Friday, June 29, 2012

The Sentry (waiting on God)

Hushed breath,
stillness.
I wait.

Wrap myself around you
as you fill my heart,
find my soul,
give me purpose.

With a surity
I sit at the gate,
in absolute expectation
for my deliverer.

My posture tall,
my eyes wide,
my yearning deep.

As I scan the horizon
I see brilliant light.
You beckon,
You call,
You release.

So close to you;
hear your whisper.
Bind me to you;
guide my life.

Hushed breath,
stillness.
I wait.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sometimes

Sometimes we want what we want. Some things are so ingrained in our brains, we go on automatic pilot to get them. It's like giving over control of the plane to a blind man just because he was able to crash-land it once. Our faith is in the wrong thing.

I was at the park recently. A little girl around five or six came tumbling towards me. She stopped short of my picnic bench and proceeded to cross her arms over her chest, glaring back at her family as they unknowingly continued their game. She would stomp her feet and hang her head, dramamtically looking over to see if anyone saw her. The gawky, pig-tailed girl repeated this numerous times. "I wanna go bounce the ball. Now!" was what she said over and over again. Mom realized what was going on and came over. Everyone stopped their game to look on in curiosity. This became a chase as the little girl turned and ran. Anger transformed into laughter as mom finally swooped her flailing daughter into her arms.

It made me think. Do we really ever outgrow this? I wanted what I wanted, no matter what. No matter whose feelings I wasn't thinking of. No matter what the consequence. No matter the collateral damage. I was not thinking of someone else's hurts, their hang-ups, their needs. Mine came first. What is my truth in this? I was selfish. I was needy. I was not able to put another person's well-being in front of my own. Everything in my life is radically, sublimely changing...except for this area. I forgot about it. It had been a long time. What I realized was that I need to turn my ashes into beauty here too.

It's said that the combination of a positive attitude and energetic effort is part of the mystery of our cooperation with God. Cooperation. Sounds like this relationship involves some action on my part. And not just any action, a positive one. Instead of me pushing away using some sort of twisted wrestling move (that ends up pinning me to the mat,) I must push through my coal to make diamonds. I can only hope that out of this situation will come fresh perspective, renewed thought and altered behavior. I know if I give in to the truth that what I thought worked for me didn't really work at all, that my god will reach down and secure me. Transform me. I miss my friend. He made me smile.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Red Boots

Why do we give people the power to hurt us? What in us is so damaged and unsure of its worth that we get so entangled? The old adage that you teach people how to treat you is all too real. And, if we're not careful, we will ask for it over and over again. Repeating the same mistakes.

Finding your worth seems to get harder. As a child, you dream of princes and white horses, but are strangely awakened later in life by the cold, hard facts. Many times we get those enchanted palaces, only to intentionally destroy them. Nobody tells us this. They really should.

When I was about five years old, I left my favorite pair of red velvet boots out overnight. Morning found me in tears standing over the spot where the boots were while holding a note....from my boots.

Dear Beth,
This is your boots. I have run away since you are not taking care of me.
Love,
Boots

This note is ingrained in my mind for some reason. When I thought more about it, it made sense. Those shoes had to take a stand. They had to fight. If they had chosen to stay, I might have continued not to take care of them; to take them for granted. It was the first time that I realized the cause and effect relation I had on other objects, that would eventually translate into other people.

We have little boxes we carry around in life; some red for love, others black for pain. They help us compartmentalize and make sense of the world around us. What we choose to keep in these boxes is up to us. And, how we do this, is by the way we think. What we tell ourselves is so much more than words. Thoughts do become actions, and those actions, define us.

My boots were teaching me how to treat them. They were bold, they were confident, they sent a powerful message. They were kindly redirecting my behavior. Those shoes were being real. And you better bet I never left them out again.

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Bolting

Why can't we take our own advise? One minute we are minding our life with intentional positivity and big faith, and the next we are curled into the fetal position in some way too familiar place. How does this happen?!

In the movie, Bolt, a superhero dog runs around saving 'his person', Penny, from evil masterminds. Equipped with supersonic bark and a laserbeam gaze, Bolt saves the day over and over again. What he does not know is that he is really part of a television series. They keep him in the dark. The director feels that if Bolt knew what he really was, he would lose his authenticity. So, Bolt escapes accidentally one night only to find himself searching for Penny in a world where his powers won't "work."  He is in a familiar place without his net. He looses ground, he doubts, he is confused. When he finally finds Penny, he sees that she has replaced him, and he looses faith turning tail and running. Again, there is something he doesn't know. What he witnessed was a scene from the show, not the truth of the situation. Before he can get out of town, a friend arrives to tell him, "It's not what it seems. Trust me. Have faith." Bolt turns back around and, once again, saves his Penny.

Clear your mind from those old voices that tell you you're not good enough. Realize that who you really
are is what MAKES you authentic.Turn back around. Be brave, for all is not what it seems. Most of all... that friend who arrives in just the nick of time? Well, you've got one too....his name is God....you don't have to be in the dark.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

What we finally realize

Most of us go through our whole lives feeling incomplete. We search, analyze, cling, clutch and cleave to whatever we can find thinking it will make the emptiness go away. It won't.  If we are fortunate enough, God will allow us an experience to set us free. Our job is to embrace it. If we don't accept where we are then we cannot move through it to make it different. I think sometimes we believe running from the situations and ignoring them will do, but that is only a delay; a painful prolonging of the inevitable.

Many of us search for love, putting debilitating pressure on another person to fulfill every need. This is not love. Love is breathe. Love is space. Love is a big, blue sky. Loving another is giving of yourself with no expectation, no pressure, no ultimatums. Be brave. Be immune from disappointment by taking someone on their own terms. Indulge yourself with full trust that no matter what happens next, you are safe. When you do this, the world opens up to you. You create a space of fluidity from which all opportunity flows. Like a flower, you will feel your soul open up. And you will fly.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wreckage

We all have those places in which we hide. Some are soothing, cool blue and warm while others are dark and cavernous. For some reason, the ones that swallow us up are the ones where we find the most comfort. I think about my former marriage. There are so many things I did not realize I had done. I was a freight train. He, a china shop. Selfish. Sinful. Exploding. Tornado. Realizing what I had done, I did not want to feel. And, in that cavern, it was not required of me so I ran, ran, ran taking reprieve in the immobilization of my self-created pain. What is ironic about this type of behavior is that the intentions are so far from the actual results. We are trying to provide relief from the situation, but end up compounding it. Something that could serve as a temporary learning experience turns itself into a big self-propelled mess. Wreckage so fierce that one person cannot possibly pick-up the pieces alone, or at once. Leaving such sadness in its wake.

The Greek word for Gethsemane means "oil press." In the bible, Christ spends his last hours before his last dawn in isolated, anguished contemplation. The people he loves, his family, fell asleep despite his pleas for companionship during this final vigil. They do not understand the magnitude of the situation. Like Christ's twelve, when we are in it we do not see it for what it really is. Only many times when it is too late and we are picking ourselves up off the floor, do we see the ugly truth. How we handle this truth is what makes us or breaks us. If we retreat into the dark, we will become accustomed to its hands around our neck. If we move forward through it, we find freedom. This action of bravely pressing through the fear is what defines us as children of god. When you are ready to loose that cold grasp from around your neck and step out of the cave that holds you captive, close your eyes, breathe and clasp the hand next to yours. That hand...is god's.

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