Thursday, March 29, 2012

Where I Fly

Up, up, up
bare feet
knobby knees
sweaty palms

Hugging the trunk
with my body
like a monkey
clinging to momma's waist.

Each groove and curve familiar
shaped by my growing hands and feet.

Friends on my heels,
I clamber on
Eager to be the first to climb,
to reach the highest branch
where tranquil breezes await
cooling the skin
from the heat
of the Caribbean sun.

Brushing leafy limbs
left and right
as I scramble higher and higher
until I find the place
where the seat
holds my small frame
with perfection.

Reaching for the soft petals
of the native flamboyant
holding their brilliant fragility
with tender affection,

Breathing deeply
sunshine on my face
wind in my hair,
I close my eyes
holding on tightly
afraid that I could fall
but feeling more
like I could fly.

And for a moment
I really do.

about a place I felt safe growing up

You're Already Amazing

Monday, March 26, 2012

Past, Present, & Future

I take a deep breath as I pull open the heavy metal door.

Every time I walk into this room, a flood of memories wash over me.

Birthday parties. Christmas dinners. Youth activities. Work functions.

This space memorializes so many moments over the past twelve years of my life.

The time Steve* and I got into a fight over styrofoam.
The time I sprained my ankle as a youth camp counselor.
The time I learned to make smokin' hot chilli.
The time I felt like a princess at my very own bridal shower.

So as I cross the threshold to celebrate another young woman embarking on her own love journey, I cannot help but think of the crests and valleys of my own wanderings that have taken me across oceans and back again and again.

The changes in my heart and soul have slowly shifted me worlds away from the woman I used to be. The people who sit at the tables inside only know a portion of the woman that will soon walk through the doorway and celebrate with them.

The growing chasm of differences loom greatly like the crossing of the Grand Canyon, and I find myself once more overwhelmed at the anticipation.

Insecurity racks my mind and heart, and paralysis threatens my desire to feel accepted in spite of this new skin, in which I myself am still growing accustomed.

So with another deep breath, fortifying my fledging courage, I enter into the room filled with many familiar faces. My tardiness leaves me at an even greater disadvantage since everyone is already seated and eating, and I wonder where I will sit and if I will be welcomed at that table.

I place my purse close to the food area, praying for wisdom, mercy, grace, SOMETHING to help me, as I pick up a plate, buying time while I peruse the culinary selections.

At that moment, a high-pitched voice startles me from my inward anxieties,
"Miss Lindsey!"

I turn to the sound of the voice to see a grinning six year old with barbecue on her lips, inviting me with her eyes to come over, so I yield and walk towards her table. With beaming pride and a heart full of acceptance she quickly points, "There is a seat just for you right next to me."

My heart melts.
That the reception of a child would fill my heart with such welcome blows me away.

I quickly fill my plate, greeting fellow guests along the way, and finally slid my way into the seat next to the little princess. She smiles and chatters away, telling me about her life and thoughts. Her mom, sitting across from me, opens up with sincerity, "Hannah* said when you walked away, 'Mommy, look how happy everyone is to see Miss Lindsey.'"

My heart beat quickens, and I cannot help but smile.

"Why, thank you, Hannah!"

She smiles as she devours her morsels.

Watching her chew, I could not help but think of how just a few little words could remind me not only of the person I had been, but also of the woman that I still am as well as the soul that I AM destined to be.

I am defeated, and know it, if I meet any human being
from whom I find myself unable to learn anything.
~George Herbert Palmer

*Names changed

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Little Miracles {Project 365 & Joy Dare}

The crisp wind catches my breath as I stumble out the front door. I pull my hood on tighter, zipping up to my chin. While spring is upon us, winter has not quite given up the fight, at least for today.

With camera in hand and a zillion thoughts in my mind, I march onward determined to achieve a bit of exercise and fresh air today. I chide myself, "You've walked this same road, camera strapped to your side, three times last week. What could there possibly be left to photograph?" I have barely passed two homes, when I spot the first discovery that I MUST capture on film. I chuckle in my head, realizing that in spite of my skepticism, the habit of looking and seeing and counting and snapping has renewed a part of my soul, the part longing for wonder and discovery. It is amazing really how in a week alone so much is already changing, growing, blooming, and I am amazed.

So it is with this mindset that I come across a group of children playing in a little field. I long to photograph their play from afar but wary of parental angst, I attempt to capture the nature around me with a bit of their revelry in the background.

I see them notice me as I am walking forward and not wanting to be rude nor cause them to break any potential rules of "not talking to strangers," I simply smile as I saunter by and kindly say hello.

As I pass, I notice more beauty -- the bird's nest high above, the large stump surrounded by greenery, the sound of their child's play -- and suddenly I can hear footsteps drawing closer so I turn.

"Are you a wildlife photographer?"

I smile both outside and in, "No, I just REALLY like to take pictures."

Expecting disappointment or indifference on their faces, I receive none. Instead, one overlapping the other, words spill out as they tell me about their naturistic finds and secret discoveries.

"I see a woodpecker come back to that same tree every year."

"I have a secret hideout here in the woods."

"Me too. I have a different hideout over here...."

"I saw ten lizards today. One was brown and black, one was brown and blue...."

"Come here. Can I show you something really pretty?"

I am sharing in their delight, since I myself have retained a mind that never quite grew up, however, my adult "street smarts" warn me to be careful to not cause any fear in the hearts of their parents. I wave to a few moms, introduce myself to a dad, tell them and the children the street that I live on in their neighborhood to calm any potential alarms inside their heads.

They ask me to come back again when they have planted their garden for the season, I assume they hope I will bring my camera-friend along. I smile and wave goodbye feeling full to the last drop in body and heart and soul.

God's gifts are surprising and unexpected every day, both in what we see AND in what we hear. I am truly amazed at His continual mercies and grace in JUST the way we need to receive them.

And I am thankful for how He opened my eyes to new miracles and discoveries today, through the eyes of His little ones.

Project 365 :: Week 12

Day 78 :: Breathing in a picture of His masterpiece

Day 79 :: Walking with my love
{we are working on a new habit of
walking together during the week.
Exercise + Time Together = Perfection!}

Day 80(1) :: Playing with two of my favorite kiddos

Day 80(2) :: What I Wore - Gray & White Striped Dress
from Abercrombie & Fitch, purple tank, skinny jeans,
and brown lace up combat boots

Day 81 :: A path of enchantment....

Day 82 :: Celebrating bff, Alison's, birthday
at Tokyo Steakhouse

Day 83 :: My {current} favorite dessert...
especially the middle lemony good!
(At Olive Garden)

Day 84 :: Jessica Cherrix's bridal shower

The Joy Dare
1000 gifts in 2012

235) Yummy Roast Beef
236) Resee's Peanut Butter Eggs
237) Laffy Taffy {one of my favs}

3 Gifts That Made Me Laugh
238) Being silly with my love
239) Olivia's funny faces
240) Watching Jake Ray swing backwards

A Gift Salty, A Gift Sweet, A Gift Just Right
241) Arby's potato cakes
242) Twizzlers
243) Steak Gorgonzola

244) Mark 10:27 - Nothing is impossible for you
245) Psalm 139:3 - He is acquainted with all my ways
246) Psalm 23:2-3 - He leads me and restores me

3 Gifts found in Women today
247) Annie --> She loves with such a BIG and accepting love
248) Alison --> She loves and cares for the people that I do -- the way she considers Arno
249) Mom's gift with languages

3 Gifts Spoken
250) "Miss Lindsey, there is a seat right here next to me."
251) "Everyone is so happy to see you..."
252) "I really appreciate your help."

253) "Are you a nature photographer?"
254) The neighborhood kids showing me all of their hideouts and favorite things in nature

Won't you join me? Take The Joy Dare!
Here is a list of ideas to daily help you
to SEE in the midst of the busy days...

You're Already Amazing

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Paradox of Emptiness

Have you ever wondered if your own personal desert season will EVER end?

When will I find my life long love?

When will I hold my own babies in my arms?

When will I have enough money to buy that house?
When will I get that dream job
or afford to stay at home
or buy the right car
or take the perfect vacation?

When will eating chocolate actually help me LOSE calories?

Okay, so maybe the last one will never REALLY happen...

...but sometimes life feels like moving from one waiting room to the next, checking in, watching others go in and out of those sacred back room doors, wondering when it will be MY turn, feeling forgotten or maybe even abandoned.

Won't you please join me over at Must Love God today
to hear the rest of my own journey through seasons of emptiness....?

Must Love God

You're Already Amazing

Five Minute Friday: Loud

I used to describe my mind like this....

There is a factory filled with workers and at least a hundred floors. Everyone is busy constantly with important business to attend to. The moment a message arrive at the penthouse, the boss is screaming for the poor peon to already be on his way to the mail room with the next message.

Shouldn't you have been moving already?

When I told a girlfriend this in college, she said the boss in her mind would tell his bottom level worker to take a load off and have a drink.

I remember being in awe of such a mind.
A mind at rest
Or at the very least,
A mind that could SUCCESSFULLY choose rest and enjoy it.

The cacophony in my head resonates as a part of my being the same way as my heart cries for the oxygen it desperately needs.

And still He teaches me.
This Father of mine.
He is so gracious, so gentle with me.
He has to be
For I, left to my own devices am a taskmaster, seargant general commanding the troops relentlessly...

And somehow He gets that about me...He really understands me...He is acquainted with all my ways.

And He daily, hourly, even minute-by-minute leads me beside still waters...

Wonder what this Five Minute Friday is all about? Here it is in the words of the creator of this precious space....

"We finger paint with words.
We try to remember what it was like
to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

Want to play Five Minute Friday? It’s easy peasy!"

Hop over to Lisa-Jo's place and join in....come will not regret it...promise!!

You're Already Amazing

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Getting Stronger :: A Story of Hope

I sat frozen by the news.

After more than two years of "trying," taking various tests, and crying and praying for a breakthrough, the word that something truly biological may really be blocking us from holding our own precious babes ravages through my heart.

A flood of thoughts and emotions vye for first place in my consciousness.

Dreams of a little girl with my freckles and a son with Arno's beautiful smile seem to be slipping through my fingers, and I am helpless to stop it.

Knowing that the Father has led me to begin a 30 day journey of hope seems absolutely ludicrous.




How can I share about hope when mine, on the face of it all, has been snatched away?

I stand on a precipice of one of those defining moments of life.

Will I jump headfirst, turn and walk away, or maybe discover a pathway through the rocky divide, knowing that crawling my way to the other side may be completely ambiguous and filled with trepidation?

So I broach the chasm.
What else can I do?

I tread lightly at first, stumbling along the way, until suddenly my muscles fortify with the tension of the climb, and Hope begins to take on a life of her own, weaving her story into my broken pieces, teaching me that life is more than my plans and my wishes and my desires.

She is soft and strong
Steady and sure
Sensitive and striking
drawing me into her safe haven
teaching me to rest in her heartbeat
holding me close in the splintering
nudging me forward into boldness.

And in her grip, I am finding freedom, little by little, day by day
Getting stronger.

{Written about a moment in time
two years ago}

You're Already Amazing

Monday, March 19, 2012

Project 365 :: Week 11 & The Revelation in Counting

Closing in on 80 days into this new year, I find daily that there are new discoveries of His heart for me and new elements of His character developing inside of me. Little did I know that the discipline of taking at least one picture a day as well as counting three gifts from my day-to-day life would launch me into a lifestyle of leaning in, drawing close, letting go, and learning to fly.

As the revelations unfold, I will share more, but needless to say, He is amazing me in how He speaks even through, and especially in, the seemingly mundane, habitual moments.

Here's a little glimpse into this week's unearthings....

Day 71 :: Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Day 72 :: Basking in the Sunshine

Day 73 :: Enjoying Spring

Day 74 :: Goddaughter, Macy Hope, walking on Sunshine

Day 75 :: Beautiful Sunset

Day 76 :: Friday night at FNF learning about the tongue

Day 77 :: Celebrating my pal, Jamie, as she and Grant prepare to welcome
their little lady bug in just a few weeks!

The Joy Dare
1000 gifts in 2012

214) The way the wind sounds when you close your eyes and just soak it in
215) The way the leaf floated at the top of the bucket of water --> random loveliness
216) Filling the pages of my 1000 gifts book (untapped potential)
217) Golden Double Stuff Oreoes
218) The smell of spring --> it is captivating me!
219) How excited my kitties were to spend time outside in the beautiful weather

3 Gifts Found In Silence
220) Time with my friend Alison at her house where they do not own a TV
221) Just sitting together with my love, in comfortable silence, each with our own thoughts
222) The stillness of the quiet house, when I am the last one awake

223) Jake: "But Mommy, Miss Lindsey is here and I haven't seen her in FOREVER!"
224) Listening to goddaughter Macy with her new words and sounds --> so cute!
225) Spending time with my best friend

3 Hard Eucharisteos
226) Finding His mercies in only one hour of sleep
227) Learning to trust Him in the tension of the waiting
228) The beauty of spring only came because of the persistence of the seeds through the cold winter

229) Those buds that have lay dormant for weeks, seeming, like they were going to bloom but now finally ARE in bloom!
230) Working with Wendy & Kasi to hang things to decorate around her new apartment
231) Celebrating with a friend at her baby shower -- She's waited a long time for this!

3 Gifts Red
232) Walking with Arno in his bright red slippers
233) Hot Tamales...Mhmmmm...!!
234) "DON'T WORRY. BE HOPPY." bag with the red lily pad gifted to me from Cheryl

Won't you join me? Take The Joy Dare!
Here is a list of ideas to daily help you
to SEE in the midst of the busy days...

You're Already Amazing

Friday, March 16, 2012

Five {and a 1/2} Minute Friday: Brave

I want to be brave.
Brave enough to swim the English channel
Climb Pike's Peak
And travel around the world on a wing and a prayer.

I want to be brave
Brave enough to say I'm sorry
I forgive you
I love you
I need you

I want to be brave
brave enough to lay down my guard
to open up my soul
to boldly go there

I want to be brave
to be WHO HE created me to be
to write
to sing
to dance
to work
to play
to love

I want to be brave
Brave enough to be still
Brave enough to search deeper
Brave enough to cry without reservation

I want to be brave
Brave enough to demand answers
Brave enough to accept waiting
Brave enough to rest in the tension of the two

I want to fly higher
I want to dream bigger
I want to love better
I want to know the depths of me
and you
and Him

I want to face my own fears
knowing that I cannot change them
tame them
shape them
guide them
into a place where I am comfortable

But I can stand here
shaken to the core
wishing to be anywhere but here
And somehow
because He is with me...

I will be brave.

There is something about these Five Minute Fridays that....{shew}....just blow me away the depths of my heart. I read the prompt but did not have time to write immediately so I let the word....brave...marinate in my soul...and this is much of the REAL, RAW me in a way that I have a hard time doing because the analytical, incessantly-demanding editor in my head often demands his own way.

So I hope you will join me for my favorite writing time of the week and BRAVELY write your own 5 minutes...or at the very least...visit some amazing women over at
Lisa-Jo's...some of them I am even privileged to call "friend."

You're Already Amazing

Thursday, March 15, 2012

To Be Fearless

Tippy-toeing on broken glass
Holding new life in my hands
Walking through the creepy forest
of fairy tale lore

From fear that holds me hostage

Like a rattlesnake poised to strike
Like the family home set ablaze
Like falling in love
For the very first time

Catching air with my fingers
Embracing tightly to a reality
That yields its soul to a memory
now faded

I rise
But only in this outer shell
Inside I am bowed low
Fighting the frailty of my humanity

Yearning to prove to the world
Yet mostly to myself
that I am still

I fail
Spinning on the wheel of try-hards and do-betters
I falter
I fall
I come short of the glory

In the hollow echoes of
my empty cries
my lonely nights
Longing for redemption

There I am conformed
into Imago Dei
The Great I AM
knowing that this mercy
for THIS morning
Has arrived

And tomorrow
is another day
to shed this skin

Linking with...
Mama’s Losin’ It
...with a post using the phrase "catching air with my fingers."


On the word "fearless"

You're Already Amazing
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