Five Minute Friday: Risk

Now there’s a risky word if ever I heard one. The very thought brings up fear, anticipation, joy, annoyance and a whole other bag of words most of us would rather not think about.

Take it a step further, risk is what propels us to move from the spot we are on to the next spot… we risk it all to stay. we risk it all to go. We take a risk every moment of every day, it’s like breathing. Yet, there is so much fear attached to that little four letter word.

When I think of it, Jim Elliot’s famous quote comes to mind: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. “

In finding the exact quote to paste hereI came upon another by Jim that I think is a perfect definition of the word risk. In talking of Stephen, who was martyred- the man who will not act until he knows all will never act at all.”

Ok that’s my 5.

Ding.

Five Minute Friday: Begin

This is the final Friday that Lisa-Jo Baker will host FMF- it will continue, but it will begin a new phase on another site. Fitting then that today’s prompt is “Begin”.

I sit waiting here, looking out the window, waiting.
For something.
To Begin.
Begin is such a big word packed into five letters, there is such meaning and anticipation there. The implication of something big, important, life changing. If you aren’t looking forward to begin anew when something ends and leaves you by the side of the road, I would urge you to reconsider. Everything starts somewhere and even creation started with “In the beginning…” 
I’m almost 62, you would think that I would not be thinking of beginnings but endings. My life has been a long succession of beginnings and endings. When you have been married 42 years, have three married children and nine grandchildren, the beginnings begin to stack up. When I look back though, on a long line of folks who have left this life to begin their place in eternity with God, it seems like a lot of endings.
I am looking forward to that Begin that starts the moment I take my last breath here on this side and to that first breath in His Presence. Of course, I have reservations- I want to be here as long as possible to see the grands have their own big Beginnings. I am content to begin there whenever He calls. Until then I will celebrate all the beginnings here and the beginnings there, too.
 
 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
 

 

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Exhale

Today’s prompt is: Exhale

Inhale…exhale. Repeat.

From the moment we are born till our last breath we measure life by the number of breaths.

Always, the exhale signals the end of a breath.

We hold our breath in anticipation, in dread, and on exertion.

In labor, we measure the contractions and ride each wave by the way we inhale and exhale until new life enters the world and the process continues…inhale…exhale.

It’s an amazing process, fresh air loaded with oxygen brings life to us and the exhale removes the waste.

A forced exchange.

In goes the good air, out comes the bad. 

The forceful release of our breath can indicate relief, relaxation, concentration, and frustration. 

Imagine that- a normal body function that no one thinks about reveals so much.

It is a barometer of feelings, that exhale.  The telltale of what is going on inside.

That sigh at the end of the exhale reveals the truth of our feelings, belying our words of “I’m fine, really, I’m just fine.” 

We mark time with that release of breath. 

We watch loved ones slowly slip away with those last breaths until the last here on this earth.

But the first exhale gave life from God to Adam.

And the rest…. Is our story.

The measure of our days is really a summation of all the exhales we experience.

It fills books, writes history,tells stories, leaves legacies and blessings and curses; it offers encouragement and signals defeat.

The tale of all that’s occurred from that first gasp to the last.

What does your exhale reveal about you?

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

Five Minute Friday: Lost

It’s Friday. We write.  5 minutes. That is all. There’s a whole group of us that write.

Today’s prompt:

LOST

Lost and found. Forever lost. Forever found. 

Lost is a black hole in my mind. Lost love, lost homes, lost time, lost things, lost memories. They all seem to find themselves down that hole like Alice falling into the White Rabbit’s Hole. Forever falling; never arriving.

I’ve lost more things than I can count. Most of the time things lost are insignificant. However, there are some things that just disappear and no matter how much you look or how long you look or how often you look- they just can’t be found. There’s a sadness attached, a sort of undying hope that one day… perhaps. But no. 

I was like one of those lost things, forever falling, never arriving.  Until. Amazing Grace.

 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. 1 Corinthians 15:10a

 

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Five Minute Friday: Release

It’s Friday, that 5 minute writing day. I have begun to count the weeks by Fridays- the days we write, spontaneously, deeply, shallowly, eloquently, plainly. We just write what we’re given on one word.

The word this week is:

Release

That old country song is running in my head now- “Please Release Me”. Funny how words pop up memories like that. Things that were pent up and sealed can suddenly surface and take us back to that moment in time in a split second.  We can smile or a tear come to our eye before we send those things back to where they came from. Not a bad thing to walk memory lane a while.

Unless— those things are something we hold onto with iron grips. When that happens, we become slaves to what we are holding; subject to whatever whim those thoughts bring.  But when we release our grip, we open our hand, we say, “It’s always been Yours Lord” we find that we are the thing that is released.

Wherever you find yourself today, whether it’s resisting the toddler independence or the teen-adult leaving the nest, the first sign of gray hair, holding the heavy burden of desire for life to be like it once was, the sorrow when someone is no longer here- He Knows. He will take that burden when we lay it down and we will find sweet release. 

My eyes are ever on the Lord,
    for only he will release my feet from the snare. Psalm 25:15

Five Minute Friday: Hands

Today’s prompt is:

Hands

I look down at my hands and wonder. These hands have held thousands of babies, taught mothers how to feed, bathe, clothe their babies for the first time. These hands have cradled, fed, clothed and dressed someone most of my life. They have wiped tears, cleaned and bandaged scrapes. They have administered medications, given injections, assisted with suturing, and written instructions. 

They have written reports, submitted budgets, written policy and procedure manuals, protocol for all kinds of things; and they have written long letters, love notes, reminders, addressed many birthday cards, invites, Christmas cards, and wedding invitations.  

They have also cooked up a mean omelet, perfect pancakes, and the best monster cookies in the world {according to several people}.

They have mopped, dusted, washed clothes and folded, washed dishes, pots and pans and cleaned up after the dog and the cats. They have put together furniture and toys, and played games with children.  

They have turned countless pages on book after book; fairytales, Bible stories, literature, scifi, prayer journals, every page in the Bible, books on accounting, med-surg nursing, pediatrics, how-to books, cook books, and devotional books.

And my hands have done countless other things, some good, some bad. These hands aren’t perfect- they are connected to my heart and mind and go where they tell them. 

But the most important thing these hands have done has been to take my children by the hand and lead them to the safe haven that is Christ alone.

My hands don’t talk but they say a lot by what they’ve done.

And so do yours.

 May the favour of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us –

 yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17