Where Thoughts Are Made

Thoughts are a constant flow. Mostly a steadily flowing river and at times a torrential downpour. Cyclone like thought conditions prevail at times also. It can be difficult with a head full of thoughts to actually make head and tail of them. At first this was to be a photo of my shower head, or perhaps my pillow. Both are places where thoughts are made. I thought about it some more. These are places of inspiration and clear thinking and yet there is a better place.

When I smell the scent of salt water something within me becomes instantly alive and yet calm. Sitting on the beach surrounded by the hustle and bustle of people is where my mind slows down. Walking through the water my thoughts slow down enough to make sense of them. When the cyclone hits, it’s the safety of the beach that I seek out. It is the beach where my thoughts are made.

Daily Prompt: Simply the Best

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

This one is late. It’s a blinking obvious photo too. I’ve put the word in there. Wait though, there’s a story behind it.

First, the pictures!

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The story is this, I have moved around a LOT throughout my life. As a child my family moved about and I continued the habit through my early twenties. Fortunately I’ve slowed down over the past decade and I tend to settle in one place for at least 1-2 years. Finding a new home has not always been fun, at times it’s been exciting but other times it hasn’t been a choice that I made. There have probably been more times that I have been forced to move on than a choice in my hands.

When this photo challenge came up I was thrown into a lengthy discussion with myself (sanity is overrated!). What IS “home”? Where is MY home? If home is where my heart is, where is my heart? Is that really where my home is? Definitions of my home included bland words such as “dwelling” and “residence” but they also include words such as “refuge” and “place of safety”. I’ve always had a residence in which to live, but is that what a home is? To add further confusion to my home discussion, I have always sought refuge in other homes – those of friends and family. I tend to have 2-3 “second homes”  where I am comfortable, this of course is due to my relationship with the home makers there. At times my actual home of the time has not held safety or refuge and I have been more at home at my “second home”.

All of this has lead to a bit of messy thinking when it comes to “home”. I tend to live with the anticipation that I will be uprooted and forced to move again.  Despite the fact that I have a wonderful homely home that I live in, I will sometimes feel more at home at one of my second homes.  I will literally live with boxes unpacked and have a list of things to do in that home that never gets done.

Today, I am blessed. I live with a wonderful family who have embraced me with kindness, compassion and I have become a part of their family. It was thinking of this home concept that I’ve realised that  over the past 20 months I have grown deep roots into this home and family. God gave me a wonderful place to grow and a true home. I knew it, but I have had a deeper revelation that physically, emotionally and mentally I have been planted into this home.  Home is where I am planted, where He guides me to go. I bought these letters to remind me of that each and every day. I have a home, a refuge and safe place in this house and with this family. I just realised I have no boxes unpacked here and most of my “to do” list to organise my bedroom is done! That in itself powerfully reveals how much I have settled here.

No longer will I live with itchy, anxious feet, anticipating the certainty of change before it happens. God goes before me and with me, He provides my home for me.  I will not be living here forever, my physical home will change and yet I will create another home with unpacked boxes and to do lists completed. Perhaps, I will welcome others into my home and give them a safe place to be loved and treated with kindness.

Love,

Sara xo

All Tied Up

*This is not a movie review, it’s some ramblings about my musings on life triggered by a movie. Also be ready for some generalisations! Feel free to argue with me after reading this post 🙂

Recently I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the new Les Miserables movie twice at the cinemas. Both times I was swept away by the story, the characters, the music and the raw emotional outpourings of the characters through song. For over two hours I was on an emotional roller coaster ride that I have rarely experienced on the big screen. As I have reflected on the movie, it is the pure, raw emotion that hits me to the core. As a melancholic introvert, I find raw emotion to be thrilling. Even when it’s Fantine at the depths of her despair. I have tried to think of another movie that has the same effect on me, yet I find none. Perhaps Baz Lurhmann’s Moulin Rouge comes close, another musical!

Some movie’s these days are superficial compared to the musicals of old. We’re left to figure out through dialogue, facial expression, body language, content and story line to know what is happening in the minds of the characters. Generally this is enough, we know what is happening and what they are thinking and feeling in general and we laugh and cry. Les Miserables takes it that one step further. Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Russel Crowe’s acting was overwhelmingly……awesome. Awesome in the true meaning of the word. Throughout the movie the viewer is drawn into each character’s mind and inner turmoil. Songs like “I Dreamed a Dream“, (click to listen) are soliloquys that reveal what is happening within the person’s mind and soul. These moments bring us deeply into the movie and deeper into the character’s psyche. We experience the emotions powerfully as they are expressed eloquently through words and music. The human soul is displayed for all of us to see.

After watching it twice I have wondered so many things about emotion and it’s expression…

Were people more expressive in the old days? The impression that I get is that we’re more verbal and free with our emotions in this era. Yet at the same time most of us are all tied up. Sometimes I don’t actually know what I am feeling and sometimes I know but I can’t express it. Sometimes I know exactly what I feel and how to express it but don’t  for fear of being rejected for my highly emotional tendencies (the blessing and curse of an introvert). So many people are too tied up in trying to play the part of having it all together. We don’t speak of our emotions regularly, I don’t think many people would know how to.

Is that a modern day dilemma? Surely the literature and plays of older times expressed and revealed a person’s inner workings much more strongly than now. Think of Shakespeare, the Bronte Sisters and others. The arts have many functions in our world and one of them is to tell a story and take us on a journey. Paintings, movies, stories – they express and engage us in the human experience of emotions. A lot of blockbusters are action films where it’s all about saving the day and shooting the bad guys. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good action film! But in these it’s all about the special effects and people don’t get sad, they get mad and shoot some bad guys.

Les Miserables takes us on a ride through the rainbow of the human mind and emotions. It’s a musical of old that has highlighted to me how much we’ve actually “buttoned up” in our expression in both personal lives and within the movie world. It is incredibly refreshing to see the human heart and soul out there on the big screen, joyous, in love, broken, bent, despairing and touched by the grace of God.

Love,

Sara

xo

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

shot_1355526314982I’ve been so busy, both with the festive season and with life. My boss is away and I’m being bossy and doing extra shifts. The past few weeks I have felt as if I work, eat, sleep and shop and that’s it! In amongst all of this I have been pondering this delicate photo challenge. I have photos of flowers and a few other delicate things that reflect delicate but I just wasn’t satisfied with them. I wanted something that creatively reflected delicacy. I also wanted to use some photos I’d taken of Christmas ornaments recently. I was driving along one day and I had this revelation. Christmas is delicate in so many ways.

In the past Christmas has been incredibly delicate for me personally. I have often had to work on Christmas day and have even spent a Christmas or two alone. It is a time where I have felt intensely alone and lonely which has deepened the depression that plagues my life at times.

Christmas is a delicate time for our family – personalities, issues, long standing difficulties, the wants and needs of 10 adults and 4 kids and the other families involved is complicated. Christmas is often preceded by arguments amongst sisters about where, what, when, who doesn’t love who, who travels most… the list goes on…. Delicate hearts and minds are pushed and prodded and wrestle with one another.  No one wins in the end.

This year, in my own delicate state, I am trying to focus on Christmas. For some that means family. For me, it means remembering why we celebrate Christmas and finding the joy and magic of Christmas that I once knew as a child. My heart smiles as I say that I have found some of it! Christmas lights, the Melbourne Town Hall display, Carols, the awe struck faces of Children, the generosity and love of friends around me and reminding myself to count my many blessings even when the negativity within tells me that I have nothing and no-one. I am not perfect, I still make choices that are in a word – stupid. I struggle each and every day to find joy, it is there but blinkers blind me from the truth.

Finally, I remember the delicate nature of Christ’s beginning as a man. He came for us beginning as a babe in Mary’s womb and then a fragile, tiny newborn. My good friend and house mate wrote a beautiful article on Christ as a baby – read it here

God bless you all during this Christmas season. If anyone is struggling with Christmas, feel free to comment or email me privately.

With Love

Sara xo

Daily Prompt: A Letter To Myself 20 Years From Now

Dear Sara

It’s hard to write a letter to you. I mean, you’re 20 years older and assumingly wiser, stronger and better.

These then are my simple words to you my dear friend…

I hope that through the wind and storms of life your footsteps have remained strong and sure. That your heart continues to love radically. That your heart continues to fill and overflow with your Saviour’s radical love. I hope that each person that encounters you knows and experiences love deeply.

My dear one, if life has left you walled off and scared, look deep inside. Do not feel ashamed. I have known struggles and despite the darkness that threatens to overwhelm, there is always a spark. Look deep, find the spark and allow it to glow and burn once again. You are created for love, to be loved and to love.

However this letter finds you, continue to put one foot in front of the other.
With love

Your 32 year old self.

p.s read and study Isaiah 43 and the Song of Songs. Yep, all of it.

Daily Prompt: Letter To My 14 Year Old Self

 

My dearest Sara

It is with much love and affection that I write to you today. I wish that within this letter I could seal a hug that would envelope you in my arms. Instead I will write some words to wrap around your heart.

Life is not easy for you at this time, I remember it well. The loneliness, anger, sadness, rejection and heartache buried deep within hurts you little one. Life will bring more pain and sorrow, that is not something that I can take away. Remember dear one that there is always sunshine, joy and laughter.

Continue to create. To draw, to paint, to craft and to write. You bring beauty into this world. Your soft, vulnerable heart that seems to not match your fire and strength is a gift. At times it feels a burden, but it is there that your compassion, love and creativity is birthed. Your soft heart is also part of the amazing gift that you have with children, even from such a young age. Celebrate it all, ride the roller coaster of what it is to be you. You are beautifully and wonderfully made.

God has and will continue to place incredible people around you. People who truly love you for who you are. Not what you can give them. Open your heart to them, lean on them and allow them to love you.

There are others that will take advantage of your generous nature. Learn the ability to say no, to discern why you are giving and only give out of unconditional love. Learn also to discern those that would take out of greed or selfishness. Give generously but with thought.

Look up. Speak up. Deep within you lies a strength that many do not have. The strength to keep going when you feel there is no hope. Your strength comes from both who you are and your love and faith in God. You are smart, intelligent and strong. Whatever it is you put your mind to, you CAN do it. Whatever ignites your spirit – allow it to burn bright until it is a raging fire.

Most importantly, dearest Sara Ann, Princess of Grace, know that you are loved. By God and by people. You are never alone. You are worthy to give and receive love. You are ok. You are more than ok, lovingly created and put into this world for a beautiful purpose.

You are never alone.
With love

Your 32 year old self

P.s Read and study Psalm 139 and Isaiah 43.

 

Post A Day: Lonely

It whispers deep inside. A silent voice that taunts and teases. A silent voice that whispers louder and louder as the night wears on. Tears are close but refuse to fall, making the silent lies even louder. The inner monologue train.

Everyone was busy. All friends busy with their own lives, their own families. I’m home alone and so the whispers have a place to echo and rebound. My heart hurts. It’s easy to believe the lies of not being important, of being alone, unloved, unwanted. They go along with an emptiness and ache within me. Wanting to be seen, to be loved to be valued.

The hardest part is, sometimes the whispers and the ache are there even when people are around. Watching them with their families, a sense of something like envy seeps into my heart. Not quite envy – a sadness that I don’t have a family unit of my own.

My singleness means doing many things alone. Holidays, outings, events, sickness, success – they’re all done alone. I do have people around, good friends. But the sense of not wanting to burden people with my existence often outweighs the choice to seek companionship. My own lack of self esteem, of self acceptance, self worth – it is what creates the loneliness. Longing to belong but not wanting to intrude.

And so life is done alone. Mostly.

I have great friends. I have a place in this world. I do have family.  I am loved. My own walls of self rejection are beginning to crack. Each day I see changes. A new awareness of my value in this world and in people’s lives is beginning to grow.

I do exist. I am seen. I am heard.

I am loved.

I am beloved.