Leap After Leap in the Dark

In a new year, it is really important to step back and take inventory to see what you have to show for the 12 months you have just lived through. I relate to Agnes De Mille, especially the last year, I have been saying things like,” I am throwing everything at the wall and I am seeing what sticks.” I have been stepping out on a limb, leaping in the dark and walking by….faith.

I have really, courageously, put myself out there. I have written a book about failure and how to recover from it, and that was not with out some repercussions. I not only thought it was the right thing to do, but I thought it was what I must, absolutely do, in an effort to progress with my wholeness and help others with theirs. But because that brings with it a certain vulnerability, I have wrestled with uncertainty as to if I went about it the right way.

I have spoken at church services and events when I have been asked to, knowing that this is the direction I must ultimately blaze, and then wishing I would have said things a different way or didn’t say a particular thing.

I have come up with classes, taken them to different venues and hoped people would sign up. Many times they did. Sometimes they didn’t. I started a new forum and winced when I would walk into the room, hoping I was never the only one who showed up- I never was.

I stepped down from a few roles while picking up new ones. Seizing the opportunity with confidence in one hand and complete unbelief that I am the person speaking or the musician who was asked to play or the employee who now does intakes with patients.

It was a year of great relational tribulation piercing the very tenderest places of my heart. And it was the year that I was convinced there was no stopping now or no sitting down when there was only one way to get to the other side of my,’ living just under my potential,’ that I have put up with for far too long in my life.

I have fiercely loved when I would have rather, easily, been apathetic and I have seen the fruit that is born when you keep loving and keep forgiving.

It was a year of joy, tears, wrestling with myself and God, surrender, struggle, surrender again and fruition.

A year of leaping in the dark, getting bruised and leaping again. My mouth is quieter. My ears listen better. My feeble knees are getting stronger and my thigh muscles are becoming more defined. And, despite the dark, I am seeing more acutely and have made friends with, not completely knowing.

Thank you for reading. Blessings to you today and in your new year.

From Numbness to Feeling: My Return to the Church

Written by my daughter, Hannah, I am in awe and inspired by this<3

Hannah Allman Kennedy

The room was filled with people. And the room was huge, so it was a lot of people. Hundreds of us were crammed in the black box room that had a stage and big screens in one corner. Lights in various colors flared. Upbeat music played. The crowd of people became a sea of heads and arms under the clouds of light and music.

It was my first time visiting this church. My best friend invited my husband and I along. He and I had been on an unfortunate streak of non-attendance, not because we didn’t think church was something we should do, and not because we had given up our faith or anything. The reason was simple: we hadn’t found a good church near school. The reason was also complicated: my heart was numb and suspicious.

Around the time Alex and I got married, the church I had grown…

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You Bless It’s Growth

 

 

 

You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it. The river of God is full of water, you provide their grain, for so You have prepared it. You water it’s ridges abundantly, you settle it’s furrows, you make it soft with showers, you bless it’s growth. Psalm 65:9-10

When I read this scripture this morning, I was reminded of the weather we have experienced last few weeks here in Pennsylvania and reflected on the abundance in my life.  When I go inward, to the secret place of The Most High and find my strength, refuge and expectation from Him, he blesses growth in my life. That is what He does and we can see it in nature. The earth receives water, it goes deep into it’s resources and produces something under the surface that we eventually see. It is the same with us. Though I am always tempted to look externally for expectation, acceptance, comfort or significance, I am seeing a shift in myself to go directly to the source! All I have has been given to me and placed in me by The Most High God, I go to Him and He produces. It is His blessing to produce growth. Happy Monday<3

Carve Out Some Peace

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After reading Henri Nouwen’s, Spiritual Direction,  I was reminded how I needed to have a quiet space in my house where I can pray and make a spiritual impact to my life and that of my family’s. I typically do have quiet, meditation time, but I was doing it at the dining room table where it can be extremely peaceful first thing in the morning, and be rudely interrupted by a number of intruders later.

When my oldest children were little, I taught them not to officially come out of their rooms until 8 A.M., so we could all have focused quiet-time in the morning. When our younger two were little, that was much more difficult, as by that time I was also helping take care of my mother- in- law in our home. I remember feeling like the only place I could have peace was in the bathroom and that was only if no one was calling the dreaded name, “mom”!!

So at the time, I purchased a small bamboo top bistro table and chairs and put it in my bedroom to re-focus my mind in the morning. It was my “secret place,” as not secret as it was! Since we moved into our new home 4 years ago, I did not have a purposed place until yesterday! I bought a cute little set of reclaimed furniture at a tag sale over the weekend, with this very respite in mind. I lit some unscented candles in my room which is already permeated with the Lavender and Roman Chamomile essential oils I use, and the Thyme, Peppermint, Cypress and Eucalyptus my husband uses in our bedtime repertoire!

Peace! Tranquility! Hidden in the corner of the bedroom, tucked behind a large plant that blocks the view of the doorway. A blank canvas to begin my prayer and meditation time. A ,”look at the hand,” to the world and the interruptions that clamor for my peace! My intentionality at carving out peace in my life.  It’s all part of holistic health- carve out some for yourself! We would love to hear about it:-)

 

Gettin’ Free!

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Here is a quote from Christine Caine’s book unashamed… “Shame will always want to recapture you at that point and once again take you hostage. It will run wild with accusations if you allow it, pointing gleefully at every ugly piece of dirty laundry still packed in your baggage .It will work so hard to remind you how long you’ve been carrying it, and it will resort to its old lie: “You’ll never be rid of it.”

 

This last month I did a 3-part blog on shame, blame and un forgiveness. I just finished this book by Christine Caine (that I highly recommend you to read) and challenge you into your weekend to really “get free”! Don’t just enjoy your self with the freedom that a weekend can bring, but get free emotionally, physically and spiritually from the bondage shame can bring!

Out of Christine’s personal journey, she started helping others…even those in anti-human trafficking – as well as encouraging women in general to be all that God has created them to be. Let’s all get “freer” together…i am right here with you and for you<3 ❤

I gave you my salt scrub idea this week…how about a quick oil recipe?

1/2 c. coconut oil (which has an spf of 4;-), 3 drops of lavender  and 3 drops of roman chamomile.Blend together for a soothing relaxing all over lotion (you can even use it on your face:-)

Have a great weekend, we want to hear about your freedom today!