THIS GLORIOUS HOUSE

hi babes.

it’s been a bit, huh?

lots of processing and healing and (I’ll be real) just plain craziness going down over here. and it’s GOOD. I’ve got some insane stuff that I’m currently working on which will be coming at you next month… and it is honestly just the culmination of some of the biggest dreams & greatest fears of my heart that I didn’t even know I had, y’all. so you’re not gonna want to miss it.

I thought it might be profitable for me to let you into the sweetness that is this journey for me, and to break open some of that breathlessness that has been rebuilding me…

because sometimes I need to be reminded that what comes to me is for me. that what takes part in my deconstruction does, by default, take part in my rebuilding. that all the things that are happening in me now are working to make a greater and more purposeful future that is so worth living.

what about you?

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I love the visualization of being the dwelling place of Grace & Truth.. a house in which the Divine feels at home… a residence for the Spirit of Peace. that is a picture that has always just spoken to me really deeply. and what’s lovely is that in the book of Haggai I get this whole new insight into what that could mean, into what it must mean, as I read about the people of God rebuilding the temple.

“the future glory of this house will be greater than the past glory… and in this place I will give you peace…” Haggai 2:9

Continue reading “THIS GLORIOUS HOUSE”

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SOFTENED LIKE SAND

goodness is doing its work in me, and it’s face looks a lot like trial.

every time I go to the beach I spend the first day clinging to the sand. terrified of the waves and the way they crash, white foam sputtering, into themselves. flinging bits of sand and seaweed into the salty air. thrashing upon the shore like violent fists coming down hard on a pillow of gritty sand.

perhaps it’s childish. perhaps I’m just not very brave.

but they scare me at first. every time. no matter how old I get.

I imagine getting thrashed and pummeled by those angry fists of water and foam. imagine getting dragged like a rake through turbulent under-currents. just thinking about it sends little spurts of anxiety, like lightning, through my chest.

ah, yes. goodness is doing its work in me, and it feels a lot like being drowned, sputtering and gurgling, to the bottom of a swirling ocean.

and if I’m honest… the shore feels so much safer, so much objectively smarter, so much kinder to a battered & waterlogged heart.

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but the sand is only smooth from being softened.

and I am only gentle from being rubbed the wrong way till all my sharp edges are gone.  Continue reading “SOFTENED LIKE SAND”

PALMS OPEN

hi beauties. I love you guys so much.

today I have a really important chat for y’all. it’s not only timely for Palm Sunday, but it’s a valuable & precious mantra for a lifetime. yeah. it’s that piercing.

when Jesus entered the city, the people waved palm branches & blessed Him, and later on they received Jesus Himself on the cross. today we open our palms to bless Him still & receive His goodness and blessing.

there’s a term we use in yoga: “palms up to receive.”

as we sit in meditation, or pause, steady in our breath, in a pose full of difficulty, we often remind ourselves or our students to simply turn our hands so our palms face up- a posture of surrender, openness, and release.

it’s a softness, a gentleness, a simplicity in the midst of spiritual tension. it’s an offering in the midst of emotional scarcity. it’s a song of sweetness in the screaming bitter season of the soul.

this is our Palm Sunday everyday.

this is our silent shout of hosanna, defiant in the chaos of a world shrieking with fear & demanding our worry and panic. Continue reading “PALMS OPEN”

SPIRITUAL ABUSE // WHAT IT IS & HOW TO GET FREE

hey fam!

today I want to chat with you about a topic that can be really triggering and scary for some of us. it’s been weighing on my heart & I want to just get this truth out of me and shed some light on it okay?

many of us are probably familiar with the terms of sexual abuse/domestic abuse/emotional abuse… these are all deeply dehumanizing and disturbing behaviors that need to be called out & shut down. but something that so many people I know have been a victim of, and which most people don’t even seem to realize exists, is a despicable thing called spiritual abuse.

what is spiritual abuse?

spiritual abuse comes in many forms and wears many disguises. it can be subtle and hard to recognize or loud and blatant. here are just a few ways it can read its ugly head…

MISUSE OF SCRIPTURE

spiritual abuse most often happens when people throw around scripture incorrectly and without reverence, such as using it: out of context, to shame, to ostracize, to excuse or perpetrate cruel behaviors, to prove a point, to shut down a conversation, to silence, to blame, to mock, to build their high horse, to belittle, to brush off, to shrink your pain, to avoid the topic, to divert attention away from their own faults, with condescension, with anger, without kindness… the list could go on. the bottom line here is this: if you have ever been belittled, shamed, brushed off, silenced, or made to feel like your pain was irrelevant with quoted scripture, you have been a victim of spiritual abuse.


THE NARROW ROAD COMPLEX Continue reading “SPIRITUAL ABUSE // WHAT IT IS & HOW TO GET FREE”

VALLEY

I’ve been in the valley, fam. oh, I’ve been in the valley.

any wild & strange place is hard to walk through, but the valley can be so incredibly frustrating because you can see those mountain tops all around you, and it feels like you’re the only one stuck down below. alone. trapped, with freedom in sight.

the valley makes me angry and often causes me to slip into the toxic habits of comparison and self-loathing.

why aren’t I on the mountain?
why am I always stuck down here?
why am I trapped when I have searched so long and so hard for freedom?
it’s because I’m too weak to climb. I’ll never make it.
I probably deserve to be stuck here.

the valley feels like a cruel tease… freedom just out of reach, a clear view within sight but too far to grasp onto.

the valley feels like a crash and burn… tumbling down the rocky mountainside, with everyone watching as you go. until you’re left in shambles and bloodied at the feet of all your dreams.

the valley feels like a literal fall from grace… stuck floundering in the shadows and tangled branches of defeat and doubt and fear down below, while gazing up at the shining, splendorous peaks that you thought you’d reached.DSC_0748.JPG

the valley feels like being trapped.

you can’t claw your way up the mountain.
can’t beg or plead or muscle your way out of it.
you’re too small to wrestle yourself out of the crushing big-ness.
your voice gets lost in its own echoes.
there is no exit.
only walls.
closed doors.
hope & beauty & freedom you can’t reach. Continue reading “VALLEY”

VALLEY. DESERT. WILDERNESS.

there are spaces in the human journey that are stinging & solemn & sacred.

they are full of angst and anger and ache.

they are overflowing with suffering. undoing. just surviving.

these spaces are valley. desert. wilderness.

in the valley we feel trapped.
in the desert we feel exhausted.
in the wilderness we feel lost.

sometimes… you’re in all three.

if you haven’t had the terrifying privilege of journeying through these strange and foreign wild places, you will soon enough. these places are sacred because they are the part of the human experience where a veil is cut open & we so often most deeply and profoundly experience Divine encounters with shalom.

and yet… they are the places of doubt, and of wandering, and of feeling lost, and of the deep, deep starless night of the soul.

this is the mystery.

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I have a lot of questions lately. the valley & desert & wilderness are full of them, after all. and I’m beginning more and more to realize that this is simply the way of things. that questions are part of the fabric of life, and that by ignoring them or running from them is the way that we run from and ignore life.

and we don’t run from life. we can’t.

we chase after it.

I’ll be holding space & treading deeper into the wild country that is this discussion in the next few blog posts… but for now, hear this:

your questions are valid.
they are good.
they matter.
they are worthwhile to ask.

sit with your questions. look at them, be calm, and hold conference with them. allow them to be, to exist, to stare quietly back at you… until you find your answer. then, and only then, release them.

I can’t wait to chat about the valley… how to know if you’re in one, and how to flourish until you reach the mountaintop ❤

FOR THE BRUISED & BUSTED UP

hey there family.

how’s your heart doing? how does life feel against your skin? how’s the weight on your shoulders?

heavy?

yeah… me, too.

because I’ve been struggling real fierce with the weight lately. with the heaviness of all that the world is. all that the Way is. all the healing and woundedness in the world.

I’ve been taking more pauses for deep breaths meant to cleanse and pause and bring shalom into my heart. more because there’s more to breathe against. more to fear. more wounds to bind up.

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the world is heavy, and the weight is fearsome, and the depth of the rawness of our humanity is leagues and leagues more so than the ocean. and we must find a way to breathe through it, to surrender to the healing, even as the arrows pierce our hearts.

and all the bitter hypocrisy, all the callous & graceless acts of others, all the hard work for more disappointment, all the exhaustion and survival, all the confusion and frustration of WHY IS THIS THE WAY IT IS… sometimes it just leaves me bruised & busted up in my soul. Continue reading “FOR THE BRUISED & BUSTED UP”

23

I turn 23 in 23 days.

somehow, getting older both doesn’t feel quite real and also seems as though it should have happened a long time ago. I’ll quote nick miller of New Girl and say that it does indeed feel like I’m finally “aging into my personality”. proud twenty-something grandma at heart over here!

it comes to my attention though, that on birthdays what we really celebrate is not just the person themselves, but the path & journey that lead them to who they are. oh, what a path I’ve had, guys. what a frigging journey. these past 12 months have been one doozy of a year. and, as it usually goes, I never saw it coming.

so often that’s how it goes, right? we get so busy surviving that we forget to embrace each of the moments as teachers for our souls. we get so busy trying to get through things & get over things that we forget to get inside our own hearts and feel the things.

so I’m going to be doing two things before my birthday this year.

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1) I’m going to take a cue from my girl shelby over at a select arrow blog, and do 23 brave things- one each day- to decisively & pointedly finish off a year that had me running scared for so much of it. I’ll let you know how it all goes after my birthday 😉

2) I’m going to write a letter to myself a year ago. (Shhh… I know it’s cheesy) I do this every year in my personal journal, but I’ll chronicle it here, publicly, this time around. you might think this doesn’t take bravery anymore- I’ve made vulnerability a staple practice in my life. but it does. showing up always takes bravery. it’s always still a little scary, and it always makes my heart skip just a best to press that “publish” button and give out pieces of my heart to the world. 

but I’m going to keep it up.  Continue reading “23”

LITTLE GIRL, ARISE

there’s a beautiful portion of Scripture that never fails to leave me just a little bit breathless & a lotta bit refreshed. it never fails to ground my soul deeper into the sweetest Foundation and put my heart to flight. seriously you guys. this is one conversation I am PUMPED to have with you, fam!

check this out from Mark chapter 5…

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there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” …and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where
the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began walking, and they were immediately overcome with amazement.
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okay. lots, lots, lots to unpack here. (major understatement, amiright?) 😉 let’s tackle this.

we’re walking into a family in crisis here. there’s a little girl who is dying, and her family is terrified.

panicked.

desperate.

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ever been there in the total chaos of the soul? ever been there in the dying or the deadness of your spirit? Continue reading “LITTLE GIRL, ARISE”

A SWEETER, DEEPER FAST FOR LENT

hey fam!

anyone else totally participate in lent half-heartedly or not at all because you don’t fully understand it, or (like your new years resolutions) can’t seem to stick with whatever it is you decide on? just me?

well, I stumbled across something on facebook today that completely blew those excuses out of the water and honestly just touched my heart.

I just have to say… I was so deeply inspired by the words of Pope Francis surrounding Lent this year. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but these are his thoughts & they’re seriously worth some intense consideration:

fast from hurting words & say kind words
fast from sadness & be filled with gratitude
fast from anger & be filled with patience
fast from pessimism & be filled with hope
fast from worries & have trust in God
fast from complaints & contemplate simplicity
fast from pressures & be prayerful
fast from bitterness & fill your hearts with joy
fast from selfishness & be compassionate to others
fast from grudges & be reconciled
fast from words & be silent so you can listen

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woah. so good, right?
this is one of those times where I’m like… why didn’t I think of that?! 😉

but really. how often do we set aside time to fast from behaviors of the soul that are slowly wounding us? how often do we truly fast from things that matter instead of mediocre things that are really just for show?

so, which one hits you the most? I’m over here like “they all do”. 😉

I want to encourage you, sweet family, to break out of your comfort zone and fast from a wounding habit in your life. let the letting go hurt. swallow the ache and feel it go down. digest it and let the release do its good work in you. go deep and feel the sweetness of surrender.

I’m challenging myself to this, too! we can do it together.