baby fingers

Reach (Five Minute Friday)

It’s 4 a.m. and a wail leads me to a darkened room where I can see a little face peering out of the slats of a crib and a small hand reaching up.

With my maternal instincts, I try to decipher the cry. To many, it would just sound like incoherent babble. But in the midst of the wails, all I hear is “I need you”. Again and again.

I need you to stop.

I need you to spend time with me.

It makes my heart melt, and speaks to a tired soul that tends to feel like there’s something more to be done, something greater within my reach.

It calls me to change focus.

After all, it’s easy to get caught up when life seems like a cycle of rinse and repeat — staring at the same unwashed dishes, the same unfolded laundry, the same dust bunnies, and the same computer screen week after week.

That is, until you realize what’s happening.

So these days I find myself reaching for God, questioning whether I’ve missed the mark by focusing too much on the things I want to accomplish, and not enough on Him.

And like I reach down to comfort my restless baby girl, He reaches out to me and calms me by showing me more of Him, more of His Word, and more of His Spirit.

 


Linking up with Kate Motaung today for Five Minute Friday. It’s a writing “flash mob” of sorts, and here are the rules: Get your thoughts together. Then write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. You can post in the comments on the Five Minute Friday Facebook page, Kate’s blog or link up there with a post from your own blog. Then check out the post before yours, and leave a comment.

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On Fear, Trust, and My First Mountain Weekend

The lanes narrowed as level land turned into rounded curves moving uphill. I waited for the high beams to see the stretch of road in front of me. Then I gripped my seat, clenched my teeth, and started reaching for the imaginary brake.

“Slow down,” I whispered for about the twentieth time.

Occasionally I would unclench my teeth to laugh at my husband, who would slow down the car and dramatically throw his arm across my chest, mimicking my frenzied behavior. But at one point, he looked at me and said, “Why are you worrying? What can you do?”

I knew I didn’t have a logical explanation, but I tried to defend myself anyway, by saying I couldn’t see and assuming his vision was as poor as mine.

I tried to relax, but it wasn’t ten minutes before I sank into my seat and my foot found the imaginary brake again. I even questioned whether we were heading in the right direction.

He didn’t look at me that time, nor any of the other times I freaked out.

He just continued driving and later said, “You’re going to learn to trust me one day.”

I would love to say my anxiety stopped right then and there. But it didn’t. Not until we got to our destination, I saw my friends and their precious babies, and daylight showed a view that was more beautiful than I imagined and more peaceful than I ever expected.

I do trust my husband, but I clearly didn’t show it during the trip up to that mountain cabin.

And I think it’s a lot like what can happen to Christians when we find ourselves embarking on new territory.

We claim to believe in God, but at times our actions show we don’t fully trust Him to direct our paths. We hold on to things when we should let them go; we hesitate; and we try to call the shots — all because we can’t see what’s ahead.

We do this without realizing those moments only we show God how much we don’t believe that He’s given us the gift of grace through faith; and that He promises to act (Psalm 37:5), make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6), be our shield (Proverbs 30:5), and be our everlasting rock (Isaiah 26:4) when we put our trust in Him. The things that can help us make it through those rough uphill treks.

I guess, sometimes God has to take us up a mountain kicking and screaming so we can experience the beauty of what’s on the other side, and grow our trust.

We’ll learn one day, right?

Tell (Five Minute Friday)

Everyday the news headlines are filled with stories of death, destruction, and public outcries for change. This week alone I’ve read about the progression of an Ebola outbreak, the  persecution of Christians, the protests over the police shooting death of an 18 year old, and how the perils of mental illness led to another celebrity suicide.

It’s sad.

I can’t pretend it doesn’t get to me.

But there was a time when I tried not to let it, thinking I was just too burnt out after years of dealing with it in the newsroom.

I unplugged from the world just after I had my baby. Not wanting to watch the news or hear about anymore death and destruction, anymore pain and suffering.

As a result, I turned a blind eye to stories we need to tell. Stories we need to hear.

It’s easy to do that when we’re consumed by the comforts in life, and not living their reality. We want to ignore things, or shrug them off and say there’s nothing we can do anyway.

However, that is something I realized we can’t do if we really want to see change in a hurting world.

We can’t cocoon ourselves.

We have to make sure the stories being told aren’t falling on deaf ears. We need to listen. Really listen. And change how we respond to them. Have a little empathy. Show a little compassion. Put down the stones. And pray.

As Maya Angelou said, we need to “be the change [we] want to see in the world.” That way, we can let those at the center of the suffering know they aren’t being ignored, and tell them that their stories matter too.

 


Linking up with Kate Motaung today for Five Minute Friday.  It’s a writing “flash mob” of sorts, and here are the rules: Get your thoughts together. Then write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. You can post in the comments on the Five Minute Friday Facebook page, Kate’s blog or link up there with a post from your own blog. Then check out the post before yours, and leave a comment.