Day 21: All Good Things Cast Shadows

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Monday morning comes early. So early, in fact, that I’m nearly unable to keep my eyes open as I try to drag thoughts out of my head and give them air in my morning pages.

I scribble ’round and ’round how exhausted I am, how I don’t feel like writing morning pages today. I pep talk myself: C’mon, Dana. Keep… going. 

I make it through my shower and downstairs to where coping skills await me in the form of coffee. Kiss Stan g’bye as he heads out the door, eat some breakfast, feed Maia some bites of omelette, and put my slightly sniffly, fussy girl down for an early morning nap.

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All the while, the thoughts running through my mind are around my music and the releasing of it into the world and the question that hadn’t even occurred to me before I sang that first song into my iPhone video camera a couple weeks ago: What changes might this bring for me? What doors might Jesus choose to open? Any? None at all? 

I marvel at the intricate, intimate detail of God’s goodness, wondering what He has planned, vacillating between trusting Him almost entirely, and feeling the weight of a thousand fears. Wavering between finding my identity in Him, and an acute awareness of theses gaps that remain in my identity — gaps that manifest in the form of this fear that I won’t have human approval.

Or… that I will.

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I make my way downstairs after laying my girl in her crib, and I discover something amazing: the best way to get Isaac to play for an extended period of time by himself? Ask him to clean up his toys in the playroom, and tell him it needs to be done before he’ll be allowed to watch a movie.

My just-turned-4-year-old decides playing sounds more fun than cleaning (shocker), grabs car carrier truck and rescue helicopter and a million smaller vehicles, and plays totally on his own for nearly an hour and a half. Granted, he’s in clean-up avoidance mode, but he’s having such a great time that I decide to leave well enough alone.

So my girl sleeps, my boy entertains himself, and I start a load of laundry.

And then — I do something I never do while either of my kids are awake: I plop down on my couch, and I read a book.

It’s An Altar in the World, and while the entire book is rich so far, I find myself turning over and over this one phrase in my heart: All good things cast shadows.

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I contemplate the shadows cast by the good things in my life… the shadows cast by my strengths.  I circle ’round the realization that the more I follow God’s nudges in moving toward toward the things I know I’m made for, the more my strengths seem to highlight my weaknesses.

How they bring my broken places right to the surface so I’m divinely held in this place of acute awareness of the depth of my need.

And this awareness, I know, is an invitation to intimacy with the Almighty — a drawing to press my weak places into His heart yet again, to move forward into whatever lies before me, leaning into Him as I go.

And the goodness of this God who paints beauty on the backdrop of weakness — it undoes me all over again today.

_________

This post is part of my 31 Days series, Rooted: 31 Days of Authenticity (from my life in limbo). You can find the entire series here.

If you don’t want to miss future posts or song reveals, I invite you to subscribe to receive each post in your inbox.

Posted in 31 Days 2014, Encountering God in the Messy, Learning Authenticity, Ministry, misc. walking with Jesus, Music, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Day 20: In Which Community Is Rich {and an apology to my email subscribers}

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This past weekend was one that lent itself to richer fellowship than Stan and I have experienced in awhile.

We sat over barbecue around our dining room table and caught up on friends’ lives and stories and prayed for one another.

I sat across a Panera table from a friend and we shared the deep places of our souls, of our heart’s journeys. I rambled. A lot… because this is the kind of friendship where the deep places and the not-quite-solidified-yet places are safe to come out and be known.

Then Stan and I sat over (more) coffee and pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with still more dear friends and enjoyed our 2 kids and their little one. We talked around painful heart-lessons learned in this season and the airing of those things was medicine to our souls.

We took our kids to a pumpkin patch, and try as I might, I got not a single Christmas-card-worthy family photo. Ha. Thwarted by my kids’ kid-ness.

We had such a sweet time together though– until we got back in the car and experienced the Epic Meltdown of the Century, complete with both kids yelling and crying. But Stan and I were able to remain fairly lighthearted, so I s’pose that was a victory in and of itself.

Also? I read and responded to a number of comments on the new song I shared yesterday, which, if you missed (or if you’re an email reader and I once again neglected to provide you an easy link to view the video – please forgive me!), you can find here.

You guys and your support and encouragement of my art and my heart – you simply undo me.

All of this to say — I’ve not found much time to write this weekend, and this week as I prepare for Allume, my posts may be a bit on the shorter side.

BUT.

By God’s grace, I will continue to show up here. Because I believe He’s in this. Because I value what He’s doing in my heart, the ways He’s stretching me and whispering inside me over these 31 days. And because I deeply appreciate y’all’s companionship here.

Many blessings on your Monday, my friends. So thankful for you all.

This post is part of my 31 Days series, Rooted: 31 Days of Authenticity (from my life in limbo). You can find the entire series here.

If you don’t want to miss future posts or song reveals, I invite you to subscribe to receive each post in your inbox.

Posted in 31 Days 2014, Allume, Community, Learning Authenticity, misc. walking with Jesus, Music | 3 Comments

Day 19: Singing for You Again {The Way You Love}

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Happy Sunday, my friends! Today I’m sharing another song with you, written by yours truly. I give you a bit of the story behind the song on the video, so I’ll spare you that here.

I’ll tell you though, that it’s been interesting this week to see how fear has reared its head for me in the wake of sharing last week’s song. The questions have had their moments of running rampant in my mind and heart — questions of ”what if you can’t do that again?” and “what if your next song (and the one after that, and the one after that…) doesn’t impact hearts to the same degree?”

It’s Friday night as I prepare this post, and today, I was able to get still and quiet before the Lord — enough so that my fear was calmed, covered by the reality of His love and my identity in light of it.

And finally, this afternoon, I was able to sit and play this song for you out of a more deeply grounded place in my heart.

And for that — for His faithfulness to root and ground me in Love yet again — I’m so very thankful.

So. Without further ado…

The Way You Love

The Way You Love

I– just wanna love you
I– just wanna pour my heart out
I– just wanna love you
I– just wanna pour my heart out

And worship you
For who you are to me

And I– I just wanna come, God
Right now, simply bringing you all my devotion
And I– just wanna come, God
Right now, simply bringing you all my devotion

And all else fades
Away–
Under your gaze
And all else fades
Away–
Under your grace

Chorus:
Because the way you love me
Overwhelms my heart
And all this beauty
Speaks of who you are
And the way you love
The way you love
The way you love

©Dana Butler, 2011
Disclaimer/Copyright

This post is part of my 31 Days series, Rooted: 31 Days of Authenticity (from my life in limbo). You can find the entire series here.

Also, if you don’t want to miss future posts or song reveals, I invite you to subscribe to receive each post in your inbox.

P.S.  I will be sharing this post with my friends in Lisha and Kelli’s lovely communities.

Posted in 31 Days 2014, Creativity, Give Me Grace, Learning Authenticity, misc. walking with Jesus, Music, Unforced Rhythms, Writing | 30 Comments

Day 18: My Heart for You Today {annnd Sunday comes ’round again…}

A blessing for your Saturday, my dear friends:

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In the midst of the hustle and bustle, or the resting, or the playing,
may you find yourself hushed by this holy pause.

May His whispered affection reverberate down to your very core,
where you are intimately known
seen
affirmed
defined
embraced
by Perfect Love.

May you find your every fountain in His heart alone.

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PS. Tomorrow is Sunday, which means I’ll be introducing another of my songs to you here — another raw, unedited invitation into my living room and my heart. As always, your presence means more to me than words.

Posted in 31 Days 2014, Learning Authenticity, misc. walking with Jesus | 4 Comments

Day 17: In Which I’m Requesting Your Prayers

Rooted Final 500 x 500Day 17. New post.

Must… type… words.

Y’all, it’s official. Maybe.

I’m {possibly} running out of words.

Today’s the first day I’ve sat down to write a 31 Days post and instead of feeling inspired to write words, felt inspired to take a nap.

Or write a song. Not sure which.

Honestly, I’m tired. Vulnerability fatigued, perhaps. Word-wrangling fatigued. Soul-excavating fatigued.

I’ve loved the last 16 days because writing so consistently has kept me so very awake inside. Kept the eyes of my heart wide open for Him inside me and coming out through me and present all around me.

But pouring out my soul here day-in and day-out is a challenge, and yup, I’m finally feeling worn thin.

And yet my heart is full, because y’all have been so kind to me.

I share my music, and you celebrate my heart and my art. I confess my fear of my creative rivers running dry, and you encourage me, tell me you believe in me, remind me I’m not alone in this fear.

Solidarity. It’s a gift, and most days I’m not aware how much my soul needs it.

*****

This morning, I clean up messes, dress littles, and herd us all out the door to Little Monkey Bizness. It’s medicine to this mama’s heart to see my kiddos play hard with other kids, and our time this morning does not disappoint.

Isaac hooks up with another little boy and a slightly older girl, and the three of them run around, climbing and sliding, giggling and pretending. In this season of less-than-normal amounts of community for us, the companionship is every bit as sweet to his heart as it is to my watching eyes.

We make the trek home, eat a quick lunch, and — sigh. Nap time is a thing of beauty.

I wash a few dishes, clean up a puddle (a result of Maia’s realization of the fact that she can now reach items on the dining room table), and sit down at my computer.

And as I think ahead to the next few days’ blog posts, it’s on my heart to ask y’all for your partnership in prayer.

Would you ask Jesus to lead me in which of my songs to share? In what heart words to continue to write in this space?

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing a quick, simple prayer for your weekend, like I did last Saturday. Then on Sunday I’ll share my next new song (via unedited iPhone video again, of course).

Also — final thought: In the second half of next week, I’ll be headed out east (via plane instead of car this time – thank you Jesus!) for Allume. I am so excited, y’all, because I will get to throw my arms around fellow creatives who’ve become dear to my heart, but whom I’ve not yet met in person.

I would love your prayer, too, that Jesus will keep my family and me healthy leading up to my trip, and that He’ll even now be setting up divinely orchestrated conversations with women I’ll meet there.

I don’t know what He has planned for my trip, but I trust that it’s good. If I can authentically connect at a heart level with several friends — either new or already-established friendships — I’ll consider Allume a win. It’s all I’m after.

I’m asking Jesus to allow me to whisper truth, identity, healing into the tender places of a handful of hearts. Asking that I’ll be fully present to those He puts before me, that I’ll continually have an ear out to what He might want to speak, how He might want to move in various conversations. That I’ll deeply see and hold space for stories and souls.

I would love your partnership in prayer around that, friends. And also that I’ll receive whatever He has for me during those few days.

Also {gulp}, I’m bringing my guitar. I’ve had several people request that I bring it, though I don’t know if/how there will be opportunities for me to play/sing. But there has been a request for a singalong. So… we’ll see what happens.

Okay. Annnnd this is the most randomly practical post I think I’ve ever shared in this space. But these are the things that are rolling around in my head and heart today, and here I am, laying them before you.

Again.

And now… moving into the living room to break out my notebook and pen and guitar.

Much love to you today, my precious friends. Thank you for the way you see me, desire me, believe in me.

This is Day 17 of a 31-day series. You can find the rest of the series here.

Also, if you’d like to follow along so you don’t miss any of my 31 Days posts, I invite you to subscribe to receive each post in your inbox.

Posted in 31 Days 2014, Allume, Creativity, Learning Authenticity, Uncategorized, Writing | 8 Comments

Day 16: Can I Make a Confession?

Rooted Final 500 x 500Hey, can I make a quick confession, my friends?

There’s this fear that’s cropped up in my heart in the last few days.

I share my music publicly (albeit totally raw) for what’s really the first time ever, and the response all at once blesses me and frightens me.

I’m so thankful Jesus has touched hearts through my small offering… but what if that’s all I’ve got? What if I run out of new ideas?

What if my internal creative river runs dry?

Those are the questions churning beneath my heart’s surface last night as I make dinner, chat with my family, load the dishwasher, clean up a zillion crumbs.

Before I leave the house to run errands, I dig out my old iPhone and charge it for a few minutes. Then I take it with me in the car, and I spend my drive to Target and Whole Foods listening to old voice notes, still buried in my former phone.

Six, seven, eight months ago, I spent many hours during my kids’ naps (which were longer then) just sitting before the Lord, guitar in hand. I’d strum and play and spontaneously sing my heart to Him.

And sometimes, I’d hit that little record button on my phone while I poured out my heart. So last night while I listened to some of those spontaneous songs, I realized — there is a rich pool of creativity here. Of anointing and ideas for the crafting of new music.

Gosh. Even saying that in this space freaks me out, you guys, because I’m so afraid I won’t be able to continue to write songs now that I’ve “come out” to you here.

BUT.

In one of those spontaneous worship sessions in my old voice notes, I sang for 12 minutes straight around the idea of these internal rivers of creativity and power — rivers of Him on my insides, flowing from me.

The water is alive, I sang, over and over, and daggum it, I believe that, y’all.

I believe that rivers of living water will flow from my inmost being. (John 7:38)

And despite the fear, faith is rising inside me. Faith that my Creator is my ultimate creative Source. That He who’s begun a good work in me will complete it. That as I create unto Him, my art is worship. That it glorifies Him. That it delights His heart.

This morning I wake up and get back into the rhythm of spilling my heart into a notebook at the start of my day. Then, picking up my phone, I open my Bible app, and y’all, You Version’s “verse of the day” today?

It’s John 7:38:

“Whoever believes in me, as scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within Him.”

Seriously? Jesus, really!?

Sometimes He speaks and it’s straight up unmistakable. This is one of those times.

“Step out, Dana. Move forward in faith, hand-in-hand with Me. I’m leading. I’m opening and closing doors. I’m trustworthy. I’m your Source. From me and through me and back to me are all things.”

All things.

Including, and especially, these creative rivers.

So. I’m still a little afraid, to be honest. But I’m saying yes to Him. Moving forward in creative partnership with the Ultimate Creator.

Gulp. Here we go.

________

This is Day 16 of a 31-day series. You can find the rest of the series here.

Also, if you’d like to follow along so you don’t miss any of my 31 Days posts, I invite you to subscribe to receive each post in your inbox.

Posted in 31 Days 2014, Creativity, Learning Authenticity, misc. walking with Jesus, Music, Uncategorized, Writing | 6 Comments

In Which I Bare the Burning of My Soul {with some measure of brevity, believe it or not}

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I skipped my morning pages today.

Stan woke me up, sick and in need of a couple more hours of sleep, so I stumbled downstairs to make coffee and sit with our early-rising little guy instead of sleeping another half-hour and then spilling bleary words into my journal, as is my custom of late.

And while the morning was peaceful (not quiet, for sure — but peaceful), I can already tell a difference in my creativity level today. A difference which by no means frightens me, but definitely heightens my awareness of how true it is that “creativity begets creativity.”

Not sure who first said that, but it is most certainly reality for me. The more mornings find me pouring utterly disorganized words onto ruled pages, the more my heart’s depths seem to rise to the surface, making themselves more readily available for intentional excavation.

So y’all. Getting real with you {again} here.

Sunday’s post, in which I shared one of my own songs with you on video for the first time ever — I’ve been absolutely undone by the response it’s received. Just… dismantled inside.

Laid low.

On my face before Jesus, thanking Him for how He has used my small offering to awaken longing, to usher in His presence as you beautiful folks have listened. As you’ve deeply heard and received and even celebrated my heart poured out through my music.

I am so grateful.

The last couple evenings, y’all, I’ve sat at my computer and continually clasped hand over mouth, heart full to exploding, as you all have overwhelmed me in the best way possible with words of how Jesus has intimately touched and awakened your hearts through my worship.

I said this last night in response to one of the comments on that blog post, but I’ve gotta tell you here today: over and over again as I’m before the Lord these days, I ask Him that my life — my worship, my writing, my authentic presence — would awaken hearts, would provoke longing, would stir this deep, burning desire for intimacy with the Almighty.

That He would increase and I would decrease, and in my decreasing come so utterly alive on the inside that merely seeing me or hearing me or reading me would cause His heartbeat to echo in souls –

Eternity.

Eternity.

Eternity.

Woven into our hearts, this deep-unto-deep burning for what we were all created for — the fiery passion of knowing Him, of intimately knowing His heart, and the fully alive joy of making that Heart known to a world that’s desperately in need of that same holy, pure, white-hot intimacy with their Creator.

And right now my kids are waking up early from naps, so I’m wrapping this post up at a radically short (for me) four hundred eighty-something words… and asking Jesus to somehow make His heart known here today through this royally un-thought-through outpouring.

One final thought: I so love y’all, my friends. I can never thank you enough for the gift of your companionship here. For loving Him beside me, arm-in-arm.

*****

This is Day 15 of a 31-day series. You can find the rest of the series here.

Also, if you’d like to follow along so you don’t miss any of my 31 Days posts, I invite you to subscribe to receive each post in your inbox.

Posted in 31 Days 2014, Creativity, Learning Authenticity, Ministry, misc. walking with Jesus, Music, This Blog's Mission and Purpose, Uncategorized, Writing | 5 Comments

Day 14: On Fuel and Fodder For Awakened Art-Making

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Monday dawns beautifully gray, chilly, and drizzly — and even before the sun is up I’m scrawling nearly illegibly in my morning pages journal. I can’t stop it lately — this outpouring of my heart to Jesus about who and how I want to be — and the effect I long for my life and my presence to have on others.

I want to be deeply grounded. Rooted. Secure in You, Jesus. And out of that groundedness, to offer myself to others with deep authenticity and true presence. To remain small before others so I can learn from them, receive the beauty they offer, draw it out and enfold it into myself. To whisper words of deep understanding and courageous unfolding life into tender, timid places.

I make my way downstairs earlier than normal because Stan needs to be out the door and on his way to work. I kiss him good day, ask him to be careful driving on the wet roads. I make oatmeal for my kiddos and they chow on it heartily, which is always a blessing to this mama-heart.

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The rain keeps falling, and I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you this weather is my absolute fave. Makes me want to light candles and bake cookies, and I do both this morning while Maia is napping and Isaac is watching an episode of Chuggington.

The cookies won’t necessarily get eaten today, but there’s plenty of room for them in our freezer, and holidays are coming. Yep, they are. And the house? It needs to smell like Autumn this morning. It just does.

So, let there be cookies. Pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies of bliss.

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Maia wakes up from her morning nap, and I know this weather means we need to find ways to run off some mega energy indoors. Isaac asks me to “come get” him, so I sweep Maia up in my arms and together we chase big brother around the kitchen. Lap after lap we run, Maia grinning ear-to-ear and Isaac laughing till he almost can’t control where he’s running.

He collapses and I tickle him, then we do it all over again.

And I realize somewhere between all the laps and giggles — that in what I’m doing this morning? In this wholehearted engaging of my right-now life? I’m (sometimes even unknowingly) gathering fodder for the creative fire that’s burning and growing in my belly these days. All of life is potential fuel for that flame, and the more awake and aware I am as I move through these limbo days, the more beauty will emerge on the other side of the fire.

More and more these days I’m noticing how my creativity is directly linked to my spirituality.

I don’t know how to live awake to Jesus’s pursuit of my heart in my everyday without simultaneously being awake to creative inspiration. I don’t know how to keep my eyes open for beauty, for creative fuel, without discovering Him all around me. Everywhere. In kid-smiles and crumbs and laundry, and in my marriage bed. In my husband’s poured out heart, and in soul-conversations with dear friends.

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He is all around, and the more I allow Him to awaken me inside, the more awake I long to be. It’s this cycle of insatiable hunger for Him, this desire to create, this burning to make honest art in partnership with my Maker; and, far from distracting me from the “mundane” day-to-day, it actually propels me forward into my day-to-day with ever greater enthusiasm for loving and living, and this ever deepening, increasingly authentic presence to my family and others who are before me.

And yes, I call the hunger “insatiable,” but in this insanely sweet paradox of life with Christ resident inside me, my Hope of glory? I have also never been more satisfied or more alive. Ever. In my entire life.

And today, my sweet friends, my prayer for you is that you’d experientially, intimately know them both – this wild, insatiable hunger, and this paradoxically rich, pure satisfaction of aliveness in Him.

This is Day 14 of 31 in my series, Rooted: 31 Days of Authenticity (from my life in limbo). {We’re almost halfway through!} You can find the rest of the series here.

Also, if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any of my upcoming 31 Days posts or songs, please feel free to subscribe to receive each post in your inbox.

Posted in 31 Days 2014, Creativity, Learning Authenticity, misc. walking with Jesus, Parenting, Uncategorized, Writing | 13 Comments

Day 13: Two Ways We Are Surviving Loss and Limbo

Happy Monday! A quick note to you, friends, before I share my Day 13 post with you:

To those of you who commented, “liked,” shared, and even just quietly listened to my heart poured out in the song I shared yesterday – thank you. I don’t know how to express the depth of my gratitude for your receiving of my heart, my offering. Italics don’t do my thanks justice, but I’ll use them again anyway: thank you. So very much. 

You are beautiful and amazing and your presence here is a gift to my heart.

Also: I made a mistake, I think, in that I didn’t realize the video of the song wouldn’t show up in the email many of you received last night in your inboxes. So — if you are an email subscriber and you weren’t able to see the video yesterday, you can click here to see it.

{Side note: if you don’t follow me by email and you’d like to, simply input your email address in the box in the right sidebar and follow the brief instructions you’ll receive.}

Okay, on to Day 13, in which I share two ways we are surviving this season of loss and limbo.

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In this season of seemingly never-ending limbo and loss, reality is easier to bear up under in some moments than others.

Many days, Stan and I simply enjoy the right now of our life here together. We kiss and tickle our kiddos, watch Dora the Explorer, play with kinetic sand, and visit our favorite Kansas City hangouts as a family.

Our life has slowed significantly in the last few months and we are relishing our relaxed pace.

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And then…

And then there are the days, or sometimes just portions of days, when the heaviness and grief of this season feel tangible. Thick. A little in the direction of suffocating.

Grief over my Grandma, over a couple of other difficult extended family situations, over support systems recently lost, the length of our wait to move to Colorado, longing to be with family and church family there — they all pile up to an overwhelming emotional magnitude at times.

*****

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Saturday morning brings sweet time with Maia’s birth family. We eat brunch together, bounce crazy on the trampoline, and get lots of hugs and kisses from the little peanut who has united our two families as one.

But when the kids wake early from their naps Saturday afternoon, Stan and I find ourselves tired, headachy, and simultaneously desperate to get away a little — to spend some time outside of the ‘hood. We toss around options — parks; inexpensive, kid-friendly restaurants; a local mall with a Barnes and Noble that sports a Thomas train table.

We decide on 5 Guys’ Burgers and Fries, followed by a walk through the attached mall and some time at the train table, since evening mosquito exposure tends not to be the greatest thing for our littlest little.

We pack the diaper bag, wrangle kids into socks and shoes. Stan loads everyone in the car while I quickly take Excedrine for my head, grab a lidded mason jar of iced coffee, and don my lightweight jacket.

As we begin our 25-or-so-minute drive to the south side of the city, the heaviness in our car is palpable. Kids are cranky. Stan is bummin’. I’m not feeling the greatest.

And then, 3 or 4 blocks down Independence Avenue from our street, my exhausted, heavy-hearted husband starts reciting scripture by memory.

Then he’s praying aloud, and I’m agreeing with him. I reach over and he meets my hand halfway, weaving his fingers between mine.

The kids’ mood quickly moves from cranky to totally chilled out in the backseat, and we continue to pray — declaring truth, asking Jesus for continued grace for this limbo season, for joy and peace for our family, for deeper insight into what He’s doing in our hearts in all this painful waiting.

We pray a few more minutes, and then we chat — my hubby and I — the rest of the drive to the mall. We talk of decisions and mistakes and fear of forward movement and how no “mistake” is really disastrous if God is in everything, working all. things. for our good.

How when we invite Him, He moves into our decisions, and into the results thereof, and weaves beauty out of our lives as they’re offered to Him. How He’s trustworthy with our hearts when we surrender to Him in the midst of seasons of uncertainty. Seasons of not fully understanding what He’s up to.

Arriving at the mall in a completely different frame of mind than when we’d left home, we meander into 5 Guys’, chow on messy burgers and ‘dogs, and enjoy our wander through the mall.

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After the kids are in bed, Stan mentions repeatedly how much he enjoyed our time out together.

I loved it, too.

And in the quiet of the evening, I’m reminded how fiercely Jesus is committed to resourcing us with all we need, moment-by-moment through all this limbo, as we press into one another, and press our weak places into His heart. As we step out and access by faith the grace and peace He has already purchased for us, deposited in our depths by His Spirit.

His Spirit within us, by which He is so faithful to sustain our hearts.

__________

This is Day 13 of a 31-day series. You can find the rest of the series here.

Also, if you’d like to follow along so you don’t miss any of my 31 Days posts, I invite you to subscribe to receive each post in your inbox.

Posted in 31 Days 2014, Grief and Loss, Learning Authenticity, misc. walking with Jesus, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Day 12: In Which I Sing for You {just breathe}

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Okay, my friends. Here we are. It’s Sunday, and I’ve promised you me.

On camera.

Singing and playing one of my own songs.

Whew. Deep breaths, Dana.

This is completely unprecedented for me, as I’ve never shared my own music online before. But when I asked my Facebook friends for #31Days series ideas, one of the themes that repeated itself in people’s answers was that they wanted my music.

And truly, I have sensed all year long that the time was coming for me to share this part of who I am with you all here.

While Stan and I do have “professional” recording equipment and have taken some steps toward recording/producing some of my music, I’m finding that, for now anyway, I feel more comfortable sharing my songs by way of totally unedited, unprofessional iPhone video. Why this is, I’m not sure, other than perhaps just that I like the raw, unproduced feel of a video like this… and maybe that I feel like my true heart comes across more clearly this way.

So, despite the fact that guitar is not my first instrument — piano is — and I’m embarrassed by my limited guitar skillz… and despite the fact that I feel totally awkward on video (gah!) as I speak to you beforehand — I’m offering this to y’all and to the Lord today — and asking the Holy Spirit to breathe on my offering.

This song was written just several months ago, in a season when I was acutely in touch with one of my greatest weaknesses. Frustrated with my inability to “grow” or to make myself function differently in that particular arena, I sensed Jesus inviting me into a place of encounter with Him in those raw, hurting places — asking me to lay down my desire to try and “fix myself.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)

It’s in laying down my need to “have it all together” that I’ve experienced intimacy with Him, and that intimacy has brought healing to my heart (and subsequently growth in my weak places) from the inside out. Healing that flows *out of* depth of relationship with Him, versus out external compliance that comes from trying to force change in my own strength.

This song is titled Just Breathe. I’ll post the lyrics below.

My prayer is that this is a pleasing fragrance to His heart, and a blessing to you all who walk beside me here.

{You may need to crank your volume up — the joys of totally amateur iPhone video recording.}

Just Breathe

I was woven with threads of longing
Carved with caverns of desire
Drawn from oceans of endless need and
Made to know you in my weakness, God

Chorus:

I’ve asked you to take my weakness
But you’ve promised grace will be enough
And deep cries out as you invite me in
So I’ll take my tender places
And press them deep into your heart
And you will place your scars against my own
And we’ll sit awhile here… and just breathe
Yeah we’ll sit a while here–

Endless longing birthing beauty
The fragrance of desire
Aching to be satisfied
To be embraced within your holy heart

(to chorus)

{Disclaimer/copyright}

P.S. If you missed last Sunday’s instrumental piece, you can find it here.

P.P.S. Sharing this post with my sweet friends in Lisha and Kelli’s communities.

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This is Day 12 of a 31-day series. You can find the rest of the series here.

Also, if you’d like to follow along so you don’t miss any of my 31 Days posts, I invite you to subscribe to receive each post in your inbox.

Posted in 31 Days 2014, Give Me Grace, Learning Authenticity, misc. walking with Jesus, Music, Uncategorized, Unforced Rhythms, Writing | 51 Comments