View

A number of days after Friday I’m linking up again with the other writers at Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday (a flashmob of writers who write for five minutes on a prompt without over editing, backtracking or worrying too much about getting it exactly right AND then go on to encourage others who have participated)
Unable to find time and a space to write I have thought frequently about this week’s word but nothing has ‘clicked’. I’m curious about what will come onto the “paper” when I start the clock: View….

Five Minute Friday

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“View” I have decided, is a matter of perspective…
While we may both be looking at the same scene, the view from my window is different from your view from yours – not just due to the angle but also due to the cleanliness of the glass. In addition our personal histories and our current situations shade the way we perceive what we see. What I see as beautiful may remind you of pain. The complexities of this world and our unreliable way of looking at it mean Grace is needed.

I am not very good at living, what Dan Stone calls, “above the line”. Most of my days I interpret the world through my temporal vision. This is illustrated for me when I exercise, especially when I run. Since I don’t enjoy exercise it remains a daily challenge to keep going the distance. Interestingly when I focus on me and my legs and my breathing and the weather beating down on me, I find myself slowing, very often to a stop. In contrast, when I run in wonder of the opportunity, my environment and any people I encounter I find that reaching my goal requires so much less effort!! You would think knowing this I wouldn’t allow my mind to become self focused, but its not that easy. Insidiously the thoughts creep up and my vision for the task comes under attack.

So it is with life. Even though it may look like I am currently in a race without purpose and direction, as He gives me Grace I am able to live in the wonder and see my life with eyes of faith. And as I look beyond myself and my immediate circumstances and live knowing that He is working all things for good according to His ultimate design – my days become full of glorious possibilities.

Living with the corrected vision of life above the line, every moment in my day has the potential to be much more like an adventure than a full stop.

Cry the Beloved Country

2013 Song 3

Under African blue skies,
on the red soil of the continent of my birth,
they sang and danced,
their song turning poverty into art!

This is the way of things….
The complexity and the conflict.
To appreciate their melodic voices and enthusiasm for the task,
while hating the exploitation and vulgarity of the begging.

My heart sings the song of Africa…..
It knows the tension…
ashamed but proud
beauty in the messiness
glory amongst the indignity
pain and Love entwined

Under African blue skies,
my heart’s song:
“Cry the Beloved Country” 

2013 Song 1  2013 Song 2

Today I’m linking up again with the other writers at Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday (a flashmob of writers who write for five minutes on a prompt without over editing, backtracking or worrying too much about getting it exactly right AND then go on to encourage others who have participated)
This week’s word:  Song….

Five Minute Friday

Chartering the Middle

2012 Sailing 4

I am in the middle….
At my age it’s sometimes referred to as a crisis but I am choosing to view it as being in the beautiful process of becoming.

Which means I am the same as you even though I am different.
I read a lot of blogs written by younger women. I am constantly in awe of their wisdom and I am always learning from their stories and Godly perceptions. My life and writing has benefited greatly from them and their encouragement. I open my computer often and eagerly to learn from their lives and divine insights. Even though I am currently in a different life stage to most of them, I understand the framework of their stories because I have been a Mum of younger kids. My present life, however, is not like theirs and sometimes reading their stories makes me feel I am stuck, that I have had my usefulness and purpose, that new life will never come, that change will never really break into my life.

Oh I know the truth of what Jesus says about me and I know I am of value even in this season of being still. Yet the doubt persists.
I don’t think any of us really understand what “the story is about” when we are in the midst of it. When my kids were little and in a ‘enervating phase’ people would say: “this too shall pass“. But the problem with the middle is the daily battle with the fear that tomorrow will be just like today, that there is no defense against the despair of the endless or sameness of life. It seems to me that, for many women, without Hope, their created purpose is replaced with a deep sense of emptiness and lack of clear direction. The question “what next“? ….too terrible to contemplate.

Women of my age and stage are talking about this process and the confusion they are feeling in this part of their journey. I’ve been listening, and it seems they are surprised by the this ‘middle’ life and their emotions of restlessness, sadness and discontent. Life feels like it’s on hold but that they don’t know how to move forward. There is just the daily battle against loneliness. It seems almost impossible for these women of strength and courage to find words to say how deeply empty they feel. They feel ashamed of these emotions and talk about them only in whispers with a façade of polite words that cover the bewildering and painful places they find themselves.

I can relate and won’t lie, even with a life anchored on Jesus I have find myself in a disconcerting middle place right now. Sharing my emotions and connecting deeply with people around me is challenging as it feels like there is a thick pane of glass separating me from the rest of the world, isolating and deadening everything. My current middle is all about life after kids and ministry, but I wonder if the principle is the same when you find yourself stuck in a life you just wish would move on, when there is no end in sight for the pain or the burden….

It has me thinking if – by not talking about our struggles in the ‘middle’ of whatever situation we find ourselves in – we deny ourselves opportunities for community and permission to learn and experience a personal heavenly touch?

2012 Sailing 2

Hear my Cry

Its Friday and so I’m linking up again with the other writers at Tales from a Gypsy Mama for Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday (a flashmob of writers who write for five minutes on a prompt without over editing, backtracking or worrying too much about getting it exactly right) …This week’s word is Comfort….

2012 Spring Blossom Linton

In order to deaden pain and cope with life, I have substituted many things for Comfort: I have stayed too busy to notice loss and sorrow, over-eaten to hide my loneliness, criticized life rather than engaged in it, eagerly helped myself to another glass of wine, endlessly looked for a ‘better’ experience, hidden for weeks while planning idyllic holidays and events, had too many coffee’s with friends listening to their stories and hearts and ignoring my own, I have spent too much time wondering what life would have been like if the “what if” had never occurred….

Even if, for a while, these techniques satisfied, in the end their respite has always been temporary. I have ended up disappointed in myself and frustrated with life. Avoiding pain isn’t synonymous with embracing life. A deeper sense of loss has been the result.

We all have hurt places that need comforting…
We all have longings and empty places…
Things we crave. We all want more….

Yet, there isn’t enough love, hope, friendship and intimacy on earth to completely satisfy us. Nor is there enough peace and hope in this world to comfort us in our grief. The problem is that while God designed us to want more out of life and we won’t be satisfied until we get it, only He completely satisfies. All my cravings and hungers, my disappointments and dreams all point the way to God, every single time. We are fooled that the thing we are looking for – the treasure – is really the… food, the cup of coffee, the chocolate, the outfit, the next business deal, being accepted in a friendship group, being acclaimed, living in a better house, being accepted by a certain crowd, an affair… not the Living God.

Father is showing me in this season of my life that I need to be honest about the places in my soul that ache to be filled, because only then can Father tenderly reach into my heart…
Only then will I know complete peace and comfort…….
Emilie Griffin says it this way: “This is the one intimacy of which we need not be afraid, for it will not disappoint or betray us. On God we can lose all the intensity of what we are, all the passion and longing we feel. This is the one surrender we can make in utter trust, knowing that we can rest our whole weight there and nothing will give way”.
Clinging: The Experience Of Prayer

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18: 2

Five Minute Friday

Brave

Once again Friday came and went but nonetheless I’m linking up with the other intrepid souls at Tales from a Gypsy Mama for last week’s Five Minute Friday, a group of writers who write for five minutes on a prompt without over editing, backtracking or worrying too much about getting it exactly right …This week’s word – Brave
Five Minute Friday

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I see you friend
Brave beyond the world’s view of you
Battling against those inner demons
Tackling life head on
Small moments of moving forward
Not allowing pain and hopelessness to define you
Staring defeat in the face and still fighting through
Pushing on
Your quiet war may be misunderstood
Misinterpreted
Ignored by this world
But I know you as Brave
My warrior child
Nothing escapes My eye
I watch over you and My courage is yours
My heart and eye is always inclined towards you
I Am
El Roi