5 Minute Friday: Beautiful

Real life suspended for a day. Sun glimmering off green water. Ice cream truck treats. Laughter and watermelon. Cheesy glowing necklaces and really loud music. Hot summer breezes that caress sun-kissed skin. Picnics full of summer food. Crowds and chatter. A quilt to sit on. Parades. Flags waving. Neighborhood firecrackers. The Star Spangled Banner. Red, white and blue. Misty eyes and a lump in the throat.
Faces upturned, glowing in fireworks’ light.  Beautiful.

Five Minute Friday
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6 Things I Learned in June

I’ve always looked at summer as the time to try new things and explore in ways I don’t have time to the rest of the year. Not sure why, because summer is just as full as any other time of year. Perhaps the longer days hold promise for experiencing more. I haven’t tackled anything on my summer wish list yet, but I have learned a few things.
In no particular order:
Watch what you pray for. Not that I didn’t already know this, but I had a healthy reminder. When the Hunk lost his IT job in February it was nice having him home. But I work mostly from home, and after three months it started getting crowded in here. I kindly asked the Lord to find my man a job before we had issues. Then the Hunk went back to work with his brother doing masonry. He kisses me goodbye at 6 AM and doesn’t kiss me hello until after dark…. seven days a week. I miss him.  I’m grateful for the work, but I was hoping for something a bit more in between the extremes. I keep reminding myself that this is a season and the Lord has it all worked out.

Doing is more fun than wishing. After the devastation in Oklahoma last month I found myself wishing I had the money to buy a bunch of fabric and make quilts for people who needed their loving warmth. Then I won some super cute blocks at our guild meeting and instead of wishing I started sewing. I emptied some more boxes from the attic and found a bunch of fabric I’ve never used and decided to use what I have on hand. So far I’ve finished two quilt tops and found a couple gals to help get them quilted to give away.

I’ve been tying my shoes incorrectly my entire life. One wee adjustment has eliminated the need for double knots. Who knew?

Sometimes the hard thing I avoid is actually the easy thing in disguise. I love Adobe Photoshop. I’ve owned every version since it was released in 1990. I had one class that used Adobe Illustrator and I thought it was in Russian, because I didn’t understand anything they said. I didn’t open the program again. Until last week. I had a job to do and Illustrator was what I needed to do it. So I had to boss myself around and Google how to do things – a LOT. And I learned that a whole lot of what I’ve been doing in Photoshop is much easier to do in Illustrator. Imagine that.  I also can’t help but think there is a life lesson in there….

Squirrels’ teeth never stop growing, according to my sweet friend at the bird food store, which explains why they chew the rails on my back porch… and why they chewed a hole through my metal squirrel-proof bird feeder. Little boogers.

I have a fig tree and a sassafras tree in my yard.I had no idea until a friend pointed them out to me. We also have two pecan tress and a pear tree that I knew about. The squirrels bite into the pears before they’re ripe and spit them out onto the ground, so no one gets to enjoy them. The fig tree is chock full of young figs. I wonder if it was better that I didn’t know… because now I’ll be bummed if the squirrels get to them before I do.

5 Minute Friday: Fall

A steady rain is falling outside. 
Leaves rustle as water falls through treetops. I linger longer between the sheets to enjoy its soothing cadence. A soft, moist breeze flows through the open windows, filling the room with the fresh scent of a world washed clean, if only momentarily.  There’s something about the combination that makes the day feel slower, tempting me to curl up with a book and play hooky today. 
As if they can hear me, the clouds part and the sun appears in time to expose my plan. My routine commences, but the day continues slower than usual, in a quiet, rainy-day way.

Five Minute Friday

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5 Minute Friday: Song

I love my bedroom and the way the dappled light comes through the window as the sun rises. My side of the bed offers the perfect view of shimmering leaves and dancing light. I especially relish the times of year when open windows bring bird song riding in on soft breezes. This morning was one of those mornings. Isn’t it just like God to begin a new day with song filling the air? I like the birds’ attitudes… start each day singing your heart out. Then, when life wakes up and starts yanking me around, my song will be the echo in my head that I can’t shake.

Five Minute Friday
Set your timer for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.  


5 Minute Friday: Friend

Riding bikes everywhere, nowhere.
Guitars in the park, fingers numb.
Song voices praising.
Long walks and private dream conversations.
Boys that were.
Creating art, wee ones sleeping.
Beach refuge from life adventures.
Mundane and magical tangled in one.
Men that are no longer.
Aging and grace, fighting, releasing.
Motherhood heart things, life celebration.
Miles and miles, right here always.
Never apart.
Five Minute Friday
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5 Minute Friday: Jump

Ready… set…. jump. So much of life is spread out just waiting for us to step into it… but we don’t. Fear convinces us it’s too risky. We stand at the edge of____ and drool with “if only” and “one day”, our feet firmly planted in “safe” while our hearts long for the other side of a barrier we erect ourselves.  An invisible wall built from lies. The good news is I can tear down my wall. I have power. The bad news is… I’m the only one who can tear down my wall. I alone have the power to jump or to stay.
Five Minute Friday
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5 Minute Friday: Here

Be where you are…. the idea of pouring my whole self into the moment to be fully present. To enjoy the journey and not miss the details because I’m distracted. But what about being fully where I’d rather not be? At the side of a dying loved one.
Changing soiled undergarments.
Disinfecting until my hands are raw.
Wrestling a full-sized adult out of bed to a wheelchair and back again.
Watching people I love hurt in unimaginable ways. 
The mind tries to wander to other places I’d rather be…. but I don’t want to resent where I am. 
I want to be my best self… give unselfishly to another. Even in this. 

Even here
Five Minute Friday
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Praying for Virginia Tech

Yesterday was a crazy day.

My beautiful daughter turned 13…. though she’s been a “teenager” for a couple of years, it is now chronologically official.

When I picked my 18 year old son up at school at noon, he informed me about what was unfolding on the Virginia Tech campus. He asked “Do you have any friends who have kids at VT?” knowing that my friends, like me, don’t watch TV during the day and might not hear about something unless I get into the car and turn on the radio.

Everyone is touched around here in some way – we all know someone who was affected.
My son is a senior and he is still waiting on word from his friends who graduated last year and are at VT.

Churches and campuses across the state are hosting prayer vigils at noon today.

The burden on my heart right now is for the family of the young man who was responsible.
No one has mentioned his parents.
As a mother, I cannot imagine dealing with losing my son and knowing he was the cause of so much grief.

My heart breaks for what his mom must be going through.
How must she feel that her son was hurting so deeply to resort to such drastic behavior?
My prayers are with that family today, that God will redeem for good what was meant for evil and destruction.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning…”
Psalm 30:5