Category Archives: Love

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

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Slightly burnt toast

I am enamored with the phrase “slightly burnt toast”. Although, I am not entirely sure why. There’s a parallel somewhere in there between my life experiences and the phenomenon of slightly burnt toast. I’m gonna see if I can suss it out.

I love toast. Golden, crispy, all melty with butter (and sometimesb jelly). There’s something about well-made toast that just makes me happy and all melty inside. I’m a little fussy about how my toast is cooked. I don’t like it undercooked. I don’t like it overcooked (Sam I am must be around here somewhere). I like it to be the perfect shade of golden brown.

I don’t own a toaster due to the fact that I have about 1 foot square of counter space to do all of my cooking and dirty dish stacking. So, we cook our toast in the oven under the broiler. This can be a little precarious if one gets distracted easily(ahem) and forgets they are cooking toast in the oven. Sometimes my toast gets all crispy and black. Yuck.

I’m sure you can imagine my disappointment if I burn my toast to the point of carbonization.

But I’m not talking about toast bricks here. I’m talking about toast that is slightly burnt. Not quite black, beyond golden brown, but still somewhat edible (Especially if I slather it with cream cheese and jelly). Slightly burnt toast is not quite perfect in my mind. It is slightly left of my ideal. Not burnt enough to hate, but too burnt to fully love.

I realized the last time I made slightly burnt toast (which involved a little bit of whining to myself), that sometimes I feel the same about myself as I feel about slightly burnt toast. Not bad enough to hate, but not good enough to fully love. Tainted, slightly to the left of center, just a little off, a little too sinful, a little too burnt.

Sometimes I don’t feel good enough to be loved. By God, or by other people (mostly other people). I’m not perfect enough, pretty enough, popular enough, witty enough to be loved. I’m slightly tainted with my sins, idiosyncrasies, weirdness, genetic makeup, acquired habits, weight problem, opinionated mouth. The list goes on.

Don’t get me wrong. I realize that I am not perfect because only one Man on this Earth was ever capable of being perfect. I also realize that I am a mostly okay person. But that slightly burnt feeling keeps me back from fully being who I was created to be. It keeps me back from fully expressing myself. Mostly because I crave to be loved by people. I am pretty sure God loves me the way I am, although sometimes I wonder. But that’s another story for another day

Sometimes I wonder why so-and-so doesn’t talk to me. Or why such-and-such (I have changed the names of people to protect the innocent) won’t even look my way. I imagine that it’s because I am slightly to the left of what I need to be to be their friend. But my Friend won’t let me settle there with my tent and campfire, burning my toast and cursing myself for it.

I get the feeling best place to be is right where God has me right now. Not looking for approval from those that aren’t meant to be my friends. Not comparing myself to my imagined “ideal” person. Instead, He pushes my thoughts towards the friends who approve of me. The ones who like and love me despite my deficiencies. The people who pick me up when I am down. The ones who make me tea and imperfect toast when I am sad. The ones who celebrate my successes with parties. The friends who take my delicate dreams carefully into their hands to encourage me. The ones to whom I can pour out my appreciation love and reciprocate with tea and toast. The people that God has put in my path. These folks help me to feel perfect, even when I’m not.

So, friends, don’t look for friends in the wrong places. Don’t compare yourself to your imagined ideal friend of those who don’t notice you. Rather, celebrate the friends you have. Make them tea and toast. Wipe their tears (or cry with them). Shout with joy at their successes in life. Tell them about your successes. This is what makes life golden and perfect.

5mf- Catch

Catch-

Catch me if you can.

I am running ahead at full speed.

Catch me if you can.

I fly by to fast to see.

Catch me if you can.

I run breathlessly as I wait.

Catch me if you can.

My need is for speed.

Catch me you did.

As you help me slow down.

Catch me you did.

As you teach me to breath

Catch me you did.

As you tell me your plan.

Catch me you did.

As you hold me in your hand.

Monday Morning Meditations

I am trying something new here.  I am giving myself a one-word prompt and will just write until I am done writing.  Sort of like the Gypsy Mama’s 5 minute friday, except I will place no time limit on myself.  But, I will not try to think to hard about what to say and will just write.

Honey

Sweet.

Good for me.

At least, not as bad as sugar.

God thinks it’s great enough to say “A land flowing with milk AND honey.”

Honey is part of the promised land.

Sweet. Good for me.  Fulfilling a promise given a long time ago.

Golden.

Pure.

Sweet.

Like God.

Only God is better.

Honey.

Pure love given to me as a promise of plenty and peace.

Sweet.

Honey.

Golden and pure like the sunrise in the East.  Bringing promises of peace and plenty.

Sweet.

Jesus’ love for me that lead to a final sacrifice.

Undeserved by me.

Sweet.

Being with the Father IS the promised land.

Honey.

Pure and sweet.  Golden like the streets of Heaven (so I hear).

A promise to be with the father forever.

Honey from the promised land of peace and plenty.

May I rest in your Glory today Father.

May I feast on your honey.  Sweet. Pure. Golden. Delicious.

Sweet.

Honey.

On Friends- 5mf

Having friends hasn’t always been so easy.  I moved around a lot as kid so I didn’t grow up with the same group of people.  I often wasn’t accepted at school because I wasn’t part of the “growing up together” friendship circles that existed.  I  had a few acquaintances that I talked to and hung out with, but not a soul friend that knew me through and through.  As an adult,  I had a few friendships that ended in disaster because I did too much, or they did too  little.  Or I picked the wrong kind of people.  I  had to be more deliberate and less needy to form some true friendships.  In the past 10 years I have carefully worked on being the kind of person that people would want to be friends with.  I stopped being clingy and needy, stopped trying too hard.  I was just there with all my quirks.  And eventually, my friends were there too.  Nowadays,  I have a few friends that know me through and through, that know my quirks and deep dark secrets, but love me anyway.  One of my friends even called me “sister”.  I cried when she said that to me.  Finally.  A true sister-friend.  Thank your Lord for true friends.  I Thank you Lord for the mamas-friends, the sister-friends, the brother-friends that I have now with good healthy connections.

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 8 and Day 9 of Just Write!

Yesterday was kind of a fog of recovering from the weekend + Monday, and some kind of little stomach bug.  So I never got around to doing the post.  I actually miss not writing, so this experiment must be working!  So I am going to write yesterday’s and today’s in this post.

One

One day I will see you again

One day I will be forever yours

One day I will look on your face and feel bliss

One day I will no longer be worried, or frustrated, or angry, or sad, or in pain

One day LOVE will wrap me up in warmth, and comfort, and peace

One day earthly concerns will no longer matter

One day my prayers will be answered

One day I will understand it all

One day it will be you and me and everyone else

One day the mysteries of the universe will unfold themselves to me

One day Jesus will be my bride(groom)

One day the Holy Spirit will no longer be invisible to my naked eye

One day EVIL will be vanquished forever and ever

One day (and already know) I will be in eternity where there is no beginning and no end

One day I will receive the crowns that are mine

One day I will touch the center of the universe

One day I will be filled with joy unending

One day the struggle will cease

One day I will have a job in heaven that is perfectly suited to me

One day I will be with you, and you will be with me.

Peace

Peace that passes all understanding seems so far away from me.  I struggle, I fight, I yearn, and I bleed.  Yet, God promises these things to me.  They are mine for the taking, if only I would reach out my hand and take them.  I understand this with my head, but not necessarily with my heart.  Some days it seems that I like the struggle and bleeding more than I like the peace.  Perhaps the fighting gives me a sense of power.  Perhaps bleeding shows I am alive.  I don’t know, but most of the time I would like to be at peace.  With people like me, sometimes being at peace means being dead, because peace eludes us so easily.  However, I have work to do on this earth before I die, so dying must wait a while.  I’ll go when it is  my time, and not before.  Oh Lord, show me how to reach out and grab peace like a climber grabs a rope to get back up the mountain after a scary plunge from the sheer cliff.  Help me not to squander your gift for me.  Help me to surrender to your ways and your peace in this lifetime.  Help me to know when to pick up my sword, and when to lay it down and rest.  Help me to know true peace that passes all understanding. Help me to know this before death takes me to you.

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.

5mf Post- Rest

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Five minute Friday’s are a stream- of- consciousness exercise hosted by The Gypsy Mama every Friday.  In an effort to get myself writing more frequently, I am going to participate as frequently as I can.  I am also participating in a weekly bible study at Beauty for Ashes onWednesdays, and in “Just Write!” campaign also hosted by Beauty for Ashes.  The 5mf exercise is simple, The Gypsy Mama gives us a word prompt and we write for 5 minutes.  There is no editing and no backtracking.  Just write whatever comes into your mind.  So here goes this week’s edition of 5mf:

Rest

I just got up from a  nap.  I was attempting to rest, because I feel so tired.  I just needed a nap.  Instead of actually sleeping, I thought of all the reasons that I don’t have time to sleep, or that keep me awake.  Secrets about my sins, things that stress me out, physical pain, spiritual hunger, needing more God in my life.  It’s easy to look at someone and say, “You need more rest!” without actually understanding what keeps them from resting.  Truly resting is not an experience that involves sleep.  Truly resting involves trusting.  Trusting that everything will be alright.  Trusting that God’s got it covered, that He has my back.  I struggle and struggle to find this place of rest and abandon.  I struggle to just let go, and let things lie where they in my life.  I want to be able to feel the sweetness of utter and complete rest.  Of lack of control.  I mean, if God is big enough, why do I need to worry?  He says he wants my burdens, so why not give them to Him?  Why not let Him fight the good fight on behalf?  The pain, the worry, and the frustration don’t have to be mine.  Here is a prayer hoping to let go and let be.

Thanks for stopping by!

Steph

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