Posts filed under heart-whispers

heart whispers :: story101 edition

Over the past nine weeks, I've been constantly moved and changed and inspired by the women in my Story101 course. I wanted to share with you some of their best writing - some from the course and some from their own hearts. These posts were written with vulnerability and bravery and pushed me to go deeper with my own words.

I wonder man of knowledge; did you know what those words would do? How they’d rip right through me and lay me bare? You didn’t know about my eating disorder, about the years of abuse I did to my body that have resulted in consequences I never expected, or how long I’ve struggled to accept this earthly vessel and call it good - Alex Headrick

It wasn’t until the box of tools that little eyes were captured by the lie. Shining, reflecting the light, almost beckoning her 11 year old grasp. It whispered sweet words of control and escape to a captive and imprisoned heart. It promised to deliver. It promised release.

Sharp edges. Pressed against the skin. Shattered innocence.

Claiming to be a friend, this monster took advantage of a confused and hurting little girl. He overstayed his welcome…

and she is still begging him to leave - Alison Luna

How can we advocate for the puppies... 
When human lives are being ripped open and plundered and bled out - Sarah Drinka
when i say i need to take a break, how will people respond?
it’s when i realize that  it doesn’t that i feel most free to say what the Spirit is moving in my life. and i say THAT, and feel like a poser, as if i’ve spent hours on end in prayer and meditation and had some special revelatory word from the Lord but this life gets lived in its moments, and my spirit intertwines with The Spirit moment-by-moment as i turn my face to the light. so. i am not a poser. i do not claim special revelation from God
(this time).
but this seems to be the journey i’m on, and he has been asking me to take courage and jump to the next step - Jamie Bonilla

This is the part I have decided is too much for you to know, church. The part I’m not sure you’ll still accept me after hearing. Although it seems you might be the one who ought to understand more than anyone - Erin Beth

I desired for you, my church family, to see my heart, the new heart I felt God transforming within me. If you would have come close you would have heard the rhythmic way it was beating. Or was it your heart you desired to hear beating within my chest?

 - Jen Upton

Once I finally identified my obstacle as Resistance, I could do the work. On Saturday, I stationed myself at my writing desk, put my seatbelt on, and resolved not to get up until it was done. I re-read my essay for the first time in nearly a year. I gave it a title. I wrote my bio. I put it all in an email and hit “send.”

I beat it. But God Almighty, send somebody to hold my hand - Anne Bogel
But that’s exactly why the truth of Jesus is so powerful — he didn’t come to teach us how to get it right. He came to be near and love us while we make mistakes - Hannah Ettinger

Of late, I have discovered this truth to be self-evident:  there are still  glass ceilings to be shattered in the garden I’m planted in - Christy McFerren

Why does feminism matter? Because I want to help create a world where rape is not a word - Brandy Walker

He chose her.

He commissioned her.

He gave her the privilege of delivering the very first Resurrection sermon.

To a room full of men.

There's much I'm not ready to say, but I can say this - Jesus is my favorite feminist - Deborah West

And conversations about feminism and the church are important to me because I hope that one day, my children (or more likely, grandchildren) will be able to learn and embrace this framework of justice and equality inside the church instead of outside of it. That for him or her, they won’t need a separate label of “feminist” to identify their commitment to examining their own privilege, speaking up for the oppressed, and pursuing justice and equality for everyone. My desire is that one day these things will be so naturally a part of their faith that they will be dumbfounded when they learn that grandma didn’t hear about these things in church. - Shaney Irene

I disagree and I have opinions, because in being for that large group who has left churchI am against the beliefs and practices that compelled them to leave. I’m against that which continues to isolate and alienate those who are gone.  I’m against the beliefs and practices that crush and invalidate those of us who are staying, but just barely - Caris Adel 

Don't let them silence your voice. You were given it by your Creator and He doesn't want you silent. Don't believe the lies. Say the things that you think about. Sing out the things that beat in your chest. Shout the things that break your heart - Brenna 

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Posted on March 23, 2013 and filed under heart-whispers.

heart whispers :: top posts of 2012

On the cusp of 2012, I remember feeling slightly overwhelmed and a little dizzy with everything I knew the year would hold. - Publishing my book. Finally.

- Adopting a child. Hopefully.

Now, on the edge of a new year, a part of me laughs at the suppositions I made and the twists this past year held. Sure. I published my book. But much of this story remains for another day and I'm still wading through a whole lot of things regarding putting yourself out there and trusting someone else with your words.

And well...we all know where the adoption went this year. I'm still hoping - still clinging to that mama-heart that beat to life this past year.

Regardless of disappointments and surprises, 2012 was a year of restoration in so many ways. I learned what it meant to {abide} and rest in His arms completely - even when everything was falling apart. And you see this tension push-and-pulling in my words from this past year. So, here they are :: my top posts from 2012.

And remember friends - He is always faithful. May my words be proof.

The Grooves of His Hand - look around you. it’s only two days into the new year and people everywhere are talking about forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. i don’t agree. if i’ve learned anything this year, it’s the opposite.

Aslan's Mane - i could picture Him, rallying the troops – fighting off these men – and holding the girl tight in his gaze until someone else arrived…i wonder if she in turn held tight to his mane.

A Letter to My Body - your feet lead you to walk like a giant – bold in love and justice. they know where to go. trust them. let them lead you. if they want to run – let them run. if they want to curl under russ’ embrace let them do that as well. and don’t ever apologize for a good pedicure. spoil yourself. even feet deserve the touch of love.

Dwelling with the Divine Madman - the God i’m beginning to know is a Madman. the God i’m falling in love with continually reveals to me it’s not what i do that captures His heart – it’s who i am.

An {anti}marketing movement - Imagine with me if you will :: people actually working on their art because they love it.

The day I held my words - when russ got home, he asked me where my book was – he wanted to hold it. he opened it, closed it, glanced at the cover and turned it over to read the back. his fingers brushed over my name on the spine. he looked at me and gave me the smile that drives me absolutely crazy and whispered these are your words. 

Her eyes held light - it’s weird to know she’s experiencing a moment all-together gut wrenching and holy and well…other and you can’t be there, holding her hand through it all. it’s weird to know there are others who are there, taking your space, holding her steady through the storm.

There is grace waiting - all i know is tonight, i cried while passing lines of cars waiting for chicken, and i almost didn’t tell you.

Write Like Everything Mattershelp me find my story. i woke up to this email this morning – one that declared this brave soul would love to start writing things that really matter. and i would say to this person :: write like everything matters. 

Ghosts of Hemingway and Stein -  looking around, something inside me stirred. the residual paint left behind from previous owners, chipped and piled on top of each other, captured my attention on the frame of the dining room. the door in the middle of the wall – chained shut, the curtain to the kitchen – blowing with the wind of the chef and other workers getting dinner ready. it was a discordant type of symphony. an opera of antique measures.

The ice pick. - I hear the Voice deep in my bones. “I’m here. I hear. I’m not scared or disappointed. I see your anger and join with you.” I start crying then – my hands flying up to my face to hide the emotion. It’s all a little unnerving. I feel vulnerable – seen. Russ is there to pick up the pieces, holding me close and kissing the crown of my head. I lean against his chest, letting the tears fall.

Say it Holy and Broken - But don’t give me checkpoints. Don’t give me bulleted lists and hollered beliefs. I want the quickening – the inspired – the fire in bones.

When Your Heart Knows - I’m just so tired of questions. I’m tired of dodging conversation because I don’t want to admit how scared I am in this moment – how much I want to channel a spoken-word poet and spit these emotions out-out-OUT in a rhythm that matches the pulsing in my chest because it hurts. It hurts, dammit.

Bartering Art for Fame - So here’s the thing :: this here blog? I howl here. And well, if you take a look at some of the more popular blogs focused on writing and getting your voice heard, there’s not much howling going on – there’s a lot of repeats. A lot of mimicking.

And that's it - my top posts from the year. What are your favorite posts from this year? Share them with me in the comments? 

Posted on December 29, 2012 and filed under heart-whispers.

heart whispers for the week of December 10

It's been one of the things I've missed most in writing almost daily :: the constant vigilant looking-out for those words that bring life. And so today, I begin again with some old and new posts I've found across the internet over the past few weeks. Because if there's anything I've learned over this break of soaking in as many words as possible it's this :: you can never have too much inspiration. 

posts i loved :: 

Preston Yancey's When I Live by Revision -

This morning, I felt nothing in the Scripture reading, but I felt everything when I listened to the latestThisAmerican Life on animal sacrifice and I marvelled and wept over a mystery of God that I do not and cannot fully understand.

Why should He demand life?

(Again, I did not type first lie.)

I suppose this is the most I can offer you, that what I am trying to do more faithfully is to deal with my shit, not with my crap.

Addie Zierman's "Not Presents but His Presence" and Other Christmas Cliches on Deeper Story -

I got physically agitated the other day when I came across one that said, Are you part of the Inn crowd or one of the Stable few? The pun was just so obvious, so trite, and the whole thing felt so shrunk down to me on that pretty little free printable.

As if always, you are one or the other. As if you have either shut God out or you’re experiencing the fully majesty and miracle of his presence.

So often, life is lived in the in between. You have chosen the baby in the manger. You’ve chosen Immanuel, God with us.  But it doesn’t feel like he’s here. It feels like you are wandering the cold dark streets of a strange town alone.

Brenna DiAmbrosio's A Prophetic Whisper -

I have only this home, this place. I have no platform. I have no tribe. Just a handful of people who love me, believe in me, and speak life to me. My words aren't shouted from the rooftops. And maybe they aren't meant to be.

But I do have words to share. And sometimes they'll be quiet. Sometimes just a whisper. But I'm writing myself out of the darkness. I'm writing myself through the brokenness. I see hope. I see redemption.

songs inspiring me :: 

Dead Hearts, Stars -

I can say it but you won't believe me You say you do but you don't deceive me Dead hearts are everywhere. Dead hearts are everywhere.

We Should Run, Sarah Macintosh -

People keep asking When will we regain life with the One who is for us? Rescue won't you come?

books i am reading :: 

"Conversely, nature is thought of as feminine. We speak of Mother Earth and virgin forests. The connection is even entwined in the roots of our language. The word mother comes from the Latin word mater, which means matter. Mother and matter are both the stuff out of which everything is composed" - Sue Monk Kidd's Dance of the Dissident Daughter 

"And as you look longer, if you let yourself see, the subtleties will clamor to show themselves. Doubts, compromises, and disappointments little and big - those usually reside around the eyes, but there are no rules. The hopes usually lurk around the mouth, but so do bitterness and tenacity. A sense of humor is easy to spot around the eyebrows, and so is self-deception. Add to your observation the set of the head on the neck, the carriage of the shoulders, the posture of the back, and you know a lot more" - Ann Brashares' My Name is Memory

and finally, an old post from me :: when He tenderly speaks

the lady next to me tried to make conversation. i just am so excited to see our houses! on the big screen! she said and i smiled and nodded and said the proper “that’s nice” as expected when talking to others who are experiencing some type of second-hand notoriety. inside though, i felt like breaking into a thousand tiny pieces of myself and hiding.

Tell me :: what are some of your favorite posts/songs/quotes from this week?

Posted on December 14, 2012 and filed under heart-whispers.

heart whispers for the week of October 29

This will be a short one, since I'm in the midst of NaNoWriMo (writing a novel in a month) and will try and spare my words for that manuscript. But, there were some incredible words this week - ones I want to share. So today, the posts I loved ::  Sarah Bessey's In which I unveil my scientific writing process -

Right now, book writing feels as if I am in the middle of my first marathon, and I’m really regretting that I didn’t train in a more useful fashion. Or at least take up jogging. Instead, I’m cooking with a lot of butter.

Emily Freeman's glad hope from unpredictable hands -

It’s easy to think when you make space for God that things will take a truly spiritual turn. Sometimes I suppose that’s the case. But mostly, it’s still just me in an empty room with a stack of brochures I’m trying not to read.

Blanche Jacobson's growing pains -

My church retreat was this weekend. I went into it pretty angry with the Lord and took offense towards Him. I didn’t feel safe. I didn’t feel like He was protecting me. I didn’t feel Him at all. My worst fear is abandonment, and honestly I didn’t see that many other answers towards the situation.

Preston Yancey's to my future daughters [in honour of Rachel Held Evans]

Someday. It was the promise I made for you so very long ago. I said someday you would know that you must and shall go free, shall bear our Christ in the open fields and sing the redemption song among the wildflowers.

Posted on November 3, 2012 and filed under heart-whispers.

heart-whispers for the week of october 22

Y'all. Last week, I started working out at a local gym. It's been great and this week I've noticed a stalwart improvement on the stress level I was carrying.

I am sore...everywhere. 

And so now, when I'm trying to put words together and it feels as if even my brain is a little mushy because of the miles I covered on the stationary bike or the pumping of my arms in hip-hop class, it's difficult to see the reward.

I know it's there, though. I know every time I enter the doors of that gym I'm crossing something else off the list of things I carry. I leave it there - a puddle on the floor - and come home and crash and eventually find my second wind in a way I hadn't before.

The same is true with art.

I'm finding that Stephen King was right - sometimes even though it feels as if we're "shoveling shit from a sitting position" our words, however difficult or emotionally trying, end up finding someone. At least, they do it we're doing it right.

And I want to do it right. I want to go deep even if it scares me - I want to feel that pulsing of my heart because man I've stumbled on something and I'm not sure I can make it out in one piece.

But those scars tell stories, don't they?

What's left a mark on me this week -

posts I loved :: 

John Blase's That's the Deep at Deeper Church

And we’re scratching our noggins with ‘okay, Jesus, what gives? I mean, we’ve done all the right things.’ And Jesus looks us in our a-little-bit-older-eyes and says ‘everything you’ve held to this far, let go and wade out in the deep with me.’ That’s the invitation to deeper church. For that matter, its also the invitation to deeper family, deeper story, deeper life – the whole shebang. You spend a good portion of your early life learning the rules and then, well, you get the chance to learn to break them.

Preston Yancey's Theology of the Kitchen Table at Deeper Story -

When I kneed dough, decant the chocolate, weigh the flour, the person or people I am baking for come first to mind. They are there, in spirit, and I am calling out to the Great Physician that I don’t even know what is wrong most of the time, that I don’t even know what to offer as balm, but that He does, that these things baked for them might somehow hold grace.

Duane Scott's in which I'm ruined, yet hopeful -

So I’m here, typing these words to you, because nobody understands anymore and I don’t even understand myself anymore and I can’t talk to anyone, even my wife because she wasn’t there in the “rape camp” with me. But God was and I’m begging Him, pleading with Him to just hold me, show me how to help in my small way and somewhere along the way, my prayers have changed as the darkness envelopes;somewhere my prayers have changed to directly address the devil that he just leave me alone in this, that I’ve had enough, that I need to just take a moment to rediscover myself. 

Addie Zierman's Let Go, Let God

Because I’m lying in the massage room and I’ve been sad for weeks. The massage therapist is working all of these knots, and it seems to me a kind of holy work. Church work. People-of-God kind of work. She has learned by heart the feel of hidden sadness, anger, anxiety. She knows that it has to be worked out slowly and methodically with warm cloths and careful hands and soft-piano-quiet. She knows that what we hold on to – what we can’t seem to let go – is stored in the unseen places. The neck. The back. The complex, cavernous heart.

songs inspiring me :: 

Joss Stone's Free Me -

Don't tell me that I won't, I will Don't tell me how to think, I feel Don't tell me 'cause I know what's real What I can do

The Story 2012 Playlist

books i'm reading :: 

“The world is getting so loud. We are over-stimulated. Numb. Bored….We consume our art like moths. We gather, momentarily, around wherever the biggest, brightest light seems to be. The danger of art created to rise above the noise is that it may end up being noise itself.” - Michael Gungor's The Crowd, The Critic, and the Muse: A Book for Creators

and an older post from me :: the breaking

At that moment, I needed to get away. My heart screamed for some sort of reconciliation to what I felt and saw. I separated myself from the group and just took everything in – much like I found myself doing in Haiti ten years ago. Closing my eyes, I felt the ripping open. Glancing through the open gate and down the path, I felt my perspective shift.

What were your favorite posts? 


**Any links to books in this post is part of Amazon's Affiliate program. 

Posted on October 27, 2012 and filed under heart-whispers.