Beauty Hunters

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There were people out in the woods the other day. They were calling a name. That happens out here, dogs take themselves for a walk sometimes, they love to accompany the deer, join a gang of rogue mutts. This was different though, there was an urgency about the call, the name was “Lawson”. Did a child wander out into my woods? I got dressed, headed out in the direction of the voices but by the time I arrived, all was quiet. I could not find a way to help.

Last night a fire truck went by. You cannot know how many coyotes are at your door until that happens. It seemed like every tree turned into a coyote, the whole forest howled.

It smells like smoke today. I keep checking the horizon for licking flames. The breeze seems pregnant with catastrophe. It is hard to read the news, I just can’t absorb anymore of it.

It is an act of will to bring that gut feeling into submission. To focus on helping and healing and hope. To find a way to join with the light bringers and hope mongers and grace addicts. Today I choose to join them. Today, see me beauty hunting, watching the sun set in all red and calling it beautiful. See me kneeling in prayer, with assurance of things hoped for. See me, in the nitty gritty of it all still at peace.

(Join me in a beauty hunt today? Find the helpers, the healers, the beauty and the hope. Really notice it. Really see it. #beautyhunt)

Five Minute Friday: Exhale

Beauty and Grace

Five Minutes on the prompt “Exhale”

I am staring at the pines today. The tall lodgepoll, though the trees are not old here. Nothing more then 30 years I would guess. They reach straight up, like skinny boys at age 15 not yet filled up in the shoulders, like deflated balloons. The wind blows here at the top of Swithback Mountain and the trees lean to one side or the other, spun, drunk on mountain air.

I’ve been sitting on the porch each morning, returning each evening. I know the pattern of the squirrels, the birds, what time my dog calls it a night and retreats to the dog house. I’ve been writing too and feel my words rushing back like a rising river ready to breach the banks.

I’ve shut down social media on my phone…removed all of it (save instagram of course…I’ve got a…thing).

I can feel my lungs expanding too. Breath reaching all the way to the bottom lobes, exhaling in triumph the old must air. I’ve been holding onto it, I did not even know, but I think the muse just replaced the must.

It is the sound of wind in trees, Frazey Ford, the tick of irrigation, the fountain. It feels like a slower pace, lazy mornings, an absense of obligation. It is, each morning, asking what is new? What is new? How can I partake.  It is the ever changing response, the way I learn to listen, breathe.

 

(oh Hiiiiiiii Lisa-Jo and Co…been missing you all!)

15 years

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Tonight the clouds burst even though the sun was still shining. The thunder rolled in, as if from behind a tree. There was no ominous cloud on the horizon, no warning. The dogs cowered as the earth shook, the lightning struck not far off.

The rainbow it produced hung heavy above the roof of our house threatening to cave the whole thing in, so dense the weight of the colours. They gushed out onto the forest floor, those colours, the grass, the trees all covered in it. Vibrant green. The rainbow spilled itself crimson onto the tiger lily, the indigo onto the lupins. The clouds fell too, hillsides of daisies seemed to erupt and spread. The hummingbird is thrilled with the turn, sucks at the blood of the pink bleeding heart on our porch. The robin plucks at the worms the lightning drove to the surface. The birds resume their shower songs.

Us too. The oppression, the flashing lights. Then, somehow it ends, we move through to clear blue, new life, astounding colour as we perpetually fall in and back out of love. That rainbow, my promise too. You can have this bleeding heart.

 

When You Forget Your Own Name

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There are days when discouragement sneaks in from behind. It creeps all stealthily and I am knocked down before I even know the blow occurred. Sometimes I can sense it coming, the way I start to forget myself and seek my identity in the approval I can read in your eyes. My laugh gets louder, my voice more shrill, NOTICE ME. Tell me WHO I AM. This is what happens when an introvert gets turned inside out. Sometimes we sense your feelings more than our own, and I am sure my name is failure, broken, weak. It would seem I have forgotten my very own name.
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There is so many things to do when this starts to happen, turn on the tv, the computer, scroll instagram. There is a prescription made for it I am sure, or you can buy something under the counter that works like the anaesthetic you are craving.

OR.
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Continue reading

Who me? Get carried away?

So. The truth is…I have a bit of an addictive personality. When I play tetris…I play for a week. Same goes for sudoku, solitaire, reading and…party planning. (I will never try heroine, in case you were concerned).

I love it.

This spring, the kids and I made a fairy garden. Then we made an ACTUAL fairy hollow. Then? Well we planned a tea party and just went crazy with all things toadstool and fairy like. We had a wonderful day with all of Emilys classmates, their moms, and a few special friends. I promised MY mom I would share the photos as she could not make it! Here it is!

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The girls each got a little toy fairy and the moms and girls took one of the dollar store trays that I had collected some nature goodness in to make a fairy garden.

I overheard two little girls chatting and one said “I wish we could do this every day”. Me too…

How was your day? A Note from HERE

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So tell me…How was your day?

By the time night closes in on us we will all have spent every second of our days. We will have spent it however we choose. We will have squandered it or invested it. We will have used it for building up or tearing down. We will find ourselves depleted or we will be, in Him, restored.

There is no need to reply ‘I’m busy’ each time someone asks you how you are. Of course you are. We all are. Life is full. If you have kids, some of your minutes are not even your own, in some seasons almost none of them are. But you still didn’t answer my question.

What I really want to know about is, what is the state of your heart in the midst of all this?What happens to you in the whirlwind? Can you remain steadfast? Can your heart continue to be at peace? Did you notice even one shred of beauty? Or did you rush right by? Did you fix your heart in the present moment or did you let the cares of tomorrow bind your chest up tight? It is never how many things you do (or don’t do) that burns you out or saves the day. It is all about the way you walk through the day, what did you make space for?

Do you hear that? Peace singing out over the tops of the pine trees? Don’t get bound up again. Don’t let the rat race put you in a maze, nor the competition make you jump hurdles. Don’t let your fear of man put you in cages or your fear of failure keep you from trying. Don’t start believing your kids are scanning Pinterest for ideas for their birthdays…you are not in a competition with anyone.

Life is not made up of giant yesses or grandiose declarations. Life is mostly spent in the subtleties. God loves to whisper to you and the beauty is corrupted by the slight turns to the left or right. You will not notice either with the way you spin like a top.

So tell me, where it is you feel your soul quiet , the world spin a little slower? Tell me how you will learn to spend a few more minutes there. Tell me how you will be, wherever you are, without plan or agenda. Tell me…how will you hear Him?

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Today, was library books, swimming lessons, soccer game, 300 youth to the beach night, spelling words (while driving home). Today was meetings on meetings and paperwork on paperwork. Today was exercise on the elementary school campus and arriving late for pick up. Today…was good. Being busy is not synonymous with a heart full of RUSH. I promise you, even in your fullest days you get to choose what you notice.What will you call out to good? In the 20 minutes between swimming and soccer I pulled out a picnic blanket, a peanut butter sandwich and a bucket of watermelon and the three of us laughed and joked and smelled the grass and noticed the clouds. I breathed in the smell of the earth on their skin, I thanked God for that moment.

I am called to HERE and NOW and so are you. Be there. HERE. Lets all spin a little slower.

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A Marriage Letter: How We Co-Labour

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Dear Joel,

It is 4:30 in the morning. Do you hear that? The song birds are here. I was talking about the silence of this place recently. The way I can hear a crow flap overhead as it passes. How there seemed to be a lack of the birds who sing. All it took was two bird feeders and a bag of seed. Now they sing non-stop. Sometimes I am amazed at the minuscule acts it takes to help life thrive and expand.

I’ve been living like an eighteen year old this week. Two concerts in two nights. Like that is something women in their middle thirties should do. You kiss my forehead and send me on my way, HAVE FUN, you say. You can’t come, because… youth. Fifteen years of Thursday nights, you have been in the same place. After all these years. You call me as Ruth Moody breaks into Hallelujah in the Dream Cafe. I hold up the phone. You say it again…ENJOY.

I used to think that to co-labour meant we WORKED side by side. That service was only about how many floors I could sweep in your wake. Now I think it is much more than that. We are co-labourers with Christ. I am your helper in becoming more like Christ, to aid in the rebirth, your life made over. A midwife to the work of the spirit in you. That doesn’t sound very sexy, but I think it is the truth. My central role in your life is not to make you meat loaf. No. My role is to help Christ birth in you more and more. My role is to call you out to LIFE. To the truest sense of yourself. I’m afraid it might involve a motorcycle, but I made promise to never diminish your dreams, my vow was to help make them true. Can you dream a few safer ones from now on?

You do the same. You free me to become all I was called to. People ask how I do so many things, I tell them, Joel makes room. He invites me to BE. He kisses me on the forehead and says GO.

So many marriages seek to constrain and contain each other. Thanks for being the kind of husband that scatters the seed, invites this wild bird heart to sing.

Meliss

(Linking with Seth and Amber Haines. I love these letters…believing that chasing hard after our marriages we can help you to do the same. You can read all of my letters here)