So Where Do We Go From Here?

So, where do we go from here? 

Should we keep murdering, polarizing, hurting, hating, and tearing each other down? We are destroying ourselves and each other instead of valuing each life as a gift.

Giving in to the darkness of hate-of anyone- no matter what our political, social, ethnic or religious background is, is the recipe for demise. We do not have to fear a foreign enemy or a virus. We are doing an excellent job of destroying our own selves. The problem starts in the unseen heart of each of us.

So, where do we go from here?

 “Having resentment in your soul is like drinking poison and hoping that your enemy will die”- Nelson Mandela

So, where do we go from here?

“The fastest way to change you is to change me.” -Tony Robbins

So, where do we go from here?

“Three things will last forever- faith, hope and love- and the greatest of these is love.- The apostle, Paul.

Coming Out of The Shadows

Change….it’s hard. There is so much to it. Overriding uncertainty and fear, being courageous, taking a step, acceptance that you may not be where you want to be, but how are you going to get there if you never begin?

I bought myself a curriculum suggetsted by my therapist called, The Artist’s Way. It is written by Julia Cameron, a screen writer, and it is somewhat of a hands-on classic for blocked artists. Cameron suggests writing three large amounts of “pages” everyday to get un stuck. It doesn’t matter if you are a writer, a musician a painter, a dancer, what ever your art form, the writing is a necessary means to a desired end.

The curriculum was suggested because I needed time to, drain my brain, as my therapist said, but it has been so encouraging to me as I have stepped out in many areas of creativity lately- I highly recommend it to anyone who is afraid to develop those deep desired aspirations.

This is what Cameron says to affirm those afraid to take themselves seriously in any realm of creativity.

“In order to move a way from the realm of the shadows into light of creativity, shadow artists must learn to take themselves seriously. With gentle, deliberate effort, they must nurture their artist child. Creativity is play, but for shadow artists, learning to allow themselves to play is hard work.”

This statement is so true of me! On one hand, I take myself way too seriously, on the other, I haven’t taken my desires, gifts and talents serious enough. On one hand, I have spent literal hours and years, alone, practicing, writing, singing, playing, taking lessons to improve, on the other hand, I have so easily hidden in my fear and have not wanted to step onto center stage using the excuse, “someone is always better than I am.”

A lot has changed in my life over the last four years. A cataclysmic event in my life, cloaked in the appearance of a “bad” thing, actually turned out to be an open door of hope and change in my life. I do not want to discount how, in many ways, it was a hurtful event, to many people because it was. But what are we supposed to do with the shadows of our life? Hide in them? Blame them? Avoid them at all costs? I don’t think so. I think we are to, as Henri Nouwen says, in so many ways, embrace the shadows and the light together. Life is full of both and both are intended to be lessons to us.

The event in my life was a glaring signal that something needed to change. Many things infact needed to change…first, me. I was living a false-self life. I had desires and dreams, but I had for years stuffed them so far down to my toes, thinking they were selfish instead of, ‘desires of my heart’, God had perhaps placed there.

Allowing myself to say, I do not want the next 25 years to be the way the first twenty-five were, was very new for me. It was liberating. I didn’t go about it all the right way, for sure. But when we take actions to grow and change, ripples occur and affect those we surround ourselves with.

I have decided I want to take positive actions that affect myself and the ones I love in a positive way- those are my perimeters after trying to change in a destructive way. It is not easy, change never is, but it doesn’t have the negative ramifications surrounding it like bad choices to change, have.

Just one aspect of this change is found in our new hobby of playing as a family band in local venues. My family has played in worship settings for years, and still continue to. But we have recently created a set list of music, that is meaningful to us as a family, and stepped out to share our love of music together with the community.

We play rock classics, pop songs, jazz and originals that give a back story of the things we have been through as a couple and a family and it has been met with encouragement and huge support. I, for many years, was a drummer for bands. Although I would still sing from, ‘behind the band’, even lead or sing my own songs, I always had the comfort of the first layer of musicians in front of me to keep me in the shadows. I couldn’t see the faces of those we were playing to very easily and that was fine with me!

Coming out of the shadows right now for me means, stepping out in the courage that I have been given something important to say and share. That my life counts, that I have a message and that there are others who need comfort from hearing it. Ultimately, Jesus continues to use my life, bring me out of the shadows and in to all that He has destined for me to be and for me to do. In the process, I am empathetic to others and can comfort others with the comfort I have received. Ultimately, that is what I think shadows were created for. When shadows are exposed to light, you see all the beauty, life and detail that was always laying quietly there all along<3

A Beautiful Heart in 2020

I am re-posting this Valentine’s Day blog from two years ago. My husband and I have been on such a transparent journey of restoration, independently and together, over the last four years.

What I didn’t write in the original blog was that any card exchanging, in the last four years, has been very difficult thing. Card writers are getting much better at creating messages that are more true to real life relationships than the super sugary words that were the norm, and that helps a lot. If you have struggled in your relationship with your significant other or if you if you haven’t- I hope you find truth and encouragement from what I have written<3 Happy Valentine’s Day 2020.

My husband gave me a card today, inside it said,  you have a beautiful heart. If I read that on a great day, being in a euphoric state of mind, it would have been humbling. But I read it today. Today which came after last night, in which we had quite a spirited argument.  I woke up just as angry as I went to sleep, even though we both take “do not let the sun go down on your anger” quite literally!

My heart wasn’t beautiful! I had a card for my husband, but I couldn’t bring myself to give it to him. When I write something or give a card, I have to be in complete agreement with it- if I am not, it would be a false representation. But he not only left this card for me to read, he wrote in it one of the most expressive notes I have ever received from him! It was extremely real, loving, kind and humbling. No one knows me better than him and no one sees the whole package like he does….and yet, he calls it beautiful.

We took time to pray before we went to work today, we prayed through, until all of the misunderstandings had subsided and the peace that surpasses all understanding guarded our hearts and minds once again. This is new for us. We didn’t used to allow work to wait before and we allowed other matters to have preeminence over our relationship. This was the right thing to do! Ask for forgiveness- Go to God and say we are weak, our wisdom lacks and He is the answer!

To tell you the truth, the card and my husband’s expression reminded me so much of Jesus. He thinks my heart is beautiful too no matter what! He doesn’t look on the outward appearance, but He looks at my heart. That is solid and mature and I am not always there. This Valentines day, is such a great reminder of that other-worldly love. A love that dies to self so others can live. A love, not always sexy and romantic the way we think of love, but solid, mature, and always there no matter what. It’s rare and I am humbled to have such beautiful hearts hold mine<3

The What and Why Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm5Gx1NfWmo

 

 

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Meet Me In A Forgotten Corner Of My Heart

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Be Still and know that I am God

Be still and know that I love you…that I hold you in the palm of my hand…that I have counted the hairs on your head…that you are the apple of my eye…that your name is written in my heart…”Do not be afraid it is I.”

There is nothing in us that needs to be hidden from God’s love. Our guilt …our shame…our fear…our sins…He wants to see it, touch it, hear it…and make Himself known. There is no other God than the Lord of Love.

Be still and know that I am God. God is not in the storm, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but in the still, small voice , the gentle breeze, and the sheer silence…

Be still and know that I am God. Take these words with you in the week to come…let them be like a little seed planted in the good soil of your heart and let it grow…

Be still and know that I am God.                                                                  – Henri Nouwen

What Does It Profit to Gain The World and Lose Your Soul?

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In her book; Present Over Perfect, Shauna Niequist writes, “What kills a soul? Exhaustion, secret keeping, image management. And what brings back a soul from the dead? Honesty, connection and grace.”

My soul feels a little lost lately. I am a bit exhausted. I have not been keeping secrets, but I am ever ridding myself of image management. This blog is a hashing out of my mind onto virtual paper.

Honesty: Deep calls out to deep. I live to feel the waterfalls, breakers, and waves of God roll over me. I seek and need that revelation and encouragement to live out this day. If I strive, it is to know who I am in Christ. It is a longing to understand and believe my identity in Him. My value and worth are not in what I own, but in who owns me. The world screams at me that I am foolish and lazy, that I am independent and capable of making my own decisions, to create my own success. Sometimes I lend an ear to that. Too many times I align myself with the voice that says I have failed, and that I am worthless.

Connection: Out of this struggle and and dependence on God, I realize that I am just the container. A cup. A vessel. A receptacle. I hold something of greatness. I am great because of the greatness I hold. I am amazing because I am a unique container, created by a potter in which no two are a like. I am connected to the One who knows all things, who is all things, who owns all things. I reach out to others, I connect, I engage, they drink, and I drink. I apprehend the living water that infuses with my cup to create one unique soul that is like no other and was not meant to be.

Grace: I cannot fail because it is not I that lives any longer, but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live, I choose not to live for myself, as if there were such a thing.  It is Christ in me the Hope of glory. Christ being extended to others with the love and mercy that has been poured into me.

There… my mind is starting to be renewed, and set right. The world is starting now to dissipate, and my soul is being nourished and fattened.

A Beautiful Heart

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My husband gave me a card today, inside it said,  you have a beautiful heart. If I read that on a great day, being in a euphoric state of mind, it would have been humbling. But I read it today. Today which came after last night, in which we had quite a spirited argument.  I woke up just as angry as I went to sleep, even though we both take “do not let the sun go down on your anger” quite literally!

My heart wasn’t beautiful! I had a card for my husband, but I couldn’t bring myself to give it to him. When I write something or give a card, I have to be in complete agreement with it- if I am not, it would be a false representation. But he not only left this card for me to read, he wrote in it one of the most expressive notes I have ever received from him! It was extremely real, loving, kind and humbling. No one knows me better than him and no one sees the whole package like he does….and yet, he calls it beautiful.

We took time to pray before we went to work today, we prayed through, until all of the misunderstandings had subsided and the peace that surpasses all understanding guarded our hearts and minds once again. This is new for us. We didn’t used to allow work to wait before and we allowed other matters to have preeminence over our relationship. This was the right thing to do! Ask for forgiveness- Go to God and say we are weak, our wisdom lacks and He is the answer!

To tell you the truth, the card and my husband’s expression reminded me so much of Jesus. He thinks my heart is beautiful too no matter what! He doesn’t look on the outward appearance, but He looks at my heart. That is solid and mature and I am not always there. This Valentines day, is such a great reminder of that other-worldly love. A love that dies to self so others can live. A love, not always sexy and romantic the way we think of love, but solid, mature, and always there no matter what. It’s rare and I am humbled to have such beautiful hearts hold mine<3