Category Archives: Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: One

Here we are, one week out from Thanksgiving.  Lots to be thankful for.  Lots to be busy with.  As always, it’s hard to keep perspective.

Linking up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community.

Five minutes of free write on a weekly word prompt.  Today’s word is one.

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I love books that make you think.

The One Thing did that for me.

Have you ever noticed that profound truths seem so obvious when other people say them?

They ring true, because they are hovering under your subconscious waiting for articulation.

We buy greeting cards because someone else has put into words what we can’t articulate for ourselves.  But, I digress.

The point of The One Thing is that amazing accomplishments can be attained with focused effort.

The author challenges you to spend four hours a day of your work day on the one most important task you need to achieve in your work, and cram everything else into the remaining four hours.

The results of that kind of focused attention are often monumental.

And rare.

Because we have such a hard time eliminating distractions and rabbit trails.

We have such a hard time staying focused.

But that focus is what is needed to yield results.

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PS I wrote my post before I looked at Kate’s.  Maybe what we used to say as kids is true.  Great minds think alike.  🙂

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Five Minute Friday: Repeat

I’m thankful for safety in travel and good health while Pete and I were in the Dominican Republic last week for a conference.

It’s also good to be home again to snuggle and kiss my grand baby.

Linking up again with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community.

Five minute free write on this week’s word: repeat.

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“Sing them over again to me,

Wonderful words of life.”

An old song from my childhood emphasizes the importance of repetition.

People are forgetful.  We need to be reminded over and over and over.

God himself realized it and asked us to take the elements of communion regularly.  So we would remember.  A time to pause and remember.

Because we so easily forget.

It takes the accountability of a community to help us remember.

It takes regular rhythms of pause.

How desperately I need it.

How well He knows me.

How thankful I am.

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Five Minute Friday: Praise

Welcome to our world, sweet Caroline!  I’m lovin’ wearing the Grandma hat.

Today’s Five Minute Friday word prompt is praise.

Linking up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community.

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Sometimes praise comes easily.

When the baby arrives safely and mom and baby are healthy and you take on the “Grandma” role for the first time.

But life doesn’t always go the way you hope and pray.

How do you praise when the answer to prayer is not what you hoped?

First of all you have to grieve.  Pry those fingers lose from the dream that died.  Sorrow and mourn and cry.

Then, as John Piper says, you wash your face and embrace the life God has given you.

The praise afterwards might be a little more sober, looking towards the ultimate reality and the ultimate praise that no earthly joy can touch.

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Five Minute Friday: Potential

It’s good to be back to the Five Minute Friday challenge.  Last weekend we got away for a little R & R.  We’re still trying to recoup from a busy summer.

Linking up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community.

This week’s word prompt is potential.

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I don’t think we should be telling kids that they can grow up to be whatever they want to be.

The truth is: they can’t.

Some don’t have the physical capabilities to be an Olympic athlete.

Some don’t have the metal capabilities to be a rocket scientist.

Isn’t it a disservice to tell kids to dream big and watch them shoot for a future that is unrealistic?

On the other hand, there’s no accounting for grit and determination.

People have accomplished a lot of things that are unrealistic.

But, I think we should shoot straight with kids and let them know that they are wired for great potential in some areas, but not every area.

Not every dream they can dream for their life should be pursued.

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Five Minute Friday: Rush

We’re finally pulling out of our busiest season at the store.  I’m grateful for the busyness.  I’m grateful that we’re pulling out.

We’re gearing up for a church labor day party at our house on Sunday.  There’s comfort in annual traditions, knowing what to expect.

Linking up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community to write full speed for five minutes on the word prompt rush.

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Rush.

Stress. Hustle. Deadlines.

Time crunch. Overwhelm. Too much to do.

Running late. Frustrated. Short temper. Blow a gasket.

At the core of a rushed life sits a tenacious belief that just isn’t true:

We don’t have enough time.

The truth is we DO have enough time.

We have enough time to complete our mission on this planet.

If there’s too much on the list to be completed in 168 hours a week, maybe we need to scratch something off the list.

If we waltz by God-ordained interruptions, maybe we lived too hurried.

Maybe we’re out of step with the Spirit.

Maybe we need to pry our fingers off, one by one and let go of that lie that there’s not enough time.

We don’t have to live rushed.

We can breathe deeply. We can live slowly. We can live fully.

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Are you in a season of personal evaluation?  Is a young person in your life unsure about their future?  Try asking the question, How do you want to spend your days?

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Five Minute Friday: Thirteen

Happy, Friday to you!

Linking up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community.

Today’s word prompt is thirteen.

I admit I was stumped.  I thought about turning thirteen, the unique teen years and the privilege of parenting teenagers.  Our youngest graduated from high school in June.  He’s 18, so technically we’re not done with teenagers.  But, in the eyes of the law, we’re parents of adults.  Four of them.  Plus two daughters-in-law.

It feels different, being on the other side of parenting teens.

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What can I say to parents of teens that are in the thick of it?  There are no guarantees that things will turn out okay.  The fears are real.

Hang in there.

Don’t lose heart.

Stay close to Jesus.

Look for some prayer partners.

Extend lots of grace– to yourself and to them.

Breathe.

Enjoy the moment.

Trust God.

Cut the cord.  Give them space to be who they are.

Require them to make contributions to the family and the church.

Trust them with responsibility.

Driving and dating are challenging.

A history of expecting obedience helps a lot.

Good communication takes work.  Keep growing.  It’s a lifetime challenge.

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That’s all I’ve got.  God is faithful.  The journey is good.

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Five Minute Friday: Vacation Envy

I’ve been MIA from Five Minute Friday due to our youngest son’s high school graduation, our middle son’s wedding an a half century celebration for my husband.

Good stress.

This week’s word prompt is a good reminder to me to be thankful.  Gratitude is a habit that can be developed and can be lost.

Linking up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community to write on the word prompt vacation.

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Boatloads of articles have been written on the impact of social media on our society.

There’s nothing like scrolling through exotic vacation pictures to stir up feelings of envy.

And, yet, that’s not the intent.  Friends aren’t trying to make you envious.  They’re just sharing the joy.

Which brings me to the struggle of contentment.  Is it okay that someone else has something that you don’t?  Can you still be content with your life?  Or do you want someone else’s?  Can you see the blessings you have without comparing them to others?

Can you develop a attitude of gratitude that allows you to rejoice with those who are joyful?  Even if it isn’t you?

It’s a mindset that can be groomed, with supernatural help.

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Five Minute Friday: Secret

Happy Friday!

Hope your week was fantastic and your weekend is even better.

Countdown at our house to the last day of school.  Our youngest graduates from high school next month, so we’re ending an era.

Linking up again with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community.  This week’s five minute writing prompt is secret.

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I can’t remember where I read recently that everyone has three lives:  their public life, their private life and their secret life.

Naturally, it’s easy to think about the secret life being where we harbor the dark secret sins of the heart and mind.

But, it’s also where the unknown victories are won.  Where the resolve begins.  Where the convictions are.

It’s the surrender that no one knows about.  The prying loose of those clenched fingers and giving up control.

It’s the peace that passes understanding, deep in the soul.

It’s the confirmation that we are not alone:  that God is with us and He has a plan.

Not all secrets are dark.  Some are wonderful.

But, every one of them affects our public and private life.  They give us the spring in our step, the whistle on our lips or the scowl on our brow and down turned eyes.

Even if no one knows, we know. And it permeates everything.

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P.S.  New on the blog:  What I’m Reading, May 2018, seven book reviews of last month’s books.

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Five Minute Friday: Include

It’s a cool and rainy Friday in these parts.

This week I find I’m fighting the age old struggle between panic and trust.  Some moments are better than others.

Linking up again with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community to write for five minutes on the word prompt include.

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Every Mother’s Day our ministry team discusses what to do to honor mothers at church.

The big conversation in ministry circles continues about how to honor mothers without making women who want to be mothers but aren’t feel left out.

Everyone knows what it’s like to have a longing to be included in a group that you’re standing outside of.  The married ones.  The mothers.  The rich.  The thin.  The healthy.

The pull is strong, the desire is deep to be in the middle of the group.  Sometimes it’s painful not to be there.  We know what it’s like.  We’ve all been there for one reason or another.  So, we can empathize.

But we forget that everyone has their own journey.

The groups we are in right now are where we’re supposed to be.  We can turn over that longing, that desire to be on the other side of the fence.  We can ask for contentment.

We can choose to open up our hands and accept where we are right now.  In this moment.

We don’t have to be in a group to be satisfied.

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Five Minute Friday: Adapt

It’s Friday!  Lots of good stress in my life right now.  And some of the regular kind as well.

I turned 51 this week.  Birthdays are a good time to reflect on blessings.  I am truly blessed.

Linking up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community to write for five minutes on the word prompt adapt.

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When you adapt, you make adjustments to your environment.

I’ve read recently that the frog in the boiling pot of water is all wrong. That doesn’t really happen.

I don’t know.

I do know it’s easy to make adaptions to culture and eventually blend in when you should stand out.

“Don’t be conformed to the world.”

It has to be a conscious choice, because the path of least resistance is conformity.

It’s a continual choice. Which path are we taking? Whose voice are we listening to?

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After I finished writing for five minutes and was looking for an image, I remembered the modern translation of that verse, “Don’t let the world squeeze you into it’s mold,” and contrasted that with the potter’s hands skillfully creating beauty.

What a difference.

P.S. I had somewhat of an epiphany this week thinking about the image of pulling up stakes at a campsite.  It so parallels the transitions I’ve experienced personally.

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