The things I Love, love, love

This is a previous post from my old blog….I’ve been thinking about it a lot and felt like I should add it and its part 2 here! 
I have been finding my heart saying over and over, “I’m so in love with_______.” Often the blank is filled with the name of a person. Many times a person I didn’t expect to fill that space. I am sometimes shocked….I stand back and wonder where the thought came from. 

Haven’t I been praying for love? That the Spirit of God would fill my heart and shift the way I think…the way I ‘hear’ the world around me and so he is…just not the way I thought….as always, the hand that guides me looks nothing like I thought it would. 
Moved to tears by the strength of a dear one bringing life into this world. Her courage blows me away and it is an honor to call her friend. “I’m so in love with _____!”
Surprised by the love and kindness in the words of a young man who fights for his faith and to be honest in ways I can’t imagine. “I’m so in love with _____!”
The visit with an old friend I haven’t seen in years brought to town because of deep, deep heartache…years that have passed and a grown man stands before me. “I’m so in love with____!” 
Spring melt that bring bird songs and muddy driveways….free range chickens pecking the ground and fresh air. “I’m so in love with spring!”
Words that bruise and break miraculously also heal and prepair the ground of my heart for new life. “I’m so in love with this process!”
The humility, and love that exudes from the man I married. The willingness to admit mistakes and choose to be ‘for each other and this marriage.’ “I am so in love with my husband!” 
Little fingers and curious minds, always learning, always asking, always doing. “I am so in love with my children!” 
I fight so hard to do it all ‘right’ only to see the utter failure in the end. Thinking too highly of my own ways and looking back at a path that has taken me far from my goals….far from my loves…the knowing…deep down that it can be changed, forgiven and reset. “I’m so in love with Jesus!”
The honesty of a new friend, an almost stranger as she takes up the banner of truth and calls life like she sees it bumps and all. A deep knowing that we are alike in ways I’ve prayed so long for. “I’m so in love with ____!”
One who knew me young, but not as I changed….he is grown now with a family of his own. The weight of his load has brought him purpose. Oh the pride I have in him as he stands tall after a day of hard work and smiles that same smile I knew as a child. Full of mischief and wonder! “I am so in love with___!”
They speak hard words…drenched in honesty….ask the questions that need to be asked…there is love in their eyes even when it hurts…they hold hope and truth and invite me in….messy parts included. “I am so in love with these women!”
These love moments are like snap shots I don’t expect….my heart flows over and there they are….deep and real. A practice of entering into truth in the moment. It is changing my world and blowing me away. 
The things I Love, Love, Love….again (post 2)
How could I not revisit this post? The things I’m in love with just keep rolling into view! 
The joy of twins opening gifts…they turned 4. The kindness of family who remember and miss them! Gigi and Papa sending fun kid cards! That little blond cousin who loves dress up and pretend! “I’m so in love with this family!”
The squeals that can only mean one thing…bunnies! A new batch of kits right on top of the last! That poor mama! She gives and cares. Her weight is down but those bunnies are healthy and growing! “I’m so in love with new life and how The Lord sustains it!”
Little green shoots! It’s May! “I am so in love with green, growing things!” 
Growing, growing, growing…the green blades of barley grass and the twisted root mats that feed our animals. “I am so in love with learning this process of caring for our animals in a healthy way!” 
And then there are the people dear and true…those who meet us in the every day scruff! We clean and sort…we laugh and cry…we sing and bake…we learn and we teach…we get covered in mud and wonder why we have chosen to live ‘like this’ and then we remember…this is life and it is love and it is whole and healing even when it is hard. And, as we work we enter into the real. We reach out and one hand meets another and arms embrace. “Oh, I am so in love with these people.”
Words deep and true holding layers of meaning that only time can pull back and reveal. Thank you friend. “I’m so I love with you.” 
The voices are different…sometimes loud and at others only a whisper. Often, views are stated harshly. You don’t look like me. 

You don’t live like me. 

You don’t sound like me. 

Always, it seems, There is a deep yearning to be heard….payed attention to…seen!

 I see you.

 I hear you. 

That hurt…I know know it too…I’ve lived here for some time now. 

“And yes, I’m so in love with you too.” 

Dandelions

Beautiful wonderful spring and all that it brings with it…the joy of children’s floral chains and small bouquets of ‘weeds.’ Yards full of yellow remind me that summer is just around the corner and oh so thankful the pollinators are back! What would we do with out those beautiful bees and butterflies?

Our fenced orchard area is filled with freakishly large dandelions! I’m not kidding! The grass in there is lush and the weeds are mammoth! I think it has to do with the consintration of animal droppings over the past few years! Either way I’ve been holding off mowing.

This past weekend was beautiful so mike went out with the girls and picked many of the flower heads. (I’ve seen the buckets full, but still there are soooooo many left) Last year Mike made dandelion wine. Yep, that’s real! It’s a thing, and we make it! Also a real thing (apparently) dandelion jelly! It tastes a bit like honey, and smells amazing! Mike has the heads steeping for the wine and he made the jelly last night. The girls are over the moon excited to have it in their lunch tomorrow! I love how excited they get about the projects we do.

I also need to get out and gather some dandelion to make an oil infusion for salves. I used it to make one last year and we really liked it. I will be sure to blog about that process when I am able to get to the project!

If you find yourself out at the Ebed House be sure to ask Mike about the wine or Jelly. He is always happy to share his projects!

Spiritual Detox

ebed

I’ve been listening…sorting….purging….on repeat.

It’s spring after all, the best time of year for the maddening clean out of all things old…those bits that have been hidden by the depths of cold winter. It’s Spring! Most years it comes slow around here allowing my heart to thaw out. Breathing in the warming air…sitting on the stoop as the chickens scratch the ground looking for the tender bits of green or the rare early insect. Spring!

It doesn’t take long for the household purging to turn inward…This life is a holistic one. How can I purge only the physical? In this question something called to me in a deeply profound way…I am not just cleaning our home. I am not just taking care of the business of life. I am not just saying and doing hard things. I am in the process of spiritual detox.

Detox: A process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; detoxification.

I mentioned this to a friend and he looked at me quizzically….’what does that look like?’ If you have never done a detox I can see how this analogy will likely fall short for you. I have been sitting in this place for a few weeks trying to figure out how to describe what it looks like to others when it feels so deeply natural and personal to me. 

apples

There is a deep cleansing that takes place when a person detoxes. They make choices to abstain from many normal foods or activities. Often a supplement is taken to help the body release toxins that it has built up. I won’t get into the whole process…but feel free to do some research! At the end of a detox the goal is for your body to have returned to a more natural, healthy place. A starting point or baseline for your body to do its best natural work…healing itself, growing strong, digesting the foods you take in at a much better rate.

However, it doesn’t end there. The foods we take in and activities we pursue after detox are just as important as the detoxing work itself. In order to maintain good health going forward we must make wise choices about what we put into our bodies….

And there it is. Can you see how this idea relates to our spiritual health? Still a bit foggy? Let me unpack my own experience and maybe that will help a bit.

My soul has sat in a place of spiritual unhealth and buildup for years. I was not able to process much of my own thoughts or feelings clearly. I took the first step of detoxing by stepping away from all types of leadership knowing that I was hurting others.  (When a leader chooses ‘the work’ over health ((theirs and others)) there can often be wounding and death that takes place.)  I removed myself from my daily norm and began to purge.

The purging took two years in my case and was by far the longest stage of my detox. I went back and forth and ended up confused more then once. I would carve something out of myself and then wonder if I had cut too deeply, if I should pick something up again….sometimes I would and I would quickly discover the pain again…that old feeling of doubt, distrust and dare I say hate. (Like eating that beautiful scone filled with gluten…not a good idea if your body can’t process gluten)

Here is the thing…there is only so much cutting the body can handle…only so much you can take away….in order for there to be a healthy healing it must also be filled with what is good. In a physical detox this is why healthy supplements, lots of water and specific foods are prescribed. In a spiritual detox we don’t always remember or know what the good things are…so we go to trusted sources…Here is where I praise God day after day for the list of good things he has given me to fill my broken spirit with.

My List:

  • An unshakable trust in the Spirit of God to lead and direct me as I placed my broken life into his hands.
  • good and true soul friends from all walks of life.
  • books that remind me of truth, sometimes this included the Bible, but it didn’t for a long time.
  • songs (when I can handle listening to music) that speak truth to dark places….surprise, many of my truth songs were not from Christian artists.
  • listened to speakers and preachers that brought truth and watered the places my soul had gone dry.
  • I wrote and journaled again…ever the student of my own thoughts, feelings, emotions and process.

And slowly this soul came back…but still not fully…

In my case I had to physically remove myself from the place we had worshiped for years. This was a decision that took a long time for Mike and I. I wrote about it here a few months ago. It being a deeply personal decision and frankly brutal in many ways I won’t go into it other then to point out that sometimes you just need new surroundings. sometimes you need to allow new people the right to speak into your life, to pour into and mend up what has been damaged. So we left. Walking out from all we had known for 5 years and trusting the Lord to bring us to a place of new beginnings. Just as we need to replenish our bodies with new eating habits sometimes we need a new space to grow into.

As I sit here thinking about how to bring this blog to a conclusion…I am wrestling. I don’t have a neat way to wrap up these thoughts. They are raw and new and hard. Detox is not pretty…but it is good. It is a slow, long work that takes endurance and at 3 years in I feel like I’m only part way there.