• Dana L. Butler

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Hey, my friends. It’s been awhile, eh? A sweet friend mentioned yesterday (or maybe the day before?) on my Facebook wall that she misses my words, and among my first thoughts was this one: “Gosh, I miss them too.”

I’ve been a mixture of just running from one task from the next with very, very few moments to breathe, and just kind of rendered speechless in some big ways. It’s one of those seasons where my heart feels everything to extremes — the good things are like, NO WAY!! THAT ROCKS!!, and the sad things are honestly really hard, and still rendering me pretty speechless.

So I’m gonna try and write to you authentically today, with only the words I’m able to string together right here. Right now. Right where I’m at.

*****

So many things have happened since I last wrote my heart here. We purchased a new home and moved sometime around the end of August; Isaac started Kindergarten at our neighborhood elementary school, and thus far is doing better than we could’ve dreamed.

We’ve had a few sets of guests stay with us over the last couple of months, and we’ve so enjoyed our times with them.

In my limited free moments, I’ve poured myself into sanding and painting and decorating and arranging our new space. Gosh, it’s fun. I love being older, knowing myself and my tastes better, and getting to start from scratch in what we hope will be our family’s home for a good couple o’ decades.

I’m still worship pastoring for the Littleton Vineyard, and am loving the direction we’re going, both as a worship team, and as an entire church family. It’s good stuff, y’all. I’m really stoked, and continue to find so much life in leading worship, leading our team, investing in the lives of those Jesus puts before me.

Isaac and Maia’s relationship with one another is still an unbelievable challenge. I mean… my little brothers and I argued and fought like crazy growing up, and we didn’t touch this level of intensity. Oy. Stan and I joke that we have so much more space now in our new house, and the kids still find the same 2 square feet of carpet to battle over. So. Needless to say, they still keep me on my toes. Slightly.

*****

The weather is turning cooler in the Denver area. The trees are turning from fiery to brown, from brown to completely asleep. Isaac asks me questions about the trees — are they dying, Mom? Are they gonna be dead forever? He’s so worried about them, and I try and explain that they’re resting. They’re taking a break from producing visible beauty. It’s part of their cycle, part of the way they were made.

Sometimes they make me cry — the metaphors that boy and I stumble into together, and the fact that I have a son who often, upon seeing or experiencing beauty and says, “Mom, I’m about to cry with happiness.”

*****

Everything makes me want to write these days — makes me look longingly in the direction of my laptop, wishing I could find words again.

Trees; rivers; sunrises and sunsets, mountains, our new, amazing  6-month-old pup (!!) and how he and Isaac have bonded so profoundly; this space that’s ours, a gift for us to do with what we want {or rather, what we can afford. Ha.} . The Craig’s List dining room table that’s currently sitting in our garage, ready to be transformed into a big ol’ farmhouse style table that I pray will be sacred space for both our little family, and our guests — space that’ll host stories and desires and dreams.

And… there’s this burning, you guys, and I’ve gotta admit: I’m afraid to say it out loud here, because saying it out loud brings both accountability and a deeper sense of reality to a dream. But I’ve gotta do it anyway.

I want to write songs again.

I want to write songs for my worship team and my church family, and I want to write songs that are intimate and tender, for His ears only. I’ve had such a song-writing block the last year and a half or two years, but His invitation is clear — drawing me into fuller companionship with Him, to respond to Him right smack dab where I’m weak and incapable and afraid. Places where I want to hold back, to shut down a little, to withhold my deepest, truest self.

Songwriting is only one of several arenas I sense Him asking me for the impossible. It’s the easy one, actually, though it’s by no means easy.

If you pray for me… I would love it if you’d hold this stuff before the Father on my behalf. If you’d ask Him for grace to yes, move forward with Him in these arenas, but to do it out of a place of resting in my smallness, being okay with my inadequacy, and trust in His commitment to me, so that His more-than-adequacy can fill me, sustain me, shore me up where I’d otherwise cave in.

****

The holidays are coming, y’all. Once we make it beyond Halloween (and Halloween is rough when you have a child who’s prone to anxiety. Ugh.), we’re home free, and it’s all fall wreaths and pumpkin cookies and apple-cinnamon candles and fires in the fireplace and — if I can get my current project completed and back to its home in our dining room — meals with friends around our newly expanded table.

This time of year pretty much always calls to me to be still, to listen to Him, to contemplate His heart and His tender pursuit of mine. And in the midst of all my projects and responsibilities, and with the holidays right around the corner, my prayer is that I’ll be on the lookout for moments to steal away, to be still with Him. To feel His heartbeat and to learn its rhythm.

That’s my prayer for y’all too, my friends. That Jesus highlights to you those subtle moments of invitation, that your heart responds to His as He shares it with you.

Gosh I love y’all. Seriously. So much. Thanks for being my friends, my companions, and the most gracious receivers of my story.

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