Monthly Archives: April 2012

To Hold 100 Balloons & Fly Away

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Tonight I want to. To hold 100 balloons and fly away. I want to see the sunrise before anyone else. To spot it from my cozy spot up, up, up -way up high. Smiling at the moment we share alone – just me and the sun. 
I want to be untamed. The good kind. Wild and in my natural state, the way God intended me to be. I want to paint in red regardless of the color palette. Leaving behind the thoughts of being too much or too little.
I want to walk up to the fire and confront it. Face to face. So close that my eyes reflect the flame and the smell of smoke lingers in my hair. I want to burn without burning out.
I’d like to drink coffee with the mystics and smile. Laugh at their mysteries knowing that I know One who knows all and sees all. Look them in their eyes and tell them to keep looking, for they haven’t found it yet.  
I want to send postcards from the unknown. Skipping over five-point stars high in a dreamy sky with effortless motion. I want to hold His hand and hear Him call me ‘darling’ while He shows me what ‘on earth as it is in heaven’ means.
I want to go further than I have been told I could. I want to laugh harder than is lady-like. I want to dream something so magnificent I will never be bored. I want to scare hell to death.
  I want to hold 100 balloons and fly away. 
         

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When All Is Said & Done…

When all is said and done I must land on this phrase. Despite what I interpret my situation to be. Regardless of what my fears & experience tell me. May God be true and every man a liar. He is good.  It is not okay, do-able, or so-so. It is WELL with my soul.




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Throw Back Thursday- Your Shoes Are Too Small

This week’s Throw Back Thursday is an old favorite of mine…

You have probably heard about foot binding. Its an ancient Chinese practice which involved wrapping a young girls feet so tightly that they were prevented from growing. It wasn’t uncommon for the bones in the feet to break in the process. Often times severe deformities resulted, infections set in and sometimes girls died in the process. The confines of the shoe and bandages created an handicap that women had to live with for the rest of their lives.

So, why am I telling you that your shoes are too small? You are most likely not Chinese & there is a 50/50 chance that you aren’t a woman either. But, I bet your shoes are too small too. How do I know? Because we have big shoes to fill.

Just like little kids feet, we need room to grow. Or we get distorted and walk with a limp. Why are your shoes too small? Because your dreams are meant to grow bigger. God’s calling for your life is meant to increase and the fruit you produce is meant to be abundant. As followers of Jesus, it is our destiny to grow.

If we live in the limitations, fears, and comfortable places of a previous stage then we begin to get ingrown. We believe a lie that we don’t have anywhere important to go anyway. So, who cares what shoes we wear? Our dreams press against our capacity and we feel inverted and confused. We need new shoes for new seasons.

I need to be regularly putting on larger shoes. Making sure that I have room to wiggle my toes and grow into them as God increases in my life. After walking with Him for a while, there won’t be room anymore. On with another pair. More room for dreaming & advancing. More capacity to run in roomy shoes.

We bind our own feet too often. We are afraid to get bigger.

“What if I walk this road alone? I’d rather just wait in this place and grow into these shoes when I get married.”
 “If I walk out, no one will follow me. They won’t trust what I bring to the table.”
“I just got comfortable here. I don’t want anything to change.”
or the ever popular:
“I’m not gifted. I don’t have anything to grow at all. I’m just meant to watch other people do the cool stuff. I observe, others participate.”

Except a funny thing happens. The tissues and fibers of who we are keep expanding anyway. Even when we try and stay in the same old shoes. It begins to get uncomfortable. Following Jesus is irritating because we get blisters. Eventually we just sit down and stop going anywhere. It hurts too bad. The longer we sit the greater our disfunction grows.

And that is where a lot of us are. Sitting on a curb waiting for our feet to stop hurting. Dreams, calling, destiny, capacity…they are all pushing against the boundary begging to be let loose. Risking again on love. Risking again on pain. Risking again to breathe.

And then a fabulous thing happens. When we are rubbing our stubby toes wondering what happened to our lives, Jesus comes. Tells us to stop being so scared. Stop being so comfortable. Stop thinking we can’t walk any further. He puts these enormous shoes before us. The shoes of Heaven that contain limitless power, hope, and destiny. We are terrified to put them on because we know we can’t fill them. Not only that, but our little feet are tiny and tangled.

We forget that Jesus is a healer. He touches the deformities and they straighten. The skin and bones go back into place and the painful sores go away. He puts the too-good-to-be-true shoes on. The kind we dreamed of wearing when we were little children.

Jesus takes our hand and gently walks with us. Helping us as we go. Little feet tripping along in big shoes. Before we know it, our feet begin to grow again. The shoes aren’t so big anymore. Then we begin to run. We remember how fabulous it feels to run. How could we have forgotten the sensation of taking new ground?

Maybe your new shoes look like a relationship. Maybe they look like a new business venture. A move to a distant land. The revival of a dream that has nearly expired. Could be letting go of a fear that has held you back and controlled you. Leaving behind an old identity for a new one…

All of us have new shoes waiting to be worn into fresh ground. Remember, we are meant to be a Church that says ” On earth as it is in Heaven!”. To do that we need Kingdom shoes. Will you risk putting them on?


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Getting Lost & A Midnight Mass

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It is a little known fact about me. Amid the type A drive and tendency to hurry, I adore being lost. It is true that I am 1/32nd Cherokee & can tell time by looking at the shadow of my horse – but, I do in fact get lost often. Like the time I went to Italy…
My friend Connie & I flew into Milan with our backpacks and a gust of whimsy. The plan was to catch a train to Slovenia for a few days and then explore some fine Italian cities. After landing we headed straight to the main train station. Naturally, there was a train strike when we arrived & we were stranded. Stranded in Milan. During fashion week. Whoops. There we were surrounded by very eccentric fashionistas & a large group of angry Russian women. For some reason, they filled the women’s restroom and were not inclined to share it. It was the only warm spot in the train station and the Russians had dibs on it apparently. Through some United Nations style negotiating, my friend Connie was able to get us on a train to Venice. Hungry & barely awake we lugged ourselves off the train in Venice and began our hunt for our hotel. It was the Hotel Albergo.

It was just after 10pm when we got to Venice and we spent what seemed like days saying, “Scuzi! Dove e Albergo?” The boisterous Italians would flash a smile , point a direction & say a slew of words we couldn’t understand. It didn’t take us long to realize our mistake. Albergo wasn’t the name of our hotel. It was the Italian word for hotel. We wrote it down wrong. Hours we spent going from Albergo to Albergo hoping to find one that had our reservation. 
Dizzy from wandering around the canals, Connie & I stumbled upon a midnight mass and sat in the back row happy for a rest. Watching a foreign expression of worship in a foreign tongue was quite spectacular. The droning of the prayers and devotion of these faces lit by midnight candles was enchanting. When it was over I was a bit more rested and ready to continue our hunt for the infamous “Albergo”. 
Luckily, or perhaps by divine providence, we found it a few minutes later. The owner’s son was attending the front desk of the small hotel. I don’t remember his name, but he was possibly the only ugly Italian male we saw during our visit. He had the hots for my friend & proposed every time we entered & left the hotel. Oh, the Italians.
To be honest we pretty much spent the entire 10 days lost in Italy. We stalked nuns to the Vatican, had a pair of shoes made by a cobbler we found on the Isle of Capri, we were blessed by the Pope, & stumbled into hidden eateries that the travel channel overlooked by serious error. We stood in the dark & crooked catacombs outside of Rome and watched an elderly nun cry as she explained the story of the Christians forced to hide in there.

Our train ride through Tuscany consisted of us and a group of Italian soldiers coming home from basic training. They broke out bottles of wine and sang old Italian songs while the Tuscan countryside passed by out the window. They sat and stared and asked multiple times if they could kiss us. We said no, and they left it at that going back to their singing. Oh, those Italians.
None of these activities had been on our To-Do list. Each step of the trip was calculated before we left. I spent $1,000 total on the 10 day trip. Yes, that is INCLUDING airfare. (Just try and beat me on travel deals, I dare you). Despite my best planning efforts, the entire thing was a series of missing trains and getting lost.
That’s just the way life goes sometimes. We get lost, away from our planning & calculations. Lost in strange towns with people we had no intention of meeting. You end up heading north instead of south and going when you were supposed to stay. Your 5 year plan for your life got stuck in an old journal and God has created a new route for you to take. 
Lost in adventures you didn’t see coming. We should put down our maps a bit more often & get lost.

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Wish My Heart Would Memorize This

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I wish my heart would memorize this. I need to know it better than I do. It would be quite helpful if my brain would yell it at me when I start worrying. Worrying that I’m not giving my kids what they need. Worrying that I won’t keep people interested in my projects. Worrying I will regret my decisions and want a do-over. I worry about a lot of things. Worrying is a form of fear that I justify. It can seem even practical and responsible to ‘worry’. But it is fear. And it is a liar.

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Dumbest Trends I’ve Taken Part In

Six weeks of resurrecting my favorite old posts. This week’s throw back Thursday is…

We were riding in the car home from IKEA and I thought about a really stupid trend from jr high…which got me wondering…What are the dumbest trends I’ve taken part in. Here they are. Don’t judge me.

1. Pillsbury Dough Boy Shirts. Who came up with this??? Great for Pillsbury, bad for everyone one else. I honestly don’t know why this had such mass appeal, but I had one. I wore it often with my wide leg pants. It’s such a wonder I didn’t have a boyfriend.

2. Long chains hanging from jean pockets. Okay, I didn’t personally have this, but I dated several guys who sported this look. Which means I was attracted to this trend, and that is far worse. Point? Whats the point? Maybe they were supposed to look tough, but I doubt James Dean would have worn one.

3. Beanie Babies. Why did we believe that these were going to be super valuable and we should all collect them? I didn’t exactly collect them, but I did get some as gifts. I kept them because they were supposed to be worth millions by 2025 or something. Obviously, that didn’t quite pan out.

4. “You Go Girl”. I think that I may have said this phrase a few times in 2001. A decision I deeply regret. Thankfully, this phrase is no longer in use with the exception of a few middle-aged white women.

5. Spiral Perms. In elementary school, my parents had a brief lapse in judgement. This included letting me get a perm. A spiral perm. Permanent spirals are never good…its very similar to vertigo. Which, is what you would get if you saw pictures of me in first grade.

6. The Macarena. Apart from the ‘Bunny Hop’ this is the dumbest dance. I proudly danced the macarena. I think it is because it is one of the only dances I could do. Still, this whole macarena thing should never have happened. 

7. Rope Sandals. Yes, it is what you think. Sandals made out of rope. Perhaps you don’t remember this trend. I’m not sure if it was a wide spread thing, but at Midway High School or Highland Baptist Youth Group…it was. I had them & I looked like a hippie…which isn’t my best look. And they smelled. 

8. Brick colored lipstick. I don’t know why all lipstick in the late 90s was the color of a faded brick, but it was. Including mine. The cast of ‘Friends’ pulled it off…but no one else. Actually they didn’t either, but their haircuts carried them through. 

9. Uggs with all day gym wear. The only person who need this outfit is an aerobic eskimo. I did this a few times in college…hey, I was in a sorority. What do you expect?

10. AOL Chatrooms. Ha! Yes, I did on occasion visit chat rooms. Thankfully Facebook came along and put an end to these. I hope. 

Okay, those are my top ten. Feel free to write yours in the comments.

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Hurried, Frantic & No Where To Go

Some days every hour is rush hour.

Under most circumstances, I like flowers. But not on days like today. In fact, these stupid flowers might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The fluffy white dandelions were too big a temptation for my kids to resist. They blew them, stepped on them, & threw them. It was so irritating. Especially since I had given a pep talk before leaving the house, “Okay, guys. We are going straight to the car. Not to the swing set or patio. To the car!”. With my impatient accusation of the delay they were causing, I was finally able to get them in the van to go. Driving through the neighborhood I am thinking about how ridiculous this is. Why can’t they get in the car? No way it should take 5 min to leave the house. We need to GO!

The funny thing is that we are just going to the grocery store. It really didn’t make a difference if they played in flowers for 5 min. No big deal, right? Except it was a big deal to me. I was in a hurry. I have found myself in a hurry a lot lately.

Busy – (adj.) actively and attentively engaged in work or a pastime ; engaged in action; occupied; being    in use.
Hurry – (verb) to perform with undue haste; to impel to rash action; to impel to greater speed
I manage my schedule to keep me from being overly busy, but I don’t manage my emotions to keep me from being hurried. This rushing, urgent attitude follows me on my days off, it makes me rush to finish projects around the house and causes me to be quickly impatient. It is an attitude problem not a scheduling problem. Why do I chase phantom deadlines? Why do I feel the need to be so rushed and stressed?
A few weeks ago at church a psychologist spoke on stress. He said that stress was the new status symbol. I think he is right. We get together and talk about how busy we are. “It is such a crazy week. I have been going non-stop….” The more stressed, pressured, and busy we are – the more important we are. It would be socially unacceptable now to not be busy, stressed and hurried. You would get a negative image as if you were a leach on the rest of our hard working society. A bum. 
My whirlwind mind is proof of this. Sure, the laundry & cleaning keeps me busy. But the non-stop pressure to do more is what keeps me exhausted. I look on Pinterest and suddenly have to throw my 3 yr old a party that would merit re-pinning. I see other people’s blogs who spend so much time manicuring their sites, and writing these brilliant pieces. On top of that I should probably butcher and grow all my own food, teach my children French, run a shop on Etsy to bring in some extra cash…I better move faster if I am going to get it all done.
Problem is, I can’t move faster. Maybe you can & everything I listed above you accomplish by Tuesday of every week. I have found that I can’t hurry any more. My schedule may get busier & that’s okay, but this hurried attitude is just too much. My brain hurts by 4pm. I have to find rest & peace. 
When I feel the pressure of dreams, promises & hopes, I have to remind myself that I don’t carry the responsibility of bringing them to pass. I have to trust that I have time to play in flowers on the way to the grocery store. I have to trust that God is building things and holding my significance in Him. I must remember that He will make all things happen, not me.
I am at rest, because He is at work. 

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