Five Minute Friday: Visit

Every Friday (I know it’s Saturday and I’m late) this writing community gathers at Lisa Jo Baker’s place.  Everyone writes without editing for five minutes about one prompt. You can click here and see more info. Welcome and join into this awesome group of writers. Write and you will be encouraged and you will grow as a writer. This Friday the prompt is

VISIT

Go.

I have always loved visits of my friends. When we lived in the small town, we never called and made any schedules when to visit. We didn’t make big plans but just stopped by and sat and ate together. Sometimes there were many of us, sometimes just few.  Sometimes we shared and had deep talks, sometime it was more cooking, relaxing and having fun.

In the summer time when there was a midnight sun and night felt like a day, we stayed until morning and just talked, shared and relaxed. It was so empowering and full of life. Somehow we made through the next day at work never feeling tired.

I don’t know when or why but over years all have changed. We moved into the big city, capital, and a style of living was totally different.  If we wanted to visit, we had to make a plan. It wasn’t stopping by. Sometimes we tried, but either people weren’t’ home or it wasn’t good timing for them. In a hard way we learned a lesson and stopped doing it.

I like to make plans, but more than that I am empowered by surprising visits of friends. In them there is no expectations and it just goes with the flow and with the moment. There is flexibility in those moments.  I miss those ‘old’ days and I think it still should be like that.

Stop.

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Beauty of the Journey – it will get brighter

I’m driving to work almost every weekday. It has been this same road since August 2012. It’s 37 km to drive and mostly I’m just driving and thinking or listening something. This time of the year mornings are still dark and only things you can see are lights of other cars. By the time I have been getting off it has been twilight. But this week has finally been different. The sun has been up, sky has been clear of clouds, there is finally little bit snow on the ground and daytime is hour longer than SONY DSCit was month ago. Believe me, in Finland it makes a big different at this time of the year. 

Today while I was driving and view was phenomenal, I was thinking my own life. It has been dark, very dark lately. Mornings have been hard to get up, not just because of darkness, but because of heaviness I have felt. It’s easy to choose to start things new and it’s easy to say this year will be different than last year. And it will and already is. Totally. But change doesn’t immediately take away all you have gone through in life. Some things have to be dealt before lightness really comes.

SONY DSCWhen I was looking those remarkably beautiful frosty trees I was thinking how much I have beauty in my life. Yes, things has happened and they have hurt and tried to hurt me deeply, but there is still so many wonderful and beautiful things in my life which I just ignore too often. I could drive whole 37 km to home without seeing any of those trees OR I can drive and enjoy the beauty of my journey. I can see all variations of white and green in different lights. The more I see and recognize it, the more it blesses me and brings me joy. And that happens in my life too. I can ignore all goodness or I can see it and let it bring me joy. Life is multidimensional and even if I’m going through hard times I can enjoy my life and I can have joy and peace.

Too many times we forget this secret of life. And sometimes I personally want to forget it. Sometimes it would be so much easier just let it all go and just wallow in my own pain and circumstances. But then I would miss all the beauty. It is there whether I see it or not. It changes every day as this road I’m driving. It’s never the same. Everyday light makes it different depending on many little factors. One day can be cloudy and next day so bright that you need sunglasses. It can be snowing when I leave and before I get home sky can be clear and sun is shining. Everyday there is something beautiful if I just keep my eyes open. And whatever I go through in my life, I know God is with me and for me and His word is true and everlasting. His promise is that we go from glory to glory and all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according of His purpose. This is just a journey. I haven’t arrived and won’t in this time. But if my focus is on the end I will miss whole journey which is full of life with all kind of flavours. I have missed too much because my focus has been too far and because of trying to be something I wasn’t meant to. I thought I had it all figured out, but we don’t. God is God and we are human. Finding that place in Him as human brings me joy and peace and then I can enjoy my journey. I wish you can too.

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Five Minute Friday: Encouragement

The writing Friday. I involved in the creative writing course tonight and I knew this blog was waiting for me after that. It’s just a great way to spend the weekend. To relax and to write. My weekdays are so hectic and full, that mostly it’s quite difficult to find time to write. But ah … weekend.

Join in to the Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. The goal is to write for five minutes, unedited. Just write, let it flow, and then publish. No fear! 🙂 Then go and love those who wrote before you.

Here I GO.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAENCOURAGEMENT

Those little words of encouragement are powerful. They can get you up to run, when you are down. They can get you happy and joyful, when you are sad and blue. Those tiny words can lift you up to fly when just moment ago you didn’t even believe you were able to stand up. Those words which may mean nothing to someone else are priceless to you. They can get you to flourish. How much we can do good by giving it. And so many times we just don’t do it.

In my class there is this girl who is so shy and so quiet that you don’t even see her. Or she used to be. You couldn’t hear her words even she stood right next to you. Her talk was quieter than someone else’s whisper. If she was in the class or wasn’t you couldn’t tell the different. A teacher before me had tried to get her louder by yelling at her, but she was more closed and shy and scared.

I decided to encourage her in every way I just could. I talked to her about different things. I noticed things she did and little things she wore. I decided to do my best and trust God on rest. Now one and half year later you can hear her talking. She is still shy, but she talks in front of whole class. She is not afraid anymore and you can se her coming out little by little as she is. She hasn’t changed to be a different person. She is just crowing to be her and trusting that she is good enough. It has taken awhile and will still take, but I have enjoyed this journey with her and I’m so happy to see this change in her.

Encouragement doesn’t take much from my part, but can change lives.

STOP.

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Time to go forward, but one glance over the past

In the beginning of the last year, 2013, I knew 2014 would bring a shift into my life. I didn’t know what would it be, but I knew it was coming. I had high hopes. There have been promises I have waited for so long and I was hoping that finally something would manifest in my life. But I didn’t know what year 2013 was going to bring with it and didn’t have a clue what kind of shift was waiting for me.

I have been married 26 years and all those years my husband has had an addiction. There wasn’t any third person between us, but this addiction was. I didn’t know it when we got married, but one day it was revealed and it hurt deeply. And it kept hurting me all years. You may ask why did I stay? Well, good question and I am not happy to say that reason was religion. I was taught that divorce is one of those mortal sins. I also made a vow when I was 17 that I would never divorce in my life. I wouldn’t let that happen to my children what had happen to me. When this addiction was revealed I was pregnant and I felt I was forced to stay. I didn’t have any way out. To stay wasn’t my choice, because I didn’t feel I had any options. I was ashamed to tell that to anybody. I felt I was in the prison.

I tried to ignore it. I tried to be a good Christian wife. We talked and argued about our relationship. There was no trust, just hurt and pain. He tried to cure himself and find some help, but it seemed nobody was either willing or able to help. And I wasn’t any better. My attitude was terrible. I still felt I didn’t have any other option so I took it all on him. I had a sharp tongue and unfortunately I also used it a lot. Hurt in me caused me to hurt him. I wasn’t happy and joyful, so I didn’t want him to be either.

During the years I started to know God’s love and grace and it took place of judgment and fire of hell in me. I realized that God wasn’t as I was taught. He was loving and He had good thoughts about me and He would never abandon me. On the time I was getting rid of religion we also hit a rock bottom. And because I knew God now I was ready to separate without any condemnation. Children were still quite young on that time, so we after long talk decided to stay together, but he promised to seek help.

Years went by, he wasn’t free and year ago we hit a rock bottom even harder than before. On the last spring 2013 he moved out and I stayed with almost grown-up children. We talked all through with them and together and I personally felt there wasn’t any other way to go than that. No promises anymore. No empty words anymore. In me there was nothing left to trust or hope. Staying wasn’t an option, but separating didn’t feel good either. I was overwhelmed by feelings like failure, shame, quilt. It brought ‘what ifs’, regret, which was deep. I started to think I was the reason for everything. What if I caused all this and his addiction and all troubles I was going through. What if I never got married? Was I truly so blind in the first place that I didn’t see or did I see, but ignored? I didn’t even know who I was. And even thought I knew God’s Grace I wasn’t sure if God really would stay with me and accept me if I took one more step and got divorced.

Some people around me were saying that I still had to give a chance for him. Others said that I should finally start to live my own life and be free from all pain and hurt and from him. I didn’t know who to listen and even God was silent. I cried, prayed, asked, begged the answer from Him, but didn’t hear anything. Other people were ready to speak into my life what they felt God was saying. I didn’t hear anything. So I started to listen and believe what they said and started to move toward divorce. On the fall I started to deal that in my heart and cut all off which was about him. We took three months when we didn’t talk or see hardly at all. It felt good and I felt I was free. During these three months we had quite great water damage in our apartment from above. Because of it there was great repairs coming and we weren’t able to stay there on the same time. We had to start to look other apartment but it wasn’t easy to find.
And we were in a hurry. We had to move as fast as possible so that they were able to fix all.

Suddenly there was this one amazing apartment in front of us. Big, but reasonable. Good location. Only thing was that I wasn’t able to rent that all by myself. There were two options: take this apartment and move back together OR move into something smaller we had with kids. (We already had too small apartment.) One friend asked me how it was possible that I changed my opinion over night. It was all God. I was getting ready to divorce and move on, but God stopped me. He brought this amazing apartment in front of us and asked if I would trust Him and give Him this year. He had been silent until this moment, but now He asked me to trust Him and have faith on Him. He reminded me that He told me in the end of 2012 this:

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So after this encounter with God I made a choice. I chose to trust Him, not man. I chose to put my faith on Him, neither on me nor on my husband. I simply made a choice to follow God and it meant going into this apartment and giving Him a chance. God asked me to see my husband as He sees him, not through my pain and hurt. Just to see him. God didn’t ask me to trust my husband. Just to see him as God sees and keep seeing that way.

With this decision I lost some friends, very good friends. I also lost a dream I thought was ready to take off. It was a price of my choice to follow God. Judgment and condemnation were there again. This time because I chose to build, not to destroy. It took me through pain and hurt again. I can only say that last year was one of the hardest years in my life. I think it was the hardest. Constant pain, hurt, rejection, condemnation, judgment was always there where ever I turned. Shame and quilt was next to me reminding about my mistakes and causing me to regret so many decisions in my life. But it also brought out me. In the end I realized that no matter what I do there will always be those who stay with me and those who won’t. I can’t count on people, not even friends, when it’s about my life, which I’m living. Only those who stay with me through ups and downs and really love me can really speak into my life.

In the end of year 2013 and beginning of this year I realized that all I had was shifted. Everything. My life wasn’t the same anymore. And that brought me peace and joy. I knew all would be great with God. We are still living a short of separation in separated rooms, but taking care of all together. There is peace in the house and we both are ourselves putting trust on God. We are not perfect, but human loved by God. We are building little by little. This is only thing, which is left. And actually even this has shifted. It’s a new year and it brought us into a new place, literally.

Forgive me this was so long. Most of you my readers and followers don’t know me, so I decided to write this to sum up where I’m coming from. It’s all past and I will continue only with the present and the future. It was the hard year and it didn’t dramatically change better on the New Year. There are still days of pain and hurt, but there are also days of joy and peace, which I didn’t have last year. I’m thankful. This is my life and I have learned it’s the best to live my life, not anybody else’s. It’s the best go on with my own expectations, not with anybody else’s.

Five Minute Friday: See

It’s Friday again. What a great day! The day of relaxation. The day to sit on the couch and watch some TV. I love Fridays. It’s a day and night when I can forget the pressure of my job and forget that I have to prepare something for the next week. It’s a day when I can just be with my family and with my grown-ups and forget all troubles those almost teenagers in my class have. It’s Friday and time to write on the new prompt.

Join in to the Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. The goal is to write for five minutes, unedited. Just write, let it flow, and then publish. No fear! 🙂 Then go and love those who wrote before you.

Here I GO

SEE

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For so many years I have believed what others have seen for me. I have listened and believed, built and pulled down as others have seen. I have chosen paths adviced to me. I have ignored and put aside what I have seen because I was told so long “You can’t see right” and “You just don’t get it”. I believed the lie even when those didn’t really make sense to mee.

I started to see things through my pain and through my expectations. I saw things as I assumed they were, not as they really were. I started to see things against me, not for me. It got me negative and bitter rather than positive and thankful. My pain and hurt were deep and it was hard to forgive.

Until God stopped me and asked me if I really wanted to see. He asked me to see through His eyes, not through man. He asked me to trust that I was able to see. It was up to me, He was willing. I decided to step into Him to see as He sees and to leave behind everything else. Suddenly I couldn’t help but forgive those who had hurt me. I saw His Grace for me and for others. At that moment I knew there was no going back, but going forward even if others around said I was going back.

STOP

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Five Minute Friday: FIGHT

I heard about this blog challenge awhile back. I felt I wasn’t good enough to link my post here, but last year pushed me against the wall and I’ve realized I have only this one life to try different things and to stretch myself. I’m happy Lisa-Jo Baker started Five Minute Fridays again and when I saw it, I decided to jump in. So here it is.

GO

I have been fighting a battle in my life. And now I’m just realizing I haven’t always fought the right fight. I have given years and years for a dream and for a vision which I did believe was the right one. I am not saying it wasn’t important, but I do realize now that I almost lost everything else beside of it.

I thought that because God is suppose to be The One in our life, then everything about God should be number one too. And after Him comes rest of my life. It’s religious, but I realize my life has gone that way. I almost lost my marriage because of this mindset. I went so far out there to follow a vision I believed God gave me, that finally He had to stop me and bring me back into Him. Not into the vision, not into the picture about Him, but back into Him to really see what’s important in this life.

Sometimes we just think life is black and white, when it’s all these colors. There is fight to fight in our lives, but it’s the best for us if we pick the right one.

STOP

I have to admit I couldn’t get out all I was thinking, but because of rules I will not add or edit this. I also didn’t rewrite it even I was really prompted to do that. This is very good challenge for my English, but I do love challenges. 

Click here to read what others have to say about “FIGHT”.

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Reality – my life isn’t perfect

I haven’t been writing in English lately. I have focused on writing in Finnish and if you can read it, you will find it here.

images-47For the last six or seven months in my life, there have been many ups and downs. I have to say, it’s been mostly downs for me. I hit rock bottom in my personal life last spring. Unfortunately it stopped me right in my tracks. Day by day, I lost myself in guilt and discouragement. But what the enemy means for evil, God will turn for good. It doesn’t mean I won’t go through rough times. It means that I’m not alone when I go through them. When I am going through these times, which voice will I listen to? Do I listen to all the lies of the enemy or to the word of Truth from the Lord? Unfortunately, I did listen to lies. I did let my emotion take over. 

My emotions and feelings felt like quick sand. There was no firm foundation underneath my feet. The more I moved, the deeper I sank. The more I appeared to be drowning, the more I focused on myself and my own situation. Life seemed impossible. I simply do anything to help myself. Yet, I tried so hard that it was killing me.

We have everything we need in Christ, yet we are human and many times we react as human beings do. In my past, I tried to be the perfect woman, wife, and mother in a religious way. I had to be up, positive, and always victorious, regardless of what I felt inside of me. I didn’t feel free to be myself, to show my real feelings and doubts. I was hiding behind that perfect facade and people around me didn’t really know me and what I was going through. I have to say I didn’t really know myself.

My perfect facade broke down and I couldn’t hide anymore. I had to be real and admit that my life wasn’t perfect as I wanted to believe. I faced the reality of my humanness. I am not created to be perfect. During those months of pain I became Me, not anybody else.

Up to this day, life is not always easy, but I have to say I’m grateful for all I have walked through and will continue to walk through. I am grateful to God that He opened my eyes to see my reality, clearly. I’m also grateful that I have friends, not many, who stuck with me. They have encouraged me, listened to me and challenged me to keep walking each new day. More coming……