I’ve been keeping these things stopped up now for so long that I just can’t find the words. You’ve read that before…its not different now.

My work situation is difficult right now. There has been a high turnover rate in coworkers in the past two months and we are at about 70% brand new heading into the Christmas season. It is frustrating to say the least. As well as schedule usually is done very last minute so we have sometimes a weekend before we are starting the new schedule and I’m not sure he even looks at it, because this past week it was all people who’ve been around for awhile in the morning and brand new people in the evening. all of them new. None of them really having an idea about anything. That sounds like a great idea. Needless to say we’ve heard some interesting stories from our customers…and it seems to go over my managers head why this might be a problem.

Morgan and I living together is going well. We are heading towards our fourth month of living together and we are making it work. We have been able to have some good chats together, gone on a couple road-trips and shopping expeditions and spent some time over food together. I am thankful that our friendship is being built up like this.

Our church bought a building that is not too far from where we live. That is a huge answer to prayer because we needed to not rent, we were running out of room. However, it has meant that we’ve gone to three services and they are all full. I feel like I don’t see anyone anymore, nor have very little contact and so i’m feeling adrift at the church I’ve been at for over 4 years. In the school it was a bit more open so we could see people as they walked by or congregated in similar areas but now it is rare to see anyone really gathered because its too small for people to really gather much of anywhere. I am thankful for the ministries I am involved in so that I am still able to see a couple people one and one, but otherwise I feel adrift. I took a weekend a couple weeks ago to go to a smaller church that is a bit farther but still on our end of the city. I reminded me of the churches I went to growing up, smaller and very family oriented. I wasnt’ as fond of the preaching as what I have at my church but it was Biblically sound and made me ponder things so I think that is good. I didn’t find it overly friendly, only two people said hi to me, but I think that sometimes friendliness comes with time as well. I may take time to visit that church again soon. We’ll see. if I wasn’t in a position of leadership right now, I’d probably make more of an effort to try out a couple other churches. Right now I feel like its just too big.

I was really inspired reading Kroeker and Craig’s book and had responses written to all the chapters and was writing notes and then all of a sudden my inspiration just dried up. It was so frustrating because I really wanted to finish strong with the group. thankful that I can go back and read through others reflections on the chapters, perhaps it will inspire me again. I keep reading things that I am inspired by but then can’t actually get anything to leave my fingers to be reflective of what i’m thinking. maybe one day i’ll be able to put my finger to the keys again and have something worthwhile be produced.

 

so that is what is happening lately with me.

I wrote this last month, but was unable to post it until now.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I still can’t look at her message to me without a knot forming in my throat.

The words are simple, and I know that she didn’t know what she’d unleash in me by sharing them.

How are you, beautiful one?

Those last two words; they are the ones I choked hard on.
And the tears began to fall.
And I knew that I didn’t have the words to reply.

I could have just gone with the easy answer of ‘I’m fine’…but she’s the kind of person who deserves the truth and I’d honor her with it….if it didn’t hurt so bad.

So its been months and I’ve not written her back.
Because I just don’t know what to say.
I can’t put this pain into words.

Because if there is something that I believe far less than anything else its that I’m beautiful…in any shape or form.

I’ve no idea where this started or where the lies began to creep in but I’ve believed them for as long as I can remember. They go deep. They haunt me.

Today I read a post by my friend who is a nurse. He encountered a patient who was struggling with many things, but one of them was cutting. He took her to look at her scars in the mirror because he wanted her to see she was more than her scars. At first she wept for the pain, but then as he began to get her to see aspects of her that she loved she began to see past her scars. It was a moment of redemption…and I wept as I read his words.

Because some days the invisible scars loom so large that I’m unable to see what I love about myself, and be thankful for how God has created me. I know that hating myself is to throw God’s creation back in his face, but that doesn’t stop me from doing it.

There have been days I wish I was brave enough to cut.
People who aren’t desperate for a release from the pain don’t understand that. Don’t understand how that could be considered bravery.

And perhaps its not. But it gives a release. And somedays I wish that I could just let all this hatred and pain run out of me in liquid form.

Don’t worry. I won’t start now. I’ve lived this long with the pain, and I’ll continue to. But there are days when a story shared seeps so deep into my heart…that I physically ache. And there are days, when a simple greeting leaves me breathless because I can’t acknowledge the possibility of truth.

That is where I’m at these days. Unable to grasp the truth.

Story 101 reflection on Muse/why write

I love to write because it helps me to get what is in my head out on the paper. I have to be able to get through things and I don’t think that I can do that without getting those things out of my head. (love this music..its the civil wars) I love reading what other people write. And there are things in other peoples writing that just really jumps out and speaks to my heart. Sometimes I have to respond to that. Sometimes there are words, sometimes there are phrases and they just stick with me. They become part of me. I haven’t  been able to write as much lately because it seems like I’m stopped up. Like I have a bunch of stuff up in my mind and I can’t get it out. I sit down to write and all I get are fragments, but I guess that’s better than nothing. But I don’t sit down and make myself write either. Sometimes I just think that I should be writing but then I distract myself with other things. Perhaps I’m afraid of what might be revealed in my subconscious if I took the time to actually write stuff down. Perhaps I’d have to deal with some things that I don’t want to deal with. I think that is the truth of the matter. That I remember little things and sometimes I think of things that I need to work through but they are just a glimpse and they are too painful so I shut them away again. But I wonder how freedom would look how it would taste if I knew what it was past the door that I keep slamming and don’t let myself explore. I think that’s it I’m the one that’s holding myself back. I’m the one that’s finding things that need to be worked through but the fear is too real and too strong, and it keeps me from being part of the conversation, part of the healing, because I’m afraid and that fear is stronger than any change that I want to see in my life right now.

Vulnerability

I’m not sure what it was
that lulled me into that place
it might have been the comfy chairs
The cream, sugar and coffee that I drank
the way you turned your body
towards mine
but I broke open
whispered a piece of my heart
let the thought escape my lips
treated you as a confidante
and you listened
heard me
took a moment to take it in
and responded
not with depth of your own
but not with disdain either
rather an understanding
and I felt a spark
a glimpse
of what sharing my voice
feels like

and I hope.

by Janel Andrews Written Sept 15/2014

Story 101 – reflection on voice

I’m at a loss as to what to write because I think I am afraid to fully surrender to the idea of release and my voice being fully released. Its been so long that I’ve had conversations in my head and said things to others that I wish I’d said in the moment. I wish I was quicker on my feet when it came to speaking. When I have a lot of information thrown at me I have a hard time processing through it and I’m overwhelmed and find myself shutting down. I just quiet the response and it turns into tears of frustration because I can’t even begin to process and everything gets tied up in my head.I feel attacked whether that is the purpose or not of what is being shared. A lot of time what is shared with others is what I wish I said. They say it’s a good response but a little late. My voice is the true expression of who I am. All those things inside that can’t get out but I want to express, those things wiell up inside me that my soul has to get out because it can’t deal with it and is trying to expel it. This course – as I read the writing of others there are ideas that are brought forward that I want to ponder more. Things that I hadn’t even considered. I hope that I can express myself.

An Unblemished Offering

 It seems I have decided
to keep the very best from you
when all I have
is a gift from your hands
but i think
I’ve done this all myself.

And so the burnt loaves
and the unclean herd leader
is offered on the altar
and your offense knows no bounds

because you’ve required so little of me
and so much of your Son
in the very giving of His Life
He has rendered this sacrifice void
and yet I try to make do

with what I have to offer
with my gifts that are nothing apart from you
from the words of my mouth that are hot air when inspired only by me|
with my actions and doing that are about my gain and not sacrifice at all

and you are left at the altar
with my second best
the after-thoughts
the things I see no use in

and this is not what you’ve called me to
this is not what you’ve gifted me for

your anger sears and rages
the offering is burnt up
but not because its acceptable
but you seek to remove its despicable stench
from your presence

and I am ashamed

that with such great a gift
I think i’m justified
in bringing you less than the best.

by Janel Andrews written July 22/2014

 

 

 

Inspired by the following items:

Cori Drost’s blog post in which she mentions: “…the Israelites were not presenting their best offerings to the Lord. They were bringing blemished sacrifices to the altar and not the best as God had commanded. God wants the first fruits. ”

“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” Malachi 3:10 ESV

“Moreover, we will bring to the storerooms of the house of our God, to the priests, the first of our ground meal, of our grain offerings, of the fruit of all our trees and of our new wine and olive oil. And we will bring a tithe of our crops to the Levites…” Nehemiah 10:37 NIV