About one year ago my car was rear ended and deemed totaled. I did not feel comfortable buying another car right away for numerous reasons including not wanting to have car debt again. I didn’t know how things would go without a car, but I quickly learned that God was taking care of me before I ever had a problem. In the 50 weeks I haven’t had my car, I’ve only gone the last 3 weeks without a vehicle that was essentially mine to use regularly. Yes, you read correctly. Only 3 weeks. I basically used four cars owned by others during those 47 weeks. And even now that I am without a car I still have a bicycle that was given to me a few months before my car was ruined. And friends that will drive me when needed. Loosing that car has brought newness to me and reminded me of some old lessons.
My last three cars have been taken away from me in similar, but different ways. All pretty sudden and none of them due to anything of my fault. The first time it happened, I realized how much trust and security I had in my car. I loved that car. I miss that car. It was my favorite. My home away from home. It was reliable and the one I had the longest. We had many memories together. We drove across the country together. It represented many things to me including my freedom and ability to travel. It was MY space. It was MINE. It was something I had control over... well, until I didn’t.
Losing that car prepared me for the loss of the last two cars, especially last year. After getting rear ended, I thought it would get fixed and the car would go on. I soon found out that was not the case. I didn’t want to lose it, but I had to let it go. It was done even though it was still drivable and I was done with the insurance company. Right before it got towed away, I received a surprising phone call from a colleague - a new friend. This friend basically told me that I could have the car that he, that his family had. I was surprised, confused, and listened to what he had to say. Over those next few weeks I saw God do more in my heart through their loving generosity. Most of it had nothing to do with a car and more of it had to do with some old pain that needed a little healing. That healing came in unexpected ways. Unexpected ways through loss, through this friend, through tears and laughter, through miscommunication and discussion, through my trusting and letting go. But I also gained a friendship, an older brother, family.
A year later if you told me I could have my car, but not the healing, friendship, and connection I have gained, I would choose too loose my car again. Though that choice wasn't so hard cause up until 3 weeks ago I still enjoyed the regular use of a car. It was someone else's car, but I still had a car... well, until I didn't. The car I was using stopped working. The owner had already bought a new car and she decided to junk this one since it wasn’t worth putting more money into. My freedom was gone again.
Since then I’ve learned to ride my bicycle more, in rain, in shine, and when I don't want to. Sometimes I give into the I really don't want to ride a bike today and ask for a ride. Or I need to go somewhere that is too far. I don't want to ask. I don't want to have to rely on someone else. I don't want to inconvenience or make someone else’s busy life even busier. But sometimes I do ask. Most of the time I honestly would rather just do it on my own and have the freedom to get up and go as needed, when wanted. Asking and relying on others is hard. I need to rely on others. I need to trust others. I need to be vulnerable with others. We all do.
Also having no car is prompting me to see many of those around me who do not have a car, who rely on public transportation, walking, or the generosity of others. Its helping me appreciate what I have had and connections and resources I currently still have.
All of this is reminding me of the One who takes cares for more then just my seen needs. I'm seen. You are seen. We together are seen.
Where have you seen healing in unexpected ways?
What resources and connections do you have right now?
How can you SEE someone today?
Apparently I have forgotten how much I love the fall. Last week I was reminded of my love through an unwritten poem-song that was busting out of me while driving down the highway. This week I was surprised by the joy filling me as I was enamored by the colors I saw while driving down a back road near my home. Maybe I was caught off because I wasn’t expecting much color this year. My expectations were low because of the drastic weather changes this year, the lack of water-rain, and the moths that had done a lot of major damage to trees. I assumed the rough circumstances would take a toll on the colors, but I now realize that even within the weakness and the damage, these trees have immense amounts of beauty and still display God’s glory. I was expecting less vibrancy and color change which is true some areas and trees are have a more muted color or are still green or just went bare early, but maybe thats what makes it so incredible. Maybe my love for the colors this year has to do with the variety, contrast, imperfections, and lack of color seen all at the same time.
I love the leaves falling.
I love the green turning.
I love the colors popping.
You are near
You are here
I love the breeze changing.
I love the wonder swirling.
I love the trees praising.
You are near
You are here
Deinspired and disinspired are not actually words, but I think they should be. Why not put the prefixes “de-” and “dis-” in front of words you want to have a slightly different meaning for than with the prefix “un-”. No need for proper english explanations and reasons for why not. This is more about thoughts and creative license than proper grammar. Thank you for your grace.
Almost two months ago I talked about the overflow of the heart and that gunk was being dug up from the bottom of my heart. I believe that has been the case in many ways still. Its different than what I was talking about that day, but it’s still happening. This gunk has settled deep within me and I don’t know the depths of it. Then my heart experienced pain this summer. Deeper pain than I realized it would. Deeper and longer than I wanted it to. Uncontrollably displayed at times. At times still. Heartache. Sadness. Tears. Pain. Certain situations brought out that pain. But that pain is from deeper places than those situations went or could go. This pain is teaching me to remember and seek the One who can and is dealing with the depths of this ache in my heart and soul. I’m not sure how well I’ve done that. I don’t like pain, hurt, or sad tears. I have a friend who thinks tears, feelings, and pain is “the good stuff.” I’m not sure I agree with her on this one, but I understand some of why she says that. I have been able to pour out my heart to God and share with others through art and journaling. Art in some ways seems to be easier to create with a strong emotion attached to it. Perhaps that emotion often tends to be of the sad hurt kind or perhaps really its when you have a extreme good emotion it can lend itself to an extreme painful emotion. Either way. I’m not sure its the good stuff, but it is the real stuff.
While creating yesterday I was thinking about what Jesus gave up when he came here and what he gave up when he took the brokeness for our gunk. I was distracted before my thought got real deep, but I really can’t imagine what is like to be broken completely from perfect union, communion, connection, relationship with the Creator, his Father, his Spirit, Himself, Love. To not only be a little apart, but eternally apart.... before He rose and defeated death and destruction. He knows deep pervasive brokenness and separation so we can know deep pervasive fullness and connection. I know a little about brokenness of the heart, connection, and friendship, but its only in a very small and not pervasive sort of way. I still know connection with friends & family and see & feel the love of many people. I am still learning to see and know the love of the One who truly loves me the way I need to be loved. I’m still processing through all my feelings and gunk. I’m still learning how much I don’t have a clue and in other ways how I do have a little clue. I’m thankful to have art and journal pages to look back on to remember not only the pain and the healing, but the One who was there during it all.
These pieces hold emotions of both extremes. They are not only a telling of what has happened, but also a prayer for what is to come. May God’s glory be seen and known throughout my art, journal pages, and life. Whether in moments lacking emotion or moments of extreme emotion, He is there moving and working in and around me. May I be able to see it and enter in.
May you also be real in your emotions and enter into God’s love.
Recently I was thinking about the verses that talk about our tongues and the power our words carry. My thoughts also went to the verse that talks about what comes out of our mouths is the overflow of our hearts.
What comes out of my mouth is the overflow of my heart.
This has hit me lately. What is my heart overflowing? What is my heart saying? For some who know me, they might see and think that my overflow is pretty good, that my tongue is fairly tamed, that my words are spoken fairly well. But lately I have seen some of the ugliness in my heart that overflows in simple phrases that are sometimes spoken quickly & unintentionally. Sometimes these phrases are spoken to friends while other times its just thoughts to only myself and God, often in the aloneness of my room, in my space. Lately I’m seeing that my heart is not full of the good things I thought it might. In this overflow I’m not talking about speaking honest prayer to God or being honest to myself about whats going on in my life. We need to do that. We need to be honest with God. I’m talking about reactions and responses to things, to life around that are not flowing the type of goodness I desire. Does my heart and tongue have a problem with cursing out people, vulgar language, or things like that? No, not usually. Does my heart have a problem with focusing on the negative, pessimism, and plain ol’ selfishness and self focus. Yup, it does and I’m seeing that to be the case lately. Some might look at me and say that is not true, but they haven’t been in my heart lately. Of course it’s not just ugliness comes out of my mouth. There is goodness around the ugly. I believe God is digging up some settled gunk that needs to be flushed out. May I allow him to loosen the settlement and not hold back. My I overflow my gunk to Him allowing Him to cleanse and fill me.
May God continue to fill your hearts with Him and His goodness making your settled gunk float out allowing His Goodness to fill and overflow you continually.
Belonging does not have to do with being the same, looking alike, or acting alike. Belonging has something to do with being able to be yourself and allowing others to be themselves within living life together in ways that God has created you for. God has blessed me in numerous places where I have belonged even though I did not look, act, or know the same as those around me. Of course non-of-us are exactly the same, but sometimes we are quite different and understand the world quite differently. Within our differences we have a connection, a friendship. I have had a few experiences and friendships where this is the case. I have grown much and would not be the woman I am without these friendships.
One of the groups of people are some of my friends from college and a group of their friends. I have had these connections within the college experiences through Campus Ambassadors and CASI, I mean, INFUSION, but also in life beyond. I have been a part of their group in many ways. I feel like I belong. With them I know I am accepted and wanted. I might not be able to fully understand all of their conversations or experiences, I may have to be willing to listen to difficult topics or feel vulnerable asking questions about things I don’t know or understand, but I belong with them and they belong with me. I have had the privilege to support some of them in the endeavors that God has brought them on and I have had the privilege to be supported by them. Sometimes I feel more me, more a part of the body of Jesus when I am with them. I am blessed to have them as family, to have their children start to call me Auntie Sarah. I am blessed to have walked beside them even if it is not daily.
Where is a place you have belonged?
What was it like to belong?
Sometimes I wonder how people travel to exotic adventurous places. Not how do they get there but how does one not become overwhelmed by the detail of the new, the big, the grande. How does one really see all that is there or focus while in that place. I guess they don’t see all there is to see. Just a speck. I have these thoughts because there is so much detail, beauty, and wonder in the ordinary. In the places where we already are. In the places I already am. Not that I don’t think I would be able to function in new situations. Its just that right now I am attracted to the detail in a parking lot, backyard, front porch, sidewalk that I know there would be even more drawing me near in places of new or extraordinary. You do not need amazing or unique to find wonder.
Where do you see wonder in your ordinary?
process. For someone who did not grow up with any music or voice background, listening to voice lessons can be a little odd, a little uncommon sounding. I have heard of vocal warm ups and have seen some of my theater/singing friends do them, but honestly I have barely experience them and don’t fully get them. I understand they are part of what you do, but only from an outsiders point of view. I wonder are they really necessary and how do people actually do them on a regular basis. The thought of me doing them makes me nervous and unsure. Making sounds like that (as well as singing in general) is calling for attention. Its making yourself vulnerable, heard, and seen. Its easier to stay in the background. Perhaps it has less to do with sounds and instead more to do with pride and vulnerability (and a lack of discipline). To do things like that you have to be willing to look and sound odd or unusual to some people, to non-voice people, to those not participating with you. You need to be willing to be vulnerable in order to warmup and sing wherever you are no matter who is or is not around. You need to be willing to do it regularly, consistently. You need to be willing to be noticed, seen, and looked at while you are using your voice.
I have wanted to get better at singing. To be more confident with my voice and knowing how to use it. I don’t want to be a great singer, on stage, or anything. I just want to have a little more confidence and willingness to set a certain tone or atmosphere around me sometimes. I want to use my voice to do some of that, but at this point I will not. I will not because I am not willing to be disciplined in doing the little things - in warming up, in practice, in learning something new, in looking silly while trying, in failing, in risking the unknown. Maybe someday I will be, but at this point. It isn’t a main priority to do it vocally right now. I do want to be willing to be disciplined and vulnerable, I am just not there yet. I haven’t followed through to this point yet nor sought out a way of really learning to use my voice or having real accountability. At this point I do not have the ambition to do what is necessary to know what my voice can do or how to use it.
In a conversation with Harris iii, I was explaining how my natural tendency is to tell myself it won’t work before I even ask the question. He replied, “so you say no for others?” My initial internal and verbal response was “no, I don’t do that... its more like I say no to myself,” but then his words sunk in.
You are correct, Harris. Yes, its true. I tend to say no for others. I don’t give them the option to decide for themselves. I don’t give them the opportunity to speak into my life nor into the lives of those lives around me. I don’t let them consider answering the question with a yes, no, maybe, or imagination. Instead I say, “No... it cant happen. Its not possible. It won’t work. Here are all the reasons why so I won’t even ask.”
I don’t ask the question. I don’t hear the real answer. I don’t let myself be vulnerable. I don’t speak out. When I say “no” in this way, I am not only saying no for people but I am also saying no for God - not allowing him the space to move in my life and the lives of those around me. I am closing off (though he can move without my yes) the opportunity to experience His works. There are many times where the answer could be a yes, or a maybe or lead to something even better, but I in those places I wouldn’t know because I stopped the answer before the question was created, put into words, before it was spoken. But not this time. This time I asked, and let him answer, I let them answer.
Thank you Harris for answering my message. For calling. For listening to me. For asking questions. For being willing to try to make it work if the situation & time allow. Thank you for your and your employee’s time and quick response. I appreciate that. I appreciate you.
Thank you for that one phrase that stuck with me. That one phrase I disputed in my heart before realizing it has held some truth. But it was not the truth for this time. This time I said, Yes. I said yes to the Holy Spirit and Yes to asking. I say yes to hearing whatever the full answer back will be. I already appreciate the not yet full answer. I feel good about what I’ve seen and heard so far.
Thank you Holy Spirit for moving me forward. Moving me closer to you.