Five Minute Friday: Comfort

Webster’s definition of comfort is this:
comfort |ˈkəmfərt|
noun
a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint
• (comforts) things that contribute to physical ease and well-being
• prosperity and the pleasant lifestyle secured by it

Who wouldn’t want this definition for themselves as well as being this definition for others?

When I first read the prompt I didn’t think of a deep and meaningful post to write. Several words and sentences came to mind that represent my definition of comfort. Just thinking about them brings me relief.

ComfortPajama pants.
Fuzzy pink socks.
Drinking hot chocolate from an over-sized mug, filled with floating marshmallows.
The Disney Store.
The way my overstuffed sofa envelopes me for an afternoon nap.
Chris’ hands.
Starring at the star filled ceiling from my boy’s bed when discussing the day, before sleep sets in.
A familiar voice on the other end of the line when I feel lost.
Knowing that I’m not alone.

Five minutes go by fast! What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of comfort?

Easter Hangover

It was the mid 90’s. I was driving someone else’s car down a main road in the city where I was living at the time. Dawn was just about to break the horizon when it occurred to me. It’s Easter morning. I had been up for several days with the help of stimulants in the form of pill and powder and was now starting the brutal decent down from my high. I usually didn’t know what day it was so I’m not sure how I remembered it was Easter.

This picture etched so vividly in my memory… As the sun peeked over the horizon and poured it’s light into my eyes, tears ran down my sunken cheeks. “Easter…I wonder what my family is doing? My mom has already called half a dozen people by now exclaiming, ‘HE IS RISEN!’ while waiting for their reply, ‘He has risen indeed’ and will be preparing for Sunday service and dinner afterwards.”

I was 18 years old. I would spend 8 more years in mental anguish and self-inflicted torment before I surrendered control of my life in the rooms of AA.

Last night I attended the Easter service at my church. It was the best service I have ever been a part of on this important Sunday in the history of our heritage. I was sitting on the back row of the balcony and could see everything going on. Different kinds of people from all walks of life flooded the auditorium. I had a stressful time getting myself and 3 children ready to attend and quite honestly, I just wanted to check off attendance, hear the same old “Easter message” and get home to my pajama pants.

God had other plans.

I sat behind a row of several children. During the music I glanced over to see an adult holding two of the little girls up. They were fully in the moment with hands lifted in praise to the giver of life. “They get it.” I thought to myself. “I want to get it like they do.”
Our hands are lifted highGod wasn’t stressed out about what I would wear to gather in this place. He didn’t care if I stuffed myself into my spanx. It didn’t matter if I had make-up on or my hair fixed. He just wanted me. He wanted me to recognize His goodness. He wanted me to bask in His grace. He wanted me to see, first hand, faith like a child.

For those of you reading who have given up trying to change someone you love who is lost in addiction. Good. You can’t. Only God can save us from ourselves. You never know what God will use to trigger the desire for Him.

To the parents who have a prodigal son or daughter…They have not forgotten the teachings of their childhood. God’s got thisLet Him have it.

To those of you going through hell…please hear me when I say that the “Christians” who are telling you that it’s impossible to be saved while acting the way you are, just haven’t experienced the kind of lost that has seemingly swallowed you. We do the best we can with what we have and that is what they are doing.

When it comes down to the core of the matter…it is between you and God, my friend. You. And. God. He has the final say and only He knows your heart. You may be acting a fool. I did for many years. You may think God has abandoned you like so many others have. May I encourage you with this truth. God is exactly where he has always been. Awaiting your return. He wants nothing more than to bless you and shape you into His purpose. He wants to love you, provide for you and protect you from the demons that haunt you.

I know this first hand. I have sat where you sit. Maybe not in the same circumstances, but desperatelongingsearchingbegging…for some shred of hope. There is hope. Today we celebrate this hope called Jesus. There is life. Today we celebrate this life in Jesus. There is salvation. Today we celebrate the Savior named Jesus. There is abounding love. Today we celebrate the purest form of love in Jesus. There is peace that passes all understanding. Today we celebrate that peace through Jesus.

Now you know. I am rather sold out to this carpenter who walked the earth for just over 30 years. He never wrote a book. He wasn’t overly attractive. He wasn’t wealthy and His crown was made of thorns, but you see, He redeemed me. What was lost is now found. What was broken is now whole. Blind eyes can now see. He took my armor of shame and replaced it with a cloak of grace. But I had to hand it to him. He was not going to strip it off of me. I had to remove it, piece by piece. It was heavy and restricting. Now…now I am free. It was more than worth the exchange. I couldn’t always see it in the moment, but looking back I wonder how I ever missed it.

My friend, journeying alone or as a companion through the desert. My prayer for you is that, in His perfect timing, God will reveal himself to you in a way so obvious and powerful that there is no denying His presence. My prayer for you is that you will come back home.

If you want/need somewhere to turn that is “come as you are” here are a few great resources.
Central Online (Their motto is, “It’s okay to not be okay.”)
Buckhead Church a division of North Point Community Church (This is my 2nd home)
People of the Second Chance (These are my people…scarred…broken and beautiful)

 

You’re not the boss of Me

This was my less than loving response when my incredibly attractive husband walked downstairs and began our first verbal exchange of the day.

It was a Friday and it went something like this…

Him: “Honey, we need to run a few errands and get some things done around the house.”

Me: “I know, but NOT today! It’s my ‘pajama pants wearin’, don’t tell me what to do, day!’ I exclaimed, while shoving another sea salt & turbinado sugar dark chocolate almond in my mouth and chasing it with Peet’s coffee. (Perfect combination if you ask me.)

Him: “Ooooooo-kay.”

Me: “You KNOW this! Friday is MY day to do what I want! And I don’t want to run errands or wash dishes, do laundry or anything else that requires motivation on my day to do what I want! I will do it tomorrow or Sunday, but NOT TODAY.”

Side Note: My man is Sicilian. He is intense and passionate. (Two of the many things that make him irresistible to this southern gal.) Nothing gets his heart racing (in a good or bad way) like I do. I read his cues well at this point and what his deep caramel colored eyes were telling me was that he was maintaining the utmost control by not saying anything. Now, he may have been biting the sides of his cheeks ’til they bled, but I was really proud of him for not engaging my teenage like tantrum.

Him: “Would you mind peeling yourself off the sofa long enough to dress our son so that I can take him to run errands with me?”

I was up grabbing clothes, socks and shoes before he had finished his sentence! (The house all to myself?! You don’t have to ask me twice!)

I don’t know if he passed on telling me that I was acting like a brat because it just wasn’t worth it or because he knows I have enough self awareness by now to realize when my behavior is less than appropriate. I like to believe he was thinking the latter of the two. Either way, he offered to remove distractions, giving me a few cherished moments of “me” time.

I’m a writer. When I’m not able to express myself through written word I feel unsettled with each day that passes. By the time a week has rolled around, I’m ready to implode. I covet the moments when my mind can spill out onto these pages with uninterrupted thought. In fact, there is absolutely no noise other than the tapping of the keys as I write and the intermittent crunching of almonds. Ahhhhhh, serenity now.

So, here’s the deal. I’m keeping my “Don’t ask me to do anything day.” I highly recommend that you do the same. Pick a day that works for you. And by day I mean, several hours, not 24. Oh, and leave out the childish fit, it’s not pretty. Trust me!