Five Minute Friday – She

Five minute Friday – a prompt, 5 minutes of free writing, link up, then encourage and be encouraged…http://lisajobaker.com/2013/09/five-minute-friday-she/

GO…

She…

So many women in my life have come and gone, so thankful for each and every one of them, but especially for the ones who have held on and refused to let go.

She – the first one.  I see her every day when I look in the mirror. I hear her in my own voice. She is ever with me for good and for bad.  I am coming to terms with her pain as I come to terms with my own.

She – the one who came after her – she taught me well many of the things that I love in my life – cooking, knitting, games and crafts but also to be cautious of the things that jealousy may cause us to do and to say.

She – the one who brought him and Him into my life. I am ever thankful for her presence and her faith – she taught me the most important things and she was there for all the important moments. She said the hard things with love. She was the first to take the time to get to know me and the one who helped me to know myself.

She – the first one I held in my arms and called her my own. She awakened my heart. She broke me out of my little girl shell. She made ‘we’ into three.  When I daydream I often see her playing in the grass with flowers or I see her little hands gently showing me her bugs. I see her face full of wonder as she noticed the tiniest of things.

She – in my arms so many years later.  She was and is so amazingly unexpected and so breathtakingly beautiful.  She, like me, feels deeply and often finds the world assaulting. She who sings and does silly dances with me when no else is watching. She who laughs with me and feeds me so much sugar.  So thankful that God knew I needed her.

She – the new one who is coming with a ring. I’ve prayed for her – the one who would capture his heart. Oh man she really has. I love her for seeing  the treasure he is. I am excited to discover the treasure she is.

She and she and she… wonderful women who have blessed my life…
She who lifted me up with her love and her humor and her crazy that matches mine;
She who sews and comes alongside who has been long suffering and steadfast;
She who writes beautiful things and loves color and inspires with her elegance;
She who keeps me accountable and never lets me give up;
She who sings and dared to let me sing;
She who reads and inspires so many to achieve great things;
She who is wise and challenges my view of the world and myself;
She with endless energy who teaches with generosity and believes that God is not finished with me;
She who was so hospitable and loving who walked and talked with me around lakes and tracks at all hours;
She with the southern drawl who is married to my missing piece; an authority on almost everything and a tiny powerhouse of amazing talent and wise encouragement;
She who still calls me her family and dares to makes dates and hopes I will show up;

She… there are so many more – I think I will sit awhile longer and write about them for myself and say prayers of thanksgiving for each of them.

Wow, I am blessed, I am thankful.

STOP…
(To be honest I did go back and add a couple people after I was done and published – breaking the editing and time limit rules but I just had to when their descriptions came to mind.)

Five Minute Friday – Red

Five minute Friday – a prompt, 5 minutes of free writing, link up, then encourage and be encouraged…http://lisajobaker.com/2013/09/five-minute-friday-red/

Go…

Red…

I have a love hate relationship with the color red.

My hair is red has been for most of the last 23 years. All of my family on my mom’s side are red heads but my natural color is a medium shade of nothing special brown. When I first ‘went red’ after almost a decade of blond it was like I suddenly had a birth defect corrected – I was finally me and when I looked in the mirror it made perfect sense.

I would love to wear red clothing more often but any time I try some annoyingly helpful person informs me that that shade of red is the wrong shade for me. One time a cashier talked me out of buying a red shirt with that exact phrase. I’ve tried the golden warm reds and the cooler blue reds – it’s never right. I give up!

I love my red glasses – reading store glasses from Borders. I can’t find another pair that I like as much and these are getting old. Once in a while they leave a little red flake on my face I that I invariably flip out over thinking it’s a sudden appearance of skin cancer.

I have 2 pairs of red shoes that I love – they are really comfortable but I have nothing to wear with them. Occasionally I wear them with jeans and a white shirt, they always receive compliments, but I don’t pull them out all that often.

I would love to be able to confidently apply some red lipstick on a special occasion but the shade issue is once again there and any time I have tried I end up laughing out loud at the mirror and running for a tissue. If you need a red lipstick you are welcome to come and grab one out of my ‘used only once’ lipstick stash. I probably have every shade!

Occasionally I try red toenail polish when I go for the once a season pedicure. I did it this week in fact. I have yet to experience success in choosing a shade I don’t hate after a day.  My husband was so sweet and helpful when I got home and he said, “Red uh? Why so dark?”.  Sigh.

I long to have a better relationship with red but red is like the cool girl in high school who I admired and loathed from afar. We could easily chat in class, maybe eat an occasional lunch together  and probably  we would even say we were friends but really we were just acquaintances with no possibility of ever being besties.

Stop…Image

Five Minute Friday – Worship

Five minute Friday – a prompt, 5 minutes of free writing, link up, then encourage and be encouraged…http://lisajobaker.com/2013/08/five-minute-friday-worship/

Worship…

Go…

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs. Psalm 100

“I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you
It’s all about you, Jesus…” Matt Redmond

Yesterday I was driving through town and as usual my thoughts were quickly drawn to the things that disturb, irritate and even endanger me.
The guy who pulled up next to me with his music blaring, the intrusive thudding of the base actually hurting my head. The woman at the bus stop looking at her phone instead of her child who was dangerously close to the road. The young woman in the convertible who surprisingly smelled strongly of alcohol as she sped around me to tailgate the next person daring to go the speed limit. (My husband has since informed me that it could be her car’s CO2 sensor going bad causing the smell.)

All of these things and others were causing me to go into my cynical place where I need to self exalt, self protect, self soothe and defend because the world is scary place full of dangerous things and other self-involved people.

But then there was joy…

A little face looking at me from a backseat window – such a sweet, cute, innocent perfect face – a little white dog. The type of dog that always looks like a puppy no matter it’s age. I am not even a ‘dog person’ but I had to smile.

Then there was joy again! When having to stop and then slowly pass by a huge noisy chipping truck suddenly the world smelled like fir trees. So perfect and wonderful, so delightful. I almost drove around the block to do it again.

Then there joy again!
This time it was the woman on the radio with the voice and the lyrics that bring tears to my eyes.

And again joy (after waiting for a school bus because the person in front me stopped even though technically we were in a lane that didn’t have to) when I got to see that precious moment between a little boy and his mom as she scooped up into her waiting mother’s arms and excitedly welcomed him home after his first day of school.

I was so thankful then for my swelling and worshipful heart. For my thoughts were now on God. How amazing He is to create such cute creatures and such amazing smells. How beautiful to create such powerful voices and such adorable little children. How amazing is His unconditional love and wide open arms. How sweet of Him to slow me down so that I could experience some of these things and remember how fun it is to worship Him throughout the day.

Stop…

Five Minute Friday – Last.

Five minute Friday – a prompt, 5 minutes of free writing, link up, then encourage and be encouraged…http://lisajobaker.com/2013/08/five-minute-friday-last/

Go…

Last words.

The last thing I heard was not the last thing she said.
It was the last blow I felt, the last slap I allowed.

That is when I slammed the door,

My heart was no longer available – it was broken and it was bolted.

Apologies were said like every time before – and accepted.

But hope was gone – no bond existed and never would.

Joy in being known and recognized and of knowing and embracing,

Dreams, no longer allowed.
She left. I begged.

She left. I chased.

She left. I grew.

She left a hundred times in a hundred ways.

So when I left she wasn’t even there to notice.

I had no last words, what was the point?
So, I continue to breath and my broken heart keeps beating,
And stays bolted.

Stop…

And I still hear those last words.

(Post Note: I was watching an Adele concert tonight (Sat night) and she said something that so resonated with me…

“I never know how I feel, I never let myself know how I feel – I just put it all to the back of my mind and I don’t really find out until it comes out as I am writing my songs…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiffZekzdLo

This is how I am too. This why I need to write.  Writing is like praying.  As I sit down and let myself just write and play with words how I really feel or what I really felt at some other time is revealed and sometimes I am surprised but what I discover.  I am so glad I heard her say that, it really put into words what my experience is. This little bit of writing was an example of that happening.)

Five Minute Friday – Beautiful

Five minute Friday – a prompt, 5 minutes of free writing, link up, then encourage and be encouraged… http://lisajobaker.com/2013/07/five-minute-friday-beautiful/

Usually it’s a song that comes  to my mind when I first read the prompt and it takes awhile to get it out of the way so that I can hear what my heart wants to write. Last week it was the phrase ‘In between a rock and a hard place’ which didn’t really resonate with me so I thought I just wouldn’t write. Something did come to me late the next night so I set my timer and liked what resulted.  I do think I technically posted on Saturday though. This week it was a Bible verse that first came to mind. One that I need to remember  and ponder. I hadn’t thought about this verse for awhile.

The  verse caused my mind to go in a couple of different directions – perhaps  feet in general is a way to go, I have a few thoughts on the subject (I have been told mine are not particularly beautiful) or I could go with the task of bringing good news… Hmmm. Well let’s see what happens.

Beautiful.

Start…

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” Isaiah 52:6-8

I picture refugees hiding and holding their breath as they are waiting. They are watching the horizon for the one who will bring news of what is happening in their homeland.  Whether it is a beautiful sight or not will depend on what the news is. Will they forever remember the image of him running towards them smiling and overjoyed saying “Your God reigns!”  Or will they try to forget the sight of him coming with tears and the news of devastation and all hope lost?

Nothing about the scene – the refugees, the messenger, the dusty mountain terrain of that area – none of it is traditionally beautiful. But hope is beautiful, the message of peace is beautiful. The knowledge that God reigns, that he has it all in hand, that He is in control, is beautiful.

Not everyone will see it that way. The ones who wanted to be on the throne themselves will not hear it as good news. They will not want to think about peace at that moment but will want to fight and demand their way. The poor messenger may be killed for words that he brings.

I have been commissioned as a messenger of the Good News of Salvation through Christ – it is not an easy job. There are mountains to climb, rough terrain to tackle and long distanced to go. Not all who I find to tell along the way receive my news cheerfully but I can go on because it pleases God and that is what matters most and somewhere maybe there is a refugee hiding and waiting to hear some Good News from their homeland.

Stop…

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Five Minute Friday – In Between

Five minute Friday – a prompt, 5 minutes of free writing, link up, then encourage and be encouraged…

In between…

Go…

I have been thinking about my mother a lot lately. The 2nd anniversary of her death was this month. It was a day that was going along normally. She was on my mind as I woke and went about my morning. She was on my mind as I spent time in the afternoon talking with friends about the importance of the choices we make in this life, in parenting, in giving and seeking forgiveness and grace. In the middle of this time of heartfelt sharing she was on my mind as I found out that  suddenly my husband’s mother was gone. She had died.  Life is suddenly changed again, without warning a new normal is thrust upon me.

My mom.
My mom.

I have lost a lot of dear people in the last few years and when they are suddenly not with me anymore  I start struggling to remember the happiest times I had with them. I run to God’s word and find all of His promises about an afterlife promised to those who believe. I start to call on memories of evidence of their faith, things to hold on to for assurance that they are with the Lord and that when my time comes to die, or if the Lord returns before then, that I will see them again. I look forward to that time when sin no longer gets in between us. A time when we are not strangers struggling to survive but are sisters rejoicing in faith that is no longer blind but that has become sight.

His mom.
His mom.

While I wait for that day when I will see the Lord face to face and be reunited with many that have gone before I will continue miss them. For now I think of my time left on earth as my ‘in between’ time. All of us who have faith in Jesus as our Savior are in an ‘in between’ time. We are not what we were and we are not what we will be. As we bump along in this world, struggling for victory over our sins and struggling to survive and forgive the sins of others it is good to remember this —  One day when we are united with the Lord through death, resurrection or rapture, we will be together.  We will no longer be hindered and/or separated with sin coming between us. What an amazing glorious day! I wonder if any of us will even recognize each other!

…Stop.

5 minute Friday… Rhythm

Rhythm

Start….

For 54 years they have been dancing through this life together.  It’s been their private slow-dancedance, a rhythm all their own. It hasn’t always been pretty, sometimes toes have been stepped on, sometimes they have gotten a little out of sync but for the most part it has been a beautiful collection of quick steps and slow dances.

They have  been something to behold as they have enjoyed their dancing. Onlookers have observed their love, their joy and their care for one another and some have wondered at their ability to keep it up after all these years. How do they keep  smiling and holding hands and encouraging one another?

Truly their hearts desire has been that it could go on forever. But sooner than they had hoped and before they they were able to finish all the steps they had planned their partnership had to come to an end.

She now dances with a Divine partner, the One who coached them through all their years and he will be comforted in his grief with the assurance that he will see her again and meet Him face to face as well. He is glad she is enjoying a perfect dance at last. He kept his promise to be only her partner until death parted them. He misses her but knows that for now he will have to work on finding a new rhythm, work out some solo steps, and thinks maybe he’ll even take his dance on the road. He is determined to keep busy until the time when they will meet again.

Stop…

5 minute Friday – Listen

Listen

Go…

I often put off reaching out to others because I am afraid that I won’t know what to say. But what to say is not really the thing I need to be worrying about. The skill I need to hone is how to listen.

The Spirit nudges me quite often to take action – make a call, write that note, do that task I’ve have been putting off, ask that question, do that hard thing, face that fear, stop that, go there… I am immensely blessed when I listen.

When I need forgiveness, I can apologize and ask for it but then it’s only meaningful if I take the time to listen.

I wonder a lot what people are thinking; I find out when I listen.

Seeking God’s wisdom & guidance only helps if I listen.

I can’t know how to help someone in need if I don’t hear and then listen.

So… Do they know God? Do they care? Are we okay? Can I help? What’s going on? What’s happening? What should I do? Where should I go? Who? What? When? How?  Why?

Let’s find out. Let’s Listen.

Stop…

Five Minute Friday – View

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Five minutes – Go…

View

I am not blessed with a room with a view in my little house, in my not so great neighborhood, but I get to work in a friend’s beautiful home on a lake where no matter what the weather the view is beautiful.

As I coveted my friend’s blessing  this week I started to think that this can be true in everyday life as well. My friend’s house is situated in a lovely spot so that every day her view is beautiful. My life is firmly set in Christ and so every day I too am perfectly situated to be able view something lovely.

The truth of this came  home to me this week as I sat with many different women  who with great courage pulled back the curtains of their lives and revealed their hearts in order for others to see what they view every day.

Some views were dark and scary and painful to look at but then the hidden beauties — rainbows among storm clouds — were pointed out and together we gasped and shed tears and beheld the amazing view of God’s Grace.

Stop….