Monthly Archives: July 2013

Five Minute Friday – Belong

5-minute-friday-1

Linking up with Lisa Jo again this week to participate in Five Minute Friday.

Today’s word is BELONG– ready, set go –

Growing up I had friends but I never felt like I really belonged. I always felt a little like I was on the outside looking into the party that was happening,…so close to being invited inside, but not quite.

This feeling has followed me into adulthood.  I think I can be my own worst enemy and I will tell myself the lies that I don’t fit in and I won’t ever belong….so I stop trying to be involved in the very community that I crave.

But God has gently pushed me outside of my comfort zone, called me to community with other women who have made me feel that I DO belong. These God-Sized dreamers have encouraged me, walked along side of me, prayed for my family and cheered me on in my little triumphs.

I am seeing over and over again that God created us for this – community with other believers.  And I am so grateful. Grateful that God brought this group of women together. Grateful for the opportunities that have come from saying “yes” to something that seemed scary at first. Because of you beautiful women I finally feel like I belong, and it is a party!

Embracing the Chaos

So how lucky am I that for 2 days in a row I have some beautiful ladies posting here?!?! Mel is my new BFF (she may not know it yet!) 😉 And we are going to be newbie roomies at Allume and we are both super excited about that!! Anyways Mel has some amazing stories to share because she lived for a time in Indonesia…so I asked if she would share a story with us today and you are in for a treat!!

My husband and I spent five years (2005-2010) living and teaching in Indonesia.

From different foods and climate to a completely new mindset regarding normal, life there was definitely a shift from what we had grown accustomed to in the U.S.

As far as acclimating, I think we did ok…we liked most of the food. (Most, not all.) 🙂

I was all about warm weather and no snow and the chance to have a tan year-round.

And, really, living in the tropics with real palm trees? Something I’d always wanted to do.

Yep, you can tell I’m a total Midwest girl, just from those details.

But the one thing that continually threw me for a loop was the traffic.

I can’t describe it to you.

I can show you pictures…

Like this.

100_0577

Or this.

100_0538

Or even this.

100_0535

But to give you an accurate account of the crazy it was, I’d need to drop you into the middle of the chaos.

I had said, almost from the first day we moved there, that I would learn to drive a motorbike in the city.

In the chaos.

I was determined and adamant to conquer it all.

I wanted independence and the chance to explore. (And I mostly wanted the freedom to go get coffee when I wanted it. Sort of an addict here. ;))

So it was no surprise to anyone that within a month or so of being there, we purchased our first motorbike. (It was orange, and this isn’t necessary information…I just think it’s awesome that we had an orange bike.) 🙂

My husband…well, he’s the guy. He drove it, and he drove it without crashing into carts and people and cars and buses and vans . (And even horses, but only on Sundays.)

I Drove it right into a bush within the first week of having it. 🙂

After that little incident, I was content for the next year or so with riding on the back with my hubby at the handlebars and letting him conquer the crazy.

But, eventually, I knew I’d need to find the courage to embrace the chaos and just drive.

We went out one random day after school and bought me a bike.

It was cute, it was pink, and most importantly, it was automatic. (read: easy to drive)

I’d had this theory that if we spent money, I’d be more determined to follow through with actually driving in the city.

For the first week, I focused on driving around our neighborhood and area, avoiding the major roads (and also avoiding those silly bushes that liked to jump out in front of me).

But after about a week, my husband decided it was time.

Yep…time.

Time to get out in the middle of it all and Just. Drive.

I was so nervous that my hands were shaking, even as I strapped on my helmet. I took off with my hubby following on his bike. As I cautiously weaved my way in and out of the what-seemed-like-millions around me, I realized something in between the whispering, I can do this through Him. He gives me strength, about a hundred times.

There was chaos around me…lots of it, and that part didn’t surprise me.

But being in the middle of it, I only had to worry about what I could see, about what was close to me. Focusing on all that was going on fifty meters in front of me would only remove my focus from where it needed to be.

I had to pay attention to what was right in front of me.

I finished that drive, one that took me to a major shopping area (with a Starbucks…hallelujah!) and back home again with no major incidents.

It really wasn’t that bad…in fact, I might even use the word enjoyable to describe it.

And that drive gave me the confidence to keep driving all over town.

There were definitely a few incidents over the years with me behind the handlebars of that little pink-mobile…mostly bumping mirrors on cars or cutting it a little too close with other drivers, but learning to drive in Bandung ended up being such a good thing.

Oh, and there were multitudes of lessons…on patience and patience and more patience, on bravery, on trust…and on dealing with chaos.

Too often in life, I let myself become weighed down with all that swirls around me. I look at the big picture and throw up my hands in the air…How can I possibly deal with all of this?

The truth is that sometimes we have to embrace the chaos of life and just keep going, dealing with what we can see, what’s within reach, and forgetting about the rest of it.

And even in the middle of chaos, I often find that it’s never as bad as I think it’s going to be.

Plus, as I learned during that first bike drive several years ago, I can do all things through Him because He does give me strength.

Mel

Mel is a Follower of her Father. Wife to Tobin. Mommy to Mae. Friend. Writer. Dreamer. Throw in some coffee, chocolate, running, music, and that’s describes her. Blogging at A Barefoot Life , Mel shares her heart for her family and finds beauty in the little things.

Make Me Fearless, Lord! – Guest Post

Friends you are in for a treat. A fellow God-Sized Dreamer and beautiful new friend Alecia, has so graciously offered to post for me today. I have been overwhelmingly busy recently and writing has taken a back seat – but I wanted to keep filling this space with encouragement and Alecia does just that. I know you will be blessed by her post!!

I am starting to see a trend. When I ask God to grant me something, he makes me work for it. Like when I was new parent and desperately wanted/needed patience with my strong willed daughter, he didn’t make her any less strong willed. On the contrary, he seemed to up the ante in the form of asthma attacks night upon sleepless night. My girl was not only strong willed and feisty, but she was now tired and sick…yay!

Can you picture it? Sleepy momma on a verge of a nervous breakdown because she didn’t have any sleep, literally holding her toddler in a vice grip with one hand and the other opening her little girls mouth while simultaneously shoving a dropper full of medicine down her little red throat because her daughter vehemently hates taking medicine of any kind.

You can’t tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor! And you can’t tell me he doesn’t answer prayers. Those moments that I thought were going to break me (and trust me there were many) were the moments that made me stronger and made me realize that I really was growing into a more patient version of myself even if it didn’t feel like it at the time.

I was hoping he would just blast down doses of patience as I needed it, but that never seems to happen. It didn’t stop me from begging for it though.

Now here I am again asking God for something else, to make me fearless.

I was hoping that a few fearless steps of saying yes to things would cure this, but for some reason for me, it can’t be that easy. I’ve found myself in the middle of a faith crisis here. Fearless is causing me lots of trouble. I’m talking chest hurting, let me just stay in bed, I give up type of trouble.

I feel overwhelmed and overpowered and I’m not sure what God is doing and why it has to be this way.

I’m anxious and finding it hard to be still.

But maybe that’s the point. I want to rush ahead and get things over with and he’s pulling back the reigns and saying “Hold on there; let’s make this a lesson you won’t soon forget. Let’s take our time and dig deep, get to the root of what is causing this fear in the first place.”

So, I’m slowing down, and being intentional about being still and taking it one day at a time. I’m choosing to trust him over my fears, and whatever my feelings are saying. Fearless verses are popping up everywhere, a women’s retreat at my new church is even having a fearless women’s conference. Coincidence? I think not.

God is here! He doesn’t want to just zap me with courage and that be the end of it. He wants to walk me through this! He is El Roi, the God that sees me. He knows me, He loves me, and He wants to walk me through this valley.

If I allow God to teach me, I feel like I will for once have power over the fear that is holding me back.

Friends, I’m not sure what is holding you back today, but I want to encourage you to take hold and not let go. If you need to wrestle it out then do it. God can take it. His ways may not be ours but the end result will be so much better than we could have ever hoped or imagined.

I’m happy to report that my little girl who once hated medicine is now 12 years old and takes it without any arm wrestling involved. We may have different battles now, but I’m learning that those things in our life that we think we can’t handle are there to teach us that we can. With God we really can do ALL things!

I may still be dealing with fear, but I’m not where I was when I started. I’ve grown more confident in who I am and whose I am. And that’s a great first step.

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful” John 14:27

Alecia blogs over at There’s Something Different at www.aleciasimersky.com. She is a Southerner by birth (and grace) and gypsy by marriage (she’s moved 7 times in the last 12 years).  She writes to encourage Christians to live differently because she knows that once you’ve been changed by Christ
you are different.  She claims “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” Phil 4:13, daily. You can connect with her here Twitter and Facebook

Brick by Brick – Rebuilding Series

I am so honored to be posting over at Christine’s blog today in her Rebuilding Series. I would love it if you stopped over there to follow along and also read the past posts from the series! Some really good stuff there!!

Thanks friends!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...