Tag Archives: Words are powerful

Dear Friend, What is it about God…?

Dear Friend,

What is is about God that makes you so mad? The mere mention of His name causes your shoulders to tense, and your fists to curl, and your mouth to spit words of hate.

What is is about God that makes you so skeptical? The mere mention of His name causes indignant doubt and the passionate desire to prove His non-existence.

What is is about God that makes you so irritated? The mere mention of His name causes you to turn your back, to tune out your heart, to question the intention of the Believer.

What is it about God that makes it easier to believe in the universe, to believe in coincidence, to believe in “just meant to be”–all of which are equally unseen and void of visible proof and human explanation. Why is God so much more intensely unfathomable than those other things to which we have no clear answer?

I ask not to challenge, but to simply ask because I don’t understand.

The harsh heart, the angry words, the indifferent spirit towards a God who has shown undeniable presence and wielded great power in my life is crushing to my heart.

Father holding daughter in arms at the beachImagine a tiny daughter who adores her father, who grasps her father’s hand and looks up at him with adoring eyes and sweetly requests, “Carry me, daddy. I am so tired.” She asks because her heart knows that her father will lean down and scoop her up, holding her close in the strength and safety of his arms. She knows because he’s proven time and again that anytime she needs him, he’s there. And when she’s securely held high above the terrain that has made her so tired, she rests, leaning her head upon his shoulder and falling asleep in the peace of his love for her.

Now, look at that peaceful little girl and tell her that her father doesn’t exist.

Tell her the safety, rest, and love she’s feeling right now is imaginary and she was crazy to even ask to be carried. Look into her eyes and spit words fury that this father is nothing but a figment of her imagination and she should never speak of or rely upon this so-called father again. Tell her that the pressure to live a life of happiness, peace, and security lies completely upon her– upon her abilities, her intelligence, and her willingness to follow the harsh expectations of the world. You tell this little girl that if she isn’t finding happiness and fulfillment it’s because she isn’t good enough, strong enough, smart enough, and savvy enough to make it in this world. Tell her that the key to finding purpose in her life is to work hard as hard as she can and if she gets tired, sick, or disabled, well then tough luck. She isn’t cut out to make it in this world. Her future is hopeless.

You tell this little one that the father she knows so well and with whom she pleads to carry her has never and will never lift her from the terrain that makes her so tired.

Imagine how heartbroken this little child would be.

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In the eyes of the world I am just another woman. In the eyes of my Father, as my child is His, so am I His daughter.

I am that daughter of God. I am God’s child who looks up and reaches out for my Father’s hand, sometimes for the sake of my own tiredness and always for the sake of others’. I see you, friend, who is angry, skeptical, irritated, and unbelieving, as my brother or sister. It’s okay if you don’t believe. But I do. Please be careful with your words. Words are powerful and words meant to hurt… do.

Your words, however, won’t ever shake my faith. I could give you my testimony if you’d like, but it’s hard if God is so unwelcome to your ears. Would you even listen to me? My intention would never be to convert you because that isn’t my job. As Christian I am simply to share how much He loves you by being transparent about how He’s shown his love for me (despite my brokenness)–about all the times He’s scooped me up when I have been so tired.

I wish and I pray that you would have the experience of our Father scooping you up in Love because I assure you, He will and does. But I dare ask, if you won’t even allow the mention of His name to penetrate your ears, how will you ever accept even the possibility of Him as a Father to enter your life?  I wish you could give Him a chance (even in your skepticism)–to spend some time learning about who Jesus was/is for yourself. He’s more real than the universe and so much more powerful than coincidence.

There’s no doubt God is incomprehensible. His omnipotent power is beyond human sense and control. He seems scary and unsafe, but I assure you it’s broken people and the darkness threaded through this world that is scary and unsafe. God is a father who loves his children and wants nothing more than to protect you– to lift you high above the wearisome terrain of this life and give you rest.

That is what I believe to my core. It’s okay if you don’t, I just kindly ask that you please be careful with your words against what you cannot see or understand.

Much love and In His Peace,

Leanne

 

 

One of my most faithful readers…

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My social-media-shy husband, Andrew, and me.

About two years ago, my husband and I went through a significant rough patch in our marriage. In the midst of working our way through it, Hubz began reading my blogs. I had  three to four years worth of consistent content across two blogs and my business site. He’d never read a single post.

As he began to invest time into reading my work, each day he would come home in awe of what he’d read. One evening he returned home and said, “I love what you write and it makes me want to be student of you–I feel like I am dating you all over again… learning all about you.”

I was surprised because how could he not know me? I mean we live together, parent together, sleep together,  and talk together–everyday. Yet, he was shocked to read I was crying in the shower, feeling overwhelmed by motherhood, and finding the profoundest, tenderest moments in the crevices of my days.

Blogging is a space for me to pour out what is on my mind and heart… to experiment with my expression, to wrestle with my thoughts, to discover the meaning behind how I feel, and to engage the public in hearty discussion. I communicate differently and deeply and honestly here. I mean… I’m a writer.

It’s through my writing where I reveal my language. And for my husband, my blog posts are where he discovered how to communicate with me.

He is one of my most faithful readers now. I never know what or when he reads until I see a comment notification from him. And my heart gets all fluttery and my face gets a goofy smile when I see his name. I am excited to read his thoughts and encouragement. His comments open the door for quality pillow-talk discussions, loving texts randomly through out my day, and the safety to cry, laugh, or vent freely– because I know he gets my heart.

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If your love has a blog– read it. Comment on it. Talk about it. And if you, dear reader, are the writer wishing your significant other could just understand… put your blog in his/her bookmarks bar and let them know it’s there for their reading pleasure. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giving Credit where Credit is Due

I wrote a tough post on Monday. I’ve been struggling with it all week, but it is not the confession or the message or the writing itself that has caused angst. It is wrestling with the outpouring of love, support, and affirmation that followed that had me struggling this week.

I must declare two things before I unpack what I mean:

1) I am grateful and humbled and appreciative for the kindness, love and LeanneSypeHeadshotsupport shown to me this week. Including from you, my readers. It was unexpected and overwhelming in the most wonderful way. Thank you so much! I often express to others a wish that they might receive something beautifully unexpected in their lives, and I was blessed this week to have the sentiment come true in mine.

2) I got into my counselor right away. That post was a wake up call to me that  I needed help again. I didn’t hesitate to call; there was an open appointment first thing the next day. I went and it was a good session. I am scheduled out for once a week for the next month.

To expose my mind in public was hard.  To accept loving response was even harder. Huh? One would think words of affirmation (which is my love language) would feel comforting and… um, affirming. What an amazing gift! Instead I felt squirmy and embarrassed and uncertain. All I wanted to do was put the love back in the box and hide under my covers.

I don’t know how to receive the grace. I was expecting  judgement,  harsh response… or worse, silence. Harsh words at least let us know people are listening.  Silence makes us wonder if we even exist.

I have spent the week, and my energy, trying to reconcile the dissonance and shame I was feeling for the outpouring of positive response. I figured it out.

When I sit down to write, the words that come are preceded with intense prayer. Every morning I wake up and spend time with God; I ask him every day, What do you want me to say today? After all, the reason I am a writer is because He gave me the heart for it and built in my skills (which He’s always refining). Recently He asked me to write my story because… it matters. I have been spending all my time encouraging others to write theirs because they matter without ever acknowledging my own.

storywritingSo November 1, I sat down and began to write, letting the Holy Spirit guide me. I know if you are not a believer in God this sounds weird, and I understand. But hang with me, okay?

The words have been flowing, and I experience the “writer’s itch” to pray and work on it every day.  In this process, as I pray and ask what I am to write, twice I have felt the push to express pieces publicly, here on this blog. The first was Ashamed, the other was Confessions of  my anorexic mind.

Both times I argued with God, not wanting to publish those because I thought people wouldn’t understand, and I would experience some sort of negative backlash. The belief comes from my personal experience and what I witness in life every day. But I obliged anyway because I yearn for a wise heart, and as I have studied humility over the last nine months, trying to understand what being humble truly means, I know that doing as God asks yields the wisdom I seek. Wisdom is more than  being smart; it is a skill in living life in a way that honors God.

So I write. For God. I publish–when I am asked. For God. The credit, my friends, for me sharing my story, does not belong to me. It belongs to God. That is why I have been so uncomfortable this week. The outpouring of love, respect, honor, support that has washed over me in response to my story does not belong to me. God has given me my life; He gives me my words; He gives me my courage; He gives me my stamina; He gives me the wisdom necessary to keep living as He calls me to. All the affirmation I received is what I give to God for delighting in me… even in my disorder.

Yet, I have learned this week, your love to me is a gift.  A blessing for me. God

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honors and rewards our hearts and lives when we serve each other well. Your response to Monday’s post was God’s gift of grace… I am a mess, but I am loved nonetheless. Through you, God loved me. I don’t know how else to explain it.

In humble gratitude, I thank you and God for loving me anyway.

If I were to die tomorrow, my wish would be that everyone who is a mess, receive the same grace and love that was shown to me this week.

All of us matter… and sharing our stories matter, no matter how horrid and messy the story seems: “You yourselves are our letter written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (2 Corinthians 3: 2-3)

Vincent van Gogh might be my boyfriend

I have a big ol’ giant school girl crush on Vincent van Gogh.

Coffee and grinderI like to imagine what it would be like to sit across the table from him in a coffeeshop. Resting my chin in the palm of my hand, one knee crossed over the other, I’d likely just stare at him with those ‘I’m-so-in-awe-of-you’ girly eyes while he softly spoke sweet nothings to me. Like:

“Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all.”

I would nod my head in agreement, urging him to tell me more.

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”

Be still my beating heart, Vincent. I think we were made for each other. Take my hand and we’ll wander under starry nights, dreaming of much love and living life with passionate whimsy. 

*sigh*

Silly thoughts I know. But while van Gogh’s art doesn’t cause me to ogle over him, his words certainly do.  I’m definitely a fan him as a man who valued love and encouraged people to embrace life–notice life. His perspectives on life, friendship, art, and authenticity of heart align with what I encourage others to see and feel for their own lives.

“There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

“It is with the reading of books the same as with looking at pictures; one must, without doubt, without hesitations, with assurance, admire what is beautiful.” 

“Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.”

“If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” 

I couldn’t agree more, Vincent. I feel the same way about writing, you know? When I hear people say, ‘I am not a writer’, I know it’s fear speaking and not their heart. 

“The beginning is perhaps more difficult than anything else, but keep heart, it will turn out all right.” 

Exactly, my dear. It will be alright as long as the artist stays true to him/herself and doesn’t worry about what others think.

I told my husband that if Vincent van Gogh were still around, he’d probably be my boyfriend. Hubz agreed. 🙂

And really, similar hearts aside, the  man had an artistic way with words:

Starry night

“At present I absolutely want to paint a starry sky. It often seems to me that night is still more richly coloured than the day; having hues of the most intense violets, blues and greens. If only you pay attention to it you will see that certain stars are lemon-yellow, others pink or a green, blue and forget-me-not brilliance. And without my expatiating on this theme it is obvious that putting little white dots on the blue-black is not enough to paint a starry sky.” 

Oh I’m sorry, was I drooling just now?

You are a beautiful thing…

Dear Friend,

You matter. I know you are down and in despair; please know that you are beautiful and you matter. I don’t know what is happening, but life seems really messy sometimes, doesn’t it? It’s hard. And sometimes we don’t feel adequate or good enough to make things better. And sometimes we don’t know if we should even bother to make them better… because why does it matter, really?

Well, you matter. And you are loved. I don’t know you, but maybe someday we’ll get lucky and meet–either in this crazy viral space or maybe in person, but either way, I’ll be lucky to know you.

And I will love you. No matter how flawed you are or how messy or broken your life is– I will love you because God loves you. He loves me. And believe me– I’m a mess too. But, I know we are beautiful and we are cherished. We matter. So those who judge you, chastise you, or turn their back on you… well, let them. They are beautiful too; don’t let their hurtful choices toward you matter, though. God will handle the judgement.

Just stay focused on what matters most. You are are loved and your life matters– you matter. Knowing this in your heart gives life to hope… and amazing things happen–healing happens– when you have hope.

You are beautiful thing, okay?

Hugs and love,
Leanne