There are dry bones and broken places. Yes. And, there is water , and healing enough for all of it. Cupping my hands to drink this morning, getting down low, the spot where I know …. My breath is prayer, and every prayer changes the atmosphere . There is joy in the small, and beauty in the morning routine , three teenagers dressing, eating, asking, arguing , singing, and walking out the door. There is a small wind and sweet smell blowing in my back door. I inhale as deeply as I can…prayer. It’s as still and as loud as it can be , all at once. There is an army rising but the weapons ,and the violence look vastly different than what I imagined. The weapons are tiny seeds planted, and the fighting is as gentle as that breeze blowing in.
There was a time when all I wanted was to be wanted. As the wife, as the mom, as the friend, as the singer, as the writer, as the funny one, the pretty one…
It wasn’t this morning, it’s been occurring morning after morning for a long time. I’ve been waking up wanted . I woke up to the realization of what being wanted translates to for me… It’s being Loved. Big, boldly, with complete abandon , laid down.
I don’t know why it took so long to fully wrap my heart around it. Maybe because love is a journey down a long and winding path, instead of a quick walk across the street. I wish I could go back and tell the girl I was at 14 , that it was all going to be ok, that she was loved by a love so ancient and huge , that time was on her side, and that her love story was being written by the author of the world. Only God knows the beginning and the end. I would tell her then what I know now … You are wanted, you are loved. You always have been. Your name was KNOWN as the foundations of the earth were poured . You there, at the post office, at the elementary school, making lunch , walking down the hall in your highschool, and you there still in your bed….you are wanted.
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!
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.
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.
If you’ve known the heat of God’s heart , if you’ve looked into the fiery eyes of love, then you know… It knows no bounds. Even if you feel like only ashes remain, there is an ember. A slow burning spark. Let the breath of God be the wind that starts the fire burning again. Look out. Women are waking up. We are hearing … Enough is enough …in our spirits, and we refuse to be shut up , or shut down by the voices that speak against us. The darkness that tries to creep in on us and cover the fire is irrelevant in the light of day. The vines that try to grow around my heart and squeeze it silent, are cut away, severed by the sharpest sword of truth. And once again…With the realization of god’s love for me I set out on the road before me, and I plan to blaze a trail.