September 1 2017

Neighbor (Five Minute Friday)

Your neighbor may be the anchor in your neighborhood. When we lived in our little house, our first house as a married couple, we had neighbors who we considered an anchor. This couple was in their eighties and could tell us about when the big church across the street was built and what a mess the cutting of the stones made in the form of excess dust in their homes. This couple took excellent care of their home and yard. They cared about what happened to the neighborhood. When the house we ended up buying went on the market, they made sure their new next door neighbors would be a good fit for the neighborhood by introducing themselves to anyone who came to see the house. We thought they were so friendly and just an adorable old couple. He was tall and thin, she was less than five foot tall and not thin, but not fat either. They made such a cute couple. They had been married for over sixty years and were obviously completely devoted to each other.

They made us want to do a good job taking care of our yard so it would look good next to theirs. We loved chatting over the fence with them. They had friends over all the time and spent a lot of time on their screened-in carport. When it snowed, Orville would get out his snow blower and clear his driveway. Then he would do the one on the other side of us because she was an older single lady, her parents had been friends of theirs. If he still had enough energy when he was done with both those driveways, he would often clear ours too because he knew we were busy working and raising the kids. He was just that kind of neighbor. His wife, Opal, would share starts of her plants and freely give advice if asked on how to take care of various garden plants. It seemed they had lived in their home well over fifty years and had watched with interest as many of the houses nearby were built. Some might call them nosy neighbors, but we thought of them as protective of their home and those nearby. We felt safe knowing they were on duty watching over the goings on around their home. When they grew older, Opal was the first to go. Orville was never quite the same after she died. He seemed sadder and moved slower. Not long after, Orville also passed away and the house went on the market. The new owners planned to rent it out, what a shame. The neighborhood was never the same once these wonderful anchors were gone.

Are you an anchor in your neighborhood?

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Neighbor
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

August 26 2017

Guide (Five Minute Friday)

When I was growing up, it seems I heard “Let your conscience be your guide.” all the time. That served me well because a little guilt goes a long way. When I became a parent, I had to consider what I did and what sort of example I was setting for the little ones. Sometimes knowing I was setting the example for them changed the course of action I decided to take.

When I need guidance now, I pray about what to do and wait to see what guidance God gives me. Sometimes the guidance comes in the form of a phrase or verse. I try to let the Word guide my writing.

One of the most reassuring verses I have found is Jeremiah 29:11. It calms my inner perfectionist and helps me to simply say, “Thy will be done.”

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Guide
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

August 21 2017

Speak (Five Minute Friday)

This week the prompt is speak. I admit that I have had difficulty figuring out what to write on this one. Nothing immediately comes to mind. The thing that kept popping into my mind was Mom saying, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Yes, that is good advice and it stands the test of time, but it didn’t speak to me, you know?

Yesterday, Sunday, I attended the showing for the husband of a friend. I had never met her husband, but wanted to go to support my friend and be there for her if she needed me. I kept thinking, there, but by the Grace of God, go I. One day it probably will be me. I thought that if you knew your spouse had only a few days left to live or that you yourself had only a very limited time left, what would you say to your loved ones? We don’t always get the chance to speak to our loved ones “one last time” and that can leave us with questions and regret once they have passed on.

So my message today is that only God knows the number of our days and it is up to YOU to speak to those you care about and let them know how much you care. Tell them all the things you have been meaning to tell them. Don’t leave things unsaid assuming they know how you feel. Take the time to speak to them in person, tell them you love them because you never know if today will be their last day or maybe even your own. If you can’t speak to the ones you love for whatever reason, perhaps you could tell them how you feel in a letter instead. Speak your heart. Speak your mind. No matter what, just speak.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Speak
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

August 11 2017

Place (Five Minute Friday)

Do you know what or where your place in the world is? Do any of us really know our place? My place used to be at home, raising my kids. But the kids grew up, and it no longer seemed so important that they have a stay-at-home mom. So, where did that leave me? Well, hubby was tired of carrying the load alone so he wanted me to give up most of the unpaid volunteer activities that were filling my time and find something to do that would bring in an income. He wanted me to get a “real” job.

I worked on getting free of my many volunteer obligations and mentioned to the lady who owned the print shop where I took the quarterly journal I had been doing for the past 5 years to be printed, that I was giving it up. The owner of the print shop asked if I was good at computers. I shrugged and said something about how I had been doing the quarterly journal for the last five years, so I guessed I was decent enough. She mentioned that she might need some help doing data entry. She said would keep my number on file and let me know if she needed my help.

Four months later, just moments after getting my then 14-year-old back in school after getting hit by a car and breaking his leg to the point of it requiring a metal plate be surgically implanted, I got the call. She asked when I could start, and knowing I needed the rest of the day to catch my breath, I told her tomorrow, which, as it happened, was a Friday. I hadn’t gone looking for a job, but one found me. I had found a new place in the world, the working world. Nothing has been the same since. I have always felt that the job was God’s will for my life and that I should stay until he presented the next thing he wanted me to do. I’m sure he has put me here for a reason, and I still have yet to figure out what that reason is. I am starting to wonder if I had it all wrong somehow and maybe should have found a different job long ago. How do I know when my place has changed?

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Place
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

August 5 2017

Try – Five Minute Friday

When I was growing up, we were expected to try to do our best in everything we did. This may sound like unbelievably high expectations to set for kids, but it was actually great. If we didn’t do very well at something, Mom would ask, “Did you try? Did you do the very best you could?” If we could honestly say we did the best we could at the given task, she would say, “You did your best, that is fine.”

There are so many sayings with the word TRY. If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. As parents, we told the kids, “You have to try it before you can say you do like it.” As they got older, we got more creative and told them they had to try as many bites as they were years old. The four-year-old needed to try four bites of any new food before they could say they didn’t like it. “OK, you tried it. That’s good. Maybe you just aren’t old enough to like it yet. We will give it a try next time, maybe you’ll be old enough by then to like it.” See how that changes the outlook on trying new foods?

Now, there are certain foods, like liver and butter beans, that I am quite sure I will never be old enough to acquire a taste for, and I am fine with that. I can honestly say that there are some foods that I have learned to like and so I can appreciate the idea of trying things you think you don’t like multiple times over the course of your life. I have learned to like yogurt, broccoli, and even Brussels sprouts.

My older sister always says, “I’ll try anything once, except for food.” She is not an adventurous eater at all, but she really does go out on a limb and try new experiences. I have always admired that in her.
So don’t ever be afraid to try new things. You just might discover some new favorite things to eat or do.

Sorry, this was late, but the internet is down at home so I had to wait until I got to a place with WiFi to post.

I just had to include this video for the word try:
Colbie Caillat – Try

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Try
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.