Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turnover Tuesdays V - On Knowing the Next Step Part 1

I’ve had this constant minute little bother on my mind lately. You know the one that keeps you wondering, catches you silently as you walk to your destination, and creeps in on your mind when the first ray of sunshine falls on your eyes. I’m falling into this push-and-pull state of complacency vs onward marching… in Him.

We’ve been talking you know, when my eyes flicker open at dawn… we talk when I swiftly glide ashore the beds of sleep… and yet I feel that I haven’t heard from Him. Its like I miss Him, and yet I know He is here. I’ve been talking but on the peripheral. I’ve been reading His word but without much reflection. I haven’t even written my personal love letters to Him as consistently as I used to.

And so it seems I’m at cross-roads.

I could consistently go on the way things are right now, and continue in my new state of complacency… or I could opt for change.

There is so much more – I know there is. Like when I say I want to learn to keep opening up into deeper relationships with people. Like when I say I want to learn how to intercede for people. Like when I say I want to keep knowing Him more than just paper and pen, words on paper, words from the pulpit, sermons from the internet. Like when I say I want to charge my life over to Him without doubts. Like when I say I want to speak truth with grace regardless of what others feel or say about me. Like when I say I want to understand much more of my worth as a girl/woman in Him. Like when I say I want to touch his/her/their lives in ways bigger than I can possibly imagine with the grace of His touch. Like when I say I just want to light a candle of warmth next to your broken self.

The ancient question is but how?

Image Credits: google image.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving :D

... for slipped handshakes
... for awkward smiles
... for random hugs
... for quickly shed tears
... for hoarse laughter
... for loved ones in distant galaxies
... for hard work that makes you want to bleed
... for split-fractioned seconds of the day when you want to give up
... for endless moments of the day when you know you will make it
... for the Sacred Shifter of time and space who knows our innermost cores and keeps us afloat through the tides of life

I want to say I'm thankful. So feast hard like Monday will never come, laugh like tears will never flow from your eye lids and sleep like this will be the last weekend of blissful forgetfulness. 

Have yourself a beautiful thanksgiving. 

Mwajim Al.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Meandering Mondays III - A Secret

Hush now! Let me tell you a secret. A big secret… one that I’m afraid to say out loud to many people… probably anyone.

I feel like running away to hide most of the time.

I want to hide for cover. I want to run from life's daily activities. I just want to hide under my blankets and pray and cling to Him as he heals my weary self. I dread going out, meeting the outside world… stepping out of my comfort zone. Not because I’m a self-acclaimed introvert, or because I’m shy and awkward most of the time – no, not that. It is because I just want to remain stainless. I know if I run into him, I will probably remember all the things about him that upsets me, and I’ll forget that I’ve forgiven. If I interact with her, I will judge and condemn away as though I’m sinless. If I run into them, I will turn up my nose like a constipated aristocrat that knows not where the loo lies. And so I want to hide under the sheets with the just whitened garment he has given me so that I won’t stain them again.

But if I hide, how would I know if He has really changed me? How does He test my love for Him otherwise? If all I do is run from hoops and hurdles, how do I get stronger for the beauty He has created me for?

And so, when I run into him, I’ll ask for grace. I’ll feel the pang of anger, and fear, and resentment and ask for His grace to over-wash me and give me a heart of forgiveness. When I interact with her, I’ll remember the messed up person I am, and how I’m not mess-free after all – I’m still a pot being molded. And when I run into them, I’ll ask for grace to be humble, I’ll ask to be broken down; I’ll ask to be reminded that all I have, all I am, and all I ever was can only be found in Him and nothing else.

            I am going to stop wanting to hide, or run and yield instead.

            Are you?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tangible Vs. Intangible

My heart is evil;
Quick to hold onto the tangible…
That which manifests itself in physical form.

My heart is evil;
Quick to forget that what moves me…
Is unseen.

My heart quickly forgets that the One who streaks the night sky with stars,
Is too mighty to appear according to my whimsical wishes.

My heart forgets that He uses the physical to mold me,
And not be my cornerstone.
Moldings for seasons…
Moldings for lifetimes…
Not cornerstones.

My. Heart. Forgets. That. My. Only. Cornerstone. Is. None. But. Jesus.
Not you, not him, not her, not them, not us.
Just. Jesus. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Acts of Faith: Being Thankful

Despite broken promises and hushed good byes and forgotten kisses.
Despite long wanted hugs, and far-away cuddles and swollen pride.
Despite stifled laughter, suppressed smiles and washed away shouts…

I’m still thankful.

There are stronger promises still. Pushed back good byes, and fresh kisses.
There are lingering hugs, present cuddles and blazed humility present.
There is roaring laughter, glowing smiles and echoed shouts…

Here and Now in the present.

I’m thankful.

There is more on the way – greater than I’ve ever fathomed.

[For a split second today, I looked back like Lot’s wife to count my losses and moan about the past].
[I had to slap myself out of it – how dare I ignore the precious gift of the present ?]

And so I’m thankful.
Thankful that she is here.
Thankful that he is here.
Thankful that you are here.
Thankful that they are here.
Thankful at YOU.

And I’m even more thankful that she was here…
That he was here…
That they were here…
That we were there.

I don’t know what you have in store yet – but I know I’m safe because you’ve already crafted my path from my inception to demise.

So thank you J

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Acts of Faith: Stepping-In

This girl here never learnt how to ride a bicycle – she was too scared. She was too afraid... of scraping her knee, falling to the floor and hurting herself. She did fall the first time. She did scrape her knee. But she never got back up – she gave up and walked away.
She believed in doing that for so long – walking away. Walking away from friends. Walking away from loved ones. Closing up and detaching from those who want to come in – just walking away…
Then one day she opened up. A little slit that let a ray of sunshine. She opened further and bloomed further, blossoming into this constant metamorphic being… until she fell and scraped her knee again. The bruise was worse this time, deeper than the first scrape on her knee…
 But then she could decide to recoil back to herself or let go and open further for grace and grace only to abound. She could close up and hurt and stab back, or she could ease into the momentous flickers of life that turn on and off. She could turn around and run or she could stay and bear…
In as much as stepping-out is a hassle… so is stepping-in. Stepping-in-to-the-unknown. Stepping-in-to-out-of-control-happenings. Stepping-in-to-change. Stepping-in-to-what-is-in-the-hands-of-the-Maker-only. Stepping-in-to-warmth. Stepping-in-to-doubts-you-must-overcome-because-your-faith-overcomes. Stepping-in-to-plans-that-reflect-as-an-act-of-faith. Stepping-in-to-whirlwinds-where-you-dare-only-Him-to-carry-you-through. Stepping-in-to-new-imprints-on-new-lives. Stepping-in-even-though-afraid. Stepping-in.
And so, she let Him nurse that wound, making the skin newer than it was. She let Him let her be open. She lets Him now usher her into the sunset as she hears the freefalling laughter from the persons around. 

Turnover Tuesdays IV

"these times you're healing
and when your heart breaks
the times that you feel like you've fallen from grace
the times you're hurting
the times that you heal
the times you go hungry and *are tempted* to steal
in times of confusion and chaos and pain
i'm there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame
i'm there through your heartache
i'm there in the storm
my love i will keep you by my power alone
i don't care where you've fallen, where you have been
i'll never forsake you
my love never ends, it never ends"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sharing 3

Colossians 1 (The Message): 

15-18We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

 18-20He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he's there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Meandering Mondays II - On Being Still

For when I feel lonely, scared and frustrated, the verse from Psalms 46 vs. 10 (NIV) always comforts me. I hear Him whispering, soothing a balm over my worries:
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
            It is very easy to yearn and plead for peace… to desire stillness when your soul is in turmoil… disquiet. It is like falling from prince-hood. You look back and reflect on the days when servants beckoned to your every whim and wish. You wish you never took that lavishness for granted and pray for the current clouds to be lifted off.
            But how about when there is peace? How do I keep still when I’m not lonely or scared or frustrated?
            Maybe the state of not feeling so is a fa├žade. There is always something to fight through, something that requires peace. Even so, how do I keep still?
            A few months back, I was going through something that required me to “Be still”. For me, that meant not worrying… not over-analyzing… not crying… learning to smile from the heart even though all I wanted to do was scream.
            A few years ago, I went through something that also required me to “Be still”. That meant, laughing even when they jeered. That meant answering boldly even when questioned. That meant, actually sitting still and waiting in patience because of a fact, my paved future isn’t mine to design.
            And now, there are things I could have sleepless nights over… things I could ponder over… things that the old me would refuse a drink of water over… and at times, my old self does fight to re-emerge to worry, and yet, all I hear is “Be still”. So if I’m not actively worrying or crying or frowning, am I not being still?
            A new kind of stillness is beckoning, one that involves more than not just NOT worrying or crying or frowning. A new kind of stillness where I actively seek out being away from myself, rather than focusing on my ego-centered problems. A new kind of stillness where I spend time with community, people I want to know more, people I want to learn about… this kind of stillness where I see Him work not only in my life but also in the life of others and in the artifacts of redeemed and wholesome relationships. A new kind of stillness where I flippantly allow him to change this self-acclaimed recovering introverted sinner into a healed wholesome continuously redeemed lover of her savior. A new kind of stillness where it isn’t love just spoken or written about but lived out and acted out. A new kind of stillness that involves stretching at the same time.
            Who knew being still could mean being active in Him?
            I want to challenge you to look and perhaps share on ways you have been called to be still before God.
            Have a great Monday – this is a week of beautiful continuation J

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sharing 2

Philippians 1: 9-11 (The Message):

So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. 
Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Letting Go

I’m currently in this state where I have so much to say and yet at the same time, do not posses the articulate symphony to orchestrate down on paper. I blame this state of being on the retreat I attended a week or so ago. It was hosted by Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. The blame is a good kind of blame. You know how retreats or camps are  - so charged, and wholesome and liberating and optimistic. While you are there, you feel like you can change the world with just the flicker of candlelight. Well, that is exactly how I felt while there. And at the same time, being at retreats open up these strongholds you’ve held in your life for so long… well at least the messages preached there opened a lot of strongholds in my life. And that is where I’ve been. In a swarming state of change where I’ve looked at those strongholds that I’ve held onto for so long… places in my innermost core that I refused to let the God who knitted me in the womb touch and heal… places that I refused to let His word permeate. It was discovering those places, and reflecting on them since I got home and being more aware of more things that I need to lay at his feet that has got me feeling like I have so much to say, and yet at the same time, nothing to say.

My stronghold has been in the area of letting go. I’ve held on to so many things that you could see the “knuckles of my hands go white”. Its like holding on so bad to something because you irreverently refuse to change despite the fact that you know that is not who you are meant to be. The speaker we had was Pastor Matthew Boone, he works predominately in the prison ministry in Lancaster, P.A. There was something he said about change that struck a cord: “You can only change when the pain of being the same is greater than the pain of changing.” I guess the pain of holding on too tight just got greater that night. One day, I pray I’ll be strong enough to write about that stronghold and tell you the beautiful story of how God healed me and is still healing me. I held onto things that I had no place holding onto. The things that hurt us, the things people do to us, say to us, force us to do that break us down leads us to think that we can survive by holding onto them. We think that just maybe by holding onto it, we become stronger and somehow we can hurt them back by never letting go. The truth is that when we hold onto things, they latch back onto us in the same regard. That process of holding on creates and brings out the worst in us… and the worst thing isn’t the worst side of us, it’s the fact that we misplace the reason for our actions. We never realize that we are holding onto things that God only is meant to cover.

I hope I can write to the full extent how much I had let so much anger, and frustration and bitterness hold onto me... one day. Maybe I will. Maybe I will never be given the grace to. But one thing I do want you to know is that it doesn’t matter what she did or said, what he said or did, what they did or didn’t do, say or didn’t say, what we did or didn’t say or what you did or didn’t do and say or didn’t say… just let it go. God has the power to heal all of that, I mean you must be tired by now, weary and ladded with all that hurt and bitterness and frustration and pain. Just let it go – give it to Him. Afterall, He created you, and he knows how to deal with what you are going through. I’ve been there, and once you let go and let Him, even a feather will have nothing on you as to how light you will be in His grace!

My prayer is that whoever you are, whatever it is you are going through, that you realize that you are not alone, and despite what you may think or feel, God loves you so much and is knocking at the door of your heart and wants you to let Him in.

Have a great rest of the week… I know I will J