Walking

Faith & Spirituality, Random Musings, Writing

“You seem kinda sad lately.”

I guess I am, but not in a sad, sad sort of way. More of a brooding, a contemplation of sorts.

I miss my younger self, raison d’être blazing, a badge across my heart. I spend much more time waiting now. For what? Something? Anything? What I do doesn’t define who I am except when doing is all that gets done.

Deep within my soul, kindling waits for courage. Each individual spark of promise drowned in a slow steady drizzle of fear and rationality. I know He carries burdens, but their weight is such a familiar comfort in my arms.

I must find the sacred in the everyday, but some days are decidedly less sacred. The promise whispers still, “There is something more. You are something more. This is something more.”

Something more but a glimpse, heaven meeting earth in a sink of dirty dishes. Rejoicing in the enough of my Heavenly Father’s provision demands not settling, but embracing.

I can’t give my life away if I never embrace it for the gift it is. For me, for the Kingdom, all at once. This beautiful and holy existence, both in spite of and because.

The time has come to walk, each step strengthening my stride, flint striking steel.

Summer’s gone, Winter’s turn,
Sunshine fleeting, nights get long.
In stillness, a heart beating
Listens for dawn’s sweet song.
Curled up by the fire’s light,
Easily burned, there’s pain.
Endlessly, time marches on
Nothing stays the same.
Night unrolls glittering wares,
A blanket, specially made.
Pinpricks of hope pierce the dark
Until even darkness fades.
At last, fleeting at first,
The melody gets strong.
So familiar, you realize
You were singing all along.

A Winter Song

Poetry, Writing

Abide In Me

Devotionals, Faith & Spirituality, Writing

We entered into a season of waiting this summer. Resting and preparing our hearts, waiting on what God has next. As a generally impatient person who likes to be in control of her own destiny, novelty turned into agony.

I tried to question His timing. Was there a lesson I was supposed to learn? A sinful behavior I was burying? Something I was supposed to do or say?

But through it all, Jesus was whispering in my ear, “Abide in ME.” And I tried to abide, but some days anxiety got the best of me, and doubt, and even fear. Maybe I was wrong about this whole moving thing? Maybe, like Abraham, my time of waiting would stretch from seasons into years.

I had this dear sweet picture in my head of abiding, where I thought abiding meant resting. Sitting on my laurels and catching my breath. But it doesn’t. Abiding is a deliberate act of acceptance. When I abide in Christ, I accept His will. His timing.

The Greek word for “abide” in John 14:5 is ménō, a primary verb also used to mean dwell, sojourn, remain, continue, endure, stand, be present, and thine own. Abiding in Christ, then, is four-fold.

First, it implies place. When I dwell in Christ, it is as a shelter. I flee there and seek to remain. There, in the safety of His embrace, I am held and kept continuously. “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’” (Psalm 91:1-2).

Second, abiding in Christ involves time. When I abide in Christ, He enables me to continue. I last in Christ. I endure in Christ. I survive in Christ. I LIVE in Christ. Without this abiding, my life line is cut. I can make it only so far for so long on my own. “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26).

Next, abiding in Christ refers to a state of being. Together, we remain as one. Remaining in Christ is not easy, though. The world would love to be the object of my attentions and my affections. It’s easy enough. I give in to a little anxiety here, spend all my time pursuing my hobbies, and voila! Pretty soon, I am trying to be the master of my destiny all over again. Abiding in Christ and allowing the Lord direct my steps is key. “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Lastly, abiding in Christ references an awaiting. When I abide in Christ, I am waiting. Not only waiting to ride out the storms of this life, waiting for what comes next, but looking patiently forward to Jesus’ return. “It is good. The Eternal One is good to those who expect Him, to those who seek Him wholeheartedly” (Lamentations 3:25).

Abiding in Christ requires accepting Christ as my own. Through my faith in Him, I am a child of God, “putting on Christ, like putting on new clothes” (Galatians 3:26-27).

And so as I abide, I dwell in Christ. As I endure, I stand firm in Christ. And even as I remain in this present moment, I am fully waiting in Christ, whispering into those stars of promises fulfilled, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

The Ending

Faith & Spirituality, Writing

Endings have always, always been hard for me. I struggle with letting go, with saying no. I hate when good books end (especially when a series draws to a close) and time and distance and life endlessly battle my status quo. Yet, in this long goodbye, this season of leaving, I want to be one who embraces the ending. Because without endings there are no new beginnings.

Sometimes, though, the endings are so sad. And my own life feels so small. But even in those moments of sadness and smallness when we can’t see past our own circumstances, God is still very much good. And very much love. And very much for us. The poet Kahlil Gibran penned, “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”

And so in this last night in our home, I am pondering all of the memories made and love and friendship shared. Sorrow embraced, not ruefully, but in gratitude for all the life that has been lived here as I look forward to the joy which lies ahead. It’s happening now, and I am oh-so excited to see it.

Eternal One: “Don’t revel only in the past,
or spend all your time recounting the victories of days gone by.
Watch closely: I am preparing something new; it’s happening now, even as I speak,
and you’re about to see it. I am preparing a way through the desert;
Waters will flow where there had been none” (Isaiah 43:18-19, VOICE).

A Letter to Our Home’s New People

Writing

Hello, Friends,

I guess that’s how I think of you, friends, not the impersonal signatures on the line, other party to a transaction that this process lends itself to. But I want you to know that I consider you friends, because I have been praying for you, for the family that will make what’s been our home, truly yours. And it’s so hard to not consider you friends when I picture all of the joy and heartache, struggles and triumphs that are to be shared among us, not in the same moment in time, but within the same walls and under the same roof.

As you know, it is an old house, and she comes with her own unique charms and challenges, but we just want you to know that overall this house has been such a good home to us, and we worked so hard to make sure that at hand off, it becomes a good home for you as well. And in the process we learned not just about houses, but so much more about ourselves, and about each other.

Love flourishes most when you are steadfast to one another, but open to growth and flexible yourself, and there is no greater test for these qualities than when you decide to fix up an old house! (You haven’t truly lived and loved until date night involves painting while listening to a mystery novel on tape. Trust us…)

But there came a point when we realized that we were being prepared for something new, called to something else. And when that call comes, we must all decide whether we’re going to cling to our current ideal of home, comfortable and warm and oh-so known, or trust and follow. Because I’m learning, and it’s such a painful lesson at times, when I cling tightly to the known and things of the past, my hands aren’t open for the blessing to come.

And though it’s bittersweet, we leave you with this house, this home, where babies and a marriage grew up. Where life happened, and nearly ten years worth of laughter and love soaked into each and every room, turning this house into a home. Where we leaned into and held tightly to each other, because there is nothing else in this world worth holding on to.

We hope you enjoy bonfires in the backyard, coffee on the front porch, and delighting in the wildness of the world right out the windows. We hope the hummingbirds return to the rhododendron this year and the garden continues to produce a ridiculous amount of tomatoes. We hope you love walking into downtown for ice cream or dinner or to catch sunset at the beach.

May you find a welcoming space to continue this legacy of love and happiness, turning this house into a home for your family. Make it your own, for there is always room for change and growth. Memories and life await.

We wish you all the best!

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Stage Left

Poetry, Writing

You don’t define me,

Confine me,

Fold up my hopes

And press my dreams

So they fit into your box.

Neat lines aren’t my song.

Each judgment a nail

Sealing my coffin,

And my mouth,

You hope.

But I was made for more,

Much more.

more hoping

more dreaming

more doing

As I open my sails

and cast for the

Great Unknown,

The adventure of life abundant,

Wind at my back,

Joy filling my lungs,

I laugh freely

That you ever thought

I was meant a bit part,

Stage left,

As you stole the show.

Taste & See

Faith & Spirituality, Poetry, Writing

PicLab

Setting forth in the direction He’s called,

Ready to dance among the stars.

The weight of the world lifts at last

As I follow with my whole heart.

Feel the sunshine on your hair, girl?

Those raindrops on your tongue?

Smell the sweet, cool air of mountains?

Sand tickling toes as you run?

Traveling this road of promise,

Paved with only the greatest of loves,

I feel and taste and smell and see

The goodness of my Father above.