Five Minute Friday-Breathe

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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.  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.  Today’s word is”Breathe”. The link is: http://katemotaung.com/2017/02/02/five-minute-friday-breathe-lisa-jo-baker/

Breathe…..such a necessary function for life and yet one I often seem to simply forget, not literally of course; but perhaps more importantly, figuratively.  It’s been nearly 8 months since an announcement that has changed the course of my professional life; or at least the course in my plans.  During that time I have been angry, grieved, laughed and every emotion in between.  For several of these months balanced three jobs plus home.  Breathing was something I often neglected to do and my soul can feel it.  My soul; desperate for a breath of the Spirit.  My soul that has come to a place in life where I know it will be okay and yet so often; still, I forget to breathe.  Changes have occurred with work and with close friendships.  There are days my mind races with so many “could be’s and what if’s” that my soul becomes short of breath; crying out in weariness and frustration.  And yet, through it all…..my God, my very breath giving source of life shines through; sometimes in the most unlikely of ways…….and often when I least expect it.  Last night I forgot to breathe…..the enemy and his “what if’s” were on full blown attack and my heart cried for hours……..in the midst, a conversation with a friend….a true prayer warrior friend.  This morning I awoke to His new mercies, with a song on my heart before I even knew today’s prompt word!  Breathe, O Breath of Life……and then I opened my inbox to a beautiful prayer from my warrior friend……a prayer that was a reminder from my God; a reminder that said….Amy, my beloved, I am here, always…..so just breathe, my beloved.  Breathe today; walk with Me today; let Me care for your heart….today……..and so my friends….today, join with me….and just breathe…His life, His Spirit…

 

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Five Minute Friday-Team

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Today I’m linking up once again with the Five Minute Friday crowd. FMF provides a prompt word every Friday.. The rule is a prompt word is provided and we write….for five minutes, no editing, just raw and real. Then we post and go back encourage the person who posted prior to us. Today’s word is “Team”. The link is http://katemataung.com/2016/08/19/five-minute-friday-team/
Team: Diverse individuals working together toward a common cause. It’s my definition; not coming from a dictionary but from a grieving heart. We range in age from early 20’s to 65 plus. We are married, divorced, single, widowed and every stop in between. We are male, female, straight, gay, lesbian, Methodist, Protestant, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, New Age and Atheist. We are introverts, extroverts, nurses, veterinarians, pharmacists, managers, business men and women, lawyers, therapists, support personnel, receptionists, even a Queen, and, most of all….educators. We’ve been together, some of us for upwards of 15 plus years. We have had chili cook-offs, cookie bake-offs and dunk tanks. We’ve celebrated the birth of babies and mourned the death of babies. We’ve been together through the loss of parents, spouses, children, marriages and friends. Team members have left; by their own choosing or by the choice of a company that seems to simply push buttons from far away. Those of us remaining are charged with a daunting but somehow Holy task; to push through to the end with dignity. To uphold the values and integrity that have made this team strong for many years. We will, in the coming months, clean out labs and classrooms, stack chairs and tables, support students as they complete degrees, sort through 40 years of paperwork AND, nearly every month we will hold a “going away” as members of the team move on and numbers dwindle. Each month brings new losses, new grief and new opportunities for growth. As a TEAM we will laugh, cry, mourn, celebrate and continue doing the best we can in a sometimes unbelievable situation (often all in the same day). Perhaps Alan Jackson describes it best when he says “life gets changed, disassembled rearranged, come together, fall apart”.
Life is indeed changing; team members are finding new employment opportunities, students are graduating with no fresh faces to fill their spots. In less than two years from now the team as we know it will cease to exist; and YET it will always live on..in different places, with different people. Some of us will remain close, some we will never see again, but the Team built in diversity and love will never cease to exist within the hearts of those who built it and who were part of it. Each one of us will be a better person for the honor of being a part of what we will always remember as “Team Findlay”.
This blog is dedicated to past and present team members of BMCFI and in memory of Fred Baldwin….a forever member of Team Findlay. I love each of you and whenever I think of the word Team….it will always be “Team Findlay”.

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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!!!

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Five Minute Friday: Small

For the first time today I am linking up with LIsa-Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday…Its writing for 5 minutes and see what comes out.  A prompt is provided each Friday for Five minutes of focused writing.  So here is my first and I hope I link up correctly.  

 

 

 

We call him our fuzzy little dustmop.  He is a combination of Yorkshire Terrier, Daschund and who knows what else?  Rescued from the humane society over two years ago, he was a present from my husband, an early Christmas present he hoped would put a smile on a beloved face that had been sad for too long.  It took about 2 minutes and he had a permanent home in both of our hearts, about three months later as he lay in my arms staring up at me with those soulful brown eyes I noticed it…..a perfectly shaped small pink heart at the end of a small brown nose.  The tears fell like a pouring rain, tears for the past two years full of grief, troubles and overwhelming triumphs. Tears for a puppy given in love by a man who struggles to make his love known to his emotional wife. 

 

The small dustmop has had his fur filled with tears of joy and tears of grief.  His small head an always calming presence as he lays in the small spot between my legs and the recliner, my hand resting on his head as I pray, write, laugh, cry and even sleep.  A small presence that has brought loads of laughter.  My husband wolf whistles and a mighty howl comes out of this small body…..never failing to dissolve even a somber evening into a mass of laughter.   A small heart, a small body, and an even smaller heart perfectly imprinted on a small brown nose has brought immense love, intense laughter and even opened two hearts to each other in a way that 25 years of marriage could not.  Great things do indeed come in small packages!!!! 

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Mommy……why is the sky blue?

Mommy, why is the sky blue?  Mommy why do birds fly and not walk?  Mommy why is my tummy hungry?   Anyone who has ever had or been around children knows that the “whys” are part of being a child.  Almost as soon as our young ones learn to interact with the world around them in words they begin asking why.  Sometimes we can answer……God decided blue was a good color, birds have stronger wings than legs, because you haven’t eaten for four hours.  Mommy, why can’t I go to bed all dirty from playing?  Because I said so.  Mommy, why did granny have to go to heaven?  I don’t know son. 

The why’s don’t stop as we grow older, they simply change, become more complex, more troubling at times, more……unanswerable.  God why IS the sky blue?  God, why can’t my heart seem to fly instead of stumble around blindly?  God, why can’t I stop craving pop-tarts?  Why did this man intrude upon a  little girl’s body?  Why did you give me the daddy I dreamed of then take him away too soon?  Why does so much pain happen?  So, does God answer us, does he satisfy these why questions for His children?  He does and He will.  Sometimes He answers why in the world around us.  The sky is blue because of atmospheric conditions.  Why does your heart not fly?  Walk with Me God tells us and I will open the cage door and your heart will fly with freedom never before known.  Pop-tarts?  We will discuss that one another time.  Pain?  And this is a big one……..all I can say is God tells us in His Word to walk alongside Him, to trust Him, there are times He reveals why right away, other times that it takes years for any why to make sense, then there are those why’s that simply won’t be answered this side of heaven but we can know that when we enter our glory we will understand the whole story.  Right now we look at only bits and pieces, highlights, lowlights and partial endings.  The full story will reach it’s completion when we enter glory with our Lord and Savior.  This however is small consolation to many who continue to grasp at the why’s, demanding answers and living in shadows of our past. 

When Jacob was going to meet his brother Esau he came to a stream, there he sent his wives, maidservants and all his possessions across the stream and he remained behind, alone in the darkness.  Why?  I’m not totally sure, maybe to prepare himself for what was to come.  However, as he waited a man came and they began wrestling.  They wrestled the entire night and in the morning knowing Jacob would not be defeated a swift kick in the hip left Jacob walking with a limp and with something more….a new identity.  You see, whatever Jacob was fighting seemed not of this world and Jacob,  when asked to release the man because day had broken oddly replied, not unless you bless me first.  Seems strange he fought this “man” all night, won even though his hip was displaced but when the “man” seemingly surrendered Jacob refused to acqueisce until he received the “man’s” blessing.  Some believe the man was an angel, others a God man Jesus, we don’t know.  What we do know is whoever he was Jacob surely knew that without His blessing he would not survive.  Jacob walked away from this encounter with two things…..a dislocated hip (seemingly leaving a permanent limp) and a new name (Israel). 

Finding our own answers to the big why questions seems to take a course similar to Jacob.  We argue, we try to control the meeting (Jacob had planned how he would speak with Esau).  Then, just as Jacob when we really pursue the answer to painful why’s we have to make a decision as Jacob did.  Stay and face the issue or continue avoiding.  When we choose to stay, many times we end up seemingly on a dark night in a strange wrestling match.  God is right there, beside us but the work that occurs throughout that dark night is enough is take away our breath.  We wrestle with God…..but you promised to care for me.  My child I did care for you, it looked different that you imagined but I cared for you.  But God…..why my daddy?  Why was my heart broken?  Why couldn’t you leave me the daddy of hugs and ponies and take away the scary daddy?  We wrestle with God over many questions, we allow him to burrow deep into the pain of our hearts and when the morning comes we discover that not always does the why really matter.  In the morning the sun rises, it shines on the little sister we have grown close to, the little sister that never would have been if the scary daddy had been taken away.  It shines on a grown woman, sharing her pain with others in order they might know there is hope for healing.  It shines on the scars and limps that come from those painful wrestling matches; scars and limps that are reminders of what He has done and how far we have come. 

Will all of our why’s be answered?  YES, without a doubt they will be answered, maybe in this life, maybe in the next.  But I believe if we allow ourselves, open ourselves to His full and abiding presence the why’s become less important than the healing and ability to share His grace, mercy and love.   The why’s eventually become a background noise as we are blessed with His love beyond our wildest imaginations!

I pray for you dear friends that the why’s sitting around in your heart are ministered to, are healed and that the answer or the knowing an answer will come become a bright and shining light of His everlasting Love, Grace, Mercy and Salvation.  Let Him tend to your why’s, He created us to ask and He will love us through the wrestling match.  I bless each of you with the everlasting and abiding presence of His love and grace….and may your scars and limps reflect His glory.  Amen

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