But what else is in the waiting?

The last time I felt anger was the middle of June when I shouted the F word multiple times in my work wife’s car. The emotion of anger hides hurt and confusion and usually, disbelief.

This morning in church I felt anger. It wasn’t the anger of June. It was the anger that I felt in Spain. A very specific type.
It was the week Ferg was teaching. He was leading us through some visuals and I remember there came a moment where to me, everyone was wrong. He was talking about the flowers we saw in our brains meant hope and light and a lot of other fluffy words.

I went up to talk to him after, because he was wrong and I was angry. The flowers in my field brought anxiety, depression and a whole hell of a lot of others things.

Yes, in reality I was just angry at the words he was speaking. The words being spoken were knocking against what I found to be true.

Ferg gave me wisdom that week (well, he gave me a LOT of wisdom that week). He reminded me, over and over again, that my words had power, and if the color of the flowers were bringing me anxiety than I could just change them.

I try to use that wisdom in my life a lot “change the color of your flowers”. If you don’t like something, you have the power to change it.

But today.

Today, the anger at words came and I had no ability to change them.

I was in church and I was asking God for wisdom for a friend of mine. Really, I was asking for hope.

And then we sang a song called “Take Courage”. It’s a song that holds hope.

Exactly what I was asking for right?

The lyrics read:

take Courage my heart.

Stay steadfast my soul.

He’s in the waiting,

he’s in the waiting.

Hold onto your hope

 as your triumph unfolds

He’s never failing,

He’s never failing”
That’s great right? A reminder that He is there. The God I believe and have followed and loved, is in the waiting.

And as I sang the words I reached for my journal to write and I realized something:

I don’t think I believe that promise.

And then?

Then I got kind of angry inside.

It feels as if I have a group of humans who are on the edge of something. They might be doing beautifully living life, being present, moving their worlds forward; but regardless, they are waiting for the next thing.

And in the quiet, calm, empty places of their lives, they are reminded: waiting.

I believe waiting is active. I think most of our lives, even rest, are actually verbs. Even in rest we are moving forward. Because rest brings us fullness and fullness brings the ability to become more than we were the day before.

But, active waiting, going about all the things, with all that you are, knowing that it’s been days, months, years, waiting for the job, the person, the epiphany and choosing to believe that after days, months, years, believing that God has been there becomes hard.

Sometimes, I do admit, that disbelief is comparison. Comparing stories and lives and truth. Sometimes the disbelief, is just a plain desire to choose not to believe (which I stubbornly live in occasionally).

Today, though, my anger came from “this, again?”

I was angry for myself and for my friend and for the long list of humans I know that are waiting.

I’m not asking for instant gratification. Please don’t hear that.

I think, I might even know, that my anger is probably not even directed at the God that is supposed to be in the waiting.

My anger is directed at the shame.

Shame is powerful.

There is so much shame in the waiting.

It lives there, ready to pounce. Ready to remind you that you are waiting because you aren’t enough. It’s in the shadows of the waiting. Trying to drag you in. Trying to tell you that you are waiting because you are lacking.

That whatever God, deity, higher power you serve, has decided you aren’t worth it because of xyz that you have done.

It’s just not fucking true.

(I only use the F word when I’m mad and I find myself in a bar sipping a mimosa getting progressively angry at shame).

Shame hides in my waiting. It tells me that I am too much, I am too heavy, I am not personable, I don’t belong.

It creates a long laundry list.

And in the nights of sleeplessness or in the days (I.e. Last Thursday) where I feel not good at what I do, incapable of figuring out behavior of tiny humans, incapable of engaging them. In the nights where I feel like I don’t have a person, Shame waltzes in to leave a note in my room that reminds me that all of those are the reasons that I am “in the waiting”.

This morning, without knowing it, I got angry at a God who is apparently in the same waiting that the shame is.

That’s a lot to take in.

And really, I don’t feel that aggressive about my own waiting right now. I feel aggressive for the humans around me, who feel as if they are in a pause, a waiting.

And I can’t change the color of their flowers.

But what I can do, is try my best, to remember that shame has no place in my waiting. To speak out the shame occurring in others.

And to make space to find God.

Because I still don’t know if I believe he is there.

And as per my mantra.

That’s ok.

(And it’s ok for you too.)

the recipe series

lemon blueberry cake life lessons

I baked a cake on Saturday.

I had this urge when I woke up early Saturday morning to attempt to bake a cake.

Yes, I said attempt. 

I used to be a from a box cake baker, blasphemy I know, but when I was in Spain and was going to make a wedding cake, obviously I needed to make it from scratch. I found a great recipe and it worked out incredibly well.
But, sadly, that recipe never translated to the states.

So, on Saturday I decided I was going to take it slow. I was going to make sure all of my mise en place was done and that I didn’t deviate from the recipe at all.

I even purchased a flour sifter.

When I was young, a tiny human if you will, I was a straight A student. I was quiet and kind and did my work.

But, I had one issue:

I sometimes did things too fast.

Mainly, art and handwriting. I was notorious for having to redo coloring sheets and the first paper I ever typed blew my mind.

I also talked too fast (which I blame obviously on being a Reeve woman). But, the talking too fast was something that caused me to have to repeat myself a lot because when I talked to fast I couldn’t be understood. It wasn’t necessarily my fault, as a weird medical issue I had growing up hindered my speech slightly. 

It was frustrating.

That constant conscious effort to remember to slow down ALL THE TIME and the terror of speaking in front of class.

Now public speaking and teaching and all that type of stuff is mostly fine (as long as it’s my idea and not an on the fly thing) but slowing down all together isn’t something I’m great at.

There are reasons why I don’t slow down. Part of it is because I’m busy. I need to go, go go and get all the things done. Like on any day of the week at about 1:15 you can find me trying to will tiny humans to sleep because I have 15 things I need to do. I am always at least thirty minutes ahead in my brain transitioning to the next thing and finding the holes.

And sometimes I don’t slow down because I don’t want to pause.

God’s been bringing me back around to things I had long thought were done the last couple weeks. I have been busy doing all the things that I do and attempting to add more to my page and the minute I pause, the thing is there, standing in front of me, reminding me that I still need to deal.

So, I put pausing on my to-do list and keep going.

If I don’t slow down it can’t catch me right?

So, Saturday I slowed down. I juiced lemons and I sifted flour. I mixed slowly and wait for cakes to cool and frosting to thaw back out. I sipped coffee and scrubbed dishes with all the windows in my house open.

I forgot what happens when you allow everything space to do what it needs to do.

My cake turned out beautifully. Tangy with lemon and bursting with blueberries. Moist and spongy and surprisingly light.

I think the next season of my life potentially might involve coming back around to things. Things that go deeper then I thought, and maybe put a mark on my life that I was unaware was still there.

When you over mix cake batter it can get dense and chewy because the gluten will form elastic gluten strands. It ruins the cake.

What happens in our life when we choose to ignore the things that keep coming back because we’ve already dealt with them? What happens when we choose to over mix all the things in our life because we just want to be done?

Slowing down and actually resting is the struggle of my life. I’m going to attempt it more and more and maybe just make the practice of baking when I need to slow down.

So, my encouragement to you is this: find what YOU need to pause. Find the thing that slows your brain and your heart and your whole self. Make that thing a part of your soul work and see what happens.

washington whimsy

what pressing pause looks like

I will never forget the moment I met Bekah.

I was sitting in one of the meeting rooms at RockHarbor for a communication meeting to map out writing and sermon recaps for the upcoming season and I noticed this lovely, curly-haired, blond woman who I hadn’t really ever seen. This, mind you, is not hard in a church with 5 services and thousands of people.

Chattering was occurring and I overheard her mention she was looking for a preschool because her family was moving and I, being the cheerleader for my place of employment, handed her the card for Lighthouse and let her know about all the wonderful families and kiddos that went there.
And I ended it there. I thought she seemed like a ray of sunshine and knew she probably had a handful of fantastic thoughts and ideas and whimsy under her surface.

Sometime later, on a random weekday at work, my boss popped her head in and said someone had mentioned me when they called and were coming to visit.

Bekah’s precious kiddo started soon after and wormed his way into my heart.

It’s been over 3 years since I had that last three year old class but Bekah has been a constant encouragement in my life.

She is a writer of truth and vulnerability and doesn’t settle for anything else. I have learned a lot from just reading the words she paints on a screen. When I am in need of truth and life I remember her and her heart and her words. Today, when my mind felt a little wacky I reached out to her. Just that act opened the floodgates. Drawing from the spirit and heart of those a few steps ahead of me.

Here’s the thing. I currently feel like my writing is on pause. Like I go to journal out what’s going on in my head or the things I am feeling and there is nothing. I had a heavy morning at church filled with a lot of goodness, a lot of me getting my “back off cloak” torn off and stomped on and a lot of my heart longing to reach out to the people in my life who need love. And a lot of realizing that there are a lot of things that I need to lay facedown on the ground with in my own life.

I’m surrounded by a lot good spirit here. Things that probably are always around me, things that I’m just beginning to notice and become even more aware of. And it’s a lot for the senses to take in. Because it’s not just seeing or hearing, but it’s tasting and touching and smelling. When you realize that you take things in with all five senses it begins to overwhelm. And when something gets overwhelmed or too full, much like an iPhone that gets too hot, it can potentially cease to work.

I won’t cease to work, that’s not the problem, but I am learning that my ability to take in things is actually coming from more facets then I thought.

So I do need to pause a bit, I need to lay on the floor, I need to dance it out and write sloppily in a journal. I need to turn to the writing and truth and wisdom of those around me.

Today, I am going to pause and let words get scratched out on my ipad, I will write some words for others. I’m going to drink coffee with vanilla creamer and I’m most likely going to cry in the hallway.

And that’s ok.

Because pressing pause is in no way passive. It’s the ability to ready yourself to take something in. It’s not stopping moving, but it’s preparing. I’m preparing for the breakthrough by actively allowing myself to move through the life that comes before it.

May I repeat?

It’s ok.

And if I didn’t know or think it was ok I could just look at people like Bekah and know that the mess, and the snotty noses and the not having words is ok. Because eventually the words and thoughts and revelations will come and I will pass those on to the next person just as she passed them onto me.

Now, if you don’t mind; I have some vanilla coffee creamer with my name on it.

(To read the whimsy and lovely and truth of this powerful woman check out her home on the interwebs Upcycled Jane)