My Ungrowing

The tiny houseplant was a gift to my daughter as a teacher. Its little pot barely containing the roots, yet I pull it from the pretty little pot, give it water and its leaves lift up and persist, my home, its home now.

Not sure why it’s taken so long to decide, to decide it needed room to grow and lifted it from the flimsy black pot and dig deep down the soil already waiting in a container that contained something planted before that would not for the life of me grow.

Moved the tender tiny clinging still plants to the border and I placed the philodendron (maybe) in the center and just because, I put the ceramic sparrow there, to rest and to watch with me, the new place the plant will grow.

“Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth.”

Psalms‬ ‭119:88‬ ‭NASB‬‬

I changed my morning spot, baffled over why I’d not thought to do so before.

Uncrowded now, the succulents are next to the others, two fat containers of thick odd things that grow best left alone. I’ll nourish this new planting, watch it flourish, see how it will go.

What a proud reply I’d been quick to give, popping back like an annoyingly cute little toddler pulling on the fabric of someone’s shirt, insisting on attention.

Interrupting all other conversation, anxious to be addressed, noticed, allowed to be the star of her own show.

“Me, me, Me!”

I was determined to be sure others knew I was there.

My confident reply even if no one asked, “I’m just gonna take every single opportunity I get to write.”

Their faces, sometimes awkward smiles and oh, okay, go you kinda responses.

Their reactions puzzled a little as if “This is different, who is this person?”

What began as an answer to prayer sort of sneakily meandered it’s way to obsession and half-hearted and hurried completion.

Let me tell you, Jesus was merciful in not allowing me to make a bigger mess of it. Clearly, a couple of columns, a few pieces were written two hours before deadline and what I know for sure.

It was only grace driven by God’s design of my days that He not me made sense, brought it all together.

None of it my creation alone, still God allowed me such grace in the midst.

Cause my heart was not in it. Thank you, Lord,

Yours was.

Were it not for me telling you so, you might never know. might think there’s no need for you to know.

The answer came one morning, the understanding of and making right this time.

“dormant”

I thought that is it. I’m in the dormant stage. It’s not so lovely a word and not ever say or think with regularity.

I checked to see if I had it right. Did it mean doing nothing, did it mean an on purpose lack of plowing and cultivating of my writing soil?

Yes, dormant. Yes, latent. Letting things lie, all the while knowing I’d be back, they as well.

Yes, stepping away and letting the roots grow in their own.

Dormancy, a season of inactivity because opportunities had somehow become contradictory to opportunity and were heartless obligation.

Counterintuitive, my “ungrowing” season.

I believe it will be.

The minds that are alive to every word from God, give constant opportunity for His divine interference with a suggestion that may alter the courses of their lives…Richard H. Hutton, Joy and Strength

Next week I’ll write my final “Faith” column for the small town paper. I’ll say thank you to all who’ve read and I’ll welcome the new one, the one who’s waiting already for simply a time to grow.

Now, my hope feels unhindered and my pathway one of peace. I’ve not forgotten the morning God, that you told me of my treasure, the one you planted there to grow.

Meanwhile, my hope is in my ungrowing, my revival in my rest.

I believe, Lord. I believe.

“Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope!” Psalms‬ ‭119:116‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This post by Holly Gerth confirmed my assurance that it’s okay, okay to wait and see what God has for me.

https://holleygerth.com/blog/

Good For You!

The wild rose bush overnight has gone crazy with color and even more, tiny cups of buds are straining up towards heaven for more.

My mama called ’em “knockout” roses, they like to “take over, take off on their own.”

The two bushes we have will grow and grow, come close to blocking the open door.

Not held back, who can imagine hindering the bloom?

“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:35‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Would you be unconcerned with the blisters on the tips of your fingers if you found yourself so very close to the perfect chord?

Every single morning brings new cliche it seems, assignments mine if accepted.

Steady streams of affirmations meet me in the morning, some Biblical and others captured and kept.

I’m bleary-eyed in the kitchen and it comes to mind, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”

The words meant to thrust us all towards some dream, goal, unmet challenge.

Athlete, Actor, Artist, Author.

Then another, “You can’t manufacture happiness.” countered the lofty motivation, got me thinking.

What would you do if the chance of failure did not matter, if you simply knew you must do…?

me

Would you forget your fear of drowning and don the clothing of a diver and plunge to the bottom of the ocean knowing you might find a treasure left somehow for you?

Would you answer yes to creating with your heart and hands something you’ve never tried before?

Would you abandon the ingrained nature to say no and be noticed by your yes causing yourself to be known?

Would you let your feet take you places your soul says go and go unconcerned with the mark left by your walk?

Would it not matter the strumming, the seeking, the saying yes as far as depending on what others might see or think?

Would it matter only that you had the courage to do the things you only know are yours to do for God,

for you and for the fluttering in your sweet being when you do.

You might finally understand God and creation and that it is good.

It is good for us, His intent.

“Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:31‬ ‭NLT‬‬

All good.

Good for you!

 

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

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

Trusting More

I barely heard him over the crowd. He mentioned “trust” to her as she shared their big plans and hopes. “You know the place, Proverbs 3:5-6…” he said.

Mentioned trust, then looked towards me, and added, “Of course you do, you’ve got her.”

It was a gift, to be known as one who talks of God and trust and love to my children so that they know.

They know.

Such a pretty night, just the slightest breeze and the aura of a singer and a guitarist had me optimistic.

The singer’s voice gritty, heart and soul in his movements and melodies. The guitarist, honed in on his part; both, phenomenal talents.

Doing their thing, for us; but, seemed mainly for themselves, the satisfaction of sharing their souls’ song and string.

The vibe was easy, the night was soulful and my soul was full.

Leaving the day behind to happen upon a friend, see an acquaintance in the distance, people who’d otherwise be postured with just a nod of notice, reaching out arms for an embrace and saying more than ever before, glad you’re here.

I was taken to a place of letting go.

She took me there, my daughter. The night was splendid, turned my day around.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

A mom stopped by yesterday to pick up a painting, a gift for her mother.

I’d leaned it against an empty chair and had two days with “her”.

Checked it over to be sure the paint and layered words were sealed, added a card denoting my life verse and contact info to the back.

Then, saw the place where trust had been revealed from under layers of paint.

And smiled, fascinated by my creation.

“I love this girl.” I told the buyer when she arrived and explained I love her not in an accomplished way or even satisfied over technique or tradition.

I’d realized earlier that whether it’s a paragraph or a painting, there’s a joy that comes that I’m not sure I can explain.

You step back, sit back and you know.

“This is me, this is mine. I’ve conveyed something that is sincere, genuinely me.”

Then you trust it more, you trust this thing God made you to discover.

You trust that painting, writing, singing or strumming unfettered and unfiltered are a part of His plan.

‘Tis so sweet…trusting more.

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just to take Him at His Word

Just to rest upon His promise,

Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!

O’ for grace to trust Him more.