Being Real, Getting Healed, Living Now

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Alone. Okay.

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 in Comments | 8 comments

The boys are gone tonight, and I’m sitting alone on the back deck. Birds are chirping. Sun going down. And I’m thinking deep thoughts that would drive many people crazy. I’m just deep.  No matter how hard I’ve tried to change that, I can’t. Trying to figure out how to avoid being deep only causes me to go deeper. And that’s really okay. God loves me this way.

I’ve been here on this deck alone before.

I remember sitting on this deck alone crying my eyes out because I hated this house. We left our dream home – a home we built from the bottom up as a family to live here.  Because of financial reasons.  I cried out to God begging Him to get me out of here, believing that a better house would really make me feel tons better.  But that didn’t happen.

And tonight I’m thankful for this house. It’s perfect…because it’s where my children lay their heads at night and where my husband comes home to me.  This house is perfect.

I remember sitting on this deck alone crying because the people I so desperately hoped would want to really know me simply didn’t. Why don’t they want to know me, Lord? The pain of wanting to be known by people who don’t want to know you can be pretty sharp.

But tonight I’m thankful for the people who DO want to know me. They are amazing folks…real folks…emotionally sloppy people who aren’t afraid to show their hearts (and sometimes their butts, if you know what I mean). And that’s the kind of people I am, too. The friends I have are perfect.

I remember sitting on this deck alone aching to be needed in some big way. “Lord, please open a door for me that proves to me I have a real purpose.” I cried and cried thinking of all the closed doors… allowing the enemy of my soul to whisper lies into my heart such as, No one wants you, Teasi. No one wants you.

But tonight I know the lies aren’t true. Because the Lover of my Soul wants me always, and for some reason tonight I’m able to see that there truly aren’t any “no’s” in God’s kingdom…only “yes’s” to something else.  And it’s okay if I don’t know the something else yet.  Tonight it’s okay.

So…for this moment on this deck…I’m okay. And I’ll take this moment.  And I will do all I can to frame it in my heart and hang it on the wall there, because I believe this is the REAL moment.  The moment when all is okay.  When my God is present, and His plans are sure.  The moment when my heart is seen – with all its pain and all its incredibly deep and complex thoughts. And it is loved.

On this deck. Alone. Right now. All. Is. Well.

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Where is MY Adventure: a Praisworthy Pity Party

Posted by on Jan 25, 2014 in Comments | 2 comments

I moved a lot in my childhood.  In fact, I don’t think we ever lived in one home longer than 3 years. Because of that, I learned some pretty sweet survival skills like getting the most out of your garage sale (You know, if you iron ALL the clothes you’ll get a nickel more for each piece…it adds up!) and how to avoid collectibles.  I refuse to have nick-knacks in my home to this day. 

At 19, I started a keep-moving trend of my own—making it bigger and better by adding cross-country mileage. I packed my little car with all it could hold and moved from the Midwest to California and back whenever my mood changed or the selection of cute guys grew slim. 

Moving back and forth like that was crazy, and that’s what I loved about it. It made no sense to anyone (except my best friend Tracy who was doing it too), and it was wonderfully whimsical. I can still feel the phantom thrill of the “Let’s go for it!” to this day.

But I haven’t felt that thrill in many, many years.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had other thrills (Yes, honey…date nights are amazing!).  But I’m talking about the make-a-completely-crazy-move thrill.  You know what I mean? The kind of thrill you’d get if the husband came home from work and said, “Babe, pack up the kids. We’re heading to Alaska to open a whale sighting business.”  Oh, yes! I’m in, and let’s go.

Well…that hasn’t happened.  In fact, I’ve lived in the same area for nearly 25 years.  I’ve even attended the same church for 20. Not because I just wanted to finally settle down after all that crazy moving.  No.  This hasn’t been my choice at all.  In fact, if it had been up to me, I would have run away more times than I can count.

 I would have run away this week.

But it hasn’t been up to me. It’s been up to God. And He’s had me lovingly trapped under His humongous thumb for years—watching as I writhe and contort while He peels off self-deceptive blinders from my eyes and gently cauterizes childhood wounds. 

crushed_thumb

Staying in one place has been the most amazingly painful thing for a gal like me.  I can’t tell you the number of Sundays I left church in tears-hardly able to breathe- vowing I would never return.  “Honey, I can’t take it anymore.  Can you believe what she said to me? Let’s move!”  Or “Honey, no one said “hi” to me today. I just sat there waiting and waiting to see who would approach me, and no one did.  I’m out.”

Silly or not, every time my heart was hurt I wanted to run.  I ached to run.  But I needed to stay.

I needed it so much that God chose to put my husband on the elder board to lock me down.  I mean, how would it look if the elder’s wife took off for Cali without him?  And to make sure I was really staying put, God made my husband the children’s pastor of our church.  I can’t tell you what a perfect ministry this is for my man.  I am thrilled for him, and it’s been more than obvious this is his place.  And it’s become perfectly obvious to me it’s going to be my place, too.  I’m gonna be staying put. 

And sometimes that really, really bums me out.  It bums me out because even though the blessings of being here would fill pages and pages (seriously, if you’re looking for an incredible church, come to mine!), there’s still an adventure seeker in me.  And there’s still a runner in me—a gal whose first inclination is to run when things get uncomfortable, or painful.  Oh, how much easier it would be to just pack up and move—to avoid what I’m feeling and set my sights on house hunting. 

It would have been easier to run this week. This week has been painful for me.  When you take a silly misunderstanding, add a pinch too much alone time, and throw in a good measure of hormonal hell, you get one desperate woman who’s ready to jump on just about any train to just about anywhere but here.

But here…

Here is where I am. 

And after hours of time on my knees/face/knees and many, many tears…I’m seeing something more clearly than I’ve ever seen it before:  The adventure is actually…here.  It always has been.

It has not been at all easy to see with my physical eyes because what they see is endless loads of laundry and the same four walls. 

But when God helps me look with the eyes of my heart, I see that I’ve been on one of the most amazing adventures of all. An adventure that has included mountain climbing, desert survival, cliff diving, sword fighting, dodging villains, and free falling into the arms of a Savior.  

I’ve had (and still have) a lot of healing and growing up to do. I’ve seriously been a complicated mess of mixed up priorities and contaminated dreams. And through it all God has loved me enough to hold me down.

God has loved me enough to sit on my hands while I cried out, “Unfair!” He’s loved me enough to endure my fits of anger and confusion when I’ve begged, “Why don’t people get me?”

Because I’m the one who needed to “get” me. 

I’ve learned that there’s been quite a bit of yuchy in me…lot’s to be forgiven for and lots to give up.  And I’ve seen that some healing just can’t happen on the run.  Some lessons can’t be learned with a to-go cup.  And that’s why He’s held me down so tight.

So, where’s the adventure?

It’s right here in my soul.  And it’s right there in you.  It always will be.  It’s the adventure of Freedom…of Life…of Hope…of Vision…of Healing.  And it’s eternal!  The thrill won’t ever end.

What about that ache I still have to do something CRAZY? Well, it’s still there, and maybe I’ll get my chance to go whale-watching, and maybe someday my sweet husband will come in and say, “Babe, pack your bags, we’re going to the islands.”

But even if it doesn’t’ happen that way, I’ve got the crazy of surrender.  I’ve got the crazy of clinging tightly to the robe of my Jesus and never letting go. 

Take me where You will, Master.  The crazier the better!

Maybe you’ve got the same ache for adventure or the same urge to run when things hurt a bit too much—or maybe you’re feeling a bit trapped where you are today.  If so, I urge you to take a look on the inside—to peer around with the eyes of your heart. Maybe what you’ll see is that the cube you sit in from 9-5 is actually a carriage, and you’re being taken somewhere more beautiful than you could possibly dream by a God who loves you more than you can imagine.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

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Majesty in the Mundane

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in Comments | 6 comments

laundry

I’ve been told the most fitting definition of insanity is, “doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.” If that’s true, then what I’ve suspected all along is true…my entire life is insane.

            Day after day I make my bed, throw another load of laundry in the machine, rinse dirty dishes, replace empty toilet paper rolls, and pick up wet towels. Day after will-this-ever-end day. Yeah…I gave up on “expecting a different result” a long, long time ago.

            And I’ll be honest; over the years, there have been many times this insanely mundane cycle has lulled me into a near paralyzing depression.  Oh, how I ached for something to come along that could rescue me from my domestic pit.  The phone would ring, and I’d answer with hopeful anticipation – knowing this would be the call that finally changes it all. 

“Hi, honey,” I’d hear my sweet husband say on the other end.  “Just called to tell you how much I love you.”

            What? How dare you call just to tell me that? Did we win the lottery? Did someone offer to send us on a free trip? Did we win a new car? Ugh.

            I know. It’s awful.  My husband’s words were so sweet, and my disappointment was simply horrible. But I couldn’t help it. I was desperate for change – desperate for something – well…majestic to break the monotony.

            Maybe I’m not the only one who feels this way.  Maybe there are others who are dreading the alarm clock in the morning because it means frying yet another egg, making yet another bed, etc. And maybe others are looking for something majestic to break the cycle – to give a deeper meaning to the day.

            If so, I think I have a bit of hope for us all.  I think I’ve finally found it…the majestic to break the mundane.  And it started when I found this poem:

Holy as a Day is Spent
 
Holy is the dish and drain
The soap and sink, and the cup and plate
And the warm wool socks, and cold white tile
Showerheads and good dry towels
And frying eggs sound like psalms
With a bit of salt measured in my palm
It’s all a part of a sacrament
As holy as a day is spent
 
Holy is the busy street
And cars that boom with passion’s beat
And the checkout girl, counting change
And the hands that shook my hands today
And hymns of geese fly overhead
And stretch their wings like their parents did
Blessed be the dog, that runs in her sleep
To catch that wild and elusive thing
 
Holy is the familiar room
And the quiet moments in the afternoon
And folding sheets like folding hands
To pray as only laundry can
I’m letting go of all I fear
Like autumn leaves of earth and air
For summer came and summer went
As holy as a day is spent
 
Holy is the place I stand
To give whatever small good I can
And the empty page, and the open book
Redemption everywhere I look
Unknowingly we slow our pace
In the shade of unexpected grace
And with grateful smiles and sad lament
As holy as a day is spent
And morning light sings “providence”
As holy as a day is spent
 
-Carrie Newcomer, Quaker poet-

 

 

Frying eggs like singing psalms? Folded sheets like folded hands?  Really? Can it be this simple? Can it really be as simple as looking for diety in the daily? Looking for a word from the Master in all that I do?

I decided to give it a try. And before my eyes it all changed.

I saw the familiar strands of runaway hairs in my bathroom sink…and I thought: God knows just how many of these fell out this morning…and He knows precisely how many are left on my head. Thank you, Father, for knowing me so well.

I saw a million dust particles floating around in the light of my living room window…and I thought: the Father’s thoughts toward me are more numerous than these floaters. He is constantly thinking good things about me.

I folded a load of towels…and I thought: these towels are bending down in humility, just as my Savior humbled Himself for me. Thank you, Jesus, for taking my place on that cross.

 

The majestic found me right where I was. It can find you.

It might not change the circumstances of the day, and it probably won’t do the dishes for us.  But it will change us on the inside if we let it.

God is truly everywhere. His Majesty is everywhere. In every day.

Over and over again.

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