My tongue is in my hand…

Archive for the ‘God’ Category

Don’t worry about the past in trying to make full sense of it, or trying to use it to assume the future, trying to understand me. Your past has given you knowledge, and you can apply it without obsessing.

I am bigger than what you can understand, and far more complex the the earthly things and ways around you.

Take your lessons and move forward. Do not worry. I have never, will never, leave you nor forsake you. Everything really is okay. But you do need to do your part. Who you are now is not who you were. So let that person go. Forgive her. Leave her where she was. You are moving forward, you are new.

Keep believing. I move mountains, I move people, I move entities. I move everything. I hold time in my hands. Do not fear. Be faithful. And really do your best. Your very best.

Take heart. You are more than you have believed yourself to be. I live in you. You can do all you need to, and I will do the rest.

Do not despair. Do not try to predict everything. Just do your best. Really do it. Your best is good enough. Do not doubt. This is about to be a beautiful, amazing, fantastic, peaceful, joyful, productive season for you, for your family.

You did not ruin everything. You are not that powerful. But what you do does affect others, so be careful with what you do. Be proactive. Be prayerful. Believe. Every little effort makes a difference. Don’t get discouraged. Keep at it. Every day. You will see, you will see.

I love you, precious daughter. Have no fear. Be joyful in me.

So much of our life is about perception.

What if everything is okay, right now, always? What if we’re missing it the whole time because of how we’re looking at it? What if nothing was not okay?

What if our expectations, standards, and perspectives are the only thing making things not okay? What if we were to stop thinking in terms of right and wrong, to stop trying to make everything fit into an equation or a diagram, to stop thinking in  “should” and “shouldn’t s”. How would this change us?

So many of us are fed such stringent stories and guidelines of faith and prayer and God that even if well intentioned (and I’m not sure it always is), it hinders us. Because there are discrepancies in the kind of belief you have before you see so many perceived bad things happen to perceived good people.  Before you realize that no matter how much someone plays by the rules they can still lose it all or get burned.  Before you see suffering and sickness and death strike with no order, not passing over the faithful. When you’re really out there living, nothing is like it was taught to you, you have to find for yourself what your faith is, what your prayer is, who your God is.

You have to find what’s within you, you have to build within yourself. The more you have within you, the less you need from anyone, anything else. And, ultimately, the more you have within you, the less you have to lose from around you.

This is how I come to belief- from within, from the place where I am defining for myself what belief is, who God is, what prayer is. From the place where I am letting go of all the definitions I’ve been fed.

I have decided that prayer is about energy, and belief. It is communion, it is communication. It is the way we live, our lives are prayers. And the times we stop to pray, we are aligning ourselves with the energies around us, we are drawing respite and renewal, we are releasing negativity, requesting assistance, we are communicating, we are connecting, we are believing that prayer matters, that our concerns matter, that we matter, that God exists, and that God cares, that God is able.

I have decided that belief is a choice. It is how I choose to interact with myself and my world. Belief, like love, is not earned, it is an effort from within.

I believe we can choose what to do with the shatter that comes into our lives. And that sometimes (or maybe all the time) it takes something falling apart for us to really dig in and develop some depth to faith and belief. I believe that belief is a choice to constantly make, I believe that the act of belief is a defiance of fear, circumstance, hate, and ugliness.

I think we get chances all the time to choose belief, or choose anything else in it’s place. And I think we have to be careful of what we choose, because there’s only so much room in us. I think that it’s something to constantly reconsider, redefine, and reshape as our lives and hearts and minds move through this life.

I think the dirtier we get believing, the more we know about what we believe. I think laying down belief for a little bit due to anger, disappointment, doubt, etc, allows us to see ourselves and our world without it and allows us to decide if we want it back and what amendments we want or have to make to it. I think it takes seeing what our faith is not to know what it is. I think that all of these things make our faith not only more authentic for us, but to others as well.

I believe not blindly and not because my world hasn’t shattered, but because it has, and I have laid down belief and I know who I am without belief and I don’t like that person. I believe because I have to if I’m going to get up in the morning, because I need to, because I want to. I believe, even knowing that bad things do happen, have happened, can happen, will happen.

I believe we are part of something so much bigger than we can see, something that we only occasionally get a glimpse at, still unsure what it creates in the big picture. Like a stained glass mural or patchwork quilt, a symphony; all the pieces needing the others to make the masterpiece.

I believe because I’m a fighter and I’ll fight off darkness with belief because I don’t have room for both in me. And while I know I have to enter the dark at times, I will fight to keep it from entering me. And I don’t always succeed at that, but I will keep defying it.

I have seen that there are tunnels and there is light. I believe not because I always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but because I know there is a light. I believe knowing that there is light before and after the tunnel; and there is a tunnel before and after the light. I believe that with each light, I can take for myself a portion to carry through the next tunnel, and I can do this until the tunnel has no more room for darkness, and I am with the light all the time. But I have to keep moving and I have to keep pushing the darkness out with the light; within me, around me, before me.

There is a beautiful release in belief and I think we talk about that a lot, but we don’t always talk about the battle. And it is both. Freedom comes at a price. It always has.

Because fear is an enemy, an army. Fear debilitates, censors, triggers the ugliest places in us, limits us, locks us into panic rooms with no light, no air.  Fear is a wolf that comes to our door in sheep’s clothing and devours us.  Fear paralyzes, marbleizes, tethers us to dry and barren places and tells us they are safe zones.  Fear is a lie.

Belief is defiance of fear.  Belief is free and open and empowering.  Belief breathes life into us.  Belief unchains us from regulations and codes and methods that were designed to control us with fear, manipulating our desire for control and sense of security.  The only security I’ve found is belief. The only freedom I’ve found is belief.

So, through this, I’ve decided that I believe this about God:

When God is small, when God is punishing, when God is vengeful, when God is abandoning, when God is limited, when God is no longer magnificent and loving and graceful and magical and majestic and caring and powerful and a worker of miracles, it is because we have perceived God as such. It doesn’t mean any of those things are God, it just means that is what we have decided God is, and so, for us, that’s what God is.

When God is timeless and present and kind and understanding, it is because we believe God is so. When God is magnificent and loving and graceful and magical and majestic and caring and powerful and the worker of miracles, it is because we allow God to be these things in our lives, because we perceive God to be these things and with this perception, we bust the doors of our souls wide open and anything is possible.

I believe in God with us, in us, for us. God as companion, God as love, God as compassion, God as service, God as an artist, God as beauty, God as powerful, God as present, God as supernatural.

I believe God loves me fully, passionately, unconditionally, irrevocably, honestly, adoringly, and lives in me, around me, with me, through me. I believe this is true for everyone.

I truly believe we find what we seek, not we we demand, not what we wish, but what we seek, actively seek.

I believe when you see God as the fullness that God is, you begin to see God everywhere. You begin to see beauty in places and people you haven’t before, you begin to see the movement of the  spirit all around.  You begin to see, because you are looking.

When I let go and just be, just believe, everything is stars and light and colors and gorgeous. Everything is what it is and that is somehow fine. I find myself in places, with people that are both blessings and sanctuaries. It’s amazing the things you can enjoy when you’re not factoring in anyone elses standards or opinions and you are just being the being that you were created to be. It’s a beautiful high.

So I believe because I need to, because I want to, because I choose to. I struggle, I crash, but I keep coming back to this. I feel the most beautiful, the most fearless, the most alive, the most inspired, the most powerful, the most passionate, the most creative, the most hopeful, peaceful, joyful, loving, and kind when I am believing the things I believe. At this point, that’s all the evidence I need.

Today

Posted on: June 15, 2010

I will never fail you nor forsake you. (Heb. 13:5)

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wing’s as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

I’m leaving you with a gift: peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So, don’t be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27)

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters … they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God” (Isaiah 43:1-3).

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

God,

Please grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Belief

Posted on: June 6, 2010

Sometimes, a lot of times, writing is the only thing that makes me feel powerful…it’s empowering…it’s active…I don’ t know why I just don’t write sometimes. I should write all the time, but it’s like there’s some block…not writers block, something else. And it’s not just with writing, there are the walls I hit, far too often that just knock me down, or that I just keep hitting my head against, over and over until I feel defeated. I don’t know how it happen, what it is, but it takes me down…anyways, I’m writing right now…

Do you ever feel like there is only one lesson you are ever really supposed to learn in your life, something that you keep coming back to, over and over in varying degrees? Belief is my lesson. I just know it.

I will not let anything steal my joy. I won’t. New decision. Our joy is our strength, so I won’t let it be stolen. Even as I write this, I am struggling to believe it, but I’m going to write it. Because writing is powerful.

“If you would just trust me, your whole life would be amazing…even the struggles would be adventures, opportunities, open doors…open your mind to more than the world, what the world says is good or bad or scary or sad…get beyond that, beyond people, even the people you love…they have their own lessons, their own journeys and all you can do is live your life the best way you know how, that’s the most help you can ever give, honestly…it really really is. I love you. I’m the mountain mover. Why don’t you believe me? Just believe me. It’s a beautiful world, it’s a beautiful life…you have to believe…and write even when you feel blocked. Don’t get discouraged when you feel exhausted, cloudy…just give it to me, just let it go. Just believe.”

I’m trying, I’m trying. Guide me Lord, I need you. I keep falling back into the same thoughts, the same habits, the same fears. I keep getting overwhelmed and exhausted. I’m not delving into your grace, into faith. I need help to be free from what holds me back. I need help with clarity. I need help with follow through. I need help living the best I can. I know I’m not right now. There’s too much negativity and anxiety for this to be the “best”, so please deliver me from the chains, help me please be free in you. Lift me when I fall, encourage me when I feel defeated, give me energy when I feel exhausted, grant me clarity when I feel confused, hope when I feel despair, strength when I feel weak, joy when I feel depressed, peace when I feel worried, please please help me. I can’t live with anxiety, exhaustion. I need your deliverance. I know there are life circumstances that I’ve been letting get the best of me- instead of seeking your magnificence, I’ve been fearful, anxious, confused, weary. I want to let that go, I’m letting that go. You are more, life is more. I can not live worried anymore. I have to let it go and believe you will guide me, you will show me the ways to go, you will make a way where there seems to be no way, so that’s it. No point in knotting myself up about it. You are in control, you have it all in your hands. I need to let it go. And the thing is, it’s everywhere…the things I fear, the anxiousness – it can be triggered anywhere I am, anytime of day or night, all thinking about money or the lack there of and what the world tells me that means, what the world says will happen, what the world thinks of that, how scared the world is of that and it makes me feel like I should be scared, like I should be freaking out all the time and like I should feel discouraged and defeated and I’ve been believing this crap. Please help me believe in miracles, in your miracles, not just water to wine kinds of things, but the miracle that is life outside of this earth, the miracle that is trust, that is belief, that is hope and joy. Lead me in these ways, in the ways of peace and in the powerful presence of everlasting hope and eternal love, redeeming, powerful thing that it is. May the things that bother me become convictions to seek you out, to delve into hope and belief, to pray for peace and guidance to move as you will have me move, to allow you to move as you will move, may my worries become convictions and my convictions become actions of faith…I want more than worry, I want more than the world…  Please, help me let it go…I love you.

Dear Natalie,

It’s been while since I’ve written you a letter (the others are in a yellow spiral notebook on the bookshelf in the computer room, not that they’ll be there forever, but that’s where they are right now…)

As a  mother, I know I don’t always do everything right, but I am doing the best I can at any given moment. Sometimes, that may seem like it’s not good enough, believe me, I know – but be assured that I’m a work in progress, just like everyone else on this whole entire earth (so don’t let anyone fool you), I’m learning as I go, and doing my very very best.

Right now, more than I have in years and years, I’m paying attention to the debates and criticisms regarding feminism, racism, Christianity. I think about the world I was raised in, versus the world you will be raised in. I think about the world I was raised in versus the world others in my generation were raised in. We can’t separate ourselves from the places we are raised, we can only be willing to love and learn from those places that we begin.

And know this, I’m far less interested in the technicalities than the big picture, so I may let some things slide that other parent’s wouldn’t, but I can guarantee you that if I ever witness or hear of you degrading another human being for any reason whatsoever, I will tear into you in ways you can never imagine until we can re-arrange whatever spring that ugliness sprang from. You are not allowed to treat people poorly, no matter who they are, no matter what you or anyone else thinks of them. We are all equally worthy beings on this earth. I will not insist on many things from you, but I do insist that you treat others with respect, and that you treat yourself with respect. If it is my job to do anything as a parent, I believe it is my job to do this, to help you cultivate respect for yourself and others. I won’t tolerate you degrading yourself any more than I will tolerate you degrading someone else. And believe me, I know how hard it is to do this sometimes. For me right now, the struggle is with respecting myself as much as I respect others. I don’t know what your struggles will be, but I’m doing my best to work through things myself, so I can help you do the same, as much as possible.

I’ve been thinking about all kinds of things lately, things I want to pass along to you, things I want you to know. I have no idea how old you’ll be when you read this, assuming you read this, but I’m not going to talk down to you. I don’t believe in talking down or up to people. Whether you are six or sixteen or twenty six, I’m sure you will take from this what you can, what you need at the time. I’m also sure this will only be one of many many things I write you. Maybe one day they’ll be all bound together in notebooks or folders or envelopes. I can’t promise you that though. I realize that I can’t promise you much about the future at all.

But I do promise you this, I love you fully and deeply. Your father loves you fully and deeply. Your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins love you fully and deeply. God loves you fully and deeply. You are loved completely, always, as you are, no exceptions, no conditions. You are unconditionally loved, for eternity. If you are still and quiet enough, you’ll feel it in the sun, in the wind, in all the energy around you- you’ll see it in the trees and clouds and in the faces of strangers, you’ll see it everywhere you go. If you look, if you believe it, you will see it everywhere you go.

Which leads me to the next thing- belief. Belief is the very most important thing I’ve learned about so far in my life. Your belief will determine everything. Whether you believe the good or the bad, it will determine everything for you. I struggle every day with belief, so by no means at all do I expect you to master this, I just want to share this with you – I hope you see it in me, that I believe; that my life is better because of belief in good, in love, in forgiveness, in kindness, in magic, in God, in beauty, in joy, in mercy, in fun, in grace, in creativity, in respect, in humor, in the power of caring, in the supernatural, in peace, in freedom.

I want you to know that you always have the option to be free from the chains the world offers you. The chains look so pretty sometimes, it’s easy to wear them, to wrap yourself up in them and get comfortable. But one day, you will want to fly, and you will want to be free.

This is what I know about freedom: Freedom is choosing to love instead of hate. It is choosing to accept the unconditional love you are offered, and using it to propel you. It is choosing to forgive others instead of harboring ill will or seeking revenge. It is choosing to forgive yourself instead of engaging in regret. It is choosing to love yourself instead of giving in to self-hate. It is choosing to be generous instead of selfish. It is choosing gratitude instead of envy or bitterness. It is choosing determination instead of defeat. It is choosing to hope instead of despair. It is choosing to have faith instead of anxiety. It is choosing to be kind instead of hateful. It is choosing to believe that mountains can move instead of being fearful that they will crush you. It is choosing to allow yourself to feel whatever you feel, instead of numbing yourself.  It is choosing to think for yourself instead of being told what to think. It is choosing to be a positive member of your community instead of complaining about the problems. It is choosing to be open to people, to possibilities  instead of being closed to them. It is choosing to allow yourself to be ordinary, or extraordinary as you see fit for yourself. It is choosing to stand with the crowd at times and at others,  it is choosing to be alone  instead of being with the crowd.  And though at times you may feel that freedom means you are standing all by yourself, rest assured that you are not alone. Keep moving, you’ll find so many others like you along the way, don’t let fear keep you in a box, there are millions of amazing souls out here to mingle with. But don’t burn your bridges, freedom is about opening yourself and allowing yourself to connect, it’s not about separating yourself.

I will do everything I can to protect you from those who try to harm you, but I know I can not protect you from life, from the aches and hurts and disappointments and struggles. To do so would rob you of the joys and excitements and challenges that will allow you to utilize what you have within in you. Besides, there are some battles we all have to fight for ourselves at some time or another, and to do so, we need to practice. I would be doing you a disservice to jump in and save you every time you struggled. That being said, I may step back, but I’ll never leave you. I’ll always be with you, even when there are battles you must fight on your own, I will be right here, cheering you on. I will be right here, to help you gather your resources, to help you heal. You carry me with you, as I carry you with me. That is an unchangeable truth.

I hope you find ways to take the things in your life that you can’t control, the things that hurt you and anger you and disappoint you and break your heart and dampen your spirit and use them to move you; I hope you find ways to turn them within you, into something bigger, to provide fuel, to create something defiant and beautiful. As long as you are loving and respectful, you are encouraged to be defiant and beautiful (you couldn’t be beautiful without being loving and respectful anyways).

And here’s something else I want you to know, many have fought for you to do what you want with your life. You don’t have to be a mother or a wife. You don’t have to be a lawyer or a rock star. You don’t have to be a teacher or a construction worker. You don’t have to be a politician or a preacher. You don’t have to be a fast food worker or a tattoo artist. You don’t have to be a farmer or a mill worker or a secretary. You don’t have to be a chemist or a missionary. You don’t have to be a nurse or a bus driver or a entrepreneur. You don’t have to be a postal worker or a nanny or a firefighter. You don’t have to be a hairstylist or an interior designer. You don’t have to be a writer or a mechanical engineer or a psychiatrist or a chef. You don’t have to be an insurance agent or a mechanic or a doctor. You don’t have to be a dental assistant or a veterinarian or a salesperson or an executive. But you can be. You can be whatever you find that fits, whatever you choose. You can be many many things. That opportunity did not come without a price. It does not come without a price. Value your options, daughter and choose wisely, choose selfishly, choose bravely, choose lovingly.

Value your life. Value the people in your life. Value yourself. Value your days: your good days, your bad days, your boring days, your monumental days. Value all the intricacies of your life.

Because here’s the thing about life- You have to be willing to commit to loving it, the whole of it, and everyone in it, or you’re just going to hate it. You have to love it enough to take it as it is. You have to love it enough to always engage in making it better. You’ll probably find that how you feel about life is how you feel about God. And that how you think life feels about you is how you think God feels about you. So believe life loves you, take what life gives you and embrace all the tiniest pieces of it. Don’t let the busyness, the negative, the pessimists around you keep you from absorbing the love, keep you from loving. Don’t let yourself box life and people up. Life is fluid, people are multidimensional, don’t let your spirit get wrapped up in structures. You have the option to be free, you always have this option.

Take what you are given and give it back into life, love life back. Be brave, be loving, have belief. Have belief so you can believe. Believe in love. Believe so much that you don’t have room for fear or hate or self pity. Believe enough to see past the mountains that pop up in your way, believe the mountains are beautiful, movable, or that the route over or around them is amazing.

Commit. Commit to loving life. Otherwise, you’ll wind up wasting all your time hating it.

Now, I’ve written this as much (if not more)  for myself  as I have for you, my precious precious heart. Like I said, I’m learning along the way. I love you fiercely little one. Little silly, sweet, crazy, smart, joyful girl. The prayer in my heart for you right now is that you know love, that you feel within you the breadth and depth of the love that is yours. Love will get you so much farther than anything else, but remember, you have to believe it.

I love you Natalie Grace.

Love,

Me (Mom)

Growing up in a Christian church, there was always a lot of talk about putting God first, making God a priority, and about denying ourselves our “selfish desires”. I think these two things contradict themselves for someone who has accepted the love of God into their lives. If now, God lives in me as love, and God created me, then wouldn’t one of the best ways to get in touch with God be to get in touch with myself? To explore my desires, to indulge the things that pull at my heart and spirit? If God lives in us, then wouldn’t listening to our selves be listening to God? To do this, wouldn’t it take tuning out everything else at times, or most of the time? Shouldn’t we, with God in us, be the priority in our lives, with all other things coming after? If I can not hear myself, can not mend myself, can not refresh myself, can not address my needs, can not engage in the things that press on my God- designed, God-entwined heart, can not touch base with God within myself then how can anything else I do be in tune with God, how can I touch base with God anywhere outside of myself? But the church taught me for so long to deny myself, that it’s taken me years to understand that this was incomplete information, it was the beginning of a lesson that no one bothered to follow up on. I’m realizing that the things I do that perhaps no one else in the whole entire world (or my whole entire world) seems to agree with, but rests well on my heart, always serves me better than following anyone else’s guidelines for “the right thing”. Because my relationship with God is about me. Not anyone else (not even the church). Everyone else has to settle what they have to settle between God and themselves. I have to trust that God is handling everything else, whatever I forsake to indulge in the movement. Moving against the standards  set up by those around me is moving in faith. Even if it’s moving against the standards of the (imperfect, human run, though- most- likely- well intentioned) church. I have to trust that whatever time I spend with God, forsaking all else, will make me a better person for all else. And I have to spend time evaluating everything, sans the world- what’s working, what’s not, what have I learned, what do I need, etc. More time, just God and I. While, in the church, quiet time or devotions are encouraged, I’ve found that they are encouraged within the realm of the world – that you don’t dare disrupt any of the worlds in which you reside.  Christianity seems to expect you to tread so lightly in every realm of your life that you are constantly tangled up in the world and it’s expectations. Yes, by acting in and with love, we can honor God in anything we do…but when we’re suffocated by the standards and expectations of everyone around us, we are ineffective. Why isn’t this a constant conversation in the church?

Sometimes, I feel like the Christian church perpetually teaches the remedial version of faith, never moving forward, always waiting for everyone in their midst to grasp the basics of the religion, before they really get into the abstract parts. While anyone can gain from reviewing the basics, what do you do when it’s time to start applying the basics? Where’s the person talking about how sometimes, to put God first, you literally have to forsake all others: you have to stop working, ignore your boss, your job, your church, your parents, your spouse, your children, your debts, your home, your pets, your friends, your government, your responsibilities, everything: every standard, every rule, every expectation , all of it being worldly, and subject to seperating you from God, even with the best intentions.  And you have trust that God will take care of everything while you sit alone with God, with yourself, for however long is necessary, while you move where ever you are moved.

Who’s going to talk about how this may not necessarily be one big event or moment in your life, but that it may be a daily thing, a weekly thing, a seasonal thing? Why am I wondering if I’m the only person in the world who is in this place, who’s been here? Sure, someone’s read me a verse that says, you must forsake all others and follow Christ. Sure, someone will say that if the world hates you, it’s okay, because Christ has overcome the world. Great. Two sentences. Why aren’t we talking about what this looks like, how this feels, in real life?   Where’s the incessant discussion regarding this (instead of, perhaps, homosexuality- or something equally less important to our spiritual growth)? Why aren’t we evolving as spiritual beings? Why do we only expect people to be able to spout out Sunday School answers?   Where’s the discussion on the individuality of faith, of spiritual growth? Why do we all expect it to look the same on everyone? Why is the church afraid of getting messy with faith? Why does the church rely on black and white so much, why is it so fearful of all the gray that is the individual application of faith? Why do the standards of Christians get more specific than love God, love one another? Are Christians that dense that we need someone to give us rules beyond love to live by? The church is so wrapped up in setting and applying it’s own standards for faith in the world, that it has become part of the world that one must ignore to really hear God. Are the structures of the church impeding the growth of the church in regards to allowing and encouraging members to evolve spiritually?

Oh, people are good at saying they know faith is individual, but the actions of the Christian church do not support this. It supports conformity far more than it supports growth outside of conformity. It seems to have so low an expectation for it’s community of believers that it simplifies everything to boxes and lists and categories to keep from confusing anyone. It is a social and political organization, as well as a religious one, and it’s rare to find a church were you can escape these undertones and overtones.  Not to say I dismiss the potential and positive impact of being part of a church community, because I do believe people can benefit from being part of a group of people who care about you and care about others as well. I think church is, overall, a good thing to be part of. I just wonder, is there too much teaching in churches and too little discussion and application when it comes to the intangibles? It’s great that someone has studied the Bible and public speaking and can “teach me” about the Bible, and I gather good info and insight through sermons most of the time, and if nothing else, it gives me a chance to sit in one place, quiet, for an hour with others who are doing the same…it serves me well, no doubt. But when do we come together to discuss it? Bible study and Sunday School are another hour of the basics being taught with little opportunity for discussion beyond more basic answers….it’s like we’ve got everyone on the short bus of faith, perpetually. Shouldn’t we expect more from ourselves, from each other? Shouldn’t we be going deeper on a regular basis? Shouldn’t we be experimenting with love and faith and hope and joy and forgiveness  and then evaluating the results as some kind of community? Shouldn’t we be sharing more? Shouldn’t we be getting messier with our faith amongst one another (and in the world as a whole)?

I want to talk  in church, with my church families. I want discussions. Group discussions. Where we push ourselves and each other, where we get uncomfortable, where we question, where we discuss personal applications of faith, where we get confused and frustrated and show one another grace and mercy, where we seek answers, where we share insight, where we agree to disagree, where we intersect among our spiritual journeys, share stories, gather resources and reserves, where we let go of the standards of the world, of our worlds, where we evolve and move…where we practice among each other what we hope to practice outside of the church…unconditional love…

I’m so tired of feeling like I’m trapped in remedial classes every time I’m in church. As much as I love the people in the church, sometimes it’s like I’m suffocating;  we can’t keep breathing the same air over and over without it eventually becoming toxic. We’ve got to open up the doors, the windows, the emergecy exit- something. Come on guys. We’re capable of more, we should expect more, we should grow more.

We’ve got to do something, it’s getting crowded on the short bus and everybody’s laughing at us.

Disclaimer: I have not and do not laugh at those who ride short buses, nor do I condone such behavior. I just found it to be a fitting methaphor.

Why won’t you let me be magnificent? Why do you keep putting something worldly first? Why do you let other’s standards freak you out, hold you down? Why do you wake up dreading the day? Why aren’t you trusting me to take care of you? After all this time, you still worry…Why are you so trapped in this fear, this anxiety, this feeling that it’s up to you to hold it together? It’s not up to you. Why aren’t you following up when your muse visits you? Why are you so tired? Let it go. It’s okay if we’re here again, but ask yourself why… Why do you keep thinking the world rests on your shoulders? You’re free! Be Free! And start writing everything down. Even when it seems stupid. You have to write it out. And post it. Just do it. You will feel better. I’m sorry you’re so tired, so drawn, so worried. Let me be the standard. Let me take care of you, of everything. Stop worrying and beating yourself up. Nothing really matters anyways, besides you and I. Everywhere, there are you’s and I’s and those are the only things that matter. I promise.