Friday, May 30, 2008

a couple of things...

first, i would like to apologize for my lack of participation with the many wonderful sites i try to visit on a regular basis and leave comments. time seems to be both flying by at an unusually rapid rate lately, while also seemingly standing still at other times. both phenomena, nevertheless, have contributed to keeping me somewhat quiet on the blogging front--both my own and others (which is the point of this ramble.) i so appreciate all of you who stop by to read (even though i only know who a very few of you are) and i am slowly catching up on my reading of the wonderful things many of you have to offer.

second, i must say that i have already had a fabulous weekend and it's only friday evening. i left early yesterday morning to make the trek across the state of washington from seattle to walla walla (approximately 275 miles.) i was delivering some of my favorite photographer's work to the carnegie art center where three pieces have been accepted into their juried art show. hurray for h3!!! i had a delightful drive during which time i listened to three great podcasts from "Speaking of Faith" with Krista Tippett and lots and lots of music of MY choice (not something i always do when others of less discriminating taste are in the car with me.)

the bonus of the trip was getting to spend time with the fabulous sunrise sister, the self-proclaimed curmudgeon, country parson and the always entertaining riley. who could ask for more?

although i did not ask for more that is just what i got on my return trip home. about 100 miles out from seattle, i opted to put the top down on my little convertible, crank up the tunes and cruise the rest of the way in. the music was fabulous and ranged from the profound to the peppy and even a little profane. glorious all around! i did choose to turn off the tunes as i came across snoqualmie pass where i listened to the silence of the great mountain sprinkled with periodic waterfalls and the rushing of the wind while perfectly blue skies danced above my head. absolutely fabulous!! my only regret (and it is a small one indeed) is that there was no place to pull over with my camera to capture the beauty of the drive. hopefully, these few words will pull the images back into my mind and the rest of you will just have to use your own imagination.

o.k. that's it for now. i hope you have a fabulous weekend too! thanks for stopping by.

photo "fishing in yelapa" by h3 images (one of the selections for the art show)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

ordinary time?

A wonderful “aha” moment visited me this morning. Woohoo!! I love when I am still enough to listen to the answers that are already inside me, co-created with God. This morning was one of those times as I completed my morning pages and settled into a quiet listening.

Lately I have been called to a new rhythm in my day. To outsiders it might look strangely similar to my “normal” rhythm, but there has been a feeling about it that is much different. It has felt less focused, possibly even less driven, and at times has left me wondering what the heck I am doing. Or when my ego steps in and says “what should I be doing?”, my anxiety level can tend to rise. For the most part, however, the rhythm has not felt anxious, but more like waiting which I have described here for several posts.

The “aha” moment came today when I read this post at The Painted Prayerbook. It is a wonderful post about “ordinary time": the time between Lent and Advent. The post resonated with me deeply as I felt like she was describing where I am. Recent lectionary verses included Matthew 6.24-34 which “challenges us with questions that lie at the heart of Christian life: Whom will we serve? Where will we place our trust and our energy?”

Aha! that is exactly where I am…deciding where I will place my energy. The “whom” and “trust” are easily determined when I get out of my own way (i.e. listen without agenda)!

So, I think maybe I will spend today with a little pondering of the Matthew verses which draw on some of my favorites: the birds of the air and the lilies of the field ☺.

How about you? Where are you placing your trust and energy during these extraordinary “ordinary days”?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

wordless sounds and sighs

The theme of waiting continues to follow me throughout this often crazy busy life of mine. I am surrounded by stillness and beauty at all turns if I just allow myself to slow down and listen.

Even during the past week when my time away was sudden and unexpected, I was able to find peace and serenity. It was almost as if God was stalking me ☺. I am finding that when I wait without agenda, the Spirit speaks for me in ways I cannot fathom: The whisper of trees. The joy of art’s creation. Birds flying. Eagles soaring. A dog’s warm nuzzle.

I am delighted to be back home and to share a few words here. “Few words” continues to be the key for me. And part of “God’s stalking” was the following Bible verse that showed up not once or twice, but three times from three different sources last week. I think it says it all.

“The Spirit also helps us in our own weakness. For when we do not know what to say in prayer, the Spirit expresses what we mean in wordless sounds and sighs.” --Romans 8:26

I would love to know how these words speak to you. Or if you are wordless right now, a simple “hello” would be delightful ☺.

Peace, friends!

photo by lucy 5.24.08. see related post here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


"how tempting it is to turn waiting into a game of Clue--hurrying as fast as you can through the corridors, searching for clues that will give you the answers you need." --Sue Monk Kidd

sometimes waiting needs to be just that...waiting.

a bud forced to bloom too soon turns into a broken blossom, not a flower.

a cocoon cut open before it's time produces a butterfly with weak wings.

telling God what we think is going to happen probably creates a chuckle or possibly even a belly laugh in the hallways of heaven.

sometimes waiting needs to be just that...waiting

Sunday, May 18, 2008

more simplicity

in my last post, i spoke of how sometimes the simple things can express to us what words cannot. at other times, it is simple words that speak to me. often they come from my own pen and then i sit and ponder them thinking "hmmm...did i write that? i wonder where that came from."

the phrase that popped out this morning and repeatedly appeared in my journaling was:

the thorns of blooming

so...what do you think? does this phrase speak to you? if so, i would love to know what you hear.

that's all for today...still "keeping it simple". ☺

poppy & hawthorne tree photo by lucy

Friday, May 16, 2008

keep it simple

Have you ever noticed how sometimes it is the “simple” things that can express what we ourselves may not be able to put into words? The basics…like scissors, paper and glue; the laugh of a child; the warmth of the sun; the breeze through your hair; the words of a friend. Simple.

I can feel the essence of what is going on for me right now. I even thought the words might form a little better today and I guess maybe they have. So, here goes: Keep it Simple. That is what I hear and that is what I share. Simple, right? ☺

What are the "simple" things that help you see or express yourself when words will not form?

"wish for what you believe" by lucy 5.15.08

Thursday, May 15, 2008


waiting or wasting? blocked or resting? dabbling or mastering? the words will not come. I am reminded of the Nike slogan, “just do it.” alas, I am dry as toast. scattered like confetti in the wind. wrung out and hung to dry. morose? no. delighted? no. extreme? perhaps. love me or hate me, but please don’t be indifferent.

the words will not come, so here is a “recycled” post for today…

the words will not come.
they do not flow like water.
they drip in my mind interrupting solace like a leaky faucet.
they come in ragged, jagged fits and bursts and then
they resist—stop—refuse to congeal and thus
leave me wanting—yearning—aching and unsure of what needs
or wants to be said or heard or read.

my words are insufficient.
cards held close to my vest.
“Thank you but your words are not right for us.”
“Have you tried this or that?”
words of advice slip through the air
and hang like graffiti on a wall.

needing words to communicate—to feel complete.
finding words get in the way.
mood and mystery.
is there meaning in this text?
mine or yours?

the inner (& sometimes outer) critic speaks.
in fits and spurts.
in screams and sighs.
the words will not come.
And they will not stop.

photo by lucy. la cruz mexico

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

a little levity

it is raining today in seattle. my family is out of the house. my coffee date got canceled and it's too wet to go for the lunchtime walk i had planned with a friend. so what to do? blog things, of course! here are my along if you like!

Your Personality at 35,000 Says...

Deep down, you prefer spending time alone to spending time with others. You enjoy thinking more than talking.

You are not too sure what your place in the world is yet. You often feel invisible in a crowd.

Your gift is relating to other people. You don't hide from your own emotions, and you are good at drawing other people out.

You are inspired by almost anything. You don't have many mental blocks.

You are happy as long as you are given some personal space. It's important for you to have your own private life.

Monday, May 12, 2008

God is Here

I walked into the deep dark night, the crescent moon lighting my way. Tilting my head back to fill my eyes with the night sky, the Big Dipper shone straight above me, full and clear. Laughter filled my soul. God is here.

In the morning light, I headed for the river rock trail and a still small voice said, ‘Turn.’ I turned away from the path, toward the sea, and there before me was a magnificent eagle soaring in the clear blue sky. God is here.

The persistent morning wind blew through the sunlit trees. Waving. Calling. Singing. I am here. Yahweh. Spirit. God.

She built an altar out of discarded metal—a ladder representing her fears. She built an altar to a God she said she did not know—a God whose name she could not speak. He wooed. He called. He said, “I am here.”

She waited. She listened. She struggled. She railed against the hope. She slept. Peace came and washed over her through a flood of tears. She wept. She knew. She spoke the name. “God is here!!”

Thursday, May 08, 2008

the collective "they"

I looked at the young woman and I saw a hundred others; perhaps even a bit of myself. If we see it in someone else, we have it in ourselves. Fact or Fiction? What did I see in her? I saw the holding on. The struggle to maintain an appearance that she thought was pleasing. I saw her battling to stay in composure and keep others at a distance. And I saw her pleading for someone to come a little closer.

Is that not a struggle we all have? Come closer, but not too close. Searching for our true identity—one that we can call our own rather than one created to “please” everyone around us.

This week I have been helping facilitate a personal growth workshop for Soltura. With a little break in the action, I thought I would share the above ponderings along with the following words from Sue Monk Kidd. As always, I would love to know your thoughts.

“Change begins with the recognition that we’re not so much an “I” as a “they.” We may like to think that we’re individuals living out our own unique truth, but more often we’re scripts written collectively by society, family, church, job, friends, and traditions.

We need our outer roles and identities, of course, but we also need to live them authentically, in ways that are true to our unique and inner self. When we live exclusively out of the expectations thrust on us from without, rather than living from the truth emerging within, we become caught in the collective “they.”

So if all those roles were suddenly stripped away, what would be left? Who would you be then?”

--Sue Monk Kidd. When the Heart Waits

photo © h3images

Sunday, May 04, 2008

holding tight

“We heap on the darkness, constructing a variety of false selves. We become adept at playing games, wearing masks as if life were a masquerade party.” --Sue Monk Kidd

The young woman sat before me dressed in her work clothes of tailored black pants and crisp white shirt. Her face clean of makeup. Her eyes tired from a cold—or was it more? Her long silky hair pulled away from her face in a ponytail that was a little messy, but still very ‘together.’ She held onto herself, grasping her stomach tightly, throughout our time together. Her face turning deeper shades of red as she tried to convince me that she ‘operates best under stress.’ It was almost as if I could hear her saying, “if I just hold on tight enough, all of the emotions I feel inside will not spill out and fill this room. If I can just convince you maybe I can convince myself that everything is alright and I don’t need help.” But she did not convince me.

I could see the terror on her young face. Terror and determination as she talked of breaking away from her “controlling parents.” Parents who were concerned that she wanted to work multiple jobs while going to school and playing sports and maintaining an active social life. From what was she running? If she were to slow down, I got the sense that the feelings would drown her. Did she have that same sense? Nowhere to turn. No one to trust. A ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

She hinted of betrayal. Friends she could not trust. A young love gone bad. The fighting in her house followed by the absence of family members. “They just leave,” she said with a shrug. The themes were all over the place, but still she tried to convince me that she did not need help. She could not fit in one more thing. She could only trust herself. But, here she sat betraying herself. Pushing her body. Exhausted and worn out. Driven. Holding tight. She saw herself as moving toward something. I saw it as running away. Her attempts at security were slowly eating away at her soul.

Friday, May 02, 2008

mystery on the mountain

Where to begin? I feel like I am a player in a 21st century God-directed version of The Birds. It’s not nearly as scary, however, but it feels like if I don’t listen carefully, I may be covered in blue jays cackling and laughing at me for not paying attention.

Perhaps I should back up just a bit. A post for me these days would not be complete without the mention of dreams. Let me add to that the topic of waiting. Or maybe it is more like Pamela spoke of in her comment on beginnings and endings, it is more aptly a time of transition. Yes, I think that’s where I am. A time of transition. In between dreams. Waiting to see what manifests while trying to be present to the world around me.

So, where do the birds come in? Well, last week I was driving along the rode and I looked to the side and saw one distinct blue jay. Beautiful. He seemed a bit out of place, because I don’t recall seeing many (any?) blue jays around here. A day or two later…same thing. Different road, same thing: A single blue jay placed herself distinctly next to my stopped car. Coincidence? Perhaps. But, here is where the Alfred Hitchcock thing really starts to happen…Yesterday, I was at Mount Rainier with friends. As we were going to our car after lunch, there was another amazing blue jay. And then another and another and another until they nearly surrounded us. It was incredible!!

Third time's the charm, right? I finally began to wonder, “What’s the deal with blue jays?” One of my friends said that they represent either dabblers or masters. Hmmmm. So, this morning I popped open Animal Speak and looked them up. Here is what it said, “Those with a jay as a totem usually have a tremendous amount of ability, but it can be scattered or it is often not developed any more than is necessary to get by...The blue jay reflects that a time of greater resourcefulness and adaptability is about to unfold. If the jay has flown into your life, it indicates that you are moving into a time where you can begin to develop the innate royalty that is within you, or simply be a pretender to the throne.”

What did I hear? It’s time to focus. Listen. Wait. Be still and know that I am God. Be direct in what you choose to do and stop being scattered. Listen. Wait. Focus. Whew! I think I’ll stop for now and let that soak in!

So, if I didn’t lose you in all that talk of Alfred Hitchcock and congregating birds, I would love to know what’s stirring in you. Do you feel scattered or focused? What does it mean to wait? To listen? To be still in God's presence? To follow your dreams?

(I have a few more thoughts about where this message is leading me particularly in relation to my dreams, but I think I’ll wait and listen for now.) Stay tuned…☺

lucy's photos from mount rainier 5.01.08