Thursday, April 18, 2024

Beauty for Ashes


It's been a week, and my emotions are a little less raw and in my face - or maybe better stated, ON my face. 

I'm still on my mat regularly.  Today, I can hear conversations happening around me.  Gratitude fills me. Beauty for ashes.  I can see it now.

I realize some of the gifts I have been given.  Some BIG gifts. When I'm in my feelings, I don't always see clearly what is right there in front of me. But, sometimes time and space gives us perspective.

Beauty for ashes.  The oil of joy in exchange for mourning.

Yes, please!  And thank You!

We're reminded to breathe. 

"Breath is always with you."

I will never leave nor forsake you.



"Take in what you need.

Let go of what you don't."

Flow. <tears do that sometimes - ask me how I know>

"Use your breath."

Emotions in.  

Emotions out.

"Open your heart."

Inhale: Humility

Exhale: Pride.

Inhale: Joy.

Exhale: Sadness.

Inhale: Strength.

Exhale: Fatigue.

We reach backwards over our heads.  I feel it in my chest and in my throat. Ah, we're opening up there too.

"Breathe. Take up space"



"Let your body be heavy."

A garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

Inhale: Thank You.

Exhale: Thank You.

I am aware that there are some ashes in my life where I don't yet see the beauty.

Then I realize: You must not be done.  Yet.

Inhale:  Thank You.

Exhale: Thank You.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Words from the (Yoga) Mat

Come to a comfortable seat.

Close your eyes.

Set an intention. (Balance)

Set an intention. (Flexibility) 

Set an intention. (Be present)

Set an intention. (Show up)

Set an intention. (Surrender)

Set an intention. (Surrender) 

Set an intention. (Surrender)

Take up space.


Let's connect.

This is hard.

Be still.

Be heavy.

Settle in.

Find your focus.  Find your balance.  Find your challenge.

Can you...?

If you want to...

Listen to your body.

Hands to the heart.

Relax your body.

Lead with your heart.

Lift up.

Let it go.


It's a beautiful thing. 

Find your drishti. 

What. Do. You. Need?


Thursday, April 11, 2024



Today would have been my 25th wedding anniversary.  Plot twist:  it's not.  It's just another day in April - but it is the day that I temporarily change my Facebook profile picture to the sweet moment before the wedding when my little brother wiped tears from my eyes with his tie.  I feel like that moment - perhaps the whole day - deserves acknowledgment in some small way. So the picture gets posted for a few hours.

The day was cool and rainy. Perfect.  Appropriate if nothing else.  Yet, I was grateful for a day to catch up. I found myself at home - indoors, singing aloud to a favorite song about His Blessing... to a thousand generations. I probably would have picked that song to include in the ceremony if it had existed back then.  But I digress...

It's been "a minute" since I've checked in here, and this isn't a story about my marriage.  It's a story about my walk.  

In the years since I've written last, I (We, technically) have built a porch, a garden, a greenhouse, an apiary and a life.  So much has changed and become new (yes!  It does spring forth, and I do perceive it!), and some things remain very much constant:  His presence, His provision, His care, His attention to details. His apparent love for just a hint of irony in my life.

And some things have come new... again. 

I'm back on my yoga mat regularly, and finding the Joy, presence, flexibility and challenge that yoga entails. It's once again a home - a safe place to explore and grow.  And Thursday nights are some of my favorite times on my mat.

As I was preparing to leave for class, I noticed the fish I'd ordered for my tiny-little-pond had arrived.  I opened the package and planned to drop them into the tiny-little-pond on my way out.  Plot twist: all dead. 

Now late leaving home, I rushed to the yoga studio, lay my mat in "my spot", and tried to be still in the few minutes before class.

Class started and we were instructed to close our eyes, and something else - honestly not sure what - and I thought "I am grateful for today".  And I am.  I'm grateful for the years, the experiences, the unanswered prayers. Grateful for freedom to choose and breathe deeply and trust that ultimately He will provide, and to experience "abundance" in a new way. And yet, a touch of mourning I'd been avoiding earlier was there as well.

We placed our hands - one on the abdomen, one on the chest - so we could feel the breath as it entered and exited our bodies. We were asked to notice what we felt. The instructor was talking about our breath.  I felt a warm tear roll down one cheek, and then the other.

"Dead fish.  Dead marriage.  Cute, God."  On my right hand, I quickly finger-spelled "i-r-o-n-y" (and briefly wondered the actual ASL sign for the word).

We were asked if we had any request for class:  poses, areas to focus on, etc.  Like young Harry Potter, as he sat under the Sorting Hat, shortly after arriving at Hogwarts, I thought "Not camel pose.  Not camel pose..."  immediately followed by a "not my will, but Yours be done".  I trust the place, the instructor, and His presence.  If the instructor feels lead to walk us through camel pose, so be it.  I could cry in front of these people. All good. (And nothing could be QUITE as spectacular as the post-camel cry I experienced early in my yoga years, as I was walking thru my divorce.  If I survived THAT - bring it on!)

I wiped my tears as surreptitiously as I could. We moved on.  Sitting on our shins and heels, stretching the quads. Leaning back, raise the hips...

"Holy hell.  We're gonna do camel...

And yet, we didn't. We did camel-LIKE postures: all heart and shoulder openers. Again on my hand "i-r-o-n-y".

Then warriors and balances, and some lovely flowing sequences made up of warriors and balances. 

I glanced at my watch - noted that time was nearly up. And then I hear: "Next, we're going to do camel..."

I couldn't help myself.  I looked up and to the right - the traditional position for God's presence from my interpreting days, and off of my right hand (and face), I signed "REALLY‽ "


And we did. I reached back, found my heels and kept my thighs as upright as possible.  Camel. Done. Without a tear.

Then into child's pose - where I met a giggle.  It's the "new thing" in my yoga practice these days:  giggles. Where I once shed tears and found less sadness, I now experience giggles and find more Joy.

Finally savasana: corpse pose - where one lays still as the dead (and my brain takes up the slack for the ever-so-quiet body).  "I am grateful for this day".  Tears again ran down my face and now into my ears. "Irony", I thought. He has made a way in the wilderness of my life.  And rivers in the desert, I suppose. My life feels lush and green, though, so....

And then another giggle with the thought of my kid returning home to find the bottle of dead fish on the kitchen counter where I left them in my rush out the door. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

One Thing Remains

It has been a long, hard year.

Two kids in three different schools means lots of change, collaboration, uncertainty and flexibility.

Yet, in the midst of the whirlwind - of schedule and geographic adaptation (or not) - one thing has remained constant.


In the midst of the uncertainty, You are sure.

In the midst of the chaos, You are calm.

In the midst of my weakness, You are strong.

In the midst of my fear, You are hope.

In the midst of my frustration, You are peace.

In the midst of my sorrow, You are joy.

In the midst of it all, You are more.

None of this is too hard for You.

None of this surprises You.

And nothing You have done today is any different than what You have previously done for me, and for mine.

You continue to provide.

You continue to lead and to guide.

You continue to comfort.

You continue to call us forth.

And grateful am I,

for Your timing,

for Your presence,

and, for the people you have placed in our path - before we have needed them.  Always before we have needed them!

You lead me forward, and I come again, to the verse of so many years ago.

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen.  He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far, the Lord has helped us"  
~ 1 Samuel 7:12

Everything is different, yet nothing has changed.

Thank You, God.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

"I can't"

I had just finished reading my friend's blog, when I went out on the mower to cut the grass.  For some reason, God uses these opportunities to speak to me - perhaps it's  because I can't quickly escape, or the task is fairly routine, or the hum of the car and mower engine are there to soothe me.... probably the first, but who knows for sure.... it's on the list of questions to ask when I get there....

So, after reading my friend's blog (which I'd highly recommend), on letting God be God, (titled Let Me Be ) and taking a few passes around the yard with the music playing, I began to recall all the times I have said "I can't" recently.

"I can't possibly do what You have asked"

"I can't possibly ask that question!"

"I can't.....I'm afraid"

"I can't....I don't know how"

"I can't....I will cry"

"I can't...."

"I can't...."

"I can't...."

And, then, very quietly, above the sound of the mower and of the music in my ears, I hear:

"I'm not asking you to.  I'm asking you to stop saying "I can't",  and let me..."

Sunday, June 2, 2013

God Loves Me Soooooo Crazy-Much!

I can't even begin to describe it....but I want to preserve it, so here goes nothin'! 

It's my feeble attempt to capture the Love of God in the written word....<ha! Good luck with that!>


This morning, I headed to church. 

It wasn't my "home church"- but a friend's church.  On my calendar, I had planned to make the early evening service, but wasn't sure I'd be done at camp in time.  The service at my "home church" wouldn't get me TO camp in time, so up I got and headed further down the road to worship where time would allow...(at least in the morning...and perhaps again in the evening...)

That was MY plan...

So there I sat.  Singing, listening, and visualizing the ASL signs in my head (one day, they may fly off my hands there....but not today).

God met me there <of course He did!>. There, He spoke to me - through the words of scripture, and through the words of men.  Through the music itself, and through the words of a song. <naturally!>.

They even played the song that has been speaking to me, and "calling" to me. <of course they did!> The same song I sing as a prayer - that He will continue to "call me out upon the waters"... 

"Where feet may fail".  

In my head, the signs for that phrase come out "depend myself can't".  Yeah.  That.  

Where He calls these days, I can't go on my own.  MY feet WILL fail.

And then come the other songs that also speak to me....the lyric phrase that randomly came into my head last week...yeah, that song.  The phrase that I wrote just minutes before as I collected my thoughts.  And the one that reminds me, "it is well with my soul".  Yeah, that one, too.

And, so, the service ends, and I prepare to leave.   And I knew, "NO WAY" could I come back that night....  no. way. 

There's only so much "growing" and "stretching" a girl can do in a day.  Only so much insight and facing "that" that can happen (within my comfort zone).

As I start my car, my phone auto-connects to the car's bluetooth, and the music starts itself playing through the speakers:  "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever You may call me".  <oh yeah, like back to the chair, where You will speak to me some more, challenge me some more, stretch me some more....LOVE me some more....> 

I'm <a little> afraid at the thought <of having to trust outside the borders of my (little) comfort zone>.

There, in my head, the signs fly, "depend myself can't". <bam. convicted>.

I recall the picture I recently "share"d on Facebook - "Don't ask Him to lead you, if you're not willing to move your feet". <bam. convicted>

The song continues, "take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will become stronger, in the presence of my Saviour". <bam. convicted>

Ok. Ok.  I'll move my feet!  

God willing (literally), I'll go....I'll go.  "To whichever evening service Your timing will allow."

And so, I ended up being at the later <prayer> gathering.

Somehow, <by the Grace of God>, I made it into the building without a full-blown panic attack.

I climbed the stairs to the upper room.  <One. Step. At. A. Time.>

I grabbed a chair, but ended up sitting on the floor <my preference>....

against a strong, tree-like post, in this beautiful upper room....

with brick walls.....

and (old) hardwood floors....

and big windows.....

with the sun setting through them.....

and candles lit in the sills.....

and candles in lanterns along the floor....

and a wrought iron chandelier.... <does God know me, or what?!>

And people -young people- praising, and worshipping, and reading scripture, and praying for the city just outside the windows. <Hope embodied!>

And I sang, and I prayed.  And I laughed at the lengths He will go to reach me - to get me <literally> "on my knees".  

And it was beautiful....

amazingly beautiful.   

The series of songs that ended the gathering, touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes....

He answers our prayers, in His time and in His way....of that I am very aware..... <even the "trivial" ones>

<Trust Him, Linda....Trust. "Without borders">

And where He calls us, He equips us, and He meets us.  Sweetly and tenderly.  

And He heals hearts <in His time and in His way>.... Hosannah!

And interwoven throughout the entire experience, <aka: my entire life!>

Is the undeniable fact that....

God loves me .... 

Sooo crazy-much!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

An Invitation to Dance

I wonder how I can go through my life, day after day, without noticing.  And then, all of a sudden, something that I have seen before, and apparently overlooked, is so breathtaking, it captures my complete attention. I can't NOT look.

I wonder if sometimes it takes a little dreariness to see what's been there all along, inviting me to experience life to the fullest. Honestly, I think they wait for just the right moment to call to me. Those moments when my heart and my head are in perfect position to see and to hear and to feel...

If that is the case, then today's experience makes complete sense....

It was an overcast day. The rain had ceased, but the sun had yet to break through the cloud covering.  I was feeling a little "overcast" as well....or is it overwhelmed?  Either way, my schedule for the day had changed, so rather than being a little "caught up", I was feeling significantly "farther behind".

As I drove,  I considered timing, to do's and deadlines and the "urgencies" that crept ever closer.  My breath shallowed as a bit of dread crept in.

I began to think of the Joys in my life, and of love.  I remembered my status from the morning - "Love is about open arms..."  And then, how that sentence ends.  I shift to gratitude for those people and situations who have helped pry my arms free of myself.... but still, I can't shake the feeling that I'll never get caught up enough to really be still.

I click "play" on my phone, to hear the remainder of today's daily bible reading:  Mark 14.  One of my favorite scenes - the woman, anointing Jesus with her "alabaster flask of pure nard".  Something about her deep love and her intuitive knowing always touches my heart. "She has done a beautiful thing for me".  My heart longs to do the same....

And then, I notice the trees.  I have been watching them lately - the big, empty-leaved ones.  The ones that are JUST BEGINNING to show a tinge of red at the tips of their branches.  I've noticed that if I let my gaze be just out of focus as I am driving along, they are covered in a reddish hue.  They are preparing to bud.  Spring is coming.  SOON!

"Behold, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs forth; do you not perceive it?"  Yes, Lord, I DO perceive it....  I see what you are doing with the earth, I see what you are doing in the lives of my friends, and I feel what you are doing within me.

I have managed to slow down enough to catch the very beginning of this springtime!  YES!  (I love that!) I long to savor the moments and catch the subtleties of the changing seasons.

But, as I drive the familiar road through the rural countryside, it is not the leafless budding trees I notice.  It is the ones that DO have leaves - still holding tight to their autumn colors..  Leaves that appear golden yellow, or a shimmering white.  There they are, scattered amid the taller trees.  All throughout the forest, they stand with open arms inviting me to dance!

And oh how I wish I could!

Perhaps one day, I will remember my boots....

And one day - if you're driving that road, and you see a woman swirling and spinning among the trees - it's just me... 

accepting His invitation...