WRITE {Bleeding Black and White} ~ Five Minute Friday

This is the post where I
Link arms with others who like to
Write on the wild side –unabashedly
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

DSCN4724

For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

WRITE

It’s never been my thing. I didn’t want it to be, anyway. But I’ll never forget the day I felt it. It came during a time I was feeling very little–all by choice. You see, when pain hit me the hardest, I chose being numb over feeling how powerful love’s pull is. Yet, I couldn’t shake the ache. The longing. The choking desire to hold a pen in my hand and let it express what I refused to feel.

Friends, I wrote it which gave me permission to feel it. I wrote its resolve which directed me to His open arms. And in the writing, I was healed.

Ernest Hemingway is quoted saying there is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed. Friends, you don’t know how close he is to the truth until you do just that. Until you risk it all and bleed in black and white.

It’s vulnerability at its finest.

In practicing this art, that which I will never master, I learn to appreciate its value. It’s changed my perspective on what I hold most dear.

I cling to my Bible now as I tenderly trace these Words written with my heart in mind. And as I read the Words spilled of the blood shed for me, I allow myself to feel. To accept His grace described and share it with others.

It’s why I write. Because He wrote to me first. And until He comes back to take me Home, we will continue this scandalous love affair of written exchanges. Just Jesus and me.

STOP.

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How about you, friend? Do you bleed black and white? Do you exchange love letters with your Savior? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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RED {How it Speaks to Me} ~ Five Minute Friday

This is the post where I
Link arms with others who like to
Write on the wild side –unabashedly
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

DSCN3799

For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

RED

It invokes strength, determination, passion, desire, love. That’s what they taught us in design school.

I decided to paint my kitchen with it.

Not because of any scholarly advice, but because it speaks to me in ways other colors don’t.

Red has always been one of my favorites. My closet proves it. But mostly, I hope and pray my life shows it.

They also teach you in school that red is the color or war. Of blood spilled. Of lives lost.

Friends, it’s that life lost for me I want to honor most.

And I like to think when I crack my Bible open with His words shed in red, it should invoke strength. Determination. Passion. Desire. Love. Due to the war fought for the love of me. Because of the blood shed in my place.

So maybe when I stand at the kitchen sink, His color reflecting upon my face, I’ll think of Him lovingly. Maybe His strength will find me in the suds. Maybe passion will percolate from my soul and I’ll worship Him right there on the woven mat as I scrub away the dirt and crumbs of my everyday.

Father, I love how red speaks to me in ways other colors don’t. Thank You… May that never change.

 

STOP.

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Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you, friend? How does red speak to you? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

LAST {The Best View} ~ Five Minute Friday

This is the post where I
Link arms with others who like to
Write on the wild side –unabashedly
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

LAST

When it comes to being picked, no one wants it. It’s the greatest dread in junior high phys ed, I’m certain.

Crazy how some things never change over time.

I remember once our Youth Pastor attempted to put a Junior High spin on Matthew 20:16

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

He tried to encourage us to not worry so much about it…I wish I could say it helped. That I took his words to heart.

But that is one thing that has, over time, changed as I’ve begun to figure out this upside down Kingdom of Grace more and more.

Friends, sometimes I think God wants us to be last because it has the best view.

It’s from the back we get to see His glory unfold. Watch His Majesty in action.
It’s when we’ve suffered that we truly see the simplest blessings as the greatest gifts.
It’s how we learn to lay our lives down, pick up His cross and follow His lead.

And in Upside-down Kingdom fashion, being last by no means means we linger behind. No. We still strive, and push, and run and race our hearts out towards that finish line — Paul was right. But what we realize along the way is no matter how hard or how fast or how well we run, we’ll never beat Him to the punch.

You see, Jesus picked us first.

And finally I see clearly… I can now say wholeheartedly:

“Thank You, Jesus…for making me last by choosing me first.”

STOP.

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How about you, friend? What do you think about being last? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

The Gift of STORY ~ Five Minute Friday

This is the post where I
Link arms with others who like to
Write on the wild side –unabashedly
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

DSCN4724

For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone.

This week’s prompt:

STORY

The bathroom mirror is where I hear it most. Sometimes a splash of cold water will drown it out long enough for me to glimpse reality and see clearly. Other times, I believe it the whole livelong day…

Who am I? No one of consequence…
What have I to offer? Nothing worthwhile…

It’s days like today, though…when I allow someone in and reveal the real me. Days like today when I let others see what He becomes through me.

For no one can tell His story like I can. No one has seen Him the same exact way I have.

And if I didn’t let it happen, no one of consequence would benefit from His grace that percolates through me. Nothing worthwhile would become of the glory discovered on my watch.

Friends, if there’s one thing God has given to each one of us, it’s STORY. His story. And I believe it lives wildly through each of us. Grace runs fluidly through our veins.

That’s the one gift given we get to spend here on earth…

Who am I to squelch the reality that He saves people like me?
What have I to offer but His love…the kind that never fails?

It’s days like today I catch a glimpse in that mirror and see glory glowing on my face. For I saw Him today in my mundane everyday. And I told someone about it.

Oh how I pray they saw His Story through me…

“The Bible sounds different from the mouth of a young mother than it does from the mouth of a widow.
This is because the words do not come straight off the page.
They percolate up through the silt and gravel of real people’s lives
so that the meaning in them is fluid, not fixed.
Listening to one another read/live Holy Scripture,
some of us learn what is meant by ‘The Living Word of God.'”
~ Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church

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Friends: I have a novel giveaway going on now! It’s not a feel good story…it’s more a rip-your-heart-out and give it to Christ kind of story. CHECK IT OUT HERE if you’ve ever said, “Father, break my heart for what breaks Yours”!

How about you, friend? What story has He given you? I’d love to hear and see Him through you.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Rhythm {Finding my Inner Birdsong} ~ Five Minute Friday

This is the post each week where I
Link arms with others who like to
Write on the wild side –unabashedly
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

IMG_5783

For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

Rhythm

Time is fickle. It can wring you dry or leave you drenched in joy. And lately, I’m learning, the choice of time’s outcome is mine.

My mornings begin in sonnet. Between the morning dove’s melody, the cardinal couple’s syncopated chatter, and my everyday sparrows that I’m certain all share the tree outside my bedroom window, I am immersed in song.

I choose to embrace them. Even when their music begins before dawn. Because they know something –from the time they first crack from their egg, they understand something I’ve only begun to comprehend.

Jesus knew I’d need to consider the birds…

Listening to their rising proclamations, I realize they find their rhythm first thing and claim it for the world to hear in unabashed worship.

Not a bad way to start the day.

And I wonder if God has given each of us our own unique birdsong to sing. A sonnet only we can lift high in worship…

Now that’s how I want to use my time.

Father, help me find my rhythm today. The melody You’ve given just to me. I want to shout it out for the world to hear. Unabashedly. For Your glory. Simply for the love of You.

It’s true–time is fickle. It can wring us dry or…or…if we listen to our inner metronome, can overwhelm us with His joy. peace. love. life everlasting.

The choice is mine. And I choose to sing. My story. My song.

STOP.

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?

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Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
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How about you, friend? Have you found your inner birdsong? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

 

My LifeSONG ~ Five Minute Friday

This is the post each week where I
Link arms with others as we write free
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

bw_church2

For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

SONG

I stand at the brink, my toe teasing the water’s edge. A bird taunts me to jump like it’s her everyday sonnet and I wonder if they’re born without the worry gene or if they learn it quickly with first flight.

The wind picks up and carries my breath off with it. And I gulp in air as the song of my heart swells within. For I’m not ready to release this tune yet. It doesn’t sound harmonious.

Father, she’s not even in double digits…septic? Really? Oh Jesus, we need You…

“There’s not a prayer I’ve prayed You haven’t heard
Not a tear I’ve shed that You didn’t feel”

My knees begin to buckle and I follow suit. My palms open as I begin to grasp for reality. And as the song that’s been buried in my heart all week rises up, I’m reminded…He’s here.

“I’ll lift my hands — if my hands fail me
I’ll bend my knees — if my knees grow weak
I’ll raise my voice and I’ll sing
I’ll sing — I know that You love me”

The water splashes around my legs, the salt rises to my lips, sparking hope once again.

“Sink or swim I’m divin’ in where the river starts rushin’
Where my hearts start beating
For the rhythms of the testing and the songs of the trials
I will live to cry out to You, sung with hope inside my eyes”

Wind swipes the strands away from my face and suddenly I see Him so clearly. And when He’s in my scope, the music begins to play for this lifesong He’s given me.

Yes, Father, I’ll sing. For You…

STOP.

The lyrics above were taken from this amazing song (Subscribers, CLICK HERE to listen in)

Will Reagan & United Pursuit – Give Me A Song

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?

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How about you, friend? Have you sung your lifesong lately? I’d love to hear. And would you please pray for Lanie and her family? They need to feel His healing hands…

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

COMFORT {A Mother’s Super Power} ~ Five Minute Friday

This is the post each week where I
Link arms with others who like to
Write on the wild side –unabashedly
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

swimming-lessons-M

For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

COMFORT

There are some feelings you never forget… I was 17 the first time I remember experiencing it. The gaping hole that hurts so bad you catch yourself gasping for breath. And with my fever rising, finals approaching, voice lost, far away from home, I was able to diagnose the main issue myself.

I wanted needed my mother.

She might not have been able to take the pneumonia away or help me prepare for my history final, but somehow in a way only a mom could, she would have made it feel all better.

For comfort is a super power every mom has.

And I think of my Heavenly Father, getting ready to send off His only Son into the wild world… What is the first thing He secures for Him? Who is the first one He goes to … to ensure He will be watched over, cared for, loved, sheltered, until His time has come?

Mary swaddled Him. Soothed Him. Gave a part of herself to Him because that’s what we mom’s do.

I’m closing in on four decades of needing the one God gave me. When roads collide, when answers seem lost, when pain fogs my vision, when babies are born still, my heart still calls to her. Because by His design, the power to wipe away hurt with a single kiss never fades. The strength found in a mom’s embrace always renews. Hope is always found in her simple reassurances.

And now, as I have the honor of being one myself, I realize where that power comes from.

Comfort is found when another lays their life down for you. Always in love, for it’s the only thing capable of such a task. And a mother’s love goes far. deep. wide. It can stretch and mold itself like the soothing balm it is.

Mamas, it’s a gift He gives us. This super power to love like Jesus loves. It may not feel like much, but believe me when I tell you — you bring comfort when all hope is gone.

You are Wonder Woman. Comfort in the flesh.

 

STOP.

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?

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Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
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How about you, friend? Do you remember the first time you felt that ache for comfort? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki