Five Minute Friday: Reach

(So, I’ve been participating in a “writers’ flash mob” of sorts called Five Minute Friday. In response to a one-word prompt, hundreds of writers sit down and write for five minutes flat. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font or punctuation; unscripted and unedited. Here’s today’s edition…setting the timer….)

Five Minute Friday: Reach

Go.

Reach is a word of direction and motion.

We reach out.

Reach in.

Reach up.

Reach down.

Reach involves doing something and getting somewhere.

We can reach a conclusion.

Reach for a star.

Reach a goal.

Reach the end of our rope.

Reach is a word that implies non-satisfaction with the status quo.

When we reach, we invite connection…we invite change…

We invite growth…in ourselves and others.

Stop.

 Girl reaches up and hangs from top of backyard swing set. 1960s.

A “Seen It” Overlook

Next to the coffee scoop and the reusable K-cup, there is a fine dusting of coffee grounds. And a very ripe banana.

Proverbs 19:11 “Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget.” (MSG)

I reached down for the little scoop, intent on filling the reusable K-cup and starting my morning cup of coffee. That’s when I noticed the fine dust of ground coffee on the counter. Quicker than a caffeine boost, I felt a familiar prick of irritation and aggravation.

If he would just tap the scoop on the edge of the K-cup before returning it to the counter, it would shake off that excess coffee dust and there would be no mess. How hard is that? Grrr.

But just as quickly as irritation and aggravation arrived, I heard the still, small voice in my head asking two important questions:

  • Is this really such a big deal?
  • Is it worth mentioning?

I decided the answer to both questions was “no.”


This was one of those times when I needed a “seen it” overlook.


You know what I’m talking about!

You’ve seen it…but you’re going to overlook it.

Little aggravations are normal when people share close quarters. The big surprise would be if there weren’t any. But our response to those aggravations is important.

My husband and I have been married for almost twenty years, so we’ve both offered our share of “seen it” overlooks. I’m so thankful for a husband who is willing to overlook things I do that annoy him.

If I claimed that we both pulled off the “seen it” overlook response every time, I’d be lying. I know I’ve blurted out things that, in retrospect, should have been ignored or overlooked. And so has he.


God is so much better at the “seen it” overlook than you or I could ever be!


He sees all of our shortcomings, and yet he responds by offering us grace and forgiveness.

That doesn’t mean he accepts or condones our sin, and neither should we “overlook” issues or behaviors in our marriages or other relationships that are dangerous or unhealthy.

But more often than not, when we listen to the still small voice, we will find that a well-timed “seen it” overlook is just what’s needed. It can help us model the grace and forgiveness God so freely offers to us.

And that’s a beautiful sight!

Five Minute Friday: Change

(So, I’ve been participating in a “writers’ flash mob” of sorts called Five Minute Friday. In response to a one-word prompt, hundreds of writers sit down and write for five minutes flat. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font or punctuation; unscripted and unedited. Here’s today’s edition…setting the timer….)

Five Minute Friday: Change

Go.

When I was a toddler, my parents gave me a small globe bank for Christmas.

I still have it half a century later.

It’s made the moves with me from parsonage to parsonage (growing up as a preacher’s kid) and then to my college dorm and to my own apartments and to the home I now share with my husband and son.

It’s a little beat up, but it still serves its purpose…collecting loose change. A globe bank from the 1960s

The globe no longer reflects the current political divisions humans have created on the actual Earth.

It still lists a large part of Africa as “French West Africa”…and northeast of there is the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.”

It shows a W. Germany and an E. Germany.

The world has changed.

In fact, it changes by the minute.

What hasn’t changed is the importance of small actions and gestures.

Small actions and gestures that, for better or worse, can change the world.

Like the pennies, nickels and dimes in my bank, they can add up.

They can add up to significant change.

Stop. 

A small globe bank is among the gifts under this Christmas tree in the 1960s.

Perched under our Christmas tree is my shiny new globe bank.

Five Minute Friday: Tell

(So, I’ve been participating in a “writers’ flash mob” of sorts called Five Minute Friday. In response to a one-word prompt, hundreds of writers sit down and write for five minutes flat. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font or punctuation; unscripted and unedited. Here’s today’s edition…setting the timer….)

Five Minute Friday: Tell

Go.

I have lived a very sheltered life.

I’ve enjoyed being part of a warm and stable family.

I’ve never gone hungry or lacked basic needs.

I’ve had access to education and many opportunities to learn and explore the world.

So, when I first volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), I found myself face-to-face with a world I knew nothing about.

It was a foreign world.

I met many children whose life situations were far from sheltered…or warm…or stable.

I met two children who had been sexually abused by their own parent.

They told me he had threatened them to never tell.

If they told anybody, he said, he would kill them. And he would kill the person they told.

To emphasize he meant business, he killed their pet in front of them.

See, he told them, I am capable of carrying out my threat.

So they didn’t tell.

Later, when the abuse came to light via other means, they were free to tell and to start to seek healing from this horrible reality that had been their life.

Somebody else had noticed that something was not quite right.

They told somebody.

It was checked out.

So the children were freed from their torture.

If you ever see something you think could be abuse or neglect…TELL.

Somebody will check it out.

If you are ever the victim of abuse or neglect…TELL.

There are people who want to help you.

If you think you can’t make a difference in the lives of these children…TELL yourself you’re wrong.

Because, let me tell you, you can.

Stop.

 "The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity." - Amelia Earhart CASAforChildren.org

 

 

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Fill

(So, I’ve been participating in a “writers’ flash mob” of sorts called Five Minute Friday. In response to a one-word prompt, hundreds of writers sit down and write for five minutes flat. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font or punctuation; unscripted and unedited. Here’s today’s edition…setting the timer….)

Five Minute Friday: Fill

Go:

Full can feel so empty.

We can fill our shopping carts, our houses, our schedules, our stomachs, our bank accounts…and yet feel unfulfilled.

Often it’s in a quiet emptiness that my heart feels the fullest.

One of my favorite times of day is the pre-dawn darkness, before light fills the sky and my day fills with “busy.”

And then, there’s that moment on the other side of a full day, when I lay my head on the pillow and my mind begins to fill with thoughts of people I’ve promised to pray for.

My mind fills with images of their faces and their situations and then, gradually, my conscious-self empties…and I am asleep…allowing my resting mind to continue the prayers.

Fulfilling a promise.

Empty can feel so full.

Stop.

Black and white photo of a full moon over some tree tops.

Five Minute Friday: Begin

(So…I’ve been participating in a “writers’ flash mob” of sorts called Five Minute Friday. In response to a one-word prompt, hundreds of writers sit down and write for five minutes flat. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, punctuation, or – sometimes – spelling; unscripted and unedited. Here’s today’s edition…setting the timer….)

Five Minute Friday: Begin

Go.

So…there’s a song playing in my mind right now…

“Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya, tomorrow! You’re only a day away!”

Sheet music for Tomorrow from the musical Annie

Why, you may ask, am I suffering such a strange ear worm…this classic from Annie?

Our word prompt today is “begin” and, well, that’s when I generally say I will “begin” something.

You know.

Tomorrow.

I’m not the only one.

I have a hunch this is a fairly common situation.

I’m gonna start eating healthier meals…starting…tomorrow.

I’m gonna organize those business files…starting…tomorrow.

I’m gonna stop by the flooring store and get estimates on options to replace the carpet that needed replaced when we bought the house thirteen years ago.

Maybe we can do that…tomorrow.

But as the old saying goes, tomorrow never comes.

Because by the time it does…

It’s today.

So maybe we need a rewrite for that standard classic from Annie.

(Sung to the tune of the above-mentioned song…)

“Let’s do it! Let’s do it! Let’s start right this minute! It’s time for me to begin!”

 Stop.

Cover for a book of sheet music for the musical Annie