Thursday, April 13, 2017

Empty:Five Minute Friday

What a fun week it's been and it's already time to link up again!
That's right. We're linking up with Kate Motaung for the Five Minute Friday prompt.
This week the word is "Empty".


Last week's prompt was "enough". I centered around the thought that we are lacking something and aren't enough to fill it.
That ties in so well to the "empty" thought.

But you know? God doesn't have room to fill jars of clay with His presence when they're too full of themselves for Him. :)
Sometimes it is the breaking, the cracking of our clay pots that allows the self to drain out and the empty that is so uncomfortable begins to make way for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to sit in the throne.

Oh self, why do you constantly creep back up to that throne and try to sit on it? You're really not the right size or shape to sit on the throne, but you keep trying and my Jesus is a gentleman. He could squish you easily, but He won't. He'll patiently wait for you to move out of His way.

I wish I could teach you to stay in your place. Seated at His right hand, you're in His favor, allowing Him to lead, to rule, and to reign.

Oh but the hope we have, that nobody else has!! When they feel empty, there is nothing to take it away. All substitutes leave them longing for something that is out of reach.

I'm linking a YouTube video of a song that I composed this Wednesday at school with our youngest kids at chapel.
At school I was strumming a guitar and telling them the Easter story (without revealing that I was telling them that specific story), and then the song just came bubbling out. They began to sing it with me, so we sang it a few times.
The lyrics are simple. So is the melody, and well, so are the chords. You could easily be a musician with this one!! G, C, D, G, E, C, D, G. Yep. That's it. Feel free to raise or lower the key.

I hope you'll recognize that the empty place is a gift and an invitation for fresh, living water. We can become filled with stale water and if we don't get it out, it doesn't benefit us OR the others around us. We need those mercies renewed every morning!! :)

Blessings on you this Resurrection Weekend!!

P.S. Please tell me your linkup # or your url in the comments so I can find you! :)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Enough: Five Minute Friday

Our weekly linkup is never a disappointment. For more fun than you can possibly handle, and to meet the most amazing community of deep and caring writers, join us at Kate's linkup every week for a five minute free-write with no edits on a one word prompt.

This week's word prompt?

I'm experiencing a deja vu. I am certain that this was already the prompt recently, but I have looked and it's just not so.
What can this mean, other than I have been mediating on this very word and it's finally time to write my thoughts.

This has been a struggle for most of my life. The world tells us that we are not complete. That we lack something. That we are not enough.

It's clever, really. Because it is the truth to say that we are not complete. But the world offers us multiple ways to feel complete that do not satisfy that hole that only Jesus can fill.

The truth is, that our best is good enough for Him. He wants all we have to offer and THAT is enough.

Our strivings and righteous deeds don't add to our salvation, nor do our mistakes and sins take away from it. It is finished.

I must admit as I think about Easter coming up in one week, that I have spent most of my life trying to be good enough for God to love me. To be worthy of Jesus' sacrifice. It's exhausted me at times when I am in a puddle of tears looking at my failures.

I'm so hard on myself because how can a Holy God love such wretched beings as us?

And yet, the Bible promises us that "as far as the East is from the West, so far has he taken our sin from us." And "while we were yet sinners, Christ Jesus died for us." (Romans 5:8)

(Psalm 103:11-13, "For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;)

Is God's love enough for you? Will you believe that He has redeemed you?
Will you allow His redemption and grace to cover you so that you are no longer feeling guilty and ashamed, but you will rejoice in His promise to make His mercies new every morning??


(p.s. please leave me your linkup number or URL in the comments so I can find your post and return the blessing!)


Friday, March 17, 2017

Friend: Five Minute Friday

It's fun that this week's prompt is "friend", because instead of FMF standing for "Five Minute Friday", it could just as easily be "Friend Making Friday".
The regular contributors that comment on your post after reading it can become your friends as you pour out your hearts in such a short time. You realize so many "me too" moments, that you feel accepted and surrounded in love and understanding!

And what better reason to meet with some of these friends in real life this summer? Sign up for the retreat! :)

Okay. Prompt is "friend". Go!

"A friend is a friend to the very end."

I memorized that statement in the third grade to help me remember my spelling choice that the "I" truly did belong before the "E". :) Fri-end.

How difficult it was for me, however, to make friends. I felt that I was always friendly, even though I was shy and self-aware. I constantly tried to follow patterns and rules to make sense of the world.
It worked so well for me in Mathematics and English, that I couldn't understand why it began to change in about the 5th grade. I hadn't changed and the boys in my class were still the same, but the girls were different.
All of a sudden, there was a sense of being left out. I see this tying into last week's post on "Abandon" already!
I had a steady friend, though. Her name was Susanna. Suzy for short.
I always remembered her phone number and birthday.
From 3-8th grades, we were friends. I was just another brown-eyed, brown-haired girl in her house (all her siblings matched me save one). She was 3rd in line with two older brothers, a sister just after, and then four more brothers.
My 5th Grade birthday Party. Suzy is on the Far left with glasses. I am on the far right with glasses and pink pants.

Suzy was steadfast. She didn't have highs and lows like so many of the others. She was a thermostat instead of a thermometer. I'm a bit more reactive, myself.

When I contacted her in college, she was home for Christmas and invited me out for the summer. I ended up meeting my husband and a year later, was graduated and married and living in the same town.
She got married three months before me and helped plan my wedding along with hers. We shared many of the decorations and were bridesmaids in each others' weddings. She was my matron of honor!
Suzy's wedding was in June. Note the beautiful periwinkle bridesmaid's dresses? She found 6 for $120 online, and I bought three of them and she bought the other three. We shared many decorations for my September wedding.

My wedding day and Suzy (in the matching bridesmaid dress) as my matron of honor! :)

Two years after I had my youngest daughter, she had her first. My youngest's middle name is Susanna in honor of this dear woman.
She's meek, gentle, humble, and a very hard worker! She made her own business and transferred slowly from employed to self-employed.
Me trying to get Naomi Susanna (my third daughter) out of my belly on Susanna's horse. :) Two years later, Suzy had her own daughter!

God sometimes gifts us with friends that we don't get to spend time with often, but when we do spend time, we pick up right where we left off. Suzy is one of those friends. One of my greatest joys was surprising her on her 30th birthday with a group party at Applebee's. She thought it would just be the two of us. :) Holding her daughter at the hospital was another. I felt like an aunt!

I hope and pray that my daughters will have a steady friend like Suzy. We met in 1989 and I am so blessed that almost 30 years later, we have ended up in the same town and our daughters know each other!