??

Boone this weekend. Old friends packed into a old townhouse kitchen. Coffee and rice crispy treats kept passing round. Laughter and old jokes.. timelessness in the air.

These people have walked through the awkward times, the scary times, broken times and now new times.

What joy in being known.

Driving fast round’ mountain curves, that I knew so well, while being in a place that is growing and changing.

It was a blessing to be back where I once was in a new place in both mind and body.. even Spirit.

Change… for once… feels like a autumn breeze instead of lightening storm.

Goodnight.

 

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San Isabel and Becoming.

 

CO

San Isabel National Forest, CO.

 

Spent this Labor day in Colorado, Reconnecting and Reclaiming.

Big sky, the night sky is cold, crisp, makes your nose run but then you take that biting air deep into your lungs and you look up. You see the expansive abyss and enjoy the tiny… you being the tiny in a timeless state.  The cold now less biting but rather the blanket of landscape.

The fire crackles and sways… reds, oranges and blues… the smell of burning birch. The aspens leaves turning gold. Witnessing the season change makes me get a little silly happy. The leaves making their departure from their more original purpose before serving a new one as a coating for the tundra floor.

aspen

You cant help but get a dial reset when you experience the Colorado landscape. Sunflowers growing on the side of the roads, the running of the Arkansas beneath my toes and post-card worthy mountains in every backdrop.

This weekend was rugged, exhausting, simple and reminded me of what seems like a lifetime ago when I called my little “pumpkin” tent more than an occasional visitor.  It felt good, like going home to your childhood home and kicking off your shoes good, but different.

tent

I make the mistake that you can capture moments and seasons twice, and this time in the backcountry of San Isabel National forest I did feel the familiar nostalgia of a season passed but with a new feeling….  gratitude for my current season and its complexity.

My pregnancy has not been what I thought it would be thus far. No warm fuzzies or cooing over tiny shoes. Rather, growing this tiny girl,  has been the greatest act of willpower I have had to date. To muster the energy to wake, shower and get my self dressed for work has felt momentous.  Sickness, fear, depression, loneliness and trepidation has been my salty reality for the last several months.

I needed this weekend to remember the gal I once was. To have dirt under her nails, pee outside and pitch a tent in the cold rain. To climb mountains and have a sore body from the work I asked of it. To feel capable and competent.

This wild merger of who I once was and who I was becoming came to clarity this weekend.

My heart is shifting from the suck-the-marrow out of life because you never know when it will be stripped from you perspective ( this fact is still constant and a driving force of my worldview) to something entirely different.

It wasen’t about my esoteric identity crisis I have from time to time but rather about my DAUGHTER.
daughere

I wanted to teach her to make a fire… much better than the boys I watched silently do a sub par job.

To show her the creation that connects me with the creator and I pray will  her too…

To teach her to be brave

To teach her that she can strong and vulnerable.

To stand up against wrong

To value the timelessness of our world and the ever constant that its also slipping from out hands…

To be a woman who is both physically and spiritually strong. Resistant to schemes of the attackers…

This labor day, I reconnected with a woman who was and who is becoming, both in my soul and my womb.

I remembered that you can not live seasons twice and perhaps this is God’s gift and reminder of our mortal pilgrimage.

What beauty of wildness of the wilderness. What equal beauty in becoming.

Psalm 127:3-4
Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. 
   Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.

 

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Vines, Roots and the Vine Dresser..

Centered in Christ…. what does this mean?

vine

Much fruit…

..Love… Joy..Peace.. Forbearance.. Kindness.. Gentleness and Self control.

Do I muster these ? Will these into being? Just try a little harder….

No these come by the Power of the Spirit…

How do we know the will of the Spirit… know the Spirit Maker

He says he is…

I am the true vine :: John 15:1-5
I am the way, the truth, and the life:: John 14:6

I am the door of the sheep:: John 10:7
I am the good shepherd:: John 10:11-14

I am the light of the world:: John 9:5, John 8:12
I am the bread of life:: John 6:35-48

Maybe we are to be reminded of the  I AM…

The vine dresser.. he is our vine dresser… “A person who prunes, trains, and cultivates vines.” 

I am being pruned, reminded of my filth, my vine branches that are loose, that are hanging on by tethers, that are not rooted deep… roots

 Lord, speak into the darkness, into the silence into the place of too many words…
To abide in you I must know you.
To follow you I must know you.
To be obedient I know know you.
To know you.. I must pray. I must read your word. I must yield to my sin nature.
To yield I must be equipped and empowered by YOU.
I need YOU for each of these these. To know YOU I need YOU.
Perhaps this is the heart of the gospel…
Perhaps the vinedresser is the planter, pruner, pressure-washer, picker, purchaser, Prince and path maker.
Where are you my sweet friends? Are you experiencing the WATERING needed for your roots to go deep, are you rusty edges getting cut off? Are you in a season of parched perseverance? Where is YOUR heart?
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Freedom

fire

Time outside resets the dials. My fella and I spent some time in a National Forest that was near my job… it by the grace of God was not on fire. We passeled up the pups, went for a little walk, grilled out, sipped on bourbon and celebrated freedom.

celebrating freedom…

For me that looks like being out of cell service range, the dogs off the leash, no bed time or wake up call, some sort of deep acoustic melody in the background and something warm in a mug….

what is your freedom? what freedoms do we sweep neatly under the rug…

……

My fella is beginning the job hunt after many thousands of hours in the books… he is ironing suits, haircuts, shining shoes… the freedom to pursue.. to not have to settle…to go after it…

The paradox of my life’s little flame and those who call Sudan, Bloemfontein, Hong Kong… home….

I want. I prepare. I choose. I.. I… I…..

What if by God’s still-just plan, we were born somewhere that freedom of everything was not a mouse click away? What if we given little to no choice at all? What if we depended on the Father for our actual daily bread.. not the whispers in a prayer.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is often brimming in my periphery.. what if we were born in a place and time that self discovery, pursuit of happiness, jean size and family size were not even on our radar.

Often pining for a simpler life, reminiscing of times when my backpack or Dora the Explorer ( yes I anthropomorphized my old SUV, don’t judge me) were all that I had. A camp stove and clean socks were just enough. My day would revolve around miles hiked, miles paddled and what I would be making for dinner…

How do we reconcile living the suburban life with endless choices  that many of us are called to and still practice a simple, grateful and brave life. A life that sings freedom’s song.

How do I wring out the white guilt, the what ifs, the you shoulds of being a young woman, a wife, a Christ- follower, a lover and discerner.

scarley

The notion that having a fenced in yard isn’t the antithesis of freedom, that the life we are called for may look like the one of our dreams or for me.. absolutely nothing. Im thankful that my dreams aren’t coming true these days… I am thankful for an Author who is into freedom paving..

To be free in the whirls of screens, to be free with recurring bills and financial planning…

Shame on me for having such a narrow view of what freedom is…

Galatians 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

1 Peter 2:16-17 “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.  Honor everyone.  Love the brotherhood.  Fear God.  Honor the emperor.”

He gives us the freedom to choose..

freedom

 

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Glorybeans, Albemarle, Criticism and the last Frontier.

table-1

Jack Johnson bumpy thumpy goodness overhead, a big-thick- deep- beautiful wooden table. At a teensy coffee shop in Albemarle NC, a new work assignment.

Good gracious how i avoided writing….. i am literally in front of this screen almost everyday, but i don’t write.

I know I should. I know you never avoid the things that you know are good for you, eh?

Writing for me you see, its therapy. I write to wrangle chaos, you know the stuff that is flying endlessly around your mind, for me- it needs a place. Here will do for now.

Fall is here. Its the Father’s whisper to me that .. good things are to come. The crisp air is full of promise. Promise of leaves, pumpkin everything, rainy days and eventual snowflakes and then Christmas. Sweet Sweet Christmas, the twinkly lights, warm blankets, fireplace… oh gosh I’ll stop im melting already.

Can a person wait all year for Octobers?

oct12

This year my fella and I were able to vacation to a place where autumn came early, wild Alaska. The gold in the leaves.. ya’ll….. God is good and he is BEAUTIFUL.

These past few seasons… I have avoided putting words in it. Lets just hit the highlights.

My mom had a second ablation. No further arrhythmias.. amen.

My grandfather passed away, and the Lord let me be there. Today would have been his 58 wedding anniversary. My grandmother remains as a testament to endurance and kindness in the midst of hard times.

My fella’s 2.5 years of studying have come to an end. amen. I am proud of him for persevering even with those closest to him discouraging. He has been and will always be the smartest person I know.  Overcoming looks like this.

The dad,fella and I took a trip together. The longest amount of time I have spent with my dad since I have left home, almost 10 years ago now. What a privilege to see the world. To see it with those you love. To see  the spectacle of Gods beauty across His face.

As much as i love to travel. The bag packed, plane boarded, mimosas, adventures… this last trip made me ever more grateful for real life. I missed the people that I have been given to laugh with, love with, care for, to live… with.

Reality, no need to escape. Just sink your heels and open your head, heart and for me my ears. Perhaps these seasons of our lives are not a chance, not a fluke, not punishment but preparing… preparing.

To a touchy subject: This year I have faced criticism by those I respect and love.

Lets get real:

  1. its going to happen, its what people do, its how people cope with their unmet expectations, it can be retaliatory.
  2. we are fallen people and we often are the accuser
  3. we need it sometimes, its how we grow… gah, if i have to hear ” calm seas never made a skillful sailor..” one more time.
  4. ok its unavoidable … and here is the kicker for me… it allows us to show grace when it hurts. did you hear that? that was stomach in the floor. Our Father did not save us simply from heat, he saved us from the slaves we are to ourselves. When I am criticized I feel the need to explain, to SHOW you, to alleviate. Sometimes this may be appropriate, however over this year for myself… its an opportunity to let it go. To love the sinners, to die to pride and the sneaky sin of BEING RIGHT, to biting our tongue, to saving the tears.

This year has been one of great growth in my little sphere, professionally, relationally and most importantly my walk with my Father- but anger though can be righteous is often not and has inked its way into my quiet places. Have you been inked too lately?

To be misunderstood is painful. To accept it, perhaps this too is growth. To acknowledge that at the end of my days, I answer to One.  Our life was never promised to be understood. I must accept that I too may be misunderstood. And that as daughters of a Prince, that’s ok. Its ok for your family to not get it, for your peers, for your friends sometimes, for your neighbors, for those closest to us even….

Life lesson for 2016: Live your life under the scrutiny of others for an audience of one. The One.

encourage.jpg

Now onto that pumpkin spice latte….. because.. well…. its October.

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Chosen joy, bread friends and life lessons this season.

starts

Shooting stars, my thoughts fly across my mind like hurling globes of fire without an endpoint.

A different season, its hard for me to articulate, perhaps maybe this what I haven’t.

I am on the verge of tears these days, for a myriad of reasons. Have you ever felt like a big-fat- faker?  Now the proud owner of a professional degree, professional responsibilities and now well into my professional career.  One would think I would adopt this professional professionalism.

Now more than ever I ache for adventure. I ache for back-porch fiddle picking in the cool of mountain air. The dirt under your nails, sand in your shoes and tired shoulders from paddling.  Do you have that thing? perhaps that place?  Perhaps it is filled with a little trepidation because your relationship with that thing hasen’t always been smooth but it still has an ability to water your soul.  For some, running, painting, piano playing, quilting, rock climbing, hiking and the list goes on….

Where does the balance of life enter? Something tells me it doesn’t, that you carve it out.  I am learning that as adult one must live more intentionally than ever. How do you live intentionally?

As someone who has lost someone they loved and is sometimes paralyzed by the fear of losing another, our time on this globe is so small. How do we make the most of this tiny window in space?

Lessons from this season:

  1. Call you momma and tell her that you love her.
  2. Joy is chosen.
  3. Good music soothes the soul
  4. Whiskey is not for sad times
  5.  If you don’t make time to write, you wont.
  6.  Home is a hard word to define.
  7.  Friends, they are how you get through. They unpack boxes, order sushi and serve you walks and bread when you need it the most. I am so grateful.
  8. Marriage does not get easier, you just get better at it. Then when you think your getting better, humble pie comes in large slices.
  9. A healthy heart, mind and soul may never be attainable, some place always has to give a bit.
  10. Gods word never ceases to convict
  11. Be quicker to listen and slower to speak.
  12. Sometimes your opinions just need to be kept to yourself.
  13. At the end of the day, sometimes, Netflix is really what you need.
  14. Introversion, I might be acquiring you.
  15. My job still scares me but is one of the largest privileges I have ever been given.

” Teach me how to see when I close my eyes, teach me to forgive and to apologize. Teach me how to love when I feel so small, teach me how to love in the darkest dark.

Take me to the place where I feel no shame, take where courage doesn’t need a name. Learning how to cry is the hardest part. There is only one way to mend a broken heart”

— Wailin  Jennys

Maybe you are learning to see when you close your eyes? Maybe your in a teary season? Maybe you are so full of joy you are bursting at the seams. Please tell me about your bread friends, your chosen joy and the place that waters your soul.

 

 

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Language: bewitchment or ablaze?

Words… the bend.. the curve.. the syntax, they are beauty.

fench

English is without the romance of Spanish and without the fêted angry tones of our German brethren. English you are in your purest form, far from my vernacular. I am not sure we have ever met.

You have been bended and blended though the long draw of the Appalachian hills and the draw of the Savannah heat. Your verbs have been made into nouns, your conjunctions without punctuation. You are often a wandering gypsy of signs and symbols up to the interpretation of the reader. Sound familiar?

The ancient curves and sacred vows of the Hebrew, the ground shaking glorious often frightful idolatry spewed of the Greek. The alive never dead Latin. We are allowed, by the grace of God and brilliant minds, to communicate with the outside world. The thoughts in your head, in my head, come out in curves and lines that someone gloriously categorized.

I am listening to Gillian Welch this moment, her twain will make your heart cry. You can almost hear the pain and grief she spills through her vocals. Why do we need to read minds, we need only listen.

The heart spills, its can’t be contained, it spills words and then emotions come. Sure, emotions may precede the words but that’s a different argument.

The larger my vocabulary grows the less I feel able to articulate, God’s humor I suppose. We are both blessed and cursed with word after word after word to describe. We have endless options to describe what sometimes sounds, looks, tastes, feels like….. we have no small lexicon to choose from.

Is language the bewitchment of our intelligence…. or is it what sets it ablaze?

blaze

Why is it that in moments of awe, when we are struck with majesty of a sunset– the dawn of spring- the first snowfall- a baby’s birth….. that we have no words. We are stone- frozen and without any means of explaining.

majest

Oh words, Oh English, Oh language you are a winding river of rushing whitewater and desert places. You are full and fertile, sterile and dry. You are the epitome  of the human spirit. You are molded, made, bended – never broken- just adapted. You at times are too much and others properly quiet. You are a gift of the creator. You are a gift……

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