Lonely

How can I be in a crowd of people at a sporting event with people I love and yet, feel alone in thoughts and feelings? One who is always needing to talk and keep a conversation going, that is me. One who is uncomfortable with silence when I am with others. Why I wonder? I would never think I was ever lonely.
I have a big family, lots of friends and feel very loved. I believe that I am afraid of being lonely, that if I were with myself only, I would have to really need to figure out who I am. My life has been one where helping others has been my focus. Not that helping others is bad, but at some level it has kept me from helping myself, listening to my story.  This sounds crazy but I have needed to look good to feel good. Keeping myself busy and my family busy has kept me from being lonely. But I am sensing a need to have a loneliness that only God can fill. And knowing He alone can meet me there and accept me for who I am and who God has made me to be brings me peace and gives me courage.  For I am safe with my Creator, I am His and He calls me beloved and beautiful.

Five minute Friday prompt – Lonely

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Laundry

Laundry, dirty clothes, necessary, nonstop, 5 kids, one husband and me.
Football players, runners, weightlifters, baseball and basketball players,
soccer players, lacrosse players, and volleyball players. So many uniforms, so many late nights doing laundry for tomorrow nights game.
33 years of marriage, and 30 years of parenting, laundry never stops!
And yet, I don’t mind it. Really is simple work – throw it in, pour in the soap, turn it on, take it out, throw it in the dryer (if I remembered that is), and remove it. The best part for me is always the folding, not the act itself, but the simple ability to sit down and rest. To fold and put in proper room and I am done. I say that because I have never been good at the next part, which is ironing the clean laundry. But clean clothes are always better than pressed clothes given the choice. Although on occasion we have had dirty clothes that were ironed so we would be presentable. Wow, that just reminds me of another post for another day….How we dress ourselves up to cover the mess we are inside, because what would people think if they knew who we really were?

Five Minute Friday Prompt – Oct. 18

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Small

Bigger is better…or is it? Reminds me of the ATT commercials where the guy asks, “What is better, bigger or smaller?” Well, depends on your perspective. I have always told my husband, “it is the little things” that matter.  In our relationship, I find I appreciate the small, seemingly insignificant things that occur on an ordinary day, the unexpected surprises life can bring. When I think of small things, I am reminded of the red ants who bit me today, small but yet a potent sting! Or the small child who recently hugged my grown daughter at a restaurant because the little girl said she was hungry and Laura responded to her that she also was hungry, and then received this precious hug from a stranger! A small child, a small deed, and yet, a significant moment in my daughter’s day. We can all be reminded that a simple, small act of kindness packs a very large response from others to whom we give it.  So, smile, and give and encourage and have time for those we encounter each day:)

Five minute Friday prompt – Small

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Story

A story, what is it, where has it been and where is it going? We all have a story, some parts we think we want to tell, but other parts we would rather leave hidden. Everyone’s story is different and yet it is the same. We live, we move, we die, we are human, and as such, we all are part of the same story.
The Bible says, we are created in the image of God. I believe this and live my life with the perspective of a child of God. And since I am His child, every single part of my story is part of God’s story. He is the director of my life and I am the character in the story. I have a free will that He has given me, but as I live my life knowing I am loved by God, my story, whether good or bad, happy or sad, is still under the sovereignty of God.
I used to want to just show what I thought was good about myself  and although that can drive me on some days, I know more than ever that my successes aren’t the part I am compelled to show. It is in my failures and my messes that my story comes alive even more. For you see, my messiness and my weakness, these parts of my story remind me of where my hope is, and that is in Jesus Christ – He is the story I want my life to be telling.

(Five Minute Friday prompt – Story)

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Christian phraseology

In recent days I am frequently made conscious of things we Christians say, some of us are old, some of us are middle age, and some of us just beginning our families – but all in different phases of life.  Although the life situations are different, the way we view ourselves and the way we view God is how we will interpret the things we go through.

For example, the unbeliever who prays in a crisis, “God if you are real, please don’t let my loved one die.”  They decide to pray now when they never have before, because they hope God is real and will help them.  Why now, you ask?  Because they realize they can do nothing about the situation they are in.  So it’s a place of giving up, hoping God can come through.

And yet, I see myself, a Christian, doing this very same thing.  I can live my life as if I am in control, and then when things happen and spin out of control, then I ask for God’s help.  Really, to know God is real and believe in Him and yet live my life as if I am ok without God’s help is insanity.  So everyday I need to be reminded that I am not in control, that God is working in every detail of my life.  Jesus, help my unbelief, because as a Christian I will live life as an unbeliever if the Holy Spirit doesn’t remind me of God’s love poured out for me in Christ, and that I am His dearly loved child every second, when I am living out of His love or the times when I try to do my own thing forgetting what He has done.

Here’s another one:  He/She does that because they are not believers!

Actually, I do the same things that unbelievers do.  I do that because I am a sinner.  I am manipulative, I get jealous, I ignore people, I get angry, I am mean, I make people feel guilty, I am defensive, I am selfish and prideful, and I really like to be comfortable!  Some of these things about myself are very obvious to my family, but the rest of my friends they aren’t as obvious because I try to hide behind my Christianity and try to be a good example.  But the beautiful thing about God’s grace pouring over me in recent years and days is that the Holy Spirit is showing me my crap, my hidden motives and agendas and really the darkness of my heart.  But then, because I have no doubt of how God sees me in Christ, I can give him my sin, because I know I am forgiven.  The desire that God is prompting in my heart is that I can keep seeing my sin more and more and the Comforter just pours His compassion over me again and again.

How about this phrase:  She/he is a strong Christian.

When I used to say that or hear it I always thought that meant a person who had really put God first, surrendered their life totally, was well on their way to sinning less, was a great role model, always was praising God, witnessed well, was nice to their neighbor and basically obeyed the 10 commandments.  For me, this phrase just gives a picture of a competent person who is strong in their faith.  Maybe its just phraseology, but for me the role models I want in the Christian faith are those who know they need a Savior moment by moment.  Not one who says: do this checklist, follow these rules, and you will be a good Christian.  But one who says, Jesus has done everything perfectly on my behalf, he lived the sinless life I never could, died the death I deserved, and rose again to give me life I didn’t deserve.  That person, who knows they are weak and dependent on another’s life to save them, thats the one I  want to hang out with.  I want to be one who points another to Jesus’ life, not to my life and me trying to get better.

So to bring this all together, we are all partly unbelievers til the day we die (Tullian T.), and none of us are good Christians because Jesus is the only perfect one.  So when we think we are better than an unbeliever or a fellow Christian, look again to Jesus, and remember Christ came to save sinners, you and me!

 

 

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Oh Brothers and Sisters!

Love ’em or hate ’em, it turns out your sisters and brothers have a profound influence on the person you become. Of all the factors that shape your personality – your genes, your parents, your peers – siblings are at the top, according to one major theory of human development.  (The Science of Siblings by Francine Russo)

I recently read this article in my local newspaper and immediately began to think about my own siblings as well as my children and their relationships as siblings.  Apparently our brothers and sisters shape us long after we have stopped sharing a room with them.

So Chris, my older sister and I shared a room together til I was about 12. Then we would sometimes slip in the other’s room at night cause we missed each other.  My brothers, David and Dan, came after Chris and I were already part of the Davis household.  So 4 siblings, 2 girls first and then the 2 boys, all born within 9 years.  The oldest fought the battles for the rest of us, and the youngest pretty much got to do whatever he wanted, especially being home by himself for 4 years when David left for college.  So the first pushed the boundaries set by the parents, and the last found he didn’t have too many boundaries!  The 3 oldest went to the same college, the last did not, and made his way around the country instead, more the risk taker, out of the box, didn’t need to follow the rest.

It is just in the past few years that I have even begun to think about taking risks, living out of the box, not doing what everyone else does.  Feel like I have done that my whole life, except for having 5 kids – not everyone else does that! So what does that look like for me at 55?  Part of beginning to dream is to declare that I want whatever adventure is out there for me and being open to an awareness that life can be different, with uncertainty of details and yet certain that God will show me.  I do love this life God has given me and yet I want more of an expectancy  and a freedom to engage life and people, outside of what I have grown comfortable with.

Back to siblings….as the second born I have tried to please and fit in and do the right thing.  I want to be approved of by family and friends, I want to avoid conflict and be a peacemaker.  But what I am learning is that I can engage in conflict and it will be okay.  I can speak what is on my heart, I can be misunderstood, and I can take the risk that I probably will be hurt but that too will help me in those relationships.  Since I know Christ has approved of me and will never disapprove of me again, I can do things I never did before because I was afraid of what others thought.  I can love others because I am completely loved by God.  So with my siblings, my friends, my parents, my husband and my kids, I want to be honest, really honest and vulnerable before them.  Because of Christ, I can be weak, I can be last, I can fail; because He has won, he is strong and he has succeeded for me, and for all who put their trust in Him.

So for my 2 brothers, David and Dan and my sister, Chris, I am so grateful for how their lives have shaped mine and I look forward to how we will continually shape one another in the years to come and trust the conversations will be richer and deeper.  They are some of my richest gifts that God has bestowed and I will always be grateful for their love.

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Beautiful

Beautiful primarily reminds me of God’s creation.  I see it in the tree outside my window every morning, and sometimes in the birds as they fly by to land on the bird feeder. I see beauty in the St. Johns River near my home where I go to see the sunset or to run or to think or to pray. The trees with the moss hanging remind me of my childhood and great oaks aligning my grandmothers driveway where the memories are abundant as the growing trees.  Beautiful is the ocean, its waves and colors and smells, that is a bit farther from me. Farther still are the mountains that have always been a place to capture my attention whether looking up at them or looking down off of them, they have always led me to an awe of what God has done in His world.  So from nearby to far away, there are beautiful places in our world that capture my senses and ease my mind.

(Five Minute Fridays – a weekly writing for 5 minutes, given one or two words for a prompt)

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