"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Denton Arts & Jazz Fest

This weekend was Denton's Arts & Jazz Fest.  It's an awesome event, and definitely one of my favorite things about the city.  Every April the city hosts this free event.  Literally free.  No cover.  (The food however is definitely NOT free...)

So many people come out for it every year with their chairs and their blankets to just enjoy music together.  Most of the groups have a jazz focus.  I can't say I know much about jazz or listen to it regularly, but I can appreciate pretty much any type of music.

Festivals of this kind are harder with a baby, less so with a 2 year old.  I planned ahead which parts I wanted to go to.  Jude and I went to see the Inner City All Stars- which has always been my favorite act.  They've been there every time I've gone, and this has been like 2005.  (which makes me feel sooo old).  They remind me of New Orleans.  They're style of Jazz is more that street style you find there that gets the crowd involved and makes you actually want to dance.  Groove might be the better word.

Jude and I watched that show together.  Jude did plenty of dancing and entertaining the ladies behind us.  We ate our picnic dinner I packed.  Rather, I ate it.  Jude played.  A friend of mind came and hung out with me as their set ended, so I got to have some quality adult conversation.

Then we watched some of Chris Watson.  We didn't stay but for a couple of songs because it was after 8, etc, etc.  However, I wished my dad had been with me for that show, because it was heavily southern rock influenced.  Sounds of my childhood :)  Jude loved them.  He turned all the cups into his drums and pounded away.  Definitely more of a rock child I guess.  He loves his drums and guitars.

Overall, it was just a great time.  The Jazz Fest is one of those things that just makes me feel alive.  You're surrounded by so many people just there to appreciate good music.  So many different types of people.  And you just sit and enjoy life.  There's nothing better than that in my opinion.

If you are in Denton and you don't go sit and enjoy a show at the Jazz Fest, you are really missing out.  Denton is one of the best small towns in the world in my opinion, and this Festival is one of the many reasons.  They are still having shows today.  Go if you can.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

On the Church and the World

Psalms 98:1 - Sing to the Lord a new song....

I read this song this morning.  The word new stuck out to me more than it ever has.  I think specifically the psalm is referencing salvation and the new life/new song.  Although, from what I've seen about the Christian life, and really life in general, there are lots of moments of salvation along the way, lots of moments of new songs.  There may only be one salvation that results in your salvation from hell, but there are countless moments where God comes in and saves your from the wrong person, the wrong decision, the wrong path.  Those moments deserve a new song as much as your initial salvation experience.  I think those moments are what keep us so joyful through our walk.  Those are the moments that speak so loudly to the world.

2 years ago, I began a new song in my life.  One of singleness and motherhood and the scarlet letter D. Because let's face it, there's a stigma within the church and divorce.  So many assume you don't have Biblical reasons for it.  Then, in my case, when they do realize you have Biblical reasons, you get pity- not acceptance.  I don't know which is worse.

In the midst of that confusion, God led me to sing my new song at a new church.  It was wonderful for me to be accepted by the staff who knew my story and encouraged me as I worked through that.  I am forever grateful.  

As time has gone on though, I've become myself again.  I'm free spirited, unable to be boxed.  I long for freedom and creativity.  I don't see the world through the usual eyes people seem to have.  I don't really fit in in the world of polos and perfectly matched outfits.  I find myself singing my new song of freedom, of art, of truly being myself.  And I'm realizing that despite my almost 28 years of life, I'm just not a mainstream kind of girl- Christian or otherwise.  

This has always been my struggle.  If you know me at all, you know that I struggled with accepting Christ because of one reason: Christians. I've never hated one group of people more.  In the end, it was never the Christians that won me over to their side.  It was simply Christ with all of His amazing love for me for who I was.  I was blown away that he didn't see me as someone to label or someone to pity or someone to hold at an arms length.  He embraced me.  Eventually, I just couldn't run from a love like that.  And oh how it has been worth it since that day I surrendered.

Since that day I have tried and tried to find my place in the church.  I don't think that ever happened until I found the church I went to my last year of college/early marriage.  It was a church full of creative, realistic people who were just as comfortable building a relationship with the world as with Christians.  But in the midst of divorce, I needed something so different.  I found what I needed, and it was great.

But I'm feeling again like God is leading me to sing a new song.  I want to be around creative Christians again.  Creative people just see things differently.  That's why they make such amazing paintings and write such complex and compelling s]music.  They think outside the box, and as a result they can understand opinions and thoughts from wherever they originate or from whoever they originate.  I need that.  My soul needs that.

I don't know where God is leading me.  Maybe it won't end up being anywhere.  But he is giving me this strong desire to be around people who actually "get" people.  Who don't see lost people as problems to solved, brokenness to be fixed, or the helpless to be pitied.  They just see people.  They recognize they too are people.  That they have everything in the world in common with everyone because humanity is the only thread that matters and it binds us all.

So with that said, I know God is leading me toward another chapter, another new song.  If you read this, please pray that I have the wisdom and discernment to recognize His guidance and will.  Pray that I will love all people, even when they make me feel like I don't fit in the right box.  Pray that the Lord fulfills this need for creativity and fills me with joy and a new song at his power and love.  And if you in any way relate to the need for more creativity within the church, please contact me.  I'd love to sit down and have a cup of coffee and good chat with you.

~ Thistle

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I got my Paxton dude!!

Yesterday, Jude and I went to ride the train in Grapevine.  Every year they turn the train in to a Thomas the Train.  There are lots of other events.  We took a special momma boy date to go take a ride.  It was a lovely spring day- great for a walk down Main Street and to the train station.

We hung out with some friends of mine who live down from Main Street beforehand.  I don't see them enough, but they are the loveliest family.  And some of the angels in disguise God sent me in the midst of divorce.

We got to the station in enough time to get our tickets and get in line to board the train without being at the end of the line.  Perfect timing.  Jude was mesmerized by the whole thing.  He didn't have much to say, but he contentedly stared out the window.  It was mostly a really pretty ride through the Texas prairies.  I don't know if it's because of my obsession with Little House on the Prairie as a kid or that we spent 7 weeks teaching about the prairie in second grade, but I feel so alive when I see prairie grasses blowing in the spring.  So lovely.

After the ride, we tried to do some of the other things they had for the kids.  There are tons of events, but Jude was too tired.  Most resulted in tears.  So we got a Salty the train tattoo, bought a new train named Paxton, and called it a day.

This morning right after Jude woke up he told.  "I got my Paxton.  I got my Paxton dude!"  So all in all it was a great day!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Silver Bracelets on Her Wrists and Flowers in Her Hair

Here's something I struggle with.  Wanting to fly away....

I don't expect anyone reading this to get what I'm saying.  Because anytime I've explained this need aloud to someone, it is not understood.  It's not the kind of fly away because life is too stressful or general unhappiness about a situation.  I love so much about my life.  

Yet every spring, I am filled with this need to fly.  I just want to dance in field in a flowy dress and breathe in the fresh air and feel free.  This emotion takes over me every spring.  It is when I feel my most hippie-ish.  It's frustrating though, because I feel so trapped this time of year.  Trapped indoors.  Trapped by schedules.  Trapped by the exhaustion of the end of the year.  

I've always been a free spirit.  I've always marched to my own beat, followed my own way whether it was cool or not.  There's so much that's great about it.  The being able to find joy in things easily.  General self entertainment.  Confidence that you are being true to yourself.  And there's so much that's hard about it.  I feel like I experience things a little too intensely at times.  And I get a little too claustrophobic socially speaking.  Sometimes I feel like I'm screaming on the inside because I'm around too many people who are the same and no one gets what I'm saying.  And the times like now when I just want to run run run and live freely with no address and no ties and just strap Jude on my back and see where the road takes me.  Wanderlust, gypsy soul, free bird, whatever you want to call it, it has ahold of my spirit right now.  

In high school, these moments always took me to the river.  Our house was a couple blocks from the Mississippi.  There was something so calming about watching boats float down to far away places.  Or imagining I could just get on a raft like Huck Finn and float away for awhile.  In North Texas, we have our oceans of prairie grasses this time of year.  And oh how I'd give anything to run through them and pick every wild flower and fall asleep in the sweet smell of warm grass while staring up at the stars.  No roof needed.

I have no idea if this makes any sense.  I just know my skin is itching to just have the time to live.  I figured if I could write it down, I could find a way to go-do-see-be.  And still manage to find a way to be the responsible adult I am supposed to be.  Anyone know of any good places to just go live for awhile.

Guns Up!  Wreck Em Tech!