinda truth came a little more alive today and so it’s included in my journal.

Memoir means you intentionally write about your past events in order to understand them better. In the process, you’ll find healing. Anita Ojeda

It occurred to me this is the reason I’m only able to write a paragraph here and there when it comes to memoir.

Other places and subjects, even here I can let flow a thousand words or more.

With memoir, I’m tentative.

Maybe it’s because the content is so precious, so precariously cusp teetering like as far my healing, that its power must be approached gingerly, intentionally and not at all hurriedly.

And sometimes I think time might be running out and my season might be winter forever, that my story might never burst forth.

Others, I think I’m just lazy.

This morning, I prayed a prayer for me. The words were not typical, the request new and softer, different.

The place where I’d been asking for strength or courage or forgiveness, clarity or ability to obey,

I asked for love. Love, instead.

Lord, order my day I pray and help me to do the right things in light of your love for me.

Amen

I especially love this one old tree. When we walk, I can’t turn my eyes from its frame. We turn back and I pause every time because I find its twisted trunk and aging limbs so sublime.

I don’t think it has another season, yet I see small buds on leafless limbs. I’m waiting to see, is it just not time?

Will the fruit of pecans cover the ground come August?

Will its branches continue to reach towards the sky regardless?

The tree, this beautiful old tree it tells me there is time and purpose and plenty of it still.

I almost skipped my Bible this morning, knowing I must get my butt in gear. My passage for April 10, Psalm 92, “How Great are Your Works” it begins.

And I am amazed again at the never accidental nature of my God.

“The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green,”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭92:12-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

And mostly that there’s always time to grow, to bear the fruit of hope, so that others may hope as well.

And that perhaps, some things held onto for very, very long must die before new will fully live.

Like being okay with not finding four leaf clovers in a cluster of clover.

Drawn in by the vibrance, caught off guard by the possibility, stymied by the enormous beauty, I look but am satisfied despite finding the one “lucky one”.

I’m seeing God everywhere and I’m noticing, noting clearly and contentedly my need to continue on.

Who’s to say how we grow, when we’ll burst forth unforced.

When the bud might open or the branches stay barren

Only God can make trees. Only God can make me.

Quiet Voila’

Last week or maybe last year, sporadic in my notice and recognition, I decided “child’s pose” was very much like prayer.

The prayer pose in the dark of early morning beside my bed or in the middle of a day when my pacing feet and pounding heart had left me with no place to go but to

Go there.

To hide away on my side of the bed.

You’d have to walk around to find me.

To hit my knees and find my soul beckoning me rest and my shoulders, lower, lower until they too are closer to the bottom and to wait, my muscles groaning in extension, I’m reaching, now gently.

As far as I can and I wait for God to cause my hands to open towards heaven.

Like a quiet “voila!”.

Saying, this is yours God, not mine.

Like a child, my outstretched hands are both released from my heavy thing and opened for the pure embrace of God.

Lean a little deeper into the prayer like a languished stretch and then ease back upright to maybe a sort of sun salutation.

I rise. I’m better, Son of God, I salute you, your Spirit, now.

I’m better today.

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:26‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Linking up for FMF prompted by “release”.

http://fiveminutefriday.com/2018/04/05/fmf-link-up-release/

Oh, and by the way, my book review of Kate Motaung’s recently released memoir, “A Place to Land” is in a draft right now, I’ll be posting tomorrow and giving away a couple of copies!

or you can order here: https://www.amazon.com/Place-Land-Story-Longing-Belonging/dp/162707662X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=headhome-20&linkId=3e098af8efaaaff2f28a716b3f563944