Share: Write31Days

Share: Write 31 Days | Broken To Blessed

The word that Kate chose for today’s prompt is share.

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This brings me immediately to two possibilities: the “why” of my fledgling business or the kind of sharing I enjoy doing with other women — opening our hearts, sharing our hopes and dreams and heartaches. And I think that’s the direction in which I will go.

I have labeled my story “Broken To Blessed,” and have done so for more years than I can count.

So many women get stuck in the broken because they just can’t see what blessed might look like.

This is where sharing is so vital. Women flock to the internet in droves when life gets tough because they might find other women who’ve walked similar paths to their own. They might find stories of hope and of redemption.

Do you share your stories of victory? Do you share your time, your heart, your hospitality with others?

You don’t need a rags-to-riches kind of story. You don’t have to be a famous writer, have a Pinterest-worthy home, or a bells-and-whistles website (says the website designer).  You just need an authentic heart, some compassion, and a steadfast faith that our Father is willing to work in others’ lives similarly to how He has in your own.

I don’t get out much. Because of my legal blindness, I can’t drive. (Which, by the way, is another lesson on sharing — being willing to let others help, but that’s a post for another day.) Most of my sharing is online. Others do it in other ways. The only important thing is that we reach out, make ourselves available to share what the Lord has done in our lives, how He has sustained us, how He continues to sustain us even if we are still in the middle of the hard things.

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In what ways do you enjoy sharing? Are there some that bring you more of that “this is what I’m meant to be doing” feeling than others?

Why: Write31Days

Why: Write31Days

The prompt Kate has given us for today is “Why.” I love this word. It is possible I loved it a little less when my kids’ response to every.single.thing was that word. Today, though? It opens up a world of reflection, thinking, and action! Here we go:

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I went to Bible Gateway and looked up the word “why” in the NASB version of the Bible. It shows up a whopping 391 times. I skimmed through all of them, looking to see if there was a rhyme/reason/pattern.

There is.

The word “why” is used primarily to understand motive and heart. It’s less about a relative abstract such as “Why is the sky blue?” and more about what the motivation is behind our thinking and actions. It’s a heart matter.

Why do I worry if my kids are traveling around town safely? Lack of trust and fear of additional loss.

Why do I become angry when my husband suggests what he thinks might be a better/safer/easier way to accomplish a task? I feel as though he doesn’t think I’m competent or smart.

Why do I grieve when I see someone in pain, going without, experiencing loss? I’m empathetic and compassionate with an overriding spiritual gift of mercy. (The answer to this one is at least a good thing.)

Why do I never ask God about circumstances in my life? I’m talking things like why did my first husband die, why do my kids struggle, why did I lose most of my vision, why is my second marriage more difficult than my first, etc.  The answer to that one is also a good thing. I have faith in Him and in His sovereignty. If He brings it or allows it in my life, it must be good.

This is in stark contrast to the worry/anger whys, isn’t it?

That is part of what is so extraordinary about our faith lives and about us as individuals. We don’t evolve and become perfect all in one fell swoop. It’s a process. Go through this trial, grow your faith a little. Go through the next one, grow it more. And so on.

I think a bigger why is why in the world would the Lord choose to bless us in spite of our shortcomings and outright disobedience. Have you listened to Kris Kristofferson’s Why Me, Lord? recently?

I love this answer. His holiness. His love for us. His faithfulness to who He is despite who we are or how we might be behaving.

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I’m eager to go and read about other “whys,” and would love if you’d share your thoughts here.

Believe – Write31Days

Believe - Write31Days

Today’s prompt is “Believe,” which fits into the story of my life incredibly well. 

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Let’s start with:
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.

Examples of this in song are Creed by Rich Mullins and We Believe by Newsboys.

About three years ago, I decided to do some study in Mark. Mark is a book I hadn’t spent a lot of time in. I’d gotten the idea that it was a rehash of Matthew and not a particularly good one. Who knows where I get these preconceived notions?

But I ran into this verse and it blew my prayer life into another dimension:

Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. — Mark 11:24, NASB

We are supposed to believe that we have received them — not will receive but have received. WHAT!?! Wow.

Now my husband and I recently found ourselves in a situation of needing to get out of our home very, very quickly and find a rental. We prayed about it, that we were doing the right thing, and that God would guide us in the timing and place. I won’t speak for my husband (though I probably could) but I prayed believing that it was already done or, as my friend Susan says, GAKAT (God Already Knew About That.) And God presented us with steps that fell into place so perfectly that they could only have been orchestrated by Him. 

We are human, however, and doubts began to creep in when we bumped into a complication or two. One of the biggest things for me was leaving the small, sweet church that had welcomed me so warmly and that I love with all my heart.

Then just two or three days later, just long enough for the wondering to make me uncomfortable, I ran into a couple I had known before, when we lived in the same mobile home park we just moved back to, and who had kindly taken me to church and back.  I’m legally blind and can’t really recognize faces but I thought I recognized their voices on one of the aisles. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to look foolish if I was mistaken.

Of course, I ended up behind them in the checkout line! I asked if they were who I thought they were and they were.

And I am now going to be attending a weekly Bible study in their home.

I had prayed, believing that God would guide us in making a move, that He’d put us in the right place and show us that He had.

And He did.

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What do YOU believe?

Afraid: Write31Days

Afraid Write31 Days

The prompt Kate used for today is “afraid.” Let the five minutes of writing begin.

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I think that there is fear and then there is afraid. Fear can be a healthy thing. It lets us know when we are in harm’s way. If you see a snake with its rattles shaking, there’s a good reason to fear. Out in an open field during a lightning storm? Fear.

Afraid is different to me. Afraid means that you’re not fully living your life. Afraid is less about safety and more about consequences, at least for me.

My story is punctuated by afraid. Big exclamation points of it throughout.

The latest, in a long list of afraids, is that I’ve learned I’m afraid of success. The consequences of success are additional responsibilities and expectations. Knowing what to do next. Letting down the people I love.  I’m seeing this particularly in the business I’ve recently started. When I was doing what I do for friends and family, with no expectations of myself, it was fun.

The remedy for this “afraid” is my trust in God.  He has shown Himself to be faithful in all things. If He calls me to an endeavor of any sort — if HE calls me — then I do not need to be afraid of the consequences. There might be failure. There are lessons to be learned there. There might be success. There are even more lessons to be learned there.

Romans 8:28 is the answer to my afraid.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (NASB)

What’s to be afraid about with that promise?