Five Minute Friday: Home

It’s free write time! I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday this snowy morning.  Click the button below to be able to see all of the many-colored thoughts on “Home” that are shared today.

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HOME

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Once again, I am left chuckling to myself over the choice of word for our free write, today.

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Here I sit, in my pajamas, on a cold snowy Friday morning, with my  Sweetkids tucked around me on the couch.  We’ve just devoured far more chocolate chip pancakes than anyone should be allowed to. (You’ll be happy to know that no batter was spewed on this particular morning!)

And I’m reveling in it.

These precious stolen snow days at home, when both children still want to be stuck at home with their mother?  They are becoming fewer and farther between.  The ones that do come are coveted.  Is it okay to covet a snow day for the purpose of enjoying carefree time with your children?  I surely hope so.

We pray for those who must still travel to work today.  And for the grocery stores and hospitals and police and fire units that all remain open and available for those who need them.  We get to do laundry together, and choose our meals together, and snuggle together.

And I have missed this.

Life has been hectic lately.

We’ve all needed a day to relish in the comfort of home’s embrace.  With each other.

Oh, yes indeedy!

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Five Minute Friday

This week’s word prompt is ORDINARY

Go…

lightning

Moments that feel like they should be ordinary, but turn out to be anything but?  Those are the sweetest to me.  A cranky child railing against you for imposing bedtimes and manners and kindness, suddenly grabbing your leg and begging for kisses.  An angsty Pre-preteen catching you off guard with his “I love you so much mama.” on the way out the door.  Your husband’s arrival home from a long day of working hard to provide – and you see a twinkle in his eye, that’s just for you.  Yes please!

Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will provide, means more to me than a job, a meal, or a needed piece of clothing.  To me? It also means that He will provide lightning-bright moments of beauty to punctuate my ordinary.

And oh, how I love to be zinged by God.  To be reminded of how very much He loves me.  And wishes to provide for me.  The essentials, sometimes.  But sometimes?  The essentials are a little less like a choice of cereal and a little more like an unexpected snuggle.

Zing me, God.  Let me see all the many splendored ways You show me just how extra-ordinarily beautiful it is to be loved by You.

Oh, indeed.

I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for her weekly “Five Minute Friday”.  Click on the button below to visit and read what others wrote.

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What Mama Did

You might be wondering, “Um, Missy, is this still Five Minute Friday?”.  I know, I know.  I like to shake things up once in a while.  This actually still is a Five Minute Friday post.  It’s Lisa-Jo that’s shaking things up a bit this week. And I like it!  She has been highlighting four very different writer-friends’ posts on the theme of “What Mama Did” each day, this week.  Each writer has shared a Mama Memory and how their lives were touched because of it.  You really, really should go check them out! Each one is so very good and unique. Click here to walk down Memory Lane with them. And click the button below to read some other memories.  I’ll just bet you connect with one or nine of them by reading’s end! (And I can’t help but wonder how many tender phone calls will go on today, or soon, between mother and daughter or son. I’d love to be a fly on the phone lines to hear. Oh, I would.)

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Here is my own contribution:

WHAT MAMA DID

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I think my facial expression captures “Teen Angst” perfectly, no?

Journals and diaries never held all that much appeal to me when I was a preteen. Does that shock you?  I knew they were a great place to store all of your angst and sorrow and bubbling expectation.  I did.  But I never seemed to be able to write in them with any consistency.  And I liked consistency. I craved it.

When we are young, we don’t understand why our mothers might foist their own desires for success or perfection or popularity upon us.  When we, too, become mothers, understanding dawns brightly.  And sometimes, too brightly.

The Nana might not be aware of it, but I was watching her, like a hawk, as I grew up into the woman that I am today.  I have many things to thank her for; but the one that might surprise her most, is my love for writing. And for one particularly heart-wrenching experience that I had with a writing of her own.

As a teen, our relationship was especially tumultuous. Especially.  Her desires for me to live out my days in a manner that would allow her to feel a sense of accomplishment burdened me. I struggled mightily to make sense of my own existence, let alone that of my mother.

This particular day that I am remembering, my passionate mother and my equally passionate father engaged in one horrific verbal battle that seemed, to my 15 years, epic and final.  The whole house was fraught with tension.  She left.  It felt like days.  Rehashing this particular episode with her, as an adult, she claims she was only gone for hours.  It felt like days.

I was going through the hope chest in the guest bedroom. This wasn’t just any old hope chest.  This wooden chest was deep and long and could fit a man’s body inside of it. Easily.  I sometimes, as a young child, would walk by it very quickly, just sure that a person would jump up out of it and snatch me away.

But this chest held things far more precious than a body.  The Nana’s wedding dress.  Baby dresses that I did not know she felt sentimental enough to keep. Snips of first haircuts.  Teeth, that I had mistakenly believed the Tooth Fairy possessed. Scraps of quilts that had promise but were never realized.

And a journal.

Buried deep, underneath the piles of fabric and clothes and baby casts and shoes, was a journal.  My mother’s.

I’d never dared to look at it before.  I’d never dared see what her heart was crying out about.  I suppose, I didn’t really want to know.

I did this day.

As I searched through the chest, I became frantic with the need to know what she had written that made her tuck it, furtively, into the chest and then storm out of the house.

What I read in that journal, while she was gone, brought confusion and pain into an already confused and pained teenage existence.

And in that moment, I realized the power of the written word.

From that very day onward, I knew that a word written with every ounce of the emotion with which it is felt, is powerful.

And I began my own journaling, in earnest, right then and there.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go call my mother.  And thank her.

Five Minute Friday – Beloved

BELOVED

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Back in the stone ages, when Sweetman and I were dating, two other couple-friends asked us to participate in an at-home study of the Song of Solomon by Tommy Nelson.  We, being in the enamored dating stage, agreed.  Little did we know what we were getting ourselves into!

You see, I discovered, throughout the course of that 8 weeks, that the word “beloved” has some pretty powerful connotation.  I gained a greater appreciation for how artfully scripture was woven together and for how powerful the use of metaphorical language can be.  (Ma! Look at what big words I’m using!)

Prior to this study, the word “beloved” was useless to me in my everyday second grade classroom environment.  I’d hardly go around calling colleagues “beloved”; or worse yet, my little seven-year old students.

After completing this study, however, I began to see lots and lots of people I’d come into contact with as “beloved”.  Oh yes, I would!  I saw the crotchety 61 and a half-year old teacher down the hall, just biding her time until retirement, oh-so-tired of it all, day in and day out, as beloved.  I saw the sweet little guy who was bused in from the Big City, and was always hungry for whatever snacks could be scrounged up, as beloved.

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And I began to see myself as God’s beloved.  And the more I saw myself that way, the more I saw how desperately God wants us to know that He sees each and every soul that passes before my eyes on this earth that way, too!  And it affected me deeply.

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*Shoot! I wanted to keep right on writing about that.  It brought back some pretty vivid memories of my feelings during the time of that particular study.  Even better, some of the new thought patterns and behaviors it prompted within me.  I will never forget how powerfully the following verse affected me :

Do not stare at me because I am dark,
    because I am darkened by the sun.

Song of Solomon 1:

I was especially taken with that verse, in the midst of this Love Song book of the Bible, because it promptly took me out of my “love” frame of mind and plopped me down in the middle of one of the busiest streets in our Big City.  All I could see, in my mind, for weeks and weeks, was the overly darkened skin of homeless after homeless person that I’d pass when walking the street.  Usually on my way to obtain some frivolous pleasure or activity.  That one verse made me love each person, darkened by the sun, through God’s eyes.  And it was humbling.  And convicting.  And it prompted a desire in me to act on that new view. 

Ooooh, I’m getting all hyped up just thinking about it again.  I LOVE how words, inspired and written thousands of years ago, can hold such sway even in 2013, don’t you?

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I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for her Five Minute Friday prompt, again.  This community writes for 5 minutes on a one-word prompt without editing.  Then we link up and make sure to encourage another writer, or five, as well.  Click the button below to join in or read some pretty spectacular thoughts on this week’s prompt.

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Five Minute Friday – Bare

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BARE

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Buck nekid!  That’s how my four year old likes to streak through the house at night before it’s time for her to jump into the bathtub.  And her brother, five years ago – when he was the same age – enjoyed the very same thing.  Isn’t it funny how two so very different personalities separated by nearly 5 years could be filled with the same wild abandon? Their little bodies, bared, without a care in the world.

That’s how blogging makes me feel. Truly.  I expose my heart with wild abandon and there are times, be thankful this isn’t phsycially true, that I feel bare.  Exposed for all to see and judge.  And every once in a while, I must remind myself that I signed up for this.  Literally.  Especially as I reveal my concerns for my children’s hearts and minds.

In the grand scheme of things, though, I do believe that this exposing of the very things that matter to me will resonate with others.  Maybe even others for whom the thought of laying bare their own hearts is far too scary.  And it is! It is nerve-wracking to let others read your heart in the words that are written.  Especially when those words come out in a rush and tumble of passionate thought that hasn’t quite been worked through yet.

Ultimately, we connect.  Hearts laid bare on the screen are connected word by word.  And it is good. Oh yes indeedy!  It is good.

I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for her Five Minute Friday prompt.  This community writes for 5 minutes on a one-word prompt without editing.  Then we link up and make sure to encourage another writer, or five, as well.  This act reminds me of why I love being part of something bigger than myself every. Single. Week!  Click the button below to join in.

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Five Minute Friday – Again

No, really. It’s time for Five Minute Friday over at Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog , today. And I couldn’t help but chuckle/snort at the prompt -as you will see from my picture. So appropriate…

Here’s how it works: Everyone who wants to write along spends 5 minutes of uninterrupted writing time on a one-word prompt. There are no edits, although some of us can’t help ourselves where the grammar or spelling is concerned (’tis true), no re-writes, and no over-thinking.  Sharing? Yes indeedy! There is plenty of that.
 

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Today’s prompt is: AGAIN

 

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This morning, this happened. Again. It’s aggravating – this over pouring. It leads to extra time spent cleaning. I have to wait while the waffle iron cools so that I can get any assortment of scrapey tools into the crevices to undo the messy mess I’ve created due to my negligence. And I was negligent.
 
You see, I was busy. I was busy nuzzling noses with a hot-pink, Minnie Mouse-pajama-clad, four year old who is growing up much much too fast for my liking. Oh. Yes. I. Was. And when I turned around to check the waffles, I realized my mistake.
 
Too much attention being paid to this Sweetgirl of mine. Not enough, unfortunately, to the waffle maker. Also mine.
 
And the mess, now, also mine to clean up.
 
I find it ironic, though, that I just received a beautiful print that I had ordered in the mail yesterday. I almost couldn’t wait to get it into a frame and put out. It reminds me of what my waffle maker reminded me of this very morning.
 
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And once again, I find myself counting my blessings. Chocolate-chip waffle batter splattered and all!
 

Cherished Sin – Five Minute Friday

Have you joined in the reading and writing joy that is “Five Minute Friday” over at Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog, yet?  Each one of us contributes 5 minutes of uninterrupted writing on a one-word prompt.  There are no edits (some of us can’t help ourselves where the grammar or spelling is concerned!), no re-writes, and no over-thinking.  Sharing? Yes indeedy! There is plenty of that.
 

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Today’s prompt is: CHERISH

 

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What does your heart struggle with? Mine? Just your average cherished sins.
 
Surely, you know exactly what I’m talking about? Those thoughts, words, and deeds that we know won’t bring us any closer to walking alongside this Jesus we claim to love. Those hard-to-break habits, those sinful habits, that are annoyingly ever-present in our lives? The ones we almost cherish.
 
Language – I must watch mine. Growing up as a boat Captain’s daughter, I knew full well the impact a foul-mouthed word could have. Unfortunately, I still do. When I stub my toe, lock the door behind me (without keys), get angrier than I have right to get, the words… they sometimes spill forth of their own will. Truly. I try to grab them back and stuff them back in. But then? Then, I am shamed upon the remembrance of this:
 

“For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
Matthew 12:34

 
The Holy Spirit within me, more gently than my harsh thought moments ago, reminds me of this:
 

“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Ephesians 4:29

 
And God, in His infinite mercy and boundless grace for me, forces me to stop and really think on the last part of that verse in Ephesians. And he whispers right into my heart, “Sweet one, let everything be good and helpful… and an encouragement… even to yourself. Are you encouraging yourself, sweet one? Or are you beating yourself down?”
 
My focus has shifted. It is now on cherishing my God. Who has not forsaken me, who will not leave me; even as the words of my mouth sound like so many knives in His ears. I cherish, now, this sweetly, mercifully, lovingly whispered Truth. He cherishes me.
 
And I find myself guarding my heart, much more vigilantly, against the sin of my “unhelpful speech”. Because He cherishes me.
 
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