onbruisedknees

"Tell your story. Tell it on your bruised knees if you must, tell it at the risk of madness, scream it at the top of your lungs." –Andrew Lam

Category: favorites

A Thousand Daughters

Love woke me up this morning.

Love and puppies.

And knowing at work today new plants would be delivered. I could get my hands in potting soil and roots and bulbs. And knowing I might buy an African violet and eat a slice of carrot cake from Stella’s.

You must find things to look forward to, he says.

I’d paint jars sunshine yellow and make a wreath in the shape of a square. Because sometimes it’s fun to be a different shape than what others expect you to be. I’m not a circle, am I. No. I have a lot of angles. I might be an octagon-trapezoid-isosceles. Something irregular like that. (I was never any good at geometry).

Funny things happened this morning while getting ready.

The first funny thing is I actually got ready.

And the second funny thing?

The sun was shining. Full on shinin’ instead of doing its little peepshow tease. Full on shinin’ instead of acting drunk in the sky. So I actually washed my hair. Actually applied makeup. And I wrote…in my head. I never write in my head. I’m a walking ditzy dum-dum until I have paper in front of me.

And while I painted a pop of peony-pink on my lips, thoughts swirled like yesterday’s snow. Jumbled. But feels so good.

To think again.

To feel.

That movement.

You know?

I started thinking about flocks and shepherding

and the quote that says, “I’ll live as though I have a thousand daughters.”

Sons and daughters, I had. Had a door to stick post-it notes of encouragement. A whiteboard to write quotes and song lyrics. Stories to expand to life. Characters we turned into humans. Heart-to-hearts about parents and dreams and relationships and lust and love and struggle and God and hope and being who we really are. Café days where they found their voices. An avenue. A stage.

A whole big flock.

I was the young one. And so they followed me.

My heart’s kind of sticky that way.

So what’s a shepherdess to do?

I tried to find new sheep when we had to migrate.

But they weren’t mine.

They weren’t mine to tell them it’s possible to be in the world and still not of it. Not my place to give advice. To tell them what worth and holiness are most certainly not measured by.

To talk to them like young adults. Or say they should be in school. They should get to live–at least a little bit–the way they want to.

It’s not up to me. This is not the same place as there.

I don’t get to tell them what to see. I don’t even get to tell them the place to look and let them decide what they see.

So I had to back up. Back off. Back away, far away.

Then found myself in a season where my own heart had to be tended to.

In that place again–

Made to feel like my truth is just not a good example.

Not a lifesong.

Ugh, better to be fake. To be reserved. Not the wild-hearted you that danced with abandon.

Oh, but the gritty and the grace. Your own deep truth, daughters.

That’s the melody. Makes the song worth singing.

Tone down good passions? I can’t. I just find other ways. I’m sick of the way we give into the lies that we are too much. And not enough.

When love wakes me up in the morning, I want to…write. Write again.

And tell all the daughters.

I may never get to have a daughter of my own–though I have named her.

But I will write for my daughters. I will write as though

I have

a thousand daughters.

Award Season

The lovely Courtney from http://dressupandtwirl.blogspot.com nominated me for the….

Thank you! Courtney’s blog is definitely one you will enjoy, so be sure to visit. The neatest thing about this experience is the opportunity to discover other bloggers and connect. How rewarding it is to read the words of honest human souls.

I love questions. I love living my way to the answers. This award required answering questions and following rules that I (mostly) obeyed. Fellow nominees, you must answer the eleven questions, ask eleven new questions, and share eleven things about yourself. (Since I thought the questions I asked were stellar, I decided to answer them for myself instead). The last step is to nominate eleven other bloggers for the award and let them know you’ve nominated them in a comment on their blogs. So let’s pretend I’m all dolled up like Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars except I don’t fall. (Actually, I’ve tripped up stairs several times before, and–let’s face it–this blog is about bruised knees). It’s okay to fall.

Without further ado, I bring your Courtney’s thought-provoking questions and my answers:

1.Describe your perfect hot drink. You have a warm mug of something… what’s in it?

A “frost on the pumpkin mocha” if it’s autumn and a “snowflake mocha” if it’s winter both made with whole milk and whipped cream. Absolute perfection.

2. What are your morning rituals? This question made me realize how much savor my slow, quiet mornings. I tend to wake up with a lot of adrenaline and anxiety.  When I taught and had an hour commute, I woke up in a tizzy, panicked because I usually didn’t have enough fuel in my tank, ate dry cereal right out of the box, attempted to apply makeup at stop lights, and listened to K-love for a full sixty minutes in order to get calm enough and filled up enough to teach. Now, I wake up before my alarm. I put on a pot of coffee, check on nine puppies and mama dog, work on whatever Beth Moore study I’m doing at the time (right now it’s James), read blogs, wash dishes, take a bath, and then drive a short distance to either work at the floral shop or tutor (both places are incredibly enjoyable and have even more coffee).

3. If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, which color would you choose?

Deep purple. Or coral. Or…my yellow shoes always put me in a good mood. Can I wear my yellow shoes?

4. What have you secretly believed you’d be really good at if you were given the chance?

I think I would be a good literature or creative writing professor. I admire three strong female professors at UE who made classes more than just lectures. They taught in an exciting interdisciplinary way that always stayed relevant and sophisticated. They taught with personality and allowed us to get to know them as people. The result: inspired students who looked forward to their classes and remembered what they taught and how they made them feel. With my high school English teaching background, I think I can do that too. I would love to have the freedom to teach the way I want to teach without worrying about standards and rules and parents. I love the campus atmosphere. I want to be a lifelong learner.

5. What one thing bothers you most about the world?

Bullies. Gossip. Entitlement. Censorship. Standardized tests. Apathy. Judgment. Hate. Hypocrisy. Mixed-up priorities.  A lack of being the hands and feet of Jesus.

6. Facebook or twitter?

Facebook. I know this makes me sound old and out-of-touch, but I don’t understand twitter.  I am, however, an idea girl….so I adore Pinterest!

7. Describe your perfect Saturday.

A morning Bible study at Little Prairie with great conversation. Laughing with my sister. Visiting all of my loves in Evansville. Reading a book in a hammock on a sunny day or sitting in an artsy café writing on a rainy day. Taking my dog for a walk. Fishing. Enjoying a delicious meal (I’m such a foodie). Sitting around a campfire with friends.  Doing anything with my husband—if I get to spend time with him, it’s a good day.

8. What is one habit you are trying to change?

Oh goodness. I have so many bad habits. I’m scattered and messy. I forget to write down the balance after I record a check. I also worry too much. I’m a people pleaser. I crumple during confrontation. I’m not the best communicator. I jump to worst-case scenario. I have an inferiority complex. I leave all my froo-froo hair stuff and lotion on the bathroom sink (sorry hunny). I bite my nails. I procrastinate. I don’t know how to grocery shop/meal plan. My mind seems to always be in the future or the past. I’m socially awkward. I can be really stubborn. I’m trying to get better at all of these things.

9. What is one of your God-given gifts?

I hope one of my God-given gifts is writing. I guess we will see when I start my MFA this summer. I think encouragement is maybe the biggest gift. I hope to fill up holes in hearts by giving people what they need to hear so that they can have confidence to become what they are capable of being. I especially have a big heart for teenage girls who need to understand their potential and beauty and worth.

10. Polka dots, stripes, floral, or leopard-choose one and tell me why

Polka dots are so fun, but I can’t seem to pull off that look. I choose floral because I love flowers, my favorite scarf is a floral print, and I’m really looking forward to spring. ❤

Now it’s time for my own questions and how I would answer them.

1. Favorite beverages: water (I guzzle it constantly), raspberry-peach bellini tea, coffee, moscato d’ asti, diet coke

2. Favorite book(s) of the Bible: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes

3. Describe the perfect tattoo: It would be small, on my middle left side right under that area where the side of your bra would hit. The tattoo would read, in fancy letters, “Fuoco nelle vene” which is an Italian phrase meaning “fire in the veins.” Because that phrase describes me.

4. Favorite word(s): peace, dwell, savor, haven, grace, passion, creativity, sanctuary

5. Favorite places: The South, Dale Hollow Lake, Barnes and Noble, Coffee Cottage, Florida, SoIL, Nassau, The Cozy Cabin, around any campfire, on almost any lake

6. Favorite scents: perfume: Burberry Britt, Very Sexy Noir, Amber Romance. Candles: Ginger Fig, Sweet Woods.

7. Favorite body part and why: My left ear is deaf. It is my curse and blessing, my lack, my testimony, my story to tell. So-called flaws are interesting. I like my blue-grey-green eyes when they are bright and happy. I also like my barely size 5 feet and my back. I like eyes and backs and shoulders in general; I think those body parts are beautiful and strong and seductive.

8. Favorite time of day, day of week and month of year: Morning. Thursday. May/June and September/October.

9. Where do you want to travel? Italy, Greece, Australia, Africa, Ireland, England, Canada, North Carolina, Maine, Vermont, Texas, California

10. Describe your best memory. Four-wheeler riding with Josh during a storm (the first time when I was fifteen and then the deja vu time he proposed in the same conditions). Night swimming. We Care circles at UE. And my sweet Memorial send-off.

New nominees, you also get to answer those same questions. Here they are again:

Favorite beverages

Favorite quote

Favorite book of the Bible

Describe the perfect tattoo

Favorite word

Favorite place and why

Favorite scents

Favorite body part and why

Time of day, day of week and month of year

Where do you want to travel?

Describe your best memory.

And those new nominees are (drumroll, please)..

Courtney at http://vintch.blogspot.com

Tobi at http://huntingforbliss.wordpress.com

Miss Ashley at http://copiousmusings.wordpress.com

Jeanine at http://nakedgirlscout.blogspot.com

Jennifer at http://jenr1313.wordpress.com

Micaela at http://theundergroundmicaela.com

B. Lilly at http://totameawolf.blogspot.com

Barb at http://imhookedonbooks.wordpress.com

Other must-read blogs?

http://or-so-i-feel.blogspot.com

http://www.aholyexperience.com

http://momastery.com

http://www.kellehampton.com

They’ll inspire you, too. ❤

Check out all of the above links and get ready for several onbruisedknees posts tomorrow. We need to catch up, don’t we. May you savor your weekend. Happy reading.

Academy Award

Academy Award (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My Favorite Books (List your own favorites in the comment section)

The Help Kathryn Stockett
Traveling Mercies Anne Lamott
Grace Eventually Anne Lamott
The Glass Castle Jeanette Walls
Me Talk Pretty One Day David Sedaris
Lord of the Flies William Golding
Great Expectations Charles Dickens
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
Little Bee Chris Cleave
The Red Tent Anita Diamont
The Dovekeepers Alice Hoffman
Educating Esme  Esme Raji Codell
Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston
One Thousand Gifts Ann Voskamp
Tuesdays with Morrie Mitch Albom
The Forest for the Trees Betsy Lerner
Writing Down the Bones Natalie Goldberg
On Writing Stephen King
Hamlet William Shakespeare