Friday, December 30, 2016

The God Who Sees Me {original lyrics}

I reached towards heaven
To cover Your eyes
Ever since I was seen
I've wanted to hide

And ever since I hid
I've wished they would see
-- Beggars, saints and scholars --
And deem me worthy

Camouflaged, I lay there
Begging for notice
In shame, doubt and fear
To be seen like this

To be caught in my sin
Exposed as myself
Naked broken poser
No doll on a shelf

Look away, look away
Away from me, Lord
Yet You don't shift Your gaze
You don't say a word

I realize it was You -
That it was Your sight
That I tried to remove
Yet craved morn and night

Put my roots in darkness
Ran rather than fight
As if this was progress
I was made for the light

Look away, look away
Away from me, Lord
Yet You don't shift Your gaze
You don't say a word

I dare look up again
You're somehow nearer
Your love won't look away
It's ne'er been clearer

Where are my accusers?
Where are my idols?
All of them were scattered
And here I stand, whole

They didn't create me
It wasn't their song
Their leaving won't break me
I had it all wrong

You gently lead me on
I'm safe, I am free
I bask in Your vision
The God who sees me

Sunday, December 18, 2016

when the muse strikes {an original poem}

When the muse strikes
May these hands of mine
Ne'er be found idle
Nor waiting for lightning

When a song moves my soul
May I not let it slip
Moving on to another
Who might treasure it

When my heart gives a stammer
As if catching its breath
May I still myself enough
To explore the cause

May I embrace confusion
Until it becomes clarity
May I never neglect the wonder
Never forget its origin

May I always pause when
The light invades my skin
May I always exhale
Then begin once again

May the wind of change
No longer be my enemy
But rather, a strange partner
In a brand new dance

May I sink beneath the waves
Only to emerge again, new
May the broken and tainted
Become a stained glass window

May I let the light shine through it

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Return to First Position

(image found on Pinterest)
I have always been the one to hold back.

I've been scared.

I've seldom thought myself good enough.

I haven't had the nerve to commit.

I am the girl that suffered intense joint pain through most of my childhood.

I have often wondered what my body was even capable of.

I doubted it was anything significant.

I didn't take advanced math in high school, because I never thought I would amount to anything that would require a degree.

I didn't touch a guitar for years, because I thought my fingers incapable of applying so much concentrated pressure.

I have balked in the face of auditions & applications.

I have looked at a person & deemed them above me.

I've pruned my expectations time & time again; cut down my dreams until they looked realistic & acceptable.

I have given up when I should have kept on fighting.

It turns out, a lot of things are closer to my grasp than I first thought.

I have discovered that things that are even quite literally out of my reach can be brought down to my hands by a loving Heavenly Father.

He healed my body over two years ago now, & for longer than that, He's been slowly healing my dreams.

I still catch myself settling when I look down at the water & depend on myself.

It was never my own strength that brought me through all those tempests & troubles.

It was His.

All I had to do was look towards Him, step towards Him. Never removing my gaze.

He's closer than I thought.

"Then Jacob awoke & said, 'Surely the Lord is in this place, & I knew it not.'" {Genesis 28:16}

It's amazing what a difference it makes when we adjust our focus.

When we choose what is our center.

I dared to put small action toward a crazy dream tonight, & took a beginner ballet class on YouTube.

I learned some key secrets.

Your body may look relaxed & still, but every position has a purpose. Even in the waiting, your body is full of energy, sustaining your posture & position.

You work with your feet as your base, your core. They are always planted intentionally, though they look to be at ease, & every part of your body must work from them. If you try to plie by focusing on the position of your hips or knees, you will get nowhere.

Sometimes you must almost go into the floor to rise up from it.

It helps you to remain erect if you imagine your legs end at your waist.

I have tried to pretend I was a ballerina before. I love to bounce around en pointe.

But here's the thing; I had no balance, I didn't know where to start; what to focus on.

I was surprised by how much those simple adjustments changed things. My body seemed to give a relieved sigh, even as the movements felt new & challenging. As though this was what it was trying to do all along.

You know when you hear someone play a song you know well, & they seem to miss the flow of it; the heart of it?

It felt like I had moved from that to its opposite. Like, "Yes! That is how Mozart should be played!"

I tell you this because it is such a fitting analogy for my fumbling attempts to walk through my life alone.

My movements have been halting, stumbling, as I focus on all the wrong things.

I've got the Master in the studio, but all I've looked at is the mirror.

I have chided myself a billion times without leaning into my patient Support.

Brother Lawrence called it Practicing the Presence of God for a reason.

If I stumble into my day trying to mimic what I've performed before, on my own, I will make zero progress, guaranteed.

I stand up. I am alert; I refuse to be passive.

I put my shoulders back, raise my chin. I am a daughter of the King.

I plant my feet; heels, big toe, little toe - all grounded. My foundation is the Lord, & leaning into all of Him, I shall not be moved. 

I turn out my feet now. I am positioned to receive, positioned to stretch my waiting muscles. This is the posture I start from. 

Upper arms extended out, lower arms curved in - First Position. Even though it looks like I'm doing nothing, my Foundation is secure & vital. 

I feel myself slouching, & imagine that my legs end at my waist, pulling myself upward. My boundaries are not what I thought they were. I encourage myself, knowing that Christ has overcome this world, & has shared with me a glorious inheritance. 

I move to the left, into pointe, sinking my left foot into the floor as I move, & then rising. Pressing into the hard things, I find the freedom & strength to soar. 

I look to the Master, & He tells me the next step. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Not Forsaken {original song}

Your love, has met me where I am
You see, where Your chosen bride has been
You know, just how far I ran
Yet You come, and You choose me once again

You have not forsaken me
Your love has not rejected me

You are always here with me
You pursue me when I flee

No, You have not forsaken me

Your blood, has washed my sin-stained hands
Your grace, gave Your bride a thousandth chance
You breathe, and a flame begins to dance
Purify, my love in Your romance

You have not forsaken me
Your love has not rejected me

You are always here with me
You pursue me when I flee

No, You have not forsaken me

Oh, how I've longed
For the fullness You provide

Lord, I have searched
You alone can satisfy

Oh, how I've wandered
Now I'm coming back to You

Meet me here, Jesus
Do what only You can do

Oh, I'm coming back to You
I'm coming back

Oh, You never left me
Though I left a thousand times
Oh, You are steady
You have never left my side

You have not forsaken me
Your love has not rejected me

You are always here with me
You pursue me when I flee

No, You have not forsaken me

Friday, November 25, 2016

Broken Run

Jesus, Jesus.

I am coming to You. Straight to You.

I'm not waiting til I get my act together, I'm not lining up my ducks

I'm just running.

I'm running broken.

With my idols, my ideals, my illusions.

My addictions, my confusion, my obsessions.

With my anger, my distraction, my repression.

I'm coming towards You, knowing I cannot shake these off & bind them without You.

I'm coming sick with grief I thought I should have overcome months ago.

I come because I know now that no one else will do, no one else could save me.

I was waiting for a savior on a white horse,

& it's You.

It has always been You.

So here I am, here I've come, & this is what it's come to.

My stomach is turning as I reflect on the mess I've made, & the ways I've tried to clean it up.

I confess, & I leave my hands open. They're bloody & stained, full of lies.

I thought I could bury this; cover it all up with the right image of wholeness so that maybe even I could forget the brokenness that lurks beneath.

I've wandered from grace, & have desired the things that I hate.

I can see it now, how the things that I thought were the most crippling were an invitation to wholeness.

What I saw as abandonment was an invitation to intimacy.

When it seemed like I had been forgotten & forsaken, I was the only one who had turned away.

My hope seemed gone because I had hoped in things that disappoint.

All was vanity when my eyes weren't fixed on you.

I kept on waiting for acceptance & not receiving it from Your open hand.

Your open heart ...

Arms stretched wide on the cross in broken welcome.

That is the posture I picture when I think of the father of the prodigal returning.

Like You couldn't show how widely Your arms were to me without breaking Your very bones.

As though You were lifted up so that I could see You from how far I had run.

I don't have to hide anymore.

You see me, You know me, & still,

You want me.

Choose me.

Out of the mire & the dust.

I need not wait for any other rescue.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

All Through the Night

It was getting late ...

My body was limbered, but weary.

I could smell the oils I had rubbed on my aching feet with a prayer that I would get rest.

I had stayed up far too late the night previous, & I'd let my thoughts reign free.

Never a good life choice.

Things seemed so out of control, & I felt isolated.

There are nights where just going to bed is something I'm not sure I'm brave enough to do.

It requires that I turn the lights out.

That I lay next to my thoughts & I face them alone.

These are lies, but a friend once told me that nighttime always exacerbates things,

& it seems like it seldom exacerbates truth.

Especially when you haven't been entertaining truthful thoughts all day.

Let me speak this out: muffling the negative thoughts & the lies is not renouncing them, & it's not speaking truth.

Non-thought still lets the wound fester.

We cannot afford to merely stifle our pain.

Now that I have gotten that out, understand that I never ever speak as someone who has "made it," but as someone who is journeying.

Understand that I wasn't living that out on the night that I speak of.

I was living out its opposite.

& tonight, I am writing from a similar place, typing out this lesson to reestablish it in my head & heart.

I dared turn out the light as I crawled into bed.

I choked on a sob, & pulled the covers up.

It takes a minute each night for me to lay down my pride & remember that I can't sleep with empty arms.

I reach behind my head for my plush dog, & for the thousandth time, I wish he had a heartbeat, so I wouldn't feel so alone.

I squeeze him tight, bury my face, & pray that I could just please fall asleep.

Quick & painless.

& that these waves would have stilled by the time I woke.

My breath shudders.

A tear falls down my cheek.

& lyrics softly run through my mind.

"All through the night ...

Keep with me, all through the night."

(Sleeping At Last)

& He stills me.

Something quietly clicks into place in my heart.

The noises & smells around me, even my heartbeat, they steady into this rhythm that betokens safety & quiet.

The words repeat, & I can feel Him near me.

The waves don't stop, but, holding the hand of the One who governs their rise & their fall, I cease to be daunted.

Nothing that opposes me in the night hours can overcome the fact that He stays with me,

All through the night.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life

I take a deep breath & turn to whitespace.

I have been practicing this all day.

I don't know quite how to tackle these online courses, & I've decided that maybe that's okay.

I've decided to let go of this nagging feeling that I'm not working hard enough or long enough.

I'm on week two of 45+ hour work weeks, while taking four credits in my "spare time."

Spare time. As in, when most people sleep. On my break. In the car. While children nap.

I've studied on my laptop, on my phone, with my books, with my notebooks, reciting to friends, making up study cards ...

It's week two.

I looked down at the end of week one, & I realized that I had read two weeks' worth of material in my one class. & it still hadn't felt like enough.

That's when it dawned on me: maybe my perception is vastly off.

Here's the thing.

The textbooks aren't meant to be read like a novel & then memorized like Scripture.

When my professors said to check in often, they probably didn't mean every hour, on the hour.

My one textbook actually warned against taking too many notes. I wrote that down. Maybe on page 12 of my notes from that chapter.

Here's the thing.

We are not made for striving.

We are not meant to dig endless holes in a futile hunt for progress.

We are not designed to be on top of everything.

None of us are prodigies at life. 

Paul's words hit home with me this week: "If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness." {2 Corinthians 11:30}

The things that show my weakness.

These are the things that show God to be dazzling.

These are the things that He chooses to glorify Himself in, & teach profound lessons.

I had wanted this to prove myself, but isn't it all about proving Him? His love and His infinite worthiness?

Let this be the song of my days.

Not that I'm groaning & striving, but that I am bending & bowing.

That He is shining through the places where I open windows.

Because, friends, when we open things up to His Presence?

He shows up. 

This weekend, as strange as it felt, opening up to Him looked like a quieting.

A ceasing of my constant frenzy.

Letting myself just laugh over coffee & glorify His name in the sweet mundane.

Setting down my to-do lists & acknowledging that whatever He wants for this moment?

That's where I want to be.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Ticking, the Tocking, the Stopping

I twist my own fingers, & warm them - like a pianist preparing to perform her own concerto.

A little like that, but smaller.

My cup of caffeine is cold & almost empty, as the morning wanes.

A morning of waiting. Stillness, in its least filling form.

I quietly resolve to wait with better purpose than I normally do.

I am a waiter.

A right-on-timer.

If you tell me I need to be ready for something by 8a.m., I will try to wake up two hours before then, & be ready by 7:45. When the clock reads 7:56, I will already assume you are late, & might have died, until I stop & Read that aforementioned clock.

It's a little psychotic, the way I wait.

It's a panicky wait.

Eyes on the door, as if my very life depended on it.

Hands clutching the phone in case they contact me & it's desperate.

My idea of desperate has become wildly skewed.

"Desperate" is 5 minutes late, or worse, a cancellation.

If I'm really feeling like taking care of myself, I'll use my minutes of margin to make myself a fortifying cup of English Breakfast, but knowing me, I already downed that 30 minutes ago. I am, after all, on a schedule.

This is how I wake.

The measured glances at the clock, so ingrained of a habit, that I am often able to know intuitively how much time has gone by before looking. But I always double check.

I hear my inner tick-tock as I do things that should be helping me unwind.

Maybe that is the true meaning behind the term, "unwinding." Releasing our tight hold of the clock wound within us, & letting time just unfold.

The ever-ticking time infiltrates my sleep schedule as well.

No matter how early I head for bed, I remember a thousand things I need to do, & either keep myself up thinking about them, or get so stressed that I end up doing them. Either way, I sacrifice hours.

Sometimes I realize as I crawl into bed that I didn't take any time to breathe throughout the day.

So I try to unwind then.

You know, quickly.

Because it's hard to fall asleep when you're that tightly wound.

Therein lies my problem.

It dawned on me as my yesterday closed.

I was trying to psych myself into a peaceful state by imagining safe places & comfort. Making up stories. Because reality usually keeps me awake.

& then I remembered something infinitely worth repeating:

There is peace in my reality. There is space for rest in my now. There is a safe place for me here. & there is comfort to be found. 

I've been waiting all wrong.

Forgive me, I've been doing this for so long.

I've been tapping my foot anxiously for things out of my control, as if my preparation could turn the tide in my mayhem.

I've been holding so tight to my schedule in hopes of it listening to my commands & wishes.

& this season of newness has sparked a huge fear in me: that my schedule will start controlling me instead. That I won't be strong enough to master the work schedules, the classes, the commitments.

I forget so easily that I was never meant to be strong enough to master this all alone. I don't have to be.

Because I'm not in this alone.

I embraced Psalm 18 this morning, with all its God-nouns - such a declaration that it has always been in His control anyway. & that He always desires to come & save.

He delights in us. How much of a release that brings. He has deep joy in us, whether or not we succeed.

There's so much grace for us here.

Grace to attempt. To fight for good things. To unwind when we need to.

I think this lesson isn't too late for us. It's never too late.

I look at that daunting schedule with new eyes, as I realize that when things are in His hands, they don't follow the world's cookie-cutter stigmas.

Time is multiplied. Strength is increased, Joy takes us off guard. We find a second wind when it makes zero sense. Peace when we are surrounded by chaos.

If our futures look stable & predictable, that's all well & good, but where is the room for the crazy, unpredictable, lavish, Enough grace of the Father?

I'm breathing deep now. Unwinding, in the knowledge that I wasn't supposed to run the world's time anyway. Safe in the hands of the One who is.

There's grace for this great attempt.

It's time to lay some things down. To practice a new kind of waiting. Hands unclenched. Heart wide open.

Time to leave some margin for grace to sweep in.

Time to take my peace with me.

I don't have to pretend, I don't have to perform.

I just get to hold His hand & try.

This could be the grandest of adventures.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Art of Breathing

I am discovering this, that the Lord works in the trenches of the  misunderstood & lowly.

That He will let something fall to guide our gazes.

In the tragedy, the uncertainty, & even just the disappointment, He is waiting.

That He longs to meet us in the midst of our cancelled plans.

That He wants to hear our song, even when we have no voice left, no words left. Maybe that, after all, is when we need to sing the most.

He is waiting when all of our best-laid plans come to nothing.

When we don't have it in us to perform.

When we feel like the best we have to offer still isn't good enough.

I have discovered that He meets us There.

In our heavy sighs.
In our runny noses.
In our anguished cries.
I also suppose this:
that those sounds might as well be a welcome banner for how much He feels at home among them.

Maybe it's time to stop waiting until we can give Him "our best," & just give Him our now.
Scarred & scrappy as it may be. With our most heartfelt, & maybe even our most unpolished surrender.

Maybe we stop waiting for someone to acknowledge our value, & get on our knees to acknowledge that our value is found in Christ Jesus, & our joy in His name lifted high.

& what if we did that just right where we are?

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”{Psalms‬ ‭51:17‬}

"So I will run toward all You are; Take Your hand & embrace Your scars; Knowing that You bled so I could breathe again. Carry me; Help me breathe; Your love alone can save this fragile heart." {LGH}

I wrote that song years ago ... Gave up on it months ago ... & couldn't stop singing it today, broken, squeaky voice & all.

It amazes me, how this of all weeks, when my throat has been so tight & unpredictable, He has called forth song from me like never before.

How after I had resigned myself to being more poet than lyricist, He called me to write a song.

It's here that He meets us.

In the places where it is all too clear that, on our own, we were never going to make it.

When we feel like the world couldn't care less, He meets us with startling intimacy & says that He still wants us.

Who could have prepared us for this beautifully shattering truth?

How is it here that He pulls forth beauty from us.

Oh, beautiful mystery of grace.

Him meeting us at the end of our rope.

At the end of our resources.

When we have nothing left, He takes us into His hands & says, "I can use this. I have purpose for this."

When everything else runs out, He never does.

& it's here that I learn to breathe again.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I'm Back! (some quick updates, & some musings on strength & weakness)

Well, I didn't actually go anywhere. I seldom go anywhere.

I'm back on a laptop of my own, & I dare suspect you'll be hearing from me a little more consistently.

It's not like my life is getting any less crazy, but having a device that I can type prettily on (& speedily on) in my own space, at any time, denotes consistency.

So, YAY! - you get to hear from me more.

& to whomever it is applicable, I'm so sorry.

This post is a little more of an update than my usual almost-prose.

It's a year of many transitions for me - which is normal for my age, I suppose - so I can guarantee that there will be more update-y posts in the future. Bear with me as I go through this journey, okay?

For starters, you may have already heard, or have seen the pretty link at the bottom of my blog page, but some dear people & I have started a collaborative Etsy shop: Son of Uri Studios. I am the token sketch artist, & you can find my section, Designs by Lyd, here.

This little shop has been occupying a good bit of my time. I'm trying to keep inspired, & keep dishing out fresh pieces to list, so that the shop is always blooming. & I will always have plenty of room to grow, so I've been practicing with detailing, & experimenting with new techniques. I'm proud of the shop as it is right now, but I'm excited for every improvement. I think that's so vital as an artist.

All of my pieces are completely original - I don't have access to the technology to reproduce digitally, I have never been able to copy my own work by hand, & I have never liked the idea of mass-produced art, so every sketch you see is the only one of its kind. It might make things harder for me down the road, but it's a value I feel is worth upholding. Who says we have to conform to the norm, just because it's easier?

I have also become a wellness advocate for doTERRA essential oils, & you can read a bit about my story with that here, & proceed to browsing the oils from there by clicking on the three bars in the upper-right corner of the webpage & clicking "Shop."

So yeah, enough advertisements, sorry. As I'm preparing for what the Lord is calling me too, I've been challenged to work more for it. I can't just sit back. I need to grab hold of the opportunities in front of me. My dream is expensive, to put it bluntly, & I can't wait for money to just fall in my lap, no matter how nice that sounds.

A friend spoke something heavy & honest into my life recently, & I can't get it out of my head. It was along the lines of this: that the people around us will fail us, they just will. 7 there comes a time where we need to accept that, gracefully, & own our own crap. This wasn't said in judgement of the people around me, but as a caution against expecting everyone to do exactly what I need them to. I'm young, sure. Naive, definitely, Weak, yep. But I still need to step up to the plate.

The Lord has given me a beautiful dream, & I'm not going to let it rot in the distance with a hundred other things i should have pressed in for. He's also given me an incredible support system. People that are on Team Lydia, per se, & would love to help me pursue my future. I can't expect them to just read my mind & know what I need. This season has been one of stepping up to the plate, but also one of letting people into my weakness & lack. I've had to be really honest, & ask people for help (which isn't my long suit) when I need it. I have had to stop settling for, "oh, I can't get there," & start asking, "could you take me?" I've had to stop saying, "I don't know how," & start asking, "can you teach me?"

It's humbling, but empowering. That's so like the Kingdom.

When we take off our masks of false strength, & bring our weakness before the throne of grace, & invite others to see that we don't have it all together, that's when the lord can pour out power into our lives.

Our true strength lies in knowing that we have none apart from Him, & knowing that with His help, "I can run against a troop, & by my God I can leap over a wall." {Psalm 18:29}

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Singing My Song

I don't know where to begin today, or where to go ...

I only know that these fingers must click along a keyboard again, & in a way, I must sing my song.

I think about those words now ... singing my own song.

Once upon a time, that meant something different for me; it meant an actual song.

I'm actually in a season right now where I am coming to grips with the fact that I'm maybe actually more of a poet than a songwriter, & maybe just maybe I should accept that, & live like that.

I'm not talking about a song I wrote, or "my jam."

The idea of my song is so much more than that. It's the idea that there are words that I need to remember always. Words that dear friends sing over me, & that my Lord has sung over me from the start.

Today, I really need to hear my song.

I need Truth sung over me. I need to remember what I always forget. I need to feel the closeness of someone holding my hand & knowing my hurt, & pouring hope into my dark places.

Lately, I've been breaking under the weight of knowing that several of the people who sing over me ... they're leaving. At least for a season. Some of them, for the foreseeable future.

Lately, I've been feeling like I'm drowning.

The people who have faithfully lifted my head above the waters are absent, & I forget sometimes that I have been here before, & the Lord has seen me through.

I forget that I know how to breathe.

It hits me like a rock as I type, & I'm still wrestling with it ...

but I need to sing my own song.

As Ann Voskamp would put it, I need to preach Gospel to myself.

I need to declare things that I know to be true ...

even on the days when it feels like they couldn't possibly still be true.

I need to orient myself towards Him.

Establish myself in His Truth.

Tune my heart to sing His praise.

Friends, tuning hurts. I can't think about this, much less write about it, without crying.

I feel as though I have been crying for a month.

Singing my song feels like climbing a mountain, & I've never been much of a fan of going uphill.

But, if I'm going to get through this, I am going to have to get my heart to a place where it turns toward truth, even in the darkest nights.

I have probably been the most mentored, mothered, & supported believer that ever there was. I have become dependent, you could say.

This time is painful, but there are growing pains amidst these heartaches.

There is a safe place to run to in this storm.

Abba Father, teach these feet to run.

Toward You ... ever toward You. 

On my own, I make myself as small as possible, & I cry in that place. I don't let anyone see or hear.

He is calling me to bigger things, though. Things that impact others.

Like it or not, He is calling me to sing out loud. He is calling me to be a witness; one who testifies of Him.

It's like I see Him calling me to stand up from the corner I was huddled in, & to step into an open field ... to stand boldly, out in the open, & declare that His mercies are new every morning.

Those words were penned in the book of Lamentations ... literally a book of grieving.

The place I am in does not negate the Truth, & speaking the Truth does not marginalize the place I am in.

He still deserves my every praise, & He still remains my steadfast hope. My only hope.

I am counting on Him to restore my soul. To lift my burdens. & to bring me out of this bigger, bolder, braver, stronger ... He never fails, & He wastes nothing.

Monday, March 21, 2016

World Down Syndrome Day

Today, we wear our most ridiculous socks, in honor of the most ridiculously wonderful humans. It's World Down Syndrome Day. I feel weepy as I think this through. I love that I get to do this one small, wild thing to bring awareness to something that has such a huge hold on my heart.

If I'm honest, I do this in support of one boy in particular. His name is Michael, & he has more love in his teeny body than anyone I've ever met. He's done more for me than I could ever do for him. He reflects Jesus a lot that way.

He gave me my dream.

I looked at him, & I knew what I wanted to do with my life.

He & I, we both know the sound of voices telling us what we can't do; what we probably will never be able to do. My voices are mostly in my own head, though.

I never saw myself overcoming the hurdles set before me.

I never saw myself being healed from Lyme disease. He gave me hope, even while I still battled it. His story was one of my first glimpses of God's healing power in the present day & age.

I never saw myself playing any instrument that required finger strength. He doesn't let the smallness of his hands stop him from making music.

I never dared to dream. His family showed me how powerful it is when people dream on your behalf.

In short, that's what I want my life to look like. I want to be the dreamer. I want to be a believer. I want to be the voice that speaks into places that have only heard, "you can't," & whisper bravely, "but what if you could? Why can't you?" I want to be on the team of the underdog & the downcast, rooting for them with everything I have in me.

I want to see life come to a valley of dry bones {Ezekiel 37:1-14}. I want to respond to the Lord as He calls new things forth. I want to echo Him. I want to speak words of life.

I want to hold trembling hands & say, "I believe in you."

I want to lift the broken spirit onto my shoulders & carry them to new heights.

When faced with a child who cannot use their arms to their full potential, I want to stand with them & fight for their ability to reach for the stars.

I once heard a story about a little girl with Down syndrome ... Her dad said that all these odds were against her, but no one had thought to tell her that, so she'd been defying them ever since birth.

Our words hold so much power. May I never be the voice that claims logic & tells a soul to stop fighting & dreaming, because they'll "probably never ..." I want to be the voice that defies all logic & tells them that I'm with them all the way. I'll help them in their fight, & if they stumble, I'm not going anywhere, & I'm not giving up on them.

That sounds like Jesus to me, & that's who I want to follow.

The one who embraced the man He knew would betray Him.

The one who dined with those that were scorned & rejected by people who called themselves holy.

He stood with people we would never want to stand with in our own flesh, & He called life out of their dry bones.

The love, healing, calling, & acceptance I have received from Him, may I never withhold from another. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Catching Up

I have been silent for far too long, & this is mostly due to my distaste for blogging from my phone.

I'll explain.

Old Bessie, my laptop, is on her last leg. She's overheating every time I turn her on (an action that now takes 15+ minutes). Her webpages aren't loading. She's whirring & whining, & it makes my heart hurt just to look at her.

So, yes, technically, I could blog from my phone, but I really prefer writing on computers, because I am a perfectionist, & I like to know that the format I write this in is the format it stays in. OCD, I know.

So here I am, putting off the inevitable laptop purchase, & typing on a borrowed computer in my fringe hours.

Forgive me, friend.

Last time we talked, I was doing some big-time processing, & -- I'm sure you could tell -- sorely in need of balance.

I've come a long way.

Nothing is wasted in the Kingdom of God. I love that. He took that burdened girl who was mourning the loss of her free spirit, & He lifted her head.

I still sit in that rocking chair & sip tea.

There's a handkerchief in the pocket of my thick sweater.

I'm still cold.

Friends my own age call me Grandma Yidia, & I have just laughed & accepted the new title.

I've grown up in a lot of ways, but I still have the spunky spark in me.

And I think that that is so pleasing to God.

Surely, He wants us to die to our old sinful selves. But, He also gave us quirks & passions that He worked into His plan for our lives.

I imagine Him looking down on me as I'm writing a poem, & telling me, "Yes! That's it. I didn't birth that in you just for you to leave it dormant; I love that you're using that - it's one of My favorite things about you ... P.S. I have so many favorite things about you."

It's exciting. He's showing me ways to use the quirky bits, as well as the lessons that I've learned in the trials, for Kingdom purposes. How amazing is that?

I get to sketch to fund the dream He's planted in my heart. I get to say yes to some pretty incredible things. I get to have dance parties while cleaning the house. It's so beautiful.

I love the redemptive power of this Jesus of ours.

How about you? How have you been?

Is there any area in your life that could use the touch of Jesus to bind together your heart & your situation?

Pray with me:

Lord Jesus,
This life can be hard & heavy. It feels like joy can get pushed to the wayside & get forgotten so easily. I stress as I struggle. Jesus, help me to run to You. Help my response to adversity to be one that worships & honors You. You are holy & Your plans are always good. Spur my heart on, Jesus; help it to catch up to where I am right now in Your plan. Give me strength for the things You have called me to, & help me not to do them in a spirit of religion, but a Spirit of Love. Your perfect love is strong enough to cast out my fears & worries. Your plan is steadfast & sure. You are Faithful & True, & You will see me through. I can trust in You. Help my unbelief! In the Name of Jesus, Amen.