Monday, July 14, 2014

When you feel like you don't belong.

I saw her as I was walking down the beach.  She sat all alone in the surf.  I'm sure mom was close by, keeping an eye on her child. 

But you could look at this picture and think the child was truly all alone.

That there was no one around.

In truth, the beach was full of people, I was actually surprised I could zoom in and get just the girl.

Sometimes, I feel like this little girl looks.  I feel all alone in the big, wide ocean of internet bloggers.

I am not sure I should be here.  I am not sure that this is my area of the beach.

On Friday, I wrote a 5 Minute Friday post on the prompt BELONG.

I wrote how our children don't really belong to us, they are only ours for a while.

I continued to think on the concept of BELONGING because I am beginning to wonder if I really and truly belong in this blogging world.

I typed the previous words last night (Sunday) in preparation for completing the post and publishing it this morning.

Then, I read this by my sweet friend, Diane.  Each of us has a story to tell.  Diane says that even though our stories may be similar, our perspectives, our hurts, our views are unique.  She says it like this, "You are not one of many.  Your story, though it may be similar to others, has your unique spin, your unique emphasis.  The time, place, and people who share your life are different than any other and needs to be shared to encourage another person walking down a similar path."

These days, my mind is foggy.  I don't feel I have the writing mojo that I have had in the past.  And I wonder what I am supposed to do with this space.

Sometimes it feels like I am drifting sand, being blown about as the wind desires.

I don't know if I truly belong online or not, but after reading Diane's post...well, I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

Lord, I believe each of us DOES have a story to tell.  
Please help me determine what part of my story you 

want me to share.  Help me determine the parts that 

will bring you glory and honor.  Because, really Lord, 

that is all I ever wanted out of this space and out of my life.

One more thing, read this by Michelle DeRusha. She tells you why you need to 
leave your electronics at home when you go on vacation.  I LOVED it!!

Do you feel like you don't belong? 
If you blog, do you ever get the feeling I tried to 
describe here?  If so, how did you deal with it?

Linking with Laura and Kelli.

This post may contain affiliate links. You do not pay more for the item if you purchase through my link, but I will get a small commission.

Friday, July 11, 2014

To whom I belong...5 minute Friday

Five Minute Friday is being hosted by Crystal this week.
Today's prompt:  BELONG
It was a sunny June day.  We sat in the big conference room.  My husband and me and what seemed like 25 doctors, but it was probably only 5 or 6...maybe 8.  I just know that I got swallowed up in the moment and tuned them out.
Most of them anyway.
I tuned out the ones that said we could prevent this in a future pregnancy with the right tests and if we got this diagnosis, we could terminate.

That is when I stopped listening.
That is when my husband said, "we aren't interested in that.  Tell us what we need to know about Amy."
She died later that day.  In my arms, in a room with family and friends.
She didn't belong to me.
She was only on loan for 4 days.
But the truth is, none of my children belong to me.  They all belong to Him. 
I only get to hold them for a time...sometimes short...4 days...sometimes longer.
I know to whom they really belong.  I know to whom I belong.

And I am OK with that.
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;
Psalm 24:1
Read more 5 minute Friday posts on BELONG here.
This post may contain affiliate links. You do not pay more for
the item if you purchase through my link, but I will get a small commission.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What I'm reading...

During June I spent a lot of time in the car - we drove from our home in eastern Pennsylvania to Utah and southern Colorado and back.  LOTS of hours in the car.  Then I flew to visit my mom, my plane had issues and we were delayed several hours in the airport.  So my 6 hour trip home became almost 11.  I've had plenty of time for reading.  Here are some of my favorites from June.  

Links in book titles are to Amazon (affiliate link) and 
links in author's name is to their blog if they have one.
I bought most of these books from Amazon or through
If you aren't aware of bookbub, check it out.  Daily e-book deals
 based on your preferences, downloadable in different formats.  Many
are free.  I've never paid more than $1.99.  

Notes From a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider.  I first heard Tsh speak at The Relevant Conference (now Allume) in 2011.  She and her family live simply, travel the world and I enjoyed the auto-biographical writing style.  I would not say it is the BEST book I've ever read, but I did enjoy it.  I could smell the smells and hear the sounds of the open air market she referenced.  The book did make me want to live with less and I am absolutely getting rid of things and buying less.  So that is a good thing!

bread and wine by Shauna Niequist.  I loved this book.  Not everyone did, but I did!  I reviewed it here.  I was not given this book in exchange for a review, but I cannot remember where I got it.  I loved her writing style.  I loved the recipes. I love the way she shares her journey.  I loved it all and will read it again.  I keep it in the kitchen with my cookbooks so I can refer to the recipes.  I love the Esquites/Mexican Grilled Corn on page 203!!  She is speaking at Allume this year...I am SO excited!!

Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa Jo Baker.  I have read Lisa Jo's blog for several years.  I don't know that there is a better champion of women and moms anywhere on the planet! She reminds us that all is matter how many bumps and rolls we have on our body.  She tells her story of being raised in South Africa, losing her mother just after she turned 18 and deciding she never wanted to have children.  She invites us into her life and how the Lord changed her heart and she welcomed children into her life.  The book is easy to read and written in Lisa Jo's conversational style.  

Angela's Song by AnnMarie Creedon.  I distinctly remember getting this for free from Bookbub.  It is a beautiful love story of loss, grief, redemption, forgiveness and hope all wrapped in a neat package.  I could not put this book down.  

Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt by Christi Paul.  Christi Paul is an award-winning journalist and works for CNN.  This is her journey through an abusive relationship and how it strengthened her faith as she found her way out.  I got this book from Bookbub also and found it to be riveting.  A beautiful story of believing in God...all the time.

Unglued Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst.  I read Unglued earlier this year.  I just got the devotional and I am using it daily during my quiet time.  I cannot tell you the difference it is making in my reactions and the way I respond to people.  I believe it was the perfect time for me to read this because I am open to what it is saying.  If you are finding that your reactions are disproportionate to the situations at hand, please check out this devotional book...and read the book.  Great stuff written by someone who has been there.  She seriously gets it!

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith. The Nester, as she is know in the blog world, says it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.  She shops thrift stores, garage sales and her own house to make a house a home.  Lysa TerKeurst did a series on her blog Turning a House into a Home on a Thrift Store Budget.  I have not yet gotten up the courage to paint a piece of furniture yet...but I'm getting there.  It is an encouraging read.  I actually read this in May, but thought it was worth including!

These are the books I read in late and June.
Have you read any of these?  What are you reading 
this summer?


Monday, June 23, 2014

Music Monday...

I'm travelling today - returning home from a visit with my mom. 
Thought I would share a song with you.

When Amy died 22 years ago, I listened to a lot of Christian music.  It brought me through the darkest of days. 

During that time it was easy to believe that her death was in some way, my fault. 
It wasn't. 

It was easy to believe that I wasn't lovable because I must have done something wrong.
I didn't.

This song ministered to me then and continues to minister to me today.  This is one of my favorite lines.

Spiritual freedom comes from believing
you are loved as you are.

The lyrics...

By Michele Wagner & Timothy K Norris
© 1989 Paragon Music Corp./ASCAP
Verse 1
You line up your failures and count them again
Is there one more second chance
You’ve made good first impressions but their big expectations
Brought fear along the way
So you hide your dreams you cover your scars
You’re afraid someone might know you
But spiritual freedom comes from believing
You’re loved as you are
You’re beautiful like a diamond in the sun
You’re so beautiful and you’re becoming brighter
You’re beautiful and the world needs so much to see
All the treasure in your soul
You’re beautiful
Verse 2
We all are imperfect most insecure
We’re afraid of who we are
It’s hard to imagine this world that we live in
It’s could need us at all
But we must be worth something for Jesus to bear
The scars of perfect love
And begin the refining until we are shining
A jewel in His care
You’re beautiful!!!

May you recognize that you are loved...just as you are.
What is one of your favorite songs?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bread and wine....

I was trying to remember where I got this book.  I did not pay for it - meaning I cannot find it in my Amazon purchase history - yet I did not get it in exchange for a review.  So, I think I must have received it in my swag bag at Allume last year.
While I am not expected to review this book, it was so good I wanted to tell you about it!
I remember hearing a lot about this book when it was released in April of 2013.  I saw where others were reading the book and saying how good it was, with great recipes, but a girl can only read so many books at time.  As this girl is finding out.  Right now I have 5 different books going at once.  Yes!  FIVE!  That is about three too many!
But when John and I took off on our 11 day road trip out west a couple of weeks ago, I took this book with me.  Finally, I was going to read.  I did not just read it, I devoured it.  The chapters are more of an essay or short story type and many chapters end with a recipe.  It is easy to read and Shauna Niequist, paints lovely word pictures so I felt like I was right there...wherever she was.  And she travels a lot and that is mentioned in the book, so I got to see places I've never been.  And I love the way she brought it back to home.  To her family.  All the time. 
I think my local friends that read my blog or those in the blogosphere that know me well will smile when they see this title.  I think they will probably say "that book is right up Mary Bonner's alley!"
And they would be right, but not for the reasons they might think...that I love to entertain or that I enjoy wine and pairing it with food.  It turned out to be right up my alley because Shauna Niequist is inviting and encouraging us to invite people to our table.  Into our homes.  To break bread and spend time together. 
And not to stress out about it.  That is where I need to stretch myself.  I need to let the dust go.  Make the bathroom good enough, then enjoy the company, the food...the life.
And the food doesn't have to be fancy.  She points that out too.  Maybe it's bean soup, but the joy comes from the sharing and spending time together.
In the chapter titled "Open the Door" she talks about women and house shame.  How we say we can't have someone over until we remodel.  Or until we get this done or that done.  We are too ashamed of our house to invite people in.  Someone showed up on her doorstep, unannounced, while she was without make-up, hair undone in her words she "was terrifying."  She ends the chapter with this..."but it isn't about perfection, an it isn't about performance.  You'll miss the richest moments in life - the sacred moments when we feel God's grace and presence through the actual faces and hands of the people we love - if you're too scared or too ashamed to open the door.  I know it's scary, but throw open the door anyway..." page 109.
And I love this, "The voice of God invites us to full, whole living - to rest, to abundance, to enough.  To say no.  To say no more.  To say I'm going to choose to live wholly and completely in the present, even though this ragged, run-down person I am right now is so far from perfect." page 170.  That comes from the chapter titled "Present over Perfect."  Yes!  To be aware.  To live in the now.  Not in the sometime later when things are just so.
We all have a story to tell and sharing our story with others is part of what, I believe, God wants us to do.  What he CALLS us to do.
I do not believe that book reviews are my strength when it come to writing.  So, if I share about a book, it is because I believe in it.  I want you to know about it.  And this one is so worth reading.
Check out this book, then find the courage to
throw open your door and let people in. 
It doesn't have to be fancy,
it doesn't have to be just needs to be from the heart.
Have you read this book?  If so, what did you think?
Do you enjoy having people in your home?
What stresses you out the most about that?


This post may contain affiliate links. You do not pay more for the item if you purchase through my link, but I will get a small commission.