Cafe Deja Vu

As soon as I stepped in the door, I knew I had been there before, even though I hadn’t.

Immediately warmth enveloped me. I felt at home. I chose where to sit amidst cozy, mismatched furniture and sipped my cappuccino, listening to singer songwriter music, my favorite.

And all the while I was reminded of a coffee shop I had been to before in Yellow Springs, OH. Or was it Indianapolis, IN? Bar Harbor, ME? Noblesville, IN?

The Village Idiot, a coffeeshop in a house somewhere around the north part of Indianapolis when I was in college. I thought, this is the type of place I would own if I owned a coffeeshop. But of course it would have to be tea.

What is it that called to me so much about the place? I’ve been socked in with fog for days. Damp gloom. But I felt it lift away from my spirit as I sat there journaling, dreaming, questioning.

It felt homey, more so than the rental I currently reside in. Maybe it was about escape, or perhaps just a break up of weary, oppressive routine. Either way my mind drifted easily to other chapters of my life, seemingly simpler times, although I know that each chapter had its own struggles and obstacles to persevere through and overcome. As does my current chapter, LORD help me.

Have you ever been somewhere new and found yourself swept away to a past chapter of your life? What was it about the place that whisked you off?

 

In Search Of . . . Part 3

If you could travel to any time in history where would you go?

I’ve always imagined myself a pioneer making my way across the frontier of the west. And I don’t know why I prefer that time. Maybe it has something to do with those wide, open spaces. Places where dreams have opportunities to flourish and spread.

I refuse to kid myself. I know that pioneer women had it rough and I honestly doubt I would have made it. I mean, I’ve played the Oregon Trail computer game numerous times and only made it all the way maybe twice.

The thing is, there’s just too many darn unpredictable problems that can and will arise. Just when the woman finally settled in her sod house then she encountered Indians or wildfire or cattle thieves or crop destruction or death or anything else to shake any sense of home she might have finally felt.

Okay, well I guess I am a pioneer woman. I’m in a place of wide, open spaces these days. I’m in a place to dust off some dreams and let them flourish and spread. But the thing is, there’s just too many darn unpredictable problems that can and will arise. What’s a pioneer to do?

They kept going. They moved again, rebuilt, re-planted, armed themselves and tried to be better prepared for next time, all the while hoping and working toward their goals.

I am slowly moving across these plains of life heading for heaven’s frontier. Challenges will continue to pop up. But I must keep hoping, keep working, keep moving forward in my faith. My Shepherd tells me to be in search of the Kingdom of God here and now. Who knows when and how it will reveal itself!

So I am a pioneer woman, in search of. . .  God country. The trail is calling again.

flowerroad

For discussion:  Which is more appealing to you, time travel or slipping into the world of a favorite fictional book? Where would you go?

 

In Search Of . . . Part 2

Overcome by beauty. I’m listening to David Nevue piano music as I write this. Soft, whispering notes lift my soul to sway in the breeze, refreshing and making me new.

Wanting to hold on to the moment of this song, despite the dog barking at the door to get in, the draft hitting my back in this century old house and the ongoing list of things I should and need to do. And like that it is gone.

But who’s to say it was never there? Trees hear trees falling in the forest. God hears my heart falling in the dark.

And He lifts me up in these little snippets of time where, for an instant, I tune in to Him.

But we have to search for Him. He’s not missing, just hiding. Or is it us hiding behind things that obstruct our view of Him?

Almighty God, You are so beautiful in each of our lives. Help us to see You. Help us to know You more.

How often do we stop ourselves from seeing Him, seeing His goodness? It overflows out of the endless fountain of abundance that is His love for me, for you.

And now the song Just As I Am is playing instrumentally and I thank God for the Presbyterian experience of singing this song as a child, so that as it plays now, the words sing silently in my mind.

He meets me right where I am. Failures exposed. Sins on the surface. He hurls our iniquities into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19, NIV)

In my search for God’s goodness I continually find myself falling into His grace.

What overcomes you with its beauty? Can you see the invisible line that connects to the Father, to the Son, to the Spirit, and back to you?

I would love to hear about your own in search of experience.

 

 

 

In Search Of . . .

Remember the Leonard Nimoy show that ran from 1976-1982 called In Search Of? (I love google, so handy with all its quick information.) I remember watching it from time to time as a kid.

One of the episodes I will never forget is when he went to Pompeii. I think it was the first time I had ever seen the remains of the ash encrusted city. I can still see in my mind the tables laid out for a meal, the people statues who didn’t escape the volcano’s force.

I’m not really sure what brought that all to mind. Maybe it was the fact that I’ve been kind of searching for myself the last few days. Old photographs bringing to light chapters of my life long since passed.

My insignificant life is not all that much more significant than those entombed in Pompeii, except I have more stuff to cart around and less of a sense of community these days in this season of a moving transition.

Yesterday I traveled a distant path of my past to collage out my own in search of moment. Here goes. In Search of . . . Myself, Part 1.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

The words are:  Looking for maps, opening, platform, initiative, logic

Is a faster solution for this issue available, scalable

Big step for Laura in application

I could go into the long drawn out meaning behind these words but I’m not going to. Summarized, I am questioning where I am.

Lighter, ending questions:

  • Did you ever watch In Search of . . .?
  • Which episode do you remember?
  • When’s the last time you collaged for yourself and not for a school project?

 

 

Symphonic Praise

I’m writing a symphony of praise. I’m no composer, though I’ve been known to write a song or two, but that was just me and my guitar.

I work on it everyday, whether I acknowledge it or not. Some days it sounds out in a minor key. Other days it’s in a major key.

Staccato notes pop up short and sweet from time to time, crisp and rhythmic. These are the quick moments of praise sent up to my heavenly Father for little blessings and gifts. The beautiful sunset revealing His majesty. Praise for the finishing of a task. The encouragement of a friend.

Then there are the low, bassy, whole notes, the ongoing, underlying praise that comes from deep within me, often times overlooked. But when I’m listening for them, I can distinguish those notes of praise easily enough. God is good. He is love. He created me for His purpose.

And there are measures of silence called rests. Moments when the best praise to God I can give is to be silent, to rest in His presence.

I have trills where I quickly go back and forth on a couple of different praises. There are runs of consecutive notes of praise, tying together, and also repeating phrases of praise. Key changes and tempo changes are also at the ready depending on my day.

Today I wrote in several measures of rest as I sat in a sunbeam, dozing and praising God for His warmth and light in my life. Habakkuk 3:17-19 came to mind. I read it and praised God more.

Lord, You are so good to me.

What do you think about this concept of praise?

 

 

12 Foot Breaker

A 12′ breaker hit the shore of my life today. I was going along just fine, or so I thought, when out of the blue a huge breaker crashed in on my life.

And if that weren’t enough, it brought with it dozens of driftwood logs, forcing me to deal with big things I had long since pushed away from me in the ocean of my life.

I’d like to say I grabbed a surf board and cowabunga’ed my way over it. But I’d be lying.

Instead I was flooded with past memories amidst a constant downpour of tears. I was dazed. I was caught off guard and didn’t know which way to turn, so I turned to my old habit of running away from the pain.

I drove and prayed and cried. I stood silent on the edge of the water. I wanted to connect with the crane down shore from me. But we both kept our solitary distance. I had a few moments of peace. Fragmented lavendar pieces of shell lay all around my feet.

Even here, facing these things, God had given me gifts of beauty.

I must deal with the driftwood logs now, one at a time. Each log bears a deadened, crushing, water-logged weight in my life.

God help me.

Have you ever had a day like this? How did you get through it?

 

New Year’s Revolution

I was thinking this morning about New Year’s resolutions and how we generally let them fall by the wayside.

How many years have I placed “lose weight” , “eat better”, or “exercise more” on my resolution list? Why do they never stick? Why is it by April I couldn’t even call them to mind?

They fail because a resolution on its own is not enough. The definition of a resolution is merely a determining, a deciding. A resolution lacks the backing of ongoing action.

A resolution requires a revolution–a complete or radical change. A revolution to lose weight means drastic changes to lifestyle, a cutting off of a part of myself. A revolution calls for a dying to self in an area that has self-indulged for far too long.

A revolution requires fighting, strength, determination, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to reach the desired end result. It is a fight for freedom.

Resolutions work until we hit a roadblock of some sort. A resolutionist gives in and returns to former ways. A revolutionary stands to fight with passion, fervor, and zeal.

Maybe my past resolutions weren’t really things that I truly wanted to change. Maybe for 2013 there should be one resolution that I am impassioned about enough to start a revolution for, and continue fighting for until the desired result comes about.

So which will you be in 2013, a resolutionist or a revolutionary? Is there an area of your life where God is calling for  radical change? Where in your life does Christ want to bring about freedom?

Waiting

Waiting. Aargh. An image of passively sitting at the side of the road that is the journey I am on. Stubborness.

Is this where I am these days? Am I dreading every mundane, repetitive day? This is not living, not really.

Resonating with Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. I want to live, I want to journey forward and waiting is a part of that journey–it makes up a part of the road of my journey.

I’m not sure how far it stretches but I wish to be through this part of the road. Transition complete.

But then won’t there be something else I must walk through a waiting stretch of road for?

Too often I’ve envisioned the waiting as getting off the road entirely. But the side of the road is really for resting. And that is not where I’m being called to these days.

The waiting stretches are longer than I want them to be. And quite often they’re boring. The scenery along the way is grey and mundane, much like how I feel this blah, wintery day.

An ongoing sense of, “is this all?” as I walk along this stretch. A complaining of “woe is me, look what I have to pass through.” One step after another. Uphill, downhill, and always cloudy.

Life would be much better if there were no waiting, I think.  Yet instant gratification births ingratitude.

Amidst a cloud break the sun shoots beams of light onto the road ahead. The veil is lifted for an instance and I catch a glimpse of beyond the waiting.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Drudgery is a great danger to the journeying pilgrim.    What does waiting look like on your journey?

Blogging–the Start of a New Journey

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m a journey girl. I haven’t physically traveled far but I travel daily in my soul.  Today I start on a new journey with blogging. I selected the above photo because it reminds me that even simple things have a journey they must take, surroundings they must push themselves up out of. Only after they start the journey do they come to life.

Journeys are a process, they are not short, sweet, and to the point. They require perseverance, a stepping out in faith, an analytical look into areas of our lives where we may or may not want to look.

So today I enter the world of blogging, a backpack of words and thoughts flung over my shoulder, to be pulled out as needed. My plan is to write three times a week. I would like to invite you along on my journey, or at least to take a short reprieve from your own journey to join me a moment on mine.

In the meantime, where is God calling you to start on a journey?