I've been opening windows recently here on my blog. I guess you could say I've been airing out my life, trying to be me--the me I know and you may not, risking vulnerability.
My grandparents put an air conditioning unit in a living room window late in their lives. Grandpa wouldn't run it, said it made too much racket.
In our four season climate, the windows were open the biggest part of the year.
During the spring, the clapboard house filled with the smells of hedge blooming and honeysuckle. The privet out back had grown into a tree. My sister and I would climb it, our version of a jungle gym. When the garden was tilled, the aroma of earth crept wet and heavy through the window screens. And when the grass was mowed, the smell of heaven's sweetness spewed out of Grandma's push mower and into the house.
Grandma liked curtains and she kept sheers behind them. When the windows were open only the sheers covered them. She set up box fans all over the house.
I didn't slow down much when I was a child, spending most of my day coming in and out of that old house. But the sheers and the fans were the means to a childlike version of entering the moment---places where I paused to take in my present reality.
The fans whirled. I was swept into ah hah moments as I slowed, then bowed before them. The sound of my voice broke into pieces as I projected it through the spinning blades modulating the ah hah of my voice at different pitches.
After singing through the fans, I would lay down under the sheers. The wind blew in and spread them out like kites. Without warning, the feather light curtain was sucked back hugging the screen. Soon, they would swoop out again, brushing across my face. The curtains danced. It felt like love.
To those of you who have blessed me by looking through the open windows of my life here on the blog, I want you to know something. I don't take this opportunity to send words into the world lightly. I wish all of my posts could be, to those who read them, "ah hah moments." My hope is that I might express some truth about God and His grace that would sweep over you and feel like love. But life doesn't always feel like love and sometimes the windows stay shut.
Love isn't a feeling. He is a person and always He keeps up His end of the relationship. He pursues my heart, helps me find the present moment, the place to stop and remember that He is in the wind and the memories. He was, He will be--- and mostly He is.
The truth is, I don't live in a clapboard house. Many people would call my home a mansion. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the blessings of my life, including my home, but the windows rarely come open and my curtains have never felt like love. Despite that there is a passion in me for God. The older I get the more mysterious and marvelous is the grace of God to me. Writing is an outlet that brings me joy. Sometimes I feel compelled to share it.
(It hasn't always been that way. I stopped writing here in May of 2011 because it wasn't joy. It was an idol.)
The windows I have opened here on the blog lately are windows to my soul. My prayer is that maybe someone will find some kind of hope in one of my stories---not because I am perfect and have it all together, but because I don't.
What I do know is there is power in story. The Greatest Story is the hope of my life, the Writer, my closest friend. I am praying that my lesser stories will give glory to the greater Story Teller.
I mentioned I was in and out of that old house a lot. When I was out, open windows carried the voice of my a Grandma calling us in for a bologna sandwich or an afternoon fudgesicle.
I really want this place to feel like that clapboard house when the windows were open. I want those of you who read to find joy like singing into box fans and having shears sweep over like love. I want to be open, real. I want to call out to you when God gives me something we can savor, a taste of goodness calling us to a feast. I want it to feel like love.
I know I haven't exactly done that today--dished out hope and love. I may fail to do it any day I put words on this screen. That is the truth. Despite that, I wanted you to know what I am up to here in my little place in the great big blogging world. Thank you for your encouragement and know that I am praying the wind of the Spirit will pass our way.
When He does, I want to have the windows open, feel His caress soft like wind-blown sheers, take in the sweet honeysuckle aroma of life.
Linking with Emily at Imperfect Prose and Jennifer at: