Five Minute Friday on Sunday

I’m a little late to the party this week.  But that’s fashionable, right?

I am joining Five Minute Friday again this week, although a bit late.  I have been going through a blog move this week (which I will talk about more sometime in the future, but long story short, I moved from wordpress.com to wordpress.org this past week), so I’ve been a little light on posting.  And this next week is our first week of classes at both campuses where I teach AND I’m traveling to St. Louis on Thursday, so this might be another light week of blogging.  We shall see.  I need to get my weekly rhythm figured out and then stick with a routine based on that rhythm.  So, in four weeks or so, I will hopefully have it down to a regular schedule of posts.  For now, I’m going to do what I can without stressing myself out too much.

This week’s word for Five Minute Friday is “Refine”.  Here goes:

I went to church today for the first time in a while.  We had friends go who don’t typically go and it was nice to have someone to sit with.  The music was raucous.  Both the Gospel Choir and the Contemporary Ensemble were playing and the music was fun.  I’m always pleasantly surprised with the music at church when I go as I remember the music not being so fun when I was younger.

The message was also very welcome today.  It was about Knowing, Living and Loving. I had already been feeling a bit in need of a focus on love as of late.  There is so much anger and hatred and volatility in the world that it can easily create fear and outrage.  But, instead, I am attempting to focus on loving and caring.  I posted this on my Instagram yesterday:

So, the message at church fit in well and helped me to refine my outward goals, but also my inward goals.  I need to refine my vision of life.  I need to rest in God’s grace and know that He will see me through whatever comes my way.  The last eight years have been rough, but they have also been blessed in many ways.  Refining my vision of knowing God’s word, Living as Jesus would have lived (if He were me, as our pastor so aptly put it…so, if Jesus had been a college professor and parent and Girl Scout leader, what would he have done?), and loving as Jesus has asked us to love.  He has asked us to love our neighbors, our enemies, our family members and ourselves as He has loved us.  We are a work in progress, not at all refined in these skills, but they are there.  The possibilities are there for us to achieve these great goals.  And that will be my focus going forward.

Time’s up…

Hope you consider joining Five Minute Friday this week if you aren’t already there!

Five Minute Friday – Gift

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Joining the Five Minute Friday party again this week!

I am currently sitting in my living room, trying to recover from a horrifying headache, which I have woke up with the last four mornings.  I’m starting to feel better finally, but I would really like to figure out what is causing it.  I’m thinking my pillow, so I’m going to switch it up tonight and see if it solves the problem.  I just made some of these No Bake Peanut Butter Oat Squares and they are cooling in the fridge.  Today is my daughter’s first day of Summer break and I’m a little excited and a little overwhelmed all at once.  🙂

But, now for the five minute writing – here goes:

Gift.  It is something everyone can appreciate, but everyone has different conceptions of what makes a gift.  I’ve realized that sometimes gifts are given and sometimes gifts are realized.  It is sometimes a difficult thing to REALIZE  a gift.  These are the gifts we’ve been given without any fanfare and without us noticing or appreciating it at the time it is given.  But, somewhere along the way, if we take the time to examine things and raise our awareness, we can realize the gift is there.  God’s grace is one of these gifts.  I so loved the message at church a while back reminding us that this gift is not earned, but simply there to be realized and appreciated.  Such a relief.  As a mom of a chronically ill child, I think health is one of these gifts as well.  We often think of health, especially in a child, as a given – a right, not a gift.  But, it truly is a gift and one that should be appreciated.  Food on the table each night, a roof over our heads, having transportation when I need it, having family I can depend on to help us out when it is needed…these are all gifts.

I would like to teach my DD a little more appreciation or awareness of these gifts.

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That’s it.  Five Minutes up already.  That goes by so fast!  What about you?  Want to join the party?  Take a spin over to Kate Montaug and check out others’ FMF posts and link up to one of your own!

Tuesday Truth

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Welcome to my Tuesday Truth.  Here are some things I’m putting the capital T, Truth to this morning:

I’m up early this morning (got up at 5 a.m.) because I woke up at 5 a.m. and thought to myself, later this week, this will be 8 a.m. and I will have to not only be up, but dressed, looking decent and arriving somewhere other than where I slept.  Sigh…I really think that events that involve both East and West Coast participants should start later – after all, most people don’t go to sleep at 8 p.m. but NO ONE gets up at 4 a.m. on a regular basis.  Okay, maybe not.  I’ve read about some of you out there who get up everyday at 4 a.m.  But, we can all admit that isn’t typical.  And its hard to go to bed early when you’re on the East Coast because 11 p.m. is only 8 p.m. your time.  And then, just about the time my body starts to adjust, I’m on my way home to the old time zone.

On an up note, I am feeling slightly better this morning.  Not nearly as stuffy and my throat isn’t scratching.  So, I either beat it back or it was just bad allergies.  Who knows?  I guess next time, I should just try taking some allergy meds and see if it solves the problem.  For now, I’m just happy to not feel like total @$$ before leaving on a plane tomorrow.

Another truth for today: my house is never clean.  I can clean and clean and clean and clean, do laundry on a daily basis, clean some more and the house will look clean for a moment in time and then BAM! everything is strewn all over again and we’re back to looking like we live in a dumpy toy store where some second hand clothing store dumped what they didn’t want in their store.  Sigh…I really do try to make everyone pick up their stuff, but inevitably it gets picked up and then put somewhere else that it doesn’t belong where it starts to pile up and people think that the pile is where stuff goes and it grows and grows until there is no space in that pile, so another pile has to be started.  Really.  That is they way my house works.  I admit that I sometimes contribute to the piles myself.  But, I feel like we need to get rid of all flat surfaces in order to keep the piles from building.  But, how do you get rid of floors?

To end on a positive note this week – my third and last Tuesday Truth is that thankfully, I am shown grace on a daily basis.  Both by people and God.  Because, sometimes that grace is truly needed.  This week, I want to make sure that I show others that same grace and that I am able to appreciate the grace I have been, am being and will be given.

Tying this Tuesday Truth together:

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Five Minute Friday: Grace

5-minute-friday-1June 2011 012I am in need of much grace in my life.  But, aren’t we all?  I want that clean air feeling to rush into my nostrils and lungs and make me feel empowered and confident.  Just like the sea air does when you first encounter it after a long time away.  I want to feel the years of guilt and build-up and resentment and more guilt be blown out as I exhale and breathe in that clean, untarnished air of grace.

A sermon not so long ago was given on grace and I remember feeling so positive while listening to the pastor say “Grace is…we don’t have to earn it.”  Grace is given by God, but what about giving some to ourselves?  What about giving some to others?  I am actually much better at giving it to others than I am at giving it to myself.  But, I have been trying.  I have been trying to forgive myself for all my shortcomings.  I have been trying to focus on the good, the positive and the gifts.  But, it isn’t easy.  It is sometimes so much easier to look into the darkness and see ourselves rather than the light of grace.

Today has been a good day with a bad start.  There is so much pain in the world, but there is also so much grace in the world.  I watch as others struggle and still others give those struggling individuals a taste of grace.  A gift, without expectation.  Love without any expectation.  That without expectation is an important part of it all and when those gifts and that love comes your way and you can see it is without expectation it is truly glorious.  We all have the capacity to give those gifts and that love and to receive it from God and others.  But, we have to consciously make the choice to do so.