Saturday, March 31, 2012

When I get Older, I will be Stronger

How is it that all it takes during Zoomba for me to cry is hearing and trying to move freely to the song, "When I get older, I will be stronger."? This, for a point of reference is the theme song to the 2010 World Cup games in South Africa.

Oh Lord, I hope so.

Two years ago, I experienced something more painful than I ever had before, something that will affect me for the rest of my life and at the time, I didn't recognize it for what it was. Once illuminated, the healing can begin. It seemed to me that I had felt exceptionally fragile since returning from my year abroad and some of this I attributed to the expected culture shock, transition, etc. Then more than ever, as I wanted to run and hide, community becomes especially necessary. True friends, the ones who know me as much more than the happy go lucky, appeasing, wandering lady have been so good. So powerful. And for them, I am grateful. I am thankful for them (you know who you are), for my dear husband who has walked with me gently and lead me with hope and inspiration into unknown places, and to those unlikely voices of healing that have surprised me over the last 2 years. This one's for them!

It's a relatively short list but their impact goes deep.

Wendy, my yoga instructor. As soon as we returned to the states, I jumped back in to going to yoga since it's always been good for my mind (and body). This class was advertised as an "all levels welcome" and donation only. Two things that sounded particularly appealing. She hosted the class at a renovated Foundary in downtown bellingham. The room was beautifully simple and always slowed my breathing the moment i walked in the room. The emphasis of Forrest Yoga (her particular practice) focuses on self healing (which, granted, I have some theological disagreements with)but what I gleaned from this time was the focus and dedication and capacity we have to change. That capacity affects every part of our being and all those around us. Wendy's voice was always cheerful and calming but determined. Excited but peaceful. Like there will be some grand adventures, and some very trying times but in the end, all will be well. A hymn that often got stuck in my head during that time, "It is well with my soul." At the time, it didn't seem true but i believe my Father knew I needed reminding of that promise. She unknowingly taught me about resilience. She pushed us to hold poses longer and stronger and to try new ones. Moving to the edge of where were comfortable and to look ahead trying to gather the courage to take one step further. Each class ended with low light, peppermint eye pillows and a quick rest. Then we would drink a bit of tea, chat a laugh. For 4 months, I was there faithfully. Less and less as time went on (and price went but it was a needed season and God taught me so much through Wendy's voice. Whether or not she knows it...or Him. Thank you.

Mary, loving mamma (formerly) of the Three Trees. She has always greeted us (the whole fam) with a great big smile and hugs. She delights in seeing good friends and wants them to know it! Whether or not everything is okay, she is there and glad to be there. Her invitations to the farm, honest questions, and secure presence has repeatedly enveloped us over the past 2 years. Whether it is by scooping Miette up in her arms and telling her she's her favorite or by just smiling our direction as we laugh together, encouraging us along the way.

This brings me to Miette, my littlest step-daughter. She's a gem to say the least. All three of the kids are bright spots in my world but Miette has a timing about her that is a unique gift. She will innocently plop herself down on your lap or attack you with a surprise hug, demanding your full attention and affection. Her enthusiastic distraction has over and over, unstuck my mind from whatever concern it was mulling. She cracks herself up and brings everyone around her along for the ride. The trust and confidence of a child just oozes from this little pink blur. Lessons that God can only teach through children have been hovering around our home landing in my heart at just the right time. He is so good.

Most recently, there's Jenny the Zoomba instructor. Don't laugh at me. At least not until you've seen me ZOOMBA!

Okay, sorry. this is very true though.

My friend invited me to go to class with her and I agreed. One, because I hadn't seen this particular friend in way too long but also figured it would be fun to get some exercise in a different way. Jenny's first two instructions were: DO NOT TAKE YOURSELF SERIOUSLY, and DON'T THINK. Sounds easy enough but when you're essentially learning moves that I haven't done since the 8th grade graduation's easy to THINK about the fact that you are SERIOUSLY making a fool out of yourself. The necessary response..."oh well." By the end of that first class, I was all smiles, ranting about how everyone should do Zoomba...they dont' know what they're missing! I learned later that everyone HAS been doing Zoomba...for like 10 years. hah. well, that's par for me. about 8 years behind the crowd. Anyway, i salsa'd, belly danced, and chacha'd my booty off for 2 hours then beaming met up with Cam. He met me with a big grin and just the comment..."you look really happy!" So now, most weeks, led by the driving and joyful voice of Jenny we dance our pants off (sorry Richard Simmons) and have a great time doing it. Some weeks are much more challenging though. It's hard to not think, or not take yourself seriously when you feel so broken. Lately there have been more songs from South Africa. A Miriam Makebe song about a dance they do in the townships (one of my favs), and 2 or 3 that were played in the air for about 3 months before, during, and after, the World Cup. They are reminders. Reminders that we can grow. And that we are not alone in that process. That it's a really really good thing that we grow. And that through that, we cannot take ourselves too seriously or THINK too much, or we'll end up stumbling over our feet and biting the dust. DANCE! Even if it doesn't match the music and it's not the same moves everyone else is doing.DANCE.

For those of you who know me. i don't like to hurt. i don't do it well. What I have learned, with the help of these few folks mentioned and many others is that it can be okay. More importantly, that our God is real in those times. That his promises are true still. They become even more sweet when they need to be true.

grace + peace

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A brief survey for those faithful few

Hi Friends.

I just want to get a quick idea. My heart jumps a little (like a chubby kid excited about their birthday party at Chucky Cheeses) when i think about picking up this blog and writing more often.
Wondering which direction I should take it in..... options that I can think of are:

Escapades at home


general commentary

people around me (and the wildness that ensues)

pretty peaceful things/daydreams

Or any combination of the above? Open to suggestions?
What have you enjoyed in the past most?

cheers darlings,


It should be no surprise that on a Saturday in the beginning of March in Washington it's raining. Like, Washington rain. Grey sky, grey water, plopping drops with a misty background. Cameron is out of town at a training, the kids are at a climbing competition in Oregon so Poppy and I have the house to ourselves. The day started out wonderfully peaceful and productive and has come to a tumultuous and unnerving climax at about 4pm. This piece will assume for a brief moment that you care what I've done today, then hopefully we'll move past that.

This morning I crawled out of bed at 6:30am with Cam to take the kids to the YMCA so they can head to their Comp. Came back home, crawled back in bed with the puppy and read for a bit....then watched an episode of White Collar (which is my current television addiction)

Motivated to get out of bed by the dog who I have lovingly nicknamed, "Happy Feet" due to her persistent wiggling when she needs to go outside, we headed out for a run. in the rain. Now I am not a "runner" but having a dog who needs to get some excersize helps me realize that I have a body that needs to get some excersize too!We usually have a great time. Today, Poppy begrudgingly shuffled along with me tugging at her collar to keep up. We made it for about 15 minute before I gave up and started walking back towards home.

Then it was off to run an errand and make a little stop at a trailer park Estate Sale. You want to spend a Saturday morning with some cutthroat, bleach haired, pink lipsticked, old ladies...go to a Trailerr park Estate sale.I don't recommend it.

A friend came over for a lovely chat. After that, it all went downhill.

For some crazzy reason, I thought it would be a good idea to go to the mall. I am 28 years old and should obviously know by now that going to the mall, just because, is never a good idea.

If there is anything that inspires me to pray, to plead with God to have Jesus return, it's going to the mall just because.

Being there, i feel the wrath of everything that I despise and struggle against, only its presented in a socially acceptible manner and we BUY IT! We pay a hefty price to hear the messages that tell us that we are not good enough. Recently, I've been reading in Matthew:

"Therefore, i tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?"....And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lillies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these...Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." 6: 25...34

My prayer in leaving is for peace. For redemption and wholeness for all those who feel busted and broken. That they would not go looking for it at Kohls, or on sale at Victoria Secret but in their Father who see's them as precious.

A day that started out in this place, of rest and peace and stillness watching the grey bay from Woods, motivated to put a bit of time into work at ACCESS FREEDOM

against an injustice that I believe is rampant and goes unseen too often.

This day quickly spiraled down to self loathing thoughts with a 50% discount. During the drive home, my Savior came and reclaimed the territory, and in that changes my thoughts to prayer. Hope for something greater. Something more. Something eternal that we can wait for and cling to, even in the drizzling rain on a grey Saturday in Bellingham.