5 Minute Friday ~ Together

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Together.

We found a way to hide our fears, to reign in our desires and just be – together. A moment of trust, a time to let go and allow our God to begin to rebuild that once was lost. Our togetherness.

Either we are together, or we are alone. There really is no in between, is there? That’s the nature of humanity. We yearn for oneness, to belong, we desire to collectively cheer one another one – yet, really, it’s Him we need?

Jesus.

Walking alongside us, quiet and strong. Speaking words of truth. Nudging us to yield. Encouraging us to leap. Togetherness grows from a place of hope, an small seed of truth that embeds in our heart that must be watered by His Living Water and washed clean by the truth of the Word. We are His. Breathe.

YWHW.

We are not alone. In fact, we never were! It’s a lie that we  have believed for far too long. This doubt which carried it’s deception into places in our hearts and in our lives. Distrust grew and we could no longer be….. together.

We clung to our loneliness.  Yet He calls us now, to come.

Be together with Him. Do not fear. Be together with Him. Find shelter. Be together with Him. Regain hope.

Together.

This post is part of Five Minute Friday’s, a five minute weekly reflection on a word prompt. No edits, no do overs, just write.  “No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.”

5 Minute Friday ~ Laundry

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Laundry –

Piles and piles of it everywhere. Faded jeans, worn shirts and sweaters we are so comfortable in. Laundry. It’s often scattered about our rooms, thrown on the floor or tossed in our beds.  Something which is so normal, routine, is oh, so far from it!

Like our lives, splashed across the screen of time, is the laundry spewn about. Used, discarded, worn and downright dirty.

Yes, aren’t we?

So full of dirt and grime even the toughest bleach can’t eliminate the stain. Our hearts, filled with doubts, our minds, filled with thoughts and our bodies racked with pain.

Used, discarded…worn.

It’s these scattered about hearts and lives that our Savior came for, is it not? To not just clean and stack our laundry, but purify our the deepest crevices of our hearts so that the laundry can sit, thrown about, but no longer worn. Like newly purchased fabric, are our hearts washed anew with the rhythm of His own cycle.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

In Him you are clean.

This post is part of Five Minute Friday’s, a five minute weekly reflection on a word prompt. No edits, no do overs, just write.  “No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.”

The early start, of a long day…

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It’s the middle of the night, and the moment I realize again. Life will never be the same. Yes, it’s a constant flurry of activity, moving, going, doing ~ but so little being. Even surrounded by family and friends, yet not still. Quiet.

Oh how I ache for it. So, here I am.

Today I am reminded, just ever so slightly, that my life is  not my own. I think I am getting sick. Not anything major, just some sniffles. Yet, even these sniffles mean no rest for the weary. I cough, I ache, I hurt, I can’t return to sleep.

I sit here wanting to take medications for the coughing, I cant. I want to take some medication to stop the post nasal drip, again, I can’t. All I can ever have is aspirin. Ugh. So this may be the beginning of a long week, I don’t know. Last year I remember I had a pneumonia shot along with a flu shot. It’s time!

You see, these clots I had, I pretend they didn’t do any damage. I make way and think, “Okay, I can handle this.” I push myself. Off I run, doing more – or just what needs to be done, but my body just can’t keep up. This is the hardest thing to accept after a pulmonary embolism. While it’s true you can return to your life and thrive, you still have limitations. Each case is different. I wish it would be clear where I am headed.

I reflected early this morning, that it was just about a year ago I had my 3rd PE. Just what am I in store for this winter? I have no idea. It will be the first winter without a clot in my lung or in recovery in 3 years. Wow.

This life continues to be an exploration and journey. It’s time I listen. If that means I get up in the middle of the night to remember that, then so be it.

And the day begins.

Ordinary ~ Five Minute Friday

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Ordinary.

Images flash through my mind, of what ordinary is. Food cooking on the stove, the cat curled up in the laundry waiting to be folded, the sound of laughter coming from a weekly favorite tv show. Ordinary, but so much more! It’s the ordinary moments in our lives, that define who we really are. The sit here awhile we are soak in life together moments. A cup of tea, a good book, a talk with a trusted friend. Ordinary moments which transcend time.

These are powerful snippets of our time, our precious time, which is extraordinary. Fellowship drunk deep in tea and talk. Being still, quieting ourselves,  allowing the Spirit of God transform that which is ordinary into something beautiful!

There is nothing ordinary at all about life, about moments in time, about our God.

Accept ordinary. Be ordinary. Embrace ordinary.

Fall into His extraordinary arms.

This post is part of Five Minute Friday’s, a five minute weekly reflection on a word prompt. No edits, no do overs, just write.  “No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.”

Suffering

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“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Suffering.  It knows no bounds – people of all ages, all races, all sexes – endure physical pain, undergo emotional trauma and combat spiritual darkness.

I mean, really, let’s be honest. Who wants to admit, or face the fact, that suffering not only happens, but thrives at times? We fight against it with all we are. We exercise our bodies, our minds, our decision making so that we overcome, move on, let go – yet in the end. That which we strive to overcome, can swallow us up.

We tend to think about what  we are suffering, how we are suffering and why we are suffering. Our very focus is on how to end our suffering. To stop the pain, ebb the flow and remove the ache. Our feelings are constant reminders of our failure – guilt, shame, depression, anxiety, anger, insecurities, despair. These keep us grounded in our suffering, they become our friends as we suffer. Friends which don’t challenge us to rethink our minds or walk us through the pain.  Rather than help us lift our eyes off the suffering ~ we become consumed.

There we are, caught in the mire of our suffering. We shake our very fists as we are awash again in anxiety. We lift up our feet to step out of the muck of depression and anger. We twist and turn, trying to get the shackles of guilt and shame off our backs.  Hurting, aching, longing to end this constant suffering.  All these ways we hope, we plead and we want ~ to overcome. Yet, here we are.

Again…

All we desire is to be free! We seek out forgiveness, we search out hope and we want redemption.  How many times do we yearn for a taste of freedom but our hearts remain darkened? So, we suffer.

Freedom.

Ah, just the sound of it. Freedom!  The shackles on our back become unbound,  our feet are firmly planted on the ground and our fists loosen their grip on our hearts. Rather than shaking in despair, they open in anticipation. Rather than held tight in anger, they fold in prayer. Somehow the act of contrition on our physical body transforms our emotional and spiritual self.

We yield.

See, suffering will not cease. Yes, I should repeat that. Suffering will not cease. But our hope is not in what we do, how we behave or how others treat us. Oh no. Far from it! Our hope, is freedom. Freedom is found as we face our suffering. Freedom is found in walking through the suffering. Freedom is found opening our hearts to love.

Love.

“There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.” 1John 4:18

See that, love – it casts out our fear. It lightens our steps as we walk. It gives us eyes of compassion. It envelopes us in calmness. Grants us hearts growing in mercy. Allows us to see others as someone who suffers. Oh love!

I can’t promise your suffering will ever cease. No, I don’t think it will. But I can certainly acclaim that love conquers fear. Do not fear your suffering, welcome it, invite it in.

As you do, you invite love to reign.

Ah, freedom!

5 Minute Friday ~ Write

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Write.

I learned this about myself, I like to write. Do I consider myself a writer? No. But oh how I love to ponder the thoughts that flow through my mind and the heart of myself, but also my God.

That’s why I write.

I write to make sense, discern, decipher and meditate on who I am in light of who He is. To unravel His mysteries and in doing so, claim my own heritage. To walk in who I am, and who I was created to be from the very beginning.

When I write, I am finding my voice.

Not your voice, or the wives voice, or the daughter’s voice, the sister’s voice. My voice. This place deep inside of me opens up and words tumble out. Like the pen flowing across the page, the ink staining my hands are the imprints of words upon my heart. They tug, the dig, the uncover and they teach.

Oh how they teach me. About… me.

That’s the wonderful thing about writing, you tell a story or you uncover one as you go. I don’t mind grabbing ahold of the pen, as He writes my story.

I hold the pen, He writes. I yield, and peace reigns.

This post is part of Five Minute Friday’s, a five minute weekly reflection on a word prompt. No edits, no do overs, just write.  “No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.”

Mountains to climb

Faith move moutains.

Repeat after me –

Our faith can move mountains. Our faith can move mountains. Our faith can move mountains.

Whew, that’s a mouthful. But here’s the question, do you believe it? I mean really, really, believe that faith can move mountains?

Hmmm, me either.

I want to believe it, I yearn to believe, I intellectualize it, I ponder it. But I do I believe it?

Like placing one foot in front of another as we walk along the mountain terrain is the dance of these words as they carve themselves into our hearts. We can lay them out, reading in succession and focus on their flow. Our. Faith. Can. Move. Mountains. Repeating the mantra over and over again and somehow it becomes true, right?

Riiiiiight………..

So often I have found myself, stuck in my circumstances thinking, why? Why do I have to deal with so many physical problems? Why do I have this constant pain in my body?  Why don’t I have the energy to live life the way I desire to? Why do all these medical tests cost so much?  Why do I live so far from devoted friends and family?  Why did this happen? Why? Why? Why?

You see, the questions linger on the tongue, waiting to be asked, but the moment the words are uttered we stare directly into that faith, the one that moves mountains. Yeah, that one.

Somehow the messiness of the trail we are walking on obscures the view. Branches of doubt creep in, thorns of insecurity poke and prod and the rotten fruit of promises broken litter the trail. We focus our eyes are what we see, ponder what could have been and desire dreams that were lost.

We can’t even see the mountain, let alone make it move!

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. Luke 17:5-6                                                       

Faith. That which we believe in, trust, hope for, live in. It can define us, chart our course, change our minds, strengthen our hearts and propel us.

But first, we must find it, and focus it.

No, not grabbing ahold of the newest positive quote to get you through the day. No, not focusing on all the good and letting go of all the bad. No, not journaling all your experiences and processing your thoughts. Oh no! See, these are all good and powerful tools. Wonderful ways that prepare your heart, move within your mind and bring you focus.

Focus.

Ah! The focal point of our vision is not what we do,  but whom we believe. Jesus, the Christ. We gaze squarely on who He is, who He says He is and what He says He will do. This shifts our focus. Our eyes no longer linger on the fallen fruit of the trail. Our newly defined eyesight shakes the doubts right off those branches and takes the thorns out of our vision. Keeping our thoughts totally focused on Jesus Christ allows faith to grow in our hearts and our minds.

When our hearts and mind collide in agreement, well then, we just might envision the trail. That rock we thought was a boulder really was just a pebble after all- just walk on by. That tree smack in the middle of the trail is merely a root upcropping that you just don’t want to trip over -just step on over. You see? Oh how much easier when the vision clears and you focus.

When the road seems long, the trail gets steep, the walk seems endless and the questions emerge. Know this. There’s someone just up ahead, bidding you to come. He was blazing that trail for you to walk long before you were born! Just keep on walking. When the road gets hard, call out to Him. When you can’t see His face, feel His Presence. When the inclines come as you venture higher on up, follow Him.

First He reveals Himself so you see, then He calls you to see the unseen. This is not a game. This is your faith walk.  As you learn more about Him, see more of Him, hear Him more, feel Him. You find that gem of belief, that nugget of truth hidden in your heart. Holding onto you faith, your belief, just WALK.

That mountain you wanted to move?

You turn around in the trail to claim victory over it and it’s then that you realize. You are just about to grab the cusp   of a ledge, so you settle yourself upon it and rest. Wait as you catch your breath. Enjoy the view! Then get back up, and walk. The summit awaits!

There will be more mountains to climb, valleys to bridge, and victories to be had.  And you one you wanted to move will be overcome, and another will take it’s place.The climb is your victory, your belief, that with each step you can claim the truth.

Faith. Can. Move. Mountains.