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.