Archives for October 2011

31 Days to Finding Freedom: {Day 31} On to Freedom

I can’t quite believe we’ve arrived at Day 31 of Finding Freedom. I also can’t believe that I’ve had so much to say about it. When I began this series, I had huge doubts that I would be able to fill up the space of 31 days with enough words. But the words have arrived right when I needed them, and not a moment before. It’s blessed me to write about this freedom journey. I hope that you’ve been blessed too. I don’t know where you are on the road to finding freedom, but I hope that I’ve come beside you and met you somewhere along the way. 
Yesterday, I ran the Lucerne Half Marathon. While I ran, in an effort to keep my mind off of my burning thighs, I was thinking about this post, our last. There were a number of spectators out along the sidelines cheering for the runners, clanging cow bells, and raising signs. Many chanted ‘Hopp, Hopp’ which to my American ears sounded a lot like ‘Hope, Hope’. It was exactly what one needs to hear when everything inside is yelling ‘Stop, Stop’. 
At one point in the race, the street path diverted into a mile long tunnel. We entered it to the low, soulful sound of alphorns playing. It was dimly lit, and every 100 meters or so, there would be a lone spectator shouting ‘Hopp, Hopp, Hopp’. As I ran, the sound of the alphorns and the shout of Hope reverberated and echoed throughout the tunnel. And it reminded me that regardless of where we are in our journey to freedom, there is a symphony of hope that surrounds us. It becomes especially clear in the dimly lit places where the light at the end might be miles out. But we know it’s there. 
Tune in to the sound of hope. It will see you through the dark places, the ones that burn and ache from your efforts. Train your ears to hear hope when everything inside you wants to give up. 
We exited the tunnel to sun and a gust of fresh air. All I heard was the slap of my feet on the pavement, calling me forward, to freedom. 
This post is part of a 31 day series. I promise to return to my regularly irregular and non-cohesive posting in November. For my first 31 day post click here, for more 31 Day topics (and there are a LOT!) click here.

31 Days to Finding Freedom: {Day 30} Just a taste

Today, my husband and I both left the house before 7am. He traveled to the airport for another transcontinental flight. I traveled an hour from home to run a race which felt like it lasted an eternity. In truth, it was less than two hours. It was all the other nonsense that stretched the day to a point where I thought it might possibly contain more than 24 hours. Things like missing one of the three trains I had to take home or the uphill walk to our house after the thirteen miles, a standing room only ferry ride, and the three trains. Or maybe it was the drive to the baby-sitter’s, the cold shower, and the three kids waiting expectantly to attend Trick or Treat festivities. 
I’m not sure what the kids ate for dinner, and I’m fairly certain they all need to take a shower. My house is a mess, the dog smells funny, and you probably deserve a better blog post than this. But I’m playing it fast and loose with freedom today. I am choosing to be less than perfect, and I’m allowing everything and everyone else around me to be less than perfect too. It might smell a bit funny, but it tastes a lot like freedom which tonight, tastes suspiciously like the brownie and three pieces of Halloween candy I ate before dinner.  
This post is part of a 31 day series. I promise to return to my regularly irregular and non-cohesive posting in November. For my first 31 day post click here, for more 31 Day topics (and there are a LOT!) click here.

31 Days to Finding Freedom: {Day 29} A very good place to start

‘The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.’
~ Lee Iacocca
We are in the final days of this series, and I am thinking about you. I am wondering if at this point you might feel inspired to seek out freedom, but unsure of where to start. You are unique. Your beginning might be her middle or my ending, but we all have to start somewhere. I suggested earlier in the week that you might try freeing yourself from one obligation, just to see how freedom might feel when you slip it on. Might I make another suggestion?
Write it down. 
Your words have power. They are the first step in the act of creation. Let them flow from your head and heart into your hands. Your hands will know what to do with them once they arrive.  
Write down the truth. Write down the mundane and the silly and the unlikely. Write down where you want to be free, and how you think you’ll get there. It doesn’t have to look pretty or anything like perfect, it just has to be authentic. Your journey might start with something as simple as pencil and page.


This post is part of a 31 day series. I promise to return to my regularly irregular and non-cohesive posting in November. For my first 31 day post click here, for more 31 Day topics (and there are a LOT!) click here.

31 Days to Finding Freedom: {Day 28} Give it away

I’ve put a lot of emphasis in this series on finding freedom in the people who speak truth into your life, or through the act of creating, or in the activities you pursue. I think they’re important to the journey, which is why I’ve devoted nearly 31 days to talking about them. But after 28 days, 28 months or 28 years of seeking freedom, there is the danger of the seeking becoming near sighted and self serving. Personal freedom is great, but what do you do with it when you’ve finally wrestled it to the ground and declared it a victory? 
My answer to that question is this: find a place to serve. Become far sighted. Think bigger than your own free self. Serving doesn’t make you smaller, it enlarges your capacity to love. It doesn’t place you beneath or behind, it places you right in the middle of someone else’s need. Find that need and meet it. 
Start small
Make your husband that sandwich for lunch. Maybe he needs the freedom to spend quality time on the sofa. 
Tell a friend what she means to you. Freely express your love, care and commitment to her. It might be exactly what she needs to hear.
Bring home your neighbors kids for the afternoon. She needs an hour off as much as you do. 
Think big.
Are you financially free? Give generously. There are others in bondage to poverty, the likes of which you’ll never know.
Pay it forward. I love what charity:water is doing here. Set one, two or two hundred people free from water borne disease and death.
No money, but lots of time? Volunteer your skills, your heart, yourself. You are the greatest thing you have to offer.
Think bigger.
Pray. More can be accomplished by spending time on your knees, then will ever be accomplished by standing on your own fallible feet. 
Practice freedom by giving it away.
This post is part of a 31 day series. I promise to return to my regularly irregular and non-cohesive posting in November. For my first 31 day post click here, for more 31 Day topics (and there are a LOT!) click here.

31 Days to Finding Freedom: {Day 27} Words

As an avid reader, it stands to reason that I would also be a lover of words and the crafting and creativity that surround them. I’ve always dabbled a bit in writing, but as with many things in my life, there was no freedom there. I was afraid of where the words may go once they were released. Words tend to take on a life of their own once they are set free to fly.

I’m not a talker. I’d rather listen, unless it’s to whining. I’m allergic to whining. Because I’m quiet, and not terribly articulate (I blame it on too many conversations with people under 10), people assume I don’t have much to say. But on the inside, I am poetry. I am prose. I am a story, written before I ever left the womb.

The words were buried deep beneath the thoughts, feeling and sympathies that first gave rise to them. I could feel them fluttering there, cocooned, waiting. They were waiting for permission, for courage, for affirmation. But when a thing is ready for freedom, when it can’t be contained any longer and it wants to fly, well, sometimes you just need to set it free. I began to set the words free in journals, then in this sweet space, and now a few other places too. Mostly they look like ordinary white moths flickering around the porch light, but occasionally I’ll find some that shimmer and glow, shot through with a splash of color.

It is good, oh so good, to set things free. What do you feel fluttering in your chest? What wants to take flight? It might not look pretty yet, but it will be free, and freedom holds a beauty all it’s own.

This post is part of a 31 day series. I promise to return to my regularly irregular and non-cohesive posting in November. For my first 31 day post click here, for more 31 Day topics (and there are a LOT!) click here.