Friday, May 3, 2019

Opportunity: Five Minute Friday

I'm so excited to make my first FMF contribution of 2019.
I love this community and have been really living in a new year with my walk with Christ this school year.
My word transformed from "All" in November. We took a family trip to the coast and the word "Still" became my new word. That was confirmed in December.
Exodus 14:14 "The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still."

This week's prompt at Five Minute Friday is "Opportunity."
Here we go:

When God gives you a dream, it may start out as a small idea that you're not even sure you'd entertain again. When the dream continues to visit you, something begins to stir and the dream becomes a passion. When you get the opportunity to take that dream and turn it into a reality, that opportunity from God becomes a direct graft into the vine. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

In March I got the opportunity to go with our church to La Oscurana in Guatemala. I had a dream two years ago to bring instruments to the children so they would be able to worship even if the music in their heads wasn't the same as the sounds they produced when they sang. God helped me every step of the way, and His grace removed all barriers.

The children were in school when we visited and I was allowed to teach during their regular school day. I had 12 and 13 year old boys who in the afternoons ignored the soccer balls we brought and instead sat with me in the breezeway, hungry for more music instruction.
One student, even on my final day, ignored the pinata and the fresh watermelon, desperate to master the "Father I Adore You" round I had written on a notecard.

My five minutes is up, but my story is only beginning. What God allowed me to be a part of in that little village has made me feel a new spark of life in my heart. I was born to do this. I was born to worship God, and to share that worship with new faces, in a new language.
I have no greater joy than when I work with children and sing about our Jesus!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Rush: Five Minute Friday

It has been a crazy long time since I have participated in the linkup. (Blogger actually emailed me today to see if I still wanted to receive comment notifications on my blogs. That's a warning sign.)
The last FMF prompt I wrote on was May 6.
Since then, I have been down and am now back at level, working on getting back up.
God has been doing so much in me, carrying it on to completion and it's still a work in progress, but mostly He has been working out that word "Rest" that I received at last year's Five Minute Friday retreat.
As I prayed all summer about this year's oneword365 (google it. I do mine Sept-Aug instead of Jan-Dec), I had lots of ideas, but the consistent one was the word "All". As in "you can have it all" (google that song!), "I surrender all", and most recently, Jennifer Dukes Lee's book, "It's All Under Control".
Now that the back story has caught you up to date, it's time for this week's Five Minute Friday prompt and linkup.
Here's the link to Five Minute Friday.
The prompt this week is "Rush".

The first thing I thought of when I saw that prompt was the song "Breathe" that starts out really fast and then slows down on the Chorus. "Breathe, just breathe, Come and rest at my feet. And be, just be,
Chaos calls but all you really need
is to just breathe." (Breathe, by Jonny Diaz)

I have been rushing so much. Rushing my kids out the door, constantly feeling the pressure of having to be somewhere on time has led to a high level of stress. Kids operate at a slower pace when they are in the primary grades. My oldest is usually ready on time and is entering middle school.
It's funny that I can't even remember what life was like when she was the one entering second grade and her youngest sister was still in preschool. That was my first year as a working mom.


Martha was in a rush. Mary was not.
Somehow I crossed that line of "being busy means I am balanced and under control."
Instead, I'm overwhelmed by all the wonderful things I am doing for God, trying to make sure He really loves me.
Friends, that's not Jesus and that's not Grace. That's insecurity and Satan's spinning all the plates you're holding.
I am so encouraged to be reading "It's All Under Control." It officially releases September 18, but you can pre-order it now and get the first three chapters instantly in digital form. You also get a couple other freebies.
This book will help you to quiet yourself, to slow down, to have the "light and easy" yoke that He offers us instead of all the extra hitches we've put on ourselves.
If you're like me and tired of feeling the rush, maybe this book will also help you.
From "It's All Under Control" by Jennifer Dukes Lee

It's so great to be back with all of my Five Minute Friday friends! I've missed you and really needed to plug in this summer, but I was in a deep retreat, and it's finally time to surface again. :)


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Adapt: Five Minute Friday

This week's prompt was Adapt. I wasn't sure if I'd chime in, but after my Sunday service, I'm all pumped up and excited to share with you!! Here's the Five Minute Friday link-up.

Life has been eventful as of late. It began a couple weeks ago with a students vs staff volleyball game. I'd had an iced blended "Dutch Freeze" from Dutch Brothers coffee and was feeling jittery and adrenaline rushed and I had shaky hands.

Two days later, I had some similar adrenaline rushing without physical activity. I began to have pain down my left tricep from shoulder to elbow, similar to a tetanus shot. Monday I was so in pain in my left upper back that I was unable to sleep well, and Tuesday's last minute chiropractic visit revealed a rib "out to China".
Tuesday evening, however, I was still just not myself and finally went in to the doctor (at 8pm that means ER).
My heart was okay, no heart attack, but my blood pressure was 148/104.
It remained high a week later when I had stopped taking my occasional sudafed and anything else suspect to causing this ailment.
I even went without coffee on Monday to give accuracy and my blood pressure was still 136/100.
So, I was put on blood pressure medicine.
Yesterday at Walmart, I didn't rest much before using their machine by the pharmacy, which gave me a pulse reading of 102, but my BP was 114/79. (My normal range again!)

During this ordeal, I was gifted with a chinese massage at a local place (before the follow up visit) and the verse John 14:27 was given to me.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

I have also ruminated on John 14:1
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well."

Since then, every verse with the word "heart" has leapt at me.

Today at church it was Psalm 27:14.
(Here are my doodles)

Break it apart.

Here's my adapted version.

"Eagerly anticipate the Lord; be steady, unwavering, and confident, have hope and be encouraged as you eagerly anticipate the Lord."
(Waiting is not a punishment like waiting in line.)

That's where I am at and the timer has gone off.

To conclude, I feel that God is just wrestling control from my hands again. :) In His loving, but commanding way, He is saying, "You can eat right and exercise and commit your energy to fitness, but you are not in control of your body and health. You need to trust me in sickness and in health, for richer and poorer, for better and for worse. (yes, marriage vows.)
Do I praise Him when I'm up AND when I'm down? Better yet, do I trust His plans over my own?


My anthem lately is "Tremble" by Mosaic. I'm sharing it again. The first lyric is "peace" and it's been a steadying one for me.