Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Linking up with Lisa-Jo and the others at Five Minute Friday. This (well, last) week's prompt is friend.

The very first friend I remember is Susan B. When I was four, we moved in across the street from her family. I remember riding bikes together, having dinner at her house where they served spaghetti with venison in the meat sauce (a surprise to me!) and listening to her Shaun Cassidy album which I wasn't allowed to have (Mama said) but somehow ended up with after an immature middle school fight effectively ended our friendship.

I've learned a lot about friendship since then. I've never had a lot of friends ... that's just not how I'm wired. When I reflect on the friendships I have, the IRL friendships not the lighter-touch Facebook friendships, I'm amazed at the diversity of those I call friend. Some are older than me, some younger. Some have been in my life for decades, others for only a few years. Some have come into my life for a purposeful season and then depart. Some live in my town, some live across the country, some live somewhere in between.

In my 20s, I said I had all the friends I needed, I didn't want any more. I look back now and think of the rich blessings I would have missed if that had come true. I'm glad God didn't pay attention to that bit of nonsense and has been gracious enough to grant me beautiful friendships that help sustain me in so many ways.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday, although for me it's five-minute Monday! This week's word prompt is jump.

If you don't get married until you're 32, that means you attend quite a few weddings as a single lady. It also means you have to endure the agony of being called out with all the other single ladies for the tossing of the bridal bouquet. It's a painful ritual that makes most single ladies grimace, either because they don't want to be single, they love being single or simply because they don't see the point in calling attention to their marital status.

I did a quick search on the tradition of the tossing of the bridal bouquet. The most consistent answer I found was that in the 14th century, people wanted a momento from the wedding and would rip a piece of the bride's dress off. Really? Apparently brides tired of this treatment and looked for alternatives to this "tradition," and thus was born the tossing of the bouquet and the garter.

The only time I remember catching the bouquet was when I was in middle school and the guest book attendant at Patti S's wedding reception (which took place in a fire hall and the fire siren went off in the middle of it. Those are the details I remember.). That's two decades of experience, making me a true veteran of the bridal bouquet toss.

I don't think anyone enjoys "jumping" for the bouquet, except perhaps little girls with fairy tale dreams of Prince Charming . The last two weddings I've attended (both in my own family, so near and dear to the heart), the bouquet has fallen to the ground because no one would jump for it. In one case, a few people jumped away from it. In both cases, a good sport picked it up and the festivities continued.

I think it may be time for a new tradition. Perhaps one that includes calling up all female guests ages two to 10, playing a Disney princess song and letting the little girls hold onto their dreams.

All the single ladies will jump for joy.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Linking up (awfully late this week!) with Lisa-Jo at Five Minute Friday. This week's word is here.

"Wherever you are, be all there."
-Jim Elliot
I struggle with staying here, right where I am, wherever that is, in the moment, focused on what is right before me. My mind races to a hundred things on the to-do list, places I'd rather be, things I'd rather be doing. I have to stop and remind myself to live fully right where I am, when I'm there.
Recently, we were in a meeting on a lovely Sunday afternoon. We were learning about a wonderful ministry and ways we could potentially participate in making a small difference in someone's life. But I was tired, I wanted to be out walking the dogs in the beautiful weather which was making a long overdue appearance, we'd heard much of the presentation before, we were the only ones in the audience due to some no-shows and the speaker's voice was passionate but a bit loud in that small room with just the two of us. The excitement I'd felt for this opportunity wasn't present that day and I wondered why.
As my mind wandered and I worked hard (and successfully) to resist a glance at my watch, I forced myself to "be all there." I was in that room for a reason, even if it was yet unbeknownst to me. I'd made the commitment to be there and needed to strive to be present.
Being completely present is hard but necessary work. Focusing on the task before me or the person across from me brings me to the here and now, right where I am meant to be for that moment in time.

Monday, April 8, 2013


Linking up today with Lisa-Jo at Five Minute Friday. Today's word prompt is after.

So I've procrasinated again this week with my FMF assignment. I read Lisa-Jo's entry on Friday, which I don't like to do before I write. I don't want anyone else's writing to start me down a particular path and as I suspected, that's what happened. I started thinking about after Pam. After the phone call, after the months of treatment, after hospice. I rejoice greatly in her eternal joyfully ever after, but I didn't want to copy Lisa-Jo's idea, and there's way too much after to sort through and write about with regard to Pam. It just wasn't sticking as an entry this week. Yet after wasn't prompting me to write in any other particular direction.

However, I am committed to writing for Five Minute Friday every week in 2013. I don't set many goals for myself but this is one I want to do. It's like when I committed to doing Jillian Michaels' tortuous 30-Day Shred just to prove I could do it 30 days in a row. Well, I did and I don't think I've done it since. It lurks in the drawer with the other neglected exercise videos. Hopefully that won't happen with my writing.

I want to write more. I want to share my stories and I think the best way to do that for me is to write them down. When I stop and think about all B and I have experienced, individually and together, I know that God intends for us to use the after of those stories for His glory. I don't know what that looks like, but I do know He is in the before, the during and the after.

Monday, April 1, 2013


Linking up with Lisa-Jo and Five Minute Friday. Today's (well, last Friday's) word prompt is broken.

So, it's Monday and I'm still procrastinating writing about broken. The word didn't move me on Friday or Saturday, and I didn't want to write about anything being broken on Easter Sunday. Even though the circumstances of our Easter Sunday seemed a little broken -- a husband waking up in the middle of the night with the flu, and cold and dreary weather outside when all I want for Easter Sunday (and every day, if I'm honest) is the sun warming my skin and lifting my mood.

And now on Monday, I'm still not feeling the word broken. The first story that comes to mind is when my bike handlebars broke last summer and I crashed on the bike path practically in front of the hospital (which fortunately I didn't need to visit).

I have relationships that are broken, nails that are broken, a heart that is broken in several places. But the joy of Easter Sunday? The message from the pulpit yesterday? The story of Calvary? It doesn't matter what's broken: God is GREATER. He is greater than my past, than sin, than death, than illness, than hopelessness ... than anything I have that is or will ever be broken.

God is greater than what is broken. Love wins.