Monday, July 17, 2017

I’m late for fiveminutefriday. This is Monday. Adding my short input on the word comfort.

A Comfortable Place

I look for the most comfortable position when I sit down to write. My chair and the way it supports me and holds me is important. I need to have all my books, my pens, pencils and tablet situated for easy access. And of course let’s not forget the coffee, iced or hot, depending on temperature and time of day. Then the quiet has to be there. Natural sounds only please, as much as possible. Birds, wind and rain all add to my attention. They don't diminish it.

Recently I parked at the cemetery early in the morning to pray and to practice a song I was to sing at church. It’s an old hymn titled “In the Garden.” As I prayed over the words I sensed the comfort of God. Strange, for visiting cemeteries can be so despairing. But that morning God said, “Here you are alone with me, for though every marker bears a name and a timeline, every person is in his rightful place. Do not worry, just be comforted. And I was alone with God in the cemetery.

But there were flowers that adorned the stones. Some were potted, some planted. They were growing. I thought of a garden. Flowers grow in stillness and quietness. They only received what others give them. The sun and rain make them flourish as their roots grow deep. And some last only a day, some a season, and some return year after year. Sometimes you find them where the wind or birds have scattered the seed.

I wonder if the quiet, still places of the heart, where God comforts us is where we do the most growing. In both adults and children that comfortable stage of sleep is where growth happens. The rejuvenation of energy, the sorting out of memories, the strengthening of cells and muscles take place while the body is in a semi paralytic state. It is not when we are most active. It is why we can be active.

In the garden and in the cemetery, among the growing and the memories of a people that were, there God's voice speaks and comforts us as He supports and holds us. That covers just about everywhere we go.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Participating with Kate Motaung. Check her out at fiveminutefriday.com.  The word is play

Come Out To Play

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Mt 19:14

The daylilies are back this year. The orange ones that for years I fussed about. I wanted them gone. The were intrusive, they were all one color, and anything else I planted alongside them were overrun and eventually completely suffocated. They also weren’t my idea. They were here when we moved in. So I finally had them uprooted. I planted other lilies in their place of different colors and varieties. I still loved lilies. I just wanted variety.

But there were problems. The Chipmunks, moles and mice ate the bulbs. So I planted again, this time each with a mothball. A couple grew the first year, and a few more the next. But then, just last year the rabbits found them and ate every last bloom. I guess colors taste good. So I've had it, I thought. This year the ground will sit. Gardens aren't working for me. The only plant that has survived well is my bleeding heart, which was transplanted from where those day lilies were. It sits in front of my garage, which is falling down, so we just moved that also.

Now I look out my window and there are orange blooms playing in the breeze, aimed at the sky, free and happy to  have returned. They were not completely rooted out. They lie dormant for a while covered with layers of other growth. But they weren't dead, their roots were growing strong and resilient.

The child in me longs to play. What has been growing in her place? I've heard it said we grow up because we stop playing. Both is important. Someone once gifted me $30. She said I was to spend it frivolously. I put it in an envelope and it took about 3 years to spend it. I don't even remember if I spent it all. I think that envelope is still around. It’s not that I haven’t spent anything. I think It's the thought of spending what has been designated and gifted for that purpose and the fear of never having it again.

We layer, we bury, we forget. God does not forget. Sometimes it takes everything being ripped apart to unearth the inner child we were created to be. Jesus calls us children no matter how old we get and whatever or whoever has prevented her. She is not gone. She is growing strong  and resilient. No one is free like a child who knows she is loved. When I experience that freedom, maybe even my responsibility will be as child's play.

Oh, a few of the red lilies survived with the orange ones. They will play together. The rabbits moved out. I am at peace.





Friday, June 9, 2017

The word this week on FMF with Kate Motaung
'Expect'

What do you expect?

I made decisions expecting different results
I planted and watered and something else grew
I thought I was building walls but I"m tripping over rubble
I meant to go forward ; I feel so behind
I never expected to be here

But:

Jesus is more precious
Jesus has a sweeter fragrance
Jesus is drawing closer
Jesus is becoming priority
I never expected to be here

So true, the lyrics...

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace"

 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. 
Eph. 3:20,21


Friday, June 2, 2017

Five minute Friday with kate Motaung
The word is “Future”

The Future, Both Now and Then

The first thing I think of when I hear the word future is a place I have never been in a time not yet materialized. How does one perceive such a concept except by recognizing the present is actually the future of where we once were. Now will be the past as soon as I step out of this present. With every breath I move into the future.

If I think of it in any other way it can scare me, and it has many times over. We do what we can to prepare for it, we anticipate it, we fear it, or we hope for it. I have done all of these, but cannot guarantee it's specific outcome. As much as I try I cannot weave it into my desired design. There are too many unknowns of which I have no control. I can, however, say there is one thing that is in my past that follows me into my future. That is God. In Him is my hope. He is eternal. He created time, but is not limited by it, He knows the end from the beginning. He asks only that I trust Him and seek Him with my whole heart. That is all. I don't have to have all the answers to my questions.

It makes me sad to think people actually think of (and do) take their own lives. I do know that place of despair, thinking that my life was hopeless. I do thank God I sought help in people and God and kept on breathing and walking. Circumstances may not ever change or they may even get worse, but God will always be a constant with every future step I take. In Christ, even when I doubt, He is.

Does your future look threatening? The Lord said concerning Israel in captivity in Jer 29:11 “..For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to bring you a future and a hope”. There is nothing about the future that the Lord does not see and rest in. All of Christ's own can take comfort in this promise.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Kate Motaung Five Minute Friday
‘Visit’

I'm glad I Visited

If I hadn't visited this site, I wouldn't have met you. I know we don't share the personal spaces, we don't sit over coffee, we don't see each other's faces and expressions and hear the voices and meet the spouses and kids and pets. But what I read I hold in my heart, I remember in prayer, I keep in my thoughts. It is these things that keep me coming back.

If I hadn't visited I’d have missed a challenge. I wouldn't have grown the same way. I'm thankful. Because I Visited I visit your other sites, I pray for you. I add you to my circle of friends and I will know you when we meet in heaven if we never meet on Earth.

It doesn't take much time or effort to visit. We know a little more of Christ when we visit His people, no matter in person or online. And isn't that one of main desires, to know Him more?

Christ visited us from heaven and took on our frail nature and identified with every weakness and sin. He was our greater visitor and still wants to abide in and with us every moment. He never tires of our company nor refuses an open heart. We never need be alone.

So I will be visiting you and not invading your space, taking your time, or interrupting your dinner. I'll let you know I was here, even if very briefly, cause I have always loved a good visit.

Friday, May 19, 2017

The word is “truth” with Kate Motaung. So much in this word but in five minutes, truthfully?

Truth

Not even sunshine can tell us all
Only uncreated light reveals it
An entity in itself, it is self-sustaining
Our best efforts leave empty holes of lies and questions
The more you think you know, the more there is to know
It may have sides, but never disagrees with itself
It needs no proof by words or actions
I cannot change it, destroy it or manipulate it
It will win in the end
It has to
It is truth
Jn 17:17 “… Thy word is truth”.
Jn 14:6 “…I am the way, the truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by me”.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Five minute Friday with Kate Motaung

//If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother

So many things I could say about having a mom and being a mom. The joys, the responsibilities, the frustrations, the grief, the fights, the fears, the headstrong will of holding tight and the tearful surrender of letting go. All of it because a child is a tender offshoot of a mother. There is a physical bond shared with no one else.

“Don't girls believe in birth control”? She looked at me with pity and disdain mixed with a touch of arrogance.

“Birth control makes you gain weight”, she said.

 I just stared in amazement.

“And pregnancy doesn't”?

“Well, yes, but you lose it afterwards”.

I couldn't contain myself. I tried. We were out in a public place having this conversation. I got up slowly from my chair. I slapped my hip and responded,  calmly, quietly, but deliberately.

“No, you carry the weight of that child as long as you live. Extra weight, I said, and it is heavier than anything you will ever carry physically”.

You don't know anything until you are right smack in it. I recall some conversations with my mother when growing up where we were of two extreme opinions. Sometimes I spend my energy and words saying “mom, I'm sorry. I didn't know. I didn't see. I didn't listen”. I'm saying it to a mom who isn't here any more, although I can hear everything she ever said.//

How much I would love to talk with her again. But if she were here, would I get frustrated? We were two different people. We shared some of the same values, but generation gaps will never completely close. I would hope I would have more patience and respect for those spaces and instead of trying to color them in with my adamant certainty, perhaps I could find nuances that could blend from both sides. Shading softens, creates peaceful tones and defines.

And this week as I hear people talk about what to get their mothers? Well, what I want is really what I already have, why I can celebrate this day at all, my children. No matter what the gaps, what the issues, they are my children. Is my mom still my mom? I know I carry some of her genes. Genetics is a wondrous science. You carry your children for as long as they live and then God determines the rest.

Children are life and to give or take away life is a grave responsibility.  If you are a mom, you are everything.