It’s been a minute since I have been in this space to share my heart, I’m sorry for the delay. I do love to write but life gets in the way and other things take my attention and time. I get lost in my own to-do’s, my head spinning with unfinished lists, laundry piles, what’s for dinner decisions and appointments on my calendar.

A wise friend, years ago, told me when I was complaining about this very same thing – “At the end of the day we do what we want to do.” We do have a choice where we spend our time and what we do with it. It’s true – we make a million choices everyday on how we spend and waste our time. Every Instagram check is a couple of minutes, every Netflix binge is hours lost. And sometimes it is worth it – we need to check and binge – we need the escape from the lists and decisions to do nothing and just scroll but we must manage it. Because if we are not managing – it is taking over. Living life mindlessly is not living!

What about you? What do you put off?

What gets lost in your busyness?

What are you not doing that is important to you?

Living mindful is key. Choosing to pay attention and live checked into your own life is so important. How long have you been checked out? Do you remember when you checked out? What caused you to check out? Don’t let the shame gremlins crawl on you – that is never fruitful, but awareness is key. Awareness is 80% of the changes we want to make. Think about that – 80%!! That’s huge! Once we can see ourselves and own the truth, there’s only 20% of effort left to step into a new way of being.

What has captured your attention?

What has taken over your life?

What is more important than the people you live with?

What keeps you from saying “yes” for yourself?

Probing, self-evaluating, sometimes, hard questions can help us to find our way back to ourselves. Open your eyes and heart to the truth about your choices and then 20% is easy baby!

What I know, thanks to my faithful and challenging friend so many years ago – at the end of each day I do do what I want to do! If it’s important to me – I make time for it! And I choose what hijacks my day, steals my time, and holds my heart. Eyes wide open! God gave us 12 hours in a day (and for those getting the worm early birds or those night owls out there, a few more hours each day) because He knew that was enough time to accomplish what He had planned for us in a day’s time. There is enough time if it’s important to you!

Transformation can be scary! Deconstruction of what you think you know, exchanged for what you are learning to be true can be painful and awfully frightening, but looking from the inside out, it’s a good place to be. When the blinders come off and you can see all around you… the horizon is beyond beautiful!

It’s funny how it all seems so right when you are stuck in the middle, until you get to the end, look back and can see the road laid out behind you.

The stretching,

the tearing,

the ripping away,

the sprout of new growth,

the healing,

the necessary transforming, that without it all leaves you stagnant and stunted.

Each of us is created for an amazing purpose, our own unique trail to blaze, frontier to conquer, wild west to explore! You were created for this! I was created for this! But we get stuck in small thinking and small places and we conform to fit into the smallness of what we know.

It’s not your fault, neither mine. It is, in fact, part of the process. We need the constructs to make us whole until we outgrow them but we must stay awake to notice when they stop fitting. One of the obstacles in our humanness is that we fall asleep!! We fall asleep in our comfort zones.

Jesus didn’t fall asleep – He lived life awake, every bit of it – the joy, the sorrow, being present in the moment, the dread of what was coming – He felt it all – FULLY AWAKE! And He never tires of inviting us to this FULLY AWAKE life.

He invites us into the labyrinth to wrestle with what is and what will be! A place of letting go and surrender. I have read about labyrinths recently, they kept coming across my path… I love how that happens. I find when God wants to teach me about something new, He just keeps bringing it up – He is relentless this way, and I am so grateful for it because my distracted mind misses so much sleepwalking through life.

As He would have it, a door opened for me to experience the power of the labyrinth at a new friend’s home. Just something she has in her backyard, ha! No biggie! I want one in mine now!!

This sweet surrender has been transformational. There is one way in and one way out. The ritual of walking, barefoot, grounding to the earth, feeling the beat of the earth as yours and “hers” become one – syncing into rhythm. The ritual of the labyrinth is one of shedding.

You shed and shed and shed and shed and shed…

And when you think you are done…there is more to shed.

We are vehicles for so much in this world – we pick up hitchhikers, strangers, and even those we consider friends along the way that weigh and slow us down. Faulty belief systems, negative energies, broken dramas, rigidity, trauma…all slowing our progress on our paths sketched out by God. I am so grateful for His patience with me because I get turned around, I get lost, I get way off course and He is faithful to travel alongside me, even on the wayward paths, until I find my way back to the road carved for me.

The labyrinth reminds me that I am in need of molting. Shedding the parts of me I no longer need, the parts I have outgrown. Skin too tight for this new space I find myself in, coming to the center of the labyrinth, the center of myself! I shed…

As I love myself to wholeness, I can love others in this space, seeing their whole, healed, transformed selves as well. Richard Rohr speaks about this in his book The Naked Now, which he calls the “Principle of Likeness” different from the Law of Attraction. In the Law of Attraction it is believed that we attract to us, or draw to us, the good things in life we desire. The “Principle of Likeness” is the belief that “we mend and renew the world by strengthening inside ourselves what we seek outside ourselves…”

Rohr continues, “If you want others to be more loving, choose to love first.”

“If you want a reconciled outer world, reconcile your own inner world.”

“If you are working for peace out there, create it inside as well.”

“If you notice other people’s irritability, let go of your own.”

“If you wish to find some outer stillness, find it within yourself.”

“If you are working for justice, treat ourself justly, too.”

“If you find yourself resenting the faults of others, stop resenting your own.”

“If the world seems desperate, let go of your own despair.”

“If you want a just world, start being just in a small ways yourself.”

“If your situation feels hopeless, honor the one spot of hope inside of you.”

“If you want to find God, then honor God within you, and you will always see God beyond you. For it is only God in you who knows where and how to look for God.”

Can you see the need for shedding, the need to journey to the center of the labyrinth to let go and leave the parts of ourselves that no longer serve you, that weigh you down, that tighten and restrict, that keep you blinded to yourself and others, that keep you believing that change it outside of you, someone else’s fault, not required??

Shedding is necessary. God demands it! It took 40 years for the Israelites to shed old skin, old beliefs systems, old ways of doing things…40 years. This was not a punishment, it just was! It was what was needed for shedding to be complete. It took 14 years between Joseph’s dream and his appointment to 2nd in command of Egypt. It was 15 years between the time David was anointed king and when he actually became king. Shedding is necessary! Between the promise and the palace is the process and none of us can escape the process. It is what prepares you for the throne you are called to. Without the process you will never be able or readied to stay seated upon the throne promised for you.

And it is not a ONE TIME and DONE thing. It is a journey — a continual sluffing off of old skin along the way. A constant renewal of skin and bone, heart and marrow, cell after cell, changing our very DNA to be made new. New creations – each decade, each year, each day, each second!

We shed and grow into new skin until it gets too tight and we shed again,

and again,

and again,

until we stand before the Lord at His throne and “It Is Finished.” Steffany Gretzinger says it best, “All of life is the undoing!” And as we breathe in our last breath in this reality, we are ushered forever into the next, kneeling before His presence, UNDONE!

Shedding is necessary and it is the work of this life!

We recently went on a vacation to Santa Fe, New Mexico and on the way home detoured a little to visit Carlsbad Caverns. If you haven’t been there, put it on your bucket list, it is one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen.

Let me paint the scene for you: after being on the interstate for 4 hours we pull off into this podunk little nothing town…small town America literally, nothing really there, just simple living. Driving through until we find ourselves on the outskirts of the town, thinking maybe we missed a turn or something when we come to a sign announcing Carlsbad State Park.

And wow, just wow!

43,000 acres of the most beautiful landscape; mountains, cactus and bendy roads as far as the eye can see. Really breathtaking scenery as you wind your way through the park and up the mountain to arrive at the opening of the cavern.

The park’s most famous cave, Carlsbad Cavern, is over 1,000 feet deep and currently contains 30 miles of mapped passages. The Big Room of Carlsbad Cavern is the largest underground chamber in the United States.

We walked 750 feet down a winding path into the opening of this monster cave. This was my second trip to the caverns, I don’t remember my first time here, I was 3 years old but from the pictures I have seen, I had a really good time. Walking and earning many a piggy back rides with my parents who were still happily married back then. It’s a sweet memory so being here again felt nostalgic on some level.

So many beautiful things to see; stalagmite princess castles, stalactite chandeliers, things that look like popcorn and lily pads, mountains of droopy, melting icing and massive draperies that hang magnificently clinging to the side of rock. Truly amazing all the shapes these mineral formations take. I imagine God, up in heaven, having a ball as He creates each one knowing how much it will delight His kids that would one day stumble upon the opening, discovering this hidden cave with all its treasures!

The path in the cavern leads you to a space known as the Big Room which is 14 football fields in size. An enormous cavern filled with all sorts of sights. Imagining, like one does when cloud watching, all the fun shapes and images that present themselves as you walk: Rapunzel’s castle, a whale’s mouth, a buttocks, and funny faces of men with large noses. It’s the imagination’s playground for sure!

I loved it all, it was so worth the detour and the time! My most favorite thing of all was this particular fact: the Big Room from an ariel view has the shape of a cross and they call it that: a cross! Not a “T” but a cross.

I just love this! Can’t you just see Him up there creating all the amazing things He covered the earth with; flowering trees, butterflies, florescent fish in the deep, glowing stars millions of miles away for us to look up into the black velvet sky to see, cucumbers on the vine, I could go on and on, but here, deep in the earth, hidden from plain sight for many, many years, God placed secret evidence of Himself, His Son, His love for us — a cross! His imprint on the earth to remind us that He created all things and we can find Him in all things. I bet He was like a little child, giddy with excitement, opening a new toy on Christmas morning. Imagine the scene, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, waiting and watching, nudging one another as their kids happened upon the mouth of the cave…”Oh my God (wink wink, think they call each other that? Probably not..anywho back to my fun imaginative story) I cannot wait for them to find it, to see the cross We hid in there for them!”

Can’t you just feel His delight for us in this exploration?!

What a fun God He is, treasure hunts on a heavenly scale!

I love that He hid a cross in Carlsbad Caverns – coolest thing ever! He never tires of

delighting us,

surprising us,

engaging us,

inviting us.

He is the God of MORE and there is always MORE with our lavish, never in short supply, God who invites and invites and invites us to see Him!

Heart shaped lakes,

catfish backbones in the shape of a crucifix,

stars that literally sing in the heavens,

cross-shaped laminin found in our cells that holds the human body together,

and a hidden cross concealed 1000 feet below in a secret cavern.