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Five Minute Friday: CLOSE

CLOSE

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he other evening, our grandbaby spent about five hours with us while her parents were working. sleepingNeedless to say, we sure did not mind.  My daughter warned me she was fussy and had not taken a nap. She was not at our house too long before I finally got her away from my other children and got a chance to hold her close, and rock her.  She rested right on me, as she watched the fish in the aquarium, and was soon, sound asleep.  I stayed in the LazyBoy chair well over an hour as I held my sweet grandbaby, her warm sweet baby breath so close and her little chest rising and falling in such sweet slumber.  I guess I treasure this time so much more, when it’s not so hurried.  

There’s a song by Jenn Johnson, Come to Me, which I love the first few lines:

I am the Lord your God,
I go before you now.
I stand beside you
I’m all around you
And though you feel I’m far away
I’m closer than your breath
I am with you
More than you know

Though this song says how Jesus is closer than our own breath, I think of how I could hear, feel, and even smell my grandbaby’s breath, and Jesus is even more close than that, never taking a break away.  A a mom, there are just times I NEED a break, away from the kids, where I don’t have to hear, “mom when are we going to eat”; “mom, I’ve nothing to wear”; “MOM, she hit me”, “Mom do I HAVE to do ALL these math problems?”, “Mom, I’m still hungry”, “Mooommmm . . . ” til I am ready to SCREAM! I remember when I had several young ones, and it would seem like I had little cling-ons. They were just sometimes too close, too much. Yet, Jesus never tires of us, and WANTS to stay CLOSE – closer than my breath – or my sleeping grandbaby’s breath.  It’s hard to fathom sometimes, but yet, can be so comforting.  

He does not tire of our hurts and pains, and  He wants it known that He is close to us.

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

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fiveWe write for five minutes flat.  All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Posted in Family, Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: Grateful

GRATEFUL

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ust rambling thoughts here after a busy week . . . of the many things I am grateful for.

Grateful  my 20 year old son who lives two hours from home is feeling better after quite a bout with a flu bug and grateful for his kind landlord who mothered him and made him tea.  It sure helped this mama feel better who was too far away to help him.

Grateful for an algebra teacher that goes above and beyond helping her students, including my daughter, spending hours a week after school tutoring.

Grateful for a can of paint that dresses up a door and makes it look brand new.Granddaughter 7 mo

So very grateful that my dear friend Angie is ok, after being in a serious car accident, that totaled her car.  Though she is sore and hurting, I am grateful  I can pick up the phone and still talk to her.

Do you know how very grateful I am for the sweetest grandbaby ever . . . how my heart just loves her so?

Grateful for the Annie play our youngest two daughters were in, the first time experience, and the so many family and friends that went to see, and encourage them!Play1

Grateful for the continued signs of spring – more flowers, trees budding, baby chicks and lamb growing.

Most of all, grateful God’s renewed strength each and every morning and His continue pursuit of me!

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fiveWe write for five minutes flat.  All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

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Five Minute Friday: MESS

MESS

“What if we simply said, “yes,” right there in the midst of the mess? “

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any years ago, over twenty years ago, when I had 5 children under 4.5 years of age, and the two youngest were infant twins, my mom-in-law stopped by unexpectedly.  My house is never as clean as her messiest day – even though I do not know what a messy day in her house looks like! I realized many years ago, I’d never could measure up to her meticulous house cleaning, but when she’d stop by unexpectedly, it sure would make my heart panic and I’d overheat the treadmill with how quickly I could move – kicking things under the couch, into the closet and into the stove.  I’d try to have her detained as long as possible by the entry door.  But before long, she’d see the mess . . . the baby bathtub on the floor, the oven door ajar from all the pots and pans hidden inside, unvacuumed carpets and many smeared windows.  Oh what a mess!  I am sure I heard her thoughts out loud!  But as I was apologizing and still trying to shove things away, she said to me, “I’d rather see a messy house than not giving attention and love to your children.”  With nursing twin daughters, and three boys that were into everything, there were very few dull, uninterrupted moments.

Through the years, the messes change, which not everyone can understand. My husband’s income was more than cut in half, and updates and keeping up with repairs were at a barely-get-by-minimum. Kitchen linoleum so needs to be replaced from getting torn up where it meets the other flooring. Laminate flooring has seen it’s better days of a dozen kids rolling cars, roller skates (which mom was not suppose to see) and moving furniture back and forth over throughout the years. A large bottle of shampoo went down the  carpeted stairs, how many years ago, where the suds never ended, us giving up on that mess too.  Bedrooms have been switched around so many times, trying to accommodate new a child dealing with nightmares still needing to be close to mom and dad, older children moving out and another older child needing more space.  So, for now, some messes just cannot be changed.  

I am thankful for a new can of paint that can spark things up, but it does not always cover up the heart of things that so need to be repaired – that just cannot be.  In the next ten years, I imagine our home will be almost empty, besides the kids and grandkids coming to visit.  We will have time then then to get more repairs and updating done.  Maybe by then we will downsize.  Maybe our hearts will be more into getting the mess of years of accumulations of things downsized as well.  Until then, it’s still homeschooling, teaching a child how to knit, working on scrapbooks, reading stories, trying to make ends meet, and not panicking about messes.

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fiveWe write for five minutes flat.  All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

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Five Minute Friday – “GLUE” for Holy Week Crafts

GLUE

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e have been doing some crafts this past week for this Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday and the main ingredient we have used to put some things together is GLUE.  In the past we have made Jesus’ tomb but this year, we did it a little different and more detailed.

Remember Jesus ~ made our own garden with glued rocks for tomb and used rye grass and moss, along with sticks from yard.We made Jesus’ garden in this old raised dish.  One of my daughters found moss and we also planted some rye seed which we have had to cut down a couple of times.  Then, we used a lot of hot glue and made a tomb.  It is hard to tell in the picture, but there is an opening. That big rock will be rolled in front of it, and Resurrection Sunday, it will be rolled away! The candles with Jesus carrying the cross was handmade by Ann Voskamp’s son.  

Another Pinterest idea we put together is a decoupage candle with spring flowers and sections from an old songbook with hymns torn out that are typically sung for Easter. Again, lots of glue to put this together.  From a distance, it looks very shinny and not like something that has been well glued with magazine pictures and hymn pages!

vase made into candle by doing decoupage with magazine and hymnal pages

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fiveWe write for five minutes flat.  All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

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Five Minute Friday ~ PAINT ~ (& braggin’ mama time!)

PAINT

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his week’s word, PAINT, I am going to use as my “braggin’ mama update”!  🙂  With having children that are great artists, I could brag just about every day with something new to show off.  At the beginning of the week, to give my bored daughter (14) something to do while she is on spring break, I told her I really wanted her to paint me something for our kitchen wall . . .  something springy, especially since it has seemed forever to get spring to arrive here! In a matter of a few hours, she blessed me with this painting:

Spring Bunch Painting

She has another floral painting she is working on too!  

My 22 year old daughter used acrylic paints to make this painting as a gift for me.  It’s of an old tractor that died in our backyard and stayed for years, parked under an apple tree.

Tractor

But now this older daughter and her husband have bought a house and are transforming it. What wonders paint can do!  Look at these cupboards and walls!

cupboards

These painting projects have gotten me motivated.  I hope to soon paint our front door and then go from there!  🙂

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fiveWe write for five minutes flat. 
All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar,
font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Posted in Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday ~ Written

WRITER

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may never have my name upon a book cover,  but something I enjoy doing is being is being a writer.  Way back when, I was the kid in school getting in trouble for passing notes. I was the writer of long letters then – I still am! I enjoyed the writing assignments for English and reading classes. Yes, even during college days,  I enjoyed helping friends write their papers for class… and then helping my college aged kids.

Another great past time of mine is reading the words and works of other writers, including reading the hostess of Five Minute Friday’s book, Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom.  I am in the middle of reading her book now, which just came out and will be giving a book review of it soon. You need not wait for my review – order it now!  It’s worth it!  Lisa-Jo is indeed a wonderful writer!

Besides writing here on my blog, I am also the writer of numerous journals.IMAG1269-1 And part of many of my journals is taking the writings of the Great Author, God, and writing down what has touched my heart at that time – sometimes rewritten as a prayer to Him, sometimes, just writing down and dating it and remembering how it touched my heart at that time.  To take the Words of God that He has written, and rewrite them to have them written on my heart helps me hold it closer and to look back and see the verses that were given to me at the right time along this journey of life.  

God’s Word is such a gift to us, so timely, and we can also give our words not only to Him through our prayers (in thought, aloud, or in writing) but we can give the gift of words to others – simply a note, or even journals that we keep and pass down.  I am so thankful I encouraged (sometimes forced) our children to keep journals as part of their schooling.  What treasures they are to have their written words to remember special times . . . to laugh over, cry over and be thankful for. Yesterday one of my married daughters was over, and we laughed at one of her journal pages, and then got out our son, Matthew’s journal, to reminisce over.  It’s a gift he left behind to us.

There is a writer in all of us – it needs to be share!

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fiveWe write for five minutes flat. 
All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar,
font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Posted in Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: MIGHTY

MIGHTY

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his weeks’ word is not in my everyday speech very often. But a part of the word is in my language – and I imagine as well with my readers.  

I might not be able to make it through this.
I might not be good enough.
My baby might be getting sick.
I might get in an accident
My baby might not be gaining enough weight.
He might leave me.
She might not be my friend.
I might fail.
I might get cancer.
I might not be a good mom.  

When we get these things going in our minds of what might happen, we need remember first, 

Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
think about such things

(Note how the word might is never used in this verse!)

So what do we do with the “mights” in our lives?  We can turn to our Mighty God, who is mighty in power, who knows all and loves us beyond measure and wants the best for us and our loved ones  the Mighty One who does not have might as part of His vocabulary — who has been faithful generation after generation and we can repeat His mighty acts and things He has done for us from generations behind us to generations before us.  

Might we get might out of our vocabulary and trust this Mighty Rock, because of His great power and mighty strength?

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verse

My salvation and my honor depend on God;
    He is my Mighty Rock, my Refuge.
Psalm 62:7

Who is like you, Lord God Almighty?
    You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.
Psalm 89:8

The Lord’s right hand is lifted high;
    the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”
Psalm 118:16

Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.
Psalm 147:5

One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.
Psalm 145:4

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
    Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
    and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of His great power and mighty strength,
    not one of them is missing.
Isaiah 40:26

For to us a Child is born,
    to us a Son is given,
    and the government will be on His shoulders.
And He will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

 

fiveWe write for five minutes flat. 
All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar,
font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Posted in Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: JOY

JOY

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first thought with the word joy is my daughter, Jessica Joy who has had three open heart surgeries, and lets Jesus’ joy shine through her in such a beautiful way. She loves people, especially the “least of these” and has a heart for the hurting. But you can read more about her here.  JOYFUL in Hope?  Patient in Affliction?  YIKES!  HOW?????

But what else comes immediately to mind is my verse for this year:

Be joyful in hope,
patient in affliction,
faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12

I have by no means conquered this verse, but God keeps reminding me of it, over and over again, especially, when I question . . . when I ask, what if, how, why, where are you God in this, etc. Sometimes A LOT of times it’s just plain hard to find joy when so much can come crashing down. Ultimately I know there is hope, but how long til we get that hope that will bring joy – right?  NO – God says to be joyful IN the hope!  THAT is the hard part! That is what God is reminding me of. That no matter what, there is hope and I can rejoice and have joy in that.  

Ohhh, so much easier said than done . . . but there IS a light at the end of the tunnel – God just does not tell us how long that tunnel will be (and many times we probably do not want to know!) but I can have joy that no matter what happens, how much it hurts, how much sense it does not make, how many tears I’ve cried, and how scary the journey may seem, there IS hope and that I can be joyful in.  

And the next part of the verse is just as hard – to be patient in affliction.  Ugh.  seems like a lot at once, doesn’t it?  To be joyful in hope AND patient in affliction?!?!?  The next line sums it up – helps us to accomplish this – faithful in prayer.  

I just wonder, how much more joy and patience I’d have, with more faithfulness in prayer.  

Might the same be for you?

. . . Finish

fiveWe write for five minutes flat. 
All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar,
font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

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Five Minute Friday: CROWD

CROWD

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 don’t like crowdsI don’t like shopping either, if there is a crowd of people.  I don’t do Black Friday shopping.  Too many people.  I can even have a panic attack being at a ladies retreat – with a crowd of women, not knowing where I fit in or who to sit with.  

tubAnd, sometimes at home, it can also seem like there’s a crowd.  It can be one of those days when the kids have tattled one too many times, the phone has rung one too many times with either no one there or some soliciting calls . . . .the kids are still tattling . . . the Awana book is still missing along with the youngest’s glasses (again) and now, instead of the kids tattling . . . they are yelling the other child’s offenses real loud so I can hear them.  Calgon take me away is not far enough away.  There’s a crowd in this house and I need some time ALONE!  (Yes, you can send me to time out – alone somewhere!)

[A]nd great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities.
But He would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
Luke 5:15-16

No, I do not feed crowds like Jesus did – but sometimes five kids can seem like 5000 pressing in on me when the winter has dragged on and the kids need to run as much as I need ALONE.  An escape to my bedroom with no banging on the door, or mama can I come in; where are you mama, or can I have a snack  for just 20 minutes, sounds like an escape.  A weekend away to a cabin or hotel, alone, sounds wonderful too! It certainly was not that Jesus did not like the crowd of people. He loved them beyond measure.  But He too needed space. He knew He was going to die for them.  But He needed time away, alone, to pray and be with His Father.

I am learning to feel not guilty for wanting and needing time alone, from my mini crowd, that it is ok, to go to my room to read, alone, to pray, alone, to just breath, alone!

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fiveWe write for five minutes flat. 
All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar,
font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Posted in Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: “Choose” HIM for Lent

CHOOSE

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 y first thought with this week’s word, is the Scripture verse,

” . . . choose this day whom you will serve. . .
as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

LENTI have been thinking seriously about something to  choose, for Lent . . . for God . . .  for my relationship with Him. Lent begins next Wednesday, March 5th.  In the past I did choose sugar or something relating to food, but in all actuality, it was more for me, hoping to lose weight. It did not help or hinder my relationship with Him.  

So I have been thinking and praying about how to choose Him this Lent.  What takes time away from Him that I can give up?  And I’ve been getting the poking and prodding over the last several days to give up . . . here I go . . . I may need encouragement . . . Facebook & Twitter on my phone – to disable it – no checking first thing in the morning or last thing at night. It may even extend to my computer.  I’m praying about it. This means not reading updates on my kids,  or especially my grandbaby and seeing the newest pictures or videos of her.  It means not scrolling through in the morning and seeing everybody’s life adventures of the morning.  I am wondering if I can make it a habit to open my Bible before checking statuses and more time with better reading choices that encourage my walk with God.  

My pastor wrote about Lent and this is a good summary:

“This is what Lent is about . . . life with God.
It is about setting aside something good for Someone better . . . God.
It is about receiving the Living Water.”

I’m blessed. I can choose more Living Water.  I can choose whom I will serve.

. . . Finish

fiveWe write for five minutes flat. 
All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar,
font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

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Five Minute Friday: WRITE

WRITE

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 received a handwritten note in the mail the other day. Like most of us, I receive e-mails, texts, Facebook messages and comments every day. It’s the way I keep in touch with my kids, especially my older four who do not live at home anymore.  I love hearing from them, getting a new picture (almost every day) of my grand daughter. One of my daughter’s and I have a little game on Wednesdays – who can send the first new picture for  “What day is it? It’s HUMP day” via text.  I enjoy these connections with my kids. Yet, I treasure the handwritten notes from them and cards from through the years.  I still have a box full of little post-it-notes my husband would leave for me every morning when our oldest kids were very young.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, the other day, when I received a handwritten note from an elderly woman in my church, to say she missed me in small group and at church, it soared my heart, because, it was personal – she meant it. She took the time to write.  And she even has Facebook, but took the time to pick out a little note card, write personally to me, showing care and that she is praying, I knew it was real.  It’s just not the same as clicking the “LIKE” button on Facebook, or writing, “praying for you” in three seconds. It’s taking the time, to write out the card, address an envelope, put a stamp on it, and for her, walk a distance to her mailbox to send it. And I believe it when she says she is praying for me.  

I used to write cards and letters often. fuller-letterMy mom would encourage letters. And what a treasure one letter is I wrote to my pastor and his wife after she led me to the Lord. She found it numerous years ago and sent it to me.

It’s not as easy to tuck away e-mails or Facebook comments.  But a letter we have written may lay on a desk, be stuck away in a Bible to remember to pray for someone, or something we come across years later to treasure and reminisce about. 

Family busyness, life, and the ease of e-mail and Facebook have kept me from rarely sending a card or letter. Even birthday cards are a rarity now.  We can do it all through Facebook.  There’s the advantage of remembering easier, but I wonder, how much we could make other’s hearts soar by taking the time to write.  I wonder if encouraging our children, to do it WITH us, would help bring back something that is not only missing from our lives to encourage someone, but also for the person who receives the written note or card.

Kept Signature

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Five Minute Friday: A Queen for My HERO

HERO

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e all have the heroes that weave in and out of our lives. Little kids dress-up as their favorite hero from the prettiest ballerina to Superman.  iron manThough our youngest had never seen an Iron Man movie, he wanted an Iron Man outfit to be the hero and protect (or capture?) his older sisters.   And so very often, we put everyday people into our lives, build them up as heroes, until they fail us.  I am thankful one specific Hero, the One who died on the cross will not fail me, though I fail Him so very often.

But we do have people in our lives that go above and beyond the call of duty to be heroes.  Though our family could not attend, a girl I have watched grow up since she was born, qualifies for hero, though she’d say no way, and the family she was helping raise money for are the heroes, especially the girl fighting leukemia.

Queen EstherEsther, 18 years old, is triumphing through the battle wounds of a broken home, shines brightly for Jesus and probably the most popular waitress at our local Big Boy. 🙂  Yesterday was a fundraiser day at Big Boy with 15% of food purchases going to help a family whose daughter is in the hospital, about to get a bone marrow transplant.  Esther donated her tips from her 12+ hours of waitressing and greeting people. Many people heroes also donated above and beyond a normal tip. Over $800 from tips and donations will be donated to Bree’s family (this does not include the 15% from food purchases).

That’s why, right now, dear Esther, you are my hero, as you are to many others.  Our family knows with spending a lot of time in the hospital, how it claims all the monetary resources, and for Bree’s family to have less to worry about, it helps them prioritize it all to Bree, where it should be.

And I know too, Esther, you will want to take the hero hat off, and give it to Bree for fighting this cancer war, but, you will still remain, Queen Esther!  🙂  I love you and am proud of you!

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FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY ~ Visit

VISIT

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ow come the other day,   when a friend wrote on Facebook, to share our favorite childhood books, I could only remember one – Tikki Tikki Tembo
and as soon as I saw today’s Five Minute Friday word, VISIT, the book, Little Visits with God immediately came to mind.  It was a book that my dad would often read before bedtime.  I believe I had a copy of one when my older kids were young.  I might have to find another copy to read to my younger ones.

And then I laughed to myself when I thought of another word with VISIT.  I remember not having a clue when I first started college when my roommates said “Their friend came to visit” or “Aunt Flo came for a visit “.

As I think of the day, I am thankful how our married kids will come for an unannounced VISIT. They had a younger sibling come for a VISIT for the evening and brought her back and stayed awhile to VISIT  with us. Of course one of the best to  VISIT is my granddaughter. Oh I love to VISIT with her, and kiss her chubby little cheeks and listen to her squeal. I got her all dressed to go out the other day, and it was fun just to chat VISIT with her and tell her all about her mama!  She did listen quite intently!

4mnths

Can you imagine what it will be like to someday, to sit and actually see Jesus, and VISIT with Him, like Adam and Eve did in the garden?  Certainly we can have our quiet times with Him now, which reminds me of the words to a song,

And He walks with me and He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

Yes, we can have, little VISITS with God, like our friends and family, throughout our day.

. . . Finish

Kept Signature

Joining Lisa-Jo and her Five Minute Friday.
” five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right “
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Five Minute Friday – ENCOURAGEMENT

ENCOURAGEMENT

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am thankful for ENCOURAGEMENT, specially these past two weeks.  I won’t go into a lot of detail but because of my having lupus and back problems, the pain has slammed me and am having to make some medication changes. A liver blood test came back somewhat elevated, so there are concerns. I’ve not made it to church two Sundays in a row which is discouraging itself to me.  I need that!   My older daughters have been great, with ENCOURAGEMENT – sending me notes and trying to make me laugh.  The younger girls at home have been great with the ENCOURAGEMENT and helping me, giving me hugs.  Today, my husband went with me to the doctor was understanding and my doctor was great as well, so willing to work with me and give ENCOURAGEMENT that we can get through this and he is willing to work with us. My husband’s ENCOURAGEMENT was extended with encouraging me to go out for lunch and we met with our twin daughters, daughter-in-law and son-in-law and the cutest granddaughter ever. Her snuggles, baby breath and smiles are wonderful ENCOURAGEMENTS!!  Even with pain, and feeling the medications wear off, it’s amazing how far ENCOURAGEMENT can go and uplift spirits. Knowing friends and family are praying is ENCOURAGEMENT. (THANK YOU!!!)

The 22nd of this month will be 16 years since our daughter, Angela Hope, was born still.  I look back to that and see how much ENCOURAGEMENT our family received.  Now, I am thankful that I can give that ENCOURAGEMENT back. Sadly, there are families that go through the death of a child too often, and recently a family in our church lost their firstborn child.  My heart breaks as I see her empty arms.  I am thankful to see the sensitivity in my children, even my younger girls who had her as a Sunday School teacher, and want to give her hugs of ENCOURAGEMENT.

Scripture gives us an important way of accomplishing ENCOURAGEMENT:

Rejoice with those who rejoice,
weep with those who weep.

Romans 12:15

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Joining Lisa-Jo and her Five Minute Friday.
” five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right “
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Five Minute Friday: To {SEE} Like Hagar

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love the story of Hagar.  She was Sarah’s slave.  Sarah could not get pregnant, so she told Abraham, her husband, to go sleep with Hagar.  He did it. She conceived.  And then Sarah started mistreating Hagar.  I can only imagine the jealous that Sarah must have felt, and the guilt Hagar felt. Hagar ran away.  But an angel stopped her and questioned what she was doing and where she was going and told her to go back to Sarah and submit to her, that God had seen her misery, and gave her a promise that the son she was carrying would bring so many descendants that, like the stars, they never could all be counted.  And Hagar’s response is precious:

Hagar
Angel Visits Hagar in the Wilderness  by Gheorge Tattarescu c. 1870

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”  Genesis 16:13

Hagar knew at that instant, when the angel spoke to her, how much God loved her.  She knew God could see her running away.  She knew God could see her when she was with Abraham.  Didn’t she deserve to be mistreated by Sarah for being with Abraham?  Sin is still sin, right?  Isn’t that what what we say?  Don’t we cast out those that are sinning, and know better.  Do we ever put our arm around someone who is back slidden, as we say now, and tell them we love them, are praying, want them back – or do we ignore them until they are right with God?  But, oh, God looks and see us – yearns for us, wants  us, to wipe it all away, if only we’d go to Him.  We’ve got many stains, which He wipes away – and He no longer sees. Yet, we seem to want to see it – remind ourselves of our past, our failures and then others see it.

If only we’d see like Hagar . . . we might see Jesus more!

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Joining Lisa-Jo and her Five Minute Friday.
” five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right “