Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hide: Five Minute Friday

Today's five minute prompt is Hide. Here's the link to Kate's website.

I wanted to go two different ways with this prompt. "Nothing to Hide" vs "Hide and Seek".

We're going to play tonight.

My daughters are still young. They will be 6, 4, and 8 very soon. Their favorite game is "hide and seek". They love to turn off all the lights in our cozy 3 bedroom home and hide while the "it" person counts down with a flashlight in the kitchen.
864 feet leaves very few adult-sized hiding places, so my husband and I have to be pretty creative and try crawling while they walk by.

What is the appeal? What leads to the shrieks of delighted laughter when we're found?

We want to be found.

The metaphor is not lost on me.

In fact, our youngest will frequently giggle and intentionally make noises to ensure that she is discovered promptly.

Are we too, wanting somebody to seek us out? Do we pursue applause and recognition because we feel our value and worth is somehow invisible and hidden?

God sees us.
Psalm 139 would take more than five minutes to type out, but copy and paste is my friend tonight.

I'll begin in verse 7. I did think about "where can I hide from your presence?" (not the translation I found for the passage tonight though.)

7 "Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you."

If that's too much to read, I apologize. There is not a single word I could bear to leave out.
God has found you. Have you found Him?
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity." Jeremiah 29:13-14

You see? Hide and seek is not just a child's game, but the answer to our eternal freedom!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tomorrow: Five Minute Friday

This is becoming a weekly joy-to set a timer for five minutes and write on a one-word prompt. No edits, no proofreads, simply pouring out hope and encouragement that come from that one word.
Here's the link for Kate Motaung's website if you ever want to join in!


I like to look ahead. A lot. It seems that I have the tendency to miss out on today sometimes because of tomorrow.

But? Matthew 6:34 says "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

What I love about that passage is the verse before it. "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

Everything we need? Everything we are concerned about? Temporary. We have been through hundreds of tomorrows. (I just used the calculator and I'm over 12,000 days of tomorrows)
When we are concerned about what God can accomplish with our todays, however many we're given, then the lesser concerns of today will be less concerning.

Frequently He speaks of not worrying, about trusting, about letting Him be the one who holds us up.
And? If you are guilty of imperfect performance, you're with the right girl here! What is wonderful? Easter Sunday is still part of our tomorrows.

He told the thief "Today you will be with me in paradise." For the rest of us, it's "tomorrow". I don't know which of my tomorrows will be the one where I join Him in paradise, but I keep living as though it is tomorrow. That today counts. And where I fail in the middle? Grace.

Here's some joy from Mercy Me that is called "Greater". I can't stop singing the middle of it.

"There'll be days I lose the battle
Grace says that it doesn't matter
Cause the cross already won the war"

"I am learning to run freely
Understanding just how he sees me
And it makes me love him more and more"


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Relief: Five Minute Friday

It's our Five Minute Friday time again! Here's the linkup. If you are new and still are confused, here is a great page on Kate's site explaining all the joy of Five Minute Fridays.


A few different uses of the word went through my mind, but rather than overthink this, I'm just writing tonight.

My husband just returned from an overnight business trip. Normally, at the end of the day, he is my relief of duty. He takes care of bathtime with our three sweet children (who I'm running short on patience with as they yell in the 5x8 echoing bathroom with the fan etc) and tucks them in, reads a Bible story and prays with them.

Without a cell phone, he had no way to tell me when to expect him tonight, so I kept looking out the window as the half hours ticked by. One of my three was home with a light fever today and her little sister doesn't attend school normally Thursdays, so I had extra time with them and was looking forward to his return.

Would that I could place so much of my burden as well on Jesus!
That He gladly was my relief of duty.

The message of grace has been relieving me of so many burdens lately, that I want to be sure and share the music (lyric) video of "Greater" by Mercy Me.

Most impacting is this bridge:

"There'll be days I lose the battle
Grace says that it doesn't matter
Cause the cross already won the war
He's Greater
He's Greater

I am learning to run freely
Understanding just how he sees me
And it makes me love him more and more
He's Greater
He's Greater

Greater is the one living inside of me, than he who is living in the world."

I am relieved of perfection because Jesus was perfect and I can live my life trying to glorify Him and give praise to Him for sparing me the wrath and punishment I daily deserve.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Good: Five Minute Friday

Here's the link to Five Minute Friday. This week's prompt is "good".

At church this week, it was "Wednesday Night Small Group". Every Wednesday, my husband and I meet with some other couples and study the Bible together while our children participate in the youth activities downstairs.
As we were going upstairs, my mind was wandering on the phrase "up to no good". Our enemy is certainly up to no good. But, as I thought about it, I realized, "God is 'up to all good'."

The Mighty One of the Universe is always working things to His glory and His good. Regardless of the evil that abounds in our world, God is molding and shaping it with His hands for His outcome. If it needs to be avoided all together, He can spare people from death, pain, unpleasant things. However, if He can see good coming out of it, and He knows it will strengthen us, then He may allow it to come to pass.

We were studying 1 Peter 4:12 where He tells us to rejoice in suffering for Christ's sake. Matthew 5:10 speaks of blessings for those who are persecuted. Even when bad things happen, God is good. If I could simply trust that He is always good and that He is always at work to cause good, then I can trust myself in whatever situation and look up at Him instead of the temporary circumstances that are not good.

Romans 8:28 states, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

So, know that God is forever good and is currently working His goodness into and around every circumstance you are in.


To The Girl Whose Shoes Were Too Small...

To the girl whose shoes were too small...
I came back today.

You were not there.

You see, when I saw you the first time, I was pressed for time.
I almost didn't stop, but when I saw you, I saw your sign, and I wanted to help.

Your sign said "Lost". I don't remember what else it said, as I was in a hurry.
I couldn't even pull over close enough to hand you my money.

I rolled down my window, blocked the intersection at Walmart and called out that "if you'll run over here, I have money for you."
You shuffled and limped your way across the intersection, though there were some cars coming.

It was overcast and a little windy and later that day we had a miniature blizzard with some strong winds.
As you came over to my car, you were muttering about your shoes and the fact that they were too small. We were right next to the Payless Shoe Store.

Since then? I have not been able to stop thinking about you.
You have been on my mind for two straight days, but I was working as a substitute teacher. I couldn't come back that day, but I had time today. When I finished teaching, I went back, but you were not there.

I asked the other people standing where you had been if they knew where you were, but they had not seen you. They said they'd mention to you that I came back, if they saw you again.
Often, there are people there with signs, but I had to accept that I may have missed my chance to buy you shoes.

I had one chance to help you, and now it has passed.

It's difficult to explain how disappointed that makes me. I don't know you, not even your name.
I feel that I could have handled it all so much better if I would have just had more time. I may have given you money, but I feel like I didn't really help you.

I didn't even get to ask you what size shoes you wear, but I can remember your athletic sneakers. I think they were kind of a gray with pink accents. I don't know why you were wearing shoes that were too small, but I will not forget looking down at your feet.

This weekend, I will celebrate Easter with my family. I will rejoice in the fact that I have been found, though I too was "Lost". Will you be lost this Easter? Will you be warm enough? I don't know your story, but I am thinking about you.

I will share your story with others in the hope that they will not pass up a chance to help, if it is given to them.

And I will pray that you will be given shoes that fit. That you will know you are loved. That you will no longer be lost, or "Lost". That you will come to know the hope that keeps me warm when I'm surrounded by great tragedy and hopelessness.


Photo credit: (cropped)