Category Archives: Blog

Deep ~ Five Minute Friday

I’m joining in (a little late) with the other great writers over at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com  writing to the prompt “deep”.  Hope you’ll visit and see what “deep” subjects they’ve written about! Here I go…….

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2:6-7 (NIV) / Pixabay

In Too Deep

I remember an unexpected storm back when I was a teenager where it snowed and snowed and snowed some more. It continued until the drifts became as high as the windows on our house! When we finally took the plunge (literally) and headed out, we didn’t get far. It took only a few attempted steps to realize that the deep snow made it very difficult to move! As hard as it was for us, it was even worse for our little dog, Pixie.  Unaware of what awaited her, she dashed through the open door as usual only to immediately disappear from sight. As you might have guessed, her weight was too much for the soft, powdery snow and so she found herself unexpectedly submerged. Trapped in the hole of her own making, Pix was unable to see her way** out, powerless to move, and so she lifted her face to the sky and let out a forlorn cry. Things hadn’t gone as planned! She found herself in peril of being buried and all she wanted was to go back to the shelter of our house.

So, here we are, entering into the Christmas Season: a time of preparation, hope, and peace.  Wait! What? Peace? Oh, we set out as usual with the idea that this year we’ll cut back and focus more on the birth of Jesus, but then comes the blizzard of activities piling one upon the other upon the other, until we’re in too deep finding ourselves unexpectedly snowed under. And Baby Jesus? We lose sight of Him and are in peril of missing out on the joy of our Savior’s birth! It makes me think about those innkeepers long ago. They too were in the midst of a flurry of activity; unaware of what awaited them on the other side of the door when Joseph knocked or of the Miracle they crowded out of their lives.

What can we do to break free from the holiday trap we find ourselves in?  Maybe these simple things can help us see our way and move in the right direction:

*Pray ~ Making time in our busy day for prayer helps redirect our focus from our plan to His and reconnects us to the only Power we need to help dig our way out of all that weighs us down.

*Listen to the traditional Carols ~ You know I love music and Christmas songs rank high on my list but when I feel overwhelmed with expectations or begin to feel drained I turn on those old wonderful standards like “Silent Night”, “Away in a Manger”, and “Joy to the World” and let the story of Jesus’ birth sink into my soul as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.

*Read the original Christmas story found in Luke 2 aloud from the Bible. It doesn’t matter if anyone other than you is listening or not.  Allow the words to speak to your heart and lift your spirit.

*Choose people over things ~ I am a perfectionist extraordinaire from way back, so I know the pressure we can put on ourselves to provide the “perfect” Christmas for everyone but I’m here to tell you, that mindset will sink us quickly into a deep hole of our own making. Spending time with those we love IS the perfect Christmas gift and no fancy wrapping is required!

It’s December 4th. Has the avalanche of “to do’s” begun? Are you already in too deep? I hope not, but if you are, like Pixie, lift your face to sky and cry out to the One who can help lead you back, not to the house, but to the shelter of a stable and the miracle of the Babe in the manger.

I would love for you to share ways that you use to keep Christmas from losing its true meaning and becoming overwhelming. Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments! I need all the help I can get!

 

 

Burden ~ Five Minute Friday

It’s that time again! Another prompt from http://www.fiveminutefriday.com Today’s prompt is “Burden”.  I’m not sure but I think a visit with a beautiful donkey named Liza Jane set me on the path to today’s post.  Of course, it took me more than five minutes which is par for the course. If you’d like to read more about our burdens, just click on over.  You won’t be disappointed.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV) / Pixabay

Burdens are Lifted

There once was a little donkey
Who’s burden was the weight,
Of one: young, pregnant, and weary
Looking for rest for it was late.

With each step he did carry
The girl into the night.
When finally, a stable
Up ahead came into sight.

The donkey’s burden was lifted
As she slid down from her place.
Little did the donkey know
He would gaze at the Savior’s face.

There once was a little donkey
Who’s burden was a man.
Destined for this journey
Because it was God’s plan.

With each step he did carry
The man who they called King;
The people laid their cloaks down
And with praise they did sing.

The donkey’s burden was lifted
As the man slid from His place.
Little did the donkey know
He would witness God’s loving grace.

We’re like those little donkeys
With burdens, we must bear.
Step by step we travel
Beneath a load of care.

Laden, tired, weary, and worn
We struggle on our own.
Why is it that we always forget
We’re not in this alone?

Yes, our burdens they were lifted,
As Jesus left His place on high.
They were nailed with Him onto the cross
Where He died for you and I.

A baby, a man, a Savior
Once on a little donkey did ride.
His yoke is easy. His burden light.
And in His rest, we can truly abide.

 

 

What Do You Have on Repeat? ~ Five Minute Friday

It’s Five Minute Friday! Today’s prompt is “repeat”. Want to know what others have been inspired to write about the prompt? Head on over to http://www.fiveminutefriday.com And here’s a novel idea I’m actually going to try and stick to the five minute limit!  Haha!  We’ll see how that goes!

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (NASB)

What Do You Have on Repeat?

Music reaches me like nothing else.  There are times that a message in a song brings God’s word to life and touches me so deeply that I set my iPod on repeat so I can listen to it again and again until the words saturate my parched soul and fill the cracks in my broken heart. Words like ” You give me everything”, “Fear is a liar”, “Come to the table”, and “You wash me in mercy, I am clean” are just a few of my favorites I’m replaying right now.

The problem is that these uplifting words are not the only thing repeating over and over in my head.  Competing with those inspiring lines for my attention is that voice.  You know the one: it points out all my mistakes, weaknesses, and insecurities. And, it doesn’t just mention them once or twice, but repeats them again and again and again.  The worst part?**  I listen. And all too soon my soul becomes thirsty and my heart needs repair once more.  Maybe you know this struggle, too.

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8 (NASB)

I don’t know about you, but changing the tune on my iPod is a lot easier than changing it in my head! I’m not able to do it on my own; believe me I’ve tried!  What if we began to measure what we’re listening to by the standards above? If that voice is repeating lines that are not pure, lovely, and worthy of praise then it’s time we hit stop and play a new song. Not just any old song but let’s dwell in one with words like “Amazing grace how sweet the sound”, “I know Who holds tomorrow”, and “Jesus loves me this I know”( just a few more of my favorites). I’m hitting the repeat button right now!

Close ~ Day 31 ~ 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

 


This post is part of the October 2018 Edition of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. I hope you”ll join me in seeing where each prompt takes us.
P.S. Just so you know, I’m finding it difficult to stick to five minutes (**) and it may take me longer than the 31 days to finish all the prompts. Not easy for this rule follower!
You can read more 31 Days entries at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com

Time to Close

Well, here we are: October’s gone and it’s time to end this year’s 31 Days of Free Writes.  I’m disappointed that I didn’t reach my goal of writing for all 31 prompts. Life got busy but there’s always next year! Anyway, decided to close with my “Four Somethings” for October:

Something Loved

October was full of family and I LOVE when we can spend time together!  Traveled to Washington D.C. for a girl’s weekend. My niece was the perfect tour guide and I didn’t have to worry about a thing (except crossing the streets…those D.C. drivers are something!) My mom then came for a visit.  She left the north but experienced her first snow of the year here in the south! We had a wonderful time! Living apart is hard so spending time together is something I cherish and as a bonus I was able to have extra time with my sisters as we met to “hand mom off” to one another.  Ended the month with a little time out and about with my husband as we explored the beauty close to home.  Overall, it was a fun-filled, love-filled, busy month!

Something Said

Trick or Treaters are a joy to me!  I enjoy seeing the costumes but I especially like to watch the process in which the children decide which treats they want.  Some are very specific and some just grab and go. This year a small group of ghosts and goblins approached my porch and I heard, “I told you Miss Cindy lived here!” The next thing I know I was being hugged by a cute monster who said, “Miss Cindy, I’ve missed you!” Talk about a melted heart!  This ole retired teacher couldn’t have gotten a better treat!

Something Learned

Being  in Washington D.C. was eye opening for this country gal!  Fast paced city life is out of my comfort zone but I really enjoyed experiencing it through the eyes of one who lives and loves it! The sights, sounds, and tastes were new and exciting (for a few days)! While there, I learned the art of using an Uber! Yes, had my first Uber ride and I must say the whole process is quite amazing! Some drivers chit chat.  Some yell at other drivers. Some offer you bottled water. Some vehicles smell lovely and others not so much.  My favorite ride was with a gentleman who had a beautiful, large vehicle. Upon arrival, he got out, opened the doors, and helped us in! It felt quite special traveling like that!  Not sure I could handle Uber on my own yet,  but I’m glad to say it’s something I’ve done!

Something Read

“Freedom is not Free.” I read these powerful words at the Korean War Memorial. They literally stopped me in my tracks.  Yes, I’ve read them before but never while standing in the midst of those who’ve paid the price for my freedom.  While touring the memorials, many Veterans of the wars were standing alongside me.  I could hear some of them telling their family members stories the statues evoked.  Some shared memories with others who’d served with them. Some stood in silence.  And there were tears.  Including mine.  It’s way too easy to take our freedoms in this country for granted.  We even sometimes abuse them!  It was a wake up call for me and I hope this will be for you! We owe a great debt to those men and women who are sacrificing and have sacrificed so much, sometimes everything, to protect our right to freely do, believe, and say whatever we want because Freedom. Is. Not. Free.

 

I love this idea of “Four Somethings”! If you enjoy it too, you can read more at  http://www.heathergerwing.com I encourage you to think about what YOU have loved, heard, learned, and read this month that has touched you in a meaningful way.  Feel free to share here in the comments.  I’d love to hear them!

Whole ~ Day 27 ~ 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes


This post is part of the October 2018 Edition of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. I hope you”ll join me in seeing where each prompt takes us.
P.S. Just so you know, I’m finding it difficult to stick to five minutes (**) and it may take me longer than the 31 days to finish all the prompts. Not easy for this rule follower!
You can read more 31 Days entries at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com

A Whole New Me

“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT) / Pixabay

A glance in the mirror
And what do I see?
Not who I pictured
But a whole new me!

When did those wrinkles
Appear on my face?
My girlish figure?
Gone, without a trace. Continue reading

Moment ~ Day 26 ~ 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

 

 

 This post is part of the October 2018 Edition of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. I hope you”ll join me in seeing where each prompt takes us.
P.S. Just so you know, I’m finding it difficult to stick to five minutes (**) and it may take me longer than the 31 days to finish all the prompts. Not easy for this rule follower!
You can read more 31 Days entries at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com

Take a Moment

“But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in a blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And those who are living will also be transformed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 / Pixabay

Take a moment. Close your eyes, quiet your mind and focus your thoughts on all that is important to you.  A tragedy has once again reminded me that it only takes a moment, a split second, for our lives and all those things we just thought of, to forever change. We’re pretty good at moving through our days as if we are invincible, but then in an instant the doctor stops us in our tracks with an unwanted diagnosis, we lose our balance when someone we trust betrays us, we sink in despair when our finances fail, or we’re shattered when a loved one is taken away too soon. The truth is, there are so many painful scenarios that in a blink of an eye turn our lives upside down, break our hearts wide open, and cause our souls  to cry out for relief.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.  Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT) Continue reading

Pause ~ Day 17 ~ 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

  This post is part of the October 2018 Edition of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. I hope you”ll join me in seeing where each prompt takes us.
P.S. Just so you know, I’m finding it difficult to stick to five minutes (**) and it may take me longer than the 31 days to finish all the prompts. Not easy for this rule follower!
You can read more 31 Days entries at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com

Pause

“You, LORD are my shepherd. I will never be in need. You let me rest in fields of green grass. You lead me to streams of peaceful water, and you refresh my life.” Psalm 23:1-3a (CEV)

I love when things come together like this!  Today’s prompt is “pause” and that’s exactly what I plan to do!  I’m taking a break from the 31 day challenge to spend a week with my mom who is coming for a visit.

Writing is something I love to do, but I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself and am pretty darned critical too.  A pause from it will do me good.  That’s true for all of us!  Life. Is. Busy. We can feel overwhelmed and under appreciated.  It wears on a person.  Hitting the pause button every now and then, even on things we enjoy, is vital.

Jesus teaches us this through His example:

“News about Jesus kept spreading.  Large crowds came to listen to him teach and to be healed of their diseases.  But Jesus would often go to some place where he could be alone and pray.”
Luke 5:15-16(CEV)

Time for renewal and prayer was necessary for Jesus and it’s important for us too.  I want to thank you for your support in the past days of this writing adventure.  It means more to me than you can know.  I plan to pick back up on Day 25 so hope to see you then.  In the mean time, think about what you may need to hit the pause button on and do it!  A little quiet time will do us all good!

 

Pray ~ Day 16 ~ 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes


This post is part of the October 2018 Edition of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. I hope you”ll join me in seeing where each prompt takes us.
P.S. Just so you know, I’m finding it difficult to stick to five minutes (**) and it may take me longer than the 31 days to finish all the prompts. Not easy for this rule follower!
You can read more 31 Days entries at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com

“Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.’ ” Matthew 12:25 (NIV) / Pixabay

Pray

What a whirlwind weekend I just had! From start to finish it was full of new experiences, sights, sounds, and flavors! My visit to Washington D.C. created memories I’ll treasure for a life time!

To be honest, I was surprised by the overwhelming emotion I felt standing in the shadow of the Washington Monument and at the foot of Abraham Lincoln. Tears filled my eyes as I observed and listened to the Veterans touring the World War II and Korean War Memorials alongside me. Seeing the White House and the Capital filled me with a sense of awe to think of all who’d served there and the accomplishments they’ve made.  Being in our Nation’s Capital stirred something up within me. ** Pride? Hope? Gratitude? A combination of all three and so much more. Continue reading

Ask ~ Day 14 ~ 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

 

This post is part of the October 2018 Edition of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. I hope you”ll join me in seeing where each prompt takes us.
P.S. Just so you know, I’m finding it difficult to stick to five minutes (**) and it may take me longer than the 31 days to finish all the prompts. Not easy for this rule follower!
You can read more 31 Days entries at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said Matthew 4:19a (NIV) / Pixabay

He’s Asking

What is it that you do
When Jesus calls your name,
To step in deeper waters
Where you’ll never be the same?

What is it that you do
When He knocks at your door
Beckoning to enter in
And change your life once more? Continue reading

Talk ~ Day 13 ~ 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes


This post is part of the October 2018 Edition of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. I hope you”ll join me in seeing where each prompt takes us.
P.S. Just so you know, I’m finding it difficult to stick to five minutes (**) and it may take me longer than the 31 days to finish all the prompts. Not easy for this rule follower!
You can read more 31 Days entries at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com

“Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Psalm 141:3 (ESV) / Pixabay

Talk….Or Not

I’m a talker. I love to tell stories, to think aloud.  Several years ago I was riding in the car with my husband and father-in-law; chatting as I normally do when it was suggested that I couldn’t be quiet for a designated period of time.  What? The gauntlet was thrown and the challenge accepted! Not only did I proclaim I could be silent for that period of time, but rather for the entire trip! The prize if I succeeded? My father-in-law had to buy me flowers.  I’ll have you know I won that contest….well… sort of……when the flowers finally arrived, the note on the card simply said: “Silence is Golden“! Continue reading