Going Dark

Whether by conscious choice, by lack of time, or just forgetfulness, I’ve “gone dark” for the past 6 months. I could give you a few of the reasons – the craziness of time, a new job, attempting to balance all of the spinning plates without letting any fall, only to have one fall and then pick up the pieces, or simply just that thing we call life. Regardless, I have been quiet. And, I have missed writing. Like in previous posts, many writing ideas and thoughts come to my head, but I don’t take the time to write.  So, let’s try again, shall we?  This blog seems to have a positive benefit on my mental health, so that would be nice right now in a house of three teen girls who are lovely, wonderful, but oh so full of questions.  Not the questions of where is this or that (but there are some of those), but those questions about our world, people, life, God, and future (just to name a few) that can’t be answered flippantly.

For today, let’s just have a recap of life the past 6 months in pictures.  That is always fun!  Enjoy – and I’ll see you again soon. 🙂

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A Choice

Whether short or perpetual, we all have seasons of waiting.  Waiting for the husband, the child, the score, the acceptance letter, the yes or the no, the next thing to do, etc.  In the past few years, I have seen a few periods of waiting that, at times, tend to get the best of me.  I often want to jump ahead to what I think is next, only to reminded rather quickly that I have to pay attention to what is in front of me.  If I don’t do that, jumping ahead to the next thing only leaves disaster in its wake.  Thus, I settle back in to the waiting and wondering, the praying and the pondering.

I came across this writing the other day by Holly Gerth and thought it was rather profound.  Prior to this writing, she states:  “After a particularly painful season in my life, I walked into the bathroom at an office and burst into tears.  My emotions caught me off guard.  I had been telling everyone I was just fine!”  I’ve been there, and I’ve done that – more than once!  Be refreshed by these words and let them soak into your spirit and into your heart.

Hot tears slam my cheeks, slide down, rivers of unbidden emotion.

I’m shocked at their appearance – hot lava exploding from a mountain that had just been covered in daisies.

I slip into a bathroom stall, place my head in my hands, sniffle into a square of paper.  That year … so good, so hard.

I felt more like a warrior than a writer.

My heart has the scars to prove it.

But then, softly, a whisper comes, “Put down your sword.”

And I notice, for the first time, how my heart has stood in ready-to-fight position for so long, stiff, waiting to dodge the next blow.

I relent.  And something inside clatters to the ground.  I see the wounds, still fresh, not noticed in the heat of the battle.  I touch them tentatively.  Cover protectively.

Then again, softly within…

“If I will wash your feet, will I not wash your wounds?”

I have a choice.  Drop my guard or guard my hurts.

I choose the first.

And His hand touches all that aches, His voice whispers truth, His love wipes around, over, down.  It stings a little.  I flinch with old fear.  But slowly I relax, lean into Him, remember the time before the war, and I know it is finished.

No longer a warrior.

I’m a child, small, safe, with Daddy’s hands making it all better.

Victory.

Surrender.

I leave the bathroom stall, finally, look into clear eyes in the mirror.

And I am never the same again.  

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Writing

All of my children have certain personality quirks.  Some are pretty awesome, and some not so much (just like me, huh!).  Along with this, all of my girls enjoy writing and those quirks come out in their writing (again – just like me!)

They have all had periods of writing blogs – whether public or private – and we’ve had those “published” for our home library.  Today I wanted to share one of those blogs that is starting to gain a little bit of attention!  Enjoy The Girl in Red Lipstick and its recent Liebster award!

 

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#3

Last year, I completed a goal I had set for myself before I turned 40 – compete in a triathlon.  And, I did it – competing in two  🙂  This year, I challenged myself to another one, but also invited any of my daughters to join me.  And, one did.

Moriah and I completed our Girls Run the World tri at the end of April and it was a fabulous race.  The weather was amazing, the race was amazing (yes, that is what I will call those hills we climbed), and completing it together was amazing.

Enjoy the photos – they express our joy in competing and in completing!

Ready??

Ready??

Bike

Bike

Running- and away from the three boys offering water!

Running- and away from the three boys offering water!

Headed out for the run

Headed out for the run

Victory!

Victory!

 

 

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So thankful

So thankful

Woo hoo!!!

Woo hoo!!!

 

 

 

 

Missing

I’ve been missing.  Missing writing.  Missing my blog.  Missing days that seem to zoom by too quickly.  Missing moments because I am too caught up in the next moment coming.  Simply missing.

But, here I am now.  Choosing today to begin again and not miss my writing and my blogging.  One thing that has struck me over and over again these past months is how hard it is to be present in the moment.  Everything around me begs for my attention to the next thing, the big idea, the Plan A, the “what are we going to do … ” and “how are we going to …”  It is almost just as tumultuous to try and plan as it is to stay in the present!  DSC_1357

Just this morning, I was reminded of my Savior’s words in Matthew 6 – “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  I used to think that was easy…and it some aspects it is, and if embraced can be quite freeing.  But these days, that seems to be very hard when our future looms with big life decisions for our family (you know- college, dating, adult-hood for our kids…).

Alas, though, these burdens are too much for me to carry and I am not meant to carry them.  I have One Who rules the world, Who sees the yesterdays, todays and tomorrows, and Who loves me beyond comprehension.  That One is on my side and I turn to Him.  Releasing these worries and burdens and trusting Him.  He is a good God who has a plan, sees the big picture, and I can trust Him.  Period.

So – here is to hoping I am one step closer to departing from dwelling in the land of the Missing and beginning a journey to the land of the Present.

It sounds easy

The Proverbs are full of great one liners.  Great sayings that hit you right between the eyes.  For example, how about “It is better to live alone in the desert than with a crabby, complaining wife” or “If you find honey, eat just enough – too much of it and you will vomit.”  Great practical word pictures, huh!  (Yes, I know I pulled those out of the context of the whole chapter and in the bigger context their meaning may not seem as unusual as it sounds pulled out.  But, allow me literary leniency simply for making the point that Proverbs are practical and useful, even if a little strange at times.)

I recently came across the below verse in Proverbs and at first glance, thought “oh yep – that’s easy.”

“{She} who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious, will have the king for {her} friend.” (Proverbs 22:11)

Pure heart – check… and then I watched a sitcom that is way over the top of being “culturally acceptable, but Biblicaly wrong” and those images, sounds, voices are in my head, weaving into my heart.  Pure heart – check … and then one of my children decides today is the day to ask more questions than any human being would have the patience to answer and my speech turns to frustration in her questions, and I follow the path of “why don’t you just ask your father” and then we go from a great conversation to the pettiness of my own selfishness.

Woman-Screaming

Okay – so maybe “pure heart” is a little hard.  But, what about gracious speech?  If I just hold my tongue and monitor what I say, won’t that work?  For me, that works for about 2 minutes or until I encounter a situation in which I think I know better (and that happens only once a day, right???  :))  If I go on the defense in proving myself, my speech goes from kindness and encouragement to sarcasm and this underlying tone of arrogance.  And the worst part?  I don’t even know I have gone there until it is too late.  It is usually hours later when I am thinking of my day and replay the situation in my head.  I am often struck by the words I said or the tone I said it and how UN-gracious it was.  And, I didn’t even know it at the time.

So – maybe I won’t ever be friends with the king, as the Proverb indicates?  Or, maybe it is that until I am friends with the One true King that I even have a chance to be friends with any of our earthly leaders, or as some versions put it – to have the respect of a good leader.   An even bigger idea, though, is that we truly don’t have control of ourselves, no matter how hard we try. We might get it for a time, but by now, most of us know of at least one person in our lives who we thought “had it all under control” until it all came unraveled.  What are we to do, then?

My only hope is releasing myself- emotions and all – to our Lord who knew my ways would never work and gave me the grace to bring that to Him (long before I ever thought I would need that grace).  Then, I take His Word that says if I abide in Him, He will abide in me.  Abide – to obey, observe, follow, keep to, hold to, adhere to, stick to, stand by, uphold, heed, accept, go along.  I abide in His Word, I abide by His Words (even if I don’t understand it all), and trust that He will abide in me.  And, the most amazing thing happens.  When I look back on my days and moments that usually were tainted with sarcasm, unkind words, and frustrations, I begin to see grace and kindness in my speech that I wasn’t even trying to do.  I see the grace and kindness leading to a conflict free conversation or situation which leads to contentment, peace, and a pureness of heart.  It all had nothing to do with my own effort, except the effort to choose to abide in Him in every moment of every day.

So abiding…maybe that is easier?  How about we get rid of the easy and just simply do it?  Yes, I think that will work.