A letter

Archive for the ‘Bloomfield’ Category

11:11

In Bloomfield, Year 3 on November 12, 2017 at 12:14 am

Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

Today is November 11th. Or, 11/11. That might not be significant to many people, but as you know, it is about as significant a number as any number ever will be for us. Of all the times it’s been significant, this yearor I should say a year ago today— it marked something that changed our lives forever.

Funny to think it was just like any other day in our life: crazy, chaotic. Big surprise. Me at our school co-op, David at his early morning men’s group. And then a simple question at the end of a conversation that would send us on this insane journey. “I just don’t understand why you don’t have your own church.” Little did David know these words would haunt him and spark our dream back to life. That dream we didn’t really think about anymore. That one we had almost forgotten about. But the one that God had not forgotten at all.

I’ll never forget David’s phone call that day—where I was, the smell of the building, me trying to walk Goldie to sleep in the hallnone of it. It’s branded in my mind forever. I just knew that after three years of almost bleeding out in this crazy land of NYC, that the spark we felt was not natural, it didn’t make sense, but was undeniably God.

Those next four days are also days that I will never forget. The string of mind-blowing confirmations and happenings were almost eerie. You can’t make this stuff up.

After that conversation, we were spinning. We couldn’t think or be productive, so David came home early from work and we headed upstate. Our usual: drive, talk, dream, plan. Earlier in the day I had sent David a screen shot of an opening show at a friend’s gallery I wanted to attend. In one of our many conversations that day I asked if he had seen my text. Upon looking at it again, he realized that across the photo I sent were the numbers 11:11. Goosebumps, chills.

You remember back in Wally, that 11:11 was our number? It was the birthplace of “The Rising.” It was God’s intent, His bringing things that seemed dead back to life. It was John 11:11. It was who Jesus is—was in that season of life for us. It was a number we saw everywhere, a constant reminder of what He was doing and what He could do. And then we moved, started law school and didn’t see or hear anything for what felt like a lifetime.

Fast forward five years later. It’s 11:11 and God is speaking again, reminding us that our dream was not dead, but sleeping, and He’s bringing it back to life.

We were almost ready to head out on our drive that day, and I realized I forgot something for Goldie. As I was upstairs, Leon piped up from the back seat. “Hey, dad, do you ever wonder if you’re supposed to do anything else big with your life?” “Like what, buddy?” “I don’t know, something else big? Do you ever wonder if you’re supposed to be a pastor again?”

I’m not sure anything could have spoken louder to us. David wondered if I had said something to the boys. Was God actually already confirming to us what he had sparked earlier that day through our own 7-year-old son? Without a doubt. I had not said a word in ear-shot of the boys. Heaven was shouting, loudly. We were listening.

A bit later in our drive, David turned to me and said, “Babe, today is eleven-eleven. It’s November 11th. Again, goosebumps—chills. God was writing it in the sky for us. Obviously. That day our lives changed forever. He’s writing such an incredible story. One laced with miracles. One so much bigger than anything we could think up on our own. One more life-giving than anything we could imagine. One more fun than we could ever dream up. It is unfolding daily. I know I’ve told you bits and pieces along the way. And someday soon I’ll tell you the rest of story. But for now I had to tell you one thing— DREAM. Dream. You should allow Him to dust off the pages of things forgotten. Dream again. Because I know this: His best is yet to come. And it’s beyond our wildest imaginations.

Love you,

Bep

Processed with VSCO with a4 preset
Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Advertisements

Dreams and scarecrows.

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

image3

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

image1 (1)image2image4image6

 

 

 

 

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. 

When living takes courage.

In Bloomfield on July 29, 2016 at 11:48 am


Certainly odd for me, but I just finished reading my second book on death. I sat alone in a quiet, sleeping house sobbing, barely able to read the last chapter. His (the author’s) story hit me at the core of my being. Maybe because my mom has had two brain surgeries this year. Maybe because we just had a baby, and I can’t imagine a goodbye like that. Maybe because the author that passed was only a year older than David. Maybe because we’ve said two painful goodbyes this year already. Or maybe because life is fragile, laced with unbelievable joys and aching tragedy. But maybe mostly because life is a gift, and I want to keep seeing it that way.

It is easy to forget that life is a gift, especially when it’s hard. I’ve wanted to hide from life many days this year. I hate to even admit it, but it’s true. The urge to crawl back under the sheets has been all to frequent. Life has been hard. I’ve felt so bare. We’ve had conversations, asked the difficult questions, reminded ourselves of God’s goodness and cried bottles full of tears—mainly mine. We’ve thought about giving up on dreams and leaving the mountain climb for something easier. As tears continued to fall the other night, I think what gripped my heart the most was realizing not my fear of death, but my fear of life.

In difficult times it’s not the uncertainty of life that makes it hard to keep going, but its seeming certainty. In the face of hardship, it’s the living of life I fear. I fear that there are too many hard days still in front of me. Grappling with death these past few months, as strange as it may seem, has been freeing. The worry about getting through tomorrow is suddenly relieved when I realize all I’ve been given is today. In facing death or life, I’ve only been given today.

There is a peace in surrendering to life as it is today, even through pain. In beauty or mess, in plenty or lack, in joy or pain, the only thing that is certain is today. I think God told us not to worry about tomorrow to protect our heart in times of trouble—to not worry about bearing the weight we feel today, tomorrow. There are no guarantees. Tomorrows aren’t given to us today.

This man’s courage to live while dying challenged me.  It challenged me to live my todays more fully—more yielded and present. It’s challenged me to soak up baby kisses, savor late-night chats with my hubby after long workdays, and to have too many scoops of ice cream. It’s also given me courage to face challenging days, knowing I only have to tackle today for now. This man’s courage also reminded me of another Man we know, who courageously faced death so we could have a better tomorrow. And, it’s because of Him that we do not have to walk alone.

Love,

Bep


%d bloggers like this: