Five Minute Friday: Grasp

Five Minute Friday

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

5 mins of writing on a set topic.

I’ve decided that if I ever wanted to do more writing….and to really get serious about it then I need to be able to just write. Simply write. So I’m going to join some friends linking up at Lisa-Jo’s blog and we shall see what fun ensues…..

Start.

Grasp.

Every six months, give or take a couple of weeks, I have a bit of a spaz attack.  My brain attacks inwardly, internally pulling my peace to bits and what is left is ugly me, exposed, with my shakey faith, doubting thoughts and 1001 ways that life isn’t fair.

You see my natural inclination is to want to cling to security.  To have such things as a house to call my home.  To have the beginnings of ‘college funds’ and retirement plans.  And to even know where we’ll be living, what we’ll be doing in twelve months time.

But that is not the life we live, that is not what we’re called to right now.  God said ‘go’ and so we went.  Our lives are not our own.  What I want to grasp in the natural, in the reality of being in this world, just isn’t to be for now.  Maybe one day, but not now.

Maybe eventually the spaz attacks will become fewer and further apart.  One day I will be completely at peace with the way God’s provision looks for us – for we know we always have enough and we know He holds our future firmly in hand.  But for now…..when my peace becomes a fleeing shadow and the comparisons and feelings of failure rise up within me….I know I need to grasp a new and very tight hold on these words:

And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. – Matthew 19:29

For this is my hope.  This is what needs to be tight in my grasp. God is more than enough.  His ways are higher than our ways. Our God is able.

 

 

 

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Five Minute Friday: Wide

Five Minute Friday
No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

5 mins of writing on a set topic.

I’ve decided that if I ever wanted to do more writing….and to really get serious about it then I need to be able to just write. Simply write. So I’m going to join some friends linking up at Lisa-Jo’s blog and we shall see what fun ensues…..

Start.

Wide, wide as the ocean, high as the Heaven above;

It is so good to just sit down, and remember some of God’s faithfulness to us.  Because that faithfulness is everywhere.  All around us.  Even in the hard days, the long days, the painful days, there are still examples of God’s mighty hand at work.  Everywhere.


Deep, deep as the deepest sea is my Savior’s love.

A dear man at our home church in New Zealand, has only a few weeks to live before the cancer takes him home.  But this dear man is now seeing a whole bunch of answers to his prayers from throughout his years.  The prayer warrior is now seeing change and sparks of revival in the hearts of the people he loves and has covered in prayer for many years.  That is God’s deepest love.


I, though so unworthy, still am a child of His care;

And what gracious care.  How our Mothers hearts ache when our children are going through things, so must the Father’s.  But let’s rejoice with each other when we see God’s faithfulness in answered prayer with our close ones.  My middle boy – his speech is getting better.  What has been such a hard and huge thing for this Mother’s heart – is seeing improvement.

For His Word teaches me that His love reaches me everywhere.

Absolutely.  Everywhere.  In your inner city apartment.  By the river that rushes by your cottage.  In the middle of suburbia, just ten miles from your ‘hub’.  Wherever you are.  Wherever I am.  Wide, wide as the ocean.  High as the heaven above.  His love is reaching you everywhere.  His faithfulness – everywhere.

STOP.

 

Five Minute Friday: Focus

Five Minute Friday

 

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

5 mins of writing on a set topic.

I’ve decided that if I ever wanted to do more writing….and to really get serious about it then I need to be able to just write. Simply write. So I’m going to join some friends linking up at Lisa-Jo’s blog and we shall see what fun ensues…..

Start.

I love it Matthew 14 where Peter says to Jesus ‘Lord if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water’.  He’s sending out a challenge of sorts.  Prepared to change his unbelief.  He’s laying out a challenge…much like a six year old….you do this for me, and I’ll believe you.

So Jesus meets his challenge.  ‘Come’ he says.  And come Peter does.  He walks on the water.  BUT when he notices the wind he begins to sink.  For as long as his focus was on Jesus, he was waltzing on that water.  As soon as his focus became blurred, there was the potential to be swimming with the fishies.

Focus.

It’s a key, such a key.

When your focus is right with God, on God, then blessings follow.  Tent pegs are stretched out.  Families see blessing.  Sacrifices are willingly made, with the right motive and intent.

When your focus sways the things of this world become so much more appealing.  The audience of one is swapped for the crunch your numbers who is reading my blog question.  People’s opinions matter way too much.  The road less travelled becomes bumpier and full of many appealing detours.

Focus.

Lord, may my focus be fully on you, today and every day.  Give me faith to walk on water when I need to and not be swayed by the storms of life.  Amen.

STOP.

Boiling frogs, accents and phone plans

From my title today you can see that my brain is going on a bit of a wacko ride at the moment, and I’m going to attempt to take you with me.  Lucky you.  Or not.

You will have heard that story of how if you try to put a frog into boiling water it is of course going to try everything in its power to get out of that water.  How you would try this in the first place, I have no idea. However, if you have some frogs in a pot of cold water and slowly increase the temperature, they don’t notice the change and…well…voila…frogs legs for dinner, anyone?

That picture is often used in describing the idea of desensitization and how we can become used to our environments and we morph and change with them.

A couple of weeks ago we were in San Francisco and on the boat to Alcatraz we meet three fellow New Zealanders.  It’s not often you see kiwis around here, so we struck up a friendly conversation with them.  We had to tell them we are New Zealanders.  Seriously.  They  could tell we knew they were New Zealanders but we had to actually tell them we’re New Zealanders. I was mortified.  They said our accents have taken on an American twang.  Mate.  Not good.

Now my American friends would laugh at this – as all they hear is a foreign accent.  But to someone from our homeland, they can hear the slight difference in speech, a few different words being used and they can tell – we’ve been living in a different environment.  We are morphing.  We’re always in the process of adapting.  Of trying to be understood. And slowly, over time, there has been some desensitizing going on in our lives.  It’s no longer foreign to flick the lights the ‘wrong’ way around.  I can quite happily drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road.  There aren’t as many things that jump out and surprise us now, although we’re always living with cultural differences.

We can’t help that we have become a little bit desensitized.  It is what happens, gradually, over time, sometimes for good, and sometimes for bad.

Sometimes my ‘outside’ eyes see things and they get me into trouble.  Not everyone always appreciates it when I see ‘stuff’ and I say ‘stuff’ – because from my experience, from looking from the outside in, life here – or anywhere for that matter – sometimes needs some questions to be asked of it.

 And that’s my challenge to myself and to you, today.  Ask yourself the ‘why?’ questions.  The tricky questions.  Don’t just blindly follow the things of your culture – don’t be desensitized by what you see around you, by all the haves that people have.  Be intentional with all you do.

Take i-phone/ smart phone payment plans.  Is it really that important to you to always be in touch with your social media apps?  Does  $70 a month really enhance your life, when you’re striving to be that ‘hands-free Mama’ that everyone was oohing and aahing about a few months ago?  Now before I get a whole bunch of defensive comments all in favour of your fancy pants phones, this really isn’t about the phone and the benefits or the ins and outs of having one.  I’m really not judging.  Hear my heart.  It is not about Suri or Sari or Sara. It is about being intentional.  It is about knowing what you stand for and why you buy/need/ want/avoid/ desire certain things in your life.

It is about living your life in such a way because that is what God desires of your life  because HE has your HEART.  (And isn’t that something we’re all, constantly working on?)

It is about protecting yourself from becoming sucked into and thrown out of the whole desensitization vacuum so that the Moms at school pick up do know you love Jesus.  The Moms watching their little Princesses at Ballet know you care about how their day was.  The teens in your life know you have something better to offer them, than the false promises of the world.

It is about tuning our ears, our eyes and our hearts towards someone who cares a lot more about US and how our hearts are, than the car we drive, the fall decorations we do or don’t have in our houses and the fact that I still, after all this time have quite the Brook Shields look going on.

Frogs may not survive in their environments, if the water gets too hot, but for us – we can do more than survive when the going gets tough.  If we’re intentional and determined not to become desensitized….the tough in us will get going.

Silence

Silence is like a chameleon.  It can be many different things, to many different people.  Silence can be a good and necessary thing, but it can also be a stumbling block.  A way of sending a mixed message and a cause for more angst.

Most of us crave some degree of silence to surround us from time to time.  When you have small children there is nothing sweeter than watching those children sleeping.  Quiet reigns.  For a time.  And it is a beautiful thing.

There are times in our lives when it is best to be silent.  When biting one’s tongue means that arguments are avoided.  Small mole hills are not made into mountains.  When it is more important for parents to show a united front before their children, than to discuss their different opinions and cause wavering thoughts.

Then there are times when it is necessary to speak up.  To end the silence.  To declare God’s truths.  To say it how it is.  No matter how much your voice quivers and squeaks.

No-one is ever remembered for what they stayed silent about.

Silence can convey indifference.

Loyalty is never silent.

People can’t know what we’re thinking, what we’re feeling, where we sit with things, unless we tell them.  Unless we break our silences.  We can’t be a good friend if we never communicate with our friends.  We can’t get past the fluff and nonsense if we never dig deeper in conversations and talk about real issues and real feelings and real life.

But how do we know when to be silent and when to clear our voices and declare our thoughts, loudly and clearly?

I’m the first to say I get it wrong sometimes.  I stay silent when I should talk.   I talk when I should stay silent.  But I’d rather try and mess up, and learn along the way than not have friends know how much I love and admire them, than not be able to share ideas on how to improve things usually from me learning things the hard way.  And I’m learning that it doesn’t matter that my knowledge on ‘stuff’ is limited, as long as I’m still learning and still trying.

What I do know is that I’m learning to be led by Him.  I’m learning to be led by the Holy Spirit, and the more I listen, the more I know when to speak up and when to be silent.

Silence can be so comforting and…..just so right.  When it is you and a dear friend, silence can be the greatest gift.  Silence with my husband is never awkward or wrong, but accepting and loving.  And silence can be frustrating and it can create anxious moments so very easily.  The difference is having peace.  The peace that passes all understanding, in being led by the one who is in control of the universe.  That’s my God.  That’s my King.

Five Minute Friday: Graceful

Five Minute Friday

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

5 mins of writing on a set topic.

I’ve decided that if I ever wanted to do more writing….and to really get serious about it then I need to be able to just write. Simply write. So I’m going to join some friends linking up at Lisa-Jo’s blog and we shall see what fun ensues…..

Start.

Graceful.

‘Hi.  I’m Fiona.  As in Shrek.  But I’m no Princess’.  Has been a common opening line for me.

Fiona.  It is an ok name.  I could take it or leave it.  It means ‘fair one’.  Apparently my Dad chose it for me.  I never really liked it growing up, but no biggie.  If I’d been a boy I would have been named Luke.  I was a surprise in more ways than one, my parents so generously tell me.  😉

Now my middle name, that’s the one I love.

Charis.  Fiona Charis Brown.  That’s me.  It is greek for grace.  It comes from the same derivative as charismatic and charisma.  Sounds the same too.

I love meanings of names and when we named our boys we took into account what their meanings are more than how the names sounded, or what the initials spelled out or what the name could be shortened to.

Nathanael – gift of God

Luka – bringer of light

Asher – blessed, happy.

One of my many hopes and prayers for my boys is that they live up to their names.  That God is honoured in and through their lives.  Just like for me and Charis.  I have a constant reminder of what I’m about – who I am – is all about Him.  All about grace.

Unmerited.

Undeserved favour.

I’m so grateful for the grace in my life.  i want to be graceful in all I do.

May my life ever be an outpouring of grace to others, for all that the Lord has done for us, and will do for us.