Since I’m no longer blogging here, I thought it would be fair to post a link that will also contain my last six mass email updates, including the one where I shared the decision to not go overseas (December 2011).

Here it is.

That’s it, folks.

Thanks for all the love, prayers, and support, especially over the past 6-7-8 months.  It’s been quite the adventure…


Not Blogging

09Apr12

Just a quick post to point out the obvious – I have decided blogging is one of the things that’s going to be on the back burner for a while (not sure how long).

Life is good – I’m settling into a routine, finding certainty in uncertainty, and drawing strength from time spent on my knees.  I’m reading and running (two major ways I enjoy life!) and spending time with friends (and food!).  I’m learning to enjoy the ebb and flow of life – the rejoicing and mourning, the sun and rain, the busy-ness and rest.  I’m rediscovering community.  The intense changes of spring echo the coming-alive-ness I feel in my heart.  Jesus is surrounding me with beauty – visible and invisible – and there’s such joy in taking it all in!

So until further notice…  I have no plans to take up regular blogging again.  But then again, I don’t have too many plans right now anyway… :-)


Just Showed Up

08Feb12

A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I went to Vermont for a few days to do nothing.  On our drive up, we listened to a great mix of Sovereign Grace, Indelible Grace, and Sara Groves (and some other stuff I can’t remember right now).  On Monday, one of my sisters and I were going to be in the car for several hours, so I went by the library and borrowed a bunch of CDs, including some awesome Dvorak Slavonic Dances and Sara Goves’ “Add to the Beauty” album.  I’m stuck listening to one track over and over, because it so describes my life right now…

Spending my time sleep-walking
Moving my mouth but not saying a thing
Hoping the changes would take by working their way from the outside in
I was in love with an idea
Preoccupied with how a life should appear
Spending my time at the surface repairing the holes in the shiny veneer

There are so many ways to hide
There are so many ways not to feel
There are so many ways to deny what is real

And I just showed up for my own life
And I’m standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright

I’m going to live my life inspired
Look for the holy in the common place
Open the windows and feel all that’s honest and real until I’m truly amazed
I’m going to feel all my emotions
I’m going to look you in the eyes
I’m going to listen and hear until it’s finally clear and it changes our lives

There are so many ways to hide
There are so many ways not to feel
There are so many ways to deny what is real

And I just showed up for my own life
And I’m standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright

Oh the glory of God is man fully alive
Oh the glory of God is man fully alive

There are so many ways to hide
There are so many ways not to feel
There are so many ways to deny what is real

And I just showed up for my own life
And I’m standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright

I think it’s going to be a going-forward anthem for me…

That trip Monday was to visit my Nana, who had been slowly losing her battle with emphysema over the past year.  It’s been a difficult, painful process – for everyone.  An emotional mine-field of ups and downs, 3-week hospitalizations, and rallies against all odds.  Monday was good – Nana recognized us, and we had some good conversation.  She was in and out of reality, but despite continuous oxygen, her restlessness spoke of the progression of lung disease.

It was a sweet visit.  I read portions of Revelation 21 and 22 aloud as she clung to my hand.  My sister and I sat with her, talked to her, and sang several hymns to her.  We kissed her goodbye and told her we loved her.

Hospice called my mom yesterday morning, so she went up for the day and I spent the day with my siblings at home.  My Nana passed away yesterday afternoon – on what would have been her 59th wedding anniversary (Grandad passed away in 2004).   I’m grateful I had the chance to visit her Monday.  I’m grateful for the peace I felt saying goodbye.  She’s no longer in pain – she’s at rest.

Now for the hard part.  Showing up for my own life, not hiding, feeling my emotions.  Living.  Looking for the holy in the common place.

Jesus, walk with me!


Life and Paint

02Feb12

It’s kind of strange to be looking at this screen, contemplating real blogging for the first time since September.  Yes, I posted a lot in October – but it wasn’t the real deal, and I knew it.  Life’s been messy since September 27, more or less, but in the past six weeks I’ve found that mess to be a whole lot more liberating than I ever expected.

I don’t know that I can actually explain any of this so as to make sense (and I’m not sure I really even need to be thinking about that), but I know for mental health I need to get back to the occasional jot here on the blog.  So here goes.

I moved into a new house in November.  I thought it was going to be temporary – two months, maybe three at the most.  Turns out I was wrong on a number of fronts, and it appears this house will be my home for the foreseeable future (just as a note, I’ve realized that my aptitude for seeing the future is pretty abysmal, so don’t let “foreseeable future” mean any more than just that).  Because it’s now my home and not just the friend’s-house-where-I’m-living-right-now, I’ve started to let myself get attached to it.  Translation: I’m pouring some serious elbow-grease into this place. :-) (Not nearly as much as my friend – the owner of the house – has put in, but she had a head start…)

Last week I started in on the list of things to finish around the house (yes, it was the end of January).  I picked the most measurable goal first, so that I’d actually feel like I was accomplishing something.  After the bathroom was painted (it only took two hours and I discovered that maybe I don’t hate color as much as I thought I did), I started tackling the next biggie: stripping paint from the bannister railing going upstairs and continuing in the second-floor hallway.

My life looks a lot like that bannister railing right now.  Totally in process.  Nowhere near finished.  A real mess.  But you know what?  There’s enough encouragement – on both the railing and in my life – that I want to continue the process!  In some places, I’ve stripped away five layers of paint – two coats of white, two of blue, and one of black – to reveal some pretty awesomely beautiful wood.  In other places, I’ve let the stripping material sit for a few days just to soften things up a bit.   Even the powerful, keep-windows-open-and-fans-on gel I’ve been using to break the bond of paint-to-wood has required several applications to make a dent in some spots.

I’ve spent a good bit of time over the past week in ratty jeans, a t-shirt, an N95 mask, eye goggles, and rubber gloves.  I sometimes feel like that’s how I should approach my life.  And maybe armed with a disposable paintbrush and plastic scrapers, too.  It’s tedious business – taking old paint away.  But somehow I know one of these days I’ll finish – the wood will shine, the posts below will be repainted, and it’ll be gorgeous.  Sort of like how I hope life will turn out.

I realized in November that in order to “move on” with life, I needed to heal.  I can’t even tell you what exactly I needed to heal from, but I knew I needed to heal (it started with reading this book).  I also had the sense that the healing was going to look more like healing from a quadruple bypass than a paper cut.  Band-aids and neosporin – the surface treatments – weren’t going to do anything.

And then I realized I actually had to have the “surgery” (metaphorically speaking, of course), to cut out the bad and actually give myself a chance to heal.

There comes a point when you absolutely cannot ignore a physical problem – like chest pain – any more.  You HAVE to do something about it.  I got to that point emotionally about 10 days into December.  I don’t quite know how to explain it other than I decided to let God do the surgery, but that meant making the hardest decision of my life.

I’m not going overseas.

A decade of planning and creating an identity for myself vanished, *pouf*, instantly.

And it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

But when you’re six weeks from D-Day and decide to withdraw from the plan, there’s the potential for a lot of fallout.  Incidentally, yesterday was my target departure date.  Was.  But I’m still here, and instead of fallout, all I’ve experienced is grace.  So much of it that I have literally pinched myself on multiple occasions to make sure I’m not dreaming.  (I’m not.  It’s for real!)

And for the first time in my life, I do not have a plan.  And I’m okay with that!  God has a plan – He knows what He’s doing.  Progress will be slow and painful – tedious and tiring, strange and new – all those things that come with truly learning to LIVE life.  Weirdly, I’m not scared of the process.  Because the hope that accompanies this process is so much more real, now that I’ve allowed God’s grace in my life!!!!!

Anyway, I need to go apply another layer of Citrastrip (because if it smells like citrus it must work, huh?!) to the bannister.  And my life.  Let the peeling continue!  Let the adventure soar!!!


Someday…

04Jan12

Someday I’m going to start blogging again.  Not today.  Soon, I hope, but not today.

It’s a new year.  There’s all kinds of newness going on in my life, but it’s still coming out as chaos.  So until the chaos calms down and becomes coherent, I can’t get anything out that would make sense.

But I do hope, in a few weeks’ time, that I will at least be able to attempt writing here again…

If you want some good reads, go check out Donald Miller.  And if you think of it, pray for me.

God is at work.

Aslan is on the move!




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