She Chose Herself

Shecropped

"She work up every mooring with the option of being anyone she wished. How beautiful it was that she always chose herself. "

I love this quote by Tyler Kent White,

This may sound easy, but when we've learned adaptive behavior that's caused personas, we might not even be aware our what is true on the inside. Another wards, we may think we feel one way only to discover below the surface another reality.

Through the process of truly, deeply listening and owning what is being conveyed on the inside, though it may have been previously denied and pushed down, we begin to come into congruence.

We aren't a bunch of pieces walking around. We are whole beings, but until we welcome the parts of ourselves we've orphaned, we will feel fragmented. 

Practice giving yourself permission to listen and respond to the depths of what you hear. Be sure to stand in your own corner. Be sure to choose yourself!

Day 13 of 30 Painting In 30 Days, She Chose Herself

Painting In My Nightgown

Painting in gownsigned

Loss always carries with it gifts packaged and parceled out in unexpected places. Some of the greatest gifts I have received have come through the backdoor. They weren’t delivered with the spongy sweetness of cake or the sparkling enticement of frosting, but rather crept in when I least expected them, disguised by the darkness of night.

 

Loss is a natural catalyst, like lighter fluid applied to charcoal briquettes before the flame is ignited. Loss has away of being the accelerator to the kindling about to catch fire. And so now I find that my mother has left behind some of those precious accelerator gifts that weren’t readily available when she was here.

 

It’s only now that I am free to catch fire, for previously the tussled sea threatened to capsize my attempts at steadying our wobbly craft, dousing my flame with every breaking wave. It’s only now that I can ride the waves of color, become a torch upon the bow, free to stand without fear that the pirates have taken over the ship.

 

It’s the ebb and flow of releasing the struggle to button down the hatches. It’s finding a package of freedom ready to be opened, so I can release every do-good-adulting, because suddenly painting in my nightgown is liberating. When before it meant a two year old was left in charge.

 

Now I open every fuchsia and lime green present, rent to the rafters with see through connection, no separation or confusion about who’s the mom, and who’s the child. I reclaim those forgot years and now I get to paint whenever I want in my nightgown. Apparently you can paint your way into freedom if your mom was an artist that gifted you untold colorful backdoor gifts. Thanks mom for all of your color.

Day 30 Transition Is the Natural Pattern of Creation

 

Angelsigned

Wow, here we are at Day 30! As a artist-life coach, I recognize the vivid correlation and creative tension between seasons that demonstrate life’s constant cycle of transition. Seasons allow for metamorphosis, design and recreating of our world. Understanding seasons is to understand a way of seeing, or sight into new realms. Seasons illustrate consistent change.

 

Continual transitions in life can take place from an inner spiritual reality before the move into an outer expression, but more often intermingles between both the spiritual and practical. Yet how often we try to divide life up into outer verses inner, sacred verses secular, practical verses ethereal when there seem to always be two paths intertwining and coursing through our lives. These are the paths of the sensual world of image, color, texture, movement and sound and the mystical path that lead us beyond words into a world we grasp to understand.

 

During times of change and transition it often feels to be counter-cultural as we mystically recognize the need to incubate, allowing our roots to sink down into the soil as our seeds winter over. The problem comes when we are pushed by driving counterfeit rhythms to keep up and so we resist the natural cycle life takes by forcing productivity and definition of that which is not ready to be defined.

A seed won’t bear fruit before its time and isn’t even distinguishable from another seed while under ground, yet it is still in the greatest process of growth amidst hiddenness. It is from the place of reconciling with our season that we align ourselves with the creation process.

 

J. Phillip Newell wrote in The Book of Creation, “Creativity without rest, and productivity without renewal, leads to an exhaustion of our inner resources.”

 

We are all artist invited to dance and create with the natural rhythms of life as in the hours of growth hidden in the womb before birth. How well do we nourish our creative and mystical selves through the spaciousness of unforced rhythms? How well do we allow for “being” rather than “doing”, for sitting in the darkness of the womb seasons so that we may learn a new way of seeing necessary to thrive?

 

It is from this cycle we learn to delight in discovery, rest in unknowing, and are released to be recreated in the shadows that ultimately give way to the light of possibility. This is where we learn to live and breathe in every breath allowed us, fully embracing the moment.

 

Art has always been a way of seeing, a place of rest and exhilarating action, while discovering answers to questions I didn’t even know I had. Art is the process of acceptance and allowance of any given season. While marinating on the full reality of love in the present, I am nurtured and guided into the wild of who I truly am.

 

Again, the wonderful 30 Days of Creative Expression this year have brought about new discovery and awareness, inviting me to dive in further into the joy of being me.

Define self through eyes of artist 6 

This time has left me unencumbered from “working to better something” and again free to dive into the question of what does it look like to live from the overflow of being, rather doing?

 

This theme began in 2012 when with a strong sense that I was to spend the year creating art and art only.

 

The word I got for that year of transition was "Hopeliciousness." Now I move forward on the wings of that hope into 2015 with the word, "Believe." I move forward creating with more joy and a deeper reality of a love overflow. The natural expression of this for me is releasing art from "being." Art is like a song that can't help but declare and can't help but be released. I'd love for you to follow along for the journey and share your take aways too!

 

 

Day 26 What Are You Consuming?

Day26Teatime signed

Recently I had two dates in the same day, one oozing with the deliciousness of love and grace in which I ate my fill and was thoroughly satisfied. The other served a loathsome dish of law-keeping religion and fear. I abstained from consuming even one tasteless bite of the later.

 

The contrast of these two meals presented themselves in stark contrast. There was nothing that enticed me to snack on the sour serving of the fear-based rue, but joyfully slurped up and got my fill of the sweet taste of grace.

 

It’s important to be aware of what you’re ingesting. 

Day 25 Shoulding On the Sidewalk

 

Love transforms

Sometimes we need a break from the current scenery to see things differently. Sometimes we need to get away and go the road of one extreme to the other to find the value of balance. But the truth is that you can get as far away as possible from the things that bug you, while the triggers are still back at home where you are!

 

It’s really no secret that the faith community (that I love) has also often been an irritant to me. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but to stop stepping in all the “shoulding” this community has flung on the sidewalk, I had to define my boundaries and life on my own terms, without worrying about the fear mongering or perceived wrath of God this might insight others to hurl my way. 

 

Giving myself this permission (which was already mine for the taking) allowed me to get beyond group think, parroting and evolve (still discovering) into the person I was always meant to be. This growing up has resulted in a love awakening that has allowed me to see the world and all its irritants with new eyes. And why wouldn’t it? Love transforms everything it touches.

Imagine if your destiny was tied to the very people that irritated you the most, but you couldn’t recognize it until you fell in love with the very stone in your shoe. What if this people group would be one of the greatest means for your expansion into new depths and in turn you had something they badly needed as well. 

 

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.” Mary Oliver

 

None of us can get where we are going alone and certainly we aren’t meant to. When the reality of being in this thing together and the powerful elixir of love crashes into our world to soften and awaken all the brittle places, we just can’t help but love.

 

My friend Blaise Forte said, "You are free to LOVE unconditionally, to walk confidently, and to judge NO ONE (even yourself) by their past or present circumstance or decisions" and here comes my favorite part, "You are free to manifest love freely because all have been loved unconditionally."

 

That’s the amazing thing about God’s love. Although man tries to define restrictive borders and barricades of should and shouldn'ts, grace poo-poos it. Ultimately we will become powerless to resist love’s coursing wave that crashes though our defenses and changes everything in its wake. And although Love will change those around us, it will always, always do its work to first change us, using every stone in our shoe as a gift.

 

 

Day 23 Love Makes Ordinary People Superheroes

 

Superherogirlsigned

Mark and I shared our morning coffee (tea for me) chatting about the tangible heartbreak in the world and the problems that can’t be solved with pat answers, rhetoric, judgments or opinions. Who cares about opinions? As the saying goes they are like assholes, everyone’s got one.

We live in a world where we see a regular occurrence of pushing those we disagree with or don’t understand outside the circle. Annihilating those we don't want to see with words or physical harm has become commonplace. And yet placing oneself above the rest of humanity is the most arrogant and shortsighted perspective imaginable, considering we all come from the same source.

We should shutter from the arrogance that pits one man against another and the blindness that elevates one above the next, simultaneously overlooking the weakness in ourselves.

We actually need to get to know people that are different than we are. We need to feel the pain in our neighbor’s life to understand the ways in which we are not so different.

Where opinions and judgments fail, Martin Luther King Jr. profoundly stated, “Love is the only force capable of turning an enemy into a friend.”

This week alone, I felt the pain in the heart of a friend navigating life as a gay man. I heard and felt a wife’s ache as she reluctantly faces the finality of burying her husband. I saw mothers tormented over the treatment of their children and the judgment that sized them up into right or wrong, good or bad, insider verses outsider. I felt their pain as a human being and in some way could relate it to my own. I had the beautiful opportunity to see human beings.

We need not think it’s our job to fix or set another person straight, so that they come into alignment with what we believe. Who do we think we are?

Taking the time to see an individual and loving them, as a fully loved and accepted child of God is far superior to any opinion. Love makes ordinary people into superheroes. 

Day 22 If You Could Tell Your Younger Self One Thing

Day 22Girlsigned

If your older self could write a letter to the younger you, what would you say? I’ve asked clients, workshop participants and myself this same question many times.

 

The biggest thing I would have wanted my younger self to grasp was the permission to live to the depths and heights of the freedom availed her and to be saturated in her fully acceptance and loved identity. I would have wanted her to stop looking over her shoulder wincing at the prickly pears and to dance and sing at the top of her lungs.

 

Nothing Cheap About It Grace

Oh how your grace, your done-deal promise, this love supreme sends my heart racing.

You really did it! Squashed the accuser finger pointer, you set the guilty free.

 

Ridiculous goodness can't be reeled in floating out admits the borderless sea.

Whose gonna chase down their specks to hone in on that tiny gnat, floating away, that sin you abolished and love decayed.

 

Oh the goodness of the goodness giver, toasting to life, celebrating the gift. 

Lift your head all you blind forgetters, drink in the spritz from the ransomed love winner.

Rest your head in your pretty little bed, come home to love's sin eraser. Come home to that nothing cheap about it, grace.

 

What would you have wanted to say to your younger self?

 

 

 

Day 20 Why You Should Stop Trying To Do Something For the World

Fathersonblursigned

Often we’ve heard that we have something the world needs and so we set out to provide the solution or gift to serve that dilemma. While it may sound reasonable that we were made with a quality or gifting that will benefit the world, I believe this thinking is entirely backwards.

 

What if there was nothing we really needed to do for God, because frankly, God’s got it covered? What if instead of carrying the yoke of thinking there was something we were supposed to do or accomplish, we merely lived from the overflow of who we truly are and in turn that would be the brightest, truest thing we could ever do?

 

Imagine the difference from being a duty bound 'yes' man and a free son.

As a parent I get excited about what excites my kids. I don’t expect their interest to benefit me. I hope they fall in love with life to the degree that it spills over as a natural expression of who they are.

 

 “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we need to be and embracing who we are.” Brenè Brown

 

Instead of trying to do something for God, what if we got in on what He was interested in and as any loving dad can tell you, that is his kids!

 

Interestingly, there were two specific times in my life when I felt God was really excited about what I was sharing with him and neither times had anything to do with a noble or spiritually pursuit. However, they were the two times I was the most honest and clear about my desires. Just like a good Dad, God seemed excited about what I was excited about.

 

During seven years of widowhood my prayer was for a husband and father for my children, but not just any husband, one that was a great lover (there were other requests that were equally as honest.) And then there was the cute yellow house I randomly passed blurting out, “I want that house!” Certainly I’d say my interests were not pious or dubious, but rather clear!

 

God seemed onboard with my desires to the extent that He gave me two specific dreams to support them. One dream involved a friend interpreting a dream I had with the word Beulah in it. I soon discovered Beulah means married!

 

The other dream was of a map highlighting the exact location of the cute yellow house long before we were in the house market, even knew we’d be moving, or the cute house I had spotted was on the market.

 

How important is it that we get honest about who we are and what we desire? Darn important. We can continue to do the things we think we’re supposed to, but at what cost? Is the upstairs team yawning, while waiting for us to get clear and honest about our real desires and not dutiful halfhearted junk?

 

Some of you might be thinking, 'isn't that child-centric?'  It might be if you've interpreted God as distant, out of reach and non-relational. However, I believe the Father is all about relationship, not sacrifice or duty. Most of us have spent a lifetime relation to God as if we needed to appease him and ward off his wrath. I on the other hand think that is a gross misrepresentation, which has kept the masses reacting with the same distance.

 

Instead of living in a manner that keeps us separated from the free child he created us to, trying to do something for God, what if we got in on relationship and what He is interested in and as any loving dad would confess, that is his kids!

Day 17 Are You Dying of Thirst In An Oasis?

Day 14 Dying of thirst

This morning I was thinking about the times I’ve been parched, but wouldn’t draw near to a water supply (wouldn’t get up off my *** to go the kitchen, turn on the faucet and drink!)

 

It’s said, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. It’s a sad reality to be in the middle of an oasis, but not see it. It’s a sad reality to be gifted another day to live and be in such despair that it’s whittled away.

 

What might be the difference between those that have so little and yet live with full abandon and ecstasy and those that just can’t quite grasp their goodness portion?

 

I’ve had seasons were I remained in drought, because of my blindness and hard heartedness. I’ve had seasons where joy escaped my grasp, as I camped out in the mindset of lack. And then it happened! I began to recall the goodness I’ve experienced, the joy and elation from seasons past and joy couldn’t help but over take me. Then I started to build on that joy in every moment looking for pieces of beauty, whether in the garbage heap or the morning sunrise. It's there and if you look for it you will find it in every circumstance.

 

What might be keeping you from your oasis?

 

Day 16 I'm A Shaker

Shake it off

I’m a shaker. I'm the kind of gal that resists being squashed or diminished by the crowded in places where broad strokes narrow with every swipe. In fact, you might see me shaking or screaming from time to time as I exit stage right. Those crowded in places of lack of allowance threaten my ability to sing, so to avoid being defined by impotent labels that homogenize and villainize, I shake it off.

 

I get how easy it is to work to pull yourself up into something, having been a savvy striver and rule keeper myself, that is until I discovered the magnificence of grace. Now days, I’m learning  to give myself a wide berth, a big open space, should I stumble upon the watchdogs, the “shoulders” and load heapers staking out my freedom. I’m learning to shake it off.

Like Taylor Swift, “I keep crusing, can’t stop, won’t stop grooving. It’s like I got this music in my mind saying, ‘it’s gonna be alright’…cause the haters gonna hate, hate, hate” and the rule keepers are gonna keep measuring and the finger-pointers gonna keep telling me how to live. The fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, but I’m just gonna shake it off! The fear mongers gonna fear and the judgers gonna judge, but I’m gonna splash in the wide open seas of grace, grace, grace.

 

Does this mean I’ve abandoned what I’ve previously believed? No, it means that I’ve found the grace filled reality of all I believe, which is infinitely  more liberating. The incitement of squabbles and mental gymnastics only expresses the actual juxtaposition of law and grace. And who wants to hangout with the rule keepers anyway? Jesus didn’t!

  

It’s not my job or anyone else’s to police or solve the world’s problems. That’s a burden no human was intended to carry. I’m leaving it to the Expert.

 

Instead, I’m lapping up the invitation to live in the mysteries, uncover and cherish the indefinable, inexhaustible, infallible kaleidoscope of love. That’s enough to feed on for eternity.

 

On the high seas of grace and love you won’t be preoccupied with the things that force feed fear and shackle freedom, because you’ll just shake, shake, shake, it off.

Day 15 You Don't Have to Have It All Figured Out

Cinderellablursigned

You don’t have to have it all figured out. Just let me love you” were the tender words that took me out of my head and into the joy of divine romance. Why do we struggle so to figure it out, instead of living in the midst of love’s sweetness? Why do we think we need to define love’s mystery, instead of enjoying it?

 

When I fell in love with Mark, I didn’t try to figure it out, defining what every day would look like for the rest of our lives. I simply dove in, head first and let him love me. Falling in love is the best thing and the most utterly out of control thing.

 

We can always find a reason to argue against the sensibility of love. We can refuse to trust it. But I’d rather be swept up in love’s intoxication in every moment, instead of winning an argument that keeps me stuck in my head.

 

“Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they are yours.” Richard Bach, Illusions

Day 13 Love Has a Target

Arrowgirlsigned

Love has a target and you are it! That’s the message I heard yesterday, as I was once again reminded of the out of the world love of the Trinity.

Do you ever get caught up in the illusion of separation, as if you were stranded and alone?

 

Read the words to the 1996 Susan Ashton song below, Send a Message, which describes God's apprehending love that bridged the gap, bringing us smack dab inside love, where there is no separation. 

 



Everyone, every once in awhile


Feels lost and alone sometime


But you don't have to worry

Baby I'll be by your side



Just send a message if there's trouble here

I could be oceans away

I'll go the distance baby don't you fear

I would sail a sea of lonesome to an island of despair


I would search the streets of heartache 'cause no other love compares


If you're stranded and alone out on the edges of the earth

I'd go anywhere for love now darlin',

I know what its worth baby

Maybe, like me, there are days when you need to be reminded of these words, because you're unaware of love’s pursuit of you, or days when your struggle challenges your belief, because all that’s presenting itself around you blurs reality.

 

Maybe there are days when you feel small and forgotten, as if missing from anyone’s lens. Maybe you are working so hard to deserve to be loved, to earn some illusive ranking, when there is actually nothing you or I could ever do, or not do to make us any more or less loved.

 

Love has a target and it’s always been you and me. We’ve always been the center of God’s affection and the aim for love’s generous grace and kindness. Don’t fall for the illusion of separation. We’ve been brought right into the middle of love.

 

Day 10 Remember Butterfly

Butterflyquotesigned

I painted this butterfly, because I needed to be reminded that the butterfly wouldn’t always be a caterpillar.

 

Today, I’m saying to myself, “hold on butterfly. It’s gonna be okay!”

 

I call myself Butterfly and other endearing names like, Beautiful and Sweetheart. In fact, some mornings the first thing I hear when I wake up is the greeting, “Good morning beautiful! This is your day!” I know God is excited to spend the day loving me, and I get another day to love Him.

 

Today, I needed to be reminded that I am a Butterfly. I needed to remember. And boy did I remember. With a goodness kiss I got a healthy reminder and I will share about it tomorrow. Come back by for a visit!

Day 9 Lack Rescinded

 

prego signed

Do you ever wonder what stops the flow of inspiration? Why does the well dry up and you feel parched and dry when the water supply is within and not out of reach?

 

Sometimes I put myself through mental gymnastics thinking I am isolated and alone, much like I felt as a child. That is UNTIL I realize that even if I feel alone, I've never ever been alone, except in my perceptions.

 

I know its popular to talk about perception, mindsets and shifts these days, but its because we are waking up to a reality that has always existed, but we've failed to see. We’ve had the wool pulled over our eyes, while in actuality the veil no longer exists.

 

We’ve looked outside of ourselves for the mirror image that exists within. We’ve looked for inspiration outwardly, when inspiration is busting at the seams with breath and life, hope’s meter tapping away love's melody, wooing and including us in the passionate dance and resonance of life.

 

When I bump up next to you I feel the spray of breath, inspiration filling the air, new and alive, bumping up against the life of inspiration within me. It’s the patter of little feet, the baby in the womb stirring to the sound of the Father’s voice and likeness in each of us.

 

It’s asking you what you carry, what joy you're pregnant with and what life you have to deliver? Grace announces that lack has been rescinded.

 

Lack Rescinded

 

Starving while the table is set, this gap forgetting where there is no lack.

Swallowed up in Trinity glory, friendship of fullness, ache subsided.

Wrapped in over-loved goodness, caressed and lavished inexplicably strong.

You are not far off as some might be. You are not a wonderer, not like me.

You are steady and sure and constant devotion, like the ocean overflowing the beach.

Lapped up in embrace, no morsels of rationing,

no short sale, no barter for goods. Love completeness, flourishing full.

 

 

Day 7 Are You Engaging or Merely Stalking?

Dance and engage

This year I sense the nudge of conversation being initiated around questions. One of the questions I hear being asked is: Why are so many women living on the fringe unengaged with each other?

 

I wonder if it's because we’ve been stalking, conditioned to observe from the sidelines of our own lives for so long, watching the louder, more boisterous older sister’s side show. I don't know if you're like me, but it seems that with all that clamoring for attention, I finally bored, turned off the channel and started showing up more fully in my own life.

 

It seems I've gained the ability to tune in, be present and engage more authentically with others and myself, instead of yeah, stalking my life or others from the sideline.

 

Are you a stalker reluctant to engage? I don’t mean debate. I mean engage, relationally. Part of the sideshow I’m bored with is the debate. It never occurred to me that I would only love you if I agreed with you or won you over to my way of seeing things. In fact, if agreeing with me is the only reason you profess love for me, we are pretty dull indeed.

 

I want to live in the over growth of a lush oasis of color, not within a well manicured suburban lawn. I want to hear the noise of people (even when I can’t stand the chatter.) I don’t want to live in the sterile white walls of mediocrity, or conformity, where I close the door and shut you out. I want to continue being someone who cheers and hollers for all players.

 

I guess, that’s why I have always loved relational groups, showing up and doing life together. I can hardly help myself from attempting to start a new group. I crave engagement, over merely observing from the sidelines. Yet, I think many women don't trust the waters and are reluctant to move away from the sidelines. I get it. It’s safer there. I’ve spent my time on the edge too. But when I see so many amazing women off in their own corners, I can’t help, but want to pull open their blinds, call them out into the river to engage and support one another. We need each other. We do!

 

I want to see women jump in the middle of the deep end and help each other swim. Sound scary? Do you have trust issues too? You know, we can't get to the other side without just going through! 

 

Don't you want to experience women clapping loudly for others, and cheering and hooting and beaming at there own beautiful color bleeding into the mix. Don't you want to share the brilliance and innovation you carry, instead of compete, hoard and hide?

 

Are you a stalker, or are you engaging?

 

If you're a woman living in the Charlotte area and would be interested in being a part of a Women Supporting Women Meet-up group. Contact me at: Kimber@moxieme.com

 

Day 6 Are You a Helicopter Mama?

Helicpoter Mama

This morning I woke up with the images of a dream still lingering within my reach. I dreamt that my family and I were in a helicopter. This was not your average helicopter, but rather one that seemed more like the size of a cruise liner.

 

On this helicopter we were able to ask for anything we wanted and were catered to, making sure we got whatever we asked for, as if we were known and highly revered by the staff. All the while the staff was ready and waiting to respond to our every word and need, protecting and providing care and support as we floated up above the world below.

 

What if there was a realm of peace and rest high above the clutter of the hustle and bustle below? What if in this realm there was the ease of maneuvering in and out of daily life as a helicopter maneuvers through tight spaces?

What if there was angelic staff assigned to support and help us in our journey, not only to protect, but also to grant our every need and wish? Would that alter the way we lived? What if instead of holding out, coping and trying to make it on our own, or piously choosing to resist making waves or demands because we imagined God to be a stingy Father, we instead availed ourselves to what has been given to us from the benevolence and generosity of an over the top giver?

 

In my book, it would be foolish to refuse such support, to refuse such opulent, loving grace, yet how many of us do merely by our ignorance and independence?

 

When I was a young women I suggested to my generous grandfather that I did not want to be included in his will. I did this because I wanted him to know how much I loved him with no strings attached. Being the generous and loving man that he was, he refused my request. Imagine if he decided to withhold his generosity and love towards me betraying his character. It just wouldn’t have happened, even to the degree that those family members that failed in love and kindness towards him still found generosity and favor as a member of the family. The gift came from his nature and not the nature of the recipient (even though as part of the family I mystically carry with the giver within my DNA.)

 

I certainly want to enjoy the heights, depths and lengths of this kind of generous love, to be favored and thought well of by God, not only for the effects that this kind of love has in me, but so I can demonstrate generosity of nature to others.

 

I don’t want to forfeit the ride of my life, because I refuse the giver the generosity of his nature. I want to enjoy being a helicopter mama on every level, not merely for my sake, but on behalf of the others that may benefit from this grand generosity.

 

For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11

 

Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.” Psalm 103:20

 

 

Day 4 More Than I Can Think or Ask Kind of Stuff

 

Champagne

Today I am art journaling around celebrating twelve years of marriage to my brainy, hunky, stabilizing, loving husband, Mark. How did we get here?

 

I was married to Bill, my first husband a little shy of twelve years, before we lost him to cancer and then I navigated seven years of being a singe mom before Mark entered my world. Then Mark and I married, started the adventure of our lives happily raising my brood of four kids. His two were already mostly grown.

 

Lately I’ve been thinking about the “never could have imagined” and “more than I could ask or think” graced things in my life, things like the two amazing men I’ve married that were ushered into my life at the right time apart from anything I did.

 

I’ve been thinking about other graced things like the time I mysteriously blurted out, “I want that cute yellow house” on Mina Court, when it wasn’t on the market, not even realizing I had had a dream about that exact area pinpointed on a map. Not to mention that God had been speaking to me about the Mina (currency) of treasure I needed to steward in my life. Oddly, we weren’t even house shopping at the time, but when it was time to buy a home, mysteriously the Mina house was on the market and the one we bought!

 

I’ve been thinking about the enduring friendships in my life, the ones where we continue to show up present and alive to each other, organically and love inspired, enjoying the gift of friendship.

 

The greatest things in my life have always been the “more than I could think or ask things,” rather than the many things I can conceive and make happen in my own strength. The later things are weak in comparison to the miraculous beauty of the things I’ve been freely gifted, be it large or small. These are the gifts that surprise my heart, because they are too wild and too good to have received in any manner other than the overflow of a benevolent generous giver.

 

I am excited this year, because I sense that this is a year of “never could have imagined" and “more than I could think or ask.” I’m excited about this season of promise where I feel a little like a well nurtured and adored bottle of wine that’s been growing in full body flavor and seasoned attributes deposited within that make it rare and tasty.

 

This is the year to pop the cork and experience the effervescence spilling out its goodness all around. This is the year to swim in the intoxication of more that we can imagine love. Hello 2015!

 

Day 3 Joy Unspeakable

 

Step into your freedom

I really don’t like it when people of faith shove their faith like a bitter cold slap in the face of others. I don’t like it when rather than love; there seems a need to prove something or to win an argument. When faith is expressed in mere words, instead of through love in action I find the reality incongruent and lacking.

 

That’s probably why I don’t generally push my faith outwardly onto others. I’ve been stung by religious pontificating as much as the rest of the world. I’ve disliked the faith community’s elitism that harmed my family and often continues to be threated by our lack of interest in rule keeping and many things that fly in the face of everything about Christ and the Trinity’s love for mankind.

 

And yet how do I live from a place that is authentic to me, my faith reality, my often struggle with this community and my love for the world in or out of my faith inclination? That has been the dilemma for sometime and so in 2015 I hope to embrace more love for myself in this space and for others who are willing to stand with open hands declaring that they do not know it all, or have the corner on the market. In my book, relationship is paramount (yes messy and imperfect) but without it I am not interested in any gymnastics that may seem spiritual but lacks the reality of love. Activities without relationship are usually counterfeit, or lacking depth at the very least.

The fact still remains that some thirty years ago I had a life encountering, rearranging divine appointment that took me from a suicidal mess, overcome by bulimia and uncontrollable binging, to being instantly healed of a six-year eating disorder that controlled and almost stole my life. Its one of those encounters that really can’t be explained and most certainly can never be stolen, because I know the impact of this divine intervention in my life. I also know the reality of the continuous daily divine intervention I receive, not to mention after being a 36-year-old widow with four small beautiful children carried through the difficult transition with love and grace. And then after seven years of single parenting miraculous being given a brave man to love my children and me when at the time it seemed like an impossibility, because most men ran for their lives. 

 

I know the miraculously reality of coming through many a devastation with a settled sense of worth and identity and more love and joy than I could have ever anticipated. And I know that the joy in my life is no longer contingent on my successes, my circumstances, others opinion of me, or anything other than God’s faith and outrageous love that carries me and is alive within me. This bountiful love is still constantly being demonstrated toward mankind.  

 

Having had such experiences has altered the way I live and see life. It's the reason I experience life as a joyous celebration. So as I look to 2015 from a place of belief, and a joyful and exuberant creative welcome to the new, I'd say its time to step into the abundance of freedom! Today's art journaling image above is not new, but I felt it calling to me, reminding me of the freedom and joy available to us should we choose to recognize it. Day 3 unspeakable joy is on my mind. What does unspeakable joy (even in hard times) mean to you?

 

 

Day 2 Preposterous Good News

Grace

So today for Day 2 of my creative journaling (somedays more play than art) 30 Days of Creative Expression exercise, I just can’t stop thinking about this too good to be true news, this ridiculously lavish grace that grants such outrageous entitlement that flies in the face of finger wagging, bemoaning of entitlement! It’s such good news we really don’t know how to receive it. We collect our add ons and our “buts”, because we fear being like those in this generation that we judge (walking in their annoying entitlement) as we spout, “Who do they think they are?”

 

But what if this generation with all its quirks (like the rest of us) is actually a blazing billboard, a burning bush pointing to the truth of this complete, grace-given life of Christ running through us? What if this generation was a trumpet declaring our very own entitlement! Are you thinking: heresy?

 

This grace gift is certainly not because we deserve it, but more likely because most of those that are broadcasting the good news have taken all of the good out of it and so this generation with its flamboyant finger grasping demands is actually a better broadcaster of this ridiculous free gift of grace!

 

What if we were to reconcile with the Life that has reconciled with us and let it fill our lungs completely. You didn’t think you had any part in acquiring your breath did you? What if we expanded the entitlement we’ve downplayed and let it open up more and more into the recesses of our being with its glorious goodness filling grace?

To have a change of thinking we have to completely disconnect from the old belief even when we don’t fully understand the exchange. We have to stand with open hands of faith willing to receive something better (rather than defend our blind spot) even when we can’t begin to comprehend how the exchange is possible!

 

We have to be willing to say, “I don’t understand this too good to be true gift of grace, but with every fiber of my being I say, Yes!” I will stop the rule keeping and miserly watching with tit for tat eyes, doling it out to those defined as worthy and instead jump in full depth, lap it up in every corner and splash around in this audacious tidal wave of love grace.

 

You can be an older brother keeping guard if you want to (I’ve been you and that’s why I’ve had to steer clear of you so I could instead float in the exuberant waters of refreshment!) Yes, that’s right, I’d rather drown in the intoxicating joy of this unequal exchange, this preposterous grace that I am somehow entitled to than hangout with the unbelieving righteous towing the line for the rest of the world. Honestly, it makes me gag!

 

Today I am joyfully reflecting on this over the top gift, this basking in the presence of love’s overflow, not off in the rafters of holiness, but alive within me. What glorious beautiful news! What do you think about this grace?

My Christmas Miracle

 

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Years ago as I watched the new version of Miracle on 34th Street with the kids, feeling like the disillusioned mother in the movie, a gentle whisper seemed to say to me, “Can you believe in Santa Claus?” I thought to myself, “How utterly ridiculous!” I was a grown, rational woman who actually was a bit surprised by my enjoyment of the movie.

But there I sat, bewildered, posed with a question by the very One I thought would feel contrary about Mr. Santa Claus. And yet how absurd to think God would be threatened by this imaginary rival. I could have ignored this strong impression that popped into my head, but I chose to follow its lead.

God has always spoken through pictures, like Jesus did when He would tell a parable to illustrate His point. I believe God speaks through pictures because they engage us, but also because He knows that there always will be those who will dismiss Him and not bother to turn aside to truly examine what He’s getting at, like some of the prideful folks of His day.

The probing continued, knowing my firm resistance to the frivolity of Santa Claus. He was prompting me to delve deeper and look into the significance of this joyful character. But like the efficient mother in the movie, I had learned how to plod along, handling the realities of life. Yet, he was simply asking me if I would be willing to receive all of the blessings and joy that Santa represented. He was asking me if I would be willing to receive a life of joy, bliss and grace that surpassed my circumstances.

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God was speaking to my heart and telling me He had so much for me, but I had to be willing to receive it. He longed to lavish His bundle of joy-filled gifts on me like Santa. I could continue to live below what He had for me or I could acknowledge a fully grace-drenched life and identity. All I had to do was be willing to become like a little child and receive.

Shortly after the experience with Miracle on 34th Street, I was at a home group leaders’ meeting where a woman shared that I had been on her heart and so she had been praying for me. She said that as she prayed, an odd picture of a candy cane popped into her head. She asked me if that meant anything to me. A huge smile came across my face as I instantly recognized God’s “Santa-esque” style humor.

After this Santa experience, I decided to start a charm bracelet to commemorate the times God personally touches my life with a sign of His outrageous generosity and love. One of the first charms I put on my bracelet was a silver candy cane to remind me of His extravagant love.

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Wishing you the beautiful gift of extravagant love this Christmas.

Portions of this article are taken from Moxie Me Please! Awakening to Your True Identity ©2014 Kimber Britner, All Rights Reserved

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.com