Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sundays Are for Cleaning. And Apparently Crying.

Sundays and I have been in a fight lately.  But I think we're about to make up.

I have been finding myself crying every Sunday, lately.  At least over the past several weeks.  This is not incredibly surprising since I'm, like, the most emotional person you've ever encountered, but it's really been throwing a wrench in my days.  WHY AM I CRYING SO MUCH, I've found myself wondering.  I LOVE SUNDAYS, WHAT'S THE DEAL!?!  But I think I've figured it out.

See for me, Sundays are for cleaning.  I enjoy throwing on (loud) music and starting the process of cleaning up the crumbs of the week before.  Sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, etc.  I am, by no means, a "clean freak," but I love how fresh the house looks/smells/feels after a solid wipe down, shaking off all of the remainders of the days prior, setting it up for a new week.

I also find myself cleaning out my mind, heart and soul on Sundays.  It typically starts with a church service, where I am fed spiritually and emotionally.  Hoping to carry on the feeling I get after hearing God's word, I usually find myself reading, writing or studying later in the day, with a tendency to focus on things that will satisfy my heart and mind (don't worry - I gorge myself on junk TV and such on Saturdays.)  I prepare myself for the week ahead, while reflecting on the days I've just left behind.

Because of this routine, Sundays tend to be full of reflection, contemplation, and grace-filled insights. Thinking of what my life looks like now, remembering what it looked like before, daydreaming of what my life may look like in the future.  Shaking off the worries and the burdens and sitting in utter awe of God's unconditional love and grace.  And because, remember, I'm, like, the most emotional person you've ever encountered, I typically find myself with tears streaming down my face.

But it's okay because crying is my reaction to most emotions - happiness, sadness, frustration, anger, elation, boredom - and I believe it is my soul's way of cleansing itself.

So even though Sundays make me cry...I adore them.  What other day of the week can you wake up slow, drink obscene amounts of coffee, be fed spiritually while visiting with friends and family, enjoy nap time, and reorganize your life for the days ahead?

I hope your Sundays are just as lovely.  But maybe a bit less emotional.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

White, Blank Page.

I'm sitting here, on my bed, staring at this white, blank page in front of me, trying to figure out the words to type out.  I know that in order to be a successful writer, one must...write.  Sometimes writing is just the easiest part of my day, words flowing out of my fingers like nobody's business, like my fingers were created to type.  But sometimes the words run away and hide from me, deep down in the crevices of my brain.  I know they are there but bringing them to the surface can be difficult.

So I guess I'll just write about writing.  I am trying to blog more, again.  Knowing that I need to practice this skill and actually practicing are two different acts.  I am attempting to encourage (read: force) myself to write at least two blogs a week.  At least two blogs a week just on my personal blog alone; not including writing I'll be doing for Shattered's blog among other things.  Oh and this doesn't include, you know, trying to write a book.  So basically there's going to be a lot of typing going on up in here.

To date I have written approximately (read: exactly) 5,817 words for my book.  That's enough right?  It's coming along slowly, but sweetly and surely.  Maybe by 2050 I'll have them all written out.  It's such a delicate balance writing a book that you would actually like people to read.  Figuring out a way to delicately interlace straight forward facts and all the emotions and thoughts and feels in a way that shows grace, love and sincerity is kind of a ridiculous idea if you really think about it.  But I'm determined (read: stubborn) and I'm going to make it happen.  I recently found out that I FINALLY got into graduate school...for next year.  I will start Summer 2015.  I am choosing to see the silver linings in having to wait another entire year and one of them is to finish this dang book.  I work well with due dates and deadlines.

I shall now leave you with a gift.  A gift of a picture of my dog contemplating the world's problems.  Like maybe why there are not enough tennis balls on this planet.  Or why he can't seem to physically catch the reflection from his collar tags.  Or why our cat hates him so much. 

You're welcome.

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Waiting.  We're always waiting for something.  Some of us are waiting for new job opportunities or promotions.  Some of us are waiting for our favorite artist to release a new album.  Some of us are simply waiting for our dinner to be ready.

But some of us are waiting for something much deeper; something we may never really receive in this lifetime.


There is the girl waiting for answers as to why her husband of 6 months was taken from her due to illness.  Why him?  Why her?  Why them?

There is the girl waiting for answers to her questions about her boyfriend's sudden death.  A sudden death that she walked in on, finding the love of her life with a gun in his hand.  She knows it was an accident but there are still answers she wants.  Answers she needs.

The daughters, sisters and brothers of the man that was violently gunned down by the police.  What was going through his head when he died?  Why did he not abide the police peacefully?  Why did it have to happen that way?

The children in foster care longing for answers from their parents.  Why can't they take care of them?  Why won't they fight to keep them?  Why do they have to be in the care of people that are not blood relatives?

The couple that desires nothing more than to be parents, to have a child of their own.  Why do they have to wait?  Why are so many others around them able to conceive so easily?  Why not them, too?

The family that has just laid their 5 year old son to rest.  Why them?  Why him?  Why would God let this happen?

The girl that longs to be loved as much as she once was by her boyfriend that suddenly lost his life from leukemia; she keeps getting so close to love before it is snatched away.  When will it be her turn?

We're all waiting for something.  We're all waiting for the answers we may never get.  I constantly wonder why we all have to wait.  Sometimes life makes no sense, and we're grasping at the walls searching for answers.  I'm tired of waiting and I know you are, too.

Tonight I pray for all of you that are waiting for answers.  Take heart and remember that God is sovereign over all things.  Including the waiting rooms in our hearts.

God grant me the serenity 

to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; 

Enjoying one moment at a time; 
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it; 
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life 
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Let's Stop Mucking It Up.

Obedience.  Most of us probably cringe just a tiny bit when we hear/read/think that word.  We think of all the negative connotations it has, all the times we had to obey without wanting to.  But obedience has been in our lives from the day we were born and will be there until the day we die, forever and ever, amen.  Shouldn't we stop fighting with it, just make up and accept it for what it is?  Yea, right, we aren't that smart.

This word/act/idea has been hammered into me lately, basically nonstop.  It was looming in the air when I found out I was wait listed for graduate school recently.  It has flowed in and out of my heart as I have had to sit patiently waiting for love.  It's a constant mantra I chant to myself when I am not happy with my surroundings, knowing that I am exactly where I am supposed to be according to God's will but actually hating my surroundings wishing I could stab them with a knife.  Dang, why is it so hard to adhere to, sometimes?

This week I had some beautiful one-on-one time with the girl I mentor at Harris Home, the group foster care home here in town.  I'd found out she'd been skipping class some and lying to the staff about where she'd been.  I picked her up from class and took her to get coffee so we could sift through these actions.  I did not really know what I was going to say as I was driving to pick her up.  It's obvious she is acting out for reasons that I can't even begin to understand.  I have no idea what it is like to have been bounced around between my own home, various group homes, and detention centers my entire existence.  I never had to witness my mother with more men in my lifetime than the number of years I've been alive. To have siblings from multiple fathers.  I can't even begin to fathom that lifestyle.

But as I was driving to get her, I was praying, asking God to give me the words to speak to her and it occurred to me (read: The Spirit interceded here and planted thoughts in my head) that because her mother never really disciplined her, regulations and rules look like hatred to her.  To her, because staff members are asking her to be obedient and are holding her accountable for her actions, they must not care about her at all. Because they are withholding things from her that she feels she deserves and needs, they must be out to make her life miserable.  She doesn't know what discipline from a loving place looks like.

And although I am privileged enough to know a savior that has my best interest in His hands and to come from a loving family that taught me the reasoning behind obedience and to understand that God may be withholding things from me right now because it's not time yet, or because these things aren't in His will for me (big deep breath in), I still get frustrated.  I still get upset.  I still want to skip class and lie. Why is that? Why do we get mad when we know that The Lord's got this and His idea is WAY BETTER than anything we can even dream up?  We should be rejoicing in His plan always, but instead we get caught up in our own thoughts and timelines and rebel.  So even though I know better, I am no different than my sweet foster child, and I bet you aren't either.  We're all rebelling against something.

So what do we do?

Prayer through these situations is key.  Praying for God to open our hearts, cleanse them of our own stupid pride and to teach us to obey Him.  In church today, it was said that it is impossible to joyfully obey something that we hate.  But we are called to do that.  And the only way to do that is with the help of the One that knows what is best for our lives.  It's such an easy concept but we always go and muck it up in our complicated human ways (I'm pointing my fingers are you Adam and Eve.)

So let's try our best to be patient and obey (note: I'm saying this more to myself than to anyone else.)  God's got this.  Why question the intentions of the One who created our intentions?  Let's stop mucking it up.