Monday, April 7, 2014

when you feel the ordinary weariness of today


The rain has come now, for three days. Our ditches along the driveway,  stretch a third of a mile long and have been working overtime to keep puddles slowly draining away from our graveled path. There's a bit of cabin fever happening and today holds much the same. I've grabbed the black and white blanket with a picture of a horse on it, one too many times, in reprieve from the cold and wet.

These are the days I hermit away. I become a bear of hibernation, craving sleep in a dark cave for a bedroom. All of this becomes a bit dangerous for my soul to recluse with such tiresome isolation, like the fiddle-back spiders we sometimes find on the farm, here.

But there is green, lots of shades of green as if each rain drop holds pure oxygen of emerald dyes. Our ducks have happily splashed in the mini pools forming hodge-podge in our backyard. They've flocked from one end of the greenery to the other without so much as a care for the cold. Our two farm dogs, which lazily take turns sleeping with their backs against our patio door, have been friskier of late, except when lightening was striking so close and loud as too feel like bombs being dropped around us. Then they huddled like scared rabbits and shaking leaves about to take flight in a blustery Fall wind.

Ordinary is as long as the days are in coming, each one after the other. Sometimes, I'm trying to muster up the energy of my 10 year old self, imagining I could harness something of those by gone days. But it's in the ordinary pattern of waxing and waning, between taking on the world to crawling under the nearest fuzzy blanket, for which I reluctantly accept. Because we must give permission to our selves to rest, to fill up, to pour out, and to somehow balance our lives.

But just as the rain rushes with such energy, it's taken away by pipes and drains, to be carried off like my own stamina seems to do on these kinds of days. I wonder if life was always this way or if I'm just now alive enough to notice the lulls.

God gives the seasons, the rains, the blizzards, and the hibernations. Because you must find ways to go inside and be with those you have in your life, today. To find time to curl up on a soft, brown couch to read and be available to watch homemade videos with Lego characters or hear yet another creation of imagination.

These are the simple ordinaries, the times you're reminded of restful reflections in all the slumbering anticipations of change. There'll be time for outside walks and glorious blue skies making your heart burst with gladness. There'll be park days with scooters and kids bounding over obstacles and friends talking together between scolding the children to include someone in their play.

But today, there is only a simple-ness unraveling, a time to grieve, or mourn, to rest, and open your eyes to look around, like a turtle poking his head from the shell. So you blink the sleep from your eyes, because surely God is in the place and your soul is too weary to know it. And there's more to life than that king bed beckoning you to sleep your life away and you want to live it.

This is why you weakly call on the Spirit to do miracles, to breathe a holy breathe of life because this flesh is tiresome and weak. And so you grope in the dark because He never leaves us nor forsakes even when are minds are wearied by carrying these bones He gave us. Nothing is too difficult and so you hand that ordinary weariness of the day, to rest it firmly in His hands for whatever may. And then you watch the skies because surely the sun is coming soon, just as the morning rises after the dark.

"When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!" Romans 8:10 The Message Bible
 
~~tammy
 
 
 I'm over at Laura's and Michelle's, join me?




Wednesday, April 2, 2014

maybe today is the day you need this {on owning your space}


The windows are drawn mid-way and my writing music is playing in my ears through the same earbuds I use when jogging. These are the days where I want to be outside but I'm stuck half-way like my blinds, letting half the light in while also keeping half the dark with me too.

The wasps are looking for sweet scents to investigate along our back patio windows that we keep spraying with peppermint. Our Summer Maples have already exploded in red and have turned green, small infant leaves coming to life under Spring skies. Speaking of which, are overcast today with hints of rain, short sleeves, and leisurely watching Post Oak trees gently swaying.

I pause here to show up. Because yesterday, I taught homeschooling high schoolers about "owning your space" when public speaking. So I preach to myself.

I come, just because. When things feel all fumbly, from pulling this way and that-a-way, I can neglect. I go where He leads and sometimes I need to be lead home, as if I'm a pigeon needing to hone my skills by bringing my message back, full circle.

Because you can give and give 'till you give out. So you must refresh. After blogging for over four years, I've learned this well {even when it's not so well}. And so you must find your cadence between, home, writing, speaking, jobs, or just looking someone in the eye.

And I come, if for nothing else, to root for you as well. Maybe today is the day you need this as much as me.

So it is: I cheer you onward. Because I need you to show up for yourselves too. Walk up to the front of your life and stand solidly right there for a moment. Breathe deep. Look around and they will look back. Engage those watching and get down to business, speak with passion and from the heart, play like nobody's business, love like there's no tomorrows, but show up. Relax those muscles and give it all you got.

Show up and live this one life. Own your space, where ever that is, today.

~~tammy



Sharing at Laura's.





Tuesday, March 25, 2014

laying down idols like an 80's legwarmer

me, as a teenager around 1986
 
Even though I considered myself a punk rocker in those days, I still grew up on Tootie in the "Facts of Life," "The Cosby Show," "Square Pegs," and was highly, fanatical over the "Lost Boys."

Being a true punker meant listening to non-commercial music like the band I watched when slipping into a Dallas club with a mohawked friend. I didn't particular care for the mosh pit or the screeching songs. I found the people more interesting than the music. Besides, I was a "poser" because I liked "Yaz", "Dead or Alive", "Depeche Mode", "Tears for Fears", and "Howard Jones." I was more of the "new wave" group than punk. Walking the line to one genre didn't fit me. So whatever I secretly liked was kept hidden from the hard-core types. 
 
I had short spiked hair as an eclectic 80's girl who didn't care much for being pigeon-holed. I fancied "Purple Rain" and "Sixteen Candles." My rose-patterned, tie-dyed jeans were mostly tapered to my leg with black ankle boots and a camouflage jacket with one large dangling earring {just ONE, on purpose}. The day I wore all pink might have had something to do with "Pretty in Pink." But then there were days of dressing in all black, with not a stitch of color, before it was considered gothic. One girl asked me, "Are you going to a funeral?" Maybe I was, I didn't know. I never thought of it that way. 
 
Back then, I didn't want to be a "Jesse's Girl" or "Jack and Diane", 'though my name was changed to Diane for a good many years of my life {after adopting my middle name}. I didn't want to be a "Maneater" or do the "Mickey" or wear parachute pants. And so what if I veered off into the "Rapture" by Blondie or "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaac, and watched "Loveboat" or "Fantasy Island"? And maybe I considered cassette tapes the hippest thing since 8-tracks, Barry Manilow, or Neil Diamond? But those weren't things I would necessarily say outloud.  
 
Fitting into a group was hard. There were hidden, and not so hidden, standards for being "one of them." You may leave High School but sometimes it still preys on you. The need for approval from a certain group can still creep back in like your 80's hair. There's no two "Diff'rent Strokes" about it, you may still feel like a "poser" among peers, keeping your likes and dislikes to yourself, because well, the group and approval. You want them both. And let me say in my Robert Palmer swag: we can be "Addicted to Love" in the worst way. But get this part loud and clear: you are pre-approved so tell your love idol {aka, approval addiction} to just “Beat it.”
 
{Courtesy of the 80's. You're welcome.}

~~tammy


Join us as Jennifer Lee starts a Love Idol revolution.

To keep this 80's Love Idol train going, click on this sista's Glamour Shot of Amy Breitmann, because we are laying down our approval for Aquanet {or men and women} to know we are pre-approved.







On a more serious note, Love Idols are seriously damaging to us and Jennifer Dukes Lee is talking about it in her new book.

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Idol-Letting-Approval-Yourself/dp/1414380739/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395747350&sr=1-1&keywords=love+idol

















Also, have you seen this two+minutes of loveliness?
 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The One Thing You’ll Learn from Spiritual Deserts and An offering

When you've survived a desert, you know many things, but there is one which is the greatest of these that I've learned.

I’d like to say I made quick recovery, to wow you with my super holy powers. Truth is, I groveled in three years like it was forty, proving I wasn’t any better than those Israelites. This is where I....{follow me over here for the rest}
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By the way, my (writer) friends and I have put together a FREE eBook as an offering to you. Not only am I honored to be under the same cover as these talented people, but the honor is ours whenever someone receives this gift. Thank you.

~~tammy

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

when storytelling is saving your life

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live, to justify taking lives, even our own, by violence or by numbness and the failure to live; tell ourselves stories that save us and stories that are quicksand in which we thrash and the well in which we drown, stories of justification, of accursedness, of luck and star-crossed love, or version clad in the cynicism that is at times a very elegant garment." The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit
 
Many writers know the depths of quicksand, of writing in the weeds and how we start out writing one thing only to have it meander a completely different direction. But as the author here states, we tell our stories for many reasons, yet many times it is saving us too.  
 
The author creates poetic imagery of how stories come to life as if words are thawed from memory like frozen statues. Her Mom is in the stages of declining Alzheimer's when she wrote this. At that time in her life she seems to be drowning by the heavy burden of care-taking, even as she's encouraging the reader to share their story. 
 
Earlier she said that "to be without a story is to be lost in the vastness of a world that spreads in all directions like arctic tundra or sea ice." I find this strange, as most storytellers must tell a story in some way and yet, there are times this is true. Like arctic tundra, for a writer, life without a story just goes....{slip over here to read the rest <-----click font=""> 
 
~~tammy