Friday, March 17, 2017

Friend: Five Minute Friday

It's fun that this week's prompt is "friend", because instead of FMF standing for "Five Minute Friday", it could just as easily be "Friend Making Friday".
The regular contributors that comment on your post after reading it can become your friends as you pour out your hearts in such a short time. You realize so many "me too" moments, that you feel accepted and surrounded in love and understanding!

And what better reason to meet with some of these friends in real life this summer? Sign up for the retreat! :)

Okay. Prompt is "friend". Go!

"A friend is a friend to the very end."

I memorized that statement in the third grade to help me remember my spelling choice that the "I" truly did belong before the "E". :) Fri-end.

How difficult it was for me, however, to make friends. I felt that I was always friendly, even though I was shy and self-aware. I constantly tried to follow patterns and rules to make sense of the world.
It worked so well for me in Mathematics and English, that I couldn't understand why it began to change in about the 5th grade. I hadn't changed and the boys in my class were still the same, but the girls were different.
All of a sudden, there was a sense of being left out. I see this tying into last week's post on "Abandon" already!
I had a steady friend, though. Her name was Susanna. Suzy for short.
I always remembered her phone number and birthday.
From 3-8th grades, we were friends. I was just another brown-eyed, brown-haired girl in her house (all her siblings matched me save one). She was 3rd in line with two older brothers, a sister just after, and then four more brothers.
My 5th Grade birthday Party. Suzy is on the Far left with glasses. I am on the far right with glasses and pink pants.

Suzy was steadfast. She didn't have highs and lows like so many of the others. She was a thermostat instead of a thermometer. I'm a bit more reactive, myself.

When I contacted her in college, she was home for Christmas and invited me out for the summer. I ended up meeting my husband and a year later, was graduated and married and living in the same town.
She got married three months before me and helped plan my wedding along with hers. We shared many of the decorations and were bridesmaids in each others' weddings. She was my matron of honor!
Suzy's wedding was in June. Note the beautiful periwinkle bridesmaid's dresses? She found 6 for $120 online, and I bought three of them and she bought the other three. We shared many decorations for my September wedding.

My wedding day and Suzy (in the matching bridesmaid dress) as my matron of honor! :)

Two years after I had my youngest daughter, she had her first. My youngest's middle name is Susanna in honor of this dear woman.
She's meek, gentle, humble, and a very hard worker! She made her own business and transferred slowly from employed to self-employed.
Me trying to get Naomi Susanna (my third daughter) out of my belly on Susanna's horse. :) Two years later, Suzy had her own daughter!

God sometimes gifts us with friends that we don't get to spend time with often, but when we do spend time, we pick up right where we left off. Suzy is one of those friends. One of my greatest joys was surprising her on her 30th birthday with a group party at Applebee's. She thought it would just be the two of us. :) Holding her daughter at the hospital was another. I felt like an aunt!

I hope and pray that my daughters will have a steady friend like Suzy. We met in 1989 and I am so blessed that almost 30 years later, we have ended up in the same town and our daughters know each other!


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Abandon: Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday has become a true joy for me. This community is so warm and inviting. I've built relationships through reading and responding to people who have poured out their hearts in just five minutes. I'm ecstatic at the realization that I will finally be meeting some of them in real life this summer! (There are still some tickets available if you think you want to join us in Kansas City, MO this summer at the FMF Retreat!)
Here's Kate's website with all the information.

This week's prompt is "Abandon".


I've been lingering on this word for the last 36 hours, ever since the prompt went live. I could take the word in a positive or a negative sense, or both.

But really? I want it to reflect hope. So here we go.

As a young child, I experienced unintentional abandonment. We were on a cross-country trip from Colorado to Oregon and somehow in the headcount, I was overlooked.
My parents didn't get far before returning to the gas station and I don't have a concrete memory of the incident, but they have told me about it.
To this day, I still have trouble with goodbyes.

My Lord, however, has told me He will never abandon me.
"For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath." Deuteronomy 4:31

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body." 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

I have had several moments in my life since the time I intentionally accepted Jesus as an independent adult that I felt abandoned. The rug was pulled out from under me, and there was nobody there. My friends weren't home or answering their phones. Another more recent time of great trial for me, my husband was away on a business trip and there were no human comforters available.
I felt so ALONE.
But do you know? I wasn't.
God knew that I can tend to rely on the ones I can see and hear, and forget to rely on Him FIRST. For that very reason, I think He orchestrates those trials to line up with the absence of human help in my life.
It is I who often abandon God's side. I run off, doing my own thing, getting excited about what I think I'm seeing ahead of me, not realizing I'm wandering away from Him.
He does not abandon me, but patiently comes alongside me.

So, I leave you with the song that brought me great great comfort in that time of trial.
"I am not alone" by Kari Jobe

(and if you have time to visit SoundCloud, my friend Shannelle Cayetano has an AMAZING cover of that song!)

Shannelle Cayetano on SoundCloud

P.S. Please let me know your linkup number or URL so I can find you and comment back. :)

Friday, February 24, 2017

Slow: Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday is a one-word writing prompt that happens weekly. It's hosted by the elegant Kate Motaung at this link:
I hope you'll consider joining us!!

Tonight's Five Minute Friday post prompt is

The minute I heard the prompt, I knew I'd be pondering James 1:19.
"Be quick to listen, SLOW to speak, and SLOW to become angry."

God is refining me further. He is wanting to get really deep into my heart and soul and make me more like himself.

So, I need to be more SLOW in my speaking. I need to be more SLOW in my anger/reaction to things in life. I need to be a better listener.
The key to resolved conflict is effective communication.
This is as true for my kids and myself as it is for all external relationships we have.

Tonight I type this in my pajamas. It is 8:00pm and I am already ready for bed.
It was a really good day! I ended the day with a chance to be a good/better listener. And I do feel like I tried really hard to listen. When I spoke, I tried to be SLOW to speak.

Still, I was not able to completely communicate what I meant or was thinking and was not able to completely understand what I was hearing.

This means frustration. We want to understand and when we don't? It can be so so very frustrating.

God has a plan in all this, though. He wants us to keep trying. To tear down walls.
I am so very grateful that I heard that phrase in my communication received. I was able to say multiple times, "I agree." "That is what I want."

So I would say that even though I am still frustrated that I don't understand but want to, that steps forward were made. And that is how God is working in my life. He has brought me very far this year.
And He is really speaking to me in my desk calendar from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. If you're looking for a quick devotional for your day, it has been timely for me this month.
No, I don't get anything for promoting it. It has just really helped me.

And, that's five minutes.

This song was what I was singing this morning. It's called "You are my Hiding Place".
It was on the Corrie Ten Boom movie of a similar name.

p.s. if you comment, please tell me your linkup # or your url so I can find your post as well! :)
P.S.S. I am so excited to be attending FMF Retreat! Hope you can too.