a happy monday to ya

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The snow is gently falling outside the studio window downtown Albert Lea and it’s a magical Monday morning. The coffee is hot and the new Christmas album by the The Piano Guys is playing softly from the sound bar. I am surrounded by literally hundreds of twinkle lights as I sit here and click away at the keys. If you would have told me even 2 years ago that I would be in this spot I wouldn’t have believed you for one second. God somehow takes my shortcomings and turns them into something indescribably awesome. Like that chicken. It’s my most favorite thing I have created that is still waiting for it’s forever home. I actually have no idea where it came from, yes, I did it.. but in making it was blown away at what actually appeared when I stepped back. I guess there is something to that old  adage, just start, the rest will work itself out.

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I have been praying and praying about a group that meets here at the studio that shares in journaling. In my mind, we meet together perhaps once a week or once a month and we’d sip hot coffee or tea and really talk about our lives while meditating on the Word of God. God placed a gal and her amazing husband on my front door a week our two ago and He firmly and gently told me to tell her my dream and come to find out that she leads a bible journaling group in a neighboring town. I can’t tell you how my soul leaped upon hearing this. Her and I are just trying to understand exactly what God would have us do in this space that He is seemingly creating for us together, so stay tuned for that. I can’t help but think there are more folks out there that have heard of this way of studying the Bible and want to join in on the experience, so please be in prayer that when we start to offer this here at the studio that we do it when God wants and that He will bless our time together. I’m confident in only this.. that God is moving.. so we will join Him in whatever way that looks like.

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Which leads me to this.. the Lead surprised me for my birthday by getting me tickets to the last and final round in the All the Feels Tour by my favorite band, Need to Breathe. The previous two rounds were loud and dancey and perfect in their own way.  In this third round the band was totally acoustic and everything was magical. God even stopped someone from asking to book the studio so the night would be free! (thats unheard of in December!) I tell people all the time that Need to Breathe is the band they have heard the music of but may have not known the band. Often I get frustrated because soooo many people haven’t heard of them that I run into.. so I murder the song “Multiply” in my own voice to help them realize they have heard of them.. and the lightbulbs usually go off, but only by the grace of God cuz I do in fact murder the song signing it… Anyways.. I thought maybe someday in heaven when my path crosses with Bo, Bear, Seth, or Josh I will tell them that their music and lyrics cut me to the core often. They inspire me to be a better follower of Christ and share the gifts He has given to me to the world. In reality, I’d like to sit and have coffee with their parents and tell them I’m glad they took the time to encourage their boys in the arts… I am way blessed daily because of their years of hard work.

Speaking of work, I’d better stop rambling and get ta getting. I have a pig to create today, and a lovely group of ladies coming in tonight that I’m already giddy about! Happy Monday friends!

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falling expectations

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They stand there sometimes. All decked out in resilient glory, strong and unwavering in their strength. Immovable. Giants, overlooking over my every move. Those unspoken words that humans assume.

Expectations.

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The plan was to rest. Twelve months of disconnectedness and separate lives leads a family to barely survive in communication and grace toward one another. The demands of life taking its toll on the very souls of those who walk. Much needed time to reconnect with the people who are your most favorite in the world on trails filled to the brim with expectation. Footfalls and discoveries are made and communication happens. Grace unfolds like an umbrella and we walk walk walk.

We gaze at the monsters before us and realize how small we are in this world. How God planted these moments even before any of us were born. How all He expects from us is worship.

To worship Him is my hearts cry. To hold His very hand and put to death my own expectations and worshipping the Creator of all this glory around me.

But life doesn’t work like that always.

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Oftentimes it gets cold and the beauty of life seems like a distant season and although you know it’s out there, you believe you can’t reach it, so you gaze at it with longing eyes and you carry on. Placing one foot in front of the other slowly and methodically through the expectations that are slowly killing all creativity in your soul.

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I have run faster these last 7 months than I ever have in my life. An intense time of transition and change and honestly I can say I needed this trip more than ever, but it took a good 5 days to actually relax and not worry about things at the studio or home. Carrying on like it doesn’t matter is no longer my style. I don’t know when I picked up the expectation that rent and bills and college tuition and food and peoples enjoyment at the studio was all up to me. Somewhere that thought latched on to me like a nursing baby and I cradled it and held it close so that it wouldn’t fall.

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We walked the canyon of ferns. Flowing beneath us a trickle of a stream that could be walked through easily with Gortex boots. Over and under branches and trees  that had fallen and found a new spot to lay.

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Expectations from the world falling off my shoulders. My own thoughts careening toward the One who knows exactly the path my feet have gone and will help me navigate the maze of cast off expectations. My body is relaxed, realizing that it hadn’t breathed in God for a long time and I almost cry at the sweet beauty of the way He provides – a way when there seems to be no way.

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They lay there, frozen from the movement, cast aside by the rhythm of the methodical movement of wave after wave. No longer holding a grip on the very soil they once held dear. Expectations that have fallen, a horizontal monument to the very God who destroyed them.

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 “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”  

Lamentations 3:24

That verse rings in my ears as the rest of trip with my Changers and Lead carries on. I no longer have to remind myself that expectations of others and of myself matter. What matters is my ability to place them in my Father’s hand to worship the One who created me, and that He is my portion from sunrise to sunset and all the hours between. I will want no more, strive for no more, be content with no more than Him. He is the why and the movement in my being. He brings my feet to land in soft spots. He carries my heart next to His with an everlasting love that doesn’t expect anything in return other than my worship. He is the One who gets my praise, guides my thoughts, and directs my path.

There is no room for any more expectations to clog up my thoughts and derail my worship. It’s just me and Him from here on out.

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