Watt's Well

Room to Be, Space to Create

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Days 23-25:: Prayer from the table

Traveling sometimes makes writing a bigger challenge.  I find that I do more thinking and less writing.  The writing comes after the journey.

The traveling is more about the experience.  But it is good to get sweet small moments to write in the midst of the travels.

The first part of my journey had a few of these small moments.  These were rich moments but simple.  I truly believe we need those moments to refresh our souls from the hustle.

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Here is a prayer I jotted down one morning.  I modified it just for you in case it would be a place in which you may let out a sigh and take a small moment to reflect and refresh.

Maybe you feel like there is not enough to go around.  You are worn and feel like your basket is empty.  Or maybe you are scared, scared you have nothing to give. Possibly your hungry, starving even, for more than just crumbs.

He is not a frugal God. May your heart be pleasantly surprised this weekend.

Bring me up, Lord, to where you are calling.  Put a song in me to sing.  A harmony so sweet, where you and I can meet.

Grant me today my daily bread.  Let me not forget to feed the hungry and those in need. You will supply me for the day for my needs, and the needs of others.  Help me to give away what you have entrusted to me.  Show me the truly hungry. And teach me to give how you gave.  When you gave and all was said and done there was more than enough.

May it still be true of you through me.

Amen

Day 21-22:: The unruly discipline

Black Balsam’s Knob- Pisgah Forest

Did you know that solitude has been considered a spiritual discipline for quite some time now? 

And to think most of us consider solitude to be a priced possession. One minute without the kids at your heels. A whole hour when the phone is not ringing with business. An uninterrupted lunch break. You name it and claim those in between moments. 

I’ve been hiding away for the past few days.  I was uneasy about making this trip alone.  I was torn because I was desiring some companionship.  Not only desiring it but feeling like it may be something I was needing. 

However I was craving adventure, the kind that I semi plan and semi just fall into. Needless to say, much of my time has been spent in solitude.  

I’ve been watching Holy Spirit fill gaps that need filling and leaving space for some breathing room.  

What I’ve found is solitude feeds the discipline of prayer.  Prayer being both listening and speaking. 

Solitude enhances my hearing. And hearing makes me hungry for more. 

It’s hard to fit solitude into our busy fast paced culture. 

I believe there is a gate to solitude that many people never make it in through, even though they set out to. 

At the gate of solitude there are travelers’ packs, weapons, walking sticks, and even some shoes.  At the gate of solitude we are invited to take off our armor and for the brave, our self-sufficiency.  Many turn and walk away clinging to their possessions broken-hearted they could not enter without them. It’s a shedding of pride and defensiveness at the gate. But for those who leave their belongings, accepting the invitation to enter, they themselves are sending out their own invitation.  “Come do what you want to do. Here I am.  Listening. Waiting.”

Day 19-20:: Break for fall

Yesterday the final script for me was my eyes batting off sleep as my head was a bit achy from the weekly overload.

Some days my head gets so full that it literally feels like built up pressure.  I look in the mirror waiting for the stem to spit out of my ears.

But it never does.

At moments, I want to be able to tilt my head over and shake some of the memos, thoughts, to-dos, expectations out of my head.

Still, it does not work.

Maybe my brain will become so full that it’ll start oozing out my ears. Tragic I am sure. But the pressure will be released.

Debunked. Only in my craziest imagination.

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This week I gave myself a break from some things that have become tedious and tasked for this season.

Besides some scribbled in appointments and a very rough check list, the pages of my planner stayed blank.  Its wonderful to have this tool in this season.  But it is just that, a tool, necessary for sanity.  Im not the cutesy planner chick.  Im the spur-of-the-moment afraid-of-committing-free-flowing kind of girl.

I gave myself permission not to plan out my days to a T this week.

I’ll admit it…I wore the same outfits a couple times this week. Outfit planning did not take my time.  I looked nice, not like I slept in a stable or anything.

I gave myself permission to be simple.

Seeing that the surf was going to be above par, I set the alarm the night before for early o’clock.  I woke reluctantly but soon excitement stirred.  The sunrise was breath-taking. Absolutely worth waking to see the rays kissing the waves.  A friend and I hung in the water until the world woke up.

I gave myself permission to be spontaneous and do something I love.

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I know this will not be my new norm.  My planner will be full of colorful markings and check lists.  Not all mornings will allow a spontaneous sunrise surf.

But I am still gleaning from a valuable perspective because I gave myself permission to do some things a bit differently this week.

I can appreciate certain disciplines more. Some disciplines even have become second nature. I saw where adjustments need to be made to take care of myself better.

Maybe your soul could use the break from a couple of tasks in your life.

Are you willing to give yourself permission to step away for a couple days from the to-do list, the planning, or whatever may be needing to air out a bit?

This is not time to have this big introspective ahh ha moment.  It is literally permission for a break.  The ahh ha moment may come and it may not, but do not force it.

Just break for fall.

Day 17-18:: Lowcountry Lights

The time of year where the sun shines different and the moon makes an early appearance.

Mountains with their orange, yellows, and ambers whisper a subtle invite of get-a-way adventure.

Tea time comes earlier in the evenin’ under orange sky and brisk air.

Kitchens smell of cinnamon and spice as the oven toasts the baker’s cheeks.5FF40FEC-DF68-45B2-A051-B4230D397017.JPG

Mornings clothe the jogger in a jacket, yet noon day reminds him of summer’s end.

Rows of pumpkins strewn out for the picking, artists awaiting their canvas.

Sea breeze feels crisp as the shoreline runs with a promising break.

Farmers take their last pick and make their beds for another prize.

Leaves crunch under stout young men’s feet as they wrestle to the ground.

Rains pause for a brief moment, suspended in clouds until looming frigid months.

Chocolate covered sticky hands are wiped on levi’s before mom can wipe up the mess.

IMG_0539.JPGTired eyes fall asleep as embers fade, smokey perfume lingering ’til mornin’

Neighbors huddled around picnic tables shuckin’ and sharing a beer.

Pecans fought for as squirrels scamper and grandmas whisk.

Porches fill with friendly faces, hammocks hang from palms with bundled beans swinging.

Poured over with gravy shrimp lay on fluff, served morning and night.

‘Tis the time of year the light hits the Lowcountry on her softer side.

 

 

 

Day 15-16:: A mirror like no other

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.

-Albus Dumbledore

One of my favorite quotes of all Harry Potter history.  And yet, not one of my favorite realities.

If you are unfamiliar with the story, let me fill you in on this golden bit of it.  I believe we can learn something from the encounter that unfolds.

In the book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, roaming around school at night, Harry comes across a mirror like no other.

The Mirror of Erised curiously startles him at first as figures are shown in the mirror that in real life are not standing beside him.  He becomes enamored by the mirror as he recognizes the other figures to be his deceased family who he never got to meet.  In the reflection he sees his mother and father, of whom he has always longed for their affection.

On night, Harry plops on the floor in front of the mirror with all intent of remaining there for the night staring at the reflection of his parents. Dumbledore appears interrupting these plans.  He comes to sit with Harry to explain the mirror’s mystery.

Dumbledore explains that it is a mirror that shows the deepest desires of the beholder’s heart.  And he warns that many have wasted away before the mirror staring into the reflection, not knowing if what it reflects is real or possible.

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.”

Somedays all I would like more is to sit on that floor in front of my own Mirror of Erised, staring at dreams and desires.

I am a dreamer.  A creative.  A thinker.  My imagination has color.

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But then there is the nitty-gritty of the process in fulfilling dreams.  And sometimes I just frown at the process.  But the process is where the living happens.

I heard someone say that God is not so caught up in our destination as much as he is concerned about our journey.

There is a tension between dreaming and walking towards those dreams.  Walking towards the dreams requires tenacity, hard work, support, and feeling uncomfortable.

We get nowhere by sitting in front of our mirrors.  It may feel like the safest place, but we will surely waste away there.

It takes bravery and sometimes risk to walk towards our dreams.  It’s scary at times.  It seems impossible, especially when insecurity comes creeping.

But it is living.

It is worth it.

There in the journey of working out our dreams and desires, is where we experience life.  The good news is we do not have to journey alone. Holy Spirit joins us every step of the way, and we can lean into that reality.IMG_1289.JPG

May we bravely step forward trusting He is for us, and that the desires of our hearts will be realized as we walk day by day.

Day 14:: Sunday’s Loop

So maybe you are like me and every once in a while you desire to wander in the pages other people are reading, videos others are watching, musings people are writing.

Maybe you are in search of something to wander into and get a bite of insight, a laugh, or an inspirational insight to chew on.  Here is a list of a few things I’ve been getting into lately.

  • With a paint brush as a bookmark–why I don’t know, but finding it rather fitting–I am very slowly, oh so slowly, reading Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster.  Today’s take away:

To pray is to change. Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us. If we are unwilling to change, we will abandon prayer as a noticeable characteristic of our lives. The closer we come to the heartbeat of God the more we see our need and the more we desire to be conformed to Christ. William Blake tells us that our task in life is to learn to bear God’s “beams of love.”  How often we fashion cloaks of evasion–beam-proof shelters–in order to elude our Eternal Lover.  But when we pray God slowly and graciously reveals to us our hiding place, and sets us free from them.

  • Ran across this treasure today.  It was a sweet convicting reminder that it is worth it to continue on to feel better.  Some days require music and movement in order to shake the blues and remain present.  Check it out:

A Two-Step Formula for Feeling Better When I’m Down by Aimee Kollmansberger

  • Master’s student who loves to read multiple books at a time, none of which are textbooks…welcome the invention of audiobooks!  You’d think I’d have caught on to this by now. Nope.My current listen: Brené Brown’s Rising Strong.  But as of today, I have a list waiting for these ears 🙂

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    • This next post got me.  It stuck with me this week, almost as if it was an invitation into the scene.  Thankful for this friend and writer.  If you are looking for wit, humor, raw honesty, and the moments we overlook in life, I dare you to explore more on this blog.  Read slowly and enjoy.Haiku by Septemberwisteria
    • Need some music to move to this week?  I am so looking forward to digging into Johnnyswim’s new album “Georgia Pond”.  I saw them last year here in the Holy City and they teased us with this song.  So happy it made the cut:

Here’s to a new week! May you face it boldly, with every intention of tackling moments with passion and inspiration.

Peace.

Day 12-13:: Dimly

Its been a battle to keep my head above the stinkin’ thinkin’ water line the past couple of days.

Did you see what I just wrote there?  That has a lot to do with the issue at hand.  Maybe you did not catch the subtle implied meaning.  It’s been my battle to keep my head above…

A sinking person trying to save themselves…hmm…something just does not add up.

The Lord extends his hand willingly to pull me up out of the water, I just must recognize that he does so.

We can get so wrapped up in making things happening, taking control, putting out fires, planning.  Before we know it we are in over our heads, desperately needing a break from the hustle, the anxiety, the competing, the demands.

See his hand?

He sees it all.

He sees beyond our current situation.  We feel like it is the biggest deal in the world.  But to Him it is a pinpoint in our story.  A moment he desires to be present with us.

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He sees it all.  But we see dimly.

We cannot make out the future, we cannot control it neither.  Our present we only speculate about.

I love how in the book of John, the author says that the disciples did not understand what Jesus was speaking about until after his resurrection.  The disciples could not even grasp what was going on in the current moment.  It was not until much later that they understood the significance of Jesus’ words.

I’ve been there.  I’ve not understood why things look a certain way only to see later how God was moving in me and around me.

He sees it all.  And there He is reaching out his hand.

This weekend, may we find His hand being extended to us as one that is trustworthy, stable, and strong.

Day 11:: The middle, man!

“The middle is messy”, Brené Brown speaks of the grit of our processes, “but it’s also where the magic happens.”

Honestly for me the middle is often times frustrating.

As I sat on the dock tonight, drinking a beer, and brain dumping on to my journal pages, I noticed the dock needed some work.  My mind wandered over thoughts of pressure washing it, building a new bench table, staining the dock.  Of course, I realistically reeled my thoughts in.  I am just a renter.  Then I recalled shamelessly, the countless other projects I have yet to finish.

Once upon a time, that dock was not there.  All there was in that space was marsh and open water.  No rusty worn out bench, no place to tie off a crab pot, no lights, no piles to hammock from.  The dock did not appear out of nowhere.  One day nonexistent, then next inviting to be ventured out on.

There was a middle.

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Building a dock is quite the undertaking.  You are placing piles into ewwy gooey pluff mud.  This alone takes the right machinery and for most people, the right skilled technician. Then there is the carpentry behind each and every board, the electrical behind the switches and the lights, and the list goes on.  Even before any of this, there has to be approval from the “gods of the local tidal ways”.

Sounds perfectly straight forward.  Easy. One days planning, one days work. Absolutely not!

Sounds a lot like most of my seasons.  There is work.  There are zigzag patterns I walk.  I hit obstacles.  I want to give up, but the vision keeps pushing me forward.

As you and I wrestle in this season, may we remember the middle is messy. May we take a step outside our situation for just long enough to see that there were other seasons.  We entered and left those seasons, but between the beginning and the end there was an emotionally charged middle.

If we can get that perspective the frustration, the negativity, or whatever else we may be experiencing is transformed into forward moving hope.

May we have the strength and courage to walk out the middle with confidence, faith, and security.

He is good.  He is for us.  He will deliver us.  He is waiting for us to ask: “God what are you doing right here in this moment”.

Day 9:: The wolves

I stumbled upon this neat little video this evening.  It was a subtle reminder to me and felt it fit well here on Day 9.

 

What we “feed” is what we reflect.

What struck me the most is that which we try to ward off and wage war against often times increases.  There is something to be said about letting things go.  For me, the art of letting go often entails an honest confession before a very understanding Father. What about you?

My we deal the rest of the week with each wolf appropriately, so that we may gain a greater awareness of ourselves.

 

Day 8:: To see the shells

Seeing the pictures of sharks teeth and beautiful shells littered on the beach in the wake of the storm has encouraged me to make it my goal to walk barefoot on the shore this week in search of treasures.

Barefoot Honest, unrestricted, open, feeling.

Sounds inviting to me.  I had a moment today…not a melt down moment…not a heroic moment…more like a tender moment.  A barefoot moment.

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In worship, I burst through the fog swirling in my head.  In honest worship, that kind that comes from your gut.  Worship that pulled me to a higher plane, to see above my current state.

Barefoot. 

All I know is that with that moment, I realized my feet have been cramped in my shoes for too many days.

Time to kick of the shoes and take a slow “walk”.  My particular walk involved sitting indian-style on the floor, eyes closed, soaking up His goodness.

“Not enough time” can be a wicked lie.  When all it takes sometimes is a few minutes to get this heart aligned and for peace to sink where anxiety had a foothold.

Barefoot.

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I am unearthing a couple practices to help me live more moments barefoot.  One that you might find interesting as well is Centering Prayer.  What practices are helpful for you to reflect and center yourself?

 

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