Focus and Light

photo credit: thebettermom.com

Sometimes I have a hard time seeing joy.

I get so busy with the everyday, my gaze low, looking at the dirty socks, the yelling kids, the dirty dishes, the grocery list.

When I look for my joy I look for big grandiose joy: the

“I do”

“It’s a …”

“Welcome to paradise”

moments.

I’m so busy looking for the cherry on top that I miss the whipped cream, hot fudge, and ice cream. All I seem to see is the dirty bowl that I’ll need to wash when the day is done.

Life is more than dirty dishes and cherries.

When I purpose to stop and change my focus, the ordinary becomes clear, and it makes me smile. Sometimes I’m surprised that I can still do that…smile.

Now don’t get me wrong…the yelling, the Lego covered floor, the mound of laundry do not make me smile. I will never be the mom in the paper towel commercial that smiles over the spilled milk.

If I choose, I can smile about the ordinary in my day. Little things that I’ll miss if my view is out of focus. My life is a camera on manual. I have a choice what to focus on and how much light to let in.

Most days my focus is off and my blinds are closed. I forget to let light in as I look past the Legos to the boy creating a masterpiece. I forget that I longed, I cried out for these children only guilty of being children with independent minds. I forget that all these clothes piling up are a blessing because we have them. Too often I forget.

I may never love the laundry or the mess. I may never embrace the hard with a smile on my face. But I can find joy along the way. Joy in the every day. Because it’s there if only I adjust my focus and let the Light in.

Linking up today with Holley Gerth  at

Coffee for Your Heart 150

and Jennifer Dukes Lee for

Stop by and be encouraged!

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Shadows and Light

photo credit: openwalls.com

Sometimes the words creep in, seep in, with so much slithering darkness. The words that plague me, whispered by my giants.

The used to just attack my present…

You are a bad mother.

You have no friends.

You are fat.

You are not enough.

But as I struggle to take every thought captive and believe only that which is written in stone, the attacks have changed. Maybe there is a desperation there, but it is with a renewed ferocity.

You will always be a bad mother.

You will never have friends.

You will always be fat.

You will never be enough.

Lie after lie hissed quiet in my ears, and when I look over my shoulder there is no one there but where I had been.

There is a whole war going on inside my head, inside my chest, a battle not only for today, but for every tomorrow. If I believe the lie today, I lose endless tomorrows as well.

So I choose and I keep choosing because I cannot lose all my tomorrows because of a lie hissed in the shadows today.

Today, I shine the light and the shadows disappear. Maybe if the lies are in the light, they won’t seem so sinister. Maybe the light will give the courage I need to choose truth. Maybe the light will reveal that I’m not the only one fighting a battle.

Five Minute Friday…Garden

Sometimes it’s the process not the harvest that matters.

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: Garden

photo credit: thinklikemaxwell.blogspot.com

GO

So many times I flip through glossy magazines looking at pictures of lush, vibrant gardens. I see the rich greens in neat rows and produce at the peak of ripeness. Usually there is a woman not far away in a floppy hat and garden gloves smiling without a speck of dirt on her. And I think:

I want that. I want a garden like that.

The magazine shows but a moment in the life of that garden. See the truth is that the garden spent more time looking like a mess than a glossy magazine spread.

There were days it was barren waiting for something, even a weed to show signs of life.

Then as the life began pushing through the dirt, it looked beautiful, but choices had to be made and the weakest sprouts had to be “thinned out” for the sake of the best.

There were days filled with dirty knees and weeks spent with dirt that never seemed to come out from beneath the gardeners fingernails. There were times the sweat dripped and no one was camera ready.

Then after days that pushed into weeks that plowed into months, the garden looked like the snapshot.

Somehow we see three seconds in the life and think that it’s real.

I wonder if we would want the garden if we had seen pictures every day from seed to weed to drought to bugs. I wonder if we would still want the garden if we had the black dirt under our nails and our backs ached from tending faithfully day after day.

Maybe this is my garden, and this is my attempt to capture the dirt covered, real life days. I don’t want my life to be a three second snapshot. I want my life to be full of the dirt of sacrifice under my nails and the aching that comes with the weight of caring. I want my life to be spent in wait and work alike, knowing when it’s time for each one. I want my life to grow and produce fruit, but only at the right time. And I want my life to scatter seeds of hope for a new season.

I don’t want a garden.

I want my life to be a garden.

STOP

I spent more than 5 minutes in my garden today. I broke the rules, but I danced and I lived and I loved it.

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

When It Doesn’t Feel Okay

photo credit: atouchofthesea.blogspot.com

I heard myself screaming; shooting bullets of great precision with my words. Striking hard and fast over and over. My mouth wielded a weapon and it was automatic.

Piercing the flesh of feelings with my steady spray of bullets. No one was safe; too many had ricocheted.

The kickback hit me hard and I stumbled a bit. My falter could have been enough to make me surrender, but surrender was not in my arsenal. Instead I fired aimlessly, everything was a target.

Everything becomes a target when I stand in front of a mirror.

In that moment where my rage overtook my reason, I didn’t feel like everything would be okay. Each word I fired made me think that I deserved two coming back at me. And the enemy made certain I left that battle bloody as well.

After what truly was a few moments, the weapons were dropped and all that was left was the aftermath. Hearts bloodied by words shot rapid fire in anger; wounds that left us stumbling through how to move on. And I still didn’t feel like everything would be okay.

I was hurt, but worse than that, I had been the one to hurt. I was the one who allowed feelings and emotions to rule my actions. Feelings were never meant to take the wheel. They are like the music on the radio, changing the atmosphere, but not the direction. I had allowed them to take over.

Sometimes life feels like it won’t be okay. Sometimes we are the victims and we are too hurt to think about tomorrow. Sometimes we are the perpetrators and we are too guilty to hope for a tomorrow. But there is a promise and it is one word: grace.

Thank you Lord , for Your love and patience toward me

I certainly haven’t earned His grace, but it’s the very breath He breathes over my life. My life is filled with weaknesses. Anger, emotions, gossip, envy. They are just the beginning. God never said I would be without weakness. But he did say He is enough.

No matter what happens, you’re going to be okay because His grace is sufficient.

2 Cor 12:9~ My favorite verse.  I have Fibromyalgia & some other chronic pain problems.  The pain never goes away.  I have prayed & asked the Lord to take this from me, I believe in healing & have been prayed for by many for 29 years.  My husband left me because he couldn't handle that God's continued answer is "My grace is sufficient for you," but as I deal with this pain God's "Power is made perfect in my weakness" every day.  I will never stop serving my God no matter what the answer is.

Linking up today with Holley Gerth  at

Coffee for Your Heart 150

and Jennifer Dukes Lee for

Stop by and be encouraged!

I’m No Giant Slayer

photo credit: deviantart.com

Sometimes I wonder how I can feel so small and my feelings can feel so big. They seem to loom over me with their “Fee-fi-fo-fum” and I cower deeper into myself. I try to battle the giants, but truth be told, I’ve never been a giant slayer.

I think I fight myself more than I fight the giants.

My giant has a name, but he doesn’t tell everyone. Instead he wears hats with nicknames like:

Bad Mom

Fat

Ugly

Too Much

Never Enough

Emotional

Unworthy

I don’t think he likes me to use his real name because it’s not as powerful. All these nicknames, even his real name, is about me, not about him.

Insecurity

The word sinks deep and as many times as I bury it, it resurrects itself with a glance in the mirror or words yelled in anger. I do this to myself. I’ve yet to find an undo button for life.

So my giant stays.

And somehow I think I’m the only one with monsters that know my weak places before I do.

There’s a secret that I whisper hoping my heart and my head can listen.

My giant has a giant. His battle cry is not a “Fee-Fi-Fo” but a truth: “I AM.”

And those two words take all my giants out at the knees until they are on their faces because those two words are all He needs.

The truth is, they are all I need.

Because I AM a child of the Giant above all others, and I don’t need to be giant slayer. He’s got me covered.

photo credit: God’s Hands, Kelley Ryden – Tracy Raver