Be beautiful with me

How many times does one start anew? Is this the time?
Is this the chance?
Do we get to rise today in ways we haven’t before?
Might we become more honest and more hopeful?

Might we let the tears fall this year?
Could our smiles reach into our souls and bring about new life?

I have been called to beauty.
Has someone called you to the same?
Will we say yes?
Together.

This year, will you be beautiful with me?

Will you stay the big brave beautiful your bold self has already been?

Less of quitting and more of resilience.
Less of cowering and more of courage. 
Less of perfect and more of passionate.
Less of lies and more of truth.
Less of the fallen and more of the forgiven.
Less of hate and more of love.
Less of hell and more of heaven.

We didn’t get it all right in 2013, but we didn’t get it all wrong.  We never do.

Walk the road, past the easy words to the ones that barely can be spoken.
Walk the road, further than you have before.
Stay in the story longer,
and love a little stronger.  

I promised to, to people online, to those in person, and today to the person within.

And this
This is the start.
So is every breath.
So it is for you.

Join me, to 2014, for the hope we chase, the hope we breathe, the broken along the away, and the beauty we are called to.

Beauty.

Stay present for the pain,
stay steadfast in the sorrow,
stay real in the raw,
stay you in the yearning,
stay earnest in the eucharisteo,
stay grateful in the good,
stay honest in the hope.

Be beautiful with me this year.

for all that you enjoy and for that which you endure, know I am cheering for you.

nasreen

20140101-223137.jpg

Don’t mute the music now

Music is moving. It winds it’s way through the twists of life, rising with us to the peaks and plummeting to the valleys with us. It can connect us across the centuries and bind people standing together in new, profound ways. It takes practice to get it right and dedication to learn it well. It is beat, melody, harmony, and symphony all in one. Art claims it, humanity touched by it, and our souls the holder of it.

Silence has its place and for those moments, be still.

But if it is a time like this, for the music to play, let it.

If someone loved you, love forward.
If someone mentored you, bless on.
If someone taught you, teach others.
If someone gifted you, pay it forward.

For tragedy and joy are some of the greatest complexities in life, we are intertwined with both daily.

When tragedy shatters the stained glass window around you and the piercing sun blinds your eyes, keep breathing, keep living. Let the notes of courage and providence carry you just to the next measure. Weep to the slow, riveting sound of the low tones and know this too is music. Heart-break is still worship, in the wrestle and the raw, faith laid bare, do not mute the music now.

When joy gives pacing to your heart’s arrhythmia and the care from others brings your quality of life to notable goodness, keep living. Let the notes of confidence and community carry you to the next song of beauty. Sway to the rhythm, the momentous pulse of the strong tones and know this too is music. Hope is worship, not for you alone but also for those you can bless, do not mute the music now.

for all you enjoy and for that which calls you to endure, know I play music for each of you,
nasreen fynewever

“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” -Jesus words as written in John 16:33

20130506-145456.jpg

written in loving honor of Jeff Looman, fellow teacher, man of God.

written by commissioning of Holley Gerth, leader of a joyful dreaming community that grows in the “pay it forward” lives of college students in Michigan, Jumping Tandem Retreat goers, and myself.

For tragedy and joy are some of the greatest complexities in life, we are intertwined with both daily. For both, I stay on my knees; join me.

And…

don’t mute the music now.

#PFTL

(Photo retrieved from J. Looman’s facebook photos, used under public domain rights)

Congratulations on your Graduation!

Many of my former students are graduating these days. And whether you went to college, joined the armed services, went straight to full time work, or took a curvy path too complex to explain, this is for you–

Congratulations on your “graduation” rockstar!

Graduate FROM a chapter, not from life. Remember you have not just arrived. You have been shaped and used for years already!

Graduate FOR life, not for mere accomplishment. You climbed a hill (or three) and your mountain top is beautiful. Keep the big picture of what defines you though, not this, but rather your love and service.

Graduate TO accomplishment, not mediocrity. So many of you have learned things about excellence that took me years longer to learn. You must seek to accomplish what your gifts and skills can bring to the world around you. This is not the time to hide your talents. This is time to move like you own the dance floor.

And wherever life leads you, please remember: For all that you enjoy and for all that you must endure, know I am cheering for youI have never stopped—

Love on!
Serve on!
Rock on!

He goes with you and to Him be the glory and the journey.

20130427-164306.jpg

10 things you should know about your teacher (or your kid’s teacher)

 

School is in session.  Best wishes to all of you intertwined with the education system, whether student, parent, teacher, or staff!   Here’s a quick list of 10 things you should know if your teacher is anything like me or the people I have taught with.

photo by karla kantola

1. They think you rock! They have been excited to meet you!

2. They may actually enjoy going on tangents as much as you do.  School is very much academics, but it is also full of life lessons and relationships.

3. They partner with your parent(s) and guardian(s), so they will share how wonderfully you shine and may have to share when you miss the mark.

4. They want you to have your own pencil.  Everyday.

5. They think learning and sharing is fun, so don’t ask if the class will have any fun today, the answer will always be YES!

6. They are just human, they make mistakes just like you do.

7. They do want to hear about your weekend, your dog, your fears, and what makes you happy, so just pay attention to when it is okay to share those things.  They also want to know if you ever feel bullied, lonely, or lost because although they think all their students are cool, they will take extra time to encourage you if they know you are hurting!

8. They call you Mr. Matthews not because they forgot your first name was Jordan, but because it is how they chose to show you respect.  They may have other ways of showing you respect too, see if you can figure it out.

9. They consider your smile, your questions, and your willingness to help your classmates as some of the best parts of their day.  Keep it up!

10. They think you ROCK!  They look forward to seeing you in class!