Tag Archives: Purpose

We Walk On

11 Aug

I have an announcement to make: everybody feels like they are faking it.

We are all just along for the ride, and really have no clue what we are doing or where we are going. Even moments of confidence and accomplishment feel so short-lived.

Life comes at you the older you get, and parenthood adds a whole new dimension of responsibility and anxiety. These tiny human beings look at you with all the trust in their eyes because they don't know anything different. We are keeping them alive, shaping them, teaching them what love looks like. But even that we have no control over when it comes down to it.

The world is broken. People make choices and sometimes (often) choices are bad. The only thing you can do is let go and pray for the best.

Some intellects believe people of faith are weak, and actually, it's true. Only, we are ALL weak, and it's in the acknowledgment of it that we gain freedom. But the paradox of Christianity (and really all humanity) is we are also so strong. We are always pressing forward, overcoming adversity and bone-crushing sorrow. Always forging a new path. Always growing. Always making a way.

It's been in our DNA since the dawn of creation: build, create, reproduce, raise up, destroy the limits. Create civilizations, cultures, languages, inventions, art, of out seemingly nothing. Almost as if our blood was infused with the need for the New, the need to move forward, to make our lives and the world around us better.

And so we persevere. We battle the daily, hourly, voices telling us we will never be good enough and we keep living. We keep raising our kids, building a home, a new idea, a movement, a community. We keep ignoring the noise in our minds arguing the futility of it all, and we make something of our lives. We strive to create a better world for our children like our ancestors did. We use our minds and our hands. We discover and conquer. We bleed for a cause. We feel incredibly weak and extremely strong, we feel moments of stupidity and brilliance, love and rage, selfishness and compassion.

But we are human and there is so much grace for that.

If we are quiet and still, we can hear God among us, cheering us on:

You are loved. Give yourself grace.
Today is a gift.

And we walk on.

"You're a million years of work," said God and his angels with needle and thread. They kiss your head and said, "You're good, kid. You make us proud. So just give your best and the rest will come and we'll see you soon."

-Needle and Thread by Sleeping at Last

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Finding Myself In The Story

6 Dec

Sometimes I’d like to get lost in a crowd

Let the energy swell around me

Until I don’t feel separate

But a small part of a whole entity

I am tired of myself

Everything feels so personal

So internal

So stressful

So petty

I used to see the world differently

And I want to go back to that place

Back to the realization that nothing matters

But my unique contribution

But love

Like every step has meaning

Like no word is lost

Like I know everything matters

Like I can really change things

Change the world

Yes, change myself first

Yes, raise a family too

But what about that BIG thing?

What about my HARD thing that I must do?

What about pouring myself out

and out,

and out again

Once, a long time ago,

A teenage girl sat in her room alone and promised God and herself

Everything would be different

That no day would be wasted

That purpose would seep out of every pore

That she would be single-minded to the point of recklessness

Now she’s tired and feeling 30

And she buries her head in her hands

And thinks of all that’s lost

Then realizes nothing is

Because I don’t have to move mountains

All at once

Only a stone at a time

My promises don’t matter as much

As what’s been promised to me

I can change things

Brick by brick

Bird by bird

Word by word

I can change myself

(I have to believe what I am doing matters. I have to give this everything. I have to become someone else. I have to be me. I have to get lost in the story. I have to find myself there.)

So here I go…

Photo 315

This Morning’s Analysis

7 May

 

I came to the conclusion

while walking today

that the amount of effortlessly formed words

is directly linked

to the amount of time

spent under tall trees

allowing their safe branches to shelter me

 

I discovered

the desire to create

is fueled by the smells of green and growth

and staying indoors

is synonymous with

staying in my head

all locked up with man-made objects

nothing to provoke wonder

 

not like wandering

going

moving one foot in front of the other

down the block

or across the world

 

maybe it’s nature

returning to my roots

a scared child who found

freedom in the woods

 

maybe it’s the unfamiliar

fighting its way into the mundane

parts of my day

 

and maybe

it’s the need to be part of something more

than my tiny life

my several decades

my decisions and doubts

my dreams and desires

 

my panic that rises lately when I think

of all of this being over so fast

 

it’s why we conceive children

and build towers

why we write books we hope will last

It’s why we watch sunrises over mountains

and start causes to rescue the world

it’s why we live in communities

and go to football games and concerts

it’s why we get lost in throngs of people

and sit solitary facing crashing waves

it’s why we fall in love

 

we have to know

this reality isn’t just

reality

 

we have to know

what the trees know

 

we are part of an expansive, connected, beautiful universe

no life is separate

 

and so I suppose

my final

simple

conclusion is this:

to be happy

to be at peace

to live creatively

I must

get out of my house

get out of my head

and live

 

findpeace

A Brief Conversation with the Sun

5 Sep

“Good morning, world,” she said, letting a ray of sun on her face,

“Why I am here another day?”

She paused, letting questions shift and arrange priorities inside of her, putting off her daily routine to try to understand how to be human.

“To love,” the sun replied, realizing an answer from the world would be a little hard to hear because of the colorful noises, melting into each other. Besides, sometimes the world got a bit demanding, and he might  convince her to try to fix him.

She hadn’t been expecting an answer at all. The question was purely rhetorical.

But now that she had it, it warmed her, drawing out light between cracks of uncertainty and dusty corners of familiarity.

“To love,” she repeated, knowing that the tiny word held a billion galaxies full of meaning, that the world himself couldn’t even dare contain.

“Yes, to love,” The sun repeated for emphasis, rising higher in the sky at the energy that came from the proclamation, making sure his fingertips reached her, tickling her face.

He knew he was only a metaphor, his warmth a picture of what could happen on the inside of her, if she dared make this truth her purpose, if she believed this instead of focusing on the chaos the world would bring.

“To love,” she whispered, knowing beyond knowing that this was greater than any human heart, any world, greater even than the brilliant energy shining on her skin.

The sun smiled brighter. Now she got it.

Narcissistic Notes From My Seventeen-Year-Old Self

2 Nov

Most of the time I remember my teenage self as being super insecure, wanting to be anyone other than me.

Then I come across little gems like this:

I know that I have what it takes to be an author. I know I have what it takes to put  my name on New York Times bestseller. I don’t want to be an author, I want to be the best of the best. Ever. I wont settle for anything else. I have been thinking what does it take to write a best-selling novel? A totally original idea. No one wants to read about everything they have already heard a million times. I need a totally original idea. Something that has never even be thought up or dreamed of by anyone before. That is what will set me apart. I need completely original characters, completely original plot and setting. I need to write something that will grab at the reader’s heart, soul and mind, forcing them to stay up through late hours of the night just to read one more chapter. It need to have a crazy twisted plot that will leave them shocked in the end. I need to write something that will make the reader laugh and cry and stir up something deep inside them that changes the way they view themselves and the world around them forever. Lately I have been asking myself, “What does it take to think this up?” It takes an extraordinary imagination, a certain randomness. It takes a certain perspective on people. Further more, it takes a willingness and self-discipline to sit long hours at the computer writing and writing and living and breathing this story to make it come to life. I figure if I write enough, I am bound to come up with something sooner or later. Brooke Luby will be  written across the smooth cover of that certain book with the unknown title. I will do it.  Sometimes I will try to imitate a certain writer, thinking since THEY have a book published, THEY must be a truly great writer.  I need to learn to erase any writing style I have envied, any form I have been taught, then I will learn to think outside the box, then is when the true originality will flow and the 6 billion will see, feel , READ my soul but not completely grasp it because they can not. They may feel like they can relate, the may feel a connection, but there is one simple fact that will keep them from utterly grasping the words which they will soon all read- THEY ARE NOT ME.

Awkward!

I wrote that when I was seventeen, a few months before I graduated High School.

I admire my own inner tenacity, despite my “slight” narcissism and bad punctuation. (Which I, still struggle with: even though I’am super amazing! 😉 )

When I was packing to move a few months ago, I found a CD with the title scrawled in sharpie, “Writing & Stuff to Save.” It was a treasure trove of memories from my Senior year of High School; terrible half finished stories about suicidal teenagers, notes of advice to friends, and lots of really bad poetry. I had some good laughs. When I read the above statement, I giggled at how ridiculous it was, but I was also surprised at my boldness. Then I realized maybe I have lost something along the way.

Maybe in my desire to avoid pride, I’ve avoided seeing myself as the hero I am meant to be.

Maybe in my “maturing,” my attempts to see the world for what it is, I lower my expectations so I am not disappointed, putting to sleep the dreams of my childhood.

Sure, maybe that girl cared more about her name being out there then the beautiful and sacred process of writing , but she knew without a doubt what she was born to do.

At times I still know, but at times I let “practicalities” speak, damning voices of reason.

After all, I am 26 and I have no degree in literature. I’ve never even taken a college course. I still can’t spell. My grammar sucks. (As if you haven’t figure that out) I haven’t been published anywhere in print. Any attempts to be published have been rejected or ignored.

Of course, I haven’t tried that hard.

But right now I am working on an amazing book. I like to say that it’s one part retelling of a classic story, one part prophetic commentary on the church, and one part cookbook. It’s not my original idea, rather a collaborative effort that I am convinced came straight from God himself.

(Whoa, that’s a lofty statement. Not really. Even atheist artists will admit inspiration comes from something outside of their own minds, that they are simply willing vessels telling a greater story.)

So, this book may not make it to the New York Times Best Seller List, but at the end of the day I go to bed satisfied. I know despite the hard work, despite the times of not believing who God has made me to be, the times I participate in this awkward dance jumping between self-loathing and narcissism,

I am doing what I love.

I am living my dream, and it’s a gift to be able to do so.

So yes, maybe I can learn a thing or two from that funny seventeen year old still rattling around inside me somewhere, wanting desperately to fit in and stand out at the same time, really just wanting what we all want: to be loved and happy.

Maybe I can tell her she is ok, she will be loved, she will live an adventure.

She will write things like no one has ever written, simply because,

no one else is me.

“God’s Will” Doesn’t Tie Us Up

24 Sep

Christianity is a weird and awkward thing. The more I love Jesus and see who He really is the more I realize I want absolutely nothing to do with religion.

“Religion” literally means, “to bind or tie.”

I have returned to bondage over and over again in my life.
I have listened to the voice, and I have parroted the voice that says:

You are not praying enough.
You need to read (and translate and study and apply) the bible more to your life.
You need to give God more of your life.
You are not doing enough to meet the needs of the world.
You are not telling enough people about Jesus.
You need to make sure you avoid anything that looks sinful.
You need to give everything you have, not waste a single second, always be trying to become a better human being.

Sounds like good advice…..right?

In the past, it sure seemed like it. I used to give that advice to others when they struggled. I used to preach that advice, believe it, try to live up to it, but now the grace of God has revealed it for what it is: disgusting.

It adds links, one by one, to the heavy rusted chain around your neck, choking all life out.

When you grow up in the mindset that these things, listed above, are necessary to be “in”— to be loved, to be worthy to gain an eternal reward— it is hard to be released from those sort of shackles.

It feels safe inside the bondage of religion. It feels easier to try to be under the law and attempt to gain some sort of right-ness with God by the petty little things you do, but it is just worthless.

So worthless.

Then, to complicate things even more, I brought “THE WILL OF GOD”  (Duh, Dun DUHH! Pause for dramatic music) into the whole matter.

(Now, I cringe at that phrase, thinking how many lives have been ruined by attaching that label to a selfish, evil, or just plain lame decisions and events.)

As if it were not enough to try to avoid sin and “get closer” to God, I believed if I wasn’t close enough I wouldn’t be able to hear His voice and understand what he wants me to do with my life. Oh the pressure.

This is especially treacherous when you are eighteen and you have to have a complete life vision and plan from the LORD all laid out or you will end up a drifting loser and make all the mistakes your friends did, living some mediocre life in the suburbs with your eyes glued to the television and the world will end up dying because you did not fulfill your DESTINY.

Or, at least that is what I believed. Maybe I was crazy.

So I fasted, cried, read more books, sought consul from “more mature” Christians, prayed, and screamed:

“God just tell me what to DO!!”

I lived in fear that I’d marry the wrong person, have the wrong job (or be in the wrong ministry, because the thought of having a “normal” job sounded like suicide,) move to the wrong country, miss out COMPLETELY on God’s “perfect will” and waste my short life, ending on my death bed with regret. DUN DUN DUHHHHHH!

(All these thoughts were religious, returning me to bondage.)

The great irony is,

The will of God is simply that I live in freedom, in love, in Him.

It was never hidden until I was “good enough” to see it, it was always right there for me to see, my eyes were just closed.

I am so grateful for a God that rescues.

He wouldn’t let me stay in my chains playing with my filthy rags.  He gently led me to a place where I realized I had nothing.

I saw my neediness. I saw my failure. My own stinking humanity.

I saw the worthless and futility of it all.

I came to see I can’t do a thing, and that’s the point.

But there is a but.

“Then who can be saved?”

“With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible. “

Yes. Hallelujah. LIFE. This is the Good News.

There is no fear in that. There is no pressure. There is no condemnation. There is no “getting it wrong.”

As I my eyes have been opened to what is behind the veil that has been torn,

I see all things have already been done, all things are already mine, and it changes everything.

I don’t need to ask God what His will is, it’s right there! For me to start believing all that I have in Him.

Yet at times I still choose not to believe, to allow emotions and confusion to take place of the reality of His life in me. When I can’t see where I am going, when I don’t know where I am going to live or what I am going to do or how I am going to make it, I go back to my old cry, “God just tell me what to DO!!”

And then, I hear it, a  whisper:

“Here’s what to do- let me love you.
Stop trying.
Realize this is a gift, this life, this right-ness with me.
There is nothing but Grace, it is not a concept, it is ME.
I have given you all things.
There is nothing you can do to be closer to me, I am as close as your breath.
I will take you on this beautiful, wild adventure if you just stop trying to figure things out.
You don’t need to return to bondage by trying to be better, you never will be.
Let go of that.
Let me live through you.
Let me love in you and out of of you.
Then you will live in joy. You will not know guilt. You will be free from fear.
Your life will be abundant because it will be my life.
You will not look at your petty sin because you will look at me.
You will dream big and have the courage and motivation to follow those dreams.
You will not need to constantly stop and ask me which way to go, because you will know I am the way.
You will stop asking for answers and rest in my love.
You will stop asking for a plan and realize, this is the only plan- to know me and be known by me.
That is my will.”

 

*For a great biblical teaching on this, check out Andrew Farley’s Message Click on “Recent Messages” Then  “8-28-11- Finding God’s Will.”

Or e-mail me- writeeveryday@gmail.com and I’ll send it to you.

Also you should read a blog by Don Miller, because he is awesome.

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