Five Minute Friday: Present

“This is a completely thankless thing to say but the interruptions around this place drive me absolutely crazy”, I complain to my boss.

With a frazzled expression, she nods in agreement.

We both know it’s and important part of our day, an imperative piece of our business.  But my goodness.  Sometimes, it’s just hard to stop the forward motion of progress.

I wake each day with a to do list.  Carefully planned.  Well thought out. A little whitespace for error.

And I really only feel good about the day when every item on my list is crossed off.

But lately, I have been challenged to live a little differently.  I have asked God to carry the whitespace of my day in his hands.  I have asked him to condition me for flexibility.

Only then can I appreciate interruption.  Only then can I be in the moment with the person who has crossed my path.  Only then can I live in the present moment, trusting God to cover every other detail of my life.

Lord, today, I commit the whitespace of my day only to you.

 

This post is linked up with Kate Motaung’s five minute friday free write. You can find more like this at Kate Moutaung‘s , or you can take a stab at it yourself. See you there!

 

Five Minute Friday: Learn

“School is a cuss word”, my feisty 7 year old declares as we approach her registration line. “Ugh. I just don’t wanna go.”

Embarrassed, I lean down to correct her.  This behavior is not acceptable, nor is it in line with her past opinion of academic education. She loves school.  She loves learning new ideas.  Exploring new books and meeting new friends.  She excels.

I think of another mom our mission team met in Mexico last summer.  As I fretted about being gone during school registration, leaving the task to my hubby, this mom had yet to successfully register her son in their local school system. He should have been in third grade.  But because she could not produce the appropriate paperwork, or pay a lawyer $5000 to advocate, her son had yet to complete kindergarten.

“School is a blessing”, I say to my daughter.  “You are so lucky to be in a country that allows free education.  Allows you to dream.  To learn. To be whatever you want to be. Be thankful for school. Be thankful for the chance to learn and to grow. Be thankful that someday, you can be whoever you want to be.  Be thankful for the blessed gift of learning.”

And to all who educate, Thank You for investing into the lives of our children. May their potential be limitless.

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This post is linked up with Kate Motaung’s five minute friday free write. You can find more like this at Kate Moutaung‘s , or you can take a stab at it yourself. See you there.

 

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Here

I’m here, Lord.

Right where you have called me to be.  But in the midst of being here, I’m confused. Things just aren’t working out to my expectation. I’m not getting it.  I’m doing everything you have called me to do yet I feel like I’m standing in the midst of a wind storm holding tightly to the strings of control.

I’m watching those very strings unravel.

Is this how Abraham felt as he tied the ropes around his beloved son Isaac on the altar?

Or the confused Samaritan woman sitting at the well?

Jesus, beaten and battered, drawing breath on the cross in his last moments of humanity?

God, your way doesn’t make sense to me here. But you see the entire picture, not just the snapshot of emotion in the moment. So for that, I thank you.  Lord, I praise you for what is yet to come.

Uphold me as I continue to stand right here.

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This post is linked up with Kate Motaung’s five minute friday free write. You can find more like this at Kate Moutaung‘s , or you can take a stab at it yourself. See you there.

Five Minute Friday: Ten

Ten.  It’s the score of perfection.

My performance is flawless.

It’s what I strive for.

A status.  A quick way to show the world, and my closest competitors,  I have it all together when I train and when I compete.

But what happens when my score falls below the mark?

I stoop and stew.

I compare.

I pick up my crutches of guilt and shame.

I may even pout for a bit.

But then I remember I am not alone.  I remember the power of Christ living strong within me.  A power made perfect in my weakness & imperfections.

No matter how big the divide, Jesus

“Call on me.  Lean in to me”, he reminds me with a still, small voice.

My Savior.  My Redeemer. My Rescuer.

My perfect ten.

Every. Single. Time.

 

 

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This post is linked up with Kate Motaung’s five minute friday free write. You can find more like this at Kate Moutaung‘s , or you can take a stab at it yourself. See you there.

 

Five Minute Friday: Dreams

“Last night I had a dream.” I say.

“So did Martin Luther King and look how that turned out for him”, is the reply I receive.

Ever had this response?

I’ve always been a big dreamer.  But my people are firmly planted.  I’ve been raised to appreciate what I have.

Employment.

A home in which to reside.

Financial income to pay the bills.

And I do appreciate them.

Yet sometimes, secretly, these things aren’t good enough for me.  I want more.  I want it all. Most of the time, I’m not afraid to go after the dreams of my heart.

But sometimes I am.

Mostly when chasing my dreams would directly affect the people I am responsible to.  Namely, my husband and kids.

I find myself living in a tension of chasing what I want most in life while seeking contentment in THIS season.  Right here, right now.  Taking baby steps toward the purposes of God planted in my heart long ago while keeping my nose to the grindstone so my kids might not have to fight so hard to have what they want from life.

I long to be a risk taker but my current role is responsibility.

I long to be free to do as I wish and please but realize God is molding and shaping right here.

I long to have the dreams of my heart answered, but recognize that God’s work is not yet complete in me.  There is still more to do to become ready.

So while I wait, I pray for contentment.  I pray for the ability to recognize God at work in me.  I pray for peace in this season while I dream of plans I have yet to realize.

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.

Galatians 6:4,5 (msg)

 

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This post is linked up with Kate Motaung’s five minute friday free write. You can find more like this at Kate Moutaung‘s , or you can take a stab at it yourself. See you there.

Five Minute Friday: Fear

God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

My diva wonder dog, Zoe, has been an incredible addition to our family.  We adopted her from the animal shelter the week of Christmas as a gift to our kids.  They had been asking for a dog forever.  I hesitated because I knew exactly how much work an animal would add to our busy lives.

My husband brought her home, bathed her and she promptly crashed belly up on the couch with my kids watching a Dr. Who marathon.  A perfect pup.

But our perfect pup isn’t always so perfect.  She has unparalled fear and anxiety when she is left home alone or a thunderstorm occurs.  The thunderstorm fear is a bit of an issue as we live right next to a train building yard and she cannot always discern the difference.

Her muscles quiver and quake.  She paces and pants through the house.  Her body temp rises.  And, when she is alone, mass destruction ensues.  Since mother’s day, she has jumped out of every screen in our house, eaten a dog cage, my living room and bathroom curtains, bathroom trim, bath towel drawer, the bath towels in it and more Walmart bags, cotton balls and Q-tips than I can count.

She is perfectly safe in her environment.  She has everything she needs in our home.  Unconditional love (obviously), food, water, shelter and comfortable conditions.  But her fear overcomes her and drives her to actions that are not a normal part of her character.  My diva wonder dog transforms into the incredible hulk with no explanation.

Then I think of the feelings  fear and anxiety drive in me.  Fear prevents me from leaving my comfort zone.  What if I fail in this new adventure?  Even worse, what does it mean if I succeed?  So I stay.  I never move forward.  I never dip my toes in water. I never know the fullness life has for me to experience because I let fear beckon me to stay in what I know.  My fear causes me to hold those closest in my life back from experiencing their lives to the fullest.

Just this week, fear caused the deaths of 9 innocent people in a church prayer group.  Fear has cost a 22 year old man the rest of his life behind bars.

What irrational action is fear leading you in today & who might be harmed as a result?

What is fear keeping you from becoming ?

My five minutes are long past gone and a storm is rolling in.  Let diva wonder dog duty begin.

 

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This post is linked up with Kate Motaung’s five minute friday free write.  You can find more like this at Kate Moutaung‘s , or you can take a stab at it yourself.  See you there.

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Gift

It’s said that it is better to give than to receive.  I don’t know that I always buy into that.  I LOVE to receive gifts.  Gifts that I ask for.  Gifts that surprise me.  But I don’t like the disappointment that goes along with not receiving a gift I was expecting.  Especially a gift that I really can’t use.  Even more disappointing is giving the gift that the giver can’t or won’t use.

I usually put a lot of thought and effort into the gifts that I give.  I think of what that person is going through.  I think of the little things I like to receive as a pick me up.  I like to give goodies that are unique and unlike anything anyone else will think of.  But then the moment comes when they open the box, view the gift and attempt enthusiasm.  Such a bummer.  It makes we want to take it back and try again.

I wonder if that is how God feels when I don’t use the gifts he gives to me.  I wonder if that is how God feels when he see’s me as his unique creation and I am stuck in the trap of comparison.  I wonder if God is disappointed about all the beautiful gifts he has given me that I have looked at and stuck up on a shelf.  I wonder if it’s time to take those things back down and take another look instead.

God, may I be thankful for every gift you have given me.  Even when it is not what I want or even expected.

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If you happened upon this entry, it is part of the #fmfparty that happens each week at Kate Motaung’s place. A prompt is given each week on twitter which is followed by a five free write and a link up! To take part, or just read more like this, visit katemotaung.com.

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Follow

The word follow always draws me back to a line my pastor uses often.

“We should be following Jesus so closely that we can tell others, go ahead, follow me.  I’m following him.”

The truth is, I don’t always follow Christ that closely.  I have a little bit of people pleaser that lives inside of me that longs to come out.  She is like a hidden beast, longing for love and recognition.  And in her selfishness, I lose my focus on the one whom I am following.

I get lost.  I question if I am ever going to get “it” right.  Whatever “it” is.  And then, I refocus.  I see God waiting for me to get my act together so I can get on path with him once more.

Following Christ closely is becoming the number on priority of my life. In blogging, I have been gifted with influence.  In my real life, my talk and my walk better match closely.  I can only do that when I am following closely behind my savior.

Honestly, I need to follow him as closely as my diva wonder dog follows me.  She hears me rise and she immediately comes to see where I am and what I am doing.  I get up from the couch to throw something away.  She’s right behind me.  Her nose is pressed to the window when I return home from work at night.

If only I would learn to follow Jesus with the same tenacity.

 

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If you happened along this post, it is my first entry with the Five Minute Friday girls.  Each week, a prompt is given and a five minute free write is submitted.  Fun stuff for a blogger geek like me!  To become a part of the party just join me at Kate Motaung’s blog.