Public Speaking

I would like to share publicly a dream I’ve had in secret for quite some time.

I have a desire to be a public speaker. To stand up in front of a church, or retreat, or really any group or gathering and share something I’ve prepared.

Some of you who’ve seen me in social settings might wonder at this, as I am often shy, awkward, and I am even likely to stumble over my words when put on the spot.

But perhaps those of you who have seen me back in my acting days on stage or those of you who have ever seen me give a wedding toast (like this one) might understand.

There is a big difference between crafting and delivering prepared words to fall on the ears of an audience and carrying on a conversation.

For me public speaking seems to hit a sweet spot between many of the other things I have longed to do in my adult life.

It started with a hidden desire in high school. I wanted to be pastor, more specifically a teaching pastor. There was a season where I would write sermons in my free time. Pages of sermons never spoken hid tucked between homework lessons.

Then came speech class and acting and I found a home, places my heart thrived.

Then a desire to teach and mentor youth – to instruct and guide, inspire and encourage. In my young college days these things brought a passion to my heart and a fire to my voice.

And through it all I crafted words. Always imagining in my writing that I was delivering the message, the story, the thought, directly to an audience. Writing it as I would speak it. Utilizing incomplete sentences for the effect of how they would sound being delivered from lips to ears. From vibrations to thoughts.

Public speaking stands out as the sweet spot between all these things. The secret longing that ties other interests together.

It is a dream I have that often feels like a pipe dream. Hollow of meaning because it feels so far off. Hollow of purpose – because who am I to stand up in front of a group and what message could I possibly deliver?

But lately it has seemed a little closer and yet more expensive.

In recent months I have often heard a whisper…

“Your husbands illness and death could be the platform for this dream. Your current pain could be the message that sends you toward that desire.”

And my heart breaks.

Too costly.

I don’t know yet how Bryan’s cancer will end, but I know this: I desire nothing as much as I desire having him live.

I want this dream. I deeply long to have a voice in the world. I want not only to write, but to deliver my writing to an audience. But not at that price.

I would rather continue as nothing more than a housewife, whose voice matters to no one beyond her own children and have Bryan’s hand in mine than have all my dreams, this one and others, come true at the cost of loosing him.

At times I try to hold loosely to all I love, and all I long for, saying to God “whatever you will”, but tonight my hands are clenched around my husbands, “I want him, Lord, no other path. Please. No other path.”

Rejoicing in the journey,

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Fresh Eggs

IMG_4719About a month ago we started ordering fresh free range eggs from a local farm. Well, actually we order them from The Pub at Sir Toby’s Hostel and they order them fresh from a farm. Anyway, I have loved getting these eggs. I even love that when I get them they are usually really dirty.

When I first get them I usually spend a good amount of time washing them – not with soap or anything, but I gently rub them with my fingers while running hot water over them. I’m not sure if this is something I really should or shouldn’t do, but I just don’t like the idea of putting them in my fridge that dirty. And each time that I’ve washed the eggs it feels somehow like a very sacred act.

There has been something very beautiful to me about gently rubbing the dirt away from these fragile little eggs. As I thought about this very basic and common activity today, I prayed this prayer:

Lord, there is so much in my life that feels fragile right now. There are IMG_4728so many dreams and desires and abilities that feel like fragile little eggs. There is so much potential there for life and for nourishment, but there is also dirt. There is much that is hidden in the bushes, covered by dirt. And there is much that is covered with the dirt of my own selfishness. Lord, would you reach down and find the hidden dreams, desires and abilities that need to flourish and clean them off? Would you find the eggs in my life that need to be nurtured so that they can grow to maturity, and the ones that need to be killed so that they can nourish other activities? I need your gentle hands, Lord. I need your help. Much in me feels fragile and easily broken. Be gentle, be kind. Wash me clean. Amen.

Rejoicing in the journey –

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