Monday, April 23, 2018

Just Try~

Just try.

Just two little words,
and yet in these two words,
I can't help but feel
gentle encouragement,
sweet confirmation,
and a much needed push
from my Heavenly Father.

Just try.

So - - -
I pull out my laptop,
dust off the keys,
make a fresh cup of coffee,
sit in my favorite spot on the patio
and

just

try.

And I don't know why.
I can't put my finger on it,
can't wrap my mind around it,
can't define it or explain it -
but for some reason,
a place that once felt so natural
and so inviting,
a place that was raw, revealing,
and so incredibly healing -
now feels daunting,
unreachable, distant.

So - I have stayed away.

But, this staying away
has left me feeling
pent up and full,
unsettled and misplaced,
completely unraveled,
with a whole mess of loose ends.

Because writing has always been
the one place for me
where God has taken all the loose ends
and tied them all together again.

Moments with Him,
just His Spirit and my keyboard,
have always been the moments when
broken pieces were scooped up,
and in the most amazing of ways,
put back together -
not as they were before -
not as I often wished they were -
but always, always, always in a way
that my heart could accept.

Maybe it's because lately
the loose ends
and the broken pieces
aren't from one single heartbreak,
one single disappointment,
one single challenge,
one single mess.

Lately, my heart
has been dealing with a whole lot of ends
and a whole lot of broken pieces
all at the same time.

And it only makes sense
that all these different pieces -
when mixed up all together,
have no choice but to become
one big, huge, tangled mess.

And I remember the words of my sister -
when one of my loose ends
found me writing words
(that to her trained heart that knows mine so well)
had a tinge of bitterness to them.

"I don't want that coming out and tainting my writing" -
I had told her.

And in her wisdom, she had replied:

"It's a process you have to work through.
Just like everything else.
You process by writing."

Just try.

Just two little words,
but again,
my Heavenly Father speaks them
deep to my heart.

It might be awkward and rough,
it might be uncomfortable and slow in coming,
it might be messy and complicated,
but just try.

So -
here I sit -
processing the all of it
the only way I know how -
one prayer at a time,
one word at a time,
one moment at time.

And amazingly,
my heart is already begininning to feel at home.

Maybe it's not about finding the answer.

Maybe it's not about tidying everything up
in a neat, jagged free bundle.
Maybe it's not about fitting all the pieces together
or making sure all the loose ends are no longer loose.

Maybe it's simply about
over and over and over again
finding God in the midst of it all.

Maybe it's not about making
these shattered areas of my life whole again -
but rather finding my wholeness
in Him
in the midst of all the brokenness.

Maybe it's not about working toward
a finished project,
but rather being willing to accept the finishing work
God is doing in my heart
as I make my way through
the doing,
the experiencing,
the learning,
the living,
the exploring,
the wrestling,
the juggling,
the untangling.

Maybe,
just maybe,
it's not all that complicated at all.

Maybe it is as simple as this:

Just try,
sweet girl.

Just try.









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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Learning to Walk the Walk~

I'm not a walker -
really, I'm not.

Oh, sure -
thankfully,
I am able to stand up right,
place one foot in front of the other,
and make my way from one place to another
(a huge blessing in of itself
that I don't think we who are able to walk
think to thank God for often enough.)

But a walker
like those you see walking -
on purpose,
decked out from head to toe in athletic apparel,
on a mission walking -
that's just not me.

And yet,
for the last three months
(count them - 1, 2, 3!)
I have been faithfully walking
four to six miles
(count them - 1,2,3,4,5,6!)
every day.

At first,
it was down right awkward.
No smooth glide.
No rhythmic stride.
Just the clomp, clomp, clomp
of shoes on sidewalk
and an overwhelming desire
to head back inside.

But, I kept at it.

Through blisters and leg cramps,
high winds and frosty mornings,
barking dogs and chatty neighbors,
garbage trucks and street sweepers,
and just last week -
a pick up line from a passerbyer:
"Need a ride . . . or maybe not?"
 NOT!

And, now -
with three months behind me -
it's still awkward.
But,
there are some good days.
Days where
my stride is amazing,
my speed closer to 14 minutes a mile than 15,
and I feel like I'm gliding on air.

And each and every morning,
humbly aware I don't have a clue one
about how to walk in such a way
as to maximize each step for optimal benefits,
I pray and ask God
to honor my commitment to "show up"
by partnering with me
to ensure each step
stretches and builds,
tones and sculpts,
restores and strengthens,
molds and transforms.

Sweeter sleep,
increased energy,
a spring in my step,
looser fitting clothes,
and a text from my sister that read:
"Your face is looking thinner.  Keep walking!"
all confirm God is faithfully doing His part
as I step out and try to do mine.

And really,
as we step out into life -
every single moment of every single day,
isn't that where we all find ourself?

Desperately in need of a spiritual trainer
to do for us what we -
on our own,
have no way of doing?

I'm not a walker -
really, I'm not.

I've never walked through life before,
but for the last 52 years of my life
(count them - 52!)
I've been doing just that.

And, at times -
(so many times, in fact)
it has been incredibly awkward,
to say the least.

But, I've kept at it.

Through childhood and adulthood,
congratulations and "Sorry, maybe next time",
address changes and name changes,
"I do" and "Rest in Peace",
uncontrollable laughter and (seemingly) inconsolable heartache,
more than enough and just enough,
"Thank you, Lord",
"How could you, Lord?"
and "I'm so sorry. Please forgive me, Lord".

And even now,
with 52 years behind me -
it's still awkward.
But, there are some good days.
Days where my stride is amazing
and I feel as though I'm gliding on air.

And each and every morning,
humbly aware I don't have a clue one
about how to live in such a way
as to maximize
each moment,
each choice,
each decision,
each emotion,
each opportunity,
each breath
for optimal spiritual benefits,
I pray and ask God
to honor my commitment to "show up"
by partnering with me
to ensure each life moment
stretches and builds,
tones and sculpts,
restores and strengthens,
molds and transforms.

Sweeter resting in Him,
increased faith,
unspeakable joy in my heart,
looser fitting legalism,
and words from friends that read:
"God is really at work in your life.  Keep going!"
all confirm God is faithfully doing His part
as I step out and try to do mine.

And you know what?

I am really starting to love walking.

And you know what?

I am really starting to love life -
not just any ole life -
life and life more abundant -
one step at time,
side by side,
with my faithful God.









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