Five Minute Friday: Turn

Turn.  When I think of this week’s writing prompt, I think of the lyrics from the song “Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There is a Season),” where the lyrics are based on the Book of Ecclesiastes, specifically chapter 3:

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

15 Whatever is has already been,
    and what will be has been before;
    and God will call the past to account.[b]

16 And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
    in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

17 I said to myself,

“God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.”

A good book of the Bible to review this Friday and every day . . .  Turn.

 

Five Minute Friday: Long

Long.  “The days are long, but the years are short,” was a saying I heard often while at home with my two squirts both under the age of three.  Looking back, there was so much truth to this saying.  Juggling two kiddos’ sleep schedules with one having feedings every three hours and the other with three hour naps in the afternoon, I now realize I was awake far more hours than I was asleep;  the days were definitely long.  Now, though, with both girls above the age of five, those long days seemed to have passed in a flash.  Having a wall of pictures in our house, I relive those long days daily through my memory, but often wish those days were still here.

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During one of those long days, I met a woman who changed the meaning of those long, sometimes lonely days.  With her two children being the same age as mine, we filled these long days with a lot of laughter and continue to do so to this day.  I am grateful for her in my life, and on this day, her birthday, I wish her a long life filled with much love.

Five Minute Friday: Care

Care.  It had been eleven years since we had to put down our girl, Jelly, a Labrador Retriever mix.  As newlyweds, this was one of the first heart-wrenching acts my hub and I had to endure.  She had kidney failure, and there was nothing more we could do for her.  Leaving the veterinarian’s office, my hub carried a lifeless Jelly wrapped in her favorite blanket, and we drove her to my in-laws’ house seated on a few acres.  My father-in-law had her final resting place ready for Jelly, and there was where we said our final goodbyes.

Now with a six and eight-year-old, I felt it was time for them to experience the unconditional love of a dog.  My kiddos’ BFFs (they care) have a pig, two guinea pigs, chickens, goats, and now three dogs (I am sure I am forgetting some animals), and my girls would live there if they could.  We had tried fish, progressed to a hamster, and was now ready for that next step.

The Warren Billhartz Humane Society referred me to Cindy’s Critters, home of the non profit Metro East Lab Rescue, when I told them I was partial to Labrador mixes.  Talk about meant to be.  There is where I found Daisy, a “pocket” Labrador as Cindy, the owner of Cindy’s Critters, explained.  If you want to see a true animal lover in action, Cindy’s Critters is the place to be.  Instead of me doing the interviewing to find that right dog, Cindy spent close to twenty minutes interviewing me to ensure I was the right owner for one of her dogs, and I could not be more impressed.  A week later, I had an appointment to bring home our newest family member after a mandatory discussion by Cindy on the care of our girl Daisy.

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Five Minute Friday: Because

Because.  I find Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday word choices challenging.  I often need to take (more than five minutes) time to think about the prompt and how it applies to my life experiences.  I enjoy this time to myself to reflect because I feel it helps me grow as a writer and a child of God.

I am a firm believer in writing bribery.  I encourage my students with the use of Extra Credit to respond to Writing Workshop Wednesdays because I want them to grow as writers, too.  They have so many thought provoking and honest issues to share with others, and I want them to know this.

There are often times I would rather sleep in (okay, I like the idea, but with two young kiddos this rarely happens) or simply be grubby for an entire Sunday.  However, because my daughters look forward to their memory verses, seeing their friends, receiving their Bibles, and playing the cello in church, we make that effort on days when staying home sounds more appealing.  Because I like squeezing on women blessings, wrapping my arm around my hub during the sermons, listening to such motivating messages, and hearing goosebump generating music.  I am grateful afterwards (every time) for our attendance.  Because.

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Five Minute Friday: Whisper

Whisper.  It has been more than a trying week dealing with a severe infection which before being diagnosed I thought was a return of the big C.  When the radiologist tells you to wait after a CT scan, you tend to worry (a lot) after having breast cancer.  I worry about my girls not having a mother.  I worry about my hub, the love of my life, left alone to raise them.  These are whispers which remain with me in the back of my mind.

My youngest has taken this week of my having tests and appointments harder than I ever would have imagined.   She is usually my “See ya later, Mom!” girl.  This week she has not left my side, nor has she wanted to even to go to school which is one of her favorite places to be.

This reminds me of the two gifts God has entrusted me with, my two girls.  Always a whisper in my subconscious, other days when they are more needful of me, I hear the message loud and clear, and I am so eternally grateful.

 

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Five Minute Friday: Change

Change.  An aspiring politician and educator knocked on our door the other evening while we were eating dinner.  My hub answered the door and talked with him briefly before being handed a flyer highlighting his views on issues.  What was interesting to note was how there was no mention of his being Republican, Democrat, Independent, or other, and I thought that rocked.

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The point, at least as I inferred it to be, is the need for change regardless of which belief system you align yourself.

Isn’t this true for all problems in this world?  Does it matter whom does what?  Shouldn’t it simply matter that something . . . anything is being done at all to bring about change for the better of all?

While reading a post written by Lisa-Jo Baker the other day, she mentioned a friend in financial trouble who needed a vehicle to stay afloat for her family’s livelihood.  The small group at this woman’s church agreed to pray for her, but, as Lisa-Jo Baker pointed out, what she really needed was a car, which, it turns out, is exactly what Baker did for this woman . . . loaned her a car.  Goosebumps ran up and down my arms after reading this.  This is change in action and has inspired me to think more along those lines. .  .instead of simply praying, do. . . for change.

 

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed . . .

1st Corinthians 15:51

 

What does change mean to you?  Join in Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, #FMFParty

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Tell

Tell.  My uncle, sixty-three years young, died yesterday morning at the gruesome hands of cancer.  He was the funniest man I ever knew without a doubt.  His laughter and sense of humor was contagious.  I spent a lot of time at his home in my later single-digit years and early double-digit years.  He liked Winston Churchill and W.C. Fields as there was, to me at the time, a scary profile picture of the latter wearing a hat hanging on his wall.

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He first introduced me to biscuits and gravy much to my horror.  I remember looking at my plate with all of this speckled goo covering perfectly fine biscuits not sure what to do about it as I knew it wasn’t polite to tell someone you didn’t like what he was serving.  I moved the food around on my plate to make it look as if I had eaten, but ended up going home hungry.  Today I would be on my seconds by now hoping there were thirds and fourths.

One time when I stayed at his house for the weekend, I ended up flooding his bathroom as I didn’t know shower curtains went on the inside of the tub (my dad had glass shower doors).  When I stepped out of the tub onto the rug, there was this odd squishing sound.  I then tried to soak up as much of the water as I could with what towels I could find in the bathroom, but this hardly made a dent in my destruction.  I thought the best course of action was to say nothing, so I left when my mother picked me up hoping no one would use the bathroom while I was still present.  Now, I would have loved to have seen his reaction when his feet became soaked upon entering his bathroom, and he discovered a pile of wet towels in the bathtub.

As an adult, I didn’t see my uncle much.  At Christmas, though, I remember him doing a theatrical reading of Walter the Farting Dog which did not leave a single dry eye in the house.

I would like to think my uncle knew I loved him because I did.  I’d always squeeze on him before he left and say, “I love you, Grub!” (a term of endearment created by his nieces and nephews), and he would usually say, “Okay,” or something along those lines in return, but I know he loved me, too.

I imagine he’s now Upstairs with the Big Guy, his mom and dad, and my dad, whom he sought out in order to tell him some jokes.

I love you, Grub.

Five Minute Friday: Fill

Fill.  When I think of fill, I think of how many little hearts I would like to fill with love.  Coming from a less than ideal childhood where I felt as if I was on the back burner most of the time, where my parents didn’t seem to consider the consequences of their actions in regards to their children, where two siblings lived in separate households an hour and a half drive from each other during their formative years, where my mother’s immediate exit from my father resulted in a marriage to another man became the new norm for an eight-year-old.

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Now having an eight-year-old of my own, I see this as God giving me the opportunity to fill this little girl’s heart with as much love as possible, and this is what I strive to do day after day.  The Hub and I tried desperately to have this little girl for close to four years. . .  and I mean desperately.  Thus, she is a gift from God we do not take for granted, but cherish.  She is wanted, and we shower her with our love on a daily basis.

Hearing or reading about a child’s heart who is not being filled or has not been filled is difficult.  For, I truly believe, every child is an opportunity for a heart to be filled.

Write for five minutes, and share your idea of FILL  here.

 

Five Minute Friday: Begin

Begin.  This word can have so many connotations.  For my oldest daughter, beginning a new year of school at a different building is the least on her list right now.  The hub and I are offering lots of hugs and squeezes and assurances she will love it again once she begins again.

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The Hub and I at the BEGINning of summah.

It seems like only yesterday was the beginning of our summer together where we had weeks ahead of us with long days and later nights.  It’s hard for me to believe this summer is almost over, and we will all begin again without having accomplished all we had hoped to accomplish during this break from school:  multiple trips to the water park, more found furniture painted, much time spent with loved ones, etc.

The end of this time together with my girls and Hub is tugging at my heart, but this new beginning of the academic year means memories yet to made.  Begin.

Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday:  Begin

Five Minute Friday: Finish

Finish . . .  Reading Lisa-Jo Baker’s response to Finish makes me think of my own “passing the torch,” so to speak, on a not grand scale at all.

In October of 2011 I went on a women’s retreat with an amazing group of women blessings from Troy United Methodist Church.  Prior to this weekend, I had my first mammogram at the age of 40 which called for an ultrasound and then a breast excision.  So, my upcoming surgery was definitely on my mind.

The women’s group leading workshops at the retreat published Between the Lines.  Inspired and refreshed from the weekend, I read through the magazine and decided I wanted to have a similar publication for the women at my church.  Also, I thought the creation of Ruby Magazine would make for a welcoming distraction for what turned out to be a diagnosis of breast cancer.

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The magazine/blog ended up having an amazing three-year run with women blessing interviews, personal essays, recipes, and prayers, but I felt it needed to come to a finish this summer as the contributions dwindled.  It was time to finish.

When I put out a request for someone to take over, woman blessing Steph went above and beyond by creating The Gentle Yoke, an open faith forum and digital magazine.  Now, I have the pleasure of reading her posts and responding to them.  So, my finish was really just a blessed beginning.