Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Free To Become


It was no longer an option to just go through the motions… it was not enough to just survive. I felt trapped. I felt like I had been waiting for someone else to come along with the key to my cage. I needed to be free… fully. I needed more out of this one wild and beautiful life… more abundance, more intention, more authenticity, more love, more un-becoming, more open skies.

The desire to be free eventually and slowly and patiently grew wings. I had to gracefully let go of those things that no longer served me. I had to start flapping my fresh crumpled wings. I had to fly, without permission… without apology… without reservation… without fear. I had to fly, regardless of the consequences… regardless of the outcome… regardless of the judgment… regardless of the journey.   

I didn’t know who I would become or what I would find along the flight, whatever it was it had to be better than the life I was living. So, I broke away… I set myself free… I held the key to my own cage, all along… I was my own hero. I now fly the skies of open possibility.

I have un-become, layer by layer, so that I could become the greatest, truest, loveliest version of myself. I have created a life I love.

The cage could no longer contain my sprouted wings… free to become.

Original Artwork By: Melissa Larance







Saturday, October 24, 2015

Raw


Raw. Like a freshly opened wound. Pruned so deeply that your soul is bleeding. So deeply, you feel your humanness as a weight tied around your heart. You want to turn away from yourself and hide from the world due to the wrath of the intense feeling. Raw. You want to numb your heart so the feeling will cease the consumption your being. But instead you choose to bravely lean into the discomfort.

Ravenous, the pruning cuts away the deepest seeded parts of your soul. One cut at a time. Raw. You feel the depth of the blade. You see the limbs falling to the ground. The limbs which no longer serve you. The limbs which pilfer the nourishment from the fruit you attempt to bear. Raw. Your humanness grieves those portions of you; while your soul rejoices the bloodletting, pruning process because it comprehends the necessity of the cut.  

Exhausted from existing in a mindful and intentional space where you respect the pruning, your emotions sit on the brim of your heart ready to spill over. Pouring into a puddle encircling your feet. Resisting the urge to gather your trimmed limbs and clutch them in place… just for a moment to feel recognizable, familiar with yourself.  Raw. Honoring the place within you that realizes the pruning is crucial to your growth. Yet, struggling to perceive yourself as a new being. Forgiving yourself for not noticing sooner how the now pruned branches were negatively influencing the world around you. Raw. Holding tribute to the shame felt from the infliction of anything but love.

Longing for the day to arrive when in place of the rawness of the prune, the buds sprout newborn growth and fresh fruits of the spirit come to bear and harvest. Pausing in expectancy… hope… faith… eagerness for what this tree will become. Trusting the Pruners discernment and precision of incision. Loving the Pruner with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind. Raw.

Monday, August 17, 2015

I will let you be the hero of your own story

 Dear Friends,

I am not here to rescue you from your pain or fix it for you. I am not here to mend the broken places within you. I am not here to tell you my truth because yours might be different from mine. I am not your hero. I am not here to inflict my path on you. I am not here to catch you when you fall.

In silence, I will allow you to feel your pain without trying to fix it for you. I will sit with you as you glue the broken pieces back together. I will hold space for you to live out your own truth. I will let you be the hero of your own story and applaud each attempt you make to save yourself. I will honor the path you choose to follow. I will watch as you grow your own beautiful wings on the descent of your fall.

I will be here to simply and purely love you… just as you are right now in THIS place.

Love,

Me

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares." ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Humble Servant


I am not great. I am not meant for greatness. I am but a humble servant of God. Flawed, imperfect, sinful servant of God… less of me and more of Him. God is great and I am a vessel for His greatness and for His glory. Through me, others can see God’s Love. Through me, others can see God’s Light. I am not great. I am not meant for greatness. I am simply a humble servant of God’s Light and Love.

God, be great through me.

Monday, May 4, 2015

One, two step… the trail of life and I dance together


As I ascend to the top of the mountain, I focus on each step that is before me. I am in this moment of careful placement of each foot step. When I look at how far I have yet to go to the top, I become overwhelmed and doubt my ability to get there. When I focus on each step, one by one, I have confidence that I will make it. In the moment of my steps, I am in tune with the trail. I step long over this rock, I step short over that hole, I step sideways around that boulder, I step carefully through the rubble… I place my steps one calculated move at a time. The trail and I dance together… one, two step.

Today, I choose to re-focus back to the immediate trail before me… this moment of trail.  Perhaps tomorrow my focus will be taken away from mine and the trails steps and I will begin to stumble… I will misplace my steps… we will trip over one another’s placement.

One, two step.

There are several forks in the road along this trail. Which way do I choose to go? The trail less traveled is rocky. The trail most chosen is worn and smooth. Undoubtedly, I believe, they both reach the same destination… but certainly are a different journey and a different trail and different scenery. One is not better than another. In free will, I get to choose.

Today, I choose the smooth trail. Perhaps tomorrow I will choose the rocky trail… or it will choose me.

One, two step.

There are many people on this same trail as me; working through the same struggles. Some are alone. Some are with others. Some start out with a hiking partner, and then I see them at different paces of their steps… trail blazing alone for a short while. Sometimes I need to do that too; leave my partner behind so that I can figure out my steps on my own. Eventually, we meet back up again. A solo hike is just necessary sometimes.  

Today, I am alone on my trail. Perhaps tomorrow my hike will be with others.

One, two step.

As many times as I have hiked this trail up the mountain, I don’t think it would be possible for me to take the same step twice. Each step is new. Each step is calculated based on the obstacle before me. Yes, the rocks become familiar, but my perspective of the terrain changes. Same trail each day, but different foot placement.

Today, I step left. Perhaps tomorrow I will step right.

One, two step.

I climb higher and higher… reaching the top. My ascent is over. My reward is the perspective of the world from atop the mountain. I can see beyond each step that is before me. I can finally focus my gaze on the horizon and see all around me. This view is temporary. The descent is now before me. I must lower myself and humble myself before the trail yet again. The dance continues… me and the trail together.

Today, I ascend and descend with grace. Perhaps tomorrow the transition will be less graceful.

One, two step.




Saturday, May 2, 2015

Even if it is not enough...


In my darkest of days, in the valleys of life… I wonder…

Am I doing enough as God’s beloved child to love the world?
Am I doing enough as a wife to love my husband?
Am I doing enough as a mom to love my child?
Am I doing enough as a family member to love my family?
Am I doing enough as a woman to love my fellow sisters?
Am I doing enough as a human to love all other humans?

Am I enough? Is my love enough to make a difference?

Most days, probably not.

But I am going to love, even if it is not enough.


 

 

 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Light and Love


Have you ever stood in a room of strangers and paused to take it all in... then, silently wished each and every person collectively Light and Love? Yeah, I hadn’t either… until recently. And once I did, I can’t get enough of it. It is kind of my new thing.

In doing so, I refocused my perspective from seeing everyone as separate to seeing everyone as One. I recognized and identified with the Light God places inside each of us and God’s collective Love for all of His Beloved Children. It was a shift in awareness.  I went from an outsider within a room of strangers… to an insider amongst others who are collectively Light and Love. I went from judgment and forming opinions of people… to love and acceptance of differences. I went from focusing on my self-love… to loving everyone all at once.  I went from being one… to being a part of One Love. I finally experienced and embraced what the Bible teaches about being one.

“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members of another.” ~Romans 12:5

“Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” ~Philippians 2:2
 
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” ~1 Corinthians 12:12
 
Next time you are in a room of strangers, pause and silently wish them all Light and Love. Trust me; you’ll be glad you did!
 
Light and Love to you, my friends! We ARE One!




 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Hot Tea


 

My son was drinking hot tea as he played video games. Can you picture that? Zombie slaying with a spot of tea! Well, in the midst of his killing spree, he spilled his hot tea… trust me, it was more than a spot at that point. By the time it spilled, it was really more like room temperature tea, but, none-the-less, it was all over the living room floor. He broke down crying and screaming; a 12 year old fit.

By the time I realized what was happening and arrived on the scene, he had already lost it. Our foreign exchange student was eagerly trying to help him clean-up the spill. I too rushed in with paper towels. Trying to “embrace THIS moment”, I paused to assess what my son truly needed at that exact moment. I decided the best thing was to send him to his room… he was in hysterics all the way to the slamming of the door behind him.

I cleaned up what I could. I waited for my son to come down from his bedroom; when he was ready. We sat on the stairs and talked about how he could have better handled that situation. I told him I wasn’t upset about the spilled tea… I was upset about how he handled the tea spilling. Then, I handed him the mop. We talked as he mopped up the rest of his spilled tea. I told him sometimes you need to walk away from a situation until you cool off and, then, when you are ready, you can come back to deal with it in a calm manner. I commended him on splendid job of mopping.

Being a Mom, I am always reminded of my relationship with God. I go through things with my son that I KNOW God goes through with me. It reminds me to give my son grace because, Lord knows, I am given more than my fair share. You see, I too cry over spilled hot tea sometimes. Well, maybe not exactly hot tea… but hurt feelings, not getting my way, having to be patient AGAIN… the list goes on and on. In the perspective of eternity, none of these things really matter; just like spilled hot tea doesn’t really matter. Sure, it matters in the heat (or room temperature) of the moment. It matters when you see the hot tea splayed out before you reaching for the carpet… reaching for the walls… reaching for your feet… it matters a whole lot then. But, yeah, it doesn’t REALLY matter.

As I face future challenges in life, this experience is going to be my visual. I am going to ask myself, “Am I crying over spilled hot tea?” Some things are worth our tears. Spilled hot tea is not one of those things.

Monday, April 13, 2015

I have you right where I want you...


 I have been in the waiting place for 3 years now. I make a move, and then I wait. I get a nudge for another move, and then I wait. I get a stirring in my heart and act upon it, and then, you guessed it, I wait some more.  It is like God and I are playing chess; except, He’s the chess Master and I am simply the pawn. My waiting stature stays the same, the scenery or place on the chess board just changes. Sometimes this game is so confusing… I lose my sense of direction in this waiting place. But I am learning to wait more gracefully and be in the moment within this place.

In the midst of vacuuming today, I had a beautiful moment. Maybe it was the hum of the suction and buzz of vacuum’s motor that lulled me into a meditative state. Maybe it was the ordinary moment of the mundane that allowed me to still my mind. Maybe it was doing everything I do (even sucking up popcorn off the couch) as if I was working for the Lord. Whatever it may be, I could hear God whisper into my heart, “I have you right where I want you”.

Aren’t we always in the exact place where God needs us? Aren’t we always right where He wants us? If you are a believer and you have faith in God and you listen for His guidance and wait for His will… then, the answer to those questions is a big ol’ YES! God has us right where He wants us… ALL THE TIME. When it is time for a change, He stirs our hearts, nudges us, and provides opportunities. I’ve said it before, and I will say it a million times again… where He goes, I go… where He stays, I stay. And when I vacuum (or still my mind to hear God’s loving voice), I believe with my entire being that God has me right where He wants me!
 
It’s Your move, God!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Patience in my Waiting Place

"Patience is not simply the ability to wait - it's how we behave while we're waiting." ~Joyce Myer

This quote sums up my journey in life. I have always felt anxious within the confines of my waiting place. I would not settle in that place because I knew change was on the way. So, I waited on the edge of my seat with my running shoes on... ready to sprint into the next chapter or season of life... whenever it finally arrived. It might be a week or it might be a year, but I was going to wait impatiently. I missed a lot of moments  sitting on the edge of my seat and lacing up my running shoes.

That's the thing about life, we are always waiting and life is always changing. After 40 years in this world, I am finally getting it... I have to settle into the waiting place because God is forever making me wait. God makes me wait because He wants me to trust Him instead of trying to control the details of my life. I have to be ALL IN no matter how long or short of a duration I wait because this waiting place IS my life.

I am learning how to behave in my waiting place. Instead of being anxious and filled with fear of the unknown, I am now filled with joy and I trust God in my waiting place. I don't know what tomorrow will bring even when I am not in my waiting place; therefore, no matter what place I happen to reside, I am ALL IN! Patiently waiting... reclined in my seat with bare feet.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pulling The Plug

I grew up believing that the Bible and the life of Jesus were just stories… like that of Jack and the Beanstalk… fairy tales. I had knowledge that others believed them as truth. I just didn’t believe that myself. I wasn’t raised with those truths; therefore, in my mind they were just stories.

 
When believers of those truths would attempt to convince me of the truthfulness within, I would become defensive. Remaining convinced that their truths were a crutch… they were duped into living their lives based on a storybook. I would convict those believers of such truths as weak fools.
 

For the first 30 years of my life I lived with this mentality about God’s truth and the Bible. Although I had a relationship with God, I could not define What or Who that was. I just knew I had a connection with something much bigger than I.
 

I began to ask God questions. Did the Bible have truth? Was there something to these “stories”? Was Jesus just a fictional character? As I asked more and more questions, my mind began to accept what my heart knew all along… the truth about these truths.

 
Questioning my old thought patterns and challenging what I thought was truth, was just what I needed to pull the plug on my guarded heart. That dirty water was too thick to see through to God’s light.  

 
Once the plug was pulled concerning my old beliefs about Christianity, it was just like that of a bathtub plug being pulled. All of my old and dirty thoughts funneled down the drain. I didn’t want to contain them in the porcelain basin of my heart. I wanted to drain the old and ignorant lies out of my heart. I began to challenge all of my old patterns of thinking. If I could be so very wrong about Christianity, what other things could I be wrong about too? How could I replace my old thoughts and beliefs with those that mirror Jesus’ thoughts and beliefs?

  
A few years after the truth about God ricocheted between my heart and my mind, I accepted Christ Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I went from convictor to convicted. This began my journey of healing and becoming a new creation. There are too many blessings to properly count that arose from my acceptance of Jesus… eternal life in heaven being at that top of that too long list. One thing is for certain, the blessings are undeserved.  
 

Pulling the plug on my guarded heart allowed God the space to fill it back up with His Love and the Truth that at one time was just a story to me. The porcelain basin of my heart is now full of clear, clean, and pure water that only comes from a relationship with God.   

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The path is straight and narrow… it is I that is swerving uncontrollably.


When we purchased our current home about 5 years ago, we were delighted to find a bike path with an entrance just a few blocks from our driveway. My family and I love to go for bike rides on this path. At first I would get very nervous entering this bike path because it required squeezing through metal poles protruding from the ground. I suppose these poles are to deter people from driving their motor vehicles on the path… or to ruin my life… not sure which. But I couldn’t simply ride my bike between these poles like the rest of the world. In my mind… I couldn’t fit. I had to disembark my bike and walk it through the poles. The times I did attempt to ride my bike between the poles I would all of a sudden become wobbly like someone just took off my training wheels.
 
One day, when I was feeling brave enough to ride through the poles, I realized the problem was that I was focusing on the actual poles. All of my energy was focused on the obstacles on my right and my left. All of my energy was focused on NOT hitting those metal poles protruding from the ground. This is why my riding was getting wobbly… I was focusing on the obstacles around me. My equilibrium was off. My focal point was not calibrated correctly.

So, the next time I rode my bike between the poles, I decided to do an experiment by focusing on the path in the center of the poles instead of the poles themselves. I rode through without wobbling! I was like an arrow shooting between the poles with confidence… except, on a bike… you get the point, right?
 

For the rest of my bike ride that day, I thought about all the other times in my life when I focused on the obstacles on my right and my left instead of focusing on the path front and center. I thought about how often my equilibrium was off because of this misdirected energy.  And how it made my direction in life wobbly. All I had to do to smooth out the ride was calibrate my focus on the direction of my path instead of the obstacles in life.

 The path is straight and narrow… it is I that is swerving uncontrollably.

When I focus on God… my ride is smooth. Once I take my focus off of God and place it on the obstacles to my right and my left… my ride is wobbly.


I am going for a smooth ride! Please join me!