This place where you are right now
God circled on a map for you.
“I’m tired, God,” I said under my breath as I walked to the pond to feed the fish. “Tired of these problems that don’t seem to go away.” I stopped at the edge of the water and reached into the bag of food and grabbed a fistful. I threw it to the center of the pond. It scattered on the breeze then fell back to the earth, creating ripples that swam out in circles. “You are where you are supposed to be,” God said.
I watched the fish rise, their mouths open, hungry, searching. Like me, hungry and searching for answers, I thought. “You’re exactly in the right place,” God said.
“But it’s uncomfortable,” I whined.
“I was there before you, making the space sacred for you,” God explained.
“Of course,,” God said gently. “I’m with you now, walking with you through this chapter in your life, watching you grow.”
“These problems are growing me, I must admit,” I said as a fish cleared the water, gleaming in the light of the soft winter’s sun.
“Give thanks, then, instead of complaining,” God suggested. “You’ll feel better and you’ll grow even more.” “You are right where you are supposed to be, here, with me, with these challenges.”
I walked back up the hill as a flock of wild geese drew a long V across the sky, calling out to one another. I stopped and listened as the ribbon of them disappeared over the pines. “Thank you,” I said, and then moved my feet once again, towards the house, towards the fullness of my life.
Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
Picasso said that the act of creation is first an act of destruction. Its been that way since the very beginning. God called forth the universe and the darkness, the void, was destroyed, forever changed. In its place sprang the heavenly bodies and the myriad forms of life. It is the same with us. When we create something new in life, a new job, relationship, a move, a new way of thinking, new beliefs, etc., we’re destroying the status quo to one degree or another. And that’s the part of creating the future that scares us the most. We have a hard time letting go of our current state of affairs and moving forward. We may fear not knowing exactly what’s ahead.
But move forward we must if we want to live fully. Deeply. It is with faith in God as we understand God, that we navigate the path of the new, for He is the ultimate creator. We go forth with an open mind and an open heart, childlike in our curiosity. We let go of certainties and we allow the future to unfold, much like a flower opens up her beauty to the world, one petal at a time.
Our lives are the ultimate expression of our creativity. We can create amazing journies out of our time here on the planet if we understand and allow the destruction that comes with creation, and the faith to move forward, holding God’s good hand.
To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup.
~ Laurie Colwin
A winter’s wind howled at the windows, rattling my little house down to its bones. My dog Shakespeare stiffened with every knock of wind at the panes. “It’s okay,” I reassured him. “It’s just blustery outside. I’ll make us soup. That will make us feel cozy.” I padded into the kitchen and rummaged through the crisper. I found parsnips, turnips, carrots, onions, and celery. “A fine soup this will be, my furry friend!” I said to him, even though I knew he didn’t much care for vegetables. “I’ll add grass-fed beef, too.” His velvet-soft ears perked up as if he understood.
The soup simmered on the stove as the wind continued to shake the house. I curled up on the couch and pulled a throw blanket over me. Shakespeare curled up at my feet. There was nothing more to do with the day than to enjoy the aroma wafting from the kitchen. In a few hours, I’d nourish my body with God’s wholesome foods. I am grateful that I’ve learned how important it is to feed our bodies well, for they have such an important job to do— they house our souls. I thought of the farmer’s weathered hands that lovingly grew the vegetables now cooking on my stove. I thought of the cow that gave its life for me. “Thank you,” I said out loud. Shakespeare raised his head as if to ask if I was speaking to him. I laughed. “I’m thankful for you, too!” I said. He put his head back down, satisfied. Good food and good friends. What an amazing combination for a good life, I thought. What an amazing combination indeed.
You don’t know how great you can be!
How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.
~ Anne Frank
A soft rain fell as the sun rose. I sat by the window and sipped my coffee as I watched the light spread across the garden, waking up the wildlife. I had not slept well the night before. I had tossed and turned, worrying that I wasn’t capable of being all I wanted to be. How often I upper-limit myself! Fear holds me back from my fullest potential, my deepest expression of myself. My internal critic whispers that I’m not good enough and it can be convincing. When it is, I suffer the consequences of living a life that is so much smaller than it should be.
I held the warm mug in my hands and let the steam rise to my face. I smiled, the smell of coffee intoxicating in the paleness of the early hour. “God, I give you my fears and doubts today. Give me the courage and the wisdom to go through my day with an open mind, open arms, and an open heart,” I prayed. A nuthatch landed on the bare branches of the Japanese Maple just on the other side of the window, peering in at me. It sat for the longest time then flew. “Let me be like that little bird. Let me fly high with you today.”
Sitting there in the quiet, I remembered what Jesus once said. “You can do the things I’ve done and more.” He was able to do miraculous things because He understood God was within Him. “Help me to feel your presence in my heart every moment today,” I prayed. “Help me to rely on you. It’s you that makes me my best self.” The sun swallowed the last star of the night sky. It was a new day. A new beginning. A new chance to reach my fullest potential.