Wednesday, June 27, 2018

So God, now you're speaking through Facebook?

Sometimes I want to quit...days like yesterday, when I spent hours organizing and writing a blog, only to walk away from it.

No matter how many times I tweaked it, all I saw was 'blah, blah, blah.' So I shelved it, got up from my computer, and went into the kitchen for another cup of coffee, muttering, 'I'm done. I have no idea why I do this anyway. If I fell out of the blogosphere, few would notice.' 

Ever feel like that? Like who would notice if you stopped doing what you're doing? I think more people would notice if I went on strike from housecleaning than if I stopped blogging. And this is a discouraging thought to me...because I love to write but I hate to clean.

Now that I think about it, I guess I was giving God my '2 weeks notice'...letting Him know that it's been fun, but I'm done. As I rambled around the kitchen, I made sure to let Him know my reasons for quitting...just in case He was ignorant of them:

1. Think of all the time I spend writing...turning out words that survive or die on the world-wide-web based on the mercy of timing, and Facebook, and other people's participation or lack thereof. I mean really, sometimes there are 28 views, and other times 1,028 views. Surely I could use my time in a more constructive way?

2. It's all been said before. Like the making of books, there is no end to blogs out there. Who needs one more?

3. You know I don't want to be famous...that was never the reason I started this! You made me a quiet introvert. But really, 28 people read my last blog? Is it worth all that work for so few people? And probably most of them were family who felt obligated to read it. People will go on with or without me. (Yeah, that was my lamest excuse.)

4. And while I'm on the subject, let's talk about needing an e-mail list! (This is where it really gets good!) I know You brought Hope Writers group into my life for a purpose, but they have high expectations for someone as technologically challenged as me! If I quit blogging, I won't have to worry about figuring out this e-mail-list-thing and that means there will be less stress in my life. And you told me that stress is not good! (So that's that.)

5. I could stop being vulnerable and exposed! (Ouch.) Like lying on a therapist's couch, sharing my innermost fears and aspirations, blogging from the heart is painful. And I'm so not into pain. Remember Jonah? I can identify with him...

Suffice it to say, I'm sure by now you get the picture. And it's not pretty.

So I woke up this morning thinking of my shelved blog...secretly smiling to myself...reminding myself that I was FREE! God knew I wasn't available to the Holy Spirit for any more "Aha!" moments that pushed me to the computer to write. Nope, today would be different!

Or not.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

On being named after a shoe and other thoughts on perspective...

It's all a matter of perspective.

How many times have we heard that? And how many times have we struggled to still get the right perspective on an issue? A person? Ourselves?

Let me start where this whole thought began...about 5 am this morning, the time my body usually wakes up and wants to spend time with me. Ugh. Being the non-morning person that I am, I find this highly offensive and do all that I can to shut it down...praying and naming the attributes of God alphabetically being among my favorites. I figure Satan hates that so he'll let me go back to sleep. And it usually works!

But not today. For today is my Mom's birthday...her first one in Heaven. And I'm glad for her. Of course I miss her terribly. But I wouldn't wish her back...she's in a better, more glorious place with the Lord she came to love and the many she had known and loved who had gone before her. And what a place to have a birthday party...all the cake and ice cream she can eat! Glory!

Anyway, it wasn't like this day took me by surprise. Over the weekend, my dad and I had talked about how we would get through it. And yesterday in the birding store, standing there waiting for someone to check me out, I teared up as I saw so many lovely gifts that would have brought her joy on her birthday...for we shared a love of gardening and creation that cemented our oft times fragile relationship.

Over the years, we had overcome many tumultuous times...becoming not just mother and daughter, but friends. Slowly we were learning to talk openly with one another, to hear each other's stories. But unfortunately there was still one story question I still had. But now it was too late to talk about it with her...

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The call to walk out of darkness and into the light. It's ours to share.

This past week I have been lying awake at night...thoughts and words tumbling around in my head, scrambling over each other trying to find their way out into the light. Today I've decided it's time to release them...hoping that by doing so, they will serve a greater purpose than I can imagine.

But in order to do this, I will have to go back to a dark time in my life...a jumping-off point for where I am today...back to a point in time that I almost didn't survive.

Unless you've been living in a closet, you can't help but be aware of the rash of suicides out there. Maybe not even "out there"...maybe they have come closer to home than you ever dreamed. Like stealthy night-time intruders, they forced their way into your life and wreaked havoc...smashing and destroying your safe world. And now you're trying to find your way home to a new "normal"...though God knows it will take a lifetime.

I hope that what I am about to share may save a life...or give hope...or do something I can't even imagine as I follow God into this. If that happens, then writhing under this vulnerability I feel will be worth it. 

Some of you know my story. Most don't. The part I am about to share was so long ago. But it's been engraved on my mind as a signpost that I return to over and over again when I'm finding myself lost and wandering...a sign post God has erected not only for me, but for others also. I see that now.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Keeping our eyes on Heaven...and not Death

My husband and I spent this past weekend in the lowlands of Charleston, SC with the local Audubon group...chasing birds, trying to avoid chiggers and mosquitoes, and making a 40th anniversary memory worthy of holding on to.

While the rest of the group cocked their ears and combed the sky and tree lines with their binoculars, I  was content to wander aimlessly behind them, intent on building a relationship with my newly acquired camera. I had high expectations of my new baby...I had read enough to know she was capable of great and mighty things...if only I could figure her out.

Let's just say that out of 490 shots, maybe 10 will ever be seen by human eyes other than mine. Like any new skill, it's going to take time and lots of practice and humility to acquire any sense of proficiency with it. It's a case of the camera being willing, but my being weak. 

So, this morning I'm sitting out on our deck...trying really hard not to itch the chigger bites...blasted things...and enjoying the unusual lack of humidity and heat that make walking outside in the morning here akin to stepping into a sauna. My thoughts turned to could I not worship the Creator of all this beauty around popping with color and birds of such vibrancy, bursting out with songs of praise to their Maker. It was a smorgasbord of delight...a veritable Garden of Eden! And the thought came to me...I could capture it with my camera! 

Or not. Because then the voice of reasoning set in, screaming something akin to, "What are you thinking? Have you had your devotions and prayer time yet? No? Well then, let's get our priorities straight!" So being the dutiful person I am, I retrieved my Bible and sat down to have devotions

And that's when it all fell apart. My state of bliss had lasted about one hour, and then all that I had been burdened with this past week came rushing over me like a rogue wave...bent on knocking me over and sending me flailing.