Friday, August 30, 2013

Worship (a five minute friday)

My Five Minute Friday on: Worship

There is a place in the valley of Pennsylvania mountains where people stand and sing amongst the trees and raise, not just arms, but themselves.

A place where songs ride on the breeze and words penetrate.

Where man and creation bow down together.

To add myself to the overflow of beauty and thanks. Powerful.

There is another place, where water comes to the end of itself and sand takes over. Where the sky and the sun paint worship on its surface.

And I stand in awe of it. Breathtaking — God doesn't need an Instagram filter.

In its many forms it may also look —

like a heart overwhelmed, by what isn't deserved — grace.

And a bursting forth of thanks for a faithful, loving God. That He chose me and cherishes, even when I struggle with fears and doubt.

It's when my daughter dances free and innocent singing about "seeing for the first time" and I long to let go of myself like that and just…


Linking today with Lisa-Jo…
Five Minute Friday

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summer's Bittersweet End

I hear the rain pitter-pattering against the awning above the kitchen door. The calendar reads August, but the boxes are nearly all X'd off. September is anxiously waiting in the wings to usher summer out, like the changing of the guard. The kids' backpacks are filled with supplies and our spirits are overcome with this bittersweet dance.

Summer was fun and full, restful and reflective. I hate for it to end, but it's time.

Time for schedules, homework, and activities. Time for carpooling and alarm clocks and school lunches.

I have one ready to go — excited to start and meet new friends. And I have one tentative — wishing summer would never end.

Summer is where I dust off my 24/7 Momma hat and resume my role as full-time caretaker, referee, maid, and "fearless" leader. Summer becomes about my kids — keeping them busy and entertained without their minds going to mush (thanks to the never-ending supply of library books).

I sift through the bittersweet, where "I'm ready, but I'm not" collide. I revisit summer in my mind. Amidst the sand and the sea breezes and the quiet home days and the adventures with friends I also found…me. And I don't care if it sounds cliche'.

I started reading about boundaries and how I don't set them. And I had to learn why. I read about how setting limits can actually be quite freeing, which seemed like a contradiction to me. But freedom tastes like the confidence to say no. It smells like the sweet scent of being responsible to and not for others (Boundaries, Cloud & Townsend).

With each fence, freedom. Learning to release the things I am not meant to hold onto.

A summer of releasing.

And I suppose it all culminates in back to school. Letting go…again. Trusting their love banks are filled up enough to stand firm, with courage, to make good choices, to be kind, and face the fears and uncertainties of another school year.

The bittersweet surfaces again. But the change is coming whether I like it or not and I'm excited for what's ahead.

Sweet release.

Joining the Soli Deo Gloria link party.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Accepting Yourself (a five minute friday)

My Five Minute Friday on: Lonely

"Do you consider yourself?" she asked.

I stared back at her.

"During the day, how often do you consider yourself?" I guess she thought adding a few more words would help me.

I racked my summer-fried brain. What did that even mean?

I keep myself pretty busy. Even when the kids are in school, my days are filled. I have work to do. But then she asked me this question and I felt sort of embarrassed for myself. I didn't really ever stop and ask myself how I was doing. Was I supposed to?

The more I thought about it the more I wondered were my efforts to stay so busy subconsciously my way to keep it away?

Being alone is not the scary thing. It's lonely I'm afraid of.

Lonely is on the prowl. It hides behind doors and waits until you've dropped the kids off to school. It sits by a phone the never rings and an inbox filled with spam. It whispers lies into your ears that your imagination picks up and weaves stories with. Stories about how alone you are and how you aren't valuable and how you've been overlooked.

See, if I was okay with me then I wouldn't mind the prowler. I could tell it to get lost — "I'm enjoying this time with myself". If I truly knew my worth, then the lies would have no power. I would not need other people to affirm me. I wouldn't need responsibility and activities so I can feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose.

Considering yourself is mostly about caring about you. Yes, it's stealing away time to read a book or to watch your favorite show or doing something for yourself. But it's also taking your internal temperature and actually caring about the answer. It's not rushing through lunch because there's no one there to share it with, but slowing down and just being in the moment with yourself.

Do you consider yourself? I haven't before, but I'm going to try.

Linking today with Lisa-Jo…
Five Minute Friday

Friday, August 2, 2013

A House by the Sea (a five minute friday)

My Five Minute Friday on: Story

It had been a long, arduous drive when our Australian GPS companion voiced the arrival to our final destination. Stately and white the House by the Sea sat on its grassy precipice. The smell of brakes and leaking anti-freeze replaced by salty sea air and a gentle breeze.

I approached the house, welcomed by a wrap-around porch and a wicker swing, but I could not take my eyes away from the view. It unfolded in front of me like a painting — the sky and the bay converging at a horizon I could see only because the hues of blue were slightly different. And an oak tree cradled a wooden swing. A picture my mind longed to remember.

I spent an incredible week on the bluffs, exploring tide pools and seaweed covered rocks, and digging my toes into rocky sand.

And I breathed it all in — the peace and the calming sound of surf rushing onto sand.

I close my eyes and I can still see the blue and the green and the moon rising and shimmering on water.

And I wish my cares would travel out with that tide. I would leave them in the cold, deep water to frolic with the whales and gray seals. And return to my life in the suburbs with only a suitcase full of dirty clothes and sandy towels.

This is my story.

Linking today with Lisa-Jo…
Five Minute Friday
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