Five Minute Friday — See

A Five Minute Writing Challenge <—click to tweet this!

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

OK, are you ready? Please give me your best five minutes on:


Life experience gives you the opportunity to see things from another perspective. In the last 6 months I have lost two children in my second trimester. I have been given the opportunity to see life from the perspective of patient (instead of nurse), grieving parent (instead of blissfully ignorant), offended mother, hurt and wounded. But I have also seen compassion, caring and consideration in each of these situations.
I can see the love of Christ in each kind word spoken, each act of service that has been extended to me and my family. God is showing me that even when I feel alone, I am not alone. He has a purpose for bringing me on this journey. I don’t understand why, but I am beginning to see.
Sometimes when we are on a road like this it’s like hiking a trail in the mountains. We can only see a little ways ahead. We can’t see around the next bend. If we could, we wouldn’t keep walking because we wouldn’t like the rocks, trials or the steepness of the trail. But there is something about the unknown up ahead that beckons us to keep walking…to keep going and see what is in store. Sometimes it is more of the same, sometimes it is a soft shady place to rest, sometimes it is just another bend. But we can never see more than what we are meant to see. Life is much the same.
We see what we are meant to see. Never more, never less. Only what God wants in our focus, only what He reveals, urging us on to the next bend, to keep moving. To see.

Five Minute Friday — Real

For some reason this didn’t post like it was supposed to on Friday. So here it is again…
When last did you write for fun?
Not to impress anyone, not for blog hits or comments or Pinterest pins?
When last did you just write?
On Fridays over here a group of people who love to go all out buck wild for the fun of the written word gather to share what five minutes buys them. Just five minutes. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.
If you have writer’s block – we have the cure <—click to tweet this!

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:


Being “real” with others is so difficult. I have learned to put up walls to keep from being hurt, feeling vulnerable and being different. I was thinking tonight on my way home, how much more I’ve learned to put up walls as I’ve been teaching and as a wife in the ministry.
There is always a barrier there, I never quite reveal who I am completely. It’s a protective mechanism really, but it leaves me feeling isolated and like I’m never able to be quite who I am. I’m always on guard, always protecting myself and keeping my fences up.
Real means being okay with not being liked all the time, with putting yourself out there and being okay with the messiness of life. Being real means you’re not so focused on yourself that you forget to ask how the person you’re talking to is doing. Sometimes it means smudging your make up and hugging someone else. Real is comfort with who you are and who God made you to be.
Real doesn’t change who you are, it embraces who you were created to be. Real is a scary place to be, it isn’t easy and it’s a process. Sometimes a long one. For me, it means editing less and writing more. It means being willing to share, listen and just be. Real is praising God for the person He created me to be and striving to be everything He desires.

Five Minute Friday — Community

So let’s spend our five minutes of writing today, sharing about community. Fight it, love it, hate it, hurt or healed by it, we were certainly built for it.
Set a timer and just write. Don’t worry about making it just right or not.
Go all in with your words.
Are you ready?

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:


I grew up in a small community, 500 people. There were good things and bad things about growing up in such a little place.

  • We had lunches made in our school, by our “lunch ladies” who also happened to be moms of kids going to school too. I was so thankful they put out a cookbook. I’ve made many recipes for my family that I remember eating as a student. I know now, how blessed we were as students to be cared for each day.
  • We played 8 man football. Our basketball team one year only had 6 girls out, just enough for a substitute. We had a stellar band and choir.
  • If you shot a deer in the morning before school, you could probably miss the first 2 hours while you drug it up to your house. It wasn’t uncommon for kids to come to school in camo with a gun in their gun rack. We weren’t worried about getting shot, we wanted to know what they shot and where.
  • We didn’t have homework on Wednesday night usually because everyone went to church.
  • We had a spring concert with a huge BBQ for the community. We walked to the nursing home for social studies when we were in junior high.
  • We have a Threshing days celebration every year that is an impromptu class reunion for anyone who happens to be visiting. The band marches, we eat, we watch sand volleyball and we catch up. I knew the name of every person in my high school and really, for several years before and after me.
  • Our school was “haunted” and our art teacher was a great story teller.

But there were drawbacks. It was sometimes hard to find a niche’ where you felt like you belonged. I moved into that little town when I was 8, third grade. I remember feeling like such an outsider. Like there was some kind of secret I was supposed to know but didn’t about being there. When I graduated 9 years later, I still felt like an outsider. It was a shell I never felt like I could break through. The town motto painted on the side of the grocery store was “Small town, Big heart”. Sometimes, it could feel like it was the other way around if you weren’t born there or were just a little bit “different”.
There were people though, who did their best to make everyone feel welcome. I remember my bus driver stopping me before I got off the bus so she could zip my coat for me. We had a long driveway and the wind was cold. When she retired, we were blessed with another bus driver who came to my wedding. I had a math teacher who invested in my future and who spent lots of time with me helping me understand trig. I had a wood shop teacher (yes, I took wood shop), who would spend late nights at the end of the semester helping students finish projects. He’d also draw all over the top of your board to make sure you sanded it good enough.
I met and started dating my husband in our little community. We were 15. We made an unlikely pair because we were so different. I am so blessed though in reality we couldn’t have been better matched.
When I think of community, there are so many different things that come to mind…church, family, work, school. But most often what comes to mind is the little community I grew up in, in south central Kansas. The place where I learned about making friends and enemies, acceptance and rejection and that no matter where you go small town living has no rival.  That little community taught me far more in terms of “life” than any other place I’ve been. I’m thankful for my experience growing up there and as a parent I try to capture and teach some of those same lessons to my children while living in a much bigger city.

Five Minute Friday — Good Bye

Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.
We set a timer, throw caution to the winds and try to remember what it was like to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.
I’ve said a lot of good byes this year. Some of them were with the hope that we would see each other again, some were good byes until eternity and some were painful good byes because choices had to be made.
This past year we said good bye to Kerry’s grandmother Stella over Thanksgiving break. We celebrated her home-going and while the good bye was sad because we will miss her, it was joyous to think of her rejoicing in Heaven.
Little did we know that week while we were visiting is likely when our son Knox died. Within a week of returning home from saying good bye to Grandma, we said good bye to our precious son Knox. That has, for me, been the hardest good bye of my life. There were, and still are, so many unknowns, fears and unanswered questions yet. When I think back to the month or so that followed, the only thing that comes to mind is “numb”. I don’t remember feeling anything but immense sorrow and numb. Kerry’s birthday, Christmas and the New Year were all over shadowed by that good bye and that loss. We still don’t understand it, but we have found peace, we continue to trust our God for the healing only He can provide. And slowly, we come to terms with our good bye said too soon.
I’ve said good bye in a sense to some family involuntarily. They are good byes that are still very raw and painful. I have yet to reconcile it. They are good byes that had to happen because we are all accountable for our choices.
And yet other good byes have been bitter sweet. In quitting my job this semester, I have said good bye to a certain time of my life. I have enjoyed teaching students, I have delighted in seeing them learn and be successful. At the same time though, I am anxious to be home with our boys full time and to teach them, disciple them and be home here. I’m thrilled at the prospect, but I think too I will miss some parts of teaching. Others…I will not.
Good bye can mean so many different things. It can mean a closure to a relationship, but at the same time it can mean so many new opportunities. Good bye closes doors and opens them. It breaks hearts and heals them. It writes stories upon our hearts.
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Five Minute Friday — Gift

I know I’m a bit late with my five minute Friday, but I was busy.
My children. My children are the greatest gift I have been given. I delight in the beings they are. Their quirks. The way that my son Gabe’s eyes light up and twinkle when he smiles. His thoughtfulness, the way his mind is constantly working and creating and building.

My Otto. Words can’t describe my Otto. He is my imagineer. A little absent minded, but always mindful of others and how they feel. Tearful when there aren’t 2 of him and he can’t be home with his little brothers and go with mom on an errand too. The heart-full of love that he is.

Zeke. My very very blond big eyed Zeke. He takes the world in, he is constantly thinking about the world around him. He is finding his voice and what a voice it is! The things that come out of that mouth that was so quiet for so long.

My home birth baby Titus. The strong willed child that he is, finding his personality and his way of doing things. Trying so hard to be “big” like his brothers. He looks so much like his daddy. He is a cuddler, but only in his timing. Insisting on his own things, his own way, his independence.

My children in heaven. My son Knox. The pain I felt when I lost him was more than I thought I could take. I have learned so many things by going through the loss of my son. It was a trial and heartbreak that few know, but it was a gift too. I felt the gift of family, friends and was surrounded by comfort only God could bring.
Yes my children are a gift to me. They teach me more than any book could. I learn more about myself, my husband and my God. They make ordinary moments  into extraordinary bits of awesomeness every day. And without the amazing gift of my husband, I wouldn’t have the gifts I call my children.

Five Minute Friday — Loud

Loud. Besides orange shirts and purple shorts I think of…
What I don’t want to be as a mother. I don’t want my children to remember me as an angry mother. As one who lost her temper and patience all in the blink of an eye. I want them to remember me as a mother who laughed and showed grace and mercy. I resolve every day, sometimes every minute, not to be loud, but to be the mother God has designed me to be.
Do my children know that I not only LOVE them but that I LIKE them too. That I enjoy being around them? That they are blessings to me. When they describe me, loud is not the word I want to come to their minds. How are my actions and words showing them who they are to me? I want my actions to be louder than my words. I want them to know without a doubt that they are the awesomest people I have ever known and that I am so very thankful for them. I have so many memories as a child of “loud” and they’re not positive ones. I don’t want my children leaving my home with that same impression, or fear.
I want the noise of many children filling my home. I want that kind of loud. I want the loud that comes with laughter, brothers playing and learning together. I want the loudness of God’s blessings in my home. I desire a home spilling over with love. The loudness that comes with blessing, growing and learning.

The loudness of complete joy and love. That is the Loud that needs to be in my home.


Brave. I’m not.
I shy away from intense discussions with those around me. Something that I would have never done when I was younger. I don’t like the conflict now. I don’t like the uncomfortable stuff that comes with confrontation. I take a lot before I’m pushed over the edge into confrontation. I was yelled at this week, in public, in front of people I knew. I didn’t confront the yeller no matter how much I wanted to. I didn’t tell the person it was totally inappropriate and that they were embarrassing themselves. I just stopped talking. I’m the kind of person who walks away and thinks of what I should have said, what I should have done and that I should have been brave.
I wish I were brave.
I shy away from sharing my faith “too much”. I’m ashamed of my chickeness. It’s not because I’m afraid of the impression of others, but because I am afraid I will be responsible for turning them away. I will say something that makes them think “I want nothing to do with that God of hers” and I will be responsible for driving them away from the God that will save them. I don’t want that kind of burden, but I wonder why I’m so willing to bear the burden of what could happen if no one ever shares with them because they aren’t “brave”. Satan wants us believe that we aren’t, we can’t be, we shouldn’t be…brave. He wins a victory when we aren’t brave.
Ephesians 6: 10-16
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness inthe heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.


Sometimes there are no words…just empty. It’s so easy to get lost in our day to day living that we forget about the substance of life. This week was one of those weeks for me. I was so busy trying to survive most days that I completely forgot to take joy in my children and my family.

I am ashamed to say how many nights I went to bed this week feeling guilty because I was working from the time I got home until my children went to bed. So much so that I didn’t hardly engage in conversation with them. I always went to bed vowing to do better the next day and yet I fell into the same trap the next evening.
I could make excuses for it. The fact that I am teaching full time, that the days I spend in the office are often 14 hours days (usually 2 days a week or so) or that I’m also teaching online for 3 other schools to help make ends meet. I could blame it on the fact that my husband and I work hard to juggle our schedules so that we can home school our children while both working outside the home. Or I could own up to what I think it really boils down to…Sometimes I’m more worried about what others think of me than what my children think of me. I want someone else to praise me and to recognize the “good” job I’m doing, but I’m not willing to give the same weight to the opinion of my kids.

I take for granted that there will always be another day with them. There will always be another chance to spend time with them. But what if there isn’t? What if? I am assured that there is ALWAYS work waiting. I want so desperately to be at home full time with my children. I anticipate the day that I come home full time almost hourly. But yet, there are evenings that I am guilty of not putting them first. I fail at trying to “have it all”. I live so often in the future of “I’ll have more time when” or “if I can just get this project done, I will…”
I am reminded though, that God’s design is for me to be at home. Not just my body, but my mind and my heart. Mommy sitting on the couch working on a lecture or grading papers isn’t what God has designed for my family. It’s not what He has designed for my children. My priorities have to change, I have to be better at setting boundaries, but most of all I have to remember what I was made to do. The best that I can do is pray for wisdom, discernment and obedience to God’s prompting. I spent time talking to my husband. Seeking his guidance and advice for the change that needs to take place. There is a definite end to this mess in sight. I’m not at the point where I can say it yet, but I can see the light. In the mean time though, I’m unwilling to continue going to sleep feeling like a failure as a mother because I put work ahead of my children.
I am ashamed to say that I was empty this week. I spent so much time giving to my work that I wasn’t able to give to my family. They’re so often left with whatever energy, time, or stamina I have left. Unfortunately this week, I was completely empty.
This blog post was part of a Five Minute Friday Link up. The idea is to write for 5 minutes with no editing on a specific topic. This is what came to mind with the word “Empty”.
Visit the link up here…