Tuesday, July 30, 2013

the hard thing // letting Him bleed

{via pinterest
{over the next several weeks, maybe even months, i will be writing here and there from elora's thirty days of prompts. this is something that i have never done before, something raw and fresh and gorgeous and potentially painful. so please, be gentle with me. you can find all posts i have written from these prompts here}

i'm a hypocrite. 

quite frankly, writing that sentence up there took a solid fifteen minutes and i'm still sitting here looking at those terrifying three words and considering deleting them and being a little less honest. but that's the point, isn't it? 

because i'm all about whispering soft to warrioress souls, reaching my fingers out to them, while locked down in my heart with my fingers curled into unrelenting fists. not of freedom but of tightness, of a strange sort of rebellion that doesn't make me all that eager to be transparent. 

i heard a spoken word piece {of sorts} when i was younger, before i knew what spoken word was and just how much that concept would have a grip on my soul. i remember being fourteen and sitting there in that room with my eyes closed and listening to the faceless voice speak. 

hands up, clenched, control. 
hands down, release, open palms. 

it's not that fist pumping of warrioress pride, it's that raging face to the wind that screams i will not let go and You cannot make me. the past several months have involved a lot of tears, a lot of weeping, and whole lot of unattractive raging that would put those of you who read my words far away from me. 

i'm willing to reach out and touch the broken ones like He did. but i won't let myself be broken. and if i am, if i find myself in pieces on the floor, He can't touch them. those pieces are mine, and He might cut His fingers, and then i would be responsible for cutting the Saviour. so i shut down, and slam the door behind me, and leave Him standing there


and that knocking doesn't stop no matter how deep i press against the back of the wardrobe with a fur coat wrapped around my head. but it's scary to look at myself in the mirror on the inside of the door. because i want to be Lucy, little seeker lioness with Narnian renewal in my braveheart steps. 

{photo of myself, taken by Photography by Kjelse}
but i'm Edmund with a belly full of darkness weighing heavy. i'm a scaled Eustace with a smug sort of blaming everyone else for my failtures. i remember the words they shared on the beach. "you weren't as bad....you were only a jackass, i was a traitor." me, see, i'm both. 

but then i realize that they were changed. and that Lion bared His claws and ripped the vileness from the skin of he who was too weak to do it himself. i want to shed my skin. 

He's okay with cutting His fingers and bleeding for me. after all, He already shed every drop with my name shivering with sacred Love in every cell. 

i just need to let the control slip from my fingers. i need to let Him bleed. 

i'm leaving a pile of burned dragon scales, ugly and broken, on the sand. and i'm stepping out on the back of the Wind, His back, broad and soft and warm. 

and gently He hums into my hair
the worst is over. 
there is no need to talk of what has past. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

what the silence taught me

{my space, unafraid of clutter}
photo property of dramaticelegance
i've been practicing silence this week. i didn't press myself hard one way or the other, and i refused to let legalism be my governing force. i simply let myself sink down, down into the ocean-rushing.

oh, the things that happened when i stopped shouting and let the Light soak in deep.

we met a new place, a white cottage tucked into the urban wild. we put our names on a piece of paper and let the Lion prepare to sing us a new word :: home. and oh that space has potential, and my fingers can twist gently around the banister of a place called mine, and his, and ours, and His, too.

dearhearts, we're buying a house and making it home. 

the irony is, i finally found my space here. tucked between the kitchen sink and the front door, there it was. i think He was waiting for me to exhale, ending up with my forehead on the table with ink on my fingers and paint in my hair, before He slipped this new space into my grasp.

i learned to embrace
:: and i learned to sever. 

i learned to cut and rip and take something mysteriously called "whole" and make a new kind of wholeness from the pieces. there's nothing wrong with reaching out and finding the secret messages humming deep within a secret place.

oh, let us know Him.

His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain
:: hosea 6:3

{via pinterest}
i'm excited about August. the last month in our place of almost four years. it's a page-turning, a severing embrace. it's bittersweet, i'll admit. but oh, am i excited.

it's like i'm finally seeing the design among the broken pieces. because July was so deep and full of grief, so full of shattered bits that didn't feel smooth like seaglass but were jagged enough to gash and scar. but then i realized that there was something beautiful coming. it's a birthing, a labour in blood and
tears and even some breaking deep inside.

and then Life streams forth, and glory is born. i've been fired like molded clay, not made hard but made strong. a few feathers floated to the ground, but my wings are still beating strong in the wind.

the silence taught me to grasp tight while i sever. the silence whispered to me of strength. because He was not in the fire or the wind or the crushing storm. but that still small voice, that hush-holy selah...

the Lion found me in the silence and spoke a hard thing into my soul.

it is coming.
and i am eager to breathe.

sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn
anything or anyone 
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
// david whyte :: sweet darkness \\

Friday, July 26, 2013

broken lines // mosaic

{via pinterest}
artist unknown. if you know, share it with me? 
i couldn't pass this one by.

not when my entire life has been broken from the start, and not when my passion is reaching out the broken ones and tucking them in close against me.

we've been made to think that broken is a bad thing, something to be ashamed of, to coil around and huddle in the darkness. but being broken makes mosaics, those little intricate lines and cracks that make up the letters into words of our own deep stories.

being broken hurts. it's not something anyone wants. we don't set out each day wonder, oh, how might i break today? :: but maybe we should.

i hate being broken. but it's not a shame thing. i'm pulling back the cover on my heart, the thick woolen blanket wound around my shoulders and whispering to each of you, come here, dearheart. let's sit together and put it all together.

it's what sisterhood is all about, taking the bits and showing the bright Light that gleams from between each little crack. it's what the Lion does best, breathing soft Life onto hearts and watching them mend, but leaving the soft marks behind.

and the Pharassees chant, "all you need is Jesus. but then, you need this...and this...and this thing too..." and the milestone hangs heavy and all you can do is collapse.

no dress code or stand up sit down or running away from the shadows. because He's in the shadows.
He's in the Light. He's in the dark. 

:: He IS.

the marks are art, lines of ink on the page. they speak of a greater story, a deeper grace. they show that you are strong, wandering through fire but held tender and close. it's stepping off the cliff and standing on air, hovering gentle on Lion's breath.

{linking five minutes of unedited "broken" writing at lisa-jo's today.}

Sunday, July 21, 2013

stepping into silence

{photo of me by photography by Kjelse}
{over the next several weeks, maybe even months, i will be writing here and there from elora's thirty days of prompts. this is something that i have never done before, something raw and fresh and gorgeous and potentially painful. so please, be gentle with me. you can find all posts i have written from these prompts here}

:: what are you waiting for?

for Story 101, we are entering our week of silence. this is our time to step back from the internet, our time to breathe, our time to embrace our writer souls. honestly, with the amount of time i spend on the internet every day, this prospect is slightly terrifying. 

:: but maybe that's what i was waiting for.

see, as a stay-at-home mom, the internet has been my retreat. it's the only "getaway" i have from my life as momma. but maybe it's holding me back. maybe i'm waiting for something that isn't going to happen. maybe i'm waiting for my life to go back to the way it used to be // before my precious little wailing warrioress came into our lives. 

i'm never going to have that life again.
and that's okay.

because Marian is my new life. this is normal. this is my radiant normal beautiful new life. this is my gift. this is my now.

so maybe this week of silence, this time of resting away from the internet {in part}will be my first step toward embracing my new place. i know i need to stop fighting what is. i need to stop waiting for the new house to find my space. i need to stop waiting for this illusive magic moment before i accept the pen that the Lion is pressing into my trembling fingers.

:: i can start writing that chapter now.

in some respects, i'm still bristling at this concept of internet silence, even if only in part. it was always a punishment, a stripping away of something that connected me to a world that always seemed so far away.
{photo of me by photography by Kjelse}

but i am seeking ways to heal my eyes from that past view. i am hoping, daring to reach up for that scarlet rope hanging in the window. it feels so dangerous to hope. i am still recovering from the loss and confusion and heartbreak that this year has already brought me.

but there has been such joy there too. and that is worth the hoping and the risking and oh, the releasing.

there will hopefully be a lot of returning to the journal in this week of selah. a lot of art, a lot of postcards made and sent. a lot of breathing.

oh dearhearts, won't you gather around me here?

pray for the Song of the Lion to permeate my soul? pray for strength and deep, deep grace? pray for Life, for Light, for Glory. 

pray for rest. 
pray for selah. 
pray for silence. 

{don't forget about the self-care giveaway taking place here. i would love to bless you with some tender gifts, precious ones.}

love you, dearheart {a self-care for warrioresses giveaway!}

i'm learning the art of self-care. 

i'm learning that it's okay to whisper two letters that are hard for me :: no. i'm learning how to soak in life, allowing myself to sojourn to the art table and sink into paint and ink and paper. i'm learning that it's okay to shut the bathroom door and cry, because it cleanses, and that's okay. 

i'm learning to take care of me so that i can better take care of them. 

:: i'm learning how to embrace the self that the Lion found worthy enough to die for. 

and i want to help you do the same. 

so i have put together three amazing packages, three amazing love-gifts from my heart and from the hearts of eight other craftsmen, to show you that you are worthy of some tender love all your own. 

// you could win //

1. a spot in MADE :: a inspiring creative e-course created by my precious friend Beth Morey. i am taking part in this, and now you can join myself and a host of other beautiful artists in seeking God-centered creativity. the course begins on September 1st. 

2. a beautiful body, heart, and mind self-care kit which includes 
:: a beautiful handmade jewelry piece from sea of wild
:: an alstroemeria real flower petal necklace from enchanted planet
:: a lunar necklace from spiralDRIFT
:: two types of soap {vanilla sugar + lavender} from Inspiri
:: a custom handmade journal from my own personal shop, DEJournals

3. a tender loving care self-care package which includes 
:: lovely beauty products from Cosmic Bath and Beauty
:: a peppermint pumice + lotion foot care kit from Inspiri
:: two handmade surprise bracelets from hallie johanna
:: a yummy turquoise and silver "brave feather" bracelet from soulmakes

oh dearhearts, i am so excited to bring you these gifts. you are a warrioress, prized and loved beyond all knowing. you are treasured and precious. 

love yourself. it's okay. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

craving space

i am craving my own space.

ever since we lost the dream house, the place in which we are tucked now has seemed to slowly be closing in around me. it's begun to feel smaller than it every had before.

i find myself sitting at the kitchen table with my art, merging paint and canvas with dishes and bank statements. it is not my space, it is collective space but not in a communal artist way. it in shared in a life way, a way that doesn't ever stop but simply moves around me. and sometimes, it feels like it is slowly pushing my artistic spirit down the nearby garbage disposal.

mermaids crave the ocean, the wide and the open, the salty spray and the peace of the selah-crashing waves. i am landlocked, in more ways that one, with the nearest water being bottled and chilling in the fridge.

and maybe that is why i have grieved the loss of this house so deeply, in a way that almost seems like a part of my physical self had fled. it has been a rending, a true exploration into that word that has become far stronger than i could have ever anticipated :: release. 

art has become something powerfully present in my life in recent months, especially as my own faith journey has taken unexpected twists and turns. it's that demolition, as my husband calls it, the breaking down of all i once knew save for the foundation of the Lion to whose shimmering mane i cling. i'm relearning the sacred, finding my soft Psalmist voice again. it's release. 

:: and even in the crush, releasing myself might be part of the grand scheme of the things after all. 

because i'm past the point of being able to find a corner of my own in this tiny little place we currently and i reluctantly call home. though home is where your heart is, and my loves are here. so this is home. i am creating in the midst of our life, where the Light shares between my ink and paper pages and the aromas of home-cooked food and laundry soap.

and so i'm laying out the brushes and opening the journal, a new blank page in the middle of my worship place at the kitchen table. i light a candle and exhale the holiest of God-Light to the tune of stillness in the midst of the household busyness. i'm learning how to find my warrioress self amid the pulsing thrum of vacuums and pasta water boiling.

finding my space which i crave so desperately.
even if it means this mermaid swims {for now} in the kitchen sink.

{linking with dear emily for imperfect prose}

Sunday, July 14, 2013

art is for you

{via pinterest}
i remember the first time i saw the ocean. i was a little girl, landlocked from birth, with a swimsuit that matched the ocean and short hair hacked by even younger hands. and my soul inhaled the salty air and murmured,

:: i am home. 

it takes diving into a pool and sinking down to rise up into the place He sang into Life. it takes cresting the ocean's wave to even catch a glimpse of His eternal country. there's something powerful about this idea, that it takes deep immersion until all you can see is the Light hovering on the surface of the water from down below.

we are all soul-creatures, made to be seen, 
created to be tenderly cradled and adored, 
yet we tremble at the thought of it.

so often i wish i had a mermaid tail tucked away in the closet, shimmering and waiting for me to slip inside and dive into the sea :: to return home, in a way, to a place that i never truly held but always flowed through my fingers.

i think it's part of why i've gone back to being an artist in recent days. it was something i had given up after comparing myself to others who were "better" even though all we were was different. i was seventeen when i put down the brush. all it took was an art teacher's slightly raised eyebrow and the words, maybe art isn't for you. 

all i can do is reflect back on words i've written before :: it's those moments in the dark where we wrap our arms around our knees and kneel within ourselves to the waves of crashing Love that threaten to overwhelm us. it's a tremble, not a cringe. it's a breathing, not a hyperventilation. 
{sketch by alexandria for dramaticelegance}

this is for me. and my mermaid soul is seen by the One who wove kelp into my hair and called my soul to love of depths.

there is a seacove of my own, tucked gently beneath the waves at the edge of Aslan's Country, that place that hums a familiar melody and whispers of one day, forever. there in that place is a set of paintbrushes made from the mane of the Lion who gave it up for me to Live freely. 

it's a metamorphosis of sorts, a shedding of the ugly and the embracing of the mantle of glory.  it's stepping away from the shadows that confines my feminine soul into certain boxes that aren't allowed to stand here because it might not be right. 

it's being brave and letting down my hair. He promised to come to us like rain, and like water does He fill my soul to overflowing. 

and this is where i am :: tucked in my cove surrounded by sisters of soul and ocean, the crash of the ocean and the roar of the Lion harmonizing tender. 

because He promised
art is for you,
My mermaid daughter. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

that wailing rhythm

the rhythm is a funny thing. it's an entity of its own. can't you hear it, thudding and pulsing slow below your skin, that gentle thumping by which our bodies sway?

there's one in the air, too. i can feel it, the rhythm of thunder crashing and lightning answering back in brilliance of light. it's majestic and strange and powerful. i don't think i understand it fully...will i ever?

life is a rhythm, one of those things that isn't really composed with ink and pen on paper. i wish it was, because my words seem paltry to sum up the inhale-exhale that seems to make up every second of every day until the day it just doesn't anymore.

:: but apparently vulnerability is the rhythm i needed to find. 

the very night after i wrote about releasing, we were struck with a strange sort of loss. we had been chasing a dream, a purple house tucked into a grove of green countryside and garden mermaid groves. and we had it, right there in the curve of our fingertips, and then it was gone, because that's how real estate works.

and i wailed. // oh, that wail. 

see, i write about the Lion's song a lot. it's a melody that hums beneath my skin and courses through my body like blood and electricity wedded together in the strangest and holiest of matrimony. i can hear it, that low growling hum to which my feet have found a rhythm to stamp and my lungs have found notes to cry and keen.

and yes, sometimes, you have to wail.

sometimes it's all we have to keep us going when everything seems a muddled blur and off-center to the point that even the melody seems to have faded. but there's always that rhythm.

sometimes it's hard to find your original self when everything under the sun has been done. and you watch yourself drumming on the side of your cup with a bamboo stick as the teabag bobs like a ship in the calm, and you wonder, am i in the calm too? 

i had never understood that expression until the day my life stood still and i caught my breath when i raised my hands and begged the moon to stand still over me. Joshua needed the sun to fight, but somewhere, the moon stopped too over some corner of earth.

before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
you must wake up with sorrow.
you must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
:: naomi shihab nye

and perhaps in the calm is a place to catch your breath, when the crush and rush of the world is pulling you right and left and backwards and forwards and pinching off pieces of you until there is nothing left at all.

{via dramaticelegance}
and you need a minute to heal from the scrubbing, so you bury your nose in the tea and you breathe. the poking and the prodding leave fingermarks all over you in shades of invisible bruise, like starry-night constellations that tell a story, something glorious that might heal another when they touch the marks the world left behind.

so weave a crown of blooms from the basket by the door labeled "weeds" and peer up at the world through one-too-many loose tendrils of escaping hair. find the pool, still in the calm, and study the freckles like cinnamon sprinkled over something made with apples and dough and that whisper of love that you don't understand how you can taste, but you can.

and pick up your drum from beside the door and dive into that pool until the bottom becomes the top and out you emerge into glorious Light where the world hums in a fresh newness. and the rhythm of your heart merges with His.

and you and the Lion count the beats together.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

// releasing all over again

{via pinterest}
i used to blog every single day.

before the season of my life when i was pregnant with our daughter, i was hitting publish every single day. and it was less because i was prolific, and more because i had a simple selfish goal in mind: i wanted to be famous.

at the time, i was barely out of my teens {which, if you want to be technical, i'm still barely out of my teens} and was shuffling my way around the youth blogging world. and let's be honest, there are some amazing young bloggers out there who are really putting their voices out there.

and of course, i wanted to be just like them. i've wanted to be a famous writer my entire life, and i suppose i thought, if i can't get a book published, i'll put my blog in the limelight instead.

but i lost myself somewhere in that process. i can remember staring at the laptop nearly sobbing with fear :: i don't know what to say. i'm out of words. but i have to write. 

my pregnancy which started out my 2012 spun me for a much needed loop. and down i came from my self-constructed pedestal , striking a lot of rocks on the way down that rocked me to the very core. my husband calls it the demolition. i call it the dark night of the soul. my wrestling with the Most High.

:: it was here that i started to find my voice.

the poet-king wailed his psalms, his poetic voice. and like David, wrapped in a cave in the side of a mountain, i started to strum my soul's strings and things started to come out. scary things, things that intimated me, things that made me want to shut down and give up.

but something told me not to do it, that maybe there was a purpose in this little internet corner that was about more than being famous, that was about reaching out and smearing warpaint on the cheeks of those who needed to know there was more, that they were more....and that they were seen. 

there is a gush of sacred, an embracing of selah, and the screaming wailing war-cry akin to giving birth. because it's a hard process, and it takes incredible strength. and it's okay to reach out, to take the hand of a soul-doula and press your forehead to hers and let it pour.

maybe it's not about the amount of words i can pound out in the space of a week. because i've started to find my groove, less posting but more writing. my word for 2013 was release, a word that i did not fully understand until these past couple months. a word that has been gripping me by the heart and speaking in the voice of the Lion that i adore

:: let. the eff. go. 
release to Me, you lioness.  
because I promise, I have not failed you yet.

and i've started to exhale, feeling all of me unclench and the surrender coming like a broken dam that brings a lot of tears and a lot of clinging to the One who is counting every single drop. the One who is seeing my awakening and is stroking my hair while i let it all go.

the King of Kings is holding back my hair.

and i'm not done yet, not by a long shot. i'm still working on my book, a dream that i have never given up. i have a brand-new jar of warpaint and a beautiful tribe with their hands on my shoulders.

and i'm ready.

Monday, July 8, 2013

the gasp :: much

{via pinterest}
 {over the next several weeks, maybe even months, i will be writing here and there from elora's thirty days of prompts. this is something that i have never done before, something raw and fresh and gorgeous and potentially painful. so please, be gentle with me. you can find all posts i have written from these prompts here}

:: in what ways have you found your way out of the depths? where is your appreciation and sensitivity? what makes you beautiful?

oh, to ponder these words above. what makes me beautiful? from what depths have i climbed? but, to speak of that would be making myself oh-so vulnerable. and that might be where the beauty is hiding, tucked away in the tender wrappings of a heart so easily swept under. 

i used to think that being broken was ugly. not in other people, you understand, because their broken pieces made breathtaking mosaics and all i could was stare in wonder. but my broken pieces were fragmented, distasteful. my being broken was ugly.

but then there was this metaphor, one that i've had in the back of my mind all my life but only recently jogged into remembrance :: that picture of a woman with a hand over her mouth, eyes wide as though she wanted...needed...to speak but could not. and then there was a whisper, what if that hand is your own?

and then a poem found its way into my fingers from the heart of a friend. words that made me catch my breath because they related to my soul. 

because the soft season will come
it will come 
both hands in your heart
up all night
up all of the nights
to drink all damage into love.
:: therapy // nayyirah waheed

{via pinterest}
it sank in like water to the most-parched soul and i realized. my soul is trying to drink it all, reaching up my fingers for selah merging with beams of Light streaming from the eyes of the One who stopped and spoke into the pressing crowd, someone touched Me. 

i'm only twenty-two, told often that i have not experienced enough life to know pain, to appreciate what it means to wait and experience and cling to something. i won't pretend that i know, but i know my share. and it's not a competition as to who aches the deepest or who needs the water the very most. what makes me beautiful is my past, my broken cobblestones and the scars on my toes from trying to climb a mountain with bare feet. 

but i reached and i gasped with eyes wide and pleading, fingers clutching His robe while His eyes meet mine and whisper, you love much, and you are forgiven much. 

and so i'm gently gathering the jagged and the broken and the cracked into my pockets and laying them out like sea glass on the sand. my heart is there, twisted like wrought iron and molded like clay. and there's a word there, humming soft with Lion melody to mingle with my soul's gasping inhale of Light. 

:: much. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

beautiful {a fae*rie tale}

{via pinterest}

finding beautiful was something she found almost impossible. really, it was something she had to pursue, something she had to chase down. but it was always so far away.

and then she tucked herself in among running water and air-light bubbles. and the chaos still continued outside, the television murmuring and little baby whimpers as sleep claimed her bright blue eyes. but there was silence and stillness and fragrant beauty in the candlelight with the water splashing.

she felt a mermaid there, nestled among the sea-foam that would consume her if she was not careful. her skin glistened and her the ends of her hair dripped sandalwood and night-blooming jasmine. she started to hum, she couldn't help it, in tune with the soft flickering light that swooned around her.

she pondered the grace and wonder of the candle flame, how the light faltered in the breeze of her own lips but then returned stronger and brighter. was that beauty, not something with skin and eyes and hair and the curving shape of lips?

that it was the gentle bending, the fingers curled into hair and lips parted with the harmonizing of a familiar growing Song that was more than just a strain of notes and melody, but a state of being. 

was beauty a sort of surrender? 

:: it was, in fact, the ultimate. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

tribe :: being seen

{via pinterest}
i think i have found the most beautiful word :: tribe. 

and honestly, it's a word i used to hate. there was this movie we watched when i was younger. i don't even remember the name. but this woman called her children "the Lacey tribe" and never told people all their names because "life is short and time is precious."

and it made me feel strange, unsettled, even when i was eight. because why wouldn't time be precious enough to list off your own children's names? why lump them into this vile thing...this tribe?

and then i realized something for the very first time, just yesterday, at almost twenty-three years old :: being part of a tribe is about being known.  to take the idea and make it about being identity-forgotten, to strip away the you-light from this candelabra of tribehood, is to destroy the very essence of what it is to be.

because the Lion sang tribes into existence from the soul of the man who wrapped himself in fur and lied, who worked fourteen years for love, who dared to wrestle in the hour of his unknown. and from him there came twelve, and from one came the One. and there is something so precious, so unique about each tribal voice that led to the breathing of the Most High.

being in a tribe, finding your circle and your family of exhale :: it's about being see. it's about gazing and locking eyes with another, the brush of fingers over your cheek to leave a soft painted blessing on your skin.

{via pinterest}
// because you're seen. 

it's not about being smooshed into some sort of grey-hued mass where you blend in, where you simply are. it's about the circling of arms around you as sisters braid your hair and wind your neck with colour. and there in the caves with the soft lap of the water against the stones, the light flicking and the Light flowing from He-Who-Sees gathered in their midst. 

we see you, unique one. 
we know your name. 

and i know theirs. because i'm their family, and they are mine. and we take the time to see their lives and call each soul by name. just as the Lion who sang the stars, one burning flicker of light at a time, and whispered their names in the darkness. 

dearest daughter, 
I have known you long.