just start already

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I like to sit on our little tweed couch with the tiny blue threads weaving through a goldy-taupish soft color and tuck my knees in. On an average evening, that is my perch while my husband sits in our inherited and plaid rolled arm chair with the ottoman, his feet resting from the long walk of a day of work. He goes through a pair of tennis shoes every year. True story.

About a month ago, we had tumbled into our routine after a day full of hither, thither and yon.

There I was. Knees tucked in. And I was talking through a crisis of conscience about writing and feeling small but wanting to feel important and noticed.

“I don’t see you working on it.”

He has that way. Of making seven words wallop you like a sucker punch. You can’t even catch your breath. He looked right at me and he said it.

And he was right.

starting2

I have a small something that is so big to me and it is just for me and I have been talking about working on it for months. Instead of doing the thing my heart was tugged by, I was worrying over what I should be.

It stung for a few days. And I know myself so I shared it with a few heart friends so that I could not avoid trying, starting, maybe failing again.

And then I did something. On a Saturday morning, I got up early. I fixed my hair all wispy-like and I put on my favorite pair of jeans. The ones with the rip at the knee. The ones that are barely holding together. I put on a creamy orange t shirt and a grass green cardigan. I didn’t need to match because I was being a writer. A big girl, serious writer.

I went to Starbucks.

And there I forced my earphones in and I let the music flow over me and I started. I wrote.

It was 7:00 on a Saturday morning and a steady stream of people were coming in and I could not silence the Tom Hanks voice bouncing around my brain as I could just barely hear the orders rattled off. Tall! Decaf! Cappuccino!

That steady stream was a life giving rhythm and even though they were probably off on some great adventure of a Saturday and my adventure was through story words, I felt connected to them.

I started. And I’ve done it again and again. And do you know what? A tiny stream of life was awakened in my heart.

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Starting is a powerful thing. Planning is good. Preparation is to be honored. But just making that first inky line on paper or clickety clacking away a line of rounded black letters into blank white? There’s power in that.

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Often, just after a hit publish? I squint shut my eyes real tight and I hold my little heart words out and I try really hard not to take back or explain away or hide. And I love it when you all respond. I’m so, so glad to know that all of this redeeming God is working in my heart effects others for Him. I hope more than anything it does. Because when you are crying into the very chicken and corn you are cooking on a warm summer night over what He is teaching you and you are shaking your fists just a little bit it feels awful good to know that even if your heart is prickly, still He is using you.

So. Let’s talk about starting today. Do you need to air out that thing you need to start? Just say it. Do you have some glory filled story of how you started something He dreamed up just for you? Encourage others with it.

three daily small joys

Good morning, Monday.

I didn’t think I could love mornings more but I can. Mornings are a constant surrendering for me. I get up early looking for more time to just be. Which is good. But I find that I’m having to just be with open hands, willing to give that time over to being intentional. I have a wish for you. That you would love mornings, too. It’s a secret between you and me, ok? But if you want to know pink light kissing your skin while everything is almost yellow and you can actually hear the world instead of people noise? Embrace the early morning.

Afternoon reading.

Every afternoon we have been setting aside an hour for reading. We choose one summer reading book and one library book and the house is quiet and my heart is happy. For half that time, I sit down near our girl and I read, too. I find that somehow it helps that I communicate physically that I am available. If I’m dashing all about, there is more resistance and there are more questions. My favorite spot is on the settee in the dining room where we are a jumble of legs and words.

UNO.

And in the evening, we’ve taken to playing Uno. Over and over again we play. We get lively and fierce games going until someone finally wins and we all shake hands and shout, “Good game!” If you’ve never heard a snaggle-toothed four year old with a lisp and a southern accent say, “Good game!” and “I winned!” then I pray you will soon.

when there’s tarnish on your life

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When you’ve wandered for days. When you’ve waited for lifetimes. When you’ve heard no or nothing every minute. When you’ve surrendered your longing just one more time.

That’s when golden things get tarnished.

Because if you have to go one more day swallowing that deep down, heart want you might burst. You wonder. Isn’t this a good thing I want? Isn’t this meeting my need? Isn’t this a promise?

And it is.

But you wait anyway.

Because God doesn’t give that way.

Just the other morning I was standing in our upstairs bathroom. The one with soft green walls and the tiniest doors on the window that open in. I was looking out over the dogwood tree in our front yard. If you stand at that window early in the morning, you can see the sun tippy toe it’s way up and you can feel the orange and pink light creep over you.

I was standing in that bathroom and I was letting golden things be tarnished, golden moments that are meant to be kept safe and treasured.

When you listen to the right now of a heart longing loud enough, it will start to tell you that golden moments here and there are good but why not more?

I walked away from the window and I looked at my reflection.

Manna. Isn’t that what golden things are? We wonder. This? This is enough when my deep down, hurt-want is sawing away inside me?

It’s the same thing the Israelites wondered, the very question in the meaning of the word. This is your provision, Lord?

And it is. It is there every morning in abundance, covering every bit of life.

But wasted? Hoarded? Left for something else? Bitter.

God allows hunger.

It hurts like the dickens. But He doesn’t starve us of His goodness. He doesn’t starve us of golden moments.

There they are like the morning dew just waiting to be gathered and ground and baked; pressed down and full of who He is.

Will you share a golden thing? Your manna for today? And let’s let that wash over us.

treasure hunting

Here we have a recent trip to the zoo with a big girl camera and some of my favorite people.
aslan

“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”

 

littlefeet

 

lorikeetbeauty

 

braveone

We have a very brave one in him.

eyesandears

The eyelashes.

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Right there I turned to our girl and wondered at God’s imagination.

happyaccident

A happy accident at the meerkats. I put my camera down by my hip. These brown eyes are, I like to say, saucers of spilled out coffee all rich and deep.

This girl danced in all her finery today. “Mama,” she said. “I got lipstick on my bow. Do you think anyone noticed?” I put my arm tight around her, wrapped her up in the warmth of my heart pumping big for her and breaking just a bit and said, “Nope. Not a one.”