The Desire To Belong

I know it is now Saturday…but, I did not get to do Five Minute Friday yesterday. So, I am doing it today:)
Five Minute Friday


The word prompt for today is: BELONG 

Overall, I feel like I have a fairly decent self-esteem. In the day to day I feel pretty good about myself in the things that truly matter, but there have been times (and I’m sure there will be more!) where I have felt like the odd one out. I don’t get the inside joke. I wasn’t in the “inner circle”. Something that I have come to realize over the years is this: we all have our issues and insecurities. Even the slender woman that stares into the mirror, many times is blinded to her true beauty. She often sees the flaws and longs to look like someone else. The businessman that works extra long hours because he wants to be recognized by the boss, and to feel apart of the team. There are a lot of people in this world that don’t get the inside joke, and are just trying to “fake it to make it”, because they feel if someone really knew them, they might be the one being laughed at.

The desire to belong is strong in each of us. We want to belong….to a mate, to children, to family, to co-workers, to neighbors. We want friends that are our “besties” and to know that the words we speak will be heard and appreciated. None of us were made to fly solo. Oh sure, there are times when it is wonderful to have peace and quiet and have time inside your own head, to come away refreshed. But, for most the desire is not to live that way forever.

God is good. He did not make us to be by ourselves, standing on the outside looking in. He made us for communion with each other and most importantly with Him. There is a place in our spirit that only He is able to fill.

In relationship with God, it is where we truly belong.


Created For Meaningful Relationship

I believe society does a good job of helping us feel isolated. Surrounded by thousands, but known by few.102_1586

Don’t get me wrong, I am all about having access to the latest technology. I think phones, computers, tablets, mp3 players (and on and on) can be good tools. I, too, enjoy social media, although I do not let it control my life.

I think people want to be connected. They want friends that listen. They want to feel like they are a part of things.

So many times, we settle for status updates, instead of heart to hearts. We listen for the phone to ding, instead of the sound of laughter. We tweet in 140 characters or less, making it short and sweet. It is hard to soul search, when most things can be found through Google search.

We were created for meaningful relationship. We need to hold hands and hold hearts. Laugh out loud and shed tears. Hugs and saying the hard things. All of the emotions and messiness that good relationships bring……

God made us that way, and He called it good.



Today I am thankful for:

*friends visiting

*good food and good company

*ice cold sweet tea

*enjoying views from the deck

*friends that volunteer their time to help

*safe travels

*family here to share memories

*son’s graduation

*important achievements

*my husband who loves me

*daughter who grocery shops with me

*dinner out with family and friends

*God who longs for us to spend time with Him


Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3 


One On One

It is early and still dark outside. The street lights illuminate patches of sidewalk outside of the coffee shop. I’ve been enjoying the quiet for 5514745-una-taza-de-caf-de-chocolate-caliente-con-malvaviscos-en-la-parte-superior-descansando-sobre-la-alfoalmost an hour, drinking my mocha coffee while I surf the web and listen to the radio. My headphones allow me to be here in this space and be somewhere else all at the same time. Technology is amazing like that.

I am a keen observer of people, and so sitting at a table in the corner of the coffee shop is a prime location for such observing. Most people are in and out quickly, getting their coffees to go. Others, older individuals are regulars. These guys know the baristas by name and have inside jokes and smiles that they share. Reading newspapers, talking, watching TV, surfing the net, or just quietly sitting and thinking. We are all here together and yet we are each in our own world.

I wonder what these individuals plans are for today? Everyone goes about life, each time the bell above the door tinkles and the door closes, someone else is gone. Each left to start the day’s adventures. Each to make their mark on the world. Some will paint their corner of the world with vibrant splashes of color, while others walk quietly through the mundane.

Each face is unique and significant. Husbands, grandfathers, moms, sisters, daughters, sons, and friends. Each life touches another, intertwined together. I look at faces and I wonder what their stories are?

When God looks at us, what does He see? He sees our heart and our motives that our faces can sometimes hide. He knows both our pain and our joy. Nothing is hidden from Him. He is the Master Observer, but God is not satisfied with just being a casual observer.  He longs for relationship with each of us. Real. Personal.

Get to know Him. One on one.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7  NIV

Word Up!

Today, over at Faith Barista we are posting our personal word for 2014. What is the one word that has significance for this year? For me? What word sums up what I am striving for in 2014, just as this year begins to unfold? To be honest, I could spend days mulling this over, as I am wont to do. I’ve decided to not do that this time. I’m picking a word that I’ve been thinking about already, regardless of the new year. That word is……


Last night I was reading and came across this quote from John Milton… “Loneliness is the first thing which God’s eye named not good.”   Genesis 2:18  The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.I will make a helper suitable for him.”













From the very beginning we were created for relationship.

Then this morning I read my Jesus Calling devotion by Sarah Young. “I AM WITH YOU AND FOR YOU.”  God is our place of safety. He gives us strength. He is always there to help us in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1 

God is here. He always has my best interest at heart. His love is all encompassing. My creator wants relationship with me. To Him, I matter.

I can rest in Him.







The Wonders Of His Love

The ceramic ornament slipped off the counter and hit the floor hard. Cracked. Broken. In pieces.102_4811

A cry escaped, as I stared at the crumbles and bits of what was left on the floor.

I had just gotten the decoration that day, from Day Spring…and I was disappointed at where my gift had ended up.

My kids helped me pick up the pieces. Super glued it back together. Fixed it.

But, the cracks are still visible. The heart is broken.

A reminder…

For the words on the ornament read, “Wonders of His Love”.

Oh yes, the wonders of His love. The words sink into my own heart.

His body was broken for me. His heart leaked for me, the sinner. The blood. His blood poured out.

All because of His great love.

I flipped the ornament over and looked at the spidery crack that ran through the printed verse on back.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9 NIV

Good Bye

This 16 mm spring-wound Bolex "H16" ...

Want to play Five Minute Friday? It’s easy peasy!

@The Gypsy Mama

1. Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt- no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Meet & encourage someone who linked up before you.

OK, are you ready? Give us your best five minutes on:  Good Bye


Okay, so the movie is kinda of corny….but, it is one of my favorites anyway.  I’m a sap when it comes to movies that pull the heart strings. Love ’em, that’s just how I roll.

One of my favorite quotes from the movie comes at the very end. The main character’s mother had died earlier that year…..

That’s what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will…

True, huh? Endings usually are sad. Good byes often hurt….especially if they are good byes with no hope of a new hello.

The reason good bye hurts is because of love.

If we don’t love, than a good bye doesn’t have the same sting.

The same longing to not go.

The want for one more minute, one more day….

one more chance.

Love Is A Great Gift

Holding hands“Love is never having to say you’re sorry.”

I don’t know who ever came up with that quote…but, just for the record I hate it. I completely disagree with the sentiment.

That statement is full of pride. The very thing that builds up walls and causes isolation, even within relationship.

Now, I cannot speak for everyone, but I know for myself that I am imperfect.

You heard me. Imperfect. I freely admit it.

Stubborn. Opinionated. Fierce.

Slow to boil, but when the steam is rising—step back or you might get burned.

Ugh. I dislike that about myself.

It has taken me years to realize that my gift of words can heal…or they can hurt.

And the choice is mine.

On Valentine’s Day everyone is talking about love. Millions of dollars are spent on showing each other how much we care.

Then February 15th rolls around and it is back to usual.

Relationship with any intimacy at all, is going to have times when the imperfect collides with reality.

Those times are the perfect time to say “I’m sorry”.  Those words have healing power, if said with sincerity.

Those words humble me.

Love in the real world is not some Saturday afternoon chick flick. It’s not the handsome guy on a white horse. Or even drowning in expensive chocolates……

Love is strong. And it is tough. And it is brave.

It is humbled. And it is servant. And it is forgiving.

Love is a great gift.


Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Ephesians 4:2



A Place That Always Feels Like Home

Sometimes, friends come to us…

in ways we might not expect.

Through written words.

Through small, thoughtful gestures.

Through a voice on the phone, across the street or across the miles.

Through a hug, when it’s needed the most, and nothing else will do.

Friendship crosses gender barriers, racial barriers,

economic barriers, age barriers,

time and distance.

Friendship plants itself deep in the heart…

A place that always feels like home.

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
   and the pleasantness of a friend
   springs from their heartfelt advice.  Proverbs 27:9  NIV

Come What May

"ladies in a line"

Image via Wikipedia

It is so easy in today’s society to go for days without actually talking to anyone.

Fast food drive through, talking to a machine.

Phone calls talking to computerized voices.

Self checkouts at the stores.

Chatting via status updates on the internet.

Using phones to text instead of using one’s voice.

As wonderful as technology has been for us as a whole…it can lead to isolation if one is not careful.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
C.S. Lewis

We all need relationship. We crave it. We were never created to be completely on our own.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

There is nothing better than having a friend to just hang out with. Someone with whom to pray, swap stories, give opinions, occasionally rant, and to hear, “it’s all going to be okay.”  An opportunity to look into the eyes, see a smile, give a hug, hold a hand. Don’t we all want a friend(s) that will stick with us, come what may?

Friendship requires availability.



There is nothing better than being “at home” with another person.

Friendship is a valuable gift.

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”  C.S Lewis



Close To Me

Sistine Chapel, fresco Michelangelo,

Image via Wikipedia

Bonnie, at Faith Barista gave us this topic to write about today…

Whitespace Jam:  Share a moment you felt close to God recently.


I’ve been mulling this over. There are many, what I would consider, small moments where I have felt close to God.

Day to day moments. I’m thankful for my life…and in many ways profoundly grateful for the way things have turned out.

For you see, it might not have been this way...

I, like many of you, have had moments or times in my life where I have felt the very hand of God.

Sometimes I knew it right then…other times not until after the fact. When we think of God many times we expect grand miracles,

strong battles, beautiful creations, and the dead being raised to life. And it is true…God is all these things. He is also so

much more. There are times in my life where I’ve cried out to Him, “God where are you?”  Sometimes, for His own

reasons, God is silent. Even if I did not understand at the time, God did. He was always close.

If I could make a map of my life,

it would show a pattern touched by the Sovereign.

Here are some moments from my story. My God moments. The Ever Present in my every day.

* A college graduate who had traveled back home to look for a job. Applications. Interviews. Doors slammed.

“God I know you called me to be a special education teacher. Why can’t I get a job teaching here?” A phone call from

a professor in Tennessee, he had tracked me down to Maryland by way of a friend. A small school, in a small community

in the mountains of Appalachia needed me. Would I consider going? Nearly 600 miles from Maryland…from home.

And God held the door open wide. A small town with a big heart. Memories of my early years of teaching still warm me,

all these decades later. God brought me to this place and I knew that God was close.

*The cries were like music. From the moment the nurse laid my newborn son on my chest, I knew that motherhood would profoundly

change me. I hadn’t known if I’d be able to get pregnant. The fact that I did, was a gift from God. A new role as mother….and God was there.

* “Ma’am, we tried to resuscitate him for 45 minutes straight. We could never get a good heart beat. I’m so sorry.” Part of me

died that day, along with my husband. Plans changed. A new normal.

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. (Psalm 68:5 NIV)  I have never felt so close to God

as I did during my years of widowhood. I clung to this verse from God. He would father my young son, and be my defender. Many

days and dark nights, I would tell God I was scared. He never left me. He most certainly was my defender.

I was able to sleep in peace…with God close to me.

* This man lived so far away. I could not possibly get involved in a long distance relationship. God has a way of working the impossible into

the possible. Time and distance are not deterrents to a God that is not chained to calendars or clocks. He is the God of second chances. My new husband and I stood before God to say our vows. Two families brought together as one.  God was at that ceremony.

I could list many, many times that God was close, as He mapped out my life. There are the big God moments, the bends in the road, the path not taken…..and there are the small moments of realization. The warmth of my children’s hugs. Notes of encouragement from my loved ones. The beauty of much needed rain splashing against the window pane. An email from an old friend. Waking up to my husband’s smile. The comfortable house that I live in. The dog licking my ankles. A cold glass of tea.

All things are from God. God is not a stranger to me. He does not live far away. He has not left me alone. He is intimately involved in the day to day moments of my life. He is close to me. Always.