Saturday, June 14, 2014

Drums Keep Pounding A Rhythm To The Brain

And I'm changing.

I've taken myself to yoga class the past twelve of fifteen days.
I'm so proud of myself.
I've been regularly exercising for two weeks now.
One more week, and this will be a habit (or so say the experts).

This has brought discipline to my life which has not existed before.
I must drink enough water.
I must eat three hours prior to class in order to benefit fully.
I have a new rhythm, a determined focus which I have longed for.

I cried through the last half hour of my first class.
Sad for having waited so long to care for my body, my health.
Asking what sort of woman neglects herself for so many years.
Wondering why I would treat myself so poorly.
Devastated that I have believed the judgement of others against me.
and not God's voice.
But, then, after the tears, I found myself free.
Once again free.

Why, one might ask?
Why now and not before?
Why this and not that?
Who knows?

But I've been reflecting on this relatively simple transition a bit.
(When one is doing hot yoga for ninety minutes nearly every day, one has ample time for reflection.)
And I've discovered some things that are true now were not a year ago.

I am more free now than I was a year ago.
(With many thanks to and the work I've done with them this past year
And to God for giving me the courage and the cash to do it.)

I'm more free from the shadows of shame that have darkened my heart for decades, and kept me in hiding.
Free because I have described these frightening shapes honestly in the presence of trusted companions
and come away unashamed.

I'm free from the voices which have called me unlovely.
Too Much.
Free from these lies.
Free to believe Truth.

I see myself honestly now,
and I see Beauty.
I know that this is me,
that this is Truth.  
I see gifts and power.
I am no longer afraid to be who I am, what I am.
I see my life, my self as creation that God calls good.
And I agree with Him.

You may not believe me.
My own body doubts me,
and clings stubbornly to the mantle of thick flesh in which it has hidden itself.

But I know that my redeemer lives.
And that he is making all things new.
Revelation 21.
(I have never been a dispensationalist.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Forty More Years

The other day I caught myself speaking forth life.

After worship a group was selling cookies. I told them "No thanks. I'm hoping to live forty more years."

I said it without thought. Without reflection. But it's true. I'd love forty more years.

So what am I doing now toward a goal like that?

Writing. A lot. Whenever I have focused time alone. I'm enjoying snatching those chunks of quiet space to play with words.

Reading more, which is good for the brain, as well as the heart.

Rarely turning on the TV.

Purposefully calling friends to make time to be with them over the weekend. In the past, I have mostly been alone all weekend while my kids are with their dad.

Commiting to an exercise program at a gym where I will get personalized attention, which I think has been the missing element for me.

Being more intentional about food choices almost all of the time.

None of this may seem like much, but for me these things are HUGE.

Here's to forty more years!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Walking in the Dark

Walking In The Dark

I learned to walk in the dark when I lived in the woods.
My space was beyond the big garden, in a clearing just beside the trees.
It was a tiny egg-shaped house,
complete with bed and space for books.

Here I learned to read by candle light
and to dress in the dark.
Here I learned of mullein
and tinctures good for blood.
And here I learned to get myself home
late at night after time spent with friends
down the road in the dark all alone 

through the woods to my home.

Walking the dirt road was easy because it was so obvious,
but when I cut back to head down toward the clearing,
I had to make my way around the pathless garden
then through the woods.
Here my faithful trees stood sentinelling,
kind and brave, beckoning me home.

On the road the giant limber trees danced spirited wind songs.
On the road I danced and sang with them,
but these trees in the woods stood silent, watching.
I memorized their silhouettes;
Spoke to them, trusting.
I kept my eyes toward the sky,
for looking down held no clues for my journey,
only uneven blackness.

Their unfailing shapes and symbols lead me home.

I learned to walk in the dark while living in the woods
and the trees taught me to keep my head up
and my eyes open always to the sky.
Looking down only caused me to stumble
and fall in the dark, feeling very much a fool.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


It all seems so unlikely.
Why would anyone want to sit down with me?
Granted, I can turn a phrase and bring a smile or laugh on a fairly regular basis.
I have a way with words which often delights and intrigues I've been told.
But that's not what therapy is about.
Therapy is about listening.
Holding story.

And I get antsy.
Want to advise and instruct.
I've got answers,
or so I thought.

That's the thing, though.
Lately I wonder about almost all of my answers.
Whether or not they be sound.

Lead me, Lord.
Lead me in thy righteousness.
Make my way straight before Thee.
For it is thou, Lord.
Thou Lord only
Who makes me to dwell in safety.
And to be of any lasting help.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

When You Live On An Island

I used to live on an island.  Lucky me.
And, in many ways, it was paradise.
I miss it everyday,
and hope to live there again, someday.

My island was an hour from the mainland by boat,
and our town had only a few stores,
so, occasionally,
a trip to the mainland was required.

That meant two hour-long boat rides,
one each way.
And that often meant the dreaded
feeling of being sea sick.
Not fun.
Kind of like a bad hangover,
without the party.

Someone told me that
if I would keep my eyes on the horizon during the boat ride
I would ward off the feelings
of being sea sick.
So I tried it,
and it worked.

But keeping your eyes on the horizon
while sitting on a moving boat in the ever changing sea
is not easy.
There is a need for constant adjustment.
You can't really rest and also keep your eyes on the horizon.
And, at night, in the dark,
the horizon seemed to disappear
so the task was all but impossible.

Our world is much like the sea.
Constantly in motion.
Nausea and headache come naturally
when one is faced with keeping oneself upright
and on track in a boat on the sea.

I search for the horizon
even in the darkness
and I keep my eyes fixed there.
For there I find rest.
Strength. Health. Comfort.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

"When you've got a dream like mine
Nobody can put you down
When you've got a dream like mine
Nobody can push you around"
Bruce Cockburn, A Dream Like Mine, 1990

This song's been running through my head all week because,
as it turns out, I've got a dream.
Desire toward a goal. Sight beyond the now.
Finally and amazingly.

Ah, Bruce, my friend,
If only it were true
that dreams somehow disallow the pernicious scrutiny of others.

But I guess that's part of the gig.
We wake up sweating; we were dreaming.
We miss the important information; we were dreaming.
We plan our escape from the norm; we were dreaming.

It's dangerous to dream. Scandalous even.
Who on earth do I think I am making plans of further education in my mid-fifties?
It's not like I have been on a career track that warrants such a move.
And, not only that, but I'll be near sixty when I finish.
Who starts new then?

And what right have I to presume to assign funds to such education
with two young adults in my care?  Young adults who have dreams of their own?

What manner of selfishness does dreaming require?

I like what Jon Acuff said today about fear:

"Being afraid isn’t failure. Staying afraid is...Staying afraid is a choice. 
It’s a lifestyle, a scratchy comforter you pull over your head 
in the hope that it will protect you from worse things." 

Now there's the rub...the worse things.
The things that go bump in the night.
Perhaps there is value in being an "old" dreamer,
for I have faced many lions
and won.
I'll laugh at the days to come!