A Future.

Why do you not dream of the future?

…silence.

My voice in my head is so good at speaking up until it’s asked a heart wrenching question.

…maybe I don’t believe I have one.

Maybe I sit in my chair and think this is my space. This is my box. These are the corners. I can stretch my arms out and know that it’s safe. Tomorrow is just today repeated. Just a collection of todays…

Isn’t that such a constricting, limiting thought? No growth. No change. No improvement or movement.

Stagnation is an epitome of Hell.

 

On cold mornings I actually love to sit outside consumed in an oversized, fluffy blanket and dream. So this morning the surprise of snow was just a love note. I close my eyes and breathe in the aroma of my coffee and remember journaling outside a café in Denver before heading to the top of Pikes Peak. The cold bite of air, partnered with the sound of pen to paper fresh in my mind. Looking down to see a stain on my hiking boots from the day before in the Rockies.

If you asked me to dream, it would be of mountains. The crunch of gravel under foot. Slight sweat as I assess the best way up a tough part of the trail. The soft chatter of my best friends not far ahead. No set in stone schedule day to day. Just the heart drawing you to places where you come alive. The views that draw your heart out in the form of tears. A heart that’s untamed by the thoughts of what should I be.

 

John 10:10 comes into play because God’s been throwing it in my path now for weeks.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (ESV)

 

I always focus on the first part of this verse. Watch out for the devil he’s gonna try to steal, kill, and destroy you.

But you see the end is the part we should focus on. The God end of the bargain.

 

I (God) came that they may have life. (and not just any life) Abundant life.

 

Focus on God and He will uphold His end of the bargain.

Abundant life is a promise to you.

No future, huh?

Just a collection of todays, you say?

Well watch out then. Because I never waste one.

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Always more.

I sat in a place I’ve sat many times and realized I was withholding the very thing I’m created for. To love. Love when your scared. Love when you don’t know the outcome. To hope for something. To dream a little bigger. Make God bigger than all the other things. It’s His rightful place. I talk about it all the time, yet needed desperately to make it personal this morning. And so on this ridiculously warm morning, I looked at my life and realized how easy it is to put up a wall in defense of the unknown and not even realize it.

Pretzel legs and hands open, I repented.

I sang these simple words.

“Unreserved, unrestrained, your love is wild Your love is wild for me.”

Reckless love…

That’s what we receive…and it’s what I’m called to.

Wildly free. 

This view. I woke up to so many of the sweetest messages from friends and family and I’m so blessed. Blessed to call Kentucky where I am learning to grow deep roots. Blessed because my home is scattered among the hearts of people I love, in different places. Blessed to have a family of friends ,and friends that have become family. Blessed to get to celebrate their best moments and be present in their worst.  
I woke up this morning and the cold was beckoning me outside. Wrapping me in a big blanket and urging me out in my sock feet. Breathing in the cold air was harsh in my lungs and at the same time it reminded me of these mountains. It reminded me that I’m small…but mighty. I’m made of jagged grey, a million lush variations of green and speckled with vibrant gold. These mountains remind me I can do hard things. And when I can’t…that’s ok too, because He can.
Give up your defeated I can’t for the beautiful freedom of He can.
#raisethebar #lovenotes #kylo

Boundless.

Thunder woke me startled this morning. For a second I felt the desire and need to just snuggle in for a few more minutes.
 In one week I’ll probably completely forget how in love I was waking up to those cracks and rumbles this morning. In a few hours I may not be able to hear them over the sounds of lab instruments and air conditioning systems and fans, but in that moment all I wanted was to watch rain drops race down window panes, to snuggle into this moment a little deeper, because it is beautiful, relaxing, and so completely peaceful.
It reminded me that last night I lay in the dark and a few tears escaped and ran down my cheeks. I realized in that moment how little I believed that God actually had all, I mean ALL, of my life. I realized how little I believed that He actually had a plan in what feels monotonous and mundane. In the midst of my dark bedroom I was reminded of His all consuming light.
This morning I connected those moments and I remembered what my sister reminded me of months ago, you can’t cap God. He is organic, free…wildly free, and He is bigger than my fears, my problems, and my strengths. I was reminded of watching lightning over the Rocky mountains and realizing God is big. And not just New York City big, mountains big, or whole earth big, but without bounds, big. Standing on the beach can’t see any land big, looking into the sky realizing we aren’t in a snow globe big. He isn’t a genie in a lamp. He cannot be contained, capped, or wrangled or reigned in like an overstuffed suitcase you sit on to close. He is doing big things. He is working things for your good. He is holding you when you want to snuggle in bed. He is holding you when you are making big moves and He is holding you when the floor seems to have dropped out from under you. And he doesn’t have a square box that says how He can or will do it. It’s not A, B, C, or a combination of those three.

 It’s b o u n d l e s s. 

He makes the rules. He has no boundaries. So whatever you are going through this morning, I pray for peace in your hearts and a call in your soul. One step in faith, that He has all of your life.
Genesis 1:2-3 is on my heart this morning.
2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Just soaking in this verse…

Roots. 

About a week ago I put together my new bed. You think when you purchase a bed that it will arrive put together, but this one did not. I guess It feels good to look at something you put some work into. I almost threw in the towel and just returned the thing, since it’s been such a pain to get this far. After I put it together though, I slept on it and it didn’t collapse. Which is an accomplishment in and of itself. Yay!

You see God has given me a home for the last however many years of my life. I didn’t even realize until recently. Somehow He has never left me no matter how crazy or ridiculous I’ve been. I could not be more thankful.
I’ll be a little transparent and vulnerable with you all. I don’t have the words yet to talk about some of the hurts and pains of what I’m walking through at the moment, but one day God will give me the words and the call to share them.

For now I’ll just share this, I like adventure, a lot, so I’m more often ok with the exciting call to go than I am to stay. I am content in life, and love the big and small moments, but I also will never stop going towards dreams and a life of full, adventurous living. One of those small dreams (call me a girl) was that I’d meet this amazing guy and when we got married we’d pick out a place to live and we would spend some amount of time “camping” in the living room without furniture, because we wouldn’t have any. Maybe make a fort out of blankets as ridiculous as that might be and just laugh, because you may never be in that same opportunity again. Maybe even put tiny glow in the dark stars on the ceiling, or plain throw the sleeping bags out back to sleep under the real ones, because YOLO. I believe God gives us the desires of our hearts, but sometimes they look different than we thought. So when I moved this past June, I spent the first few nights sleeping in a sleeping bag in the middle of the floor soaking in the beauty of “camping” in my living space. Because it has been a silly dream of mine. This was by choice I could have done something else, but God whispered to my heart. So I decided to step into the adventure lover I am and quit waiting for someday, because I’m afraid of spoiling something that may or may not happen. No matter how big or small the adventure, because God created me to love these silly moments, God’s calling me to take it. 

Recently though I bought a bed. That is a big deal for me. I might have to move it or get rid of it one day. Furniture when you aren’t in a place you will stay seems more like a hassle than a benefit. But God’s teaching me what it means to stay. To grow some roots even when you feel afraid, see He showed me that in my mind if I have no possessions or pets, it’s so much easier for me to pack up and go, right? Easy to move if needed, embracing the fact that I’m not tied down. 

However, settling in isn’t settling and it most certainly doesn’t mean I’m tied down. 

I still hold things of the world loose, but it doesn’t mean that I keep nothing so I can leave whenever unattached. That is a false sense of freedom, and it’s powered by fear. It would also never happen. I get attached to people I encounter and share life with. I get attached to places I fall in love with God in. It’s ok to be attached. When it’s healthy it simply means I cared and loved well, that I loved right where he planted me. God is teaching me that gaining roots means I can dig into what I love, right where I am, thirsty for God to take over in that place wherever that is. 

The truth is that beautiful souls create beautiful spaces wherever they are.

And that doesn’t mean stuff, it means I cultivate an environment of vulnerability and acceptance. It means that I focus on the internal heart and it externally changes this place. This is where God is leading me. 

Break to break open, not to fall apart. 

My heart has been in a state of hurting, and that makes it hard to care about anything else, but recently God has been talking to me about new, fresh beginnings and with that came everything I own in white, and I started to like the simplicity in my heart mirrored in my external environment, because God is doing a new thing, and I’m going to give him the whitest canvas to paint on.

 Even if what you love is just all white everything, all the nature you can soak in, and a passport. The adventures grow from here and they will range from funny stories about changing batteries in smoke detectors, or lessons in mowing the lawn, to meeting new people and hearing their stories, to getting on planes to explore the great unknown and everything inbetween. The truth is the older I get the more I realize how much and how little I need roots. 
See God can use me either way and He can use you too, but there are moments in our lives where He teaches us to grow roots and stand planted, and when He teaches us to go get up and move your feet because you can’t stay here. Both can be just as painful and just as beautiful. 

God has given us a gift friends and it is so much more. We have the ability to dig deep where we are, in the lives around you, everywhere you go. God is doing a new thing in each of us. He calls us all differently, but it’s beauty all the same. Maybe you feel afraid to do something bold? Maybe you feel afraid because you aren’t being asked to do something that looks or feels bold, but rather to stay, or stand planted. Look for your opportunities around every corner. Don’t be afraid to tell your stories if you feel drawn too. Don’t be afraid to break open. Connection brings us all closer. I cherish your stories and I haven’t heard them yet. Feel free to message me if you feel drawn, because I’d love to hear them. Share, connect, grab coffee. 🙂

More to come friends. This is just the beginning.

Ready or not. 

Exodus 14:14. I’ve seen this over and over again the last few weeks. I saw this as the verse of the day. I’ve seen it on notebooks, as lock screens on phones, and today I saw it on a coffee mug.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
If you know me well, you know being still is hard for me to do. If I weren’t home schooled as a kid I’m positive I’d have been diagnosed ADD. What I saw as life and spunk, I’m positive others may have labeled as just plain exhausting. My mother will vouch for the fact that I could only do math in a shoulder stand. I mean now looking back I’m convinced the blood flow to my head probably helped me out, right? I was ahead of my time!
I see the word ‘still’ here and I start thinking about waiting and preparing.
God has been teaching me for about a year now about these two words. I think preparing is wonderful. We are taught this with the best of intentions our whole lives. We study for tests, we practice for the game, we take college prep classes, we take counseling before getting married, maybe take a class on finances, we read books about having babies, we google everything now so we know where we are going, how to change a tire, do hair, or make a smoothie. You name it, we prepare for it. And it’s great I love it, but God has been pushing me in this outside of comfort.

He asked me one day, “Will you ever be ready?” Well that’s a loaded question, Jesus, ready for what? His answer was, “exactly”. Hahaha. See the point I felt He was making in my heart is that I’m ‘ready’ for whatever I think I’m ready for. And there is comfort in knowing the topic of the thing you are being asked are you ready for? (If that makes sense.) Tell me the topic and I’ll tell you if I’m ready, but if I’m not I’ll need to prepare.

I’ll never be 100% ready. I’m never really ready to move out, to meet the guy, to lose him, to get married, to have babies, to lose my job, to get a new one, to leave loved ones or to lose them completely. See ready is a term that I define based on what I know, but God isn’t ever asking me to be ready. He’s asking me to be flexible with my ready. He’s saying prepare your heart. He isn’t against preparing, but don’t wait for perfection, because it’ll never come. Don’t wait to show up with what you have. Take the step in faith. Because being ready, comes through the process, not the preparation.

So I dive back into Exodus 14:14 and I look it up in the Strong’s concordance.

“The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” (KJV)

This is beautiful, because in Bible study we have been studying Ephesians and the armor of God so already I’m seeing connection after connection here.

Peace here it says comes from the primitive root to be silent.

The beautiful thing about verse 14 is that 15 follows it.

Then (emphasis added) the Lord said to Moses, “why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.”

The word for move on comes from the word meaning to set out, journey, set forward, depart.
Oh God, you are so so. So so good. This is so good.
Be still here isn’t passive. It’s active faith. In this verse the be still or hold your peace, however your version translates this. It’s actively in faith stepping out expecting God to come through for you. Expecting God to come through is trusting Him. It is the breath taking, beautiful, amazing promises of God. You step out because you know He is good. We don’t need to be ready. We just need to trust that God has got this.
Exodus 14:21 is when Moses stretches his hand out as God has instructed and parts the Red Sea. All the tears. This is beautiful. Thanks Jesus for teaching us beautiful things about who you are. It looks like there is a sea in front of me. It doesn’t look good. But God says move forward, do as I say, I have you.

What is your Red Sea today? God is asking you to trust in Truth and walk out righteousness with the peace of God in you and have faith that He will come through for you.

Heart Openers.

phone imageIn yoga class, we do a lot of postures we call heart openers. I have struggled at times in my life to take this stance with God and with people. So recently every time the instructor offers the option to do this in a pose I take it. I use it as a mental reminder and an invitation, because opening my heart is an action and a posture I choose with intention. Open my heart. No matter how much it hurts. No matter how uncomfortable it feels.

So if you don’t do yoga, for the purpose of keeping it simple, just imagine clasping your hands behind your back. When you pull your shoulders back and your shoulder blades closer together, it opens up your chest.

Some of the poses that yoga refers to as heart openers are what we call bind poses. For the non yogis, binds are usually some variation of trying to grab your hands behind your back, the easiest one I can think to describe is a deep squat, feet pointed out, and you place the right arm around the outside of the right leg, right under the knee, and then the left arm wraps back around the back of your body and tries to grab the other hand. I hear the word bind and in my mind it has a negative connotation. God however has used it to teach me something really quite beautiful and refreshing. In yoga, “Binding, when done correctly, allows the body to relax, deepen into a pose, and hold for a longer period of time.”

God nudged my heart while in this pose. Let’s talk about this.  (haha. Great timing. I feel uncomfortable and unfocused on anything but what I’m doing, but I say ok.)

He was helping me to realize when I “bind up my hands”, (my works, my dreams, my desires, my plans) and open my heart to God (His works, His dreams, His desires, His plans), it allows me to relax, to rest, to abide in faith. Binding my hands doesn’t mean that I’m trapped or imprisoned by God. It means that I’m free, because it’s not my job to control and work for everything. When I think about this, I think about my dad, a man was drowning and my dad went in to help him, but the man was flailing and flapping and almost drown my dad with him! Sometimes the best thing for us to do is to let God help us without trying to save ourselves. When I bind up my hands, I let God be God and take steps in faith.

Binding my hands allows me to go deeper with God because it opens my heart for intimacy. It allows me to open my heart to truly know him and to be known. Binding my hands and opening my heart allows me to have perseverance. It allows me to not just survive as life goes on around me, but to actually thrive. He empowers me to live a righteous and pure life, no matter how uncomfortable. And the more you do this the easier it becomes and you begin to take this posture in more than one area of your life.

This is painful at times. And sometimes we do this in faith and feel sore from it afterward. But connection is always worth it. I urge you to choose connection with God and the people around you today and every day.