Monday, October 27, 2014

Does anybody know me?

I hear small feet skipping in and see a pair of brightly colored sneakers enter the bathroom stall next to me.  Unexpected words are spoken into the stillness of a school bathroom.  The little voice asks, Does anybody know me?  

I startle at the question and reply gently through the cold, metal door with a smile, No, I'm sorry I don't think I know you.

Oh, ok, the little girl answers brightly.  I'm in kindergarten.  And just like that, she's on her way.

There it is.  The question we're all asking deep inside.  DOES ANYBODY KNOW ME?

For thirty seven years I hid "the real me" behind a mask of achievement, perfection, and control.  I only let you see the me I wanted you to see. I didn't acknowledge that there was a "real me" on the inside.  Her memories were too messy, her emotions too raw.  She was wounded and imperfect and scared.  It was easier to pretend that girl didn't exist.

The thing is, the pretending only works for so long.  Eventually the truth finds it's way to the light no matter how hard you stomp it down.  It's painful, unexpected, raw, and it held me hostage for six long months.  A dark night of the soul.  Fear.  Anxiety.  Insomnia.  Depression.  A life clawing to stay still and familiar even as the river of life swirled with currents that would not be calmed.

I recently read that the greek root of the word crisis means to sift.  And that is where the river has led me.  To a place where I'm sifting the memories, shaking the sand from my eyes and seeing this life anew.  Though the sifting is hard, it is good.

God only allows pain if He’s allowing something new to be born.
                                                               -Ann Voskmamp

I'm in the cocoon now, waiting for the miracle.  I know it's coming, but it will not be a result of anything I've done or will do.  And that's the hard part to accept.  Does anybody know me?  Yes, HE does.  The One who was there in the beginning and whispered me into being.  HE knows me and says the truth will set me free.  Perhaps one day I'll even know the real me that He intended me to be.  Please, let it be so...

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Story {Day 4}

Written across the ages, it forms.  Each life, a thread, expertly written across the page. I long to know The Story and my part in it.

Most days, I attempt to write my own plot and protest in frustration when the chapter doesn't go the way I planned.  Crumpled bits of paper lay strewn behind me, the weight of the deadline looms ahead.

And then I flip back the pages and see that it's not my words at all.  It was the Author every step along the way.  He never asked for an assistant.  He simply asks me to savor the story as it unfolds.   Today and every day, no matter where the story turns, let me trust the pen in the Author's hand.

In this 31 day series,  I'll flit and flutter around the topic of seeking the still within the boundaries of God's grace.  I'm open to the whispers of the wind, so fly with me if you wish!

Friday, October 4, 2013

To Know Him {Day 3}

It takes a long time to really know someone, and even then it's not easy.  If fact, it's rare to truly know another person.  You have to understand their history, observe how they interact with others, look at the work they do, and gain insight into their nature.  You have to study them. Celebrate with them. Mourn with them.  You have to talk.  You have to listen.

That kind of knowing takes a lifetime...and even then is limited by the lens through which we view our own life and experiences.  It's complicated, to say the least.

It's the same thing when it comes to knowing God.

I grew up knowing stories about God.  I went to Sunday School and church, read the children's books, watched the shows.  I could recite the creeds and say the prayers.  Who is God?  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  What does He do?  He saves us from our sin.  Yep, I thought I knew it all...but I didn't.

How is it possible to wrap our minds around the Creator of the Universe?  The One who breathed us into being and spoke the world into motion.  The One who longs for relationship with his people, who chose a nation so that He could reveal who He is and what He does.  The God who loves us in spite of our brokenness.  Who loves us in spite of our rejection.  Who loves us so much that He would send a holy Savior, a Way for us to live in His presence for free and for forever.

Knowing Him begins with the still, quiet voice that says there is more than meets the eye in this world.  Pay attention.  Look deeper.  Stop trying to understand Me and just try to know Me.  Gaze upon the beauty of My creation and know I exist.  Read how I set apart the people of Israel, so I could reveal myself to the world.  Look how I kept my promise to send a Savior, to redeem those who put their faith in Me.  Watch how I work today, through the lives of those I call my own. 

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.  Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.  Matthew 7:7   Deuteronomy 4:29   Jeremiah 33:3

We must seek, my friends.  In the midst of our hardest days, we can't stop seeking to know Him, the Gift Giver.  For in doing so, we are promised that we will finally receive the gift, the still. 

In this 31 day series,  I'll flit and flutter around the topic of seeking the still within the boundaries of God's grace.  I'm open to the whispers of the wind, so fly with me if you wish!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Gift Giver {Day 2}

It was a painted piece of clay attached to a necklace with yellow yarn.  A homemade charm lovingly designed by my eldest daughter to replace the "real" one she lost.  Happy birthday, Mom!  I looked all over the house, but I couldn't find your missing charm.  I made you a new one for your birthday.  Will you wear it today? 

The giver of the gift matters.  Given by anyone else, I would have likely smiled, offered my thanks, and moved on.  But this gift was fashioned by my flesh and blood.  My daughter, who I dearly love, poured her heart into this gift.  Created it with her own hands.  Wear it?  This gift of love? I most certainly did.

We appreciate gifts in proportion to our relationship with the giver.  The more we know the giver, the closer our relationship, the more the gift matters.

How close are you to the giver of The Still?  Do you know Him?  Know about Him?  Don't know Him at all?  Perhaps you wonder about this peace that so many speak of.  You reach and yearn for rest for your soul, but it forever seems just outside your grasp. 

As I Gracefully Seek the Still these next few weeks, I want to be honest and look with eyes wide open.  I seek to open my heart to know the Gift-Giver better.  Not with knowledge and facts, but heart to heart, soul to soul.  He's been designing lovely Gifts for me since the beginning of time.  Yes, He created them with His own hands.  I don't want to smile and move on.  I want to wear His gifts of love...

In this 31 day series,  I'll flit and flutter around the topic of seeking the still within the boundaries of God's grace.  I'm open to the whispers of the wind, so fly with me if you wish!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Beginning {Day 1 of 31 days}

I giggled as my eyes scanned the new comment on my Facebook page, "You are such a calm & peaceful person... So inspiring!!"  If only they knew...

How often we brave the world, full of smiles and glow, a fa├žade covering the reality of what lies within.

This quest of mine to seek the still was not born out of calm or peace, wisdom or insight. It was born out of a desperate need to have what I could not grasp.  In a lifetime of seeking, striving, and proving, I have won the awards, earned the perfect scores, and worn the lovely masks.  I've also turned to drink for escape, slipped into the darkness of depression, and lain awake in the cycle of anxiety.  Seeking the still, I am. 

I recently read a quote by Angela Thomas in her book Stronger that sums it up, I'm just a human being whose life keeps proving how much I need a Savior.

At the beginning of this 31 day journey, let's be perfectly honest about who we are, and what we're seeking.  I have nothing to offer from my own reason or strength.  The meaning of grace is an undeserved gift.  Not earned.  At all.  When I chose Gracefully for the title of this series, I was not referring to any beauty that lies within you or me.  Gracefully is reminder that our greatest need for still, that place where we can finally be free, is completely unattainable on our own.  It is underserved.  It is a gift.  But it is there for you and for me. 

In this 31 day series,  we'll flit and flutter around the topic of seeking the still within the boundaries of God's grace.  I'm open to the whispers of the wind, so fly with me if you wish!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Gracefully Seeking the Still {31 Days}

Schedules.  Deadlines.  Weary and overwhelmed.  If the snapshot of your life reflects the frazzled and the frustrated, then we are kindred spirits, indeed.  I know all too well that Seeking the Still can easily sound like another thing to add to an already overflowing to-do list.  But what if Seeking the Still isn't about doing more...   What if we offered a bit of grace to ourselves and explored how God uses the knock-down, drag-out days to show us that The Still is right there waiting...

For the 31 days of October, I'm pondering the idea of GRACEFULLY Seeking the Still.  Not with the grace of the dancer, but with the Grace of the God who offers it to us.  Not by doing more, but by peering through a new lens.  Let's take a stroll down the path of grace and see where the journey leads.  

This is the first post in a 31 day series.  We'll flit and flutter around the topic of seeking the still within the boundaries of God's grace.  I'm open to the whispers of the wind, so fly with me if you wish!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Not A Resolution In Sight

I know You're there, God.  It's me, Laura.  I guess you know that I've been struggling for quite some time about what to do here in this space.  Seeking The Still has been my quest for several years now. 
Ever since You whispered the idea to me on a springtime day, and I ran inside to spill out the design and story on this page.  I know You have a purpose for these words ...I just wish I knew what it was because I don't feel like I'm making a lot of progress in this journey. 

I'm feeling rather melancholy today.  I surprise there.  It's the start of a new year and I'm wishing that You'd offer a bit more clarity about how You want me to shape the days and moments that lay just ahead.  I want to make some resolutions.  Fill up some to-do lists and come up with a plan.  The problem is, for the first time in a long time, I don't know what it is I'm striving for.  Another baby?  Not sure.  Time to move?  Maybe, maybe not.  Write a book?  Take some classes?  Don't know about those, either. It's crazy, right?  This drive I have to define and map out the future.  I'm sure it drives You nuts.  I know it drives my family nuts. Why can't I just seek the content in today, instead of worrying about where I need to go tomorrow. 

TRUST ME.  I've heard You whisper that a lot lately, and I feel it down to my toes.  So, why does it have to be so hard?

You've given me more than I'll ever need.  I'm blessed beyond measure, yet I'm always asking for more.  I'm sorry for that.  Sometimes I think I get it completely.  I can bask in Your Goodness and Mercy and feel perfectly content.  And then, just like's gone and I'm back in my own pity party again.  Do You ever get tired of forgiving me?  I know Your Word says You don't, but it's got to get old.  Thanks for loving me in spite of all the muck I bring along with me.  It's the one thing that keeps me going.

So at the start of this resolution-less year, I guess what I'm asking for is some direction.  Help me to be awake enough to know Your plans.  And please give me the courage to follow wherever you lead.  Thanks for loving me.

Always Yours,