This Day Won’t Last [Five-Minute Friday]

They tell you these days won’t last. People who’ve lived life and have been where you are but you don’t listen. These days are unending and some days you just want them to move, faster. Diaper and teething days and the lack of sleep days, these days seem to last far too long.

The days of youth and life and living full, these days will last. Won’t they?

And you blink a few times and find they’ve gone too. Youth and what the world says is beauty and value have gone in time but you keep thinking this, this time, will last.

Your nest is empty now and these days seem like they are lasting too long but you will blink again.

When I search for things that last, I find few. The banana’s and bread will spoil in a few days. Size 4 no longer hangs in my closet. The granddaughter has started kindergarten and the memory of my dearest friend, my mama, has failed.

Love is first and it is last. It is lasting.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Friday, click here to read more.

5-Minute Friday [lonely]

Deerfield Beach

Got five minutes? Let’s write. Let’s finger paint with words. Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right or not. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. – Lisa-Jo BakerGO!

Sitting in our quiet home, alone but not lonely. Not today. Not most days. But I know lonely.

Being the new girl in school throughout most of my life, that’s lonely. Being the new girl anywhere is lonely.

I’ve sat in conferences surrounded by thousands and felt that feeling. Alone and unknown.

It doesn’t sound Christian-like to say I’m lonely when I believe in a God who is always with me. It’s not him, but me, who distances myself from acceptance and being, feeling, part of.

Our writing class leader started a prayer thread on our group page and I heard voices of the lonely. Lonely calling out, how long God? How much more? Because we all want to know that belonging. To me, belonging feels like everything is alright and that’s just not true. Not real.

It’s up to me, whether I feel lonely or not. Whether I choose to allow others into my life, to my heart. I am surrounded by people who care and today I am letting them in. Today it’s better than being that lonely girl I was.

In Between

In between

That was the prompt for 5 minute Friday but I saw it Wednesday and decided the day didn’t matter because in between is where I seem to be.

I’m in between what I was and becoming…..more? More? Or maybe less? My grand hope would be more Him and less me and the in between of that is sometimes painful. And beautiful and very messy.

IMG_7335

 

me and my guy looking all official

me and my guy looking all official

after drying - you didn't think I'd show you a picture of it all wet and crazy did you?

latest haircut - longer

latest haircut – longer

New Year's Day

Christabel 886

boating with the princess

boating with the princess

To become less seems to involve facing some truths you had numbed and seemed much better that way but I’m learning numb is another word for deep ruts you seem to get stuck in to the point of finding it comfortable and forgetting you’re stuck and need to get out.

I’m in between wanting to be alone and needing to live in community. In between less reading and more making, painting, writing.

I’m in between noise and quiet, the shouted, the whispered, the melody of song.

In between my heart aching with honesty and rejoicing with truth.

In between being a daughter and orphan, a wife and friend, a mama and MayMay.

In between loving and loving more.

Reach and Release

I have been picturing an open hand. The kind that is reaching out, maybe up, but it is open.

Other than eyes and smiles the hands seem so telling. I want to take pictures of hands. I would have an exhibit. A hand weathered from age or hard work. A babies hand, unblemished skin telling of the promise of life. I talk with my hands. Can’t seem to keep them still as my hands waves back and forth as though directing the words being said.

hands giving praise

hands giving praise

worshipping hands

worshipping hands

playing hands

playing hands

reaching

reaching

My high school psychology teacher had us do an exercise with our hands. She told us to shake them around a bit and then let them drop on our desks. Some hands would land in a stretched out open position while others, like mine, would find fingers curled at the end and others may even close like a fist. She said some believed this was an indicator as to how open we were.

IMG_6659

 

DSC_0025

 

The hand I’ve been picturing in my mind is open and reaching, stretching because you can’t reach without the stretch. Going beyond yourself. I’m getting to something here, I am.

Elora has given our class a prompt about reaching and releasing and I’ve never thought of releasing when you reach. I reach to grab hold of something; my granddaughter trying to run ahead of me in a busy area, my purse as I fly out the door. I bend and reach for the grocery bags in the trunk of the car or I grab hold of Henry as I climb from the boat. I am stretching and reaching and laying hold, not releasing. Our sons hands holding his new brides both grasping their future or the hands of the potter gently shaping a new vessel and taking hold of purpose and form.

IMG_3969

 

Riverwood Pottery Dillsboro, NC

Riverwood Pottery Dillsboro, NC

I think about this reach and release and realize how perfect God’s timing is in putting this in front of me now. Right now. It is a time where I am reaching, stretching even and it is not to grab hold of but to release. I am reaching toward change and finding I must release what is, what was. I am reaching toward new and must release some of the old. I am reaching toward God and must release me.

IMG_9998

 

Hallelujah People

“At my church we sing a gospel song called, “Hallelujah anyway”. Everything’s a mess, and you’re going down the tube financially and gaining weight? Well, hallelujah anyway.” – Anne Lamont

I want to be this person. This hallelujah person who can look in the face of sorrow and frustration and say, ‘hallelujah anyway’.

When trust has been broken and lies told to our face, ‘hallelujah anyway’.

When one goes back into their addiction and we’ve cared about him for so long and called him friend, yes then, ‘hallelujah anyway’.

Bethany Children's Home 2473

DSC_0942_2

When I don’t want to hear one more story or take the time to listen to one who needs listening to, especially then, ‘hallelujah anyway’.

Enough petty frustrations and be gone sorrow for I am the child of God who loves me and enables me to say

HALLELUJAH ANYWAY!

WONDERful

Sunset in Memphis, TN (via my son) #livewonderstruck

Sunset in Memphis, TN (via my son) #livewonderstruck

I needed this. Needed to find this challenge and needed it now. It’s only been a month or so I’ve followed this blog but seeing todays title I grabbed it for myself.

As Advent began less than two months ago I was enjoying the wonder of that miracle. I would think of the details involved in the birth of Jesus….his teenaged mother who’d known no man and the scandal this pregnancy created. The journey Mary made ON A DONKEY when she was “great with child” and then gave birth in the midst of dung and stink. I found wonder in that story and the songs we sang each week….”star of wonder, star of light….”

A few weeks later, it’s gone. Moved on as the calendar has flipped to a new year dates are being filled in with events, none filled with the wonder of Advent. Until…

The 21 Days of Wonder Challenge

Margaret Feinberg is author/owner of this blog. Her opening paragraph says this:

If we pay attention, we can begin discovering the wonders all around us—those moments of spiritual awakening that spark our curiosity to know God more.

Yes, Margaret is hawking her new book called Wonderstruck which I probably won’t purchase. At least not now. I have too many books in my reading que these days before I can consider another. But, I’m with her in this challenge because I need to know God’s wonder in my life more than just at Christmas and Easter.

I need to open my eyes to his wonder that surrounds me because I know it does. How can it now when God is the master artist and creator? I need only open my eyes to His wonder, the spiritual awakening Feinberg talks about. So I’m in. Today. Right now.

God, open my eyes to your wonders that surround me as I strive to #livewonderstruck

Care to join me?

 

Just a taste

The first day of Catalyst was awesome. So much to take in and soak in. Here are a few notes from one of the speakers from yesterday. Much more to come in the days ahead. And one more day of wisdom spoken into our lives.

20121005-075127.jpg

From Perry Noble:

We need to stop screaming at the world discover me and ask God to develop (make) me.

Not our job to reach but be accessible.

Most of us are getting paid to do what others have given their lives to do.

Jesus was born in a mess to meet us in our mess.

Be still!

 

Having our granddaughter with us for the week, I found myself saying “be still” a bit more than usual. She was in new surroundings, not at our house where she has her room. She spent hours in the car and slept in her sleeping bag on the floor of our room. She would go into high motion not allowing herself to be still and risk falling asleep.

I read these words earlier this week: “behold the beauty of where you are now.”

The beauty of where you are now

Last week it was the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. Last night it was the beauty of a room filled with addicts trying to reclaim life. Just now, right now, it’s a blue sky with palm branches gently moving as I look through our living room window.

I’m trying to reach deeper than seeing physical beauty. Asking myself where is my heart now? Where am I spiritually that I can see beauty? Some things are easier than others and as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What holds my eyes?

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” Philippians 4:8 the Message

I find complaining and whining easier than finding beauty and why do I have to be so slow to learn these things? It’s not about physical beauty but beauty of truth. The beauty found in grace. Being reputable and authentic, that beauty.

National Portrait Gallery Washington DC

I think about walking through a museum and how I stand and gaze. No rushing to take in the beauty but standing still with close examination and appreciation for the art and artist. That’s what I need to purpose to do. To gaze at the Creators creation and see the beauty before me.

A mother with Alzheimer’s who lets me take her hand to cross the parking lot: beauty.

A 4-year old crying out in the wee hours “MeMe, MeMe…I had a scary dream.”: beauty.

A man broken and surrendering his addiction to a loving God: beauty.

A dish holding shells found at the beach: beauty. I am surrounded by beauty and I need to call it by name, praising God for the wonders that surround me.

 

Knowing God

I’m not sure why Christians seem to love themes but it seems there is one for every event. Tis weeks theme is knowing God. Reading those two words overwhelms me as it seems impossible to know God. The sacred text tells us His ways are not our ways and His thoughts not our thoughts yet we’re reaching, aiming to know Him. God. This being eye cannot behold. When God was revealing Himself to Moses he said Moses could not look on His face for His glory was too great. How can I know this God?

20120812-214534.jpg

How can I not know Him?

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
C.S. Lewis

In this setting, where creation is full and bursting with life and color, how can we not know God? God the creator, the artist.

When I walk among men whose lives have been changed by His love, how can I not know God? God of grace and mercy. I know Him as I know my father who loves and is love. I know him in the kindness of others. I know him in peace. His peace he gives this child, the wrestler and stubborn, self-willed child I am. Only He can still this soul and give me peace through His grace.

20120812-220052.jpg