Five Minute Friday…Fly

This is for you and for me.

I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday.

Five minutes.

One word.

No editing.

No rethinking.

Just writing.

Today’s word: Fly

GO

Today is your day to fly. You’ve spent too long trudging through the wilderness. Now it’s your time to see what I see. I would tell you how amazing the view is, but it’s your time to see it.

Just take a moment and look up. Push beyond the weight bearing down on your shoulders and lift your head. If you can’t do it, I’ll do it for you. It’s important. Do you see it? Really, look. There’s a whole world outside of the burden on your back and the snares at your feet. I know you see this dark valley where you feel so alone and trapped, but climb onto the eagle’s wings and let me show you a different perspective.

As we begin to fly up look straight in front of you. Sometimes you need to get your focus off the struggle and onto the sky. Look how much bigger the sky is. I know we’re getting pretty high but hold on and keep looking up. Isn’t the sky so beautiful? It was there all along, you know. Yes, even when you were in that dark wilderness. The sky was there. It’s hard to see the sky when you can’t lift your head.

Now we’re leveling off. It’s time to look around. No. Don’t look down. Not yet. Just look around you. The sky is everywhere, but what do you see here? Can you see the mountains? They don’t look so insurmountable from here do they? What about those valleys over on your left? It’s just a little dip in the road.  And the ocean waves to the right. White crests looking more like breath than pounding waves. The view from here is pretty amazing, isn’t it? Maybe that’s why I brought you here. Maybe you needed amazing.

But one last thing, now it’s time to look down. Look right down below us to where I just picked you up from. Yes, that shadowy place there. That’s where you were. It was much bigger you say? No, it really wasn’t. It felt dark. And it was. But really look at it. It’s that little place right there that is surrounded by light. Yes, light. The darkness is never as dark as it seems and the wilderness never as wide. Whenever you need to remember, just call me. I’ll swoop down and pick you up if you’re willing. We can take flight and you can see how the world looks to me.

STOP

This dance was awkward and I’m still not sure I know it’s place. But it’s here.

If you want to join in check out Five Minute Fridays.

Can You Hear Me Whisper?

photo credit: financialsamurai.com

photo credit: financialsamurai.com

I like my eyes. Shhhhh. Please don’t tell. In fact, if you could hear me talking I would be whispering. Why would I whisper myself a compliment? Because it feels wrong to say it. It feels foreign to allow good things slip from my lips about yours truly. I have become so accustom to shouting criticism of myself and drowning out anything good, that to admit there is good feels wrong. But here’s the heart of the secret. I have it backwards.

All this time I’ve been holding the negative, my hands are too full to grab the positive. It’s what’s expected, isn’t it?

When someone says, “I love your hair!” the acceptable female response is, “Oh, I haven’t washed it in two days” or “I need a haircut so badly.”

When someone smiles at me it can’t just be a friendly greeting, surely it is because I have broccoli (or more likely chocolate) in my teeth or toilet paper stuck to my shoe.

When someone tells me I have beautiful eyes, the normal response would be to change the subject.

When did normal become dodging the good instead of saying thank you?

I’m trying to get back to normal, the real normal. The normal that says thank you and that doesn’t avoid buying a pair of pants because the number on the little tag on the inside that no one else can even see makes me cringe in disgust. The normal that can look in the mirror and see more beautiful things than ugly.

The normal that can say I like my eyes and not have to whisper.

Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee today for Tell His Story.

Fear Isn’t Bad?

clapper with hands

I’m starting something new and I’m scared. I’ve never been good with change, or new, or unknown (just ask my mom.) I’m scared, but I’m doing it anyway.

Scared was always equated in my mind with something that is not what God wants for me. I had always been of the mentality that if perfect love casts out fear, and God is perfect love, then anything that has fear must not be from him.

I’m beginning to think I was wrong.

My new endeavor is a class focused on writing. It’s called Tribe Writers and it is created by Jeff Goins. I am not sure what I think of it yet, but I’ve read some of Jeff’s work and it resonated with me (seriously…check out his ebooks: You Are A Writer and his Writer’s Manifesto. No I am not compensated for this. I just think they’re great.)

I just listened to the first conference call for the course and something keeps bouncing around in my head like a ping pong ball I can’t catch. It is making me question all this about fear and faith.

Jeff was responding to a question about fear and he said, “Fear can be an indicator that you are on the right track.” He then went on to suggest it can even mean you are on the cusp of something great.

Now there’s something to think about. What if all these things that I have run from because of my association between fear and God were actually good things? What if, instead of running I should be grabbing on?

It didn’t end there. There were two points that drove this home.

We can be more afraid of success than of failure.

Yikes. I never thought I it was, but I realized that’s me. Failure is comfortable. It’s like that ugly recliner that no one has the heart to get rid of. It’s hideous and worn. The handle doesn’t work and it gets stuck in the recline position all the time. But it’s familiar. So we hold on to something ugly because it’s known. What if there was something better out there?

Yes, I am reeling in a back and forth of conviction and revelation by this. But then….then….

It can be harder to act than to dream.

And that’s when I realized just how safe dreams are. I can’t fail in my dream. It’s easy to dream and feel good about it. But actions? Well, that’s another story. Actions involve moving, even if it means moving backward. Actions feel scary, but if scary isn’t bad then what do I have to lose?

Here’s to pushing through fear, being open to success, and calling ACTION.

Five Minute Friday…Tree

Today is a dance in words and images and faith.

I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday.

Five minutes.

One word.

No editing.

No rethinking.

Just writing.

Today’s word: Tree

photo credit: photofarm.ning.com

photo credit: photofarm.ning.com

GO

I’ve always loved trees. Big, strong trees that reach every finger to the sky. Trees with arms of strength and beauty. Trees round and thick in the middle, a silent testimony of strength through decades of storms. These trees are not easy to come by. The higher they reach up, the deeper their roots must go.

I long to be like those trees.

I want my fingers ever reaching heavenward moving only by His breath.

I long to be a testament of a life lived in strength and beauty and fierce determination in the midst of sun and storm.

I want my arms to be ready to hold anything that grabs on, and my fingers ready to let go of beauty if it means renewal.

I long to stand in dignity and strength even when I feel most exposed.

I want to explode with growth just when I feel most hopeless.

I long to offer a place of grace for people to rest under and a beauty more defined by it’s fruit than itself.

I want to live like a tree reaching higher every day and showing growth in my core every year.

I long to be a tree of roots that reach deep with unseen growth and quiet strength.

May I live my life like a tree. Even if pieces of me break away and storms threaten my very existence, may I live my life like a tree. Moving only at His command, standing strong, and giving fully.

STOP

This idea took 5 minutes. The additions a few more.

Dancing in the breeze of His breath today.

If you want to join in check out Five Minute Fridays.

Adoption isn’t just for kids

Since November is National Adoption Month, I thought this would be the perfect time to tell you my adoption story. It’s probably not what you think, but the heart couldn’t be more true.

I have brothers and sisters who are adopted and their stories are beautiful and covered in God’s fingerprints. I can tell you that the love you have for these is no different than the love you have for biological siblings. I can tell you that you think you’re changing them, but they are changing you.

But this isn’t about them.

It’s about me.

I am adopted.

No this is not a spiritual metaphor.

Legally, I am adopted.

story

I know rejection.  This rejection is more than having been picked last for kickball or not being invited to a party.  This rejection comes from one of the two people in the world that are never supposed to reject you.  They’re supposed to be your sure thing.  Only, he wasn’t; even still, he isn’t.  Ironically, as much as I don’t want him to be anything for me anymore, I still hurt.

Parents are always supposed to be there.  Only my father wasn’t, he isn’t.  So I made a choice.  I chose the one who has been there faithfully every time since I met him.  I never asked him to prove himself to me, but he has time and time again.  I made a conscious decision for me and my life as an adult.  Some people may not understand it, wondering why I waited until I was an adult.  Others may not like it.  But this was never for them.  It was one hundred percent for me.  I chose Brian, the man I have known as my dad since I was thriteen.  I walked into a hearing and said that he is my dad.  I suppose as much as I am chose him, he had already chosen me.

He had chosen to be there and love me as his own from the beginning of his relationship with my mom.  Everyday he has had a choice.  He has been there for science projects and rides to see friends, teaching me to drive and moving me to college.  He made sure that every teenage angst filled argument be followed by an embrace.  He was there as I lay in a hospital after my accident, cooling and calming with his hand.  He didn’t miss a graduation or a party to follow, and he was there to give my hand and embrace the tiny hands of my babies.  He never cared whether the moments were big or small; they were moments that meant something to me, so he was there.

I am blessed to have had the opportunity to choose.  I chose who my dad is and will be for all of my days, and for that I am grateful.adoption day

It’s been six years now, and I know I took the less traditional route. To those that know me that will be of no surprise.  My roads have never been paved and the street signs have never been clear.  One thing has been clear on this path, however.  I haven’t walked a step of the way alone.