As children, what we see in a family setting often defines what “family” should look like. Both of our boys love us, and are completely bonded with us.
Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—FAMILY. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!
Why do we let those we love the most see the ugliest versions of us?
Why is it we feel like we have the right to vent on those closest to us?
I’d never talk to my friends the way I talk to my boys. I never even talk to a telemarketer the way I talk with my boys sometimes.
And for that, I am ashamed.
I don’t speak disrespectfully to my friends, but I feel its okay, at least sometimes, to subject my husband, my boys, to that?
Especially with the males in my home, I must guard my words, and guide my tones of voice. They hear and understand love through RESPECT.
I need to be able to be real with my family. Let the guards down and share my fears, my hurts, my insecurities with them. But, I also need to love them well.
I can only do both well when I ‘m walking closely with Jesus. It’s when I allow Him to conform me to His image that I can love well, that I can speak truth with grace and still be real.
When I focus on being real without the love of Jesus guiding me? I will also be hurtful, at least sometimes.
When I seek to love my family without the freedom to speak truth, and share the real me? I squelch a part of myself, and that leads to me being unkind, disrespectful, and sometimes downright rude.
Loving well isn’t something I can do in my own strength, but it’s what I want to do with this amazing family God’s put around me.
One hubby who loves and leads us well. Who provides so much for us.
Two boys who I love to pieces and who love me with all of themselves. How can I love them less by withholding some of myself from them?
This family-life is a dance of grace and truth. It’s hard to walk in both constantly, but it’s what I want to do, because my guys are worth it.
And who knows, maybe my boys will see glimpses of Jesus in the loving and learn to love Him and others well as they grow older too. That’s my greatest hope.
What about you? What’s your favorite aspect of family? What’s your grace walk in your family life?
Be sure to visit Kate Motaung’s site for Five Minute Friday—Family
I’m still pondering our Five Minute Friday word from last week. There are several wonderful posts on doubt, if this is something you struggle with.
I’ve seen it throughout my life. My tendency to doubt. Looking for that teaching job after college, the perfect husband, babies and motherhood, and writing . . . doubt walked by my side through each of these seasons.
Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—DOUBT. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!
***There were a number of directions I could have taken this post. This is still pretty fresh on my heart, so I hope it makes sense!***
The email came today. Though I’d expected it, I hesitated to open it. Anytime someone is evaluating something I’ve created, I know the words can build up, or cause doubt.
Today, they caused doubt.
Why did I ever think I could write a story? Who am I to think I can convey God’s love and messages through my written words?
Part of the reason I’m struggling with doubt right now is because I thought a little more highly of myself than I ought to think.
Without realizing it, I’d hung some of my personal value on the affirmation I’d hoped to receive from others.
How many times am I going to walk around this tree? The one where words drop from the branches and bang me on the head, leaving wounds in my thoughts, bruises on my heart?
When am I going to truly believe that my affirmation, my value does not come from people, but from God?
People see a part of who I am. God sees all that He has created me to be—both where I am today and at the end of my life. And, He says it is good.
He uses the disappointments in life—the criticisms—to refine our character . . .
. . . the way fire pushes dross up from the bottom of the silver kettle. He wants the dross to rise to the top so it can be scraped away.
When my dross is pushed to the surface through the heat of criticism, the doubt of my value is what rose to the top this time around.
God’s a gentle purifier, though. He knows what needs to happen so I’ll remember Who I belong to.
He knows the plans he has for each of us . . .
. . . and He never promises that everything will go exactly the way we want them to go. He uses the disappointments life tosses into our mix to stir things up, to show us areas of our character He’s working on, and to remind us Whose we are.
When we turn to Him with our doubts . . .
. . . when we listen to the truths He declares over us, those doubts can turn to hope. Hope restores the spirit and gives us strength to keep walking forward in the messy, beautiful plans He’s crafted for us.
What about you? How do you manage doubt when it comes knocking on the door of your life? When have you turned doubt into hope?
Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post—Doubt
I just returned from my fourth American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) writing conference. I brought home priceless memories, lived through some struggles and am pondering lessons learned during my four days in Dallas, Texas.
The challenging aspects of the conference always come down to my innate tendency to: 1) compare myself to others and where they are in their journey, and 2) question my giftings as a writer.
When I first read a headline about the Syrian refugee crisis, it was a blip on the radar of my attention.
Then, I read more.
I discovered the shocking reality of the numbers of people impacted by ISIS’ actions in the middle East. Millions fleeing their homes just so they can stay alive, so they can keep their children alive. They take dangerous risks in the hopes of living another day. And my heart broke.
Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—SAME. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!
As a teenage girl, I desperately wanted to fit in with the kids around me. I tried dressing the same, taking some of the same classes as friends. I tried talking and acting the same as the other kids . . . sometimes betraying who I really was.
I’m not so different now. I still struggle with the desire to fit in. To be the same as those around me. There’s something in feeling accepted that lures me to compromise to fit in with those I hang around with.
I’m learning that when I seek to fit in with others, I deny the intrinsic unique qualities God’s placed within me. There is no one else with my DNA who has or ever will walk the face of this earth.
There is no one else who can touch the lives that mine touches. And, I can do this in the unique ways God’s given me. Or, I can try to do it the same way my friends, and those I respect, do it.
When I try to be the same as others, I lose out on discovering all that God has instilled within me . . . simply because He delights in me.
He’s given each of us unique qualities, ways of viewing the world around us. He’s gifted each of us with ways of touching others that can only be expressed “just-so” by us. My friends can’t relate to my neighbors in the same way I can. And vice versa.
We are each gifted with different strengths to work from. Different spiritual gifts to operate in. We’re each unique in the way we perceive circumstances around us. As much as I sometimes wish I was the same . . .
. . . as much as I crave the sense of fitting in . . .
I lose out on being all that God designed me to be when I strive for fitting in with others over being uniquely used by God.
When we step out of the mold we’ve tried to build our lives around, and we trust God to form us into the people He designed us to be? Then we will know the fulfillment that only comes from being our unique selves.
What about you? What is at least one trait that makes you unique on this earth? How do you embrace your unique qualities?
Read Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday offering—Same