shadow

It hovers.

Just above the din of laughter & play.

It resonates.

Deep in the recesses of what used to be there.

The emptiness and doubt.

Loss.

Rain falls. Usually it just pours.

An identity changed forever.

Just another dream.

Fading.

A pair of your favorite jeans.

It’s a memory.

A shadow that hovers.

 

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Reserve your energy & loyalty for those who DO support your endeavors – to try to convince another person of your value or worth is dishonoring of yourself & your gifts. Some people will never “get it,” but God will always send you enough who do.

Man, I have really been struggling with motivation lately… I don’t know if it’s sheer exhaustion, stress, or merely the cold, grey Northwest winter, but my house is a disaster and it seems pretty insurmountable (even though intellectually I know a solid hour of focused energy would literally be all it would take).

But right now, my pile of laundry could be Mt Adams.

I am restless and unsettled – as though there is a “disturbance in the force,” but there seems to be no real good reason for my discontent…

 

Easter process

Easter is coming. Growing up, I never really got too excited about it, unless we were going to spend it in the Tri-Cities with my grandparents. It was always warm and sunny there – a far cry from the chilly rain we usually experienced Easter Sunday in Seattle. But as far as the bunny and egg thing, it was just kind of strange to me.

As I got older, really after I began a walk of faith with Jesus, Easter became more meaningful. Over the years it’s become one of my very favorite holidays and I love the faith-based tradition and beauty of it all.

This year, however, I am reminded of loss. My usual zeal and excitement is waning and I feel a little off.

Last March I extended an olive branch to a loved one I hadn’t spoken to in a year. Easter Sunday my son would be on stage at our church, and I felt as though they might want to see him. And truly, it felt like an easy way to perhaps mend the fences that had been broken. My invitation was accepted and the relationship began to heal. At least on my part, speaking only for myself, it began to change form.

But, we are again at an impasse. Even with the understanding that the two of us together doesn’t seem to be healthy, there is still a huge part of me that longs for reconciliation.

Easter represents new life, a fresh start. Last year it signified the beginning of healing with another. This year it seems my holiday will begin a new stage of life without them. I always tell my kids to trust God and to trust the process. Perhaps it’s time I do the same…

 

evening musings of love

To truly love another person, we must be willing to love them for all that they are, and all that they are not. Also, in order to walk in fullness of love for ourselves, we must begin by loving others. If we cannot accept people, including ourselves, for every facet and idiosyncrasy, we are not fully loving.

God loves us, knowing we were flawed. He designed us in His image, but we are not God, so we are still not yet perfect (the only perfect one was Christ). To criticize or hate another person for whatever reason, is to deny the God-design we ourselves walk in. Beautiful, and flawed.

Loving another person does not always mean being in relationship with them – sometimes, for whatever reason, they are either not good for us, or us for them. Like pieces of a puzzle, many of us don’t completely fit. That does not, however, negate the mandate to love our brother and to support them in their quest toward the fulfillment of their destiny. It is healthy to know when a relationship is unhealthy. Then, depending on the nature of the relationship, evaluate whether it is designed to ultimately derail us from our own God-appointed plan, OR, if the friction in that relationship is actually meant to help mold us into our destiny.

As the bible states; iron sharpens iron.

Our most difficult of situations can at times be the one thing that helps us to grow into our purpose.

Where are you being propelled to? Who is directing you? Are you making decisions out of faith or fear? Love or hate? Who do you need to love and what are you learning even now in your pain.

Love…

 

 

disappoint

I was listening to some classic rock in the car this morning and as the DJ was introducing the next song, he said, “Always loved this album. Never knew who I was before this album.”

What do you define yourself by? Is it where you came from? Who your parents said you were? Friends? The clothes or style you rock. Your occupation…

When we identify ourselves by the world, or by who or what we are and do, I think we set ourselves up for failure, because in the end, none of those positions are enough to fully edify every facet of our being.

But when we identify ourselves in Christ, we are covered by His grace, His perfection, His mighty will and perfect plans for our lives.

Seek your divine purpose – it will not disappoint.

 

I am guilty – are you?

I think one of my favorite, and least favorite, things about Facebook is the level of anonymity people feel when they post. Even though intellectually we know all can see our postings, there is a part of us that feels comfortable expressing on our page that which we would never say to another person.

There are several friends of mine, whom I truly love, who post often about their opinions. Politically, more often than not. To be honest, I have nearly hidden their posts more times than I can count, but then I remind myself that they are entitled to their opinions and I don’t need to take them personally.

Recently a friend posted that she had deleted someone for their constant political postings that she does not agree with, citing irritation that this friend never shows both sides of the story. The really hysterical thing here is that she herself is so one-sided that she is on my almost-hidden list of friends.

It’s super easy to point fingers. Very comfortable to cast stones. But truly, how often do we do the very thing we are frustrated with others for??

Rarely is there is “right” or a “wrong,” and it’s probably time we all grew up just a wee bit and gave one another just a fraction of the grace to others that we ourselves shout loudly for. I know I am guilty – how about you??

get a handle on it…

This morning I had the opportunity to speak to one of my children about their direct disobedience of a family rule. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a “minor infraction,” but the foundation of it is still defiance. When asked about it, I was told that they felt it wasn’t a very valid rule and decided to go and intentionally break it.

Driving my two high schoolers to school, we talked about what happens when we sin. According to bible, sin separates. In this situation today, sin also separated. You see, God doesn’t turn His back on us, or take away His love, but when we step outside of His laws and safety nets for us, a distance is created. Just as, when our kids go against their family code or culture, there is often an awkwardness and discomfort between the parent and the child.

The Native People would cast out those who did not want to operate within the constructs of the established culture. They were always welcome back if they wanted to join in and be a part of the unit, but  peace, harmony and cooperation were crucial to survival back then. I hazard a guess that today, even with all our modern whatever, that such foundational elements are still vital to a thriving and functioning family unit.

My main point to them this morning was that just as an umbrella covers and protects us from the rain, so does honoring of our parents, and our God, keep us from getting soaked by the storms of life.We still might get a little wet, but we will be protected from getting drenched. ┬áThe Commandment to “honor your mother and father” comes with a commanded blessing – God promises that if we do, we will live a long and prosperous life. Honoring authority in our lives, even if we don’t always agree, will bring with it blessing. If not by our earthly authority, by our Heavenly Father.

From the time the kids were little, I have always told them that my job is to keep them safe and healthy. They may not always like what that looks like on a daily basis, but they don’t always see the big picture. So it is with us adults – we may not always see the wisdom in God’s ways, but ultimately, He’s got a little bigger handle on the eternal perspective. Sometimes we just need to walk in agreement. To do anything else will only separate us from the love and covering we so desperately need…

 

shock the monkey

I’ve been listening to old music from the 80’s today (difficult to believe how long ago the 80’s really were, I know!). Peter Gabriel’s “Shock the Monkey” came on and I started thinking about the “monkeys” on my back. I am not sure that’s what the song is about, but it’s where my head went…

There have recently been some pretty significant changes in my life, and one of them has been to once and for all let myself off the hook for something I have done all I can to remedy. There have been tears, prayers, conversations, analyzing…repenting, trying new things, setting my feelings aside… All to still not find the resolution I was believing God for.

Sometimes, I think we need to “shock the monkey.”

What is your monkey? What is keeping you from the freedom to just be you? To find your fullness of joy and live your own personal life to its fullest? Where do you need to make a decision and stick to it once and for all?

Free yourself. Shock that monkey.