Beloved

A book is not beloved

If it’s sitting on a shelf

Collecting dust and waiting

There with others by itself.

 

What makes a book beloved

Is the time I spend with it.

The same is true for people

When I take the time to sit.

 

Love is to be tended

Like a garden or a tree.

It cannot be neglected

Or it will escape from me.

 

Hearts, like books, sit on the shelf

Too often they are broken,

Not by being all alone,

by words that were not spoken.

 

Books long to be touched and read

And will wait until they rot.

Hearts long to be loved and held

But will break if they are not.

 

(photo credit bonpic.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Hold Your Breath

I heard a beautiful message this morning on Genesis 2:7 “Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.” (NLT)

As I listened, I imagined God breathing life into His creation. I’ve always thought of this verse in regard to the beginning of man, but God reminded me this morning that He is always breathing new life into His children. It isn’t necessarily CPR, but it can be. It is, more often, a gentle filling that sustains the heart and sates the soul.

Relaxing into obedience is testing my faith and taxing my patience, but I am slowly learning to stop striving and trust that God knows what is best for me. It isn’t easy for me to be still, but I have experienced periods deep stillness over the past year. The stillness that came in those moments created beautiful connections that made me want more.

I asked God to breathe new life into me this morning, and He reminded me that He would be happy to if I would stop holding my breath. I smiled when I realized it is impossible for Him to breathe into me when I’m already full. I know it’s a survival response to hold my breath, but it has become a habit with me. I’m not sure when the habit started, but I think it may have begun when I almost drowned at five.

I tend to hold on to that which I should release to God. Like holding my breath, it keeps me from the new life He envisions. He will never force me to let go of my breath, but He will give me a sweet sense of peace when I relax long enough to catch a deep breath of His Son’s sweet love. Breathing is involuntary, but fear can break its natural rhythm. Hearing God gently bid me to exhale reminded me that His love banishes fear.

Nothing is better for the heart than breathing deeply, and nothing is better for the spirit that exhaling completely and allowing God to breathe new life deeply into my heart. It is what revival is all about, and I’m ready for a revival!

You Better Let Somebody Not Love You…

I’ve struggled, in the past, with letting others love me. I’m not sure if that was because I felt unworthy or perhaps, I was simply afraid. Letting somebody love me isn’t easy; the Eagles make that clear in “Desperado.” The song cautions those afraid of love to “let somebody love you before it’s too late.”

I’ve loved the song for decades and could relate to its lyrics, but the lessons in love of late have been very different ones. God is helping me see that I must let somebody not love me if I want to love as He loves. God loves everyone, no matter who they are. That bothers some, but brings great peace to me. He loves completely and perfectly, but He never forces anyone to love Him back. He could, but He knows better than anyone that love isn’t love if it’s forced upon us.

I’ve always had the need to be liked, so it’s not surprising I would have difficulty letting someone not love me. I find myself trying to convince others to accept my love and to love me back. It hurts deeply when they don’t. I am learning I can only be a loving presence and choose whether to accept the love offered to me. Life and love are wrapped together beautifully in relationship, and I’m slowly learning to relax into relationships and not worry if they are not what I expect them to be.

Chasing love is pointless because it can never be caught. Pursuing it only distracts, disturbs, and deters the love already in my life. The notion of relaxing into obedience has brought powerful growth during the past year. I’m finding that relaxing into whatever God has in mind brings a sweet sense of peace. Relaxing is not easy for me; but when I remember it’s simply believing God is Who He says He is, it becomes much easier.

I’ve been getting deep tissue massages since April to correct some health issues I’ve had for years. I was groaning yesterday when I felt my tendons and muscles begin to relax. The difference in my body over the past few months is unbelievable, and I know it has to do with the fact that I’m learning to relax just like those stubborn, twisted muscles. I told Braden, as she massaged out the sore spots, that learning to let others not love me was having the same effect on my heart that her massage techniques were having on my body. Does it hurt when someone doesn’t love me? Absolutely!! Can I make them love me? Absolutely not! Does allowing them the space to not love me bring them closer? Sometimes 🙂

If love is meant to be, it will be. If it is not meant to be, it will not be. I can cajole or coerce with some success, but I will miss the kind of love God has in mind for my heart. Wasting time and effort trying to get someone to love me keeps me from enjoying the sweet love already in my path.

So, let somebody not love you before it’s too late.

 

Never a Boaring Moment

Nothing is better for my body my early morning hike up Indian Creek, but my heart got an extreme workout this morning when I saw two wild pigs. Rita and I heard a loud noise coming from below the trail when we were about two miles into our walk. I knew this was not the gentle deer we had come across on Wednesday, and it wasn’t large enough to be a black bear. My heart stopped when I saw the head of a large boar. He jumped up and took off with a smaller pig following closely behind him. They were down by the creek, so I didn’t wet my pants. I turned around quickly, grabbed Rita’s hand, and headed very rapidly down the steep hill we had just managed to trudge up.

When we finally could talk, we laughed about getting our heart rates to a new level!! I told her I only grabbed her hand so she wouldn’t run off without me. We laughed out loud about our reaction to the boar, but we also know that there’s nothing funny about a wild boar attack. We were on high ground looking down, and that’s exactly where you want to be when you see a wild boar or a mama with babies, God forbid!! The taller and higher the better with wild pigs. Never crouch down or lay down if you happen to have an encounter.

Most of the damage done by wild pigs is the erosion their rooting causes, but everybody around here knows they are the last animal you want to encounter on the trail. They are famous for their tenacity and the animal I most fear seeing on the trail. Boars, snakes, and bears round out the top three. Snakes and bears are afraid of people and will normally take off when they hear or see a person. Boars have a great sense of smell and avoid people if possible, but they do not back down if confronted.

They say the best way to avoid an attack is to climb at least six feet up a tree. In normal circumstances,  I don’t think I could get that far up a tree; but this morning, I would have climbed ten feet if those pigs had come after us. Getting down would have been the problem. I’m sure they would have had to cut down the tree and slipped me off because I don’t think they would have been able to pry my hands off the branch!

The beauty of the woods is that there is never a dull moment, but I have to say it was definitely a boar today 😉

 

Home

Home is where my heart is free.

A place where I can just be me.

It’s never very far away.

I can visit every day.

 

When I’m feeling all alone,

My heart will find its own way home.

Longing for those sweet connections

There’s no need to get directions.

 

There I find my sense of being

In a place where love is freeing.

I don’t have to be call ahead

And never feel a sense of dread.

 

My heart can rest and just be free

For love is waiting there for me.

Home is where I get my bearings

And let go of all the parings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Write On!

I’ve wrestled with writing for the past few months and thought about not renewing my WordPress account. I haven’t written faithfully in 2016, so I figured it was time to stop blogging.

As I’ve prayed about it last week, several folks told me how much they enjoyed reading my posts. I was humbled by the comments and amazed that some came from folks I hardly know. God continues to bid me to write, and I continue to make excuses not to. I had to laugh when the girls began watching an old Disney show called “Do With a Blog” last week. They love the silly sitcom and so do I. Lillyann asked what a blog was when we started watching the show, so I explained it and told her I had one. She wanted to see it and asked me what I wrote about. I told her I wrote about my feelings. She asked if it was hard to do, and I told her it was very hard. She may only be seven, but she seemed to understand exactly what I meant. I love that about her.

I started writing for Lillyann in 2009 because I wanted her to hear my heart and know me deeply when she was older. Mylah came along in 2011, so I continued to write with both girls in mind. In November, little Kylie will join us on this wonderful journey. I don’t know if any of the girls will read what I’ve written for them, but I do hope they will. I printed over 300 pages of the posts that relate to them so they can read them when they are older. When I showed the notebooks to Lillyann several years ago, she said she was going to read them when she was my age. I smiled and thought of how much I would love to hear my grandmother’s right now.

Writing is a pain filled process, but like the deep tissue massages I’ve been getting over the past few months, it’s pain necessary for healing. The peace I feel after I write makes the pain of sharing bearable. I don’t know how God will use writing to transform me into who He wants me to be, but I do know that sharing the journey through my writing has been a big part of my healing.

When I taught, I urged my students to open their hearts and share their writing with others. I never followed my advice because I was too afraid. The Pollyanna in me preferred a happy face to a healed heart. I didn’t want to burden others with my sadness. God placed a young women in my path yesterday who had the same fear. I met a friend at a small cafe to catch up and reconnect, and this young lady was working there. She knew my friend, and I heard the young women tell her that she was deeply sad but didn’t want to make others sad with her dark feelings. I jumped in and told her she didn’t have to make others happy. I knew not to say anything, but I just couldn’t help myself. She told me sadly that it was her reality, and I understood completely. My plea was meant for me.

Writing is not for the faint of heart, but nothing else gives me the catharsis I find in the transparent honesty that comes when I share my heart with others. So, I’m renewing my WordPress account and trusting God to do what He does best-open my heart in ways that always surprise and heal. Living and loving as God desires isn’t easy because it requires a level of faith I cannot reach on my own. I’m finding that the more I let go of my need to make others happy or be who they expect me to be, the closer I come to being the beloved daughter God created me to be. I have come a very long way since I began writing in 2009 and even further since I decided, in August 2012, to share my journey by blogging. I still have a long way to go, but inviting others to come along as I learn makes the journey a joy.

Thank you all for sharing the journey. You encourage me to keep going. The journey truly is better with company.  That was God’s powerful lesson this week.