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( keep breathing: a necessary reminder to myself)

May 10, 2010

I have been living in worried wondering days for a week. It is causing my lungs to constrict and a mildly panicky feeling to swell in my heart. I heard this song last night and it brought my mind back to some words I wrote last year. Here they are. Because I need a reminder to keep breathing…

“But all that I know is I’m breathing. All I can do is keep breathing”

I used to commit to things. I used to be the kind of person who stuck with something no matter what. Then at the most inopportune time I became this fumbling bumbling mess of girl, who cannot make decisions and cannot commit. Honestly, I can’t even commit to having a crush on someone ( still true). A bit ago I would have laughed if you would tell me this would be the life I would live. Me and my planner and my five year plans would have cracked up at the current state of myself. Really? I can hear my old self saying. Really? You decided to change your major how many times? Really? You switched schools how many times? Really? What was supposed to be your senior year you decided you had no clue what you wanted to do? Really? You took time off of well.. almost everything? Really? You even entertain thoughts of somehow making a life out of making art and baking? Really??

All I can say to that questioning disappointed old responsible self is. Really. I think being the messy girl you are now is better. I think this road is harder. It may not look anything like what you thought, but, I think you will be full of so much joy and so many breathtaking stories. I know you love the Lord and yourself more than you did. I know you are becoming more of who you are supposed to be, more comfortable in your own skin. I know there has been some utter disasters, mistakes, and a fair amount of pain. But you have learned and grown and seen some beauty from ashes. You know the Lords promises for your life; hold unto them Do not! Do not settle for less than He has told you. I know that sometimes you want to return to that old self. You wonder if this is all wrong. Well. It’s not. It’s just not your plan. Think of that group of middle school girls, or telling your story to a stranger in a flower shop, or honest conversations with dear friends, or the picture of the home you will share with a man who it feels like breathing with, or the paintings, or the baking, or the dinner parties. And when all else fails and you feel the disappointment settling in, Keep breathing. Keep living your life. Keep breathing. Life is a heartbreaking breathtaking gift and Jesus died so you could live, full, not just sorta kinda half way settle for less live. So do the things that fill your heart; making art, baking, cooking, loving, praying, telling stories, laughing,having adventures. Then I think in the midst of giving up and celebrating your life you’ll find what you should be. Really. Don’t be afraid. Keep breathing.


( practice resurrection)

April 28, 2010

Six months ago I sat on a beach in a not so distant town and told God I needed Him to bring me to life. To practice resurrection in me. To resurrect my broken dreams, hope, and heart. I bought a card to open six months from that october day and wrote

” I think now you know. Seed in the scar”

I  opened that card today. I forgot those words. When I read them I cried. Because I do know now. I know there is a wholeness to the heart that comes only from being broken. There is a goodness  to God that we may  not understand until we have walked through the places and spaces where goodness seems absent. There is a beauty to life that grows from having it taken and given back. I know now that life grows in the most unexpected marred places.

When I first wrote those words I half believed that they would be the answer to what I asked. That Life would actually grow in dark spaces of my heart. That instead of living a half-life I would wake up to a beautiful one. Surprise, surprise, surprise, it happened. I only realized it on Resurrection Sunday ( how fitting). Somehow when I reached the end of myself  I stumbled/was lead into a beautiful life. A life I would have not known how to ask for all those months and years ago. A life brimming with goodness, beauty, baking, words, stories, a family of friends, dancing, late nights, laughter, joy, and steady love of a really good God. I would not have said this in the storm, but I am thankful for the heartbreak and dark days. I’m thankful for what they took and what they gave me. I’m thankful for the fertile ground they laid. I’m thankful for a God, as my friend Jill says, who wastes nothing, and grew/will continue to grow things in the new ground of my heart. I’m thankful for the movement of His grace and his infinite second chances. I’m thankful that He is in the business of practicing resurrection, in the business of bring dead things to life… my heart, hope, and dreams.

( you’re good kid)

April 13, 2010

I love sleeping at last. The affair began years back when my friends all ventured to Cornerstone music festival and I had to stay behind. My friend Elliott made me a small circular version of cornerstone when they came back and a sleeping at last song was on it.

Today I sat on my bed room floor listening to them. And letting these words wash over me.

” you were a million years of work, said God and his angles with needle and thread. They kissed your head and said you’re good kid, and you make us proud. So just do your best and the rest will come, and we’ll see you soon.”

I needed those words. You’re good kid.

(full days)

April 2, 2010

These days are full. Time to write is hard to come by. I imagined starting this new word adventure with lots to say. And I do have much to tell of but not a moment to write. Life has snuck up on me and I have fallen in love with it. I’m spending the days actually living my life. I know I need to make the space to write because it undoes me in the best way. Weaving words unravels parts of my knotted heart. But, who can pass up late nights with the best friends and quick trips to chicago, dancing till the wee hours, baking, parks and ice cream on sunny days, and celebrating life with some of the best pals ever. I sure can’t… So,  I’ll write the stories in time but for now I’ll live them…

This is what living your life looks like…

(3 am photo shoot)

(family pic. chitown)

(walking streets of chicago)

( the best pals. plus the one behind the camera)

(my friend jill takes the most amazing photos)

(" after a no good rotten day, didn't your mama ever make you milk and cookies?"

(banana peanut butter chocolate cupcakes)

( the most beautiful children i know)



( sun. lake. kids.)

(the start)

March 29, 2010

Here is to new beginnings

Here is to endless second chances

Here is to the art of imperfection and the beautiful unexpected

Here is to a full and thankful heart

Here is to learning to be and breathe

Here is to waking up and believing. “The sunrise brings hope where it once was forgotten”

Here is to a life you could have never known you wanted

Here is to a God who wastes nothing

Here is the start of my new stories. New stories of growing good things, in my heart and in my life.  It took some passing time, some wounds, some healing, some letting go, some giving up and giving in. But, somehow when I stopped the worry and wondering a beautiful life snuck up on me. A beautiful life started blooming.