The gold beckons. The story of the silver begs for shine.
It seems that this may be for now, that the fantasy wants fed while reality rests.
I called my school and it looks as if I just may be able to take November off. And I have a wisp of an idea. And, too, when really quiet I can hear God's breathing, the calling to come away. Sometimes these whispers take me deeper into an imagination, which is still somehow real.
That is how it was with the first idea. Which fueled me for so long but now has been shelved, maybe permanently.
And so I'm listening for the next invite to escape.
I'm wondering what November's going to look like for me.
I still feel conflicted on the subject of blogging every day. In a certain sense I feel a little free when I let a day go by without coming here. But then I grow inexplicably worried that if I don't write here every day something will happen. What, I don't know.
I did have a clarifying realization recently: blogging is something I've really been able to stick with, without growing bored. Yes, I've experienced days of burn out or frustration and even writer's block but not boredom.
This is a big deal because my interest does wane easily. Case in point, the paper mache flowers I was so gung ho on making Thursday night, which have been laying unfinished and untouched ever since. I'll get back around to it someday. Maybe. The point is, that often I start out excited about a project or an undertaking and I enter in full force only to lose my desire half-way through. Not so with blogging. So I wonder, does this mean I should be doing it? Or is 'should' not even an appropriate word? And then I come across things like this:
And now November is here. Which means what? It means that with Thanksgiving, two of the children have birthdays, I start a new class tomorrow....and I'm signed up for NaNoWriMo.
K.D. Storm describes it as, "NaNoWriMo is where somewhat sane people come together in November to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. There is no spell check, editing, or any other form of polishing. It is writing at its purest form. The whole idea is to sit in the chair and write until your heart is content (or you succumb to madness). "
A whole new exciting problem project!
I was pretty positive that I'd at least give it a shot this year. Until I saw the math. 50,000 words in one month equals close to 1700 words per day. Per day. With school papers and blogging? And kids and life? And housework and homeschooling and husband care? Hmmm.
But, I gotta give it a go. There's a good chance that by November 2nd, I'll have come to my senses. Then I'll just try again next year. I'm pretty sure there's no penalty for repeated attempts.
And so, it will be interesting to see what November brings.
It's evolved to the point that I shudder when I hear the word, 'relevant'. Which may not be fair.
Sadly, it's a word which has been somewhat abused in certain church circles. I'm not even sure what the term means in relation to Christianity. But I know what I've come to associate it with: the idea that the Bible is not relevant anymore on its own so God must rely on people of today to spice it up or water it down or (most of all) make it 'cool'.
That bugs me. The Bible is as relevant today as it ever was. I don't feel the need for youth pastors in today's fashions and Christian rock bands to convince me of this. Furthermore, I don't believe the next generation needs to be convinced of its relevance by means of leaders who conform to the world's standards.
I think we've been sold a lie and I think our intelligence has been underestimated.
I could probably go on for more than five minutes but it's Five Minute Friday so it's stop time.
What are your thoughts on this word?
Disclaimer: I understand that the term is used in many positive cases and in alliance with many positive causes and groups(like the Relevant conference which I so hope to go to someday); it's just that my immediate reaction always comes to how I've most often heard it.
I may not be able to stay away. Yes, the obsessiveness may just be too much.
I think I have a fear that if I don't write, I'll forget how.
I'm sure I won't really forget but there is something to be said about staying in flow. Staying in practice. In times past, when I've abandoned writing, it has been hard to pop back in. But on the flip side there's the issue of just not always having something to say....or at least something appropriate to say. Because I always have a million thoughts racing around, it's just that they're not all edifying.
And then, too, I feel an urge to write for a purpose. A reason. To let God speak through me. For whoever He chooses.
Because there's so much sadness, so much misunderstanding, and so many people who need to hear, in this world. And writing helps me to hear.
This weekend I met with a bit of unexpected freedom. I was too busy to blog. And I was okay with that.
"You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry. Don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way." - Walter Hagen
I know that sounds silly but because of my somewhat obsessive nature, I had placed this regulation upon myself months ago that I would blog every day. I make up imaginary rules for myself, sewing patterns of pointless, restrictive routine. Taking the fun and the good out of it all.
I haven't figured out what all prompts me into these sort of actions but I'm guessing it has to do with some need for control. And perfection. And that perfection drive was dealt with these last couple days as well. Trying to calculate my final grade for the class I'm in, I realized that I'd forgotten to turn in two homework assignments two weeks ago. I had completed the assignments but never submitted them. Fifteen points in the class gone. My 4.0 wiped out. And, yeah, that's a bummer. But I think there's a lesson there. Striving for perfection is just plain stupid. I'm not perfect. And why do I need to be? What is a 4.0 going to matter in Heaven? Or even in life for that matter? Why do I add worries and requirements and rules to my life that God doesn't?
At times (many times) by brain seems to feed off chaotic, flitting and compulsive thoughts.
My soul and my body do not.
And so I'm choosing to take heed what God taught me this weekend. To slow down, to take off all that hinders, to let the Spirit rather than the flesh lead.
And this means my blogging may be spotty. So what. Nothing depends on it. I will come here but only as the Spirit leads.
"Let me know the way that I should go,
because I long for you...Teach me to do your will, because you are my God. May your good Spirit lead me on level ground.." Psalm 143: 8,10
"...let us throw off everything that hinders..." Hebrew 12:1
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." -Matthew 6: 25-30
“We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry” - W. B. Yeats
This is the direction I feel my words headed. I could be wrong. But as I face more and more those night shadows, those questions which can only be directed to God, I find myself craving the safety of the symbolic. Rather than stark outright statements, I'm exploring slowly and roundabout.
The happenings thus far, simply characters and setting but the plot continues to unfold.
I have just figured this out.
What I have previously believed to be a story are merely chapters in the great novel of my life. And though I will never right the next Great American Novel, my life will be my own version of this, as will yours.
Because I only have one life to live. The thought following that is, "so you better get it right". But I won't. There will be things I miss, things I add which should have been left out. The important thing is that I remember that I'm actually not the author. He is. I'll let him weave the words, create the climaxes and enter the hero because what I could put down would be not only unworthy of market but tragic.
So, I'll live each day on the page I'm at. I can't peek ahead and I can't erase what's come. I just trust. Trust that He is the best storyteller who's ever been and He's writing mine.
The real questions are the ones that obtrude upon your consciousness whether you like it or not, the ones that make your mind start vibrating like a jackhammer, the ones that you "come to terms with" only to discover that they are still there. The real questions refuse to be placated. They barge into your life at the times when it seems most important for them to stay away. They are the questions asked most frequently and answered most inadequately, the ones that reveal their true natures slowly, reluctantly, most often against your will." -Ingrid Bengis
I can suffocate under these mind vibrating questions. And often I feel like that is the exact what's happening.
I trend toward obsessiveness, wear it quite well. My mind can picks up a thought and then cling.
The latest mania (and this is a recurring one) is with knowing something. Figuring something out. Identifying. Picking apart, studying, making a specimen out of that which is not a species.
What I'm essentially doing is clamoring for God's job. Committing that first ever sin. And because I am not God, I'm becoming frustrated and fatigued.
I'm forgetting to trust. No, rather, I'm telling God, "I don't trust You. I'll figure it out".
Except I can't. And so I feel nutty. And off-kilter and cluttered. My mind won't shut up.
The bottom line is, some things are not for me to know.
Maybe I wouldn't be able to handle the knowledge. Maybe I'd abuse it if I had it. I don't know what I'd do but I have to believe there's a reason that God is allowing me to be in the dark on this one.
I'm struggling with something lately. Something that vibrates like a confession when communicated. Something that knots my stomach.
Every week, Sunday shows up and I retreat.
I don't want to go to church. There, I said it. And today is Sunday, one o'clock and we did not go.
I am planning on going tonight.
What is wrong with me?
I want the kids to be in church. I want them to grow up understanding corporate worship, the body of Christ.
Can we do that without going to church?
What is wrong with me?
Sunday comes and I want to rest. And church stresses me out. Being a homeschool mom, I'm not the best at getting every one up and ready at a certain time. Especially, getting them ready in their "Sunday best".
This picture is from last Christmas taken before service. If you look closely you can see the orange Gatorade stain on Annika's mouth. And what is that wet stuff on True's pant leg? This is the stuff that trips me up. The reaching for perfection to get to the place where I worship. Where God doesn't require perfection. Where God accepts me as is.
But Sundays have become the day of most attack.
This morning, I attempted. And then we had to leave right then, and we were just about five minutes from being ready, so I said, 'we'll go tonight'.
What is the pressure I feel?
I think there's more going on that meets the eye and I don't quite have it figured out. I need to pray. I need to ask God to reveal what the stronghold is.
I was caught when I was young. And caught still today. I am so grateful that I am His and He is mine. To know this God of love, to live forever in the embrace of a father, so good.
When I am caught in endless worries, pervasive thoughts, it is Him who calms.
He is the great pursuer of my soul and when I long to feel loved, special, I listen, quiet long enough to sense the wooing.
The dance we do, the songs He sings over me while I sleep, the angels sent to protect while I slumber, it is all so good.
I've been caught up in webs of others, caught up in self-destruction but where I long to stay is in His protection. To know without a doubt, He'll catch me when I fall, to be caught up in His love for me, caught up in my alone time with Him.
I've been called. I don't know most days what that means. How to take it beyond that.
Called into the light, given the mind of Christ, called to do all for His glory.
But most of the time, I lose sight of this. Most of the time I feel like all I've been called to is being a mother and that I'm not even very good at that. Then I wonder if I was even called to that.
But the truth is my very identity is His. In Him. He called me by name. To be His child. And He knows me intimately, loves me grandly.
It's an invitation, an appointing. It's a daily submission, a daily seeking to figure out what all that means.
He calls me away, to come away from the world, to rest, to be with Him.
He calls me to serve, to help build His kingdom. To give of myself as He gave of Himself.
And I'm not great at that. But my name was called and the invitation is irrevocable. And as His child I know that He does not grow weary of me, He has hopes and dreams for me, He sees the future and the good. Where I am blind and tired and hopeless, I remember that I was called. I am called. And so I show up. Every day.
This is a picture of my grandmother and grandfather. I never met my grandfather as he died when my father was ten. But my grandmother I knew. She passed away in 2001, a month after my first child was born.
I loved my grandma so much and I miss her a lot.
My cousin put this picture up on his facebook. I'd never seen it before.
Confession: For school we read The Dead by James Joyce. Because I have to read it for my schoolwork. That's killing two birds with one stone, my friends. As for whether it was the finest decision, not so sure.
And then we ran. All day. Around and around the city. Or at least it felt like that. And we hadn't eaten lunch and were all ravenous and I couldn't find our destination and when they were all at once draining me with a million questions but mostly one question - could we go to McDonald's, I told them to talk to each other and not to me until further notice.
And then later, for relief, we went to Old Navy after the first errand. Old Navy wasn't on the list but, well. And they drove me nutty there, too. And I pointed out all the other 'calm' kids and said, "Do you see those kids racing around like looney toons?" And then I felt guilty for comparing them. But still aggravated that I had the wildest children on the planet.
And then we went to the grocery store and we were all so tired from the day that suddenly everything was funny. So we laughed about stupid stuff and got our groceries and came home. It was a long day. They all seem like long days.
It was a typical day, in that we're always together. We always annoy each other at some point. We always crack each other up at some point. We're close, I think. And they're so young. These days, crazy, running...they won't last for long. I know this. So I take it one day at a time and I try to laugh at what comes our way and enjoy the little things in the midst of it all.
I'm reading my journal from two years ago. I don't know what on earth I was talking about. Or what I was on. Just kidding. But really, I was going through some major transformations in my relationship with God. Some of what He was showing me for the first time was really amazing. And I'm loving reading where I was at with Him then.
This was when I had just been diagnosed with ms and was really questioning. And being questioned, too, I think.
Much of the beginning of that journal switches from 'journal speak' (which is just me writing to myself) to addressing God:"I'm so afraid. Afraid of losing balance because practicality flees more every day. Afraid of falling. Falling further in love with You, my heart's desire. Afraid of this new height because though I see expanse of beauty all below me, I know at any minute gravity could call...." -Oct. 4/09
Wow. I wish I could say I stayed up there with Him. I don't feel that I have but I do believe my relationship with Him has grown in leaps and bounds since I've been sick.
Another day - or maybe later that same day(I was crazy writing at that time) - I wrote (to God) "Sometimes I think You to be a big fan of oxymorons. Cursed blessings/ blessed curses. The need for earthly rest and nourishment but an overload of the brain which makes the aforementioned quite impossible, the fire that burns for you which melts our heart but fries our brain, shall I continue?"
I don't know what to think of it all. I can see places where I know God was working with me on something and the job has not yet been finished. And it's my fault- not His. Areas He's asked me to let go of that I've held on tight.
"I say this because there is an uneasiness in things just now. Waiting for something to be over before you are forced to notice it. The pollarded trees scarcely bucking the wind and yet it's keen, it make you fall over. Clabbered sky. Seasons that pass with a rush." -John Ashbery
Glad to be in a new week.
Contented, even, to be in a new season, though the shift of seasons can be rough.
Seasons, so metaphorical for a reason.
As the air, the leaves turn, so we do and our children.
We skipped church yesterday. That is, we passed on the hoopla that can sometimes surround worshiping in a church building. We stayed in and did church at home. We read about the Ten Commandments and we played a Bible board game.
And we learned. A lot. Mostly about sin nature and how it always fights against rules. The game was played and the game was won. It's all fun and games till someone loses.
And one of the children could not handle the fact that they were not the winner. The names, 'Cheater' and 'Liar' were thrown out against the winner. And I was faced with this child asserting an attitude I had not yet noticed in his years here. I was faced with a problem which required wise parenting. Really, I could just not believe that this anger was coming out of my son...over losing a game. And so.... a discussion ensued.
We talked about truth and winning and losing and making up rules to suit our own desires. There were tears but it was an important lesson we all learned. I feel like God knew something needed to be addressed in this growing boy. Something needed to be tamed. So we fought that battle. But the war wages in us all continually, only to be won by prayer.
lessons learned (even the hard way) church where you're at tears that change you revelation