alone on trainI tend to go where my thoughts take me.  I have always been this way, jumping from one train of thought to another.  For instance in this picture on the way to Chicago last summer, I was copying sermon notes, studying “one thousand gifts” and journaling about it, writing in a prayer journal, and conversing with my family.  Like the train we were on, my thoughts had many destinations.

Unlike the route, I often switch easily from one to another of the many tracks in my mind.   I  see obvious connections even though others don’t always follow my trains of thought.  I’m telling you this because as I pursue this need to write and share with other people, I want you to see how my mind works.  And maybe you’ll be one of the few who try to follow what I’m saying.

So for instance, in a recent post I talked about why I have no choice but to pour love lavishly on my daughter’s foster babies.  And in my mind that connects to my Grandpa C.  And that connects to my dad, and his dad, and poverty, and my Papaw’s alcoholism, and lost opportunities, and back to my dad, and how he never learned good boundaries, and on and on.

I could keep writing my story and never come to the end of it.  Which is good if you like reading these posts!  So don’t be surprised if I go places you never saw coming.

There aren’t  many people in my life that have stuck with me throughout this journey.  There’s my family, siblings, extended family who I love dearly but have never gotten to know as closely as I’d like.  Friends that are almost all in my church family, who have the gift of extending grace to this passionate, bullheaded person.  And my forever family at Celebrate Recovery.

I’ve reached a point where I know I’m a loner, but I also know God created us to be in relationship with each other, and in recent years I’ve been digging deeply into why I’ve struggled to let anyone see the inner me.  So as I am opening up, I am feeling vulnerable but also expectant that God will take my words and help other people see that it’s okay to be real with others.

I think it’s funny that I have no problem connecting ideas in my mind, but in real life I stink at cultivating relationships with real people.

In addition to chronicling my experience with my daughter’s fostering adventure, I’ll continue into adoption, my personal recovery journey, and along with that all the ways that God has challenged me to give up my “rights”, and willingly give everything back to him.  As my mind is thinking over just those things, connections from my childhood pop up, mapping out how I got from there to here.

And why I’m not anywhere near ready to stay where I am now.

Just over six years ago I was at a writer’s conference I’ve attended for years.  The speaker talked about blogging and ways to get your name out there, about building your platform,  your specialty, or what you are known for writing.  Like if you say horror stories, Stephen King comes to mind.  Or pioneer family life you’d think Laura Ingalls Wilder.

He challenged us to tweak what already existed to make it our own.  So he threw out the question, “What would you call Facebook if it were aimed at women fifty and over?”  My hand shot into the air and I immediately said, “Faceliftbook!”

He loved the idea, and I ran with it.  As far as naming my blogsite, that is.  It has been six years since, and the name has grown on me, even though I never did much with my blog back then.  I set the impossible task of posting every day, and it only lasted a few days.  Lesson learned.

This time around I decided to shoot for a weekly post, which I’ve successfully done for 12 weeks now – hey that’s almost 3 months!  And though I’m not consciously trying to work in a direct reference in every post, I’ve decided my blog is about helping us all lift our faces to God.

Acts 17:26-28
  Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living  so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near.  We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’
My biggest struggle in life has been facing God.  And my biggest problem is that I want to look everywhere else for him but where I need to be looking.  I turn to my circumstances or my problems, to how different my life would be if everyone around me would just shape up and take responsibility.
So as the blurb on the top says,  this is one woman’s attempt to lift my face and see beyond my circumstances.  Because they truly don’t define me.  They don’t really say that much about me.  They are pictures taken from a train on paths that can change as quickly as my mind switches from one thought to another.  What matters is who I choose to look to in the middle of wherever I find myself.
And since I can’t get away from him, and he is near, and he wants me to seek after him, I choose to look at the one who created me, trains of thought and all.