I feel like I’ve almost started having an obsession with star oriented quotes. I’m drawn to words about the darkness and to designing art that expresses those words. But not in a morose or depressed sort of sense.
You know when you are in a dark room in the midst of a thunderstorm and suddenly lightening lights up the room?
Or sometimes you are asleep and your crazy husband wakes up and flips on the light because he’s having his repetitive “bugs are crawling on me dream”? (maybe not this one)
Where my husband and I sit right now in our life is like sitting in darkness. But not a hopeless, lonely, oppressive sort of darkness. Just a lost sort of darkness.
Like there is just enough light to show us where to keep prodding along. Or the days when it seems super dark, the light flashes just enough for us to see that we are still on the right path, still walking in the right direction and just enough to know that we aren’t going to walk into a wall in the next few steps. Just enough light to keep us moving.
I am learning that there are seasons in our lives where we can be in the darkness and still be o.k. It’s a faith-building sort of darkness. Like those camp activities where you have to fall backwards into the arms of your campmates and trust that they really are going to catch you. It’s keeping on with keeping on and knowing that the way is before you and there is One who knows the deepest darkness like we will never know it walks along with us. And through Him, “the darkest nights do produce the brightest stars”.
The last few weeks have been an absolute blur for me. I truly feel like as soon as I finished one task, I had at least 5 more new ones added to the list. I’m treading water and trying not to go under.
In the midst of this, Lent starts.
It’s interesting throughout my Christian life my journey with the season of Lent. It seems like years ago, no one really talked about it and you certainly didn’t see the plethora of articles that have passed over my eyes in the past few days. Everyone is talking about Lent now. But what is it?
It’s a season of reflection.
It’s a time of stepping back from pieces of life and remembering where these 40 days are leading.
They are leading to death…because of my sins.
And yet life…new life for all of us.
What does that mean for me in the midst of this tidal pool I’m swimming in?
We’ve been talking in our house about what to give up. The husband is giving up craigslist, the boy gave up his iPod, the chick is undecided (and a little unwilling) and I have been struggling.
My sweetest friend yesterday shared with me the best advice when contemplating what to fast from:
fast from the thing(s) that you run to for distraction.
And distraction is the killer in my life. The sense of going under the demands of my life right now have so much to do with the use of my time and the things I use for distraction when life is too much. It’s totally technology driven.
So for these next 40 days, I’m giving up my daily schedule as I’ve known it.
While I eat breakfast in the morning, I won’t be staring at a computer screen and reading emails, checking facebook or dealing with etsy. I will just eat.
During the day, when I have to be on the computer for things, I will be on the computer for the thing I went to do (answering emails, answering etsy conversations, drafting patterns etc) and I will not waste time checking facebook (for the umpteenth time) or checking flickr stats or any other needless thing.
I will do the same with my phone. While sitting at stoplights, I will use that time to pray or just engage with the people in the car instead of checking email or any other crazy thing.
And for the most part, we will not have screens after 9pm.
This is something my husband and I have been trying hard (without success) to hold to for the past few months.
My goal in all of this is not to become legalistic, but rather to stop myself and ask “why?” am I running to all these other things instead of running to the world around me? Like the tangible, here and now world.
So I am giving up distraction and praying for focus. And I’m praying for this new way of life to be established.
Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.
I haven’t been doing much rambling publicly lately…well unless you have the joy of talking to me in person 🙂
But I’ve had so much in my head lately with just life that I needed to ramble a little bit to clear some space.
I’ve been processing so much emotionally lately regarding parenting and just my own sinful self. I’m nearing my last year of my 30s and the reality of my age and the length of time I’ve been married has finally hit me. I’ve also realized how much I long to change. Today I declared to a friend that I want to be a pillow. I want to be a soft, gentle person. It’s like I’m trying to dig out a splinter that won’t come out. I keep digging and digging and it just keeps chipping away but I can’t seem to grab it with the tweezers. But the harder I try, the harder it is. I’ve just got to release. Realize the part of my (my crazy hardness) that I want to release and change and then give it up to happen. The harder I try, the less likely it is to really happen. <!–
I am also realizing how much I want to nurture my children and their bents, slants and gifts.
I listened to my rambling daughter yesterday go on and on for 20 minutes about some wild and crazy story. I was stuck in a car driving, so I had nothing else to do but be captive to her storytelling. And it was like I was listening to myself when I was 7-8-9-10…
I loved nothing more than to write and tell stories and I remember living so much inside my head when I was little.
Be what it may, that part of me was never seen or nurtured when I was growing up. What a gift that God showed me this little glimpse into her world and into my memories. How I long to nurture and grow and notice that crazy tendency of hers…instead of rolling my eyes, tuning her out or not really entering into the story with her.
And I’m also rocking the boat. I’m not one to release and I struggle greatly with living up to expectations. I’m the good child in my family and therefore I am not a boat rocker. The other sibling tends to be. I think I’ve spent years trying to be the one trying to keep the boat from flipping everyone out. But honestly, at some point in life we have to let our kids jump out of the boat and let them get on their own. I’m going to have to let my kids out of the boat; sink or swim it is going to be their turn to make choices and decisions. Here’s to finally realizing that I’ve got my own boat to paddle.
I mentioned the other day how I was joining thousands of others who have chosen One Little Word to focus on for 2014. We are all part of a year long workshop series put on by Ali Edwards. The facebook group alone is creeping towards 2,000 people from all over the world and it’s been so interesting to see the different words people are focusing on and why.
My journey this past week as I searched and prayed over a word to focus on was an interesting one. When I first decided to do this series, I really thought my word was going to be “brave“. There are so many things that I need to act on this year and all of them involve such a step out of my comfort zone…brave just seemed to be it.
But yet it wasn’t. I have been sitting in the books of Esther and Ruth since last Fall and have recently started reading the commentary Be Committed by Wiersbe. Moving from the word brave, I thought maybe my word was committed. But to be honest, I’m a pretty committed person. I don’t give up easily and once I finally decide on a course of action or whatever, I don’t really waver much. Commit wasn’t it.
After commit, the words embrace, forward and move came to mind. I sat with these words for a few days and still didn’t seem to be right. Then I started to think about what keeps me from embracing, going forward and moving and the idea of release came to mind. While I might commit to something and embrace an idea well, I don’t release well. I don’t let go…of anything well.
So my word for 2014 is release. This word encompasses so many different things. Releasing expectations, releasing my schedules and wants, releasing struggles, releasing the past and so much more.
Crazy enough, one of my prayer cards that I started last Fall deals with this exactly and it will be the beginning of my card as I work through what it means to release this year.
To begin I leave with the prayer I’ve been praying for the past few months…
I let go of the past and the grip it can have on me. That the past would merely be a rememberance of deliverance leading me to compassion. I pray that my eyes would be forward on my life, my family and that I would not try to mold our family into something/someone else – that I would allow God to be creative with me and my family.”
One of my goals this new year is to give myself some structure to my days. Working at home is something that I’ve come to love and appreciate so much, but there are days that it is so hard to get myself going and stay focused and organized. One of the ways I hope to provide a little structure to my days is to do some education sorts of things. I guess I’ll consider it continuing education for the stay at home worker mom etc.
Last year I started out the year with one word: unrelenting. That’s about all I can tell you about that word. After that one post I never really thought about it again. This year I want to be different. I’ve long admired Ali Edwards and after reading this post by Deborah of Whipstitch I decided to take a head first jump into my first 2014 goal.
Ali has a year long workshop focusing on your one word and I am excited to be a part of it. So look for posts throughout the year sharing my journey with that one word. And let me know if you decide to join in with me!
So what’s my one word?
Honestly I’m still sitting on that one. Stay tuned!