Saturday, January 28, 2017

Day 16 Biting the Bullet: And Loving the Journal

Day 16

    Biting the Bullet: And Loving the Journal

January 28, 2017

Her name is Kathryn Marie. She is such an inspiration to me. She is my third child, my second daughter. I found out I was pregnant with her after I did the MS 150. I biked one. hundred. and. fifty. miles. not knowing. Though the rest room behavior was a big clue I had no idea we had a third growing inside. I was so excited to be riding 150 miles just for the excuse to eat whatever I wanted. It didn't happen. My insides were so messed up I didn't even see anyone inside my restroom stall let alone eat. Yep! Toilet paper for me in my little bike carrier all the rest of the 80 miles home on that bike the next day. Miserable. Good thing it was not a race! But this is not what I want to write about.

Kathryn is easy. She is helpful. She is the one who forced me to consider living gluten free. I will be forever grateful. And she recently purchased me a Bullet Journal and a pack of Micro-Line pens (16 Different Colors!). My oldest daughter, Robyn (who I could go on about as well) said, "Mom, if Kathryn loves Bullet Journaling so will you." Great. What do I know anyway? 

Robyn's brain is order on steroids hence her ability to juggle jobs like its a game. If she runs for presidency and she is on her eighth child, no worries. She can do it. But Kathryn and I, well, um, it's a bit different for us. We share a similar brain - it scrambles and collects in different order. You should see us in a grocery store, or heading out on a trip. We don't have an address and we are already making turns to who knows where? Mind you, we are intelligent, you just can not keep up with our mental filing system. And truth be told, nor can we. Hence, the Bullet Journal. I am in love.

So, it is a blank paged Moleskin journal. Or it can be anything. But what I am learning, and this is partly why I love it, it is a work in progress- your work in progress. Yours. 

Googling this subject brings a series of sites all of which are enough to make the ADD-inclined lie down and rest. I did. When I got up I began to Pinterest the subject. I had to go back down. I am always slow to the party, many times not invited unless I throw it (bitter subject please do not bring it up in public), and after Pint-ing and Goog -ling, I realized I am not only slow I do not even know it is happening. Right under my eyes Kathryn has been bullet-ing. Kathryn, when do you do it? No idea.

If you know me you see me writing notes in my Little Fat Book. They are scattered all over my house. If you find one, you'll die laughing. It certainly will not be because you are awed and impressed.  Rather, your concerns will be augmented and, in comparison, chicken scratch will seem legible. There are phone numbers floating with no names attached, nothing. Random words, it is embarrassing. My filing system for this little notebook is nil. So I flip, eternally. Not anymore. 

I now have an Index. I have a Future Log. I have a Month at a Glance. I have been doing it for an entire week, you would think years. My life is now going to be so perfect I can not even stand it. Though looking at my new Month at a Glance I am kinda booked(I know I'm early, but look already look what it's done - good bye procrastination!). Boy, it is going to be hard to schedule my spontaneity. 

If you have not heard of Bullet journaling I am glad to introduce you to this life changing system. I would love to update you on my progress but it is not going to happen in February. My schedule is tight! And for any of you from my past. Do not bring up that BLACK BOX. It's hurtful. (ah, go ahead, who cares)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Day 15 Advice For The Thoughtful

Day 15
Advice For The Thoughtful 

January 25, 2017

Lift Up            
                    Sit Still            
                                           Lean In            
                                                                     Back Up                  
                                                                              Push Past 
                                                                                                                                   Step Over                
Seek Long                    
                                       Dive Deep                            
Ask Again  
                                                Race Hard        

                                  Think High            

                                                 Kneel Down            
                                                                                    Stretch Wide          

Ponder Often
                                                Hear Silently            

                       Look Among                  

                                                  Walk Around                    
                                                                                   Stoop Despite
                                                                                                    Jump Through            
                                                  Question Often      
                                                                                        Wonder Always      

                        Dodge Carefully 

Bend Backwards

Believe Constantly

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Day 14 Riding to Devon

Day 14

Riding to Devon

January 24, 2017

Riding in the car allows thoughts, words and insights to romp, play and settle. Driving to the mainline is always enchanting as the road ribbons through gentleman farms. It is a meandering drive through history and as the fertile fields grow abundant crops, my brain grows thoughts and dreams. So, the opportunity to drive to Devon was warmly accepted. I drove back with these three stanzas.

Simple Gospel
Painful Death
Mercy Loves
Grace Now Rest

Gospel Power
Death Released
Mercy Triumphs
Grace for Peace

Simple People
Destined for Death
Mercy stops them
Offers grace instead

Friday, January 13, 2017

Day 13 Brothers

Day 13


January 13, 2017

The clamoring voices barge in the front door of Bryan's space assuming his attention. He knows them really well. The old girlfriend constantly derides him for all he should have done. His old boss constantly hounds him to do better. When he lets them, these voices hang out all day long with no where to go. They are in for the long haul. They lounge, abuse, lounge and abuse.

The living room warmed by orange flames emanating from the brick fireplace highlights Tom's face. He has a gaunt look about him with thick locks of hair flailing left to right whenever he walks. Tonight he sits usual style with legs crossed and right elbow on left knee. He peers into his large cup of Market spice tea. He is encouraging Bryan to consider thinking about all the things that he likes about himself. Bryan needs Tom's guidance in these self-affirming endeavors. He guards his brother's space and leads Bryan likewise. Tom loves his brother, like a brother.

"Bryan," Tom begs.

"I'm right here, bro. What?"

Tom looks out the window quickly turning back towards Brian to say,
"You must focus brother. You have a deadline."

"I know, I know" Bryan yawns.
He straightens up in his well worn chair.
"Tomorrow I am going to the clearing. Hey, are there any leftovers from tonight?" Brian inquires.

"Yes. Do you want some?" Tom asks.

"I do. I'm so hungry." Brian states.

Tom gets up from his brown retro chair and heads to the kitchen with his skipping gait. He begins his kitchen scuttling always making Bryan wonder why he takes so many micro steps to do something relatively simple. But who is he to talk? Tom's the doer, Bryan's the receiver. Critical, critical, critical. There's a voice for that one too.  

Tom sits back down crossing left over right leg with the right elbow moving back into place on his left knee. He stares at Bryan. Yes, Tom is worried.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Day 12 On Writing

Day 12

On Writing

January 12, 2017

I need time to write, time to describe, time to rearrange my words, time to see, to hear, to feel, and to think. I have started a story and it is true, it has taken on a life of its own. I want to describe, to make you think, to make you feel, to make you wonder.

I do not want to spoon feed my readers. I want them to be not only entertained but educated. I want them to see things differently, to walk slower after reading me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Day 11 Story Continues

Day 11

Story Continues

January 11, 2017

The shanty has passed its test as time continues to carve paths and well worn grooves in the wood. The stately forest at the end of the long ribbon lane provided the walls to this old breathing home. Bryan and Tom's great grandfather visioned the shanty (in reality the cottage) and with his wife did what any homesteader would do, cleared land, hauled and hewed. Rarely anyone passes through here anymore. In the late 1800's the foot traffic surged but not today. The bustle moved to the other side of town. But Bryan travels the lane everyday from the shanty to the needle-floored clearing.

"Bryan" pause. "Bryan!"  pause. "Hey!" pause. "Bryan! Where are you going?" Tom's voice slices through thick fog finding Bryan on the lane. It doesn't matter what is in Tom's way. Obstacles? What are they? His voice always carries past and through substances and situations hindered by nothing and no one.

"Ugh, c'mon. Give me a moment." Bryan breathes under his breath. Tom shoves into mental spots and Bryan tries to find room. "I'll be back" Bryan yells lifting his head into the air throwing the words up and over.

Tom turns back leaping up the broad planked porch stairs. He knows. His persistence knows some limits.

It has been a long time, and for many, too long. There was a time when, moments of freedom, rivers of thoughts, avalanches of ideas and pelting words making significant dents was a constant flow. He knew, they knew and Tom always knows.

The clearing is not only a space in the forest but a place that offers freedom. Bryan walks slowly thinking about what has been, is, and hopefully will be. Time spent in the clearing is time well spent. Unfortunately, it is also time rarely spent.

Bryan understands the work while those pressuring are unaware and relentless. Bryan also understands that their pressure is the furnace needed for the melting to mold. It is a vicious cycle and often it is the very people who are unfamiliar with the process who ignorantly push beyond mere facts to get the product. He knows exactly what is needed and it is not in the realm of possibility. Facts, figures, and accounting are planet limitations, his limitations. Their unfounded desire pushes past these limitations. He needs the clearing to mentally clear.

And then he heard them, their laughter was sailing his way from Sandy Lake. The reservoir of past feelings flooded his dry land and though his thirst was quenched, his heart laid bare.

(To Be Continued...)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Day 10 The Story Begins....

Day 10

The Story Begins

January 10, 2017

He knew he placed the pen somewhere. Last night, underneath the book the receipt was found. The table full of mismatched items is prime real-estate for lost and found but it is not here either. His head is woozy, moving back and forth, frustrated with this old game. It has to be somewhere. But it is nowhere. The Grandfather Clock in the hallway cautiously dings and rushed-ly dongs. It is time. He is warned. He has to find the pen. It was so long ago.

"Bryan!!!!" Voices carry in this wooden shanty listing to the left for well over one hundred and fifty years. The waves crash in the distance on the wooded pier. It has been for ever since he last was seen in Springton. It has been so long. Where is that pen?

"Over here, Tom. Over here. What is it?" Bryan answers, rubbing his left hand at the back of his neck as if he just awoke from an overdue nap. Bryan is an early riser, you would never know by the matted hair at the back of his head. His look and feel never matches. He is tall, strong looking, deeply handsome and firmly unkempt. It's too much work.

"Bryan, there you are" rushes Tom, precariously balancing the lost pen on the top of his left ear.
"You must come look at this. Can you?" Always the feel of a deadline past. This is Tom.

"Tom. Stop taking my pens. Especially, that one." Bryan shoves the words out of his mouth with a firm patience. Tom suspects nothing.

"Oh!" Tom grabs it from the top of his ear and hands it to Bryan carelessly. The pen falls toward the wide planked wooden floor. Bryan reaches down and grabs it just before the land. All would be lost. No one knows.

Last night the whisper spoke loudly in Bryan's ear. Time. It is now time. He knew. They knew. And it was imperative he begin. He was confused yet aware of everything. It all made sense and nothing made sense. But it was time for him to begin and the pen was all that was needed.

"Please Bryan. Can you look at this?" Bryan lost in thought ran his mind to Tom's request.

"Yes, of course Tom. Let's go." Bryan pushed the pen into his frayed right front jean pocket. This lost pen has been everywhere and yet is usually lost.

To be continued....

(So, I'm trying something new. At least today I am.)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Day 9 Sunday Fellowship

Day 9


January 9, 2017

Someone: How are you?
Someone else: Fine, thank you. How are you?
Someone: Oh, I'm fine. Thank you.
Someone else: Yeah? How was your week?
Someone: It was good. Yours?
Someone else: Yeah, it was good.
Someone: Good.
Someone else: Anything new and exciting?
Someone: Not really. How about you?
Someone else: Nope. Everything's pretty normal.
Someone: Oh that's good. Right?
Someone else: Yeah. For sure. (smiling)
Someone: Hey, have a good week. Good talking with you.
Someone else: Yeah, you too. Catch ya later.
Someone: See you.
Someone else. Yep. See ya later. Bye.
Someone: Bye

And another riveting Sunday morning fellowship bites the dust. Vulnerability feels raw. We cave. Consequences? Yes, depth in relationships.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Day 8 I See You

Day 8              I See You

January 8, 2017
I see your strengths and I see your weaknesses.  I am here to tell you, your weaknesses pale in light of your strengths. I see your worth. I see your value. I see your actualization of who you are and I also see your potential matter. Would you be willing to take the time to self reflect on who you are? Who you are to be? Who you are to become? And I'm begging you, would you please see this as critical?

You are worth loving. So, love yourself in a way that allows you to be unleashed and set apart. I mean it. Do you realize how you impede the others when you do not fully love yourself? We are not talking narcism, in fact, we are miles from that abnormality. Throughout the day and evenings, loving yourself actually makes a difference to those around you.

Behind your eyes I see you. I am inviting you to be present. Present to all that was. Present to all that is. Present to all that will be. Please come to the door and let us know you are home and invite us in.

Do not look to the left or to the right. Confirmation from humans is a shallow and stagnant pool. Just look inside, go to the depths searching. Your creator created you in such a way to know yourself deeply. This is not humanistic but simply being human. You are encrypted with your essence. Your gut, your instinct, your sixth sense is real - follow it.

Hey! We need you.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Day 7 Hid in Christ

Day 7

Hid in Christ

January 7, 2017

I hide behind my Savior. My Father sees only Him. Misconduct never places me outside. My Savior's frame is as high as high can go, and as low as the lowest point. There is never a point in which the Father does not see the Savior. 

Sin affects nothing from the Father's perspective. Jesus always looks lovely to Him. The Father only sees Jesus when looking at me. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Day 6 C'mon Write

First Post on January 1, 2015

Day 6

C'mon Write
January 6, 2017

You were born to express. It is in your DNA. Would you please consider writing? You do not have to publicly post like some do, but you should consider writing consistently. Writing has provided me beneficial internal growth on so many levels. It convicts me, encourages me, leads me to new territories and instructs me on how to be a better writer. The editing process proves to be one of my better writing instructors. I see so much.

There is much I learn through consistent writing, so much so, that I have no intention of stopping. I am, unfortunately, externally motivated and hence the need to maintain this blog. The public posting helps me with accountability. Oh, but let's get real, that's only half of it. I love when you read my stuff!

My family honors the mental space that I create for the time I need to write. And as wheels on the road get my creativity flowing (car rides move my thoughts) so does pen on paper. I marvel at the catalyst of ink on parchment. So many times I have no idea of what to write and yet all I have to do is start and my thoughts begin to flow. It surprises me as my pen starts to think and words spill. Yes, I know this might seem strange if you have not consistently put pen to paper. But why don't you try?

I have become ruthless with my edits and I love going back and tweaking posts that need trimming and slimming. However, now,  unlike then, I hack paragraphs away at a time. I will not touch the January 1, 2015 post. This was my first post of that year's 365 day writing challenge. I want to be able to look back and see my hacking progress. It's all about word choice and today the pile of unused words accumulates at a faster pace. I still have a distance to travel, but the journey is fruitful and enjoyable. On a hot summer day it is a cool dip in a refreshing lake.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Day 5 Stuff

Day 5

January 5, 2017

I am not a consumer and I have never been. Dating back to my teenage years I have usually walked out of a store talking my way out of purchases. It's just stuff. To have the "right" brand just seems silly. Only in grade school was I rocked and stoked about the fashion of bell-bottom pants. In fact I can still feel that sense of wow looking in the mirror turning here and there with full on and sideway glances in my bedroom at Clifton Springs, New York. Other than those pants, and it makes me want to purchase some tomorrow, style and fashion is lost on me. It's just stuff, threads. But this has resulted in immature and inconsistent consumerism. I am a poor shopper. My respect is for all my friends who are my counterpart. They not only save money but they look so good.

What motivates my daily clothing choices and something I take very seriously is C. O. M. F. O. R. T. Sweatshirts, turtlenecks, soft jeans, warm socks and comfortable shoes is what life is all about. And interestingly enough from high school thru college and even to just a couple of months ago I am complimented on how I dress. We are not talking a lot but enough to make me chuckle for the minimal amount of thought thrown toward apparel. 

Due to my lack of desire and savvy shopping habits, my prayer has always been that I would be the recipient of someone else's keen consumerism. My patient cousin was my first steady stream of fibers as I hounded her for her seconds. Cindy was comfort and class all tied up with a bow of laid back flare. Going through her hand me downs was christmas fun.

Still today, my entire wardrobe, at least most of it, is a second hand wand of magic. Today, it's Tracy. She drops off bags of clothing and I'm thrown into a time machine feeling all of twelve as I root through the loot. This has to be akin to the Jackpot High in Atlantic City. Though all of the females in our family benefit from her family of females, I sure make out like a bandit. Turtle necks, soft jeans, sweatshirts, camisoles, these are a few of my favorites things. The last shipment was an overflow of camisoles - oh what a fan I am of that awesome piece of clothing. 

I offer to you my prayer: "Dear Lord, please help "them" purchase well and when they are done with their purchases, help them make their way to my doorstep. In Jesus name, AMEN!"

And Cindy and Traci - thank you! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Day 4 Gather Around

Day 4

Gather  Around
January 4, 2017

To gather around anything other than God's intense love which is the gospel of Jesus Christ, is like gathering around a manure pit odored by the acrid smell of fecal matter and hazardous with life threatening, invisible, methane gas. Even the best ministries, churches, evangelists, or amazing pastors are the worst points around which to gather. It is Jesus and Jesus Christ alone who should occupy the middle. Only He should be our focal point.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Day 3 Bothered Store Owner Bothered Me!

Day 3

Bothered Store Owner Bothered Me!
January 3, 2017

It is a small place and though we might not feel the need to acknowledge one another we are well aware we share a common town. The store owner is aware of who I am but hey maybe I err and give myself too much credit. Maybe he doesn't. Regardless, tonight I need to make a purchase and so I enter his local store hoping to leave with the item I want. (no Weavers it is not you). The store's closing time is six o'clock and this might be their frustration as Jesse and I make it through the doors with fifteen minutes to spare. They seem bothered and now I'm bothered. Am I missing something? Lynne! Stay in your corner girl!

Many times I leave conversations more regretful of what I said or thought and tonight was no different. The storekeeper's questions were queried from a point of disbelief, a point of intolerance, and seemingly a lack of understanding or comprehension of my request. "Who told you that? Why do you feel the need for that?" What in the world do you mean "Who told me that? Or Why do I feel the need for that?????" Just show me what I asked for buddy. My mental dukes raise and ready for aim.

In the car I ask Jesse if our purchase seemed more of a nuisance than a welcomed increase in their revenue. Yeah, he definitely sensed angst. But that boy keeps his attitude in check. Almost half way home I am commiserating.

All of a sudden the lightening strikes. "Wait a minute! Why am I not more worried about my pathetic and non-creative response than this guy's poor treatment of a local customer! C'mon, Lynne, what are you thinking? You can do better than this!" Jesse with his quick wit adds, "Yeah mom. C'mon! Would ya pull it together lady?!"

To be bothered by my responses more than yours is a goal of mine in 2017! Dear Jesus have mercy.

And I am here to tell you, the man has loads of it! He's God!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Day 2 Christmas Terrariums

Day 2
Christmas Terrariums
January 2, 2017

To create a little green world in a little glass jar with miniature items, just the thought of it, makes me feel so Pinteresting. So, this Christmas my hair brained idea was to provide what everyone needed to create their own little simple worlds. Ken's Gardens, in Intercourse, is one of my favorite haunts and that is where I headed to purchase little flowers, succulents, activated charcoal, rocks and potting soil. The woman at the counter said someone else had been in and was also making terrariums for Christmas. Great, here I thought I was the original.

I did not want to tell my family about my Christmas Day project. Number one reason, I did not want to be laughed at. I'm a little sensitive, they do it a lot. Number two, I really wanted to give it a go without them flat out saying no and then laugh at my idea. They axe them while laughing. One Christmas they assured me they'd keep a cup of hot cocoa warm for me when I thought we should all go out and find a quiet stable and do some meditative practices on Christmas Eve. "Go ahead mom, we're gonna stay home. We'll  keep the fire going."  They couldn't hold in their snickers with that one. Number three, I wanted the option for them to never know I had this idea, no option for them to belly laugh.

But out of common courtesy I felt I had to mention to Robyn that I was thinking of doing something on Christmas Day that potentially might frustrate her due to its messy factor. We discussed it and as long as a plastic covering could be placed on the table she was fine with it. There was something niggling me, I was becoming more and more insecure with the idea. So  I ran the idea past Lynn. "Sure! Sounds like fun" was his response. Phew, the plants sat on my father in laws dining room chairs waiting for relocation.

The day came. We opened our presents slowly, slow enough that I almost forgot the gift of gardening for everyone. As the gift giving was winding down I opened a gift Lynn gave to me (he is the ultimate gift giver). It was a precious little world with a tiny candycane colored thread around the top of the jar. Then he gave me another gift and this was a bigger and more beautiful green world, a larger terrarium! Great minds do think alike.

The woman at Ken's Garden had no idea she was speaking about my daughter as she mentioned another woman purchasing plants to make a Christmas terrarium. And Robyn had a flash of insight when her creation was a heap a mess, "Ah, ,Mom is having us make terrariums." My family did not laugh at me, they loved creating their worlds, in fact they relished it. The day was made to create such things. Who knows, maybe this is the beginning of a new Christmas tradition.  Let's see who can keep their little green worlds alive till 2018.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Day 1 You Risked Everything

              You  Risked Everything
January 1, 2017

Day 1

How do you do this? What is it like to offer everything, watch us take nothing and listen to complaints of what we do not have? What is it like to be blamed for the severest sin, the horrendous crime, the faithless lover, the incurable sickness when we never asked for your advice in the first place? What is like to offer forgiveness that would take a multitude of lifetimes for us to pay off only to watch us demand from our friends? What is it like to offer ancient wisdom and watch us only offer pat answers? What is it like to watch us maim one another: a mother disregarding her children's worth, a father harming a daughter, a husband and wife disregarding each other's importance? Especially when your purpose for each one was magnificent and planned before you created our planet?

What is it like to create a satiating environment full of risk, splendor and charm only to watch us pollute because we want more and more and more and more and more plastic upon plastic upon plastic upon plastic? What is it like to create safe places and watch us desecrate them with our emotional baggage, physical trash, and political circuses? What is it like to love us deeply, profoundly, completely, wholly, purely, understanding that we see you as a trite God only offering religion? What is it like to view the vast gulf between your expression of love and our knee jerk reactions to sin? What is like to walk among your creation and experience our shunning?

What is it like to describe and demonstrate love only to watch us redefine, creating overwhelmed and underpaid social service departments? What is it like to know our disgusting words before they come out of our disgusting mouths? What is it like to watch us lie to one another in your sacred places? What is it like to witness our heart adulteries and then watch us shun anyone caught in the act?

Honestly? How do you do this? For you have so many problems. You have so many complaints. You have so many returns handing in glory for cheap expressions of love. Or just telling you straight up - You don't work. Because all we want is something tangible. Faith is way too hard.

But you desire relationships. And this is at the risk of discord, evil, and harm. You give us freedom of choice with all the necessary boundaries, helps, insights, instructions, written accounts to warn, to enlighten, to inspire, to strengthen. And you fully understand the risk of free love, free will, free choice. It is evil, heartache, pain, turmoil, refugees, sickness, and suffering.

At the first ancient moment we decided not to listen or consult you, you began to grieve. Only you understood the terrible outcome. At that very moment we decided not to look to our Creator. We created evil, human style. God had nothing to do with it. Only a God desiring relationships creates humans with the capacity to not choose Him, to not choose life, to not choose freedom, to choose justice, to not choose truth. Who else in their right mind would desire love bonds at the risk of this? But His mind is righteous and this we can only understand through His son.

Father you risked it all for all of us. How you did this will never cease to amaze me!