Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

Tag: RaRaLinkup (page 1 of 3)

The Good, The Golden, and The Grace.

The Good, The Golden, and The Grace: A Modern Day Parable

She sort of garnered attention.

In the middle of our local library, nearly tipping out of the computer chair, one hand dragging on the floor, slumped in a deep sleep.

Or something.

I gave a quick look around.

Anyone else notice how lifeless this woman looked?

But everyone around her was either submerged in their work, or paying no attention while browsing the shelves.

Okay then.

Maybe I’ll notify someone at the front desk that in the 20 minutes I’ve been here, she hasn’t moved one iota out of her dangerously-close-to-hitting-the-floor slump.

She’s right where everyone who comes in can see her.

Staring, judging, snickering, head-shaking, they all pass.

Someone will take care of it.

Won’t they?

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A Choice For Contentment

The Choice For Contentment Is Ours

It’s early morning hours and I can feel contentment settling a thick mantle over me.

Early light is dancing across the big maple, putting pretty patterns on the fence. The breeze causes all the trees to ripple and sound like waves on a distant shoreline, downing out city sounds. One chickadee keeps announcing itself gleefully.

I drag my laptop outside so I can inhale it all.

And contentment bubbling up seems so natural.

And so I think about it carefully, is it just a natural bi-product of how nice the right-now is? Maybe the right-now can inspire contentment and joy on a surface level, but deep down?

I know all too well that it’s always a choice.

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Not Afraid To Be Fearless

Lately I’ve been thinking about how to be fearless.

It even comes to me now, for I see the perfect example of it directly to my right as I type.

I’m sitting at my writing desk, watching a steady rain roll in and roll out at the window beside me, our Tinkerbell lilac waving at me, my garden bursting even though it’s only early June.

This is one of my favorite places to write. The window at my right shoulder lets me watch the street. Hear the sounds. Mull over good words I’ve inhaled from other writers. Spill out words of my own on the screen before me.

It’s kinda nice, and I’m grateful.

Today I’m watching a young sparrow. He’s gleefully testing new wings. Looking impressed with himself when he manages to hop/flutter from porch railing to the nearby bird bath, to a tree branch, to garden rock. He launches for an Iris’s flag and misses.

Flutters to the ground in a rumpled heap.

Hands up anyone who’s known both the joys of flying with success and falling into heaps?

Hands up anyone who’s learned the heaps are just as important as the flight?

He puffs feathers in the drizzle, chirrups his shock, aims for the ledge of a planter and he’s up and away again. Where he once had a clear landing on the hibiscus branches barely in leaf last week, this week it’s full and he can’t quite get the hang of landing with any sure precision on the limbs.

All he gets for his efforts is the tangle of leaves, and now he’s flapping upside down barely gripping the branch before he lands safely in the dirt below, hopping away while contemplating a career in acrobatics, and aiming again for the bird bath.

And this is the word that comes rushing up to me again.

Fearless.

Absolutely fearless.

And what drives this fearlessness?

The instinct to fly. To soar. To thrive.

This is not an uncommon theme for so many of us. The desire not to be afraid to be fearless. To take what we have, to take who we are, and to soar with it. I know it has been for me lately.

To approach life, not to dip a wimpy toe in the waters to analyze what percentage of success we might have, but with an insane jumping in.

To be like that sparrow with the insatiable ability to learn as he flops back  into the bird bath yet again. By golly, you can almost see his little birdy brain shout, “I can do this!”

And I think we’d love to be fearless about being fearless. ‘Cause we want to launch ourselves, we want to jump right in but….

… sometimes we wish we could save face while we do. No crashing into the dirt while everyone watches from a safe distance. No one keeping track of how many attempts it takes.

And it holds us back.

And we get frustrated and shy and skittish instead of determined and powered by purpose.

Afraid to be fearless because we’ve been taught to be afraid of failure.

A tool of shame instead of a tool of process.

And the broken-record-question in our heads goes something like this; “Lord, what if this doesn’t work after all?”

Lordy, that’s familiar territory for me.

Been there, asked that. My faith small and the leap to make, huge.

When I got my chronic depression diagnosis. When I started up this blog. When I decided to give up the photography biz for this new pursuit. About where He might take it all next.

I know I’ll ask it over future endeavors that require me to spread wings and catch some serious air.

Fearless.

I watch the little bird and know that it’s not his flops and missteps and wild flutters and falls that I’m moved by, so much as it’s the spunk, gumption, and determination to keep shaking it off and to keep going.

And he kind of has no choice but to keep being fearless. If he doesn’t, he’ll never make it to the safety of the big trees, the telephone wires, the roof tops and peaks. Where all the good stuff is waiting to be explored.

The Father suddenly pulls out for my recollection a memory of another young fledgling. I’m still nineteen, and everything is new territory and I have no choice but to be fearless. A new baby, a new marriage, a new future depending on me to catch some serious air and discover where we could go next. For my young husband and week-old baby I have to spread wings and go places I’ve never dreamed of going and becoming someone I had never been while still being me. Oh the flops, and fluttering, and balancing, and balance lost, and mishaps made way back then.

But inside, I knew I had to stop being afraid to be fearless.

I had to lift shaky prayers to heaven and ask the Father to go with me into every new flight path, every wobbly landing.

Nearly 22 years later I still do. It’s my favourite thing to ask Him.

Lord, teach me. I don’t want to be afraid to be fearless.

Not Afraid To Be Fearless

Here’s the truth; we can afford to be fearless in the Presence of the One who has never created a spirit of fear, Who has promised to catch us when we fall, Who longs to watch over us even more so than His created sparrow.

And the reward for abiding in the One who exudes the strength and peace we need to be fearless in Him?

You get to go places you’ve never been before.

Fear isn’t quite so intimidating when it’s antidote is simply to step out in Him, to try, and to fall, and to try some more. And the whole while, He teaches us in our failures. And so we try some more.

And yeah, there are going to be failures inside the successes. But don’t let failure and trials keep you from embracing where He desires you to land next.

Faith let’s us fly.

And it’s right there where we can declare, “I’m not afraid to be fearless.”

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It’s Tuesday, so that means linking up with talented and encouraging bloggers from everywhere today! I hope you’ll join me over at
Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkup at the Purposeful Faith blog
and
Jennifer Dukes Lee’s linkup #TellHisStory later today at 5pm EST!

purposefulfaith.com      

The Most Beautiful Sound

When Your Soul Needs Respite... here's what helps me...

It’s just nature taking its usual course, but nearly overnight my favorite time of the year arrived, and with it, my own favorite reminder of the nearness of the Creator.

All tied up in what I think is one of the most beautiful sounds.

The wind in the trees.

I love, love, love the sound of the wind, dancing, weaving, caressing through the leaves. It makes me sleep deeply at night with a window open. It energizes me come morning, that constant sweeping through branches, and making my garden dance.

Maybe it’s just me. There is something about the sound of the wind rushing through trees that rests me, brings me peace, and moves me.

And it’s been missing until now.

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