Friday, July 22, 2011

The Slick Track

*Two jabbering, hitting, wound up boys in the back,
*One verocious reader in the front trying to tune out the kicks to the back of her seat and the jibberish,
*A cooler full of drinks and a smaller one with grapes, salty snacks
*One worried nanny scanning the skies for rain clouds, spinning back-up plans
*A collaborative thinking bubble of wonder
We exited the car and walked side by side, cash in hand to the great water/ride adventure. Never mind the mood had taken a rapid decline when we realized I had driven 15 min. in the wrong direction and the anticipation would be put on hold as we retraced our steps. Those little details flew away in a bubble as we all looked up at the roller coaster, wondering if we really could handle the drops. One chose to walk away and watch as the rest of us grasped tightly with eyes peeled back. Our hearts beat quickly carrying us on to next after next. I had no idea that shooting through a blue tube in moments to come would contain more drops that would incite quick fear in my grown-up heart. The waves lulled us into summer bliss until we had to mentally and vocally fish the boys out with great strength.

The summer is beginning to slip away just as I snuggle into it's warm cozy embrace. I've known this feeling on many mornings when the snooze has longer reign and the sheets meet my skin in that familiar delicious feeling of days with temperatures reaching 69 degrees.
Worry and wonder and hauntings of being out of control have tap danced through my space but when I bring my eyes to replay I am thankful and content with a rhythmically pleasing summer. Snapshots frozen against my ever twirling thoughts have been:
* My nephew Hudson's wonderful faces and sounds like when he looks like he is saying oh but he tucks his lip down over his teeth, or how just today he smiled, said hi and did a scrunchy wave, or when he squeals with delight if I get ready to chase after him, or .........
*Time with family like watching and critiquing shows with my sister, working beside her to create cupcake masterpieces, fun cheat meals with Vespers and Wiles
*Swimming, mini-golfing, joking and all the little talks about life happenings with the twins I nanny
*Moments with Challenge peeps around nachos, the Johnson's pool (our Hawaiian getaway) or sitting in the heat of a humid night as we are whisked away to the Land of Oz.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The story around the bend...

Sometimes it's a tiptoe and sometimes it's a bang but the crafted words or the span in on the city scene always bring you into a new experience. After being engulfed in a story I am always amazed at the emotional journey I have been on. I walk away with a skip in my step, a new found hope, a mind racing with ideas and wonder or a heart heavy with compassion and sorrow of the brokenness in this world. Story is so powerful.
When I know that God created a powerful inviting story for us to live within and has made us as creators and characters to participate with him I am more drawn to him. A man that has written stories that have connected with many hearts around the world is now sharing with others the wonders and intricacies of story and how the exploration of that can propel us into a more active, life giving story. That man is Donald Miller. You can find his blog on my list of blogs and check out his books, the most recent being A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, which is about story and is told through story. You can join others in a conference in Portland about these things.

Check out this video:

I have thought about my story and my parents have enriched my life by their very unique story (running away from a cult, a dream of a girl named Larka and hard childhoods). The story in my life had some tragedy and conflict growing up (our house burning down, car wrecks, poverty and the death of a best friend). Among them all our family was blessed with good moments of story and we created our own story full of love for each other, tradition and endurance and faith in God.
Since college I have lived story by investing in college students. I have mentored girls, traveled across the states and through the world. I have shared stories and vision and have celebrated with them as they lived through different life milestones.
The place that has come up lacking in is my personal life. I have realized that more in the last few years but can't seem to be able to tip into stories in my life. It is much easier to celebrate and help others have a great story or to watch many movies, or to write all my what ifs and hope maybe I will find myself in the midst of them.
I throw out little lobs or start sparks hoping that just maybe one will catch and I will find myself in a story. I have taken 17 before pictures in the effort to get back in shape and setting a new goal each time like by this wedding or to be able to be active with my crush at the time. I have said I am going to take classes towards a future career and have said and wrote about many things. I have thoughts about going on dates but get freaked out when the chance is there. Something is missing. Am I a failure at discipline? What holds me back? Fear? Wonder if I am taking things into my own hands and need to wait on God more? Laziness?
*I want to write a book, if only for myself from the writings I have been writing in the past 23 journals. This will take time, patience and the belief that it is worth it and ok to pursue.

* I want to lose 75 lbs in the next year. This will take time, pre-planning with food and a schedule of exercise doing something I enjoy and look forward to or at least feel good about having pursued. Maybe I need a race or other goal?

* I want to create a way for elementary students to have mentoring that can happen at school. Everyone longs to be seen, heard and enjoyed and some get it outside of school but I think if we could fit it in some way at the school it could reach more students. This will be hard to allow people to come in that will allow the kids to be safe and still leave time for them to learn academically all that they need to.

I am a dreamer and a what if person. I feel like this blog entry for the contest is another one of those lobs, those sparks. I would love to think things through and find out how do I get over sitting in a boat, wondering which way to paddle towards and then actually moving towards something. In so many areas of my own life I feel like I am waiting for it to come to me and it's not. How do I hear those whispers better and how do I motivate myself to move? If I can learn something about being active in my own story I feel like I will have the opportunity to be propelled in many areas.
What an amazing gift you are giving by sharing these wonderings and knowledge with people. If I can find a way financially I will be there whether I win or not. Like so many others, this may be the only option. Thanks for getting us to consider our stories and to imagine change.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I love warm-ups

Where is your mind? On a football team running through tires and doing all sorts of drills or those pink velour track suits that may even say something on the butt like yummy? Obviously I simultaneously go to both. The first is exciting and the second makes me laugh and for some reason almost makes me want to have one. Almost...

A friend of mine wrote a blog entry about living a bigger life. ( We have both been inspired and spurred on by the author, Donald Miller. You can see Don's blog in my links or check out a past entry of mine, titled Longings. I saw Donald speak at an Arts Conference in Chicago. It was so full of stories, entertainment, ideas and thought sparks that I walked away dizzy with delight, wonder and not even sure I knew what the main point was. He is having his own conference in Portland at the end of September. I am considering the adventure. There is a contest you can enter through a blog entry about how you hope to live in a new way, basically. You may see an entry in future postings.

Anyway, this blog should probably be called Side Note as that has come to be a constant pathway in my thinking. People see me writing feverishly in every meeting I am in and probably think I am just jotting down every single word. I do take notes but I am often writing SN followed by the most recent question or path of thought that has sparked in my mind. If it is written down I can refocus my mind and get back to engaging with the present. I think I could fill a whole book with all the SN's in my journals and notes. I wonder if they would make any sense taken away from the context that sparked the question or wonder.

I find myself in a pool slowly waving through words, patterns of behavior and future desire. I want to write about what I want to move toward. What are the adventures ahead I can step toward? More often than not though I am in the warm-up, the dreaming, the hope, the tiny steps that I hope will magically catapult me past the initial change to full blown, living in the midst of a whole new direction. As I look at past entries, I've been here a long time. I hope I will get lucky and will tip into my future. I struggle, wondering what parts are up to me. I want certain end results and feelings but don't see clear paths to get there. I fear getting locked into a whole path that takes me far away and I have to get back to the beginning intersection again.
I should know by now there is no beginning intersection, that pathways lead to new pathways.

When I look around I feel like others are in those moments and places in their life. It almost seems effortless like the door showed up and they just walked through, without much thought. I make lots of plans and get excited for the big game but it sometimes feels like I am sitting on the bench wondering why it hasn't started yet. Are we waiting on the coach? Is something going on I don't know about? Is everyone waiting for me to step out there? In the meantime I pick up the equipment lying around the bench, I entertain the kids waiting for the game to start and go back and forth between worrying and being distracted. Sometimes I tell myself it's not about the game. It's about making the most of the time right now, where you are on the sidelines. When it's time to play, you'll know. You'll hear the whistle blow.

A Mess of Misc.

"I'm back in black"
"Side Note Sally"
"Blast from the Past"
"You are going to the Land of Enchantment"

The last one came up as we were chatting over a friend's move to Colorado. A light blinked in my mind of how she was moving to her own outdoor mecca. It's the place where men (you can be included too ladies) get enchanted and a little siren implants herself in their brains and calls to them in seductive whispers for the rest of their life.

A friend corrected me and said no the Land of Enchantment is New Mexico. I said no, I don't speak in phrases, I speak the truth. I think Colorado is the land of enchantment. After that as the odd conversation continued I let a few more phrases slip. Then as I sit here on the edge, waiting to tip back into my land of blogness I find my mind swirling with phrases like the above.

My mind always has had the organization of a quirky artist. There appears to be piles, some of which belong together and are meant to be piled while others are all mixed up hiding buried treasures amongst the random fortune cookie sayings and old movie ticket stubs. How fitting then that my actual house has similar piles. Then when a spot opens up in conversation and my mind sees a fit it's like they line up, begging to be used, to fulfill their potential. I drop a few in, when I know the cheesiness will be enjoyed or the company loves me enough to exercise a smile and an eye roll. Other times I have to say sorry and send them back to their seats where they wait with hope. I sadly, wish they would scoot on to someone else who doesn't see the cheesiness and would give them more opportunities. I really would like to have some space back in my mind for those key facts that are important and helpful

*Stretch *Grin* Curl my legs up in the leather computer chair
How I've missed you, my friend, the keeper of my waves of thought, images and oddities. It feels good to play, to exaggerate, to spin words and thoughts and see what appears.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Long Winter?

Wow, I guess winter has pulled me away from my written musings. I was just about to hassle my friend Jack about being absent from my reading world when I realized it could easily be thrown back in my own face.
It is the last month of intensity for the college group. I feel like we are running behind though we aren't. I am excited for the newness the leader's retreat and summer will bring.
My body is aching to be found again. Ha ha, I guess it really is aching. I guess I wasn't so ready for 3 sets of 15 on the lunges with my jump start back into my weight program. I have been called all kind of names, involving stiff legs. A friend thought my awkward beach volleyball skills were from my mini skirt, not quite.
I am tumbling ideas about co-dependancy and what it looks like to live your own life that isn't constantly full of the mental evaluations of others needs. I am trying to pull back from the compulsion to always rescue, protect or prevent. Why is grief and heartbrokenness so scary? Is it a loss of control a forgotten understanding of who to trust and what the end of the story is?
I am more drawn to spring flowers than ever this year. I am comforted by the hope of walks, sitting outside, long sunny days and laughter with friends. Keep coming my Spring.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Snowglobe snow...

I looked out my patio window at the most beautiful gliding snow, so soft and yet continuous. There is beauty in pieces of that which I hate. This enemy of mine has brought about a beloved retreat. We were to head to Kansas for time with others like us but the roads were icy and preventative. It would have had it's retreatness of it's own but instead I was gifted with three unplanned days of a weekend.
I put on the down comforter and remembered it's fluffy warmth as I slept in and read. The joy of having to stay indoors lead to a productive streak of cleaning and other work. Friends made their way here as we planned of times ahead and then had a little guy vs girls game action.
We ventured out on snowy roads to check out another church which ended up having the longest sermon ever. It was interesting how emphasis on certain words and a pattern of big or extra tacked on words kept leading my mind into a state of hearing nothing. I had to shake my brain trying to engage and recover lost words. I am realizing more and more my hunger for truth in it's application. I use to be a knowledge hoarder and in some way maybe it trickled down into my actions subconsciously. As cliche as the phrase has become I truly do ache for "What does that look like?" Why do we spend so much time spinning these definitions and theology and walk out living as we have?
I guess when I engage in these conversations of Jesus vision for life I get so excited, hoping these new thoughts will be a tipping point of sorts. Then I feel surrounded by other followers who walk in a drudging state, nothing new or encouraging, no new vision of what God is doing, no passion or need for laboring prayer, feelings of God being so far... I am not putting down those around me so I try not to go on the defensive. I just feel a lack of something and am trying to figure out if we need to be awakened or if that is the dissapointment of living in this broken, mudddled place.
Let's drink clear water and eat sustaining bread. My mind isn't enough. I want to feel the kingdom's realness.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Clean slates..

Woah, as I was contemplating it being on the brink of a new year and the weather outside I had a flashback with a scratchy homemade recording of me and other kids singing, "What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus........Make me white as snow.."

I have noticed that rising up of anticipation this year for the holidays. I was so cheery and ready for Christmas this year. I have hated my own grinchness and reluctance in some past years. This year the presents were wrapped, the decorations were done, the Christmas songs were searched for and I waited with gladness for the fsmily to arrive and for the day to be here. As a child I would often get sick to the point of throwing up on the day of because I had hardly slept and was wo worked up with anticipation.

We had 8 people in my sisters apartment and more presents than I have ever seen. We had to find the manger so we could wrap the baby Jesus. It is our traditions where on Christmas morning each family member unwraps a layer and then at the very end th youngest answers the questions, "Why do we open the baby Jesus first? Because it was God's gift to us, to the world, the very first Christmas gift, what it's all about." Some variation of that. So anyway we had no room for the nativity that my mom brought for my sister. We halfway joked about putting it on the deck, looking in the glass door and I eventually did. So once again there was no room at the inn.

The poor baby Jesus and party were rushed into the bathtub this morning as they were covered in snow. The poor sheep lost his ear in the process. It was a rough and windy morning.

I couldn't sleep last night. I stayed awake for a very late movie (Goal) which is unheard of, as you know my sleeping during movies issue Then I played about until 8 this morning. I saw the snow at 6 or so but it continued on. I have smirked a bit as others have had it piling up and we have gone with purely rain. Now it is our turn. I notice a sense of excitement in me for today, for tomorrow. I know we can start new and make new goals everyday and some would say it is silly to be tricked by culture to think it is special day. I love the dream of new beginnings. It allows me to relax today and look forward to discipline tomorrow. It makes me dream a swell in the story may be mysteriously close. I want to take a bubble bath, get dressed up, journal for hours of past refelctions and lists of hopes and wonders for the future. I want to play games with friends and try to come up with new ways to make our time together meaningful, purposeful. I want to make these days go as slow as possible before work, schedules and neglected projects creep back in, spinning time hour by hour.

I have been trying to stop my brain these last couple days from thinking if I only wish or pray hard enough the story I caught a glimpse of might be decided upon to come true. I hate thinking what if, even if it is so odd of a thought and then knowing it just might happen and yet knowing it is silly to keep re-thinking it and searching. I see myself as the girl sneaking into the authors study as he is out by the fireplace. I keep looking for some clue, wondering if this was forshadowing at all. I try to look for books on the shelf about how to make your story come true, how to insert something, how to hope that other characters are on the same path and that by some crazy twist of fate I have stumbled upon a part of my story with my eyes wide open. I am hoping this will be the year of apprenticeship, that the Father will help me understand what co-authoring is all about. It would be so much easier if it wasn't my very own story. It's so personal, we can't seperate our desires. I don't know ow to sit calm, to wait, to accept strange suggestions. I guess it is good to be engaged, to be effected. He'll just have to know sometimes I'll have to close my eyes, too anxious about what appears next.

I like the number 7. We get a brand new year. We could never write or imagine what will come in this one year.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Now...... now....

At first I had the thought "and go" and it evolved into the now... now... like when you are waiting to jump into the rythm of a jump rope. I said I was going to take a step toward the Elementary school and that I did on Monday. Fifteen minutes later I was the new employee for the afternoon position they had just discovered that day had been overlooked. I had made comments earlier in the summer like I need a job with kids where I can just take them swimming and have spontaneous fun. Well I take my little kindegarten and first graders swimming three days a week and get to plan some spontaneous fun for them the other two days.
They are adorable,have unique names and personalities and are of all nationalities. One of my kids gets a little out of line, doing what you ask? He constantly does cartwheels! I had to stop him on the pool deck as did many others. He is so good at it and just springs from one right into another.
I feel drawn to God today, like I want to slide under his arm into a tight side hug/hold. I guess God must be taller, let's hope anyway or all of you will have to get down on your knees. I realized at EDGE tonight that I have that feeling today that I have had before when I am interested in a guy or a new friend. It's that curiosity, the intigue, the little half-smile that gives away how you are just plain excited about the little piece of mystery that has been unveiled. I love that I will never know everything about him, endless opportunties to explore.