the simple things.

Many of you have asked where I got my “Antler Ring.” Well….I’m finally ready to spoil the secret. The shop is called lumafina. And the name of the piece is The Cicatrix Ring. It is actually made from naturally shed deer antler slices…it doesn’t get anymore one-of-a-kind than that!

What I like most about this ring, is how it makes me feel when i slip it on my finger. Unique. Distinctive. Special. It’s just not ordinary…its tasteful art, and I am joyful to display it with pride. It is comfortable, sturdy, and goes with everything i wear.

Oh…the simple things.

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My Stumbling Block

There is a giant mountain in the center of my life. I’ve created it. Not a pleasant, beautiful mountain that you would see in the High Desert. But a dark and scary one. A terrible mountain that haunts me.

It was a little over 3 years ago that this mass was nothing more than a single stone. With a resounding “thud,” I dropped the first stone very purposefully at the epicenter of my calling. Slowly I added to the pile until it became like second nature to casually toss away every stone I had in my sack. I remember a time that I could dance around this small rock pile with ease and pleasure, knowing I could scoop it up the moment I felt the need. It is now a massive pile of excuses that sits atop the platform of my purpose.

Every road I  take in life,leads me back to this sturdy pile. I try to do my best to carve other routes to happiness. However, nothing leads me to anything as truly fulfilling as the freedom of movement within the arena in which I was made to move.

Last night, my purpose beckoned me. Not sure why, but I gave into the gravity of its pull…I allowed myself to heave into the natural draw that ushers me closer and closer to true delight.  I was hoping not to run into the dreaded mountain, hoping it would have just disintegrated into the ground. However, with the first invigorating breathe, my reality (drunken with denial) was sobered. And the sight of the great mount flooded all my vision, and a deep sting began to rise up within me, reminding me of the gaping hole that is present in the core of my existence. Immediately a cold, hard, THICK wall of defense shot up, blinding my wet eyes. It acted like anesthesia, but was soon ineffective: a wall throbbing with bitterness and regret. Again, the revelation of the great mount cut through my fluttering eye lids. All I could do was churn and rage as I stood limp before my doom.

This stumbling block has got my finger prints all over it.

I can’t keep adding weight to the pile that suffocates my joy. I can’t keep doing this. Every road I take in life will always lead me here: This is my calling. This is what I was made to do. This is my avenue to The Source.

I’ve got to tear this immovable, rigid catastrophe down one stone at a time.

I miss my best friend.

His absence seems to magnify my awareness for the millions of tiny moments I take for granted when he’s home.

It’s almost paralyzing how foreign my home feels without him. The walls are stale and quiet. The furniture is cold. The bed pillows are scentless. There are no longer dishes to clean or food to buy. There are no crinkled up receipts scattered around the house for me to toss. There aren’t two or three pairs of Nike’s sitting out in the family room for me to return to the shoe closet. His beanies and hats are neatly stacked in their place, and dirty socks are no longer strewn across the bedroom floor. There hasn’t been any dried Rooster Sauce to scrub off our white plates. I haven’t had to hide the evidence of his candy indulgences in the middle of the night so he won’t remember the next morning. It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve pulled the coffee table out from being smashed so inconveniently up to couch.

The lack of these small things has rendered a small hole in my existence. Causing me to realize how often I view them negatively. I take these small moments of opportunity, and spoil their purpose by labeling them bitterly as inconveniences and hindrances. After all…what are these things keeping me from accomplishing? Sadly, my bitter response has been that these obstacles keep me from the goal of getting the house in order so I can create a space of peace for myself. How jarring to realize that much of my stress has been self-induced by my own standards of perfection. Oh how I’ve strayed so far from the passion of learning what pleases him, and seeking to indulge his wants and needs while dying to my own plan. For me, this is where my real peace and joy dwell. If Phil feels more at peace in our home when the coffee table is right up next to the couch, then I should be joyful to provide that. In fact, before he comes home…I am going to pull that thing flush with the couch so he doesn’t have to.

I want our home to be a place of rest and refuge for him…a place he runs to for encouragement and where he feels like he can be himself. A place he can’t wait to be.

“He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” – John 8:29

It is only when I am full of Christ, that I can serve Him and my husband with joy and a glad heart. This is where I am satisfied and discover fullness of life.

My story: past & present.

Nehemiah
9 verses 5-6; 15-21; 25-35

(personalized)

O may Your glorious name be blessed
And exalted above all blessing and praise!
You alone are the Lord.

You provided bread from heaven for my hunger
You brought forth water from a rock for me for my thirst

But I acted arrogantly
I became stubborn
And would not listen to Your commandments
I refused to listen
And did not remember Your wondrous deeds

But You are a God of forgiveness
Gracious and compassionate
Slow to anger
And abounding in lovingkindness
And You did not forsake me

Even when I made for myself a calf of molten metal
And said, “this is my God.”
And committed great blasphemies

You, in Your great compassion
did not forsake me in the wilderness

The pillar of cloud did not leave me by day to guide me on my way
Nor the pillar of fire by night, to light for me the way in which I was to go

You gave Your good Spirit to instruct me
Your manna You did not withhold from my mouth
And You gave me water for my thirst

Indeed, for years You provided for me in the wilderness
And I was not in want

My clothes did not wear out
Nor did my feet swell

So i ate
Was filled
And grew fat
And reveled in Your great goodness

But I became disobedient
And rebelled against You
And cast Your law behind my back
And killed Your people who admonished me so that I might return to You
And I committed great blasphemies

Therefore, You delivered me into the hand of my oppressors who oppressed me
But when I cried to You
In my time of distress
You heard from heaven
And according to Your great compassion
You gave me a deliverers
Who delivered me from my oppressors

But as soon as I had rest
I did evil again before You

Therefore, You abandoned me to the hand of my enemies
So that they ruled over me

When I cried again to You
You heard from heaven

And many times You rescued me
According to Your compassion
And admonished me
In order to turn me back to Your law

Yet I acted arrogantly
And did not listen to Your commandments
But sinned against Your ordinances
By which if a woman observes them, she shall live
And I turned a stubborn shoulder
And stiffened my neck
And would not listen

However, You bore with me
For many years
And admonished me
By Your Spirit
Yet I would not give ear
Therefore You gave me into the hand of my enemies

Nevertheless, in Your great compassion
You did not make an end of me
Or forsake me
For You are a gracious
And compassionate God.

Now therefore, Our God
The Great
The Mighty
And The Awesome God
Who keeps covenant
And lovingkindness
Do not let all the hardship seem insignificant before You
Which has come upon me

However, You are just in all that has come upon me
For You have dealt faithfully
But I have acted wickedly

For I have not kept Your law
Or paid attention to Your commandments
And Your admonitions with which You have admonished me
But I, in my own kingdom
With Your great goodness which You gave me
With the broad and rich land which you set before me
Did not serve You
Or turn from my evil deeds

Yet, You continue to provide bread from heaven for my hunger
You bring forth water from a rock for me for my thirst

O may Your glorious name be blessed
And exalted above all blessing and praise!
You alone are the Lord.