Five-Minute Friday: BLOOM

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This post is a part of Lisa Jo-Baker’s Five Minute Friday link-up. She gives the topic, and you write for exactly five minutes…unscripted, unedited, real. If you’d like to participate click here to head over to Lisa’s blog, read other posts, and link to your own. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your writing as a comment on the Five Minute Friday Facebook page. You can also join the Twitter party using #FMFParty

 

I can’t wait to see you bloom.

I’ve seen your tiny face in my dreams….twice as a baby and once as a little girl. Your long, blonde hair was blowing in the wind as you swung back and forth on a swing set in our backyard.

Sometimes I’ll write letters to you. One day,  I’ll give them to you when you’re old enough to understand just how loved and cherished you are.

You are my little girl, whom I have yet to meet.

Next month will mark two years that we have waited for you, and we are waiting still. I wish I could tell you that I have been a great Christian woman while I wait, but that would not be true. I’ve been quite angry at God for making me wait so long.

You’ll do that sometimes….get angry at God. But I’ve learned that He can take it. He can handle all our doubts and questions and hold us tight as we cry our bitter tears in the dark of night. And then He’ll go right on loving us and blessing us.

Please know when I tell you, you are dearly loved and dearly missed. Your dad and I talk often about you….what you’ll be like. What you’ll look like. What you’ll love. What you’ll accomplish.

We can’t wait to see you bloom. To see the woman you’ll grow up to be. The mighty princess God has called you to be.

For now, my dear Ellie, you just dance in my dreams. I hold dear to the promise that one fine day, you’ll dance in my arms.

Five-Minute Friday: BELONG

Today, I fly back to my husband. (Can I get an amen???)

Fun fact about me: This is the first time I have ever gone anywhere by myself. Ever.

I mean, I’ve been to the store by myself. But I’ve never traveled by myself. I’ve never stayed in a hotel by myself. I’ve always been with someone, usually my husband.

Being alone is what scared me more than anything. Who would I talk to? What would I do? Would I stay safe? Would I sleep well at night? Loneliness can be a pretty scary thing.

Although I am ridiculously excited to be going home, I can’t help but think of all the women who deal with this on a daily basis. Maybe your husband died or has left you. Maybe you aren’t married yet. Maybe you are married, but the chasm of loneliness between you and that man in your house seems a thousand miles wide. You worry that you don’t belong to anyone or anything, and the loneliness almost consumes you.

But you know what? You belong to Jesus.

Trust me, I know how cliché that sounds. Up until this week I never truly understood what those words mean. But this past Tuesday night, I had the most real encounter with Him that I have ever had before, and I can say without a doubt in my mind that I am His and He is mine.

He is satisfying.

He is the greatest Friend you could ever ask for.

He is the Romancer of your heart.

He is the Lover of your soul.

He won’t ever leave you or distance Himself from you.

Take heart, and rest in knowing that you do belong to Someone, and that Someone just happens to be the God of the universe and the Creator of all things. He loves you, dear one!

If you are feeling alone today, I’d love to pray with you. I’d love to wrap my spiritual arms around your heart and ask for your comfort. If you’d like, you can leave me a comment or send me an e-mail at lifewtc@gmail.com

This post is a part of Lisa Jo-Baker’s Five Minute Friday link-up. She gives the topic, and you write for exactly five minutes…unscripted, unedited, real. Today, Lisa is not here so if you would like to participate in the link-up or read other posts, you will need to click here. If you don’t have a blog but would still like to participate, you can leave your writing as a comment on the Five Minute Friday Facebook page. You can also join the Twitter party using #FMFParty

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Five-Minute Friday: EXHALE

This post is a part of Lisa Jo-Baker’s Five Minute Friday link-up. She gives the topic, and you write for exactly five minutes…unscripted, unedited, real. If you’d like to participate click here to head over to Lisa’s blog, read other posts, and link to your own. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your writing as a comment on the Five Minute Friday Facebook page. You can also join the Twitter party using #FMFParty

Last night I was washing dishes in my kitchen. We have some family and friends over for the weekend and I was trying to finish up my preparations before everyone got here. My mind was wandering as I stood over the sink with my hands in the warm soapy water. I thought back to when Roman and I were house hunting earlier this year.

I was so stressed out.

We bounced from house to house and with every house we visited the more I could feel my stress-level rising. All of the houses were awful. Bad neighborhoods. Halfway falling apart. Yet still out of our price range. How were we going to find a house that we could afford that would also meet our needs?

I started questioning everything I thought I knew God wanted from us. Were we really supposed to move? Maybe we had misread everything and were supposed to stay.

Yet here I am, four months later, and we have the nicest house we’ve ever lived in. The rent isn’t breaking our budget and we have everything we need, plus some.

“Isn’t it funny how I can take a situation that seems so impossible for you and then solve it?” God interjected into my thoughts.

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How true is that?? I was so stressed out about our house hunting, yet God had it all under control. I had no idea how we were going to find a place we could afford, but He already had the house picked out. There was no need to stress about that situation!

What are you struggling with today? Are you stressing out about a situation that is outside of your control? Having a hard time trusting God to bring you through? Take a deep breath, and know that He has the situation under control! He is working on our behalf, even when we can’t see it.

Happy Fourth of July to all of my readers!! To everyone who has served our country, thank you so much for your sacrifice! 

Five-Minute Friday: LOST

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I have been reading Kristen Welch’s new book, Rhinestone Jesus. When I finish it, I’ll do a post about it, but for now I will just say that I highly recommend the book.

Between her book and doing my own reading about poverty, homelessness and trafficking, I’ve found myself feeling quite lost at times. How do I make a dent in such large-scale suffering? How can I really help? Is anything I am going to do that is actually going to matter in the grand scheme of things?

It’s easy to survey the pain around us and feel like our small efforts will be swallowed up in the large-ness of it all.

And where do we even start??

I love Kristen’s answer to that question: start with the next thing right in front of you.

However small.

However insignificant it may seem to you.

Because you know what? We may not be able to change poverty in the whole wide world, but we might could change one person’s world…..and that is worth it.

So start with the next thing. Whether it’s buying clothes for a family that just lost everything in a house fire, or volunteering at your church’s nursery. Ask God to show you what your “next thing” should be and He will start to open your eyes to the needs that are around you.

We can feel frozen and lost when we look at the large-scale suffering in our world, but we should choose to do the next thing in front of us and continue to spread light into the darkness around us.

This post is a part of Lisa Jo-Baker’s Five Minute Friday link-up. She gives the topic, and you write for exactly five minutes…unscripted, unedited, real. If you’d like to participate click here to head over to Lisa’s blog, read other posts, and link to your own. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your writing as a comment on the Five Minute Friday Facebook page. You can also join the Twitter party using #FMFParty

Five-Minute Friday: RELEASE

I’ve always been a runner.

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From the time I was a little girl, I would run in the yard with my brothers. When I was ten years old and finishing up fifth grade, my P.E. Teacher asked, “Would you like to run for the cross-country team next year when you start middle school?” That’s all it took. I trained all summer so I could qualify to go to the running camp at the end of July. That year, I was undefeated all through the season and placed third in state. The year after, I was undefeated to include state. I set a school record with the 800 meter race in high school, and I placed top ten in the state track meet every year.

Running has always been my release. I could have a terrible day at school, but then go outside and run and feel so much better. So when I severely injured my knee my senior year in high school….it sucked. For years I stubbornly tried to run through the pain until I couldn’t anymore. I finally had knee surgery last year to correct a torn meniscus and I’m so much better now.

The hills here in Columbus though…..dang. They are about to kill this flat-land runner. But you know what? They are good for me. They work different muscle groups. They push my body in ways it has never been pushed before. My muscles scream out as I push up these steep hills, but I press on. My mind conquers my weakness and I finish my runs feeling like I have accomplished something.

I could quit…just give in to those daunting hills and impending fatigue. But I don’t. I keep going.

Running these tough hills mirrors real life in so many ways. We are constantly presented with challenges that make our souls scream out. Sometimes we just want to stop right where we are and sit down…if only we could rest a while, maybe go back to where we came from and not worry about this stupid hill. And yet, our Father calls us to keep going….to press into Him and continue to put one foot in front of the other.

Dear one, know that life won’t always be steep hills filled with sorrow and pain. Because at the top of every hill, there is a descent where your muscles stretch out and your momentum provides energy to your feet. And on that day when we cross the finish line and complete the race we have been running, the sweetest of all rewards will be waiting for us and we will hear the words we’ve longed to hear: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

So keep running. Keep pressing. And know that He is right there with you providing everything you need to run well.

This post is a part of Lisa Jo-Baker’s Five Minute Friday link-up. She gives the topic, and you write for exactly five minutes…unscripted, unedited, real. If you’d like to participate click here to head over to Lisa’s blog, read other posts, and link to your own. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your writing as a comment on the Five Minute Friday Facebook page. You can also join the Twitter party using #FMFParty

Five-Minute Friday: MESSENGER

Last weekend, one of my new friends asked me what my end goal was for my blog. I half fumbled through my answer, but I’ve been thinking a lot more about his question over the past week.

I have always struggled with self-esteem. From what I wear to what I write to pretty much every tiny detail of my life. I’m not crazy obsessed about it (I don’t think—not like I used to be anyways) but I do catch myself pretty often wondering if anything I say matters at all. Deep down I know it does, because people have told me so. Deep down, I know I’m a half-way decent writer and I know that this is something I’ve always loved doing. Yet in the ever growing population of blogs, I worry that I won’t ever reach my goal of making a career out of writing.

But then I catch myself and that line of thinking. Because at the end of the day, all that really matters is that this blog glorifies Christ. And I think that would be my pure answer for my friend. My end goal is to glorify Christ. Whether I write about something a little silly and brighten someone’s day, or whether I write about a difficult marriage issue and help someone who might be struggling, my end goal is to glorify Christ by being His messenger.

If being His messenger allows me to one day write full time, then that would be awesome. But if it doesn’t, that’s okay too. I know that as long as I seek to glorify Him, that He will take it and do what needs to be done to further His kingdom.

This post is a part of Lisa Jo-Baker’s Five Minute Friday link-up. She gives the topic, and you write for exactly five minutes…unscripted, unedited, real. If you’d like to participate click here to head over to Lisa’s blog, read other posts, and link to your own. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your writing as a comment on the Five Minute Friday Facebook page. You can also join the Twitter party using #FMFParty

Five-Minute Friday: HANDS

Her hands were calloused and leathery as she held my hand. I could smell the alcohol on her breath as she tripped and slurred over her words. She told me about her children and her husband and all of the things she’s seen in her lifetime…repeating herself often, yet always smiling.

“Pray for me, sister. I need all the prayers I can get” she said as our conversation came to a close. I prayed for peace for her soul, rest for her body, and clarity to her mind. I prayed that Jesus would set her free and strengthen her. I thanked God for her precious life and hoped aloud that she would understand how loved she is.

I walked away from my new homeless friend a changed woman. There is a good chance she won’t even remember me being there…..depending on how intoxicated she was. But I will forever remember who she was.

I will remember how my heart changed that day.

When my hands touched hers, I was reminded of her humanity. Too often I have overlooked the homeless and the broken, as if somehow they were less human than I was. Too often I have thought selfish and prideful thoughts, “he must be an alcoholic or drug addict, that’s why he’s all alone. A gambler, perhaps?” Yet I have forgotten that these are living, breathing people. I have forgotten that Jesus commands me to love the least of these more than I love myself. And even though they do not look or sound or even smell like me, they are worthy of my attention!

Oh, that we would remember that all people….great and small…rich and poor….wealthy and homeless are worthy of His love. Oh, that we would be the hands and feet of Jesus!!

Hands up

 

This post is a part of Lisa Jo-Baker’s Five Minute Friday link-up. She gives the topic, and you write for exactly five minutes…unscripted, unedited, real. If you’d like to participate click here to head over to Lisa’s blog, read other posts, and link to your own. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your writing as a comment on the Five Minute Friday Facebook page. You can also join the Twitter party using #FMFParty

 

Image found at: http://tucksdenbighblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/point-of-our-worship.html