Monday, December 28, 2015

Endings and Beginnings



He Graduated!

She Graduated!
The Wedding!


I feel a blog coming on.  I'd say it's about time.  2015 has been a year for the books in the Gilbert household - mostly for our son, Max.  He began the year engaged, he graduated from college, got married to our dream daughter, we bought a house, they moved in, renovations are being undertaken, she graduated from college and we've done tons of celebrating.  I like it when we celebrate.  It feels good and right to celebrate.

Every year I ask God for a word for the year.  It's a tradition my friend Lynette started me on many years ago.  It's fascinating every year.  My word for 2015 was Perspective.  I have really used it a lot through all the events of 2015.  There were a lot of times I could have become overwhelmed and even over stimulated (which I used to do on a regular basis-it wasn't pretty) - but as those times reared their heads I was able to shift my perspective to see all the good and the gratitude kicked in.  This is how I want to always live my life.  Forever and ever.  Amen. :o)

So now 2015 is closing out and 2016 is rapidly approaching.  About a week ago I realized a word had been knocking around in my head and heart way before I even thought about asking for one.  A few days into this realization I actually realized this may be my word.  So I asked for a word and it was like God said, "Have you been paying attention?!"  HAHA!  I can be so lame sometimes.  And so this word is already kicking me in the butt and saying jump on board!  And I am - jumping on board - and it's only December 28th.  There seems to be a rush with this one.

Then today I got a text from aforementioned friend, Lynette, asking me about words.  She asked if I had one yet for 2016 and told me she didn't.  Then she asked me to get one for her and to make it good.  I told her to consider sharing my word because it seemed like a good one to share.  So we are.  We're sharing a word - my word - our word.  Already I'm getting to use it!

So here it is.  The word for 2016 is Connect.  Isn't that perfect to share with a friend?  I already love this word.  I think I've maybe been feeling a little disconnected as I sit in my house and go about my business.  I'm standoffish about making the first contact with people.  I tend to wait for them to want or need me.  So it stands to reason that if they are like me, we will never connect.  I think I may have to step it up.  Step out.  Get things moving.  We'll see how it goes.  Maybe I'll let the blog world know.  For now...

Happy New Year!  Feel free to connect with me!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Sunday Came

It's been a long time since I blogged.  I almost forgot how. I have forgotten that I love to write.  I've needed to do this and I didn't even know I needed to do this.  But here I am.  And it's Thursday.  I think they call it Maunday Thursday.  I'm not sure about all that stuff.  I've never been one to go overboard on Easter, but I never want to forget that all the events of this week actually took place.  I never want to forget that Sunday Came in all its glory.  There are so many things flooding my mind as I write this.  Short synopsis:  donkey, celebration, friends, body and blood, lambs, remembering miracles, a whole people who had been let go and set free, roosters, swords, dice, a sponge full of vinegar, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, thunder, darkness, perfumes, sorrow, tears, fear, shock and surprise, wonder, vision, relief, belief, disbelief, breakfast, peace...

I read somewhere recently that the Jewish people took the lamb into their home for several days before they slaughtered it and wiped its blood over their doorposts.  I wonder if that's true.    If it is, it reminds me of the disciples spending those last days with Jesus.  They were right there eating, drinking, sharing time and space with The Lamb.  No wonder they were in denial.  Here is this one precious, loving, kind, gentle friend celebrating and remembering that dark and miraculous time in their history.  Of course, you wouldn't want to think or believe that soon he would die even though he tried to prepare them.  Ugh.  Put yourself in that place, in their shoes.  It is completely overwhelming.  It changes how you see the story when instead of words in a book you place yourself there and imagine all the things that took place in that one week that changed everything.  It's good to remember that it is not only a story we tell to remember it, but that we are also part of that story.

I hate that we have taken such a remarkable story and cheapened it with decorated eggs, bunnies and baskets of candy.  We are stealing a rich and glorious story from our children.  I'm not opposed to having a little fun.  Not at all.  I rather enjoy using my imagination.  But imagine if we allowed ourselves and our children instead to imagine what it was really like when Jesus showed up on Sunday and threw a big party to celebrate.  What if they knew he would show up on their Sunday.  Some of our kids are living in situations that feel a whole lot like Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Heck, some of us are living there too.  I have news for us.  Sunday came.  Sunday is here.  Everyday is Sunday.  He is here.  Immanuel.  God with us.  And to top it off we also have Holy Spirit!  The King of Imagination!  I never want to go back to Thursday.  I don't want to forget what had to happen to get to Sunday but I want to celebrate everyday like it's Sunday.

So let's go there and imagine heavily walking to that garden to sit by a tomb and mourn for your best friend and when you get there and it's wide open and there's nothing - no one - there.  What would you think?  Where would your mind go?  And then you see him.  He's actually standing there right in front of you.  Disbelief, rubbing your eyes, not wanting to turn away but wanting to turn away, relief that he's not simply gone, remembering the words he had spoken, slowly beginning to believe, wanting to run to him and never let go but being told to go and tell the others, ("what?!!  leave you?  No way!  Fine but don't move.  I'll be right back!")  And then running as fast as you can and bursting into the room where everyone is crying and wailing and sitting there still stunned and fearful.  They turn and look and they see you - you are ecstatic and glowing and full of joy!  They must have thought she was insane.

I wonder if anyone thinks I'm insane.  I want them to.  I want people to wonder about me.  Lately I haven't been feeling very full.  I have no idea why.  Maybe it's because I've lost my wonder. I haven't taken the time to sit and let myself be filled.  I've let other things fill my time and thoughts.  That's one thing blogging does for me.  It fills me to imagine where God fits in my life.  Or rather where my life fits in God.  Yes, that's it.  Where do I fit in the story?  Imagine a huge jigsaw puzzle of the most beautiful and amazing mosaic.  We are each a piece of the mosaic.  We fit right into our place.  Without any one of us it is incomplete.  Though it is still beautiful on some level, it is not finished.  Maybe some of us are not yet our full piece.  I know I'm not.  What if all the puzzle pieces are in place but they're not yet the size they will be upon completion?  They are growing and ebbing and almost there and then shrinking back.  Man, I could go with that picture and be there for hours.  

But I've rambled enough for one day.  So many thoughts.  So much love.  Sunday came.
 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Endings

Well here it is December 31, 2014 and this is my obligatory end of the year post. I have absolutely no idea what to say. Maybe it will just come to me as I go along. 

My word for 2014 was "move". I'm not sure exactly how that has manifested in my life other than I started doing yoga this year and I got a Fitbit. The Fitbit only served to make me realize how little I move and how well I sleep. Apparently I excel at sleeping! I'm sure no one finds this surprising. We did move upstairs and live there for approximately four months while we redid our bathrooms. I wonder if that counts. Let's say yes. All of that speaks of "move" in the physical sense, which leads me to wonder if I have moved any spiritually. At this very moment I'm feeling a little stagnant. Maybe stagnant is not the right word. I think the word I'm looking for is unmoved. I realize this is my own doing since when I think of Spirit I definitely don't think unmoved. When I think of Spirit I think flowing, blowing, moving, shifting, shining, growing, blooming, soaring. And there it is... Now I am moved. It's funny how all I have to do is stop and refocus to realize Spirit is all around me, in me, moving through me, moving in me and I begin to flow and move and shift and shine and grow and bloom and soar and blow through this life and I feel so alive. Move has been a good word. I'll carry it with me forever. 

As a side note I find it interesting that I
spent one of the last weeks of 2014 on the beach by the ocean watching flowing moving soaring blowing shining glowing shifting blooming go on all around me.


My word for 2015 is...Perspective. I think it's already started. 



Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Exercise

I have never been one to enjoy exercise much. Now I love a nice long nature walk, but I like to mosey along stopping, looking, squatting, seeing, hearing, smelling. Walks like that don't get your heart rate up. But they do get your heart – up. Walks like this feed my soul. To me there is nothing better than sitting beside a shallow stream full of beautiful rocks - each one beckoning me to choose it.  And I do my best to choose each one at least for a moment.

This past weekend Geoff and I went to see the movie "Lucy". It was a spiritual experience for me. I realize this is not going to be the case for everyone who goes to see this movie. There's a lot of violence and definitely some evil involved in the story. But the moments my spirit came alive were the moments where Lucy begins to develop into the whole complete person she was created to be from the beginning of time as she begins to use every part of her mind. I couldn't shake the feeling that this is what heaven will be like. Maybe not exactly as they describe it but on some levels I believe they captured some slice of heaven. 

It was weird. I walked out of that theater and the sky was bluer, the clouds were fluffier, the grass was greener, everything felt charged with anticipation. Expectation no longer held preconceived resentment. Expectation became hope. I want to see this movie again. There's some depth of truth held in its reels, truth I want to explore further like a long nature walk or a sit down by a stream. I may even want to own it. Then I can fast-forward through the evil parts - unlike real life. Hmmm...What if heaven is life fast forwarded past all the evil parts.  Nah. It's way truer than that. 

So what does all this have to do with exercise?  Well, exercise is "something done or performed as a means of practice or training; a putting into action, use, operation, or effect".  Maybe I'm being called to practice or put heaven into action or effect. That sounds cool!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Prophetic Art

I recently had an incredible experience. I was asked to come and paint during a prayer session called Heart Sync.  Heart Sync is an inner healing prayer format that is designed to heal the brokenhearted by syncing or reuniting all the parts of your heart back to Jesus. It's really quite fascinating. I was asked to be in another room painting while the heart sync was taking place.  

The first time I did this was on Monday January 13th. During church on Sunday I had a vision of a heart that was pulsating and beating behind the worship leader.  When the preacher stood up and began to preach I saw different colored ribbons flowing out from the heart. They would flow out and and end up inches away from each person in the room. When I asked what the ribbons represented I felt like God was saying they represented the cords of lovingkindness that draw us closer. On Monday morning I knew I would be painting this heart. I grabbed a blank canvas and as I was leaving I looked over and saw a canvas I had previously painted purple and splattered some other colors on. I also grabbed it on my way out.  When I got to the church I was set up in the gym. The Heart Sync was going on upstairs. I pulled out my blank canvas but soon realized I was supposed to paint on the purple one. I began to paint the heart I had seen the day before on the purple canvas.  It was a blast!  When I had finished painting I left the painting in the room and went to lunch. Later I found out that it was exactly what the person having the heart sync had seen while she was in her session. Everything she had seen and experienced was purple.  God is so cool like that.

The next day they asked me to paint again. I arrived at my appointed time and the gym was dark. No one had turned on the lights yet. I was in the hallway on my way to find someone to turn the lights on when four the ladies who were at the Heart Sync training walked in. They asked if I was painting again that day. I told them I was and they asked if they could pray for me. Of course I said yes. As they prayed one woman said that she saw me surrounded by small children. They were swarming around me and interacting as I painted and that the creativity that I was putting out was being taken in by them. I thought that was pretty cool. I didn't know when or how that would ever happen. I'm not around very many small children, especially a crowd of them. As I was setting up a woman came into the gym and asked if I was going to be there that morning painting. I said I was and she said "oh okay". I asked if that was a problem. She told me they had Mother's Day Out that day and were going to have the children play in the gym instead of on the playground because it was cold outside. I said "bring them in!"  In just a few minutes there were about 20 one and two-year-olds in the room. They didn't really pay much attention to me because they were on the other side of the gym but I did get to watch them as they played and interacted together. It was too fun. As they left I thought that wasn't exactly what my new friend had seen but ok. About half an hour later 20 more kids came in that were three and four-year-olds. Now this was a totally different experience. They were very curious about what I was doing. They were all over me. It was so much fun! I was painting a picture of different colored feathers on a blue background. They had so many questions. And so many ideas like where to put what colored feather. They ended up being a very integral part of the painting.  I felt like the painting was portraying creative ideas that Are floating  in the air all around us. All we have to do is reach out and grab them. The lady who was in the Heart Sync during that time was released into creativity!  How cool is that!

That afternoon I painted again. I was messing around with watercolor paper and acrylics when a friend walked by and noticed when I was doing. She gave me a new kind of watercolor canvas to play on. I got it very wet and then took tubes of different colored paint and squirted on the canvas and rubbed it around with the tube first and then with my finger. Then I sprayed it with more water. The last thing I did was lift it up and let it drip. I called it "Heaven's Rain". I had an to meet my husband 4 an appointment so I left the painting sopping wet sitting there. About an hour later I received a text that simply said, "They are freaking out over your painting!!!"  That was exciting. They said they could see all kinds of things in the painting. There were eyes and a lion and a lamb.  I had taken a picture of the painting before I left so I got it out and look at it again. It was true. There were all kinds of things in that painting I hadn't noticed.  And again it perfectly matched the Heart Sync session. Everything the woman had seen in that session was multicolored!

I love how God works. He's mysterious and exciting! There's just no explanation. I am in awe. 

Monday, January 06, 2014

2014's word

I thought is posted this already but I see I didn't. So here goes...

My word for 2014 is "move".  Anyone who knows me very well knows that this word will be a big challenge for me this year. I am more of a sitting and being person than a moving person. The word move has many meanings though and already this year, and it's only January, I've experienced some major movement.  I've already had a colonoscopy which means the day before was a major day of movement if you catch my drift. ;o)

On New Year's Day, for another example, I was at a friend's house playing games. I found myself at the far end of the table and every time I had to spin the wheel I had to get up and lean over to do so. All that movement was lost on me until my friend's daughter heard my word for 2014 and realized I had been moving more than anyone else during that game that day. She got a big kick out of that. So did I. Even when we don't necessarily want to participate in our word, God has a way of making it happen.  I love that part.

I also began a yoga class. I've never really done yoga. I've messed around with it a couple of times. Normally I'm laughing so hard I don't really get much yoga done so it will be fun to see how this turns out. But it is a form of movement and I'm excited about it.

I'm moving right on into 2014. I really am  excited about this word. I love the way God uses these things to bring us closer. Really it's inevitable. If God gives it to you it will be used in profound ways. It's a matter of opening your eyes and ears and heart to the possibilities.

Happy new year!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2013 - Write/Right...Right/Write

2013 is coming to a close.  My word for this year was "write/right".  When I first heard it, I heard "write".  In my mind I saw "right".  Isn't that interesting?  As December descended upon us I began to ponder what that had meant for me throughout this year.  I haven't written anything to speak of - just a few blog posts.  I haven't journaled.  In fact, not much went on in my life about writing at all.  Instead I painted.  (Which is a form of communication I suppose.)

I was having a conversation about all this with a friend when it hit me.  This year has been about me NOT having to be "right" on so many levels.  It's been somewhat humbling and certainly more than a little freeing.  Isn't it just like God to turn it all around and make it something completely out of the box I had envisioned it in?

One day while I was doing laundry I had the thought "I don't want to put God in the box of my beliefs".  I don't want to have to be right because, holy cow - what if I'm not?  It could happen.  ;o)  I'll be the first to admit I don't know.  I do know what I believe in my heart but I don't have to convince you I'm right.  You get to have your very own relationship with God anyway you want - or not at all if that's your preference.  God is big and good enough to reach your heart without my yammering.  My truth is simply that - my truth - the revelations that I've been given.  And really?  My truth changes as more is given.  Every day I grow.  It may be something I read, or something I see, or something I experience alone or with a friend.  This change has become my friend - no longer my enemy.  I used to hate change of any kind - but not anymore!  Now I embrace it.  But it has to come to my heart.  I believe we are created with a "knower" - that part of me deep inside that knows, yes, this is true.  Trust me I come across a whole lot of stuff I know is not.  And when I do, I kindly decline the offer to accept that thought and move on.

We've had some conversations with the high school kids we work with that have driven this home.  I thought I was put in this group to lead them into some spiritual place of truth - my truth.  I have come to realize that they carry their own amazing hearts and beliefs and they have done their share of leading me - because I let them.  I opened my heart enough to listen.  Those have been the best of times and the deepest discussions and I have grown.

So here I am writing about right.  I love that.  The word was not a wash.  God is so fun.  I was scheduled to teach our prayer class on January 5th but had to reschedule.  I ended up doing it on December 15th which happened to be the last Sunday we met in 2013.  I talked about Journaling with God.  I think that is hilarious!  I got to tell them about this revelation I've had about my word.  I got to relive some old journal entries that blew my socks off all over again.  It was amazing.  I am so blessed.

So now I get to ask for a new word for 2014.  I think I've already got it.  I'll let you know.