Tag Archives: jam

Feeding Your Soul

Camera slung across chest I traipse through tall grass along the side of a country road. An old tree standing guard at an old country house long abandoned. My eyes searching for details yet at the same time pulling back searching for the wider angle unseen.

Colors smear across the palette. Brush tips touched with colors. I brush the colors onto canvas. Another layer covering the image that did not match that which was in my head. Yet this doesn’t bother me. I breathe deeply knowing the layer upon layer will eventually bear resemblance to what can only be found in my mind as of now.

Photos spread across pretty paper. Sketching, arranging. Making the memories somehow tangible.

Worship music plays as I go from chore to chore. My voice singing out as no one is listening save for the one to whom it sings.

Blanket wrapped around my shoulders as the fall night air chills. Sounds of night singing to its creator. Stars twinkle as I sit. My silence finding its way to prayers.

God’s fingerprint uniquely found on each of our lives. How we learn. How we create. How we feel loved.  Even how our souls are renewed.

Some activities I find myself turning at various times to give my spirit space to breathe. Having learned over the years which ones bring needed respite.

I also find my soul being fed when the smallest thing is added to something otherwise mundane. Singing along to favorite worship songs as I fold laundry or straighten the house.

The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:11-12)

It is resting in the silence though that often brings the most refreshment. Yet if I unmask life for a moment the silence is the hardest one to bring myself to this time of the year. To quiet my mind and body long enough to reach the silence. Ironic that the thing I crave the most seems just out of reach. Usually calm schedules and routines give way to busy and people pulling at my time. I know these few weeks of activity will slow down and finding the silence will become easier. I will be able to find rest in the silence again.

And it is sitting in the silence, in the quiet, that will bring even more creativity to the other activities that feed my spirit and help my soul breathe once again.

What activities feed your spirit? Do you ever find yourself needing to rest in the silence?

FaithBarista_FreshJamBadgeG

Life: Unmasked

Autumn Reflection


I sit rocking. Mums planted in narrow planters at my feet. Flowers of fall gracing my porch. Feeling the cooler temps on my skin. Autumn. Fall.

After  what seemed like a never ending summer my favorite time of year has arrived. I love fall.

Usually here in Alabama summer fights with fall. Cool mornings overtaken by hot days too reminiscent of summer. This year though the temps seem to be cooler and fall seems to be visiting a bit earlier and hopefully remaining a while longer.

The weather cools and scarves and boots and cute crochet hats can be donned in the evenings. Pumpkins and mums and leaves changing to reds, oranges and yellows invade my vision. Weekends are spent watching football. A couple of those Saturdays spent walking around the campus of our alma mater nestled in the foothills before we yell “Go Gamecocks!”

Have you ever taken the time and simply stared at an October sky? Blue so blue it hurts your eyes. Especially so after a rain storm or a hurricane. Pollutants blown away bringing a blue so deep I’m not sure I could ever capture on camera or even with paint on canvas. Have you ever soaked in that October blue?

My favorite tree, the Japanese Maple, will soon burst into flaming red.

Even the smell of the air is different. The crispness of the morning temperatures. Planning a wardrobe for the day means layers. Midday will hang onto a tinge of summer, but the mornings and evenings sing of Autumn.

Kristen wrote this week of fall being a season of sad. Of how she feels melancholy as fall arrives. (By the way, doesn’t she have the best blog name ever?)

As I read that I thought “Yes! That’s it! This is why fall is so…well….me!”

Ask most anyone who knows me personally and they will tell you autumn fits me. Fall has long been my favorite time of year. Fall colors are the colors I wear the most. Colors I feel like I look the best in. Anyone who knows me will also probably say that my personality has a melancholy bent. I’m not a happy go lucky girl. I do not get overly excited and giddy about much of anything. Even though internally I am an emotional person outwardly I am pretty balanced. Some might even think I’m sad when I’m really not. I’m neither an optimist nor a pessimist. I am perfectly okay with this.

Perhaps this is why I am so comfortable and happy (not that you would be able to recognize the happiness) in autumn. I’m content with this space between. This space between the flurry of summer and the sleepiness of winter.

Yes. I could be described as autumn.

What season best describes you? 


 

Giving Up On Perfect

I was doomed from birth. I’m not sure I could have been expected to be anything other than a perfectionist. I came by it honestly. My mother readily admits it was her worst trait as well as her best trait. She came by it honestly too I suppose. While her mom died when I was two I’ve been told stories of how she mopped her floors twice a day. How disappointed she might be with me her oldest grandchild who is doing well just to vacuum once a week. You can see why I say my mother must have come by it honestly.

I look back at old photos of myself and see a creative and expressive child. One that didn’t worry about being perfect.  Something happened though. Maybe it was the awkward preteen and teen years. Maybe it was the pressure I put on myself to be strong when my mother was so sick. Or maybe it was just how we all begin to grow up.

I had to be perfect. I had to do everything perfectly. If I didn’t I wasn’t good enough. If I didn’t I wouldn’t have the approval of others. If I wasn’t perfect I wasn’t worthy.

I was trying to be perfect for others. Not for myself or even for God.

Eventually the perfectionism began suffocating me. It seeped into everything. Not only effecting my own stress levels I caught myself projecting it onto others. No one could measure up to my expectations.

It was time to give up on perfect.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. — 2 Corinthians 12:9

Giving up on perfect brings relief. Perfection paralyzes creativity. As I’ve given up on perfect I’m finding my creativity again. I’ve discovered that I am worthy. I can accept His grace. I don’t have to earn it. And most of all I don’t need to measure up to the expectations of others.

For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Hebrews 10:14



Experiencing Joy

Eucharisteo. My word for 2010. Giving thanks. It’s taken a retraining of my mind to slow down, to notice all the small things in life. To give thanks for each. Some days it’s harder than others. Some days I force myself to go through the motions. Knowing when I do it will make all the difference in my attitude. I know overtime the giving of thanks will cultivate a deep joy.

What I’m learning though? If I do slow down and pay attention to the little things? The sounds of my Squirt’s fingers playing the piano or strumming chords on the guitar. The birds singing outside my window as the sun peeks over the trees. The laughter of my husband and Squirt as they jump on the trampoline.

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:18 

All these little things? They are joys. In just listening to these small moments in life I experience joy.

Do you find joy in the small moments in your life?


Unrest

How do you find Whitespace? How do you spend time with God and experience spiritual rest? 

This is the topic Bonnie gave for the Faith Jam today. She also says to keep it real and today I’m going to do just that. Probably more so than usual.

I think there have been enough how tos written about spending time with God. No one needs for me to rehash any of it here.

These past week’s have been a bit difficult. As I wrote about here I have a couple of very dear friends who are close to my heart. If either one of them are hurting my intuition goes into overdrive and I hurt for them. Even without talking to them or knowing what is going on that sense that they are hurting shows up. Sometimes desperately through tears and questions. While their struggles are not mine to share let’s just say that God has had me on my knees praying for these two friends like never before.

My spirit has not been at rest. And here’s the thing.

I’m not sure it’s supposed to be right now.

‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’ Jeremiah 29:11

I fully trust that God is at work in these situations. But I’m not sure I’m supposed to be at rest.

I believe there are times when God let’s you experience unrest for a purpose. For you to grow in your faith. To draw you closer to Him. To pray without ceasing for a friend. To cause you to take a step of faith. For whatever reasons we may never know or understand I am coming to believe there is a purpose for the unrest.

We have the choice to allow anxiety to take over during these times or we can choose to find peace in trusting He is in control in spite of our unrest.

Do you ever think He gives us seasons of unrest for a reason?