Control

My Brittle Heart Yearns To Be Soft

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 in Control, Freedom, Love, Vulnerability | 20 comments

#42 love is patient

 

My brittle heart yearns for the softness of innocent trust. It squirms within the shell of experiences that mold it – waiting for occasional moments to beat with true freedom.

I know my heart was designed for feeling – for vulnerable encounters. Unfortunately like most people, I learned early on that along with vulnerability often comes pain . And pain drives me to the shelter of a hardened, secure place.

Our youthful hearts can easily becomes suspicious, self protective and old. Hard and hollow.

I admit it – my feelings get hurt. I wish I could say my tough exterior is made from some sort of righteous maturity, but it is not. I’ve learned to appear resolute and say the right words, but each time my heart is hurt the walls grow a little thicker. Just this morning someone hurt my feelings and didn’t even know it. I recoiled.

Proverbs 29:25 says, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe”. I don’t believe this verse is suggesting I avoid people and trust God. I think it tells me to trust God with every relationship, avoiding the snare of fear.

A soft heart loves at all times – even through vulnerable and difficult encounters. There’s freedom in openness and vulnerability – freedom in trust. Trust encased in love generates life.

By God’s grace I will continue to take a sledge hammer to the hard walls I hide behind every time I’m hurt. I know I’m kidding myself to think genuine love can seep through the cracks of a self protected heart.

Love, Real love, God’s love – oozes out of and overflows from selfless vulnerability.

 

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In a Moving Vehicle

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Aging, Control, Humility, Motherhood | 20 comments

carseat

 

For now, they share the back seat while I drive. A carseat and a walker. Time never stands still, but today, my personal timeline sits in my car. I hesitate to look in either direction – back or forward.

I have no recollection of ever occupying a carseat myself, in fact I remember being lined up in the backseat of a station wagon shoulder to shoulder – all four of us. Seven years separating the firstborn from the youngest.

The carseat era brought with it restraints and a need for front seat entertainment rather than management. No more playing the “she touched me” game for the thrill of watching a leg get slapped from the front. No more trying to be the one closest to the window for relief from smells, annoying tapping and endless questions.

Today is different. Today I’m the keeper of the carseat from the front. I wrestle and manipulate the wiggly little creature into it. I lock firmly and tighten for safety. I manage entertainment, but never slap.

The carseat holds hope, dreams, undiscovered galaxies. Next to it – the walker.

I remember the day we went to the Salvation Army to find an appropriate walker. She was sure she didn’t really need one even though all the health professionals told her she did. None of the gizmos seemed right. One was too short, one too bulky, they needed a basket for carrying things. They all made her look old.

I can’t say I was sympathetic, or patient. It was just one of the ten other tasks on my checklist to make my job a little easier.

Ten years later it gets thrown in the backseat like my appendage, the purse. It haunts me. I sit in front.

A stroll down our timeline is a stark reminder we’re trapped in a moving vehicle. Time progresses without our consent. We change seats and don’t even know it.

She was once a carseat dweller. Young, full of dreams. She didn’t concern herself with thoughts of walkers, purses, or days spent looking back. The world was her galaxy.

I can’t be concerned with where I sit.

One day the carseat will vacate and little one will move up front. My walker will occupy the back as she looks over her shoulder to be sure I’m properly buckled in.

Life is a vapor. Life is to be cherished, valued. Used up.

Mourning the loss of years gone by is as futile as anxious anticipation of the future. The young drink from the old. The old dry up. The driver sits in the front seat with misguided feelings of control and worth.

Life is a gift. Our value comes from the life given us, no other place.

“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog — it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” James 4:14

The smudgy fingerprints on the carseat will be the same that grip the wheel and eventually the walker handles. Some things change – others remain.. Our DNA, our gifts planted from above, and the tiny lines on our fingers never change – just where they land in the grip.

 

I’m grateful to be linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee today and #imperfectprose.

 

 

 

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Lens Caps, Raindrops and Perspective

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 in Control, Freedom, God Speaks, His Love | 16 comments

apple blossoms

Isn’t this a great picture – I can’t believe I took it!

 

I love beautiful art, both on film and canvas. Admittedly I’m neither an artist nor a photographer, so the fact I took this picture from my inexpensive point and shoot camera is beyond amazing to me.

I especially appreciate how the camera captured exactly what I wanted it to – crystal clear drips showcased on apple blossoms. Breathtaking!

It also blurred out what I didn’t want shown – the backdrop of our yard.

If the picture were to pan out, it would include the unsightly elements I choose to crop, such as the web of electrical wires above and brown spots on the lawn below.

 

Rain was falling the day I shot this picture, both on our yard and in my heart.

 

Some days just feel that way.

 

Circumstances unfold causing a tightening to the chest that moves up the throat and into our minds like lava from the core. We know the boil over won’t be pretty. So we fester and steam. We isolate and focus inward.

The day I took the picture was like that. Circumstances I had no control over were holding me hostage like the rain – I was stuck inside, both literally and figuratively.

When I find myself in that condition I can’t see clearly. My vision is out of focus or focused on the wrong things. Some call it morbid introspection. I call it suffocation. Electrical wires seem to wrap around my neck, holding my gaze on all the brown spots in my life.

That day I heard God’s voice prompt me to go outside. He challenged me to, “Keep my mind on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, and proper.” as Phil 4:8 says.

 

He knew my mind needed a singularity of focus – a refreshing.

 

When I apply the lens of his love to my sight – both in my mind and on my circumstances, he is faithful to show himself every time. Glimpses of him are life breathing, fire quenching and heavenly.

The beautiful little water drops were true, they were pure and right. They were also God’s mysterious way of cleansing my sour soul and drenching the fire within.

 

A fresh focus can also lead to a broader perspective.

 

Panning my focus out a bit, I could reclaim the truth that my life is my life, given by him – electrical wires, brown spots and all. The very wires I resent, even the circumstances I beg to control – are all here for my good. Who am I to question his divine plan for me?

He is certainly found in the beauty of raindrops – refreshing, cleansing, clinging. But he also sits unscathed with the birds on the high voltage wires I resent.

Today, my focused heart clings and releases. I choose gratitude for his divine care. I choose vision beyond what I see and freedom to exploit the perimeters of my own sight.

 

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