Watt's Well

Room to Be, Space to Create

Tag: life (page 1 of 2)

Candles upon cake

He does not manage us, to-do list us, or bullet-point us. He loves us. Is with us. And believing him feels impossible, until we do, like a miracle, like lukewarm water turning merlot red right there in the cup. And hope sprouts new, because God doesn’t give us a list. He invites us into the story.

-Emily P. Freeman, A Million Little Ways

This one has felt unusual, like a comma connecting two different ideas.  It doesn’t feel monumental nor extravagant.  But it feels like a pause, a gearing up for another long stride.

It is my birthday.  My personal New Year’s day.

This morning I sat cozily under my nap blanket with a piping hot mug fitting just right in my hands.  I read the quote above by my favorite blogger.  It grabbed me and pulled me in to listen closer.

I tend to look back over my life and compartmentalize seasons.  I shove 2-3 years in a cubby, as those years threaten to come bursting out onto the floor.  Labels hang above each square, generalizing its contents.

Its a system that fails me often, as pieces do not always stay in their proper place.

In a moment of silence this morning, with coffee as my witness.  Thankfulness sprang out of my heart and washed over my head and down to my feet.  Not the kind of washing that comes from emotional hormones or warm fuzzies, yet a washing that comes from the Spirit.

And in a brief moment all of my personal history was strung together in one note.  In one sentence. And this here, this day, feels like one glorious small comma leaving room for what is yet to be written.

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Oils blend, smearing into one another, causing art to appeal to the senses.

Last year I wondered and I desired for what was to come.  All I knew was that change was coming. But this? Different job, pursuing another degree, and regaining old ground in a new way.

Yea, you can’t make this stuff up.

I hadn’t a clue. But He had laid the colors. He took his thumb rubbed it across the canvas and smeared the scene into place.

We live one continuous journey.  All our stories worth telling.

What is He creating in your life?  And are you willing to let Him blend the pieces together in His perfect way?

He is

Me?

I am not self made.  I am uniquely designed, one of a kind.

I am who I am.

Moving from glory to glory.  Oh please, Amen! Amen!

I want to smell of Love and for that there is a cost.

I will gladly take the purging by fire.  Bring it on!  For I was built to withstand!

I will emerge even brighter, ever purer.

I am who I am because he is the great I am.

I am not self made, he brought me forth as his.

Breathed life into these working limbs.  Dreams knitted in this beating heart.

I am because he is I AM.

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Sunday’s Loop

Here we are looping back to Monday again! Who’s ready?!

Some of us are returning from a turkey stuffed vacation and others of us are continuing the norm.  Some of us are reassessing goals for the week, and reseting, hoping those goals do not get lost in hustle.

So from my life to yours…here’s a few fun things for your wind down tonight, before your wind up tomorrow.

  • My Sunday evenings are spent shamelessly eagerly awaiting 8p.  I will gladly admit I am a “oncer”. That’s right I dig my “Once upon a time”.  Heroes, villains, redemption, magic, sappy moments that sometimes make me cry. Not to mention Jennifer Morrison is a total bad ass as a savior.  You can find it from the beginning on Netflix.
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photo credits: abc

  • Audiobook (did I mention this grad school girl is loving the wonderful innovation of audiobooks) of this week and next week: Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes.I do not watch Grey’s nor any of her other shows.  But this book has got me hooked.  She is a fresh captivating writer and storyteller.  She reads the audio version and it has had me dying laughing on more than one occasion.  We might not have the same perspectives, but man I am learning a thing or two. Here is a taste through her TED talk:

  • Experiments with old things becoming new and well…just new things.  Its rare moments when I actually put down the work and books and create something out of thin air.
    I experimented for the first time with chalk and charcoal and I am digging the feel of it and how messy my fingers look after.img_2317-copy

This week, may you kick defeat in the teeth as you choose to be a hero, a good guy, a light giver.

May you dream, but may you ‘do’ in order to achieve your dreams.  After all as Shonda says dreamers end up living in other people’s basements.

May you give your self the liberty to experiment with at least one thing this week. A recipe, a dance, an art medium, or a way you spend time with your kids…doesn’t have to be elaborate, just some form of “mixing it up”. Who knows you might enjoy it.

Peace to you!

31 That’s a wrap!

Whew! I took up the challenge to write 31 days.  By no means did I blog each day for those 31 days.  However, I choose to not quit.

This week’s silence has much to do with the unexpected stressors of life. But in a still moment this weekend, I realize that this gives me life.

This space shared with you is a wonderful adventure.

This empty canvas to paint upon is where my heart is free to express.

If there is one thing I have learned through this challenge it is that I am wired to write.  Some days I would sigh looking at the academic paper I knew I had to write before I allowed myself to write in this place.  Why?

Because my heart was yearning to share with you. It was desiring to create something authentic.

We must feed the artist within, otherwise he slumbers and dies with lost potential.  Between the work hours, the obligations, the housework, the meetings, the school work we must fight to keep the artist alive in us.

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There is a message stored up in each of us.  And listening ears are waiting to hear.  Seeing eyes are waiting to gaze upon the beautiful expression.

What is the message you carry?  What is the artful expression about to explode out of you?

May your unique expression stir so violently in you that you cannot ignore it any longer.  May we be brave to let loose the artist within. And may we take the time to encourage others to not look like anyone but who they were meant to be.

May we reflect the image engraved on our hearts.

Day 28-29:: Simply impactful

I said with obligation, “Hey. How’s it going?”

-Hesitation- And no true answer.

“You’re doing alright?” I say, as if to cue him.

He gives me an honest answer. And I sympathize.

I do not feel much like talking.  Honestly I am only an inch above defeated.  I feel discouraged, not bubbly.

As Benjamin is scanning my grocery items he looks up, “Sorry if this sounds weird, but you seem like a cool person.”

What?! Me?! Does he know who he is talking to?  I had a million reasons up until that point I felt incredibly uncool.  In fact I was feeling lonely and burned out.

Totally uncool like I questioned, “what do you mean? Like calm?” People tell me I am calm all the time.  So if he tells me oh yea that is what I meant, then I have permission to go back to my hole of discouraging thinking.

“No. Cool.”

I was speechless.  Permission denied.  He was so sure.

I walked out of the store, after also not so cool-like asking for the stream of coupons he had behind the counter.  I wanted to cry as soon as the night air hit my face.

He made my night and he’ll never know it.

I had no more reason to wallow in woe-is-me’s because his words pulled me up by my bootstraps in the most unusual of ways.

I was deemed cool.  But it was not that which made tears come to my eyes.  It was because I was seen and encouraged in a moment when I felt unseen and discouraged.

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This happened over a few weeks ago, but it has stuck with me.  His words popped my bubble of stinking thinking.  And for that I was very grateful.

May we choose to rethink how we are thinking this week.  And may we challenge other people to do the same by saying “weird sounding” encouraging statements.  May we reach out, going beyond the norm and hug people with our words.

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 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 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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