Weighted

I can describe anything.  Familiar with how I’m made and what I feel and think, there is almost nothing I can’t put words to.  Pretty awesome, actually.  I nearly always know how I feel, and am astonished when people I know can’t name their emotions or thoughts.  It doesn’t seem hard to me.  Just takes practice.

Now and again, though, my familiarity with myself is challenged. I get invited to a battle.

I started out today, entering my very day…just overwhelmed.  Under-equipped for the task.  My heart not right. Missing…something.  Weighted.

This day…this Wednesday in October… just seem too high…too hard, too deep, too strong for me. Days like these aren’t often, but today is one.

Thinking it would dissipate, I waited it out.

Hours later, still waiting..

And waiting.

And waiting

At some point, I added an ingredient.

Desire.

And now I’m fighting.

A simple action taken changes the current.

I just got in front and looked up.  That’s all.  Just pushed my way to the front so I could see His face.. Willing my heart to claim truth.

When I see You, I find strength to face the day.  Hosanna.  Worthy of Praise.

It’s a choice to believe that In all things, we know that we are more than conquerers. And its a choice to shift my gaze.

The weight hasn’t lifted.  Hours and hours later, I’m still weighted

But I’m looking elsewhere.

Straight on.

And I can see His face.

So too long

When our eyes met, 24 years melted away.

One long insufficient hug was clearly not enough.  More hugging and delighted laughter. Then across from each other, eating dinner but really far more talking, talking, listening, listening, listening.

I read a blog this morning,where the author was talking about what she knows for sure, one of which was how authenticity creates depth of relationship.

I wonder how many things I know for sure.  A few.

After meeting my friend last night, I am sure of these .

The Cross is utter mercy.

Distance is surmountable.

Years change some things and not others.  Thankfully.

Authenticity is everything. A bridge, the path, freedom.

Forgiveness changes us.

Who we are is foundational, and given as gifts to others.

Friendship is precious.

I would have known her anywhere.  That smile, those bright eyes.  Her articulate, compassionate heart.  How she loves. What she sees.

Seeing each other again after all these years?  Right on time.

Still more.

I was so sad when I heard, years ago, that WaterMark had disbanded.  Crushed.

My heart’s voice just resonated with WaterMark.  Spoke to me and gave me…something…every song.  Demanded response., which is my favorite thing about music.  The demand to respond.  The can’t help yourself smile or tears, or lifted hand.

And then Christy Nockels emerged.  Solo…  And now I love the way her music speaks to my heart.

WaterMark ended so Christy could begin.

Things in my life have ended.  Crushingly so quite often.  Hurt heart, hurt life.  Hurts.

But Now that I’m halfway through, or more, my perspective is bigger…wider.

I get that ends are before beginnings. I get that to get to the purest place, I must let my hands go of what I am holding onto so tightly.  I can’t reach without letting go.

Life comes through what looks like darkness. I trust that.  I’ve lived that.  I’ve seen better come from what was pain. I long for Willing.  More willing.  Still more.

So that when this…this existence…this experience…someday ends, the purest place awaits.

A gaggle of girls

I’ll start with a confession.

For the longest time, women just…annoyed me.  Especially if they were in groups.

That doesn’t sound very nice and I know that, but these bloggy days I’m all about honesty.  Maybe someone else can relate, so I write.

No women’s group interested me.  Even things like wedding showers kind of got to me somehow.  Women’s Bible studies?  No, thank you.   Book club?  Nope.

I was rather befuddled by my attitude. I grew up in a family of sisters, for goodness sake! I love being with them, and our “group” is delightful.

I was at a women’s retreat this weekend with a number of women from my church and at only one point did I need to withdraw for a bit to re-charge and get a little alone time…I’ve come a long way!

Years ago, I sensed a change happening in me.  I think God finally had quite enough of my poor attitude, frankly:-)

Called into ministry, the task ahead of me was to be the Lead for a single mom’s class at my church.  Seriously.  Wow.  And funny:-)

Simple obedience began the thaw. I just kept showing up and acted as an advocate for these incredible moms, handling life and child-raising on their own.  I began to see and appreciate the beauty, the warmth, the very natures of these women.  And I started to see myself as one of them. The more time I spent, the greater my passion grew.  It wasn’t them and me.  It was us.

So this weekend there were LOTS of women, talking, learning, and singing.  Oh, and hugging.  LOTS of hugging.

Hugging a sister is relating to her.  Carrying a burden with her. Vulnerability shared.

That’s a very woman thing to do. And I see that now as so uniquely beautiful.

And you should have heard the singing. Seriously.  Wow.

 

Honor

My dad had friends for the entirely of his lifetime.  Not lots of friends over the course of his life, but the same friends for… like… 80 years.

At his funeral, I talked about that, and I am sure that listeners were impacted.  I mean…who can SAY that?  Who truly maintains quality friendships like that?

My dad was amazing, that’s for sure.  His friends were and are some of the most incredible men I’ve ever met.  They loved him.  He loved them.  But there’s more.

There is a common denominator there.   It isn’t intention.  It isn’t promises.  It isn’t hope.  It’s honor.

Honor respects a friendship.  It puts the relationship in its place of importance.  It thinks of the other ahead of oneself.  It puts forth the effort…not just to maintain or coast, but to grow.  For my dad, honor was devotion to friendships, his family and his wife.

That’s why soldiers are willing to place themselves in harm’s way.  Honor.  That’s why parents will deny themselves anything in order to provide for their children and it’s why we choose to tell the truth when a lie would surely suffice.

I didn’t realize how important honor is to me, despite being raised by such a father. I recently came face to face with honor’s importance, and I didn’t like what I saw.   I was disappointed because honor doesn’t mean the same thing to each of us. I saw someone whose honor had limits.  And  I was disappointed in me.  I didn’t place myself in a proper place and I let dishonor threaten me.  I was willing to accept the unacceptable.  Didn’t look very honorable at all.

Sometimes honor must look like walking away…from a job, from a relationship, from an attitude, maybe even from a church.  Because honor is self-respect as well as the respect for others.  It’s the integrity of living honestly.

Even if it’s walking away.