Monday, November 9, 2015

I don't feel like it

I really don't want to write today.

But I made this commitment to myself and told a few people that my goal was to write daily.  This is the best way for me to stay accountable to the process.

Today my heart feels a little worn, a little haggard, a bit tattered.  The same 'ole same 'ole come back around again to poke and prod at tender places, hurting places, skittish places.

I'm trying to sit with them a little bit and listen to what my heart is saying, processing with God these complicated matters of memories and mistakes and things I cannot change.  It's not an easy place to sit for long because I'm vulnerable and exposed without my walls of self-protection carefully guarding my heart.

Although my allotted writing time is far from up, I'm going to give myself some grace today.  I've also committed to a few other daily habits-to-form like painting and guitar-playing, so I'll give extra time to those today.

Or maybe I'll just take a nap.

Friday, November 6, 2015

About fear

It's sneaky.  Comes in looking like it belongs here, like it has some space to occupy while it does something worthwhile.

Mostly it works on reminding or projecting, working in the past or looking out into the future.  I'm pretty sure it's impossible for fear to live in the present.  It's very nature works on what has happened and what might happen.

It slides in with a small thought.  There was just enough space there between the words and images for it to go and poke at that place and stir up some trouble.

Suddenly the landscape I'm living in changes and I'm viewing things through lenses built on past memories while trying to see what might be coming down the pike and it's almost always worst case scenario.

Fear thrives on that.  It brings to mind that time that mistake was made or that wrong was done and then it super imposes it on some future event and always in a negative light.  Always.  Its colors are dark and drab and dismal and depressed and it never ever brings joy.


Because somehow I can best prepare for some unknown future event by being fearful, worried, scared, afraid and somehow I can stop something from happening by allowing fear to be the lens I make decisions with or relate to people through or spend time spinning plates over.

"And who can add an hour to their life by worry?" asks Jesus.

Because if I could, I'd sure to have days and days of extra time but all fear does is whisk away the present moments and turn gifts into fearful ponderings that steal joy and stuff pain.  I look out and instead of faces I see potential mistakes and a sea of what ifs and why didn't Is and I should haves.  I miss the nuances of light and color and smiles and laughter and hearts with intentions to do the very best that they can.

Fear tricks me into believing that this way of thinking is most helpful and productive AS IF I could turn back time or go forward in time and then come back and fix time and if I take a step back and look at it like that I can see that fear has no rhyme or reason for this present moment I'm living in, at least not the fear that slipped in the door this morning with whispers of worry and doubt.

There is no joy in fear.  None.  Fear sucks the life out of every moment and throws them aside, discarded and unlived.  So why do I keep inviting it back in?

It knocks.  I answer.  It's not like I don't see who it is.  I know fear, and maybe that's why I open that door because fear is what's familiar.  "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't"?

Except I really don't want to party with any devil, fear or otherwise.

So I take a deep breath, take captive my thoughts, say a prayer of thanksgiving, and show fear to the door.  Maybe I'll be quicker tomorrow to send it packing.  Maybe I won't even open the door.

Because I know this, there is no fear in love and love is where I want to live all the days of my life.  Yes there's pain and yes bad things happen, really bad things.  But so do good things.  Lots and lots of good things and I'd rather fill my thoughts and open my eyes to those moments that fill my day.

Love helps me live present, increases joy, promotes true peace, and gives really amazing gifts.

My future is best prepared for when I'm living in the moment I'm in looking for the gifts love brings, opening my heart to the joy of the now, receiving peace that's available to me right now.

Love strengthens.  Love gives hope.  Love builds trust.  Love connects and restores and replenishes and multiplies and crosses miles and oceans and cultures and languages and gives back a thousand times over what it takes to live present, to live now.

Best case scenario with love?  I live present. I get presents.
Worst case scenario with love? I live present. I get presents.

It's a win win.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The fog

The damp gray blanketed the world  as I began my morning routine: boil water, make tea, grab journal and Bible and devotionals and pens.  The day looked as grey as I felt.  Journaling and reading and processing did their work in me but my mood was not lighter, my heart no more brighter than the morning light muted with fog.

With the sun, the fog began to lift, so I slipped my feet into worn sneakers for the walk I knew I needed but didn't really want to take.

I pressed on anyway.

I walked the block to the trail nearby, and as I neared it I noticed the grass looked like glass, tiny droplets of water lining blades transforming each into an iridescent show.  My eyes took note.  My heart began to waken just a bit.  My toes got wet as the drenched grass brushed over my shoes.

Now on the trail I began to pay attention to the places the wet gray blanket had left gifts of beauty: the long stalks of some native grass whose tips criss-crossed with spider webs had become a sprinkling of intricate flowers made of water droplets and finest of threads.  My awareness increased and realization came that what had been a dreary beginning had actually been the makings of a display of intricate design woven throughout the night then dressed in diamonds by the morning fog.

As I continued my walk, I now began to look for more signs of wonder made of gossamer and H2O.  Here, there, everywhere I see the perfectly shaped webs now star-studded, the moisture clinging, weighing down the web as it's creator patiently waits in the center of its masterpiece.

Many mornings I make this walk.  Many mornings I see the trail and the grass and the trees.  Occasionally I glimpse a magnificent web yet unbroken by breakfast.  But never have I seen so many arrayed in such splendor.

I breathe in the moment knowing that what at first appeared to be a blanket of dreary grey had now become the very substance that transformed an ordinary walk into an extraordinary holy moment.

This day at this moment in time revealed a gift I couldn't have anticipated finding had I not pressed through the perspective that wanted to wrestle my heart to the ground, the despairing voice in my head saying: haven't you had enough fog in your life, haven't you been in this season long enough, isn't it time for something to change.  And yes, and yes, and yes...but NOW I have experienced that the fog leaves a gift if I'm willing to wait, if I'm willing to see, if I'm ready to appreciate.

Makes the fog I've lived with for so long now different somehow....  It's no longer something to suffer under, to whine over, to despair about... It's become a master artist at work on a gallery so resplendent my heart must expand to receive it in all its glory.

There's beauty coming...are you ready?

Isaiah 40:31 AMP But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.