Human

I used to be human, once when it was trendy.

But what good are trends anyway?!?

I’m me in the trenches.

I’m me when the world crashes around me.

I’m me in the flesh and the bone…in the spirit and song…

In the trenches.

Just little ol’ me

I grope for air when I need to breathe

I hang on to euphemisms when I need hope.

I grope for light when I feel dark.

I wait for the dishes to be done

For the world to feel uncluttered even when I know I’m responsible for the outcome.

I wait for the light to appear.

But I am loved!

Not by you certainly. Maybe not even by the people I hold close to my chest like life preservers.

But I’m loved.

And maybe that’s enough.

Because I’ll get up tomorrow and go again.

And things will get done little by little and I will grow or whatever…

Tonight, I’m me, in the light of a thousand moons,and the presence of a God who loves me anyway and that’s more than enough for me!

Time in a bottle

If time really were in a bottle, I would drink deeply.

I don’t always know who I am

But I’m me in this moment

So sound the alarms and ring the bells because I’m present

And maybe I’m the me I thought I was yesterday

Or maybe life is okay when it’s half-lived and the night is blocked by the sun

And life is great when the sun shines

But no one promised us a rose garden (quote the old author)

But life is greater when you know who you are and where you stand and when enough is enough or there’s light on the horizon, peaking.

I don’t back down! I never have and I don’t plan on changing.

So bring the dusk or the dawn but watch me rise! Because I always RISE!

Me

I think I was me once, when nothing else interrupted the light.

I could call out and hear the echo of tomorrow, regardless, the darkness that threatened.

But I think I forgot

What does it mean to hold a candle and illuminate the shadow?

Am I here in the midst?

Am I breathing?

I guess we will know tomorrow.

And even if we don’t, I’ll get up and start again

Because that’s what it means to fight!

The embrace of every day

The inbounding hope that fills the gap between dark and dawn

We get up and go again and hope the light can find us when we’ve lost our way.

So step forward, one tentative step at a time

And keep going

One foot, then another.

Tomorrow brings no promise of light and life but it’s what we have.

So push through the breech and find your strength dear friend.

Tomorrow is worth the fight!

Segmentation

I think I may live in segments. Moments between where the great is and where it was and who I am now and who I used to be.

Segmented arthropods or a life once lived draped in shadow. And I’m okay this way…maybe…

I stare at the moon.

I stare at the memory.

I stare at life.

And I’m breathing

Wondering what that means anymore.

But my voice is strong and so I stare and yell to the void

Maybe that’s enough.

Maybe not.

Time will tell.

There is rhythm

There is is rhythm and life to who we are and what we expect and all the things we leave unsaid.

It pulses in the background until the smallest thing becomes the biggest in the room

Sing into the night, melodies, only you can hear’

When the moments of peace give way to tsunami.

But love can conquer all if we let it.

Find the counterpoint and disrupt the rhythm.

Be brave

Be strong

Or fall apart for a minute and pick up the pieces.

Be you

Cry, if you must.

Scream, if you must.

Then walk forward.

Don’t be silent

But don’t let the need to be heard consume you.

Just keep walking.

This is life.

This is real.

This is fabric knit together to make us more.

Don’t miss out because all you see is, “the thing”

And don’t miss out because you are too afraid to find your voice.

Be real. Be raw. Be you!!!!!

And forget the crowd that may not approve.

Find yourself in the author of life.

Walk in the discovery because THAT is everything!

Who are we to claim the stars when the earth crumbles around us?

Human, and breathing, and grasping for eternity in the midst…we flail and fall and try again and get up

Because we are breathing and, despite the broken, we find light.

And if light isn’t enough, we claw at the darkness and rise again in the morning

And that, is life…

The rising and falling of tides and moonlight

Don’t dream of a world without pain.

Dream of a world with resilience.

The latter is so much more important!

Find yourself in the beginning of tomorrow instead of the end of yesterday

And maybe that’s enough.

The stuff that brings the “real” and the “raw”

And find yourself devoted to being real.

Find yourself devoted to who you are in Christ and who you are in the midst of the the hurt.

We cannot be salt and light without being willing to “cure’ and wade through the dim.

Don’t expect “easy”, expect “ hard” and be willing to walk through it to the other side.

Why we think we’re exempt is beyond me.

You are meant to be light! So SHINE!!!

In the Morning …Running with what you’ve got

So, my mornings are always morning before morning should be allowed

I’m not a morning person…working on this…

But in anticipation of tomorrow, I plan.

I pack lunchboxes and clean and lie clean clothes on racks and hooks, and find shoes lost by minions (small people I’m charged to raise)

But, unfortunately, sometimes I dread the day ahead.

I’m not proud of it.

And I think if His mercies new every morning and the blessing of parenthood and employment and a life well lived.

But in reality, I go to bed knowing my alarm will sound the horror bell of having to wake up when I want to sleep.

Still, there’s a blessing when the coffee and the day kick in.

When sunlight brings possibilities that I haven’t imagined.

So I ride before the sun and do it again and again.

This life doesn’t have to be brilliant or awesome in the light of day but it has to continue to bring meaning.

So today leads to tomorrow and every moment, even the mundane, leads to greatness.

Will I be remembered for the lunches I pack and the jokes I wrote in sharpie on ziplock? Probably not. But will I be remembered for my perseverance and strength? I hope so.

Wake up tomorrow and do it again.

Just go!

One foot in front of the next, in excellence. It’s all anyone can ask and it’s more than enough.

Two cents from the routine.

Two cents to manufacture a million. Just RUN!

Two cents for the hurting and blubbering worship leaders

I’ve done a lot of research lately. Call it the consequences of a lifelong nerd falling down a rabbit hole. Alice would be proud!

An almost lifelong friend recently “deconstructed” from the Christian faith. I have a lifetime invested in this faith, part of which, I walked along side this friend…closely. So I wondered…

What causes someone to give up a lifetime for a new lifetime? Is there anything that would possibly convince me to walk away? What reasons, what heartache, what analytical study, what abuse, would separate life from life and truth from truth?

For me, the answer is nothing. I’ve firmly established my convictions and beliefs and cannot be persuaded of anything contrary. But I get it. I really do.

I despise spiritual abuse! It is abhorrent! And I believe a Jesus would be in the midst of it with chords turning tables and agreeing with me. There is no excuse. I despise the notion that anything, power, ministry, or money, could be more important than the rights of a victim! There is no excuse.

But this does not disqualify the gospel. And there are far too many thoughts swirling in my brain tonight to make this fully cohesive.

For tonight, I will say that I’ve seen multiple posts surrounding the idea of Christian worship that are grating at me. I’ve been leading worship over half of my life so this inherently bothers me.

They say that worship music is manipulation preying on the emotional response of the congregant. That the music is derived in such a way as to inherently initiate an emotive response and is, therefore, manipulative by nature.

I take issue with this on multiple levels but tonight let me give you an experiential example.

Yes, music is moving. Music speaks to the soul. No one can deny this. Why it is supposedly wrong to incorporate this with our faith traditions is lost on me. Even in scripture, Saul calls for a musician to soothe him. The musicians went into battle before the army. There is precedented truth to the power of music to inspire and transform. Why is that wrong?

The criticism is that worship music inherently coerces an emotional response and we, worship leaders, manipulate with chords and progressions designed to elicit said response from the hearer.

I couldn’t help but think of a moment in our worship services this past Sunday when we sang the song, “Hymn of Heaven”. The lyric to the second verse says, “And every prayer we prayed in desperation. The songs of faith we sang through doubt and fear. In the end, we’ll see that it was worth it. When He returns to wipe away our tears”

For reference, I was on stage performing this song. So don’t think for a moment I wasn’t involved? But, in the moment, I wasn’t feeling the emotional resonance of chord structure and performance. I was caught up in the lyrics, the truth of my life this year and the prayers “I’ve prayed in desperation”, and the “songs of faith I’ve sang through doubt and fears.” And the beauty of what God has done in my life recently.

I lead/backup vocal worship almost every week of my life for the last 30 years and this few months, I found myself reaching for life at the wellspring of hope because life isn’t easy. You don’t know my journey, but if you did…

We aren’t immune to suffering.we aren’t promised tulips and roses.

Sometimes we get prayers of desperation. Sometimes, there isn’t sense to be made of the chaos. And my full story is a song for another blog post…

But as I sang this song from the stage on Sunday (along with others equally as beautiful and impactful), tears filled my eyes and I had to be “that girl” on the church’s livestream pulling myself together while my tears fell.

Because if it weren’t for the gospel…

If it weren’t for truth…

If it weren’t worth it…

I wouldn’t be here.

Someday I will share the whole story. Someday, I will explain but for now…I hear the naysayers calling “manipulation” and I praise God above that He is REAL!!! He is TRUTH! And He is enough for me.

I’m truly sorry for the voices lost to spiritual abuse. My heart breaks for you more than I can express but I please don’t judge God on the horrible injustices of people who call themselves his. Find Him. Reconstruct to the true and loving God who is so infinitely valuable and faithful!

Two cents for the hurting…how can I help? I’m listening.

Hidden

Maybe there’s something poetic about hiding in plain sight.

Or maybe it’s weakness.

Or maybe it’s strength to stay composed while the world crumbles and stirs around you.

Maybe it’s survival. Maybe it’s faith.

Maybe I’m not hiding at all! maybe I’m standing.

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Job 13:15