Friday, June 28, 2013

7 Things I Learned in June

I think I learned and discovered a lot of different things in June (many of which came from my Ohio adventures). This may have happened because I paid more attention this month. I knew I would be linking up with Emily and others. What a gift to stay awake to what is in front of you. If only I can remember to live this every day!

Check it out and join in...


1. Sea glass. We've wondered for awhile what people were up to by Lake Erie waters. I decided to try to join in the fun. I'm still a novice!
 
 

2. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is chock-full of goodies.

Music Legends. Interactive videos and music. Learning about people because apparently I know only a little about the musicians I hear all the time (I like oldies).



I came away with a harmonica from the Rock and Roll store. I almost bought a maraca.
"Is this how it's supposed to sound?" I ask my dad, playing the harmonica. "Not really," he says. I think I'm onto something. I like it a lot.

3. Wearing a shirt that says "Don't Hate" is a good conversation starter. I specifically love it when sweet, older people call my shirt "foolishness," warmly, of course.



4.


Neighbors really love to help you out and warn you and your friends of impeding tornados so you will get out of the pool. The moral of this story is neighbors are great and community in various forms is good for the heart.

5. Songza. I discovered it this month, from a friend. Enough said.


6. I like airports. Though 'traveling' itself is not always my friend, I love the experience and adventure. I met a new friend who worked in an airport cafĂ© when it was slow on a Saturday morning and it seemed we shared some things in common (i.e.: we both wondered 'why is everyone bustling around the airport on a given Saturday morning?'/ 'we would not be up if we didn't have to be') and we share things that are different like she was from a different country and her life sounded interesting with what seemed like a brilliant four-year-old girl but also so hard because she had to work constantly.


7. I might be getting a Southern accent. Someone in the North told me, so it must be true.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Good Thing About Clocks Lying

And of all things, the clock in the room is slow. I mean, someone kept it that way. It's not fast, and it's not on time. It's slow. I had no idea until just now.

When do we ever let time slow us?

But it's fitting. Clocks like these could cause a calamity for some. But, it's a week of telling myself there is no rush. So, I'll let the clock tell me its time-lie for the night. I'm on my Midwestern vacation, you know, where you order tea and it comes unsweet, where somehow the summer, without fail, is scorching hot, where you find an afternoon storm that only lasts 30 minutes, not to disrupt the very nice sunbathing.

It's Monday (according to my clock!) and I keep longing for seeing those gifts that are everywhere. 

I long for beauty. It's hard still. There are moments and days I'd rather let pass by without doing this. It's not natural for me most of the time. I can see the good, but then I also find when I can't see the good. Then there's my dad, quick to see the good or offer it in most any situation.

I pray my pulse will be filled with much more wonder and awe and much less frantic flurry.

206. ohio- pictures from the airplane!
207. time away
208. the sleep/eat/sleep/eat pattern when you need some days of rest.
209.. moonlit nights, the brightest moon
210. grace-giving family
211. soaking up the lake
212. colorful lake/sunset
213. movies that never get old
214. songza music-love
215. familiar places/ new adventures /surprising yourself/ people who surprise you




linking up with aholyexperience

Monday, June 17, 2013

When You Have Nothing To Say (And It Shocks People)

It seems like over the course of lately, I've wanted to hush things a little.

*It may even be time for a little bloggy break. Just a small one.

I may pop in here and there, but it's summer and vitamin d and going to see my family and it looks like it might be good to work on a couple other writing projects and then check back in with y'all soon.


 
:::I need space in my days and weeks and months to think and mull and ponder. Even as I have cut back on appointments and outings and commitments, I still find myself awake past my bedtime to simply soak in the quiet. My soul needs space. And it doesn’t come easy. It doesn’t come without a price and it doesn’t come on its own.
I have to make it come. Because life is messy and fluid and maddeningly unpredictable.:::
-Emily Freeman
 

This sounds so simple. It's not, but I get it. I get the simply soaking part. I get the staying up too late and just needing quiet.

I get that life is 'maddeningly unpredictable' and if we just say that out loud, it might help us see that it is not up to us in the end. It is not up to me. Even when I want it to be, even when I think I can hold things together nicely somehow, thank you very much.

God is the one fighting for us. Oh, this is beautiful and I am so thankful for this truth. He fights for us --for me, too -- when I have difficulty being still, when life is in transition, when not-where-we-want-to-be is the space we get to be in and we think we know better what we need. And, when things are good and sweet and there's pie every day.

Slowly, in all this, trust falls off our own shoulders and things start to get quieter.

When one is dried out and needs a break, it is good to admit when you'd rather listen than talk. Rather hear what God has to say than the words you have to say...

So I am deciding to give myself space and say less.

My dad might appreciate this. Or fall over in his chair. He is forever listening to me. Thank you, Dad, for being you. I love you. Thank you for genuinely caring for and loving people for who they are.

A belated link up for five minute Friday : Listen

*I love you guys. I'll be back soon!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

In Which I Remember the Lilacs

So I got to thinking, where have the lilacs been this year? They are my favorite. And maybe I just haven't seen them. Haven't been looking.
 
grateful {#206-214}
::: People who believe in me, skype, friends coming over to visit!, Hursey's BBQ, time to rest, people who work in schools and have interesting things to share, all things yellow, produce stands.
Oh, and books about how God redeems with the journey of eating with joy, despite how complicated it can be for many of us at times, to say the least. :::
 
Emily's having a give-a-way. Hmm, I'm seeing a current theme here in book-land (as in, I am finally ordering Bread and Wine, too). Maybe it's just me and these books are lovely as the time has come for joy to wake up again in that place. And again.
You see, the story is I had thought that I found the answer. Isn't that usually where we go off track? After experiencing what it was to care much too much about food and eating and all the problems that causes, I told myself never again. I didn't want to be a 'health nut' anymore because that = sickly to me, and all I wanted was to be normal. But being 'normal' can be a false identity, too.  I can't really flush this out right now; it is so late and my eyelids are drooping, and for some reason I write into the morning when I should be sleeping.
Here is a prayer by Brennan Manning {I love this, so I wanted to share it}:
Lord Jesus...give us the grace to admit we are ragamuffins, to embrace our brokenness, to celebrate Your mercy when we are at our weakest, to rely on Your mercy no matter what we may do. Dear Jesus, gift us to stop grandstanding and trying to get attention, to do the truth quietly without display, to let the dishonesties in our lives fade away, to accept our limitations, to cling to the gospel of grace, and to delight in Your love. Amen.
When I was young, I would run and play and I could not miss the lilacs. Every year, they bloomed by the side of my house. I knew they would be back again. When does one stop looking for them?
Linking up with Ann and Imperfect Prose and concrete words --- Happy Monday/Tuesday!

Friday, June 7, 2013

From the Fall

All I can say today is that it's Friday and I made it. You made it, too!

There's spring back in my step. Take that fear, who actually screams louder sometimes than what we are facing. For when the (almost) forgotten, that-bad migraines of my past cropped up again this week and rallied to take me down, down, down for the count, I  prayed that place of living-scared would not win.


I admit my mind and heart stood (layed) there scared for a moment. That's okay. On my list of things that terrify me, it's horrible headaches.

Fears are real. But we don't have to give them power and they don't get to win.

I am not superwoman and don't ever want to be.  

God is good and His strength and power is stronger. I can trust Him.

 
When these hard moments or seasons are over, we can look back and see what He was doing in the wilderness. And right now, all we can do is move in faith.
 
"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." - Isaiah 43:19
 
Sometimes the wilderness is unfamiliar territory. If that's the case, hold on! Hope and believe He hems you in behind and before, lays His hand upon you. I know what it is to perceive only dry wasteland. Believe the truth that the fall, even if it happens, will bring good in your life somehow.
 
The fall is so hard. I've been there...I've been there. I ache knowing how painful a fall is.
 
But I almost would not recognize the spring and jump now when I move and my voice that is full and alive again if not for the fall.
 
May there be a Spring (and Summer), too, for you who have known so many Falls.

 


From the album Fall - Jon Foreman, "Cure for the Pain"



A replay: From the album Spring and Summer


Here a gathering of writers link up to share words for five minutes every Friday. No overthinking or perfecting...Mine was a little longer today. Join in! 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Things I've Seen in June

The end of May/beginning of June is all clumping together right now.

Nevertheless, here is a list of what I have seen and heard so far in June.

1 . (#201) A beautiful sunset after a storm



2. (#202) A place called Lumpy's

Honeysuckle, oatmeal raisin, cherry chip, some kind of trail mix, happy hippie.

Okay, so Lumpy's has an assortment of strange, fun names for ice cream but I only remembered happy hippie. Possibly because I like to talk about how swell it would be to live in the country someday, on a farm, with lots of trees, and maybe chickens, and walk around barefoot. I say these things as I wear a yellow sundress that makes me look like a dandelion.

{Thank you, Lumpy's worker who is also lactose intolerant, for reminding me that maybe eating a kiddie size ice cream wouldn't kill me.}
 
3. (#203) Today's quote from the devotional, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young, and the reminder that it is His strength, not my own, that is my trust.

"Welcome challenging times as opportunities to trust Me. You have Me beside you and My Spirit within you, so no set of circumstances is too much to handle. When the path before you is dotted with difficulties, beware of measuring your strength against those challenges."

The way to walk through demanding days is to grip My hand tightly...
Regardless of the day''s problems, I can keep in perfect peace as you stay close to Me."

Isaiah 26:3

4. (#204) "Your Calling is Closer Than You Think." Relevant Magazine

This post has me on a rabbit trail of thoughts.

The other day I wanted to write a post called "The Art of Saying I Don't Know."

 Which may be why I love this quote...

"It takes discipline to say "I don't know." It takes faith to trust in one-day-at-a-time. It requires me to lay down my desperate, freakish desire for control and trust He is at work." -Karen Yates

But, also, I so often need to lay down my 'freakish desire for control.' 

Oddly enough, I've recently stopped saying 'I don't know' in reply to questions about the future. I have learned that when you say 'I don't know' when people ask you about what you hope to do, it seems you have no opinions. That's not true. I have quite a few.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, one of my very first friends I met the week I moved to North Carolina six and a half years ago (faithful friend!). And she told me how she looks at this season of her life in a way of not really knowing what to expect and how she's at a place of not trying to plan everything anymore. 

I understood that. There's something okay about that. Even though I still sometimes feel  I'm losing by living in the everyday. Deep down though, I'm learning it's okay; I'm learning to trust. 

Even though I still fear at times. Even though my 'freakish desire for control' wages war against me. Even though I want to trust in my own way. These things don't work. And don't bring life.

It doesn't mean never plan. It does mean I must change my expectation that something and everything should a certain way.

We are called to live in the place where God has us now.

I keep seeing how life comes after death. 

"Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." John 12:24

Falling to the ground is not a welcomed place for me. I have been thinking a lot about what it is to fall to the ground and why this is hard. How I often use nice words and am hopeful that in falling down I still can repair the damage. But it's God who pulls me up from myself, and there, beautifully, He gives me life. 

After we are pulled from our self-sufficiency, we begin to see we cannot do things the old way. Sometimes we go back to what we think we need, but this never lasts. There is a letting go that happens, if we'll only receive, in His grace, to find what - who - we really need.

Sometimes living in the now looks or feels like a death, like something is lost. We think it is going to be all sunny days and when it's not, we wonder why. Everyday is often really good, but everyday can also (often) be hard.

You cannot just say you will choose to live in the everyday unless you acknowledge there are both.


5. (#205)  This band's sound

I like folk-ish music.

That's all.

I'm linking up with Emily for Imperfect Prose and Ann for Multitudes on Monday, to remember to look and see redemption (everywhere). Because the place I need to see it most sometimes is in this moment, and right in my own heart.