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Monday, August 02, 2010

Like a Butterfly

Recently I got back in touch with one of my most delightful high school classmates- Laura. There are so many wonderful people that I went to high school with that I lost touch with so quickly. Had I known at the time that these great people aren't that easy to come by out in the big world, I probably wouldn't have taken them for granted and would have made a greater effort to keep in touch. Of course, it wasn't so easy back then. Facebook and myspace were unheard of. Thankfully, I have reconnected with quite a few of them recently, and I was so happy to see that Laura hadn't lost her joyful, radiant spirit that I always loved about her. In fact, she is actually opening a whole store dedicated to that confidence and charm that makes her so much fun to be around. It's called "A Call to Life" and will be in Old Colorado City. So, if you're in the Colorado Springs area, be sure to visit it- it's grand opening is this next Friday- the 6th.
Also, if you go, you'll get to see my gigantic mural that she commissioned me to do. It's now hanging behind the checkout counter. It was so much fun to do, because I had been like a fish out of water all summer having not painted, and this was such a refreshing dip back into the waters that make me feel alive. Also, the subject matter was just the type of thing I needed to be focusing on right now- an unfettered spirit of embracing the blessings that are presented to us. Laura inhabits that spirit so well, and I want to too. Painting this was good for my soul.
This is Laura in her store as we were in the process of hanging the canvas:

As a side note, I purchased the canvas, at a highly reduced rate, from Jodi as she was moving. I still have quite a couple dozen YARDS left on the roll, and hope to put that to good use as well, as a way to commemorate the artistic and spiritual camaraderie that Jodi provided for me while she was here in Denver. I was also hoping that I could keep her vine and cactus alive, but the vine is fighting with all of its might to die. I have done absolutely everything I can, and it does not want to live. It misses Jodi, I suppose. Like, seriously, I've bought a ton of different colored products at Home Depot that promise to save plants, and it just keeps going down hill... I'm trying to not let my spirits follow.

Along the same lines (or maybe not... I don't know)... I decided to permanently imprint what symbolizes the same spirit as the mural does (but in not as much of a literal way) onto my arm. My forearm- which is my favorite part of my body. There really isn't anything I don't like about my forearm, and I don't think there is any other part of my body that I can say that about. And now, I think I will enjoy my forearm even more.
I really like monarch butterflies. When I was young, I used to have this thing called the "Animal Wildlife Fact File" and it was a notebook and each month or so I would get pamphlets in the mail about different animals to add to it- and they were all coded in certain orders. I read through every pamphlet very often. I remember noticing that the monarch butterfly existed on every single continent of the world, and I thought that was pretty cool- that God would choose to let every single kind of person have this same experience (kind of like the moon). BUT... I just looked them up on wikipedia which says something to the contrary. But I thought that I really really remembered that. SO I just went and got out my Animal Wildlife Face File (of course I still have it), and wiki was right... they're really only in the western hemisphere... but my false memory must have come from the fact that the facing page shows the lady bug's map- and THEY are the animal on every continent. Not the monarch. I must have gotten confused. Oh well.... I guess I still like monarchs.
I've had quite a few (3 to be exact) people in public places say "I like the sticker on your arm". So I guess it looks like a sticker.

Sooooo anyways. With this whole losing friends situation that I have vaguely brushed on... it's been difficult to stick with the whole church thing. The church culture... the christiany culture... it's just gotten so annoying to me and I've got a bitter and cynical attitude towards it. I feel bad saying that, I really do, but it's true. However, God, on the other hand, has still touched me over and over again and I can't blame anything on him. He remains so real to me. I'd give up on the whole church routine all together, except for the fact that I just don't think I can give up on church without giving up on God.... and Jesus- he specifically said that he intended a church.... right? Whether I can prove it to you or not, something inside of me was meant for that. Meant for a huge creator and controller and something heavenly. It's not scientific or logical, but it's just something inside me that I can't explain.
So, we've been going to Scum Of The Earth Church... I know that sounds so cheesey. But it's been so specifically blessing me at a deep place and specific place in my soul that I don't feel could be random or coincidental, and I feel as though God has provided it for me just at this necessary time. I am scared and hesitant to commit to it, or to let it define any part of my identity. But it is what it is for now. There's so many different little blessings that have come from it that seemed to be highly directed personally towards me, but why I brought this up, is because of last night's blessing. It specifically seemed to be related to everything else I STARTED out this blog saying (just wait... it's all coming together, I promise). As we sang "I come to your gates once more, my heart and my spirit soar, and I wish I could love you more".... I had such clear visions of the mural I had painted for the store, and how this girl, like me, is approaching God and feeling his warmth and blessing and how it just makes my heart and spirit soar- I was that girl in the mural. And, I was so aware of those blessings, which stood all around me there- my beautiful little girl in her glasses, and my pensive son with a furrowed brow trying to figure out all this spiritual stuff, and the people with messy hair, and the ones that are wearing really weird things. In light of all that, I wish I could love him more- without bitterness, and without the crappy feelings I have towards a lot of his children that have hurt me. And then I look down at my lovely forearm, and it reminds me that He was the inventor of the excellent thing known as a metaphor, and at the point, I am a butterfly, soaring despite everything else that makes me so unworthy of that experience. And that's where I am now... realizing that when I open up my arms and accept the blessings that He is giving me, I am a butterfly- beautiful and soaring and without worry or anxiety, just living the life that He intended for me to live. That's how all these things are connected- the mural, the tattoo, the church... do you get it? I hope so. If not, oh well, I am crazy and that's OK... OK with me at least.


jodi duby said...

when i got my butterfly on my back, i looked up all kinds of stuff. a butterfly symbolizes rebirth, renewal, and ressurection=)
i don't mind you being crazy... but i get you=)

Daphne said...

i get it

Holly said...

I totally get it and it's very fresh to me right now.
our last 'church' experience came with a whole lot of personal pain and attacks...it gets more ugly every time I think about it, so I try not to.

so now, we're new in town, and I keep telling people 'I'm hiding' but it's more like, 'I'm disgusted and frustrated and embarrassed by 'normal' churches'.

finding a church here was hard, not because of the churches but because of where God has my heart right now, and I'm reading a lot of people are in the same place.
I feel a revival coming in our generation - a revamping...or revisiting where it should be...of the local church.
THAT alone keeps me hopeful.

and...that was long.

(I know it seems cliche' but have you read Crazy Love?
it touches on this and I love the tough grace he gives the subject)

Catherine at Frugal Homemaker Plus said...

I totally get the church thing. Totally. Sadly, there's no scum of the earth here, but I would go if there were!

Stacy said...

This whole church attitude is a resounding theme lately. I've heard it from a lot of people...I agree with Holly...maybe a revival is in store for us because although people feel this way...they recognize it and don't like it and want it be different in their lives and get back to God. Me included. The heart and desire is there and God is waiting for us to run back to Him.