Masquerade

The thing with Masquerade balls is that everyone comes with a mask. And at some point, everyone’s identity is revealed.
In a sense the past couple months feel like the ball. I’ve been holding onto that mask for all I’m worth…and its about to be grabbed from my face and my full identity revealed.
___

Because you see…my birthday is on Wednesday. And people will wish me happy birthday. Which in itself is not a bad thing. But there are those who suppose that I’m younger than I am in actuality, and they are in for the shock of their lives. Well…perhaps only one person in particular.
___

Its been one of those dances, where you’re in a round and you start off with your partner and then they move to the next person in the round and so forth until you find yourselves on opposite ends of the room, seemingly having a great time with other partners but not quite sure when it is that you’ll be flung together again. But the things is…you only know the person based on the identity you chose when you came to the ball…and your short stint dancing together doesn’t reveal a whole lot about anything deeper than appearances.

___

This dance, has been a long one. It seems to go on forever. Or maybe its just the ball that seems to go on forever. I’m not one for a crush of guests, but when I entered and saw you, it was like all the dancing partners that I’ve been bridge burned by showed up in ghost form, or at least haunted me in memories of things left unsaid, and moments that have dug deeply into my heart with bitterness festering. Though you left me reeling and confused, I felt I could be myself…though I’m sure there was still the illusion. You can wear and mask and reveal yourself truly, without ripping all the wounds clear and clean, and revealing who you are beneath what looked like a gaudy painted on face anyway.

___

The thing about the masquerade is that everyone can mingle. And most people are there to be someone else for the night. And while you’re not mine, for some reason I’ve taken a shine to you and my eyes follow you around the room. All those ghosts have sat themselves down at my table, and began to regale themselves with tales of what has been and the missteps I’ve taken on the dance floor of life. They mock this enchantment as just another mask to stash away one day in a closet full of dreams hidden behind other facades. And though I’m a lost cause, even to myself, I see my blood boil and my face color with jealousy and betrayal, when neither of these are your weapons but rather the poisoning of my own mind.

___

Tomorrow, I’ll wake up with aching heels, my feet sore from the dance floor. And I’ll see my mask sitting on the table next to my bed. And I’ll know that there is a place for this mask next to the others I’ve had stashed away. Reality hurts too much anyway. There should always be something to hide behind. Perhaps my age is where I’ll start.

#FMF – Heal

Hello friends.

its been some time since I wrote here. Since I even joined with the link-up. Its a little late, as they next fmfparty is this evening…but I’m giving it a go.

I am thankful for the community found in this group. It has literally been one of the biggest things that’s kept me going through the past couple years.

Joining up with Kate and writing for five minutes and just letting the words tumble out on the page…has been incredibly cathartic. Linking up has had me seeing what has been on others minds on the same or completely different vein, yet united by the same word.

write on friend.

Prompt: Heal

I do not completely know what has dried up the words that used to flow so on the page. I have lots of ideas, lots of things i’m working through or thinking through, and yet every time I sit down to type them out…my fingers are stilled. I can’t seem to find the words, though they are literally in my mouth, and choking me.

I have been thinking of many things over the past months, but there have been a couple that have stayed with me for awhile.

I went to a baseball game with a guy that I had a crush on, the whole situation had me freaking out and rehashing alot of pain from my past relationship wise. The day before we were to hang out, I was talking with a friend and I have no idea what exactly she said, but God’s peace just poured into the situation, and I felt like this might be a good experience for me and something I could do without all that baggage. We ended up having a great time, and have since become friends. I am thankful for this surprise blessing. But it also revealed to me how much pain is still in my heart from past relationships.

A year or so ago, I wrote about the loss of several friendships in my life that left me reeling. That is still the case for at least one of them. There is healing and forgiveness that needs to happen in all of them, but one is still so deep its almost toxic to touch. I’m trying to get rid of that toxicity. its only hurting me. But recently in the past year, I have lost another friend who I thought was going to be a close friend. I’m not sure what happened, besides life getting in the way, but it feels like there is a great chasm between us. However, this summer through a series of events I found myself in a small group of women of whom I wouldn’t have picked them to be friends with, but who have ended up being what I needed and some of the most genuine and upfront people i’ve ever met. My people pleasing heart needed to be reminded of speaking up for myself and setting boundaries, among other things learned this summer. i also was just given the opportunity to hang out with some girls at church that I have known only casually but am no going to get to know more deeply as friends. The idea to sit on the porch and drink coffee together on a saturday morning came out of the blue…and I quickly snatched it up. I’m not sure what God has planned, but I am excited for that as well.

I’m sure that some of what is closing my mouth is things like fear that i’m letting have more power than i should. but there is power in the overcoming. and stepping out and evening taking one step…is one less thing to fear about because you’ve done something and you’ve lived. I’m trying to seek healing over here friends…i want it to be quick, but i’m pretty sure its a life long thing. its tiring carrying all this around, when it wasn’t meant to be baggage or mine to carry ever.

love you

end

five minute friday

 

FMF – Rest

Good evening and welcome to the Thursday evening where we link up at Kate’s place for the Five Minute Friday gathering. Five minutes of writing, without editing on one topic. All of us spreading our thoughts out on the page…and see what flies from our fingers.

prompt: Rest

I have been in a period of rest that is unexpected and found myself wasting away the time. I quit my job at Starbucks and moved to work at a smaller cafe. Its been quite a change and I”m still in transition. But the change is this…I gave two weeks notice and was given one week of work. Thankfully my new boss had tentatively scheduled me for a couple shifts this past week or else I would have had an entire week of unplanned vacation.

As a result I’ve worked a couple of half days but then had several other days off. Its been a bit disconcerting because the other times I’ve had such wide swathes of time available for myself, I had planned what I was going to do with my time. So i have puttered about and done very little that is helpful, but I have had some downtime which is necessary since the past several months have been hugely stressful in my life.

I wonder if all of this reflects that fact that perhaps I’ve forgotten what it is to truly rest. to find rest, to stay in that rest, to find renewal and restoration in that rest. One of the areas i find it hardest to rest in is in my mind. it seems to always be going a mile a minute and I have a hard time trying to relinquish what i think i have on my plate or the worry that consumes me and just rest in Him. I think that I’ve glanced at and perhaps experienced moments where I’ve known this rest, but they are few and far between.

rest is something that i long for. something that when i hear the word or read it in a sentence my mind and soul immediately jump up with a resounding ‘yes’ to experience. having it put into practice on the other hand is a much different experience.

Here is to finding ways to truly soul rest this year. to breathe Him in deeply and to have him calm my mind and my heart.

end

five minute friday

 

why are you here?

I am more of a reader than a writer. Perhaps I’m writer too, I just haven’t given myself permission to claim those words yet.

When I was at Festival of Faith and Writing in April, I was asked by several individuals at different publishing houses (as I perused their books) if I was a writer. I answered that I write a little but I’m more of a reader and I see myself as a champion of those who write. I was asked by one person what kinds of things I was reading and I struggled to find an answer because I often have several books on the go. I mentioned that I was still working through Seth Haines’ book ‘Coming Clean’ and really loving it.

But in that question of ‘Are you a writer’ and my answer in the negative, I felt like a bit of interest was lost. I even felt like they were saying, ‘Well, why are you here then?’ those those words were never spoken out loud (but rather in my own head). And in some sense I felt like i was on the periphery, yet another place that I didn’t belong. But there were those who I spent time with at the Festival that helped me to see differently, to know differently. With whom I felt loved, and accepted simply how I was. I am so thankful for those few who were part of that for me.

I am blessed to know of (and have met) many people who are gifted beyond words when it comes to laying down words. There are some perhaps that I compare myself, though I don’t know if I could put names down right off the top of my head. However, there are those who when I see that they have written I know that my heart will sink deep into their words and it will be a vehicle to speak to my soul.

Weather these incredibly gifted individuals become a household name or not, I am so blessed to be able to be on their side, reading their work and cheering them on to use their gifts.

There are many areas of life in which I’ve often felt that I don’t measure up. perhaps claiming the title of writer is one of them. But I do sit down and put my fingers on the keyboard and there are things recorded for future retrieval but I’m not sure that I can claim that as true writing yet.

#FMF – Haven

Joining with the crew over at Kate’s who write every Thursday night/Friday morning (and throughout the week) on a one word prompt for five minutes. I love this community. It is my safe place. I am so thankful for them.

prompt: HAVEN

As I sit down to my computer and wait for it to load, I think of this community, this safe place. I’ve only been gathering here for a couple years but it just feels like family.

From the first moment that I got up my courage to say hi and enter into chatting on Thursday nights, I haven’t looked back. There have been seasons in which I have been unable to gather with the others, or haven’t been able to follow through on the prompt, but the most important thing that I’ve learned in this community (and tried to share with others as they join) is that GRACE is lavished here.

Last summer, this group of people met together (well some of us, it is a LARGE beautiful (and handsome (ANDREW! and other fellows)) community.) And while I was nervous, I didn’t really feel fear, because I felt like I knew these people. Like I was gathering for an awesome weekend with old friends.

And as we settled in, and found our way into cozy chairs with cold water in hand (or coffee depending on the person), walls began to drop and we were ourselves more fully than I think I’ve experienced more than anywhere else. What a blessing to be known and to be loved.

It has always been a challenge for me to believe that I’m part of a group. To know that my presence isn’t merely tolerated, but enjoyed. and indeed, in THIS place, I have found this. I have found a haven.

Thank you FMF community. I love you.

end.

 

#FMF – Expect

Joining with Kate and crew for Five Minute Friday. One word prompt, five minutes to write and letting go of our fears as whatever comes upon the page makes itself known.

Prompt: Expect

Expectations have got me in trouble more times than I’d care to remember.
One of my fave quotes about expectations is:
Expectations are the termites of relationships.”
Oh how I have learned time and time again how true this is. I’m not sure if you can ever approach anything expectation free…at least I am sure there are very few times in my own life where this has been possible.
This past year has been one of realizing how much hurt is associated with expectation for me. Especially when you are one who does not deal with situations as they arise, but rather ignores their existance hoping someone else will mention that things need to change.
I had a rather devestating conversation several weeks ago in which i was challenged to addess my expectations, among other things. I guess in some way the hurt i was feeling i felt was justified, and perhaps it was. But there were also other things that needed to be addressed because as much as I wanted things to come to pass they were never going to be a reality.
I have often struggled with friendships and relationships,  and realize that I have a long way to go. I also need to learn that I’m not the only one pringing expectations into the equation.
These are areas in which I most definately am still a work in progress.
End

#FMF – Grow

Joining with the wonderful group of writers over at Kate’s to write on one word for five minutes letting the words just flow, with no editing. Always fun to see what one word can inspire in so many.

GROW: to come to be by degrees; become

The past couple of years have been hard for me. In so many ways, but one of the hardest for me has been the changes in my friendships.

When you are younger it seems that kids are more versatile to change, or perhaps I don’t remember as well as I’d like to. I know I moved alot when I was young and so it was a struggle to make deep lasting relationships. When we had to move I would weep and promise to stay in touch and never forget them. SOme of their names are lost to me now, some of their faces are a mere blur. But at the time I was serious, my heart was breaking.

It has taken me many years to have serious girlfriends. I was often the odd one out growing up and so to grow into these friendships was refreshing and terrifying at the same time.

Two years ago there were several friends that disappeared from my life in a similar time period. One got married and changed her proximity to where I lived by several hours, one moved to the East Coast, one decided that our relationship needed to change and one moved across the world to a different continent. Perhaps it might have been more painful in those people remained in a similar place of living for me, and I saw them each day and they simply didn’t want friendship. But in each of these instances the people were removed by circumstance or actual movement.

It took a long time for me to not think that God was taking away my friends because He wanted me to solely be reliant on Him. Perhaps I did put them before Him, but I’m not one to believe that God is vengeful like that. perhaps he saw fit to change our relationships, but this felt like abandonment of the worst kind. I’m still trying to work through this hurt.

But my eyes have been opened in the past several months to the fact that God has been filling my life with new friends, with wonderful sisters. Some I met online, some I met at the Festival, some I met in Nashville last summer, some at church, and its been a blessing that my eyes have only recently been adjusting to. I’m becoming in my friendships…its slow growth, but its there. And i’m thankful. I reflect on what Molllie just wrote in her ‘MISS’ post for last week, ‘We miss opportunities because we are busy looking for something better.  We miss the blessing in the midst of a burden.’ AMEN.

END

five minute friday