When Oceans Rise…

For whatever reason, it seems that “Oceans” has become everyone’s anthem for 2014.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve heard from friends who have lost their jobs, lost a parent to cancer, are in the midst of deteriorating health issues, are going through divorce, have children who are experiencing chronic health problems, and the list goes on and on. And while all of this is HEAVY, it is not out of the normal for what we experience in our lifetime.

It feels like all of us collectively are moving towards a greater place of trust.

A place of reliance.

Dependence.

Not on ourselves anymore, because we simply can not on our own.

The dawn of the New Year brought me a lot of hope for what is to come in 2014. I feel myself changing in my deep soul places. I’m being more candid with friends about what I am experiencing in life, and marriage.

There are waves of heavy. Waves of anxiety. But, I’m assuring myself that its ok to rest easy, even when that feels hard; impossible even.

And just as I think that everyone is struggling, I hear about pregnancies, engagements, and new job opportunities. There are just as many good moments buried in all of the bad ones.

When the oceans rise, my soul will rest.

Its the opposite of what I normally do, but I’m practicing doing it anyway.

We Need A Flawless Constant

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{photo by Julie de Waroquier)

Sometimes, I feel like I put out a lot of effort, and it often feels like it goes unanswered.

It feels empty, sometimes.

I force myself to send it out, and often get nothing back.

But, I am starting to realize that this may just be what it is supposed to be.

A lot of push and pull.

A lot of unanswered effort.

We win sometimes, but we will lose most of the time.

Community is messy.

Heart friends are hard to find.

When you find them, you have to hold on like hell, because they are rare.

This sounds depressing, but I think it might be freeing.

Freeing to realize that beauty isn’t supposed to be common.

Divine moments would be less divine if they were experienced so frequently.

It may be better to expect to be burned. Low expectations means there is less disappointment and more surprises.

And since I’m stating a bunch of really hard truths, I will say this:

I don’t want to be the kind of person who doesn’t trust others, in fear that they will hurt me. I want to give people the benefit of the doubt. I want to leap, and then tend to my heart. But, I am starting to understand why guarding and protecting our little hearts is necessary.

And, I may not be very good at it.

I think I am at a place in my life where how I am treated, has little effect on my core. My faith has come too far to let people munk up its’ waters. I know who I am. I know where I stand. My ground is firm.

But, community can be messy.

Heart friends can be hard to find.

But, my spirit can not be weakened by others. I won’t allow it. I love myself too much to let other people be assholes to me.

That might be the most profound truth in this long list of self talk.

I love my family. Love my husband. Love my little daughter. I love us, too much, to let others wreak us.
And so, maybe I need to learn to jump a little less often. Maybe I need to learn to protect us harder. Maybe I can’t be the kind of person who trusts easy. Maybe, it is necessary to guard stronger. Because I love to love people, but in life, I’m learning that people don’t love back easy. We are too messy as a collective people to freely love each other, and do it well.

I think this is why we need a God that never fails. We need a flawless constant.

I do, at least.

{self talk: brought to you by me, in this strange little heart place that I am in}

Small Prayers

I remember how broken I felt last summer, as I watched the news coverage for the Waldo Canyon Fire. I remember wiping tears off my face and whispering prayers for the helpless. It was unimaginable then, and now, not even a year later, my city is in flames again. It’s hard to be here in Salt Lake when my heart is at home. Some of my favorite memories as a kid are the days that we spent at my grandparents house in Black Forest. I remember watching antelope through binoculars with my grandfather on their big porch. I remember helping my Nana in her garden. I remember running around in their corral with my cousins and playing in their pond. And,  I remember burying my grandfather in the Black Forest cemetery.

My sister’s husband lost his grandfather last week. His parents returned home from the funeral, and had to evacuate their home. So in midst of grieving, they had to leave a home that they have made memories in for over 20 years. At this point, their address is still not on the preliminary assessment list. And, as I sit here and wait for updates on the destruction that my city is facing, I feel like my faith is being challenged.

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Last summer when the Waldo Canyon Fire was engulfing neighborhoods of friends that I grew up with, I said this about prayer…

“It sounds so insignificant when we are faced with the heaviest of circumstances, but it is all that we can do, and Jesus calls it enough. He commands us to do it, tells us that nothing is too great, and we should bring all requests before Him. His House. We must pray for His House.”

I felt faith well up inside me, and though it was hard, I remember it was easy to trust. But now, in this moment, if I am honest, I feel like my prayers are empty. I feel like they aren’t enough. I know in my heart they are heard, but in my head, they feel so small.

I feel small.

I wish that I felt like my prayer was powerful. I wish that I could say that I can feel them move. I have faith. I have hope. But, in this moment, I feel so very small.

All we can do is wait. Sit and wait for this horrific tragedy to end. And, all I can do is pray. Pray and hope that my faith is enough. I want to bravely say that our prayers sustain. In my heart, I know that they do. In my heart, I know that they are worthy. But, in this moment, my soul feels uncertain.

Join me in prayer, no matter how small you may feel. 

Donations:

To donate $10 to Care and Share, text “donate” to 41010. The donation will appear on your next phone bill. Or you can make a donation online at www.careandshare.org. Indicate that the donation is for “fire response.”

To make a donation of any amount to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund, launched Tuesday to benefit nonprofits providing local disaster relief, visit www.ppcf.org/products/emergency-relief. The fund is modeled off of last year’s Waldo Canyon Firefighters Fund but will have more flexibility, according to the website.

You can also purchase a Wild Fire Tee. 100% of profits go to the Pikes Peak Emergency Relief Fund.