Tuesday, June 26, 2012

real beauty // you are not fat

{via pinterest}
i have a formspring. you know, one of those places where people you know and people you don't can ask you any number of questions about any topic they wish.

and today there was a question sitting there in my inbox from that coward, anonymous. innocent words strung together to form something so much more painful.

so you've used pregnancy as an excuse to let yourself go, then?

and my blood ran cold. because in my mind's eye, i saw fifteen-year-old me crying in the dressing room because i felt so fat every time i tried on anything. and my sister could fit into clothes that i never could, because i was curvy. 

and then i saw another little girl.

a little girl whose face i couldn't see clearly, but that i knew better than my own all the same. and she sat there in the mall food court picking at the pile of lettuce with the dressing on the side that she called lunch and sipped at her water while she smelled the burgers and watched the other girls drinking their smoothies. 

i saw my daughter's face. 

and the blood turned to ice in my veins, and some strange mother-bear anger stirred in my stomach right next to the little rolling flutters that mark my daughter's current home. 

this anger was not for me. i'm growing stronger now. words, yes, they still hurt. but this anger was not for me. 

with hand on stomach and face curved toward the sky, my soul screamed

don't you dare call my beautiful little girl fat. 

don't teach my little one to count calories instead of the stars. because she has my genes, the curvy genes with rounder hips and fuller breasts. the ones that might not fit into the teenage carrot stick world into which she is being born. 

{via pinterest}

and maybe there will come a day when you come to me with big eyes and slender limbs and say words like carbs and calories...too soon, too young, too early.

and i will pray for grace and i will pray to not break down until i am behind a closed door where i can weep for this world where little girls starve themselves and big girls stare in mirrors and whisper i hate you. 

and this is the letter i will read to her even before she understands the world, in which i have promised to not call myself fat anymore, and i pray that she will see her mama living in truth and not on the scale. 

beauty is not size 2 defined. 

beauty is health, not break-ability. beauty is dressing on your salad and chocolate for desert. beauty is forgiving eyes and kind smiles and a soft heart, and chins lifted with so much peace and warrioress pride. 

because there is a Lion in Heaven that roars with rage when people talk bad about His daughters, and when people whisper lies into little girl ears that are too innocent to know better. there are millstones for people like that, and He has them in a line and waiting with rope for tying.

don't you dare call My little girl fat.

{linking with my dear emily}

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

graceful star :: father's joy

{via pinterest}
we're naming her Marian. 
grace's star. graceful star. 

we're naming her Abigail.
joy of the Father. father's joy. 

:: :: :: 

i'm painting her legacy into her name. the legacy of a woman, sister to my father's father, who prayed for me when i was as she is now. a woman who now sings with Jesus and dips her toes in the pools of stars and inhales pure grace from the lips of the Saviour. 

the legacy of a blonde haired sister who shared my room from the moment we brought her home, who became my worst enemy and my best friend, who became more connected to my heart through drying ink on a legal document than blood could have ever provided. 

she is named after two great women. one older and passed from earth to greater Life, and one younger and still inhaling every second of oxygen that she can while her feet are still just barely pressed to grass. they are both full of Holy Light, though one is in the presence and one is still striving forward. 

some shake their heads and say 
{via pinterest}

it's just a name.
she'll be who she is all on her own. 

and she will be herself and no one else, because i plan on pressing the paintbrush into her fingers from the moment she inhales earth's air into her tiny lungs for the first time.

from the time she is born, i will whisper into her ear of her self-worth and her beauty, and i will show her little feet how to walk His path instead of theirs. 

but i'm still painting that legacy into her name. graceful star, her Father's joy. woman of God, girl of grace. warrioress and soul poet, whether she bathes in ink and old parchment or revels in grass stains and basketball courts. 

and she already is a graceful star. i feel her dancing beneath my skin in a rhythm that only she hears and understands with my heartbeat as her cadence, as her tribal drum to start. 

and oh, she already is her father's joy. here on earth as he presses lips to my stomach and tells her that he loves her already, as his eyes fill with so much pride that i know he would rip lions to pieces and place them at her feet, that he would bear the moon on his back for this tiny girl-child. all before she is even his to hold. 

and that is just her earthly father's pride, and the joy of the man whose blood she has. she will still bear a name that He knew -- her heavenly Abba -- before it was pieced together in my soul. 

a name He knew, a name He treasures. a name that makes Him laugh and whisper, 

yes, I know her. 
she's Mine, and I know what's Mine.

linking with emily and the rest of the imperfect prose team

Sunday, June 17, 2012

reaching out for life

{28 1/2 weeks}
photo by DramaticElegance and PinkStudios 
i've often marveled at the gravitational pull that my stomach seems to bear these days. it's as though people cannot help themselves from reaching out, from pressing their fingers against my taut skin.

:: they want to feel the life inside

and i have to admit, as much as i was dreading these outstretched hands into my personal space and even against my body itself, i've found myself seeing the profoundness in this simple gesture.

people would not be touching my stomach if it was just me, wandering around and making my way through the world on a day-to-day basis. it's not something that you do to just anyone.

but i'm pregnant, and there is life beneath my skin. it's not me they want to touch, it's her. it's not my skin they're desperate to feel, but the little wiggles and pokes that remind the world that there is indeed a person dwelling within a person.

// they're reaching out for life //

and isn't that how things should be with all of us? shouldn't spirits be gravitated toward us, whispering

you have Life. let us feel. 
we just want to touch Him. 

that's what i want, all the time, even after this little one is born and in the world. i want hands reaching out, not for me, because it's not me they're desperate to feel. it's not my spirit they want to connect with, to feel flowing like electric water through their veins.

it's Him. even the hem of His robe is enough. they just want to feel the Man dwelling within.

:: they're reaching out for life ::

Sunday, June 10, 2012

day of rest

{via pinterest}
you know that music player at the bottom of the page?

please, scroll down and turn it off.

and then come back to this video. turn off the television, the music. shut out the distractions and draw the Word of the Lord into your lap.

God cannot give us peace and rest outside of Himself
:: there is no such thing.
// c.s. lewis

soak in this meditation, lose yourself in the blessing of His grace and goodness, His glory and His salvation.

we have lost this concept, this burning need for a day of rest that comes with the start of a week. fresh with no mistakes, a new hour to breathe and learn and draw so much in to our weary souls.

do not be afraid of rest. instead, lose yourself in the sacredness of this.

:: // :: // ::

why do y
ou complain, Jacob? why do you say, Israel, “my way is hidden from the Lordmy cause is disregarded by my God”? 
do you not know? have you not heard? the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 
even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
:: isaiah 40:27-31 ::

// hallelujah, You have won the victory //
:: ::
// hallelujah, You have won it all for me //

{one thousand thanks to rain for bringing this meditation to my attention}

Saturday, June 9, 2012

passion seeker :: finder

{via pinterest}
but how do you find your passion?
no, really. how do you find your passion?

it's a simple question. isn't it?

i'm an artist, a dreamer. i'm a passionate person with overflowing dreams and an electric surge under my skin. but how do i find my passion? 

i feel like my passion hit a wall this week. we had something in our grasp, something i didn't know i wanted quite this badly until it fell apart. it was a home, and it was beautiful and green, and i heard our future in those walls and planned moments in those rooms. 

but then, it went away. and then i wept until my body ached. i was on fire for this dream. 

and now, i feel swayed by this wind that has gushed through my body and whispered i wanted this so bad. and i wailed to my husband,

this is why i don't get excited

and i opened my mouth and dared to wrestle with the Lion like Jacob.
i don't understand
why did you let us get this far?

and i sobbed for all the memories that could have been, and i broke for the passion that i would have possessed there. i stared at drab brown and white walls that i am not allowed to paint, and the too-much-stuff that crowds my corners with not even room for an easel, and i felt my passion compressing down into a cube that barely fit in this tiny place. 

i felt squished. i felt grey, like all the colour had been rung out of me. i felt limp and helpless and empty. no more passion, because i left it in the foyer of this perfect dream.

{via pinterest}
:: and so we wrestled, He and i, until the dawn.  

and then somehow, i dried my tears. my soul woke up and looked around this place, this little corner where he and i and soon our daughter have been placed. and i started to see dark bookshelves in a corner, and swooping dark purple fabric hung like bunting from corner to corner in the back room now-turned nursery. 

we went and bought new sheets for the bed. soft gold fabric to match the flowers on our midnight blue bedspread. and we put down the corners and made up the bed with the gold hidden inside until the blanket got pulled back after midnight. 

i slid my body between those sheets and let out a breath that was more of a prayer than a sob. because my passion isn't dead, it isn't gone, and it wasn't left wrapped around the perfect hardwood banister. 

it never left. i just forgot where it was. i didn't have to find it after all, because it was never lost. my focus had just become blurred. my passions aren't controlled by where i am, by what i have, by what i experience. 

they just are. 

they are in a two story dream, and they are here, in a four room canvas that i just haven't been bold enough to embrace. 

they don't need to be found.

they just are. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

expecting // fear and light

there is a new rush of emotion in my life at present, of realizing that i am going to be the mother of a little one in less than twelve weeks now.

the reality that my little person is already starting to make her presence known on a regular basis, and the whimsy that tugs at my heart whenever i start to think about holding her in my arms.

{26 weeks and ever-growing)
and for a moment, i turned whimsical.

and then i froze in my tracks.

:: i'm going to be a mum ::

and the petrifying concept, which had been occurring to me in the beauty and delight of pregnancy, sank in with a sonic boom that shook my foundations and led me to weeping in the middle of the night.

am i ready for this?

my expectations have turned from whimsy to fear and back again.

they say that no one is ever ready for this, not really. that you can prepare all you want, and then still be entirely unprepared for all that comes alongside the birth of a tiny new person that has your husband's eyes and perhaps too much of your spirit.

i look at mothers who seem to have it all together, and i shake with the terror that i might not be as good as they are. that i could say the wrong thing, that i could do something that would cast splotches of indelible tar-like ink on this little girl's still-blank canvas.

is this something that comes with impending motherhood, along with the passion to clean everything in sight, and then to eat everything in sight, and then repeat both actions over again until house and fridge are both equally clean?

i wish i could wrap this up in a tidy little bow, express some truth that i am entirely confident that i've got this, that i can manage this and that my worry flitted away on the breeze.

but i can't do that. i don't think i will ever be able to do that, to cast aside every shred of fear that i have and just run away.

but i'm not doing this alone. there is a Rock that is greater than i, a song that is louder than my fears, and a Saviour who is holding my hand with the softest whispers

I am a Father.
you are a mother. 
i understand. 
and we will parent together, daughter. 

can i do this on my own? never.

but then, i'm never alone. 

i am co-parenting with the King of Kings. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

alive underwater

it's a funny thing, this concept of drowning.

to be entirely underwater is a fearful thing on its own. to have the water close over your head and to sink down so low that the sun is a glimmer above your head, and the waves playing the oddest of games with your head.

and then you come up again, dripping and gasping for breath. and then you laugh and do it over again. and it feels like drowning, when your lungs are screaming for air and your eyes are fogged with water and far-away sunbeams and something else...something mysterious that i'm not sure i ever want to figure out entirely.

and it's a fear thing, to let go of the dock and sink when every corner of your mind is screaming

don't let go. 
don't you dare. 

and so we haul ourselves out of the water for dry land instead, preferring the solid turf beneath our feet to the ever-changing waves that could take us down and out of control for even just one second too long. 

and so isn't it funny that He stands on the edge of the pier, holding our hands in His, eyes fixed deep into ours and speaks a message that seems so foreign to our hearts. 

trust Me.
let go. 
you don't dare not to...

and the way to Aslan's Country lies over a river. and it lies below the surface of the darkest of pools with no bottom to speak of...

and it takes so much bravery to just dive right in. and to get there, you have to let the waves sweep over you and 

and He whispers
die with Me. 
die to live. die to self, arise in Me. 

and then we arise from the bottom of the sea, dripping wet and pouring glory from head to toe, hand in nail-scarred hand. the dove wings brush against my cheek, and the Voice from Heaven speaks a roar in my soul.

this is My beloved Son. 
in Him, I am well pleased. 

and He's holding my hand. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

sacred rest

i don't rest well.

it's something that truly bothers those who care about me most. i am more than willing to push myself into a wall and just keep going until my face is pressed into the brick and my body is broken from the futility and sheer physical exhaustion. 

i don't comprehend this idea of rest. but oddly enough, it's something i crave. it's also something i fear.

fear has a quiet voice, a grown up kind. and she has something to say, all whispery with promises and barely there:  
honey, can you hold on? 
because if you sit with me a while, i will teach you something sacred. 

i think i fear that the world will stop turning if i don't keep pushing it around and around and around the sun, and then everything will collapse, and it will be my fault. 

and fear and i have not had a chance to sit and talk, because i've been too busy racing in circles. and i haven't been able to hear the sacred whispers. 

and then God decided that i had done enough, that my flailing needed to come to an end. and so He gave me this child, this little one inside my body who drains my energy and leaves me exhausted even after just rising from a nap. 
will you listen to Me now? 

and now i have no choice but to listen. the steaming mug of tea in my hand that sends up those fragrant waves, this is my brand of incense. the tapping of the little feet against my skin from the inside out, these are my meditation drums. 
 and so we converse, God and fear and i. 

about my fears of resting, that my world will stop turning if i sit. about my fears of mothering, that maybe i will break more than i will fix, and that i am not "cut out" for this. 

and fear voices her concerns, and the bigger Voice quiets them before the last breath leaves her mouth. 

it's a cycle, back and forth. and i am content to listen. to be still and know. 

to sip my tea and to soak in the drums that will be of a different style in a few months. i know i will miss them in a way. 

and i will weave feathers into my hair, and i will fearlessly rest. 

Monday, June 4, 2012


{via pinterest}
all the colors
of the rainbow
hidden 'neath my skin
hearts have colors
don't we all know?
red runs through our veins
feel the fire burning up
inspire me with blood
of blue and green
i have hope
inside is not a heart
but a kaleidoscope
{kaleidoscope heart // sara barielles}

this song has been the soundtrack to my soul since the moment it first passed from my Pandora station into my ears. 

it stuck with me, as things have been doing lately. is it the hormones? is this my soul's version of nesting, perhaps? is my spiritual self starting to line the nest with the softest and most beautiful of things to prepare for what is to come in a mere 13 weeks, if even that long? 

it's certainly become a kaleidoscope pathway for me, as though the granite blocks have suddenly been fitted with some sort of intricate scroll-work that i never noticed before, and all i want to do is stop and study every detail. 

this summer is captivating me. it just started, four days into June and i'm feeling like exploding into peony petals and white picket fences. i want to spend every single day possible barefoot in the grass and dancing down the creek despite my ever-growing belly.

and so i removed the design that i've had for almost a year now, and i made it new. i tweaked and changed and made it fit the changing me. the sacred feminine inside me that i've squished for so long, but am now allowed to peak out of the crevices.

it's become a kaleidoscope of His story, of His breath mixed with the light to swirl and create something ever beautiful and ever changing.

it's sacredness, and it's mine to inhale.

:: deep breath in ::

Saturday, June 2, 2012

red string

{via pinterest}
:: i am wind woman ::
:: air daughter ::
:: dove child ::

i am bleeding ink and whispering prayers in the same breath,
learning to lean on windowpanes and not so much on sinking sand.

this is a Solid Rock kind of moment,
barefoot at the burning bush with knees pressed to grass.
leaning on me is futile. leaning on Him is essential.

they say that soulmates are connected by an invisible red string
and no matter how far they go apart, the string pulls them together in the end.

my Saviour and i are tied by the red rope of redemption,
drenched in His blood, one end around my wrist, one end tied to the cross.

and so i'm learning to rely
on red strings and winds from the east
on Lion's breath and eagle's wings.
blessed assurance
Jesus is mine