Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: “Messenger”

Messenger.  That is the word chosen this week by author, Lisa-Jo Baker, for Five Minute Friday.  And so the clock begins ticking as hundreds of bloggers participate in our weekly free writing flash mob…

snoopyMessenger brings to mind the great Pastors I have been blessed to know and receive the word from.

Dr George Tolman was the messenger of my childhood who was soft spoken, had an infectious smile, offered the best children’s sermon and had an impressive collection of Snoopy ties. He pastored my family through weddings, baptisms, funerals and everything in between.  Dr Tolman was a Godly man who shared a biblical message in everything he did.

The Reverend Frankie Oliver counseled me through a difficult adolescence. Her unwavering  love and most forgiving heart was one that my family counted on.  Frankie taught me to rely on God and helped me to truly understand and believe that ”with God all things are possible”.  She is a Pastor, a Counselor, and a Friend.

In more recent years my messengers have been two congregational Pastors.  Both with amazing gifts to share scripture through relatable stories and with engaging animation.  Pastor David Shirey was my Granddad’s best friend.  He dedicated and baptized my oldest son, baptized my husband, counseled my family through the loss of my Granddad, and officiated at our wedding.  And Pastor Brian Frederick-Gray dedicated my youngest son and continues to energetically serve our home church in Arizona.

These messengers have offered me weekly sermons, shared hugs & giggles, dried my tears and have been there in my life’s most memorable moments.

I thank God for these messengers.
– T


Five Minute Friday: “Hands”

`It’s that time of the week when hundreds of bloggers log on to their computers to participate in a free writing flash mob hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker.

“Hands” is the word.  And the very first thing that came to mind when I read the Five Minute Friday prompt for this week was one of my favorite songs as a child, that I now sing daily to my little guy and one that I sang repeatedly to his big brother. 

Both my boys share my fondness for this song…

I washed my hands this morning,
O, very clean and white,
And lent them both to Jesus,
To work for Him till night.

Little feet be careful
Where you take me too,
Anything for Jesus
Only let me do.

I told my ears to listen
Quite closely all day thru,
For any act of kindness
Such little hands could do.

I told my eyes to watch them
About their work or play,
To keep them out of mischief
For Jesus’ sake all day.


02.11.2011  (2)At the start of each day when my three year old and I say our morning prayer we pray that we “make it a good day”. 

My hope is that me & my boys always remember to lend our hands to Jesus so that we may do good deeds for others which will undoubtedly make our days good

Might we remember the words in this song and share our hands & hearts for Jesus sake. 

And my hope for you, my readers, is not only that you be on the giving end of acts of kindness but might you also receive the giving works of others through their hands and their hearts.

Happy Friday.
– T

Note:  I copied/pasted the lyrics to the song above however I found two separate authors noted; L.M. Bateman & J.H. Rosecrans are both given credit for writing I Washed My Hands This Morning.

Five Minute Friday: “Nothing”

There are moments in life when it feels like everything has been ripped from us.  Moments in which we forget all of our other many blessings and even our reasons to live.  Moments when nothing else seems to matter.

145tzMy Granddad died seven years ago today.  I was on vacation in Maui when I received the phone call from my Aunt.  Her call woke me on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 and interrupted a dream that I was having about not being able to find my Granddad.  In what was really a nightmare my Aunt and I were searching high and low trying to find him.  Nothing will ever wake me up faster than a phone call before the sun rises.

I said “Hello?” 
She said “Honey.” 
I quickly responded “NO!!!  No.  This can not be happening.  This is not ok.  That’s why we couldn’t find him.  NO!!!!” 
She replied “I’m so sorry.”

And then we cried.  For a long time.  Holding our phones. Knowing there was nothing else we could do.  It was unexpected.  The heart attack took him in an instant.  My Aunt never said the words that my Granddad was gone.  She didn’t have to.  I knew it without hearing them.

Nothing will ever fill the hole in my heart that my Granddad’s passing created.  145zNothing will ever feel like his hugs and smell like the scent of his skin when he hugged me or soothe my soul like the sound of his laughter.  Nothing.  And I’m ok with that “nothing” because it reminds me of “something”.  Something so great – someone so important.

My five minutes are up.  Click here to read more Five Minute Friday entries from our blogging community free writing flash mob on Lisa-Jo Baker’s site or search #FMFparty on Twitter.
– T

Five Minute Friday: “Close”

It’s Five Minute Friday and the word is “Close”.  The question: is it “close” as in physically or emotionally close OR is it “close” as in the closing of a door?

My immediate thoughts go to the photo I posted on my Instagram account for Throwback Thursday.  The picture I posted embodied “close” in all forms I question above.

wl-photoOne year ago, my baby boy graduated high school and closed the door on his high school years.  He graduated along with his childhood friends that he’d gone to school with since kindergarten, his best friends who shared everything, his football teammates who fought through four years of adversity and triumphed their senior year, and our sweet cousin – his very first best friend (pictured).  These two cousins were born six weeks apart and their relationship like their age is the definition of CLOSE

As I posted that graduation photo for #tbt my thoughts were those of the bond these two young people have.  I reflected on their infancy, and their giggles at age three, the friendship they shared at ten, and their loyalty throughout their high school years.  I thought about how close their thoughts are for the future.  Both studying to serve their community & make a difference in their own respective fields of nursing and firefighting.  And, of course, I thought of that door closing a year ago.  That night was filled with hope & so many happy memories; that night was filled with the love of close friends & family; and that night was filled with a promise of tomorrow and the friendships that were so close that different colleges, states, nor time will break them. 

Close.  To close the door.  Close.  To be close.  To the memory and to the future of both.
– T

Note:  My other baby boy is the  photo bomber in this picture.  I pray he experiences the same closeness his big brother and his favorite girl cousin share.  The ‘bigs’ most certainly adore him as much as he does them and in such a way that the sixteen year difference does not matter.

Five Minute Friday: “Grateful”

It is that time of the week where I meet up with hundreds of bloggers for our five minute flash mob of free writing.  Lisa-Jo Baker selected “grateful” as this week’s Five Minute Friday word.

Today is my one month ‘blogiversary’.  For that I am grateful.

aa-IMG_8382I read and researched blogging for a solid year before diving in and I explored the idea off and on for years before writing my first post.  I am grateful for the internet that I was able to use as a learning tool, I’m grateful for the bloggers who have set the path, and I’m grateful for the books that have been written.

Some of the most incredibly supportive and encouraging family & friends are in my circle.  For that I am grateful.  There is a large community of bloggers just waiting to mentor and be friends; they are open to sharing ideas, offer encouragement, and share their wisdom.  For them I am beyond grateful.

I am grateful for the people and the companies who have reached out to me to collaborate.  I am overwhelmed by the interest in my little ol’ blog.  And for the readers who click the link on their computer and phone that brings them to my home page I am humbly grateful.  My one year Blog Views Goal will easily be met before my two month ‘blogiversary’  In fact, if the pace remains I will celebrate that milestone in three days and that is because of YOU – the person reading this blog entry right now.  Thank you.  I am grateful for you.

Finally, and most importantly, I am grateful to know a God whose presence reminds me that I CAN try things.  I understand some of those things may feel like successful accomplishments and others like learning lessons but either way it goes those moments are part of my story.  And I am extremely grateful that I am the author of my story in this life and of this blog.

Thank you for reading my blog…
– T

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Five Minute Friday: “Mess”

This week the Five Minute Friday word is “Mess” and so the time has come for a couple hundred of us bloggers to join a free writing flash mob on Lisa-Jo Baker’s site to share our unedited thoughts on mess.  Here we go…

Mess.  My heart and mind immediately think of my Grandma and her words “blessed with a mess.”  That was the way she looked at chaos when it came to little hands helping unload the dishwasher onto the floor, piles of laundry, and fingerprints on window panes.

1996 (22)The most wonderful perspective a mother of a toddler can hear from someone is one that includes
“it’s ok”.  When my oldest was a little tyke I would rush to aid my Grandma emptying the dishwasher concerned that my little man’s tiny hands would only create a mess.  Promptly my Grandma would encourage me to go sit down, she’d say “it’s ok” then remind me that she was in no hurry and that she was fortunate to have a dishwasher & blessed to have a grandson who wanted to help.  If the little helper’s hands placed the clean dishes on the floor those dishes could easily go right back in that efficient invention that cleaned them the first time.

That view was also my Grandma’s perspective on laundry.  She’d tell me she was thankful that she had been blessed with so many clothes to wear and “putting all those clothes through the wash is a good reminder that we have clothes, and God has blessed us”.  Maybe it was because she was born in 1928 and she had been through times my mind couldn’t imagine, maybe it was because she raised six children and she knew all too well how fast they grow and move out taking their mess with them, or maybe it was because the truth is that any mess is temporary.

My very favorite line about a blessed mess is one that I heard many times from my Grandma.  When I began to fuss over fingerprints on the windows, appliances or mirrors she would beg me to leave them.  She’d say “please do not clean those fingerprints, they are what get me through the days when my little bud doesn’t come see me, those fingerprints remind me to count my blessings”.  (Both her and my Granddad called my oldest their “little bud”.)

blog blender quoteMy youngest is now three.  There are fingerprints all over the mirrors, the windows, and the dishwasher at our house.  Some would see a mess when they look at those markings.  I see a blessing.  They remind me of how I longed for my second baby and how blessed my family is and they remind me of my Grandma, though she wasn’t around long enough to hold the tiny hands of this baby boy she no doubt watches over him from above and sees the absolute mess that he creates daily throughout his playroom and our home.  Thanks be to God for children and for all those material things that create a mess.  A beautiful mess.  – T

*Nine minutes later my “five minutes” are up!  Oops.  Read more five or so minute entries here.
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Five Minute Friday: “Friend”

Blessed.  That’s what I am.  Blessed for my circle of friends and the family that I am surrounded by who are the best of friends.  And I strive to be more like these beautiful women.

My baby sister is one of the bestest friends any girl could wish for.  She believes in me no matter what.  She offers the most unconditional love.  A love that is second only to my Grandma’s love.  I’m blessed to have aunts who are my friends, my role models, and the women God intended to guide me when my Grandmother would no longer be around.  And they have.  They give me more grace than I deserve.  The world’s sweetest friend is my little cousin whose calm brings warmth & peace to my heart; she knows and offers an unconditional love that matches my baby sisters.  I’m so grateful for the women in my family who are my friends.

2014.03.23   (28)SQAnd I’m grateful for my friends who have become my family.  My best friend.  She shares my past, believes in my future, and always reminds me of my faith.  She knows the good, the bad and above all else she knows my heart and I know hers.  She is my family.  I have an amazing friend who has been there to nanny both my boys, been to church camp with me and offers a smile and an ear that is unmatched to any other.  My real life cheerleader in Arizona who cheers for me, supports me and is 100% on my side. Always. Without fail.  We share similar parenting styles, tea, tears, and so many laughs.

I thank God for all of my mommy friends (near and far) who have shared the stages of pregnancy / birth / infancy / toddler & beyond with me.  They accept me for who I am – a momma with sleepless and scattered thoughts who loves them, appreciates them, wants good for them, and enjoys sharing their tots & this stage of life together.

I want to be the friend to each and every one of my friends that they have been to me.  A blessing.  My five minutes are up – time to post without editing (eeek).  There are so many others I’m grateful for!!  Thank you all.  You women noted above know who you are.  I love you!

Note:  Five Minute Friday is where hundreds of people come together in a kind of writing flash mob.  We write for five minutes flat.  All on the same prompt that is posted by Lisa-Jo Baker, author of “surprised by motherhood” .  We connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty.  There is no extreme editing, major grammar or punctuation correction.  Just happily free writing.  Unscripted.  Unedited.  Real.  And in support of each other.  Read more “Friend” posts here.