Give ~ 21/31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

Weekends are always a challenge for me where writing is concerned, so once again I’m a little behind on my 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes…… I’m going to “give” it a try to get caught up!

Time Starts Now!

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. Ezekiel 36:26 / Pixabay

Have you ever considered giving up everything you’ve known and are comfortable with in order to follow God’s call?  My friend Marilyn did exactly that.  After a mission trip to teach gardening skills, Marilyn came home, left her Principal position, sold her house, truck, and most of her possessions so she could get on a plane that took her to a new life in Bungoma, Kenya and eventually to establishing Living Hope High School.  Getting there took miracle after miracle and Marilyn’s journey is inspiring beyond belief!  (you can read her entire story here at myseaofthought) 

As much as I admire Marilyn and all she’s accomplished, I cannot see myself giving in that same way! Can you? That being said, I know that if God has a plan like that for my life or yours; He’ll prepare and give us what we need to be willing to go where He leads.  But, here’s an amazing thing about God; He doesn’t gift us all with the same things or lead us on the same paths.  Each of us has our own unique way to answer God’s call.

I wish I could say that I know exactly what mission God has for me, but I don’t.  I do believe though, that each of our journeys begin with us giving our whole heart over to God.  Not just the parts we’re comfortable with (I’m sure guilty of that) but to be willing to offer every fiber of who we are to Him to use as He wills.  I don’t know about you, but that’s scary to me!  At the same time it’s exciting to see what He can accomplish through this hesitant gal! So, are we willing to give up everything for God?  I pray we are. After all, long ago, He gave up His “Everything” on a cross, Just. For.You. And. Me.


Discover ~ 20/31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

Linking up today on

The prompt for 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes/Five Minute Friday is “discover”. I’m looking forward to seeing where that leads!

Time starts now!

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.”Psalm 23:1-2 (NIV) The Big Muskie Bucket

I used to be a “take the shortest, quickest route to get me there” kinda gal.  Life was busy.  My schedule full.  I didn’t want to meander my moments away. Funny how time changes things!  Now, you’ll find me on a quest to discover every two-lane back road to travel on, not worried about the minutes or miles it adds to the trip.

To visit my family in Michigan, we’ve driven on the highways through Ohio many times, but not long ago, my husband and I decided to take a jaunt on the country roads instead.  Was it a slower trip? Yes!  Take longer? Yep! Did we enjoy every minute? Most definitely!  On that relaxed journey we delighted in the fall countryside, the pristine farmland, and quaint small towns. We also discovered two extremes:  the smallest church in Ohio and the Big Muskie Bucket!  To this day, that leisurely , scenic drive is one of our fondest memories!

My grandparents always told me that the older you get, the faster time goes by. They weren’t kidding!  Life still get busy and my schedule full, but I’m learning to slow down in the midst of it all to discover and savor the gifts God is presenting me in those moments!  Maybe it’s as simple as the smile of a stranger, light reflecting on the dew, a leaf twirling on the breeze, or as precious as a grandchild’s touch: things we easily miss when we focus on our shortest, quickest route to take us from one day to the next. We can’t go back but I wish I’d realized sooner that discovering the little things tucked inside the big things are much more important than the tasks on my to-do list.  So now, big or small, I’m anxious to discover all God has in store for this “take it slower, enjoy the scenery, soak in the moments” kinda gal!




Brave ~ 19/31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

Brave is the prompt for today’s Five Minute Free Write.  I don’t consider myself to be brave (I wish I was) but I am surrounded by those being brave everyday!  Here’s my five minute definition of “Brave”. Needless to say, I could go on and on but…..

Time starts now!


“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.” Philippians 1:20 (NIV) / Pixabay

B eginning a new life, not by choice but necessity.

R aising three girls on your own.

A nswering God’s call to go where He leads.

V isiting aging parents even when they don’t remember your name.

E ntering the military with the world in turmoil.


B elieving in your dreams when no one else does.

R eturning hate with kindness.

A ccepting opportunities outside your comfort zone.

V enturing into a classroom day in and day out.

E nduring the unexpected with grace.

What’s your definition of “Brave”?  I would love for you to add your own examples in the comments below! 

Share ~ 18/31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

It’s hard to believe I’m half way through the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes!  Where has October gone?  If you’d like to read more or join in hop on over to

“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage our hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NIV) / Pixabay

Ever done something and the outcome was not what you intended? We can set out with a goal in mind but what’s actually accomplished is the opposite of what we’d planned.  I’m afraid that writing my blog has been one of those times.

I tend to freely share my weaknesses with others.  It’s something I’ve always done and my blog is no different.  I’ve felt compelled to write about my personal challenges in becoming the Christian I hope to be.  In that process however, I’ve caused people who love me and whom I love to be concerned. That’s certainly not the reaction I’d hoped my writing would produce!

We all want those we care about to feel good about themselves and put their best foot forward. While my intent is to be encouraging, in thinking about it, I can understand that posting my struggles for all to see may make it seem that I am presenting myself in a negative light; that I’m hard on myself and I guess I am, but….. I’m OK with that.

Living a Christian life isn’t easy.  It takes vigilance. It takes work. It takes prayer.  It. Takes. Forgiveness. I don’t know about you, but I get discouraged with my progress. And so, I write. Sharing what I’m experiencing and feeling somehow clarifies and solidifies for me the lessons I’m learning.

Here’s the miraculous thing!  Most of the time, when I share the questions I have or the obstacles I face, it prompts others who’ve already been there to share their insights with me! At the same time, someone else shares that what God has inspired me to write about is exactly what they’ve been wrestling with, too!

No, living a Christian life in this world of ours isn’t easy. That’s why we need each other!  We need those who care enough to be concerned, those who teach and encourage, those who look to us for guidance, and most of all, we need the One who shares His love and wisdom with us all.

So, I hope you’ll bear with me as I continue to find my way in this life and share stories of my ups and downs, failures and successes, questions and more questions….  and I pray that somewhere in the midst of my ramblings, God will speak to and encourage your heart as He does mine.


Grow 17/31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

Still playing catch up over at

for 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. Getting closer tho…..

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)/ Pixabay

I’ve spent a lot of time lately watching grass grow.  Now you know how exciting (or not) my life really is!  It may not sound exciting to you, but when your yard has been dry, hard dirt for months, spotting those tiny green shoots of life breaking through is definitely worthy of celebration!

It’s the same with my growth as a Christian.  With a heart that can be dry, hard, and desolate, any small sprout of life is worthy to be praised!  Just as our new blades of grass have required tender care so do our souls.  Regular contact with the Living Water refreshes the parched areas of our hearts.  Ridding ourselves of “weeds” that threaten to spread and choke our progress toward becoming all we can, is vital to lush growth.  And as unpleasant as it may be, a trimming every now and then promotes a fuller, stronger result.

 I’ve helped care for, encourage, and protect our new lawn from the first hidden seeds to the now flourishing green grass. We’re not on our own in our development as Christians, either.  To cultivate us, the “Master Gardener” knows and watches over each hair on our head.  He’s our guard against the advances of sin, winnowing when needed.  He places others in our path to inspire us at just the right moment.  Seeing growth takes time but inch by inch, step by step, we are closer to becoming what God always knew was there! Now THAT’S worth celebrating!



Read 16/31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

I’m continuing with 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes which means I’m writing for five minutes on a prompt each day in October.  I’ve fallen behind a little (flu and traveling) but here I am back at it.  You can follow along or join in at


“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)/pixabay

Time Starts Now….

As a teacher, each year I would read “Charlotte’s Web” to my Second Graders. The wonderful classic would capture their tiny hearts and mine, too.    

What makes the story so enduring?  I think it’s because it is a story of friendship.  Friends are such a vital part of our lives.  Whether you’re a second grader, a retired teacher, or somewhere in-between, our friends help us celebrate, grieve, recover, survive, and laugh.  Oh, do they help us laugh!

I’m blessed to have a “web” of Godly friends.  Women with whom I can be myself.  Women who have seen me at my worst and at my best, yet treat me the same in either situation.  Women who encourage me. Women who pray for me.

Reading about Wilber and Charlotte sharing a friendship to my students was always a joy, but sharing God’s gift of TRUE friendship day to day is better than any story we will ever read!

Time’s Up!

Invite ~ 13/31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

“The the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:37-40 (NIV) / Pixabay

The invite came unexpectedly, in a round-a-bout way, but there I was: a young first year teacher without a place to stay, far from everything and everyone familiar, in the home of people I didn’t know. Scared and lonely, I sat stiffly on the end of the couch while my hostess busied herself in the kitchen preparing supper for her hardworking farm family.

In those first days of my teaching career I LEARNED more than I ever taught! In the classroom I learned I had A LOT to learn.  On the farm I also learned I had a lot to learn! Did you know that male and female cattle have different names?  That sheep are born with long tails that are cut off while they’re young?  I also learned to drink sweet tea without making a face, that farmers can pile their plates high with food without spilling it, and so much more. But most importantly, I learned that being invited to stay for a few days was really an invitation to be loved and cared for. I was from a different world: a stranger, but you would have never known.  In a short time I went from being an unplanned guest to part of the family.

I’ll always be grateful for those first days on the farm.  They are some of my fondest memories.  And oh….. The brave teacher/farm wife who so kindly took me in?  Well, she’s been my mother-in-law for 34 years now! When I said “part of the family, I meant PART of the family!

God put me in the right place at the right time with the right people.  All I had to do was accept the invitation.  I’m so blessed I did! What is He inviting you to do?


Write ~ 12/31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

“But Jesus told them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well, because that is why I was sent.” Luke 4:43 (NLT)

I’m old enough to remember back before iPhones, iPads….computers for that matter, ever existed.  In those days if we wanted to stay connected to one another we had to write letters.  Finding a letter from my grandparents, a friend, or other family members in the mailbox was always exciting!  Those pages were filled with the latest news, questions about our lives, and lots and lots of love. It wasn’t unusual to read them over and over again just to feel like we were right there with the ones who sent it.

In today’s world where people seem to talk to each other less and less, it occurs to me that we are the letters from God to those around us.  We were created to tell the Good News. When our words, the activities we’re involved in, and the way we treat others are different from the world, it may spur questions about why, and of course, love is the greatest thing we can pass on to those around us!

What letters do your life and mine write to the world?  We’ve been “signed, sealed, and delivered” to be a way to connect someone in need to God’s love and saving grace.  And as we share that over and over, the more we’ll feel we’re right in the presence of Him who sent us!

Listen ~ 11/31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

I am continuing with 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes which means I’m writing for five minutes on a prompt each day in October.  I’d love for you to follow along with me on this journey or better yet, join in at


I’ve had a little trouble with this prompt today.  Setting the timer I headed in several directions, with nothing coming together.  Stepping away from my computer, discouraged, I sat quietly and these lines began to flow.  Again, I passed my five minute limit but I feel this is what I was supposed to write all along. Hope you’ll forgive me.

“Come near, you nations, and listen; pay attention, you peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world, and all that comes out of it!” Isaiah 34:1 (NIV) / Pixabay


The world is full of clamor and noise.

Satan uses it as one of his ploys.


TV, sirens, phone calls and chatter

We can’t hear the things that really matter.


Music is playing wherever we go

Engines roar, tires squeal, horns blow.


Video games, commercials, newscasters blare

The louder the better. What do they care?


Debate, protest, march, riot

We want them to hear us. We can’t be quiet.


Step out of the tumult and into His peace

Bow your head, breathe deeply of His sweet release.


Can you hear it on the wind, a baby’s soft coo?

God’s voice beckons, He’s calling to you!

Will you listen?



Remember ~ 10/31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes


Remember: “He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.” 1 Peter 2:24(NLT) / Pixabay

I have a hard time remembering some things these days.  What I had for lunch. Where my keys are. Why I came into the room.  My biggest challenge though, is to remember to forget!

My younger sisters have pointed out that while I’m forgetting day to day things of the present;  my memories of our past are becoming keener (a sign of aging, they proclaim). Don’t tell them, but I’m really ok with that! To remember the happy times we’ve spent with family and friends serve as a reminder of how blessed we are!

My remembering the past doesn’t stop with vacations and holidays however, I can relive words I should’ve never spoken, moments I let loved ones down, actions that were anything but Godlike, and chances I missed to do the right thing as if they happened yesterday.  They play,  through my mind like an old home movie, frame by frame reminding me of my unworthiness. Ever happen to you?

There’s no doubt we’re going to mess up in this life! And mess up again. And. Mess. Up. Again. Enter Jesus! He took all our sins; each one nailed to the cross. Because of His grace, we need to remember to forget!  Not forget so that we don’t learn from our mistakes but rather forget in such a way that we live as God intends: FORGIVEN! Remembering times and people of the past is truly a gift but, remembering all our sins of the past is a burden we’re not meant to carry because Jesus. Already Did.