I haven’t joined in on one of these for quite a while so I figured today would be a good day! The Olympics have started, Friday is finally here, the puppy is sleepy, and my fingers are ready to write. Here’s the deal…I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo (she loves Africa too) and the “rules” include writing for 5 minutes without extreme editing or worrying about being perfect. The prompt…
One of my aunts recently shared my grandmother’s little journal with my dad. I quickly asked if I could take the journal first. This is the grandmother that I really only knew through pictures and stories. She died when I was 2. But oh did she go out with a story. She just happened to die while walking down (or was it up?) some steps of a cathedral in Spain. She has always intrigued me. This mother of three who traveled and who now I know wrote. She even included pictures within her journal, which I absolutely adore. She was specific and real in the bits and pieces I’ve read. Her mother died when she was young and she went to live with her aunt and uncle. Yet, she made a point even in her journal to say that they were both mom and dad and aunt and uncle to her. I’ve barely dug into this little treasure, but I’m excited to discover the world she lived in and the words she chose. This little journal makes me wonder what I would think if someone opened up one of the countless journals on my shelf. Would they find my stories of Africa tucked in the pages or the questions I have for God? Would they see my heart and hear my hurt? There’s so much to be found in writing. So much to be shared.
5 minutes of fun, free writing on a Friday! Thanks to Lisa-Jo our prompt this week is….
i’m waiting here for you Lord. you’ve never left my side yet I sit in the silence waiting for the gentle nudge for me to be not afraid. you’re calling me out upon the waters. i know not where we are going yet i trust you for you’ve never failed me before. even when i was ever so angry and upset and disappointed….you were faithfully working behind my understanding, faithfully planning something even better and something set aside just for me. yet in the same breath, you’re right there with me my fierce protector who shelters me from the one who steals, kills, and destroys. he may try to take my joy. he may try to take my hope. he may try to take my trust. but you’re the one who makes all things new. you won’t let my feet fall and you hold my right hand. i’m secure in you. so i’m walking toward what we do not know. we’re walking toward you. hand in hand. learning this crazy dance called life and marriage. where you lead. we know not. oh how i so sometimes want to hand you a detailed plan, but then i’m reminded that you know so much more. there’s a reason you’re god and i’m not. so let meet us here. meet us in the questions and the wonderings. meet me here, lord. i’m waiting here for you.
five minutes of writing on friday! i’m ready. are you? jump on in on the fun over here.
here’s the prompt!
the music fades, the people have left, the airplane lands, the fanfare slows, and we find ourselves in the after. the after moments of eery quiet filled with tense wondering of is this all there was and the wide eyed anticipation of just how these moments will change everything. for in these moments and places and situations the course of our story changes. sometimes i’ve known ahead of time that i will lay down my rock to create an altar of remembrance. other times the moments pass me by before i’ve realized that that was the time when things changed. there’s the before and the after africa. the before and after “i do.” the before and after “god, you are my all in all.” my life is filled to the brim with these sacred moments and while some of them hurt so bad that i’d rather skip them altogether, i can’t help but still recognize the powerful ways they’ve changed me. they’ve rearranged me. He’s rearranged me. He’s wrecked me. wholly and fully for His purposes and plans. being conformed and being renewed requires a whole lot of bending and stretching and fitting awkwardly into the new afters.
Friday! This week has passed me by in a busy, but good way. Last week, I was able to write all sorts of posts and this week, I’m just stopping by for the first time. So, here goes a little 5 minute friday writing.
my husband remembers so many things i don’t. he remembers what he was wearing when we went on our first date and our first non-date and all sorts of firsts. he remembers what i wore to sonshine. he remembers what we have ordered at restaurants. he remembers the details, the images, the moments. as he stirs up his own memories, he tells me the stories and i’m right there with him remembering and savoring the times we’ve had together. he’ll take me back to bible study back in 2010 when we’d banter back and forth. he’ll transport me to sri lanka when i made him wear a clown costume. he’ll tease me about how he saw me looking at him while he was on stage playing drums before i promptly adverted my eyes. i love the rich and varied memories we have together. we may not have dated ever since i got back from africa, but he’s always been there and he’s often been the one i’ve looked to for support…whether it was to make a plinko board for the harvest party or to lead the preschoolers with drums or to offer to get my car in the rain or to scrap off the snow from my car. sometimes remembering helps make today even sweeter. i can’t wait to see what i’ll remember in the years to come. or i should say that i can’t wait to hear what he remembers.
Let’s do this. 5 minutes of free writing with no pressure, no edits, no rules, and just plain fun.
I sneak over to his side of the bed after he’s snuck out to shower. My sleepy brain is still in complete sleep mode. When he comes back, he prays over me for my day and I mumble a prayer back. Though, let’s be honest, I can’t say for sure that what I said was all that great. I do remember how he made fun of me because my words were messed up and then I joked back with him that God was going to smite him because he was making fun of my prayer. He played right along with my sleepy state. When the nights are long and work schedules are late, I find myself needing so much more rest than I’d like. I grumble about how I used to get up at 4 something or 5 something. He gently reminds me that I also used to start work at 6. Work starts at 3pm now and that definitely causes a shift. He’s ever full of grace for my sleepy, restful state and I’m humbled. Rest for the soul. A place to rest my heart. Rest for my body. Saturday, come quickly, I’m ready for a day of rest.
5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. er…write for as long and however your heart needs =)
i hide from this word sometimes because oh how it haunts me in a heartbreakingly raw way. before i know it, i’m playing around with google looking up for ways to get myself home. checking flights and seeing prices. looking at pictures and wondering if when i get there if it’ll still be home. will she still be the home i have in my heart? i’ve changed so much since my feet last hit her ground. my heart has traveled all over since then. i’ve found myself at the feet of fountains in rome and on the beaches of greece. i’ve walked the streets of london and sat in her theaters. i’ve sat in staff meetings with staff i love. i’ve careened around the streets of sri lanka. i’ve zip lined through mexico. i’ve laughed and loved my way through VBS and kids camps. i’ve held the babes in rwanda. i’ve found a man who holds my heart and is my other kind of home…the strong, steady, safe. god’s brought me all the places i never thought i’d go. but then again i never thought i’d find myself in south africa in the first place. and i don’t know where He’ll bring
me us next. maybe germany. maybe guatemala. maybe china. maybe back home to south africa (pretty please?). maybe some country i’ve never even thought about.
five minutes tucked away on a friday to spend writing:
you’ve wrapped me up in sweet words and you surprise me with the grace you’ve poured over my heart. there you stay by my side forgiving and letting grace and love flow from your lips. beloved, we had such fun yesterday being us and my oh my i’m so thankful that this year i can call you mine. you are my beloved. i made a cake just in time for you to pound it out and help me cut it and put it together. we ate frosting out of the bowl and snuck strawberries. we ate dessert before dinner. we laughed when our surprise plans collided and goodness we eat well. dessert and then enough delicious pasta to last a whole night of secret smiles. you show me just how hard it can be to truly show just how much i love you which turns right around at me and humbles me by forcing me to look at the ways that i show love to you and to God. i pray, beloved, that we would learn to love each other in a way that only stirs up more love for god than each other.
Internet has been sketchy here the last however long so I had this one sitting in the drafts and never got around to it….so I’m playing twice today =)
Friday’s come fast! Here comes another week to spend 5 minutes writing without editing….ek!
I’m afraid I won’t be enough. I’m afraid of rejection. I’m afraid of not being perfect. I’m afraid of losing friends. I’m afraid of not being a good wife. I’m afraid I’ll hear mean words again. I’m afraid others won’t forgive. I’m afraid I’ll say the wrong thing. I’m afraid I’ll be forgotten. I’m afraid I’ll waste my time. I’m afraid they’ll never change. I’m afraid I won’t change. I’m afraid I’ll be embarrassed. I’m afraid I’ll never have those babies. I’m afraid I’ll say something hurtful. I’m afraid it’ll hurt. I’m afraid. I’m scared.
Yes, I’m not always going to be enough. Yes, they may never be happy. Yes, I’ll probably be rejected. Yes, I might lose friends. Yes, they may wish I would do something different or be someone different. Yes, I likely won’t always be a good wife. Yes, I’ll probably be hurt by words. Yes, sometimes people won’t forgive me. Yes, I’ll probably say the wrong thing a time or two or thirty. Yes, I might even waste time. Yes, they might not change and I might have my own thorn in my side. Yes, I’m pretty sure I’ll be embarrassed. Yes, I might not have babies. Yes, I’m sure I will say hurtful things and need to apologize. Yes, it will hurt sometimes.
But God says…
I’m enough so you don’t have to be enough. I’m happy with you. I made you the way you are. I’ll provide you with all you need–including friends. You get to be the wife I made you to be and there’s grace and learning. I say kind words to you and sing over you with love when the words of others hurt. I’ve forgiven you. I’ll teach you to speak truth and love. I’ll show you what I want you to do and when to do it. I’ve changed you and given you a new heart. I’m your protector and you don’t have to worry about others. I’ve got a plan. I’ll prompt you to apologize and humble yourself. I’ll bind up your wounds. I’ll be here. always.
Dear Jesus, come quickly. I’m broken down and laid open. My heart is threadbare and my tears cover my face. I’m terrified once again and I’m fighting back the urge to curl up in my bed away from it all. Take me away and hide me in the curve of your arm and tuck me under the shelter of your wings. Only in Your protection and love can I find the rest and peace my heart so desperately craves. You’re the home I long for in the middle of the night. I toss and turn in my bed at night dreaming of a place thousands of miles away. You promised my heart screams out and I wait. I wait in the crook of your precious faithfulness. You won’t disappoint. My timing has long since past, but I have learned to trust in Your holy name. The King is here. He is here forever and for always. His plans and purposes shall prevail. He does not leave me naked and bare. He binds up my broken heart. He calls me His delight. He sings over me with melodies sweet to my ear and precious to my heart. He is faithful. He’s been faithful and He’ll be faithful. He’ll bring me back to the place that I find my dreams. I may be bare and vulnerable before Him…but He’s good.
Since I missed writing on Friday, I’m playing catch-up on Monday and am going to throw together two posts into one for fun =)
First off…five minute fridays! Writing for 5 minutes flat without any editing! This week’s prompt is…
I wake up once again and roll over in my bed with my eyes still sleepy. I write and delete again. This little writing exercise isn’t supposed to be about deleting…but today, I’m there. Trying to write about how God is faithful over and over. Debating about writing about how many times God surprises me again. So I write it out and then am like hey I still have a few minutes…I don’t like it so I’ll start again. But that’s the beauty of this. I can delete it. I’m given a fresh slate. A brand new white shiny page to write my heart out on. God does the same thing. His mercies are new every morning. We get to start fresh again. Let the morning bring news of your lovingkindness and when I hear Your voice…I’m coming running again to hide in Your arms.
Now for the little things from last week in no particular order!
-snuggling with the puppy.
-a full dishwasher from a fun night with friends
-delicious gluten free oreo cheesecake bites!
-the husband getting home earlyish on friday night after a full week of work
-being able to start counting my hours for grad school
-going through our five questions
Here we go…joining in late on the party since I am finally done with a week of class and am waiting at the airport for my flight home! 5 minutes of writing, no editing, no perfectionism…just plain fun free writing allowed on one little word.
Cherished. I can list all the things that I currently cherish, but something that I have cherished puts me smack dab in the middle of a dream daying reverie as I sit here in the airport with the sun shining down on the fresh coat of snow. This week reminded me so much how I have cherished the friendships and people that I met in Greece. Oh how I absolutely loved getting to spend a week with four of them and room with them while we all dove headlong into diagnosing and assessing. God has so wonderfully blessed me with friends literally around the world and across the country. We each came from a different part. My little bear from Arizona who squealed and had SO much fun in the snow since she’s never seen it like this. My North Carolinian mama acorn bear who drove us around and added all sorts of southern fun like ya’ll into my vocabulary plus she gave us all these fun nicknames. My little hummingbird from Florida with her cute little pregnant belly. Plus, me, the one from Minnesota who talks in her sleep and makes a nice little dinosaur squeal. We’re all different and all from different backgrounds, but all able to relate and encourage and build each other up. In the midst of crazy coursework, He’s blessed us with sweet time together before sending us back out.