What Do You Collect? We are all collectors of something. We collect things in our homes, our lives, our hearts, our minds. We collect physical items, words spoken, and memories made. What are you collecting right now? What do you want to collect? What do you want to surround yourself with? Are the things you are collecting making you more of what you want to be? Or is it weighing you down? Do you need to be more intentional about what you collect? Do you need to bring something near or do you need to let go of some of the collections you have created?
May you collect
words, images, memories
that inspire and draw you near to God and others.
May you see and acknowledge
the collections that you love
and those that you don't love
and want to let go of.
I've been collecting Art Supplies
I think its over
I declare it, over
The days where I feel
to the lies about my presence
about your presence
I am not hard to be around
I am not pain
I am not awkward
I am not confusing
I am not lame
I am not boring
I am not less than
I am not closed off
I am not defenseless
I am not alone
You are not absent
You are not overlooking
You are not uncaring
You are not distant
You are not distracted
You are not lacking
You are not unavailable
You are not far off
You are not unable
My presence is
is Your Presence
you are worth it.
you don't see it.
why don't you really, fully see it?
I know you know this in your head
or at least your ears have heard it
but your heart doesn't know
hasn't accepted it, yet
I pray that you see and know
and walk in the beauty of knowing who you are
who you are in Christ and who Christ made you to be.
good to be around
sometimes you're afraid
unsure and hold back
and that is okay.
Don't stay there.
You are worth
You are worth it.
May you know it and walk in it.
Without having a car I’ve learned I really enjoy riding a bicycle. I mean, I don't always enjoy it, but I do enjoy it in general. It gives me life and energy. Its taught me to be more comfortable with speed and the feeling of a lack of control while going down hills. I don't like that feeling. Thats the reason I sucked at trying to ski many years ago... but thats another story. Its also taught me to persevere up hills… or get off and walk those steeper ones. While riding a bicycle I’ve also seen how more connected to the environment I am. How I see and interact more. I can smile, wave, and say hi to those walking by, I see and feel the weather, the sweat on my back, the rain on my skin, the soreness in my legs, the life flowing through my body. Its slower paced then a car and nothing is blocking me from whats around me. Being in a car is quick, easy, and sterile. I still love cars and quick rides, but I also appreciate the details while riding a bike and walking.
Walking is even more slow paced and detail filled. It also requires me to plan ahead. It might only take a few minutes in a car, but it may take me 40 minutes to walk. And as I walk, I notice even more details especially when a sandal breaks on the way. Its a different experience to walk barefoot for 2 miles on cement, blacktop, grass, and pebbles. You notice which walking surfaces are actually clean and smooth and which have small pebbles and rocks. On a bike they both seem clean, but with bare feet you know the truth. You see where berries are squished and will stick to and dye your feet. You see how many ant trails run along the seams in the cement. You might not notice these as much on a bike and even less in a car. Riding my bike and walking is helping me go slow, see, and notice again.
Is there something slowing you down?
What have you seen as you slow down?
How can you intentionally slow down to notice details and see?
Like a pebble dropping into a lake, an Instagram post can ripple into the distance. You never know who’s watching or where something might go.
Then a coworker/friend of mine saw it and invited me to be a part of a morning worship time he was co-leading for staff and students of another local ministry. Their theme that day was brokenness so he asked me to prepare and lead the same activity with about 28 adults. So I did. And that was it.
Then I heard that someone there that morning used their experience later in the day to connect and share with some Japanese students they were working with. They all looked up Kintsugi and talked about brokenness and being rebuilt. And that was it.
Until weeks later when I heard how someone else saw my Instagram post and used my it as inspiration to share about brokenness and God rebuilding us as part of a Bible study he co-leads. And that was it.
Shared once. Then twice by me. And at least two other times by others. Who else was inspired and adapted this idea? Where did it ripple next? Where is it rippling right now? Only God knows. It might not be a viral post but it is rippling on.
What are you doing and sharing that can have a ripple effect?
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. I lost, but I also gained. I 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.