FMF – Rest

Good evening and welcome to the Thursday evening where we link up at Kate’s place for the Five Minute Friday gathering. Five minutes of writing, without editing on one topic. All of us spreading our thoughts out on the page…and see what flies from our fingers.

prompt: Rest

I have been in a period of rest that is unexpected and found myself wasting away the time. I quit my job at Starbucks and moved to work at a smaller cafe. Its been quite a change and I”m still in transition. But the change is this…I gave two weeks notice and was given one week of work. Thankfully my new boss had tentatively scheduled me for a couple shifts this past week or else I would have had an entire week of unplanned vacation.

As a result I’ve worked a couple of half days but then had several other days off. Its been a bit disconcerting because the other times I’ve had such wide swathes of time available for myself, I had planned what I was going to do with my time. So i have puttered about and done very little that is helpful, but I have had some downtime which is necessary since the past several months have been hugely stressful in my life.

I wonder if all of this reflects that fact that perhaps I’ve forgotten what it is to truly rest. to find rest, to stay in that rest, to find renewal and restoration in that rest. One of the areas i find it hardest to rest in is in my mind. it seems to always be going a mile a minute and I have a hard time trying to relinquish what i think i have on my plate or the worry that consumes me and just rest in Him. I think that I’ve glanced at and perhaps experienced moments where I’ve known this rest, but they are few and far between.

rest is something that i long for. something that when i hear the word or read it in a sentence my mind and soul immediately jump up with a resounding ‘yes’ to experience. having it put into practice on the other hand is a much different experience.

Here is to finding ways to truly soul rest this year. to breathe Him in deeply and to have him calm my mind and my heart.

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five minute friday

 

#FMF – Whole

Joining up with Kate and the community of writers over at Five Minute Friday, where we write for five minutes on a specific topic and then see what others have divulged in their writing. No editing and the five minute limit often means my heart spills pretty vulnerably on the page. i’m thankful for this group. They have been there for me through many things in the past year, and I’m so blessed to be able to have met several of them in real life. Thankful for this community.

Topic: Whole

The words I’ve found myself associating with lately are words about brokenness, like ashes, wilderness, darkness becoming light, shattered, etc. And as I’ve pondered these words I’ve found it to be an interesting thing. I struggle with depression and have a diagnosed anxiety disorder. I also am a pessimist. So all of these together cause me to focus more on dark things i think than the lighter items. I’m broken in that sin has wreaked havoc in my life, because its human failing and falling are my lot as one who claims humanity as kin. and yet there is redemption. Redemption through truth found only in Christ.

I’m not sure that all those pieces, that all this darkness, will fully be restored until heaven. This world is a fallen place. I am a person who struggles daily with the sinful nature of my heart. Some days its something that I don’t acknowledge, perhaps i like to think that on a scale of one to ten i’m not that bad. but then i see myself for what I am…and i’m reminded. Fallenness bares many forms.

Yesterday, I searched Instagram looking for pictures with the hashtag ‘wilderness’. I have to admit, i had a pre-conceived notion that I would find starkness, barrenness, stark light and dark. and yet while there were a few of those, i had forgotten about the places that are wild, but are alive still. Like forests, glades, meadows, rain forests, etc. that there is a wildness to these places that is untouched by human hands, hence their wilderness, and yet there is life there. for some reason i’d always associated wilderness with barrenness, with very little hope or light.

and yet my mind was re-framed. a piece of my understanding was changed.

in some sense…my idea of wilderness, was reshaped, becoming closer to ‘whole’ in one area of my wandering.

End

five minute friday

#FMF – Alive

joining Kate and the community of writers who write under this umbrella of five minutes of free writing through a word and what is conjures up in your life in those moments, tumbling onto the page, shared with others and in turn you share your thoughts on what others have shared as well. I am so fond of this community.

prompt: Alive

When I think of alive I think of someone who is full of life, who just exudes energy. I suppose if you think about it in the logical sense its someone who actually has breathe in them, an organism of any kind that has what is necessary for its life function.

But these days I’m not feeling too alive. I know that i’m alive…actually, but I don’t feel like it. There are days when I forget that there is a mystery to my breathe, that each one is not a guarantee but a gift. And so i take it for granted.

I take each morning, each evening, all the day in between for granted. Each person I encounter, each spark of sunlight, sliver of rain shower or dark cloud heavy with snow is something that I just assume will always be apart of my life.

And i know that I live in a place where I’m lacking for very little, and yet somedays it seems that I can’t see that. I think its all internal. its the places that i’m worried about, the seemingly little things that if compared to the struggles that others have, seems not too big, and yet they consume me.

these are the things that keep me from feeling alive.

If you cut me open I doubt you’d find much blood, there are too many others things that are taking up space in my heart these days, poisons that seep deep and color my thoughts and actions. there is fear, there is anger, there is bitterness, selfishness, pride..and oh how they are quick to multiply, filling my heart til its almost bursting….and leaving little room for the life-breath to pump its hope and mercy and grace and all other forms of life giving moments into my breathe, my brain, my lungs, my mouth, my blood.

and so I am alive. but i don’t feel alive. there are moments. glimpses. there are times when for a second I think…I have longed for this. this is satiating. This true. real and I know that this will make me live…this will give me life. This truth…is what I need. what I need coursing through my veins and destroying all the other things that keep me for knowing that truth in my veins in the only way. in my mind. in my mouth. in my soul.

Only TRUTH gives life. then I will be alive.

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five minute friday

#fmf- quiet

joining up (later, better than never) with those wonderful writers who throw down five minutes of words upon the page prompted by a one word prompt. Let the inspiration begin!

prompt: quiet

I didn’t notice it at first. I was too busy taking in the treetops we were floating over, the rain that was gently falling and turning into snow as we got higher up the mountain.

and then it was like a sudden realization, a dawning if you will. it was quiet. it was like we were in another world.

my aunt and I were in a gondola climbing the side of a mountain in the Rockies of British Colombia. We had wanted to see the sights from the top of the mountain and unfortunately it was cloudy. But i figured we should have the adventure anyway, and we headed up.

I truly felt that the gondola was like a highway into another world. as we kept going up, we traversed several rocks faces until we could no longer see where we had come from. And the quiet…it was so beautiful. the trees stood tall covered in a beautiful coat of white. the flakes gently drifting through the air. and we drifted to..though helped by technology.

it was such a beautiful moment.

and then I realized that how much the general noise of the everyday is something that I take in all the time, and don’t realize how loud it is until i’m in a ‘isolation chamber’ of sorts and i find my soul and heart sighing as they find a bit of time for quiet.

END

five minute friday

#FMF – Present

Joining with the grand writers over at Kate’s place…who take time each week to sit with one word and then share their hearts in five unedited minutes about what it brings to mind. The stories and journey’s that are shared are part of why I love this gathering place. But the community is definitely why I continue to return. So thankful to have found these wonderful people.

Today’s Prompt: Present

It always interests me when a word has more than one meaning. Sometimes you write about something and you are so intent on the meaning that immediately pops into your head that you forget about the other ways it can be shared. But that’s what I love most about this community. That others’ think of those things, and in reading their reflections your mind is challenged and changed, because you get a small glimpse into other people’s lives and what they are willing to share with you.

I mulled over this word for awhile. I thought about receiving presents. I am more of a giver than a receiver. Don’t get me wrong. I like a gift as much as the next person, but the joy I receive in the giving far outweighs what I feel when I receive. I guess that its part of my love language…my giving love. Often i will be shopping and I’ll see something that reminds me of someone else, so I buy it. I”m not trying to buy their love, i just want them to know that they are thought of. And i’m terrible at buying gifts before events (ie birthdays and such) and keeping them until its time to give them. There have been numerous times when I’ve given things to my mom throughout the year cause I just couldn’t wait for a special time to give it to her (and lets be honest..I also have a wee problem with remembering where I have placed gifts for hiding, so I always think its beneficial to get it given right away!)

I also thought about being present. and what that looks like. I have a problem with my attention span. Sometimes when I’m talking with someone, I have a hard time not focusing on the things around me as well as some of what they are saying. I don’t think they are not important, I just have trouble limiting the input of the sensory intake around me and am trying to regulate it. Sometimes though this results in misunderstandings where I miss part of the conversation and ask for clarification and sometimes this can be upsetting to people who think that I’m indicating that what they had to say was less than helpful or interesting to me. I have been trying to work on this, but it is difficult for me. I rather appreciate having conversations one on one in a small, quiet space where there isn’t much to compete for my sensory upload.

I also thought about how we present ourselves, and how I present myself in particular. One thing that I’ve always wanted in my life is to be genuine. One thing that I can’t stand is fakeness in other people. However, I guess perhaps its only my view that things are fake, because who in reality is going to tell you they are being fake. perhaps you learn it through interaction with particular people. But i’m a people pleaser as well and someone who struggles with knowing and loving who i’ve been created to be…so presenting myself accurately has always been a struggle for me. I want people to like me, affirm me, know me…but there is a fear that what they see will turn them off. There are times when I struggle to discern who the ‘real me’ is…and i think that person is revealed when I am in a situation in which I am truly comfortable. When i’m with my immediate family. When i’m with some dear friends. When I’m by myself in nature. Those moments are where I find my shell dropping, the mask of who I think people want me to be or see me as.

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(eep, went a bit over five but seemed that I needed to get that all out)

just realized when saving this post that we wrote about “Present’ in 2013. Here is my post from then.

five minute friday

#FMF -What

this week Kate has done something unprecedented…she has allowed us to choose our own FMF word. But this has created all kinds of chaos…because what word should we choose? and how should we end our year of FMF writing? and how can I think of a word that I can think of only five minutes of things to write about?

But it seems that her prompting worked well…because there have been many who have signed up with their specific words and its intriguing this week to see what was brought to mind. Usually we’re all writing on the same thing…but this time it was up to use to figure it out…interesting what topic was brought to mind for each person.

I too am struggling with what to write about. There are many things that have popped up in my mind.

Around this time each year I remember the accident that claimed the lives of two young men with whom I had been in a school assembly (at a very small school) just that day. Christmas has become a somber event for me as a result. I am thankful for the gathering with family, for the traditions shared, for the reflection on Christ’s birth…but it will always have a bit of a cloud hanging over it.

I think of how this year has gone, much differently then I expected. The frustration of work with a manager who was very difficult to work with. The people who have come and gone from my place of employment. My traditional freak out every year in which I attempt to look for another place of employment, and then after all the work of sending out resumes, collapse into a heap of fatigue because it just requires so much emotional and mental energy…and there I stay in my job.

But there are highlights too.

My women’s group from the beginning of this year and the end of this year have been a tremendous blessing.

I have made a couple new friends whom I am so blessed through.

I have taken over leading the Resource Table at church which has been a very overwhelming but rewarding undertaking.

I have gotten to know some kiddos in the Grade 3 classroom at church and their parents which is always good in a church that is every expanding.

We moved into our new church building…after many years of renting auditoriums at schools.

Morgan and I moved into an apartment in a new to me section of town and are slowly making it all work.

and I guess that is theĀ what that i am writing on. My past year. My memories today. the moments that have shaped me this year.

I have inklings of what God wants to do in the coming year in my life. Words He’s given me to ponder, ideas that he’s got rooting in my soul. He is at work.

 

 

#fmf – Season

joining with Kate and the others to write on one word in five minutes…seeing what it inspires in all of us.

GO

When you get older (not a child) you start to be a big more cognoscente of the changes in life, the seasons that one goes through. When I was younger we moved several times and it was always so difficult for me to leave my friends behind and then start again. But within a years time, the other friendships were a memory and I was deeply entrenched in these new people.

I have always struggled with maintaining deep and meaningful relationships. It has only been the past several years that I have been blessed to have several girlfriends come into my life who were such an integral part of growing me into who I am today.

But the hard part of these relationships is realizing that some of them were only for a season. sometimes its a short season, sometimes its longer. But holding onto people is never helpful…we are human after all. things change, people change, we move on, we move, people pass away, that is how life goes. There is only ONE who remains.

This past year has been one of being reminded of that. In the past year several of my close friendships have changed significantly to the point that only one truly remains, and it has been a season that I’d prefer not having to be in the midst of. But that is life…its a growing place, and each moment and each person is placed by the hand of God.

one of my friends who I had known the longest was married and moved to a city several hours away, another moved to follow her fiance many miles away and another went over seas to serve the Lord and teach up His children. Another dear friend who I had recently come to know and had spoken such words of renewal and challenge in my life had alot on her plate and had to change the nature of our relationship and it hurt deep. All of tehse things seemed to take place in a similar amount of time and it seemed like God was stripping away everyone that I could depend on here in my mortal life, except my extended family of which I am blessed.

And i have to admit that my first response was anger. Because he had taken these relationships from me…and didn’t He know how important these women were in my life. In fact, didn’t he know that in some aspect I didn’t know who i was apart from them? And I suddenly felt very alone and abandoned.

It has been a difficult experience realizing that relationships change, that people change and that there will be people who are only in your life for a season, be it short or long, and the key is to love them deeply but not become so attached to them that you are unsure of yourself when they are gone. and other key is to learn to cling to the One who never changes. Its been a journey of ups and downs for me, learning to trust deeply and the lean even more deeply on Him.

Even though there continues to be some raw pain in these areas, i am so thankful for those people that He is weaving into this season of my life. I am so thankful that he provides just the right friends and the right moments at the right time according to his plan. And i’m even more thankful that these friends are often those who point me toward Him time and again. He knows just what I need

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five minute friday