Friday, September 28, 2012

Sweet Release

My "Five Minute Friday" on: Grasp

One summer day I watched my young son and his cousins try to catch it. Nets flying through air as feet ran and leapt in tall grasses.

Persistently they watched and waited for the flutter. Armed and ready to pounce when it came within reach.

Many swats came up empty. The illusive cabbage butterfly refusing captivity, outflying the butterfly nets that threatened to hold him.

Laughter erupted and shouts confirmed they had caught one at last. Triumph! Frantically the white butterfly flitted inside the net not understanding what kept him from flight; what changed his direction.

Control. The boys could decide butterfly's fate.

With ease the net was lifted and their prisoner was free. Free to fly. Free to land. Free to get caught in their net again.

If we hold too tightly, if we refuse to let go, whatever we hold like the trapped butterfly will not survive. If we do not freely release the reigns, our captive cannot live the life he was intended to live.

With a white-knuckle grasp we try to control this unruly life, all the while deceiving ourselves.

We are not the ones in control, even when we think we're the ones holding the net.

What do you need to let go of?

Linking with Five minute Friday…
Five Minute Friday

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Am A Survivor - Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays

Sharing your story is extremely exposing and requires an extra dose of courage, but I hope, I know, others will be encouraged if not blessed by your vulnerability. Sexual abuse happens. The time has finally come when we can talk about it -- and in turn, help and protect others. This journey of sharing is hard, but I'm glad to be a part of it!


How We Hurt, How We Heal

I am a survivor. My life choices can no longer stay chained to the pain of my childhood sexual abuse.

Instead of self-protecting, I try to trust.

Instead of depending too much on myself or others, I try to rely more on God.

Instead of controlling, I try to surrender.

But breaking those chains didn’t happen overnight.

Read more of my guest post on Tamar's Redemption

Read more of my story in this series:

Shame - Part 2 "Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays"
Betrayal - Part 3 "Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays"
Healing - Part 4 "Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays"

Friday, September 21, 2012

Living Wide

Five Minute Friday on: Wide

Whether you're opening wide for the hygienist to get a better look at your molars or your arms are wide open in preparation for a loving hug, it's rare to hear the word "wide" without it's loyal friend "open".

My best friend and I are wide. Where honesty flows, hurts slip out of yucky wide places alongside the oozing openness of love and care for each other.

Here I am. You can see it all, this vast expanse of my horizon. As far as the eye can see.

Wide brings people in. Includes. Shares depth and space. Fullness. To see better, include more.

You can't hide when you live wide.

"I pray that your love will have deep roots. I pray that it will have a strong foundation. May you have power with all God’s people to understand Christ’s love. May you know how wide and long and high and deep it is. And may you know his love, even though it can’t be known completely. Then you will be filled with everything God has for you." (Ephesians 3:17-19)

Linking with Lisa-Jo Baker:
Five Minute Friday

Thursday, September 13, 2012

When A Flood Came

I've heard you should never help a butterfly break out of its chrysalis. The process of struggling out of its shell helps to strengthen the butterfly's wings so it can live.

We fight against Struggle, eager to emerge on the other side of him. Clawing our way through his darkness it feels like he will never leave.

How can I be okay with the wave as it crashes over me; when my feet feel like they are stuck in the sinking sand?

I want to stand firm when the blustery wind wants to carry me away; when the storm feels threatening and all I want to do is run for cover.

I try to dig down to my foundation, anxious to see with my own eyes where my feet are planted. Checking to make sure He really is my Cornerstone (Psalm 118:22). Why is it so hard to trust that God's still there? Always there.
As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete. Luke 6:47-49
Struggle always opens my eyes, catches my attention, or changes my life. He has chipped and chiseled his way into my heart. He takes away, but Struggle also refines.

Without Struggle I am just a mass of who I was, stuck in the chrysalis. Struggle makes me into who I am, who I am meant to be. And Struggle helps to strengthen me.

So I can live.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Waiting For Perfect

There is this moment, with boogie board in hand, where you wait and watch. As you float in the calm sea you know in a few short moments they will come, a string of curling waves with enough power and strength to take you all the way in to the sandy shoreline.

As they approach you have to decide, is this the perfect wave or do I wait for the next one?

Every day is a balancing act between taking a risk or waiting just a little bit longer. Knowing when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em (you know the song). Making that decision, pulling the trigger as they say, can be difficult.

If you keep passing up opportunities waiting for the perfect one, it may never find you. Is a "perfect one" even possible? Or is perfect just a fancy way of saying, "the one that I want"?

I'm often looking for the "perfect time" to do or say something. What a useful excuse to not do it or say it at all. Is perfect timing when I don't have to take any risks? When I feel the most comfortable? Is this even something I can measure?

I can't think of one thing in my life that's perfect. And yet it's a standard I often find myself applying to life. Whatever your circumstances we have all had to decide "is this perfect enough?"

But what about me? Am I perfect enough? Am I acceptable enough?

Maybe waiting for perfect means never having to put yourself out there. Never having to get into the ocean. Why bother even putting on a swim suit?

This world is flawed. We do what we shouldn't do instead of what we should do (Romans 7:15). We expect perfect when it doesn't exist. When our standards are high, no one, not even our own selves, will ever measure up. We want things our way and we want them now. We tell ourselves and our God how things should be. We demand it! And when we don't get it or it doesn't look the way we want it to, we complain or are dissatisfied.

If we constantly look to the horizon, waiting for something better, we are going to miss out on what's right in front of us. If we strive to control our lives, seeking to fill it with only "perfect" things, we will always be disappointed.

May our desires be focused on loving who and appreciating what we have.

May we take the risk to accept the broken and imperfect however it comes, even within ourselves, even if it isn't what or how we wanted it (Psalm 147:3, 2 Corinthians 12:8-10).

There is this moment, with board in hand, where you wait and watch. And as the first of the curling waves approaches you decide…to take what's been given to you and ride it as long and as far as it will take you.

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