Tag Archives: discovery

Heart Rambles

There are deep places I don’t know how to process my way out of. Or if I even should.

Longing. Uncovering. Unveiling. Questioning.

The seemingly unrelated intertwine, vines growing in and out of each other, connected inside of me in some kind of whimsical garden where fruit trees grow over tomato plants and pumpkin vines wrap 1athemselves around rose bushes and potatoes sprout underneath the daisies.

Everything blooms and produces at once, whether in season or out.

Longing for much.

To create.

To embrace.

To enter.

Beauty, writing, twinkle lights, family, weighty words, advent flame, laughter, celebration,

Magical and spiritual, a slow dance and a jig.

Joy.

How can depth come from jigging or jigging from plumbing the depths?

How do the seasonal rhythms I  crave relate to thanksgiving, creating, relationship .  . . God?

What are words?

Their place within me and without?

And how is joy both cotton candy and meat and potatoes. Short magical romance and long soul-digging?

Being seventeen in a snap of the fingers, embracing pumpkin pie aroma when life grows hard, seeing the good where others criticize. Rose colored glasses? Impossible?

Judged. And yet desiring more, not less.

Entering into the moment. Creating the moment. Embracing the moment. Believing in the moment.

Vulnerable and child-like. Rolling eyes ridiculed. Lauded and applauded. Strength in soft flannel baby blanket.

Not Pollyanna, but not beyond liking her.

Miracle on 32nd Street silly.

Departures deep.

Both. Not either/or.

Stretching means embracing what others judge fluffy meaningless. And yet stretching also encompasses the deep places where others dare not tread.

Stretching means believing where some can’t.

And in all things, where are the words?

Do I trust them to germinate, to take root, to grow into an oak even as they pop up in crazy Dandelion yellow, determined little things, white daisies and bluets and Virginia Spring Beauties? Both platypus and regal lioness, tiny fish-tank turtle and mighty grey elephant? Dancing kitten and elegant giraffe?

Faith.

All this joy-seeking, word-growing, rhythm-searching returns there.

Of course.

Letting go of confusion, ego, questions. Holding longing loosely, lifting to Hands wiser than my own, while allowing the tears to beg for their place, for understanding and release, for fulfillment.

And yet knowing some ache is only treated in glory.

Letting it stand. Without giving up.

Trust.

Until Next Time,

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PS Found the rambling recently. I wrote it years ago, but it fits again as I re-enter my dreams to create. I let it go for a while, this focused writing thing. It was required, my time away. But now I return.

Wandering and Pondering

There is no goal but movement.

No map dictating the journey.

No planned route.

On the days I set aside time to exercise for at least an hour, I simply walk forward.

I haven’t had much time for free wandering. Or I haven’t made it lately. My routes have been quicker and planned to burn 2-300 calories.

But today the wanderlust hit again.

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I thought I’d harvested all the vistas within an hour’s foot travel. That my neighborhood had been explored.

But today I gave myself an hour.

I took a turn I hadn’t taken before.

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And as my feet moved, I pondered last year’s wanderings.

Was the Spirit chuckling as I meandered day after day, making unexpected discoveries? Did rub eager hands waiting for the day HE nudged me to knock on a stranger’s door to see if they needed food?  the day a pastor I’d never met asked me to pray for him, or when I felt a spiritual confrontation like a physical assault when God led me to a gathering to walk through and pray?

Did He do this on purpose? Train my inner person to loosen up by first freeing my feet?

I’d almost forgotten the breath-taking wonder of taking off out the front door not knowing what He was going to lead me to do next.

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Until today.

When I once again pounded the sidewalk realizing this brave meandering in my familiar neighborhood has done more than release my body. The courage I’ve found here, just walking to lose weight, shook loose some sort of interior control mechanism so I could find courage to move forward in life.

So I could figure stuff out that I hadn’t yet.

Would last week’s epiphany have come if last year’s walking had not?

Today I walked the familiar route past the library and the park and kept going.

At first it was more of the same. Fences around a trailer park. Not especially exciting.

I determined to see beauty.

I noticed the homes with rosebushes, big canopied tents sheltering tables and grills. Heard music flowing. Brushed beneath the fresh green leaves of a huge tree.

And then came the surprise. A park I’d forgotten with a nature path I didn’t know existed.

Off I meandered, gravel crunching beneath my feet, curving through verdant grass. First down a hill, then following a stream, then on paved walk into a new neighborhood.

The houses and streets were unfamiliar, though I knew I’d driven through it further north.

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I kept walking, thinking I would find my way back to a road I knew.

But a nudge sent me turning right when I meant to go straight.

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Such a lovely street unfolded before me with home after home with beautiful landscaping, and all those flowers made my heart full.

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More unexpected treasures.

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Found just because I moved forward.

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Flowing with the promptings of my heart.

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In freedom.

And now that I’m learning to flow forward in life, not just in my neighborhood meandering, what else might I discover in this place?

This freedom place.

Until next time,

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A Walking Tour of Montrose

Putting on tennies in the dark isn’t easy. Neither is slipping out the hotel door without waking your comrades. I wasn’t totally successful. In fact my friend and fellow speaker Kathleen E Kovach told me later she rolled over, emitted a soft moan, and asked God to keep me safe before she slipped back into slumber.

(This post relates to point #2 from my Little Bit Wiser blog a few days ago.)

It was the day after we’d taught Fiction FUNdamentals at the Montrose library. Soon we’d load five women into a truck crammed full of luggage and begin the 12 hour trip home. (Okay, Montrose is roughly 6 hours from Denver, but not when you travel with five women who like to shop and need lots of potty breaks.)

I needed some movement before the drive–and wanted to experience a little of the town instead of whipping through, speaking, and packing up. I’d walked a bit the morning before the library gig, but it was mostly a clear my head and pray kind of trek. I didn’t have time to go far and my wanders led to a very dry, ugly spot full of cracked earth, desolation, and old furniture dumped haphazardly. It was great inspiration to pray for opportunities to replace barrenness in a place where there seemed to be little community or support for Christian writers. It was not, however, especially attractive.

So this morning I headed the opposite direction, initially following a small river.

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Soon that path ended. Disappointed I headed down the primary road, unimpressed with the end of town that sported mostly old signage. (I later discovered a quaint main street awaited me farther down, but alas I saw it only from a moving car.)

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I turned down a side street and the adventure began. What I noticed most were the trees. Beautiful, diverse, and full of character. If you know Colorado you know that on either side of the mountains, or in long valleys, trees are not plentiful. This made the trees of Montrose even more treasured, and I wondered who planted, watered, and cared for them. How old were they?

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I got really excited when I found a bike path, just sure it would lead to a nature walk or beautiful park.

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After lots of concrete I found myself at the city hospital.  At least I found roses hanging over a privacy fence.

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I gave up on the bike path and returned to the shaded streets of a modest neighborhood. I’m always grateful to those who take time to bring beauty into our world by planting flowers.

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Eventually I found my favorite site of the day, the beautiful Townsend House built in 1887.

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I was especially intrigued by the two sidewalks in front of the old place–a decaying brick path and a new concrete one. One of these days I’ll find the metaphor here, and we’ll have another blog post.

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I’d walked almost an hour when I met a lady who urged me to go past the swimming pool and the big red silos to the park on the edge of town. She said the path there would soothe my soul. I didn’t want to be late for breakfast, but I couldn’t resist. I set off for the park jogging a little and wondering if I’d have to run a good deal of the way back to be on time. That was not a pleasant thought, but it didn’t deter me.

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As I headed down the trail to the park I saw a sweet-looking woman walking alone. I asked the Lord if I should talk with her. Soon we were in conversation. She and her husband daily feed the cats and ducks at the park. When she discovered how far I was from the hotel she offered me a ride back. Her husband initially turned the wrong direction assuming my hotel was on that side of town. They were a surprised I’d walked the entire length of their community. (And I’ll admit it. I felt a bit of pride at the thought.)

When I returned Kathy rolled her eyes at my story of the provision of a return ride. I told her they were nice people who fed the wildlife. She said I needed to start watching Criminal Minds. I told her I prayed first and knew they were safe. That seemed to calm her.

(And don’t YOU start worrying. I don’t typically take rides from strangers.)

It’s a good thing I took a walking tour of Montrose before the road trip home. Five women pack a lot of snacks.

So there you have it–how to fight the battle of the bulge and see the world, one sidewalk at a time.

Hope you protect some time this week to find the little things a nice walk reveals. If you do, I’d love to hear YOUR story.

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Discovering the world on foot