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Posts Tagged ‘Five Minute Friday’

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The prompt for this week is…

Hands

GO

I look down at my hands typing on the keyboard and notice how dry and worn they look. Product of washing dishes without gloves and being too lazy to apply lotion, because really why bother when I have to wash my hands every 15 minutes? These hands that are constantly wiping down tables, counters, little faces and little bums, handling food and sticky messes, folding laundry and papers for crafts…these hands that do so much in a day and need constant washing.

These hands that carry the weight of babies and my own heavy head at the end of a long day. These hands that are constantly responding to the cry of “Mommy, help!” These hands that wipe away tears of others and many times of my own. These hands that absorb the smell of garlic and baby skin and dish detergent. Thank You Lord, for giving me these hands and may You use them as Your own. Remind me to take care of them because so much depends on them. Okay, time to go put on some lotion.

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The prompt for this week is…

Grateful

GO

Sometimes in the midst of my messy noisy life, it’s easy to forget that I have so much to be grateful for. It’s so much easier to focus on and complain about the little imperfections I have to live with – yet another marker stain on the couch, toys that refuse to stay tidy in their spots, little boys who can’t get along, a four-year-old’s constant non-stop whining. These little things cloud my brain and even though I’m always telling my boys the importance of saying thank you, I know with my sharp words and short temper I’m modeling to them someone who’s not very thankful or grateful.

So I’m so grateful for this week’s word, grateful for the reminder that for me to raise grateful children, I need to be a grateful mother. Today I will exercise to give thanks to my heavenly Father instead of using my energy to inwardly whine non-stop about all the trivial things. Thank you Lord, for providing for all our needs, marker stained couch and all. Thank you Lord, for healthy happy children, even though they bicker and whine and drive me up the wall. Thank you Lord, for the most understanding husband who after you, bears the brunt of all my complaining and whining. Thank you Lord, for friends and sisters I can not only commiserate with, but also pray with. Thank you most of all, for your daily unending supply of grace. Thank you for your life in me that can make me a thankful person. Amen and amen.

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The prompt for this week is…

Friend

GO

This summer CC’s best friend will move away to New York City. He’s known her since they were both 10 months old. I met her mom at the weekly library story time and as we pushed our strollers next to each other on the way to the library, we found out that our children were a week apart and that we lived a couple streets apart. Our friendship and the friendship of our children was sealed on that day four years ago. Since then there’s been innumerable play dates, two years of preschool together carpooling everyday, toys and meals shared between the two homes like family. She calls CC “older brother” in Chinese even though she’s only a week younger and a whole head taller than him. They don’t ever seem to tire of playing with each other, begging to go to each other’s houses after school. Sometimes they fight like an old married couple and it’s hard for me to keep a straight face. I wish I could tape record all the conversations I overhear between them in the car on the way to and back from school.

But in a few months she will move across the country and there will be no more car pooling and no more play dates. CC will start transitional kindergarten at a new school without his trusty friend by his side. I don’t know if either of them realize yet the changes that are coming, but children adapt quickly, and unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) also forget quickly. It’s the adults who don’t deal as well with change. Soon there will be new best friends and who knows if they’ll even remember each other in five years. They’ll only have the pictures to remind them. Hopefully the next time they meet, she won’t still be a whole head taller than him.

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The prompt for this week is…

Paint

GO

I mentioned in my last post that my spring break project was to repaint an old cabinet I found. Well here it is! Our new cabinet for tea cups and snacks and cookbooks.

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Not that impressed, you say? Well if you knew me, you’d be impressed. The extent of my DIY ability is repurposing an old glass jar by putting pens in it. Most of my experiences of “doing it myself” have turned out to be like the firetruck birthday cake I tried to make for CC two years ago. Yeah, not good.

But I’ve been looking for some kind of cabinet for the living room to store our stuff for tea and snacks. We had no budget for new furniture and I couldn’t find anything I liked on craigslist. So it was serendipitous that I happened to be there on the day they were spring cleaning our church meeting hall and someone unearthed this old wooden cabinet. Perfect, I said to myself, all it needs is a new coat of paint. I had my husband move it into an empty storage area and couldn’t wait for spring break so that I could start working on it.

After searching on pinterest and repeated trips to the paint store (where I was absolutely clueless) I finally emerged with a can of cover stain primer, a can of paint, a paint roller, and one of those sponge paint brushes. During our spring break, while the kids were napping, I would retreat into the back tool room and paint and paint and paint. It was surprisingly therapeutic and not as difficult as I thought (although it did take me a good 15 minutes to pry the lid off the paint can). Result turned out okay, no? Much better than the fire truck cake at least.

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The prompt for this week is…

Crowd

GO

She knew if she just touched even His garment, she would be healed of this flow of blood that has plagued her for twelve years. She had heard of this man, Jesus, and knew He had performed great acts of healing. If she could just get to Him, maybe she too could be healed. So she worked her way through the crowd. Everyone was pressing in upon Him, but somehow she found an opening. She was behind Him and reached her arm out as far as she could until her fingertips felt the coarse fabric. As soon as she did, she knew something had changed. The blood had stopped, her affliction was cured. Giddy with happiness she tried to blend back into the crowd and get home as fast as she could to tell her family of the miracle. But before she could get away, He turned around and asked the crowd, “Who touched My garments?” His disciples were incredulous, the whole crowd was pressing upon Him, surely there were many people touching Him. But He looked at her, and she knew that He knew. She had been found out, so she confessed to Him and to everyone the whole truth. She was ready to be judged or punished, but instead she heard from Him these comforting words, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be well from your affliction.” (Mark 5:34)

Maybe this isn’t exactly how it happened, but if you read the account in Mark chapter 5, it’s pretty close. This story of the woman being healed of the flow of blood has always spoken to me. How sweet that the Lord knew the difference between the crowd’s touch and her touch. He knew that the crowd was just there out of curiosity, driven by mob mentality, so they could see up close what miracle this Jesus would perform next. But this woman was different. She was driven by desperation; her only goal was to be able to touch Him, because she had the faith that to touch Him was to be healed. The Lord didn’t respond to the pressing crowd and the crowd received nothing from Him. But He did respond to this woman’s reaching out in faith and as a result, she was the only one in the crowd who received the healing.

So often I ask myself, “Am I just part of the crowd, or am I this woman?” Am I really desperate to touch the Lord or am I content to be just part of the crowd, touching Him in a superficial way? Yes, I attend the church meetings and yes, I read my Bible, and yes, maybe all week I’ve been involved in many activities that seem like they are close to the Lord and related to the Lord. Why is it then sometimes I feel like I receive nothing? Maybe it’s because I haven’t really “touched” Him. The Lord only responds to those who desperately seek Him. So I’m encouraged, in my personal time with the Lord, to step out of the crowd and reach out my arms in faith. This kind of faith will heal us and cause the Lord to speak a personal word to us. If this is our experience every morning, then we can really go about our day in peace.

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The prompt for this week is…

Willing

GO

Sometimes I think I’m getting a little too comfortable with my life here in Berkeley. A little too settled. If the Lord were to call me and my husband to pick up and move somewhere right now…in theory I’d like to think I’d be willing. I’d like to think that there would be the openness in my being to say “Amen” to the Lord or even to my husband. That’s in theory. In reality, I think there would be a lot of “But Lord…” and “What if…” instead of amens. In reality, I think it would involve a lot of tears and maybe even kicking and screaming to uproot me. So once in a while, the Lord will gently remind me that we are sojourners here…that like our father Abraham, we live a life of the altar and the tent. Everything we are and have needs to be placed on the altar, consecrated to God for His use. And our earthly dwelling can only be a tent, something so small and movable, not tied down to one place. That’s how Abraham and Sarah lived their whole lives and that’s how they taught their children to live. Their life of faith was one of having God’s appearing, building altars, and pitching their tents wherever God led them.

I recognize that I’m not there yet, that maybe I’m not so willing. But at least I can pray, “Lord, make me willing to be willing. Whether it’s here or there, I want to be rooted in You, not in any earthly place. I don’t want my comfort and convenience to dictate where I live, but that Your kingdom would govern where we pitch our earthly tent.” Like Abraham, we look forward to a better country, a heavenly one, and we eagerly wait for the city “which has the foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10,16). Sounds like a much better place to be than Berkeley.

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The prompt for this week is…

Choose

GO

He’s in the throes of his first tantrum and it’s barely 7:30am. We sit on his Ikea bed and I wrap my arms around him while he flails and screams. He doesn’t like it when I use the human strait jacket on him so it makes him kick and scream even more. As calmly as I can, I tell him he has a choice. He can choose to start his day with a tantrum or he can choose to calm down and try to start over. Eventually he starts to tire and I loosen my hold on him. I watch him as he sobs on the bed, chest heaving, and I keep telling him to breathe. I repeat it like a mantra over him until he calms down and the sobs turn into a silent whimper. When reason again returns to him, I ask him to explain to me what’s wrong. Somehow we manage to reach a compromise and we both walk out back to the kitchen to finish breakfast.

I’ve noticed that both my husband and I do that a lot with CC. We present him with choices (sometimes too many) and we try to make him understand that by choosing an action he also chooses the consequences of that action. Everything we do is a choice. Even our not choosing is to choose the default. Maybe that’s too much to expect a 4-year-old to understand, but being an indecisive person myself, I’m determined to have my son not take after me. So I like to present him with options whenever I can – the dinosaur shirt or the Thomas shirt, mac and cheese for lunch or PB&J, etc. – and in situations where I make the choices for him, I try to explain to him why. This is all in hopes that he’ll grow up knowing how to make wise choices and that when it comes to big things, like choosing to follow the Lord, he’ll stand firm in his decision and not allow others to choose for him. I’m starting to realize more and more what a sacred responsibility has been entrusted to us as parents. We have the power to shape little souls, little vessels that can either be unto honor or unto dishonor, vessels that one day can be useful to the Master (2 Timothy 2:21). So as my little boy does the choosing, you can be sure that this mommy will be doing a lot of praying.

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