#FMF – Begin

Begin (v) come into being or have its starting point at a certain time or place.

Gratitude often begins somewhere. You have to begin to look around and start to take in the things that are blessings. Sometimes they are things that are obvious and other times they may take a deeper look or perhaps some pondering time.

When I first read Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts I wanted to start counting all the things that were around me. But sometimes, I felt like I had the same things day by day to be grateful for. I wasn’t sure if my list would ever get to 1,000 things.

I don’t know how far I got, and I’ve done a list a couple of times, but somewhere around 100 or so, my attention span would wane and I’d stop counting. Perhaps my inward focus and attention on all the other things streaming around me were what preoccupied my mind.

Lately, I find that God is slipping in blessings in my life all the time. I just have to have the eyes to see, ears to hear, heart to be open. And I need to be able to name them for what they are, his good gifts to me, whether I see them as that or not.

In this past year, there have been a couple of little God winks that I’ve been aware of, situations or moments where something happens that’s clearly God saying I see you and I know your heart.

I hope to continue to count my blessings, to continue to begin again on the list, no matter how far I get and to not give up when I become distracted again, because I know myself and this is most likely the outcome.

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#FMF -Take

Joining up with the group over at Five Minute Friday where everyone takes the same one word prompt and let’s the words flow for five minutes. It’s such a grand writing practice and the community is wonderful as well.

Every morning I take several pills.

I take Iron because I’m anemic. I take birth control because I have endometriosis. And I take three little anti-depressant pills because I have Major Depressive Disorder and an Anxiety Disorder.

When I was in my teens I went through many angsty days of ups and downs emotionally. I often wrote poems to express myself. I cried and yelled, trying to work through the foreign soul that is the adolescent life.

I don’t remember if I was in my later years of high school or just into post secondary when I told my parents I think I needed to see a doctor because I was really struggling. I spoke with my family doctor and he prescribed a pill to try. It changed somethings but didn’t seem to be what I needed.

Thankfully I was able to speak with a psychologist and begin attempting to not only work through the deficiencies in what my brain was producing but also what some of the underlying thought patterns might be to help to combat some of my depressed thinking.

We have worked through different medication throughout the years and at the moment I believe I have been on this specific pills for 10 years. I am thankful for the way it helps regulate my body. There have been days that I have missed taking my pills and I can definitely feel life starting to get overwhelming without this working in my system.

I’ve heard of people hating the stigma associated with taking pills for this purpose. I am so sad that there is stigma. For me, it’s like taking insulin when you are a diabetic. I know that I can’t live in this manner (where I am now) without the pills I take every day. I am so thankful for them.

you will be free

what if the war you are fighting
is a figment of your imagination

what if this valley you find yourself in
was your own heart betraying you

what if, instead of gathering
the thoughts of others
in place of your own words
you began to speak

what if fear didn’t hold
you captive
what if you didn’t hold yourself
in captivity

your words are yours
no one else can say them
speak them
write them
paint them
dream them

they stay choked up inside
one behind the other
trying to stop
taking up space
wishing for invisibility

one day there will be a torrent
one day that flag of peace will fly
of surrender
of speaking
because one day

you’ll break those chains that bind
you’ll open your mouth
and the words will fly

and you will be free

june 12/2019

Where i’m at

I feel like a broken record saying the same thing over and over again.

I don’t know what to say or to write.

Everything seems to be locked up tight inside me.

I think that might be because rather than deal with things actually, i just face what comes and just carry on with the next thing.

the burdens are getting heavy. the cares are filling my heart.

and my mouth seems bound and gagged..for some reason even though i often use my fingers to type, the image of my mouth being stopped up continues to come to me.

#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.

#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