All human beings are alone. No other person will completely feel like we do, think like we do, act like we do. Each of us is unique, and our aloneness is the other side of our uniqueness. The question is whether we let our aloneness become loneliness or whether we allow it to lead us into solitude. Loneliness is painful; solitude is peaceful. Loneliness makes us cling to others in desperation; solitude allows us to respect others in their uniqueness and create community.
Letting our aloneness grow into solitude and not into loneliness is a lifelong struggle. It requires conscious choices about whom to be with, what to study, how to pray, and when to ask for counsel. But wise choices will help us to find the solitude where our hearts can grow in love.
waking up alone.
i try to think when i last had
this gift of solitude.
the house quiet.
creating my morning
looking forward to the coming hours
don’t know if i’ve ever had quite this
in the past 48 years.
it’s not my space.
i’m still surrounded
by the energy,
the possessions of another,
but i get a tiny foretaste
of what my home will be
when I finally get there.
i luxuriate in the promise
of this morning.
this slice of freedom
expanding my joy
in my homecoming to be.
i take off all the expectations
and do a little reveling,
exhale and let a little out.
inhale take a little in.
relax and allow the guard to come down just a bit.
i’m not there yet,
but I’m the closest I’ve ever been.
this moment is a gift.
i can almost smell the soup simmering on my stove top,
the pie in the oven.
i can almost hear the laughter of friends,
maybe even family, around the table.
i can almost touch the softness of the fabrics,
the rich colors,
the art on the walls.
i can almost see the warm light of the fire on the hearth,
already blazing in my heart.
it’s right around the next bend,
the little place
waiting with arms wide open,
welcome home, beloved,
come on in
and let your hair down –
so glad you’re finally here.
Kind hearts are the gardens,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the flowers,
Kind deeds are the fruits.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another,
as God in Christ forgave you.
Thoughts are also posted at:
The Word knows the difference between what is truly you and what is false, imposed, and needing to be removed. God’s knowing presence, God’s judging, is not cruel, not against you (you’re still thinking of that sword). God looks on you only with reverence and love. God sees you, with the eyes of “mercy and grace,” of one who can “sympathize with our weakness… who in every respect has been tested as we are” (v. 16, 15). God’s Word is the living presence that loves you from the inside out.
The living and active Word listens you you deeply. Let that Presence pierce you. Let that Listening lay bare the intentions of your heart, so that you can see yourself clearly, as God sees you. Let that Love sink deep to the marrow of your fears, the bone of your desires, not to cut you up, but to see what does not give you life and free you from it, so that you become more truly and wholly yourself, for the sake of your lovely, precious, holy life.
I am so thankful for this amazing trip I just took to Connecticut & Boston!!! Still driving! 3 more hours…
We are celebrating freedom today. What is freedom about? It’s all about love.
For many years I struggled with my desire to know about God. Who was this God? How could I grasp Him at all? One day I was brought to realized – God is love – that’s the root definition of God. I still remember that moment in 2009! Everything else springs from this fact. Every other belief and doctrine is based on this truth. God doesn’t just want us to need Him, God wants us to love Him. We do not obey because of fear of breaking the rules and punishment. We give love freely because we are in love with the love with Him, and we give ourselves freely as we express this passion and love inside of us. This is our most important relationship, but is what we base all of our human relationship from.
That sounds simple, right? Don’t we all talk about love and know about love? I thought I did, but as I began to read, think and live from this new knowledge of God, I began to realize how little I knew about love. It has been the most challenging and mind-blowing concept I have ever found. It challenges me every minute of everyday to try to live this way. This is not about head knowledge – this is about true intimacy. This is how we change the world. Each of us are responsible to live this way and show others this unconditional, and unconventional, love. God gives us true freedom. He will never make us do anything. He offers this love freely and all He wants is for us to receive it and allow it to seep into every aspect of our life and living. He allows us to make the choices on how we live out our lives. It is never coerced. Never manipulated. Will we choose this narrow way? It is not an easy way to live, yet it leads to life, and life abundantly.
It calls for so much more than religion, more than being ‘right’, or following the ‘big-ten’. It is not about figuring everything out, but about letting it all go. Abandoning myself for a love I cannot understand in my human experience, but I do experience it – in spirit and in truth – and so I KNOW it’s true. I have found it, I have lived it, I cannot deny it. God is love is my truth. Now I must live that truth. It is a life which is challenging in every way. It brings us to messy, dangerous and uncomfortable places. Yet, when we really understand it – it is the only way to live. I have found obedience is the least I can do for this gift – it is truly my reasonable service, and the more I live this way and find intimacy with this great and amazing love, the less I want anything else. Nothing else can satisfy.
The truth of the words, God so loved the world, MUST change us. He gave his only son, the value of my soul, of each created soul, is found in that. We are each Beloved – just as we are. This is love and it is good!
Freedom is not cheap. The cost of our country’s freedom has been great. The cost of my personal freedom has been great. The cost of our soul’s freedom has been greater still. How I express my gratitude matters. I am so blessed and so grateful. What can this poor girl give in return? All I have are love songs – and that is why I sing my love songs, as loud as possible.
A lot of the daily messages I get right now are about Lent. I didn’t grow up with Lent and so I find it somewhat exotic. Over the past several years I have observed the practice and have found it so beautiful and beneficial. It is an important event, and it is a time to go deep into some tough issues. The messages I get in my daily inspirational doses are great (for the most part) and present Lent as both difficult, but joyous! Which I believe is true. We must begin to be vulnerable to our brokenness, if we want to feel our deepest joy!
It is interesting to me the contrast of when I hear people talking about Lent in everyday conversation. Like at my job, or in a restaurant. It seems a lot of people feel like Lent is about deprivation and punishment. I over hear them dreading ‘giving up’ chocolate, beer or meat and wondering if it will interfere with their entertainment schedule, or if is just too hard. Most of them seem to be dreading it. When I can, I try to insert myself into their conversation (I hope they appreciate it at some point! ha) and assure them that is not what Lent is about – we are not called to punishment! We are called to a deeper experience of life. We are called to freedom, love and joy! Life is beautiful – that is the message!
I try to encourage the people who feel this way to turn it around this year. Don’t be punished by ‘giving up’ use the 40 days to ADD something special. Write a 40 day journal and concentrate on looking for one good thing a day to be thankful and write about!
Lent is about reflection about deepening our lives in every way. Let’s try to get the message out that Jesus never wanted religion – his beautiful life and death was because of love to give us truth and freedom. He wants our love, relationship, communion, fellowship, passion. Yes, it’s all about love.
In Lent, as we fast from rich, sweet foods, we fast from our rich, sweet Alleluia. On Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras, in French) an old tradition is to use up all the fat — the milk, eggs and butter in the house (usually in pancakes). And we use up all the alleluias. A liturgical tradition for this day includes burying the alleluias,carrying a small casket out of the church and interring it, as we would for someone we love. It’s a tender moment.
Use up your alleluias today. Relish the word. Walk around singing it, saying it, praying it. Rejoice in being “shriven” —having confessed and been absolved (hence another name for today, “Shrove Tuesday”) — before you enter into a season when your freedom is still being worked out. Then tonight, bury yourAlleluias. Kiss them goodbye. Wish them well. They will go down into the darkness, into the silence, to be drowned out by the moans and the cries. Let them go. They have infinite life in them. They will arise again on Easter, having seen Hell and transfigured it, and returned, singing.
But today do not worry yourself about the dark journey to come. This is the day the Lord is creating. Let us rejoice and be glad. Alleluia!