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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Goodbye 2014

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Farewell 2014

A New Year, a clean slate……ready to be filled with joy and pain, good and bad, smiles and tears.   But ready more than anything to be filled with the Presence of my everlasting and ever loving Father.  A New Year, I think requires a look back at the old year while at the same time straining and keeping our eyes on what lies ahead.

Today, thanks to some writing I have been doing over the past year and a half I had a unique opportunity to look back at what I wrote to welcome in 2014.  I was literally struck by the writing…….it centered around a word that proved, in retrospect, to be a near perfect description of different ways in which 2014 played out.  The word was dynasty and last year as I puzzled over why God would give me such a different word I grasped hold of one definition of dynasty: “a family/team that is powerful or successful over a long period”.   I knew, right then and there I wanted to be part of God’s dynasty and God spoke to me through some odd insights in to four animals:  a duck, a moose, a lion and a goose.  I wrote these words about a duck “ducks are interesting creatures….on water they move gracefully and freely, but on land they seem to waddle to their own offbeat tune.  Their quacking increases in intensity when they feel threatened yet seem to sing almost a lulling tune when paddling peacefully alongside their mate”.  Oh what truth rang to this, I can see those days when I kept my eyes on Him, focused on walking in the strength and love of His Spirit I was able to move gracefully and freely but when my focus wandered away the days became awkward and difficult.  This past year I experienced more healing and spiritual growth than I had ever dreamed possible.  I wanted desperately to be part of His dynasty and through that healing God has began laying out more and more ways for me to share His love with others…….through friendships, through people He has brought into my path and even………to my amazement through preaching His Word on occasion!!! 

Last year I wrote maybe God wanted me to be a moose in His dynasty; to live more by faith and less by sight; to learn to peacefully exist in whatever circumstances are before me.  No, I definitely have not been a perfect moose, but 2014 taught me lessons about slowing down, moving in His seasons and allowing Him to direct the seasons rather than me trying to constantly take control.  I have had some amazing moments of soaking in His Presence, just allowing Him to fill me rather than fighting endlessly toward an unknown goal.  Sometimes just soaking in His presence is all we are capable of, and He honors that and fulfills it in ways we never realized we needed. 

As a lion in God’s dynasty in 2014 I was humbly honored to be a part of faith community that has grown spiritually by leaps and bounds.  When the leader of our community was hit with a very difficult season this community of faith came together as a pride…..lifting each other up in faith and spirituality and at times literally roaring with amazing, Spirit filled and heart wrenching prayer for all those in our community who were in desperate need.  It was an honor and a privilege to watch this “pride”, this faith community rise spiritually to the occasion and support their leader in way that honored our Heavenly Father.

Finally, last year, God asked me to be a goose in His dynasty; an animal with strong values, loyalty and a willingness to care for and protect those who are physically or even spiritually injured.  A goose will guard an injured family member until he/she recovers or dies.  I cannot even describe how being a goose has played out this year.  As two members of our close knit community of friends  faced overwhelming challenges we have literally stood guard over them; covering them in prayer, filling in for them when they simply could not face another person, and given our own shoulders to their buckets of tears all the while wading through our own grief within these situations.   These five friends have bowed shoulder to shoulder to our Father  in the fiercest love, loyalty, caring and protection I have ever been witness to……and we have survived; even thrived.  

The challenges of 2014 are far from over; these friends and others will continue to need each of these animals in their corner………but what being a part of His dynasty (family successful over a long period of time) has taught me will never, ever be forgotten.   Not only will it never be forgotten…..but as He promises in His Word He has used, is using  and will be using ALL of this to His Glory.  2014 was PROOF BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT of this promise:

And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.  For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified”.  Romans 8: 28-30 NIV

Thank you Father……for calling me to be part of your dynasty for 2014 and may I forever honor and glorify you in all circumstances!  Amen

This goodbye 2014 post is lovingly dedicated to the gatherers of Grace Outrageous Ministry (GO Ministry) and to the five most amazing friends in the world…….Tress, Beverly, Sharon, Dawn and Dawn….I love you all!!! 

MOST IMPORTANTLY IT IS DEDICATED TO HIM WHO HAS MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE……MY LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST!!! 

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