Aware

Aware – having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge

I may not be aware that I am tired until I sit down.

I may not be aware that I am holding my breath until someone who knows me says, “Breathe. Breathe.”

I may not be aware of the need to be held until I am hugged.

I may not be aware that I am scared until I notice my hands shaking.

I may not be aware of what my heart is full of until I pay attention to the words I repeatedly say.

And truth be told, no matter how much my knowledge or awareness increases, by virtue of being human, my knowledge will always be, “in part.”

But there is One who knows me completely:
When I sit and when I rise.
What I am thinking and what I will say before I speak.
The motives of my heart.
The intent and full impact of my choices.

My greatest need is not for more self-awareness but total surrender to and an increasing knowledge of the One who knows me intimately and loves me completely.

I am joining the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for a weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s writing prompt is, “Aware.”

Danger

The signs are not always there that danger is present. No skulls with an X over it. No flashing lights. No fences with “Keep out” or “Danger” marked on posts. No tingling “spidey senses.”

The signs are not always there that danger is present. Sometimes an ordinary daily activity can become dangerous, even life threatening or fatal. Like going to the grocery store in Buffalo, NY. Or being in a 4th grade classroom in Uvalde, TX. The signs are not always there that danger is present.

There would be steps that we would take if we knew that danger was coming our way. Like heed severe weather warnings and not drive on flooded roads. But earthquakes happen while we sleep and gas pipes burst and trains derail and accidents happen. Danger is often closer than we realize.// And we have less control than we would like to believe. These facts can paralyze us, if we let them. But we do not have to. We can trust the Sovereign Almighty God, who does not always keep us from danger but is always present, holds us firmly in His hands, and keeps His promises, including the ones in the following verses. 

“Do not fear [anything], for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation]” (Isaiah 41:10, AMP).

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13, AMP)

I am joining (on a Sunday) the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. The writing prompt is, “Danger.” The content behind the // and hyperlinks were added after 5 minutes had expired.

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It is Memorial Day here in the USA. I honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of freedom.

But I cannot shake the grief of the massacre of 19 children and two teachers at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. And I should not. There has not been enough time since this violent horror was unleashed on innocent children and their teachers and their parents and other loved ones and the community. And on us. We are witnesses. A deep grief the kind for which there are no adequate words. Grief for which only lament is appropriate. It is too soon to speak of healing. Hearts and lives are shattered, and we must not look away. Children have been slaughtered. Again. Children have been traumatized. Again. It is too soon to speak of healing.

Gracious God, help.

Vision

For my siblings and I, eyewear is not a fashion accessory. Eyewear is needed to help us see for one of the things we have in common is impaired vision. I have worn spectacles from the age of seven. I need help to see clearly.

As in the physical world, so it is in the spiritual world. As humans, we are born with impaired spiritual vision. Thankfully, we do not have to remain in this state. The same God who healed blind Bartimaeus* of physical blindness when he called out to Him, will heal us of spiritual blindness or impaired vision when we call out to Him. He enables us to have a clearer vision of who He is, who we are, and who are the people He has placed in our lives for His purpose.//

I think of the prophet Isaiah’s experience (recorded in Isaiah 6). He saw “the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple” and heard the seraphim crying out to each other, ““Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” Isaiah then saw himself and his people accurately and cried out. God’s response was not to condemn Isaiah but cleanse and commission him. He is no less merciful to us.

This post serves the dual purpose as the entry for Day 5 of the #hopewriterlife Instagram Writing Challenge (hosted by Hope*Writers) and the Five Minute Friday weekly writing link-up hosted by Kate Motaung. Click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. The writing prompt is, “Vision.” The content after the // was added after five minutes were completed.
*Mark 10:46-52

Peace

We always need God’s peace,
but when life is like a day on the shores of a peaceful lake,
or the storms come but we are sheltered safely indoors with all we need,
we may be less aware of our need.

But that need becomes glaring
when floodwaters rise and threaten what we hold dear, even our very lives.
And it is comforting to know the truth of Psalm 29:10-11:
“The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood,
And the Lord sits as King forever.
The Lord will give strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace.”

I am joining (on a Monday) the Five Minute Friday community hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. The prompt is “Peace.” Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday, read posts from other members, and/or share your post on the theme.

Stretch

Sometimes life can stretch us thin
because there is always the unexpected,
and there are always changes
and that which we cannot control.

Sometimes we stretch ourselves thin
trying to juggle balls of responsibilities,
some of which are not our own,
grasping for opportunities,
reaching for approval,
knocking on closed doors.

Whether the source of the stretched-thinness
is other or self,
the invitation of our Savior,

the One, “who stretches out the heavens
and lays the foundation of the earth
and forms the spirit of man within him,”*
is the same:
“Come to Me.
Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life.”
*

I am joining, (for the first time in many weeks), the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s writing prompt is, “Stretch.” *The Scripture references in the post, in the order shared, are Zechariah 12:1 (AMP) and Matthew 11:28 (MSG). In service of full disclosure, this post took longer than 5 minutes and was edited. 🙂

Expectation: FMF Link-up

This definition of expectation, “basis for expecting: ASSURANCE,” raised the question, “What is my basis for expecting anything from God?” I believe one factor is knowledge. If my knowledge of Him is superficial or inaccurate, my expectation of Him may lead me to be disappointed in Him for not being my Genie or Father Christmas.

He is not there to grant my every wish. He is who He says He is, and He will do what He says He will do, according to His sovereign will and in His time. Not mine. I need an accurate, maturing knowledge of who He is and such knowledge does not come by chance.

I am joining (on a Monday) the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. The current writing prompt is, “Expectation.” The definition of “Expectation” used in the post is from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. The post was edited for clarity on 12/8/2021.

FMF: Wander

Sometimes I wander in my mind
and get lost in thought.
Sometimes I wander with my feet
and am pleasantly surprised by what I see,
even if I get lost.
Sometimes like the prodigal son,
I wander away from my Father.
But whether I am lost in thought,
in body,
or in spirit,
my Father never loses track of me.
He always knows where I am.

Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind. You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I will take before my journey even begins. You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. You have laid your hand on me! This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.
(Psalms 139:1‭-‬6, TPT).

I am joining (on a Saturday) the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s writing prompt is, “Wander.”

Morning: A Prayer (FMF Link-up)

Father,
You know when a night comes if it will become a night season. You know. I do not. You know. And gracious God, You who are my Maker, You give songs in the night.

You enabled Paul and Silas to sing at midnight in a prison after their clothes were torn from them and they had been severely beaten. You enabled them to sing, dear Father. And You who give songs and grace in the night seasons and remain with us throughout the night, You assure us that morning will come and with it joy.

And when the morning comes, may I, like the psalmist David, sing of Your mighty strength and power; yes, sing joyfully of Your lovingkindness in the morning. For You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress. To You, O God my strength, I will sing praises. For God, You are  my stronghold, my refuge, my protector, my high tower, the God who shows me steadfast lovingkindness. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

I am joining the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. The writing prompt is, “Morning.” The verses of Scripture mentioned in the post, in the order shared, are Job 35:10 (NKJV); Acts 16:22-25 (NKJV); Psalm 30:5 (HCSB); Psalm 59:16-17 (AMP); Psalm 5:3 (NKJV). This post took a tad longer than five minutes.

City

I am joining (on a Sunday) the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. The writing prompt is, “City.” The content after the // was written after the allotted 5 minutes had expired.

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“Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. For by this [kind of] faith the men of old gained [divine] approval.” (Hebrews 11:1-2, AMP).

“By faith Abraham, when he was called [by God], obeyed by going to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as a foreigner in the promised land, as in a strange land, living in tents [as nomads] with Isaac and Jacob, who were fellow heirs of the same promise. For he was [waiting expectantly and confidently] looking forward to the city which has foundations, [an eternal, heavenly city] whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11: 8-10, AMP. Emphases added).

He carried me away in the realm of the Spirit to the top of a great, high mountain. There he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. It was infused with the glory of God, and its radiance was like that of a very rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.” (Revelation 21:10-11, TPT).

Abraham lived as a foreigner in the land that God had promised to give him and his descendants. He did so by faith. Faith, “the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].”

The Holy Spirit tells us through the apostle Peter that we do not belong here (1 Peter 2:11). Abraham had this mindset.// He understood that he was an alien. A stranger. A pilgrim. A sojourner. A temporary resident. Because of this faith shaped and fueled mindset, ”he was [waiting expectantly and confidently] looking forward to the city which has foundations, [an eternal, heavenly city] whose architect and builder is God.” This holy city, which Abraham was looking forward to, is described in Revelation 21.

Abraham had the mindset of a foreigner in the land of promise. What is our mindset in the land in which we now live?

He was “[waiting expectantly and confidently] looking forward to the city which has foundations, [an eternal, heavenly city] whose architect and builder is God.” Are we? And if we are, what fuels our longing? Escape from “the troubles of this world”? The desire to see loved ones who have gone on before? All of these are understandable but where does the desire to be with the Architect and Builder of the city, the One who redeemed us with His own blood, the Author and Finisher of our faith, fall among all the reasons we are looking forward to the city, (if we are)?