Tuesday, May 27, 2008

speaking of butterflies...

i had the chance to go on an hour and a half long bike ride with just me and my ipod. karl had downloaded a fun mix for me, and one song was Jason Mraz's "Butterfly". i've always been a fan of jason-his creativity, his skat-ting, his improvisation in concert-he is brilliant to watch. and while this song in particular doesn't 'call' to me, the idea of him does. let me explain.

when karl made me the mix, he said that jason has a new release out with just him and his drummer, Toca Rivera. and that's where this song, "butterly" came from. so, when i heard that song again on my long bike ride i got to thinking. i like the idea of a talented someone getting to work with another talented someone to collaborate on a great project. i pictured their faces each day at work - so happy to be sharing their experience with someone as passionate about their work as the other.

most people in corporate america wake up, go to an office building, sit down in a tiny cube by themselves, and work for the man day in and day out, without collaboration, without shared passion-simply without.

so, the idea of him and his partner working together does call to me. and on that day, and in this context, i was happy thinking that maybe God will have you and i work collaboratively on some project, some day. i was happy to hope that we could apply our passions and talents in such a way that we find great job satisfaction from the plain fact that we enjoy what we're working on, we like it even more if we can do it together...and the result is a beautiful collaborative project...and possibly even more beautiful than if it were done solo.

this is what the biography on jason's page said about he and toca. "Mraz met a drummer, Toca Rivera and the two began performing together – Mraz on acoustic guitar, Rivera on djembe – honing a live show that featured as much comedic banter between the two as music."

who knows? maybe one day, we can perform together - you in one way, me in another - honing our skills and gifts in such a way to feature our friendly banter between us as much as our talents.

who knows?



i am honored to be privy to your metamorphosis. you have outgrown your cocoon, and now it's time for you to be beautiful and captivating. can there be anything more breathtaking than when one has a butterly alight upon her? she holds her breath, careful not to scare the butterfly away while watching its simple majesty. i'm watching you come into your finery-holding my breath, not wanting to miss a thing...i am captivated.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

From "Messy, Thrilling Life" by Sabrina Ward Harrison

Shoes for Roles

Follow the Leader.

Which leader?

Why do we try to cram

all our lives into

one right way?

Stand in the

right line?

Don't lose your place

Strive to fit

You can take it off.

You can loosen the grip

You are the right place.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Embracing my own thrilling life!

We were fortunate enough to have experienced some 80 degree weather last weekend, but as expected, the gray clouds were not gone for long. The past three days have been rather dreary, and yet the warm and invograting mood that visited me when the sun broke through the clouds over the weekend has made a home within my spirit. Something has shifted deep within my core and I feel like I'm just beginning to understand the huge implications of a seemingly slight change in thinking.

Let me try to explain. The other night Brian and I had one of those really significant conversations where you say things that you didn't even really know you felt until you actually say them outloud. Later that night, I found myself wrestling with certain demons of the mind that have been determined to rule and ruin my life for as long as I can remember. As I struggled to get through a night of intense sleep I longed to greet the dawn of a new day, and hopefully a new chapter in my life. When I awoke I began to process all that had been going on my mind since that single significant conversation where I confessed to Brian that I have spent my entire life wishing that I didn't have my life. All night I wrestled with the realization that I have wasted much time wishing I hadn't made this decision or that decision, resenting the presence of certain painful experiences in my past, and longing for things that are not within reach - things that were not meant for me and my life.

This realization was almost too much for me to bear in a single night's stirrings. I felt the weight of such intense longings and I discovered how paralyzed I have been because of the lie I've bought into. I began to grieve the evidence of a life consumed by self-imposed agony. And then it dawned on me - the prison gate was unlocked...and it had been all along. I simply needed to wipe away the tears long enough to see through the blurriness. In an instant I found myself on the otherside of the gate looking back upon where I lived for so long. For many years I pleaded with God to help me find contentment with the confines of my own life, I never even imagined that I could experience something far greater than contentment - I never dreamed of FREEDOM.

I broke free from my prison cell and began to run straight toward the sun just beginning to rise from the greenest hill I've ever seen. Finally reaching the top of the hill, I opened my arms wide to the warmth of the sun only to realize that this totally amazing and thrilling life has been awaiting my arrival for nearly 29 years. It is time for me to enter into my life, to stop running from the pain, to stop wishing for a different body, a different name, a different story. I can't even begin to imagine what a slap in God's face it has been for me to reject the gift he has given me. How many people waste away there lives by never recognizing the thrilling life they can have (and really already have) if they simply enter into it! The beauty is so much easier to see when we become present - when we stop thinking about what could have been or what we hope one day will be - but when we enter into the now. It is not only the beauty of our own lives that seems more evident, but the beauty of the souls we are connected to and given access to on a daily basis that begins to shine so brightly that it nearly blinds us. How could I not have seen this before??? It is a mystery.

The battle is not over by any means. I'm convinced that the prison cell will beckon me for all of my days, but each day that I chose to live into my own life and search for it's glory, the quieter that voice will become. Speaking of living into my own life - my baby girl has asked me for a dance...so if you'll excuse me, my thrilling, wonderful, messy and beautiful life is calling me now.


p.s. Download "Becoming" by April McLean - it's my new theme song.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Pain in Passion

I know I already told you that we bumped into Dave Matthews and his family the other day at Carkeek Park along the Puget Sound, but I discovered some interesing things about him today that have fueled my thoughts. Brian and I were sitting on our blanket atop the sand enjoying the 89 degree weather with Lauren McCleary and Steph and her family when someone noticed that he and his family were strolling on by. He had a couple of daughters (I guess they're twins about Bailey's age) and a baby boy (soon to be 1). They just looked like normal people. I'm not one of those people that believes that famous people are in a class above the rest of us, but I guess I was expecting his fame to set them apart some how. I was so pleasantly surprised to discover that they were just as human as you and I.

Something prompted me to look up the details of his life on wikipedia today (I seriously love that website...I look something up on it at least once a day). I learned that his father died when he was a child. As if that wasn't enough suffering for one person to deal with, he also experienced the death of his older sister who was murdered by her husband who then killed himself. She left behind two children that Dave and his younger sister have raised jointly. Lyrics from his songs came flooding into my mind and I realized that the story behind the words gave life and depth of meaning beyond anything I had known previously. He wasn't just some lucky fellow who had a musical talent, he was a human being who endured suffering and allowed his pain to fuel his passion.

This connection between pain and passion seems to keep presenting itself. Maybe it means something. Maybe it's a coincidence. God, I hope it means something. I want my pain to mean something...I desperately want it to grow into something. None of us are exempt from pain - it's part of being human. So I pray that we learn to allow our pain to mold and shape us into life-giving souls with purpose on this earth.


Friday, May 9, 2008

can we drink the cup?

Nouwen writes in reference to Matthew 20:22, ""Can we drink the cup?' is the most challenging and radical question we can ask ourselves. The cup is the cup of life, full of sorrows and joys. Can we hold our cups and claim them as our own?" He goes on to add, "We all must hold the cups of our lives. As we grow older and become more fully aware of the many sorrows of life-personal failures, family conflicts, disappointments in work and social life, and the many pains surrounding us...everything within and around us conspires to make us ignore, avoid, suppress, or simply deny these sorrows. But when we want to drink the cups of our lives, we need first to hold them, to fully acknowledge what we are living, trusting that by not avoiding but befriending our sorrows we will discover the true joy we are looking for right in the midst of our sorrows."

i'm trying to figure out if i can hold this cup called life. i just got back from my cruise - and while your portayal of me lounging poolside listening to a good ipod mix and reading a thought provoking book was almost 100% accurate, i didn't get the reading in that i had planned, just the listening and lounging. so, after my lounging days, i came back to my cup - to my life - and the first day back, it slipped through my hand, fell to the ground, cracked and broke into pieces. i thought i could hit the ground running - finish up a relaxing vacation and come back refreshed, ready to engage and do this thing...but by 3:30 monday afternoon i hit a wall of exhaustion - and that obstacle caused me to falter, to drop my cup and watch it crumble.

i thought to myself, what is so difficult about this cup that i am unable to carry it? no one is asking me to carry more than one cup. and this cup isn't even filled to the brim and overflowing. there was nothing more asked of me that first day back than any other day - laundry, groceries, cooking, cleaning... and yet, i could not carry it. i wanted someone else to come carry my cup, and let me take the night off. and when my life slipped and i watched it crumble - i wanted someone else to pick up the pieces and glue things back together for the next day when i'd be more able, more certain i could carry it once again. thankfully, my husband was there to pick up the pieces and join me in putting my cup-my life-back together.

but next time, i want to hold the cup. i don't want to ignore, avoid, suppress, or deny life's sorrows. i want to hold them, no matter how slippery the slope, or rocky the path, or bumpy life's highway...i want to hold on and hope... hope that i will discover the joy that i'm looking for in the middle of the slipperiness of life - not always waiting, wishing and holding my breath for the highway to clear and the winds to die down.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Flaming Parrot

Part of this journey is about discovering more about my true self - the glorious and the not so glorious. I learned something of the glorious - I love flowers! We visited a tulip farm today. The weather was rather dreary, and yet the beautiful experience was unavoidable. I've included some photos for your viewing pleasure. You just have to imagine the aroma (a mix of the slight scent of rain and the perfume of the tulips)!

The Flaming Parrot