REST {Anticipating Spring} ~ 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.

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

REST

Jack Frost nips as I step into my own Narnia. My breath catches, and then rushes off to join the mist in praise. The trees are draped in pure white, standing valiantly at attention. And it’s obvious…they’re worshiping with every fiber of their being.

For who couldn’t when there is beauty such as this to behold.

March snow storms are the best. They go big and then go home, melting as quick as they came. And I’ve learned to seize these pre-spring moments…make my footprint known here in this mystic morn. Imprinting the memory deep within.

With each crunch under foot I am reminded of where I’ve been. This season of cold. quiet. barren has left me aching for sonnet. Symphonies of praise, echoing from the eaves. Reminding me each day is a gift. The Robin does it best, but the sparrow who branches by my bedroom window wins my heart as she draws me heavenward with each new dawn.

And oh, how I’ve missed her.

The brown spotted rabbit sneaks by, hoping I didn’t notice. The one we’ve urged to find a new winter resting place. And I wonder why they can’t hibernate like the others…how do they manage to find that groove of conserving their energy–only doing what is needed in such a time as this?

These winter phases have always felt awkward on me as I try to wriggle in and find my posture of rest. It’s not like I’m high-strung, no. It’s more like I am strung too low and I feel that tug to pull myself higher. tighter. closer to where the action is.

I rub my palm on the frozen bark of the maple and it darkens just enough to show it felt me. Still it holds its stance heavenward and now I want nothing more than to join in.

It’s in these pre-spring mornings I see it best–how rest doesn’t require hibernation. Just a sense of anticipation. And knowing…believing all that’s needed now is a posture of praise. For He always provides. Always protects. Always renews.

Spring always comes. And oh, how I’ve missed her.

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!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you, friend? How do you find your posture of praise during seasons of rest? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

If you have time, friend, I’m over at Must Love God today
confessing my “What about me?!?” nature while professing
something I know to be true.
Stop on by ~ simply click on the button below!

Home {Where I Belong} ~ 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.

Travelling

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

HOME

It’s a road less traveled. Why, I’m not so sure.
It’s narrow, often difficult to see far ahead, but the road’s been paved.

We can journey together. and I love how we often do. We encourage one another along. Hold one another when the weather gets fierce.

I’ve learned along the way we can stop the world from spinning just long enough to spread love. And maybe it doesn’t even slow down, but we do. When one has fallen…hurting…lonely…lost.

There’s no race on this road, though I sometimes ache to start running. Yearn to get there to join those that have already arrived….HOME.

Where pain is foreign and not welcome. Where tears hold no reason to shed. Where broken is made beautiful.

Home is where you see hope up close.

Love languages aren’t spoken there — Love IS the language.

Grace is the currency. You’ll remember meeting the generous Banker. The One who handed out interest-free, debt-free loans to anyone who asked along the way. It’s Home we cash those in for our ready-built mansions built high on the hill — each with panoramic views overlooking Messiah’s Way.

Home is where Heaven becomes reality.

Where we feast on God’s goodness, we taste and see…(Psalm 34:8)

It’s at Home we let our hair down, slip off our shoes, wipe our feet one last time. And simply be…

Home is a state of being as much as it is an address.

It’s Home where we find Holy. We grab hold and don’t ever have to let go.

And I’m well on my way there. Thank you for taking the road less traveled with me. For showing me glimpses of Home along the way…

STOP.

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

Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you, friend? What glimpses of Home have you seen lately? What does it look like to you? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

How to add Extra to Ordinary ~ Five Minute Friday

It’s been two or three weeks?
I don’t remember because it feels like forever
Since I’ve linked arms with my friends who like to
Write on the wild side –unabashedly
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

click for credit

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

Ordinary

Ordinary — that’s me. plain and simple. I’ve got it written all over me. Quite forgettable, really. If you’d find me for sale in a pawn shop, garage sale or even the mall, you’d pass right by. For my shell appears to be a dime a dozen.

Partially unglazed. A bit rough around the edges. Natural in color.

That’s what the enemy would like you and me to believe, anyway….

But I know the truth — you would need to tip me upside down to see what I’m really made of.

Friends, it’s in this upside down Kingdom of Grace that I make ordinary come to life.

You see, sin put its price tag on me. But Jesus…He paid for me in full.

The same Jesus who healed the sick, raised the dead, walked on water, calmed the storm. And these were done on His ordinary days. Yes, that’s who owns me.

He puts the Extra in Ordinary. Every time.

That’s my Jesus. I’m His. And He’s been working on me ever since to add more extra to my ordinary.

plain and simple.

I’ve got His Ordinary written all over me. And that’s more than enough for me.

STOP.

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

Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you, friend? How does He make you extraordinary? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Bare {True Beauty} ~ 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.

blackwhite-point-M

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

Bare

My pulse skipped at the click of the hotel lock. The “Do Not Disturb” sign swished to the speed of my racing heart. It was just him and I now after lingering long with friends and family, celebrating what we plan on being the rest of our lives. And it seems fitting somehow that we offer ourselves in vulnerable fashion at the start of our future…For this upside down Kingdom of grace has taught me, that’s where true beauty begins.

Brennan Manning once said “It is better to live naked in truth than clothed in fantasy.” (I think from All is Grace?) Which is fine with me. I’ve never been good at make-believe anyway…

And I learned early on that love can see beauty wherever it’s placed. Add grace as a filter, and there’s no telling how high or how wide or how deep it can go.

So why do I fear it so? Why is it so hard to lay down my life in vulnerable fashion? What can I hide from HIM that He won’t call out in some near future, anyway?

My heart skips as I open its door. I rip the “Do Not Disturb” sign off the handle as I offer He linger long. And that’s when I realize the naked truth as I see Jesus beating me to the punch…for He has already offered Himself bare in vulnerable fashion…to give me a future.

Friend, it’s true. In this upside down Kingdom of grace, Bare is where true beauty begins.

Which is going to be fine with me. I’ve never been good at make-believe anyway.

STOP.

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

Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you, friend? Have you been in vulnerable fashion with Him lately? Have you laid yourself bare? Have you seen true beauty? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Afraid {Of Missing Out} ~ Five Minute Friday

I’d like to list it as a hobby:
Just writing.
Without worrying if it’s right or not.
And then linking arms with others who feel the same.
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

Art for Holey, Wholly, Holy
Click for details

Today, I’m joining others
As we write unabashedly
For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

AFRAID

He beckons me to come and I am unable to move…frozen in fear. I feel the heat upon my face and every human instinct within tells me to run away from the fire ahead. Or is something else yelling in my ear…

It’s the whisper I’m straining to hear. The One assuring me He’s with me and sees beyond the flames. Encouraging me it will be worth it…Holiness awaits.

I catch my reflection along the way and wrench in pain at the sight of my unworthiness. It’s all too surreal that grace can make something out of…me.

Kris Camealy says — though He accepts us as we are, He has even better for us. He loves us too much to leave us in our mess (taken from Holey, Wholly, Holy).

She also says once you acquire the truth, you are responsible for the action.

So now I’m walking into the refiner’s fire. I won’t look back; I’ll keep my head held high so I catch a glimpse of Him on the other side: My Prize.

It seems the higher we look, the less fear can grab hold. For fear looms low, in the darken corners of the unknown.

But friends, He’s told us what’s on the other side of this journey. And it seems the only thing I need to fear is missing out.

If refinement is the cost, I’m certain it’s worth the price.

Resurrection awaits.

STOP.

NOTE: The above post was inspired by the book my friend Kris has written.
And it is being released today!

She has poured her heart out for His glory and is offering it to you HERE. Please, take a look and see if it could impact you as much as it has me.

You may read the foreword I was blessed to write for the book by clicking “To look inside” (and no, I’m not an affiliate).

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

Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you? Have you felt the refiner’s fire? How do you tackle the fear of refinement? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

The Favor of GRACE {AGAIN} ~ Five Minute Friday

I’d like to list it as a hobby:
Just writing.
Without worrying if it’s right or not.
And then linking arms with others who feel the same.
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

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Today, I’m joining others
As we write unabashedly
For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

AGAIN

He nearly pushes me out the door, thrusting me into the driving wind. I’m pulling my coat tighter, hoping to hide behind my hood as I hear Him whisper “Please…do this for Me…”

That’s all it takes for me now days and He knows it. Because I can’t deny it:

He has done more for me than He will ever ask of me.

And I’m still a bit perplexed why my argument of sending someone else didn’t make more sense to Him. Someone more knowledgeable. Quick on their feet. An extrovert, perhaps. Surely He doesn’t want me representing Him and all He’s capable of.

Grace doesn’t mask everything…does it?
Can it really make something out of me?

I’m greeting her with a smile now, praying she doesn’t see right through me. When I realize. That’s exactly what I need to have happen.

Friend, can you see Him through me? Please, look again…

I remove my hood and hang up my coat as she welcomes me in. And I share my story. Nothing more. That’s all He’s asked of me. I tell her all about my scandalous love affair and what His love has done to me. How his grace moves me. And I show her how I’m on a journey Home.

Later, she asks to join me and I get the chance to make an introduction.

That evening, He thanks me for abiding and I see it.

Grace doesn’t mask anything. It lays itself bare. Nothing hidden.
For that’s where true beauty is found.

The next day, He whispers, “Child, will you do this for Me again?”

Yes, Abba. With Your grace, I’d do anything for You. Again and again.

STOP.

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you? What does grace mean to you? How do you share your story? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

And one more thing I just have to share…

Click for details on this wonderful eBook!

My friend Kris has poured her heart into a book that could change your perspective on refinement, redemption, and the sacrifice Christ made for you on that cross.

If you would like to take Lent to the next level this year…if you see the refiners fire ahead and are hesitant to step in, please, don’t hesitate to check this out
DETAILS HERE.

Cherished {Shaping Hearts} ~ Five Minute Friday

I’d like to list it as a hobby:
Just writing.
Without worrying if it’s right or not.
And then linking arms with others who feel the same.
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

Please check out the details below on where you can find this beautiful piece of artwork.

Please click or reference the details below on where you can find this beautiful piece of artwork.

Today, I’m joining others
As we write unabashedly
For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

CHERISHED

Sometimes you meet someone who, no matter how brief, leaves an impression on your heart so deep, you just know…you’re a better person simply from knowing them.

My heart considers my great-grandmother. Her hands had seen more labor than most, but you wouldn’t have known it. She’d make sure of that… Once you touched her softened lines of life, you didn’t ever want to let go. She radiated Jesus and I am honored to have been able to sit at her feet.

I was captivated by my hubby the very first time I saw him (but don’t tell him that…he doesn’t need any more leverage). And every moment spent with him is a moment well spent. It’s been over 18 years of moments now and I can still say it without fail: He points me to Christ and offers to hold my hand along the way.

My list has grown twice its size in the last year alone. And still, no one replicates another.

I like to think with each impression, my heart gets closer to the shape it should be.

And when I think about you…YOU who is spending time with me right here right now, I can’t help but wonder…

No wonder Jesus loves you. No wonder He came down to shape hearts. Because look at you…beautiful you.

I can see why He cherishes you, friend. And it’s no wonder He suggested I do the same.

STOP.

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you? Whom do you cherish? Have you seen how He cherishes you lately? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

And one more thing I just have to share…

Click for details on this wonderful eBook!

My friend Kris, whom I cherish dearly, has poured her heart into a book that could change your perspective on refinement…redemption…and the sacrifice Christ made for you on that cross.

If you would like to take Lent to the next level this year…if you see the refiners fire ahead and are hesitant to step in, please, don’t hesitate to check it out more DETAILS HERE.

DIVE {Head First} ~ Five Minute Friday

I’d like to list it as a hobby…
Just writing.
Without worrying if it’s right or not.
And then linking arms with others who feel the same.
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

RETREAT-M

Today, I’m joining others
As we write unabashedly
For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

DIVE

I grew up on a spring-fed lake so clear you could see what you were jumping into and beyond. If you could stand the cold, that is. And I could.

Still I never dove.

I would jump off the raft countless times. Never head first, unlike my sister… She was built for the water, I would tell myself. That might be true, but I’m not sure that was the difference.

Then, last Lent, He asked me to jump once again. Right into His arms. And I took off running frantically in His direction. Until I heard “No, child, head first…”

I then realized what denying myself was all about: TRUST.
We’ve been practicing my dive ever since.

And wouldn’t you know in this crazy upsidedown Kingdom of Grace I associate myself with, diving is not what I thought it would be.

Friend, our head is never first. His is. Every.Time.

Some day, when I see Him face-to-face…I’d smile wide if he told me one thing:

“Child, I knew you’d be great at synchronized diving. Well done….well done.”

STOP.

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you? How’s your dive been looking lately? What new moves has He been showing you? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Friends, can I steal a little more of your time? I have two things to share with you…

I’m honored to be a new contributing writer over at Must Love God! I’m over there today sharing about my 2012 One Word, where it took me and where I expect to go this year. I’d love to have you stop by! Simply click on the button below

And one more thing I just have to share…

Click for details on this wonderful eBook!

My friend Kris has written a book on Lent. It’s coming out soon (Feb 1) and I’d feel guilty if I didn’t tell you it could change your world. I’ve had the honor of reading it and living it…won’t you please stop by her place and sign up for her newsletter? You’ll then get exclusive offers including the eBook itself….please dive in. DETAILS HERE

OPPORTUNITY ~ Five Minute Friday

I’ve missed it so.
Just writing.
Without worrying if it’s right or not.
And then linking arms with others who feel the same.
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

orangebench-M

We took December off,
But today, I’m joining others
As we write unabashedly
For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

OPPORTUNITY

We say it often, though I wonder if we truly believe it. It’s easier for me to encourage you to claim it than it is for me to look in the mirror and accept it as my own. Even still…

His Grace. Compassion. Mercies. Doesn’t matter which translation you read, they all mean the same. Friend, His love for you and for me is New. Every. Morning. (Lamentations 3:21-24)

He falls in love with us over and over again. And offers His hand to me each day. May I never get over that.

Each new dawn, it’s there for the asking. Each moment, really. As my great-grandmother would say: “It’s always morning somewhere.”

Life has a way of making us forget. It pushes aside the readily available for something new and more stimulating.

Oh but if we stopped and just looked at His face. If we slowed down and paid attention to how He pursues us each day. If only we would wake each morn and just say “thank you” for the gift He is handing us.

The gift of opportunity: The gift of LIFE.

The opportunity to love Him back with reckless abandon. To live like He’s in the room — on purpose for His glory. To mean it when we claim His name of ‘Christian’ as our identity.

If only we loved back. Like it was New. Every. Morning.

My new calendar on the wall shows me a clean slate. It’s wide open with opportunity and friends, I’m going to seize it. Yes, this is my year to shine. To radiate His Grace. Compassion. Mercies. Doesn’t matter how you look at it–it all means the same.

I’m going to love my neighbor. Like He loves me. New. Every. Morning.

STOP.

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you? How do you plan on using the gift He is offering you this year? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Are we friends on Facebook? I’d love to be…

OneWord2013_radiate_Large

Wide Eyed Wonder ~ Five Minute Friday

This is the post each week
Where I join a community of grace-filled wonders
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

And we write unabashedly
For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone.

This week’s prompt:

WONDER

I nearly burst as I see his eager eyes offering to soak it in. And am blown away at what a difference a year makes. As I reach for my trusty Storybook Bible, he whispers:

“No, Mom. Don’t read it. I want to hear you tell it to me.”

My heart warms as I push doubt aside and breathe in deep, inviting Him to lead the way.

We start slow and steady as He primes my heart. And I let it all go as I share the story impressioned on my soul years ago.

His eyes grow wide with each point told. My eyes pool with pride or love I’m not quite sure, but doubt there is a difference now.

I let the space of silence grow at the end as he picks up his thoughts left along the trail. And when our eyes meet again he asks me what’s been weighing heavy:

“Mom, what did the shepherds do with their sheep when they went to go visit Jesus? They didn’t leave them behind, did they?”

Grace wins right then and there as I wonder if my 4 year-old heard more than my words could muster.

No, child. Not one sheep is ever left intentionally. The Good Shepherd always keeps watch. He sees you and will pick you up along the journey if He has to.

Don’t worry, son. He’d even bring you to Bethlehem. Room or not, He’ll always make space for you.

STOP.

 

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

Please know 5 Minute Fridays will be taking the month of December off. But I’ll still try to post now and again. Trusting I’ll have 5 minutes here or there where I can write without a prompt…

How about you? Is there a part of the Christmas story you’ve ever wondered about? What do you delight most in the Wonder of the Season? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Are we friends on Facebook? I’d love to be…