Five Minute Friday-Safe

Today I’m linking up once again with the Five Minute Friday crowd. FMF provides a prompt word every Friday, then we write, for five minutes, no editing, no holds barred, just write whats on our heart. The rule is a prompt word is provided and we write….for five minutes, no editing, just real and raw. Then post and go back and encourage the prior post. Today’s word is ”Safe”. The link is: http://katemotaung.com/2017/02/09/five-minute-friday-safe/
Safe….a word of concern in this age of political concerns, chaos and terrorist attacks. It’s a word we all obsess over from time to time. A word many in this world have no comprehension of just as many have little comprehension of the word danger. Often today we make the word safe so complicated; we define “safe” by what we believe should or should not be occurring in our lives, in our country today.
This morning I was reminded however, that it is not always that complicated……sometimes safe is just safe and simple. As I was sitting on my steps this morning my eye was drawn to the hand railing or banister as some call it on our stairs. Our home is well over 150 years old and this solid piece of wood has stood the test of time quite well; providing safety and security to its people. As I gazed at the grain, felt the smooth coolness of the railing, wrapped my fingers around the spindles and carefully examined a spot where a small piece of wood was knocked out by something…….I was suddenly awestruck. As I sat there I could almost see the hands that would grasp this rail as they went up and down each day about their daily work. Men, tired from a long day in the field or at work might bring pieces of the surrounding farm fields on their hands and it would somehow meld with the wood. Women; carrying baskets of laundry or feverish children on a hip gripped the rail for safety and balance. Toddlers…..taking their first attempt at the stairs alone; their chubby little fingers wrapping around the solid wood spindles, drool and baby oatmeal melding into the wood. Grandmothers, whose step had become less steady with time would depend upon the safety provided in this simple but elegant piece of wood. I thought of the hands who crafted this…..likely never dreaming how many toddlers or grandmothers would be saved from toppling off the side by its strength. It’s a simple railing, a few beautiful carvings at the base but it is SAFE…..safe for the people of this home and safely representing a simple reminder that sometimes safe is just plain simple, ordinary and everyday…….

 

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Five Minute Friday-Breathe

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Today I’m linking up once again with the Five Minute Friday crowd.  FMF provides a prompt word every Friday, then we write, for five minutes, no editing, no holds barred, just write whats on our heart.  The rule is a prompt word is provided and we write….for five minutes, no editing, just real and raw.   Then post and go back and encourage the prior post.  Today’s word is”Breathe”. The link is: http://katemotaung.com/2017/02/02/five-minute-friday-breathe-lisa-jo-baker/

Breathe…..such a necessary function for life and yet one I often seem to simply forget, not literally of course; but perhaps more importantly, figuratively.  It’s been nearly 8 months since an announcement that has changed the course of my professional life; or at least the course in my plans.  During that time I have been angry, grieved, laughed and every emotion in between.  For several of these months balanced three jobs plus home.  Breathing was something I often neglected to do and my soul can feel it.  My soul; desperate for a breath of the Spirit.  My soul that has come to a place in life where I know it will be okay and yet so often; still, I forget to breathe.  Changes have occurred with work and with close friendships.  There are days my mind races with so many “could be’s and what if’s” that my soul becomes short of breath; crying out in weariness and frustration.  And yet, through it all…..my God, my very breath giving source of life shines through; sometimes in the most unlikely of ways…….and often when I least expect it.  Last night I forgot to breathe…..the enemy and his “what if’s” were on full blown attack and my heart cried for hours……..in the midst, a conversation with a friend….a true prayer warrior friend.  This morning I awoke to His new mercies, with a song on my heart before I even knew today’s prompt word!  Breathe, O Breath of Life……and then I opened my inbox to a beautiful prayer from my warrior friend……a prayer that was a reminder from my God; a reminder that said….Amy, my beloved, I am here, always…..so just breathe, my beloved.  Breathe today; walk with Me today; let Me care for your heart….today……..and so my friends….today, join with me….and just breathe…His life, His Spirit…

 

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Five Minute Friday-Team

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Today I’m linking up once again with the Five Minute Friday crowd. FMF provides a prompt word every Friday.. The rule is a prompt word is provided and we write….for five minutes, no editing, just raw and real. Then we post and go back encourage the person who posted prior to us. Today’s word is “Team”. The link is http://katemataung.com/2016/08/19/five-minute-friday-team/
Team: Diverse individuals working together toward a common cause. It’s my definition; not coming from a dictionary but from a grieving heart. We range in age from early 20’s to 65 plus. We are married, divorced, single, widowed and every stop in between. We are male, female, straight, gay, lesbian, Methodist, Protestant, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, New Age and Atheist. We are introverts, extroverts, nurses, veterinarians, pharmacists, managers, business men and women, lawyers, therapists, support personnel, receptionists, even a Queen, and, most of all….educators. We’ve been together, some of us for upwards of 15 plus years. We have had chili cook-offs, cookie bake-offs and dunk tanks. We’ve celebrated the birth of babies and mourned the death of babies. We’ve been together through the loss of parents, spouses, children, marriages and friends. Team members have left; by their own choosing or by the choice of a company that seems to simply push buttons from far away. Those of us remaining are charged with a daunting but somehow Holy task; to push through to the end with dignity. To uphold the values and integrity that have made this team strong for many years. We will, in the coming months, clean out labs and classrooms, stack chairs and tables, support students as they complete degrees, sort through 40 years of paperwork AND, nearly every month we will hold a “going away” as members of the team move on and numbers dwindle. Each month brings new losses, new grief and new opportunities for growth. As a TEAM we will laugh, cry, mourn, celebrate and continue doing the best we can in a sometimes unbelievable situation (often all in the same day). Perhaps Alan Jackson describes it best when he says “life gets changed, disassembled rearranged, come together, fall apart”.
Life is indeed changing; team members are finding new employment opportunities, students are graduating with no fresh faces to fill their spots. In less than two years from now the team as we know it will cease to exist; and YET it will always live on..in different places, with different people. Some of us will remain close, some we will never see again, but the Team built in diversity and love will never cease to exist within the hearts of those who built it and who were part of it. Each one of us will be a better person for the honor of being a part of what we will always remember as “Team Findlay”.
This blog is dedicated to past and present team members of BMCFI and in memory of Fred Baldwin….a forever member of Team Findlay. I love each of you and whenever I think of the word Team….it will always be “Team Findlay”.

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Five Minute Friday-Whole

 

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Today I’m linking up once again with the Five Minute Friday crowd. FMF provides a prompt word every Friday, then we write, for five minutes, no editing, no holds barred, just write whats on our heart. \The rule is a prompt word is provided and we write….for five minutes, no editing, just real and raw.   Then post and go back and encourage the prior post. Today’s word is “Whole”. The link is: Five Minute Friday-Whole

 

Luke 11:36 “If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light”

Whole…..”the entirety”, “everything”, “ALL”…….whole is a reminder of the importance of looking at the entire picture, the entire story. Every LAST speck of it! The good, the bad, the painful, the joyful, the beautiful, the ugly….EVERY bit of it. Every bit of the story is vital….every piece of the puzzle; for without one small piece the puzzle remains incomplete and NOT whole. The story of Christmas….beautiful in our modern day interpretation of the babe in the manger; surrounded by fluffy straw, animals sweetly singing over the birth for ALL times……but to know the whole story means we know the young, innocent “child” who gave birth for the first time, IN A BARN, surrounded by smelly animals, likely much more alone than she had ever been in her life. The whole story means when we breathe a sigh of relief as the angel reveals the danger of Herod, as Joseph, Mary and the child escape. Whole means our heart breaks for the little one’s murdered during that time. Innocent lives cruelly ended by a man so unsure of his own self that he orders hundreds of little tiny, nursing, babe in arms infants to be MURDERED. Whole means that when we share the miracles God placed in our lives…..a new baby, a marriage restored, a life restored……whole means we also share the “behind the scenes”……the years of fertility treatments and heartbreaking months of no baby, the years of pain that brought a marriage to the brink of extinction……the pain of the separation, and yes, the pain of the healing. Whole means that when we share what God has done in our lives we don’t skim over the hard parts….it means we tell the whole story……for it is only in the whole and entire story that the whole and entire grace, mercy and love of our God can truly be revealed. Whole is the full picture of God’s love…..throughout ALL……… stop

 

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Five Minutes Friday-Quiet

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Today I’m linking up once again with the Five Minute Friday crowd. FMF provides a prompt word every Friday, then we write, for five minutes, no editing, no holds barred, just write whats on our heart. \The rule is a prompt word is provided and we write….for five minutes, no editing, just real and raw.   Then post and go back and encourage the prior post. Today’s word is “Quiet”. The link is: http://katemotaung.com/2016/01/28/five-minute-friday-quiet/

“As often as possible Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places to pray” Luke 5:16 Msg

Quiet, as vital a nourishment for my soul as water is for my body. Just as the body craves water on dry, hot summer days so my soul craves times of quiet. Quiet is the cool refreshment that nourishes my parched soul like a cool spring in the desert. Quiet is life-giving, a vital nutrient that courses through my body; refreshing and invigorating a beaten down soul. When the week is long, life is hard, work is crazy…..quiet is my time of refreshment and rejuvenation. Quiet slows my pulse and quickens God’s spirit within me. Quiet is not lonely, in fact, it is quite the opposite. Quiet opens the door to my heart to remember Jesus is sitting right beside me! Just as water quenches my physical thirst, quiet quenches my spiritual thirst when chaos abounds. It’s a time to reflect in my heart with God—-quiet is beauty on a warm spring day when the leaves are just beginning to peak out from their long winter hibernation. Quiet brings a newness to my soul during the “too much” times that life often brings. Quiet is refreshment, restoration, healing, comforting, protection……it is simply a lifeline to God and is necessary to my very being. Getting away for quiet and prayer may seem selfish; but in the chaos of life I don’t believe there is anything less selfish than allowing God to refresh and restore us so we may have the strength, stamina and love to then go out and serve!! May this week bring you an opportunity for a quiet, sweet, life-giving time of restoration.

 

 

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Five Minute Friday: Time

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Linking up again this week with the Five Minute Friday crowd. We take the prompt word and write for five minutes straight; no editing, no overthinking, ….just five minutes of writing. Don’t forget to go and encourage the writer before you.   The link for FMF is http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/ Today’s prompt word…….Time!   Ready, set, go

Time……limitless and full of limitations. Time……a gift and a curse. Five minutes to pour my heart out to God and into the keyboard. It’s a funny thing, time, and as I sit in my warm living room covered by the quilt sewn years ago by my great-grandmother it becomes even more intriguing. Time sits in our hearts in what one moment, seems to be never-ending stream and in the next moment the blink of an eye.   The past year has been a strange mixture to me of both never-ending and blink-of-an-eye moments. From the time of last winter that appeared to me to be as frozen and long as the brutal Ohio winter that accompanied it to the sweet, sweet moments of spring and summer that seemed to pass by in a flash. Time that is ever changing, ever moving and at times so slow. I imagine my great-grandmother; the time it took to painstakingly hand sew every stitch of this beautiful quilt; she must have thought it took forever; but in a blink of an eye it was covering her great-granddaughter; and one blink later it covers her great-great grandson as he snuggles on her lap. Time is our greatest gift and our greatest fear; it gives hope of future, but reminds us oh so quickly of its passing. This year I will turn 50….. a half century!! I think as we look upon the years of our lives time becomes an even greater gift, an important commodity and yet as it gains in importance we must also realize its relative unimportance. Time is where we are right now; it is the breath we take, the children we cuddle, the dogs we walk, the work we do, the spouse we love, the laughs we share, the French fries we drown in cheese and bacon, the tears we shed. Time is now, time is why we should love more freely, give more generously, feel more real and be more open. If the past year has taught me anything it is this; time always changes, always moves but what never, ever changes about the time is God……whether we acknowledge Him, deny Him, cling to Him, ignore Him, get angry with Him, or praise Him……HE never changes! He is in every moment, quiet, chaotic, grief-filled, joy-filled, mundane or excitement filled; and nothing, no time will ever, ever change that truth. My quilt is old, the material worn, small holes beginning to appear; my God…..He is the same, yesterday, today and always…….may His love forever be the quilt of comfort and love that surrounds us all the moments in time!!

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Five Minute Friday-Alone

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Linking up again this week with the Five Minute Friday crowd. We take the prompt word and write for five minutes straight; no editing, no overthinking, ….just five minutes of writing. Don’t forget to go and encourage the writer before you. The link for FMF is http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/ Today’s prompt word…….Alone! Ready, set, go.

Alone…..for some this word might invoke feelings of depression and desperation. But for me, alone is quite the opposite. Alone is a chance to recharge, alone is quiet, alone is healing, alone is comforting, alone is writing, alone is processing, alone is praying…..alone gives me comfort in a way no person is capable of doing. Yes, I love my family and friends, time with them, noisy, raucous laughter, sweet times of conversation, community prayer……BUT as the deer pants for streams of water, I pant for time alone…..as a way of becoming more of who I am created to be. Alone is soul soothing, it is sitting and receiving an infilling of the power and love of the Holy Spirit. Alone is uninterrupted time with God embedded within an often overly busy life. Alone is not pushing others away, alone is allowing myself to be pulled into the arms of Jesus. Alone is accepting the love within those arms….love that fills me and enables me to go forth from alone and share His love with others. Alone is a necessary nutrient for my soul and when it is in short supply….my soul aches. Alone is a time of God filling that gives me the strength to be a God sharer…..alone is my time to pull up to the gas pump of my Lord and let Him fill me to overflowing….therefore alone, is never truly alone but instead one with Him.

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