Tuesday, January 31, 2012

prayer circles :: rising

:: i am drawing circles in the earth.
i am marching around my Jericho.

because i believe in once, in twice, in seven times and a ram's horn blast.

i believe in the power of prayer. not magic or myth, but so much truth.

prayer, as strong as it once was when prophets raised hands to the skies and cried, and fire fell from Heaven and rain flooded from barren skies.

when warriors drop spears and march instead in circles around and around the massive walls, and a stomp and a trumpet and a shout collapses the wall, save for the place where the former prostitute knelt with her dear ones and believed that she and they alone would be spared.

it's not asking for the solution to the maze. it's holding out the hand and whispering
i'm lost and confused.
guide me?

it's the stand at the cliff's edge and crying to the skies with more joy than one soul can contain. and all i can do anymore is sing, not a dirge but a dancing rhythm. 

i rose, the dungeon filled with light.
my chains fell off, my heart was free
i rose, went forth, and followed Thee. 

and i'm kneeling in the center of this circle, hands raised to Heaven to receive the coming rain. the ground is dry, but i have marched, and now i wait. 

amazing love
how can it be
that Thou, my God, should die
for me

oh, glory is my song. and barefoot, this circle is my home. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

glorious emptiness

{via pinterest}
i feel empty. but in a good way.

as though my self has been rung out, and tenderly folded over the edge of the sink. it sounds awful, i know. but it's a beautiful kind of emptiness.

morning by morning, He's filling me anew, and showing me that it's alright to be silent for a time. and i know that my blogging voice is has been quiet in recent days, but i feel like it's the break i've been needing for months.

since July, i've been blogging every single day. partially because of the inspiration flowing, but also because it's felt like a requirement. something i needed to do to keep myself in line in order to feel connected.

but now i'm learning to relax. i'm enjoying being pregnant, for all the discomfort and exhaustion that comes alongside this journey. i'm overwhelmed, and that's more than alright.

oh, this is a dance, steps that i have never learned before that i am now starting to understand. these slow movements turned to a pounding beat of resting...resting...resting...

and i'm standing here with hair undone and loose, and eyes wide open to see what lays before my bare feet. this is a good journey.

oh, so much glory.

overwhelmed in love. toes pressed against the base of the cross.

bear with me, friends, as i learn to juggle this exhaustion and temper myself with glory. 
and pray for me, as i measure out and find my new center. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

enigma

{via pinterest}
i serve a conundrum. i worship an enigma.

a roaring Lion, King of Judah. a Lamb slain, silent before His murderers.
Living Water that burns like fire. 
a Man dead turned God alive. 

and i am in awe. because i'm unworthy, and still loved.

is it strange that barefoot equals a gesture of sacred? that exposing the dirty, broken toes that pound the earth step after step and still, that's what He wants as my act of humility?

the King of Glory wants my lowest. and all i have is enough for Him.

i want to bite into life and be torn by it
:: anais nin ::

and i do.

because He stood on cliff's edge with the Devil at His back, whispering the sweetest lies into the ear of the Son of God. and the Word was flung back, this double-edged sword which finally drove the serpent to its belly again.

oh, lead me to the cross
where Your love poured out.

this enigma i worship, the awe shudders in my soul like an ocean wave.  this Son of Heaven turned all Man but still all Deity.

:: the One who knows all is jealous for me ::

because my God is not simple, but He sees me simply. forgiven, covered, no shame here. this is the most complicated simplicity. sinner turned saint, demeaner turned daughter.

oh, the glory.




Tuesday, January 24, 2012

be alive :: battlecry

{via pinterest}
do you want to live?

i hear this question every day. not as a cry of despair or a wail of longing, but as a battlecry.

do you want to live?

my heart beats this word. LIVE. LIVE. LIVE. who knew the very act of breathing could be more than just breathing? because there's more to this thing of living than just inhale-exhale-repeat times a thousand. oh, no.

living is so much more than being alive. did you know that today, as you press through crowds or stand in kitchen solitude?

do you have little ones clinging to your leg chanting their own reprise of mommymommymommy? or is there a thousand other voices clamouring for your attention, and you aren't sure which one to answer first?

because you're alive. your heart is beating and your blood is flowing. but are you living? really?

this is a battlecry, i promise you.

do you want to live?

because i think you should crave to LIVE. oh sister, grasp life by the mane and roar your existence to the Heavens. we are Lion children, Heaven's heirs. and we're living like miners in the goldrush, fingers pawing through the muck for maybe a nugget of truth, or maybe a nugget of lies.

have we forgotten how to live in Light? as daughters and sons, adopted to glory?

stop where you are. 
stop right now.

and look. rip off those sunglasses as those who are blind and feeling their way from brick wall to muddy bog. because there is a path to take, dearhearts. and it's lying down before you, crying out

i'm here! see me?

sometimes it's a charge. other times it's tentative steps, learning to walk all over again. so won't you leap? and won't you live?

cry out, warrior. be brave. and live.


Monday, January 23, 2012

finding the new {236-242}

i am barely here this morning. my precious notes of jubilation still remain, but they are clouded with exhaustion and a twisting, churning stomach that has yet to abate since close to 8:30 last night.

i knew this would be a side effect. it's the one everyone whispers about behind closed doors, the one they all ask me about, and the one i thought i was escaping.

but curled up in armchairs clutching a ceramic bowl before rushing to another wider bowl in another room...this has been my sleeping and my waking.

and my stomach is slowly fading in its clenching as sparkling water with hints of peaches and a lot of slow-moving rest are finally beginning to do their job.

i feel my blessings slowly changing in their style, but never fading in their sacred glory.
  • 236. ginger ale and sparkling peach water
  • 237. laundry already started and the strength to finish the chore
  • 238. salsa chicken in the crockpot, one of the few things that appeal to my lurching tummy
  • 239. the peace of resting soundly when sleep finally came
  • 240. comfort in disappointment, rest in knowing that plans are held in a Lion's paw
  • 241. encouraging notes from dear sisters and friends, knowing that other women have walked this road before, and have made their own paths of strength
  • 242. being reminded that i am brave and warrioress even in the oddest of ways.
and so i'm resting now. 

i'm breathing slowly and feeling myself settle deeper into the comfort of warm quilts and steaming cups of tea. this cold winter does not touch me here, for i am warm and safe and healing deep within. 

blessings rise here. pregnant and barefoot in the sacred. 



Sunday, January 22, 2012

drumbeat :: magnify

{via pinterest}
a precious breather occurred this weekend. i was going to apologize for not blogging in two days, but i'm refraining.

i'm honestly not sorry. 

i love this place i'm in right now. it's a breathing place, a place where Light overwhelms and rest is finally accepted.

it's a dancing place, a place of scarves and bells and so much leaping to the music of glory as this soul magnifies again and again.

this year is barely twenty-two days old. and it's already the best year of my life. perhaps a cliche, a redundancy that everyone speaks in moments of joy. but this is more than this heart can bear.

:: i'm pregnant ::

these are words i still struggle to speak because of their newness and the awe that accompany their presence against my tongue. as the weeks are ticking by and my exhaustion is deepening and my appetite for every food in sight grows, i also start to smile broader. as this little one gets bigger within me, i cannot help but magnify.

:: i'm going to Europe ::

i'm boarding a plane to Germany and Prague with my little sister in April. i still am in utter awe to the point of falling to my knees with elation and wonder. in a matter of hours it went from maybe to impossible to official, and this trip is now in the middling stages of planning. and again, i magnify.


my soul doth magnify the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour. 


{via pinterest
there are times when i feel that my level of blessings overflow above and beyond anything i could have ever anticipated.

and then in the moments of darkness when hope seems barely fingertips from reach, i remember this.

these dancing moments where glory brushes the earth and i find myself streaking cheeks with earth in lines of warrior paint and the drums of pounding hearts set the beat for my soul to leap.

oh, i am brave, soul doors thrown open to let the sun warm the broken corners.

oh praise Him.

:: EDIT :: Europe has fallen through. and though my heart broke all afternoon and tears flowed like water, i am still rejoicing. because there is something here for me, something to which i should cling. and home is where i should be now, i see. and i am still magnifying. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

week seven :: brushing mother

{via pinterest}
and this marks seven weeks, and one week, too. because it was a week ago today that i discovered that my body was home to another, that i was no longer one person walking the earth. i was now two.

but the little ticker that changed from sweet pea to blueberry today made my heart do a flip, and a smile pull my lips upward and left them unshaken for the majority of this day.

even among the frustrations and the irritations that life brings, i touch my stomach and remember that it's one week less until i meet my long-awaited stranger.

looking at my body, you can't tell that i'm expecting. not really. it's a secret that i carry from the rest of the world, from the people passing me on the street or at the bank.

the exhaustion is expected, and i'm learning to breathe through it as it crashes over me in waves.

because i'm sand being molded, harsh edges worn down until i'm smooth and ready with each wave and each new facet that reminds me that i'm thirty-three weeks away from everything changing.

{via pinterest}
but hasn't it already? 


it's more than just cravings for macaroni and cheese with hot sauce, or Asian asiago chicken salad. it's more than the water that i'm chugging by the bottle and the deep desire for the caffeine that i am slowly abandoning. it's more than vivid dreams and restless sleep.

it's this realization that sacred has taken up residence in my body. it's as though He's whispering to my soul on the daily basis
be full of Me, daughter
as you are full of this. 
do you see, even a little
how much I love you?

and i'm still singing the Lion's song. note by note from His heart to mine and into tiny ears that are just beginning to form. 

and it's seven weeks when i've only known for one. and that amazes me daily as i'm seeking to walk this path of sacred realization. a warrior now fighting for two with a King fighting for her. 

and i whisper to this tiny blueberry in my tummy

please know Him. 
know Him as you know Him now. 
learn His Name outside as you sing it within.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

big picture details

this is one of those days that i wished i painted.

because this day has been a canvas already flooded with too much colour for one heart to bear.

it took a distant voice down a telephone to soothe a frazzled soul like mine when batteries stop working and computers become electronic nightmares. when the sweet woman with the tender voice soothed the tears of this flustered pregnant woman, i felt a embrace from Heaven.

this entire day, these few hours that i have been awake from a sleep of strange dreams and tangled thoughts, i have had a reminder that it's okay to focus on the little lines instead of the bold strokes for a change.

because it's hard to see the forest for the trees and the trees for the leaves and the veins for all the big picture being pressing against our noses.

and sometimes we need to look past the image in the stained glass window and let the colours swirl over skin.

because it's not always about do.
:: it's about be :: 

and even He whispers of the simple things, like love and hope and grace and brave. do we forget that He knows, that He lived like us and stepped in our path? that He wrote the story and already has the ending etched on His palms?

most of all
let love be your guide

and so i'm not looking at my computer with the broken battery that i cannot unplug for lack of power. i'm looking at the pools of glory in the wood between my worlds of chaos and Light.

and more moments of barefoot wading, and sacred moments of colour and peace.



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

joy :: the Lion's song

{via pinterest}
someone told me you need to be happy always now. 
and i laughed.

because that's not possible, pregnant or not. understand me this, i am filled with such feelings of elation that i cannot fully put into words, writer or not.

but there's other things too. there's life that keeps happening outside my sheltered world of expecting motherhood. there's frustration and hurts that well up, and hormones that fight me to explode free from fingertips and lips.

this is complicated, this thing of morning sickness that turns to ravenous hunger and late night tossing with vivid dreams that are almost impossible to rationalize to reality. and then there are the tears that well over at insurance commercials and late-night episodes of Grey's Anatomy. 


and i cannot be happy always.
no one can.

but i find the joy in the quiet moments when i press earbuds to my stomach to teach this little one the best of music, or when i pour words from favoured pages into little forming ears. and there is courage in knowing that i will be okay, because i am not alone.

:: i never have been :: 

because even in this strange ship at sea, there is a gull on the masthead whispering courage, dearheart to my thudding heart. and there is a lilting song on the wind that i can barely hear, but i know it is coming. and i am teaching this Lion's song to my unborn.

not of happy, but of joy.
not of fearless, but of brave.

there's an expression i've heard: barefoot and pregnant. and that is me, overwhelmed in the sacred to the point of no shoes, curling safe at the base of the cross.


Monday, January 16, 2012

blessing overwhelming {228-235}

{via pinterest}
this month is half over already. and it's overwhelmed with blessings

i started this month with a whisper of a word, spoken to the night like a pleading, a promise. brave.

and then the world started tangling and twisting, so many things changed in the space of sixteen short days. and fingers fumbled with slender packages and whispered words of new life discovered as i leaned against a cold steel wall. 

and my blessings continued to grow, even as my mind churned in wonder and i felt myself changing from the inside out. it's the strangest, the deepest growing that i have ever experienced.

this -- these months counting down on infant fingers and toes...this is my most breathtaking brush with sacredness yet. 
  • 228. two dark purple lines that change a life forever
  • 229. rest from weariness, peace in confusion
  • 230. brand-new grandparents, eyes illuminated with the excitement of new life
  • 231. fresh grapefruit and woven wheat crackers. 
  • 232. the connecting fingers of sisters and friends, the ones that care and the ones that cradle
  • 233. a husband rejoicing, a family celebrating. 
  • 234. learning to change my body's position in sleep and in life, moving my feet in step with the dance of mother instead of me
  • 235. now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us. {eph. 3:20}
and so i'm continuing to find the beauty in the seemingly ordinary. those things that are perhaps forgotten, perhaps misunderstood. these are the things i'm learning to love. 

i'm getting a stronger grasp on the important, seeking the sacred in the foggy mirrors and the crumpled scraps of paper. 

:: becoming mother ::
:: becoming warioress ::
:: becoming seeker ::

becoming braver and braver, day by day. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

beginnings {seventh giveaway}

item no. 1
the holidays have come to an end. and it's almost impossible for me to believe.


and with the start of this new year, my life has radically changed. i chose a word for 2012, and then i found my way to live it out in ways i never could have imagined.


and now, it is time for another giveaway, another time to share and connect with one another. 


i cannot begin to say how much i enjoy doing these giveaways. they are such a blessing to be able to share beauty with each one of you. this is my way of giving back to those who have given so much to me.


i cannot fully speak my incredible thankfulness for mancave soapworks {Carrie}, silver lotus designs {Darcee} and raziela designs for their willingness to share their craft with you and with me as we start off this new year. 
item no. 2


item no. 1: chocolate craving handmade clay pendant from raziela designs


item no. 2: working jewels steampunk ring from raziela designs



item no. 3: old fashioned men's shaving set in scent of the winner's choice from mancave soapworks 


{this item is a man's item intended as a gift. if you do not have a man in your life, please make mention in your comment.}


item no. 4: love birds personalized necklace {initials of winner's choice} from silver lotus designs


item no. 3
{here is how to enter to win one of these beautiful items. please leave each entry as a SEPARATE comment, and please leave your blog address or email address in at least one of the comments.}



(IMPORTANT NOTE: while i dearly love each one of my international readers, this giveaway is only open to the United States at the shipper's request.)


Entry No. 1 (mandatory): did you chose a word for 2012? if you did, what is it, and why? if not, did you make any resolutions? what are they, and why?  (+1)


Entry No. 2 (mandatory): follow this blog and put the new and improved button on your sidebar. (+1)



Entry No. 3: blog/tweet/Facebook about the giveaway, and leave a link to your post/tweet/blog post in the comment. (+3, one entry per and one comment per, please)


Entry No. 4: visit raziela designs and comment with your favourite item from the shop. (+1)


Entry No. 4: visit Darcee and comment with your favourite item from the shop. (+1)



Entry No. 4: visit Carrie and comment with your favourite item from the shop. (+1)

Entry No. 7: purchase an item from any shop {+10 entries per purchase, MUST be verified}

this is the time for newness. the time for fresh starts and new life. i am overwhelmed as i reach out and touch brave in 2012. 


what will you grasp firmly this year?

this giveaway ends on February 6th, 2012 at midnight. 
winners will be chosen via random.org and announced within the next day or two. 
winners have 48 hours to claim their prizes or new winners will be chosen

Saturday, January 14, 2012

weary solace

{via pinterest}
understanding why does not make the weariness easier.

i can tell you this from experience. as joyful as i am at this new knowledge, this growing beneath my skin that now occupies my every thought and action, i am still weary. and that is hard for me.

 i knew that it would come, this tiredness that seems to allow my energy to drip like water from every pore. but i wasn't ready for how powerfully this feeling would strike, and how i would feel when it did arrive.

i keep hearing His voice whisper rest and my frustrated self crying out please don't make me.

i started catching myself drifting toward the negatives, toward the nervous self-reliant what if's that can make a pregnant woman crazy without the hormones to help her out.


my soul waits in silence for God alone; 
from Him is my salvation. 
He only is my rock and my salvation, 
my stronghold; i shall not be greatly shaken.

it's not just my body that i need to rest. it's my mind, the one that crumbles sometimes when i hear a story of another life that isn't mine, but maybe could be...maybe. i can be assured a thousand times, but words can fall on deaf ears if i'm set strong to worry.

and so i find my place in the sacred corner. the place where i wrap shaking arms around body and womb and curl up there with woolen quilt and quietly repeated Words that come from the Holy Places. 

and i'm just inhaling. because there's so much worry in which i could loose myself, if i chose to be afraid. 

but this word is not afraid. it is brave. 

and rest takes brave. and motherhood takes double brave, even when the child is as small as a sweet pea and curled up safe in my body. 

even now, i seek solace and brave.

 in the quiet places of barefoot and holy, i find His peace. 



Friday, January 13, 2012

awaking mother

{via pinterest}
{five minutes. refusing to over-think or over-complicate. in these moments, we write for love}


when i went to bed on Wednesday night, i was a me. single tense, just one body.

or was i really? 

because this little one was already growing within, without me even knowing that i wasn't just a me. but a we.

but this morning, i awoke. and it was different.

because i was mother. i could feel the change. maybe not physically yet, maybe it's too soon. but i found my fingers pressed against skin, whispering good morning to the lentil in my tummy.

because i awoke new today. 

no more will Friday the 13th speak of bad luck. it will be the first full day that i knew i was mother. 


today was the day my mother hugged both me and her grandchild at the same time. the first day that i wandered through my home with Harry Potter in hand as i read familiar words to the tiny one who can already hear me.

i awoke different today, though i have been doing it for six weeks without realizing.

today, i knew. and i awoke mother.

{thank you so much to each and every one of you who wished us well. we are so incredibly excited. 
we are due on September 3rd, 2012. expect lots and lots of updates as the weeks progress!}


Thursday, January 12, 2012

expecting brave

and now i know, this is why my word is brave.

because in a moment when a stall door slams behind me and trembling fingers tug silver and paper away,  life changes forever. when stomach is now cradle and fingers now press against soon-taut skin.

because he and me are becoming we.

and this is frightening, in the most beautiful way. i'm not me anymore. it's we, me and little one curled against my innermost parts as He weaves and crochets little eyes and fingers all together.

{via pintrest}

we are expecting a child. 
:: our first ::

and i feel unworthy. this vessel filled, and maybe now i understand my own mother a bit more. because i love this child fiercely, and it still lingers with only six weeks of life beneath my skin and bone. 

we don't know daughter or son, we don't know eye colour or richness of hair. but we know we love this tiny babe growing deeper and stronger. 

and so i press discovering fingers to my abdomen where my little one grows and i whisper of the Lion's song to these developing ears. 

mama loves you already, dearheart. 
and so does daddy.
and so does Abba. 

and i saw the light in my own father's eyes as we held hands today, a grandfather already to the unborn. and i heard the laughter in my mother's soul, a grandmother long awaited. and i heard my sister's gasp of disbelief and cry of joy as sissy turns mommy. 

and i watched my husband's eyes light up with the strangest sparkle as he pressed lips to tummy and whispered sweet dreams, baby. 

september comes fast. thirty-six weeks to go before a ring of fire and blood and life in infant cry. 

and i now know why He wanted me brave. because i'm becoming warrior of a new sort. 

:: mother :: 


why sacred :: relationship

if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you will have noticed my fervency for the sacred, my new and hounding pursuit of holiness that has taken over my life in recent months. i've turned my attention toward seeking Him in everything, every breath and every step. finding Him in the rubble as well as in the consecrated.

but that has not sat well with everyone.

i've heard from several different people in my life that what i'm doing is dangerously false and far from His truth. because sacred is in the Church, in the Word, and in the ordained.
isn't that right?

that was last week. and i felt something start to spin off-center in my heart.  wasn't this what He was telling me to do? wasn't i going His way, following His pull?
was i wrong? 

and this week, this video appeared. i saw it posted here and there, on one friend's wall, and then another's twitter. and then i clicked play. and i sobbed.

because it was my answer to these careless-flung words from one broken heart to another. because we've knocked His hands off the cross and hid the bloodstains under the carpet. we've repainted His face and highlighted mismatched sections of the Word until the sacred has been turned into stigma.

it's not a museum for good people
it's a hospital for the broken.

religion says do.
Jesus says done
religion says slave
Jesus says son

and this was my answer to the questions and the controversy. and i felt ashamed of myself, because this should have been my answer all along. 

and i cannot thank Him enough. because this is what i've been trying to say, and couldn't form. 

and so i find myself clutching brave again, like a drowning solider with just a scrap of fight left, unwilling to surrender. no more making Him small because it fits better. He isn't supposed to fit, after all, but change. 

when He said it is finished
i believe that He meant it.



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

stony place :: ebenezer

{via pinterest}
i'm still in the stony place. the  rocky, rough place that i think we all touch from time to time.

the place where i'm learning to rest for a time, but i feel like i can't let myself breathe without guilt. 

inhale no rest
exhale too much to do

it's the funny place where we feel guilty for doing right, for stopping for a half a moment just to breathe. because i'm learning to embrace the do not need to do instead of dwelling on the must do now or else. 

and the whole day yesterday, i had a window open to write a new blog post. but i never wrote a word. and i thought it would be a bad thing, that i would wake up to negativity or a heart overflowing with shame for slacking. 

but i didn't. 

:: i woke up breathing ::

and that's what i'm supposed to do. and i made toast and coffee and ate both slices, slow and without worrying about the clock with the silence of the house and the whisper-scent of winter breezes that smell like springtime. 

and i still felt strange, but i didn't know why. but it was a good kind of strange, like icy-cold soda on the hottest day and the way it runs down from lips to stomach and you feel the coolness all the way down.

so i'm taking these stones that make my place rocky, and i'm building an altar. and i'm carving ebenezer into the bottom stone. 

here has my Lord helped me. 



{linking my broken prose with emily today}

Monday, January 9, 2012

do not :: no try

{via pinterest}
i have felt guilty all day. i haven't blogged, and i honestly didn't really feel the pull.

but it's Monday, and i make my list on Monday.

and then i read this post. and i felt less guilty.

because i don't have to. and i never thought about making that list before, never really got the idea that maybe it would be okay to not do something. that maybe it would be healthy to not do.

:: and so today, i don't have to ::



  • vacuum
  • fold laundry perfectly
  • paint my nails
  • shave my legs
  • worry about anyone but me 
  • stress over things out of my control
  • drink tea
  • put on makeup
  • act like i have it all together. i don't.
  • feel overwhelmed. 
i'm bad at not doing. i'm very good at overdoing. 

because i'm still sick, still sniffling and coughing and aching all over with tissues and quilts. and i need to rest, and i need to breathe. and i need to know that it's okay to not do, and just be. 

and that's my gift today. that silent moment when i jump into the pool from the in-between and His country. i'm lingering close to the surface today, because today i don't have to drown. 

i can just be. 



Sunday, January 8, 2012

sacred :: remembrance

i awoke with a pull. a voice in my head, whispering things undecipherable and beautiful.

He's trying to tell me something. 


because as i opened my laptop and began to read, soak myself in Lion's song and sister's words, i began to sense a pattern. again, a pull.

because rain wrote of truth in the thin places, of memorials of the sacred moments. and sarah wrote of love up to the dark, of life written out and remembered in Glory.

and i felt my soul crumble, not in the way of broken stones and shattered dreams. but in the way, the way you only understand if you've felt it before.

that crumbling of release and refreshment that comes when walls of fear and shame come tumbling down and all you can  see is the sun and Son, both shining down on your face, but One brighter than the other.

sacred spaces worth remembering etched in ancient lines across palm, 
and did you know that remembrance is synonymous with love? 
love-marked space says 
something special is here, 
something mysterious 
and worthy
 and holy.

and oh, how those words pounded tribal of brave to me. 

because memorials frighten me, sometimes. i'm apt to step into His shoes, into that place of writing in the dirt, scribbling hard with bleeding fingertips of every shame and every broken moment. somehow, i feel i must remember my shame, remember why i am unworthy. 

and then come sandal-clad feet, pierced and bleeding. and they are not the silent feet that some focus upon...

no, these are the pounding Feet that stood on the neck of Death and ground him to powder at the base of the Cross. they belong to the Gentlest Warrior who holds Hands high and cries in Lion's roar

Mine. 

and He destroys my memorial to shame. because He did not die so i would remain. oh, He died that i would rise with Him. and together we gather stones with carvings strange and markings still unfamiliar. 

grace. 
forgiven. light. 
eternity. brave. warrioress. 
Mine. 

and on this altar, i burn my rags and stand scarred and unashamed beside my memorial. i am barefoot, in the sacred place. 

He and i both. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

brave life :: on skin

{via pinterest}
i read a quote today, the first line of a blackout poem from the seeker heart of a girl whom i would call an inspiration and a friend. 

life printed on skin
a self-portrait must follow

this quote curled up and nested in my soul from the moment the words passed from eyes to mind. 

for a long time today, i sat and pondered, because i wasn't sure why these words spun silken threads of Light around me and held so fast. 

life printed on skin. 

and then i was drawn back to brave

because everyone sees your skin. 

yes, you can cover certain areas with clothing, even bundled from head to toe if you so choose. but you know what's there when the lights go out and the garments slip from shoulder to floor. 

it's not tucked away under flesh and blood and bone like secrets that even x-rays can't reach. it's like the tattoo that stands bold on my wrist, thick black lines that the whole world can see. 
and it's a choice we have. 

a self-portrait we must follow. 

we can tuck down and hide, ducking behind the blankets and begging the world to close its eyes and just look away, just for another minute of invisibility. 

but i feel like He holds out fingers to those corner-clingers, the ones that ache to hide in shadow. and He speaks of sacredness found in freedom, those footprints in the sand when we let Him left and carry. 

i'm brave now, or at least, i'm striving

striving hard to live eyes to the sky with outstretched arms, bare with scars and marks. 

because He's in love with them, and so i must be, too.

in love with those lines and lines, thin and thick in black and white and whispers of technicolour of this self-portrait that whispers to His mercies, His glory, and His salvation. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

reaching moonward

{via pinterest}
do you know how often i wish i could touch the moon?

it's the way i feel when a worship song slides down my spine and nests in my soul, as guitars strum and soft voices lift a single Name from Earth to Heaven. and all i can do is reach upward, fingers stretching out as though to grip the rafters and rise.

it's especially true on nights like this, when quilts and pillows comfort the sniffling and the sneezing. on oddly warm winter evenings when the sky is purple and orange and it's like watching the Saviour take a sacred moment to fingerpaint the sky.

and i reach out trembling hands, overcome with awe and wonder, up toward the mast where the albatross in the windstorm has roosted just long enough to roar in Lion's tongue

you are safe
you are loved
and you are Mine.

it's then that i ache just a bit inside. because like a wife who misses a husband gone with only telephone dials and cyber connections to keep them joined over seas and county lines, i ache for my Jesus. 

:: and so my fingers reach moonward ::

and i feel that overwhelming peace as moonlight shines down and i cry, oh, how i want to be brave. how i want to understand. and i am, because that's what He promised. we linked fingers, He and i, over a glass of merlot and black ink promises of lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. 

He promised me brave. He promised me warrioress. He promised me daughter

and so i still reach moonward and sing to the darkness where my Saviour lingers

oh, i'm running to Your arms.
Light of the world,
forever reign. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

bedtime stories :: peace

{via pinterest}
some can look back to little girl moments and think of stories read. they can remembering hearing whispered once upon a time from parental lips and smiling with fairytale princess pride.

but me, i look back at one story that was told me over and over. because it was my favourite. and it was not the one with glass slippers or spell-breaking kisses or even tumbling rose petals. it was the one where the little girls died, and their daddy wrote a song.

i can still hear my daddy's voice in my head, even now, as he told the tale at bedtime. the storm that rocked the vessel that sent three little girls to the bottom of the ocean, a wife's broken telegram of three words that screamed of a whispered broken heart.

:: safe but alone ::


and a broken father who boarded a ship to the place where his daughters passed the veil and entered their Father's arms. and the words that melted together with the tears that splashed into the salty tomb that bore his children.

when peace like a river attendth my way
when sorrows like sea billows roll
whatever my lot, Thou has taught me say
it is well.
it is well 
with my soul


this was my bedtime tale. and i never felt safer when told this story of the little girls' drowning and their father who found peace in the storm. because when Daddy kissed my forehead and turned out the light and i snuggled beneath my bright blue tye-dyed duvet, i would smile.

{via pinterest}
because Jesus loved little girls, and He loved their daddy too. and i was a little girl, and i had a daddy. and if something happened to me, i would be with Jesus. and if something happened to my daddy, i would be okay, too.

and now i'm all grown up, with a patchwork quilt and a dark blue and gold duvet of my own. and sometimes when the night feels darker than it ever has, and the world seems empty and so much like a billowing storm, i go to the window and look out into the frozen night.

and my lips form the words that my daddy taught me.
when peace like a river

and when the notes are formed in church, the tears drip down. because it's still my favourite hymn. i still feel safe when the melody fills my ears and i mentally take my daddy's hand and squeeze it the way he used to do, and still does when we are together.

because i'm a woman now, not a little girl. but i still love my daddy. and so does Jesus.

and i need to call my daddy and thank him for teaching me this song. because my eyes are full of unshed tears as i write this.

because this is not a fairytale with happy ever after. 
this is truth with eternity like a cloak for my shoulders. 

this is peace like a river.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

meditate

{via the sacred life}
yesterday, i wrote about how i need to learn to rest.
today, i can't.

because i'm sicker than i was yesterday, and my head is full of a pounding like tribal drums but much less beautiful and far more painful.

and i spent an entire night tossing and turning against a pillow tower and sneezing through a swirling patterned box of Puffs.

but lack of sleep has given me time to think. time to reflect and meditate, even on this word itself.

:: meditate ::


because it all goes back to be still and know, as i sit with patchwork quilts draped over always bare toes and the twisting swirl of fragrant tea steam slowly fill the air with soothing.
and i let the television sound fade to a mumble and the music to a background whisper. 

:: and i meditate ::

maybe not with crossed legs and crooning chants of syllables repeated. today i find my peace with candleflame flickering and a bowl of chicken noodle soup.

why have we pushed meditation out of our faith circle? when did we stop allowing peace into our hearts?

{via pinterest}
one thing I have asked from the Lord, 
that i shall seek: 

that i may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, 
to behold the beauty of the Lord
and to meditate in His temple.
:: psalm 27:4 ::

it's when we open. it's when we refuse to close, no matter the hour. when we are unafraid to shiver in glory, and when the scared becomes the sacred. we stop looking at the mirror that seems so ground, and we turn our gaze inward, upward. 

when we stop and inhale. when we became brave to approach, to contemplate this thing of so much boldness and so much peace all at once. 

i'm embracing Him, i'm inhaling glory.

i'm meditating. 



Tuesday, January 3, 2012

unforced rest :: whispers

{via pinterest}
sometimes, it's good to be restless. it's good to pulse and feel and breathe.
but sometimes, you have to close your eyes.

i'm bad at resting.

even when all i should be doing is leaning back, eyes closed to recover, i don't want to stop. i want to keep tossing, keep turning, keep moving and doing until i'm thin as paper and torn into shreds.

and right now i'm sick. and i should be focused on recovering, tucking my chills under a quilt with a steaming mug of tea and a brand-new book. and t i'm snuggled under these blankets with tea and Hell's Kitchen and fluffy pillows, but oh, my mind is fluttering in a thousand directions.

why can't i rest?

so close your eyes
you can close your eyes.
:: it's alright :: 

how many times does He say be still

it's important to Him that i rest, that i be still and know. and yet, it's not important to me. is that not such a horrible slap in His face? what matters so much to Him means nothing to me? 

{via pinterest}
it makes me sick to realize how foolish i can be when my eyes go on me and dart to the lists instead of closing to serenity for His whispers of 

courage dearheart
breathe deeply, daughter.

because this Lion's song is what i should be singing, instead of this thudding drum of 
go now 
go now 
go now 
go now. 

it's this restless mind, this broken spirit that aches to overcompensate. 

i strive too hard to fix my own mistakes instead of sitting in His hand and listening to the whispers that linger past the storm, the wind, the fire. 

i must rest
in these unforced rhythms 
of grace. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

freedom :: press send {220-227}

no one told me it would be this hard.

barely two days, and this thing of brave already has my fragile fingers shaking. and all it took to make my heart beat faster was pushing that button. 

:: send ::

because the first thirty pages of my book just went to an interested publisher. it took a precious one in my life to get me to get the courage to click that mouse and let it fly from security to unsure. it's my fragile soul, a month of bleeding onto the paper and turning thought into word and imagination into fiction. 

and now it's out of my hands. and i'm petrified. because i don't do rejection well. 
really, does anyone? 

but i'm bad at counting blessings etched on my soul when i'm too busy shaking in the corner with fingers draped over eyes whispering
please don't let me fall
i can't do this.

but i count anyway, one and two and three and four...
  • 220. courage. knowing that courage is more than doing, it's being. 
  • 221. vulnerability. 
  • 222. the voice of a precious friend, urging me to be brave and leap. press send.
  • 223. grace. so much grace when i deserve it not. 
  • 224. warm soup on a day so cold that noses go numb and fingertips shiver. 
  • 225. fresh starts and clean slates. brand-new year, 2012. 
  • 226. puppy kisses and The Bachelor on winter nights. 
  • 227. healing tattoos, eternal reminders of my place on His palms. 
so i still count. because nothing stops my racing heart more than drowning in eucharisteo, in letting the focus slide away from fear and up further, in further. 

because it's being brave. it's being, all on its own.

it's surrendering in the darkness, waiting for the Light to come again.

{linking with Ann and my sisters in gratitude today}