Five Minute Friday: Time

quilt

Linking up again this week with the Five Minute Friday crowd. We take the prompt word and write for five minutes straight; no editing, no overthinking, ….just five minutes of writing. Don’t forget to go and encourage the writer before you.   The link for FMF is http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/ Today’s prompt word…….Time!   Ready, set, go

Time……limitless and full of limitations. Time……a gift and a curse. Five minutes to pour my heart out to God and into the keyboard. It’s a funny thing, time, and as I sit in my warm living room covered by the quilt sewn years ago by my great-grandmother it becomes even more intriguing. Time sits in our hearts in what one moment, seems to be never-ending stream and in the next moment the blink of an eye.   The past year has been a strange mixture to me of both never-ending and blink-of-an-eye moments. From the time of last winter that appeared to me to be as frozen and long as the brutal Ohio winter that accompanied it to the sweet, sweet moments of spring and summer that seemed to pass by in a flash. Time that is ever changing, ever moving and at times so slow. I imagine my great-grandmother; the time it took to painstakingly hand sew every stitch of this beautiful quilt; she must have thought it took forever; but in a blink of an eye it was covering her great-granddaughter; and one blink later it covers her great-great grandson as he snuggles on her lap. Time is our greatest gift and our greatest fear; it gives hope of future, but reminds us oh so quickly of its passing. This year I will turn 50….. a half century!! I think as we look upon the years of our lives time becomes an even greater gift, an important commodity and yet as it gains in importance we must also realize its relative unimportance. Time is where we are right now; it is the breath we take, the children we cuddle, the dogs we walk, the work we do, the spouse we love, the laughs we share, the French fries we drown in cheese and bacon, the tears we shed. Time is now, time is why we should love more freely, give more generously, feel more real and be more open. If the past year has taught me anything it is this; time always changes, always moves but what never, ever changes about the time is God……whether we acknowledge Him, deny Him, cling to Him, ignore Him, get angry with Him, or praise Him……HE never changes! He is in every moment, quiet, chaotic, grief-filled, joy-filled, mundane or excitement filled; and nothing, no time will ever, ever change that truth. My quilt is old, the material worn, small holes beginning to appear; my God…..He is the same, yesterday, today and always…….may His love forever be the quilt of comfort and love that surrounds us all the moments in time!!

Advertisements
Standard

Five Minute Friday-Alone

image

Linking up again this week with the Five Minute Friday crowd. We take the prompt word and write for five minutes straight; no editing, no overthinking, ….just five minutes of writing. Don’t forget to go and encourage the writer before you. The link for FMF is http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/ Today’s prompt word…….Alone! Ready, set, go.

Alone…..for some this word might invoke feelings of depression and desperation. But for me, alone is quite the opposite. Alone is a chance to recharge, alone is quiet, alone is healing, alone is comforting, alone is writing, alone is processing, alone is praying…..alone gives me comfort in a way no person is capable of doing. Yes, I love my family and friends, time with them, noisy, raucous laughter, sweet times of conversation, community prayer……BUT as the deer pants for streams of water, I pant for time alone…..as a way of becoming more of who I am created to be. Alone is soul soothing, it is sitting and receiving an infilling of the power and love of the Holy Spirit. Alone is uninterrupted time with God embedded within an often overly busy life. Alone is not pushing others away, alone is allowing myself to be pulled into the arms of Jesus. Alone is accepting the love within those arms….love that fills me and enables me to go forth from alone and share His love with others. Alone is a necessary nutrient for my soul and when it is in short supply….my soul aches. Alone is a time of God filling that gives me the strength to be a God sharer…..alone is my time to pull up to the gas pump of my Lord and let Him fill me to overflowing….therefore alone, is never truly alone but instead one with Him.

Standard

Five Minute Friday-World

twins b

Linking up again this week with the Five Minute Friday crowd. We take the prompt word and write for five minutes straight; no editing, no overthinking, ….just five minutes of writing. Don’t forget to go and encourage the writer before you.   The link for FMF is http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/ Today’s prompt word…….World!   Ready, set, go

“My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.” Psalm 62: 5-6

Two tiny babies…….born much too early (one so small his head fit in the palm of my hand), divorce, serious illness, marital separation, the heartbreak of a broken friendship, job loss, relocation……..each capable of turning our world upside down in an instant. Each of these in some way, shape or form part of the world of the past year around or within me. When the axis of the world as we know it is tilted, jarred and shaken to its very core the results can be both devastating and beautiful, both heart wrenching and heart expanding leaving us breathless and blind at times; at other times revealing the majesty and glory of a God who promises that ALL things will work together for our good.   The world as we know will keep changing of this we have no doubt…….we will continue to see pain both in the big world all around us and in the small worlds of our lives. BUT we will also continue to see His Glory, His Majesty and His Mighty works throughout ALL of these changes. When our small worlds we live in directly begin to implode around us we can rest assured that smack dab in the middle of the crumbling chaos our Father will be there. He will be there in the friends who surround and uplift us, in the tears that never seem to end, He will be there in the hands of doctors, nurses and caregivers, He is there in our resume rebuilding, in our moving trucks, He is there in the numbing heartbreak of loss and in each and every circumstance within our small world. He is an ever present, ever knowing, ever loving, ever being Presence and even in the times when our world is so broken we think He has forgotten……HE IS STILL THERE!!   Our world will be rebuilt……it may not look like we dreamed it would look……but when we lean into Him , when we give Him our world……..submitting to His will and to His love the rebuilding will change our world forever!! He gives each of us many worlds…..small worlds of our family, larger one of our friendships, work and relationships and they are all meant to work together for His Glory to be a part of His World as a whole. Give Him your world…….let Him shake it, flip it, tip it and sometimes rip it to shreds……..then wait……..watch His Glory be revealed in the rebuilding of what will become your new world and watch Him use it……however it looks, for His larger World; for He is The Great I Am……capable of far more than we could ever ask or imagine!! Those babies? They will soon turn one year old……smiling, laughing, healthy and much bigger than the palm of my hand. The divorce, the illness, the broken friendship……all of these still present but building a new world that is revealing His Glory one step at a time. The marital separation……no longer separate but together and rebuilding under the wings of His love.   The world as I knew it……..so different in so many ways and yet the same…..yesterday, today and always within Him……the centerpiece of our World.

This post is  dedicated to the beautiful, strong little boys of my brave friend Liz and her husband Shawn.  The super twins as they are known will soon turn one year old!! Happy Birthday brave boys!! 

Standard

Five Minute Friday–Blue

Jacob

Linking up again this week with the Five Minute Friday crowd. We take the prompt word and write for five minutes straight; no editing, no overthinking, ….just five minutes of writing. Don’t forget to go and encourage the writer before you.   The link for FMF is http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/ Today’s prompt word…….Blue   Ready, set, go!!

 

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” Eph 3:21 (Msg)

12 years old and still small enough to curl up into my lap in that early morning time; that rare time in which he hangs onto the sleepiness of the night, before he fully awakens and sets about his active day. It is during this time I never tire of catching sight of those beautiful blue’s.   His bright red hair provides a stark contrast to the deep sky blue of his eyes that seem to always sparkle.  They are the blue of his daddy and his granny and I can seriously just lose myself in them.   To me; the momma who loves him so these baby blues are so magical. When I look at them I am reminded of the wonders of a God who, having seen two parents going happily about their life with two half grown sons, decided He would rock their world with a tiny little red head, bright blue eyed, surprise bundle of joy.   We had two boys; one 11 and one 13 and we were done….looking ahead to teen years and before we knew it an empty nest. The year had been difficult; my husband’s mother had suddenly taken ill and died within a four week whirlwind; leaving a huge hole in the fabric of our family. It was late summer…..six months of grief had scarred our family and we were finally beginning to emerge from the shock all that had happened. One day after feeling just “not right” for several days we shockingly discovered another life had just been added to our family.   He was different…….a surprise, conceived without the aid of fertility specialists, a perfect salve for our wounded and grieving hearts. Nine months later I looked into those beautiful baby blues and was smitten.   I remember staring into those eyes for months after…..tears pouring forth and thanking God for this tiny surprise blessing……it was as if those baby blues (the same blue as his granny) provided a healing for our hearts……so wounded by sudden loss.   Blue is a promise…..a promise of new life, a promise of smiles, hugs, little boy snuggles and a ever present reminder of God’s promise and plan for our lives. A surprise to us? Yes. A surprise to God? Absolutely not!! And each time I look into those sparkling, ornery, love filled baby blues…….I am reminded of the love of a Saviour who knew just what family needed; a fiery little red headed, blue eyed boy and how those baby blues would forever remind this momma of the magnificent love of The One who loves her so very much!!!

Standard

Five Minute Friday: Good

good

Today I’m linking up once again with the Five Minute Friday crowd.  FMF provides a prompt word every Friday, then we write, for five minutes, no editing, no holds barred, just write whats on our heart.  Today is Wednesday and I know I am late but its not yet the next Friday so why not?  The rule is a prompt word is provided and we write….for five minutes, no editing, just real and raw.   Then post and go back and encourage the prior post.  The link is:  http://katemotaung.com/2015/04/02/five-minute-friday-good-and-a-brand-new-video/

Friday’s prompt word was “good”.  Ready, set, go.

Psalm 116:7 “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you” (NIV)

Good….the dictionary defines good as “right, proper, fit, kind, honorable, worthy, satisfactory, virtuous, pious”.  But what I am struck by as I contemplate good is that many times it comes in the form of bad.  Things often happen in our lives that we consider bad, painful, difficult, challenging but when it is over we look back and can truly say:  God meant this for good!  Good does not have to be in the present moment, in fact, the present moment may be quite bad.  Miracles happen when the result of bad becomes good.  These past few weeks I have seemed to fight one battle after another; I became horribly sick with a virus that I simply could not shake, missed several days of work and landed in the ER.  Not long after I had a scheduled surgery which was quickly followed by complications landing me in the hospital for three days.  A recovery that was supposed to take two weeks is going to take much longer and for a while I was quite distraught.  Then God began speaking to my heart, encouraging me to look at the blessings within.  I have went, in a period of three weeks, from someone constantly on the go and doing for others to someone who has been forced into dependency upon my husband and family……and it is NOT easy, in fact, it is quite frustrating.  As God has been speaking to my heart I have found myself very slowly realizing that all the pain, all the frustration, all the tears has truly been meant for good.  Good is the way my husband has stepped up…..laundry, dishes, pets, dinner….everything without complaint.  Good is my sometimes selfish 12 year old who runs downstairs in the morning asking how I feel and what he can do for me.  Good is time on my hands……time to pray, converse with God, write, catch up on some long overdue rest.  Good is sitting in my recliner at 10am knowing my protector sleeps upstairs so he can go to work tonight, knowing our son is safely at school and knowing the goodness in my husband that I knew was there somewhere has been allowed to blossom.   I don’t know how long this will last, my recovery has been slow; but rather than look upon this seemingly bad situation as an obstacle God has opened my heart to an understanding that what seems bad at the time……is, as always being used for good….according to His purpose.  His good reigns upon me even in the midst of recovery and I find myself praising him for illness and even surgical complications that have put me right where He wants me………where I can receive His goodness!  Thank you Jesus.

Standard

Five Minute Friday: When

love and the cross metaphor

Linking up again this week with the Five Minute Friday crowd. We take the prompt word and write for five minutes straight; no editing, no overthinking, ….just five minutes of writing. Don’t forget to go and encourage the writer before you.   The link for FMF is http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/ Today’s prompt word…….When!   Ready, set, go

“NOW, to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work in us” Eph 3:20 NIV

When are we going to get there mom? When are we going to stop for lunch? When do we get to go swimming?   If you have ever taken a road trip with your children you know the list of “when” questions can go on for miles…..literally! Did you ever notice, WHEN we give into their incessant questioning and begin focusing on the destination rather than the journey our own internal voice joins in with their “whens”? Focusing on the destination makes the trip seem oh soooo long, but WHEN we instead focus on the joy of the trip…..when a roadside museum becomes a welcome stop, when a rest stop nestled in the mountains allows us to watch the sunrise with our teenage son for the first time ever, when we sing silly songs with our young children…..it is then the focus turns from “when” to “now”.   Maybe “when” becomes now during that time of peace and quiet that happens when the whining of the tires lulls your talkative 5 year old to sleep.   When we focus on the trip; the journey, rather than the destination we begin instead to ask the question of when can we do this again?

We lose sight, sometimes we lose hope even, when we focus on the “when God” questions. When will I find the “perfect partner”? When will we have children/grandchildren? When will I get that long worked for promotion? When will life ever slow down?   WHEN GOD, will my heart ever stop this incessant, grief filled aching? WHEN?   Ever think that maybe God wants us to stop focusing so much of our time an energy on the “whens” and start focusing on the now? God knows we are His children and as well as He knows us He knows that this journey will be full of “whens”…..He knows our ever searching souls have that tendency to focus on the “whens” and lose sight of the “nows”. BUT, He gives us a way out….a way out of that incessant wanting to know “when” by putting the here and now right in front of us. My child, He says….don’t focus your attention on the “when will we have children”; instead thank me for the beautiful time for you and your love to know one another better.   Don’t focus on “when will I get that promotion”; instead focus on learning as much as possible where you are now. Don’t focus on a future time; wondering when life sill slow down.   Slow it down now and purposefully make time NOW. Don’t focus on wondering when this grief will ever let up; instead let it be….let it be in your heart for the time it needs to be and use it to pull close to Me, to focus on Me NOW. My child, begin resting in the now and know that the “when” will come in My time.   In the meantime don’t miss the beauty of the here and now. My child, stop straining for answers to your “whens” and simply rest in my presence……it is “when” you do this (rest in My presence) you will begin to understand that “when” is “now” and that peace, that surpasses all understanding, the peace I have promised to you, will settle deep into your heart and soul.   My child be with me NOW; not WHEN and experience that peace in Me, for I am Your Loving Father and I want you in Me, NOW…..not WHEN.

Standard

Goodbye 2014

grey_goose_wallpaper

Farewell 2014

A New Year, a clean slate……ready to be filled with joy and pain, good and bad, smiles and tears.   But ready more than anything to be filled with the Presence of my everlasting and ever loving Father.  A New Year, I think requires a look back at the old year while at the same time straining and keeping our eyes on what lies ahead.

Today, thanks to some writing I have been doing over the past year and a half I had a unique opportunity to look back at what I wrote to welcome in 2014.  I was literally struck by the writing…….it centered around a word that proved, in retrospect, to be a near perfect description of different ways in which 2014 played out.  The word was dynasty and last year as I puzzled over why God would give me such a different word I grasped hold of one definition of dynasty: “a family/team that is powerful or successful over a long period”.   I knew, right then and there I wanted to be part of God’s dynasty and God spoke to me through some odd insights in to four animals:  a duck, a moose, a lion and a goose.  I wrote these words about a duck “ducks are interesting creatures….on water they move gracefully and freely, but on land they seem to waddle to their own offbeat tune.  Their quacking increases in intensity when they feel threatened yet seem to sing almost a lulling tune when paddling peacefully alongside their mate”.  Oh what truth rang to this, I can see those days when I kept my eyes on Him, focused on walking in the strength and love of His Spirit I was able to move gracefully and freely but when my focus wandered away the days became awkward and difficult.  This past year I experienced more healing and spiritual growth than I had ever dreamed possible.  I wanted desperately to be part of His dynasty and through that healing God has began laying out more and more ways for me to share His love with others…….through friendships, through people He has brought into my path and even………to my amazement through preaching His Word on occasion!!! 

Last year I wrote maybe God wanted me to be a moose in His dynasty; to live more by faith and less by sight; to learn to peacefully exist in whatever circumstances are before me.  No, I definitely have not been a perfect moose, but 2014 taught me lessons about slowing down, moving in His seasons and allowing Him to direct the seasons rather than me trying to constantly take control.  I have had some amazing moments of soaking in His Presence, just allowing Him to fill me rather than fighting endlessly toward an unknown goal.  Sometimes just soaking in His presence is all we are capable of, and He honors that and fulfills it in ways we never realized we needed. 

As a lion in God’s dynasty in 2014 I was humbly honored to be a part of faith community that has grown spiritually by leaps and bounds.  When the leader of our community was hit with a very difficult season this community of faith came together as a pride…..lifting each other up in faith and spirituality and at times literally roaring with amazing, Spirit filled and heart wrenching prayer for all those in our community who were in desperate need.  It was an honor and a privilege to watch this “pride”, this faith community rise spiritually to the occasion and support their leader in way that honored our Heavenly Father.

Finally, last year, God asked me to be a goose in His dynasty; an animal with strong values, loyalty and a willingness to care for and protect those who are physically or even spiritually injured.  A goose will guard an injured family member until he/she recovers or dies.  I cannot even describe how being a goose has played out this year.  As two members of our close knit community of friends  faced overwhelming challenges we have literally stood guard over them; covering them in prayer, filling in for them when they simply could not face another person, and given our own shoulders to their buckets of tears all the while wading through our own grief within these situations.   These five friends have bowed shoulder to shoulder to our Father  in the fiercest love, loyalty, caring and protection I have ever been witness to……and we have survived; even thrived.  

The challenges of 2014 are far from over; these friends and others will continue to need each of these animals in their corner………but what being a part of His dynasty (family successful over a long period of time) has taught me will never, ever be forgotten.   Not only will it never be forgotten…..but as He promises in His Word He has used, is using  and will be using ALL of this to His Glory.  2014 was PROOF BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT of this promise:

And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.  For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified”.  Romans 8: 28-30 NIV

Thank you Father……for calling me to be part of your dynasty for 2014 and may I forever honor and glorify you in all circumstances!  Amen

This goodbye 2014 post is lovingly dedicated to the gatherers of Grace Outrageous Ministry (GO Ministry) and to the five most amazing friends in the world…….Tress, Beverly, Sharon, Dawn and Dawn….I love you all!!! 

MOST IMPORTANTLY IT IS DEDICATED TO HIM WHO HAS MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE……MY LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST!!! 

Standard