I’ve sung my whole life. For forty years I’ve written songs and even been awakened in the morning with new songs on the tip of my tongue, until about five years ago when the singing stopped.
I knew that something shut down inside, because for the first time in my life melody wasn’t bubbling up from deep within. Previously I sang when things were good and I sang when things were bad. I also knew I couldn’t “fix” the gift that I didn’t initiate in the first place, but I suspected that my trouble was mistakenly basing my outlook only on what I could see. That kind of perspective would dash anyone’s hope.
Hope is a powerful thing. In fact, hope has a lot to do with how we interpret circumstances, how we look at the future and define things that do not yet exist. I’m typically a Pollyanna, but sometimes when the manifestation of hope wanes, the lack I perceive through my natural sight causes a feeling of deficit. That’s when the opportunity presents itself to choose how I will interpret what I cannot yet see.
Even though I hadn’t entirely recognized it, there had been tremendous fruitfulness in my life over the last several years. I only needed to recalibrate how I looked and what I saw. And that’s when I heard, “This is the year of singing.”
My hope has been popping off the charts over the last year. It’s not that every circumstance in my life has fallen into place, but rather that my hope and faith perspective have recalibrated. Hope is the substance of things yet to be seen.
Hope is consistently singing over every single one of us if we will tune in to hear the new song. This is the year of recognizing and embracing hope. This is the year of the songbirds returning.
Being a person generally perceived as strong and hopeful, I am always surprised at the surprise of others when I have the occasional off day. You know how it is; sometimes you seem to be spinning in a different frequency from your normal, your vision is blurred, causing an inability to see through the here and now to a greater reality.
It’s always in those times that I expand and discover more (I hope you do to.) The light comes to illuminate my darkness and I see better than before. I discover yet another illusion camouflaged as reality.
It’s easy to panic in that wobbly space before the dawn, as if the dawn isn’t coming! But when I think over my life, I realize that even in times of wobble, I have never landed on my backside without the grace to go on. I have an anchor living in me. This anchor of hope is what consistently keeps me afloat and steady even with my occasional wobbles.
Sometimes all we see is the struggle and so we fret, or those around us wring their hands in helplessness to assist. What we forget is that the occasional gap that may cause momentary trashing, results in greater expansion of vision and perspective. We can best support others when trusting and resting in the process, as we ourselves are carried into a greater grace. When we see others and ourselves through the lens of fullness instead of preoccupation with the struggle, we find ourselves aligning with this reality.
To pretend that we never wobble is hogwash! The more we are transparent about our wobbles the more permission we give others to be real about their own. No one lives without occasional wobbles. The question is whether in the times of wobble and lack of clarity, do we grasp that hope is the anchor that does the steadying?
Do you ever wonder what stops the flow of inspiration? Why does the well dry up and you feel parched and dry when the water supply is within and not out of reach?
Sometimes I put myself through mental gymnastics thinking I am isolated and alone, much like I felt as a child. That is UNTIL I realize that even if I feel alone, I’ve never ever been alone, except in my perceptions.
I know its popular to talk about perception, mindsets and shifts these days, but its because we are waking up to a reality that has always existed, but we’ve failed to see. We’ve had the wool pulled over our eyes, while in actuality the veil no longer exists.
We’ve looked outside of ourselves for the mirror image that exists within. We’ve looked for inspiration outwardly, when inspiration is busting at the seams with breath and life, hope’s meter tapping away love’s melody, wooing and including us in the passionate dance and resonance of life.
When I bump up next to you I feel the spray of breath, inspiration filling the air, new and alive, bumping up against the life of inspiration within me. It’s the patter of little feet, the baby in the womb stirring to the sound of the Father’s voice and likeness in each of us.
It’s asking you what you carry, what joy you’re pregnant with and what life you have to deliver? Grace announces that lack has been rescinded.
Starving while the table is set, this gap forgetting where there is no lack.
Swallowed up in Trinity glory, friendship of fullness, ache subsided.
Wrapped in over-loved goodness, caressed and lavished inexplicably strong.
You are not far off as some might be. You are not a wonderer, not like me.
You are steady and sure and constant devotion, like the ocean overflowing the beach.
Lapped up in embrace, no morsels of rationing,
no short sale, no barter for goods. Love completeness, flourishing full.
Years ago as I watched the new version of Miracle on 34th Street with the kids, feeling like the disillusioned mother in the movie, a gentle whisper seemed to say to me, “Can you believe in Santa Claus?” I thought to myself, “How utterly ridiculous!” I was a grown, rational woman who actually was a bit surprised by my enjoyment of the movie.
But there I sat, bewildered, posed with a question by the very One I thought would feel contrary about Mr. Santa Claus. And yet how absurd to think God would be threatened by this imaginary rival. I could have ignored this strong impression that popped into my head, but I chose to follow its lead.
God has always spoken through pictures, like Jesus did when He would tell a parable to illustrate His point. I believe God speaks through pictures because they engage us, but also because He knows that there always will be those who will dismiss Him and not bother to turn aside to truly examine what He’s getting at, like some of the prideful folks of His day.
The probing continued, knowing my firm resistance to the frivolity of Santa Claus. He was prompting me to delve deeper and look into the significance of this joyful character. But like the efficient mother in the movie, I had learned how to plod along, handling the realities of life. Yet, he was simply asking me if I would be willing to receive all of the blessings and joy that Santa represented. He was asking me if I would be willing to receive a life of joy, bliss and grace that surpassed my circumstances.
It’s easy to look around and think something outside ourselves is the cause of our struggle or issues in life. I certainly have and still do at times. But when we begin to recognize our outer struggles are related to an inside perspective, things begin to shift.
We might think our lack of income, provision, health, or relational issues are the cause of what’s stopping us. We might be tempted to measure our reality by our surroundings, not recognizing that reality is not a fixed dimension, but an interpretation.
Hopefully our awareness and paradigms will continually expand and we will out grow the limitations we’ve previously perceived. (I continue to discover thoughts and perceptions that I didn’t know I had and regularly make the choice to reframe the way I see life and I hope you do to.)
It’s when our thinking is entrenched (actually stuck in a groove) that we’ve chained ourselves to an idea that becomes a law that rules over us. A belief only has power to master us if we believe it is the law, or authoritative rule. When we move out of a legal relationship to it, we immediately open ourselves up to experience a profound shift.