At The Cottage Background

Friday, September 21, 2012

Love Song...

I had had this conversation before.
Maybe not with the person in front of me... but it was familiar. Too familiar.
There have been moments when I have felt my heart bleed from the pain of it.
The heart break that accompanies the knowing... of their not knowing.
I have often wondered how it would feel to not care.
To not consider where they are going... and if I will ever see them again.

Their pain. Their hardness. Their deception. And worst of all... their rejection.

Not just of me.
Although that hurts.
But of the God I love. The God I serve. The God I have given my life up for.

They think I don't get it.
They think I don't understand.
They think I stand in constant judgement of the lives they've chosen to live.
They think me incapable of knowing.
These thoughts are always clogging up our lines.... severing any attempt at relationship.

Have I?
Have I been too harsh?
Have I been too bold?
Have I pushed too much? Too hard?
Have I allowed what I have seen as love to be portrayed as the opposite of what I was trying to convey?
Have I not tried enough?
Or loved them the way they need to be loved?

I don't know.

There is only silence to my questions.
There is only the beating of my heart and the falling of my tears.

I don't know.

I just know this.... I can't stop caring.
I can't stop feeling.
And I won't stop loving.

It is all important to me... and too important for me to give up on and quit.
The pain has only intensified.
I have tried to shove it back... push it in the closet of my mind and slam the door on it.
But it keeps coming open.
The door gaping at me with all of our "stuff" hanging out of it.
Falling... taunting me... making more noise now as the pieces of our history continue to re-play themselves in my ears over and over again.
How many times is too many?
How much time has to pass before you aren't related anymore?
Before your heart disengages and you stop caring if they see or not?
I don't think I ever will.
I know I never can.
My love is too deep. My heart is too overwhelmed for reasons that even I can't understand.

Does your heart echo mine?
Do you know from where my heart is speaking and crying out from?

It matters.
No matter if....
No matter if there never is a ever.
I won't give up.
It matters.
Too much.
It is too important.
And knowing that I may never see them again is stronger in my heart than any pride that I may have left.

For those that don't know....
Whether related... unrelated... or closer than you think...
For those that you may have forgotten... or have not given up praying for....
He knows.
And the hearts of us all.

He knows where we are.
All of us.
And with that.... I am still holding on tight.

To them... this is my  hearts prayer... my song....

The story behind the song...

until another tomorrow...

"They cried out to you and were saved. They trusted in you, and you didn’t let them down." Psalm 22:5

Thursday, April 5, 2012

No Ordinary Day...

Today.... is no ordinary day.

On this day... this very day... eighty six years ago...

If today... she hadn't been born. My whole life would have been changed forever.

If she hadn't come into this world to immigrant parents.
If she hadn't been raised in a home filled with brothers and sisters.
If she hadn't danced around the kitchen with her dad.
If she hadn't dared to be daring.
If she hadn't quit school to help provide for her family.
If she hadn't let the man who pursued her heart catch her.
If she hadn't made it to the hospital in time.
If she hadn't been brave enough to take on the world when she was left alone.
If she hadn't packed her life in suitcases and gotten in that car.
If she hadn't been daring enough to leave all she knew... all she loved... with three little girls in tow.
If she hadn't decided that she wasn't going to give up.
If she hadn't made a new life in a new place where she had never been.
If she hadn't determined that she wasn't going to let whatever life held for her decide who she was going to be.
If she hadn't made sure that the life she built for her daughters was going to be better than the life she had had herself.
If she hadn't worked herself to the bone.
If she hadn't loved more than she knew she could.
If she hadn't supported... fought for... thrown away what didn't belong....
If she hadn't gotten up every morning to go to a job that was not what she had envisioned for herself.
If she hadn't raised my mom to be just like her.
If she hadn't gotten back up when others knocked her down.
If she hadn't decided that she needed more than she was able to provide for herself.
If she hadn't said yes to Jesus.
If she hadn't loved her family with more passion than anyone I have ever known.
If she hadn't picked a lonely and hurting little girl up every other week-end.
If she hadn't filled her house with heavenly music... sharing her love for worship.
If she hadn't been silly... filled with so much joy.... and showed exactly what laughter should sound like.
If she hadn't stayed up to play dominoes and let a seven year old win.
If she hadn't shared Sizzlers and Fish N Chips.
If she hadn't made chocolate pudding for dessert.
If she hadn't introduced me to Jesus and showed me what passion for Him looks like.
If she hadn't showed any of us what you do when those you love are hurting and they need you desperately.
If she hadn't shouted at the devil and taught me how to fight.
If she hadn't held a very sick little girl and demanded that she be taken care of.
If she hadn't mended our broken home and helped to pick up our shattered pieces.
If she hadn't let me crawl into bed with her when I was scared.
If she hadn't taken me aside and secretly taught me to shave my legs.
If she hadn't shown me what a real women looks like.
If she hadn't shown me strong in the face of hard.
If she hadn't danced and laughed in our living room.
If she hadn't taught me to make home made tortillas like her mama used to make.
If she hadn't shown me what it takes to make a house a home.
If she hadn't looked at me with that look that I knew meant I had broken her heart.
If she hadn't danced in the hospital hallway when she found out her first great grandchild had arrived.
If she hadn't chosen to watch my baby and wipe my tears as I was forced to drive to a job that took me away from where I wanted to be the most.
If she hadn't shown my two year old that it was okay to get up on the table and twirl around with glee.
If she hadn't let my baby boy launch himself right into her waiting arms.
If she hadn't loved us so much.
If she hadn't understood.
If she hadn't been there.
If she hadn't cared.
If she hadn't cooked.
If she hadn't cleaned.
If she hadn't disciplined.
If she hadn't grabbed us with her fierce love wrapping us up in that love as her arms surrounded us.
If she hadn't been selfless.
If she hadn't prayed.
If she hadn't cried.
If she hadn't traded normal with what was uncomfortable.
If she hadn't chosen adventure instead of convention.
If she hadn't set the definition of what my family stands for today.

If she hadn't shown any of us what true devotion. True sacrifice. And True love looks like.

If she hadn't been born today....

I wouldn't be the woman I am now.

And Grandma....

Even though you don't remember...
Even though the disease that has stolen so many precious memories from your mind...
And has robbed you of understanding sometimes.
Of knowing who we are when we call you on the phone.
Even if that confusion that I so often see now in your eyes squeezes my heart until it hurts...

I want you to know Grandma....

Because you chose to love me. I love more.
Because even though I disappointed you at times... and still do... you never give up on me... and always welcome me with your open arms.
Because you dreamed big grandma... I dream bigger.
Because you put up a fight.... I fight harder.
Because you didn't let anyone tell you that your passion was wrong.... I have chosen to live my life passionately.
Because you lived your life sold out for your Savior.... grandma.... my children are choosing to serve Him with theirs.
Because you didn't hold back and gave us everything.... we live our lives with our arms wide open.

Because of you grandma.....

You are our gift from God.
A true and lasting treasure formed by our Masters hands.
Embedded deeply into the very depth of who your family is. Who we all are.
Because of you... we show glimpses of who He made you to be.

I know that the days are few...
I know that there isn't much more of what we have had the privilege and honor to know up until now...
And although I can feel the time slipping through my finger tips... even as I try and grab for it...
I know that I can't make it what it was.

Even though Grandma... if you can't anymore...
I will remember for you. I  will never forget.
For You.

I, this granddaughter of yours... will never be the same because you have made all the difference in my life.
Because eighty six years ago today.... You were born.
It was no ordinary day....
Not for me.

Happy Birthday Gram.

I love you.


Proverbs 31:17-31

"... She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
 She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.
 She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
 She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
 She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
“Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Being Found.

Here I am.

I have not been lost.
In fact... I have been trying to be found.

Not by what I have been found by in the past.

Not by my circumstances.
Not by my menial attitude about life.
Not by my conscious and unconscious thought processes.
Not by my mistakes.
Not by my accomplishments.
Not by my family.
Not by my friends.
Not by anyone.

But by God.

I have been trying to shrug off all that has defined me before.
What I have labeled and tried to make sense of for most of my life.
I have been trying to lose me... so that I can be found and defined by Him.
To be who I am supposed to be.
And  to walk as who I am meant to be.
Not by my definitions of who I think I am. Or even want to be.
But by God alone.
By who He says I am.
Who He wants me to be.
And I have found that the only way to find out any of that, is by seeking Him out.
Where nothing else matters.
Where only His voice... His Words... and His perspective hold the most weight.
Where opinions and perceptions don't find their way into my heart.
Where the things of my past can't creep up and take a bite out of the restoration that He and I have been fighting together for for so long.
Where I can be weak... crippled... and less. So that He can be more.
Where the worry... the anxiety can't pull at my direction and thoughts.
Where I begin to fade away... and He begins to become bigger than the self in me.
I have been trying my best to fight for the things worth fighting for...
And finding myself standing there... seeing my frailty and faults more glaringly than ever.
More than ever....

In the midst of this... of all of this... I continue to hear the whisper of my Savior....
Over and over....
Like water lapping over the sand....

"Come after Me... Come find Me"

So I have been "finding".
Not in the conventional ways.
Okay... maybe some.
But in the way...
That I stare out my kitchen window and just think.... and pray.
I put all that I feel dirty about. The stuff that I let muck up my life.
And I begin to release to Him all that has collected and crusted all over me.
My life, and how I know that it has effected those around me that I love.
My words and actions and how I know that they have impacted and hurt.
As I submerge my hands into the steaming water and let the soap begin to clean off all that doesn't want to come unstuck... I allow His grace and mercy... His love and forgiveness begin to rinse away all of me that isn't all of Him in me.
While I stand in church... I have allowed myself to be more honest than ever. To worship when it feels like I am having to rip it out of me. Not because He doesn't deserve it... but because I feel so undeserving of Him.
When I am driving in my car... letting my conversations with Him flow. The good and the bad. The pretty and the not so pretty. And letting Him converse back with me. I am listening more and talking less. Praying in the spirit and not trying to form the words that I can't even find no matter how hard I try.
I am finding myself finding Him in the mundane.
As I put away my clothes and make my bed and do the daily life stuff that has to get done, I begin to thank Him for all of it... all of those things that I take for granted every day.
The things that I have so much of, knowing that someone... so many... don't have a fraction of any of it.
And I pray for them.
And as I pray for them. The lost, the broken, the hurting, the poor.... I find what I have to be thankful for. I find His gifts. To me... and to those that I love.
And it is so much more than the monetary.
I find my desire to not just pray for the invisible... but it has reignited my passion to be able to go and see.
To find them.
To lay my hands on those out of my reach at the moment.
To feel their pain.
To see their hearts.
To look into their eyes
I have begun to allow myself to feel the burning that has welled up inside me for so long to burst into flames again.

I want to go.

In my search for more of Him....
I am finding me.
My purpose.
Not to just live my life for who I think I want to be, or who anyone else thinks I should be.
But to live my life for Him.
Sold out.
Without conditions.
Without reservations and contingencies.
I want to be a front runner... and I am tired of running from behind.
I want what He wants.
I still want more.
So much more.
But I am learning that as I continue to seek... and want... and desire... that I have to also learn that leaning on Him means waiting for Him too.
To be satisfied with the little as well.
What He has placed in front of me right now.
I think it's important.
I know that if I miss this... that I could potentially lose all of it.
All that He has for me in the making... in the coming... and in the very near future.
And I don't want to miss any of it. And of this.
To know that I am created for more... but also knowing that He has the days and times in His hands.
I know I'll go.

I don't know how.
I don't know when.
And I can't wait until that day comes.
To do what my very being is crying out to do.
To be able to let my restless heart run free.
I can't wait to write to you from a foreign place.
To speak the words that have only rumbled inside of the pit of who I am.
To speak for those who don't have a voice. Or who do... but don't know how.
I can't wait to see with my own eyes a people and places that have only haunted my sweetest dreams.
To sit in the desert plains with only a pencil and note pad as my only recourse.
To step and walk alongside those that I have never met before.
I can't wait.

I can't wait.

But while I do....
I am continuing to seek Him out.
To find Him.
To sit at His feet... to bask in His presence.
Because I know... I sense more than anything... That it is there....
Like no where else that I can ever go in the world....

that i am found.

...until another tomorrow.

 16 "Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18