Friday, August 11, 2017

finding home

I am linking up for Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Place.”

I’ve lived in a lot of places for my age, so I’m told.

Nebraska. Kansas. Colorado. Nebraska again. Missouri. Arizona. Kansas again. 

All of these places have good and bad memories attached to them. When a hint of them crosses my mind, sometimes it’s joy and sometimes it’s sorrow. And as with most people, I wanted to find my place at each place.

But I’m not sure I ever have.

I don’t want to go down the road of, “of course I’m the different one” again. I do that far too often in my life. But I have struggled, in each new start, to figure out where I fit in. What I could offer this new place. What it could offer me.

I far too often associate a place with doing. When it really should be about being.

While I still believe that God is ever-changing me, I am still me in each place. I bring a new set of learning as I move on, but I’m still me, carrying around my baggage and my idols and my sin. But also carrying around the triumph and transformational power of Jesus Christ with me. So maybe I’ve been approaching this all wrong.

Maybe going to each new place is more about being than doing. Maybe it’s about finding home within myself, and not finding home in a place.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

of dreaming and marching

I’ve never been to a writer’s retreat.

The fact is, I don’t really consider myself a writer, though I do occasionally call myself that. There is a tension in “being” a writer and just being someone who writes, I guess. We started out the retreat with the question of, “Am I called to write?” And for some many of the women there, they are called to do this. They can’t imagine NOT writing. I guess I feel that way, too. But I also don’t have that drive… that call to the pen and paper. My call is different. Writing may be part of my call, but I don’t think it’s primarily my call.

I wanted to come to the retreat because I’ve been struggling with only feeling inspired to write when things are hard. My inspiration tends to come from emotional pain, which I haven’t had a lot of recently. So I wanted to see what the answer to that might be… what it looks like to write in all circumstances. So my reflection during the weekend really centered around this. But then Friday night, Christina read a poem to us that led me to a really big question.

“What dream has God given me?”

I honestly couldn’t remember the last time I asked myself this.

Maybe I never did.

Dreaming always seemed silly. Unimportant. Unnecessary. Something that couldn’t pay the bills. Now that I’m old, dreams seem even more illusive.

But do they have to be?

More will come on this topic, because it’s far too important to my heart right now as I consider how writing fits into my call. There will likely be multiple posts about this big question. 

But this point is about my weekend with beautiful women who left me thankful for God’s design. How he makes everyone different and beautiful and in his image. This weekend was about how he gives each one of us a heart for something: Native Americans, publishing a book, changing the barrio in which one lives, writing poetry, worship, the beauty of grace, traveling around to stay with strangers we’ve only met online. We heard stories of walking knee deep in water in the dark, the pain of losing someone we love, the 10 hour journeys to arrive when it seems impossible to get away from life and family and work.

I was quiet this weekend. Which is somewhat unlike me. In group situations I find myself being the clown... the sarcastic one ready to create the giggles. But not this time I listened. A lot. And I wanted to listen more. I want more and more of their hearts to pour into mine as I learned what God has called them to. 

I’m sure we all are somewhat uncertain of God’s call in our lives, except perhaps the call to love one another. 

(photo credit: Jan Lamos)

Which is what I felt march first out of each women’s heart this weekend. Love. Love marched first, to create a place where hugs and tears were ok with someone we just met 2 hours earlier. Love marched first when we all weren’t sure what God was going to do. Love marched first when we shared what we wrote Friday night. Love marched first when we sang songs and asked questions and dreamed together.

May love continue to march first out of our hearts.