Sunday, April 27, 2014

To be sure

I came across an old post by one of my favorites on what it means to want to know people and also not.
I like writer Emily Freeman for many reasons but especially when she puts to words how I am a walking contradiction most days.
Emily talks about what it might mean to live in a room by ourselves. Yeah, we think we want that, but we don't...most of the time anyway.
Most of the time we want to know others and be known, or that's what we're striving for. Unless that's scary and exciting, which it is. Unless it's difficult and messy, unless friendships and true, real relationship and communing with others might be the best thing and also the hardest.
We go through seasons, I think. Seasons when there's confusion in the midst of joy -- or is that all the time?
Seasons where we feel like pulling back but eventually, messiness and all, we come back to life, all over again.
Friendship is one of God's best gifts to us...To.Be.Sure.
I write about it when I should be sleeping and I remember again that it's true.
linking with lisa-jo for five minute friday on friend

Sunday, April 20, 2014

In between

It's the in between Saturday and Sunday when I sit down to write this. It's almost Sunday. Almost.

Just like waiting for the resurrection, I understand the middle ground of uncertainty. I wrote about living life in this mostly uncomfortable, confusing middle space one year for 31 days. I think it left me with more questions about living life in the in between and in waiting.

I asked my dad recently if everything was going to be okay in the end. Not very theological but it's the kind of question my heart begs to ask more than I'd like to admit, it seems. Maybe we ask that question when we are afraid something is not going to be okay in the end? He told me not to worry...and it would be okay in the middle, too.

I know it's not that easy. Things are not okay, they are not as they will be one day yet. But I can live knowing the resurrection is true and Sunday living can be my reality even though Saturday waiting and uncomfortable confusion is all over.

Even if things are not okay, even if there is yearning between Friday and Sunday, Jesus meant it when he said 'it is finished.'

By the time I finish this, it's Sunday already. If I let my heart remain open, I can be amazed at newness of life and all He is doing in this place. Time quickly passes from what seemed lost to what has been found.

Happy Easter, friends!

linking with emily for imperfect prose

Friday, April 11, 2014

The year of paint

Art is like life. Messy and beautiful, but mostly messy. And confusing. Especially if it's my art. What is that is a common question asked, because I do awkward things like give away paintings as birthday gifts even though I have just as much artistic talent as I had in sixth grade and oh yeah, I've started to hang canvas paintings on the walls. It's delightful. And awkward. Only when new people come over. I thought it seemed just fine until I got the questions and looks.

Isn't that like life? So many questions. Art confuses me because it is undefined. I like words because they give me boundaries. Words are something I understand.

I don't understand art. Painting. And yet, I've become drawn to it.

I'm drawn to the way I don't have to be perfect and there is a freedom in messing with color and doing something that is so not me that you almost have to laugh. Something that is not you can become you if you're not careful. AKA there are canvas paintings all over the place.

I'm all for considering the ways we can make art with life (read this book for more on that!) and the beauty of risking with creativity, but let's be honest, I'm still not very visually artistic. This is okay. I will keep on painting and believe me, it has been the year for paint. Let me know if your birthday is coming up, I will be sure to paint you a picture.

linking with lisa-jo for my fave prompt, PAINT

Friday, April 4, 2014

Stories are not for writers

I go to Improv class and afterwards we get coffee, to talk about Improv and our hopes and dreams (naturally). We don't put it like that though, but we talk about things like acting and writing, the things that naturally spill over into conversation when you get people together who have had to make fools of themselves for six weeks and so the need to celebrate surviving that goes without saying.

It wasn't that bad, we decide. It's hard, we conclude. It's fun and helps us look toward the things we're interested in doing. Like acting. For them, not me. They tried to get me to join a talent agency. I told them "no" because I am getting good at saying no. And they laughed.

I told them I'm a writer.

I think we concluded from the meeting that we all have a lot of dreams, some of which include becoming a professional actor.

Some of us are just fine without that dream.

I've met people who think I love entertaining, the spotlight. I actually don't.

I love stories.

Sometimes there are undercover reasons for doing what we do. I love stories and people and seeing where life intersects with faith.

That's what spurs me on as a writer.

But stories are not just for writers.

Stories are for people and they can remind us who we are.

It just so happens I am a writer and my story reminds me of that.

It takes some people a year to write a book, it's taken me a lifetime.

It's taken me my whole life to unravel my own story -- and it's still unraveling. It's taken letting go of expectation and seeing what's behind people and places to learn that the best stories come from a million different voices telling tales of love and friendship and heartache and fragileness.

I ask one of my new Improv friends about his journey living in Columbia. As he describes it, one of the others interrupts and shouts, "She's writing her book right now! I can see it."

I don't realize I do this, I write my book as I go about my day.

It's not just for writers to tell their stories.

But a writer has a unique job. I gather up stories and embrace them like a favorite present. Stories are a lasting gift. Not just a fad people enjoy talking about in writing circles now. 

Words can be bridge builders, if we let them. Our lives can point back to hope, if we find it.

Linking with Lisa-Jo for five minute friday

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Guest Post at Finding Heaven: Gelato on the Side of the Road

I'm excited to be a guest blogger today at Finding Heaven, my friend Jen's place, sharing about a sweet treat called gelato. That's right, a whole post about gelato. Because it's wonderful. It's also an ooey, gooey mess and teaches me to do my real living now.

I looked at my watch and the lady asked “for here or to go?” I hesitated, remembering past experience, but not enough to stop me from saying, “to-go.

The sunny day made today perfect for ordering gelato after lunch. A treat I don’t normally have, but something I love. Unsure when winter was going to call a truce with spring, I was ready for a little lemon berry fun.

I forgot what it was like to take gelato to-go.
If you ever get in a situation like this, you will need to remember three important tips.

Let's talk about gelato some more...join me at Jen's!