Category Archives: Personal

The Ghost of Valentines Past: Why Some Love’s Were Never Meant to Die

(Have you ever had one of those days when you flip back through your journal to see what was going through your mind “at this time last year”?  I have…only, I don’t really keep a journal, so this blog has to suffice.  While strolling through memory lane, I re-read this entry from just around a year ago and decided to give it a little face lift.  So, this years thoughts are bold-ed and dispersed throughout…amazing how it’s still relevant).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, I am about to get a little vulnerable.  There is a point to this post, however, I feel it will be better communicated if the mental journey I made today (last year…and again today) is showcased, and for the good of mankind (so noble, I know), I am willing to expose some of the inner workings of my heart.  If you skip the backstory, please read the italicized portion at the end.

As a good percentage of the world gears up for February 14th, the temptation can arise for those lonely ride in bucket 5 individuals (Never Been Kissed reference for the ladies) to view it as the season of our discontent. (Still a great girl movie).

Even for those of us who are single by choice, gladly embracing the time we have to pursue those things God has put in our heart, it can be a little discouraging. (This year, I would reword it…not discouraging…just mildly distracting.  This past year, God has really shown me how a heart set on him can rest and be encouraged by just about anything… gratefulness–it changes everything).

I can’t lie, as I see my friends enjoying a season I have yet to know, a little stirring of desire may disturb the quiet waters of my own contented soul.  (Desire is still there, but contentment and joy have grown).

There was even a time when I readily joined in with my friends in celebrating Happy SAD (Singles Awareness Day) on February 14th (the ironic thing, those who were most gung-ho in celebration are now happily married). (Historical, thus still true).

So, as I find myself approaching this annual celebration of Love, I can hear the little niggling voice in the back of my mind.  Initially, I simply thought I would simply post something encouraging about enjoying the season of singleness or some other Joshua Harris approved sentiment. (While there may be more posts like this in the future, I’ve really learned that Singleness isn’t about being alone or not “in love”, but it’s about being open to love indiscriminately.  There is no one to be jealous, no one to feel ignored or under appreciated.  But there are plenty in need of compassion and time).   

But, the Muse of Divine Inspiration, the Holy Spirit, got a hold of me this morning with a challenge and I decided to pass it on to anyone out there who is tiered of maintaining and would enjoy taking some ground.

So, for 2011, I am issuing a Valentine’s Challenge to myself and who ever else might be game.  This year, I am determined to be an extension of love to someone without looking for love back. (I’m taking up my own challenge again in 2012…maybe it will be a tradition).

John 15:13 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

13The greatest love you can show is to give your life for your friends.

When we lay down our own gratification and seek to love and serve with our only satisfaction being the fact that we have been an extension of Jesus to someone and he has been made great in their life, we are extending true Love.  It may be inconvenient, it may not be “romantic” but it could mean the world to someone.

John 15:13 (The Message)

11-15“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.

So, this year, I’m committed to sharing in the mature Joy of Jesus by loving how He loves.  So, think about it and find a way to be an extension.  

I’ll be donating blood for example Tuesday, February 14th.  One time giving can save up to three lives.  

Some other options, send random cards to people, buy someones lunch when they aren’t looking, spend your romantic dinner serving food for those who don’t have anything.  

I’m still getting my game plan together, and the only reason I post this now is to see if together, we can make a difference and just love.

Whether you are single in facebook status or just single-minded in your pursuit, it’s really not about ring on your finger or candy in your mouth…just love.

Thoughts?  Plans?  Share them in the comments, you may just inspire someone else.

Lyssah

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under A Singles Bucket List, Adventure, Personal, Thoughts

Guest Post’d

Good Day All!

If you haven’t done it yet, make sure you drop by Sammy Adebiyi’s blog.  This is the only blog I know that the author can take a brief sabbatical to, you know, have a baby and the dialog and community double and triple.

If you need more incentive than that, I’ve got a guest post up there today-check it out!

http://sammyadebiyi.com/blogs/sammy-adebiyi/occupymyblog-day-8#comments

Leave a comment

Filed under Personal, Thoughts

Family Friday

Introducing a new element to Fog For Muses-Family Friday.  Every Friday, it is my goal to highlight the God given talent/creative expression/blog/etc of someone I consider family.

Ok, I know I don’t have the biggest of platforms when it comes to blogging, but I consider you all part of my online family.

That being the case, I want to connect you with some of my blood family.  My brother Jared, just released an ep via Noise Trade.  Check it out!

http://noisetrade.com/thejaredfergusonband

As the only sister of the founding member, I was blessed with the opportunity to sit in on some of their “studio” work.  Apart from having to be really quiet while sitting in a creaky chair, can I just say it was a mind blowing experience.  I never thought I would hear my brother say “Man, I wish this track had a little Mandolin…give me a sec” and then watch him pick up a mandolin (an instrument he does not play) and figure out the chords for his song!  It’s a little sick, if you ask me, but still amazing :).  So, check out their ep and if you ask nicely, I’ll leak some other random facts from my studio time with Jared Ferguson and Matt Hall.

And hey, if you want a Family Friday plug/shout out/guest blog, let me know.

We have two awesome guest blogs coming up in the near future from Janis Ferguson (my mommy) and a sister of my heart, Elaine Otuije, so, consider this the cue to get excited 😉

Lyssah

Leave a comment

Filed under Creative, Personal

But I want an Oompa Loompa NOW!

I want a ball
I want a party
Pink macaroons and a million balloons and performing baboons
And give it to me now

So, I realized something recently.  Being a person given all too frequently to internal reflection, I had been driven to a point of contemplation, brought on by an unexplainable melancholy, no, blah feeling.  Maybe you’ve experienced it too, where nothing appeals, and you find yourself wishy-washy on just about everything, not quite cranky, but headed down that road (probably cruising somewhere between Lethargicville and Seen It City).  I had been in this, funk, shall we call it, for a couple of days, brooding and musing and staring into the vast blackness of space, etc.  I knew something was not copacetic inside, and life experiences have revealed that this is one sign I am entertaining some less than Godly thought patterns.

Well, it took a few days to begin asking the questions that would shine the light needed to find the roundabout that would get me back on course.  I began seeing all the areas where I have been dis-satisfied lately.  On a semi-health kick, or at least with my foot resting against the kick start, but not really wanting to get it into gear.  Or feeling annoyed with Church as normal, and for the first time really feeling a slight sadness about being in Tennessee. 

Now, before you read too much into any of that, there is a point.  I came to the conclusion that I must be disillusioned somehow.  The question was, why?  My life is pretty good, I have a job I like, surrounded by a good church family, getting to flow in my creative gifting, etc.  So, why was I starting to get a hankering for the grass on the other side of the fence? 

Cue *light bulb*, ahem, I mean Holy Spirit. 

After this melancholy, a still small voice asked the big question “Do you really want to know where it’s coming from?”

That’s when you pretend to cough and then think to yourself…”Did I hear something,” but you really know you want to know, even if you don’t really want to know, you know?  So, I caved. 

“An entitlement mentality”

And I could see it.  I want to be healthy and for my body to reflect that, but I want to do what I want to do.  Why should my roommate be able to eat half a pizza or two burgers and still be under 100 lbs?  I want to write and inspire, but I catch a glimpse of someone running their own race on the same course and I get discouraged, feeling like the spot is already filled-why, because they have more subscribers or twitter followers than me?  I want to just spout my thoughts and revelations and inundate the masses in 10 minutes a day, but I don’t want to do the leg work needed to expand horizons.  I want to have a close relationship with God, but I don’t want to get up early or have to adjust my schedule, I just want to be soaked when I do dive in and be transformed by the occasional coating of my mind, not the continual renewal of it.

I want the world
I want the whole world
I want to lock it all up in my pocket
It’s my bar of chocolate
Give it to me now

And I realized at this juncture of time, I think I am reflecting more of Varuca Salt than I am of Jesus and Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit. 

I want the works
I want the whole works
Presents and prizes and sweets and surprises
Of all shapes and sizes and now

Don’t care how I want it now
Don’t care how I want it now

But, I do care how.  And entitlement isn’t going to get me anywhere except Disillusionment and that is a chain around my ankle keeping me rooted where I don’t want to be.  So, no more Veruca.  Bring on Charlie who was just grateful at being invited to the party and content with his Everlasting GopStopper.  So, I’m giving up my Oompa Loompa now.  Pretty sure that’s the only way to end up with a Glass Elevator that can take you anywhere.  And that is the intended end, if I can lift my eyes to see it.

Lyssah

Can you relate?  What are the areas you are disillusioned in and why?  Is there a time when entitlement has tempted you to just set up camp instead of pressing on?

5 Comments

Filed under Personal, Thoughts

Flesh Fail or Divine Destination?

Have you ever had one of those moments?  You know the ones where it seems like everything is coming together, the planets have aligned, yin and yang and all that stuff and here is a chance like you have never had and may never have again?  (For the record, I use this metaphorically, not as an endorsement for astrology).  You’re there, opportunity is there and if this were a movie, things might even be rolling in slow motion with an awesome music track to emphasize the moment.  You see your chance, you can’t even believe it, you step forward to grab destiny/opportunity/fill in your own word and you….choke.  It was the opportunity to speak to someone, but you froze and they passed by.  It was a chance to help and you hesitated a moment to long and someone else stepped in.  It was moment that you were in your prime in front of all the right people and splat, you crashed and burned.  Can anyone else relate with this sad state of events? 

I’ll be the first to raise my hand.  It happened all too recently.  I won’t bore you with the details, but needless to say, it was one of those “This has the potential to be life changing moments” and I choked.  Fear jumped in and I stood frozen as opportunity knocked, waited at a quiet door and turned away when it wasn’t answered.  Not to mention a friend of mine was able to embrace the moment, as I was busy doing something little and in the scheme of things, pointless, trying to psych myself up for it.  Don’t get me wrong, I was happy for her, but even more annoyed at myself.

The natural chain of thoughts flew past and I was contemplating my shortcoming, kicking myself for it, re-living the failure and to be honest, wanting nothing more than to cry about it.  Fortunately, I was attempting to stay strong and trusting and did not give into the cries of the flesh, looking for outlet.  If I had, I may have actually missed the greatest opportunity of the night.

Driving home, as I said, I was ripping myself a new one, chastising the fear, lamenting the missed opportunity.  Then, as always, right on cue, enter Holy Spirit. 

“Didn’t you say you trusted me?”  He gently called to my memory the prayer I had prayed during the pre-mentioned psych myself up moment, which ended with ‘come what may, I trust you in this and with it’.

“I do trust you, but I screwed up.  I didn’t take the opportunity because of fear.  I messed up your plan.”

“Hummmm,” the Holy Spirit really likes to build climactic tension with me when he is about to drop something.  “So, you’re saying you trust yourself more than me?”

“No, I’m not say…”

“And actually, you are saying you trust in your shortcomings over my grace.”

“No, that’s not what I me…” realization hit as he concludes with

“Really, because that is what you are saying when you assume you choking can remove you from the plans and purposes of God.”

It was a heavy blow, but it rang so true.  I was elevating my mistake and thinking that it had derailed me, thus making my mistake more powerful than God’s grace.  I gotta say, it shed a much different light on the situation and actually illuminated fail safes that were in place and ways that it was not hopeless, not in the least.

Sure, my fear may have kept me from momentary satisfaction/an opportunity I perceived as the one I should take, but it did not negate God’s grace and plan in the situation.  His grace is sufficient and it’s funny, because he even promised that in my weakness, he is stronger.  He sees the end from the beginning and see’s the workings behind the curtain of this stage.   

So, rather than going all moody and listening to “I will remember you” by Sarah McLaughlin as I try to weep not for the memory of the life I felt I allowed to pass by, I am encouraged and excited because I know he’s not done with me yet. 

Can anyone relate?  Have there been times you have elevated your shortcoming over God’s grace?  How did it turn out?

Lyssah

PS-Sorry, maybe I will remember you wasn’t the best song choice, but the chores was stuck in my head

2 Comments

Filed under Personal, Thoughts

All kinds of Awesome (not to be confused with the Awesome that is God) completely secondary…

So, today we celebrate complete awesomeness….We remember how Jesus died and rose again for us.  You can’t beat that!

In celebration, (and really because I want an excuse to post it), here is a lesser form of awesomeness…

3 Comments

Filed under Personal

Putting Your Best Foot Forward: A Distraction From the Cloven One Behind the Cape?

*Click* A squeal immediately follows, along with the demand that the unexpected picture just snapped be deleted immediately.  “I wasn’t ready….let me see it….I look tore up, you better get rid of that…” Anyone else been in this conversation before?  Anyone else been the subject of said offensive photo? The ironically entertaining side of it…not ten minutes earlier, chances are the cell phone had been out, snapping shots, wielded by the future indignant victim of candid camera.  And where was said camera aimed?  At themselves.  I’ll admit it, I’ve done it.  Whether to pass a period of boredom, to exercise an artistic itch while lacking a subject or because heck, I look cute today and I bet this would be an awesome Facebook/Twitter/Myspace (is MySpace even still around?) picture.  I know I’m not the only one, because I have witnessed it a time or two (and if you were using your Mac, it’s the same thing), but for the sake of being un-infringing on people’s right to creativity/narcissism, I’ll roll with this one from personal experience and internal musings.  

So many times, the most random thing will send me down the rabbit hole, where all too often, I find myself faced with…myself, who I really am, when no one is around. Most of the time, the image does not come anywhere close to reflecting that finished profile snap shot that has been filtered and edited to look awesome-like so… 

(Vignette is an awesome Android app, by the way). 

My pondering of late, reflected through the looking, glass has been this: Why do we hide who we are and still hope people will accept us as we are or are hurt when they don’t?

As humans, we were created for intimacy.  I mean, look at Adam and Eve.  What are we told about their time in the garden?  They walked with God, they worked with God, they were naked and knew no shame.  This is raw intimacy at its best. But ever since that fateful day when the first question of God’s character was raised, we’ve spent our lives trying to cover, trying to present an acceptable perception of ourselves.  Sometimes, I think my attempts to get that right angle on a good hair day isn’t much different than their fig leaves cinched together.  Why?  Because I don’t want those around me to see what I lack or where I have fallen short.  I want to make sure they only see what I perceive as my best, while I carefully moderate the exposure of the less desirable traits.  I don’t want that blemish to show, or the extra weight I’m insecure about to be noticed or the dark circles from a long night to be seen.  I’m afraid that when people see the outside, they’ll forget or discount what is on the inside. I wonder if Adam and Eve feared that?  I think so, because that intimacy was now interrupted by insecurity.  So, an initial question on God’s character (Why is he withholding what looks to be good) is replaced by a new question on God’s character (Will he reject/abandon me now that I have messed up, now that I’m not perfect).  And we are still wrestling with these questions today.  So, instead, we try and put our best foot forward.

But when we get down to the bottom of it, it’s all marketing.  The more you doubt the product, the better your marketing plan, your presentation must be.  Think about it, the food that is the worst for you and offers no nutritional substance other than providing fat stores in the event of nuclear fallout, have the catchiest jingles and flashiest packaging.  Paralleling, the girls in high school who wore the most make up or dressed the most…(how to put it delicately) “appealingly” to their target audience, often reaped the rewards of their campaign. 

The sad thing is, without exposure, there can be no intimacy.  We fear, so we disguise, but we are clever enough to hide behind the mask of our self.  And the heartbreak continues; because no one likes a bait and switch, but all too often, it’s what we rely on to garner the second look or opportunity we crave.  We fear rejection on superficial levels (appearance, talent, performance), so we shy away from facing the fear of exposing our hearts, which is by far, more vulnerable.  The dreams, the desires, who we see ourselves as or where we hope we’re going.  So, the fig leaf remains—if I can content the situation with an acceptable impression, the true me is accepted by proxy, right?

I said I was taking this personal, so there it is.  Huh, it’s a little cathartic 🙂 

Maybe you’ve been there.  It might not be looks, it might not be performance, but is anyone else in the FLA (Fig Leaf association)?  Any Masks?  Feel free to share.

Lyssah

PS-The inspiration for this picture…traffic.  Traveling toward Bellevue from West End on 70S-almost two hours to get home after the storm this week.  Pure born stir crazy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Personal, Thoughts