Sunday, February 12, 2017

Walking the trail

I learn so much from walking on trails.

I went for a hike today. I've been on it once before but that time I was with friends and I was walking + talking a lot.

This time, by myself, the initial adventure was in finding the path and trail to take. The trails were thankfully clear, but they were windy on the mountain. It also looked like I could choose many different paths.

I decided to pick one and set off. I had to pay attention because there were people out everywhere. One biker lost no speed racing down the hill past me as I jerked out of the way at just the right second to avoid a wipe out.

I find myself to be a quiet wanderer on hikes many times. Not always, because there are times I'm actually trying to get a workout or I walk with others. But other times, I see trails and trees (or shrubs and rocks as we have in Phoenix) as a place of discovery and leaning into what God may be showing me.

Today, I am reminded that I am often like the bike racer who needs to slow down as to avoid wipe outs.

The quiet inside the trails reminds me how God teaches me to walk through life. Keep stepping, keep stepping, one little foot in front of the other, up through the rocks, down the hill, yes you can pick a little longer trail but you gotta pace yourself, it's okay to run through it sometimes because the trail is more fun that way, and sometimes you just stop and breathe and laugh at how easy it is for you to lose yourself in the moment. All the things.

Thank you mountain trails for stilling me, God for showing me my smallness and your greatness yet again, and how to set my pace - yet again - and biker-man for not running me over.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Don't have to worry bout a single thing

You are drawing near

you are overwhelming me with peace

you're going to carry me through everything.

your voice is saying

you're going to carry me through everything.

don't have to worry bout a single thing.

you're going to carry us through everything.

-Ellie Holcomb, "Find You Here"

Ellie says she needs to sing these songs. "I need to sing these for my own soul. Its what David didn't the Psalms. He bosses his soul around in song. 

In another time and space, I think I would be a singer.

Instead, I do what I sense God calling me to do in my own unique way and that is to write. Sometimes it is to be a story-teller or an improviser. These things help me to be more fully myself, to write through what circles around me in in me. Writing opens me up, helps me to respond more fully and better to the beauty, the hard things of life, and the wavy, curvy, kind of lopsided things.

I love this new song by Ellie. I would share it here, but it's not released yet, so that doesn't seem right. I found it as an early release for her album coming out soon, Red Sea Road.
 
Ellie is one of my favorites. I worked her merch table once by accident. They needed another volunteer and grabbed me at the last second because I knew all her albums and was there early enough to buy CDs. It worked out well. I got to meet the band and it was very fun swiping those credit cards for two hours. These not-so-normal situations are normal for me. It was fun meeting Ellie, too. It reminds me God is up to anything He wants to be up to, even working merch tables unexpectedly.

Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that there is ALWAYS something to be glad about, something to thank Him for, His goodness is shining through no matter what our moment by moment lives look like. Every moment, we get to choose whether to move toward rejoicing and praise or not. Just as Ellie said, singing songs helps direct our hearts toward this on a regular basis! He is good.

Friday, January 6, 2017

This Year

Is this really still just the first week since the New Year? It seems since the holidays, life has been busy and full. That's kind of what I was used to before moving to Arizona, life moving so quickly I hardly felt the days go by. I don't think that is necessarily a great thing all the time, but I recognize the feeling.

With the mental health world, work seems either nonstop or slow. There is not too much middle ground. I spent a lot of time craving the middle ground, the steady pace, enough to do but not so slow that I was dragging. I'm starting to appreciate that whether work or life moves fast, slow, or in between, I can find my own sense of rest.


I love this quote in a book by (again and always) my favorite, Shauna. It's not even a quote by her but it's a quote in her book Present over Perfect, describing her state of wanting to be present in her life. "And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good." -John Steinbeck. And I would add this: "And now that your life doesn't have to be perfect, it can be good."

Maybe a good theme for 2017 and beyond?

Life is good. If it was perfect, it would be plastic or shiny. I don't want to force it to be something it isn't or push it too hard. It hurts when I do that. Behind the scenes, I know God is doing a lot with the real, true life I have. Showing up and being who I am, I think is what I'm called to do this year. Surprisingly, I have no desire to be perfect or try so hard to be anyone other than who I am. Because life, and I, don't have to be perfect, I know I am free.

So my prayer is always to God who knows me best, and in His great love meets me exactly where I am, every time. I pray that for you, friends, this year, too. That He will meet you exactly where you are. May it be the sweetest year yet for you, too! Happy New Year!

Here is a kind of cheesy (but beautiful because JJ Heller is awesome) video about this year. There is confetti and I love confetti. I hope you enjoy it and you have lots and lots of happy this year.