Go Gently …

She was audacious and impulsive. Not the reckless kind of wild you might imagine, but more the kind of just passionately seeking to live to her fullest and embrace every opportunity.
She saw margin as something that needed to be pushed, gently but insistently, as if life itself depended upon it.
She was determined and tenacious; steadfast and strong willed; purposeful and resolute,
yet kind and gentle; sensitive and generous; endearing and precious.
She was bold, adventurous and brave.
Hindrances were not struggles, but simply opportunities to press in, overcome or get creative.
She was so much in one tiny package and on this particular day, this tiny three year old of mine was pushing all my “non adventurous” mom buttons.
Yeah. Three. LOL

This girl has grown up into one amazing woman because all these character traits turned out to be wonderful strengths and leader qualities, but on this particular day, this particularly overwhelmed, stressed out Mama, thought this particularly beautiful 3 year old,
was maddening!

We had been out for an afternoon of errands and everywhere we went, Anna had to explore. She had to investigate and argue and sow her seeds of strong will. Grocery stores became endless possibilities of foods she wanted to try.
Office supply stores looked like creative art centers.
Shoe stores were wild explorations of style, demanding cowboy boots “53” times too big just because “Dey will fit me when me a big girl!”

The drive home was no better.
Her “pitch” began; not loud, not screaming, not a fit, but an earnest plea with the kind of whine that only 3 year old little girls know how to do.
You know that kind, don’t you Mama of baby girl toddlers… You know.
Answering every whine and pitch with replies of explanation, rationalization and argument, I tried to reason with a 3 year old.

That’s it. I’d had it!
I hit the brakes and pulled the van over.
Throwing it into park I looked in the rear view mirror and near tears, hollered “THAT’S IT Anna! I’ve had enough. I’ve asked you to behave all day!!” Immediately her little arms threw up in the air and looking to the ceiling,
she replied with equal passion, “ME JUST DON’T KNOW WHO HAAAAAAVE IS!!!!”
And with that, this precious being of mine, burst into tears herself…evidently, she’d “had it” too.
Stunned, I couldn’t even reply.
OH my gosh.
She didn’t’ know who “HAVE” was.
In my own frustration, I had been asking her to “BE- HAVE”, this unknown person, all day and she didn’t know how! She didn’t know that “person” named Have. She couldn’t understand how I’d expect her to be that when she had no idea who that was!

I can laugh now 21 years later. LOL But then? I wasn’t laughing. I was stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated and legit – I can remember it was during a time when so much was going on in my marriage, our life, our finances… and more.
I can hear my words all day long.
“Anna, put that notebook back. Would you just BE- HAVE.”
“Anna! NO! You can’t have that bag of grapes! BE- HAVE!”
“Anna, I know you love them, but they won’t fit you until you’re Mama’s size. Now put them back. I’ve asked you twice, now just BE HAVE!”

Here’s the lesson I can bring with me though even this many years down the road and… Mama in the trenches? Yes you … I want to share it with you now.
Isaiah 40:11.
“He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs in his arms;
He will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”

Mama. Can you let that verse hug your tender heart?
It’s going to be ok.
You’re going to get frustrated.
You’re going to be overwhelmed. You’re going to do things “wrong”. You’re going to feel like you messed up and yes, those little buggers are going to push all your buttons;
but Sis,
He will carry them, He’s going to hug them to His bosom safely when you’re feeling like running to your closet and barricading yourself in there with a cell phone, candy bar and tissue box…
and maybe even what’s more to your tender, weary heart right now is this:
He will gently lead you.
He sees you in that closet, proverbial or not, and He’s not going to leave you there.
He tends to your mother’s heart just as passionately as he tends to your babies themselves.
You.
You’re precious to Him too and He sees you.
He will lead you gently, so go gently on yourself too Mama. Go Gently.

It’s ok to grow “quietly”

I have a favorite tree.

I call it the Sentinel.
It’s huge and towering , stationed at the very end of our property, up a rolling field and at the top of a hill; standing guard; watching; observing; challenging any who might stray on to the property or any who may try to harm the land.
I love that tree.
In fact, I love it so much, I almost always just look at it. When I come out of my home my eyes go straight to it. When I pull up the drive, my eyes are drawn to it. Floating around the pool, mowing the yard, tending the chickens, walking the dogs, giving treats to the horses, sitting on my porch… I always look at it. And love it. It’s in the center of every sunset, it’s dark silhouette striking; unwavering; formidable’ strong; demanding to be seen.

Have I mentioned I love this tree?
LOL
I do. I love watching it in all the seasons. Glorious is all of them.

But recently, I noticed another tree. It’s next to the Sentinel. And now that I’ve seen it, I can’t believe I never saw it till now!  When did that tree grow? How did it get to be so big and yet remain unnoticed for so long? Obviously it’s been there growing for some time. Obviously… but man, how’d I miss it?

And it made me think… in some seasons, it’s ok to grow “quietly”.
All this time it’s been there. And I haven’t noticed. The Sentinel “spoke” loudly. The Sentinel demanded attention. The Sentinel captured my eye and my heart and my love.

And all the while, “Little Tree” was there.
Silent in her growth. A whisper of a sprout , maturing and progressing quietly.
She went unnoticed. Unseen. Undetected.
And she went through seasons just the same … quietly, softly, unassumingly.
Gaining her ground, firming her roots; standing taller and straighter and more purposeful herself … just quietly,
flourishing.
Until one day, the Sentinel’s shadow was outgrown.. and she made her debut. 

She can’t be unseen now.
She used her season of silence to become a beauty all her own.
She used her quiet growth to mature herself, firm herself and root herself.
She used her time unseen, to develop a beauty all her own,

and now that I’ve seen her.
I can’t unsee her
And while she is not a Sentinel… it’s not her job; Her position or Her purpose…
She is a queen.

And I love her.

Hey Friend.
Let your unseen season… grow you. Go deeper. Root further. Stand firmer.
RISE taller.

You’re a Daughter of the King. You’re a Queen. Your silent season is not for naught.

 

#whatdoesyourheartneedtohear? YOU WERE BUILT FOR THIS!

What does your heart need to hear?

YOU WERE BUILT FOR THIS.

I was blessed enough to be able to go to RISE conference in Minnesota this year. Rachel Hollis is a wild fire and man, that girl can speak to your heart and make you get honest and intentional with yourself in ways many can’t. And she does it from a place of faith, un-apologetically and raw. And I learned so much…About myself. About my why. About purpose. And about love … however, it was something that her husband Dave Hollis said that hit me deep. I actually went into this conference with a prayer that it would grow me in ways that would draw me deeper to Jesus and his purpose for me. And it did.

Insert Dave Hollis’s speech, and this quote he used:

“A ship is safe at harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for.”

It struck a chord. And the chord sounded off key at first. Like one that doesn’t get played often. Like one that has a part of it out of tune. Like one that needed some attention.
So, I gave it attention. The spirit within me kept pointing to it… and I haven’t been able to let go of it.

It’s music is starting to sound sweeter. But it didn’t at first.

Mannnn…

At first.

And for awhile…

It was awful

and unpleasant

and I was afraid it would never sound sweet…

I started playing it more tho. “It” being that truth that Dave’s speech hit. The Truth that… gulp… I liked the harbor. The truth that I was made for more, but had come to love the safety of an anchor and a sea wall and the company of other “ships”, who embraced with me, the comfort zone of harbor.

That was the chord.

It’s called “I’ve settled”.

It’s called , “I’m comfortable”.

It’s called, “Lukewarm”.

It’s called , “Afraid to pursue”.

It’s called, “I don’t believe in myself”.

It’s called, “FEAR”.

And I didn’t like it.

That truth sounded like a terrible tune but I forced myself to lean into it.
If you don’t like a truth about yourself, if you don’t like the tune of a chord, if the music of your life isn’t sounding pretty…

Change it.

Decide that’s not the song you want playing in your head!!!
As I leaned in to try to hear it’s true tune, with each strum, it whispered more and more loudly, the real.. underlying truth I needed to hear. I needed to remember:

Girl. FEAR is keeping you in the harbor… But you’re built for more.

Believe– YOUUUUuuuuu were built for “THIS”!

Write it down, speak it out loud, place it in all the places you look … but also… HEAR it.

Every time you read it, every time you speak it, every time you see it… HEAR it and believe it.

This call, this dream, this goal, this purpose, is placed in you by your Creator and He equips you for it!

Stay in the harbor and be safe. Play off key and out of tune.

Or

Leave the safety of the sea walls and go to the deep and hear a symphony.

C’mon girl. You were “built” for this.

Like I said, my goodness how I’ve been revisiting this thought over and over since conference. It’s a hard truth I’ve had to make myself face. I’m a ship. Built for more but anchored at harbor.

Let’s dive into that.. it’s raw. But I think some of you may relate, so here I go with some transparency.

I’m afraid.

I like the harbor.

The other pretty ships and vessels bob and sway and stay safe at anchor, close by, like good friends who are gonna be there… even tho they are there because they are afraid too.

And hey, you know what, even if a storm does arise, you’re so close to shore, you can abandon ship and get to the safety of land, right?  I mean abandoning ship is finnnnne if it looks like it’s in danger of sinking, right?

 

Ugh. I don’t like admitting this. I don’t like confessing the “off tune chord” of, I like the comfort of “LOOKING” like a seaworthy vessel but am too afraid to sail. I can’t stand that I’m saying out loud that this “harbor life” is a comfort zone I don’t want to leave.  I don’t like disclosing that truth that I’m afraid of the deep. I’m anxious over sailing into a calling that is over my head, away from my security of shore and company of “likeminded” ships and that perhaps scary things may arise out there that look a lot like circling sharks, big waves and fierce storms I can’t handle. I hate that music.

 

Yuck.
I don’t like that girl. I don’t like that song.

That’s the girl that believes the lie. That’s the girl that gets in agreement with who she used to be. That’s the girl that looks at a past that tried to define her, and instead of believing for more… she believes what was. That’s the girl that lets all the fear that poured into her from childhood, keep her anchored to the thing that weighs her down. Thats the girl that lets the enemy storm the battlefield that her God has already won.
So , I’m not playing that tune anymore. I refuse. I’m not staying in harbor any longer than I have to. I’m sailing into deep waters… with my Creator

Because:
I was built for this.
I was made for more.

I was created on purpose for purpose

and, girl… so where you.

Here’s where we decide. Here’s where we don’t just AGREE, but rather, GET IN AGREEMENT with this truth: What you were made for… you are equipped for.

If you’re as ship, baby, you’re made to sail.
You might feel like hiding in safety. You may like the comfort of harbor. You may not mind an off key chord now and again… but the truth is, if you’re not walking in your calling. If you don’t sail into the deep, you’re only keeping yourself anchored to things that weigh you down. Things like your past, friends who are going nowhere too, opinions of other people, those attempts you made that failed, that insignificance you feel, that debt that whispers unworthy, that mistake that seems like a brand, that voice that says you’re incapable, ill equipped and not “sea worthy”… Those things are in the harbor and they feel “safe” because we know them. They feel safe because we know what to expect with them. They feel safe because we know how to drift with them. But they really… just have you anchored. Weighed down. Unable to sail into your purpose and dream.  That anchored is tied to an enemy of your soul who is bound and determined to keep you anchored.

Cut yourself loose.

Hoist anchor

Set your eyes to the Sea…  go deep. There are scary things there, but also, there are some of the most amazing and beautiful things waiting for you there too because that’s what you were built for… navigating those things to get to the deep and beautiful things you can’t find or give, in harbor.

You were made for more friend. You are built for more. And so was I.
What does your heart need to hear?

I think it needs to hear that you are built for this.
“This” dream you have. This goal you set. This purpose you see. This idea you develop. This plan that looks promising. This desire you crave…
Was set in you before the beginning of time by your Creator and you were MADE FOR “This”!
It’s not just in you to want it, it’s OK to want it. And that makes it more than ok to “sail” after it.
You were built for it.

 

Write it down.

The Mask of “Fine”

Hey #sisterfriends. I’m talkin to you today.

Specifically,
You.
The one who’s “fine.”

“I’m so glad we can be “fine” together.

And by “fine”…

I mean “un-fine”. It’s what our hearts need to hear, I think.

It’s a thing, you know…

this being un-fine.

It’s is a courageous deep breathe to continue on,
among the hard things,
through the unfair things,
in the in-between messy things,
and amidst all the hurtful, betraying things.

Those things.
Those very real, very icky things.

It’s is a nod to the vulnerability that the messiest of messes leave you feeling. Yeah.”I got this”.. when really. You just sorta do.

You recognize it.
Acknowledge it. Are aware of it. Of All the UN “ness” of it.

But,

You refuse to allow that “UN-ness” full access. Full access is shut down, and it’s not where we go when we’re “FINE”.

Instead, it’s a straightening of the will, a beckoning to the spirit, a resonating voice of power that keeps you from succumbing, and a conviction that you are stronger than you realize.

It’s a warrior thing.

It is.

It’s the brave pursuit, when the exhaustion has set in and the weariness is real.

It’s the heroic resolve to weather a storm and walk wounded.

It’s a neatly packaged story, full of very untidy pieces of ourselves that have been tumbled and turned and have been fired in the sacred furnace of “even if”.

It’s often a gaping and bleeding place, raw and seeping, but you can rest assured, no one will see through the perfect covering you’ve adorned.
It’s like an invisibility cloak, and the only ones who can even see the one you wear, are the others, who also, bravely wear one.

I see you my “fine” friend. Our “Un-fine- “ness” is bonding. My cloak has connected with yours and there is no need for conversation beyond that one word speaking volumes with no other uttered syllables…

“Fine.”

I get it.

And I just want you to know …
You’re in “good” company.
In fact, you’re in a safe place,
a sisterhood that embraces all the things NOT SAID with an understanding and compassion of a fellow soldier.

I’m blessed to be “un-fine” with you.

This “un fine” is not weakness… it’s tenacious, steady, determined and unmistakably powerful.

And friends,

I promise you…

When I see your cloak coming off in my presence,

I will always be authentic too.

I will always be present and feel with you, understanding even when I don’t exxxxaccctly understand… and I’ll make you know that you’re valued.
And I promise,
I will not rushed to leave your hurt. So many people do that, don’t they? It’s stripping and leaves me feeling unwanted and undervalued in soo many ways. I’ll make your hurt matter to me. Because it does. And hey… If I miss it? Because lets be real.. I can miss things sometimes…Let me know? K? I’ll humbly say sorry and rush back to help you heal.
But mostly.. I’ll try not to miss it. Promis.

I will be encouraging, not trying to “fix” anything or give you answers,until you want them or need them – but simply enter in to a posture that enlivens you, comforts you, supports you and empowers you, embraces all your “UN – ness” – because I have all those dwelling alcoves my “UN ness” likes to take up residence in too.

Above all…

I will be planted in Christ and help you remember that HE is where your roots are too.

We’re fine. REALLY.
We’re fine.
You know what I mean.
I know what you mean too.

So,
I see you “warrior”.
I hear the hurt.
I recognize the effort. Mannnn , it’s effort. I know.

And Sister…
Let me just say,
I’m proud of you.
I’m proud of you for taking those things you keep inside and let them not become the things that break you , even when they weary you.

Can we just make that “UN-fine” pact right now? The one that says even when our conversations want to halt and we put FINE at the end of them like a period…
even when we usher in all the feelings that feel like the beginning of nothing or
the start of no good thing…
that we at least agree with each other
that we can let each other in.
It can be quietly.
It can be just a toe in the crack of a doorway trying to slam shut… but let it be a toe.
At least.
Let’s keep each other “in”.

We need each other.
Warriors don’t fight alone- we fight side by side.
And if by some chance a sister does start to fade into the background, disappear from the front, get quiet in the fray… we go looking for her.
Let’s not let our fellow warriors go missing.
FINE doesn’t get to do that to us when we pay attention to one another. Keep you a few of those people , those sisters, who find you when you go missing… because those gals? They understand FINE too.

right?

RIGHT?

Let’s re-define FINE!
Let’s give it a medal. Let’s set it on a mantel. Let’s parade it down main street. Let’s not let it become lost in no man’s land of “UN- Fine.”
We earn this in hard ways.
Let’s decide it’s a badge of valor!

Unmask it. Wear it with courage. And #sisterfriend, help “her” wear hers too.

K?

Updated Page

Happy Monday #sisterfriends, and some Dudes!

Just popping on here real quick like, to let you know that I’ve updated the jBloom page!
Click on Menu from your cell phone ( that’s those three little horizontal lines near the cover photo) and you can select from all the pages.

If you’re on a computer, just look at the Titles under that cover photo and click on them.

cool?

Cool.

Thanks for visiting!  I’m looking forward to sharing another “real” post, later this week! If you have a minute, go check out the “Marathoners” post… and share it! Plus, I’d love some feedback. New blogger jitters and all , ya know!

Marathons

via Marathons

Hahha  😂

Newbie alert! (NooB)

#beginners101

I’m experimenting with the  “press this” button to see how it works,

but because I was confused, I experimented on my own post first! (Wisdom people, wisdom)

Lol

Seems it takes whatever blog post you’re reading , and enters it into your own blog, so you can then write about it or draw attention to it or comment on it…

sooooo

Good news! If you LOVE my post “Marathoners” , for example, and you have a blog… you can select “press this” and write about it on your own blog with a direct link to mine!

And

i get to approve them, sooo… that’s cool!

 

Learning =‘s winning!