Ask the Question

While out walking in the early part of the morning, the light still soft, and the air without any oppressive humidity my girl reminds me we all want to be known by asking the question: “What happens if you don’t ask the question, will she know you care?

Defensively, I reply that she knows.
But it has me wondering.
5. 2014 Ask the Question - AccraIs there something wrong with me that I often don’t think to ask the question lying in the space between us?
Maybe she knew; but what about the others who don’t know, who struggle to feel heard? What about people I do not ask because I don’t want to embarrass them?
Or worse yet …I don’t ask because I feel I already know their story, having jumped to some limited two dimensional conclusion in my head?

Loneliness and the fear of being an “outsider” is one of humankind’s deepest fears and  a condition of the Fall. When I don’t reach out or neglect to ask, do I convey a disinterest that contributes to the lie that they are not worth knowing?
I say I value the people I encounter on my journey and their struggles and successes, I care about their choices and yet, if I do not reach out and communicate that with them then I am not sure I am conveying my love and interest.

Intersecting lives are a gift, puzzle pieces in our Father’s master plan….
A place of to know comfort and to experience Hope.
We all long to be known.
I long to be known.

I think she was right, I should take the risk more often and ask the questions!


Life-Giving Friendship

Why did you do all this for me?‘ he asked.
I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’
You have been my friend,‘ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

4. 2014 Life-Giving Friendship - Spiders Web Blackrock

None of us can make it through this life alone
Needing someone isn’t shameful

I am celebrating this today

Resisting, hiding, fighting myself
My friends saw me, they knew my need
They carried me
They knew me better than I knew myself
As trusted companions they chose for me
Their presence allowed me to catch a fresh vision
Of my personal history still being written
In simple, understated ways and with transforming words,
My friends reminded me that I am not alone on the journey

With a lump rising in my throat, my heart is truly in thankful

Kindred spirits walk this journey with me
Life-giving women
Who understand and encourage me
They have joined me in my story
Outsiders have become family
Offering hope

Needing and emptiness has become good
Creating a space for God to enter and love me through others

4. 2014 Life-Giving Friendship -Heather's Birthday  Feet

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow”.
William Shakespeare

I have such Friends

Somehow, Friday has come and gone but nonetheless I’m linking up with the other intrepid souls at Tales from a Gypsy Mama for 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 – Friend

13. I have such Friends 2

For various reasons over the past number of months the word ‘friend’ has been a major theme in my thoughts and considerations. Despite my love of friendship I find it an intangible word, hard to pin down in my life and for my life.
I am blessed to have all sorts of friends in many different countries.

Each friendship is a treasure, each individual and their influence on my life inimitable.
Some friendships we enjoy as a couple, others are family based, some are uniquely mine.
There are those who have known me since birth and remember me more as I was, than as I am.
Those who have grown with me and continue to have influence.
Friends that have fallen away…lives that have changed, hurts that have happened – regrets.
New friends with whom I hope to build a lasting trust.
I have friends I can talk politics to and some with whom I wouldn’t dare.
Those with whom I share the grand adventure of developing the artistic hopes within me.
Friends who know my Jesus and sharpen and encourage me in my faith and many others who don’t.
Those with whom I can be completely real and others with whom I hold back.
Friends who come for dinner and friends I meet in coffee shops.
Many who know me better than I know myself.
Varied, wonderful relationships enjoyed in so different ways enliven and enrich my life.
Offering me glimpses of the Eternal and the many facets of Life.

Yet there are often still longings…
For me and for my friends…
Initially I blamed unrealistic expectations and defectiveness.
I now believe all friendships are to be embraced, nurtured and treasured for what they are.
And the ache, also present, eagerly accepted as a marker towards heaven…
The aroma of the truth that we were made for More!
Five Minute Friday

Think where man’s glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.
William Butler Yeats

Scattered Words

12. 2013 Scattered Words 1Early this week some words scattered carelessly by someone I love wounded me.
Longing for approval and falling prey to measuring myself by others assessment of me, I was an easy victim.
Narcissistic, it was an easy opportunity for a dark festering to take root in my mind.
Self-doubt overcame me as lies informed the narrative of who I am.
I once again became ‘one offended’….

Let me not deceive myself, this week, this day I offended too…. I spoke without thinking and my words lightly off my lips went straight to another’s heart. My actions intentionally or unintentionally excluded. I wounded a friend.

It is clear that the one thing in life over which we have no control is the constant barrage of offenses (Luke 17:1). It’s the way of this fallen world. I also know, academically, that there is a way to stop the pain caused by the offense and in so doing end the cycle of hurt. Living it out is not always so easy. Jesus warns us (as the offended) to “watch out”! I think because we are at great risk when feeling exposed and vulnerable. Just as an animal is often most dangerous when wounded, it is easy for us to hide, or lash-out and to justify all manner of self-destructive behaviour simply by the fact that we are in pain.

In this situation, that brought all this to light, the words so easily spoken, paralyzed me. It made me want to protect myself. Filled with self-doubt I vowed never to expose myself again. Confused and in pain I wanted to hide. By allowing the offense to linger I opened myself up to bitterness, defensiveness and suffering.

10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy….

Yet He called me back to His heart, He searched for me as I fled.
Even now, in my fear and with all my reservations, He holds me to Him.
In Him alone there is truth and freedom.
He tells me my self-perception is of no relevance.
He calls me to Trust Him.
In accepting His view of me, I am set free from the bondage of self and ‘other’ judgment, and able to live this life without limits that He has for me.

…..I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

John 10:10
Amplified Bible (AMP)
12. 2013 Scattered Words 2

Broken – Hope for my Selfishness

Yesterday felt like Friday in my world and so I waited all day for Lisa-Jo to post her Five Minute Friday Word…. but it didn’t happen :)… so I prayed for her and for me and then I wrote what Father had on my heart…. and I think you’ll agree even though I wrote it a day early it fits beautifully with her word today: BROKEN….

I am the kind of person who has always had to apologize for saying too much, being too opinionated, over-stepping the line. Even from 6 or 7 years old I remember having to go to grandparents, family or friends to apologize for saying the wrong thing or speaking out truth when “good polite girls” stay quiet…  At nearly 50 you think I’d learn…. but no, I just did it again… a massive “over-speak”! Once again forcing me to confront my worst self and the poverty that results from attempting to live by the flesh!!

How glorious that just prior to Easter, due to my own disappointing mess-up, I am reminded that I am in painful need of healing and that the only way I can live this life is by trusting Him moment by moment and by depending endlessly on His Life in me.2013-03-16 08.11.39

Perhaps I needed the graphic humiliation of failure to underscore what Abba has been showing me in this season of my life….

…to love better… reminding me that I was born for something more.

He has been gently allowing me to see my prideful, arrogant flesh – where I express an opinion without kindness or where I am operating according to my selfish flesh so that I side-step a situation that would require a detour to love well.

 The temptation to “go it alone” and live just as I please is strong……but the haunting of what He died for is forever written on my heart and so, no matter how alluring it seems to follow my own self-interest, deep down I want more…

I want His way of Love….and I am empty, oh so empty to do it myself…

This Easter I give thanks for the fact that He is encouraging me to abide and depend on His Life, so that the desire of my heart – to sacrificially love and to extend mercy and grace – can be revealed in and through me.

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Joining Lisa-Jo Baker and writers here for five minutes of unedited free writing, based on the word: Broken

Five Minute Friday