show & tell.

i spent a good part of last night writing a soon-and-coming guest-post for heatherly and didn’t have anything left for today’s post here, so i put out a call for ideas.

my fun friend leebird responded immediately that i should write about lessons learned at the make-up counter, which i did last year.

and then she said,

one word:

show

thus, your one-word post for today.

join me?

show.

show and tell, show not tell

show me and tell me you love, you’ll love me forever

from now til the end,

show not tell

demonstrate, don’t speak

words go far, but your actions speak louder

if i were to pick my love language, without having read the book, then i would have to say that ‘quality time’ is the number one way i receive love.

hungry heart, but not desperate, easily satiated with time well-spent with those i love and some that i don’t love well

you show me yours and i’ll show you mine

show me what you’ve got, kid

let me tell you something, but if i show you instead then we both grow and know and have learned and we come away having been taught more than before

i’ll show you my heart, my soul, my scars and my wounds without fear but will guard and protect them, those that belong to me, hard-earned and well-deserved and bought and paid for and shown love over and over and over again

i have nothing to hide and transparent skin and a love that abides deep within and i am secure in the knowledge of who i am and whose i am, where i belong and to whom

and i have seen, i have been shown, more love – a deeper, purer, truer love – than i have ever known. not here on the earth, though it manifests through soul-friends of the heart

shown and told the depths of his love, the magnitude of shed blood

all for me

feels sort of funny to be writing a one-word post on a monday…er, tuesday…anymore, but feel free to join in if your creative juices aren’t flowing that well today.

rules are the same as a 5mf with the gypsy mama: write unfiltered, unedited for five minutes flat. (and if you need to go back and tweak, be free to do that. i do, but i only actually write for five minutes. then i fix. i can’t help it.) take it to your own blog, or use a comment-space here. either way is fine by me.

p.s. thank you, lee! love you! xo

pretty penny.

i need to tell you something. it’s about last month.

you know…when we did the just write! campaign?

it was inspired at a really good time. in fact, it couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

here’s why:

i don’t have insurance right now. since i’m working a few part-time jobs (which i a d o r e), it’s up to me to take care of my own benefits. even though i can afford a basic plan, i just received a letter from blue cross rejecting me because i have been treated for both depression and a melanoma in situ in the last few years.

before i could settle in to a regular pay schedule and budget, i paid for my own prescriptions in july. it was a pretty penny, one that i was fairly certain i wouldn’t be able to soon afford again. one script was more of a convenience than a necessity, so it wouldn’t be a big deal if i had to come off of it.

i was a little bit more nervous, however, about the other one.

my antidepressant.

when i told my neuropsychiatrist that i quit my job back in may, he said, ‘oh, good. now you can go down on your dosage.’ (he doubled it 18 months earlier when my dad died.) i reduced my intake with no obvious consequence.

but when i paid $375 for a refill, i knew i had to make it last as long as i could and cut back a little bit more than he originally suggested because WHO CAN AFFORD $375 TO REGULATE THEIR EMOTIONAL STABILITY.

god obviously knew what i could not have known when, in fact, i realized i wouldn’t be able to shell that kind of cash out again and my insurance application was still in limbo. 

when i realized i had about 10 days left of my prescription, i started weaning myself. (i had stopped cold turkey the last time i left a job and was waiting for new insurance to kick in and, as much as i enjoyed seeing trails and the vomiting, I JUST WASN’T EXCITED ABOUT GOING THROUGH THAT AGAIN.)

when i finally did run out of pills, i knew i was facing a potentially violent withdrawal. i begged god, though, not to let that happen again. it could have been debilitating and i couldn’t afford for that to happen. (literally.)

and it didn’t. i didn’t throw up, not one time. (thank god. i hate throwing up. barf me out. uh…literally.)

while i didn’t get sick, i was still dizzy and nauseous and especially weepy for about six weeks. it wasn’t until about a week or so ago when i finally felt clean and clear.

and this is why the just write! campaign proved to be timely.

if you’ll remember, i announced it in the last week of august, to begin the first week of september. i had just come off my meds at that time and i wasn’t sure what would come out of my head otherwise. i had to monitor myself on every level. i needed the creative help, but i also needed strict parameters. i even asked a couple of close friends to keep a proverbial eye on me during this time.

what might be a more interesting story is to tell you the how/when/why i ever started taking an anti in the first place. i’m a big fan for those who need them (not so much for those who do not). (now, i mean. not at first. definitely not at first.) i’ll save that for another time, though, as well as what god has shown me through this whole thing.

in the meantime, i just needed for you to know. kinda like a confession. or, maybe…more just to keep all lines of communication open. to stay true to myself and to you.

and because there is so little that you don’t know about me, so why not tell you about this?

you would be none the worse for the wear had i not told you, but i just wanted to be honest with you about the true impetus behind the just write! campaign. the reason i didn’t tell you in the beginning is because i didn’t want it to shade the good side of the experiment, which is what it did for our creativity. also because I COULDN’T THINK OR SEE STRAIGHT. plus, it’s just sort of…actually, it’s a very…personal matter, you know? (like…how much should one really share with their virtual friends? there i go again with the no filter. what are we going to do with this girl?)

all of this said, my head feels normal again and i have better control of my weepiness, so i look forward to sharing with you more of the seeds god planted in my heart over the last month or so without having a meltdown.

y’all have a great day.

xo

seeing red.

i kind of felt lost this morning when i didn’t wake up to a five-minute friday prompt.

naked. bare. alone.

so alone…

alas, the gypsy mama says it will be up in a bit (she forgot it was friday which, hellooo, i only do, like, every other day).

before i realized it was simply an oversight (because i originally thought, ‘good for her! teaching us a lesson in tough love, on how not to be codependent’ or…something…) i had already  moved forward in my mind with plan b, which was to pull out a one-word from our trusty ol’ jar. (so glad i saved it! i knew it would come in handy times like these! desperate times, folks. these are desperate times.)

if 5mf goes up in the next few minutes, i’ll tack it on. in the meantime, I HAVE A DAY TO GET TO, PEOPLE. full of all sorts of important plans and…such.

okay, so. my one-word prompt for today? 

woman in the red dress, that would be me

sitting next to this red blanket, looking at the red amaryllis my momma gave to me

red accents my life, my closet, my shoebox sanctuary where joy and peace reign and rule

red is the color of the barnhouse in which i was raised with two other pigtailed girls, cute as can be, creating double dare obstacle courses in the front yard and barbie colonies in the creek, screen-door slamming in and out we run

i see red at injustice, to women and children, especially. always for the underdog. also when my voice is taken from me or i am somehow misrepresented, either by my own self or someone else. do not take my voice away, or that person’s there.

when hannah grace asks my favorite color, i usually say ‘red’, even though she wants me to say pink. ‘i love pink, too’, i assure her. (it used to be my favorite color, too, when i was once also a prima ballerina.)

the color of fire, of fierce love, of burdened shoulders

the color of fireballs and red hots and all manner of christmas candy

and love come down

sweet summertime strawberries and hot-house tomatoes

the color of life well-lived, broken and poured out

crimson spilled for my insanity, my crazy, my ‘just get it together, sister’-ness.

and i know he’d do it all again because he couldn’t not

because that was his purpose, his reason, his sole why and how

and so i thank him with hands lifted too high i can’t reach,

drip

drip

dripping

with his blood

wash over me, make me clean

as you alone can

i’ll come back later once the gypsy mama does today’s big reveal since, evidently, i pretty much live for five-minute friday.

y’all have a great weekend!

xo

crenshaw hall.

oh really? this? this word? HOW DID I GET SO LUCKY.

so, this weekend i caught the bouquet at my cousin’s wedding.

i normally excuse myself for this event on account of it being slightly mortifying to be fighting a handful of 13-year old girls for the game of ‘who gets to play princess next?’ also, because, hello…it’s not exactly the biggest selling factor to potential suitors that i’d be this old and unattached yet…and fighting over a bunch of flowers.

I PREFER TO COME ACROSS POISED AND COLLECTED.

you know, cool and casual.

calm and collected.

like i can’t be bothered.

unaffected, if you will.

and i will say it again that it doesn’t bother me that i’m not married, not one bit. but it’s not something i really enjoy drawing attention to about myself, either. i certainly don’t want anyone else to notice it about me, as if a character flaw or defect.

in all, though, my dear cousin’s wedding was lovely and so much fun and, when it came down to it, we were all dancing and laughing and singing at the top of our lungs and, quite frankly, i just couldn’t have cared less what it looked to be the oldest in a preteen sea hoping to catch the bouquet because it was more about experiencing the moment than being the one who won.

and then i heard,

OHPRAISEJESUS!THANKYOUJESUS!HALLELUJAH!THANKYOULORDJESUS!

(thanks, mom.)

my mom’s oldest sister, the bride’s mother, told me a few times over the weekend, ‘this is your year, mary.’ and another cousin i sorely admire said to me after quite an obnoxious catch (because i never win anything so it was equal-parts shocking and exciting), ‘it’s your time, mary.’

and so it is. or isn’t. or whatever. it is or it isn’t.

for one night, though, it was.

CONGRATULATIONS, MR. & MRS. STANFIELD!

if your wedding is any indication of what your marriage will be like, i know your life together will be full of so much fun and laughter. jeff, welcome to our big, crazy family. you could not be more loved here.

you were a positively radiant bride, becky, and i couldn’t be happier for you. i love you very much, cousin-mine.

xo

{i fully expected this post to be about the wedding of the bride and our Bridegroom, so someone else have at that. please.}

this is our second-to-last just write! campaign post. for the month of september, members of the beauty for ashes community have been conducting an experiment called the just write! campaign, in an effort to unstick those stuck creatives among us. (for those who recognize the idea, our inspiration came from the gypsy mama‘s five-minute fridays. all praise and glory to lisa-jo.) for more information, please read this post. to catch up to previous words of the day, you’ll find the ‘just write! campaign’ category to your right.

beautiful ugly.

for the month of september, members of the beauty for ashes community are conducting an experiment called the just write! campaign, in an effort to unstick those stuck creatives among us. (for those who recognize the idea, our inspiration comes from the gypsy mama‘s five-minute fridays. all praise and glory to lisa-jo.) for more information, please read this post. to catch up to previous words of the day, you’ll find the ‘just write! campaign’ category to your right.

today’s word:

there’s ugly in the beauty, the beautiful mess we make
(that was actually supposed to read the opposite, but perhaps not)

and god makes something from nothing and turns the ugly into

something beautiful

something he loves

because he can’t not love

and he provides and cares and proves himself

in the ugliness of the cross, the beautiful glory of an ugly, gory cross

and he loves

he loves

he loves

oh, how he loves

i had horrible acne from the time i was in middle school until i did two treatments of accutane in college and it started to dissolve and i felt i was ugly, self-conscious and insecure with a face only a mother could love

and god took it and made something new

(and thank god for good skincare)

so i get it. i know. i get it, i do. you who struggle and can’t see through the ugly,

which isn’t even ugly at all

but there has been more ugliness on the unseen in my life

ugly, ugly behavior

even uglier words spoken from a heart that was war-mangled

ugly faces made

ugly things done

and i thank god that he is a god that loves our ugly and turns it back in to the beauty of the cross.

christa joy black and i lived in new york together and were a part of the same church-plant. she is one of the most talented songwriters and musicians i’ve ever heard and remains one of my favorite voices. i don’t receive anything at all for endorsing her music or book.

then we will.

{i forgot today was wednesday and wrote this post instead. was going to save it for thursday but ran out of time to write another post. we’ll discuss romans tomorrow.}

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – philippians 4:7 (nlt)

THEN we will experience God’s peace. when we choose not to worry and we talk to god, when we tell him what we need and thank him -thank him- for all He has done. THEN we will experience that kind of peace.

i want that, don’t you? to experience peace to that degree? on that level?

and, again, it’s a fruit of his spirit. we get to have peace just because we belong to him.

so, there it is. these are the steps to receiving, achieving, accepting peace. true peace, not faux peace.

{by the way, y’all. i set out to write today’s just write! campaign post on ‘peace’ and ended up writing an actual post. a real post. can you believe it!? it’s already scheduled.}

i want to be an agent of peace, one of love. i want my feet to tread softly on paths of productivity and compassion, confident that my god is a good god. that he is kind and gracious and loving and merciful.

oh, god. oh, prince of peace. the one, the feet of the one, who brings good news.

let me follow your lead, lord god, in this way. oh, that i might be the hands and feet of the one who is the ruler of all peace. you who are the prince of peace. the ruler over the land of tranquility. thank you, god, that we get to live there, in a state of peace, with you.

 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. -philippians 4:8-9 (nlt)

a tall order, but not impossible and certainly not a bad aspiration, is it?

god, let my thoughts be fixed on things of you that you might abide in, with, over and through all of me.

amen.

{um, okay…now can someone explain about the whole ‘i didn’t come to bring peace but a sword!’ part. because i just turned to that in matthew and now i’m confused a little bit.}

* * * * * * * * * *

hard to believe we’re over the halfway-mark of the just write! campaign. i would love to know how this experiment has affected your writing, or freed up your creativity. feel free to leave a comment about it or email me at marykathryntyson(at)gmail(dot)com.

one plus one.

 

{that says ‘one’. evidently my pen skipped.}

one body, one blood, one life, one love

that’s all we have, isn’t it? no matter which way you look at it?

just one of each, in the one body who saves, redeems, covers and has paid the price for our just one.

one movement, one cost, one price to pay for all of us and it is paid

and so how am i living into that?

how am i living as if that one of everything makes me worthy of the one?

one time, just this one time, this is it. this day.

not tomorrow or the next day or the next.

just one. one second, one minute, one hour, one day, one month, one year.

the end. just one.

and i have to consider again, with this one chance, one thing i’ve been given

you’ve been given

what am i going to do with just one?

i consider the one child i sponsor, 8 years old to be, and i make a difference to her

my one dog, my one car, my one niece and nephew

i am but one of many, many. but one i can be.

just one.

1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1… makes a difference

i am not an island, neither are you. we are meant to be one plus one plus one plus one…

that god would add and not take away from us, that i would be someone who gives and doesn’t take…that i would add to your life and make you more, better, different

god, for this one ragamuffin and her torn and tattered friends, i thank you for being one man, sent to seek and save the lost, hung on one tree, on a dark and dismal day. i am just one of many, called by only one. amen.

for the month of september, members of the beauty for ashes community are conducting an experiment called the just write! campaign, in an effort to unstick those stuck creatives among us. (for those who recognize the idea, our inspiration comes from the gypsy mama‘s five-minute fridays. all praise and glory to lisa-jo.) for more information, please read this post. to catch up to previous words of the day, you’ll find the ‘just write! campaign’ category to your right.

soul windows.

if a person’s eyes are the windows to a soul, then you have a beautiful soul

so deep, clear and profound, the things they have seen

your eyes see through to the very heart of me

to the very core of who i am, without measure or filter

and here i sit, thinking my windows may need a good cleaning

wondering, wandering, clinging to you

you see tenderly, you capture my gaze and i am left wanting

more

more

more of you

only you

you see desperation and exhaustion

and hope

and you make change from the inside out

you see me as i am meant to be seen,

meant to be known

you see through, from the inside out and the outside in

and you love better than i love, more than i do, as it can only be

as it is meant to be

oh god, help me to see with your eyes, to hear with your ears

give me understanding that only the eyes of my heart could see

help me to see like you see, with your heart, god. i get in my own way and on my own nerves and i need to see today like you see always.

one foot in front of the other, i hear.

lift my eyes to you, o god, enthroned in heaven. -psalm 123:1, nlt

look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. -proverbs 4:25, nlt

for the month of september, members of the beauty for ashes community are conducting an experiment called the just write! campaign, in an effort to unstick those stuck creatives among us. (for those who recognize the idea, our inspiration comes from the gypsy mama‘s five-minute fridays. all praise and glory to lisa-jo.) for more information, please read this post. to catch up to previous words of the day, you’ll find the ‘just write! campaign’ category to your right.



choose joy.

well, this was bound to happen (and i’m so glad it did) – that i would have pulled this one-word out on monday and it would be the same word gypsymama used on friday.

the next day, i went to work thinking, ‘choose joy today, mary kathryn.’

and then on wednesday, i learned of gitz’s beautiful journey toward home (which is the reason gypsymama chose this word for today).

so i’m sort of thinking this might be a theme for me (and others?) this week, or for this season, no matter how long. how bout for a lifetime? let’s go with that. 

tam has decided to make permanent sara’s life-message on her arm. i think i might follow her lead because, though i didn’t/don’t know sara personally, isn’t that quite a legacy to leave? i want to live my life in such a way that, despite my circumstances (and she definitely had some that would have made ‘go to hell, y’all’ an understandable option), i might always

choose.

joy.

i was so thankful to be reminded by melissa that joy comes in the mourning…or in the morning? i meant to include it and forgot it on monday’s post. i had actually hoped for a redo because, yes. there is always joy – both in the mourning and the morning.

for reasons i’ll be more comfortable sharing in a few weeks when i’m a little less weepy, i’ll be more comfortable sharing why ‘choosing joy’ for me is my best, my only, option right now.

because it is a choice, isn’t it? one that we can always, always choose.

one that we must choose.

today. now. here.

so, today, for gitz and for god, i choose joy.

gitz, thank you for your example.

enjoy heaven, you beautiful soul. 

xo

anyway.

i’m guest-posting today about fostering rest and nurturing creativity over at beautiful elora’s house while she…well, while she fosters rest and nurtures creativity. :)

here’s a sneak peek:

i have a confession to make.

i hate writing guest posts.

it’s true. i do.

but when beautiful elora (who, by the way, has delivered a guest post or two for me) asked me if i would write one for her in september, and she suggested that fostering rest and nurturing creativity were the reason for her blog-sabbatical, and therefore might be the direction we’d opt to take as her guests, i told her i already knew what i wanted to say. call it serendipity, there was already a message brewing in my heart along the exact same lines…

follow me over to love wins to read the rest?

* * * * * * * * * *

if this is your first visit over to beauty for ashes and/or you’ve jumped over here from elora’s, hey and welcome! i’m so glad you’re here. you’ve found us on a unique day because a.) it’s my birthday, see; also, b.) we’re doing this experiment sort of thing right now so it’s not really a typical day in the neighborhood.

unless it’s september (and it is), in which case it’s a pretty typical day these days in the hood. more information is down at the bottom. call it clever, i just thought things were getting a little long up here at the top.

i would love it if you joined us today.

today’s one-word is:

 

ready? go!

in the beginning, god created

oh, divine creator, supreme artist who splashed stars in the sky by design and filled the earth with oceans deep and mountains high and painted by hand every leaf and tree…

thank you for creating me.

day of all days, i was born this day to worship you, to love and be loved by you and only you, king of all kings.

blessed be.

* * * * * * * * * *

anyway

bless the day
this restoration is complete
dirty, dusty, something must be underneath
so i scrape and i scuff
though it’s never quite enough
i’m starting to see me finally

a gallery of paintings new and paintings old
i guess it’s no surprise that i’m no michaelangelo
every layer of mine hides a lovely design 
it might take a little patience
it might take a little time

but you called me beautiful
when you saw my shame
and you placed me on the wall
anyway

you who have begun this work will someday see
a portrait of the holiness you meant for me
so i polish and shine
til it’s easier to find even an outline of mine

but you called me beautiful
when you saw my shame
and you placed me on the wall
anyway

and you placed me on the wall
anyway 

-nichole nordeman

{for we are god’s masterpiece. he has created us anew in christ jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. -ephesians 2:10 (nlt)}

* * * * * * * * * *

for the month of september, members of the beauty for ashes community are conducting an experiment called the just write! campaign, in an effort to unstick those stuck creatives among us. (for those who recognize the idea, our inspiration comes from the gypsy mama‘s five-minute fridays. all praise and glory to lisa-jo.) for more information, please read this post. to catch up to previous words of the day, you’ll find the ‘just write! campaign’ category to your right.

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