Wednesday, January 30, 2013

woman ablaze

{via pinterest}
i am the girl on fire. 
i am the woman ablaze.

or at least, i want to be. i want to walk a path once dim and watch it glimmer as the lights flicker into being and line the steps so that others can come after and not trip on the stones. 

i love the moon and the stars 
almost more than the sun.

it's a softer light, not blinding. i can gaze upward when the moon shines gentle and whispers hope better than when the sun leaves spots behind my lashes, even when they're closed. 

and that's what i want to be the world. soft light pointing to the Son that comes in the dawning, not a second sun that comes where it shouldn't and speaks too loud and too blinding for the world to understand. 

there is beauty in the soft light. beauty in the candlewick as it flickers in the night, the softest glow that illuminates the eyes and the heart and the soul. the Word was penned by light of wax and string dipped and twisted together, gentleness on fire. 

{via pinterest}
because we're all about the megaphone these days. all about the fist-banging to startle the sleepers and frighten them from their daze. 

but don't you rather it when a hand gently touches your shoulder, a soft shake to rouse you and guide you from pillow to daylight? there is a time and a place for the brightness that overwhelms, and there is a time for the caress of tenderness. 

we forget. yes, He toppled tables. but there was soft weeping, too. 

oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem. 
how I longed to gather you to Me....

i am the girl on fire. 
i am the candle ablaze. 

and oh, i long 
to be the moon that heralds the Son. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

never forget

{via pinterest}
i've been pondering this thing of sacrificial womanhood, this thing of mothering that can often come without warning and change your life in an instant. 

a year ago this month i discovered that my life was about to change for the better and for the strange and for the mysterious that i still do not fully understand. and i look at this child, this beautiful warrioress with rosebud lips and sea-blue windows to her tiny soul, and i am humbled. 

i have learned that brokenness is essential to this journey, to this place of being mother to someone so small and so earth-shaking. this journey has been turned into a war by some who would rather turn the innocence of children into a battleground, and that makes it so very hard. 

this world is a battleground enough. i war every day for the soul of my child, fighting off lions like a mother bear who has been wounded by a thousand spears with words like ugly and fat and not good enough.

and i am learning every day to die to myself so that He might live through me for the betterment of the little one who is so small that she cannot even yet form the words "ma-ma." brokenness is something hard to swallow, a pill that looks so jagged and fearsome that even the mighty shrink away. but i must do this, for me and for her, and for all that comes after for us both. 

{momma and Marian, four months old}
i prayed for this child, and i pray for her still, as her shrieks and coos fill my every waking moment and even those moments when i would rather be asleep instead. and then she smiles at me and puts a tiny chubby hand against my lips with a giggle, and i melt inside. 

i am undone :: 

so in the night hours, when the house is silent save for throaty husband snores and the clicking tick of the refrigerator, i whisper to the little girl curled in the crook of my arm. 

:: never forget, little one :: 

someone loves you. i promise i do. and He does, too. no matter what you do in this life, i will love you. and He will too. 

it's not a crime to be beautiful. feeling pretty isn't a sin. size 16. size 2. whichever you are, you are. the scales don't define you. you are a lioness, a King's daughter, and that is what matters. 

breath is precious. life is short. so live your breaths. 

and never forget.
never ever forget.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

shattered alabaster

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we fear brokenness. we fear what comes when we are face down, palms up. we can't see our backs from this position, this place of humility.

and what if someone sees us here? they might whisper, they might talk about how low we have fallen. and whispers hurt, after all; who doesn't know that? 

but He sent them out into the streets to bring us in. the broken, the lame, the blind and the weary. and He brought us in and set us as His table, us broken ones. and He stood still in the crowd and said someone touched Me. 

we forget these stories. they get pushed to the back as we look around and stand shoulder to shoulder with others and stretch to stand on tiptoe to measure up like we think we should. brokenness does not negate the warrioress, but instead it creates glory. 

a phoenix cannot rise until it burns. 
a seed cannot grow without death. 

“God uses broken is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume.
 it is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever." 
:: vance havner

it is something we are taught to fear, taught that we must flee from and hide, that we must scrabble for some token of false strength to save face. do we deign ourselves so great that our Jesus must be broken, but we find shame in this place for ourselves?

the prostitute was the first to find Him in the dawn when the stone had rolled away. those who followed Him were too full to see, but this woman was empty of all but Him. and He said her name, and she knew in a word. this broken vessel, this woman of the night now turned bright as the Son. 

raised to glory, this broken ones.
living in life, these blessed ones.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

in which we share the road

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so when your hope's on fire
and you know your desire
don't hold a glass over the flame
don't let your heart grow cold
i will call you by name
i will share your road
:: mumford and sons

it's been a rocking chair morning, the kind where my little one won't stop fussing and wiggling and wants only to be held close to her momma. and so we spent our morning in the rocking chair, back and forth motions with coffee for breakfast. 

and these are the times when i ponder the beauty of community, ironically in the silence and solitude provided between breaths when the little one dreams curled against my shoulder. 

there's something essential about community, that moment where a hand finds another hand and skin on skin whispers i've been there; take heart.

there's a sweetness here, a precious air of understanding that comes from shared experience. it's that candle in the window, that tiny beacon that signals welcome to the wandering heart that hasn't found a place to settle yet. 
{via pinterest}

i've become passionate about encouragement, placing my flag on the mountaintop and reaching down a hand to those struggling in their coming after. this is why i stand and say to those sweet ones climbing hard behind, 

do you know just what you are to Him? 
do you know the world needs someone like you to make it better? 

and i'm still learning, a student at His feet, and we're making plans and laying foundation together. and it's going to be beautiful when it's all done, because it's His blueprints, after all. i'm just the follower who lays the brick and paints the wall with colour streaked in my hair and smudged on my cheek. 

so take heart and reach up, sister warrior, brother braveheart. He'll catch you, and we'll walk in light together. 

may you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
may today there be peace within.
may you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
may you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
may you be content knowing you are a child of God.
let this presence settle into your bones, and 
allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
it is there for each and every one of you.
:: St. Teresa of Avila ::

{joining with dear em today; join us?} 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

creating light

{via pinterest}
exhale. what comes out?

speak. what comes out?

there's life or death in the words of your lips. that's great power coupled with great responsibility to borrow the cliche. how than can we say that we are weak if that's what we possess, all of us? 

and i'm learning to tame that power in the right channels, to create life where death lingers and to bring light where darkness permeates. 

and i will learn, i will learn to love the skies i'm under. 

i'm tired of existing in a world that exhales darkness and dwells in it like a poisonous fog. 

the darkness screams violent, destroy, because it's easier. 
the light whispers tender, create, because you must. 

:: oh, you must. 

there is more to creating that scissors and glue or cloth and string. there is creating in this place you're in. it's the simple act of brewing coffee at midnight and the sweet shushing song invented to soothe the wailing. it's the braiding of hair and the wrapping of blankets. 

it's unity, it's sisterhood, brotherhood, the sacredness of family with and without blood for bond. 

exhaling light, life. creating beauty in the simplest of things and the most precious of actions.

and i will learn, i will learn to the love the skies i'm under. 

{linking with dear sweet em today}

Monday, January 7, 2013

watching her watching me

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are you breathing just a little, and calling it life? 
:: mary oliver :: 

it's odd, this thing of breathing. it's the ultimate release, every day a thousand and one seventy, and we don't seem to notice until we suddenly can't catch it anymore. 

and that's what life is. a die-daily, a live freely. 

but sometimes fear takes over and we breathe shallow and live the same way, afraid to put our toes in all the way and get our hair wet and streaked with color. 

there's walking and there's leaping, and there's a way to put a spring in the simple steps. there's a way to live like you're free and not like you're bound. those chains are broken, so stand up straight and dance, why don't you?

i have little eyes that watch me, big blue orbs that follow my every move and light up when i speak. and she sees the way i live. this little life breathes free against my chest every night, grabs my face in chubby fingers and looks deep in ways that only little ones can do. 

{my little seeker, my warrioress in training}
3.5 months 
and she is teaching me freedom to breathe, to squeal at the little things and embrace life. and it's okay to cry heartbroken and not hide behind pursed lips and pressed-together fingers. 

we're dancing in the living room and laughing. and we read the Colour Kittens and she watches my lips with each word. 

that's a reminder to live if there is one. and i'm still unsure, baby steps of my own, living in freedom and light and love and so much grace. 

there is no end to His kingdom, my limitless King. 

releasing here, living here. 

for my little one. 
for me. 
for Him. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

a letter to you

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dear you,

yes, you. you beautiful one, you earth-shaker, you mountain-quaker. you with the feathers in your hair, you with the baby on your hip. you with the tattoos on your skin, you with the long hair and the ankle-length skirts.

you tucked in the corner with the tsk tsk tsk ringing in your ears because you said that one thing too loud when they said to be seen but not heard. 

women of the world, you are real. 
 :: don't let them force you to disappear. 

they're the ones adding millstone to millstone in a necklace of death that will end with a broken-hearted "depart from Me." 

they're all about death, these shadow voices that would rather keep you masked and silent. He was all about life and broken stones with the keys of Hell in His fist.

they made their list and ran off with fists raised high and left Him standing at the table with tears running down and a gentle you left Me behind. 

they don't read the red letters, do they? if they did, they would know that there was a perfume vial --the most expensive, the most precious. and it spilled over His feet as a broken woman with whore on her forehead in invisible ink and invisible fingermarks of men who were not her husband covered her body. and she prophesied to the world of His dying. 
{via pinterest}

and that was a woman.

and you are a seeker. 

i wrote it before {here} and i'm writing it again now, word for word.

we are women. we are vessels, full of Him and aching to overflow.
we are brave and strong and beautiful and beloved.
we are more.


{this thing of beauty, of strength, of true womanhood has been on my mind these days. i'm praying ceaselessly as a project begins to form in my heart and soul for the coming weeks. would you join me on your knees before the Throne, sisters, for wisdom and grace and so much unceasing might from the Hand of the King?}

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

red-lettered lowercase

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i went back this morning and searched out the first post i ever wrote here sans capital letters. it was a spur of the moment, unstructured piece called ink of wait that i wrote in august of last year.

and i read that little poem and i cried like i did the day i wrote it, i remember. because oh, i wrote free then.

at the top of the blog of my dear friend, emily, there is a quote. thirteen words.

here is the world. beautiful and terrible things will happen. don't be afraid.
:: frederick beuchner :: 

and that quote grips me in the deep places that only me and Jesus can see. because it's more than just letters, after all. 

it's a fist pounding, a battle cry, a step against. because i am tired of the must-dos that Jesus didn't speak. the way the Church takes every word from their mouths and writes it in red, putting words and confinements into His mouth that taste bitter with sorrow and weigh heavy with impossibility. 

and letters are the first step.

i have turned the words of Mumford and Sons into a worship chant, a far-from-whispered battle march. 

awake my soul
awake my soul
awake my soul
you were made to meet your Maker. 

and that is where i live now. 

living in the red of His blood, and the black and white of truth and mercy. awakening to lowercase letters and unfettered freedom. 

:: releasing.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

in which i release

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i was awake at midnight this year. surrounded by family and friends and so much food and laughter. and at the stroke of 2013, my father in law raised a glass and bowed his head. and in the silence that this prayer brought, Heaven's breath fell on my ear.

and my OneWord365 for 2013 was confirmed.

:: release :: 
to free from confinement, bondage, pain
to let go

i've been striving upward and onward, you see. chasing Aslan's breath before i knew fully what i was chasing. i sought Him, and He sought me. 

but there is luggage. trunks and suitcases, all with labels affixed to them that gnaw and tear at my soul. words like shame and regret and mistakes and broken and guilt. and these are things i know all too well, because i packed them up myself when i started out. and slowly, i have added to them. twenty-two years of neatly folded bundles of brokenness. 

but this is the year for renewal. this is the year for release. the year for freedom. 

back in June, i wrote real beauty // you are not fat. this was the iceberg's tip into the shame and insecurities that i carry back with me from my early years. and now i have a little one, a child with fairy-blue eyes and the strength of a young warrioress with a song to be heard. and i will not allow my shame to crush her light, to bear her down before she has even begun. 

and so i'm leaning over the cliff with suitcase wide open and tears gushing down my face as i scream to the One who knows before i speak
{via pinterest}

You can have it all. 
it's far too heavy for me. 

and i won't deny, i'm afraid. there's a lot there, a lot of unpacking to do. and there's more than just the bad things, you know. there are good things too, lumped in with the rest. there's half-finished canvases smeared with black not-good-enoughs and dreamcatchers smashed and twisted. 

but i'm releasing. and He's going to fix them, restore them. they will be drenched in the blood of the One who broke for my wholeness. 

and i will be made new. 

i don't have time to maintain these regrets when i think about
the way
oh, how He loves