Thursday, October 24, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Together

I've never accomplished a significant task on my own, and I've never experienced a significant moment without people dear to me nearby.

It's the moment a song we wrote as fourteen-year-olds becomes a song we can still sing together in our twenties and the coffee dates span years of acne and immaturity to young adulthood.

It's the people I learned to march in sync with. The ones who knew the bitterness of defeat and the sweetness of a state championship.

It's the crew who taught me to love and laugh and be at home in a west Texas town so foreign to my city roots.

It's the strangers who became family and taught me how to open my heart again. The ones who loved me at my worst and encouraged me back to my best.

It's the ladies who stuck out tough conversations, breakups, fights, and built solid friendships that we call COMMUNITY.

It's the team who serves by my side every Tuesday night, pushing me to be better, love well, be strong, and never shy away from the tough conversations.

It's the women walking a new stage of life with me now, never afraid to ask the tough questions that make me search my heart and lean into the Lord.

It's the team of mentors, professors, agents, and editors who believe in me and work to make my dream a reality to touch lives with my passion.

It's the family who's always been there and knows my heart well. The church family that raised me. The one that stands by me now.

My life is shaped by the beauty of people's influence. Life is better TOGETHER.

Linking up with a fun group of writers over at Lisa-Jo's.

What Makes Me Love Jesus More

I'm convinced that smog doesn't just clog the air of Dallas, Texas. It clogs my mind as well. The constant fast pace, emails, and traffic soundtrack leave my brain frazzled and desperate for a quiet place.

More than ever, this year I've discovered that escaping the city to the great outdoors makes me love Jesus more. I can't even explain the joy that fills me when I get outside the high rises. It's pretty bad when a writer is short on words. But without fail, I understand the words of Jesus that He came to give us life to the full (John 10:10). My heart is full, my joy uncontained. I want to dance, sing praise to my Creator, have a conversation with someone I love, write and let my passion spill on the page.

My job is to create. Maybe that's why I relate best in my Creator's handiwork. I see the beauty that I wish I could capture in words. I see the natural way of things, without the glitz and glam of advertisements attempting to sell a product. I see the sunset, the light filter through the trees, the color of the leaves, and I'm home.

As my wheels beat a path away from Dallas or I take flight in a 747 to some pre-planned location, the burden lifts. Idaho stole my heart a few weeks ago as I took walks, went on a hike, and spent hours outside gathered around heaters with chili and fun conversation. This time outside my routine refreshed my soul.

I understand a little more why Jesus escaped the crowds and the city to get alone with God in the wilderness (Mark 1:35). Can you imagine what it looked like back then? No trash. No pollution. No mark of humanity. Just nature in all its raw beauty. I imagine He felt close to his Father as I feel when I escape for just a brief time. I find that on my way back, my heart finds a new sense of peace to make war in the city God has placed me in. I'm prepared. I'm learning the quiet doesn't come from outer stimulation but inner contentment, the peace that passes understanding because I know who I am and who my King is (Philippians 4:7).

So, I hit the big city, and I'm no longer a slave to my outlook calendar and smart phone clock. I'm a servant of the King making the most of every opportunity.

And I'm more in love with Jesus than when I left.

What makes you love Jesus more?