FMF – Truth

So, I’m a bit late on the whole Five Minute Friday thing this week.  Heh heh… or this month.  Not for lack of trying though.  I’ve been working.  And working and working and working.  If I work on Thursdays, I am usually exhausted by the time the Twitter Party comes around.  Or I’m doing things around the house or for the family.

So, I took a small vacation this weekend.  And I’m taking the time to try to write.

Today’s prompt is Truth.  And GO:

 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:32  (NIV)

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.   John 8:36  (NIV)

The words aren’t coming.  The verses are.

 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.   John 14:6  (NIV)

The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.   Psalm 145:18  (NIV)

But I guess that’s okay, because that IS my truth.  God’s word has truth, and life, and everything I need to survive from day to day.

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”  John 4:24  (NIV)

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  1 Corinthians 13:6  (NIV)

The verses are coming, but the words aren’t.  That’s because God’s word is truth and my life.  And I love the word of God.

And my time is long past up.  But that’s okay.

Until next time.
Hugs,
Melinda

For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.

2 Corinthians 13:8  (NIV)

The currently untitled story

This is a story I wrote a long time ago.  I found it recently and decided to share it with you.  It’s semi allegorical and semi autobiographical.


Once upon a time, in a world far away known as Arkansas, lived an ordinary girl.  She lived with an ordinary family, which had an ordinary mother, an ordinary father, an ordinary sister, and an ordinary dog.

What made this girl special was her love.  Early in her life, she knew she had been made to love someone with her whole heart.  It was as if she were a piece of paper that someone had torn in two, and she was looking for her other half.  She knew there was someone, somewhere waiting for her.

Some people in her life had told her to wait, that her other half would come looking for her.  Other people told her she should go looking for him.  The girl became very confused listening to everyone.  It seemed the more she waited, the more frustrated she became.  She finally decided to go looking for her missing half.

It seemed like a pleasant journey to begin with.  She met many nice people, all willing to be a part of her life, and for awhile, that was enough to keep her happy.

Then she realized that she had begun to tire.  These nice people had become ordinary, and she once again longed to be with her other half.  She knew that he would make her life exciting.

One day, something extra-ordinary happened.  She met an ordinary boy.  But as she looked at him, and considered him, she noticed that he seemed to have been torn as well.  As they became friends, and even closer friends, she realized that he appeared to have been torn in the same places she had.  Several times she thought, “Could this be him?  Is he my other half?”  He was exciting to be with, and she began to think that even though they were not of the same piece, they could become a whole.  She even believed that she could take a pair of scissors and trim the parts that didn’t fit.

So one day, she took her red handled scissors and began to fix things herself.  With the first snip of the blades, she knew the pain he felt was real.  With the second snip, she realized she not only hurt him, she hurt herself.  With the third snip, she understood that she not only hurt herself and the one she thought she loved, but that she hurt her family.  And with the fourth and final snip, she realized she had hurt her God.  This was the most painful cut of all, for with this snip of the scissors, she had cut off all the love she had ever known in her life.

She was no longer the person that she had known and wanted to be.  All the jags and points and parts that had made her unique and given her the ability to love were no longer a part of her, and she was now truly ordinary.  Before she had only thought she was.

Bleeding and hurt, she picked up her pieces.  Now, she had to find not only her true other half, but one who could fix her and make her whole as well.

She began to travel again.  Yet the steps were more painful.  She trusted fewer people and thought it strange that those who had once helped her, now seemed to be crooks.  More and more she began to have less contact with the ordinary world around her, and more and more she began to be totally alone.

One day, as she was walking with her ordinary dog, she wandered into a bookstore.  This was not unusual, for in her loneliness, she had developed a love for reading.  In fact, the only friends she had were the characters from her books.

On this day, though, she happened to wander into a bookstore where she had never been, with a bookseller she had never met.  He seemed so very ordinary at first that she almost didn’t notice him.  But when he spoke to her, she realized that he was very special indeed.  He spoke in a warm, gentle manner that for a moment, eased her pain and loneliness.

“Can I help you, miss?” he asked in a gentle voice.

“Oh, no.  I was just looking for a new book.  Thanks anyway,” she replied.

“Are you looking for anything special?” he continued.

“No, just a book.  About love, kindness, peace.  Just an unordinary book to take me out of my ordinary life.”

“Well, my dear,” he began, “you are in luck.  I have just the sort of book you’re looking for.”

“You do?” she asked, in surprise, for she had not expected anyone to have such a book.

“Yes, I do,” he said.  And with that he took her to the corner of the store, and from under the counter, he pulled out what seemed like an ordinary black book.

“I can tell by the disappointed look in your eyes that you think this a very ordinary book,” he said, like a true salesman.  “I assure you, miss, that it is not.  Inside this book, there is a treasure map.  It points the way to perfect and true love, kindness, and peace.  I promise you, my dear, that reading this book will change your life.  And just to prove my point, I’m going to let you have it for free.”

“But sir,” she protested, “I can’t let you do that.”

“Miss, just knowing your life will have changed is reward enough.  Tell you what, you read the book, and if it doesn’t help, you can exchange it for another one.”

“Thank you, sir.  Thank you.”  And with that, she ran to her lonely little ordinary house.

At first, she dared not even open her new book.  It seemed too wonderful to be true.  And then it was true.  And then it was ordinary.

She decided one day, she should finally read this so called “treasure map” just to discover if there was anything special about this book.  What she discovered was a bunch of rules, and since she never had liked rules, she shut the book and vowed never to open it again.

She was angry enough, she almost missed the telephone call.

“So, how do you like the book?”  It was the little man from the bookstore.

“It’s fine,” she lied.

“Good, good.  I find it quite interesting.  Written by my father, you know,” he stated.

“Really?” she stammered in disbelief at how anyone could find rules to be interesting.

“Yes.  Well, I must go.  Come back to the store, and we’ll discuss it when you’re finished reading it.”

“Maybe someday,” she lied.  “Goodbye.”  And she rudely hung up the phone.

She woke up the next morning, still angry and still grumpy.  After she had taken her morning walk, she felt guilty for having lied.  “Maybe there is more after the rules,” she thought to herself.

She went to her favorite chair, picked up the book from where it had fallen the night before, and began to read.

She read stories of people.  People who hurt like her.  She read poems.  Poems of hurting like hers.  She read stories of tears and rips and stories of those who tried to fix them alone, those who had scissors like hers.

But it was when she realized that all these people believed in something that appeared to be bigger than them, then something extraordinary happened.  They were healed.  And she wanted to be healed too.

She began to read the stories of a teacher, a great teacher who taught love, mercy, peace, and kindness.  She knew he was ordinary, like herself, yet unordinary.

She read of his life, his teachings, his friends, his enemies, and she began to know who the other people believed in.  It was the teacher’s father.  And she began to believe in him, too.

Then she read of the teacher’s death–a horrible death, nailed to some scrap wood.  She cried for what seemed like three days.  Teardrops stained what was becoming her favorite book.

When she felt like reading again, she read of something wonderful.  People who went to visit the teacher’s grave found it empty.  And what’s more, they saw him alive!  This was the greatest news.  One that not only taught love, but was himself pure love, had died and was risen.

All at once, her heart was full and overflowing with the love she had rejected.  And one by one, the pieces and parts of her that had been cut off were healed.  She was whole.  Somehow this love she felt had healed her and made her whole.  And even though she didn’t have her missing half, she knew she would never be alone again.

With excitement, she ran to the bookstore.  “Thank you,” she cried to the little man.  “Thank you.”

“I knew you would love it.  Didn’t I tell you it would change your life?” he stated with glee.  And with that, he closed the store, and they talked about the book for the rest of the afternoon.

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The girl began to spend much time in the man’s store.  But she also began to be with other people.  She realized that even though they may have been crooks and willing to hurt her, they hurt, too.  They also needed to know about the teacher and his great love.

People began to see a change in the girl.  She was no longer the cold, miserable, ordinary girl they had known.  Instead, they saw a beautiful, loving, and quite extraordinary young lady.

One day, when the girl went to visit the man, he had a visitor.  A boy, young, handsome, and very extraordinary.  She could tell when she entered the bookstore that he was special.

“There  you are!” said the little man.  “I have someone I want you to meet.  This is my brother.  Well, my adopted brother.  And this is my friend.  She has also discovered the secret of the book our father wrote, and has been telling others.”

“Good,” said the boy.  “We need more committed people.”

They talked about the book, the teacher, and the people in need for the rest of the afternoon.  And when the man closed his shop, they began to talk about life.  And when the little man went home to bed, the boy and girl began to talk about love.  And by the time the sun had risen to greet them, they had talked of dreams, ideas, and goals.

The ordinary girl who loved until it hurt and the adopted ordinary boy talked about an ordinary looking book and an ordinary looking man and began to understand.  As they talked, they both realized that they ordinary man was the teacher, and that they had learned of his love for them.  They realized they had been adopted by God on high.  And they realized that his love changed them from an ordinary girl and an ordinary boy into people that loved and showed God’s love.  And together, this extraordinary girl and extraordinary boy told the world of the teacher’s extraordinary love.

And neither was lonely again.


©1997 by Melinda Hollis.  Reprints by permission only.

Begin Again

My life is so incredibly busy right now, but one thing is painfully obvious.

I need to be grateful.

I need to count my blessings, and I need to remember why I’m thankful.  So…  I’m starting again.

  1. A new job
  2. Computers
  3. Good friends
  4. Family

I’ll try to write more later this week, but that’s my starting point.

Hugs,
Melinda

FMF – Purpose

It’s that time of the week.  The time where a flash mob of writers get together and write on a one word prompt.  Then we all come back to link up and read each other’s words and comment and support each other.

This week’s word is purpose.  And GO.

Purpose.

The dictionary defines it like this.

the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists

The Bible defines it like this.

Exodus 9:16

But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth

In other words, I was created to proclaim the power and name of God throughout the earth, to all the world.

I’ve really struggled recently with “what exactly is my purpose in life?”  I get really tired of being just a mom and just a wife.  Sometimes, I want to be “more.”

So then I start wondering what “more” means.  And it’s not being a big shot actress or a wonderful singer.  It’s not about being a world class researcher or famous artist.

Being more means praising God with my whole heart, my whole being.  My more in this instance, is to bring glory to God and doing what he asks me to.  Even if it’s just being the best mom that I can to my children.  Even if it’s simply praying for my friends when I tell them I’m going to, instead of saying it and never doing it.

My purpose is to give God the glory.  And that’s what I purpose (have as one’s intention or objective) to do.  STOP

Hugs,
Melinda

Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

[eta]  Alright, so I’ve now had 4 people remind me that I am more than “just a mom.”  Please understand that first of all, this is a free form writing exercise.  I very rarely have a plan for what I write, and it usually comes out as I’m writing.  So please remember that the words are just flowing from my fingers.

Secondly, I understand that as a mother, I have a grand purpose and design.  But as someone with a bachelor’s degree, I expected to not be a stay at home mother.  I thought I was going to go places and do things and have a career.  And when we struggle to pay bills on time, I often think about finding a job outside of the home. 

I am not negating the importance of being a mom.  But I want to be a person outside of being a mom, and sometimes that gets a bit lost. 

Third, the purpose of this writing was to remind myself and maybe you what my purpose in life is, and that is to worship God with my whole being, and in my heart and in my words and my thoughts.   Please don’t get wrapped up in my own struggle for validation that you miss the point.  God is the point.  He is always the point. 

I believe He asked me to stay home with my children, and I have.  I believe He asked me to teach them, and I have.  I believe He has asked me to be a part of the Renaissance Festival so that I could be an example to others there, and so I will be participating for a third year.  I do everything for Him. 

Including being “just a mom.”

FMF – Slow

It’s that time again. Time for the weekly flash mob of writers that come together to fellowship on Twitter and to write about the same one word prompt.  And then come back together and read what everyone else wrote.

Today’s prompt is slow.  And Go.

I am not slow.  Twitter is not slow.  The twitter party at #fmfparty is NOT slow.  Have you ever tried to follow two parties at once?  It’s a whirl wind.  It’s insane.

But sometimes we need to slow down.  We need to stop from the hustle and bustle and the constant stream of information.  Do we really need to have all the opinions and all the statements and all the …. stuff in a scrolling newsfeed that never ends?

Sometimes we need to slow down to hear God’s voice.  Sometimes we need to slow down so we can be still and actually hear what he has to say.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God”  – Psalm 46:10  (NIV)

There was a time in Elijah’s life that he was forced to stop and slow down and hear God.

Picture this.  He had just had a huge fight with 850 false prophets.  God had answered Elijah in a bold way by burning up a sacrifice, an alter with all the stones and the wood, lots and lots and LOTS of water, and then God let Elijah put all those prophets to death. (1 Kings 18:16-40  NIV)

Then he prayed to God to end the drought that had lasted for over two years.  Not once, not twice, but EIGHT times.  And then he ran.  And ran.  And ran.  He was running for his life.  He beat a chariot, but he was running.  (1 Kings 18:41-46  NIV)

But God had him slow down.

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”  – 1 Kings 19:11 (NIV)

Elijah went out.  There was a wind.  There was an earthquake.   And there was a fire.  But Elijah had to calm down and really listen, because it wasn’t until there was a whisper that God passed by.

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And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.  – 1 Kings 19:12-13  (NIV)

God had to have Elijah slow down before he could hear Him.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have God come at me with a wind, an earthquake, or a fire before I slow down enough to hear Him.

I’ve been studying a lot about prayer this year.  I think if we spend time with Him in prayer on a constant basis, we will slow down, and we will hear God.

STOP.

I got distracted.  It’s kind of fun to have my girls watching a funny TV show, but my train of thought got sidetracked quite a lot tonight.  I know that this wasn’t exactly 5 minutes, but I did my best to keep it short.  Have a great night.

Hugs,
Melinda

PS. Sorry, but I have to include a picture of my favorite slow animal.

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