PUZZLE PIECE

I recently enjoyed a weekend with my sisters.  

There has always been a joke that

I was ‘switched at birth’  because

I dance to the  beat of my own drum.  
At this point in my life I have arrived at 

‘being comfortable in my own skin’. 
I appreciate my uniqueness. I would not want to be anyone else.

Not because I believe that “I”  am something special,

yet rather because I  believe

that we all are, – “Something Special!”

I refuse to conform to another person’s idea of life. 

I wish to bring my own piece of God’s Creation

to this truly amazing puzzle of humanity;

& to discover  ‘over time’  how I fit into this puzzle.  

Without forcing myself into it;

But  by. . .  finding my own niche.  Finding my own place.

I believe, that we actually can learn to fit together seamlessly; albeit miraculously if we will just  ‘let go’ of our desire

to force others  into  conforming  to our shape & to our patterns,

&  ‘Be Brave’ enough to live into our own unique design.

This is a scary adventure;-

of discovery, & growing; & of learning & changing.

Finding our own voice, Finding our own dance!  –

& then freestyling with the rest of humanity!

But it is an adventure worth embarking on, &

we should bring as many of US on this adventure

as are willing to come.

SO – Let’s do it!  

You know that you want to be yourself  &

yet still be part of something bigger!

Let’s do to!  Today is the day!

CHRYSALIS

It is such beautiful word!  

It rolls off of your tongue 

Like a symphony, 

Like a melody of perfection,

A masterpiece of syllables.

But, . . .

In truth – it is an ugly process. 

A breaking down of the soul.

An unraveling;

A painful tearing apart.

A frightening change. 

It is the worm of SELF 

dissolving,

Into a lack of -recognition 

of who I once thought

that I was.

A frightening change

A pondering of thoughts

A reassembling of patterns

A restructuring of paradigms.

It is . . .

A terrifying adventure

Of familiar narratives rethought.

CHRYSALIS

It scares the life out of me.

I am emptying.

I am melting.

I am dissolving.

I am enclosed in a cocoon of rebirth

Dissolving,

Growing, 

Transforming,

Emerging . . .

HELP ME LORD!

I am afraid!

But, I am ready to change . . .

From worm to chrysalis to wings! 

HELP ME LORD!

I DESIRE – to take flight!

Colored glass.  

Colored marbles.  Beautiful blossoms.  

Blown glass hanging from umbrellas.  

Anything with color.  I love it!  My solution for peace.  

But, sometimes the glass as beautiful as it is,

can fall and shatter upon the ground at our feet; & then . . .

All of the broken pieces – what do we do with them?  

I have been thinking about this a lot this morning.

I am watching the world seem to “implode around me”

as division rocks our nation,

over a virus, racism, an election, religion.

For me, it is not enough anymore to go outside onto my patio and gaze at the beauty of the colored glass and blossoms.  

It is not enough to rest in the fact that God SEES all things,  although I know this to be true!  

I feel a need to see the brokenness, to feel the pain,

to understand the jagged edges

before I can move my thoughts

on to centering once again

on the tremendous beauty in this world.

WHY?  

Because I believe that behind everything that is beautiful,-

there was once a struggle. 

Inside everything there is a revelation.  

These times are difficult.  

It is always difficult when we are forced to look into our hearts, & to reconsider the validity of our paradigms.

 It is always a struggle when we are  presented

with the truth of our own myopic vision

within our own bubbles.  

It is especially trying when  we are asked by the  ‘Lover of our Souls, if maybe:

These ‘settled’ hearts of ours should not be broken?

These resolute paradigms of ours should not be shifted?  

These luminescent bubbles of the worlds that we live in

should not be burst?

So the broken pieces?  . . . 

What do we do with them?

Maybe we pick them up, and we look into their fragments

& we see what needs to be seen.  

Maybe, we hold them up into the light &

attempt to catch the rainbows swirling around their edges.  Maybe some of the pieces we need to throw away,  

& others we piece back together

& hang them up with the others.  

Maybe we recognize that GOD sees

all the broken pieces in our worlds, &

 HE loves US just the same.  

Maybe, just maybe, . . .

We stretch ourselves to embrace HIS vision of beauty!

To work towards the the “worldview” that HE desires!

Then, we can truly gaze up at our umbrellas

on our own quiet patios, & find a true Peace.

DIFFERENT SEASONS.

Different responses.  This is life!    

&, while I believe that life  is unpredictable;

& that there are many areas in life

where we have absolutely no choices

over the outcome of situations;

I also believe that in every season

we do have some control.  

But, control over WHAT?

THAT question may be be

one of the most important questions

that we can ask ourselves in this life. 

With all of life’s uncertainties,

how can we continue to THRIVE?  

How can we seize control over those things

which are uncontrollable?

Maybe our best control in life’s uncertainties  

lies in the simple question: – “WHO do I want to be?”

“Do I want to be brave?  Do I want to be afraid?

 Do I want to be a victim? Do I want to be emboldened?  Do I want to cling to old ways?  

Do I want to embrace growth?

So much of our life begins in the heart! ♥ &

in  WHAT it is that we “purpose in our heart”!  

& in this purposing is where our control lies.  

It lies in that place where we choose how to view our life circumstances. It  lies in our deepest convictions, in the  ‘deepest places within ourselves’ where we decide  who it is that we want to become through walking through our life situations? 

That is where the idea of re-creation comes in.  We were created by a magnificent GOD who loves us with a deep & passionate love! & HE has given to each of us the capacity to look inside of ourselves and consider who it is that we want to be and how we desire to live out this life that HE has gifted us.  How do we choose to react? Who do we want to be within the perimeters of our circumstances? 

This is our choice. It is not an easy one, but it will define us in the end.  At the end of the day, – Who do we want to be?  Take some time & decide & “purpose in your heart”.  The outcome of this choice is under our control.  & while this may be a very frightening thought, it can lead us to our best season yet.

 

In the past few years

I have had cause to contemplate

the concepts of  

“how to navigate through life with joy”,

especially when life throws us an unexpected curve

that is difficult to move through.  

How do we navigate successfully

the curves that life can bring?

& continue to THRIVE.  

I am convinced that the answer to this question

lies in our initial perspective of  our expectation

for this life here on earth.  

On what hill does our perspective begin?  

In considering life do we begin with the idea 

that “all should go well always

or do we understand the bigger story 

that “life on this earth is a drop in the bucket in comparison

to our future life to come. & as Jesus told us,  

“in this world you will have tribulation.

but take heart!   I have overcome this world.” 

So how do we take heart ♥ when life

doesn’t go the way that we planned?

& How has JESUS overcome this world?  

He did it on the cross when He said “it is finished!”  

It was in that moment that HE sealed

“our cause for hope in this life

& that hope being that GOD indeed

has a plan for the restoration of all of HIS creation.

There will be restoration.  

All things will be set right.

 But what about now?  In our struggles?

In the loss of someone that we dearly love;

or a fatal disease,  a dream squashed?  

How do we embrace this time here when we are navigating

these unbearable bumps in the road?

How do we take heart?

I believe that our best recourse lies

in our determination to seek Joy

& to seek it fervently!  

We are not victims in this life.  

WE ARE OVERCOMERS!-

because we are attached to the ULTIMATE OVERCOMER!  

We can pursue His kingdom values.  

Values that embrace love as the ultimate source of joy,

understanding that we are dearly loved by a GOD

who understands our pain,

but gives us the courage to walk

on this path with our heads held high

& smiles on our faces.  

Walk on bravely!  Be conduits of HIS love.  

HE will continue to “collect our tears in a bottle”

& pour them out upon us as strength.

 

 

Maybe we are all the same.

We are all thirsting for love.

We cry out for acceptance and affirmation.
& Yet, we go about it in so many different ways.

In our search for understanding

we can be needy or independent, whiny or brave.

But it’s all the same condition. The need to be seen.

To be considered as someone of value.  

To  be noticed in the sea of faces. 

For humanity to say,- “Oh. There you are! 

I’ve been looking for you.

I’ve been hoping that you are here.

You are special to me!

You know, humanity is never going to say that to us.  Indeed if we are truly fortunate

we will be truly loved &

esteemed by a handful of people.

 But Our Creator God says that to us daily.

Look for it. –

When you smile at a stranger on the street,

or nod at a homeless man on the corner,

Chat with the next person in line.

Give a hug to the child that’s crying

This is God’s voice declaring  to YOU

how much HE loves YOU !

 Look for it!  Go out!

Seek that face in the sea of faces.

That one who needs you in the moment.

And there you will find yourself.

There you will find the affirmations that you need. 

There you will find the LOVE that you seek.

 Gladden a heavy heart

Ease the burden of the discouraged. 

Set a balloon into flight. 

&  Fly . . . Fly .  . .   Up . . Up . .

Up above the sea of faces

into the very heart of GOD!

The world is in need of hope.  

Of morning glory seeds scattered everywhere.  

Scattered on the disappointment of dreams unfulfilled. Scattered on the anxieties of life.  

On hormonal days &

reflections in the mirror that disappoint.

The world is in need of the seeds of mirth,

of seeing the wisdom in decay & capturing & embracing every piece of beauty that we can; & then dispersing it

in wide abundance to everyone we meet.

We are the face of God.  

The image of the Son, who is the image of the Father.

The Father who captures every tear in a bottle &

sees the prism of radiant color in every drop.

We are not promised carefree days.

But we are given the keys to a kingdom of ideas

that will help us to walk through these days with grace.

We are not given the state of perfection in this life.

It is not within our grasp in our humanity.

But we can strive to make order and beauty in joy

& restore it again and again and again!

Not counting our days as futile but seeing this struggle

as necessary in our growth,

as a tutor in our understanding of the need

& the hope of restoration

which IS our final Destiny and Promise.

In the daily frustrations of this life,

we can acknowledge our grounding to this earth

while reaching for the stars.

We can laugh. We can stretch . We can revitalize

& spread contentment to all who see it;

-As our hope for more to come.

We are creators, made in the image of a creative GOD

who designs everything so carefully,

with such precision and yet with such abandon and joy.

This is our destiny. This is our gift. Let us wrap it up

in festive smiles and conversations

It gives us a snapshot of what will be.

Life is a learning process,

– an ever changing dynamic.

It is a mystery. It is a delight. It is a struggle.

We are all unique love letters

waiting to be written.

Beautiful creations inspired

designed by a loving GOD

with a plan and a purpose

that unfolds as our days open and close.

We come in to this world fresh and open

to the wonders that life has to offer.

We bring to it our unique perspectives

& questions & frailties.

We bear the burden of living in a fallen creation;

& as part of this creation we suffer

the common weaknesses of humanity.

We can not escape the truth

that we are all broken

on some level & yet . . .

we all desire life as it should be.

We dream of perfection.

We strive for beauty.

We rail against pain and suffering.

We look for answers.

We hope & we believe that God

will deliver us at just the perfect time.

& in that belief lies our peace.

Yet, there are times when even that

confidence can be shaken.

Because in this world we will have tribulation.

It is simply a part of living in a fallen creation.

No person can escape this fact. No one is exempt.

Just when we think that we have life under control;

the bottom can fall out.  

So what do we do with this truth?

How can we survive the inevitable pain?

Do we throw up our hands and rail at the world?

Do we curse at God? Do we whine, and itch and moan?

In these moments, is when we have the greatest power. The power to choose who we are;

& how we can face this bump in the road.

Yes, it’s true! We can choose the brave & noble path.

The path of courage.

Courage to smile in the face of adversity.

Courage to look outside the moment &

see the bigger picture.

Courage to choose the gift of perseverance

& walk the stormy path.

It is on this path that we can invite life

to show us who we are at the deepest level

& give us the endurance to find out who we can be.

In this world we will have tribulation.

But do not fear.

Christ has given us the tools

to walk through them with grace.

So walk this path;

& watch for morning-glories

along the way!