#FMF – Confident

writing with the lovely people over at Five Minute Friday as we write on one word and then link up and see what has inspired others.

Confident (adj) having strong belief or full assurance; sure.sure of oneself; having no uncertainty about one’s own abilities, correctness, successful, etc.; self-confident;  bold. excessively bold;  presumptuous. (www.dictionary.com)

Confident is not a word that I would use to describe myself.

Dictionary.com provides ‘diffident’ as an antonym of ‘confident’. The synonyms for diffident are ‘ self-conscious, self-effacing,  abashed,  embarrassed,  modest, unassuming, un-confident.’

These words are more what I would associate with myself. But what I think of myself and what others think of me are often at odds with one another. I believe this is not only the case with me, but with many others.

I have said in the past that I enjoy going places where people don’t really ‘know’ me, because then I don’t have to live up to any preset expectation.

I don’t mind being the only one going to something, because generally it doesn’t take me long to end up chatting with someone. For some reason I have always felt compelled to talk to the people around me. I don’t think it is odd, until I realize it isn’t what I’ve seen others do a lot of the time.

This may give the impression that I’m confident but the talking seems to be something that I do unconsciously. Perhaps its because I feel awkward in a situation but more often then not I just speak what’s in my head or say a friendly greeting.

When there are big groups of people, I stay to the edge of the crowd. I often keep my head down. And tend to hang out with one or two people. I am not fond of moving around and hanging with other people, except for when I see that there are those who are sitting alone or don’t seem to know anyone. I know what its like to be on the outside. For so many of my growing up years that was me.

I don’t know if confidence is something that shows up on my radar as something that I should be. I know that sometimes I feel like I want to make myself small, almost invisible in the midst of a group. I don’t know what or where that stems from. Its probably based on some deep insecurity…not probably, it is.

I think it would take alot of heart, mind and soul work to become confident. I don’t know if it will ever be a word that is used to describe me.

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#FMF – Convenient

Joining up with friends over at the Five Minute Friday community to write 5 minutes on one subject. It’s always so much fun reading what others share about the same prompt.

““Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction.”

2 Timothy‬ ‭4:2‬ ‭NET‬‬

I have always struggled with sharing my faith. Perhaps I have felt that I don’t have the right words, or I didn’t want to offend the person who I am speaking with.

I avoid conflict like my life depends on it. It is one of my biggest weaknesses and at times it feels debilitating. It keeps me from speaking up when I should and feeling frustrated when it was clear I should have opened my mouth.

Sometimes it feels like there are way too many mouths open these days shouting to be heard and to put forth their beliefs. Perhaps my complacency comes from not wanting to add to the noise. But in the midst of lies, darkness and despair, speaking truth and hope, wether quietly or at the top of your voice doesn’t necessarily strike me as a bad thing.

In the traditional words that accompany this verse it says “in and out of season”…which really just means every moment of your day.

Sometimes it’s not convenient. But sharing truth when it is convenient doesn’t require a lot of faith or reliance on the Lord to give you the words.

End

Image: Unsplash – Valentin Salja

#FMF – Better

Joining up with those wonderful writers over at Five Minute Friday for a one word prompt which we each examine for five minutes. A good way to get the mind whirring and heart pumping.

Start

Better usually means more.

More appropriate. More useful. More suitable.

It’s a term of comparison.

When striving to BE better or find something better, the comparison lays just under the surface. Perhaps it’s something we aren’t conscious of, but it’s there.

There is a heaviness to comparison. It leaves you with not enough, until you find what is better.

But experience tells me that finding what is better is never enough.

WhenI was younger (early grade school) I would dream of being a teenager. In high school I looked to young adult years. In University to being an adult with a degree and going forth in the world.

Each seemed better to me in the stage of life that I was in. But reaching that longed for age or stage revealed that there was always something better to be longed for.

Better is often not the companion of contentment. But maybe we need to refocus from comparison to contentment.

Being content with where we are, who we are, what we have – that is pretty counter cultural. I’m not saying these things can’t change, that learning and growing aren’t part of the equation.

But if we moved from always seeking better,to finding contentment with the better we are in the midst of..there may just be redemption of the word.

End

Image: Unsplash – Bud Hellison

#FMF – Deep

This is a tribute to two friends who have gone through hard stuff the past two years. They are not alone, but when I think of their stories, they both come up in my mind.

Both have been broken open deeply in ways that they had never imagined might be possible. One by a husband’s illness and the subsequent falling away of all that they had known, and one with a daughter’s illness that brought them near death several times, and where darkness and anxiety sat like weights in their family day and night without a diagnosis.

There is a depth to heartbreak that can only be understood by those who may have experienced something that may have been similar. And yet each story is different. Both still clung to faith, but sometimes all that they could see was a flicker of truth just beyond them (or so it seemed). 

There journeys are not over. There is no happy ribbon to put on their stories, because they have been forever changed and their lives shaped by these happenings in their lives. While the daughter did receive a diagnosis, some of her discomfort and pain was never quite explained. The what if continues to linger. And in the other lives, the illness remains, but it has become the new normal. There is rebuilding. But with the stripping away of what once was, there is a renewing of vision. She says its painful, but she sees moment by moment that ways in which she is being molded and shaped. And how her family is being redeemed through this fire.

in the midst of deep pain,. there is hope. mercy. faith.

and though it might seem like just a glimmer or maybe a single spark…it is there.

even in the deep.

 

 

so many things

my heart it heavy today. 

there are so many things that simply overwhelm me and my heart just breaks.

local news things.

a young man killed in a head on collision this week. A four year old girl passes out on the playground at school and dies after being rushed to the hospital. a young man with cerebral palsy being degraded in humiliating ways…laying face first in a stream so that a girl may walk on his back without dirtying her shoes. 

and then heart aches of friends and family

health struggles. mental health issues. physical pain. heartbreak. loneliness.

and it can all seem so overwhelming sometimes. 

the instant loss of the car accident. life changed in a mere instant. i can’t imagine the truck driver who was on the other side of the incident. how his life will be forever changed as well. for the family whose lives have a hole in them as a result of the loss of him.

For the family of the little girl, who may question health issues unknown. for those who ran to help her in her time of need. for the children on the playground. for the kids who are still too young to really fathom what a loss like this means. for the teachers who are responsible for so many young lives and minds each day, and while these moments are few, they are heartbreaking none the less. 

my blood boils. the reason we know this incident occurred is because people stood around with their phones taping the incident…NOT ONE moved to help. NOT ONE seemed to say this is wrong, lets stop this. I am horrified. I want to ask what were you thinking? but they probably can’t remember now or they weren’t or they don’t think its that big a deal. I just wish in some small part that they could feel this degrading and humiliation themselves, each of them. 

and I just don’t have the mental state to process this. Every evening my parents turn on the news so that they can be aware of what is happening locally and its all I can do to sit through the newscast. I sometimes sit in the kitchen but I can still hear everything from there. For a sensitive person, all this heavy input can be incredibly debilitating. My coping strategies aren’t the best, but they work. Or maybe they are just running away and not coping. Sleep is my friend. I am often more tired than others, and perhaps that is because i literally need more sleep then others or perhaps its because my body is so tired all the time from this input. 

These are the things that swirl throughout my mind during the day. Bit and pieces of things i’ve heard and read and ponder about. 

#FMF – Share

We were gathered in a circle. Unsure of what to do or say next.
Her body shook with silent sobs…we reached out our hands to her shoulder but sat in silence. We were lost. We hadn’t encountered this before.

Perhaps even a hand on the shoulder was presumptious since we hardly knew one another.
She lifted her shaking hands and softly spoke. Words of anguish poured out. She spoke bluntly and without censor. She laid ger heart bare.

We knew the words were not for us. They stretched beyond and amongst us, to the One both above and in our midst.

She shared the depths of her heart. The truth of her feelings. She knew it would not be too much for him. This rough and raw offering.

We with our tidy words and formulaic prayers have much to learn. He seeks our hearts, He seeks US. Are we brave enough, do we trust enough to share ourselves. Even after we realize we are already known deeper than we could ever imagine.

Image: Unsplash – Nathan Dumlao

#FMF – Complete

#FMF – COMPLETE
I am really bad at completing books. One reason may be the number of books that I have on the go at one time.
I was always so adament that I would not go digital and instead would read only hardcopies of books.
But then I discovered low priced books on Kindle AND that I can download sample chapters which is kind of like adding to my TBR pile (which on Goodreads is over 1,000 but thats a story for another day.)
It is not that I don’t like finishing books, I do. It brings a sense of completion. However, there have been some books that were just so good that I made myself go slowly or put them aside because I did not want them to end.
I read a tremendous amount of non-fiction, with memoir like bents to what is being shared. And I am fond of a good book to interact with. I read a book by Chomsky once and had questions & statements written all over the pages, words circled, phrases highlighted, like having a conversation on the page.
I am trying to go back and read through books that I have begun and then been distracted from. It does my heart good to add a completed book to my Read in 2018 list.

Image: Unsplash – Priscilla de Preez, edited with Canva