Monthly Archives: November 2012

Five Minute Friday – Wonder


The Wonder of it all…

I’m a child and it’s Christmas and I’m lying under the tree – it’s finally put up.  I’m not sure where my Dad gets these trees, but they sure are frustrating to put together!  My brothers try to hold it, getting poked in the face, while my father tries earnestly to attach the tree stand.  Then he has to string it to the doorways near the corner so it stands securely.  There are lots of heated, angry words that fly about – my Dad’s mostly – and a few disgusted looks on the faces of my brothers.  My sister, however, beams.  Shoot, she’s glowing!  And I think she already has ornaments in her hands…  She’s READY!

The lights are on and working and then we add the decorations.  Next, comes the battle of garland vs. icicles.  We must have both on hand because out of nowhere we’re all grabbing silver, shiny, stringy plastic strands and trying our best to drape them on the tree.  I know there’s some banter about singles versus clumps, but I think I’m doing mine right.  And it’s no easy task to add these icicles to the tree because there are abundant amounts of static cling involved.  I believe I hear my Mom mutter from the couch her negative comments about vacuums and icicle strands.  I guess she’s the one who prefers the garland.

But, I lie here, under the tree with all the living room lights off.  I get my head way under next to the stand and look up the center of the tree.  It’s my favorite part.  For me, it is the wonder and beauty of the tree that tells me Christmas is almost here!


Tags: , , , , , ,

An – ti – ci – pa – tion…Can’t Wait?

Would the ketchup EVER get here?  Tipping the bottle, giving it a little downward shake, I waited.  I’m not thinking about the fries getting cold or if someone else might need the bottle… I am entirely focused on the red blob – Is it EVER going to MOVE???

Anticipation is in the waiting.  It’s the build-up of invisible energy or hunger that propels us into a focused state of mind.  One thing … we are just focused on that one thing.  Maybe we’re noticing the world on the periphery, and functioning in it, but really, we’re just focused on that one thing.

To a child, and really most adults, Christmas is like that.  It falls on December 25th and regardless of work, school, or home life – our focus gradually begins to become all about that day.  Family traditions of decorating, shopping, meal-planning all become honed in on by everyone.  Stores might be reminding us earlier each year about the shopping days left on the calendar, but truly, we turn our focus towards Christmas on our own schedule.

My Christmas tree went up early this year.  I decided I wanted a new one after almost 20 years of using the last one.  It was still in great shape, and complete with instructions, so I donated it to my favorite thrift store charity.  I picked one at the store specifically with pine cones attached to the limbs because that’s my style – woodsy.  I think this year I also started playing my Christmas music selection a little early too.  Anticipation… not for Christmas, but for Christ.

Everyday I feel His presence in my life.  Every day is a day to celebrate not only His birth, but His second coming.  Just as His presence as a King was promised by the prophets of old, we anticipate the next step in God’s kingdom calendar – Jesus’ glorious return.

I remember my Dad showing me how to insert a knife into the glass bottle to help the ketchup release and come out a little easier.  Boy, how we’ve progressed into plastic bottles with squirtable tops!  We’ve solved the waiting problem with ketchup, but shouldn’t we still enjoy the waiting that comes with Christmas?

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Christmas, Life, in general


Tags: , , , ,

Five Minute Friday – Thank You

Thank You

I’ve been stuck since yesterday morning (Friday) trying to imagine where my post would go for “thank you.”  Then, I’m late writing it because I’m mortified as to what might come out!

I’m stuck trying to get “Thank You” out of my throat.  I’ve been struggling with pain for so long and living with anxiety and depression too… It’s been easier to show appreciation to strangers.  With a smile on my face, I genuinely expressed many “thank yous” to my waitress last night at dinner.  A kind, sweet face, and a hard-working lady.

But I’m honestly wanting to say “Thank You” to God for something I haven’t received yet.  I need His healing touch so badly that I feel like I’m withholding my gratitude from Him until I receive the healing!

But, “thank you” IS INSIDE ME – I have to praise my Creator because HE is my Healer and my Redeemer.  Not because of “WHEN the healing comes,” but because HE IS THE HEALING!!!

Thank You my King of Kings – my Lord of Lords… the Saviour of my soul!

***About Five Minute Fridays and the “Flash Mob” of writers***

Our prompt comes from via our blog subscription.

We write for five minutes flat. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.  Just five minutes of focused writing.

We link up our blog to Lisa Jo’s site, then encourage the person who linked up before us!


Posted by on November 24, 2012 in Five Minute Friday Flash Mob


Tags: , , ,

Five Minute Friday – Stay

“You’re afraid.”  I know that’s God’s voice because I’m still trying to follow another path with “Stay” and He won’t let me go there… I’m still trying to hide that little, insidious truth that I AM afraid.

Afraid.  Of more rejection.  Of staying put indefinitely and dealing with more rejection.

In 2004, my husband retired from the Army and we made our final move.  We dove in at our new church, fixed up the house, tried to navigate the new area and all it’s back roads, and we spent time trying to get to know our new church members.  Problem is, eight years later, we feel very much alone.

We’d made a deal to stay put in the house we’d bought for ten years.  By then, our youngest would be out of high school.  Besides, we knew we’d have an itch to move sooner, so this seemed like a good “plan” to avoid scratching that itch and uprooting the kids unnecessarily.

Giant hail.  That’s what did it.  Ruined the new roof, put holes in the siding and this year we re-roofed, re-wrapped the house, put on new gutters and killed termites and cut trees.  Then, I had this wild idea to put a pool in the back yard!

Ok, it’s pointless now, we’re staying.  Although, if one more toilet tank kit breaks, I may start calling the moving company just for my own sanity…

But, it’s God’s voice, I know, reminding me He put us here.  He was VERY clear about that 8 years ago.  So, I will trust in Him that this place, and this time in our life, will have an AWESOME outcome!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,

and he will make your paths straight.

Someone really smart gave us a plaque with that verse on it and it hangs over my back door.  Next time I leave the house, maybe I should read it, again.


Posted by on November 16, 2012 in Five Minute Friday Flash Mob


Tags: , , ,

Perfectly Weary

Dry lungs.  That’s how best I can describe them.  Deprived of oxygen or just plain lazy would also be fitting.  Dizziness, well, more like uncontrolled spinning, occurs in my head quite frequently.  Tired, in pain, barely breathing and somehow I’m getting the laundry done.  Somehow I’ll manage to cook dinner – I think.

Tea is steeping, Christmas music is playing and for the first time in 4 days it is quiet.  It feels like a major accomplishment to get to this moment today – a time to actually think and concentrate.  A time to do a few chores, and a take a few moments to collect myself and renew slightly before something or someone beckons me.

A slight reprieve, badly needed.  A greater reprieve, I pray, is one day closer.

I wasn’t always like this.  I remember only too well the days of boundless energy.  Early years of running and playing with complete abandon.  Standing back flips, front walkovers, and long hours of stretching, dancing, and twirling.  I write of those days and time stands still in my head.  I can still feel the pasty, sweaty chalk on my hands and clearly feel the hardwood gym floor under my bare feet.  I can picture all the gymnasiums I’ve ever romped and flipped around in.

The face of the my gym teacher opening the doors for us before school hours was a welcome sight.  Each day I left the house early in the cold and the dark to go practice in the gym.  Later, I proudly wore blistered hands to class, much to the shock of my fellow students.  They didn’t understand how much I loved those early morning workouts.

Pausing, I sip my tea, allowing the pain in my neck and arm to lessen.  Even writing is painful.

I have loved making quilts, mosaics, and all sorts of crafts over the years.  I used to love to clean house, make dinner, do yard work, and chase after kids.  It was all so tiresome, but when the end of the day arrived, I didn’t regret much.  It was accomplished with reckless abandon as well.  Pure energy and drive… perhaps with a little too much perfectionism added in.

Well, the truth is, I had and STILL have way too much perfectionism in my life.  I struggled with a perfectly ordered life and house and now I struggle – with a body that does not fulfill my mind’s idea of how it should function.

In my spiritual life, along the way, I have found the desire to meet God in all things – every situation I was in and with everyone I met.  That used to be so simple because I was looking outward.  Now I find myself desiring to rise above the trappings of my human flesh – above the physical, the mental, and the emotional ideals of perfection, to see where I am in God’s plan.  It’s not easy.  It’s a part of my spiritual journey that is taking longer than I desired, but I can only imagine how wonderful the end results are going to be when God is finished with this part of His plan for my life.

I imagine when I look back upon this physically painful time it will diminish in intensity because of the enormity of what God will have accomplished.  In the meantime, my prayer life is being renewed and scripture is once again at the forefront of my day.  I think He has me right where He wants me, and today, I hope I make Him smile.

Philippians 4:12 & 13

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Psalm 121:1,2

I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Life, in general


Tags: , , , , , ,

Five Minute Friday – Quiet

The smell of his wet fur is still present on my hands.  The damp towel lies soiled in the box from where his broken body layed.

Nervously I present him to the vet – full, not of hope, but of questions.  “What can we do for him?”  “Fix his breaks or ease his suffering?”  I was clueless how to help, I just knew I couldn’t leave him dying alone in that field.

Just an hour ago he appeared on our porch – a stray – crying to come in.

Just moments ago he was purring and loving on my daughter.

Just seconds ago he was weaving between her feet, making us giddy as she attempted to get to the bus.  He scampers on the bus and on to the seat – much to the delight of the students and the driver.

He’s deaf, he’s broken, there’s nothing they can do….

And now, “We’ll make this quick.  We’ll end his suffering,” she said.

It was a quiet morning that I’ll never forget.

It was joy and then it was sorrow.


Tags: ,

Five Minute Friday – Roots

Five Minute Friday – Roots

When I think of roots, I always think of trees, planting, and household moves.

I loved planting a maple tree with my dad when I was young. Decades later, I’ve gone back and seen the fruit of our labor still standing. Its leaves blowing and showing their silver, fuzzy undersides.

My roots were also firmly planted in that town – only to be removed when I was 13 years old and transplanted 2300 miles away to a somewhat different planet – the desert southwest.

After that transplanting came another with my parents and then a few more as a military spouse and family. Each place I moved involved putting down my roots and usually some trees too.

What’s amazing though, in hindsight, is how much each location and each different soil – all the different churches, friends, environments – helped nourish me and make me grow. So God does have a plan for my life through of these changes – although, at times, I may not have seen that in the midst of the uprooting.

Philippians 1:6 …being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Those changes and “uprooting” have formed me and give me abilities I appreciate greatly today. Especially when they can be beneficial to changes my husband and children go through. Change can be difficult, it’s great to have an enormous God overseeing your planting, transplanting, growth, and sometimes your renewal.


Tags: , ,

Why and Where do I write?

I ventured into an actual bookstore this week for some inspiration on how to write.  I was just looking for a few titles in the non-fiction section – maybe journaling exercises or anything that might create sparks to help me reach a little deeper, or come across a little better.  What I found, and purchased, was a “how-to” book by a fiction author that I have enjoyed reading in the past.  The book is “Escaping Into the Open” by Elizabeth Berg.  There were a few others there as well but I curtailed my enthusiasm (and drooling) to just one book.  Later, I confess, I purchased some of those books online, but I’ll discuss them later because they are hilarious and “outside the box” for writing.

So, I thought I’d take the homework from the first chapter and write it out.  It’s a self-discovery chapter with questions about why you write and where you write, even whether or not you have a special place to write.  Beginnings are always a good place to start and maybe this will be enlightening to someone who has the “itch” to write.  This chapter made it easy to bridge from the “itch” to the “scratch” if you need a good place to get rolling in your own writing.

The homework began with “lie down, close your eyes, and clear your mind” … I did a little daydreaming and here’s where it went…

I hated writing as a child.  It was always homework and I despised it.  Even when we were doing something creative like an imaginative story, and not an essay, I would not be able to do it.  Writer’s block came to my 4th grade mind – I knew it well!  I remember one poem I wrote and liked, but considering it was Haiku and it had built-in boundaries, I know it came pretty easily.  I’m good at following rules, not free expression.  I could handle rhyming too, but to this day that Haiku poem is forever etched in my brain.

Me, myself, and I (5)

Went for a wonderful ride (7)

Up to the canyon (5)

In my mind, it is still a brilliant poem!   ; )

For the most part, I use journaling and blogging as my chosen form of writing…perhaps with a message to help others where I have stumbled.  Humor, anecdotes, or scriptural discussion are the ideas that take up the corners of my mind and fill the pages if I have a chance to write them down.  Sometimes my best ideas come when my hands are in the dishwater so my journal, pen, glasses and a free space are all I need to throw down some stuff before it escapes my mind.  Later I can go back and expound on it if necessary.  Sometimes, it’s months till I work out an idea into something that feels complete.

My need to write comes usually from good reading material or a life-changing event that needs resolution.  It all seems to culminate into something I think can benefit others as well as myself.  Reading something really good that changes me in some way can always be useful to others and I feel compelled to share it, even if it isn’t the answer for another person’s problems or circumstances … it’s kind of an opportunity to help someone see hope in our common struggles in life.  Some things I write are because I feel a need to say them, but maybe just to myself.  Truthfully, some of the really cruddy or emotionally overloaded things I write, get ripped out and tossed away so I can “let go” some piece of ugliness inside of me that I know doesn’t do me or God any good.  I will admit freely too that I write to keep from babbling to myself out loud…. and for this I think my family is thankful!

One of my favorite discoveries about the desire to write, is that I love jotting down quotes, lyrics, books to read and general ideas.  I believe it could be a bit genetic as I used to find lists everywhere that belonged to my mom.  She usually had a list, just inside the desk cupboard, with book titles on it for future trips to the library.  I always knew about her lists – they weren’t hidden by any means – but their presence amuses me now when I realize how similar my lists are to hers.  Some days it saddens me greatly that she’s gone and I can’t share my lists with her.  She’d love the comment I made about writing to keep from talking to myself out loud, as that was one of her favorite jokes.  She promised that “you’re okay as long as you don’t answer yourself back.”

Well, that bring to a close my first homework assignment from what promises to be a great instructional guide to writing.  At least it gives me some direction…and hopefully encouragement to someone else.

Romans 15:5,6

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Writing


Tags: , , , ,