Garden Dance Party

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Alternate Title: What Protects You?

I had a dream last night that I was walking into a grocery store and there was a crimson red ribbon of color above me, spanning the width of the whole path way. And as I walked, it would come under my feet and fill me with confidence, that’s when I noticed it became a red carpet. And – just like that – it would be above me again. (While also still under my feet, but without me ever tripping or getting tangled.)

Then, in my dream, I heard that this was “the blood of Jesus”.

Now – I don’t really use Christianese language to that degree (yet?) but the women at the church I have been going to totally, totally do.

(And I love it, btw)

So, I have missed the 6am prayer line for a week at this point. I have been sleeping until 6:40 which has been totally and wholly necessary. But – even so – I know the women are praying for me – as I am praying for them, as I lay in bed – aware it is prayer line time. And I know that they are praying for me and my household, specifically, to be covered in the blood of Jesus.

One of my favorite things (but also one of the most mysterious things) is when you remember your dream during a certain point in a day.

And just when I was starting to question things, just when I almost got tricked into negative thinking (by the way, there really are different degrees that your mind can trick you into negative thinking – I really need to write a whole post on that), my reality just put me back on track.

Side note – isn’t it your reality that sometimes makes you think negative? 

I point this out because it was my reality, it was the things that were happening, that curbed that and put me in positive thinking.

This, is proof of prayer working in life. 

I put on a favorite ball cap over my fresh hair cut.

A random song  came on a play list that reminded me there is something bigger than me and it – (cool thing) – happens to be in me, too.

I walked my dog in the perfect morning sun and he didn’t rip my arm off when he saw those three bunnies that live on the corner.

I felt beautiful inside and out. I felt cared for, okay, on track, ready, productive, successful, able.

I felt confident in my ability to get this back to school schedule right in the ass.

(I haven’t shared yet that BTS schedule requires me & my girl grew LEAVING the house at 6:55am, have I?)

And it was then – in this zest of a moment when I was stepping off my mowed happy watered lawn, happy because of all these things, that I remembered that red ribbon in my dream.

So – as I press on in this new season of writing regularly, taking my game up at corporate, raising teenagers, praying my dog doesn’t eat that thing that really is finally a problem, teaching – convinced that there is something bigger and it’s pulling me forward, I guess I just am sharing this idea that being rooted is one thing, but being covered is another thing.

And we need both. We ground ourselves but something else protects us.

Is this the grounding hope and the protection faith?

This is kind of blowing my mind. So I am going to think and pray more on it.

But for now –

What do you believe is protecting you?

Maybe an angel? Maybe the blood of Jesus. Maybe Kesha and Macklemore?

Just sayin’ – to me, in my very much non monk, non pastoral role of blogging here in my studio – it could be anything positive that makes you feel good.

The point is that you believe, energetically, that you have a shield that helps you stay on track and provides you confidence.

And now I am even remembering getting wigged out about work as I have not been feeling the protection on this upcoming project like I have felt on past efforts.

But that wigging has even been diminished by this notion.

Because what can hurt us, really?

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

If the universe is throwing me perfect morning dance parties and my day old coffee tastes good? I mean … that’s making it, right?

Whom then shall I fear?

Not a single person, place or thing.

Have a good one :)

erin

Praying Through Loss and Longing

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It is my hope that if you read this, you will find a way into a new rest, into new peace – in whatever you are going through.

About two years ago, I was introduced “Ardas Bhayee” a prayer in sanskrit comprised of these words:

Ardas Bahee, Amar Das Guru, Amar Das Guru, Ardas Bahee.

Ram Das Guru, Ram Das Guru, Ram Das Guru, Sachee Sahee

If you click on the link above and listen to it, you’ll see it is really beautiful.

When I was taught this prayer, I was taught it is the perfect prayer. The meaning behind the words are the collection of mind, body and soul – when you pray these words, your voice threads together the needs of each of aspect of your life and you lift up your exact everything to God.

I think that a lot of times, what holds us up in prayer is the “figuring out” of what to pray for. We end up blocking our own faithfulness with over analyzing if God gives us “this” than that means “that” is likely and we are not sure how we feel about “that”. Or – because we know that what is best will take place – we don’t boldly approach the throne with what is we really long for. And then we may even question what it is we long for and feel like maybe we don’t deserve it, maybe we messed up too much to still qualify for it, or you long for a past chance.

These thoughts compound, the tea kettle sounds, the day starts and the prayer never happened. Because you could never figure out what to pray for.

So, there is a lot of freedom in this mantra and just the opportunity to hear the sounds of the beautiful sanskrit and fumble through singing along until all the sudden your heart has figured it out: you hum some words while sounding the ones you are confident in.

I cherish the freedom in knowing that this silence of mind and this sound of the heart and voice are doing all the work I didn’t have to do in the first place. The work I felt I had to do in master planning my life in order to know what to order from the divine is relieved. Instead, I can just lift it up through these words while I clean my house, brush my teeth, sit still.

This whole thought originally came about two days ago when I was in a moment that involved the remembrance of two very important people in my life: Kristi, who passed maybe 6 years ago now and Spindley, who passed about 3 years ago. Kristi taught me trustworthiness and loyalty. Spindley taught me good humor and friendly motivation.

To say that losing these two people was hard would be an understatement. Even now, my heart twists at the fact that they died. And I think that a lot of times, when we lose people in our physical life that had significance to us emotionally or spiritually, we try to will them back.

We look for signs of them. We want them by our side in moments. We feel their presence and breathe it in and are so thankful for the visit. And we want them to come back again for a visit through a cardinal or a butterfly or ladybug.

And this is awesome.

Equally – what is awesome – is when we take the opportunity to shift this perspective just a little bit. What happens when we feel the inclination to will their spirit and character to our moment and resolve, instead, to dedicate the moment to them.

In their honor, to their spirit – a nod to their legacy – we perform the work, we move forward. Not because they showed up and gave us the chills and gave us what we needed. But because they were here on this planet and taught us, loved us, at one point in time and now we can honor them with strength, courage and action.

In doing this, I believe, we balance our consumption of the supernatural with a generosity of spirit and a commitment to being the person they loved so much, a commitment to the attributes we have that made their eyes twinkle and their smile go wide.

I think that, if you try this in the new year, while we are all so set on a new world – a new culture – a new sense of community, that we can free ourselves from the dependency we have created on our capacities to understand God’s subtleties. As surely, we know not all the ways we are loved. Rather than ask, sit and wait for a sign. What if we, instead, identify the spirit and the underlying prayer in our hearts not (only) as something to know and speak and share but something to feel and fumble through and breathe into? It is my thinking that this will make us bolder and light up our spirit from the inside. We will become stronger people of light.

In Romans 8 there is a verse I love love love love love – (vs. 26) where scripture teaches to breathe. Just groan. Just sigh. Don’t think. Just heave it out. In that connection of your physical body and your breath, the spirit intercedes – the spirit prays – on your behalf.

We don’t need to figure it out, friends. We just don’t. If we get knowledge and gain understanding from that knowledge, what a blessing! But it is not our job to seek “knowing” out in a way that distracts us from the true fluidity of the spiritual nature of our souls. That inner pool where God wants you to just sit.

Rest.

–Let your waters be still.

Know the Lord is with you.

There is a lot of peace in this.

XO, erin