Five-Minute Friday {blue}

It’s my favorite color, not my favorite mood.

How did a color that describes the sky so brilliantly striking and mood elevating, that defines an ocean so deep and true and sustaining, how did this color come to be the one to also describe the moodiness that casts down rather than up. That darkens everything around you and doesn’t allow for the brilliance of the sun to reflect from it?

I would have chosen gray. Gray is the color of darkening clouds that sometimes gather in your mind and pull everything within deeper inside. Gray is the shade that broods about, indecisive if it wants to be black or white.

Deerfield Beach

Deerfield beach  surf rolling in

blueberry pie

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my inner hippie

my inner hippie

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I’ll take blue jeans and blue skies, blueberries in pies and splash the shade across the landscape of my life please.

Indigo and pool blue. Mediterranean blue and aqua blue. Dip my toes in the barely blue oceans tide as it washes up in thin foamy bubble.

The moody blue creeps in at times. The melancholy side of me that turns more gray than blue. The tunes turn more bluesy as the figurative clouds settle in. Sometimes it can bring a deeper creativity. When it out stays its welcome, you just have decide it’s time to move that slider on the color button and pump that blue up to dazzling, sparkling, reviving.

In a brown-eyed family, where I love the sparkles from that chocolaty richness, I’m going with blue to decorate my days.

You always get to the choose the color.

Linking up with Kate Motaung and a brilliant group of writers for our weekly 5-minute free write. Stop over to add you take on this weeks prompt.

The only way I can relate

Five years ago I was 10 pounds lighter.

Ten years ago I ran 3 miles a day, 5 days a week and clocked under 8 min. a mile on an average day.

Four years ago I walked regularly and ran some.

Chucks blue

When my second child was 6 months old, two friends and I joined Weight Watchers. It was the first time in my life I’d had excess weight when I wasn’t pregnant. I was 23 and at least 20 of the 40 pounds I’d gained during pregnancy weren’t coming off.

All three of us reached our goal weights. We followed the eating recommendations by Weight Watchers that included measuring our food. Portion control. We attended weekly meetings where the instructor encouraged us and helped people who had reached a plateau or struggling to meet their goal.

When we met our goals, we stopped attending the meetings. The guidelines were simple enough to continue on our own. I stayed within comfortable weight limits for the next 14 years or so.

Then I stopped doing what I’d been doing. Oh, I had reasons. Good reasons. We were moving. Again. In the span of one year my best friend died, my father died, I turned 40 and our oldest graduated high school. Surely, that’s enough to plunge anyone into carb loading and sugar highs.

It was a gradual slide into relapse. The age-old home remedy of self-medicating with food.

Pulling out that favorite pair of jeans offers a moment of clarity. Determination sets in. Until guests come and they want to go to that ice cream place you took them to last year. The one that only has double sized everything.

Tomorrow comes and you spend it wishing things were as they were and wishing that wishes were all you needed to do to get things back under control. And then your mind starts having this crazy argument about control.

Big deal, right? It’s only weight and it’s only 10 pounds and most people don’t think you need to lose even one pound so what’s the big deal?

It’s not of course. Not a big deal. I won’t lose my job, my husband and children won’t leave or disown me. My friends still trust me.

 

change

It’s a very simplistic view of the more serious state addicts and alcoholics find themselves in. Only their labels are ALL CAPS, bold type.

I’ve never met an addict of any kind (drugs, food, work, etc.) who didn’t want to change. Who didn’t want the wishing to make it go away. Who didn’t want to pray it away or find the magic cure at the baptismal or walking through our doors. But it takes more.

They carry the label and the scars of a bad record preventing job opportunities, of a poor work history, of being a loser and not trustworthy. Things far greater than being overweight.

Addiction is a disease. A compulsion stronger than one can control on their own. It leaves wreckage that some will never be able to see beyond. For us, it’s an opening for grace and where there is grace there is hope.

HOPE CHANGE logo

Some people think work takes God out of it. Last I checked, God likes work. He likes people who work, blesses them and promises to share the load, even carry the bulk of it. Believe me, loving people who aren’t like you takes work too. Living a life Christ calls us to takes work. Every day.

It’s a spiritual awakening that brings the willingness to change. Willingness is where God meets us.

“Discipline, not desire, determines our destination.” Andy Stanley

Work.

One day.

At a time.

Everyday.

GOD, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as the pathway to peace. Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will, that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

Amen

Reinhold Neibuhr-1926

 

 

Beautifully imperfect

Total imperfection here with perspective points being off but do you still see beauty? Or do the flaws hide it?

painted barn signed

God sees our flaws but it’s His grace that makes us into beautiful imperfections. 

That’s how God sees us. You are His beauty.

….he [God] will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness. For God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory.” Isaiah 61:3

Five-Minute Friday {rise}

Deerfield beach

There are some days, or weeks, when our job of caring, the job we’re called to do, when that is, well, more like a job. It demands more time and attention and drains everything within.

When you’ve run out of tissue to wipe the noses or tears, when your arms have tried to hug away disappointments, when you’ve had emails from daughters asking if you’ve heard from their father because he’s dropped out of sight, again, that kind of caring can overwhelm and  leave you feeling empty and parched.

For those times, I hope you’ll find your stretch of sand, figurative or literal, and stretch out your towel to watch the sun rise higher in the sky. To feel it’s warmth embrace on your skin and know that is the God who loves you more than deserved and loves without question.

Yeah, it’s been that week and there will be more like it. But I have this place in the sun (and Son) where all can be made fresh.

Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, (O Debby)
or, whine, Israel, saying,
“God has lost track of me.
He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind. Isaiah 40:27-31 the Message

Linking up with Kate Motaung for another writing frenzy called Five-Minute Friday. 

No Average People

quote from Jennie Allen

quote from Jennie Allen

Remember all those average marks you got in school? The average that was never enough?

Or the mediocre we call ourselves because our tables aren’t Pinterest perfect?

The God who created the universe and counts the hairs on our head or on the floor, his presence in our ordinary, mediocre lives transforms us beyond what we are able.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 the Message

 

My week of beaches

There are times when you don’t know what you need. When you don’t know you need to step back and breathe in the kind of air not thick with politics and business, with wheels spinning without traction.

It’s that time when God steps in because he knows your soul needs a different view. A view of His creation you forget to step out and see. So we did.

Four beaches in three counties is the best kind of stay-cation (what a perfect word).

We explored Bill Baggs Cape Florida with its views of Key Biscayne and the Atlantic Ocean. I pushed through my fear of heights to climb the historic lighthouse for a view like none other.

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beach view from lighthouse

beach view from lighthouse

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The history of Stiltsville has always interested me and this offered the perfect view of these house built on stilts in the middle of Key Biscayne.

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Our bonus was seeing this manatee swimming near the seawall.

We spent a morning at our local beach where we spend as many Saturday mornings as possible. We ventured a little south in our county to Hollywood Beach where the boardwalk is expansive and the white sand stretches farther than most down here.

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Our last day took us north to Palm Beach County to a little area we called our beach when we lived in this county for six years. It remains quieter than the more discovered beaches so we’ll keep this one our secret ;)

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None of these places were more than an hour from home. But the change they brought were night to day for me. A reminder of God’s grace as he cares for a wanderer like me.

 

 

Five-Minute Friday {follow}

It was a long time ago, this {mis}adventure that was supposed to be a simple family vacation road trip. The time before cell phones and the reason we go back when we realize that mobile security was forgotten somewhere.

Three families joined by blood and marriage, three vehicles, one destination. Follow the leader from Georgia to North Carolina for our stop for the night. Six adults, four kids, a good highway…what could go wrong?

As a kid, I was wary of follow the leader. I wouldn’t take their directions at face value. Even then, I would question. But I was married to the leader of this road rally. He had three of the 4 kids in the front van, my brother and brother-in-law with a toddler in the 2nd van and the three women in back. Listen to me: moms should never be in the back!

The van in front made a sudden pull off the side of the road, the toddler had a potty emergency. When a 2-year-old has to pee, he has to pee now. We pulled off to wait but when we got back on the road, the lead minivan was nowhere in sight. NO WHERE

on the road 6416

For miles we drove trying to catch up, eyes scanning the other side of the divided highway to see if they were circling back. Surely, they noticed we weren’t behind them. I repeat, moms should never be in back!

We pulled off at rest stops hoping to reconnect but it was many miles and two states later before our three-car family convoy reconnected.

Following instructs on leading.

We have been placed in leadership in our organization. Sometimes we lead well, but often, we have more to learn. One thing is to look behind you. If no one is following you aren’t leading.

The best thing we can do to lead is to follow well. For us, Jesus was the best example of a leader and his words were “follow me”.

I memorized Psalm 23 as a child. The last verse says, surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

When He leads, his goodness and love will follow. Always.

Oops, I forgot to include the link for other fabulous 5-minute Friday posts over at our gracious hostesses site, Kate. Stop by and join the party.