Our Happy Dance

Joy in the day to day! Joy in who we are together! Joy unspeakable (1Peter 1:8)!

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday

Linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday. We write for five minutes flat (unedited) on a prompt she provides. Today’s prompt is: Lonely.

Here goes. . .

It’s there in the beginning, ‘it is not good for man to be alone.’ Mr. Simon sings about being a rock and an island. Lonely? As though, the soul is being stretched and left much too thin, like a well running dry. I am neither rock nor island but I do so enjoy solitude. In solitude, I wear my skin like a cashmere sweater…I’m comfortable, I’m carefree. I collect my thoughts like old records strewn about me on the floor. I revive my soul. Does this make sense?

Momma said, ‘I enjoy being alone, but you are a social butterfly.’ How is it possible, to grow under the woman who has radar that detects your coming, and going, and growing and she misses what truly sets your soul ablaze? Scripture and quiet. Nature and quiet. Poetry and quiet. Here I am away from the din of the rat race, tucked under a homemade afghan on a thrift store chair and I do not feel lonely, I feel alive. It is dark, the stars are out, but there is sunlight here . . . I am like a sunflower with my face turned toward the sun—the Son actually. You redeem everything . . . even in being alone; we never really are, are we? Just like the Psalmist (Psalm 139), I have learned I can never flee your presence. I wouldn’t want to.

End.

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Letter to Seventeen Year Old Self

Dear Teenage Self:

Seventeen is rough while you are in it. In hindsight though, it will be one of your most beautiful years. Keep your chin up.

You think you are flying under the radar, not noticed by anyone in particular. You are important  to someone. Keep doing your thing.

I want to tell you, you will suffer losses this year and in the coming years, and they’ll feel so profound. These things will leave a tender spot, but will carve out a strength in you that you don’t know you have just yet.  Keep persevering.

The next decade and a half, is going to be a bit of a (sweet) science experiment gone bad. You’ll trade your pom poms in for an engagement ring. You’ll burn a lot of dinners. You’ll decorate the house in gilding (eep) and you’ll wear a spiral perm for five years too many. You’ll find yourself responsible for two little kiddos and feel that you are making an utter disaster of it all. You’ll feel scrutinized, you’ll mistrust yourself and others, and you’ll let a lot of people down including yourself. Keep grappling for grace.

People will tell you that God has a hope and a plan for your future. You’ll doubt them a lot. He does though and you’ll realize it when you look at your daughter for the first time; even more so when you see her Daddy looking at her. Yes, you can trust your heart, he’s the one and he continues to be the one for many years to come. Keep your dreams close to your heart.

You are bound for business school, you’ll despise going but it’ll serve as a launchpad for other things.  Eventually, you will get that teaching degree. You’ll go in as an adult and with all you’ve learned about yourself and your God, you’ll still doubt you are capable. Doors will close sometimes. Others will open wide and shout welcome! Keep learning.

You’ll meet a few good friends in the next years who you will be privileged to grow old with. True blue friends that will cry with you when the pink line shows up on your pregnancy test, sing the wrong lyrics with you to your favorite tunes, bring you soup when you are ill and see you through the rain. Keep them, cherish them.

Seventeen year old self, you feel so tall, so awkward and so much the klutz.  I can’t say it improves quickly. Some beautiful day in the future, when you are thirty something, you’ll look back and even though you won’t be able to pinpoint the exact moment it happened, you’ll realize you are finally comfortable in your own skin.  Keep believing it will all work out, because it does.

(By the way, your first wrinkles are laugh lines and that’s a very, very good sign).

 

J0144

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My One Word for 2013

Do you name your year?  Do you think me strange to know I name my year?  I’m not alone, there are many on this journey. Last year, the year of “enough”, I learned so much about excess, contentment and my response to it all. The year before, the year of “still,” I learned to quiet my self and made the paradigm shift away from being too busy. Who doesn’t need more of those things? Always a work in progress, praying for the gift of plod.

This year, I was wondering at what the word might be, thinking and thinking of what I wanted to capture my attention and gaze in 2013. Words have such power, don’t they? Like the rudder of a ship.  I was doing some reading when the word steadfast just really grabbed a hold of my heart. I wanted to avoid it at first, cast it aside for something more lighthearted, thinking steadfast sort of calls for standing in the face of difficulty. I wanted to avoid difficulty, not go head on into a new year sort of daring difficulty to bring it on.

Like I said though, this word grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let me go. It popped up in my reading during quiet time and I’m seeing it in such a different light. Its so much more than I thought at first. Steadfast, firmly fixed in place is just a marvelous word. There is faith involved in it, a truth, a constancy. It isn’t fickle. . . it isn’t uncertain.

And four days into the new year of steadfast, here’s what I happen upon,

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,

    and all that is within me,

    bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul,

    and forget not all his benefits,who forgives all your iniquity,

    who heals all your diseases who redeems your life from the pit,

    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good

    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1-5 ESV)

Do you see what I’m seeing? Right there in Psalm 103, is my word, listed as a blessing!  Yes, this is a good name for a graduation year, for a year of searching for and pursuing open doors. May this year of “steadfast” shake me up a little, dust me off and make me a little more decided, a little more certain, a little more firm.  Whatever comes though, in the process of whatever the year brings, I am promised the steadfast love of God and that’s quite a something to hang your hat on.

And another gift for my New Year. . .a beautiful button featuring my word, courtesy of Melanie at Only a Breath

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