Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Look

My favorite time to look out at the sun is right before it's going down. I love it most when I see it up against water, but the second best way is when I'm driving, because then I don't miss the sky against my movements. Most of the time. Except when I'm tied up in my own agenda instead of God's, despite His handiwork which unstiches the places that have become too tight. I actually don't mind the time of day when the sun is blinding your eyes as you drive, because at that moment, the almost-too-much light is usually what I need. It's a gift.


                                         Pic via:    http://pinterest.com/pin/68719898855/


Later, when I'm driving at night, I stare ahead and sense that I can't see at all. Not really anyway. If it weren't for the lights ahead, and all around me, it would be pitch black. And as I think about that for while, I take a mental picture of all of these bright cars zooming in what can almost be a blur if I let it.

Light and dark... Clear and blurry... What allows you to look and see?

**Come back to check in tomorrow for more thoughts on another of our 5 senses...:)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Five Minute Friday (Saturday): Tender

I'm a sucker for word prompts. And I love Five Minute Fridays; the idea of five minutes of  free-flow writing, based on a word posted by The Gypsy Mama each week. Others link up too, on their own posts. The word for this week is Tender.

                                                                  *

I want to come out of what seems like a blog hibernation. I didn't think I could do it with this word. It kind of rubbed me the wrong way at first, and I was really hoping this would be the week I got a jump-start on my writing again. I told myself I haven't had time, and I needed space to think and be and consider and not write as much, but I think that was only half the story. In a way I probably pushed myself away from writing, my second pulse. I think this week showed me that it's time I got back to it, being tender to myself and showing myself grace. I pray I will be open to the places I feel God is calling me to write.

The only things I thought of for the word Tender this week were babies and people who fall in love and then have weddings (this is, of course, a very happy thing by the way:) ), and hamburgers (don't ask). And then, that I sense that God is tender with me, that He shows me gentleness and kindness and love beyond my understanding. I guess this word isn't so bad after all.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Be Thankful Anyway

I have felt a yearning in my heart to search more deeply for thankfulness this year, which may seem like an odd thought. How does one search for thankfulness?

In 1 Thessalonians, Paul writes about being thankful in all circumstances, remembering what God has done and continually giving thanks.

I keep coming back to the words remember and receive. In doing that, the outpouring of thanks becomes more an automatic response.

One of my Christmas gifts was 1000 Gifts.

This book has been a reminder of the grace of God in my life, and how when I let thankfulness and His goodness take me deeper than I thought I could go, I am even more amazed by how much God is so in it. I'm still learning this process of thankfulness, maybe over again for this time in my life, but I know God is here with me...because even as I can rattle off so many big things that I will never grow tired of being so so thankful for, it's like a whisper, the subtleness of being intentionally thankful, those soft reminders that could almost slip by you.

Ann Voskamp writes about the daily discipline of keeping count of the multiples of gifts God gives in her in 1000 Gifts. Several months back, I found her blog before ever touching the pages of her book. I loved that she allowed readers to connect to her and each other through Multitudes on Mondays - and share their own 1000 gifts. I tried doing this but it didn't stick for me, in blog form, journaling, or any other way.

At the time, I thought I was still being thankful, but that I just had a hard time keeping count of the tiny, the intricate, the daily. But isn't this where life exists? Yes, it is about being thankful anyway, amidst the often dualness of joy-sorrow that come together in what many see and live in the day-to-day.

Thankfulness bridges the gap.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wide Open Spaces

Yes, dear friends, I have to do a little posting about the new year.

I haven't been as into New Year's in the past few years. I've tried to use the new year as more of a chance to refocus, and perhaps I could say to declutter some things in my life as best I can so I can keep in mind what is important in life (no comments on the continued need to physically declutter some things I own:) ). But, I've started to think  about New Year's differently. I still think about moving forward, but want to carry with me the process of what it might look like to both put forth effort and also let go and surrender where I might hold too tightly to my own strength and abilities.

I am still praying about what some of these areas may be for this year but I know that a word that God keeps bringing to mind for the beginning of the year is Thankfulness. Thanksfulness even despite difficulties and troubles, thankfulness and rememberance as a torch lighting the way through a dark moment, thankfulness that comes from my whole heart, directed toward my Savior and the one who accomplishes His purposes in my life. I know when I am thankful so many things shift in my life. I start to see more of God for who He is and more of my life as a reflection of Him and His gifts.

In the times when I'm unsure about what this year will hold, I remember that God promises to never leave me or forsake me.

And so I begin the year right now by also choosing wide open spaces. Being open to what God may have for me and also just remembering to bask in all of His gifts. All I could think about when I was getting ready to do this post was the song by Dixie Chicks. : ) I used to love this and other songs by them.

Happy New Year! I pray you will have friends and family to keep you warm this year, work and places to grow and serve, and laughter and fields to play in to give you wide open spaces.