Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Starting Fresh

Winter is a time of rest. The trees shed their leaves, and close up shop. The grass dies back. Animals hide away, waiting for warmer weather. Everything looks cold and gray, and for some, it feels as if life has drawn back the curtains to reveal a certain starkness that perhaps we were naive to before.

Humans go through seasons as well. For the last year, I have been on sabbatical, a time of rest from my work. I didn’t intend it, but I feel as if my soul drew back and hid itself away. I didn’t feel like sharing my treasures with anyone…and to be honest, I don’t think I knew how. I didn’t even have a desire to write, and my blog here, and Hope Ink Magazine, have remained silent. It’s been a bit barren and a bit hard. Sure, there were moments where the sun would peek through, but the hibernation remained intact.

But as we all know, winter does not last. Spring comes next. The wind picks up and blows away the clouds. The rain falls a little more gently, nurturing the buds on the trees. Pretty soon, new life is everywhere.

My life has been mirroring this new season. There are still days of rain and cloud, wind and bluster, where I feel sleepy and stupid and not quite with it, but the sun is beginning to dissipate the gloom and mist of winter. My desire to write is slowly coming back. I came to this blog and looked it over. I thought about writing. Then I decided to take the plunge…new layout, new font, new outlook. I even decided to renew Hope Ink’s hosting, even though I haven’t written there in about a year. I don’t even know what the next step for the site is, but I feel the ground under my feet is starting to break up, and I want to be open to whatever opportunity presents itself.

Spring is coming into my life…so bear with me. Be watching this space. You never know what might spring up.

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Where you been??

Where in the world have I been, right? Well, I got caught up in creating the magazine (INSERT SHAMELESS PLUG HERE!!) and generally trying to make it in life.

Yep. A couple of months, my counselor and I came to the conclusion that I was struggling with some mild depression. I’m out of the dumps now, and I’ve started figuring out things I can do when I am not feeling so hot. It’s been a journey of working through my feelings and dumping stuff that isn’t important or vital to life. As much as I love blogging, I had to take a step away and sort through things.

So what have I been doing during my seclusion?

Learning to tap into my inner artist.

My first stab at watercolor.

My first stab at watercolor.

Doing some Kay Arthur awesomeness on my Bible.

Look at all the pretty colors!

Look at all the pretty colors!

Journaling and eating lots of goodies at my favorite cafe, Sally Loo’s. (Sorry Mom!)

That's a vegan chocolate peanut butter cupcake. Nom nom nom!

That's a vegan chocolate peanut butter cupcake. Nom nom nom!

Oh, and working, working, working on the magazine. Vacation with the base. Visiting Alabama. Phew.

Thanks to all of you who pray for me, and to those who keep up with me through this blog, come back soon. I am planning to write much more here in the near future. 🙂

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What It Takes: Wrecking Our Lives for a Cause

Today, something in me has to ask: As Americans, what are our intentions in regards to activism?

In other words, are we just flirting with the idea of helping others because it is popular, or are do we truly care? What will it take to move from a point of ignorance to awareness to action, and make it stick as a lifestyle?

Call me cynical (thank you, journalism,) but I have to ask if our enthusiasm to make a difference in the world comes from a real desire inside of us to help others, or a latent desire to be accepted. I mean, are we doing this because deep inside, we want to “fit in” and right now, saving the earth and saving the people of the earth is the trendy thing to do, or has something struck us so deeply, we can’t help but respond in love and action? I feel that some of us, if we were truly honest (myself included some days,) would have to confess that we really don’t care, and that worries us. That’s the fast track to getting kicked out of the cool club where Save the Earth T-shirts and Free Tibet stickers are de rigueur. But come on: Would some of us actually give a damn if people didn’t tell us to?

Activism has changed our lives through the centuries, from William Wilberforce lobbying for the end of the slave trade in England to Mother Theresa starting a quiet revolution by caring for the dying, but I think many people in the modern Western Hemisphere have had their hearts squashed under a selfish need to seek comfort. Ouch. (By the way, as I point my finger at you, there are three pointing back at me.) Change, or revolution as it were, is never comfortable. It hurts like hell. It causes us to give up everything we are and everything we have for the belief that the condition of the lives of others is more important than securing our own comfort.

I’m sure there were many days when Mother Theresa was hurting and uncomfortable. But her personal comfort mattered little to her in light of offering peace and rest to the dying around her that had suffered a mountain of hardship their entire lives. The center, the key to her happiness and joy, was serving God by serving the dying. (Mark 9:41 – I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.) It had become a “moral imperative,” which is a word I picked up from Andy Stanley’s book Visioneering. Stanley defines “moral imperative” as a vision that has become so ingrained through God’s direction and leading, that, if you do follow through, you feel as though you are disobeying God.

Changing the world becomes a moral imperative for the true revolutionary. It’s something that gets under your skin and digs into every nook and cranny to the point that not doing it feels alien, wrong. It comes out of love, which is the most powerful substance in the universe. Are we willing to be so wrecked? Will we allow the power of invading, eternal, poured out love saturate our lives to the point where our lives are no longer our own?

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