Free Flying Faith

Faith and all the wonder and terror of it. Not so much anchored…more tied to a kite or a wild and friendly dolphin.

A Genesis Week from the Chaos of Life – Psalm 51

The Psalms are the sample journal – the diary example – from the Bible… honest and full of encouragement to just be REAL. Sometimes they sound like teenage angst. Sometimes they are full of wisdom and perspective. The Bible says that David (most likely the author of the Psalms) was a “man after God’s own heart.” Well, what the Psalms teach me then is that the Creator of the Universe’s heart is BIG and Honest and Complicated.

 
“God, make a fresh start in me,

shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.

Don’t throw me out with the trash,

or fail to breathe holiness in me.

Bring me back from gray exile,

put a fresh wind in my sails!”
–Psalm 51
 

”A Genesis week from the chaos of my life.”

I can have a Genesis week from the chaos of my life?

Almost every day I wonder…

What if this whole God / Jesus story is really true?

Because it truly takes faith to believe in Jesus when life goes upside down.

***** ***** ***** *****

We are all on a roller coaster called Life, but some of us are not buckled up.  Are you?

Have you ever had the roller coaster nightmare? The one where the roller coaster starts clicking up the steep hill but your safety harness doesn’t work? It’s loose or totally broken and you know you are about to die – you know you are about to fall to your death on the sidewalk, or worse, on the tracks, or worse, on the ice cream cart and children below.

You hold onto the harness as best you can, linking your arm in and through the bars, muscles already shaking, knowing full-well that only your feeble hands might save you now. And your grip is […]

The Dresses in my Life

I’m guessing I was seven.

A 7 year old girl. Shortest in my class with fine, brown hair and freckles.

Walking through the mall, my child-mind not caring at all what our actual reason was for being there, I saw it – I saw “her” really, not it.  In the window of a boutique children’s store, I saw the dress I still wish I could wear.

**********

I just knew it had to be mine. The true love was instant. I saw her from across the room and we were simply soul mates. There’s no other way to describe it.

The perfect visible manifestation of my invisible soul.

The physical depiction of my inner self.

I’d never been struck by an item of clothing before; Never known something was made for me, but this gorgeous thing was! oh, it was! Made. For. Me.

No description will do it justice.
How could I describe my Love to you in a way that doesn’t cheapen it?

Simply: imagine white, lace, a ballgown skirt, beads, shimmer. But none of that matters, because we had chemistry. So, make whatever is in your head 1000x better than what you first thought….
Oh, the delicious Specialness.

It was all I wanted from that moment on.  My school pictures would be epic!

I remember creating songs in its honor for days. Songs of love and courage. Spinning in circles, holding onto light poles and dancing my heart out in honor of the dress that would finally show the world the inner me – how beautiful and SPECIAL God made me.

What amazes me, looking back, is the esteem and self-love the dress awoke in me.

So, I worked up the bravery to ask my Dad to take us BACK to the intimidating mall and buy it […]

Spiritual Midwives

I’m new to this idea of putting my voice out into the air. So, I’ve been searching for people to connect with as I write. One person I have begun reading and enjoying is Sarah Bessey. So today, when she invited people to link up on the topic of spiritual midwives  — women who have helped me as God gave birth to some new part of me — I decided to give this a try and jump on in.  (She also spoke of Patron Saints as people we don’t know personally who have helped us or that we want to emulate – but I have lumped them together for today.)

________________________________________________________

My children were born at the hands of a midwife.

I too, have been born again at the hands of spiritual midwives.

The way my daughters were guided – with wisdom and help but never interference.

I have been guided but not controlled. Coaxed into a New Life.

Basically, women have come alongside me and helped me survive my spiritual births.

***********

I’ve had two women I LOVE give birth this month. Two new babies born into this version of life – Beautiful, strong, fragile, life-threatening and life-affirming birthing stories.

So, I have been thinking about the truth of birth a lot…
the awesome and the ugly.

How scary birthing is.
How no one can control it.
How birthing is messy.
How it is so messy.

How it pulls us back to the bones of living, exposing the ways we cover our nakedness in the day to day.

How it requires us to open up areas we absolutely did not and DO NOT want to see. (No thanks on the mirror on my wide-open vajewels.  I did NOT need to see THAT part of me at that angle, thanks!)

And […]

I was out deep and a big set of waves rolled in

Faith. Joy. Optimism. Jesus being real and Him caring about me.
These are the things I have built a life on.
I built a life.
And I find myself in a season of fog, big waves, cold wind.
Where did that life go? Have you seen it?

I am a California girl. For most of my life, I have lived within three miles of the ocean. Had a hard day? Drive to the beach. Feel like life is too much? Drive to the beach. Bills, yells, disappointments, disapprovals pulling you down? Drive to the beach. … Park. Take off shoes. Feel sand rub your feet. Exfoliate the dead life away. Then touch the water and feel new living life seep in through your toes.
.RESET.
Feel better. Move on and Back to Faith + Joy + Optimism + Jesus being real
And, when I was younger, much younger… when I was still only 5′ tall but my insides were more elastic, I would swim away any tears. Underwater no one can tell if you are crying. Underwater, even if people surround you, they can barely hear you scream out your sadness. Tears can flow. Face can be red. Muscles can strain. And it all blends into a beautiful camouflage. Water pushing and moving, hugging back the way air just doesn’t care to.
Water pushing and moving, hugging back the way air just doesn’t care to.
All the sadness and frustration could leave my body and soul.  All flowed out of me and into the healing water.  I would feel empty and ready to be refilled by the Faith + Joy + Optimism + Jesus I’d come to trust would always come back. Hurray!
Recently, though… recently, I cannot find the healing water. I still live […]

Water, please (a parable of sorts)

“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.”
– The Everlasting Man, GK Chesterton
**********

I can see it, the water, just across the room… and yet, I never get all the way there. And, I’m thirsty.

“Why don’t I ever get there?”-  I wonder.  I look down just to check again, as I often do. Yep, all good.  I’m running on my treadmill and it’s working just fine.  I don’t know how you do it in your town, but around here we all run on treadmills. It’s the absolute best way to get to the water. My treadmill is smooth, adjustable, modern.  Everyone uses one – some are better than others, though.  The one I have is good for my knees, I hear. And, I’m extra fierce on mine because there’s a racing stripe down the middle. I feel faster this way.

Lately, though, I’m really, EXTRA thirsty. The water is about 400 feet from me now, I think. I can’t totally tell. It’s definitely closer than last week. Definitely. This new treadmill is working better.

And, I’m working hard at my new program. I bought a new program that helps me improve my running so I can get to the water faster. But, it’s making me thirstier – ah, Catch 22…

I must work harder and harder to improve my skills, my stride, my incline capabilities… the more I strive, the more I want the water, the more I strive!

It’s competitive up in here!  So I keep workin’ it. Studying. Reading articles and books. Trying new products to make me a better runner.  But I really wish I’d make progress more quickly.

This is torture.

Honestly, can I tell you something? I […]

What are you hungry for?

Hi Friends!

 

So I started asking myself, “What do I want in life?”

The answer that came back immediately …

“Coffee, please.”

“Maybe also a chocolate chip cookie and a long nap too.”

 

On one hand, that’s lovely and simple.

On the other hand…  That’s all I want out of LIFE?  Really? That’s it?! That’s just kinda sad.

That’s what I define as an attainable wish.

 
Somewhere in me is a quiet, desperate whisper for more.
 

There’s got to be more to life than the wish for a few sensory comforts, right?  Something real, big, energizing.

The little whisper for real meaning and purpose is so, so quiet most of the time and the longing for comfort and pleasure is oh, so loud: I want it!  I want it!  I want chocolate!  I want a nap!  I want quiet and time to myself!  I want pizza and diet coke and cookies and warm donuts and a margarita (together or separate – I’ll take ’em how I can get ’em)!

If I am not careful to pay attention to my true desires, i will

live from numbing agent to numbing agent trying to escape the boredom, sadness, isolation or frustration  – and when I am not doing that I am using those same things numbers to celebrate or care for myself.

I’ve been asking myself those hard questions you have to ask, if you ever want to change. What do I actually really want?
“What’s the thing behind the thing?” – Rob Bell
I want to feel good. Do you know what feels good?  To eat and drink until you are so full you just need to sleep. aaahhh!  You can then curl up and take a nap or watch a wonderfully mindless TV show and forget everything but that […]

Let’s Celebrate Life

When you go to Disneyland, you can ask for a big button to wear all day. It will say “It’s My Birthday!” or “Let’s Celebrate!”  And you can fill in your name underneath or write what you are celebrating: “Anniversary” or “Graduation”. Then everyone who works at Disneyland will see your button and comment and welcome you.

“Happy Birthday, Princess!”

“Happy Anniversary!”

We live near Disneyland and go often.  The other day my little girls and I were walking through the huge plaza full of people as another woman walking towards us caught my eye.  She wore a “Let’s Celebrate” pin, crew-neck t-shirt, big white sneakers and high-waisted shorts;  Typical, comfy, I’m on vacation from rural (fill in a state) attire.  I always think about the people at Disneyland as they walk past us. Is this their first time?  Are they spending 3 years’ savings to make these memories with their families at Disneyland?  What’s her story?

Then, as this particular woman moved nearer to us, I looked closely at her button and saw that it said “Let’s Celebrate… LIFE.” Instantly, all the details I had subconsciously noticed about her came into focus:  Comfy clothes. Thin, short, newly-grown-in gray hair. Pale and slightly puffy face…  New cancer survivor. Laughing with her friends. Walking through the Disneyland plaza. Celebrating LIFE.  Smiling at me as she passed.  She’s on a LIFE.

 

Life.  I want to be on a LIFE. Let’s celebrate… LIFE.

“Happy LIFE, Princess!”

 

So, step one of going on a LIFE – what that woman in big, white sneakers and high-waisted shorts wore all over her gorgeous face: Gratitude. For Everything. For Life Itself.

(pause.)

Gratitude.  It only happens in this exact moment.

 

What makes a LIFE? How does a person permanently change, ditch […]

Capturing Memories

This was a beautiful day. Kids became wild cats with a little make-up. Blankets flew. Tiny feet jumped and twirled. Skin lovingly touched skin in hugs and kisses. Just one of those days God gives you to keep you going. Priceless.

But I only remember it because I have photos to jog my memory.  How many others have I enjoyed and now they’re gone forever?
“The saddest part about life is you don’t remember half of it. You don’t even remember half of half of it. Not even a tiny percentage, if you want to know the truth.  I have this friend Bob who writes down everything he remembers. If he remembers dropping an ice cream cone on his lap when he was seven, he’ll write it down.  The last time I talked to Bob, he had written more than five hundred pages of memories.  He’s the only guy I know who remembers his life. He said he captures memories because if he forgets them, it’s as though they didn’t happen; it’s as though he hadn’t lived the parts he doesn’t remember”

– A MILLION MILES
“It’s as though he hadn’t lived the parts he doesn’t remember.”  That line breaks my heart.

Every, every minute of life is precious – a gift from God. Yet, I forget pretty much every one of my lovingly-lived minutes before the week is through.  Why is that? I hunger and thirst to capture each exquisite moment with my little kids and with my husband and with my friends.  But. I can’t. They are gone. Lived and loved and gone.

But I have hope that God is remembering it all for me.  Maybe life is like a movie and He’s the cinematographer and director. I’ll […]

1000 Strands

 

“…what we must do now is share everything. Everything! If one of us likes anything, there must be something to like in it – and the other one must find it. Every single thing that either of us likes. That way we shall create a thousand strands, great and small, that will link us together… And our trust in each other will not only be based on love and loyalty but on the fact of a thousand sharings – a thousand strands twisted into something unbreakable.”

– A Severe Mercy
A thousand strands twisted into something unbreakable.  Unbreakable.  I want to have unbreakable relationships.  I want to have the things I care about matter to someone else too.  Life can be made of unbreakable stuff when we tie ourselves, knot ourselves, anchor ourselves to the eternal God who made us and is here already making everything new and unbreakable.

 

Have you ever read something in a book or article and it just hit you hard? You laughed til you cried. You just cried. You spoke out loud back to the book, “Holy @*#! I’d never thought of that!”  Your soul moved a few inches … permanently.

Whatever it was, it mattered to you in your core, and you just HAD to share it with someone. When a friend matches your enthusiasm… that’s bliss.

Each of these little encounters changes us.  This is chemistry.  Falling in love.  Making a friend. Bonding.
“The actual thing – inloveness – requires something like a spark leaping back and forth from one to the other becoming more intense every moment, love building up like voltage in a coil.”
-A Severe Mercy
Love requires sharing. Mutual sharing. This is a core truth of life. In this place I […]