Willing To Be Filled

The heavy midnight rain made the grass thick against my feet.

The hem of my pajama pants is damp from my stepping out.

Effervescent, I thought, the rain has made the ground feel like carbonation causing bubbles and a rising up the rim of the earth to cushion my steps.

Generous was the shower.

I look closer at the petals.

Some drooping with the weight of God’s watering.

Resting.

The rain is clinging to rich green leaves and the pure white bloom is radiant.

Satiated, quenched.

Fulfilled.

“The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.””

‭‭John‬ ‭4:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Effortless, this summer’s abundant growth of flora it seems.

Waiting expectantly, the good rains have sustained the pretty colors.

When the woman at the well met the stranger, she’d been seeking satisfaction from multiple men. I am curious if she thought Jesus was just another at first.

She considered a new perspective. She was intrigued by possibility.

Jesus changed her.

Change comes that way.

We must be a willing participant, honest with our inventory of past mistakes and then willing to see ourselves in new, often briefly emotionally distressing ways.

We acknowledge what God knows of us. We are satisfied by His knowing.

We are growing as we lift our cups, chipped, stained or soiled from past spiking.

We lift our empty cups and we say.

Fill it, Lord.

Fill my cup.

Come and quench this thirsting in my soul. Fill my cup, Lord. I lift it up.

Linking up with others at FMF, prompted by the word, “willing”.

WILLING

Peace Takes Courage

The rain subsided enough to get a walk in.

I determined to pursue my daily unraveling.

The sky no longer threatening, the storm separating the colors and the background pale blue grew larger before me.

The grey only narrow stripes of color like paint laid down on a canvas, the palette knife technique.

Rain like water misted from the bottle kept to keep moist the canvas, the grey diffused.

God’s fingers like the biggest thick brush now blending, muting color.

At peace with the presentation.

The exhibit now open for my viewing.

The crepe myrtle petals are sopped like kitchen sponges and hanging low like bursting ripely fruits just waiting for my indulgence.

And it happened again.

What’s this lightness in my gait, the awareness of pep in my step and of belief I’ll take off running once I make it round the bend and just maybe take an extra hill?

Peace, I decided as I took the final home bound hill.

It’s peace that has taken the bricks from your feet.

Peace that says take your gifts and give them to whomever will listen, will read, will be curious over how you moved from burdened fighter to learner to victim no more.

A thought came clearly, I imagined myself confidently telling others.

I give God all the glory. Without God none of this would be possible for me.

Peace is possible.

Take courage.

“But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”

‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭15:7‬ ‭ESV

Continue and believe.

Linking up with others at Five Minute Friday, prompted by the word, “Take”.

Read more here: https://fiveminutefriday.com/2019/07/04/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-take/

Promised Plans

I’m writing prompted by FMF and the word “promise”.

Not originally thinking of Jeremiah, I was reading from the Book of John, Thomas the one called the doubter asking why should we believe in a place we don’t know.

Jesus replied essentially, because you know me and thus you know my Father, God,

and you can be certain.

I don’t really think Thomas doubted as much as he was just intrigued. Heaven and God are intriguing, after all.

So much to know!

Believing, according to Jesus was all they needed to know.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”

‭‭John‬ ‭14:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I flipped to Jeremiah on my way to the day’s Psalm and started touching up and coloring in a place I’d been before.

I added the female form in the other margin and I found the familiar words about plan and purpose.

Then I found the promise.

The unwaveringly certain promise.

I will always find God.

There’s not a promise more significant.

I look for God in confusing times, I wait and clarity comes.

I look for God, seek Him by interrupting my day to kneel down to pray.

Momentarily or much later, I find Him.

My circumstances change.

Here’s the promise.

We are seen by a God who loves us. He waits to be found again and again.

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord…”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:13-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Linking up with others here: https://fiveminutefriday.com/2019/05/16/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-promise/

The Gift of Memory

A friend is praying that God would give me memory.

I’ve lost something I haven’t needed in years and I cannot find it, my college diploma.

Yesterday, my pregnant daughter asked if I remembered a certain pain and I didn’t, so I blamed it on one thing I did remember harshly…when it was actually another, my lack of memory,

Then told her it’s true what they say.

You don’t remember the pain once your baby is here.

I’m wondering if my friend’s prayers are stirring my memories as a whole, of all sorts of things.

I woke with first thought, prayer.

God, help me to know you more.

There are disjointed possibilities in my life, a new one popped up yesterday. I gotta circle back around, finish multiple things, my mind and plans chaotic over stuff begun and not finished

My thoughts are all over the place.

I make the coffee, open the door for fresh air and I remember.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

An elderly couple lived below us, my younger brother and me. We were not quiet apartment dwellers. We were single and in our 20’s. We frequented “River Street” in Savannah and found our way back home safely, how?

God only knows.

I watched them on Sundays, they’d come and go clutching Bibles, holding hands.

I avoided them in my comings and goings until one day in the stairwell, I came face to face with the husband, a sharply dressed gentleman.

I asked, “How can I know God’s will?”

He answered simply, “Know God.”

That was two decades ago and his answer left me hanging, left me lacking not longing. I wanted so much more than an answer so broad.

I desired a quick list or an easy plan.

I wanted it “one and done” for me, quickly fix me, God, I know you can!

Perfection, I yearned for, had no understanding of grace, God’s patience, His allowance of progression.

How in the world could we imagine God’s will as only quick when, after all, He has us and the whole world in His hands? He orders our seconds, minutes, hours and days. Their unfolding, He knows.

I understand the simplicity yet mystery now.

His pursuit of me is graceful and grace-filled.

There’s no end road to knowing God’s will.

It is a beautiful unraveling, a revealing of splendor and clarity and abundance as we go.

As we go unaffected by our daze and confusion only illumined by His spirit, His dwelling within us.

How do we know God’s will? I believe we remain quietly intent in our pursuit of Him.

He knows. Just ask Him.

God is everywhere. Don’t forget to notice. me

Linking up today with others at Five Minute Friday who are writing on the prompt “Lack”. https://fiveminutefriday.com/2019/04/11/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-lack/

How Much We Need

“ …there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below.”

‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭8:23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I would stand close by and wait, watch and contribute as I was told.

My mama, in her kitchen, I watched as she prepped the meat for the main meal to add a pound cake for later.

In the intervals of ingredients, she rarely gave a measure.

She’d answer with “that’s enough” or “a little more”.

Rarely did she let me add too much. She knew that wound spoil it all. The flour would be mixed with the sugar. It would be impossible to separate the two.

We would have to start over.

In all my years of helping bake cake, that was never the case.

The measure of the two ingredients was always enough to take the next step, to add in the eggs one at a time and the butter.

The cake came out right. Consistently moist with the sweet thick light brown crust.

This morning I made a list of three things I’d like to believe without interruption, three things that would never go away, be not enough.

“You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  1. Self-control
  2. Belief in possibility
  3. Assurance of God’s love

Someone may be reading this and asking how is it that she doesn’t know these things?

I sat just now and countered each need with truth. Because see, in this world we live in the stuff that gets mixed in gets us mixed up.

Self-control is my decision. Every decision begins with a thought. God’s spirit will be my guide.

“Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NLT

All things are possible. This truth is for me. It is God’s desire that I allow my heart, not my mind, to lead.

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God’s love is immeasurable. It is unwavering.

“No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:39‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I told someone yesterday I’ve been dreaming about my mama. I told her I think it’s because my daughter’s about to have a baby. She smiled and added she thinks that’s so sweet. I told her she’d understand one day, for her I hope it’s not soon.

Longing is immeasurable. Memories are a beautiful thing. God made me to remember us in the kitchen and her famous pound cake.

And he led me to consider the comfort of having enough.

Not too much.

He led me as if my mama and He had been in intimate conversation and they both decided.

Look now, she’s about to give in. She’s about to be pitiful again. She’s about to let doubt ruin the batter, she’s leaning closely towards throwing out the good ingredients and deciding she might never bake a good cake, create a story or a painting again!

Can I tell you one thing for sure?

He knows. He knows our tendencies and stands close by saying, let’s don’t go that way again.

I’m rising now from my morning spot on a day I am calling “sick” and I will get busy with the good things God has started in me and then I’ll go and try my best to get the ingredients for my mama’s unwritten recipe.

I have a cake to bake!

Thank you Jesus and mama, for teaching me.

Continue and believe.

I’m afraid I never follow the five minute rule. Still, I appreciate the prompt, so I’m linking up with others prompted by the word “measure”.

Measure

Place and Time

I exited the gym last night and was overcome by the sky.

Dark as if threatening a storm, I was captivated by the cobalt color, the veiled expanse of heaven.

I snapped photos with my phone unconcerned over who might be watching.

Said to myself,

The sky’s my thing. I see so much of God.

My interactions of late have been a little heavy, some surprisingly negative and a few tinged with murky colors of out of blue disdain.

But, it is okay. It truly is okay.

Through God and with God.

I’m good.

He has led me all the way, preserved my sense of me and more importantly, I pray left in my wake a sense of Him.

He has led me all the way.

To places that were difficult as well as places that were good.

Places where He kept me safe, kept me kind, made me able.

The coming months promise new places, new stages, new challenges and I’m sure the promise of blessings!

He will be with me still.

Under dark stormy skies as well as happy sunshiny days.

Jesus has been with me all the way.

“But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭69:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It has been so very long since I’ve joined FMF, writing for as close to 5 minutes as I can. This time, prompted by “place”.

Join us here:

Place

Where Words Go

A chunk of my day yesterday, a beautiful Saturday so warm I had to move from my favorite place.

To a library corner more shady and less distracting after all.

I tried my hand at something new, a thing God told me to do, told me so by giving me words that finally made sense as I sat in my morning chair.

I had found the Psalm circled, “memoir” written in the margin.

“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭30:11-12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

And I finished it, the bio and summary of my book proposal. It will need tweaking and parts of chapters added today.

I typed away until my laptop battery faded, dead. Thank you, family, by the way for the best laptop ever last year on my birthday!

Lunch on Friday included a friend who felt it was time for us to know one another more and that our mutual conversation and revelations deserved a special date.

It was special. She is special and together and separately we are strong despite our perspective hardship and heavy loads to bear along the way.

She told me to keep writing.

She said that I must.

I know her instructions are true otherwise I’d not keep doing this thing I do.

Sitting in a quiet space and hoping for new perspective or a gentle lesson.

God speaks to me and I share.

I pray the words go where they need to be read.

And I do thank God for words.

I do love them so!

Linking up with the Five Minute group. Writing with spontaneity and expanding my horizons as God continues to enlarge my borders.

https://fiveminutefriday.com/2019/01/31/fmf-writing-prompt-where/

Happy Sunday, readers. God is waiting to be found in it.

God is Busy

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Last night I told myself I needed to get with the times. I need to be aware of how they are truly changing.

I am now that person who is panicked over what the world will be for my children’s children.

I was not this way before.

My mindset was one of oh, it was bad a long time ago too, people have always been violent, issues have been challenging and intense. Children can adjust as long as they have the firm and loving foundation of family and God.

But, I got all worked up over something I saw on the internet about three year olds. Close to midnight and I’m wanting to research it more, prepare myself to protect my grandchild.

The thing is, influence is either worrisome or wonderful. It is unwaveringly committed and steadfast in whatever the influencer believes.

Children, I am certain, will be influenced by the ways of those closest to them and by those who make a commitment to stay close to God.

Last week in church the preacher asked “Who in your life most influenced your faith by their life?”

There are a few people for a few different reasons.

But, I cannot deny my grandma.

She was quiet and private with her Bible.

She was unwavering in her commitments and traditions for us.

She was industrious.

She was gracious.

My name is written in red in her Bible, all of the other names are there too.

A few weeks ago, my “Aunt Boo” reminded me of God’s control and of being sure He is working all for good in my waiting to know.

She reminded me of the refrigerator magnets at my grandma’s that were letters spelling out, “God is busy.”

God is busy. Doris Evelyn Peacock

I told the story to my daughter.

She smiled. She remembered and I promptly purchased a bag of plastic magnets because every single day I too need to remember.

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

God is busy making ways for us.

God is busy dispelling myths about Him, replacing them with reminders of truths about Jesus.

About His love.

God is for us, not against us and He is busy being sure we believe.

Linking up with others on the prompt of “influence” here.

INFLUENCE

Understanding Better

I wear a bracelet with a charm that encases a mustard seed in a little glass bubble.

A gift I purchased for me.

I need reminding. I need to continuously seek more understanding.

I need to allow my fingers to find and cling to it occasionally, my reminder of faith.

I’ve found a newness of a feeling.

It feels like a treasure, my new enthusiasm for understanding the kingdom of God here on earth and in heaven.

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:44‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Understanding of God that both fulfills my deepest longings and increases with assurance what I believe.

I believe more than before that heaven is better than here. The great mystery of it all confounds me less and absolutely intrigues me more.

The disciples asked Jesus why he spoke in a way that included illustrations, parables?

Jesus told them it was important to him that they see.

Jesus feels the same about you and about me.

He’s intent on the increase of our understanding of him, of getting us as close to heavenly thinking as we can be.

If we only and simply even just a tiny bit in the beginning believe.

“Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:31-32‬ ‭NLT‬‬

And then we allow our beliefs to grow, we anticipate heaven while we walk more closely to God here on earth.

I’m getting better at believing, believing in what I can’t see and in the fruition of my journey and the flourishing of my faith and the gifts of God in me.

Getting better at trusting that with quiet fascination and intentional nourishment, I will see my faith and the works of my hands continue to grow.

He’s not finished with me yet. Brandon Heath

Linking up with others who are prompted by “better”

Better

The Book of Luke, 24 Days of Jesus – An Advent Experience

The Time of Becoming

Advent: arrival, appearance, emergence or occurrence, the arrival of a notable person or thing.

What are you waiting for, still?

What is the light at the end of the way that you keep pursuing, going towards?

Like the shepherds followed a star, is there a possibility you hope to see still?

My word for 2018 has been “still”. In the beginning, it represented a courageous decision to pursue a certain writing goal.

That I could still, it wasn’t too late.

I’m still writing; but, changes came my way and my book idea will never be the same.

I’m in the phase of stillness, resting and listening to know, which way God, do you want me to go?”

Tell me what to say, Lord.

Continuing in the Book of Luke today, another chapter full of guidance and illustration, historical retelling of what Jesus did before he died.

My spirit has been a little weary, thoughts around trauma trying to take over. I’m recalling today that this is the year I, with the help of some strong therapy, decided I could live healed, that I could let go and be healed.

The year it became my choice to forgive.

My friend said yesterday, that evil still comes back to try to play.

I think she’s quite right, it’s Advent, the season of light and peace, it’s only natural evil creeps in, shows up even louder, harder, mean and determined.

Has to, it is harder now than before to take my peace away. I’m no longer disabled.

“When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭13:12-13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Able to seek light and freedom, to not revisit the darkness.

To God be the glory for my emergence year, still.

Becoming me.

I’m linking up with others here at Five Minute Friday, prompted by the word, “Still”.

http://fiveminutefriday.com/2018/12/13/fmf-link-up-still/