Change = Life

Fall Leaf (1 of 1)

Sometimes we are meant, to stand out.

Just recently I was driving along enjoying a beautiful Fall day when down dropped this red leaf onto my rain soaked windshield. Amongst a sea of yellow, ambers and greens this small little leaf, shone. The contrast of colors is what made me stop the car and take notice, and in fact – take this photo. As the bright sun lit it up there was no mistaking the beauty of this leaf.

This dead leaf falling to the ground can bring joy.

Cast off from it’s home, from it’s perch and connection to all it knew, at just the right time and season – it let go. Releasing itself to the wind, the sun, the elements all around it. It could have fallen by the road, into the piles and piles in my yard, but for that one moment, we met. Beauty on my windshield and a gentle reminder from the Heavenly Father to my heart. Sometimes we are just meant to stand out, let go and be who we were destined to be.

How do we do that?

Being real, authentic and true to the design of our very souls and inner beings means to have an awareness of who we are. Dare I say, we must learn to love ourselves. Loving ourselves challenges us to first look.  Gazing around and seeing the beauty of the leaves is one thing, but to sit, ponder and examine the sinews of that very leaf and understand it’s process, this is work. So too, with our delicate and precious souls, minds, hearts. If we want to believe differently, feel differently, respond differently – we must stop and meditate, examine ourselves and submit to be transformed.

This is work. Hard work.

That red leaf, you see, it wasn’t always that red color. It was a green leaf just like all the others leaves on the tree. It was the same, it was no different, it just was – a leaf. But time had taken it’s toll on it, the available light cycle had changed and so it began to change it’s color and it’s luster – it transformed. So too with our hearts. They undergo change through trials, through pain, suffering and the choices we make. Some things we have no control over and we are victims of circumstance and the sin of others. Yet, it still hurts, doesn’t it?  Nevertheless, we have a choice in how we respond, how we love and how we handle the gifts bestowed upon us.

“Brothers and sisters, in light of all I have shared with you about God’s mercies, I urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship.  Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.” (Romans 12:1-2 The Voice)

God clearly tells us in Romans 12:1-2, that in view of His magnificent mercies, His compassion and His love that we are to offer our bodies as living and holy sacrifices. Our very bodies and lives can be offered up to the Eternal God of Heaven – um, what? Can you grasp how important becoming a living sacrifice is to our God?  Like Jesus offered Himself on the cross, so we too offer our own bodies as we walk.

How so?

Scripture says we do this with our minds – our thoughts, our fears, our hurts, our pain. Those things which we often push away, God says, ‘be still.’ Sit and ponder the sinews and depths of our hearts, our pain, our suffering. We no longer deny that it’s there – we look, we feel and we let go. The tentacles of suffering may be far reaching, and digging in these places will be painful.

Don’t let it stop you.

God asks us to be transformed from the inside out. This is not something that can be done to us, that we inflict upon our bodies  – rather it is the mercy, love and grace of God moving in our very hearts and minds – transforming how we think, feel and believe. We choose, we must choose, to love. It starts right there, in your very own heart, in mine.  Love yourself, give yourself permission to be loved and to be seen for who you really are. It’s time.

Our hearts, they are this ugly and beautiful thing. We have darkness there, let Him transform it. You don’t want it to hurt anymore? Bring it into His light. You don’t want to respond in anger anymore? Nail it to the cross.  You might need a friend to carry the light for you at times. God will provide. Walk. Trust. Let Go – and let God transform you, change you to be who you were destined to be- and live.

Like that red leaf I met one Fall day shone in the beauty of the sun. Let God meet your deepest longing in your heart and begin to transform you, change you, love you – free you. So you too, amongst a sea of people – shine.

For sometimes we were meant to stand out.

Mowing Season

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It was just grass.

Fall was upon us and the grass needed mowing. The mower had been broken for a few months and so it was extraordinary long and in need of cutting. Our yard began to look more like an unkempt field rather than a yard in a neighborhood! Add on top of all that, well, it’s Fall.

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The leaves, they fall upon the ground, and although they sure look pretty – if we left them to sit there through the winter – well then, it’s not so pretty! Underneath all that snow melt will be wet, soggy, leaves. We were due, it was way past time, to mow.

So off I went, saddling up our riding lawn mower. Because it was so long, I made more than one pass to cut it down. In fact, I was driving in circles! Round and round, over and over, I passed over the same patch of grass again and again. As I encircled the yard, I found the presence of God began to encircle my heart. Pressing in. Hard.

I was watching that grass and those leaves being cut and shred into smaller pieces. Tossed around, torn up and spit out of that mower. Settling down on top of the freshly cut grass as mulch for the spring. Preparing it for new growth.

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It was then that it hit me.

Like grass and leaves waiting to be cut down and laid out for new soil, so too are our hearts in the hands of our Maker. I can’t speak for your heart, but I sure can for mine. I’ve got grass growing in my heart everywhere, everywhere!

My grass it’s so overgrown in areas – I try to shade the light from getting in there and making it grow longer. Yet do I yield to the source of all light? Where I thought the grass had been cut down – I realize it was my own selfish self not accepting truth and allowing the grass to grow stronger.  Where pockets of growth had been shaved off – new growth was shooting out, rooting and sprouting new life elsewhere.

It was time for my heart to be mowed over.

Cut down. Tossed. Shredded. Torn. Thrown about all over the soil of my heart. Some things, must be cut off and left to rot. Yet others, need to be mowed down and their roots extracted so that they never see the light of day. Ever again.

This, THIS, was my threshing floor. A place where the sheaves of thoughts that scurry around in my head can be laid out bare upon the floor, and beat upon and crushed. Like the lawn mover cutting grass down to it’s roots, so too is the Word of God as it pierces our very thoughts and mind.

God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.So that piece of truth could emerge. Hebrews 4:12 – 13 

My heart had been thrown open and trampled upon. The Hands of the Almighty picked up my heart and cut it open, laid bare, for the ugly truth to be seen. Like the Master Surgeon He is, He was gentle, He was skilled, but He was truthful. I couldn’t get away from it, it was time to listen and obey. This heart surgery extracted kernels of truth, His truth, which I didn’t know even existed. I was past due, to be mowed over- so that new life, found in Him, could be restored.

No matter what I might doubt, what my defense could be or whatever the explanation. He knows. He knows what’s growing in my heart. He knows what’s growing in your heart too, dear one. That is what’s so beautiful. He knows. Oh, how He knows!

He’s seen your doubts as they drop like freshly fallen leaves. The moment you rake them up, more scurry to the ground anew. He’s seen your overgrown field of fears.  It’s time to saddle up to face them. He’s felt your pain and what you’ve endured. He wants to perform heart surgery so the pain is gone, for good.

He’s seen your precious heart – oh your heart! Will you grant Him access? Will you allow Him to come inside, cut down your grass and lay you bare on the threshing floor?

After all, it’s just grass.

Reaching

Reaching

Reaching.

Upward, onward, forward and often, backward. This constant process of reaching, of moving and of trying. A never ceasing, unending, constant sense of chaos. Looking for answers to long asked questions. Ever searching.

Like the cattails that sway in the breeze and never sit still. Are our hearts as we search them in the midst of pain.

Pain.

I rarely talk about it. In fact I was reminded as I shared with a precious friend just this weekend how little I do talk and contemplate the turns in life that have come my way. It’s not that I haven’t let them mold me, challenge me, grow me. But, have I spoken to free myself from the fear? Have I spoken so that maybe someone else might gain strength? Have I spoken to find my own voice?

Have I spoken?

I live with daily pain, the kind that takes your breath away so immediately your chest feels like it’s caving in. It hurts to breathe. Yes, read that again. It hurts to breathe. The very thing we take for granted, that sustains our life, brings me pain. That’s the thing about pain. We surprise ourselves on what we can truly endure.

This can also bring me much fear. Not fear in the sense of I can’t catch my breath (although I’ve had a few of those moments), but fear in losing time. Once you have tasted the sweetness of the brevity of life, oh how you want to rewrite the story! I desperately yearn to be reaching.

For more.

Reaching inward, yes. Rearranging my daily activities, responsibilities and priorities so that I honor this life I was blessed with, again.

Reaching outward, yes. Seeking to build a holistic support system around me, calling out for help when I need it.

Reaching upward. To the God who allowed this all to happen in the first place? Not so much. It’s a constant tension to reach out. There’s a cycle of doubt which creeps in, fear takes over and I cave. Like the breathe caught in my chest, is the love I offer my God.

Painful.

Rather than look up, I look backward at what could have been, should have been, on what I had planned. The “if only’s” choke out and I gasp for air again. This time, not because of a clot in my lung, but a clot in the relationship I have with my Father.

I reach. I grasp. I struggle to see His face, to hold His Hand. As I reach out, I find it empty, soaked with tears of grief. Of moments put on hold, memories missed and time lost. There I am, reaching backward once again. I know this path.

What will it take until I learn to no longer look backwards?

Perhaps that’s the point of the pain in the first place.

To trust.

To embrace this clinging, breathing, calming, moment by moment life of rest. That’s where my Father is, waiting for me, in our relationship together. Calling me to come.

Be.

Then the breeze blows, the wind moves and I feel His touch again.

This time, I reach up.

Rebirth

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It’s a new day! I look at this photograph and reflect.

I remember the anticipation waiting for the sun to rise and a new day to be born. As the sun crest over the horizon, bursting forth with color and light, I was reminded of the majesty that surrounds a freshly formed day. The newness of it. The sky awakening with ever changing color and light. The clouds as they roll on by. The birds as they speak their song. Each moment sacred. The time that lies before you will be like none you have had before. Or will have again.

I dare say, it’s a rebirth.

A time to start again. To rethink what has happened before this moment and per chance marvel at what may lie ahead. A time to replenish your soul and be filled with the beauty of a new day and the hope that lies within it. A time to recommit and focus your life in the direction you are called.

For me, it’s that time. A rebirth.

I began this blog as a place to combine some thoughts and explore a journey that has evolved for me. As with each new day that unfolds, sometimes clouds form blocking your view, a constant fog as you see the next step on your journey.

Today, this is my step. A recommitment to me. Not in this wow look at the canvas of my life and see how amazing I am. I venture not. I ever so meekly thinks it might be more a wow, look at my life and how much I need the Maker who makes each day new!

He created me, this person, with all my ambiances and quirks, for this moment in time. To live.  Regardless of the blood clots. To live. Regardless of what has happened in your past. To live. Regardless of what you know of where you are headed this very day. To live.

To look out over the horizon of a new day, and making your choice.

It is in those precious times of reflection, like the birth of a new day, that those sacred truths of who we are, and hope to become, etch ever deeper in our hearts. Like the sun reflecting across the each stone on this beach, is the handprints of my God calling me to come.

It’s a new day, a rebirth, an ever moving journey.

I am eager to walk. Join me.

My story, just a bit

So, everyone has a story, here’s a small part of mine. If there is one thing that helps define who I am or what’s important to me, it’s this truth.

I am a woman of faith.

I yearn, strive and live desiring a relationship with Him. It’s not something I impose on others, however, it’s just such a part of who I am. I have found as I grow closer to God, my life becomes so much more real and open. I am safe.

I am devoted to family.

I am a wife, mother and daughter. If I could sum up my purpose it would be to leave a legacy. To develop, provide and grow in ways so that I can share it with those I love the most. Am I perfect in this? By no means, far from it! This truth is deep within my being.

Finally, I have come to accept this truth recently, I am sick.

I have battled many physical things through the years, some rather serious, others not so. Just the same, it seems to be my “thorn in the flesh,” literally. I never was sick, especially growing up athletic and involved in sports and fun activiites. But it happens, it’s life. We each are dealt circumstances to deal with, and mine just happen to come upon me in a physical way, keeping me dependent on others, and on God, rather than myself.

Hence, I come full circle.

Whom I desire the most, God, is who upholds me. Am I always faithful? Absolutely not!

Yet my desires remain the same, to be a woman of God in His presence, to be devoted to my family and leave a legacy for the generations that follow me.

That’s a bit of my story, care to share yours?

Transformation

Transition

Transformation, a time when things move from one state of being to another. It’s a part of life and moreso, it’s a choice we make. We can choose to be transformed and to bravely charter a new direction. Yet often we stand still in this mess called, life.

How we choose to change and be transformed, or what we desire to move into in our life, it’s just not set into stone. We have choices. It’s not predetermined what I will do today or how I will use my time. That’s up to me. I hold the power in some sense of how my life will be lived, in trying or in giving up. All with the thought of transformation lurking in the scenes.

Each year fall arrives and the colors of leaves begin their changing process. Cold nights, rain, wind and other weather conditions contribute to the effect of how brilliant, or not so brilliant, the colors become. Sometimes the sun is shining down and their colors radiant through brightly and other times it’s dark, cold, and they are muted. Regardless of how they look, or what we see, change is taking place.

The same is true in our hearts. Change comes from the elements of life pressing in on us. We have times of brightness and joy and other times the darkness just doesn’t lift.

I look at this leaf and wonder, could it have total and complete control on how it changes color? Does it change the same way each year? Perhaps the color tones are richer one year and more subtle the next.
No matter the color, or choice, there is this small truth subtly whispering underneath. Just look at this leaf, sitting there on the branch, connected, rested and quiet, waiting.

One day, the colors will totally drain, the time will come when that leaf will totally let go. No matter what the rain or the sun did, the end result will eventually be full release of the elements surrounding them and tumble to the ground. Those fresh fall leaves will turn into crunchy brown dead ones. Can you hear them?

Does this mean this leaf had no life? Absolutely not. What it reveals to me is that it trusted in the transformation process. In order to be fully transformed to have a new, different life – it needed to die so it could live. Emerging refreshed and fully green once again in the spring. It was time to release itself to the transformation process.

Trusting and knowing that even when it let’s go, rebirth comes.

So let’s stop holding on.

And so it begins…

It’s been a long time coming for this blog.

At one point years ago I had one that was very active. It was a place for theological discussion and musings. I ended up deleting it as it was started as a discussion blog but ended up being one voice, mine.

Well, here I am again, but this time, my plan is to use my voice more freely. To explore thoughts more openly and to ponder the things which are on my heart.

So, here’s how it’ll go. If you want to visit and share your thoughts, by all means, share. The more the conversation flows, the greater our hearts can expand, or the flip side, contract. This may at times be a place where thoughts are poured upon the page, and you may just not agree. That’s okay. All things done in love is what I desire.

Things you may wanna know:

First,  I am a Christian. My faith doesn’t define me in a specific way in what I can or can’t do. Rather it’s part of who I am, what I desire in life and how I persue the things He calls me to. One day at a time. So, there will be times of faith, times of doubt and perhaps times of fear too.

Second, I struggle with health problems. Persistent, long term and at times serious issues. They tug at my heart as well as my body to redefine my thoughts and challenge me to engage life in a new, and hopfully, more purposeful way.

Finally, I kinda like art. I explore various mediums to express myself. It’s part of finding my voice and becoming a stronger person. As I reconnect with that part of me, I may explore richer thoughts, or deepen long standing convictions. I am okay with that, it’s a journey. And I am more than ready.

Are you?