Dear Friends (Five Minute Friday)

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Dear.” Write for five minutes; unedited.

Growing up, I was the kid that was teased and picked on. Yet I was lucky to find a dear friend in elementary school who became my best friend. Mandy had been held back in school because she received a kidney transplant. Mandy became my best friend. And due to health concerns, Mandy passed away at a very young age. I miss her every day, yet God has blessed me with even more amazing and dear friends along the way.

A year ago when I moved, I was so worried about making new friends, but I should have known that God would come through so HUGE for me. I have the most amazing dear friends. There is my friend EG who sat in the ER with me when my Mom was there and is always so much fun to spend time with. There is my friend KG who is just so much fun to be around and who loves life to its very fullest. There is KW who has since moved but who I am so glad is a part of my life. There is my dear friend CT who is very much my soul sister. These dear girls are my prayer partners and friends for life. I don’t know what I would do without them! I am so very thankful for each of them.

There are also my dear camp friends and my dear seminary friends. There is my dear friend STM who introduced me to the InCourage community. She is one of my favoritest people in the world. I am so excited to spend time with her in January and to meet her little girl little Miss Lucy. I am so ready for baby snuggles! I am trying to relish in every moment, but there is a huge part of me that thinks the end of January cannot come fast enough.

And these are only just a few of the dear friends I have been blessed with in my life. As a blogger, I have always seen my blog as a place for me to express myself and share my thoughts. I love receiving comments and seeing that others are reading my blog. But I never imagined the community that I would find along the way. I have found community through the write 31 days challenge and the Five Minute Friday. I have spent the last three Thursday nights on Twitter chatting and praying with women all over who simply get me and are a part of my tribe. There has just been something so incredibly holy about finding community with these dear women who get me and understand me for who God created me to be.

This community has allowed me to guest post on several blogs where I have been able to share my story. This community has introduced me to wonderful dear women who I can share my heart and soul with. My heart loves opening my phone and seeing a Voxer message from one of my dear new friends. It is almost hard to put into words what it means to chat with each of you and know that I am not alone in this crazy messed up world. And because I love these dear women so. I am participating in my first ever FMFpartySnailMail. I put my first letter in the mail yesterday and am impatiently waiting for my first letter to appear in my mailbox.

Thank you, dear friends, for loving me.
Thank you, dear friends, for being a part of my tribe.
Thank you, dear friends, for being welcoming.

And, dear dear friends, know you are always welcomed here.
And, dear dear friends, know you are indeed loved and treasured by this dear soul!

Molded by God's Hand

I’ve been thinking about my One Word 365 word “Gentle” more as of late. Perhaps because I have such a tender heart and sometimes that tender heart is so easily bruised, broken, etc.

I often find myself upset or sad because I let my tender heart get in the way. But the thing is, as a friend, reminded me, my tender heart was created by God. God meant for me to have this heart!

Well duh….isn’t that the truth? God DID make me with this tender heart. My heart was “fearfully and wonderfully made” by God. What a beautiful amazing gift that is!!!

But some days/weeks that is harder to see when my tender heart is hurting or when it’s been bruised. It is especially during those times that God calls me (calls all of us) to be “gentle” with ourselves. God says, “You are who you are because I made you that way. I know every hair upon your head. I know exactly who you are!”

Wow! But that’s the beautiful gift of who we are! God created each of us and knows our every fiber. God wants us to be “gentle” with those pieces of ourselves that we see as our weaknesses. Because I truly think when it all comes down to it, God sees our weaknesses as our strengths.

It is like a potter with clay who molds and shapes his/her pottery. God has done the same for us. God’s hands molded us into who we are.

So my friends, as I hear God say these words to me, also hear God saying them to you as well: “You are fearfully and wonderfully made! I made you exactly the way you are and I don’t want you to ever forget that. I love you and made you who you are!”

My friends, may we continually remind each other that we are and have been “fearfully and wonderfully made” by God; the master potter.

Show Them Your Heart!

A colleague and friend reminded me of this today. Being in a new place and a new call this is so important! I know there are some who have definitely seen that heart while others I’m not so sure of. I deeply want them to see my heart!

I love children especially babies and toddlers! I would do just about anything to cuddle a baby or play with a toddler. I don’t even mind that I have to get down on the floor to play! I also love spending time at my friends house and love when her three year old practically demands that I sit next to her ! That is so much a part of my heart! Probably because I yearn to be a momma so deeply!

I also have learned the importance of sharing my story with others! How else will others know my heart? I have so much of my mom’s heart and spirit; yet most people don’t know that she daily struggles with a mental illness! As a daughter of someone who lives with a mental illness that is so much a part of my heart too!

There are many other things that make up my heart too! I hope that in this new place people begin to see my heart! In my last call, I believe that they did see my heart and loved me for it! They saw the peace and holiness I felt when I got to snuggle a baby! They saw the joy I had when I got to laugh with kiddos!

Some days I see glimpses of people seeing that part of my heart here! And yet there are some times I wonder about what they see! I second guess myself and my actions a lot but then I am reminded to be myself! Easily these words whisper into my ear, “Show them your heart and let them get to know you!” Yes, that I need to remember!!

Have you seen me show you my heart? And if so, what has my heart shown you about who God created me to be; “fearfully and wonderfully made!”

May we all show our hearts; broken, battered, bruised, and pieced together for all to see!

Written on My Heart

Today began the beginning of my last week at my current call. I chose to preach on two texts that have been engrained into our very being at that call over these last six years. I preached on Deut 6:4-9 and Micah 6:8. I knew that the likelihood of me shedding tears was extremely high so I stashed a box of Kleenex under the pulpit. Good thing too because tears were definitely shed.

After worship several people came up to me and gave me a hug because they are not going to be there next Sunday for my last Sunday. One hugged me and was like you’ve been here since my boys were little. So very true!

Another one was like you didn’t have to make your sermon so sad. That was not my intention but how do you recap 6 wonderful years in just 7-10 minutes? Impossible I say! :p Maybe not impossible but definitely difficult!

I’m thankful for this dear place that has blessed me in so many ways. They have written on my heart God’s love and their love and that love will always go with me no matter where I go!

As one of my friends reminded me on FB today, tears mean you care and they care and life together has been good! Tonight I go to bed feeling blessed; ready to spend this next week sharing one last time with these dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

For without them I wouldn’t be the woman leader I am today! They have watched me grow and shaped me into who I am today!!