joy :: day two :: in the details

photo (18)oftentimes i am too busy for the details.

my brain gets mushed into thinking that everything on the news is the only news.

sluggishly moping along

like there is no good out there.

no sparkle.

no triumph.

no joy.

i wander in and out of a pessimistic haze, unsure of my faith, too much noise,

too much hurt – intense pain for those whom i cannot help. i get depressed.

it happens more than it should to be honest.

regardless of my brain’s chemistry, i want to know more JOY.

i have more than enough love, experiences & laughter in my life to know anything but happiness.

i know my faith SHOULD be stronger than my worries, my fears, mine (others’) pain.

i know i am not alone in this warp of too much.

i cannot control everything that happens to me, only my attitude toward it.

most days, it only lasts a few minutes, maybe an hour.

then:

something miraculous happens: i notice the joy.

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i become engaged in being ALIVE THAT VERY MOMENT.

i pick up the details, i smell, i touch, i seek.

i am reminded that i have been given the gift of life every day that i wake up,

i need to grab hold of it with everything i’ve got.

i must seek the joy i want to wear.

hot diggity damn do i want to wear it out!

we’ve got one life folks, what message are we trying to sell, problem are we trying to fix?

what if we really LIVED in the moment, became happy to have BREATH, and sought joy in every turn?

we would hear joy, be joy, see joy, envelope the world in joy.

let’s find our joy, SEEK IT OUT. now go!

we are the choir.

 

i am called to the broken & lost because they are me;  i, one of them.

we together peek under the rock of taboo & discover what it is like to know truth, in all it’s show.

to understand why & where & how we can love with even more fever than before we knew –

EVERY VOICE MATTERS TO SOMEONE, ESPECIALLY TO THE CHOIR.

that we all must sing when our song is lost & we all find the choir backs us up exactly we when need the harmony the most.

so we sing.

& that is our masterpiece, because we ARE the choir.

ALL OF US ARE THE CHOIR.

& lost we are, but found we’ll be.

keep singing loves. keep singing.

i feel so small sometimes….

… because i am.

so smallllll

i am learning that i need to edit more of me each day.

take out the sour, include the sweet.

exclude the negative, include the positive.

i must not edit God.

i must let Him edit me.

i feel so small sometimes, & that is because i am.

so is the stuff i get wrapped up into.

it is curious how i believe the gunk, my “stuff” is bigger than the Great love.

it is also strange how i can feel yucky in my heart about being selfish,

how i feel like i’m trying to learn/teach myself grace –

tell you about it,

yet, i’m abandoning it at the start of forgiving myself for mistakes –

that is what grace is – – – – -yes?!?! YES!

the hard stuff isn’t so hard with others to help.

we all feel small in front of God.

and we should.

that is EXACTLY how He planned it! ♥

we need to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, our mishaps, our mess-ups.

we need to feel small, so God can wrap us up in His arms to comfort us.

otherwise, we are like that crying, writhing child who won’t sleep, when exhausted is all they are, and sleep is the only solution.

my only solution is God.

and probably why when it snows, i feel like a little girl being rocked to sleep, with a world of possibilities at her fingertips.

how amazing His grace is, and how sweet the sound of snowfall…

all my love and wonder to you this wednesday,

b

my horizon is my hope

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAi can hear the rumbles, but it cannot scare me away this time.

i feel the mist, and yet, i am not affected.

nothing can stop this exhilaration of hope.

i am able to do hard things through one person here, & the Greatest One Ever.

me, & Him.

with work & FAITH.

He has built an unsinkable ship, & held strong through my storms – his coördinates = freedom.

i find it.

i always find it.

Him, there, with his heavenly arms outstretched, calling me to His comfort, His protection.

“rest my child, you are  stronger if we bind together, like the braided rope of your anchor to me.”

i wonder if it is that easy.

it is?

yes!!!

i realize, He has given me my handsome, bravest, kindest, blue-eyed love, & our very favorite girl.

the silliness we create together, and the adventures of a lifetime (even if we didn’t see a bear).

how could i ever doubt my Father’s love for me, when i have experienced that kind of love?

which is a sliver, or a millionth of a sliver, of His love for US.

awe-struck!

but most importantly,

i see HOPE.

i hope that my love is enough to show HIM through all i do.

not just my close people, but those of you whom i pray for with big auspicious prayers, without hesitation, i pray for us all, with HOPE.

and when we get to that great swell, that we are together.

for that is all i SEEK.

ALL of US together.

it makes me happy just the dream of it.

everyone.

loving.

together.

at.

last.

with the Him that started it all, and will conclude with a choir of angels, singing:

hallelujah, you are here. we are here.

i am HOPEFUL that His love will set us ALL free.

you, me, and whomever knows of this kind of LOVE.

is loving yourself is as freeing as giving yourself out of love?

let’s do the work and find out!

we must try to love the hard love every day.

we must laugh, and sing, dance and rejoice, every single day.

include, include, please include your hard-to-loves.

seek the sun, seek the sun, seek the sun. 🙂

if you are faint, cling to HIM.

for He will save us as He did His son.

and for that, we shall always know where our horizon lies.

my horizon is my hope.

adventure, adventure :: backpacking in the moonlight

i went backpacking for the first time last fall.
where you wear your food, your clothes, your space to sleep, on your back.
and you set up camp at some lovely place, where the air is fresher than your lungs know what to do with.

at some point on our hike out.

at some point on our hike out.

we went up north in the lower peninsula of michigan, to the hoist lake recreation area.

it was magical.  i don’t have any pictures of walking in, but we walked in around 10 p.m., and it was just stunning. quiet, and peaceful, and coolish with a humid mist.

these two were pumped, as was i.

these two were pumped, as was i.

it was the kind of trip, where the planning is quick, and spur of the moment, and where the excitement of the trip is electric.  we had all the equipment we needed, and just decided to go.  we only had one real night/day to spend up there, and that was all we needed. i love my family.

she was ready to defend me against squeeters.

she was ready to defend me against skeeters.

my love has backpacked his whole life, and a.r. is following in those giant footsteps of his, and is quite the adventurer herself.  i love nature, i love being with my family, and i have definitely camped rustically (no bathroom, no showers, no people around you for a LONG while) before.  but, i had never backpacked.

in the morning, i felt peace.

in the morning, i felt peace.

it was not a very good night of sleep for me, but my sweets both slept amazing.  i was worried i would roll over a.r., and so, couldn’t quite relax.  but, i know if we could’ve stayed at least one more night, i would have been refreshed beyond my own understanding, because just the less than 24 hours that i was up there, i was refreshed.

these beauties were taking a bath close to us in the morning mist.

these beauties were taking a bath close to us in the morning mist.

we had a campfire, and campers food (a.r’s fave) we hiked during the day, we gathered sticks, learned more about our surroundings, and laughed in the wind.

my firemaker.

my firemaker.

we are blessed to have been able to go.

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morning coffee ♥

morning coffee ♥

this was our view. we couldn't see another person from our "site".

this was our view. we couldn’t see another person from our “site”.

God's Glory.

God’s Glory.

i beyond a doubt, believe that it was a perfectly orchestrated trip from my Maker to enjoy the end of last summer with my loves before the school year began again for a.r.

it was exactly what we knew we needed.

trifecta of awesomeness.

triangle of awesomeness.

no makeup, no worries.

no makeup, no worries.

it is one of my favorite trips of all time.  i was less healthy than i am now, but that makes me even more excited for this year’s trip!

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those two people are my heart.

the people in this picture make me so happy, even if i look like i need a nap, and a makeover! :)

the people in this picture make me so happy, even if i look like i need a nap, and a makeover! 🙂

goofballs in the woods.

goofballs in the woods!

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thank you Lord, for this view.

thank you Lord, for this view.

love is everywhere, you just have to look.

love is everywhere, you just have to look.

i heart wildflowers.

i heart wildflowers.

backpacking is amazing. i am an amateur, but i know if you have any questions about stuff we brought, or what you would need, r.l. would be happy to help you answer those questions.  it is something you should try.  just once.  i promise, you will come away relaxed, refreshed, and more in love with life.

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best girl. small frog. favorite.

best girl. small frog. favorite.

only a prince will do.

only a prince will do.

go out and seek adventure. it is a blast. i promise.

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we did it! (well, i knew they could do it, but i again, was less healthy then, and this was an accomplishment!). yay!

we did it! (well, i knew they could do it, but i again, was less healthy then, and this was an accomplishment!). yay!

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now go find some adventure!!!

sigggggg22

snippets of summer

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enjoying life.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsmelling the flowers as much as possible.

2013-05-26_15-26-55_826being asked to “drive” the Jeep off road out of a HUGE, DEEP, MUDDY hole…

2013-05-26_15-26-40_79this angle does it no justice!  i got us out though, stellar off-roader that i pretend to be.

2013-05-25_09-38-54_665enjoying the sunshine on this beauty’s face as much as i possibly can (and that little furry nugget too).

2013-05-25_19-01-02_698a little of this…

2013-05-26_16-20-37_382a smidge of this…

getting my first final grade (an A!) for my new path. 🙂yay

 doing lots of this for homework:

2013-06-30_20-50-51_772 knowing that this isn’t perfect, but that i’m trying my best.

2013-05-28_16-46-13_672learning about different ways that this is art, and how i need to relax about it.

2013-06-03_17-42-45_557enjoying a lot of this

2013-06-16_20-28-27_369this

2013-06-28_12-50-13_527this and

IMG_20130513_100241there is quite a bit of my homerun hitter thrown in, which makes my heart SO happy

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and of course there’s always, ALWAYS room for this guy:

2012-07-22_20-51-06_765 (1)and of course some of this goodness too
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but no summer would be complete without a lot of this:

2013-06-27_15-41-37_237but, in my humble opinion, due to our rainy mitten weather this year, i haven’t had enough of these to enjoy (hint, hint, Big Guy 😉 )

2013-07-05_21-28-17_5and i can’t wait to use this to keep pop and vino cool, especially since my rl made it for me (it was my grandparents’) :

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this guy and i agree, it has been an amazing summer so far, and i’m so pumped for the rest of it! may your days be filled with the glory of His masterpieces

IMG_20130624_195844and may you always

sigggggg22

genesis in the blossoms

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the long winter has warmed.

our sweet Spring has stored her winter blanket for anew.

the brown, crisp grasses have given way to new growth.  green hope.

this life is meant for twirling your skirt in the sun,

and recovering the roots of spirit, with dirty fingertips.

i embrace this time with a straw hat, cutoff jeans.

welcome to you

dear, sweet, intoxicating spring!

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we have been waiting a long winter’s night.

we are poised for the show, and ready to embrace your distinct, delicious scent.

we are each a seed in the Master Gardener’s palm.

He plants us deep down,
so we can appreciate getting up.

we are formed in the image of God,

our blessings, each petal,

a glimpse of His love for us.

just as the bud wiggles through the nutrient rich soil,

it’s strength earned through the harsh winds,

i fight with all my might to do this life on my own,

when

i need to just look up.

and He is there.

always.

ready to offer warmth, a pull upward.

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i feel the weight/wait of the sun’s warmth.

or perhaps the Son’s warmth?

He gave me nourishment, allowed for a stretch and heard me beg for deeper roots,

so i can help those who struggle too.

to share what i know about shining.

growing, weeding, pruning.

i believe it goes both ways.

because i certainly wilt when i should stand tall,

and i certainly blow wind around like i am the weather maker,

especially when i should be still.

but! spring is hope.  we all need that, yes?  🙂

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unraveling in our layers of doubt, we should’ve known,

dear, ridiculously unpredictable spring,

that you will show up and heal, just as He does,

even though we don’t know sometimes when the trees will flower, we anticipate it.

but we know, we always know you will come.

when every sweet chirp leaves us a bit anxious . . .

but you will show.

in cherry blossoms, and wet, muddy splashes.

you show up, as a gift

and we just need to accept You.

i believe it is time to get muddy, and frolick around a bit in the Son. ♥

go forth and twirl.

sigggggg22

shrinky dinks, light and kevin bacon.

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My friend Tammy said this in a post from late last year on her blog Raggle Taggle: “I’m leaning into belief and drawing near to grace. I will let myself be loved. That’s my broken hallelujah.”

i am awestruck by the beauty of those words.

and it got me thinking…that every time i read something truly real from someone, whether on facebook, an email, a blog post, etc… it makes me feel more connected to them, to their fibers, to their soul.  it could be hilarious, painful, uncomfortable, uplifting, and perhaps sometimes TMI (think bodily fluids – ick!).

now, don’t take this as a negative thing, or that i’m super soberly serious (alliteration nation y’all!), but what binds us together as a community of humans, what makes us relate to the most opposite of others, is our fibers. our stories.

you know how everyone has heard of six degrees of kevin bacon? you haven’t? oh, my assumption is that you have.

and you know what they say about assumptions. 😉

it is a silly game where  kevin bacon is related to some actor, whatever movie that you name, by a connection of six or fewer people. example: movie actor apple starred with movie actor banana, who is married to movie actor carrot, who used to babysit for movie actor donut’s kids, who was an extra in a movie with actor eggplant, who was the (fill in the blank) in footloose with kevin bacon.

and now i’m hungry.  🙂

what the point of  it is:  that the  little silly game is that everyone is connected to everyone somehow, and the world keeps shrinking down like a colorful version of a shrinky dink. (and if you’ve never heard of shrinky dinks, then that right there is reason that this generation should put down their iThings, and get outside, or go bake an incredibly small cupcake in their easy bake oven).

the world gets smaller, more intimate, more saturated with beauty, with each and every conversation you have. with that coach of your child’s ping pong team, with the pharmacy tech who is jam packed with orders, with the elderly man working at the car parts store, with your memaw, your neighbor’s dad, your vet.

we all have our stories.  and you know what i’ve found after my 3 + decades upon this spinning sphere of wonder?

that i have more in common with those folks, than i ever thought possible.

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duck dynasty anyone?  YES.

mac and cheese lovers out there?  YOU BET.

sunrises or sunsets?  NOW WE’RE TALKIN.

hot chocolate after sledding with plastic baggies in our boots?  OH THAT WAS JUST ME.  🙂

people are so very VERY similar.

any frustration that i may have on being “misunderstood” seems to disappear when my selfish ideas of what that person is thinking (sometimes without even speaking to them first!), or feeling, or knows, just by the Gucci bag they carry, or the smart phone that they don’t.

i assume that just because i think of myself a certain way, that that is certainly the way that others would think of me too.

i wrote a post a few days ago, and published it.  some of you may have read it, but i chose to take it down for being misconstrued.  misunderstood.  misheard. because, i had not thought about the consequences that it may have rippled to those i love.

i don’t want that to ever be something that happens again.

this space is about the light that we need to shine onto others when we see them weeping, and, basking in their light when they are projecting it everywhere, happily dancing along in their sunbeams.

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think about that.

we are the same.  when we hurt, we lash out.  when we are happy, we shout it on the rooftops.  when we wear oversized sunglasses in a photobooth? well, we look like pretty rocking superheros.

the world is MUCH smaller than you think.  it is smaller than polar opposite viewpoints of political, best dressed, university driven or lack thereof – minimum wage, or maximum tax.

i want the mirror that i hold, to light, to project, to shrink myself into each conversation, each oreo cookie shared.  so i can SEE what the world is trying to say, each story at a time.  mirroring ALL ITS LIGHT.

there are a lot of things you can see in a mirror.

but, mirrors don’t work in the dark.  mirrors don’t work when it’s dark.

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who can you spread light to today?  who can dance in your sunbeams, or use a little warmth from your glow?  go out there and strike up a conversation with someone.

for starters?

hey, have you ever heard of shrinky dinks?  Or how about:  name a movie with kevin bacon?

i bet you’ll be surprised how warm six degrees feels.