It’s not mine to hold

It’s not mine to hold

Seda, our dog, 

has a favorite branch

that is 4 times her length. 

She attacks it and

fights with it. 

She drags it around 

the yard in circles

because that’s really all

one can accomplish

with such an wieldy foe. 

She growls and 

wages war against 

the stick

that won’t let her win –

the very one that she 

chooses to pick up. 

I grabbed my phone 

recently to record 

the futile battle. 

I stood in amazement

as she tried to tell 

the stick what was what. 

She was fighting with 

something that she picked

up out of her volition.

She pursued it. 

She clung to it. 

She sunk her teeth into

a branch

that required all 

of her attention. 

She couldn’t do 

anything she was good at –

running, chasing the frisbee

tracking the movements of 

the chipmunks. 

Because. 

The stick. 

What do I choose to

sink my teeth into,

fight with, 

that diverts energy 

from where it should be?

What do I growl at, 

take a defensive 

stance against, 

wrestle with 

that distracts me from 

what I am actually 

meant for?

I will admit that 

I routinely wage war

with Expectations

and Preferences. 

I sink my teeth in and

get angry about the 

very thing that

is within my power 

to release.

Anyone else

need to let go 

of something?

#PermissionGranted

What do you need to let go of?

 

What the waves say.

What the waves say.

I stood mesmerized,

unable to look away

from the waves

that crisscrossed before me,

greeting each other

and drawing diamonds

in the water.

I stood on the sandbar

entranced by the waves

that came in sideways

upon hitting the sand.

The ocean – as if it

didn’t already

call to me,

had something new to say.

I turned a full 360°

a few times just to

take it all in.

This was a

moment of

bliss,

perfection,

peace,

hope,

beauty,

belonging

and

wholeness –

that, quite honestly,

I struggle to articulate.

In my heart,

I heard:

“This is a picture

of what it looks like

to be who you are,

right where you are.

Trust me to lead

you to where you

need to be –

strength,

beauty,

and finesse

will follow.

This?

This is a picture

of what is possible

when you pursue me and

the passion

and purpose

I have put within you.”

I will carry this

with me always.

And I hope you will, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#PermissionGranted

Here’s a video of the waves.

I want to be like her.

I want to be like her.

I want to be like her.

I want to make an impact

in big and small ways,

at every stage.

I want to be like her.

She walks and

cleans the walkway

of debris that nature

has deposited.

I’ve seen her twice in 3 days time.

Stick in hand, scooting off

a stick or leaf through the cracks –

wearing red lipstick –

all the yeses.

The way things naturally go –

the way things naturally

follow entropy – doesn’t deter her.

I want to be like her.

I want to challenge entropy in my own way –

just because things have always been that way –

will not deter me from stepping into what needs to be said

or stop me from taking action.

Today on my walk on this walkway –

I passed a pinecone sitting in the middle of the path.

I went out of my way to pick it up and

make a clear path for others.

I now realize that my action was solely because

of the small, steady work I had witnessed.

In her own way, she makes an impact,

she rocks red lipstick and leads the way.

I want to be like her –

at every age, at every stage.

See the evidence of love.

See the evidence of love.

These pants sat in our closet next to the hamper for a couple of weeks. I assumed it was because my husband wanted them washed separately so that I didn’t put them in the dryer.

I never gave it too much thought, I figured I would get to it eventually. Eventually was today.

I picked them up today to wash them and discovered they were covered in flour and cocoa powder – from when he made my birthday cake. The pants needed to be treated with the stain stick and that is why they were set aside.

He made my birthday cake.

*

We misunderstand each other a lot.

Stress doesn’t bring out the best in us.

We are often in different books, let alone not on the same page.

We struggle to ‘see’ the evidence of each other’s love.

The details and burdens of daily life with home, work, three kids, a dog and a cat cloud what is present…

Obscure what is…

Seemingly negate the mundane expressions of love that are there but blend into the background of 18 years of marriage.

I sat down in the kitchen where the sun poured through the windows and held the pants.

I mean, I throughly enjoyed the cake, but I somehow missed unwrapping the gift of him making the cake for me.

But here I sit holding the pants that he wore late at night and bear the evidence of love and a commitment to celebrating my birthday.

He’s messy in the kitchen.

I’ve never been thankful for that before, but today I was.

I was hesitant to wash the pants, unwilling to get rid of this evidence, but I decided he might like to wear his pants again – sans cocoa and flour.

So I took a picture of his pants.

And then I treated the spots on the pants, just in case they were stubborn and I let the pants sit to be sure the treatment had time to work. I put them in the wash and made a mental note to be sure to not put them in the dryer…

because love is in the details,

in the mundane moments that

we sometimes forget to look for.

*

Permission granted to look harder than you think you should have to. Give grace and sit in the sun and relish the evidence you find.

#PermissionGranted

Afraid of the Quiet

Afraid of the Quiet

Check out the previous posts on this topic! Begin with the introduction to the series.

I am afraid of quiet moments.

Just being honest.

I am pretty sure I avoid them.

In the quiet moments

that are filled with actual

quiet, when my brain is not

trying to convince me that 

everything that is hard

is harder than it is for everyone else

or that everything that is good

is not as good as I believe

it to be. 

Actual quiet.

When I am not running through a to-do list

or recounting my inadequacies or wins for the day.

Actual quiet.

The place where my heart rests

and I talk with the One who 

created me and 

knows me better than I 

know myself.

The place where I listen. 

It is in these times when I am 

sitting in quiet, in prayer,

or contemplating scripture

that a gap might be pointed 

out to me.

I might see something

for the first time or perhaps

it is a kind reminder.

See, sometimes I think my struggle

is caused by someone else

and in these moments

I see the issue is with me. 

See why I avoid the quiet?

However, in order to grow…

I can’t avoid the quiet places.

How will you pursue quiet moments this week?

#PermissionGranted! It’s not selfish to take time for quiet and it’s not laziness. It just might be the beginning of growth. Go. Find some quiet.

The imperfect of it all makes it hard to breathe.

The imperfect of it all makes it hard to breathe.

The imperfect of it all 

makes it hard to breathe.

The tangle of should and 

my own expectations 

leaves me disenchanted and 

trapped in wishes. 

The wishes are light but strong

and form a web that gives the 

illusion of structure

of safety

of purpose.

One wrong turn 

and what I thought was giving 

structure is what I’m now 

desperately trying to get out of.

It’s in my hair, it is stuck to my skin 

and all I want is out. 

The web holds me captive. 

This isn’t what I wanted

but I didn’t make a way

for anything else. 

I want more than this 

transparent framework 

that is holding me hostage 

to what we’ve created.

There’s filament silk

stuck to me

and my arms are flailing trying to 

escape the sticky way its always been.

It tries to 

keep me. 

Keep us –

right where we are. 

I escape the web. 

Now. 

There’s nothing.

There’s no structure, 

no plan, 

no – ‘This is how its going to be’. 

I am not in a web 

but now there’s 

nothing holding me. 

I turn to face what’s next

and see nothing. 

I look for you 

and I see you in the shadows

walking towards me, 

brushing off 

cobwebs. 

 

*Photo by John Camacho