Arise and Fly

I sit enclosed.

Trapped.

Hidden behind these bars of lies.

Held captive by chains of my own making.

Bound by deceit,

Imprisoned by expectations

That I am too afraid to meet.

 

Until the Voice of Truth rings out

Stirring me from slumber…

“Awake, awake!

Put on your strength.

Shake yourself from the dust, arise.

Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck!”

And I realize this truth calling to me

Is the Voice of Freedom.

 

For the first time, I notice

The keys to this cage are held within my grasp.

Freedom has been mine all along,

Placed there by nail-scarred hands

Of redeeming love.

I rise from this prison,

Insert the keys of mercy,

Swing forth these bars,

And FLY into the destiny created for me.

imagesThis post was another Five Minute Friday written with the word prompt of FLY. You can join in the challenge at http://www.lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday.

The Laundering of My Heart

I’m jumping in with a group of writers to take the Five-Minute-Friday challenge. Basically, we are given a prompt, then turned loose to write for five minutes before posting to a link and sharing our raw thoughts with others. Want to join us? Click here to check it out: http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday/

laundry:


noun: clothes or linens that need to be washed or that have been newly washed

I remember years ago during a women’s meeting at church when we all were just making small talk. The icebreaker question of the day was, “What’s your favorite household chore?”

My answer was the “laundry.”

I couldn’t help but smile when someone innocently asked, “What day of the week is your laundry day?”

As the mother of five young children, I quipped, “Day of the week? Well, how about Every Other?”

Laundry was one of the chores that was never-ending. No matter how many little jeans or shirts I’d washed and hung out to dry, then folded and tucked away neatly in drawers, there was the continuing pile filling the basket the moment I emptied it.

Dirty clothes always needing washed the minute I cleaned them.

Kind of like my heart.

Some days it seems I have more “dirty laundry” than others, but thankfully, I have a Savior who continues to care for the issues in me that need to be cleaned. In fact, I wonder if He doesn’t somehow take pleasure in the task – perpetually cleansing the stain of my waywardness and making me fresh and new. Rejoicing in extending righteousness to me once more.

No matter how many times my basket overflows with filthy rags, I am certain to go through the wringer of God’s grace. This great exchange of redemption as all is made right. And I can’t help but wonder if God enjoys this divine laundry process as much as I enjoy the simple task of washing clothes.

I wonder if the scent of a freshly-cleaned heart is as satisfying to God as the scent of line-dried apparel is to me. That springtime fragrance that reminds me of home no matter where my feet may be in the moment. That luring smell that makes me want to snuggle up against my husband beneath spring-fresh sheets; or wrap a baby in a clean, fluffy towel and hug her close; or simply draw in a deep breath as I bury my face in the newly-clean scent of a shirt that is now adult-sized like the toddler-turned-man who calls himself my son.

If there’s one thing that is guaranteed, I will always have dirty laundry that needs to be cleaned, both physically and spiritually…

Good thing my laundromat is open 24/7.

Fully Owned

As I ponder the rapidly approaching celebration of Easter, I find myself feeling a bit melancholy.  I don’t tend to get overly excited about any particular designated day of celebration, and perhaps that is something I should work on. Or perhaps it is simply because I choose to remember worthy celebrations in the moment rather than only once a year when we all are supposed to be grateful together.

While I am a HUGE advocate for remembering and pondering God’s goodness, I find that the holidays themselves often leave me feeling more frustrated than they should. Everywhere I look, I am bombarded by marketing strategies twisting the true meaning of our celebrations. Christmas decorations begin showing up in July and are quickly crowded out by the rush to celebrate that special someone in your life as the colored lights and stockings make room for red-foiled hearts, which give way to colored eggs and brightly-wrapped candies, which are hurriedly replaced with reminders to “remember Mom,” “remember Dad,” “memorialize the deceased,” “celebrate our Independence,” and on and on…

Now before you dub me the perpetual Holiday Scrooge and envision me holed up in my cave like some backwoods hermit, let me assure you that I DO celebrate holidays with family members. LOTS of them. I just don’t get into all the “extras” like some folks do. In truth, I find the greatest celebrations of the seasons generally take place within my own mind and heart, most often in the early morning hours before the mass rejoicing begins. For it is in the quiet of the predawn hours when I am most at rest and able to connect with the One who makes all things worth celebrating… every day.

So before the rush of Easter morning comes, I am declaring my gratefulness to a Savior who came more than 2,000 years ago and comes for me still… moment by moment, day after day, because HE has deemed me worthy of His presence.

I have been rescued from my captivity by a King who sweeps into the very heart of my depravity and despair in order to free me in every way.

And I continue to live in this perpetual state of being rescued. A once-and-done, yet constant, day-by-day, in-this-very-moment ransoming. Saved from Satan’s schemes; saved from the enticement of my own flesh; rescued from death and its eternal consequences.

The Cross of Christ will forever be my mainstay; the blood of Jesus my consuming redemption.

His loving sacrifice swallows my past, leads my present, and propels me toward my destiny of eternal light and life. Hope for today, strength for the journey, and victory made available right now with the assurance of overcoming life forever. And so I present my own offering of love in response to the ransom paid for me…

Here I am.
Just me.
Human,
Fragile,
Needy.
Aware of my lack.
Aware I am in over my head,
Yet drowning in Your love.
Asking if You see me,
While confident You do.
So incomplete,
But completely Your own.
Confronting the truth in me
With the Truth of You.
Reaching,
Finding
Myself in You.
Fully Owned.

May we remember and embrace the fragrance of Calvary’s love.

Even as we live as ones fully owned.

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