Friday, March 25, 2011

Walls

In the past couple of weeks I have been thinking about walls. Yes, walls.    Last week I spent time at a beautiful place called Beersheba Springs Assembly. It is one of our United Methodist campgrounds in the amazing mountains of the Cumberland Plateau.  I know that as I make the steady drive up the mountain that my cell coverage begins to drop.  This  year as I arrived 'on the mountain' I was pleasantly surprised to find that my cell coverage wasn't completely lost.  


We could text and make phone calls without having to stand at the overlook and without having to hold our phones in a particular place.  It was a wonderful thing to be connected.  And then it happened, I walked into our main building and lost all coverage.  At first I was frustrated that when I walked into a particular place my cell coverage would immediately drop. Yet, as our time 'on the mountain' continued something strange began to come to me. 


I realized that the bricks that were keeping out the cell coverage were not any different than the bricks that I have placed around my own heart.  Throughout my life I have carefully laid brick after brick to protect me from the mighty winds that have blown within my life.


Some bricks were laid with careful thought while others were laid without my initial awareness.  Each brick keeps a relationship from being realized, a vision from fully being communicated, a risk from being taken and most importantly it often keeps me from opening myself to the One that loves me the most.  


Just as the bricks at Beersheba kept my text from being sent or received, each brick that I have placed around my heart keeps me from receiving and giving God all that I am.  God is longing to provide me with the coverage I desperately seek to create myself.  If I am to let God provide my cover then I must stop building the walls that keep Him at bay.  

Today may the walls that encircle my heart begin to be taken down.  May your walls begin to be broken down so that you may find rest from all the building. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Creativity

Every 9 weeks our daughter's school gets a two week break.  It is always a welcomed time in our busy schedules.  The two weeks provide a time and space for us to simply be.  Yesterday as we prepared the house for the arrival of grandparents, our daughter Emma said "our breaks always make the days feel so long".  I immediately replied "yes they do when every single minute isn't scheduled or filled with something to do."

 There is a joy in not having every single minute of the day scheduled or planned out.  It is refreshing to close the calendar, not be consumed with the next thing on a to-do list, not care if the phone is ringing and to enjoy the day as it comes. 

Not being consumed with the schedule or list of the day brought forth a time of creativity for Emma and I.  We took the time to color outside the lines and be creative with chalk.  We created a mosaic of chalk art on our driveway.  We didn't care if the dust from the chalk moved from the pavement onto our hands or clothes.  We simply sat in the midst of the creativity  letting our minds be free.

When was the last time you put down your calendar, took off your watch and simply let your mind run free? When was the last time you allowed your spirit to be set free to create something unexpected?  I'm certainly not a 'crafty' kind of person nor do I have a great art skill but there is something about setting the mind and soul free to create.  May you find a time to set your soul and mind free from the demands of your schedule. Soak up the creativity that surrounds you and let your soul soar.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Parched Season

 Yesterday our sanctuary was transformed into a place where one could see and feel death.  It was transformed into a place where the parched and thirsty space could penetrate into every part of your being.  As I sat there watching our worship team transform the space I became transfixed on the smell and the feeling of death. I was drawn to the uncertainty that surrounded me.

In the midst of sitting in the gray and dry space I suddenly began to see the darkness with new eyes.  For days I have been watching the bush (well it's more than a bush) outside my window.  The huge gray and dry blob outside my window seemed to be lifeless, and yet after sitting in our sanctuary I realized that the tree is anything but dead. 

In the midst of the branches that would break easily there is a life that is hidden deep within. There is life waiting to be called forth.  It is waiting for just the right moment to make it's entry into the world and open to it's full bloom.  I believe that's what Ash Wednesday does for us; it recognizes the death and the gray branches within us that can be easily broken.  It calls forth the darkness and dryness that often penetrates our hearts during certain seasons of our lives.

As our foreheads are smeared ashes, it is like God watering our souls so that the gray, broken branches deep within will receive new life. The coldness of the winter months are being replaced with a warmth of the Holy One coming into our lives.  

Yes, our holy space has been transformed; it is filled with death but in the death comes new life. As we walk the season of Lent I am excited about experiencing death and the dryness of my heart so that I can fully experience the resurrection that is coming my way.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday, March 4th

This week our daughter was given a gift, 3 simple buttercups.  As I saw them sitting on our mantle in a simple vase I was immediately taken back to a the fields of my childhood.  The fields of my grandparents where we would run freely and pick as many buttercups as we could possibly hold.

Buttercups are simple and yet beautiful.  As they make their way out of the ground each year it is always the first sign of a new season...new life making its way into this world. The bright yellows and white dot the landscape and draw us in beckoning us to take a deep breath.

Over the past several months I have wondered about blogging, about what it would be like to have a place to share my thoughts, to open myself to the world around me.  To allow persons to see a glimpse of me that they might not otherwise see.  I have been drawn to opening myself like the buttercups of the season...opening myself to something new. 

I have no idea if the words that fall upon this page will reach anyone but myself. I am simply opening myself to something new to see where our great Creator leads me in the seasons to come.