being real…

beingrealbutton

I sat down this morning and asked myself…why does one write?
Why do I have this space, who even reads it (um…not many) and does it really matter if anyone reads it?
How does my writing transform when I write for an audience of one
not to gain an audience?

I have this page here called “blogging upside down” and it is a prayer borrowed from A Holy Experience. I see that page heading and I wonder if I really even pray that prayer? I don’t even read it often.

I have a card in my Bible that is a prayer card with these words by Richard Foster…
By the authority of almighty God, I surround myself with the light of Christ, I cover myself with the blood of Christ and I seal myself with the cross of Christ. All dark and evil spirits must leave. No influence is allowed to come near to me but that it is first filtered through the light of Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.
and on top of that card is a reminder to pray this before writing-studying-praying.

But I don’t do those things. Why? Because I feel like I’ve got this space under control. This space doesn’t need anymore of God than the words that come to my while I’m typing now. But that is so untrue.

While reading this morning in Paul Miller’s book The Praying Life (which is fantastic by the way), I was reminded of this…
we pray not for an answer
we pray not merely out of obedience
we pray not because it’s a discipline to master
we pray because we are helpless – we pray in and through our helplessness.
My act of not praying for this space (or anything else I find needless to pray for) is a response that I have it all together or that it isn’t “worthy” of prayer.
There is not one aspect of my life that doesn’t warrant prayer.
None.

Prayer is an expression of who we are…” ~ P. Miller
and my prayers (or lack) are an expression of how deceived I am with the control I have over my life.

I long to move myself from the story I am trying to write of my life
into the reality of the great epic that God is writing and unfolding.
That begins with prayer.
Even in a miniscule place such as this.

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a new series

beingrealbutton

An introduction: Not that I’m not “real” when I write on other days, but there was something (probably rather someone) prompting me to start a new series in this space that forces me to write about things that I might not otherwise. Thoughts, struggles, worries or joys that otherwise would go unpublished. That said…I hate pictures of myself which is why I made this button. It’s me being real and that is what I hope you will find in this space.
So here goes.

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If you have read any of my posts in the last month you will know that I’ve recently had surgery. It was a surgery that had been scheduled in June and yet was something we didn’t really share too much publicly. I waited a long time before I even mentioned the word “surgery” in the web world at all. I never mentioned it on facebook to friends until most recently when I wrote this post. And while I felt strongly that I needed to share that post, hitting publish was totally freaky.

But what I haven’t really shared is this: I had a hysterectomy. This is where the “real” comes in. I’ve struggled with that word. When people have asked what is going on and I’ve shared I had surgery…I’ve whispered that word. There are certain crowds of people in my life I haven’t even wanted to say that word. It is a word that can make a room go silent. Nobody knows what to say.
And honestly, I’m not here to tell you what to say.
But what’s been coursing through my head these last few days is why?
Why have I been so afraid to tell others what is going on in my life. Not in a billboard sort of way, but in a way that frees others to talk with me about it?

I think one reason is because I am ashamed.
I am ashamed because I made a choice to have something that physically made me a mother be removed. While it had to happen; it was still a choice. But does having the amazing privilege of being able to physically grow and birth my children really make me a mother? I am surrounded by friends who have adopted children and they are just as much mothers as I am. Yet, while I know the Lord obviously didn’t call us to birth a large family, there is that part of me that is ashamed that now I can’t. And I’ve got to let it go.

I think the other reason is because I don’t want to grieve.
I have grieved partly, back in June when we first knew this was the best course of action. But for the most part I’m not opening my clenched fists to let it all out. My sweet friends who have questioned where I am in this and have pursued well have brought me close to that place of grief, but in all my strength I have not fully entered into it. I am totally freaked out with who is going to be the person that I finally lose it with. But last week made me realize I’ve got to let it out. As I sat in a dentist chair and listened to a hygienist who clearly had no “shut up” button in her head go on and on about her experience finally tell me that I had lost my “baby sack” I knew that it was time.

It was time to say the word out loud in order to release my shame and release my grief.

And then this morning, as I read about Rivers of Peace and Waves of Sorrow I knew that I was beyond blessed with friends and a gracious family to whom I could “lose it” with and in the end know that I will find joy.

The Bible speaks to such waves of joy and pain. For example, we are called to “rejoice with those who rejoice” and to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). Even though we are treated (for good reason) as sorrowful, like Paul we can also continue rejoicing (2 Corinthians 6:10). As Christian Hedonists, in both celebrations and agonies, our aim is to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4).

As one of my mentors says, “God always gives us enough to remain hopeful and he always gives us enough to remain dependent.” That’s right. Both are for more of him. Both belief and suffering are loving gifts (Philippians 1:29). ~ find the full post here

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