My Red Thread of Words

I am never more honest or real than when I am writing. Never more vulnerable or open about the questions and my seeming lack of answers. My ponderings toward praise; my wanderings toward doubt. These words pour across the pages of my journal, emptied out in drops and rivers. The skewed perspective that comes from this solitary view of mine as the writer.

This seemingly insignificant, yet significant, paradox of me.

And God.

And faith.

And not faith.

Sometimes I find myself dangling by a lone, red thread of words connecting what I feel in the moment to what I believe and hold as Truth eternal.

The joys that flit through my days, lighting up my sky like firefly glow twinkling through gathering dusk. The pain that tears through seasons of my soul, swirling angry winds at will, leaving me disoriented and shaken in the wake of so much hurt. The unknowns that rise to threaten this refuge of known and true, thundering their accusations against my firm, if teetering, foundation.

If God is _______ then_______?

The writer in me fills in the blanks with words best describing my wounded heart. From whispers of doubt to shouts of belief, I pen the faith that holds me steady through it all. Words that draw me toward truth even as lies circle their quarry, awaiting the moment I lower my guard. The lion prowls continually, seeking to devour, yet never quite being able to overcome the One who resides within.

The One who holds me steady as I grasp that lone red thread of words unraveling redemption’s story.

My story.

The writer pours line after line upon empty pages, letter after letter falling into place to frame the essence of me. Completing the puzzle with fragments and run-ons and choppy prose bearing my likeness. Scattered thoughts brought together with precise randomness framing this mixed-up, multimedia collaboration of me.

Releasing myself through words only to capture myself more completely, in both the questions and the answers I discover.

The writer journeys day by day.

Leading me toward myself.

And toward God.

And finds us both a little more along the way.

IMG_3906This post was written in conjunction with Five Minute Friday’s word prompt of “Writer.” You can join us here: http://www.lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday

 

Why Write?

I have a confession to make.

I am a logophile.

I simply LOVE words.

I love to study their origins, searching for hidden treasures tucked within the original translations. Scratching beneath the surface, looking for more. Squeezing life from letters as one might clench a lemon simply for the joy of making lemonade.

Words well-written draw me into their depths, inviting me to discover new things about myself and the world around me.

Stories flowed from pencil tip quite naturally when I was a young girl, and words still flow, albeit now they are more often written in ink or typed upon a keyboard pad. But instead of flowing naturally, they are sometimes yanked from the center of my heart, kicking and screaming in their efforts to remain hidden. To return to their confines. To avoid exposure.

Because sometimes words hurt.

Sometimes the truth hidden within scars the heart that holds it.

Sometimes it would be much easier to allow the pen of my soul to remain still.

Silent.

But that would be a dishonor to the Master Storyteller.

And so I write.

I write so I remember.



I write to build memorials of grace and truth that rise like monuments across the pages of my life.

I write to express gratitude to the One who makes all things new.

I write to encourage myself to walk freely in this precious gift of Life which I’ve been given.

And somewhere, in the midst of the raw and messy, I write in hopes that my words will provide an altar for others. A sanctuary of worship. A place of rest where it is safe to connect with another soul. With a Savior.

And so, I will continue to piece together the words within, threading them tenderly upon the tapestry of my life.

For myself.

For others.

For His glory.

IMG_3868

Today’s post on WRITE was prompted by Five Minute Friday. You can join us here: http://www.lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday. Be blessed!

Psithurism of the Holy

Whispers.

Prayers I’m praying,

Murmurs of my heart.

I see these soul words slow-dancing in the Spirit,

Twisting, turning, swaying, billowing.

Finding a home as they reach my heart and extend to His.

Sealed with a promise,

Kept for a purpose,

Whispering through my soul,

Taking my breath away

While filling me with new life.

Beckoning me to embrace every awe-filled moment.

Ever present,

Revealing His mercy,

Gracing my days with blessing.

Rustling light amidst the shadows,

Unveiling sweet discoveries

For finite eyes to capture.

Filling the empty places with His whispers,

Psithurism of the holy,

Shouting through my life.

IMG_3746Psithurism:  (n.) the sound of the wind through trees

When Words Are Few

For me, words — in whatever form — became my safety. ~ Elora Nicole

My breath caught in my throat as I commiserated with the author’s sentiments portrayed in this statement.

I, too, have an affinity for words. I LOVE them. I love to see words printed across the pages of books, handwritten in decades-old letters, scrawled on notes left by husband and children, or placed with purposefulness in word search puzzles begging me to make semblance from their seeming disorder. Most of all, I love to see the words flowing from my heart and pouring steadily across blank page, releasing the wonder and aches stored within.

Words speak to me… no pun intended.

I find great solace in knowing they can be pulled forth readily and penned on paper, even when my voice remains silent. So to go through a time where words seem scarce is terrifying to me… and perhaps the very reason God has placed me on a forced sabbatical from words this past month.

Much to my dismay, words have been slow in coming lately. And those few which have come, have been scattered like a pile of Scrabble letters spilled carelessly across the table of my heart. A jumbled mess daring me to assemble them into something of meaning and significance. Something valuable. Something solid in which I can place my security.

While I can be in a room filled with people and remain silent, I cannot bear the thought of staring at blank page and leaving it empty. To open a journal and have nothing to write means that a part of me is not engaged in life. Something has gone missing.

I feel disjointed. Disconnected from God. Vulnerable and lost in a world without words.

And yet, God still speaks to me when my heart and the pages before me are empty. He loves me even as He stills my hand from penning the words to remind me it is so.

He longs to be my safety when my thoughts are silenced, when the words begging for release are quenched by the flame of His Spirit telling me…

He is enough.

As I’m slowing allowed the privilege of writing once more, I do so hesitantly. Praying for the wisdom to keep my trust from turning to the written word instead of to the Living Word.

Taking courage, I haltingly entrust Father once more to pull something beautiful from what feels so barren. To take me beyond this awkward moment of starting anew and craft a work of wonder that only He can envision.

I place the pen of my life in His hands and allow Him the task of connecting the disjointed dots of this soul to define Himself more clearly in me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYu8ZyETnKo‎

Video___The_word_of_God_995178039

Sucking the Life out of Living

It was another morning on the beach. Another day of nearly 12 successive walks on the beach. Sand, shore, shells. Run, chase, walk, breathe. We stomped through shallow pools while the high tide pulled the ocean away from below our feet, and I considered every beautiful analogy the ocean offered.

Everything, great and small, points to Him, to beauty, to imagination. Stories are in every element of creation and nature, and if I’m tuning in, I feel like I see and hear them all.

And instead of feeling the usual overwhelming sense of gratitude toward the great analogy played out around us, I was irritated.

I was annoyed that the ocean was so big, and I was so small. I was annoyed that I looked at shells and saw my heart. I was angry that watching my daughter chase birds made me think more about a blog entry instead of her.

I am prone to always dig below the surface in my own life. Sometimes this is beauty. Sometimes it’s distraction. I admit, there are times I end up extracting another meaning out of a situation simply because I am unable, unwilling or too bored to experience what is actually happening.

I wonder how different my words and relationships would be if I stopped viewing all things through the spin of my wild mind.

On that beach, while my daughter chased birds, I told myself to forget about the extra meanings and possible metaphors. I actually shook my head and closed my eyes and told myself to listen, and breathe, and then watch and experience.

Extracting is good. Mining for the deep things is a hard and necessary work. Sometimes I need to look at the world around me and realize that God is still speaking through the work of His hands. I want to notice how interwoven and connected everything is.

And sometimes I want to just get dirty feet, feel the heat of the sun and notice how my daughter’s curls form perfectly on her shoulders on a humid April afternoon. I need days full of her crinkled nose and storytelling. I need to pay more attention to the words I say to her instead of the words I’m writing inside. It’s all happening so fast, I think. While I’m mentally adding and erasing metaphors, I’m accidentally erasing myself from my own story…
(excerpt from The Organic Bird the Blog)

Have you ever read something and felt as if you had taken a sucker punch to the gut? That’s similar to my stomach’s reaction after  reading the above wisdom from a fellow blogger. It was if she had seen into that part of me that I try to hide from others – the truth being that I do try to hide from others. My heartbeat melded with her words:
I admit, there are times I end up extracting another meaning out of a situation simply because I am unable, unwilling or too bored to experience what is actually happening.

I escape. I hide myself in words. If things are devastating, I’m attempting to take away a hidden meaning – my mind racing with metaphors to link the pain with purpose. If things are joyful, words are tumbling within me straining to be released in a blog to match the blessing. And sometimes I am simply bored – so my mind disconnects, fleeing into its own world of swirling similes and ponderous paradoxes, aching for pen and paper, instead of  being there. 

Wherever there may be.

I can get so caught up viewing things through my own wild mind, that I forget to live the moment.

With my penchant to scratch below the surface, I suck the life out of living. I silence the beauty that is unfolding, forgetting that it is doing so wholly for the sake of being beautiful, not for the benefit of my writing projects.

It shouldn’t be so much work to enjoy life. But it is.

Because I refuse to simply let life happen.

As wonderful as this propensity toward words can be, as enlightening and freeing as they can seem, there is always the threat of too much meaning. A distraction from living life as it comes.

So today I am seeking silence. Calming my tendency to manipulate the moments with my thoughts, curbing my bent toward many words.

Today I am asking God to fill me with His presence as I rest my mind.

Today I choose to grasp life.

One beautiful breath at a time.

And who knows, rather than accidentally erasing myself from my own story, perhaps I will purposefully live it instead.

Picture 181

When Words Fail

today i cannot find them
they disappear before i catch them
escaping my thoughts
like puffs of dandelion dust
fleeing in the wind
scattered letters
overtaken
divided
loosened from their core and
tossed by tempests of
too
much
hurt

piles of letters upon letters
fragments eluding containment
refusing to come together
evading arrangement
defying any semblance of order
much like the thoughts of my heart
disjointed emotions
fleeting feelings
ceasing to make sense
refusing to
complete
the
whole

encouragement falls by the wayside
gasping for breath with each
crashing wave of grief
too many tears
that fill and weigh heavy
smothering
choking at hope
loosening light
exchanging joy for mourning
in this reversal of roles that
taunts
kingdom
living

i am undone
but not in awe
i am consumed
but not with the promise of abundant life
not lifted by the winds of praise
but overwhelmed by the aching of
bending to these breezes of brokenness
ceasing to live
i merely exist
struggling to be something more
than
simply
raw

What do you do when words fail?

Where do you turn when the only place you long for is a solitary place away from the demands of others? Away from the crushing weight of daily living that is filled with sorrow and emptiness? When no clear thoughts can be formed in your mind, let alone lived out in your days?

In short, what do you do in the face of so much hurt?

Try as I might, I can’t come up with that answer for you.

To fill your ears with incessant chatter seems pointless; indeed, it seems that it would only heap hurt upon hurt. Even to flood this page with Scripture verse after verse, though filled with the truth of God’s promises, may only cause you more frustration than hope.

So today, I will join you in this struggle for words, and I will remain silent. I will sit and listen and pray that my presence in your pain somehow brings a bit of comfort to you.

When words fail, love remains.

If nothing else, may you trust in that truth for your life today.

il_fullxfull.310112483

CAUTION: WORDS – Please Use Wisely

When my son was small, his response to hurtful words showed the depth of his softness toward verbal attacks. One day his older brother spoke something that hurt his feelings, and when told (still in the midst of the confrontation),  “It’s not like I broke your arm,” his tearful response nearly broke my heart.

I wish you would have just broken my arm instead; that would have hurt less.

My young son understood the power of words. And in this scenario, he experienced the pain of their cutting power.

Sometimes words hurt. Even more than broken bones.

Because words have the power to break something much more fragile than bone and marrow. Words have the power to crush relationships. They have the strength to derail another’s purpose. They have the force to turn hearts toward self-loathing. They even have the power to destroy the most fearsome of warriors. Don’t believe me? I daresay the most dreaded words on the front lines of battle are not always the commanding officer’s issue to Advance as much as they are the dread of receiving letters from back home that begin with the words Dear John, …

I wish you would have just broken my arm instead; that would have hurt less.

Every human being needs to believe that he is valuable. Every wife longs to feel cherished by her husband. Every husband wants to be respected by his wife. Every child needs the assurance of a parent’s love. Every person desires to know that they matter. And when words are spoken that tell them otherwise, eventually they will come to believe it.

Eventually those hurtful words will transform hearts, and not for the better.

Because words are powerful like that.

Broken bones can be set in casts or fused in repair to become strong once more. Bones will mend. But hearts are much more fragile. More tender. More easily torn and less easily repaired.

So great is the influence of the spoken word.

The Bible reminds us of the  power words hold.

Words are powerful enough

… to speak the universe into existence.

… to forgive sins.

… to silence demons.

… to bring sight to blind eyes.

… to sway the hearts of men.

But words can also be spoken with evil intent.

Words can

… crush the spirit of men.

… lead us to believe lies.

… destroy relationships.

… disintegrate hope.

I wish you would have just broken my arm instead; that would have hurt less.

The next time we find ourselves tempted to speak words that would better be left unsaid, let’s turn to the WORD and apply His words of advice as we remember:

Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:4)

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, so choose your words wisely.

May they be a source of healing and restoration for all who are within hearing.

Child-Covering-Mouth