We live in a fallen, fractured world of broken people and fragmented value systems. Some are fortunate enough to have a happy and healthy upbringing, but I would dare to say that they are in the minority.
I lived in fear of my dad, and don’t know what it means to have or feel affection towards him. I’m not one to lick past wounds and wallow in sorrow; however, I do recognize that our upbringing shapes us and makes us into who we eventually become as adults. For example, my mom used to make my brothers and me watch documentaries on what drugs can do to someone. I’m so glad she did, because although I dabbled in a little experimentation in my youth, drugs always frightened the heck out of me.
Another personal example, and as stated above, is that I grew up in fear of my dad. He was a broken alcoholic and had many unhealthy issues that were never dealt with. Because of that, my childhood was robbed from me. Because of that, my idea of family was distorted and messed up.
I have worked on finding healing in this area. When I was a fairly new Christian, I would leave for work in the morning at peace, after spending some quiet time with God. By the time I got home, I was full of anxiety. When I felt anxious, I always thought I was doing something that God didn’t approve of. One day He showed me that I feared him the way I feared my dad, and that was revelatory for me.
How about you? Do you believe that we live in a broken world? Do you think that our upbringing makes a huge difference on our emotional and mental well-being?
Have you ever seen a crimson rose? I have only seen them in photos, but never in real life. They are beautiful and have a deep, rich color. So deep that sometimes they can even resemble the color of blood.
It’s meaning is two-way, signifying loss, death and mourning, as well as rebirth and love. It makes me think of a love that is committed and passionate. One that is willing to sacrifice for the good of another. One that is even willing to die for another. This type of love is a rare and beautiful thing.
Have you ever experienced a love like that?
Did you know that brown is a colour that is associated with belonging. I’ve written about this before – the need to belong. A need for community. A need for relationship. We were never meant to be alone, but we were made for relationship. I am very content to have relationship with the one who feeds my soul, and cares for me on a holistic level.
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
― C.S. Lewis
How do you nurture this human need for belonging?
The dove is often used to symbolize the Holy Spirit and peace. It also symbolizes the release of the soul in death. It makes me think of eternity actually. I believe in eternity, and that God has placed eternity in the heart of man.
Do you believe in eternity?
This poetry form, Mussete, is new to me. I found out about it by Ryan over at Days of Stone. I like the challenge of trying out different poetry forms, and used to write a lot more poems using poetry forms in the past. I thought I’d try my hand at it.
Simplicity. Don’t you just love that word? Who wants confusion and complication? Not me. I was inspired to do a simple little art piece with buttercups after reading a post by the lovely Trini.
Buttercups symbolize humility, neatness and childishness, while the color yellow symbolizes new beginnings, joy, happiness and comfort. All of these attributes speak simplicity to me. Treasures that can’t be bought. Treasures that make up a life worth living.
What says ‘simplicity‘ to you?
Sometimes when I listen to the Christmas song, ‘Breath of Heaven’ (music video in the first comment below) I start to cry. I think it’s because of the simplicity of it and the way that Mary addresses God, “Breath of Heaven”. She was just a young girl when an unexpected visitor showed up and shared a message with her that essentially changed the entire course of her life. She was engaged to be married to a simple carpenter, and she herself, was just a simple girl – that loved God.
As she silently prays to her maker, she’s extremely vulnerable and expresses to Him just how scared she is. She knows that the world is a cold place and she is feeling all alone. And rightly so. Imagine being in her place. A virgin, engaged to be married, in a society where it is absolutely unacceptable and punishable to have had sexual relations before marriage. And now she is carrying the son of God.
She pours her soul out to the only one that could possibly understand what she is going through. God, hold me together (I’m losing it). God, be forever near me (I feel so lost). God, lighten my darkness (the stone cold reality of this world is blinding me and I can’t see you). God, pour over me your holiness (for you are the only one that can ease my anguished heart).
I think it’s amazing how she addresses God as, “Breath of Heaven”. The word breath signifies life. Every bodily function depends on breathing as breathing is the most fundamental of all the body’s systems. It’s at the very core of life. When one stops breathing, one dies.
She also recognizes that she’s weak. She doesn’t see herself as one that is wise enough to be carrying such a serious responsibility. But the beautiful thing is that, even though she’s full of doubts and considers herself as unwise, it didn’t matter to God. What mattered was that she was willing to offer all that she is. What mattered was that she had a heart of humility and recognized she needed His strength, and not her own.
*Note on the art piece: Baby’s breath is considered symbolic of everlasting life and purity. I thought it apropos to include it in the star and around the border in response to the song and reflection.
I’m so sorry I’ve been absent. I was away for almost a week and had very little internet access. Plus, it’s summer here in Brazil and the kids are out of school and we will be traveling from the the 26th to January 10th. Once again I will have very little internet access. During this time I won’t be posting, but I will try and visit your blogs when I can get access to the internet and the time to do so.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy new year celebration.
Do you have a special place to go where you know you’ll find peace? Maybe it’s somewhere in nature? Or it could be in a crowded mall where nobody knows who you are?
I often find peace sitting on my living room couch. I go there to have my morning coffee and quiet time.
Forget-me-not flowers hold intimate meaning. They signify true love. Faithful love. They also symbolize eternal remembrance. That’s why I chose to paint these flowers to go along with this poem. The peace I have doesn’t come from some abstract, spiritual experience. It comes out of a relationship of true, faithful and eternal love that lives within me.
You can’t buy a peaceful love like that. It’s priceless. It’s a peace that passes all understanding. A peace that isn’t dependent on circumstances or surroundings. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Do you have a special place where you find peace? What does ‘peace’ mean to you? Do you know true, faithful, intimate love?
Have you ever been deeply impacted by a song? I have. The above poem was inspired by the song ‘Killing Me Softly‘. I actually posted this poem recently, but I wanted to put my own mixed media art piece to go along with it. I had the idea to use a dandelion, because I thought it apropos for the message. Once the dandelion has reached it’s life’s end, the wind comes along and blows its seeds all about, falling where they may. Then new flowers are born. Strong flowers with deep roots. Pesky weeds to many gardeners, that’s how strong their roots are. It makes me think about my own experiences. 10 years ago I sensed that God was sharing a message with me through this song, and just recently I sensed that he was showing me that he has been killing me softly throughout these years. The wind of His spirit came and blew away what needed to die, but those seeds fell and produced new life. New life that has deep roots. New life rid of the old and weak.
Have you ever been deeply impacted by a song? Which song? How did it change you?
Unfortunately, I don’t have the type of brush to be able to do fine details like the swoops on the dandelion. I guess we can’t be pleased with everything we do. If you would like to read the original post that inspired this poem, you can do so here.
Poetry Form: Gogyohka
There is a verse in the book, ‘Ecclesiastes’ that says, “It is beautiful how God has done everything at the right time. He has put a sense of eternity in people’s minds. Yet, mortals still can’t grasp what God is doing from the beginning to the end of time.”
I believe in eternity, and that there is more to existence then just time and space. More than just the material and physical. More than just the few years we have here.
What do you think? Do you believe in eternity? That there is something beyond our life experiences?
I am back. After a week and a half with very little internet access, I am so happy to be home. How did we ever live without the internet? Hahaha. I’m looking forward to catching up in the blogosphere.
The above piece was inspired by a piece I found on pinterest. I am very proud of it and can’t believe that I created it. It turned out perfect for what I had in mind.