Friday, September 28, 2012

Red Crayons

I get a little sense of something sweeter that catches me amidst my mind going a mile a minute, everything I need to do, even as I need to be resting. "Is she sleeping?" my friend's littlest boy asks.

Then, "Do you like blue?"

I'm caught in a deep train of "this is my life" conversation. The all important, 'what-color-do-you-like' trumps it but I don't hear him the first two times he asks.

Yes, I like blue. But, maybe I don't stop to see blue.

Blue crayons. Red crayons.

"Do you like red?" he asks, looking down at the red crayons.

This time I'm ready. "Yes, I like red."

I watch a hot air balloon in the sky.  I've often thought it would be neat to take a ride in one of those. To see the world zipping by below from a balloon! 

What would it be like to be moving sloooow and see the world below moving so fast? I may not come down...:)

Life is the gift. It's like dandelion dust. When you try and grasp at it, you lose it. It flies through your fingers.

Linking up with other ladies on a Friday writing for five minutes on the topic of grasp. Join in to see what others are talking about here.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Letter to Teenage Me

Dear Teen Me,
I know you think because you’re young that it’s weird that you still love things you thought you’d have given up by now, like an imagination, journaling, telling stories. Don’t give up on them. Or your dreams. They are central parts of you.

It’s okay that you want to make meaning out of things, out of life. That will come in handy someday, although don’t forget you’re not in control. Say it again, you don’t hold everything in control. Sometimes things will happen. You’ll want to make meaning out of it. You’ll ask why about 500 times, partly because it’s been your favorite question since you could talk and partly because you like the challenge that somehow, somewhere, you might understand. Don’t worry so much when you don’t understand.

You will have people in your life who help you when you don’t understand. You will have people in your life who understand you, and the need you have at this time to understand. This will help you later when you start to learn a bit more about the One who understands you more than anyone else, even more than you know yourself. He is good, He knows what He’s doing with your life. You can trust Him. He wants to know you personally and show you in a daily, close kind of way that He loves you. You may not know the extent of what this means for you and your life just yet, but you will soon.

There is a lot more to people than meets the eye. Spend a little more time and read a few more pages on those folks that you might want to write off. Laugh more. Keep laughing. Don’t take yourself so seriously. You’ll find laughing is one of the things that helps you most when life is hard, or painful, and keeps you remembering that this crazy, beautiful world and life are full of gifts.

You will grow up to know who your true friends are.  It’s okay to let them see you when you don’t look your best. Or when you’re hurting. There will be days like that. It’s good to let them in. It’s okay when you have to leave some friends but many will still remain. God knows your heart for friendship.

Your life thus far is a pure gift, but it's not just about the things you're picturing and thinking about now. I know you played a lot of M.A.S.H.  on the school bus. Yes, it was fun, but life doesn’t quite work like that. You can’t predict with the turn of a game what life will be like.  It’s better that way, though.

I’m sure you’re not surprised that a decade later that you’re not living in a mansion. However, I'll let you wait to check out the place you never want to move from and stay in for years after college. :)
Final words: You're beautiful.  You're His beloved. Don't forget that! You'll learn what true beauty is later in life, but for now, think about the truth that you're made in the image of God. Beautiful and beloved. His cherished daughter. Nothing else matters in light of remembering what He says about you.

*So today, I'm linking up with Emily Freeman and others who have written a letter to their teenage self in light of Emily's new book Graceful, for young women (super excited about another book by Emily).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Word Splurge

I had so much fun the other night with my dear friend Sarah, from SheMarksInRed, when we got to talking about blogging and life, and I think some wildlife adventures and cartwheels and peeping around occurred, errr..I mean we were coming back from a walk late at night when we must have gotten turned around. Our eyes were our cameras as we spotted deer and the pretty night sky. No swimming or water this time.

And it's been fun watching my friend embrace her role of wife, one that seems not-quite-so-new because the happy couple fit together so well. The last time we did a little link-up, she was squealing with delight (okay, using dramatic effect here) - she was excited to be almost getting married. We thought it would be fun to do another one now because some time had passed.

If you are single, how has having married friends helped balance out your perspective? How about you married folk with your single friends?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"A Way To See in The Dark" : Jason Gray

“I write the songs that I most need to hear” – Jason Gray

I came across an interview with singer/songwriter Jason Gray and what he says is so good.

I've written about Jason's songs on here before from his album "A Way to See in the Dark." I love the words and music to his songs.

Today, if you have a few minutes listen in on the adversity in his life that has helped him with ministering to people and have the message he does. Also, see what is behind the lyrics and the message of freedom in Christ and the love of a God who creates us for more than fear, doubt, darkness. A God who is crazy about us and loves us.

"Don't let go in the dark to the dreams God gave you in the day." -my sweet friend Mandy, a few years ago in a birthday card.

Believe, believe believe.

You are made for more.

Friday, September 7, 2012

grace-full. what the world thinks?

To be totally sincere in my life and background, I'll be up front to say I've watched a lot of Seinfeld in day. One of the take-a-ways from it though, is to hear the Five Minute Friday topic of grace, and be able to remember instantly that there was a skit done once on the show about grace. I think it's important to look into life and culture at times and see how others view and are talking about the ideas that we think about and talk about in the church and as believers in Christ.

So often it seems there's a separation that goes on, but we are not the only ones talking about the subject of grace, and not the only ones in need of it.

Thankfully, there's great books being written on the topic that I think can reach people far in wide and perhaps bridge a gap and reach people in middle of their mess and lives and touch their hearts..and I think people take notice to what grace is and isn't.

Grace isn't something you make people feel bad about, like it's only for special people. Grace isn't about being good enough.
Grace isn't a word exclusive for churched people.

Grace is a gift
It is freedom
It gives life
It comes from God  ....

More on this later

Linking up for Five Minute Friday!

*Be sure to check out some more info on Emily P. Freeman's new book, Graceful

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I finished a book a couple weeks ago called "Bittersweet." I thought a lot about it as I read and finished it though because it made me more aware of the fact that we need both the 'bitter' and the 'sweet' in life to make us whole.

You know when you eat too much cake and you need to wash it down with something a little more sour, bitter, salty? Okay, maybe you're a frosting kind of gal/guy. Frosting basically makes me sick anyway, but the point is, we know something is a little off-kilter when a whole diet is made up of Coke and ice cream sandwiches. It's too much.

The reality of our heartbeat as humans is that there is a broken, beautiful mixture going on all around us reminding us to soak it all up and not forget either part. We've known for awhile something is wrong. Sorrow and hurt this side of heaven is real. Pain and loss has a face in nearly everyone's life at some point.

However, there is redemption happening too. We see that in the sweet, celebratory parts of life, too. Births and the rebirth of our souls. Friendships and parties and kids growing up. Author Shauna Niequist talks about what happens when we let ourselves in on the experience of these parts of life and being thankful in both. 

I don't know where you are tonight but the idea that God's mercy is a flood washing over it all, giving us what we need and meeting us during our 'bitter' or 'sweet' times, gives me hope and fills me with joy that God knows us and sees us right where we are.

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

-Lamentations 3:22-23

*Have you ever felt like God met you at a time of need? What did that look like?

(Side note: this is a great book.
I'm entirely biased because I'm all about the topics she talks about..

"Change: it's good, in the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good."

-you don't have to always get things right. -dreams are good. -creating is wonderful.
 -grace is more than you thought it was. -being in community is life-giving. -we need to know who our people are. -pain is a part of life but difficult. 

I would recommend the book. If you get it and like it, it couldn't hurt to underline parts that stand out to you. I do this sometimes.
More than half of any of Shauna's books are underlined).

Monday, September 3, 2012

Multitudes on Monday: Seeing

I don't like to talk about writing like it's just another activity I do. Sometimes when life gets busy, it hurts a little because I feel like I have to 'fit' writing in, but I'm thankful writing is like breathing for me most of the time. It's just words on a page, something that comes out when it needs to and I just let it work itself out, even if there's literal background noise or just the clamor of my life happening and it begs to distract me.

The butter fizzles on the stove and I hurry to punch the keys.

There's a rainstorm and the ceiling stats leaking and what was I doing before that happened? Writing a blogpost. One I didn't quite finish yet. It said something about seeing more. And about God being a God Who Sees - El Roi.

He's not caught by surprise. Even when I am.

I write about Jacob, wrestling with God. How he wants to see the blessing, find the blessing, through the struggle.

I write about ...writing? Even if that doesn't make sense, I'm thankful for the gifts He gives,

after the rain, when all is quiet and there's time for settling.

I prayed I could SEE more. That I could actually start to begin to see what God might be showing me.

I'm all about words. Words words words. Pictures and seeing and looking is harder for me.

Counting gifts is sometimes still hard because I don't always see rightly. I listen, I dream, I read, I learn. I don't always look.

God is teaching me how to see.

141. Sunday afternoon laziness for a change.
142. My 'home team' as Shauna Niequest puts it.
143. We are not without hope!
145. Remembering what travel feels like
146. Beach day, meeting new friends
147. Hanging with a church friend who also loves Europe :)
148. Tennis - need I say more?
149. Apartment leaks
150. My grandma!