growing.

“I don’t want to grow up.” I tell myself as sleep eludes me and I watch as the moon changes it’s shadow across my carpet. The hours slip one into the next. 25. I’m going to be 25 and the years have slipped one into the next. Why is it so hard? Why am I digging in my heels and clinging to traces of summer nights at Elizabeth Park, bike rides with my Dad, spending hours lost in creativity. Where have the years gone? and how do I move forward?

Maybe it’s not that I don’t want to be 25 but it’s that I’m afraid.

Why does fear do that?

It robs us of our joy in an instant.

I remember when my mom turned 40.

I remember her joy that day. This adventure of life was only growing and she chose joy instead of fear. A celebration into a new chapter and she walked boldly into it. “she laughs with no fear of the future.” Proverbs 31.

My mom laughs with no fear of the future.

She turned 49 this month and she still faces the future with confidence and expectancy, trusting, moving forward, curious, strong.

So I remember where I come from.

I remember what she instilled in me through my years growing up. I remember to do the right thing even if I’m standing alone. To trust in the one who made my heart. To be brave.

I have everything I need.

Childhood is over.

It’s time to face what lays ahead with confidence and joy and trust…

in Him who made me.

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Sweetly

I’ve been quietly wading through each layer of all these days. Holding heavily onto heavy backpacks, bags and books with care. Through rain, I tread in puddles of doubt. It’s been this way for quite some time….and then I see a gentle shift in clouds misting above my rain drenched head. The hood I wear no longer seems of any use and shreds of blue peer through and light wraps around my heart within the heavy. My heart within a storm that has raged for far too long. I put down my heavy load, not all at once but one by one. and each time I place one on the ground, I receive something in return. Something far more valuable and freeing than a filthy back pack giving me blisters on my weary shoulders. All these days. all these days of fear and chaos, and lies I never had to carry. But I look forward with hope and peace because every time I exchange my burden and leave it on the trail behind me, a little more sun peeks through the stormy clouds and a little less rain weighs me down and I begin to see that I was never alone on this trail, on this journey. I still have a lot to lay down.

But I choose to keep on laying these down.

“My burden is light, and my yoke is easy.”

I sigh with relief. He’s never lied to me. The truth is what He gives me. Relentlessly. Graciously, Sweetly.

He quiets me with His love. Over and over and over again.

I am free in His love and the depth of it overwhelms me.

It’s that she wandered

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I have a few things in my heart

A hopeful blur

I can’t depart

from words spoken, layered after years

a few things turned to some

and then a hoard.

Filled to the brim,

left no room

for. me. to. breathe.

A year, then two

a third came soon

My heart swam in fearful gloom

joy escaped me

words erased me.

What once brought life, twisted in.

the truth obscured within the truth

list’s, to do’s, be more, say enough,

stand up taller, say it right

lead us farther, face the night

what once brought life

created gaps, created chasms

I could not cross.

Then…

I finally caught that flight

Home.

It called my name

and what once brought life

came sweetly back

caressing my stubborn feet,

my face, my hands, my heart so hard

took one step down the street

a dialogue so incomplete

yet time ahead to fill the holes.

patience came with each new mold.

I have a few things in my heart

to mend and not retreat

hold your ground

deep breath

stay here

don’t leave

What once brought life

will be redeemed

breathe deep my love

and live.

A Dissection

These words sit heavy on my flustered heart

A spiral of hopeful resolution,

but they never find one.

A swirling mess of conversations, ideas

remains a questionable truth.

And my scalpel is aimed, poised above…

evolution

Christ an illusion?

a delusion?

My eyes shift uneasily as I lay my own heart down.

A truth wraps around it, silver and strong and faithful

I watch as it guards what’s inside

and I have to make a choice…

dissection?

or reflection?

Dissection crowds in with all it’s bleeding parts

creating a chaos within.

Reflection is a quiet correction

and it graciously whispers His truth…

So secure. so peaceful

so pure

I choose Him.

A line in the Sand.

I draw a line in the sand-crossing borders and valleys.

I know I can’t comprehend what all this means right now.

Cause I’ll listen and obey though obedience I can’t contain and I guess my whole disguise is that I can but then I won’t.

It’s that I should, but then I don’t.

I want to trust so thoroughly that whatever He says, it’ll grind right in and it’ll stick.

Not out of misery or pride, but a privilege to decide that His ways are above mine and this fabrication of life I’ve created won’t last, won’t land, won’t be a firm foundation. It’s so that, nothing will come between this honesty, this softened heart, and the gentle reassurance that the line I drew- that line in the sand, it was meant to define my liberty and my freedom from a law that no one can keep.

That the fruit from this life, is one that is sweet.

But the bottom line, is that I don’t need to try.

At the end of the day, I am enough

and the Grace that created that line to set me free

that grace covers me.

completely.

Covers my frail hands that create out of false hope that what I make can be great.

I am incomplete and my light only shines so bright without that tender line…

reminding me to trust.

Remaining

I’ve been wrestling with this idea the past few months. What does it mean to remain.

I’m  slowly rearranging my frame, my point of view, my perspective at the moment.

I have a fresh cup of coffee sitting next to me. A quiet fire across the room, inviting stillness, and worship music filling my mind. And yet, deep within myself, I feel a restless pull to do something else, be somewhere else, be someone else.

Why do I feel that?

There is a beautiful painting leaning idly against the wall in my house, patiently waiting for me to align the nails and hang it up. People have been asking if I painted it, and I wish I could answer yes. This painting is so much of what I want to be as an artist. The colors are perfect, the composition outstanding and the very character and nature of the painting is inviting and calming. I want to be that. Not just in my art, but in who I am.

Whatever it is, I know it will take time. I am impatient, and antsy, anxious and hopeful…I want to see what’s around the next bend, I want to know that I’ll be alright.

There is a season I am rubbing up against. Closing certain doors, saying goodbye to one who held a key to my heart, beginning anew. When I look at the painting across from me, I see a finished product. a beautiful masterpiece. But the artist had to begin with a white canvas. They layered, and layered and layered. every brushstroke done in tenderness and love until the painting took it’s first breath of life. I know the artist stepped back in wonder and awe. Because I think the painter knew, it wouldn’t be just to her delight, but to others as well.

God is working on this stubborn and yet tender heart of mine. I walk with a gentle hesitancy, unsure of the next curve. But my heart is stilled when I remember who holds the paintbrush. Each stroke with tenderness and care. I am in safe hands and I will remain secure in them.

What’s been layered already is simply a part of the masterpiece.

For we are His workmanship

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let things grow

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Maybe He’s not seen in the way we think He’ll reveal Himself

I believe He’s in the words of a friend

In the sunrise

the full moon

He’s in our creative actions

our gentle brushstrokes

our laced up running shoes.

He reveals who He is in what He has created

We just need eyes to see

ears to hear

and the patience to let things grow.