Category Archives: Beauty

Meet me in the moments of tenderness

It’s Friday folks.  Time for another 5 minutes of writing wild and free.  No second-guessing, no back-tracking, or other hyphenated words that stop us from being bold.  Just write.

Today’s word: Tender

Softness and joy

Love and freedom

Living life with your care

Hope and tenderness I receive from you

Eternal giver of life and hope

Tenderness from you

To me

From me

To others

Lord help me to be free to touch others

With the same tenderness I receive

Holding up hands with joy

Receiving

Giving

Loving

Joy

Tenderness

You gave your life away

So I could give mine away

And do the same as you

Do for each one that calls you

Father, brother, friend

And for those that don’t know you yet

Be with me now

Let us share this moment of tenderness

Full and free

A life received and given away

Without doubt

Without fear

Without shame

Meet me in the moments of tenderness

Color me eclectic

That’s a fun word to say. Ec-lec-tic.  There’s a little kind of punch from the vocal cords when I say it (probably from all of those hard c’s).  For those who would like a definition, eclectic means: deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.  That’s me all over.

I don’t have any particular style.  I don’t have any particular way of doing anything.  I am a mishmash (another fun word to say out loud) of experiences that color me eclectic.  I have always shunned the idea that I must conform to the standards of my society in how I conduct my life.  “How I conduct my life”, now there’s an interesting turn of phrase.  An orchestra is made up of an eclectic assortment of instruments following the conductors commands to slow down, go faster, be quieter.  Each instrument offering up their own unique sounds to make a well conducted song.  And how sweet that song can be.

Sorry. I saw something shiny.

Being the slightly crazy, out-of-sync-with-the-rest-of-the-world sort, I have collected together an otherwise unconnected assortment of philosophies and styles.  Bits and pieces from this, that, and the other thing.  Stuff that, within their collective of sameness are, in my opinion, somewhat boring.  By gathering together these tidbits in my eclectic basket of being, I am giving these tidbits new life, meaning, and purpose.  Put them all together like some crazy mosaic, and you have me.

I think God likes to do the same.  Only on a grander scale.  He seems to like to gather together people and churches that are individually unique with their own sound and style.  I think it is important to note here that I believe that God has presented Christians with core set of values to follow that should be the conducted same way by each person (1 Corinthians 13 anyone?).  Conformity to a certain way of behaving towards God and other people is very important to a fruitful faith (Mark 12:28).  But, how boring would it be if we all were the same in our expression of our faith?

Think about it for a minute.  What if the only music you ever heard was made up of one instrument?  Boredom would set fairly quickly.  How about if a mosaic was all one color and one kind of material?  Boring.

The unique collection of you  fits together nicely with the unique collections that are other people when the Holy Spirit is conducting the orchestra.  We have to stop trying to coloring other people’s pink blue, or stop trying to force another person’s instrument to sound like our own.  Sorry folks, no matter how hard you try, a trumpet will never, ever sound like a flute.  Instead we need to celebrate each person’s  contribution to the whole.  Let the Holy Spirit reign in your heart.  Let him conduct the orchestra the way it is meant to be conducted.

Then, we will be beautiful to behold.

More vivid than usual…

*Dust, dust*

*Scrape, scrape*

*Wash, wash*

Ah, that’s better.  It’s been a while.  Sorry little blog.  I didn’t mean to let you gather so much dust.  I am much less distracted now and wish to renew our friendship.  Will you forgive me?  You will? Oh, thanks!

What better way to celebrate my reentry to the blogdom than to do a Five Minute Friday?

Let’s write bold and free for five non-stop minutes shall we?  Excuse me while I get out my timer…

Vivid

God makes everything brighter and more vivid.  Everything shines to my eyes when God is involved in the details.  Sometimes I stand like a child, awed by the sun, blinking back tears at the sheer joy of it all.  How could I not?  God’s love can be so overwhelming at times, flowing into every nook and cranny of my soul, making everything cleaner, brighter, more vivid.  When God makes something more vivid, I can see minute details I never noticed before.  A bead of dew here, a friends smile wrinkles there, a word well-spoken right in front of me.  How can I not notice the glorious and grand details of His design when my vision is clearer, when life is more vivid than usual? My heart is beats in tune with the details of His plan when they are known to me and I see the brightness of His glory shining for my unfettered eyes.

Thanks for being here!

You too little blog!

Last day of the Just Write! campaign- Marriage

Today is the last do of the Just Write! campaign hosted by Mary Kathryn Tyson at Beauty of Ashes.  The idea was to prompt us stuck creatives with a single word.  MK would give us a one word prompt (much like Gypsy Mamas five minute Friday) and were to write for 5 unedited minutes.  What has come out of this brain has been interesting.  For the last day of this campaign, I am going to use MK’s prompt but write for as long as I like.

Marriage

No one said coming together for a purpose was easy.  People coming together in a church, a friendship, a project, or a marriage requires some sense of “we” and less sense of “me”.  A sense of “we” means that one must put down one’s own ideas about how things should be.  Growing together is a messy business because we all want our way.  We want our ideas and needs to be higher than other’s ideas and needs.  We want to be first and noticed and to get the credit.  This is because people are inherently selfish.

One of Jesus’ great commands was to “love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34).  Jesus is the perfect example of what it means to be in unity with another person.  He shares the responsibilities of the Godhead with the Holy Spirit and the Father.  He did not put what he wanted first in his ministry and said “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (John 5:19).  Jesus did what was best for the team and for the recipients of his ministry.

Marriage is really no different.  Two people coming together for the purpose of becoming one requires a lot of effort.  Whether or not a marriage can survive this process depends on the attitudes of each person going into the relationship.  Some people think of marriage as a agreement to live as separate entities with separate lives.  While others think of marriage as being completely enmeshed in the other person.  Either model produces unnecessary pain and suffering.  And the pain becomes the focal point out which all interactions occur.  Marriages tend to polarize when people become stuck in their views of the person.  People forget why they got together in the first place.  This is because marriage and partnership involves grafting and blending.

God intends for marriage to be a grafting process that blends together to separate and unique individuals.  Jesus says that when we accept him as our savior, we are grafted into the vine that is God.  Grafting involves cutting from one tree a cultivar, and cutting the host tree for a place to put the cultivar.  This sounds a bit unpleasant.  The beginning of a marriage, that is after the honeymoon, can be messy when one is confronted with all the realities of this other person.  Yet, there is hope.

When a portion of one fruit tree is grafted into another fruit tree, a new species or variety of fruit is produced.  The fruit of a well blended marriage is beautiful to behold.  There is something special about a couple that weathered the worst of the grafting process.  They look at each other with true friendship and love in their eyes.  Their children exemplify the love that exists between.  And most importantly, God is glorified.

Lord, make my marriage a beautiful

Day 11 of Just Write!- Wedding

If  you have been following this at all, you know the drill about what I am doing.  If not, click here.

Wedding

I was lying in bed thinking about my wedding day.  I had asked the Lord for a perfect day, and I got one.  My husband-to-be insisted that our ceremony take place outdoors in a place special to him.  Questions about the weather came up “What if it rains?” was the biggest one of all.  I fussed about this for awhile.  Then I prayed and asked the Lord for a perfect day.  He told me it would be perfect. This was several months before our April wedding, so I had to take this on faith.  My groom also took this on faith.  People would ask me about wedding plans, I would tell them and the inevitable question would come “What if it rains?”.  I would say, “I already know the weather report, it’s gonna be sunny, 70 and a little bit breezy.”  There were many times over the months till our wedding day that I wondered if I had heard wrong, and what would I do if it did rain?  Yet, something inside of stubbornly clung to the weather report for that day.  The eve of my wedding was fraught with anxiety about all sorts of things, but not the weather.  It might have crossed  my mind a couple of times, but I fretted more about a good night’s sleep and who was coming to the wedding than I did about the weather.  The morning of the wedding the sky was clear and bright blue.  As the sun rose in the sky, the temperature rose to about 70 degrees and there was a little breeze gusting gently around the waiting guests.  It was a perfect day.

Day 10 of Just Write!- Ugly

If  you have been following this at all, you know the drill about what I am doing.  If not, click here.

Ugly

I’ve heard people say “God don’t make ugly”.  Which is supposed to be a comfort to those who feel bad about themselves.  I’ve also heard “God don’t like ugly”.  Which is supposed to be an admonishment for people who are behaving in an ugly.  Some of us out here feel ugly no matter what.  Both of those phrases can feel either like a lie or a condemnation.  It is not difficult to believe that God did not make me ugly.  It is easy to believe that Satan has perverted God’s creation (like h e always does).  Of course God doesn’t “make” anything ugly.  Satan makes things ugly.  Then he tells us that God doesn’t like us with his lies.  It’s just not true folks, God loves those that are ugly, and likes them too.  Otherwise, what was the point of Jesus’ life and death?  Jesus himself said that only the sick need a doctor, those that are will do not need a doctor.  Please Lord, help me to move past the ugly that I perceive (real or not) and to find the beauty that is there.

Eyes- Day 7 of the Just Write! campaign

If  you have been following this at all, you know the drill about what I am doing.  If not, click here.

I  skipped day 6 last Thursday because I was in the hospital with a kidney stone.  I actually missed not writing Thursday (despite the tremendous physical pain) and not writing the 5mf on Friday.  I am taking that as a good sign.

So today’s word is Eyes.

Eyes

Your eyes see me and all that I am.

You are not satisfied to let me stay where I am.

Your eyes look at your creation and say “It is good”.

But, you are not satisfied to leave things tarnished and undone.

Your eyes see my hidden and dark places despite my efforts to hide and shelter my pain.

You are not satisfied to let the darkness rule  my being.

Your eyes see the potential I have despite the sin in my life.

And you are not satisfied to let me leave  my gifts on the floor untouched.

Your eyes see my beginning and my end.

Your are satisfied to water, nurture, and give sunlight to the time in the middle.

You are satisfied to make me a priority and to help me flourish.

You are satisfied to help me be more like Jesus more and more everyday.

Because your eyes see me and all that I am.

Sweet- Day 3 of the Just Write! campaign

Welcome to day 3 of the Just Write! campaign here at Beauty in it’s time.  Mary Kathryn Tyson is hosting this campaign in an effort to get her creative juices flowing, and other people’s as well.  I have chosen to participate because I need a kick in the rear to get myself writing more frequently.  So,everyday that she does this she will give us a one-word prompt and we “JustWrite!” for five minutes without editing (note: editing for grammar errors is okay, just don’t do a total rewrite). We are not trying to craft masterpieces here, we are attempting to “Just Write!” and get the creative juices flowing. MK has offered to allow us to write in her comments section, or to put a link in her comments if we have our own blog to write in.

Sweet

I like to eat sweets, I like to be sweet, and I like to be treated sweetly by others.  In other words, I like a lot of sugar in my life.  But, I don’t like false sweetness, that makes the sweetness sour.  Being sweet means being kind to others and going out of  my way to say or do something that puts a little sugar in someone else’s life.  It’s sort of like giving a gift that is both a delight and a surprise.  I like it when God is sweet to me.  He has infinite resources that he can tap any time, and he frequently does for you and I.  Like, when I’m worried about finances, and we go out to dinner, but try to keep spending in check, and I find a $10 bill lying on the ground.  I think, God must have dropped that there for me, how sweet.  So, really, our dinner only cost $15.  Sweet.  Being sweet to others is difficult sometimes.  The passages in 1 Corinthians 13 concerning LOVE reminds me that I need be sweet to others.  And, God is an eternal source of sweetness that I just need to tap into and let it pour through me to others.

Tender (the first day of the “Just Write!” campaign)

Mary Kathryn Tyson, of Beauty for Ashes, decided she needed help getting un-stuck in her blog writing. She decided to start a month long campaign called “Just Write!” (named by moi) in which she will do stream-of-consciousness writing on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Wednesday is a bible study of the book of Romans that we are engaged in until the bitter end. And Friday is devoted to Gypsy Mama’s stream-of-consciousness writing “Five Minute Friday”.

So, I am participating in this campaign because I am reluctant to write. I am sure that God wants me to write. But I just can’t get past myself. I was excited when I read MK’s proposal hoping that this would spark a lifelong habit of blogging. Everyday that she does this she will give us a one-word prompt and we “Just Write!for five minutes without editing (note: editing for grammar errors is okay, just don’t do a total rewrite). We are not trying to craft masterpieces here, we are attempting to “Just Write!” and get the creative juices flowing. MK has offered to allow us to write in her comments section, or to put a link in her comments if we have our own blog to write in.

Day 1: Tender

GO!

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Your love shines gently on my soul.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Your life fills my heart’s hole.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Prompt me with you tenderness.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Touch me with your tender caress.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Bring me into your light.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Help me through to the end of this fight.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Help me understand the mysteries of the deep.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Let me know the sweetness of your sleep.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Bring me into your dwelling place.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Let me know the beauty of your face.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Fill me from my head to my toes.

Sweet softness of light and mercy,

Lead my heart so my head follows.

STOP!

So there you have it, five minutes of stream-of-consciousness writing.

Feel free to add your own in my comments, to put a link in my comments, or just leave a note letting me know you were here and what you think about my efforts.

Who would attend my funeral? Some thoughts on friendship.

Don’t worry, I am not planning my death or anything crazy like that.

In It’s a Wonderful Life, we spend the first two acts getting to know George Bailey.  He grows up in a small town of no real consequence.  He has loving parents, and a brother, he is friendly, loyal, honorable, part of a local community, and is bent on seeing the world.  But, life takes some twists and turns he did not expect.  Instead of traveling the world, he marries, takes over a business he does not want (his father’s Savings and Loan), has a few kids, builds homes for others, and does his darndest to keep the local baddie at bay.  He has some friends and life is okay.  Until something terrible happens, and he effectively wishes he were dead, or had never been born.  The third act of the movies shows us what life would be like in his small town had he never been born.  Life is ugly without him in Bedford Falls.  A measuring stick was held up to his life when the townsfolk started to show up to help him out of his crisis.  George needed that angel to show him that alternate reality to help George to understand what his life has meant to others.  George definitely made a difference and it showed.

Sometimes I lie awake at night and wonder if I died, who would show up at my funeral?  How would I be eulogized? What would people say to those closest to me in an attempt to comfort them?  I used to have a morbid fascination with this idea because for a time I felt that no one would show up.   I felt lonely and afraid that I would die alone and unnoticed.  I struggled with invisibility (and often still do) and felt disconnected.  I really wanted connections in my life so people would show up at my funeral.  Initially, my motives were selfish.  I wanted people to care about me enough to care about  my death.

God does not like selfishness.  He likes selflessness.

Forging lifelong friendships is a long and difficult process fraught with danger and pain.  There were some relationships that were toxic, some that just ended, and some that kept going.  The friendships that kept going were eventually based on a mutual exchange of time, trust, and energy.  At some point, this process became less about what I could get from others, and became more about what I could give.  A bowl of soup here, a friendly and kind word there, a much needed moment of free childcare, some empathetic tears, a hug, a kiss, a little cash, trusted advice, helped others to know their worth to me.  And I receive these things in return and can feel my worth to those people.  The Holy Spirit gives us energy to maintain relationships with others because He desires an exchange of love between Him, us, and others, above all things.  Relationships matter.  Jesus said that the world would know us by our “love for one another” and that “no love greater is this; that he would lay his life down for his friends”.   Having friends is not really about what you can get from others, it’s about what you can give to others.  It’s about offering yourself, your gifts, your wisdom, your time, and your energy to other’s benefit.  The more you pour out, the more is poured into you.

I have many people that I love dearly outside of my little family.  Let’s cross that out; these people are my family.  I rejoice that these people are my brothers and my sisters.  They really care about me, and I really care about them.

To quote Clarence the angel, “…no man is a failure who has friends.”

Would love to hear your thoughts here….