Safety and Risk

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Safety and Risk
Opposite words that go powerfully together
It’s not security and danger
Or, protection and peril
But, safety and risk
The safer I am
The more I’m willing to risk
Isn’t that crazy
Thinking relationally, that makes sense
The safer I am in my relationships
The more willing I am to be my true self
That’s risk
I’m not the brave kind of soul that can say
I don’t care what you think
I do care
I care a lot
Which is both healthy and unhealthy
But in pairing these two words together
I find strength

HUGS!

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HUGS!

I love hugs.

The other day, at work, something unusual happened. I experienced three hugs all before 11am! Later that day, I was a bit more aware that I was having a “good” day.  As I reflected on my day, I wondered – was it because of the hugs?

Initially, that seems like an absurd thing to think about.  Work is work.  My days are full of all sorts of tasks. Most of them last minute, which is so frustrating.  As that day unfolded, the style of my day didn’t get any better. It was a typical day. Work. Scramble. Task, task, task. Could it be that those three interactions really did make a difference?

If you know me, even a little bit, you know that I am extremely relational, even though I am ½ introvert and ½ extrovert.  I love people.  On this particular day at the office, each of these moments involved a heart-felt conversation that went below the surface of the daily superficial conversation that goes like this:  “How are you?” “Fine” “Great, see you later”.

Could it be?

Could it be that a brief but sincere moment of relational heart-to-heart goodness made a difference?

What if HUGS could be defined as:

  • Hope &
  • Understanding
  • Give
  • Support

Just a thought…

It’s Nice Growing Old(er) Together

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We have no idea how old we are!

We really don’t keep track of such trivial things,

Until my knee pops and I stretch it and then you yell, “Omaha!”

And, oh how we laugh.

 

Like the other night when we were reminiscing about how long we’ve known someone.

What age were we when we met them?

We both subtracted their current age from our current age and came up with 21 for you and 17 for me.

And we were like – what?

We weren’t even married then!

And, oh how we laughed.

 

I love running to greet you at the door when you come home from work.

Well, ok, we both know running is a stretch.

How about I love doing a short sprint to greet you at the door when you come home from work!

 

We’ve got so many memories together.

  • You proposing to me…twice!
  • Me saying yes both times.
  • Three yellow VW Beetles
  • The stainless steel bathroom on Nantucket, in winter!
  • Fish jumping
  • Napa Valley and our California adventures
  • The Lake House
  • When you surprised me with our fire pit
  • The many nights by our fire pit with each other and with friends

 

We met when you were 19 and I was 15, when there was no dating!

We started dating at 25 and 21.

We got married at 26 and 22.

 

It is nice growing old(er) with you.

It is secure.

It is happy.

And, oh how we laugh together, every…single…day

 

Our lives are full of love.

Love for God.

Love for our friends.

Love for one another.

Advent, the Gift of Simplicity

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Our little Vineyard Church is full of powerful men and women. We love deeply and we really are one another’s champions.

Here is a link to our Advent Writings. So many of my friends will write posts for this Advent Season. Today is only Day 2, so feel free to either follow us or check this link for my other amazing writer friends:  https://thevineyardadvent.com to read as the season progresses.

My post is on Simplicity.

Simplicity needs to encompass my soul while I am at work, and for the rest of my days.

Challenge accepted!

Hope this encourages you.

Much love to you!

Your friend,

Delana

 

 

Keep Swimming

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Well, it’s certainly been a while since I posted something. Life has been so crazy! There’s been so much that has happened, and I didn’t want to whine, so I just kept swimming.

HOPE pizapThrough all of the ups and downs, David and I have remained. We have one heart and it is in tact.

Here is some of the stuff:

May – Sept. 2016:  David’s jeep broke down. He fixed it.  David’s jeep broke down. Decided to take it to the shop.  My car broke down on the same weekend.  Friends came to our rescue and loaned us a car!!!!  David opted to fix his jeep and we took my car in.  Taking my car in was a monthly $$$ occurrence from May through Sept.  We are currently committed to paying off that debt before we investigate getting me a new-to-us set of wheels, but sadly that time is quickly approaching.

June 2016: David got a concussion.  Too long of a story but he keeled over on one of those blistering hot Saturdays while he was working for his BBQ grill cleaning business.  Check out http://IndyBBQgrillcleaning.com.  It took David until Sept. to really begin to function well. You can also find his page on facebook as Indy BBQ Grill Cleaning.

July 2016: Celebrated 34 years of marriage!  Brightspot!!!

Sept. 2016: I was told my job would be reduced to part time, no benefits.  WHAT!?  I’d been there almost 10 years!  Went on scheduled vacation after that news, because if we cancelled that vaca we would have given in to fear. Going away was a miracle cure for our hearts. Went back to work and found out they made a mistake and gave me my job back!

October 2016:  Don’t remember it. Not because I’m old and just celebrated a birthday but because it went by too fast! But I did celebrate my birthday with some dear friends and got my love-tank filled!

Now we are in to November.

What conclusions have I come to after walking through those months of stress?

The Love of God is my strength.

Jesus is my only Source for anything and everything.

David is my everlasting soul-mate and eternal best friend.

I need my friends.

I can’t control anything. None of us can. If we try to do that, we only make things  worse for ourselves internally. 

I may want to isolate but I need my friends.

Don’t waste time by being sad, whiny, isolated. None of that is helpful. Go to the Source.

Breathe.

Sleep.

Drink good wine.

Take time for myself and for us as a couple.

Laugh.

And, finally, keep swimming. 

 

 

 

Guest Blogger … Our Summer

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Guest Blogger … Our Summer

Well, our Summer has not been a fun one.  My darling little 2000 VW Beetle has been in the shop so many times.  With each repair, we think THAT’S GOT TO BE IT!  We think, okay, we’ll start to look for a replacement vehicle.  And, it seems that is not going to happen because the repairs keep coming faster and faster and we can’t seem to get ahead. So, now – as of this moment, we have her back from the shop and we are committed to paying off all these repairs and then looking for another car for me.  Sigh.  Can’t have a car payment and debt payment.
David recently wrote what I’m about to post here.  Guest blogger!  He’s a very smart guy, my friend, my husband!  But, for him to get to this place to actually talk about his feelings, well, it sums it up – this has been one doozey of a Summer!

“Are you a Waffle or are you a Pancake? Say what…?”

When it comes to life, emotions and such things, I often make the comparison between waffles and pancakes. I am a waffle. Delana is a pancake. Think about it. If you pour syrup onto a waffle, it can pool up in each individual square if you want it to and the syrup can stay neatly contained until you cut into it, or overfill the squares. Just like my emotions, I often compartmentalize.

With a pancake, on the other hand, the syrup spreads all over and there is no stopping it. This is Delana.

That is a way of describing how we live out our lives. Everything is affected here, because of there. Syrup = life. Waffle = compartments. Pancake = free flow surface. I compartmentalize and for Delana, it all runs together.

This summer has been a time where it appears waffles and pancakes have been served up every day.

Here’s just a brief run down of our events. Both vehicles in the shop with one still not correct and going back in. Costly in both dollars and emotions. TV got fried in a storm. Microwave died. Dehumidifier and basement fan both dead and we are now wondering about high moisture in the basement. To add a little fun to the mix, I even had a concussion and have been told I have pre-diabetes symptoms, due to the meds from my kidney transplant.

My waffle is now full of syrup and looks like tiny little pools of sticky but messy goodness. Thankfully, my foundation for life is so solid but I think I want an omelet for breakfast tomorrow instead!”

We’ve lived through kidney failure, and more and we’ll get through this!  God is good even in the midst of all this added pressure.  He is our Source!

Allelon … A Poem

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Our Pastor, my friend, has been speaking on a series he calls Allelon.  Allelon, is a Greek word for One Another…or something like that.  Relationships, community, people.

This has been a very encouraging series and it got me to thinking about the struggles we’ve had with one another’s in our past. My journey of trusting people is what this blog has been about for the last four years.

So, I wrote this poem.

I hope you find it encouraging.

Allelon: Walking with One Another

All this talk of One Another’s involves risk.
They say risk is spelled R-I-S-K, which we associate with FAITH.
I suppose all this One Another talk also requires faith.
However, faith in people has often caused us pain.
Simply because pain comes so easily.
How many of us have been hurt by those in the church?
So many of us have walked away from the face of God that shows up in Community.
Risk = Faith
But not necessarily faith in people, but faith in the One Who Loves Us Most.
God.
Faith that if we do get hurt in this risky business of Community,
We partner with the knowledge of the true nature of God.
That He can,
That He will,
And that He longs to heal us of any brokenness we encounter,
As we learn to walk with One Another in grace and in Love,
Let this be our prayer.
Father God, I agree to walk with You
And the One Another’s You have brought across my path.
May I not cause pain.
And when I encounter pain,
May I offer grace, forgiveness and then
Give You my heart for more healing
And continue on
Seeking Your face
In Kingdom Community.

Muchness!

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“You used to be much more…Muchier.”

 You’ve lost your Muchness.”

The Mad Hatter to Alice

Alice in Wonderland

A few years ago, the movie Alice in Wonderland came out. I was really looking forward to that movie. When I was a little girl, I was fascinated by the story of a little girl who fell through a rabbit hole and encountered an entirely new world.  Maybe back in the day I had the beginnings of being adventurous but the responsibilities that I encountered on the road to adulthood put a stop to the thoughts of such silly shenanigans.

Recently, I saw this quote about “Muchness” from the movie.  The Mad Hatter is speaking to Alice and he says, “You used to be much more…muchier.  You’ve lost your muchness.”  And you know, quite honestly, I think I have, too!

Have you seen this movie?  Alice spends her time fighting off who people say she is.  They all know her from her previous adventures in Wonderland, of which she has no recollection at all. They speak to her of the memories of her adventures, of their experiences with her and of who she is. Alice adamantly replies, “I am Alice, but not that Alice.” Her adventures, and the future, are all written down on the scroll of Wonderland and still, since she has no recollection, she does not realize that she has forgotten who she is.

How much so with us?

For me, I have not walked in my muchness in one particular area of my life.  I used to be much more muchier in this one situation than I am now.  I realize this.  So do others, but I can’t seem to get back to that place of confident, bold, muchness.  Try as I might, momentary victories in this place do not seem to last.  The pressure mounts, and it is simply easier to forgo the adventure of rising up and simply get through the day.  “I am Delana, but not that Delana.”

I’m confessing that I intend to see this one area of my life line up with all of the other areas!  So, here’s to regaining my muchness!

Grace…A New Definition!

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Grace…God’s grace…His unconditional love is poured out on us all the time, but why is it so hard for me to receive it?  I am so hard on myself! I don’t need to list out those self-condemning thoughts, because you probably have them too, so we don’t need to discuss the thoughts that can so quickly cause any of us to end up paralyzed in a deep, dark hole.

1 John 3:1, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”  However, due to life’s circumstances this can be difficult to grasp.  Sure, we all know this Scripture in theory, but how does it play out in our every day, everyday lives?

I find myself going back to 1 John 3 and 4.  In my Bible, I have an arrow going across the page from 1 John 3:19/20 over to 1 John 4:16.  For me, these verses will ever be connected together!  And, yes, of course, I write in my Bible.

1 John 3: 19/20 — “This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.”

Insert arrow.

1 John 4:16 — And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

Please join me in reading them consecutively.

This is how we know that we belong to the truth

and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence: 

If our hearts condemn us,

we know that God is greater than our hearts,

and He knows everything...

And so we know

and rely

on the love God has for us

God is love.

Whoever lives in love lives in God,

and God in them.” 

He knows everything! He knows the intent of our hearts!!! He knows we didn’t want to do whatever we did, or fall into the paralyzing dark hole that so easily traps us by life’s hurts and our thoughts. He knows that the intent of our heart is to love Him with everything we are.  He knows everything!  Therefore, we can KNOW and RELY on the LOVE that He has for us!  No matter what!

This is not about us “Doing” the right thing.  We can’t maintain that.  However, we can live out of our intimate relationship with Him and live a life of grace.  We will make mistakes. We will have victories. One doesn’t override the other!

The other day, as I was praying and trying to grasp the concept of GRACE, I asked the Lord.  “Okay, so what IS grace from YOUR perspective?  I hear people say it is God’s Richest at Christ’s Expense.  Lord, that has never set well in my spirit.  It makes me sad, actually.  Can You tell me what Grace is?”

Then I waited.

Here’s what I sensed in my spirit. These words were far outside my realm of brilliance, so they had to be an answer from the Lord.

“My Darling One, this is GRACE.  God’s Ridiculous Acceptance Covers Everything.”

I’m sure the sound that was heard in the heavens was the sound of my brain blowing up!  What?  THAT’S GRACE?

“Yes, Delana.  THAT is MY Grace poured out into you, in your every day, everyday life.”

You mean I don’t have to be perfect? I don’t have to beat myself up for my failures? I don’t have to strive for Your acceptance?  I can simply receive Your ridiculous acceptance and let that cover everything?

“Yes.”

Friend, as you read this, I pray that you will be able to let God’s Ridiculous Acceptance Cover Everything for your life, too!

A Summer Read — Walking Butterfly…the Book!

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Happy Blogiversary!  It’s been four years since I started journaling my metamorphosis. Due to the hurts of life, I had walled myself off in a cocoon of self-protection.  I can now, delightfully proclaim that I have shed those confining walls of self-protection and am learning to spread my wings and fly.  Sure, I still have incidences where, if I am not careful, I will end up caught in a butterfly net and captured, but I am learning to see those traps more quickly.

I’m going to use this post as a promotion for my friend Susie Klein. Susie – SURPRISE!  You didn’t know I was going to do this. Susie has written this powerful book called Walking Butterfly.  If you need a good summer read, this would be an excellent choice. Susie is a very good story-teller. I found myself pulled into the pages of her book and it was as if Susie was telling me about her life. I really didn’t want to finish the book because of that. These are ordinary experiences that Susie had with our extraordinary God, trying to sort out life, hurts, joys and things that make you want to go hide in a cave and never come out.  Ever.

First, I want to share a little bit about how Susie and I became friends.

We have AHHH-MAZING friends all over the planet.  If you are reading this, then chances are YOU are one of those people.  I’m pretty sure the only people who read these posts are people who love me.  Thank you!

Some our friends live in California.  They lived (and still do) in a realm of freedom that David and I had not known.  Anyway, some of you know them. Some of you ARE them!  It started with one friend, Byron and then, his power-house of a wife, Crystal.  They are the kind of people who love well.  Over the years, we would meet their friends. They are the kind of people who have really good friends.  If you are a friend of theirs, then you are a friend of ours, kind of thing.  That’s how our circle of friends extended out to California.

On one of our trips, I shared with Crystal that I wanted to meet Susie.  Susie and I had become friends on social media and that turned out to be a good match.  We are so very similar in how we process life, friends and the Kingdom of God.  I really, really wanted to meet her in person.  She was, well, rather legendary to me.  Susie, you are probably reading this and thinking – “Me, legendary? Have you been drinking?”

It was a Sunday morning and Crystal found Susie and we went to chat.  Something unusual happened in that intentional meeting.  I caught a glimpse of Susie’s heart, the love of God that gently and powerfully resided in her spirit and of His love for her.  I am not all that emotional and I began to cry.  Susie said she doesn’t friend people she doesn’t know on social media but she felt a sort of kinship with me so she broke her rule.  Yay us, Susie!  A true friendship was birthed.

One time I went out to visit and Susie and I had an entire day together in Napa Valley. Her incredibly generous husband (hubs) had a gift card to a swanky restaurant and we dined like the royal gals we are!  We had this day together to share, listen, cry, laugh and make memories together.

ANYWAY —- Walking Butterfly would be an excellent summer read.  Many of the experiences Susie shared, I understand. I have also known incredible amounts of healing, but this book took the isolation-sting out of many of those wounds. Wounds are universal.  And, the point of the book is that the vast love of God can, and does, flow into those wounds and makes us whole.  It is Susie’s story.  It is my story. I bet it is your story, too.

You can get this on Amazon.  Click here for more info. http://www.amazon.com/Walking-Butterfly-Comfy-Cocoon-Flying/dp/1523617624/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1464978459&sr=1-1&keywords=walking+butterflysusie book

And…thank YOU AHH-MAZING friend for reading and for being in my life!