Sunday, September 14, 2014

Here's Your Assignment........Be Still.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I'm stealing the words below from a girl named Sarah Bessey.....because these could have been my words had I had the ability to write so eloquently.  And when I opened my inbox and read her words the other day, I found myself knowing exactly what she was going to say next......

You see, living where we do, God has graced me with peace....

He has opened my eyes and is teaching me to close my mouth......

And life is sweeter now.....although harder in many He has brought me to a place where I can take a full, deep breath......

Friends, I challenge you to do will change your life.

Sarah Bessey:

"Find a bit of water to look at, it doesn’t have to be much. Maybe a pond, a lake? if you’re really lucky, find the ocean. But go there alone at sunset. I know it seems indulgent and impossible – that’s because it is. But every once in a while, the best way to keep moving through your life is do something that seems impossibly kind for your own soul.

So go. Alone. Late in the day.

Leave behind the book. Leave behind your prayer journal. Leave behind the notebooks and schedule planning. Leave behind the mobile phone – if you’re in a good spot, there won’t be any reception anyways.

And here is your assignment: sit down and watch the water.

That’s exactly it.

Sit in silence at the edge of the water and learn to be satisfied.

This is the tricky part when your life is full with good and necessary and hard things, I know. Your mind will jump around from thing to thing to thing. You’ll feel guilty and then you’ll feel indolent. You’ll feel like time has slowed down.

You’ll start to think that you need to make this time “count” for God and so you’ll start to formally pray in the ways that you were taught to pray – stop that. Then you’ll want to journal or read that God-book you’ve been meaning to get to because you think you really need to grow spiritually and the only way to do that is to try harder. You’ll get restless. You’ll think of all the Things You Should Be Doing. You’ll feel twitchy perhaps. Then you’ll remember how when you were a kid you used to be able to just be in a place without compulsively needing to check text messages or chase around getting things done, and you’ll think I didn’t used to be so fragmented and urgent.

Be silent and watch the water. Do one thing right now and do it with your whole self.

Prayer will come, it just might look a bit different than you expect. Rest will come to your mind, you have to wait for it in patience, this isn’t the province of multi-taskers. The middle distance of your mind will rise up and envelope you in an exhale just as the sun sinks begins to move towards the horizon. You’ll start to notice life as it is happening in that moment and this might begin to feel in your body like how poetry is meant to sound.

A fish will fly up out of the water and return, leaving only a ring of circles going further and further out to every shore. You’ll see a bird and try to figure out what kind it is – a heron? look at that elegant neck – swooping down low over the water heading for the reeds. You’ll see dragonflies swooping and after a few times, you won’t duck in a cringe anymore. You’ll watch the clouds drift and the water move and the sun sink and your soul will begin to stretch out into the space left open. 

This is not only what you need – this is what you want, what you desire and even those are sacred things at times. Before you know it, your hands will find a spot to rest and your breath will slow down.

Become acquainted with the silence in your own soul, you might be surprised by the sound of you. 

Sometimes you might rise up in gratitude and thanksgiving, other times the pain you’re finally allowing yourself to feel might overwhelming, sometimes your soul feels like worship and sometimes this feels like encountering a stranger – do I know you? Then sometimes it might simply feel like a good friend you haven’t seen in far too long and you’ll think to yourself, why don’t I do this more often?  

Let the sun set over the water. Be baptized in the gracious last light of the day, the satisfied light. Close your eyes and feel the light against your darkness, warming you.

When the sun has disappeared, the light remains. And when the night sinks down in shades of indigo and navy blue, you’ll be ready to be friends with the night and the silence, and hopefully with your own soul at last. The first star of the evening will appear at last like a benediction for the patient.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My Home Is In Heaven

September 3, 2014

"My Home is in Heaven; I'm just traveling through this world."
Billy Graham

No truer words were ever spoken.

As we drove south out of Ouray, Colorado heading home a few days ago, I must admit I was desperately sad to be leaving this place I've come to love over the years.  The beauty and the sheer "Heavenliness" of it.

And as I watched it disappear out my rearview mirror, I found myself pulling my head out of the sand that I have been hiding it in for awhile now.

The truth is, this trip was hard on Chuck.  Very hard.  There....I said it.  I've been putting off typing those words on the screen for 30 minutes now.  And I've been putting off pulling my head out of that proverbial sand for longer than that.  He never once complained, but it showed on his showed in his legs....and it more than broke my heart to see him struggling so.

This man I fell in love with 20 years ago....who battles daily and hourly with Multiple Sclerosis......and who is now battling Congestive Heart Failure and recently an Aortic Aneurysm we found out he has days before leaving for Colorado, stands tall despite a failing body....smiles at everyone he meets......and rode in a tight Jeep to and from Colorado for 36 hours because he loves me......because he knew how desperately I wanted to see Colorado again....BECAUSE HE'S A GOOD GUY.

"Grow STRONG in your WEAKNESS.  
Some of My children I've gifted with abundant strength and stamina.  
Others, like you, have received the humble gift of frailty.  
Your fragility is not a punishment, nor does it indicate lack of faith.  
On the contrary, weak ones like you must live by faith, depending on Me 
to get you through the day.  
I am developing your ability to trust Me, to lean on Me, 
rather than on your understanding.  
This is how you grow STRONG in your WEAKNESS.
(Jesus Calling, August 31)

To see our last 1-minute trailer of leaving Ouray, click here: