Nests In Your Hair

My 3 brothers and I, we got trust issues.  Here I am, my 6-year-old gullible self, once more the target of their good-natured, little-sister teasing.

A warm summer evening in 1968; the sound of the brothers laughing.  I go outside to investigate.  Big mistake.

The brothers are shooting bats.  Yes, bats—with BB guns.  Saturday night entertainment and I find myself the star of the show.

“Watch out!  Bats love to fly into little girls’ hair!” Brother 1 yells.

“What?!” My heart begins to race.

“Yeah,” Brother 2 joins in, “They’ll fly into your ratty hair and make a dirty old nest!”

“What?!!” My hand instinctively reaches up to my tangled, uncombed head.

“Duck!” screams Brother 3, and I hit the ground hard. 

To this day, I hate bats.  I know they are God’s creatures and all, but I still hate bats.

»»————- ♡ ————-««

I re-read the words of Martin Luther,

You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” 

I’m reminded of the bats. 

But, it’s not about bats or birds or any such thing.  It’s about negative thoughts. Fearful thoughts.  Lying thoughts that cause me to hit the ground hard.

I can’t always prevent a negative thought from entering my mind, but I don’t have to allow it to build a nest in my hair.  I have the power to choose what I believe and what I allow in my mind.  And that’s a powerful thought.

So when a negative thought flies over head, I count backwards from five.  Five, Four, Three, Two, One … and I shoot. Sometimes more than once, but eventually, the thought hits the ground hard, not me.

How do you prevent negative thoughts from building a nest in your hair? 

Love & Peace,

“… and we take captive every thought …” 2 Corinthians 10:5

See No Boundaries

The Pioneer Woman

There stands a statute in Ponca City, Oklahoma, of a Pioneer Woman with a young boy by her side.  Artfully cast in tons of bronze, standing 17 feet tall beneath the Oklahoma sky. 

She wears a bonnet upon her head and hidden within the brim, the words, “I see no boundaries”. A lasting tribute to those courageous women–the women homesteaders of the American West.

Imagination captured. Inspiration ascends. Yes, I am the pioneer woman! Pioneering through wilderness wanderings to crossing and conquering in unchartered lands of promise. 

Yet I am also the young boy, grabbing hold of the Pioneering Spirit. Led hand-in-hand towards my inheritance as a son.

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.

And for a brief moment … no windows or doors, ceilings or floors. I see no boundaries. Only God.

In wide open spaces, in untamed places. It’s where I’m staking my claim.

Love & Peace,

The 1862 Homesteading Act guaranteed free farmland to heads of households with the stipulation that the applicant must stay on the land for five years and make noticeable improvements to the land before the deed was awarded. Women who were single, widowed, or divorced were eligible to apply for land as the head of their household and many headed west into Dakota Territory. 

Homesteading, http://www.ndstudies.org/

I Am Not Color Blind

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It’s been years now, but the memory-moment when I first saw her still runs deep.  Sitting cross-legged on the bed, with pink sponge curlers in her hair, she looks up as I enter our college dorm room.  Me, a middle-class white girl from the suburbs; she, a lower-class black girl born and raised in West Philadelphia.  Our eyes meet for a split second and then both our heads drop silent.

I grew up in white privilege; she grew up among the working poor.   We had a lot to discover about each other, and that we did.  A critical juncture; a defining year that gave me a new perspective beyond my own safe little world.

Amazing how God arranges life experiences to add in the missing pieces.  A divine appointment; a God set-up that added something needed, something of value, into the core of my identity.

My world got a whole lot bigger that year.  And I will be forever grateful to my West Philly roomie whom I grew to love, honor and respect.

Fast forward to last weekend…

We enter the retreat center where I am one of three invited speakers.  Seated beside the other speakers—all beautiful, strong and gifted African American women, I am feeling my “white-ness”.  I’ve heard these women speak before, with incredible power and passion.  They can raise the roof with their fiery-Pentecostal preaching.  An expectation to conform and perform begins to emerge from within me.

Conform and perform—I’ve done it before.  Not proud of it, but true.  Caved to my own internal pressure and took on another’s identity to be approved and accepted.  Yet in the process, I lost something invaluable—the gift of myself.

And then it hits me—my college roomie, this is the lesson we learned together.  I can honor and celebrate these African American women without pretending to be one of them.  By staying true to myself, I give room for others to stay true to themselves.

I quietly walk to the podium and begin sharing God’s love from my heart—in the way I do best, in the way I am designed.  People are moved by the gentle power of love—tears flow and healing comes.  I am a cool drink of water in the fiery heat of the day.  Different, yet the same.

I am not color blind.  God gave us color and the ability to distinguish between colors.  It’s a gift that I plan to celebrate more.  When we celebrate our differences by not pretending they do not exist, we celebrate the multi-faceted nature of God in whose image we all were created.  

Different, yet the same.  Hard to explain.  A divine mystery from the heart of God that I one day hope to understand better.

 

Living in the Present Moment

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See more inspirational thoughts like this at my new “Knowledge Bursts” page.

This picture was taken at the top of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire.  Oh, how I wished it were me up there!  Love & Peace.  

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart …”  Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

Nature’s Garment

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Nature is the living, visible garment of God.”  Johann von Goethe

Eye-gate opened to The High and Lifted Up

I reach for His garment in the dawn’s early light

The train of His robe fills this temple of mine

At the threshold of an Alaskan fjord.

 

*Writing for me becomes a dialogue with the Spirit of God.  My heart’s response to scriptures whispering through my spirit.  This dialogue flows from Isaiah 6:1: “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.”  May the dialogue continue in you… Love & Peace.