they all come at different times and in different places.
recently a friend from junior high and high school emailed me a photo that she had of my mother and me. she knew my mom, and that is special.
my bible study is comprised of three of my most dear friends. i do not know what i would do without them.
one of my friends lives in the sunny state of california (jealous). she is one of the most loyal, supportive women i know. i am so grateful for her, though she is miles and miles away.
one of my cousins has always been like-a-sister to me. i love her to the moon and back.
the most extraordinary family EVER created lives across the ocean in england. they are a rare treasure. oh how i miss and love each of them!
my boyfriend davey provides a friendship i never knew existed. i cannot begin to piece into a sentence how grateful i am for him.
i wore a ring today that some dear friends gave to me as a gift when my mom passed away. the turquoise stone reminds me of old friends who weather the storm of life with us.
recently i have realized how lucky i am to have so many couple friends in my life. they befriended me when i was a single lady, and now have welcomed a new dude into our circle. thank you, thank you.
one friend always accompanies me to the ymca and to any party related to dancing. that floridian is a favorite of mine!
anthem, oh anthem. you have been a spiderweb of friends! i would not be who i am without this ministry.
my friend with a gorgeous home and a dreamy porch always listens to the ugliest parts. oh god, she is a rare one. our souls are aligned, that is one thing i know for sure.
i have two dear, dear friends who will someday soon become sisters as well. tears come to my eyes as i type this.
all of the friends who have traveled with me – you have a special place in my heart. cheers!
that red-headed jenison lady is like no other. she knows who she is. we have been through the storm together and made it. i love her. she gets me.
one of my friends (who some say we look like sisters), she is a book lover and loves me as well. that gran is a keeper.
roommates, roommates, i have had many. i have learned so much from the people who have graciously shared their spaces with me. nothing gets past a roommate…
it becomes more and more fun to develop a friendship with my brother. he is a stellar husband and father.
with friends there is dancing and laughing and crying and eating and sipping and conversations galore.
old and new and tired and true. friends are like gold in my life.
today, this felt right. a tribute to the beautiful people in my life that i am blessed and lucky and completely humbled to call my FRIENDS.
I created a calm space in my empty living room.
I brewed some hot, delicious, savory coffee.
I let myself rest although some day-old laundry resides in the basement, although my mind is full of “to do’s”. See ya later “things” and “what-nots” and “time-suckers”.
I allowed songs like “Set a Fire” by Cody Davenport to echo through our Giddings home.
“Set a fire down in my soul that I can’t contain, I can’t control… I want more of you, God… I want more of you, God.”
I read from the good book — about prayer, and about longing. I felt the effects of not opening this book in a while. It never bores me or disappoints me. It may confuse me or rattle me, but this needs to be accepted.
“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one”. (Jesus quoted in John 17)
The evil one is dumb, I’m learning, and needs to flee. He causes concern and worrisome days for things that do not deserve our attention.
“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at his disposition, and listening to his voice in the depth of our hearts.” (Mother Teresa)
I thought of this for myself. I thought of those who might welcome in the disposition of our great Lord.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer…” (philippians 4)
I let the silent air of the home sink in.
I let the themes of my work week wash away.
I let the anxiety fall into the lap of God. A slow process, but true. Breathe in, don’t forget…
Just me and the old, green couch this morning.
Reaching out to the Holy One I believe is real and true. I’ve truly got nothing else if He is not.
Slow Saturdays matter. It is true for my soul.
14 ::: THE WORD OF GOD
“I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.”
The above verse is from the new testament book of I John, chapter 2, verse 14.
ACTIVE // TRUE // WITHOUT ERROR // GOD-BREATHED // HOLY // INSPIRED // CONFUSING
What words or emotions come to mind for you when pondering the word of God?
What I want to be true for me regarding this holy book:
I am in it more than I am not.
I respect it and hold it highly.
I have reverence for it and toward it.
I let it seep into my bones, through and through.
I let it cause me pain and confusion.
I ask questions of it.
I am challenged by it.
I share it with others, in word and in deed.
The Word is messy. But I believe it is true. I never want to forget about it. Help me, friends, to never forget. Even and especially when it appears boring or inactive. Today I am thankful for its’ place in my wild and hectic life.
13 ::: STORIES
This morning as I was journaling, again I realized, that alongside one another fall both my own individual story, then also the larger story at hand, the one that is unraveling around me and within me, asking me to step into it no matter if I say “yes” or not… that being God’s grand and expansive story that he set into motion many years ago. Will I posture my life in a way that promotes the desires that God has for me, for his child, for us, for his children?
I want to believe that my story matters, and especially within the context of considering the MUCH larger story at hand. I’m working on believing this for myself, and for others. Your story is significant.
A story has a beginning and an end and a mess of a middle. I’d like to think, and with the past year or so in mind as a chunk of evidence, that I’m in the mess-of-a-middle portion currently. I’m not sure, and you’re not either, when your story will end. So all we’ve got is the page that is marked as today. Sunday is all I have to join God in writing my story, one page and one day at a time.
My parents gave me a name that I wear for my story (that which I did not choose), but God tells me I’ll be given a new name someday, and that name will be written on a white-colored stone. This book I’m reading, “To Be Told” by Dan Allender, encourages and challenges me to ask what I would dream my new name would be… or what I might fear my new name will be because then that means I will have to live into it with courage and strength. So for this middle segment of life, my story is all I have. Who will I be, what kind of character? Who will be the people in my story with me and how will we interact? What will be the thickest part of the plot? How will I live into painful chapters? Will I celebrate with others as they live their story next to mine?
A story is told so beautifully through song, through dance, through book, through coffee chats, through road trips, through funerals, through arguments, through pain and ache, through the ways we relate with one another. I’m learning, at least for me, that I can’t get so caught up in what the activity is that is occurring for me in my story, but how I am living within the activity. I want to be a consistent woman in the many, although not sure how many, chapters of my story.
“Do you have an inkling of the name that God will one day give you?”
“On dark nights of the soul, what do you fear your name will be?”
“In the midst of buoyant hope, what do you wish your name might be?”
Though not always a cake walk, I’m really grateful I have been given the opportunity to live a story out.
12 ::: HONESTY
I am pretty sure that one of the reasons I value honesty so much is that it is something that I admire very deeply in others, and it isn’t always easy to come by.
A note to my most honest friends: I don’t always know how you do it. I admire the crap out of you for this reason. It takes a lot of courage for me, that which I need to first muster up into a feasible amount, before I embrace honesty and head that way in conversations and relationships. But, I’m learning.
One of my friends, a pastor whom I admire, posted this today. I think it is definitely applicable…
“It is startling that we desperately hold on to what makes us miserable. Our own woundedness becomes a source of perverse pleasure and fixes our identity. We do not want to be cured, for that would mean moving into the unknown.”
For me, moving towards being cured, means total and complete honesty. To God, to me, to him, to her.
Why can’t I be more honest? I know it is better in the so-called “long run”. Why do I hold on to those feelings for that person and not express them, or cling tightly to the envy that has been stirring toward that other person…?
Why can’t I tell someone how I really feel? The first time. Straightforward.
What gets in the way? Pride. Ego. Fear.
All I really want to start with today is thinking through every conversation, every interaction in a way that promotes honesty and gives glory to the One who made me. Since I’ve got to start somewhere, I thought I’d start here.
In all honesty, thanks for reading.
11 ::: COMMUNITY
Some of my community live in the same house as me (literally), and some live in this quaint, mystical town called “Reading” on the other side of this world.
Some of my community paints my toe nails with utmost care, and some ride kind-of-oldish bicycles with me around Reeds Lake in the summers of Michigan.
Some of my community buys me Sweet Yo’s because they can, and some post inspiring photos on Instagram for me to absorb and soak in and ponder over.
Some of my community wears trendy clothes, and some could care less.
Some of my community prefers a tent, and some prefer valet and hotel rooms.
Some of my community reside in Alger Heights, and some make their home on the other side of the mitten.
Some of my community plays games with me on Friday evenings, and some live a few minutes away and let me come over when ever I feel like it.
Some of my community I see twice a year, and some twice a day.
Some of my community loves music and England like me, and some hate both.
For all of you, I’m grateful. I wouldn’t be who I am without you. Truly.
Cheers to community, in all its’ many forms!
“All that is hidden and all that is plain I have come to know through Wisdom. Within her is a spirit intelligent, unique, manfiold, subtle, active, incisive, lucid, invulnerable, benevolent, dependable, unperturbed, all seing… She pervades and permeates all things, she is the untarnished mirror of God’s active power. She is one, and makes all things new, and in each generation passes into holy souls.”
she is Wisdom