A letter

Dreams and scarecrows.

In Bloomfield, New York Summer, Uncategorized, Year 3 on August 15, 2017 at 5:39 pm

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Three years, friend. Three years ago, today. Three years ago today that we sat at the Taco Box in the East Village and began our hunt for housing. Three crazy, wonderful years. Three years of the highest highs, and the most brutal lows. Three years of dreaming. Three years of blood, sweat and tears. Three years of living the dream. And, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I will never forget the feeling I had that day. Elated and sick. I think I felt sick to my stomach for the entire week. I kept saying to myself, “We are here, our stuff is here, our kids are here, we’ve moved here.” I remember that feeling of “no return.” Not that I wanted to, but sort of. At the same time, there was nowhere else I wanted to be, and nowhere else I wanted to live. There was one thing we were sure of that day, and that one thing was NYC. Since that day, there is another thing we are sure ofscarecrows.

Scarecrows exist because there is treasure in the field. They exist because there is something of value there. Something they don’t want you to get. Something they don’t want you to find. Something they want to keep secret. They want you to leave and go elsewhere. They want you to move on. And, as we both know, NYC has been full of scarecrows for us.

It’s been full of ugly, mean, taunting scarecrows. Ones that have tried to convince us the field is empty. Ones that have tried to to tell us it’s a barren land. Ones that have tried to tell us we’d starve if we built a home here. Ones that have told us we’d only find fool’s gold here.

But, we are learning. We’re learning they tell lies. We’re learning where the biggest scarecrows are, is actually where we are supposed to be. We are learning that they are spineless, weak facades. We are learning they are lifeless, legless, breathless props. We are realizing the sight of them should actually cheer us onencourage us to walk bolder. They should remind us that gold is yet to be found—that bounty lies there. They should give us courage to stay. They should spur us on to dig deeper, to invite friends along, and to be tenacious. They should make us laugh, because we’ve called their bluff. They should make us dance because we’ve missed their trap. They should make us sing, because they can’t. They should encourage us to add pages to the dream, rooms to the house, buildings to the neighborhood. They should press us to write the dream. To speak it. To make it biggerso big that others must come with you. They should tell us to reach farther. Scarecrows should scare us into the very land they are staked in—where the treasure is hidden, waiting for us.

I think I’ll dream a little more. You should too.

Bep

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When spring feels like winter.

In Entering Spring on May 19, 2017 at 11:54 pm

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Friend! Spring is finally here, and unfortunately, I’m not referring to the weather. It’s still quite cold. I guess May didn’t get the memo regarding spring. So, while I’m layered in a sweater and coat, breathing in the almost frigid air, we are stepping into the warmth of the sun after what seemed like an unending season of darkness and pain.

Thank God I didn’t know long it was going to last. I probably wouldn’t be sitting here writing you. I would have quit. I would have gone back to our old life. I would have gone for something simpler. I would have opted for something free of pain, struggle, heartache, and agony of soul. I would have picked paved. I would have picked safe. But, I would have died there— craving this adventure my heart was designed for. I’m glad I didn’t know. But mainly, I’m glad I didn’t quit. 

This past season striped us. It’s stripped me. I told Marge the other day that there have been many seasons where I could have sucked it up and put my best foot forward, so-to-speak. I’m not sure I even have a best foot anymore. I feel so bare. But, In a strange way, in my bare-ness, I feel so free. If only I could learn this kind of surrender more easily. I think it’s what His goal is with me—surrender—but I fight it so often. I strive to keep it all together. I strive to show my strength and put-together-ness, when He’s just waiting for me to let go. 

So, here I am, in May entering spring. Eh-hem, in spring, I should say. It’s all around me. You would think after such a long winter season I would run into spring with abandon. But I’ve found myself reaching for a winter coat most days, preparing for the elements. It’s like a knee-jerk reaction. Bracing myself for pain, when the path is clear. It’s like carrying an umbrella when the forecast says sunny.

I remember—you remember, the times I thought “easy” was just around the corner, but never came. The times friendships seemed to be blooming only to mirage away. So now, things are easier, but I don’t always live easy. I find myself looking around the corner in defense of whatever might be hiding. David shared last week that the initial bud doesn’t look like the fruit, and if you don’t have eyes to see it you can miss it. I think we feel like we have PTSD after this last season. I guess that’s the going-for-the-coat thing I was trying to describe. But, the truth is, spring IS here. And, I will not miss it!

We bought these little flower and leaf decals this week to remind us! We put one right on the light switch by the door, so we see it many times a day. Winter may have been long, but the trees are heavy with buds. It says it so perfectly in Isaiah, “See, I’m doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?” That means there is the possibility of not seeing it. We might be PTSD-ing, even though it’s in front of us. So, friend, buy some flowers, open a window, put something on your mirror, do what ever you have to do to remember: it’s spring.

Love,

Bep

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Thirty-three

In Bloomfield on December 31, 2016 at 7:58 pm

  

Tomorrow I’ll be another year older. Three-hundred and sixty-five days will have passed, and I will get to start again. Sigh. 

I would be lying if I said the past year was easy. If I said it was free from heartbreak. If I said it was free of disappointments, loneliness, anger, and struggle. There were more days than I can count where all I wanted to do was hide and come out again when it was easier—when the road was less rocky. I feel emotional ending this way. I feel fragile looking back.

But, I’d also be lying If I said there were no joys. If there weren’t victories. If there weren’t graces that kissed us. If there weren’t hands that sustained us. If there weren’t three little people that gifted us with uproarious laughter and delight. If there weren’t milestones to be celebrated—mountains we have climbed. If God didn’t give us His gold in Goldie. If there weren’t wildflowers all along the way.

Pain makes beauty more beautiful. It’s the contrast that highlights. It makes me appreciate the treasures, and savor the richness in life. And, it’s in my broken and fragile state where I find myself really leaning on Him. Not able to contribute a thing to His many graces. Not bringing my own mercies to the morning.

Sometimes life is a fight, and the fight is what’s beautiful. It’s beautiful because it’s real. It’s beautiful because it’s not easy. It’s beautiful because it takes courage. It’s beautiful because it’s what we’ve been given. Not something perfect, or flawless, or easy, but something rugged and dangerous and defying. And it’s in this nitty gritty that it’s most beautiful.

If you want to know where to find me this year, it will be here: back up, stabbing at dreams, peeking around corners, daring to fly, out on a limb, standing at the edge of cliffs. And, I’ll be soaring, because there is always a brighter day. And He who holds the future writes a good story with our lives. And one thing I know for sure is that he’s not done writing yet.

The best days are always ahead!

Love, 

Bep

 
  
David gave me this necklace on our anniversary this year. It’s a stirrup. It’s been years since I’ve ridden. Sometimes dreams feel like lifetimes ago. They feel out of reach. This was our reminder to keep dreaming. A symbol of the “better” still ahead. Both old and new. 

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