At One Moment – A Good Friday {Repost}

kd sullivan:

At your darkest hour…The Light of the world breaks through…

Originally posted on Journey Towards Epiphany:

At

One

moMent

Dark Sky,

Thunder

Rolling,

Lightening

Flickering,

Criminals on either side, one bitter to the end, the other humbly repenting.

“Father forgive them for they know not what they have done, do and will do.”

“King of the Jews”

The sign jeered.

“Save yourself!”

Soldiers sneered.

Man far from God

God far from man.

“It is not Myself

I am here to save.

It is you thief,

You soldier.

You reader.”

God close to man

Man close to God

In a moment

At-one-ment.

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Creating An Experience, The Last Supper, Pt. 3

kd sullivan:

On this Maundy Thursday…

Originally posted on Journey Towards Epiphany:

Creating An Experience

While entertaining friends or family in our homes, we all want to leave the guests with an experience they will never forget.  Jesus was no exception to this rule during His Last Supper, creating two very significant events.  The first moment Jesus created was the Eucharist.  The word, “Eucharist” means thanksgiving.  First, Jesus thanked and praised God for the bread and wine.  Then, He started speaking mysteriously of eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood.  This isn’t the first time that He had referred to Himself as being Bread, and He talked to the woman at the well about being drink that satisfies thirst forever. Be that as it may, it’s still quite a thing to say at a holiday party!  It is the first time that He handed them Bread and declared that it was His Body, and gave them a cup proclaiming that the wine…

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From the Crazy Mixed Up Files of Two Kimberly Dawns

Twinsies

When I saw the invitation from my writing twin Kim Rempel (we are BOTH Kimberly Dawn’s!) I couldn’t resist the temptation to analyze my own writing process.  In the last year and a half, I have taken on a “part-time” job as an Executive Director of a Love INC affiliate in Tinley Park, Illinois and I am adjusting my life, and my writing, to it’s demands. This translates into hardly ever writing anything not work related. Recently, I decided that I missed blogging too much to let it go, but I was certainly surprised at how difficult it was to squeeze a few meaningful words onto the screen.

Bringing me to the subject at hand, how did I once blog 4-5 days a week with seemingly no effort at all?

Writing Process Step #1 – Write every day. No. Matter. What.

The truth is that  I have let this go.  I was so out of the habit of expressing myself in the written word that I am still priming the pump and only a rusty trickle drips from the spigot.

Writing process Step #2 – Read and comment on the kind of stuff you’d like to write.

For me this includes my daily devotions.  As I read scripture I keep a notebook next to me and journal my thoughts.  This gives me a plethora of ideas to work from.  I also love to read Ann Voskamp, Emily Wierenga and Shelly Miller.  When I read regularly, I write better.

Writing process Step #3 – Keep a log of experiences you’d like to share.

There is only one you, so writing about what you experience will be unique and inspiring to others! I keep a notebook especially for phrases that come to me or subject matters that are begging to be introduced to my world.

Writing process Step #4 – Believe that your voice and perspective matters.

This is closely connected with step #3, but I can not stress enough how unique your perspective is.  Sharing your take on life helps the world around you understand and accept new ideas and respect those with differing opinions.  It has been said that each person influences over 200 lives!  Writing can be your opportunity to influence others in a positive way.

Writing process Step #5 – Become immersed in your subject.

Whether I am writing my novel or a blog inspired by a scripture passage, the more time I give myself to meditate on it, the more revelation I find to add value to my own life.  Fresh revelation always leads to the passion necessary to communicate in a way that inspires others.

Writing process Step #6 – Be vulnerable.

Writing about things and people you care about can be very revealing, and may leave you feeling a little naked.  However, when readers can tell that you are truly bearing your heart, they  become endeared to you, and want to hear what you have to say.

Writing process Step #7 – Just do it!

Stop the excusiology.  If you have time to watch hours of Duck Dynasty and NCIS, you have time to write.  You can’t afford not to!  The world needs to hear your voice.

What I’m Working On

  • Blogging at Journey To Epiphany
  • Writing articles at Family Fire
  • Submitting a children’s picture book for publication
  • Writing an historical fiction novel
  • Writing and being chief editor of quarterly newsletter at work
  • Gathering notes for an upcoming devotional

How My Work Differs From Others

Finding a voice all of my own is really only finding a collection of voices who have spoken to me.  My collection includes, Madeleine L’Engle, Jan Karon, Richard Foster, and Ann Voskamp. Each of them have caused me to relook at myself and the world around me, beyond the surface and into the deep.

Why I Write Non-Fiction

I write non-fiction because it is quickest way to communicate ideas that influence.  However, I love writing poetry and fiction as well, in fact, I would say they come much easier to me.

 

Now for the real fun…

 

Next week my very best blogging friend Adela Crandell Durkee over at the Black Tortoise will be writing about her own experiences with the writing process.  You won’t want to miss this!

How A Book Launch Quilted The Pieces of My Heart Together

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Healing takes time, and time is something I seem to have very little of. So when my father passed away very unexpectantly several years ago, as an only child I shifted into survival mode; checking on mom and making the necessary adjustments.  I gave myself very little time to grieve, and that was probably calculated to some extent.

Reading takes time, and time is something I seem to have very little of. So when my dear Emily asked me to be on her book launch team and read her first piece of fiction, A Promise In Pieces, part of me groaned.  Between running a non-profit, attempting to blog here and there, writing a novel, being a brand new freelance blogger at Family Fire, promoting a children’s picture book and caring for my family, the request seemed like another thing to add to an increasingly long “to-do” list.

But God…He is so good at multi-tasking!  I began reading this novel, and enjoying the strong female characters as I was drawn into their world…but as I continued I couldn’t put the book down.  What was the Holy Spirit doing here?  I wondered.  It seemed as though the last portion of the book so closely mirrored an area of my life that it was uncanny.  Soon I found myself sobbing, something I don’t believe I have ever done while reading, even the most sorrowful of stories.  And I wasn’t sobbing because the story was sad, but because Emily’s words caused me to take a journey where I hadn’t allowed myself to go years ago.  Now that the floodgates were opened, I couldn’t seem to stop the tears from falling.

And isn’t that the way God is? He gives rest to the weary, and in due time He comforts us as we grieve until we are broken. Then he sews up the scraps like the pieces of quilt in Emily’s book and creates a beautiful menagerie of brokenness, patched up and ready to bring warmth and comfort to others.

No matter how bright the light inside you, if everything around you is oppressively dark it begins to leak in through your eyes and eventually you either have to die or find a miracle.  And I found one. – A Promise in Pieces

That’s exactly what this book was for me…a miracle.  I am convinced that it is possible that God had Emily write this book, labor of love, hours of work, just. for. me.  Just so that I could face through another character what I wasn’t willing or able to face through my own character.

Healing takes time.  Reading takes time.  Death is the ultimate time taker. God used the gift He placed in Emily to patch up my heart, and I can not thank Him or her enough.

 

Emily Wierenga’s gook will be available on Amazon, April 15th. Would you consider becoming part of AmazonSmiles and choosing, Love INC of Tinley as your preferred charity? See the side bar for a link.

 

All for the Joy

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How to be deeply pressed and yet not be depressed.
How to remain under stress and not crack for the pressure cooker that transforms uncooked hard flesh to tender heart.
How to allow the bitter to turn sweet. How?

How to face giants without human companionship.
How to distinguish small still voices swallowed in roaring, raging winds.
How to say yes when it would be so much easier to say no. How?

Jesus, our mentor, has gone before us in every area, this one incuded. Pressed on every side, and pressured by the enemy to turn back from His assignment, he stayed. He stayed unmoving even under pressure that squeezed blood from His sweat glands. He did it for the joy that was set before Him.

And maybe this is how. Maybe we can do it for the joy that is set before us. The promises that seem just beyond our reach.
The lives who might be changed for our unmovable, unshakeable stand. The snatches of Glory in every day life, even in the midst of disappointment.

Those who loved Jesus best thought He would be a rising political force or an influential prophet. How He must have felt their disappointment! He didn’t appear to be the success others expected Him to be. I wonder if He was tempted to be disappointed Himself? But the joy that was set before Him was that of perfect obedience. Obedience that cared not for the whispers behind His back. The whispers of, “What a shame! He had such potential!” Obedience that desired His Father’s will above being understood by those closest to Him.

Though surrounded by His best friends, he was alone, and yet in this solidarity His biggest and best calling was realized. And in this Solitary Refinement the biggest and best of your callings will also be accomplished. So stay, dear one, stay still in the Garden, your most effective days are right around the corner.

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My Words Pass Away

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I have gotten out of the habit of writing and therefore have gotten out of the habit of living a beautiful life.

Writing is the process whereby I squeeze Truth and Beauty from falsehood and ugly in my daily world.

Now there are overgrown weeds tangled over my trellis and the wisteria can not be seen.

How do I remove the ugly without damaging the beautiful?

My lenses have become scratchy and cracked and all that I see is distorted.

It’s a strange Picasso-world, full of jointed and pointy angles.

Until a different kaleidoscope appears. 

Scribbles in the sand that blow away in the wind reveal the finger of God on stone.

My words pass away, but His do not.

 

 

 

 

Upon Having a Meltdown in the Midst of a Polar Vortex

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Snow mounds pile waist high and the hairs freeze in my nose.  My cheeks tight with razor winds, and still my insides puddle, melted down and useless.

I’ve come to a often visited place – the end of me.  And though I am a frequent visitor, I foolishly forget this rugged terrain.

Responsibilities pile mile high and I freeze in my tracks…melted down and useless.  Weather beaten sign states, “Welcome to The End of Yourself.”  Cried out, tired and weary worn I shuffle past the sign and like the famous prodigal wondering why I ever left, I lay down to rest in leftover angel’s wings made in powdery snow.

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Because the end of me is the beginning of Him – when I let Him Be.  

I’ve been gently reminded that the responsibilities never came because of my greatness, but because of His. So they are His, they belong to Him, these responsibilities, and He can do what He will as soon as I get out of the way. 

Out of the way to let Him Be.

And is a meltdown such a bad thing when my heart has been cold as ice? And full of self?

Webster’s says that meltdown is 3 : a breakdown of self-control (as from fatigue or overstimulation) 

And burnout is  the condition of someone who has become very physically and emotionally tired after doing a difficult job for a long time.

Isn’t this always the case?  A meltdown comes when I try to be in control of everything and everyone.  When I try to control circumstances that are beyond my control?  

And burnout? When did I lose sight of his yoke being easy?  and His burden light?

Burn out causes meltdown.  Burning the candle at both ends until there is nothing left, when I gloriously recognize that I am in way over my head and there’s nothing left of me to work this out. Fireworks and shooting stars!  I’ve been working and not gracing. 

His grace is sufficient, and His love is overwhelming. These tasks are better trusted to His grace than my works. The warmth of His love has melted me down amidst a polar vortex and Hell can not freeze me over.

 

 

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