Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Free to Fly Award - Living a Beautiful Life From the Inside Out!

FOREVER and absolute EVER
I have wanted to be able to make an award that I could share
with some of those blogs that consistently
make me laugh, make me think,
and inspire me to grow
and to reach.
The types of blogs that do this for me have a few things in common.
Like a butterfly becomes beautiful,
by living a quiet life, hidden for a season,
while beauty develops on the inside.
That same butterfly has to go through a season of struggle
before it is Free to Fly!
Once it IS Free to Fly,
that butterfly NOW has a beauty we all are blessed to see.
Everywhere the butterfly goes,
it spreads pollen and makes it possible for flowers to bloom
and fruit to be developed.
You could say it leaves a trail of life in its wake!
What a beautiful thought!
Butterflies don't go around trying to be beautiful.
They don't say "hey, look at me".
They just ARE, they just DO, they just LIVE.
All that time spent hidden in a cocoon,
was not wasted.
The time and effort spent struggling to get out of the cocoon
made the butterfly strong and ABLE to fly!
I have been blessed to find many women through blogging,
who have allowed the struggles of a hidden life,
serving in ways that are often unseen and seemingly inconsequential
(judging from their lack of entourage, paparazzi, and assistants!
That IS what our culture uses as the standard for recognizing importance, right?)
to make them strong, make them able to find the humor,
able to see the big picture and to find the purpose
in the everyday matters of investing in the lives around us.
Their ability to focus on the things that REALLY matter,
and to allow the struggles of life to strengthen them,
leaves everyone they come in contact with a deposit of "pollen".
A little dose of the grace that is unique to them,
which adds wisdom, humor, truth
and just a little whiff
of the fragrance of Christ that is unique to them!
They are some wives or mothers, grandmothers, daughters, and nieces.
They fulfill all sorts of roles in and outside the home.
In their church and outside their church.
The world is a more beautiful and abundant place
because of the daily choices they make.
There are two scriptures for this - they work together:
"He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He also has planted eternity in men's hearts and minds
[a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages
which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy],
yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end."
Ecclesiastes 3:11
John 10:10
"The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy.
I came that they may have and enjoy life,
and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)."
So, the list is long of people who will be awarded this.
It's my hope that you will each pass this award on to 5 people
who have impacted you by their blogging.
There's no rules except that I hope you enjoy your award.
Share it if you like.
Not everybody has the time to do all that entails,
so dont's sweat it if you're not into that...
you have flowers to pollinate! :)


luvmy4sons said...

I just love you dear sister! Love you to pieces! Thanks so much for being such an encourager! You are gifted so much in that area! Love hth butterfly analogy...right back at ya! Hugs!

Hey it's Amy Shipp said...

I am so honored! What a beautiful prize. I will definately cherish it, along with our blogging friendship. And I will pass it on to others who have made an impact on me! Thank you so very much! ♥{Hugs}♥

Tiffany said...

You are such a sweetheart! I have several special people to send this on too! Can you teach me how to make a button/award w/ writing and a link back? If you have time... ( Thank you! Blessings!

Mel's World said...

You have NO IDEA how much it means to me to be one of the ladies (all of whom are wonderful) to receive this directly from YOU!!! I have likened my growing season to that of the butterfly many many times and can truly appreciate the words that you so carefully crafted to go along with this award.

You are a gem, and I am blessed to call you a friend!


Sharon Brumfield said...

Go fly be free!--you are a hoot!
When I don't show up at home can I tell them I left with your permission? :) Just kidding.
I love this and the whole meaning behind it.
I agree with Melissa--it is an honor to be one of the first to receive a reward straight from the creator. Well not THE CREATOR--but you know what I mean. :)
Thank you again!

Denise said...

Awesome choices, bless you.

Regina said...

Wow, as I read you post I had tears in my eyes! My very spirit was touched reading your beautiful words. You are such a blessing to the blogosphere and so willing to let God use you it is so refreshing to see. I am honored to be in such fabulous company with the other ladies that you chose. Amy, Cecily and Sharon I visit regularly and they are definitely deserving of this award.
I love the analogy and am pleased that you see me as one that God has set Free To Fly!
Peace & Love!

Kassi said...

Thank you Maria...but don't forget yourself in that least as far as I am concerned you deserve a
Free to Fly Award as well.

Renee's Reading Corner said...

Wow! What a beautiful and heart filled post! I am honored; thank you SO much! I'll get mine up soon.

Thanks so much for your wonderful comments on my blog- I truly appreciate them!


Carole said...

Thank you for the lovely award. It is an honor. I will be quickly posting it in my bragging corner. But mostly I appreciate the thought behind it. Thanks Maria.

freetofly said...

Leslie, :) glad you liked the butterfly thing. I was hoping it would make sense to others! Thanks! :)

Amy, I am so glad you like it! It was all my pleasure, I assure you! This has been a project on my heart for a while, I was glad it finally came together. Enjoy! How do you do those hearts?! How cool!

Tiff, I sent you an e-mail for the link I used...if you want tell me what you want, send me the pic & I will do it for you (if you have too hard of a time), then I can e-mail what I do for you to pick the one you want, junk the rest...Glad you will have fun sharing!

Melissa, :) I am thrilled that you like it! This has been a lot of fun & near to my heart! Butterflies are a big deal to me too! I appreciate your kind words & sentiment so much & feel grateful for your friendship as well! :)

Sharon, you are so very welcome! You are such a giver, it was a lot of fun to know I had something to give to you! Hope your class goes great tonight! See ya' cuz!

Denise, I hope you enjoy it! I agree! You are ALL awesome!

Regina, I am glad that you really "felt" it! I am grateful to have found you on here! I love seeing and hearing how you love your family and help hold them all together & clearly you keep them pointed to Christ. I love that you build community on the blogosphere. I value that very much! Thanks for your kindness! It means a lot!

Kassi! :) Thanks very much! I really appreciate your kind thoughts!

Renee! You are so very welcome! I am glad you are enjoying it & that you will be able to share it!!

Carole, I'm glad that you like it! It's true! You DO add so much through your thoughtful posts and generous commentary!

To All: This one was very personal for me & a lot of fun to give! Have a great week! And thank you so much!

Flying High WITH you!

Nicki said...

You are so sweet, if ONLY I was so blogger savy to figure out how to pass these awards on, like linking them up and stuff! I'll play around with it tomorrow!! Thank you!!

Joyful Days said...

Thank you Maria! You've blessed me during my quiet time. Just a soft landing like a butterfly--quiet & beautiful.

You've been in prayers & on my heart.


Irritable Mother said...

Thank you, Maria. Thank you!!!
It is truly my heart's desire, as you say, to grow through the struggle and encourage others along the way. I want to be beautiful and point others toward HIM.
Thank you for this award. You have blessed me.

Lisa C said...

Simply beautiful! I'm hear by way of Regina. I was one of the lucky ones to be chosen by her. Thanks for thinking up this one :)

Renee's Reading Corner said...

My post is up and I'm sending this award right back to you! Have a great weekend.


freetofly said...

Nicki, I'm just glad you like it! Don't sweat it if it's too hard! I know you have a lot going on with all those little girls & everything else you are doing! Just enjoy! It'll come to you at the right time!

Julie, You're more than welcome!And it's really great to hear from you! Thank you for your kind words! And may I say that those prayers and thoughts are mutual? So glad we are bloggy friends!

Karen, So glad you like it, you're very welcome!! And you really do! Leslie & I from Do You Weary were talking about transparency yesterday, the potency of it. And I was saying it's painful and awkaward/humbling - WHILE you are doing it, then afterwards it's this wonderful golden-honey afterglow feeling! Very liberating & uplifing, don't you think? You excel at it! I have learned from you & her about this!!

Lisa, :) So happy to meet you! Glad you like it! Congratulations! I will be coming over to visit, hopefully tonight, but, if I have to turn the PC over to my son before I get there, then tomorrow for sure!

Renee', you are such a blessing! You have no idea! Thank you very much!

Happy, Happy Friday, Ya'll!

Denise said...

Thank you so very much, this is beautiful, just like your heart. I love you my friend.

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!