Category Archives: Five Minute Fridays

The Guaranteed Way to Change Someone’s Life

My daughter turns one this coming week, and in preparation, she’s been practicing her walking skills quite a bit. While she definitely has a sense of adventure and determination that is all her own, one of her biggest inspirations to accomplish milestones is her big brother.

He encourages her multiple times every day, “Come on sweet baby! Follow me!”

And she does. When she takes a few steps on her own, he excitedly exclaims, “Mom! Look at what she can do!” When she falls, he claps for her and says, “Good job baby girl! Try again.”

She sees him running around, imagining that we are all superheroes or Star Wars characters, and she follows along with the biggest smile she can muster. When she gets up before him in the morning, she will stand at his door and cry because she wants to see him. Why? Because he’s one of God’s greatest gifts to her. He makes her believe she can do great things because he encourages her every day both by his words as well as the way he lives.

Taking Steps

When I saw this week’s prompt for Five Minute Friday was “encouragement,” I couldn’t resist participating! Encouragement is crucial and one of my passions. It’s one of the main reasons I have a blog. Greater than that, it’s one of the reasons we are put on this earth. My mind is boggled by how much of a difference a little encouragement can make in a person’s life. I have pursued things I would have never pursued if I hadn’t been encouraged by someone who believed in me. I have had countless days transformed from bad to good because of one uplifting conversation with someone.

Want to start a revolution? Encourage someone! Here are some of the various thoughts I had during my five minute free write on the word encouragement.

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  • There are few things more powerful than encouragement in this world.
  • Encouragement is what takes someone who is ready to give up and inspires them to keep going.
  • Encouragement only works when we use it. It’s like exercise. It does no good for anyone if we think about doing it when we have time; it only works when we put forth the effort to do it.
  • Sometimes it’s as simple as sending a text that says, “Hi! I hope you have a good day.” Other times it means being there for a friend going through a fiery trial.
  • All the time it means being intentional about thinking of others. Loving others. Pushing aside our agendas, insecurities, and assumptions to make someone else realize their worth.
  • The people in this life I look up to the most, and would even consider my heroes are the ones who have taken time to prove to me that they believe in me. They don’t just think nice things about me. They don’t only say nice things about me to others. They take time to express encouragement to me. The greatest way to repay the heroes who encourage me is to pass it along to others.
  • Encouragement is one of my passions. No matter how much I try to do it, I can’t do it enough because it’s vital to everyone’s success.
  • Whose day could I make brighter by complimenting her? Whose life could I possibly change tomorrow by taking time to encourage them to push through the hard times to pursue their calling?

Well, what are you waiting for? Go change someone’s life for the better. 🙂

Linking up with Lisa-Jo & the Five Minute Friday girls.

Accepting my Dance Moves

I’m getting back into the swing of blogging today by joining up with Five Minute Fridays.

Today’s word is Dance.

 

Sometimes it’s all about the change in perspective.

I’ve never been a good dancer. I have rhythm in my head. I can feel the beat when I sing, but when it’s time for me to use that beat to make beauty with my feet, I stumble.

I used to be embarrassed. I’d feel the heat in my cheeks as those watching me try would laugh at my awkwardness.

Sometimes I’d practice when no one was watching. I’d believe that I was improving until I once again tried in front of an audience only to receive the same reviews.

Then I decided to just make a joke of my clumsiness. When my college roommates would have a rough day, I would pull out my silliest dances. I’d square dance with stuffed animals to Anne of Greene Gables soundtrack and we would all laugh until we cried.

When I would chaperone high school dances, I’d boogy on the dance floor next to the kids who were bordering inappropriate moves and suddenly they would seem to lose their lustful focus.

I became a mom and had opportunity after opportunity to dance like a maniac with my toddler. The more ridiculous the better when you’re only 2 feet tall and it’s fun to go crazy to music.

I’ve grown comfortable in my calling as a dancer. I will never move someone to tears by twirling my toes, but I can bring a smile on a bad day or make someone comfortable enough to be flawed in my presence. We all have strengths and weaknesses – that’s what makes us humans in need of a perfect God. The question is, will we use even our weakness to bring Him glory?

Community

I wasn’t planning in participating in Five Minute Friday today. As much as I love it, it didn’t go with the theme of the week on the blog, and I just didn’t feel like writing anything. But then I saw today’s word, and I felt the need to write about it. Here you go! My raw honest recap of the thoughts in my head from this week. (And maybe I kept writing after the five minutes was up. I guess this makes me a rule breaker now.) 🙂

 

 

 

Community

Photo Credit

Those lies in my head kept fighting their way to the front this week. I knew who they were and what they were up to, so I fought hard.

“I am not alone! I am not unloved! I am not completely insane…only a little bit.”

These thoughts keep coming back to me for so many reasons, both known and unknown. Right now I know why. It’s because I want to take a stand against the norms of society when it comes to connecting with others.

I no longer want to settle when it comes to friendships. I want them to be more than superficial conversations and “Oh, I know we’re all just too busy to work at this thing called catching up.”

We are created for more. For communion with one another. And as I sat at home with a quiet phone and an imaginative almost 3 year old this week, I observed our needs and tendencies to fight against yet wish so strongly for this difficult thing called community.

I saw it in the way that my son wanted me right by his side playing trains and digging dirt.

I saw it in the way that I all but counted down the hours until my husband got home from work so I could just talk to another adult already.

I saw it in the way I talked myself out of calling someone just to say hi because I didn’t want to bother them.

I saw it in the way I all but word vomited, nope I pretty much reached the word vomit level by the end of the week, when I conversed with any other unsuspecting soul who just wanted to say hi or catch up on small talk.

I saw it in the caring eyes of the friends who took time to meet up with me in the midst of our busy lives.

I saw it through the eyes of a stranger who came and joined the conversation with my friend and I at Starbucks. She, too, hungers for community. For an audience. For someone to hear her story and ooh and awe over her child’s pictures.

We are created for community. God Himself gave Eve to Adam when he saw the sorrow that came with aloneness. He wanted life to be filled with more than the stresses of our jobs and obligations. He wanted living pictures of what our relationship with Him is to resemble, so He gave us each other.

Sweet, sweet friend who is reading this post, I need you to hear me. Never settle for loneliness. Call me, email me, communicate with me in whatever way you can when you feel overwhelmed with the pressures of your life. We are not meant to do life alone. I will not think you weak or high maintenance. I have just been in that dark place filled with lies yet again, and as I take one determinedly labored step at a time out of it, I feel the passion to not let a single soul get to that place again without knowing it is optional to go there. You have someone even when you don’t feel like you do.

I am humbled and grateful in ways I can’t begin to describe to each friend who has both knowingly and unknowingly helped me through this lapse of sanity that has made me feel the awkward exception to all that is good and true. Your prayers, your listening ears – they have helped me, and I want to help you in whatever way I can as well.

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar.

Five Minute Friday: Empty

It’s time for Five Minute Friday! It’s so much fun to free write for five minutes about the same topic as dozens of other women and then go check out what others are saying. How can we relate? What can we learn from each other? Thank you, Lisa Jo, for hosting such a wonderful, special link up each week! You’re just going to have to try it for yourself to see what I’m talking about!

Today’s word: Empty

Go

I started off the week full of expectations.

There was so much to be done. The house was filled with clutter and chaos from my being gone the past two days, and I knew I was in for a big job in getting it back in order. I expected it to be back in order by 5:00 P.M. Monday. And at the end of the day, it wasn’t.

I rushed to finish making the gift for my friend that was coming in just a few short hours. In my head I had the picture of perfection when I handed her the gift. She would love it, I hoped, and see the thought I put into making it just for her. And as time slipped away and potty training a toddler took up the time I planned to use for this perfect gift, I panicked. No longer was perfection an option. Even the tape was missing so I couldn’t wrap it properly.

I had an agenda since I actually had our one vehicle in my possession. I filled the car to the brim with gas and headed down the road, only to have it die a few hundred feet later. Child in the back seat, rush-hour traffic beginning, no one answering their phones to help me, and a husband hundreds of miles away.

I found myself empty. Unable to complete my plans. I looked up and asked Him to fill me in that moment with peace, protection, joy, and humility. He lovingly obliged after watching me take the difficult road to being empty so that I could be truly complete.

Stop

If you’re new to this site, thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to have you as a part of this humble little community of women who want to find the exceptional power of God in our otherwise average lives. If you would like to receive updates when I add new posts, you can like my Facebook page, subscribe to my RSS feed, or receive new posts by email. You can also find all of these options easily by going to my home page and clicking on the appropriate icon located in the right side bar.

Five Minute Friday: What is Real About You to Me?

Today is Five Minute Friday, hosted by The Gypsy Mama. It’s a chance to put aside plans and just write whatever comes out of our hearts in five minutes. If you love writing, I encourage you to do a free write of your own – computer or paper, blog or no blog – it’s just a great thing to experience. If you do have a blog and choose to participate, be sure to link up with the incredible community of women who share each week. They really are all amazing!

Today’s word is REAL.

GO

What is real about you to me, my God?

The sunsets painting the skies so many vibrant shades.

The rain coming down to water the earth that is brown and dead without it.

The ocean with its tides and waves that could swallow most anything, yet you keep it all perfectly in place.

The love you’ve placed in my heart for the husband who is my perfect match.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The incredible gift that is my son.

The family with whom you’ve extravagantly blessed me – they provide such an incredible picture of Your grace and love in the way they are there for me. The way they have sacrificed for me. The way they love.

The home that shelters me from the harshness of the world. It may be humble with plenty of flaws, but you allow me to see that they are just little bits of its character.

Your church and how it is so necessary for life. It is Your bride, and I am part of it. You died for it, and I love being able to be a part of this thing that is so precious in Your sight. The knowledge that hits me so often when I stand singing praise to You with a body of believers fully knowing that in that moment, thousands of others are joining me across this entire world doing the same thing.

The way You are always there for me so intimately when I need You. The way You guide me so clearly without ever verbally speaking to me. And yet You speak. That is really You, guiding, encouraging, loving, chastening, revealing Yourself to me.

STOP

Five Minute Fridays: Tender

I love today’s Five Minute Friday prompt. It could not think of a better word to describe my feelings for the week. Lucky for you I had a five minute time limit to write about all the ways I feel tender this week, for I’ve a feeling I could have kept going for quite a while!

 

If you have five minutes today, let me encourage you to join The Gypsy Mama’s Five Minute Friday community. It really is a beautiful thing.

Word: Tender

Go

I feel tenderness in the small things of this week.

The way my son chooses to shift from calling me Mama to Mommy. I love it. But it means he really is maturing. Even as I listen to him say it, I can tell the determined focus it takes for him to say my name in this new way. And I realize how aware he is.

I watch his daddy and him take out pool noodles in the middle of the aisle in Target and duke it out. I laugh. And I think ahead to the years we have in front of us and realize that he will all too soon be just as tall as Daddy and give that man who can scoop him up without a second thought right now a run for his money.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I watch him in his new AWANA class having snack with his little friends. I see those cute two year old girls adore him and try feeding him Oreos while he takes it all in stride. I picture him grown up in body while young and insecure inside as he tries to make sense in his teenage mind of the mysteries of women. And I want to hold him tighter yet never stop watching him bask in the new fun he’s finding in church.

I listen to how he says “God made me. And He said that it was good.” Our AWANA prompt of the week. And I hold back tears as I realize this applies to me. With my winter-rough skin and disheveled hair. With my sweat pants and stained t shirts. God finds me good. Perfect. In his image. And I thank him humbly. I must believe it for myself if I am going to preach earnestly to the masterpiece God has entrusted to my care.

Stop

Five Minute Friday – Grow

 

 

 

I knew it would happen. I knew from the second that I discovered your existence you would grow. I enjoyed it so much from that instant. The first time I felt you flutter within my womb, I nearly cried and laughed simultaneously. As you grew into my rib cage and kicked me with all of your tiny body’s strength, I watched in wonder.

The day of your birth arrived at last. Each contraction meant I was that much closer to finally meeting you. You had finally grown big enough to come join your dad and me in this world. That instant when I saw you first, I could not believe that something so precious had grown within me and you were here at last.

The desire for you to grow at such a rapid rate waned for me from that day on. I loved the way you were maturing with your smiles and crawling, but each new milestone meant you were growing more independent. I had to let go of one more part of you, and I felt my heart grow sad. Just a little sad, for this is part of life. Each inch and day that you grow older, you become more handsome and precious to my heart.

 

 

 

I want for you to grow into a handsome, independent, Godly man, but that means letting go of more of you each day. Though you will outgrow my lap before I know it, you will never outgrow my heart.

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. ~Psalm 127:3

You should really consider becoming a part of Five Minute Fridays with The Gypsy Mama! Each Friday we take five minutes to stop our normal way of doing things and just write for the joy of writing on a given topic. Take a few minutes and check out some of the other Five Minute Friday posts by some sweet ladies out there! You will be blessed by it.