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Living Your Ecstasy

 

What inspires you? What makes you lose track of time? What makes the demands of life fade and the passion for life and love rush your soul in ecstasy?

A moment in dialogue with a child? A gaze upward on a starry night? A horseback ride at sunset? A hike along the forest trail? Faith-filled knowledge of your unity with God? An idea and creative inspiration in the space between waking and sleeping? Intimacy? These small snippets are the essence of what we really value, right? Is there is a discipline that allows these minuscule seconds to grow? Can we experience life more fully by experiencing more of these moments?

I think so. The discipline seems to begin with acknowledgement and giving TIME to experience glory moments. We have to come to expect them. Our busy, overwhelmed lives don’t facilitate soul food. Haven’t we given homage to drudgery long enough? It isn’t the path for wholeness.

There is another way.

While our logical mind tells us we have to worry to be productive, (and logic has it’s place in helping us survive in this body,) it’s not equipped for the survival of our spirit.  Is it possible to be living in effortlessness productivity? I desire more of that life.

This may explain why vacations and trips planned away from the routines of life fill our souls so differently. Those unique moments rise to the surface when we speak of the highlights of life. When we take time to be affected by the people we are with and the sights we see, reading books and taking long meandering walks,  intentionally letting our mind rest, we find that we became fueled and focused in profound, unexpected ways. We’re “more” of something, not less.

It’s as if life *rewards* and *responds* and *gives* based on something very different than our consumerist mindset. Maybe the mindset of passion + surrender = the inspired, purposeful, ecstatic life. Spirit living.

I’ve heard that we ARE what we LOVE, NOT what loves us. This makes me ponder.

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Remembering firsts

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Firsts are amazing, aren’t they? I experienced the first snow of this season yesterday. I admit I’m easily amazed, but the newness of the white covering the ground seems like a clean slate full of possibility and redemption. What firsts do you remember? Do you remember that first taste of coffee? Or seeing your first snowfall? Or maybe your first family vacation? What about that first interaction with your love? The leap in our heart stays with us and is stamped and coded for easy recall, giving us courage for the future new experiences to come, while keeping us lightly tethered to something meaningful in our past.

But undoubtedly, this gift of remembering can be misused. It could become an escape, a coping mechanism, a retreat from the present, instead of emboldening us with gritty determination. I don’t think remembering is meant to be an escape to past”safety”, nor is it meant to carry us away in the unknown allurement of the future. So how is this gift used?

Presence is a tricky thing, don’t you think? It’s always moving. It is the power of time and love combined. Just typing these words mean they have in this space of time become the past. It’s a weird concept. But in the present we carry the sum of our physical, spiritual, emotional and mental experiences of what has been up to this point. This makes us comfortable and cozy amidst our good memories. They are strong, fierce, warm and nostalgic. We don’t have to work for them to come back into our thoughts. But maybe the reminiscing is not the focus. Maybe it is meant to be like a background color on a portrait painting. It’s chosen to enhance the subject of “the present” to be even more inviting, more alluring, more understood, more. It gives context. It’s a code for understanding so that as we move into time, we understand it is to be prized, precious and gratitude-filled.

Memory is a powerful force. It can be the elixir of courage we need in the present moment. It can be the faint aroma that ignites part of us that we’ve forgotten, but need to know still exists.

 

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Growing Into

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How do we ‘grow into’ connected-ness of life? It feels much like having grandma’s pearls and playing dress-up. Little by little the strand moved up on our chest until they sat perfectly at our neck. So much of life is “growing into”; a momentum and shift, sometimes so slight it isn’t always recognized. Like the elderly’s return to a child state of being, we remember. I’m reminded when I visit the SC Island. That faint smell whistles by in the wind and another time and place take the stage. Something from far behind and something far beyond visits simultaneously. Strangely, “growing into” feels familiar.

“Growing into” can feel like you met a soul mate before you understood the depth and scope of that word. You knew and felt the specialty but the words weren’t yet in your heart’s vocabulary. How could you have recognized something you’ve never seen or known?

There is so much grace in the way we stay connected to people and to life, until we know enough to cherish and savor every moment. It’s like a mother with camera in hand, ‘snapping away’ at her little loves; capturing nuances of life. One hand holds the camera and the other a baby on the hip all the while legs are running to keep up with littles who have newly sprouted wings. It’s not until her hands are free and her legs mirror the clock that turned millions of times, that she realizes what the ‘snapping away’ really was. It was a growing into…grace. This grace from the past now feeding the present and future is another poignant “growing into”.

If we weren’t bound by clock-ticking perception, we might not be so shocked that we do indeed experience in reverse and then again fast forward. The “aha moments”are never in the straight and narrow line. Don’t you agree that sometimes the past seems present, and what is present seems past? And they are all jumbled up into life’s most beautiful epiphanies and memories. Life’s circle is an uncanny, deja’vu kind of feeling.

As I walk down the dirt road with towering oaks overhead, the moss slips down from the trees like curly silk threads in a tattered shawl. I soak in the feeling of belonging; of familiarity. Maybe I am here. Maybe I am in a dream. Maybe I have been here before or will be here again. I cannot tell the difference.

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Babies Know More Than They Can Remember

 

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We’re in KC spending time with our daughter and her family and we welcome a new little grand love into the world. As I hold this new little angel, I dream about the possibilities  of her life. As I watch our little “almost 2” year old grandson play, I realize he has no memories of our time with him when he was an infant and he may only now begin to have memories, but I still believe it’s meaningful in more ways than we could imagine.

I think babies know more than they can remember. Maybe we all do. 

I am compelled to let the truth sink in…every moment is monumental. It’s valid, needed, light-bearing and divine. We each bring the most exquisite energy. It’s irreplaceable. Every interaction expands and enriches life.

#beautynearme

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Dual Realities of Life

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I give in…

as the salt water waves moves in over me, swishing me clean within, while simultaneously the tide rolls out, taking me from where I began; comforting me while carrying me away from the familiar shore.

Like the earth spinning but also rotating around the sun, the dual reality of life is punctuated, both “day” and “year” represented.

It is the communion and connection of family while also engaging in the quietness of our own thoughts. It is a grandfather holding a grandson at sunset— outward body motion while inwardly being immersed in thoughts of thankfulness.

It is the sacred callings and yearnings of divine mixed with human needs and frailties; prayers for the day drifting up, “Give us this day our daily bread”as we take a bite of food.

There is irony in and around us.

…like our energy and excitement of work punctuated by our need for a night of restful sleep.

…like our body in a state of healing while being closer to our death than our birth.

…like learning new facts, understanding new ideas while becoming more aware of the vastness of what we don’t know; a passage of expansion while seeing a larger horizon.

…like clasping those we love in a long, full hug of belonging, while whispering words of goodbye.

…like the mind wandering roads in far away places while looking at the clouds passing in the sky just above.

…like the breeze on a warm day-  it brings air to us from somewhere else, but takes air from around us in the passing.

…like the moon appearing to wax and wane, in a constant state of coming, but also going.

Dual realities are plenteous, continuous, available… both asking OF us and revealing TO us.

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My Dear Daddy

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The blessings of a wonderful daddy are so numerous and they keep unfolding like presents throughout my life. Near Father’s Day as I recount the gift of my dad, I always think of those who have had a father but not a daddy. I think of those mourning that their dad’s time on earth seemed too short. I am confident that in all of the grief points, I hear these people whispering “count your blessings, Sonya”. And I do.

I am grateful for my dad who is invested in family. As I’ve become older I realize even more the dedication it takes to prioritize for those we love. I can turn around and see the busy places of my childhood are always punctuated by a dad who gave of himself…still gives of himself. As a child, our family vacations were going to see aunts, uncles and cousins. He was intentional about giving me the beautiful gift of connection. I understand it now only in hindsight. He’s so wise.

I am grateful for my dad who carries my burdens as his own. He always lets me know he’s there for me to lean on. He’s a praying man and I can count on the fact that my name will be lifted to the heavens each day. He recently fasted and prayed for me in my health battles. I have no words for the explosion in my heart. Gratitude rises at the mention of my dad.

I am grateful for my dad who cares. Yes, he’s a strong and mighty one, but he is also tender. I’m sure his male brain got quite the workout raising three girls. 😉 I remember during a teenage heartbreak, dad came in my room and let me sob on his shoulder. And after a while he had me look at him and he said “Well, does it help that I still love you?”.  I laughed through my tears. He has that gift of wittiness. And the answer to that question is “Yes”. “Yes daddy, it IS and always has been a help to know you love me”.

I can’t wait for our next fishing, gardening, eating, laughing adventure together. Because you better believe being with MY dad means we are IN an adventure.

As I celebrate my dad, I have such longing for the world -that this day bring thoughts of gratitude to the surface. And for those who mourn, I long for them as well, that the source of Joy fill each one with much hope.

Happy Father’s Day

 

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waiting for words

 

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I erase the words almost as quickly as I pen them.

The color of my heart not quite represented

in the strokes of black and white.

I read it again and shake my head in silent disapproval.

Write, re-read, erase and try again.

I sit and wait with the shore anticipating the wave.

Even the sand is clean and smooth and ready-

watching, waiting, brave, silent,

expectant right along with me.

Words will come,

with power and gentleness combined

and I mumble this to myself as I scribble in the sand.

My feet are firmly planted with patient roots-

more aware, more real, more connected and centered.

Because words are always there, even when on the “tip of my tongue”

they are never absent, just briefly obscured.

Patience and confidence are my friends tonight.

It’s for the love of YOU that I continue to try.

I know what is within me, but do you?

Little smiles, winks and kisses, they only reveal a smidge-

miniscule indicators of the real.

The best is down beneath, buried, safe,

unearthed only with hands of determination.

As time comes and goes behind us and before us

taunting us like a long, winding road to exotic lands,

we see it all with no fear in our eyes.

For all is safe.

You are safe with me.

The mystery remains and it is sure to stay

while I wait for words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“This Person Makes Frequent Stops”

I should probably wear a sign that reads 10439431_10152924541297067_1541453975472238008_n, “This Person Makes Frequent Stops” like the big trucks and buses on the road.  I find myself so mesmerized by so many things.  I just have to stop to soak it in fully The sun’s rays through the clouds, sunsets and rainbows, flowers and pretty colored rocks in the river…yep, it’s a blessing and a curse. Tonight storm clouds were billowing so high and so far.  Even the sounds, while eerie were drawing me; rumbling a lullaby from the heavens. I couldn’t help but stop.  Listen.  Breathe in the power and now write the words that dripped into my heart. It was as majestic as the mountain range it obscured.  

And then the grandeur faded and simplicity followed.  The sky bucket could hold no more, so it released it’s treasure upon us. Drops connected mid-air and traveled to the earth like herds of cattle. I watched from my window, listening to the cleansing. It was a good ole’ gully washer, changing the air to smell of earth again. Just as I was about to sign off, I hear the ricochet. The hail came reminding me that I am not in charge. Of anything. Ever. Stillness followed with only the dripping of water off of the roof to remind me of what was. The choreography is over for now. A cleansing breath is mine for the taking.

Yes, I stop frequently.

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Life in the Spruce Trees

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The Blue Spruce Trees are quite stately today.  The snow is settled among their branches.  So beautiful is the contrast of white against the dark, but then the sun suddenly shines upon this serene scene and somehow nature has dressed for the Grammy’s~diamonds appear draped, transforming stately into unearthly elegance.  The wind makes it’s entrance into the room and all at once the air if full of the diamond dust, blowing and swirling; taking the greatest thrill ride into the heavens before taking it’s final ascent to the ground.  Life happens like that, doesn’t it? ~ a beginning, a belonging, an opportunity to let the sun make us shine, a thrill ride before the final rest.  It happens so fast.  One morning we wake to find the snow has melted. The snow had it’s place for such a sliver of time…only a small sliver.