Five Minute Friday – Willing

I’m joining in with a group of writers for Five Minute Friday where we’re given a prompt (this week it’s WILLING) and write for five minutes about it.

I’m sitting in bed reading. The door leading from our bedroom to the deck is open. Cool fresh morning air fills the room and birdsong is the first music of day. Gerry delivers a cup of soy milky frothy coffee to me, kisses the top of my head, and gets ready to head out to men’s meeting.

At the front of the house he opens the door creating a cross draft and, ever so slowly, the bedroom door swings on its hinges and closes. I’m not smart enough to understand or explain the principles that caused it but they’re irrelevant at the moment because the gentle swinging of the door makes me mindful of other things I struggle to understand and explain.

I have a propensity to rely on what I can see, smell, hear, taste, and touch, but that which is as invisible as the wind is no less real in my spirit. We talk about having a willingness to suspend disbelief to appreciate works of literature or drama. It’s from such a willingness that faith springs.

The divine in this room, invisible but no less real in my spirit, whispers. Deep calls to deep. I believe. Help my unbelief. I think we’re all meant to be poets.

Friday, March 8, 2019 – Five Minute Friday – More

I’m joining in with a group of writers for Five Minute Friday where we’re given a prompt (this week it’s MORE) and write for five minutes about it.

I wake from a dream in which I’m being courted for a job. It’s a good job—the kind of business analyst type work I used to do, and I’m tempted. In my dream, I think that maybe I could do it part-time, and still retain a measure of the sweet post-work life I’ve come to love. I wake, feeling  like maybe I dodged a bullet.

Then I see that the prompt for this week is more and it makes me smile. Yeah, we’re always looking for more, aren’t we? More money, more house, more clothes, more time, more food. But wisdom tells us that sometimes the better thing is not more, but less.

Thomas Merton  said that “To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times.”

More can, most definitely, be experienced as a kind of violence. When we spread ourselves too thin we become less effective and less kind. We wear ourselves out. Relationships change. And that multitasking thing? It doesn’t really work. Intentional, steady, focus on a thing—that’s where the gains are made.

And I think how, in some ways, my life is smaller than it was when I was still working and I understand the lure for more. I sit for a while and remember that in the deep there is richness not available in the shallow. The siren call of more fades away.

These years, and the opportunity to pray more and read more and write more and go deeper with my Creator, have value greater than any temporal more. They are gifts to be cultivated, used wisely, and shared.

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I’m over at the InScribe Writers Online blog today with a post about some things we don’t think too much about in the world today: contrition and humility. The post tracks nicely with the more prompt too.

Friday, March 1, 2019 – Five Minute Friday – Search

I’m joining in with a group of writers for Five Minute Friday where we’re given a prompt (this week it’s SEARCH) and write for five minutes about it.

Search. The word speaks me to my adoptee experience, and the fact that I’ve always searched.

Once, I searched, in vain, the faces of people I encountered looking for something that might connect me with my birth family. When the time was right, I initiated a true search and found some answers. Later, I searched again, and found a few more, but I still carry an emptiness. I will always carry an emptiness.

I used to feel guilty for the way I feel. Guilty toward my adoptive parents, because their love wasn’t enough to take it away. Guilt, toward the members of my birth family I was fortunate to meet, because those connections weren’t enough. And guilty toward God, because even His love wasn’t enough to entirely fill the void.

I don’t feel that way any more. God understands my grief, as he understands yours. We’re all carrying a measure of it and it’s nothing to feel guilty about. I enjoy God and glorify him because there’s still so much to be in awe of. Grief is only part— albiet a very real part—of life.

Last night we finally had an opportunity to watch Lion on Netflix. It is the true story of a five-year-old boy named Saroo, who gets lost from his family in India and is adopted by a family in Australia. Twenty-five-years later, in 2012, he finds his way back home to India and to his mother. The reunion scene crushed my heart because of the emotion of the movie, but also because it reminded me, again, that I will never have the opportunity for such a reunion. (I did a bit of research this morning and found that in the real-life reunion between Saroo and his mother there was a language barrier—Saroo spoke only English and his mother only Hindi. Talk about complicated.)

The movie, and my personal story, present the same truth: adoption is both loss and gain. In fact, life is both loss and gain.

It’s messy and it’s complicated and, sometimes, it hurts beyond hurt. We lean in to truth and find that we are carried. We come to know that the whole thing is about Love, and perhaps that is the most complicated thing of all.

So we search. We sit in silence, and listen, and in the stillness comes truth. And the Love doesn’t make the pain go away, but it makes a difference. It makes all the difference.


Friday, February 8, 2019 – Five Minute Friday – Build

I’m joining in with a group of writers for Five Minute Friday where we’re given a prompt (this week it’s BUILD) and write for five minutes about it.

In the corporate world there was a principle meant to remind you not to get too busy or lose focus, lest you get to the top of the ladder of success (whatever that meant) only to find that it was leaning against the wrong wall. There are conflicting opinions about who first coined the idea, but the principle itself comes from the Creator.

Unless the Lord builds the house . . .

I know that unless I start the day with my mind on things above, chances are that I will come to the end of it without having pressed In to the precious few important things. Unless I abide throughout it, I’ll likely make some wrong turns. Unless I reflect back at the end of the day, I will miss seeing some pretty big logs in my eye that have obstructed my vision, and I’ll stumble over the same things the following day.

. . . those who build it labour in vain

I’m not a builder or an architect. I’m neither smart nor strong enough to manage the project of my life, but the love and faithfulness of my Creator has proven to me that He’s got it for me. I do my human best to lean in, listen, and let the Master architect and builder run the project of my life.

But you know, I’ve got this tendency to grab the blueprints and say “let’s put this here” or “I don’t like where that’s going, let’s do this instead”. And it’s foolish, and it causes delays, and pieces of the thing implode, and we have to start over again on whole sections, and I keep forgetting that the minute I reach for those blueprints my efforts are for naught.

But I keep doing it.

Sometimes I realize quickly what I’ve done and hand the blueprints back, but not always. That love? That faithfulness? In it, the Master builder doesn’t smack me upside the head in annoyance at my forgetfulness. He lets me go on, and get myself wound up in knots until I see what I’m doing. Then we get to work together to put things right.

It’s an ongoing struggle, and one I expect I’ll have until I come to the end of my days. I’m so thankful for grace, and second chances, and that abiding love and faithfulness.

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I’m over at the InScribe Writers Online blog ( today talking about this season of lying fallow.

Friday, January 11, 2019 – Five Minute Friday – Better

I’m joining in with a group of writers for Five Minute Friday where we’re given a prompt (this week it’s BETTER) and write for five minutes about it.

I’m pursuing a deeper relationship, and every choice I make takes me closer to, or farther away, from the One who holds my heart.

I am blessed, at this point in my life, to have the gift of time, but time was something I always had—there have always been twenty-four hours in a day, as far as I know.

Once a good portion of my day was constrained by the priorities of a corporation, but I still had choices to make during those hours to walk with grace and integrity, and I had a good measure of non-work hours that I chose to fill, one way or another, with things that took me closer to, or farther away. Now, I set my own schedule.

I didn’t always choose wisely, then. Sometimes, I don’t now. But an awareness of the end game, and a desire for the One I seek helps me make better choices.

To be still, rather than busy.

To listen rather than speak.

To read this, instead of that.

To adore, rather than ask.

To be kind, rather than harsh.

And countless other better ways that shape and form my character, even as they are an outflowing of it. Better ways, that lead me closer the Best.