Sunday Selah ~ Afternoons

Sunday Selah Image

I sit with my feet propped up as the sweet scent of fall caresses my skin. It’s a quiet Sunday afternoon, only the echo of children bouncing on the neighbor’s trampoline drift over the fence. We have a rule in our house on Sunday’s: Everyone must take a nap. Of course “everyone” excludes mommies and daddies. (grin) And so it is. Quiet. Reflective. Calm.

And as the leaves trickle and the bees franticly search, I ponder. This moment is perfect for pondering.

(Just makes you sigh doesn’t it?!)

Well, may I suggest a few favorite posts to encourage your ponder?

I mean really, one can’t help but dream on afternoons like this one.  And this post by Holley Gerth is like a perfect cup of coffee for that dream stirring in your soul.  Check it out:  The Wild Art of Dreaming.

And as my daydream turned to longing, an ache, I was reminded to savor the gifts yet to be unwrapped along the way.  My sweet friend Abigail McDonald nudged me with her words, “To live a full life, we must embrace each season instead of constantly looking ahead to the next one”.  You too will be encouraged to savor with her post: An Invitation to Live a Full Life.  (this seems to be a message I’m finding every where… hmm)

May your Sunday be one with a calm moment on the back deck, one where ponderings can happen hand in hand with the savoring of today.

Because. {Five Minute Friday}

Five Minute Friday

It’s my favorite time of the week!  I gather amongst other word lovers and write with reckless abandon for 5 solid minutes (or sometimes a few more… i confess) on one shared word.  Its freeing, its challenging, its writing and I love it.  Come, jump in over at Kate Motaung’s place!  All are welcome!
Autumn

~ Because ~

Because.

Because the love that sparks a flurry of dreams at just the touch of your hand, I will spend my days walking beside you.

Because.

Because I already love the life held within your heart beat, I will stretch beyond measure and then bear down with every ounce of my own life to feel your first breath.

Because.

Because I believe in who you are and who you will become, I will watch the clock tick beyond the stars and pace with prayerful whispers, (or shouts) as you grow and dream and struggle into the next chapter.

Because.

Because I still know the dreams we share between our pillows are ours for the making, I will forgive today and embrace your tomorrow.

Because.

Because our relationship is worth more to me than your comfort, I will establish boundaries even when it hurts.

Because.

Because faith isn’t just a word, it is a walk, I will choose to believe even when nothing in my eyesight matches Your words.  ~Tweet This

Because.

Because where else would I go and what else would I do?

Because

The Fruit of Abiding {Guest Post}

Abide Series

Hello my dear friends.  Today please come, kick your shoes off and settle in on the couch with your favorite cup of warmth.  My dear friend, Beth Kinder is visiting all the way from the West Coast.  I cannot put into words how blessed I have been by this woman, she is the real deal.  She is genuine and tangible and her love for Jesus is contagious.  She is the founder of Remade Ministries where she builds up, encourages and strengthens others to pursue God wholeheartedly.  Today she comes bearing sweet, beautiful, California Oranges.

~

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.        John 15:5

We have this orange tree in our backyard that produces the best oranges I have ever eaten. When we first moved into our 30-year-old home, I had never owned a fruit tree, much less picked my own fruit straight from the branches! 

We got our oranges the way most people did – from the local grocery store. We didn’t buy oranges very often because they were typically tasteless. Their meat was hard, not much juice, and no one really enjoyed them. I will never forget the day I pulled the first orange off of our tree. The fragrance of the orange was released the moment the fruit broke from the branch. It permeated the air and trailed behind me as I took that one orange into the house. Just holding the orange left fresh citrus oil all over my hands.

A single orange filled my kitchen with the crisp smell of citrus. I’m salivating just thinking about it! As I peeled the thick skin, the juice from the orange ran over my fingers and onto the counter. I knew I was in for a wonderful treat! I leaned in over the sink to take my first bite, and the juice exploded everywhere into my mouth, down my chin, through my fingers and landing onto the bottom of the stainless steal sink. Everything one could image an orange tasting, smelling, and feeling like was exemplified in that one moment! A single orange off of my tree produced eight-ounces of concentrated juice!

The season ended and then appeared again as we watched new buds form on the tree, and the sweet smell of orange blossoms filled the backyard. There was great anticipation of the coming crop. Oranges grew out of the tiny blossoms from small green balls to large beautifully bright oranges!

I wasn’t sure when to pick an orange, so I went by its color. I pulled the first fruits of the season with excitement. As I grabbed an orange off the lower branch and tugged hard, I noticed it didn’t break free as easily as it did the previous season.

In my excitement, ok it was straight up impatience, I peeled the orange standing under the shade of the 30-year-old tree. Only this time the skin on the orange was thinner and more difficult to peel, and the meat of the orange wasn’t nearly as tender, and when I bit into it there wasn’t the sweet tarty orange flavor, it was a bitter tartness that just made me pucker! Total disappointment!

The orange looked just like the one from the previous year, but it didn’t taste like them.

In John 15:5 Jesus said that if we remain in him and he in us we would produce much fruit. I believe the quality of our fruit is directly connected to the length of time we abide in His presence.

The orange I pulled from the tree the second season looked just like the orange from the previous season, except it wasn’t as ripe. It needed more time on the tree.

Any time spent with Christ will produce fruit, but I’m not satisfied with just any quality of fruit. I want a lasting, memorable, life-altering fruit! I desire the type of fruit that comes from abiding a full season in the secret place – but I’m not always disciplined to do that.

I have a tendency to rush into the doing for God, and I end up forsaking the being with God. I notice that during those seasons the fruit is a weaker version of what it could have been. Jesus walked with the Father daily, spent time in the secret place daily and out of three years of ministry; He produced an impact on the world, which has lingered for thousands of years.

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Just as that orange juice flowed after being broken in my hands, it is my desire that whatever I speak, write, or teach God will break open the time He and I spent together, and His sweet presence will flow over others. As the orange left residue of citrus oils in my hands simply by holding it, I want the power of the Holy Spirit to be released just by being with others. And the lingering aroma of the orange that trailed behind me, I desperately want to leave an aroma of Jesus long after I’ve left.

I don’t want to produce just any fruit that can be purchased from a store; I desire to be the ripened, fresh picked straight from the branch itself – yielding a type of fruit that leaves others longing for more of an authentic encounter with Him!

How about you? Do you ever find yourself pouring out before its time?

 

Remade Banner   Beth Kinder
~Beth Kinder

*Linking up Today with Meredith Bernard and Holley Gerth.  Click on their links to find another gathering of encouragers! 

 

Sunday Selah

“Mama, when we gonna go?”  He shuffles in through the glass door all hustled by the wind and emblazoned by the fresh air.

“Go where, bubba?”

“To the ‘tel.” He says as he wipes his nose on his sleeve and kicks at an imaginary rock.  Man, I love this little man.

“The what?”

“To the ‘tel.” Sniff.  “On ‘cation”.

“You want to go on vacation?!” This request has me flabbergasted.  The leaves are changing and school is in full session.  I try not to laugh so I go back to sorting, folding, sifting.

His hazel eyes catch the noon day sun all full of life and glory and adventure, “Yeah,” he says as he stands up taller.  And then that charming-oh-so-hard-to-ignor smile beams from across the room.  I swear, he has power over me unlike anything else.  My whole soul wanted to scoop him up along with his toy-filled back pack and go on a wild road adventure complete with ‘tel bed bouncing and loads of ice cream.

I have been all too guilty lately of focusing on the list, the schedule and the needs.  I love Sundays for that reason, they are sweet moments to savor;  A gentle reminders that the moments we want far outweigh the moments we think we need.

My dear friend Meredith Bernard wrote about looking past the mess, the ordinary, to find the glory.  Her words spoke directly into my laundry pile and helped me find time to go hunt bad guys in the basement with a flashlight.

Try it.  It will be the best adventure you’ll ever embark upon.  While it may delay nap time and most definitely delay that laundry pile’s (which can double as the perfect hiding spot) demise, it will open the windows to a soul full of glorious moments.

Come read Meredith’s article here!  (and see her amazing photography as well!).

Happy Sunday to you!  May your week be full of glory moments!

Hold {Five Minute Friday}

Connection. Life.

Connection. Life.

Hold, it means so many things.

It can mean wait for a bit, here in this moment.  Perhaps you are waiting for an answer to a question or something interrupts and you need to wait it out.  So you carry the moment in pause for a bit.  It slows time, maybe even altering the direction that particular moment was headed.

Or it can mean something you have in your possesion.  You hold onto something or someone.  There is warmth in that process and a sensory of feelings.  You hold a feeling between skin.

I am holding many things and many things are holding me.  One thing I know, moments are held in the folds of my soul and I am comfortable holding while they bloom before my eyes. 

 

I am savoring moments shared with my online friends over at Kate Motaung’s blog today for Five Minute Friday.  Five minutes held in reverence each week for the pure creativeness of writing. 

 

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