-I clicked on my MessyJoyfull blog for the first time in a couple weeks, and was greeted with a Happy Anniversary! So it’s today, I had thought it was coming up soon, and here it is! So to celebrate my blogoversary I decided to take it easy and repost my very first post on Messy Joyfull. Thank you for reading one, two or all of these posts, this is one of my favorite places to be☕️.
I had a blog already, actually two, on a different site, from a different time. I’d given up to tell the truth. The first blog was for business, and I learned that I loved writing that way. I’ve never been conventional, so having a (blog)spot to write what I wanted in my own way, that was liberating.
The second blog, it was an attempt to move on from my first foray into the blogosphere, which being so overhwelmingly large it scared me a bit. Actually a lot.
You see, on the second blog, I was completely free to write from my own perspective, without editing for business, for who was reading, or for what I needed to be very careful of: expressing anything too edgy or crazy. It was hard and painful. I wrote haltingly, still trying to figure out who I was after I gave up my business, my identity. And what in the world I was going to do next.
Eventually during that year-ish period of time, I fell into a deep, dark place, and when it swallowed me, I had no words left to write. So I gave up.
Now, I have unwittingly started a new blog. That’s not to say I haven’t been jonesing to write, itching to get the words out of my head and onto~somewhere for the past half a year. I’m not a super disciplined, scheduled, productive sort of creator. I like to think that I am, however the past year has taught me to take a real look and embrace who I am, not who I think I am supposed to be.
All this to say, I put off doing what I really wanted to do because. I’m scared. You know how when you love something or someone with all of your being how it can make you mind-blowingly panic-stricken to express it?
The way I started writing this, today, at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night, doesn’t really surprise me in retrospect.
During the past week I hung out at a summer camp, a phenomenal one at that. I really needed to be there to make sure my eleven year old son had safe food to eat for twenty meals, without burdening an entire camp staff. He has two categories of life threatening food allergies and three others that are still high enough to cause a bad reaction. So all the while getting ready, purchasing, packing, and planning, I assumed I was going there to help him, and then in my free time help everyone else there.
Cue the music, this is where I would find out that I was completely wrong. Wrong about my good intentions and assumptions, again. In the back of my brain, I knew I was burying some painful stuff under the “very important and big project” I was taking on. But that’s the thing about burying, you can forget where you tried to hide it.
What happened? I found myself, not for the first time in my life, or year, stunned by God’s grace and mercy. There is no way I could have held it together under the incredible barrage of goodness, love, joy, peace, caring, and kindness that assaulted me while I was there. There are times God works His truth into me gently, and I get it right away. But that’s when I’m transparent and open, and I was not both of those when I arrived at camp.
I cannot condense a powerful week into a paragraph, I’m not sure that I need to yet. What I do know is this. God used every weapon in his arsenal to convince me that I am of worth.
Regardless. Without condition. And if you have ever truly felt that, even for a fleeting moment, really sensed your value to the Creator, then you know that it is about much more than just self-confidence, or purpose, or an item checked off of a very unattainable “be a good Christian” list.
Just about an hour after leaving camp, turning onto the last major street that makes it way to my neighborhood, I started crying. A deep welling up from everywhere, can’t hold back the tears cry. I tried to do it silently, since my son was in the back seat, ready to be home, already please! As I put the van into park, I told my husband that I needed a minute. And then the rains fell. I just cried it all out. While putting the food away. And showering the lake out of my hair. Then, while trying to journal all the moments from the week that God gifted me with. I fell asleep at 6:30 and slept until dawn, held in the arms of my Father.
Am I all fixed up? Is everything back to “normal”? No way. I’m not even sure where to begin sorting out the pile of emotional debris that appeared after my walls crumbled into dust.
The transition from awesomeland to home wiped me. I was whole body tired today. It was a good pajama day. But restlessness joined the party by mid-afternoon, and knowing my son was missing camp too (another gift), I told my husband that my son and I needed to be by water and trees, with our dog.
That time was the healing balm to my day. The rushing river drowned out the pressing voices of my emotional to-do list. The trees gave my heart shelter, in a way that no house can. Seeing our dog and boys play in the river brought laughter back to my lips.
So, how did I end up here, making up a new blog name and writing a post?
During the week at camp, I was super gifted with new and new again friendships, so I agreed to get back on Facebook to be able to continue to connect. As checking Facebook goes, I started reading a WordPress blog that found written by one of those friends. I didn’t even know it existed, and it’s really good. All I wanted to do was press the teeny, tiny star “like” button on a couple of the posts, which I couldn’t do seemingly, without becoming a WordPress girl. Technology and I have a difficult relationship, so I figured I was motivated when I continued to press on, despite many do-overs and then, an ill-timed thunderstorm and power outage…
What had seemed like a quick storm turned into a hail throwing, rain driving, wind gusting thunderstorm that left most of Spokane, especially the north side, again, with a forest of pine trees down and without power for the second time in as many weeks. I’m starting to think we live in the epicenter of some major ancient storm meeting place. Thankful I hadn’t the energy to unpack, I pulled out my flashlight and reading light, and went to sleep early. Kind of like being on camp time.
I woke to the pale light of dawn (I know, I’m becoming so in tune with nature now, right?), disoriented without the sounds of modernity humming all around, and by 8 a.m. I found my way back to this place to finish what I started.
Which I actually didn’t finish until now, almost 12 hours later. Power is back on, all systems go. In the made up stories in my head, this week and last two days are not what I had drafted. I’m not sure I even remember where I was going, but God has used all of this (seeming) unpredictability to get my attention.
I can’t pretend to even guess at the extraordinary ways or hows that God works to speak to my heart. I just know that He does. And if He speaks to me, and gets my attention through all the noise, then I know He does to all of us.
The miracle? The lengths that He will go to make sure we hear.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? where can I flee from your presence?”~Psalm 139