for the promise of sweet breezes

I fight the survivor instinct that tells me to revive.

There is a time to die.

My four decades of doing things my way have brought me no closer to the prize – to the wideness of grace, to the deep well of peace, to the loftiness of lightness in my being.

It’s time to stop doing. And start dying.

Some things are a swift and merciful kill. So many others linger right on the edge. My will. My way. It gasps for breath and begs for salvation.

Oh, how it wants more time with me. But as my Jesus himself modeled, the only path to salvation is through death.

Spring is not as sweet without the winter.
New is meaningless if there never has been an old.
Resurrection never comes without first the dying.

And so it turns. Each tick of the clock marching back around to itself.
Circle after circle after circle.

Daily. Moment by moment. My will; my way; my striving; my doing.

It dies.

And from its decay blooms a more glorious way. Higher. Deeper. Wider than my striving could ever have imagined.

*********

Tightly still tucked upon itself.
The bud not ready to bloom.
I think for a moment I am her.
But, no, she is not yet me at all.

Go lower. Past the leaves. Down the stem. Under the surface.
Into the darkness.
I am not bloom, but seed.

Tightly still tucked upon itself.
Refusing to unfold.
Unwilling to die.

The breeze it carries a memory. Of sweet daisy blooms.
Into the soil it penetrates.
And the decaying seed – for the sake of a promise – releases just a bit of its skin.

The tiniest sip of living water expands me beyond today’s bindings.
There is no option but to crack.

To unfold.
For More.

To make room.
For Life.

Mile One (Brave Every Day Series)

mile1

There is a long stretch of country road across Kentucky where the hills are many and the gas stations few. I’m only a minute or two headed west when I spot a marker. Mile 1.

Years of road trips have trained me to keep my eyes open for the passing numbers. A way to track progress towards an anticipated exit. A way of knowing where I am in the world.

So a few minutes later I glance to the side of the road again. Mile 1.

Yes. Again.

Over the course of the next hour or so I pass Mile 1 no less than 5 more times. While driving in a straight line.

I was confused at first.

Then annoyed. Then angry.

How could I be moving — and making absolutely no progress?

Starting over. And over. It’s pure exhaustion.

And then I heard the whisper.  “New every morning.”

What if Mile 1 was an invitation to start fresh? To wipe the slate clean? To wash off the dirt of the road behind me and move forward without baggage.

What if these signs aren’t meant as altars to my progress and are instead opportunities for grace? No matter how many times I have to start again at Mile 1?

What if I had the courage to keep driving, not knowing how many more Mile 1 markers I might face? Could I be Brave Every Day?

brave-FBcover-Flatten

 

This post is a Mile 1 of sorts. It’s been weeks since my last blog entry. And even that was a re-post. So months is a more accurate measure of my absence from writing. Not just publishing, but nearly all kinds of writing. Which, I have learned, is not a particularly healthy state of my soul.

Moving forward from Mile 1 — while knowing it’s extremely likely there is another Mile 1 in the future is an act of hope. Of faith. Of mustard seed faith. A small planting of courage that may just bloom into brave.

A little Brave. Every day.

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brave-squareIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October — reporting on ways I reach out to bravery in my everyday life. (See all posts to date HERE.) To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email.

PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences of everyday bravery. It’s a road better traveled with friends.

Inside Out Light (#smallwonder)

Psalm764 Cindee Photography
photo by Cindee Snider Re, originally designed for #sundaycirclegroup, used with permission

Not once in my entire life have I considered myself “resplendent.” I doubt, in fact, I have described anything in that manner.

Radiant. Glowing.

On my wedding day, perhaps. Maybe the junior prom — my first real dress-up event.

Even there I speak of looking radiant. Feeling a glow.

But BEING resplendent?

The Psalmist tells God He is. Resplendent that is. More majestic than the mountains. (Psalm 76:4)

So as I reflect that I dwell with God but that He also dwells in me, I must consider that His qualities, too, live beneath my skin.

I could get a spray tan. Add glitter to my eye shadow. Wear a sequined dress.

But that would only make me shiny.

Resplendence, instead, rises slowly to the surface. It’s an inside out light.

The fullness of all the beauty of God Himself, fanned forever by the Holy Spirit.

In. Me.

Can you imagine?

I hope you can. Because it’s in you, too.

So let us ready our vessels. Let us welcome the rising. Let us be polished. Let us be resplendent.

Indeed, we already are.

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Linking this reflection of Small Wonder with my friend and fellow blogger, Kelly Chripczuk, who hosts a Community of blogging Beauty Hunters at her site. Because our Big God shows himself in the most amazing small ways. #smallwonder

Under the Tutelage of The King

psalm 25-4Before I could walk, my heart had already been imprinted with the words, “Jesus loves me.” Faithful nursery workers rocked and sang on Sundays the truths I heard at home all week.

I have always known I am a daughter of The King.

And like any princess of position, I enjoyed mostly comfortable days unfettered by the worries of the kingdom — and largely ignorant of the happenings outside its safety.

I flitted about carefree in the courtyard without fear of intruders. Or snakes. Or storms. I was blissfully confident in my Daddy’s ability to keep all things well.

And while this may be the proper place for a child, an heir must eventually invest herself in kingdom itself.

To step in the footsteps of His forgiveness in order to learn His gait.

To listen carefully to His words in order to speak in His dialect.

To receive His grace abundantly in order to cast its residue on others like He does.

It’s time to learn the family business.

Lord, tell me your ways.
    Show me how to live.
Guide me in your truth,
    and teach me, my God, my Savior. (Psalm 25:4-5)

I come close and study His moves. His words. His patterns. His rhythms.

I apprentice under the tutelage of The King. I Dwell.

Linking up with Kelli and the other lovelies at Unforced Rhythms.

One Word 2015: Dwell

logo by tracimichele.com
logo by tracimichele.com

It did not arrive in a gold envelope. Nor was it announced with a Hear Ye, Hear Ye.

It started as a whisper in my periphery. A wish from the middle of my soul. A slow drawing towards a fresh experience. A message repeated in my every day.

Until I knew it was a royal invitation.

Come sit with me, Beth.

Stay close. Learn from my ways. Hide in the shadow of my wing.

        Remain. Abide. Tarry. Nest.

                 Reside. Lodge. Settle. Rest.

                          DWELL.

I have started multiple blog posts intended to announce Dwell as my 2015 One Word. But nothing got further than a sentence or two. And I think that’s because I was trying to rush what I have found to be a slow unfolding of wonder over the course of a year. I cannot yet know all that Dwell will lead me to and through in the coming days.

It’s too soon to give you an event report when I have only now returned my RSVP.

But I can tell you what I hope for.

I hope to be more Mary and less Martha. And to know more of Him, not just more about Him.

I hope to discover rest in the midst of routine life. And magic in ordinary moments.

I hope to have long talks with Him. And to be refreshed in our brief meetings, too.

I hope to listen well. And learn to speak His dialect.

I hope to know what David knew when He sang:

              Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
                     will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
              I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
                    my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)

 

If you are interested in meeting others who have selected One Word for 2015, head over to the One Word Link-up. Fellow One Word bloggers, please add your reveal post here so I can meet with and pray for you throughout the year.

If you are interested in my Words from previous years, check out these links … 2014: Grace; 2013: Fullness; 2012: Float; 2011: Courage

Enjoy this blog? Find Beth in these Places, too.