The Terror in the Eyes of a Teacher: September 11th revisited

Here we find ourselves on the eve of that fateful day a year after this was originally posted. It was a day of change for me as well as many others. It had an impact reaching into each person a different way. For me that is where the idea a nonresistance and being separate entered my mind.

Today is September 11,2017. I will never forget that day that America was proven to not be invincible. Although I didn’t know it then I can now see how the events that took place 16 years ago in the past would shaped me in my convections of the future. Long before I dubbed the name Pilgrim Nicci and was a non resistant follower of Jesus Christ. I was a little girl in a hallway hearing things I shouldn’t of heard and feeling things I had never felt.

I remember that day distinctly and I remember thinking in my fourth grade mind that I’d have to remember this because it was something big. It was something I didn’t understand but it was big. I was in the hallway of the Christian school that I went to. I had just come in from volleyball practice and I remember feeling mortified because I was just starting to wear deodorant and a bra and I had forgotten both that day. I was lingering near my backpack as I desperately tried to formulate a plan to go talk to my mother who at the time worked as a preschool teacher downstairs in the same building. Time stopped as the principal of the school hastened from the upper grade room to that of my own. I looked up trying to smile but she looked past me as she got my teacher and began to share the morning events. I don’t remember the words that were spoken because they were in hushed tones. Neither of the adults even recognized that I was right there. Part of me was still in a panicked state about my of “womanly needs” and part of me was utterly terrified because I didn’t understand what was happening but my teachers face was contorted and asking the principal about a TV.

Right before they ended their conversation I slipped into the classroom because I didn’t want to be in trouble for eavesdropping and being late to class. All the other volleyball players had taken care of their business and had entered the classroom by that point. My classmates asked me if I had seen our teacher and if everything was ok. I believe they sensed something was off. I told them I didn’t know what was up but I thought it was bad.
The rest of the days events were filled with my teacher coming back in and explaining to the best of her abilities what had happened to the country that we deeply loved.

Recess didn’t hold the fun and games for me as I sat on top of the plastic rock replica. I heard boys laughing and making fun of the people in the planes. I heard girls wishing they could kill the evil people who had done this. I stood up and screamed “THIS ISN’T FUNNY! PEOPLE ARE DEAD! Planes crashing isn’t something to joke about and killing the killers isn’t ok! ” My friends slowly backed away and went on with their day.
I walked home that day and the days that followed and I remember for the first time my parents struggling to make ends meet. Gas prices went up,groceries left the shelves quickly,and fear set in. Life wasn’t the same after that day. And to think I spent my morning wondering if I smelled or if my chest was too big. Others spent their morning dying without Christ or losing a loved one. It’s strange how guilt can arise as an adult from childhood memories.
The months and years after 9/11 would be filled with American patriotism skyrocketing. People who previously hated each other now were friends. Flags would be flown where they hadn’t before. Tears were shed and men were enlisted. One thought in a Barns and Noble bookstore would change my thinking forever. I can’t say how many years after 9/11 this took place but I was definitely under the age of 13. A friend and I passed a row of calendars as we were talking about the normal girl stuff…boys. Oh how my friend loved the idea of marrying a military man! So strong,so brave,just like a modern day knight and shining armor! She stopped and looked at me and asked “Isn’t that the kind of man you want to marry?” My heart stopped and before I could think I said “No,I wouldn’t want to marry a murderer!”.

The rest is hazy but a conversation was had about how I wasn’t so sure that taking a life of someone because they did something wrong to you was ok.

So maybe I wouldn’t go on to understand nonresistance or what two kingdoms was until many many years later. I knew for certain how I believed on this one issue,even when it went against the childish beliefs of my best friend.
I perhaps don’t have the same memories of 9/11 as most Americans do. That’s most likely because I don’t identify with being American. Sure it’s the country I am fortunate enough to be Pilgriming through and oh I’m ever so thankful for its beautiful land and the religious freedom it has..for now.

However my memories of that day is realizing the evil of this world and its effects. The memories of a terrified girl not knowing what terror was when she fretted over her deodorant and bra but realizing what terror was when reflected in another humans eyes.
As long as the earth shall be in existence there will be evil. We have a choice how we deal with that evil. Do we join in and create more evil by battling with the weapons of this horrific world? I propose that we battle as the Word of God instructs us to. We should pick up our spiritual defenses and head fully armored into the spiritual battle. Leaving people alive to flee from their wickedness and change their citizenship unforced but broken in submission. Then only then have we won the battle against this earthbound kingdom.
Word>world

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Community CPR

Community,It’s the latest buzz word causing people in a social media age to cry out for something more. Community, it’s a heartbeat of people connected.

Community,the vision of the kingdom of God.

Some odd years ago I felt that there was something lacking in my life. It isn’t so much different than what is missing from the average millennials life. That is our buzz word, community. It isn’t really all that hard to find these mysterious things called communities. You don’t have to go hunting in the woods or pay lots of money. You can join a number of communities with a simple internet search. You can join a baseball community and put on a jersey and cap. There are music communities where you can rock out on the weekends,all you’ll need is your guitar and drums. You won’t have to look far to find a community of pet enthusiast ready to babysit your “fur baby” while you’re away. There is even communities for introverts but I don’t understand that one,it probably is just lonely people on Facebook avoiding eye contact. There is vacation communities to get away from your everyday community. The list could and does go on. Ah yes, there is absolutely no shortage of community in this life. I didn’t say it was worthwhile community but it’s community all the same. I was once a part of a community of people. It had social events,a purpose to be together, unwritten social norms,and it even had a leader that we looked up to almost in Godlike fashion. We were in every sense of the word community. Beyond that it was like family. I left that because I found a community with a heartbeat when I realized my community was dead void of life,void of the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t mean it didn’t have value just not what I needed to thrive.

For a time the lifeless community I belonged to pacified my desire for a position in a group. It was easy you see, because we were all actors and we could invent whoever we wanted to be. Everything in that community was based on what character we played. There were moments and people that I found connection to even among this setting. These people had a heartbeat just as I did but it wasn’t enough to sustain a life for me. When I stumbled upon a community with a heartbeat I knew I needed to be part of that. I observed for a time and I thought I saw involvement in each other’s lives. I saw care and serving along one another for a common goal. There were struggles but effort was made to restore what was broken. I felt at home. This community was the German Baptist. Soon I realized that it wasn’t one heartbeat but several going thud-dum..thud-dum but at a different pace.

We are divided into multiple districts all concentrated in one area. We set up things like Bible Studies,secret sister,service projects,and church services. From the outside looking in it seems great with all of these activities going on how could one possibly miss a beat? What you cannot see is that sometimes there is no beat at all but rather a ventilator humming along,prolonging life that is hanging by a thread. There is hope and with some intervention maybe that beat can come alive and blood (Jesus’s blood) can begin to flow. Death begins to creep slow in when those Bible studies get cancelled more than they are held. Church services only happen once or twice a month. Gossip and petty feuds over take praise and prayer. The heart gets a little weaker when we choose to serve alone and don’t see the need to come along side of each other. All too soon a person can ask themselves why they are where they are if the community isn’t fully alive and is only a place of self preservation? Do you hear the beat? Will it keep going?

So I began to read,research and pray about what community really should look like. After all sometimes CPR is needed to revive that heart beat! It wasn’t too hard to find the Word full of answers in response to community. Soon enough o was on my way to learning CPR!

C-Christ &Community

P-Prayer& Participation

R-Respect & Relationship

Community-I heard a minister say once “that the kingdom of God wasn’t something you entered into alone. The kingdom wouldn’t be a kingdom without active citizens that were all in. The kingdom of God in fact is a community.” That right there is reason enough to fight for thriving community on a local level.

Christ-As I stated before, there are many types of communities. What gives the community breath and blood is Christ. Without Him as our central focus we are left to lead ourselves and no reason to go anywhere. Christ is what unites the multiple beats into one.

Prayer- prayer will be vital in keeping not only enthusiasm but also focus. It’s really difficult to forget about the importance of something that you are busy praying about. Pray for your district as a whole,individually,and in the bigger body as well. Do not neglect to praise the Lord for placing you where He has. Think of prayer as your life line.

Participation- Ewww I know this isn’t one you’d like to hear about. However your community will fall to sudden death as fast as a heart attack if no one shows up,pulls their weight,or simply doesn’t care. Be all in. You have value in your district and you are needed. From the widow and the singles to the young folks and the young families. Each person was placed where they were to fulfill a unique purpose and you certainly won’t find out what it is by not showing up.

Respect-Honestly folks this shouldn’t need to be here. It should be as natural as a healthy body taking breaths. It comes to a point though that without exercise( because of not participating)that a reminder is needed. Respect one another to not only to show up when you say you will but to do your part. Cut all gossip ,yes even the well meaning speculation,and keep your conversation approvable unto God. Learn to love each and every member of your district. If you are having a struggle of personalities remember your vows and go to them in Christian love.

Relationship-Do you honestly believe we can have life without relationship? After all God Himself desired relationship and created us! Get to know one another through Bible study,cook outs,and everyday interactions. We should be so close to one another that if a need arose little or big ,sin or financial that we would be comfortable coming to our community for help. There should be no shame in speaking up in a group together. It should be a safe place.

With our crash course in CPR we are now ready to revive or communities if need be. Life can begin and our purpose can be fulfilled. Our fellowships should be bringing forward new life not only sustaining what is already there. It can’t and won’t unless blood flows through it’s veins.

In the Mind of a Child There Needs to be a Story

Today we finished the first book in the Winnie the Pooh series. Tucked in the back was a map. Seemingly unneeded I almost closed the book without mentioning it to my students. A second thought and what happened next has restored my belief that childhood isn’t dead.

I asked my students if they would like a copy. An out bursting of yeses was the quick reply. I thought that maybe they could color them and take them home and that would be the end of them. Soon enough it was break time and I said absentmindedly “Hey guys you could all bring out your maps and go on an adventure! You could search and find all of our friend’s houses and go explore the Woods!” I was met with enthusiasm as they grabbed their maps and ran out the door into the “woods”. There they stayed in the fragments of a child’s imagination for the duration of break. My entire class ( minus one) working together to find the North Pole,get Roo out of the Creek,celebrating Pooh,and sailing in a hunny pot boat. It nearly brought tears to my eyes. The imagination and creativity. The story really came alive to them!

Too soon, it felt,the break time ended and my students were just as overjoyed as my heart felt as the walked down the hallway. One little boy had his hand raised so high that I couldn’t help but give him permission to speak. The words that came out of his heart and mouth touched me in a way that reminds me That childhood is precious and reading is vital. “Miss Price, thank you so much for letting us,Pooh,Rabbit,Kanga,Piglet and ALL our friends out of the book so we could go on an adventure. It was hard to climb back inside but I know you’ll let us out again. Plus Miss Price I just can’t wait for the second book to be read!

My take away is that reading out loud to children is so important. I see in this culture I live in that some don’t feel that way. With freedom of technology and busy schedules The wonderment of getting lost in a book is and has slipped away. Reading is a chore not a delight and that makes me sad for the children of tomorrow. Gone are the moments of curling up in a loved ones lap or snuggling tight on the couch being read a story of character and value. It’s so much easier to just watch the movie than to get invested in the tales of long ago. Babysitters of today are no longer the Neighbour girl it’s the iPad or the TV screen.

So what? What is the effect? Here’s my opinion. I believe reading books and acting them out as my class did instead of playing a competitive game allows far more team building than placing kids against each other. I believe by putting a child in front of a screen takes away their opportunity to be an active participant in what enters their mind. It is my thought that a bonding opportunity (especially in the busy lives of our day) is snatched from our children way too soon. A child must have that one on one contact with their loved ones. Lastly by not fostering a love for reading young it is possible that Bible reading will not become a delight but a chore or worse something not done at all.

For a long time as a teacher I have really struggled with the games my students play. I’m not here to say competitive games are all bad. In fact I think it’s good to some degree However I see now just how vital structured creativity is in child’s play. I simply gave them a beginning and they ran with it. This to me is worth more in the long run than any test score or trophy from the ball felid.

Willful ignorance isn’t ignorance,it’s stupidity. -Nicci Price

Morning thought in regards to people that call themselves Christians but don’t follow Christ and people that hate Christianity and attack followers of Jesus when damnation is mentioned:

Willful ignorance isn’t ignorance,it’s stupidity. -Nicci Price

American Christians have the Word at their fingertips. Literally at their fingertips! It’s not only available in every bookstore,there are fellowships on every corner,and there are apps that even remind you to read and what to read! It doesn’t get any more plain than that! Yet there are believing people that either refuse to believe parts of that Word,never been taught,or choose to settle in the health and wealth sector because it feels nice. Lest I come off self righteous, I know that I’m not perfect and I have a LOOOONNNGGGG way to go in my pilgrimage. However one thing going for me is I care what is written in the word of God. To quote a quote of a quote by Dean Taylor “I believe the Word of God without complicated interpretation and of of it I speak “.

If you are living the fun roller coaster of blessings,wealth,get me a golden ticket to heaven but leaving out the active walk, everyday loving,the high cost,or the change of allegiance than one must evaluate are you ignorant or are you stupid? You have the word at your fingertips! Pick it up and begin reading. You won’t need to know Biblical Greek or have a college degree. If the Word has been able to die and rise again then I have full confidence that it can penetrate a seeking heart.

People who have written off Christianity as hoity toity jargon have some valid claim due to what the world “church” presents. Heavy handed,there is absolutely no redemption you tattooed heathen, or fluffy right up with the clouds, oh if you pray a prayer you will get rich. Blah seriously can we be shocked when we present the gospel in snippets that people have built a wall so high that you feel like you can’t climb it to reach them? I certainly want no part of that. I was just asked if I should consider that if I was turning so many people away if I wasn’t actually working for the adversary. This came after I made a comment in regards to truth and damnation. I thought on it and I replied “Is it that I’m turning them away or that they were turned away before I even spoke?”

I take for granted that people haven’t the teaching and I can’t speak freely about Damnation…I literally forget sometimes just how messed up and how much the world “church” has damaged people. If truth in any form is presented outside of an active relationship it’s overwhelming to them and grenades are instantly plummeted in the direction of the truth barrier. Yet can you blame them?

I guess my whole point is Christian we have a responsibility not to be willfully ignorant aka stupid when it come to the Word of God and spreading the gospel.

Go forth and don’t be dumb!

Handwritten Letter: A Lost Art or Not Needed Anymore?

There is one thing I like to do straight away when I get home. I check my mailbox…well mail basket actually. There is spark that gets ignited when I see a little white envelope tucked neatly inside. It’s like finding a secret treasure only meant for me. Sometimes..more often than not, I find my basket empty. One look in its solemn depths and the spring in my step gets a little less springy as I return to my apartment upstairs.

Recently I purchased some postcards at the Little House Museum in hopes to send them out as a bright reminder to someone that I care. However as you suspect they have sat on my kitchen table abandoned next to the pile of envelopes I want to respond to. I set a goal this week to get those darling postcards written and sent by Saturday. We shall see if I can meet my goal! If I do then I’ll have the satisfaction of not letting the age of social media win and help revive the art of a well written letter.

The other day I had the urge to start painting. In all truth I’ve always longed to learn to paint but as with most things square one is elusive. I set out to find square one. It turns out it’s not so hard,you pick up some supplies and just go at it! Square two however was a bit difficult. You see, after painting three rather nice paintings ( in my opinion) I had no clue what to do with them. Hmm..well they are kind of postcard shaped. I could maybe write on the back and send it as a letter! There is where I found square #2! On to square three! Oh dear, I’m not so good with follow through. I was about to hop right off of square three and reside comfortably on square two when I decided to plan who my three paintings were going to! Oh great now I won’t have to be a hoarder! I can paint and write comfortably without feeling like I’m wasting space or time learning how to paint! It’s a win win and I’m happy here on square five. I’ve always wanted a hobby but I cannot sew due to motion sickness,I cannot play an instrument because I cannot read music,and knitting is boring. I’m happy to say I think painting is my fit!

With a goal for my postcards and a plan for my letter paintings I cannot help but wonder if I’ll get a letter back. In a time of life where texts go a mile a minute and Facebook Messenger makes quick work of an online conversation who even needs hand written letters anyway? Weren’t they simply the only reliable form of communication in the Olsen days? Isn’t it natural that we move past this era and fully say goodbye to those beautiful stamps and scribbles on the paper? NOOOOOOO!!!!! Here’s why.

1. In our busy lives for us to take time to sit down and hand write a letter it says something far more important than what’s on the page. It says “You’re worth my time.” Human connection is something rapidly being replaced by the like button on Facebook and the self checkout at Walmart. Show someone you want to stay connected by putting forth effort.

2. The thoughts written and the message conveyed come originally from you. No spell check,google what to say,or emoji to cover a multitude of emotions. It is100% you (if you allow it).

3. Handwriting is getting worse and worse by the minute. Most children soon won’t even know how to write or read in cursive. I have terrible hand writing and practice to make it better because I know that writing in cursive is the equivalent of doing brain exercises! You literally can strengthen your brain by writing a letter.

4. Being able to freely communicate via mail is a privilege that some don’t have.

5. You can bring a smile to someone across the miles.

6. A hand written letter is something tangible that can’t be deleted. Often times people keep their letters for a while.

7. It was one of the original ways to communicate to your love. There is something so romantic (and pure) about hand written communication.

I’m curious to know how many of my friends/people that read my blog actually hand write letters regularly. If you do let me know. I’m sure it’s less than I care to admit. We can restore the human connection and find a balance between social media and the communication of the past. I don’t believe it an either or situation. Each has its place but as I see it one is running rampant and destroying the opportunity to stay in touch rather than stay in the loop. With the world at our fingertips we are losing valuable moments and not grasping real life. Traditions and purposeful time is being wasted and slipping little by little. How will you bring human connection back into your life? What about in the lives of others?

Find Me in the Woods Among the Trees

Chirp-chirp

Screeeaach!

Crrroak-creep-croak

Woosh-wrestle-wrestle

Silence

Breathe

Thank you Lord!

Close your eyes with me. Ok, not really with me considering I’m the one typing,just pretend I’m with you. Inhale,exhale you are outside in a wooded area. You hear all sorts of sounds. Some are familiar but many are new to you. Inhale the peaceful smell of an area untouched by human manipulation. Exhale the busyness of life. Just breathe for a while. Don’t count your breaths or let your mind wonder to anything but this moment. The flying bugs surround you,there might be a snake that slithers by(don’t worry just breathe), if you were to open your eyes you’d see a doe and it’s fawn across the way,and all around you are the many shades of brown and green. Open your eyes and take a look around. Ah it’s a breath taking sight isn’t it?

Friend when was the last time you were outside? I’m not talking about simply walking from your car to go into the grocery store or taking a walk on a side walk. I mean when was the last time you were REALLY REALLY outside? If you’re anything like me before my trip to Kansas,Missouri,and Oklahoma it had been a while. In fact it has been so long I had forgotten completely how much my entire being longs to be outside with the sun shining down deep into my soul. The touch of flush pink on my cheeks and the kind of sweat that just smells right as my perfume. Maybe you’re reading this thinking I’ve gone completely bananas. That maybe so but at least I’d be outside with the monkeys!

This little lady got out of the cage

Recently the opportunity came to go visit my friends and family in Kansas and Missouri. Often times I just lump both states together and say I went to Kansas City because in all truth I don’t have a “home town” and where my parents currently live hasn’t ever been my home. I’m so thankful I get to call it home while I’m there. On my trip two of my best friends took on planning how we’d spend our time without telling me. The entire time was like one big surprise after another. We stayed with my friend Monica’s parents which is a home nestled in the woods at the top of a hill. Every time we head up the steep drive I A. Fear we are going to go rolling backwards and B. Kind of just feel at home. I don’t know why but I just do. I suppose it’s just one of those things.

Like I said, everything was planned by Monica and Lana. Oh how they know how to have fun! We headed to a safari zoo ran by some rather Eccentric people that are crazy about animals. As we drove a long we stopped at the Little House Museum. I’ll tell you what! My entire childhood dreams were fulfilled in that moment and I remembered why I love Kansas so much. It’s not a big place but it had a big impact on my trip! Being outside exploring the schoolhouse,post office,little log home,barn,and gift shop really relit the fire I had for so long to live a “different way”. Yes I’m a romantic at heart. I could almost remember the feeling I had while working on the farms in the spring,summer,and fall of 2012&2013. I could smell the soil around me and feel God surrounding me in the way of His many creations. I wonder will I ever have a farm? How is it a person can have so many desires in life?

https://www.littlehouseontheprairiemuseum.com/

Nicci on the Prairie

I LOVE mail! Anyone want a pen pal?

After being ripped away from the romanticized life of Laura Ingalls Wilder we headed back down the road to the safari zoo. Let’s just say that the zoo did not disappoint. As we entered, it honestly looked like a waste of time. Soon it became very apparent it was worth every penny and then some! This little zoo packs a big punch when it comes to what you get to see. Lions,and tigers,and bears OH MY was an awesome treat but alligators, lemurs,and kangaroos were there too! Possibly my favorite part was the up close view we got. Every cage was hand built by the owner. When you talk about blood,sweat,and tears going into something you soon realize just how true the owners and volunteers know that all too well. This safari zoo is held together literally by prayer and donations. My untrained Eye could tell that these animals were being well taken care of. I’d highly recommend this stop if you’re looking for a road trip.

http://www.safaripark.org/

After 2.5 hours at the zoo the next stop was the Pioneer Woman mercantile and restaurant. When I say the food was worth waiting outside for 30 minutes in the hot sun I mean it whole heartedly. The place was crazy crowded but I hardly even cared because the food was amazing! I ordered the county fried steak and mashed potatoes. I couldn’t pass up a strawberry lemonade at the price of $1.25! Just the night before I had paid $3.75 for a mediocre limeade at a fancy restaurant ( don’t get me started on that one). From friendly service to a huge gift shop this place exceeded expectations. I have been a long time fan of Ree’s cookbooks. Like think way before her TV was a thing and she only had one book out! My foodie-ish stomach was satisfied.

https://www.themercantile.com/

This is where my heart began to burst. How could we not at least attempt to find Ree’s home even just to take a peek? We meandered along and finally found it. Ok woo who! What happened next really just had to be experienced to understand but I’ll try. The drive around the many ranches was breathtaking. Rolling hill after hill with the sun setting like molasses dripping from a spoon, it was the moment I fell in love with Oklahoma as well as Kansas. We happened upon a little mirror like Creek that we just HAD to stop and enjoy! As I exited the car Monica said “Hey Nicci there is a doe and her fawn!” I almost died of happiness right then and there! So much beauty in such an unexpected place was overwhelming in a wonderful kind of way. If I could of bottled that moment for the rest of my life, I would. However life rolls on just as the grassy green hills of Oklahoma and there is more stunning moments to experience and I’m ok with that too.

Sometimes your friends give you a little push…and sometimes you give it back!

As the dear…

Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain!

The next day I got to experience one of those life moments. It was a little…or a lot depending on who you ask…stretching. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go kayaking and unbeknownst to my gal pals that’s what they planned! So after a swim in the lake we headed to check something off of my bucket list. This is the point that I should let you know that I’m a big fat chicken. As in like I ain’t even afraid of using the chicken exit anymore because I’m terrified of new things that are outside of my control. So sitting in the kayak screaming “Get me out I can’t do this anymore I’m done”, my friends literally pushed me and my boat into the lake. I saw before my eyes the scene where Anne of Anne of Green Gables is laying in the boat and it fills with water. Sure it turned out well for her but as far as I could see, there wasn’t a Gilbert Blithe to save me! After a while it got more comfortable and I can say with certainty that I’d do it again. The next time omitting the freak out. What would I do with amazing friends that don’t allow my fear to hold me back? They know just when and how much to push me so I can fly…or sail on my own. I’m one blessed woman!

This is me attempting to not be a chicken

This is me a still as a board freaking out!

This was all just the first part of my trip. It really inspired me to remember to connect with the earth ( in a non hipster way). I believe in nature is where our creator can easily be found. So long ago when I moved out to Ohio I lost my connection with being among the wild things. Something I had cultivated for two years before. I don’t know how I can pick up and start that connection again with an indoor job and no reason to actually be outside. I trust that opportunity will find me if I bring it before my Father.

What do you enjoy doing outside? How do you make time to be among the breeze of the day and the bugs that live unnoticed? I’d love to hear your suggestions!

PS.We also painted ceramics! That was a super fun way to see each of our unique creativity!

A Picture Moment

A picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words. What if a thousand words could create a picture? Tonight I don’t present you with a thousand words or a thousand pictures but perhaps my words and pictures will share something with you. These are the three major thoughts I had over my recent trip. I have posted them on my social media accounts and simply don’t feel finished with them yet. I believe each thought,picture,and the words that accompany them are about “moments”. So take a moment and relive my moments with me and think on them a bit. As always thank you for taking a precious moment to read my blog. Blessings and much love, Pilgrim Nicci

Shoulder to shoulder with strangers all taking in a moment. For some it was the color of the sky while others it was fishing with a buddy. For one man it was spending time with his son about 7 years old. I saw that he had a tattoo that said SAVED. I couldn’t help but ask him “Who saved you?” And “When were you saved?” Both questions he gladly answered. How odd it is that the bride of Christ all looks so different? We stand sometimes shoulder to shoulder but don’t recognize our alikeness because we are so distracted by our differences. Yet the people that look identical to us are not always in the bride of Christ at all yet it’s all too easy to see just what we desire to see.

.

My hope is for the bride to connect even if it takes going the distance to bridge a gap of our own making. Then go into our own cultures and be the missionaries we need to be right in the benches of our own fellowships. This weekend I learned that some that look like me have no assurance of salvation and some that look nothing like me have all of the assurance available. What a topsy turvy thought!

—–

This thing called time is a burden heavy on my heart. How does one make the right choice for the time they have been given? We only have this moment and some how it needs to be enough. Should I be in a car with a young lady that’s time here on earth isn’t guaranteed? Should I have taken the desperate plea of a mom for respite so she could go to a conference? Should I be right where I’m at even when it doesn’t always feel right? When is it time to bloom where you are planted vs. being transplanted so you might thrive? Each moment so precious in its treasure of opportunity yet is there a clear direction to guide us? Tick….tick…do I hear the opportunity slipping away? Tick…tick….is the furthering of the kingdom the hand that propels me into each new minute?

My prayer (among many) this summer has been “Lord don’t let me be a lazy teacher”. I’d like to add to that prayer “Lord let me discern my time and be bold to use it how you prompt,even when it is counter culture or doesn’t make sense. If in my gut I know what I’m supposed to do don’t let me be ashamed to move forward”. Tick…tick…the time has come for Nicci to know the time even if tomorrow never comes.

——-

Wrapped warm in the blanket of beauty tonight. Like a quilt artfully stitched together the water and the sky meet to wrap me in a moment. A painting on an endless canvas it is an honor to know its creator. Like a mirror to look into its depths you can only see the surface but not the rhythm…the heart beat, if you will. This is a warm fuzzy wrapped in a blanket kind of a moment, tucked in by an awesome God.

—-