Five Minute Friday-Stretch

Hi Everyone-

I’m doing this 5 minute writing challenge again…and again.

As just a reminder, here’s what this challenge is all about-

This is a weekly writing “game”  from my bloggy friend Lisa-Jo Baker, who blogs (and writes heart-breakingly, beautiful words and stories) at http://lisajobaker.com/

So, here’s the challenge: you write for 5 minutes, free, like you have no fear or shame or no editor inside your head (that’s last one’s a hard one for me)…and then you link up to her blog, and encourage the writer who links up before you.  This last piece is crucial, as we need to encourage others.

Each week is a new word, a new thought starter, and you have 5 minutes to write….and are you ready? go-

 StretchOh it feels so good some daysTo stretch

And run

And

to let the length and the stress out of my legs.

Some days it feels so good, yoga, stretching out all the parts of me that are cramped, scrunched, bent-up and pent-up in an office cube, in the somewhat huddled position of daily living life.

And it feels good to stretch all cat and dog-like out of bed; first the arms, then the legs.

But the emotional and spiritual stretching I could do without, God.

I could do without the rounds and rounds of working out the kinks in my tight, impatient attitude.

I could do without the long lengthing practice of trying to be compassionate.

And I could really, really do without the long, hard, bumpy road that is life some days, the long wait of days just waiting with bated breath on a negative diagnosis, a desperately needed answer, the long walk of a wait from just trying to wait on Your will.

It’s clear that I love the satisfaction of stretching; my body tells me that daily.

But the soul stretch-Lord, have mercy.

And let me learn that this is exactly where stretching is needed most.

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On writing

I have a friend who desperately wants to write, to be a writer.

Not sure if she wants to write books, and whether she does or doesn’t hasn’t really any effect on how I view her; she’s a writer, nonetheless.

Just because someone is not published doesn’t mean that they don’t have something to say; likewise, just because someone is published doesn’t necessarily mean that have something insightful to say.  You’re a writer, regardless of what you write and who sees it.

So, she wants to be a writer.  So, naturally I begin to pray for her.

Because she’s really going to need it.

Writing is not something to take lightly.  Sure, it’s really, really nice to have a beautifully written family Christmas letter.  Can I say really nice again? Because I have read (and written myself, to be honest here) not so nicely written ones.  And it is a good and worthy skill to craft a heartfelt thank you letter or better yet, an honest sympathy note.

However. True writing is more than these little niceties.   I want to tell her this, and yet also I want her to know that though writing is the creative expression (and sometimes soft) way of saying something, it’s hardly nice or mannerly or handles you with care.

Writing can be brutal; especially to your soul.

I say this with authority and a deep wisdom, as if I were 85 and had lived through 3 wars.  I haven’t, have no idea what that feels like.

However, I do know what it’s like to have your life turned inside out for it, all for focusing on the craft and wanting, with a sheer, desperate desperation like you have never known, this feeling of having to write.

And I have known trouble because of this.

When I was 15, my writing journey began when my mom was diagnosed with cancer and a family friend gave me a journal as a “safe” place to express my feelings and thoughts about it all.

And that journal writing took, began to proof and rise, like bread. In fact it kept, all the way up to current day, as I still do it now.  Writing in a journal is a comfort, especially when confused by my life and my feelings, which is a lot more frequent than I would like to admit.

And then at 26, smack dab in the middle of a real-life, could be Big-Important Career, a sudden and urgent enlightenment, an insight one morning while journaling-

I need to write.

And it scared the pants off of me, those little words.  What did that mean?

And most importantly, where did that come from? Certainly wasn’t from the logical, sensible part of me.  Writing just did not fit into my life.  Especially not that raw, open writing style that I tended to favor.

And then for about a year after that I could not write, especially not journals, because, well, what else would be dredged up with the soil tilling, what else would happen if I pulled everything up by the roots?

This insight also meant change; it meant that I could not stay in this place of Brilliant If I Had Loved It And Was Made For It career that most would have swooned over.

So, then, change.  And the simple notion (after a lot of inner turmoil, WTH am I doing with my life thoughts) that, maybe, just maybe, I was meant to write in some form or capacity.

And then the event in 2010 that sort of sealed the deal, a literal come to Jesus if there ever was one, the one that drove me here, to this quiet and maddening place of an (almost) daily writing practice.

This ride here, the writing ride to here, to now, has not been an easy one.  Not that anyone’s life journey is easy, but most people are at least riding in some sort of modern automobile with cushiony tires while most days I feel like I am in a covered wagon riding over rough pre-road terrain with of course, no shocks.

So, I want to ask her-

Are you sure you want to do this?

Because there is no looking back, there is no second act where you get to pull your life back together and hide the seams like before, everything nice and tidy.

Are you sure you want to do this?

Because it is not good money and it does not make sense and some days you will add something, be it an insight or a glean to someone else’s life.  But most days you are just adding noise to your own thoughts.

Are you sure you want to do this?

Because this road, know that you only have to go down this path if you have to.

Five Minute Friday-Connect

Hi Again-

I’m doing this 5 minute writing challenge again, just can’t get enough of it, I guess…

As just a reminder, here’s what this challenge is all about-

This is a weekly writing “game”  from my bloggy friend Lisa-Jo Baker, who blogs (and writes heart-breakingly, beautiful words and stories) at http://lisajobaker.com/

So, here’s the challenge: you write for 5 minutes, free, like you have no fear or shame or no editor inside your head (the editor part-that’s a hard one for me)…and then you link up to her blog, and encourage the writer who links up before you.

Each week is a new word, a new thought starter, and you have 5 minutes to write….and are you ready? go-

Connect

We teach our children to play nice, don’t bite friends, color inside the lines and connect the dots, yet we are blind to see how our own dots connect too.

We think that because he is handsome or she is strange that there is no connection, that we are nothing alike.

And yet we teach our children to do what we haven’t learned yet it is so elementary –

That if you have breath, if you have experienced suffering and joy and breathe-if you have a soul-you have connection.

We forget that joy/suffering/hardships/happiness and the great illusion that we are in control are commonalities that we all share; we forget that all, we forget the dotted line.

And we think we can only relate to those with the same taste in shoes as us, the same political beliefs, the same set of china and yet what we realize some days and miss most others is that because we are simply human we have much in common, much to connect.

If we have life, love, air to breathe, a sun to appreciate than we have connection, we have each other.

Gracefull, Part 2

Ok, so here we go…the post I eluded to earlier this week that needed a great deal of love…

Graceful.

Of course it’s spelled with one l, the correct way, above.  Of course it’s not spelled correctly in the post title to make a point.  About how grace and fullness seems (at least for me) to go hand in hand, together like an old couple that are finally at peace with themselves.

Oh, how to be graceful.  Harder than it looks, I hear.

And most days, I don’t feel full of grace.  I instead feel like this:

Thanks for the picture, Colleen Dean.

Vegas-y. (Even though this isn’t a picture of Vegas, I realize that. Again, making a point here.)

I feel like what I imagine I would feel in a place like Vegas: hazy, discordant, lots of activity and too-bright lights, and all things that are unsettling as spending twelve-plus hours inside with no clocks.  Not knocking it if you if you love Vegas, but me and being inside for lots of hours with no clocks, well, I’d shortly arrive at crazy.  Not that I haven’t been there (crazy) before, but that’s a story for another time.  And maybe in a book you have to pay for…

Anyways-back to the way I feel-in an environment like Vegas (also not so dissimilar to my life at the moment)-I would feel not right.

And this feeling of all Vegas-y and uncomfortableness, for me I’ve realized is emptiness masquerading as fullness.  The shockingly bright and loud sights, sounds and activities in my life making me feel as if I am full and happy, so thus, by the mathematics therefore it means that I am ok. Right?

But then again, Doritos and empty calories make me feel that way too, only to discover a couple of hours later that I am cranky, hungry, and now have an ever-so-slight orange glow.

Again, it’s not right.

And yet I do it all again, over and over again, like someone who does not learn from their mistakes.  And again, I over-schedule, over-plan, over-do; too much in one day, then I end up stressing myself out only to spend more time trying to work myself down from working myself up that some days I have to just laugh about it.  And then others days I cry because I am exhausted by the whole mess.

Oh boy.

So then I go through the whole thing again, thinking, over-thinking, trying to solve this “problem” and then, eureka!

I walk outside.

Outside where the world is simple and solid, where the sky in my backyard is a tall, deep and wholesome visual drink of quiet.

And it is wonderful.

And I ask myself why I don’t do this often, and then I remember it’s because I keep gambling, a nasty, constant game of life-roulette of gambling my time, money and energy on silly things, small things that really don’t matter (i.e. the laundry doesn’t deserve all of my attention) and neglecting the big ones, (i.e. the big presents in the very small moments-my husband opening my doors, my small child telling me that the bubbles are tired, that’s why they keep disappearing from the bathtub, and the not so small gifts of grace co-workers offer so consistently…)

And I miss it all.

And I do this over and over and over again, like a record needle caught in a groove, stuck on repeat, until someone moves the needle.

Wondering, when, exactly, will I learn?

When, exactly do I pass this quiz?  Maybe soon, sometimes I hear.

Other times I think I hear Maybe never. But that’s why I’m here.

And then in the silent, navy night, I utter a small thank you to God, if for nothing else but His grace.

Five Minute Friday-Here

Hi Everyone-

I’m doing this 5 minute writing challenge again…

As just a reminder, here’s what this challenge is all about-

This is a weekly writing “game”  from my bloggy friend Lisa-Jo Baker, who blogs (and writes heart-breakingly, beautiful words and stories) at http://lisajobaker.com/

So, here’s the challenge: you write for 5 minutes, free, like you have no fear or shame or no editor inside your head (that’s a hard one for me, just so you know)…and then you link up to her blog, and encourage the writer who links up before you.

Each week is a new word, a new thought starter, and you have 5 minutes to write….and are you ready? go-

Here

5 minute Friday-here

We keep thinking He, God, is not here.

We think He’s here in the perfect moments, the Kodak ones, those short, instantaneous moments of children trying to be good, everyone laughing and the bank account full.

We think he’s here when the windows are open and blowing a sweet cool breeze, there is a cake in the oven, bread rising in a bowl and a clean house and happy family.

We forget (or ignore, pick your poison) that He is here in the mess, in the sticky floors, in the “Why? Why? Why?” constant why questions from 1 kid, and from the other kid, refusal to get in a car seat in under 45 minutes.

We forget He’s here when the hubby is mad, when nobody’s socks match; when it all falls apart and you wish you could sleep for days or become an ostrich to ignore everyone’s needs and complaints.

We forget He’s here when there isn’t an abundance of time or money or love; we forget He’s actually closer than we think when we are bottomed out in cash and patience and kindness.

He is here when we want to spend time with our family and friends and He is here when we too want to run away.  And we are so silly think He wants us to be perfect.

And we think he sits high on His throne and laughs at us silly imperfect humans, when actually He laughs and delights in the fact that we are human and yet we think we have to be perfect to love him, to be with Him here.

Gracefull, part 1

Hi All-

So, sorry about the due date.  I’ve missed it. Sigh.

With work and life and potty training, (oh my!) I am behind with this post already.  Don’t you love that? Already behind before the day begins.  Seems I’ve had a lot of days like that in the last month.

So, all that to say this: I would rather take the time to carve out a new post that’s worthy of reading instead of this dribble, which is really an apology-not really a post or good writing, for that matter.

Please hang on.  Please be patient with me, as I have a good one coming, the idea just needs refining. Just so you know-all my ideas usually appear like we do-they awake from dreams with crazy hair and bad breath-hair that needs to be somewhat untangled and cleaned up and well, made ready for the day.  And it’s not there yet, this idea.

And with two weeks of straight car repairs (on BOTH cars-mercy) and the other details of life, I’m not sure I’m there yet either.

So, here’s hoping that tonight and/or tomorrow I can get my ideas and their act together (am hoping this for me too, personally), their hair at least brushed and all the off-the-wall ideas calmed down and made into something meaningful and relevant.  Here’s hoping for peace out of chaos, insight and clarity from the mess of life.

Isn’t that our wish daily for life, anyways? Clarity out of chaos, out of mess?

More to come soon, pinky-swear-

Thanks for reading,

Liz