Broken – FMF

Gathering together with other bloggers today for the FMF linkup. Lisa-jo shares a one word prompt and we each write from our hearts for five minuted unedited.

Todays word: Broken


Honestly when I heard the word for today was ‘Broken’, I thought to myself…seriously?!? Because last week’s look at the idea of belonging didn’t bring up enough in my life that I had to begin to think about dealing with. Lets go deeper with broken.

The other day I was reading a blog about a girl who finds herself working in India at the moment. There was a picture she posted of a wall with great shards of glass sticking out of them, and I know from hearing stories from missionaries and others that this is a precautionary measure taken to keep people out of your property. But there was something about that wall. All those jagged pieces sticking up that just caught my eye and I felt like it resonated. Because there have been times, even perhaps today, in which i felt that deep inside my heart resembled that wall. Not trying to keep people out (or perhaps it is) but definitely the shards are many and they are strewn haphazardly throughout my life’s experiences and this journey.

and while a person who has brokenness within them wants nothing more than to be put back together again, they realize that one..they don’t remember what wholeness even looked like and two they won’t fit back together quite the same way that they did before. And both of those things are a little frightening. Because whose to say that with those pieces not fitting quite as snuggly as they did as they made up the whole, that there hasn’t been significant compromise and that the next shattering will end up with pieces that are even more difficult to put back together. And sometimes it seems almost ‘easier’ to just leave everything in pieces, still hurting, wounded and growing bitter…but seemingly easier to manage in its broken form.

Five Minute Friday

Do I trust?

This past April I attended a retreat called Jumping Tandem in Nebraska. It meant getting my passport re’newed, travelling to a state to which I was unfamiliar and saving money like I had never done before. Thankfully my parents blessed me by paying for the conference for my birthday and Christmas. I was responsible for airfare and other expenses. God provided just what I needed when I needed it.

Since being on this journey to discover my God sized dream I heard about a conference that CCEF was having in Texas and I knew in my heart this would further flesh out my dream. However I haven’t registered yet and its in October. While saving again and working hard I began to see my savings for the trip grow. However, in the midst of this my car needed work done to keep it safe to the tune of 2,000 dollers.

I need to step back and tell a story here…because its a clear vision of God’s providence. I had three years of back taxes I had to file. I had been considering a group called Liberty tax that had good prices for finling returns. A week into considering this on a day off from wotk I got a cold call from a salesperson from Liberty who offered me 50% my return. When I told her I had others said this price would apply to the others. I brought in my taxes and I had a wonderful accountant help me. He also let me know that he could file for the years when I wasn’t working, because there was an 100 return for those who just filed. He would offer all the returns at the 50% off price, which was a blessing. I thought that the checks would come in the mail right away, and so checked every day for a couple weeks. Then I remembered the government has to process them, so I figured I should just wait.

The first check came in a month later. I cashed it and put it in a jar for saving for the conference. The next check was a big one, but was the return from when I was at school so that went into the account that I have steadily been paying my parents back with. As the car repairs starting becoming more apparent, I received two checks in the mail. When I got my first assessment of my car the guy was quoting me about 4,000. I definitely couldn’t afford that. My dad suggested I get a second opinion and that one was around 2,000. With what I had received in the two checks I had about 65% of the cost. I spoke to my parents about borrowing the rest and paying them back out of every paycheck. After making the appointment to take the car in, another check arrived on my door step which meant that I only had to pay back about 20% of the cost to them because I had almost enough money. God provided and I stepped forward without that being the case.

So all that to say that without those expenses I would be well on my way to affording the conference, airfare and accommodation without any problem. But I’m plugging away here, working more hours, saving what I make (Except for needed expenses) and I see the number growing but its a big one. And I wonder, do I trust Him this time…to take care of this. To help me to get there if this is where He wants me…? Or do I think that I’m all alone in this, trying to figure out where I can scrimp and save and try to provide for myself. I know that there is a point of stepping forward in faith, and then trusting. I also know how prone I am to trying to do things on my own.

So I’m working through this…trusting that I need to step forward and make some decisions and trust that If this is to be…he will make it come to be, and provide for me when least expected, whether it be monetary or peace giving.

Belong – FMF

writing with friends at Lisa-Jo‘s for the Five Minute Friday link-up. Every Friday a new word prompt is revealed and we each write for five minutes without editing on a certain subject. Remember to comment on those linked up before and after you…and have fun. I always find it interesting to see what others come up with from their own journeys

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This word opens up a soul gash in me that bleeds deep. Perhaps its my lack of sleep…perhaps it the deep ache in my heart. As soon a I read the word my heart beat hard and I could feel this bile rising up in my throat. Oh how my heart longs to belong, to be able to say ‘these are my people’, and to know that I’ve found community. As one who has felt like an outsider most of my life this word resonates with me to the core. I gasp to feel just one precious moment of this. To come to a place where my soul finds rest and a home. And while I long here on this mortal earth for some semblance of connection, I struggle to see past the sins that pile up past my eyes…and realize that in Him I have been set free…it is only in gazing at the depravity of those sins and not at His gracious and merciful self that I find myself still struggling. Because ultimately all is fleeting and there is just one place to truly belong.

Five Minute Friday

carrying the burden

The ebb and flow of words
melts between us
two humbled souls
seeking truth
through written word
and pondered thoughts

sometimes the load
becomes heavy upon our shoulders
seeking out answers
forming opinions
taking in the every present world
and yet there is a quiet we know
and we search for

His hands are open wide
ready for embrace
we can crawl into His lap
we can hear him whisper peace
letting us know
He holds us, he holds it all

there is peace to be found
in letting Him reveal truth
in bringing those moments
to our minds and pen scratches

letting our souls fill
with knowledge he has revealed
no longer a heavy burden
but a dream that has been shared
and given to us for the taking
the holding on
the breathing out

inspired by my dear friend Kelli  and our conversation of today, linking with Jennifer and Emily


‘The Single Woman’ circa 1970

Some unmarried girls go through life blaming their unhappiness on the fact that they have not found a suitable life’s mate. But in the majority of such cases, being married or unmarried s not the solution to their problem. It is much deeper than that. So often it is a basic personality difficult which must be faced and solved. then, they will realize that happiness does not depend upon marriage. But rather, happiness depends upon accepting one’s self, and having the right relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. With the single woman, spiritual development is of the utmost importance because it will determine her attitude toward life. It will make the difference between one who is continually indulging in self-pity, and one who is a charming person – one who is a blessing to all mankind.

– pamphlet ‘The Single Woman’ by Clyde M. Narramore; published by Psychology for Living in 1970

As a single Christian woman this is something that I am coming to understand. Whether I have a relationship or am married does not define me. I am not less significant because I’m single. There are so many ways that the Lord can use me. There is happiness is married life and in the single life. That does not necessarily lessen those who are single’s desire for marriage, but it might change their outlook on who the Lord is making them at this particular single time in their life. I found it interesting that while this was written 40 years ago, it wasn’t as horrible as I thought it might be.

FMF: Present

As we sat on the driveway blowing bubbles and creating with chalk…a fly came to visit. Now this was no ordinary fly, because he just kept sitting on the pavement when she approached him. Though he skittered away, there was no flying away, just running. So she would stoop to snatch him, and hold him in her hands, and as he scurried up her arm she’d giggle ‘that tickles’ and try to transfer him to my hands. As he would wander quiet furtively on my arm she’d exclaim ‘oh he likes you’ and then work on getting him back into her cupped hands.

Over and over this scene continued for abut 15 minutes. She would throw herself wildly across the pavement to make sure he didn’t escape, cup him with glee, say ‘Come here friend’ and then giggle in delight and exclaim time and again ‘he likes me!’ as the fly continued to jump to get away.

And I sat there for those moments thinking about this interaction and how as an adult a fly is a pest. and while i’m not sure I would have spent much time with a fly that couldn’t her young heart and wandering eye it was a new play-thing with which to interact. And I wonder if it has to do with being closer to the ground, or having a mind that is open to all kinds of new things…but I wonder about how children seem to be present, more often than not, to things that I’d walk by in an instant and without their exclamation of wonder and joy not be privy to seeing or enjoying.

Sometimes, I wish for the innocence of youth again. To see life through those young, unspoiled eyes that seem to see everything as if for the first time, with eyes open wide to possibilities and questions and stories pouring like rain from their minds and mouths.

When did I learn to close my eyes and stop up my mouth? May my heart be reborn in the seeing of small moments and in the asking of questions…in the investigation and interaction with life.

Five Minute Friday


Maze Texture by Patrick Hoesly from Flickr

I’m less and less interested in running circles around ideas and movements. I want to know Jesus & be known by Him. – Lore Ferguson

Our summer series at church is called ‘Uncommon’ and each week we examine a different part of Scripture to see how God calls us to be uncommon in our walk with Him. Its only week two of the series, but so far I”m really love it (as I usually do at our church.)

There are some weeks that I feel are particularly directed at my heart, and this was one of them. I am a thinker, and as such sometimes mull over things for quite some time. And when I can’t come to a conclusion or develop an answer it starts to get to me. I feel that I must have a stance on a particular topic, or I must know what the Bible says about every time that particular word is mentioned in the Bible. And while there isn’t anything necessarily wrong with these things, when they come to be all you think about, there is a problem.

I had been reading the Bible in a Year, and brought it to work last week in the midst of all the turmoil in my mind. As I was reading through the different passages on my lunch break, this verse jumped out at me Loud and Clear:

The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living. Psalm 19:8 (NLT)

And the last part of that verse hit me, his commands are CLEAR and they give insight on how we are to live. All the questions I’d been having, all the things I thought I had to figure out…I was making them into something more important that seeking God’s face and what He has said about those things. And all of this confusion, it wasn’t of Him…it was a result of me trying to once again figure things out for myself.

On Sunday we were looking at 2 Chronicles 33-34 regarding the story of King Josiah. We started off looking at the family situation he came from. Josiah could have made all the excuses in the world about the spiritual depravity of his nation. His grandfather, who had been raised in a God fearing home under Hezekiah, had gone out and brought every god possible into the nation to be worshiped. Not only had be become more depraved that the pagan nations around Israel, he had taken these idols into the temple in Jerusalem. Manassah (Josiah’s grandfather) “did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” (2Ch 33:2).The Lord brought judgement against Manassah and he humbled himself before the Lord and “he knew the the Lord was God.” (2Ch 33:13)  While Chronicles states that he got rid of all the idols he had in the country, by the time his son Ammon is ruling, it seems they have been returned to the high placed and this debauchery continued until Josiah became king at a very young age.

Though it was not part of Josiah’s upbringing, He “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD…and began to seek the God of his father David” (2Ch 34:2-3). Josiah realized that spiritual corrosion had gripped his people and he knew that they needed to return to the Lord. His knowledge at that time was limited, but he did was he could to restore the sacred places. Later in 2 Ch 34: 14, 18 the ‘Book of the Lord ‘ is revealed in the ruins and when it is brought to King Josiah and read to Him, he wept and mourned the way in which he knew his people had been dishonoring the one true God. Our pastor said it was interesting to see that while they knew it was the Book of the Law, the truth had been so far removed from them that they did not know any of what was contained within it.

One of the first things our pastor challenged us with in looking at this particular passage is: what is corroding spiritually in your own life? What are you making excuses about, that instead you should be dealing with? Explaining things away is usually a sign that we don’t want to deal with something we know is heading us down the wrong path. He mentioned a list of things that could be the beginning or root of corrosion in our lives and for me I resonated with bitterness and putting intellectual pursuits above the pursuit of my relationship with God. Drifting away from truth usually starts with justification. The heart begins to harden and resent intrusion, most often seen through saying or thinking ‘back off’.

And then the question that resonated most with the struggles of the past several weeks was ‘What are the idols you have  created in your own life?’ and he read a list of possibilities and I began to see that I had begun to ponder all these things I saw as ‘big questions’ and had replaced them with seeking after the Lord and his desires for what I think on, as well as having peace that He has the answer and that He will share with my heart if that is what i’m to have an understanding of. I was deeply convicted that so many times I think I’ll just figure out things on my own, not ‘bother’ him with that particular issue because I have lots of resources, and then really despair when I become so overwhelmed. This was definitely a wake up call to get back to spending time daily and moment by moment with the Lord, coming to know HIM and his Word so deeply that I have peace in this ‘big things’ and know whether they are things I should engaged with or not.

and I am thankful for his grace. Because His grace is what changes our hearts, molds them and shapes them…into humble vessels to be used of him.

James 4:6 “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

Praise Him, who gives more grace…


roots by Bruce stockwell

Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. ~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

I found a copy of The Prophet at my local used bookstore and snatched it up because I knew that I had found several quotes from it previously that I was very excited. I read this one last week and really felt it resonate with me.

I have mentioned pruning before, although I think it might have been on my previous blog. How pruning takes off dead or excessive branches so that those that are most needed and have the greatest possibility of producing the greatest crop are given the full nutrients and water available. When people prune their trees they often have to use a paste to cover over the raw parts on the tree so that they can heal. If they don’t seal it off, the tree might become infected or not produce a better crop because its still trying to figure out what is happening on that particular branch. Pruning also helps shape the tree so that it is possible to get the most possible light needed for it to grow big and strong.

I am rooted, but I flow. ~ Virginia Woolf

And root systems have always fascinated me. Several times walking in the woods up north by the cottage, we would come across fallen trees whose root systems had been pulled up from the ground when they fell over. Some of these roots were taller than I was…and that was only a part of the system…a lot of it remained hidden underground. Shallow roots holding up a big tree don’t do a lot to keep it vertical. A large tree needs deep roots that intersect and go down deep, both to get nutrients and water but also for it to remain standing tall and healthy.

So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run ~ Henry David Thoreau

Being rooted is something we as human’s often talk about. Our ‘roots’ are where we came from, the family we are a part of, the region we grew up in. Planting ‘roots’ is getting settled in a new area, learning the lay of the land and the people. Roots sometimes reflect the values we have been brough up with and where we find those values in our life.

Those who believe in Jesus because their parents do and that is the way they have grown up, don’t always understand what it means to be IN relationship with Jesus as a choice that they have made for themselves. To not know that this often means surrender and sacrifice on our part, and unmerited grace and outstanding forgiveness on His part, is to find yourself with very shallow roots. Often those who do not have a grasp on what a relationship with Christ looks like, will find themselves blown this way and that with suggestions of the worldviews they encounter in life. This looks a lot like a tree that seems to be thriving above ground, but whose roots run just below the ground. They are strong enough to keep the tree upright as long as not too much in the way of natural forces comes its way…but send a mighty wind, or a torrential downpour and the stability of the tree is threatened.

Those who have come to know Christ as THEIR Lord and understand the depth of relationship with Him, have developed deep roots, growing down into the water source, into the nutrients not eaten up by other growth, and establishing a firm foundation for the trees growth skyward. They drink from the Word of the Lord, they are nourished on daily communion with Him, they delve deep into relationship with others who love the Lord and who desire to grow in their knowledge and Love of Him.

Col 2:6-7 “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

distorted vision


“The people of our religions are like a young man who looks out a window with cracked glass. Through that glass, all is distorted and fragmented. He looks at his neighbor and sees a monstrous enemy. He looks at a stranger and sees a monstrous enemy. Even a familiar friend becomes a rival when seen through the cracked glass of that window of fear.”

McLaren, Brian D.. The Girl with the Dove Tattoo (Kindle Locations 153-154). Creative Trust Digital. Kindle Edition

‘a friend becomes a rival when seen through the cracked glass of that window of fear’…oh yes.

Concrete Words – Tainted

It seems the stench can no longer be contained. The smell permeates skin, filling blood with putrid fumes. Itching raises up rash upon my arms, turning my body raw. Fingers and lips turning blue with the lack of oxygen as the poison begins to work.

The chemical stain that fills up the edges of this space speaks of a rules broken, of a subterfuge plainly hidden. Rising to the surface, blood red mirages before our eyes and clouds out the sun. The truth lies evident and yet all it takes is a head turn to pretend like its all just a dream.

If you cast your eyes into the distance, all seems well. The blue that reflects skies vastness, can lull you into false safety. Looking toward the horizon, eyes straining for a sliver of hope, its almost more than you can take to face reality. If you train your mind for just a moment, those gasping breathes you take, just might be full of that sunlit air you know lies just over this filth.

There, at your feet, with your head cast down…lay the dark stains. The telling marks streak the disfigured sand, painting a picture of eroding health. Rust and toxic fluid begin their slow caress that threatens death in its wake. And your feet, stone-cold stand immobile, unable to dash from the precipice that is inching closer. The horror has finally hit you. You sense the final doom is far off and yet nearer than you’d prefer it…and if only you could get to the other side, find a way out, a way around…you KNOW that the air would be softer, sweeter, safer…

And isn’t that the way. That so often we immerse ourselves in things that seem so important, so life giving, so inspiring…to find they are a mirage of empty ideals and false promises. And the surface begins to stain with the ugliness covered over by a seemingly perfect facade. We see that there is a way for this movement, these words, that song, this art…to make a difference, to be life-giving…but not in this place, not at this time, not in this breathe. So many continue on, even though the breathes continue shallower, the dream is dying, the heart is breaking, and they feel that they are left in this hole…the sludge inches closer to suffocating their hope…and they feel trapped.

what will it take to break these stone cold feet from their paralyzing fear. To open this heart to fire again…running away, around, toward the other side…where the air is really as fresh and life giving as you imagined, the water really that blue as it reflects the truth and grace longed for…and the the blood begins to pump again with oxygen rich blood, as the poison of many years begins to slowly seep out…and drain away. Heading towards the edge of sanded shores, washing up by someone else’s feet…giving them warning.