Sandcastles versus Marble Palaces

There is an undeniable scream inside all of us crying out for something more, a meaning beyond the world behind our eyelids. Like stormclouds gathering, we let the emotions roll in one after the other. Insecurity. Disappointment. Hurt. Bitterness. Perhaps they don’t always arrive in that order, but arrive they do. All are symptomatic of the same thing, what my brother calls “sandcastle pride.” We stop trusting entirely the Lord’s plan for us, and start searching out ways to make our dreams happen on our own. True, any dream worth anything at all requires work, but at what point does work transfer into idolatry?

In the words of one wise nine year old, “Start reading your Bible so you can learn how to get your life back on track!” We are desperate to be alive, yet terrified at what that would mean. Authors make millions off self-help books, either about gaining control or letting go, or doing one to achieve the other. We all dream of a higher existence of some sort, but only once we seek and pursue the Lord’s vision over our lives will we find any sort of the divine calling we crave.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ – this is the Lord’s declaration – ‘plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'” Jeremiah 29:11

It’s not about the work itself. It can never be about the work or else we’ll fall into either a cycle of obsessive over-achievement or bitter resolve to press on. Neither can it become about whatever earthly outcome, money, or fame, for in the end, once it’s been realized, there will be an inevitable sense of “that’s all?”

I’m not saying we all need to jump up and become ministers; He did make some doctors, filmmakers, musicians, or writers, etc, but there must also be some eternal goal for our lives or else what’s the point?

We all have some daily burden; what’s yours? The daily awareness of what is, and screaming response of what should be? This is your battleground, so wage war! There we find our sense of purpose, of vitality- there we bring bits of His kingdom to earth. And it is in this process of fighting for the “should be,” of fighting for some necessary change weighing on us so heavily it seems that to not strive to bring it about would be a moral slight, that we being to trade the sandcastle for the marble palace.

 

September Sunrise

It’s a farewell season
On to new horizons
Heralded by autumn’s fire
With each hello this
Summer is demanding a goodbye
It seems, if not to faces
Then phases
But I’m learning
I’m okay with it.


In the quiet
Fear assaults
Ferocious doubt, like a lion
Will tear me to shreds, if not
I take the plunge, over the deep end
Into the blue abyss, swim until
My feet find land.


It is time to leave
My feet are aching
For unknown shores, dreams unseen
I will return
But for now, I must leave
This town feels small
It’s only shrinking
It is I who must grow
My feet are aching.

Terracotta Sweater

Lately in my life things randomly and bizarrely disappearing has become commonplace, to the point where my dad has seriously considered buying a hidden camera for the house to see where it all goes and how it vanishes. I have learned that even of my personal belongings, I have no real control. Only God does, but in that there is so much peace. But these disappearances are merely a part of a hidden painting.

It’s a season of gentle interludes. Clock in, clock out, typewritten prayers and telephoned memories. Perhaps one day the future will come, but for now it stands a hazy mirage in this desert land. My words feel mediocre. Do I have what it takes to go pro, or will I ever remain an amateur? Clock in, clock out, sip the coffee, make the copies, and pretend to myself that one day I’ll be an honest artist.

I don’t know what the future holds. Perhaps one day the work will pay off and writing will become my full time job, next to ministry; or perhaps it’s just a little girl’s dream along with unicorns and rainbows made of lollipops. All I know is that the Lord is holding it, and if I can let go, there is so much beauty and adventure in the unknown. He will make me into the artist I am designed to be, in His perfect way and timing. While this interlude is meant for rest, my mind insists on pushing on into worry. How often is that the case? The Lord blesses us and we do everything in our power to distort it into something vile. No. Not today. Today I will curl up in my terracotta sweater, sip the coffee, make the copies, and breathe, always breathe. The most perfect God of the universe is holding me and these dreams. Life is haywire, but darling, isn’t it beautiful?

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Photographs taken at Panther Coffee (Wynwood, FL), the Old Florida Bookshop (Hollywood, FL), and the Florida-Georgia Line.

August.

DSC_0139Childhood room
Lilac sheets
Familiar coffee
Momma’s music
Old dreamsaugust revised 3  

New hope
New future
New fear

Shifting sands
Pouring rain
Of seasons changing
Running blueaugust revised 1
Down shaking lips
Fight for freedom
The war is waged

Behind my own
Anxious eyes

Breathe
Breathe
Breathe
Slowly
Inhale
Exhale
This summer will pass
And, held by Him, you will conqueraugust revised 2
As you have in the past.

Breathe
Breathe
Breathe
Slowly
Inhale
Exhale
Let’s begin
This lifelong journeyRevised_175.jpg
Of exploring, realizing
Every forgotten
Childhood dream.Revised_190.jpg