Friday, June 29, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: Dance

It was my dream as a little green eyed two year old. Larger than life, the poster of the prima ballerina displayed proudly in my toddler room, proclaimed to the world the heart of a dancer. That I would one day dance the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, or some as yet unknown beautiful song on the tips of my toes in those gorgeous pointe shoes.

But the dance He had for me did not lead me down the ballerina road. Fear and trepidation of harsh French instructors on Haitian soil held me back from grasping that dream.

Until twenty years later, when I really learned to dance, not just the dance of plie and releve, the dance of boldness and confidence, the dance of reckless abandon, giving place to the starry eyed two year old dream, locked deeply in my artist soul.

And finally I walked on stage as programs displayed the title, DREAMS DO COME TRUE, as a woman leaping into her childhood soul, playing out the fantasy that may never had come true.....

....if He had not taught me a different dance, the dance of the abandoned soul.

*photo credit

Five Minute Friday

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Miracle of the Little Things


I said to myself as I woke up with this nagging thingamagjig moving around my eye. I blinked a bit and pressed my eye, and went on to get dressed.

I visited with my mom, met the French lady from California waiting in our house for her friend to arrive from the airport, baked cookies, and planned for the day. All the while, the foreign entity in my eye just would not seem to quit its persistent annoyance. We searched for drops to bring some ease, alas to no avail. I scoured Google for natural cures, imploying them immediately with vigor gaining only increasingly, severe irritation for my trouble.

With frustration and exhaustion, I collapsed upon my bed fighting tears and hysteria. {Sometimes reading Google DOES NOT help the psyche}.

Yet in the midst of the unrelenting aggravation, I couldn't help but think about those little things.

You know the little foxes that ruin the vines....

...getting rained on on the way to a meeting
...babies and pets throwing up on those newly cleaned floors
...constant nuisance of an invisible speck in the eye

Little agitations and frustrations fling unwittingly into the day and threaten to overthrow our sanity. Before we even know it, we find annoyances and hurts and anger to be our companions. They destroy our peace and shatter the cadence by which we move and breathe.

When no relief would come to my eye, I eventually fell into a fitful sleep, and when I awoke, the pain and redness and displeasure was completely gone.

I fought the rest because I had "things to do" and "came to Haiti to help" but apparently, for today at least, those were not in the plans.

Just like my body needed tears and rest to heal itself, so does my soul, my heart, my character.

And while the little things COULD destroy me, they could also be the very thing that lead me back to the safety of His arms, if only I take the time to trust in His ways.

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
~Psalm 91:1-2

Friday, June 22, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: Risk

I haven't seen the movie Brave yet, but I have this feeling....
I'm Gonna Love It!
{I mean, she has red hair after all!}

No but seriously, there is something so thrilling about taking a risk, stepping away from what you have always known, recognizing the dreamer inside of you and leaping out in faith.

But now for the truth....

Being brave is not as easy the older you get. In fact, somehow it only seems to get scarier and scarier. The boogey men hiding in your closet are real, and those firefly dreams do not always come true.

At least not the way you planned.

And somehow THERE in that unplanned, unscripted, unexpected place, the real live grown up big girl risk-taking comes into play.

Will you trust that HE knows better, loves deeper, plans farther into every intricate step of your future?

Will you be BRAVE?
Will I?

I am flying out in a few hours {currently 1am EST} to spend a week in Haiti
with my parents and my sister assisting with ministry 
as they wrap up for the summer.
Your prayers for traveling mercies and blessings 
throughout the week would be 
SO greatly appreciated!!

Five Minute Friday

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dare To Write

Can I be honest?
No, I mean really and truly honest?

Life has been a little overwhelming lately.
And scared
And intimidating.


Wow. That felt good to get that out.

A couple of months ago we finally bought the house we had been waiting for. We packed, we cleaned, we moved in. And then we started a foster care home study process TWO WEEKS later. No seriously. We really did. We kept unpacking and organizing and finding a semblance of order in our home, little by little by painstakingly little. We filled out paperwork and more paperwork and then, you guessed it, even more paperwork.  We put locks on scary attics doors and random closet cubbies and changed our water temperature setting {Who knew you could do THAT?}. We engaged in interview after interview after gut-wrenching, soul-baring interview.

Our lives have changed a lot and not so very much all at the same time.

And I kind of slowed down my writing and posting
Aaaaa....Whhhhoollle.... Loooot.
Not really on purpose.
It just kind of happened.

And somehow in the past week or so, as I have tried to jump back in, I have felt so very far behind -- in relationships, in opportunities, in writing skills, in confidence, in grace to simply be me.

While I so just want to stay here in this space of darkness and indecision and fear, {Oh there is that ugly word again!}, I know that I simply cannot. So with Intimidation shouting in my ears, "What do you have to say?" or "You know that someone else out there could say it better and stronger and with more impact & eloquence than you ever could," I dare to write anyway.

Not because it's perfect.
Not because it's beautiful.
Not because I have all of the answers.

Not because I'm smart.
Not because I'm eloquent.
Not because I know I can weave words to change the world.

I dare to write because His heart and soul and Spirit inside of me scream softly and whisper loudly with unrelenting purpose and destiny,

"You were made for this and so much more.
Don't stop the dreamer.
Don't silence the artist.
Don't stand in the way of the sinner 
working her way through grace 
on this writing journey."

Now my soul breathes a little deeper as life-giving CPR fills my dried up soul.

"He who began a good work in you 
is faithful to complete it 
until the day of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 1:6

What fears are holding you back? 

What is stopping you from daring to do the thing inside 
that you know you were meant to do
....regardless of whether you are the best or not....?

Write it girl

Monday, June 18, 2012

Everyday Sacredness

After moving almost two months ago, 
I think I MAY finally be getting my bearings.


This pattern of feeling out of place and needing to grab at order to try to realign my little life, finds its way into my world more often than I can count.

As a college student moving each year into the dorms, I had to immediately tidy all of my belongings before decor and beauty found their way into my room. 

Whenever I travel and I know that I will be sleeping more than 1 or 2 nights in one place, I MUST unpack all of my possessions to feel AT HOME at once in this space that will house me for even a short while. 
Even on my honeymoon.... 
{I husband truly loves me!} 

The length of the location shift juxtaposed with the amount of worldly goods to be organized is directly indicative to how long the unsettled demons of anxiety will vie for life in my newly transformed season. And sometimes the inner madness is a direct reflection of the lack of control over the natural chaos that change of any kind leaves in its wake.

Simply stated.
I find it hard to focus on the big things if the little things are out of order.

"The little foxes destroy the vines," is another way I have heard it put.

So as I continue to settle into this new {AMAZING} gift of a home, I organize my mountain of review books longing to be read, awaiting the moment when they will find human connection. I prioritize each one from publisher and date received, and while I am a fiction reader by nature, 
I requested this one non-fiction book last year,
which I never finished.

I picked it up yesterday, and in the revelation on the pages, reminders to see Jesus in everything leapt into my heart. I have been counting my gifts, taking the Joy Dare, although I have not recorded them here in quite few weeks, I have logged them faithfully, sometimes daily, sometimes weekly, catching up with the day-to-day prompts, causing me to look back and remember, to be thankful.

And Brian McLaren's words take me back to the reason I began counting this year in the first place...

"We need an everyday sacredness."

"Spiritual practices could be called life practices...because they help us practice being alive...They develop not just character but also aliveness, alertness, wakefulness, and humanity."

"Spiritual practices are about life, about training ourselves to become the kinds of people who have eyes and actually see, and who have ears and actually hear, and so experience...not just survival, but LIFE...tuning our radios to the frequency of the Holy, turning up the volume, and then daring to sing along."

So through Project 365 and The Joy Dare springs a desire to not only be present in the moments but also to revel in the goodness and the grace of the One who made it all possible.

Do you crave order in chaos?
How do you handle the the outward and inward pandemonium that life inevitably brings?

Just a few of the 250+ graces since I last recorded them here....
The Joy Dare 2012

256. "Are you a nature photographer?"
270. The "hidden" couch bed - a nice chill place for the weekend
282. My husband's surprisingly persistent calls, 
knowing I was having a bad day
303. Walking with Arno because he always shares things 
with me during that time
317. Pretty, fresh paint on the walls
349. The letter that home study is about to begin
376. The glee on Macy's face as she plays on the playground
392. My love's excitement to see me when I walk in the door late at night
403. Spending the day at the beach with my love
416. Being inspired @ 3rd Friday in the artist world
426. Olivia's protective nature over me
460. Trying to fool Kasi for her birthday 
and knowing she was figuring out stuff
470. A spontaneous shot of long estranged grandparents laughing together
482. Date night with my bokkie
493. The smell of the new fabric softener on everything
500. The beauty of reaching the half point of counting 1000 gifts!

And MORE PROJECT 365 :: Day 162 - 169

Day 162 :: My current fireplace decor
{A little bit of Africa, Dayspring, and Pier One} 

Day 163 :: Morris "helping" Arno drive 
on the way back from the vet 

 Day 164 :: Enjoying the evening on my front porch

Day 165 :: Patches really loves her Daddy.
She even squeezes in his lap while he play Playstation. 

Day 166 :: Summer Fun with Jake Ray 

Day 167 :: What I Wore :: Sister's brown tank dress w/decorative empire 
waistline beading {Thanks, Kasi!} and 
cute new sandals I got on sale at Christmas time

 Day 168 :: Catching the light on our stairwell

Day 169 :: A Father's Day for just the two of us
{and the kitties, of course!}

I'm on a journey, chronicling my life with a picture a day for a year. I hope to discover the world around me in my day-to-day life in a uniquely different way as well as learn more about my DSLR to better capture those precious moments. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

When You Realize Your Dad Understands You

My dad taught me how to drive.
And that was no easy feat let me tell you.

My first time behind the wheel at fifteen years old, we started in a parking lot. With drivers' ed looming, I felt terrified at my lack of ANY skills behind the wheel, so my dad decided to ease me in. His dad tagged along too, so it was a multi-generational driving lesson.

Did I mention I was terrified?

Well, the way it played out, my fear became QUITE obvious as I would stop IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD for cars coming the OPPOSITE direction, but my dad was SO patient with me and somehow we made it through the day.

Dad understood that I needed time to find my place of calm.

A few months later, my friends and I, working together doing a church internship, took our break times to study for our permit exam. I was nervous, of course, so my friend, David, and I were just helping the other two study, but my dad was our driver to the test, so in his laid-back, no pressure, you-can-try-ONLY-if-YOU-want-to way, I decided to take it. All FOUR of us walked out that day with shiny badges of newbie drivers. As much fun as it was to achieve this milestone with my good friends, I love the fact that my dad was the one who orchestrated the day for us all.

Dad understood that just "being there" made all the difference in the world.

So then one day I had my full-fleged license.
Oh joy of all joys!
Independence and Freedom!

Except for the whole one year of that Cinderella, mandated-by-law, be-in-by-midnight thing-y...but that is plenty of time for a sixteen year old, right?

Right? should have been...but then I got a boyfriend and liked to hang out at his house until the LAST POSSIBLE SECOND....and one night I creeped into the house about 5 minutes after midnight.

And there was my Dad.
Waiting. On the couch.
Grilling me with questions.

Where were you? 
Why are you late? 
Don't you know that you could have gotten in a lot of trouble? 

And then a lecture.

I listened with angst and frustration and then quickly excused myself to my room as tears began to pour down my face, while I ranted to the stuffed animals, "I'm a good kid. I don't drink or smoke or run around with lots of boys. I can't believe I am getting in trouble for being 5 MINUTES LATE!!"

With anger and indignation, I stomped around my room putting clothes away with a viscous passion, until suddenly I heard my dad's baritone voice from my bedroom doorway, "Lindsey?"

"Come in," I said, with my back to the doorway, unwilling to look at him face to face.

"Come here," he said. And with great effort, I forced myself to turn around and walk over to where he stood.

"I'm sorry for getting so upset with you about being late." Now my tears were truly rolling.

"I just do not want you to get in any trouble. If a cop stopped you after midnight, you could have your license taken and I just do not want you to take any chances. I don't want you to have to go through that. I do trust you, and you are a good kid."

I cried. We hugged.
It was one of those Hallmark moments.

Dad understood that I needed the affirmation AS WELL as the correction.

It's kinda funny because my dad is a man of few words and especially as a teenager, I often felt like he never quite "got" me or at the very least did not know what to do with my sensitive heart.

But one day, in my twenties, I overheard him saying, "Lindsey doesn't care about being right, she just wants to be understood." 

And in that moment, I felt such validation.

From teaching me to drive, helping me {AND my friends} get our licenses, challenging me to be and do my best in every circumstance and a hundred other little things over the years, that my dad saw through this little Anne-of-Green-Gables heart to the woman who wanted to connect with other's hearts.

My dad REALLY understands me.
And THAT no easy feat.

I love you, Dad!
Thank you for well....


A daughter may outgrow your lap, 
but she will never outgrow your heart. 
~ Author Unknown

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's Okay To Be A Sponge

"Mommy, if grownups know everything, how will I know everything one day if I don't ask you?"

These words tumbled from my own mouth after my mother asked me to give her a break from the questions. I was probably 5 years old, maybe 6, but I can still distinctly remember that feeling and desire to KNOW and to know EVERYTHING.....

Will you please join me today over at  Must Love God as we hash out the scary part of actually getting what we want but forgetting it is what we prayed for in the first place?

Must Love God


Five Minute Friday {And Then Some} :: Path

I was the fanciful girl who always thought "the road less traveled" held the most promise.

What wild discovery, 
what fanciful so-journers, 
what brand new surprised 
would be unearthed just around the bend?

And all the while, I planned and dreamed of the way I wanted my life to be, different from being the little missionary girl, of course. I longed for American soil, family down the street, and a boy who would love me til the day I died. I dreamed of friendship where you never had to say goodbye and babies that would call me Momma.

So while my fanciful heart thrilled with the potential of the bend in the road, the practical lover of every day life laid out a path before her, clear and true.

But something happened.
The logical, no-nonsense planner got her schedule knocked around a lot.
No seriously.
And she moaned and lamented the "way life should be."

But it's funny, really, because somehow the Anne Shirley lover of whimsy won out.

And while the hurts and disappointments are real and keen to a sensitive soul such as mine, I simply cannot help but lift the corners of my mouth with a smirk of knowing and gaze up at the sky in amazement of the One who knows me better than I know myself.

The One who gave a little missionary dreamer girl a life filled with footpaths of unchartered discoveries.

Thankful for my friend, Lisa-Jo, 
who dreamed up this Five Minute Friday thing 
and somehow gave birth to this beautiful community 
of brave, artistic souls who breathe life 
into unedited, unrestricted words in just 5 minutes. 
I am thrilled, delighted, honored, overjoyed 
to be one part of this space. 
It is so special to me!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Voice In My Head

There is no fear in Love, if the Love is real and perfect
 it overshadows all fears and Concern. 
~Author Unknown

The past few weeks, life has taken me by force from surprise party planning, foster care interviews, multiple vet visits, guest room prepping for visitors, general new move house stuff, emotional foster case meetings, and spending a fun, unexpected week with my parents in town on top of all the other day-to-day living stuff.

And somehow, even when I am sitting still, my mind races at a hundred miles a minute screaming at my body and soul to be productive or to make more lists. I feign relaxation on the outside in hopes of tricking my being into believing that it is actually resting.

I know my soul needs to breathe. I feel the words fill me up to the brim, bursting my insides with their heaviness and importance. Yet I cannot seem to find the right valve to release the inner battle that my soul undertakes minute to minute to find the much needed relief.

So I take a deep breath, inhaling in and exhaling out with calculated purpose, reminding myself that this body can only endure so much until it bursts and then I read these words by Emily P. Freeman....

Am I listening to the Voice of Fear or the Voice of Love?

She calls it the one simple question that changes everything.
And for me.
That is the truth.

Whenever the anxiety and pressures threaten to consume and overtake me, I asked myself, "What voice are you listening to?" And somehow, simply in the question itself, I find peace, knowing that His Love will guide me every step of the way.

I know.
It sounds so simple.
You might even me thinking, "I know this. I have heard it before."

But somehow LIFE butts in and we forget.
At least I do.

And I need a reminder that HIS perfect love casts out all fear.
And His love is ALWAYS perfect.
And His grace captivates every fear.

And just maybe you need to remember too...

We love Him because He first loved us...
I John 4:19

May your heart find a home today in His love that storms the fortress 
and His peace that commands the oceans.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Project 365 :: Day 150-161

Life has been fast-paced and filled with activity over the past few weeks,
and I look forward to {hopefully} getting back into a routine 
this upcoming week.  

One thing that has stayed consistent, however, 
is snapping a daily pic or two {or fifty!}to share here with you! 
It is one of the most precious and enjoyable parts of my day....
the moment where I take the camera in my hand 
and capture art in a little box.

I hope you are enjoying the journey along with me!

Day 150 :: "I've got sunshine...." 

Day 151 :: The fairie forest in my front yard 

Day 152 :: My mom's gorgeous hydrangea bush 

Day 153 :: And the weekend celebrations begin on Friday night
for my sister's 30th! Happy Birthday, Kasi! 

Day 154 :: And the BIG surprise of the birthday weekend....
Mom and Dad flying in from Haiti! 

Day 155 :: A little baked love for my bokkie to thank him 
for letting me be free to do all of the birthday stuff including
an overnight away! 

Day 156 :: This picture is sort of a miracle one.
My grandparents have lived separated for over 40 years, 
and now they are getting along like I have never seen in my 
lifetime. I snapped this pic of them walking to the car.

Day 157 :: So if you have ever wondered where I 
get my random, carefree, be-yourself-no-matter-where-you-are
sensibilities, this might give you a glimpse.
Yeah. These are my parents.
Dancing in Lowe's.

Day 158 :: An afternoon snack at the new homestead.

Day 159 :: Sisterly Silliness
My mom and her sister laughed so much during this
random photo moment that I do not know if
I ever got one of both of them looking at the camera
but look how cute this is! 

Day 160 :: Date night with my bokkie.
Movie on the screen - The Avengers 

Day 161 :: Purple Love 
Don't you just love my new purple rain boots!?!
Eeeee! First ones I have owned since childhood!

I'm on a journey, chronicling my life with a picture a day for a year. I hope to discover the world around me in my day-to-day life in a uniquely different way as well as learn more about my DSLR to better capture those precious moments. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Five Minute Friday :: See

Some days I feel like I am seeing myself for the first time.

Like everything that I once knew about my mind and heart and point of view has shifted with radical force.

Like the world has turned up side down and I wonder not only who I am and how I fit in this new place but also what about the way I always thought the rest of the world worked?

Mostly, deep down in my soul, there is a caged animal roaring to life, an artist being set free for the first time in years, a dreamer reattaching her wings preparing to fly.

And I'm scared.
No really.
I am TRULY scared
of what I SEE with these eyes
and yet
Emily Freeman's words reverberate over and over and over in the recesses of my mind and in the shadows of my heart....

"Are you listening to the Voice of Fear or the Voice of Love?"

And somehow in that question...I truly SEE.

Joining Lisa-Jo over 
at The Gypsy Mama 
for Five Minute Friday, 
where we all just stop, 
drop, and write 
for 5 minutes flat. 
Come join the party!

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