Still or Stuck?

You know when you get one of those ideas that you wonder where it came from, all the while knowing EXACTLY where it came from!

A few hours ago was one of those moments…

I was in my constant wrestling place of being still.  Not that I don’t love a good afternoon nap or to delve into a good book or movie, but I’m not talking about the entertainment times.  I’m talking about those intentional, meditative, introspective, examination, quiet your mind and focus on God times.

Being still for me is just plain hard.  But not the hardest place.

That spot belongs to being stuck.

You see stuck for me is a funny place as it often is a result of those being still times. Being still is scary, out of control, restless and seemingly unproductive.  And when you thrive on productivity that is a problem.  But worse than that is the fact that the stillness can breed a complacent, lazy attitude in me.  Not a pretty posture for this girl.

So I have found myself stuck lately.  Not for lack of anything to do, but for lack of knowing what is next.

You see stuck for me is a result of a place of fear…of the unknown, of making a mistake, of letting go, of what others think, of not having what it takes.  So stuck is a safe place because I make no life altering decisions there.  I just remain paralyzed and deadened but the fear…Stuck…

Yet isn’t it funny that a safe place can also be a place of danger…a crazy paradox of life.

So I can stand still in that stuck place, go through the same routine, do the same things, react in the same way, yet desire a different outcome…the definition of insanity!  There is the place of danger.  Stuck can create a false security that lulls you in to comfort and then slowly erodes all the hopes and dreams of the future.  Sure there are things being accomplished, but what about those God-sized dreams?  Those impossible dreams that will tend to occupy your dreams and keep you awake all at the same time!  In that stuck place those mountains of dreams become unattainable and eventually robbed from me.  An inside job, if you will, to rob my soul of the very thing it cries out for…something more, something beyond myself.

There is a adage based on a biblical principle that says:

“An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”

When something is idle it is not moving, perhaps stuck.  One can surmise then that when one is not moving, there is much time for the enemy of our soul to be at work. There is the danger of a stuck soul. Idling until we just run out of gas.

Stillness…well it is not the same.  One can move forward from a position of stillness…that is a stillness of your soul… your mind, will and emotions.  For most of us, especially women, this is a daunting task.  Efforts to please everyone, live up to expectations and “do it all” can result in stuck.  There is lots of motion in stuck but never going anywhere.  Again stuck appears safe maybe even productive on the outside…but something is dying on the inside.

Without a challenge, without some resistance there will never be any true growth.  Growth is motion and true growth in your soul requires a stillness.  Again a paradox but truth tells us things grow best in quiet, still places.

So let me challenge you today…get still, even for a little while.  Listen quietly to the cry of your soul.  Breathe…count your breaths and be thankful for every one.  Realize your are wonderfully made and possess a soul that is beautiful.  And from that place be thankful, for your breath, for your easy days and hard days, and for being the wonderful you that you are.  Believe it, speak it, rest in it.  And begin to dream a little…baby steps…that’s all it takes.

And I believe that in that stillness, past the uncomfortable and awkward and maybe a little scary, there you will begin to get “unstuck” and realize there is really more!

Bless your Soulife….Dee


Retrospect and Redemption

Lessons from a puppy…

  1.  There is always time for play
  2. Love is unconditional
  3. No destruction is intentional, nor is it beyond repair

When I looked at the little shreds of paper my heart broke…

Those were my thoughts, promises, words for a destiny beyond myself…now in many tiny pieces.

Anger, yes.

Frustration, yes.

Frantic piecing back together, yes.

Finally, the realization that this task was going to take longer than intended came and that a ziploc bag now housed the contents of hopes, dreams and what I was sure was the directive for my future.

All a mess in a matter of minutes.

Then I turn to look and there are those sweet, unconditional puppy eyes staring at me, from a face encased between two paws in a posture of sorrow.  Uncondiitonally loving me even when I had yelled and scolded and threatened in my frustration.

That was more than a month ago, on the heels of the most catastrophic event of my life thus far.  I was certain I couldn’t take any more.  So that baggie just was tucked away as I was certain that all those hopes and dreams were shattered.

But funny the way life works and how the orchestration of God trumps our best laid plans.

Death of one things is sometimes the entrance to life in the next.  One things sometimes must be destroyed to allow a new thing to be built.

So I stare at that ziploc baggie full of pieces.

How quickly we all can see our life, hopes, dreams and aspirations reduced to a baggie.  So where does one go from here?  How long will we stare at the baggie?  How long will we fear opening it up, pouring out the shattered pieces and really examine what it contains?

So I did…

And what I found was that I had two choices:

  1. Try to piece the ripped edges, wrinkled and destroyed text back together, while always seeing the holes and now unrecognizable parts.
  2. Create a mosaic

Such a strange word…mosaic

It sounds so profound and creative when really it is nothing but shattered pieces of many times discarded things rearranged and oft times added to so as to create something brilliantly new!

That was it.

Those aspirations, dreams, words spoken were simply that…pieces of a bigger picture yet not the whole picture.

So in retrospect there is redemption.  A looking back at what has been and a buying back of what is needed for the next place, the new vision.  A place of examining falls and failures, misalignments and my own misguided attempts and learning.

Not comfortable but yet there is comfort in knowing there were lessons learned and that equals growth.  Growth for the next place, growth for the new vision.

And there is redemption…salvation, atonement, deliverance, freedom, justification, purification and a ransom paid.  And there lies the lesson in the baggie…

Retrospect does not mean regret, retrospect actually points us toward redemption.  To leave all those shattered pieces in the baggie means to stay angry, bitter, to weep over the loss and to blame the cause of it.  But to take them out, look at them in their shattered state and then take the lesson from each piece is to create a pathway to freedom and the place where a new vision, albeit incorporating pieces of the old, is created.

Puppies…never blaming, always forgiving, unconditionally loving and full of joy.  What can appear to be an instrument of destruction is a blessing in disguise.  Much like Jesus…in death there was redemption…and here life begins again…

“…All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul…” Joshua 1 (Message)

What will your mosaic look like as your soul is redeemed?