Archive of ‘Contribution Posts’ category

Selah

By Brooke

*I’m so excited to have Tasha contribute here today. Tasha is a much loved Holy Yoga Instructor and writes mainly at Breathing In Him. Check her out!

April can go now. We’ve had enough time together. As much as I try to live in the present, I’m ready to move on. It’s been a month. My bad barely scratches the surface of what God has called some of my loved ones to walk through. My 27 year old cousin elected to have a double mastectomy. She carries the BRCA gene. The broken heart and shattered dreams of a friend who miscarried…a friend who has lost all hope in her marriage, friends with children in the hospital….anxiety & depression showing up unwanted and so unexpected…and then there was Boston. And list goes on…ruins all around.

And so Thursday when I got the dreaded call back after a routine mammogram, I hit the wall. They tell me they just need another image because there was movement on one image (whatever that means!?!?). “So no need to worry, but can you come now because the radiologist needs to be there”. I can read between the lines..
Selah
It’s word used 74 times in the Bible –71 times in the Psalms and three times in Habakkuk and it means to stop, pause, and listen. Another interpretation claims that selah comes from the primary Hebrew root word salah which means “to hang”, and by implication to measure or weigh.
I drive straight to the imaging center and I check in and wait. And wait some more.
And Pray. A lot. And I go to do what all good 21st century Jesus freaks do, I grab my iPhone – my instant connection to all things Jesus. In 2 seconds I can have my online Bible and hundreds of people praying for me. But no bars. No signal. No prayers. No Word.
Selah
And so one more image turns into needing an ultrasound and as I lay there waiting scared, the word comes. Selah. He was saying “Selah, Tasha”. Pause, stop, listen, hang on to ME. Hang on to who I AM and whose YOU ARE. Soak in the measure and the weight of who I am; the weight of my power and the measure of deep concern and love I have for you. I am enough regardless of what may come today. I’m always enough. Everlasting to everlasting. Selah.
And when the radiologist came in to tell me everything was fine – just some cysts that I need not worry about – you would think I would jump for joy. Instead, I burst into tears. Poor guy.
But I had just experienced one of the most intimate moments ever with The One who calls me His beloved. Totally overwhelmed by love.
I praise Him for my results. And I praise Him for no bars. Technolgy is good. No, its great, and prayer so much more. But in that moment He knew exactly what I did and didn’t need. And I praise Him because, left unto myself, I would have missed spending sweet selah time in the presence of my Holy God.
 

Holy Yoga Instructor Training Retreat

By Stephanie

Last week was a full week of Holy Yoga Instructor Training Retreat. These retreats are ridiculously beautiful. Anyone who has participated can tell you that it is a life changing experience.

The really awesome thing is that Brooke has moved into teaching the Bible Study portion of retreats. She’s called to this, people. Brooke is a student of the Word. She is always reading, always being moved and shaped by what God speaks to her. Even yesterday, her little Brynn said, “NO ONE loves Jesus more than my mom.” Sweet girl. Don’t you love her little gentle heart being shaped by her mama’s love for Jesus?

Brooke loves Jesus in a way that radiates from her. She is always, always loving people in a way that goes far beyond my own understanding. She offers a space of grace while simultaneously leaning into deep truth.

I remember Brooke telling me once that, in the height of her pre-Jesus success, one of her students excitedly told Brooke that she had found Jesus. Brooke responded with, “Don’t limit yourself to one book.” Brooke tells that story with such appreciation for what Jesus has done for her. She is a TEACHER of that one book now. She lives and breathes it’s depth and healing mercy.

Thank God for the Book. Thank God for the people who live it.

Keep hanging out here – the recordings from Bible Study at this past retreat will be available soon.

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For Us Wanderers

By Stephanie

choose freedom

*Stephanie is a contributing writer and primarily writes for The Little Way

When I stumbled into Holy Yoga, I was a wanderer. I had been wandering my entire life. I like to think that J.R.R Tolkein had it right when he said that “not all who wander are lost”, or something to that effect. Because, it’s not that I was lost. I wasn’t searching even. I was just wandering. My feet had found many paths, all labeled “Jesus” and all pointing to the same destination, but all taking different highways to get there. I’d been trying them out. I hadn’t necessarily been loving them.

Most paths made me feel shamed, different, misunderstood, mislabeled. Most paths felt like mountains I wasn’t meant to climb.

So, when I stumbled into Holy Yoga, I was already weary. I had already spent most of my life trying to do the right thing, and failing. I didn’t find a new religion in Holy Yoga. I didn’t find a new church or a new theology. I found something better – gloriously flawed people who were completely capable of loving me in the midst of my own flaws. I found accountability that didn’t strip my humanity. I found mercy and the kind of friendship that will enter into deep heaving moments of crying out. I found women who would let their true, often messy, hearts show. I found a deep hunger for the Word of God embedded in an hour and fifteen minutes together. I found peace on my yoga mat, because I wasn’t questioning the motive or intent of my instructor. I found community. And that’s where I’ve learned community. I found family.

Brooke was a woman who had been broken and knit back together. She was just a human being who was willing to let God lead her. That’s it. She was the first woman I sat and learned from. She was my teacher, and she is my friend.

If you are ever called to the Holy Yoga Instructor Training you will know just what I’m talking about. You will hear her teach you Jesus and you will remember this post. Your heart will take you back to this moment because there is something vivid and earth shattering about a woman who has been bought for a price; a woman who has been redeemed and who has wholeheartedly committed herself to teaching the love and mercy of Jesus. We need more of that. We need women, and men, who aren’t turned back by the fear of others. We need people who will stand in the light because they have spent time kneeling in the dark night. We need people who don’t live for fame or acclamation. We need these warriors of hope, these creators of community. We need truth bearers and mercy seekers. We need them because we need Jesus.

If you’ve been a wanderer like me, you know that Jesus isn’t just in buildings or gatherings with clever names. Jesus can be there – he’s big enough. But Jesus is unashamedly in these little communities. He is in unexpected and healing spaces, giving us the freedom to join him, or keep on wandering. He’ll find us, or we’ll find him. He’s not afraid of our twisty paths. He’s not concerned about how long it takes our tired feet to reach him.

I say this because I want you to know that, if Holy Yoga isn’t your path, that’s okay. It will always be for some, but not for all. I wandered through communities that weren’t my path either. I hope you know that that doesn’t mean it isn’t Jesus’ path. I hope you, as a fellow wanderer, know that God is big enough to fill our spaces, no matter how vast and different they are. I hope you know that community grows where there is fruit, people are healed and reconciled – even when it doesn’t make sense to us.

Where have you wandered, friend? Where have you found community and healing? Share with us.

Your story is important.

stephanie

Illuminate The Darkness

By Stephanie

compassion

Brennan Manning says this:

“In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.”

In other words – in community, hiding out is not an option. Real community is not a place where we conceal who we are and who we have been. Real community offers no invitation to be perfect or burden free. Real community is a place where we get down to the nitty-gritty. This is where we sink into each others lives; where we hear each others stories without rising up in judgement. Community is a culture built on compassion.

The thing about compassion is that you will never really understand it until you are known and you know. Until you let other people into your darkest corners, your rocky past and your right-now battles, no one can have compassion for you. Until you enter in to someone else’s grief, trauma and fear, you can’t have compassion. Compassion comes from a deep place of intimacy. Compassion is drawn, etched and fleshed out in the shared lives of transparent people.

Here’s one thing compassion is NOT: compassion is not co-dependency. I know this because I’ve lived in the throes of both. Co-dependency looks like an invitation to sit weak and broken in a dark, isolated pit forever. Co-dependency enters in, sets up camp, and laments in unison with broken people. No one ever tastes light again.

Compassion looks like an open door. Compassion is an entering in through the door, holding the weak, dirty hand of a captive beloved and helping them crawl to freedom. Compassion is the crack in the wall that lets in enough light to inspire a life altering choice. Compassion leads to freedom.

If we want to experience compassion we’re going to have to first experience community. We’re going to have to get vulnerable with safe people and let our hearts be stirred. We’re going to have to experience conflict and misunderstandings. We’re going to have to learn to rejoice with each other when mountains are crossed and when small steps bring us great distances. We’re also going to have to learn how to use boundaries. We’re going to have to build sturdy fences with well oiled gates. We’re going to have to know where certain people fit in our hearts. We’re going to have to exercise strength as we love unlovable people from this side of our own healing. We’re going to have to be wise, and meek, and humble, and soft, and strong, and authentic, and human. We’re just going to have to live our lives in the presence of other people walking the same road we are.

This is the kind of authenticity that will illuminate the darkness. This is the kind of love that will spark the quiet. This is the kind of radical, gentle beauty that spilled out of every single one of Jesus of Nazareth’s pores. This is the kind of family he came to create. This is for you, friends. This kind of community is a calling.

I know you might be dusty from sitting too long in the dirt. I know you’ve been rejected, betrayed, abused, neglected or wounded at some point in your life. I get it. But know this – isolation will never allow you to experience compassion. Co-dependency will never allow you to be known, or even to know. Freedom is written on the walls of your heart. Light is spilling through the cracks under the door and through the breaks in the walls.

Brennan Manning is right. Letting people in on our darkness, lets them in on our healing. This is how we illuminate the darkness.

stephanie

 

 

 

 

*Stephanie is a contributing writer and primarily writes at The Little Way