happy new year friends.....both near and far. i'm having a bit of writers block tonight, but also feeling an itch to write......i'm weird like that.
last wednesday we had a beautiful night.
there is a lady at our church who is a local artist.
the final wednesday of each month she unveils her latest paintings, people gather and listen to beautiful worship music and we let the Lord speak to us through the things we see in the paintings. i had never experienced anything like that night and it was so.....peaceful. freeing. intense. the room was dimly lit and there was passionate worship music playing, a few spotlights illuminating the large 3 foot paintings. several candles lit here and there and about 50 souls sitting in peace and quiet. some drawing. some praying. some writing. some being still.
as i sat there an idea came to my mind and heart, i'd like to have a "yearly theme word" and start a new tradition of sorts within myself. i get distracted so easily, (blame it on the sanguine personality)!! I don't like that about myself, I start strong and don't finish too well, or at all. I get lots of "GRAND" ideas that never come to fruition.....so, hopefully this with stick!
I guess only time will tell!!!
The word that came to me for 2011 is "GAZE."
Toward the end of this past year I felt like my focus was really slipping. That I was spending a lot of THE TIME GIVEN ME looking at things that don't really matter and won't be lasting past my grave.
If we're honest, most of us feel from time to time that "there must be more" then where we're at and who we are right now. And I believe that those *feelings* were placed there for a reason, to keep us from taking ourselves too seriously, to keep us from being too confident in ourselves, to remind us that it's not all about us.....basically, to turn our GAZE.
i want to make a difference in this life. But sometimes I get too focused on making that difference and it isn't what's truly important. Who cares if we make a difference if we aren't BECOMING that difference? There is a deep soul work that wants to bury down into me and I want to embrace that wholeheartedly, whatever it may look like. Easy to type out, hard to work out.
Experiencing powerful nights of worship and stillness is a wonderful thing,
but it isn't enough,
never has been.
"Because people are having real, and helpful, spiritual experiences in certain areas of their lives~~such as worship, prayer, Bible studies and fellowship----they mistakenly believe they are doing fine, even if their relational life and interior world is not in order. This apparent "progress" then provides a spiritual reason for not doing the hard work of maturing. They are deceived." (Peter Scazzero, from "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality" not nearly as 'new age' a book as it sounds!!)
I want to become my most authentic self.
Wow, I'm starting to sound like a wacko!! I'm not meaning it to sound like I'm off the deep end, but if you listen to what resonates within you while you read this, you too will have a sense of drawing to the deeper places of who you are and who you were CREATED to be.
This past year I had a life changing experience. We found out that one of our good friends and his wife had been eating out of garbage dumpsters to survive. For one year. Garbage. Dumpsters. For one year.
Even now as I type this out it doesn't even seem real and when she was telling me about it I almost laughed and told her to stop joking. But she was serious with the tears in her eyes and a quiver in her chin. I was shamed and humiliated. We missed the mark, big time. We didn't know. We didn't ask. We didn't realize. Quite frankly, we didn't care. They pretended all was well.....and no one knew. NO ONE.
They were all alone and surrounded at the same time.
It's no wonder we didn't know, it isn't something that people talk about
or want others knowing about. We don't feel guilty for not knowing, for not having some
sixth sense, however, there was an opportunity for us and we missed it because we were too busy with our own things.
There is beauty in availability.
Something I want to be aware of this year.
"He executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets free the prisoners, the Lord opens the eyes of the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord protects and preserves the strangers, He upholds the fatherless and the widow and sets them upright......"