#FMF – Loved

Joining with my fellow writing pilgrims over at Five Minute Friday as we dive into a one word prompt for five minutes and see what is revealed.

Prompt: Loved

So often I end messages with the phrase “You are loved”. I think that it is sometimes a reminder for me, but most of all in the midst of life I want to remind people that they ARE loved. By me many times, but more importantly, by Him.

Over the years I have had four words given to me by God. In the beginning I thought that they were words He wanted me to share with others. And I have tried to live my life by them. But recently my eyes have been opened to the fact that they are reminders to my heart as well.

My four words:

Seen. Heard. Known. Loved.

They are not easy words. In fact, for me at least, they are quite difficult. There is surrender here and in someone who grasps at the smallest bit of control I can find…it is hard to do.

But these words resonate deeply with my heart. Not only that He knows me these ways and more, but that I can in some small way extend these gifts into the lives of others.

The above sign was made in Haiti by a metal-smith who crafts art out of oildrums and other cast off metals. I knew that it would be a solid reminder for me of a truth I so often struggle to grasp

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#FMF – Anniversary

Joining up with my friends over at Five Minute Friday where we jump into writing for 5 minutes on a one word prompt. Come join one of my favourite communities!

The dress is still in its covering all these years later. It had just enough sequins to catch the light, and just a whisper of a strap. I wonder if any moths have gotten at it.

The invitations were so beautiful. A handpainted hydrenga set onto white cardstock with purple print. Closed with a purple ribbon which we spent an evening trying to figure out how to tie.

There were topiary trees and lanterns lining the aisles. Rough drawings of a dream world being brought to life. The types of flowers are vague in my mind now, but I know they dripped from all the surfaces with sumptuosness.

Engagement pictures taken on a rustic farm before a fierce rainstorm set upon us, the photographer regaling with tales of other shoots while his dogs huddled under the table.

Announcement from the pulpit with lots of congrats from people, some of who I had never spoken to previously. It seemed odd to have others share in our joy.

What happens when

You feel trapped

When you realize

That this isn’t

What you’ve dreamed of?

When money is lost.

Dreams are shattered

Hearts are broken

And two lives

Go in opposite directions

The anniversary approaches

And an ache remains

People say I am brave

I was brave

But thats not a word

I can make my mouth fit around

Even after

All these years.

Four Somethings (July)

Courtesy of my friend Brooke, I heard about this monthly link-up, Four Somethings hostedy Heather Gerwing, in which we share: Something Loved, Something Said, Something Learned and Something Read.

Something Loved
The second week of July I flew to Saskatchewan for a family reunion. My mom’s dad had 8 brothers and sisters, and they all had some kids so it was mostly the 2nd-4th generations gathering. I haven’t seen some of them in over 20 years. I knew more of my mom’s cousins then anyone else, but it was nice to meet them and hear about their families. Most of all though, I got to see my aunt’s and uncle, and spend time with a couple of my cousins. I also got to see my brother and sister-in-law which was really the highlight because we only get to see them in person about once a year. It was so great to spend some extra time with them on the Friday before the reunion and then at the reunion as well. My parents and aunt were very gracious and helped pay for my ticket out West, otherwise I wouldn’t have gone. And God provided the time for me to go, since my job at the moment has my weekends free. It was such a beautiful blessing.

Something Said
As of this Thursday (26th), I have been at my new job for three months. It has been such a special blessing to be part of a healthy work environment, and being in a job that I get to learn new things each day. Two years ago, I worked on this side of the city, so I anticipated that I may see some of my former customers (though in a city this size, there is always a possibility we may not run into each other again).

I was on the phone with a client, when one of our current clients walked through the door. She looked at me and got a massive grin on her face. ‘Janel!!! Oh how I’ve missed you. How are you?’ she said. She then proceeded to tell me that since I had left my previous employment she had been missing me and that she had appreciated my 5 years of serving her very much. It was such a treat to my heart to be greeted in that way and to be acknowledged in that way. I’m not good at taking compliments, but when someone expresses heartfelt gratitude and I can see it reflected in their eyes, it touches something deep in me that needs refreshing.

Something Learned

Agnotology – the study of the deliberate propigation of ignorance

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160105-the-man-who-studies-the-spread-of-ignorance

Something Read
On my way home from a family reunion in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada I purchased a book by Jodi Picoult called “Small Great Things”. I have read about many of Picoult’s books, but this was my first time reading one.

This novel talked about race and racism from several different perspectives. It left you questioning your perspective and what biases you hold. Quotes like the following jumped off the page and made me stop and listen (and ponder) what part I have played in perpetrating this story.

“You say you don’t see color…but that’s all you see. You’re so hyper aware of it, and of trying to look like you aren’t prejudiced, you can’t even understand that when you say race doesn’t matter all I hear is you dismissing what I’ve felt, what I’ve lived, what it’s like to be put down because of the color of my skin.” Small Great Things

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#FMF – Thirteen

Joining up with my fine friends over at Five Minute Friday. We write on a one word prompt for 5 minutes and see where it takes us.

#FMF – Thirteen

He wasn’t sure how he had come to this point.
Here he sat, with a silk cravat around his collar, dressed in a full tuxedo and gaining entry to a group he hadn’t known existed until a few hours ago.
He was taking it all in. That was his job after all. Chameleon like in his ability to adapt to each new situation he encountered, this was no different.

They were a seated in highback chairs, velvet thrones with all the ornamentation. Just close enough for someone else’s presence, but not so much that you were forced to interact.

His eyes scanned the room. He was usually so adept at seeking out his competitors. This group was good. Their masks were solid, not even a muscle flinch to give anything away.

His hands were beginning to fidget with the paper in his hand. His ticket to this room, this gathering. To the future that stem from the choices he makes tonight.

The room quiets from its buzz and all eyes fix their gaze on the man who emerges from behind the curtain. He carries a wand…not for magic but to smack down between his tongue twisting treaties.

The curtain moves again and a young woman in decadent dress emerges. In her gloved hands she holds a cherrywood box burnished to a glowing ember. She places the box before them and lifts the lid.
A gasp goes through the crowd. His eyes widen.
And so it begins.
He raises his paddle and an acknowledgement is made
“Who will start us off?…oh there, thirteen, I see your bid at $1,000 to start us off”

Image: Unsplash – Wang Xi edited with Canva

Being Beloved

D. Michele Perry writes:

“Naming is a powerful thing. And the most powerful name of all is the name God calls us. Beloved. Be Loved. Be the loved. And no label or name of man can ever cancel out the purposes and promises of God written over our lives by His love. His love is too powerful for that.”

Being Beloved

When it was first crafted
the colors were bold
and the words were striking
in their boldness

they spoke my name
they named me
and I stood strong

in each vivid stroke

Over the years
decay has come
other words have
struck me down

the elements have
worked to dislodge
the paint, the lettering
until only a remnant remains

and I am lost

My eyes scan the surface
I squint to make out what was
I see outlines
declaring me beloved

and though
I am worn, torn and weary
my hands clutch this sign
what once was
and cling to who I am
who I have always been

Beloved.

#FMF – Way

Joining up with the great crew over at Five Minute Friday (I haven’t been doing too great lately at actually posting on Friday, but there is grace.)

Gather and write for five minutes on a single prompt and see what inspires you. The best part is reading the other linked up offerings.

“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.” John Green

It seems that

I have been here before

That corner looks familiar

But to be honest

They are all starting

To look the same

I have travelled

These corridors

For most of my life

The walls just high enough

To keep me guessing

And each year

They seem to morph

To match my height

I don’t know what

I would do

If I knew

How to get out

Or maybe I do

But I am

So used to

These boundaries

I have left

Little caches

Of my grievances

Throughout this place

I figure they are safe here

No one else

Wanders these grounds

But I am

Running out of room

And I can’t bare

To try to

Work through them

But

They might

Bury me alive

So

I choose

The smallest pile

To begin to look thru

My heart is hard

But I know

That its not healthy

To stay here

And so

I begin to

Look at each grudge

And wonder

If forgiveness

Will free my heart

Piece by piece

And show me

The way forward

Image: Unsplash -Randall Honold

#FMF – Done

Joining the great group of people over at Five Minute Friday to write on a one word prompt for 5 minutes unedited. The best part, checking out what other people have been inspired to write on the same prompt.

Done

“We will not run,” Paul said. “We’ll move with dignity. We’ll do what must be done.”
― Frank Herbert

Stand firm.
Lay down

your white flag.
Hold your head high.

Today
You will do
What must
Be done.

Easy
Is not
What lays
Ahead
It will
Be a
Fight

A straining
A reaching
A pushing
A grasping

For life
For breathe
For hope
For truth

Sometimes
Surrender
Is not
The answer

We are done
With being afraid.
We must do
What must be
Done.
We will
Turn our
Heads away
No longer

Unsplash: Image – Caique Silva