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.
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.
Image: Unsplash – Bud Hellison
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.
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.
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
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
Joining up with my Five Minute Friday friends where we write for 5 minutes on a one word prompt and then see what others are inspired to write.
I woke up this morning to see that these words had been written during our #fmfparty Twitter party last night:
“You belong here. Your words matter. Pull up a chair and stay at the table” (thanks to @mlsgregg)
This is an idea that resonates with me.
I am not fond of crowds. If I happen to be in a large group of people I will usually gravitate to one or two people and linger with them for the remainder of the time.
Crowds make me feel lost, alone, overwhelmed. I look for someone to spend time with because I need a mooring. I also much prefer one on one interaction.
The idea of being invited to the table resonates with me because it makes me feel seen, loved, known. In the midst of what swirls about this gathering at the table is a safe place.
My friends at the Five Minute Friday writing community are so good at making this a reality. In this community it seems the table is endless and the chairs are many. Sometimes this excess might seem to overwhelm, but its a comfort. Because all are welcome.
In highschool many young peopke would get together after evening service to hang out for a bit. I was often on the perifery because I didnt know where I belonged. One night a friend said to me “you don’t need an invitation, you are always invited” which didnt make me feel any better. I needed to be seen, known, asked. The crowd seemed so big, I didnt know my role, my acceptance, a level of comfort.
In the crowd there is always room at the table. There is a table in the midst of all the chaos. It might seem long and crowded but there IS a place for you. You are seen, known, heard and loved here.
Image: Unsplash – Daria Nepriakhina, edited in Canva
Joining with my dear friends at the Five Minute Friday community.
We write on a one word prompt for five minutes. Link up our posts and then read other’s takes on the same word. Its one of my favourite creative exercises.
He apologized for walking slower these days. He said “You could have gone so much faster without me.”
My response reasoned that in this particular instance there was no need for us to go faster. In fact, it would do us good to slow down and take in things every once in awhile.
I don’t know if I would have described our lives in previous years as rushed. I am sure that when I was growing up there were things we put on our parents plates that had themm rushing around. And I know that as I grew older and developed routines of my own, there were times when I found myself living rushed.
But these days life is lived at a slower pace out of necessity. And while it is a challenge, it is an opportunity for us to learn to see with different eyes and to realize life can be enjoyed even at a slower pace.