Drenched in the Chase

So I broke a rule today.

You know that rule about not running with scissors?  Yeah, I broke that one.

You see, I was inspired by beautiful prose and just had to go find some wildflowers.

Even in the rain.

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Sometimes you stumble upon beauty and sometimes you have to go chase it.

So off I went mismatched in pink running pants, a teal rain jacket and armed with scissors

The rabbits scampered away in surprise.  They weren’t expecting company in the drizzling grey.

I was a girl on a mission.  A mission to let whimsy be my guide.

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Sometimes gifts are placed in your hands and sometimes you are compelled to throw on some running shoes to run into gifts.

Friend, your mission should you choose to accept it, is to daily, intentionally chase gifts.  Because if you are armed with thankfulness, bitterness can drip off you like little raindrops.

Eternity is soaked in moments like these.  You start chasing wildflowers under sprinkling skies and moments later you’re knee deep in grace.

Grace, because who are you to hold a gift as fragile, yet resilient as beauty?

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You are tangled up in a field of whimsy and you wonder if it’s just for you.

Step by step you shake off shame, breathe out anxiety and lay down fear.

Then you pick up beauty, pluck some wildness, clip off some joy and grasp it gently.

One foot and then another on the path of peace.

You hunker down on holy ground and inspect a delicate piece of sunshine.

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It’s a natural rhythm of receiving and thanking, like breathing in and breathing out.

Serenity soothes an aching soul and you breathe deep draughts of delight.

Each is a gift that gives back.  And the greatest gift?  His face.  A living gift with the sweet breath of heaven aimed straight for you.

Standing there you catch a glimpse of His face in wide open spaces.  A place where you find yourself already known, desired and delighted in.

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This is home out in sopping fields of tender flowers and brilliant color playing in pockets of light.

Saturated with wonder.  Lost in a moment so humble in its simple hopefulness.

Sometimes whimsy takes practice, but don’t hesitate.

Always embrace the chase.

 

Friendly Shadow

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As I was walking through Old Colorado City on this warm summer evening, I came across a mysteriously happy blue door.  Turns out this door had a friend.

Dear bouncing little shadow
Will you come with me?
Play in the brightest light
To chase away darkest day

Ever changing little shadow
Keep dancing all around
Follow the rhythm of radiance
To engage sun’s passion song

Little shadow with softly twisted edges
Skip through life’s worst roadblocks
Morph sweetly onto living canvas
To cast art across beaten paths

Shy and secret little shadow
Be bold in your gentle way.
No fear of desperate darkness
To catch the seeking rays

Dearest silhouette of hope
Capture sun’s last magic!
Play with eclipsed companion
To taste brilliance before it slips away

Dare to Dream

3161448Born into an epic.  Created to play an irreplaceable role in the greatest story ever told.  Crafted with unique gifts to live, love and share in the adventure and romance.

What will you do with your precious time in this world?

The world is a noisy place.  Will you listen and be silent in the chaos?  In a caffeinated, distracted, addicted-to-busy domain, will you rest?

“The stakes are high,” as Bill Hybels says.  So lead.  The world is rushed.  Rest.  The world is dark.  Love.

We search for God, for freedom, for love, and peace.  Why do we think these things have gone missing?  Perhaps they’re hiding right under our noses.  We catch glimpses in nature, in beauty, in song, in literature, in conversation with a friend.

Laughter ringing on a breeze brings to us the familiar feeling of hope.  Will we risk embracing full-hearted desires and whole-hearted longings?  Will we dare to believe, to dream, to want?

What do you want your life to look like ten years down the road?  Create this future now.  If in twenty years, you could accomplish just one thing, what would you want it to be?  Chase after this now.  What makes you feel most alive?  Cultivate this now.

Identify your life purpose.  Don’t let the gremlins that try to nag you and whisper messages of self-doubt hold you back.   Chase your dreams now so when you look back at your life, you don’t wonder where your life went and why you never risked, failed or succeeded.  It is a tragedy when we attempt to live without desire or live paralyzed by fear of failure.  Perhaps it is this exact fear or risk that would make you come alive.  What if we let fear become our catalyst to freedom?  Are you willing to leave your places of comfort to experience the power of God’s whimsy and delight in you?

Freefall

7041497You are standing on a cliff.  Not just any cliff, but your cliff.  The cliff you know more intimately than you know yourself.  The cliff made of things that keep you feeling safe, secure, comfortable, and in control.  It is a world of grey, but it’s known-ness keeps you paralyzed in hazy contentment.  You wonder, “Can I leave this all behind?”

You walk to the edge of this cliff.  You hesitate not knowing if it’s worth the risk.  A voice softly calls out your name.  You strain to hear it as you lean into empty space.  You hear your name again and again and again.  You are being called.  Summoned by love into a greater depth.  Beckoned by risk to awaken to a world of freedom.  You shiver in anticipation.  You wonder, “Do I believe enough?”

Freefalling won’t be pretty, but the choice to leap is yours.  You step closer.  Your heart lured by the thought of embracing a truth so real; a freedom so wonderful you must abandon comfort to find it.  You gaze into an unknown land, familiar only by the promises echoing in your heart.  You hear distant laughter.  You sense joy.  You hear Love calling your name.  A daring, relentless freefall awaits.  You step forward and embrace risk.  You wonder, “How much will this hurt?”

You plummet through that place in the sky that lies between your cliff and the abyss somewhere below your downward spiraling body.  Wind everywhere.  You can’t catch your breath.  You’re falling or maybe you’re flying.  You don’t think.  You can’t think.  You hear only the sound of your beating heart.   You are freefalling.

Suddenly you feel it.  Love.  Love in its purest form.  Unadulterated by the world.  You dive deeper and deeper.  It invades every cell in your body.  A warm weightless blanket.  You feel as if you might explode by the depth of His love and pleasure.  Fears do not enslave.  Chains do not bind.  Doubts do not haunt.  You float, fly and fall in a whimsical world of love.  It feels like eternity.  It feels like seconds.  It doesn’t matter.  You have been swallowed up in the chasm of His love.  You wonder, “Can I freefall forever?”

Strong arms effortlessly catch you out of the air and hold you so close.  His tender strength envelops your soul as you lean into His embrace.  Your roaring heart pulses near His steady heartbeat.  The tremors in your hands and legs still.  You realize who is holding you and tremble once again.  You look up into warm eyes; endless pools of love and delight.  You wonder, “How long have you been waiting for me?”

Then, in a moment of sweet silence, He writes His freedom on your heart.  He smiles at you, and in His smile is the pride and affection of a good and gentle Father.  He laughs and in his laughter is the contagious joy of a child.  You feel like you could run and dance and play forever.  You laugh because you know He wants to do the same. Whimsy is your companion.  Freedom is your song.  Over and over your soul cries out, “Jesus is enough.”

To the Rich Young Ruler in You and Me

2091512Picture this.  A young man walks through the dusty streets of a small town.  He stands a little taller than the rest.  His stride is calm and confident as he makes his way through the bustling crowds of people.  He has everything he could ever want.  Power, wealth, position, and good health are his.  He has followed all the rules since boyhood and has done many good things of which he is proud.  There is nothing that can stop him.  Except maybe a conversation with the Teacher.

You see, he wanted eternal life.  This is good.  However, he wanted this on his own terms.  This is where it gets difficult.  To enter the Kingdom of Heaven, you must do what the Father tells you to do.  The man understands this and is willing.

The Teacher speaks.  You must not murder, steal, or lie.  You must love others.  The man thought this all was very good.

Then the Teacher told the man that he must give away everything.  Those words had the effect of ice cold water poured down his spine.  He must give away all his possessions to the poor, so that his wealth would be in heaven.  If he could let go of those things, then he could lay hold of the Kingdom of Heaven.  The young man was deflated.  It was as if all the air just left his body, leaving him depleted and unmoving.  This was the one thing he did not want to hear.  So he left and did not come back.

How often do we hold onto things that keep us from fully living and fully trusting?  It could be good things that are dear to us like family, friends and ministry.  It could be things like money, power, and position.  It could be something simple like eating, reading, or dating. But whether it’s a relationship or an addiction, you must let go of that which has become your captor, things you are holding onto and keep you from embracing the Kingdom. What keeps you stuck, trapped, immobile, fearful, angry or depressed?  This is your mud puddle.  What keeps you from fully trusting because it makes you feel comfortable, safe and secure?   What are you trusting and holding onto more than you are trusting and holding onto Jesus.  This is what keeps you from true freedom.  This is your cliff.  Until Jesus is enough, you will be forced to set up camp here.  This is a dangerous place to dwell.

God is calling you to step forward.  God is saying to you, precious daughter and precious son, to trust Him.  Be brave.  Jump.  Leap off your cliff in belief.  There is only one requirement and that is desperation.  Are you fed up with your mud puddle?  Are you in urgent need of freedom from your cliff?  How much do you need Jesus?  Is He enough for you?  Is your faith reckless enough to dive into the depths of His love?

Then do it.  Believe.  This is your moment.  Today is your day to believe.  Leave behind the chains that hold you captive, the bonds of comfort, the barricade of fear.  Leap for freedom.  He has already set you free.  Embrace your freedom.  Jump for love.  It’s all about love.  That is what the abyss is below the cliff.  It is love.  So free-fall through His chasm of love.

In the exhilaration of free-fall, there is peace, there is wonder, and there is relief.  There is great joy when you leap and find your True Love waiting with outstretched arms.  When you free-fall into your Father’s arms you will land hard in undeniable freedom and uncontained whimsy.   You will find that He is enough.  He will laugh with you, He will cry with you, He will take you by the hand and show you His Kingdom.  You will fall deeply in love and just maybe you will want to free-fall again.

Eat, Pray, Love

1336687811 “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

So, I was thinking.  Yes, a dangerous pastime, I know.  What if… I took a year to Eat, Pray, Love.  What if I took off a year of graduate school to discover what I’m really passionate about?  A year to dance, read, explore, travel, seek out adventure, friendships, meaning, simplicity… To seek truth and learn to be still.  To be open and to let God fan into flame the passions he has put within me.

Frederick Beuchner wrote, “The place God calls us to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”  After trying to logically and analytically figure out what I should do and what I’m passionate about, I’ve decided that perhaps it’s best to just jump off this cliff in faith that He will catch me and lead me on a path that leads me to deeper discovery of Him and life.

In the words of Emily from Today’s Letters, after hearing Katie speak (Kisses from Katie), “I walked away being reminded of four things: to be faithful where I am, to say YES to today, to be relentless in loving others, and to lead with authenticity because vulnerability conquers all fear.”

I have always viewed life as an adventure.  A play to star in.  A treasure to discover.  I do not want to look back and think, “Oh, I wish I would have done that.”  Whether in work, play, or relationships I want to live life to the fullest and without regret.  I do not want to wonder what it would have been like to be this person’s friend, or to go to this country.  This is also what drives my desire to have a career that is meaningful and touches on my passions.  Why waste one precious day on a job I hate?

All in all, I want to value each and every day as the gift that it is.  I want to treasure the friendships and relationships in each of those days because in my heart, I believe that, most often, people are life’s greatest adventures.

So, here’s to saying yes to today, loving others, being open to adventure, leading with authenticity and holding tight to God’s hand while I walk, run, stumble and dance.