Radiating Sun Brings Fresh Life

The bags were moved aside along with the wicker magazine holder. The door’s lock mechanism unlatched. Slowly carefully, the door was opened and as it was the sun’s light streamed into the room radiating into every corner it could reach. The room suddenly looked cheerier, brighter than it had in years. Gone was the dismal feeling of depression and the claustrophobic sense of isolation that permeated this small room. A breeze circled through the room creating an airy freshness that had not been there in a long time.

The screen door unlatched making a rattling sound as it was opened and closed. The cement steps led down to the backyard where an old broken down washed out wooden picnic table stood forgotten with only rare moments of family sitting there. The grass was bright green and freshly kept and a big maple tree enveloped the yard bringing shade with splashes of sunlight shining through the covering of its branches.

A broom was found and the cobwebs and dirt were swept up between the door and the screen door leaving behind a clear spot for stepping out without concerns about carrying in dust and soot from years gone past. Pillows and sofa cushions were brought outside to be aired out. Blankets and sheets were washed, furniture dusted, and carpeting vacuumed.

This was a welcome home to someone who had been gone from her home for a month. In two days she would be returning after a long visit with family. As the finishing touches were put together a note was typed up in beautiful colors:

“Welcome Home

Mom!

We missed you!”

Penned underneath were the names of every family member that lived near her. As the note was placed into a prominent location where she would see it a sigh of relief was breathed.

Maybe it was because I was there often and she wasn’t there or maybe it was because I knew there could be a time when she would not be there for me to bring a gift of freshness to a dreary room, but with that sigh I felt joy and knew that it mattered to me. I I now know the potential of that room and what the sunlight and fresh air can do. It was as if the open door signified for me a new beginning for her. All that’s needed is to shine the light into her heart and soul and show her the potential that she can offer this world.

©Kimberly Balles 2017

via Daily Prompt: Radiate

Vivid Memory

When I woke up this morning and after moving around a little bit I recalled part of the dream I had. I was in our church and the last song that I recall we were singing was Great is thy faithfulness. I learned that song growing up in a Christian Reformed Church.  So when I woke up and had that song in my mind, it reminded me of those days.

When I sing that song in my church now, I am also reminded of the foundation of my faith and how what I was taught growing up is ingrained in me. There were many things as a child I did not like as part of the service, but the singing was my favorite. I recall vividly how our pastor sang during the message sometimes. I would not be paying attention as is normal for most children, but when he sang, I would look up and bask in hearing him sing. I still have my Psalter Hymnal from those years from when I made my Profession of Faith.

In order to make my Profession of Faith, I had to attend a Catechism class and then go before the Elders and be able to answer questions from the book in that class. I did not really know the answers well, so after one person would say his answer, I reiterated what he said. He did not like that and told me so afterwards. I was embarrassed and felt ashamed as I knew he was right. Unfortunately that left me with feelings of doubt about my own faith and always the need to get the “right” answer. This not only happens in my faith, but also anytime I am going to have to answer a question. If I get the right answer I can relax and if I don’t I feel embarrassed about it.

Writing this last paragraph was an insight for me in why I struggle when I have to talk about my faith or be interviewed by someone, because I am afraid of being found out that I am a fraud. My question to myself is “If I don’t get the “right answer” does that really mean I am a fraud?” I say no! It just means there is something there that was in the remote recesses of my mind that has just been brought to light now and I can do something about it. That in itself is very freeing.

Vivid

©Kimberly Balles 2017 All Rights Reserved.

Mom’s Plan

doll-houseI was nine years old and no longer believed in Santa Claus, but mom my was determined to keep me believing in him that year.  My sisters and I were in the living room playing while my Dad supervised.  My Mom was downstairs for quite awhile and hindsight I know she was wrapping presents.

I don’t remember who, but one of them said “What was that?”  “Did you hear that?”  I hadn’t hear anything, but curiosity go the best of me.  We all opened the doors to find presents piled high on the semi-circular stairway leading up to the landing in front of our door.

Her plan worked and for that year I believed in Santa Claus again.  How else would he get the presents in the hallway?  One of my gifts was a doll house which I played with for a long time that night.  I like this memory, because of the time and effort my Mom took to convince me that Santa Claus existed at least for that year.

She recently brought it up and I told her I did recall it and even knew she did it so I would believe in Santa Claus.  Many of my experiences growing up were hurtful to me.  Moments like these help offset those painful memories.  She made her mistakes, but these memories show how much she loved us and enjoyed bringing joy to her daughters.

 

The Bridge

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For 20 years, sometimes once a week sometimes twice a week, I crossed the same bridge.  It was no ordinary bridge, because this bridge led to healing and restoration for the mind and soul.  It was a bridge to wholeness and wellness.  The bridge was not the thing that brought this change, but it symbolizes the road and journey I have walked through.  The solid footing I had to take in order to stay grounded.  It became a source of rest for my wearied spirit.  I crossed it for the last time three weeks ago and that saddens me, because that means change is anew and I don’t like change.  Yet if I want change in my life, I must stop crossing the same bridge, because perhaps another bridge or path will bring me a new fresh perspective that I would not have seen otherwise.

Thank You Bridge you have served me well.  You have been a source of constant in a time when I was troubled.  You were solid and firm, painted in a beautiful vibrant red and every spring the new life around you brought your colors shining brighter through.  In summer the steps were lighter and the weight was easier, because the sun had brought with it vacations and breezes in the trees.  In fall, the downtrodden footsteps mixed with the rustle of the leaves brought reminders that life again was changing and a new season approaching.  One we humans do not necessarily love, but one that comes anyway.  And each winter the sound of heavy boots crossing you brought us one step closer to spring and new life.  Inside we were safe from the cold and stormy weather, but we waited expectantly for spring, sun, and growth.  With it came hope for better days and brighter tomorrows and we breathed.  We sighed.  For the wonder of wonders, the brightest tomorrow had finally arrived and it all happened in its own time.

And like the seasons, my healing could not be rushed.  New life never is rushed.  It needed time and care.   It takes nine months for a baby to develop inside a womb, 21 years for a human to grow from a baby to adulthood, and another life time of decades to experience new seasons and new life.  It took time, lots of time for me to heal, but from God’s perspective it was just a blink of his eyes.  It was painful, yet it has reaped so many benefits in my life and in those I touch around me.

So now I stand on my own bridge ready to cross into my future whatever that may be.  I know there will be new life and new beginnings and I want to be someone who welcomes change.  There will also be pain along this journey, because that is a part of life.  This healing that God arranged has laid a solid and firm foundation for my soul to handle those hardships.  And I believe with the strength of my Savior that he will continue to guide me through my life’s journey and along every bridge I cross.

As for change, if the God of the universe created seasons and the change that comes with it, then he is certainly into change and newness of life.  Not just being spiritually changed when one accepts Christ, but also newness of a life that is lived without fear of criticism or judgment or shame.  I was not meant to be tied up in my own pain, living as if chained in my own cell.  I have been set free in more ways than one and it’s time I embrace that.

And so now it’s time for me to build a bridge and be God’s instrument of grace and mercy.  To be used by him for His glory and allow Him to mend and heal those weary and downtrodden souls and hearts.  To take God’s hand and allow His Spirit to work in me so I can be an instrument of His to touch people in even deeper ways until their hearts and souls are bursting with life.  Then they can move onto their own path and cross their own bridges and impact the lives of others around them until generations are changed. And it all started with a bridge.

©Kimberly Balles All Rights Reserved.

I Am Found

I had a dream last night that two of my cats that had passed away were lost and I was looking for them.  One I found very easily and I was able to get her into one of those pet boxes for transport.  Then I went looking for our black cat, Spunky.  I was calling out her name continuously and she wasn’t coming.  I saw a black cat with kittens, but I could tell by looking at her that it wasn’t Spunky.  I moved on and called out her name loudly, quite a few times.  Suddenly, she appeared from behind a wooden fence.  Immediately I knew it was her and called her to come over.  I could tell she recognized me too.  She seemed glad to see me and trotted over to me.  She allowed me to pick her up and carry her in my arms.  That’s when I woke up. Continue reading “I Am Found”