I posted this on my social media earlier today. I am amazed at this cross stitched bird. It was a gift from my sister several years ago. Long before the Lord whispered the word bird to me. Long before he spoke to me of feathers and wings, and the beauty of our nests. I looked at this prized possession of mine today, and heard God say “that’s foreshadowing angie”. Why yes , yes it is God. God is in the details. It is his pleasure to conceal things, to set up an extravagant scavenger hunt for me. And my joy and honor to seek these truths and treasures out. So my nest, and where I make it, and what I feather it with…. All of it, are not mysteries to HIM. It’s in the dailies, that I find him.
Like a shelter, friendship is a house. It is built on words , they are the foundation. You lay words of love and encouragement like bricks on the bottom. Then you insulate with time, time spent listening and believing in each other’s dreams, hopes, and sorting out the struggles.You can spend years insulating and shoring up the walls for the future winds that blow. And then you paint the walls of your friendship with deeds. Some tiny , like a letter in the mail, and some huge like a birthday extravaganza. You can decorate your friendship with laughter, and tears, memories of births, weddings, school plays and a million dinners. There is always time to add rooms or update this sweet house. But if you neglect your house, there will be weak spots , and dry rot . And what looks strong from the outside could be deceiving .You can get lost in the rubble when it comes crashing down. I encourage you, take a minute, check the foundation of your friendship . Need to lay a few words down? Give some time . Don’t hold things so closely to yourself. Share. And when the storms of life rage , you will find yourself running to that shelter again and again. If you are lucky, there will be more than one shelter to run for when the rain pours, there will be a community ! And a neighborhood party when the sun comes out again!
I can’t say it as spot on as Taylor Swift, but 🎶when you’re 15 and somebody tells you they love you , you’re gonna believe them 🎶
So hear this: I love you. I see you. I hear you. I trust you. I am proud of you. I like to hug you, and sing with you, and eat with you.
You’re 15 and I can’t even believe it. They told me time flies, but I only closed my eyes for a second, and here we are. Pig tails and hair bows have given way to eyeliner and curls. And that’s ok. Watching you grow every day is my greatest joy. It’s not easy figuring out who you are going to be, and if it takes a little time, well that’s alright with me. I love you Belle. If you couldn’t tell. Long legs and beautiful smiles, laughter , and kindness , courage and love. Most of all love. These are my birthday wishes for you.
it’s one of those rare days. The ones where you feel like you can get it all done. That anything is possible … Like getting that 30lb bag of dog food in your cart? (You know who you are.) The truth is ANYTHING is possible , every day . With God. I am asking for a greater capacity to receive the strength that he has for me. An increased ability to see what he has placed inside me. Bigger eyes to to see ME with. Bigger ears to hear HIM with. So, today , I celebrate all of you out there right now, in car line, at the grocery store , at the dmv, the post office, in your office , at home teaching. Women , strong and beautiful , with words of life for those around you. Women with arms strong enough to hold your babies and your husbands and basically , the universe together. Women strong enough to call out the strong in each other ,even on the days that we feel less than. I love this day, and I’m going to remember it.
Sometimes everything is upside down. Is it ok to be mad about it? Yes it is! And then get over it. Move on to something good, look on the bright side. I’m on the inside of the upside down right now. Health, relationships, and responsibilities are all costing me more than they should. My emotional budget is in the red. Maybe you feel that way too? It’s ok , for a while ,to wrestle around in the muck in your upside down world. But there is a limit. You have to come to a cross roads , hang on or let go. Then shower, and live life.
I’m getting ready to come out right side up. I’m dancing to Disney’s Let it go, and remembering who I am . I’m getting real with myself, asking myself the tough questions, and being brave enough to answer them.
You know how some women look just as pretty bare faced, as they do with their makeup on? Their features are the same, and they allow them to show through the makeup. Then there are some women who look drastically different with and without makeup. To the point that you can’t believe it’s the same person? One is not better, it just struck me that a lot of us are like that with our personal and public personas. Some of us look pretty much the same when we are just with our families at home, cooking dinner, playing games, chatting it up…as we do when we get dressed up and go to church, by look the same, I mean our countenance … The manner in which we conduct the business of life. Some of us look drastically different at home, than we do in public. Our attitudes, our responses to our husbands, our children, our friends ,our very hearts can be unrecognizable from the women we are on stage, or out to lunch, or sitting in the pew. Just a thought. Are you a natural beauty? Do you look the same in every light? Is your heart transparent? Are you living an authentic life? I know I’m going to be looking in the mirror today. The flaws are there for sure, it’s walking out the door without covering them up that’s the most beautiful.
Nest: to fit perfectly inside each other. Ex- nesting dolls.
Yeshua is mine, he lives on the inside of me, and fits perfectly there. I belong to him, and he carries me in his body, in his heart. I never need to thirst again. Living water is running through the canals and infrastructure of my person. I can operate from a place of contentment out of this knowing that the work is done, we fit perfectly inside each other. From that place of lotus land (paradise) I can feather my nest, give my best, set the stage … For my children, my husband, my family and friends. Simply because the HE, the living well , the prince of peace and provision and even patience …. Is enough.
Every day is different, just like every child is different. Little lion boy, the baby of four children , was always a joy and a handful. I have spent the better part of 10 years asking myself questions and reading books. Is it his gut? His ears? Believe me when I tell you there have been prayers. And more prayers. Prayers of desperation, and prayers of hope. He is 13 now, and with no relief in sight , we sought help. Before this , I didn’t really want help. I didn’t want medication or labels. He is beautiful and bright, he is stormy and hurtful. Easily frustrated, and impulsive. Our home can become a war torn territory where everything has been shattered to bits in a matter of seconds. That’s the truth. Hear me all of you well meaning parents and friends…. It is not about discipline ! Yes, boundaries and routines are cornerstones of civilization , but in the middle of war we all become quite uncivilized . Our parental hearts are shredded, the lights in our eyes … Dimmed. We listen to our son tear down the very walls of respect we take time to build . We get mad, and at the same time…. So sad. We live, we keep on, heart beating, seasons changing. Our son has adhd, and auditory processing disorder, and a learning disability in math…. Which leads to the roaring beast that we see on a daily basis as we try to teach him. Homeschool. It has been the best for him, but I have been battered . We are rebuilding now, with new tools and new hopes. I am understanding the stimulation that his body is constantly looking for, I get it. He needs it , good or bad. If his work, his reading, his drawing, his music, his pogoing up and down the stairs are not enough stimulation , he will pick a fight… With anyone in sight. I am armed, as I always have been , with the love of a good God. I couldn’t love my son any more than I do. I am amazed at his strength, his spirit, and his ability to love. I am on a crooked path, that God promises to make straight. I’m faithfully walking , and I’m trying to share . This is barely a glimpse. This is a beginning. Our story, unique to our family. Yours will be different. The common ground for us to stand on is love, and the courage it takes to look deep into someone and seek out answers, all the while faithfully trusting that this story is a masterpiece in progress.
The word bird came into my spirit with the new year. It made me smile. It brought my mind to a place of singing, melodies, feathers, flying, freedom, and ….nests. I clearly heard –feather your nest. I started collecting feathers, and holding them close, like prized possessions . I even started planning changes to my house. After all, that is my nest , right?
All along the way, from the new year and even before, I’ve been dealing with parenting issues. Problems and prayers turned into pleading for breakthrough. I was and am walking out the steps God has given me. And then tonight a friend got a word for me. Nest . Ok. Redundant much ? Somehow there was more for me in this word. It is a timely word, and ever evolving to show me what God is speaking. She sent me the definition because she knows that language is magical to me.
Nest- the place where birds lay eggs and take care of their young .
I read it, and then I layed down in it, this word …nest , it covered me like a blanket. And it was there wrapped up , that I heard this again – feather your nest. And this time I knew, it had nothing to do with my kitchen! And everything to do with the environment around my kids. I need to place patience and encouragement in my nest in equal measures. And then I need to layer the atmosphere with laughter and love. A soft place to land . The baby birds will not always be in the nest, but they are now. I will do my best to feather it with beautiful things: prayers, and tears, seashells, and river rocks, memories and stories, truth, justice, and grace that leads to kindness. Feathering my nest, taking care of my young.
the power of laughter.
The value of sitting down to a meal with good friends.
The word of God.
Sunshine on your face.
A clean house.
Fresh flowers on your table.
Peace that comes from deep down inside your spirit.
Finding treasures big and small.
Art… Especially if your child created it. This sketch by Isaiah leads me to the next…
Encouragement …. And this is the one I want to talk about. Sitting down with a friend the other night , I opened myself up, took a chance on hearing her say- get over it, move on. It takes strength to be vulnerable , and it took strength for her to lift me up. She spoke to me in a way that breathed life into dry bones. Her encouragement was oil to my brittle places. She reminded me who I am. She gave me courage. I hope you all have a friend that encourages you. Not with empty words, but strong life giving words of power. I worship with words and I get broken, never underestimate the power of someone calling that out in you.
Do not underestimate the power of Holy Week, the goodness goes on an on. His body and blood set aside for us. His crucifixion , love in action. His resurrection , holiness …. revealed.