Monday, April 30, 2012

For a Monday

Still counting gifts...despite anything hard or turbulent. Linking with A Holy Experience

~friends who pray for me, friends to pray for

~God in the big moments, God in the small moments

~parties with friends who make you laugh


~true things

~music that speaks to my heart,

~seeing JJ Heller & Audrey Assad in concert..amazing!

~for the Word that encourages me

~for walks with the cool air

~for sun on my back again

~for people in my life to love

~for the reminder of the blessing that comes even in pain

Friday, April 27, 2012

Community

Linking up with The Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday Loveliness. The word for today is Community.

GO:

Today I was comtemplating the reversal that happens in Luke 15, just the beautiful, redemptive picture of how much God loves us, and how the Father reaches out His hand to the younger brother, "while he was still a long way off."

I was reading in a commentary about how and why the Father pursues sinners, and the elder brother in the story doesn't join in the celebration with others rejoicing at the younger son's return.  

Still, "the father's compassion does not cease" for the elder brother. The story is left at a bit at a bit of a cliff-hanger. Yet, the grace and love of the father is what stirs us on in the midst of struggle, as that brother, as we too, often get to choose our response, our position, remembering the times we were just that far off in the distance and God did the seeking, bringing what was lost back to be found.

I crave community. Where we can come for love, healing, laughter, grace, and to remember that we're human, and life is fragile and sacred.

STOP.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Together

Happy Friday... I'm linking up with The Gypsy Mama, which makes it even more of a happy one. Writing without thinking twice, breathing light, joining with other friends. Lovely. Hope your day is great, all. Thanks for stopping by. If you can, take a peak at what others are up to as they talk about the word for today..Together.

Go:

I wish there was an easy joke with a nice punchline for all the things that seem to go wrong in a body. Even for a girl who can come up with a thousand sunny days in the forecast to trump that one rainy day, it still doesn't quite make sense when your body feels like it fails you or what needs to fit together just doesn't. This has been a battle of mine for years. But the more I told myself 'I'll keep looking for the bright pretty roses in the bush no matter if I get stabbed by pointy things,' the more I felt like I kept getting stabbed by pointy things. Maybe that is the punchline. There's a thorn in there somewhere for all of us folks. They go together.

The sun and the rain. The rose and the thorn.
We have known this for awhile.

Paul talked the thorn in his flesh..

Yet, it still is difficult on some days. But the less I try to fight life, gunk, and pain on my own, the more it feels like anything good I'm able to do is Christ's power that rests on me. (2Corinthians 12:9)

Stop.

This was more than 5 minutes. I needed it today.  

My prayer is wherever you are, whatever feels like it fits or doesn't fit together for you right now, that you would let His grace be sufficient, especially what seems like a weakness. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Today

Today

Instead of...being on my computer, I'll feel warmth of the sun on my shoulder a little more.

Instead of...thinking maybe I should be doing this or that, I'll breathe a little more and know I'm right where I need to be.

Instead of letting the day fly by without feeling gratitude, I'll remember that all I am and all I have is grace..even now.

***

I want to s l o o o o w.

There's no need to hurry.

All the hurrying makes me hurt.

Sometimes, I feel like I'm able to just sit and retreat from life, but other times, it feels so unnatural not to be constantly moving, constantly going. But the hurry is often to no end, it's a relentless rush.

On my way to and fro, the stop sign, the red light- they are small comforts- strong and fierce; I want to ignore them, but rolling by without a full stop just pushes the limit once again.

What do you want to do differently..even today?

Here are some Sunday songs that came on my playlist today for your listening enjoyment..:)

-Sara Groves - "Glory Come Down" (the only version of this song I could find in video form is performed by a dance group- but, nevertheless..)

-Hillsong- "Desert Song"

-Laura Story - "Make Something Beautiful"

-Mat Kearney "Closer to Love"

Friday, April 13, 2012

Good-bye: Here's to the Friends Who Don't

Today I'm linking up with The Gypsy Mama with the topic of Good-bye.

GO:

How can I say good-bye when I don't even say hello? In person that is.


I miss friends of old, I keep them in mind because ones you love don't grow out of memory.

And we get to talk, of course. Or write, as much as people write (hmm...that sounds funny).

It's been a long time though. For a lot of the friends from back in Ohio-home. I've written about this before, but it still comes back to me, this sense that with the friends of old, that as the years have gone by, a lot and not a lot has changed with those precious, feels like lifelong friendships. Marriages, babies, moves, jobs- and we're scattered about so it's hard to meet up.

I remember the days when walking to visit them down the street or across the dorm hall was so easy. I'm thankful for what I learned in all the different people that came into my life when I was learning what real friendship was, so now I know it when I see it in life.


It's hard enough to say good-bye, but sometimes, it's harder when you don't get the chance . . . even still, how much more powerful is it when you don't have to "say good-bye," because you're still connected through the miles.

Here's to the friends who keep friendship alive even when you can't always meet face-to-face.

STOP

Monday, April 9, 2012

Do Not Be Afraid

Here are some blessings on my mind to be grateful for this Easter and while on a little visit with my fam.

56. Christ, Risen Savior! The one who "was, and is, and is to come."

"So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me." - Matthew 8-10
57. Family trying new things,

58. Easter brunch,


59. Parents who have always loved you, an entertaining grandma who makes you laugh,



60. Skyping with the brother,

61. The waves of Lake Erie,

62. Fresh mercy and His love that never fails

All these gifts..they teach me that God is bigger than anything I put as a barrier between me and Him.

..."If fear keeps our lives small, does a life that receives all of God in this moment grow large too?" (p.149, 1000 Gifts, Ann Voskamp)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Light

Hi Friends. It's Friday. Good Friday. I'm joining the The Gypsy Mama, to write WITHOUT being perfect and to talk about a word that I love to write about, Light :).

GO:

“Well…that’s cause you’re a perfectionist.”

Those words, meant in love, by someone I love, made me stop and think about the years I’ve been fighting against that very thing. Perfectionism.

“No, I’m a recovering perfectionist.”

Ok..agreed.

Still, will this always be difficult? Will I continue to yearn to ‘get things right?,’ not make mistakes, and will approval be a burden for me until ------? I sighed with exhaustion thinking about it.

However, the wonderful words :It is finished: flooded over me with warmth and I again I have to recognize that if any of the perfectionist mentality has been stripped away from me at all, it’s because of that finished work of Christ, who we can celebrate as the Light in a world often fluttering with darkness, in a Me often fluttering with darkness.

On this day, on Good Friday, I am again so thankful at what a gift it is to know and to see that this Light works in ways I still can’t imagine, and His power is made perfect in weakness, His strength made strong when I don’t feel strength, and how I am reminded that it’s not me I can boast in, but the victory of the cross.
Stop:
(I will let you in on a little secret: I think this is the first Friday in awhile I have truly  written without stopping, without having to be perfect, just going. Thank You, Jesus).

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Recover-y

Sometimes, I get really mad at fear. I want to beat it up, throw it on the floor, and knock it out. Just being honest.

Fear comes and says things that aren't true either about people or situations and often paralyzes and rules.

I read a great post by Jon Acuff about finding your "writing voice," but it also pertains to finding your voice amidst other situations in life, such as your "parenting voice" or your "half-marathon voice." He says that you discover your voice by actually doing these things. Writing. Parenting. Running.

Fear tells you you have to wait for your voice to show up to be anything. That's just not true.
Jon has a video on his website about recovering, not necessary discovering places and things in your life that you loved, and pulling energy from those places for momentum and the areas of your life that you are asking dream questions.

I was super encouraged by this video. I like Jon's work, but I guess I've never seen it before.



What do you think about this?


I don't know where it will lead me, but lately I've been attempting to playing tennis again after years of thinking I couldn't do to it due to pain and other things (and probably some fear and thoughts that tennis didn't matter anymore woven in there). It's something that makes a difference in my life, and I can remember when I first started playing again, how excited I was, how I know it touches on a lot of different areas of my life. How I feel God's pleasure when I play tennis, how I know it's part of the way He uniquely made me.


What happens when when we recover those places inside us that matter? Those dreams that we didn't even know were still there have room again. They have a voice, they begin to speak; they matter.

And you never know what could happen, where they will go.