She Believed

The weekly Five Minute Friday word prompt for this week is “could.”

A few summers ago, I climbed almost to the very top of Estes Cone in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. It was one of the hardest things I’ve tried to do but I was determined. And the views were 100 percent worth it.

“She believed she could, so she did!”

Who would have ever thought that I would attend seminary and become a deacon in the ELCA? I struggled with systematic theology, but due to a smart professor, we figured out a way for me to learn more effectively. I finally passed that class.

“She believed she could, so she did.”

Writing words on a page is a gift God has given me. I never quite imagined I’d use words to tell my family’s story of mental illness and self publish my own book. I’m proud of that little book.

“She believed she could, so she did!”

There are so many things I’d still like to accomplish in my life like fostering etc. I know that Gods got me as I strive to reach those goals. The journey is not over yet!

“She believed she could, so she did!”

Weary

This pandemic continues on with no end in sight. People debate over the validity of masks vs no masks. Some think this pandemic is simply just a hoax. We cannot seem to agree on anything.

And in the midst of a pandemic, we find ourselves in the midst of a political campaign too. Republican vs Democrat, Liberal vs Conservative, and the list goes on and on. Again we find ourselves arguing over things rather than trying to understand where the other side is coming from.

Our world is full of so much injustice and callousness too. Jacob Blake didn’t deserve to be shot seven times. There are so many crying out to be heard and their cries often seem to fall on deaf ears. As I read and learn more about racism, I see my own complacency and know I/we need to do better for our siblings of color.

I know not everyone will agree with me but one way I believe we can do that is by not calling Covid the China virus. Yes, it originated in China but people use that to sling racism and hate at the Chinese people. Are we not better than that? I hope and pray that we are!

There is so much I want for our world. I want justice. I want peace. I want us to see each other for our differences rather than letting those differences separate us. I want this to be a better place for our children, grandchildren, etc to grow up in. Yet I’m not sure we can ever get there. Every day I try to listen to those voices that are different than mine. However, often those conversations turn to hate and arguing. It feels as if I’m wasting my breath trying to find common ground.

And I’m weary, friends…weary at trying to love my neighbor, weary at fighting for justice, weary at our world and how we treat one another. Yet in my weariness and tiredness, I cling to the hope of Christ; the hope that one day we will truly be united as Gods beloved people.

Where do you see hope in our world today?

What Do You Miss?

The weekly Five Minute Friday word prompt for this week is “loud.”

Over these last several months, life has been so uncertain. I’ve loved the time I’ve had with my kitties. But to be honest, there is so much I miss. I can’t wait until the day we get to hear those sweet sounds, hug those we love and not live life in the midst of a pandemic.

I miss the sound of sports fans in stadiums. It’s just not quite the same with virtual fans.

I miss gathering in worship without a mask on. I miss the sounds of children laughing and people conversing over coffee.

I miss the loud sounds of theater and music concerts. My heart is so ready to watch a concert with friends. But until then I’ll just blare my favorite tunes all over my house.

I miss seeing friends and family’s smiles and faces!

Oh how I miss this and so much more. I can’t wait to hear those sweet loud sounds again. What do you miss hearing, friends?

And for fun, here’s an oldie but a goody that I love to jam out too!


We All Need Mercy

The weekly Five Minute Friday word prompt for this week is “mercy.”

“But what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, love mercy/kindness and walk humbly with your God.”-Micah 6:8

I immediately thought of this Bible verse when I heard the word prompt this week. This was my seminary class’ verse. It is on a banner that hangs in my office at church. This is how I want to live my life. I want to fight for justice. I want to love kindness. I want to always walk with my God.

It also made me think of the book and movie Just Mercy which is written by Bryan Stevenson. This book is about the Equal Justice Initiative and their goal to help those who have been wrongly accused. It is also a book about racism and how we still have work to do. I watched the movie in June when it was free on all streaming platforms. It also will be our book club book in December. Please if you haven’t read the book or movie, check it out. You might be surprised at what you learn.

Stevenson is quoted as saying, “The closer we get to mass incarceration and extreme levels of punishment, the more I believe it’s necessary to recognize that we all need mercy, we all need justice, and perhaps we all need some measure of unmerited grace.” Ponder that!

Because God‘s grace is a free gift given to us all.


What’s Right?

I’ve missed you all! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve played along. The weekly Five Minute Friday word prompt for this week is “right.”

Right or left? Right or wrong? That’s where my brain went when I heard this weeks word prompt for Five a Minute Friday. When it comes to right or left handed, you are either one or the other or you are both: ambidextrous.

Now you would think when it comes to right or wrong, we would be able to determine what is right or wrong. For Christians, we look at the fruits of the Spirit, the Ten Commandments, etc. But the reality is that right now, it’s not so easily cut and dry.

Some of us see wearing a mask as the right thing to do: to protect our neighbors. Others see the right thing as choosing not to wear a mask. Some see homeschooling as right for the time being while others see sending their kids to school as the right thing.

To say that determining right or wrong during this pandemic is complicated is an understatement. Yet what I do know is right is to love one another despite our differences. We can love each other even when we disagree. Because ultimately Gods love wins and that’s what is right in this world.

Respecting One Another

The weekly Five Minute Friday word prompt for this week is “respect.”

R.E.S.P.E.C.T

Yes I immediately started belting this song out when I heard the word prompt.

Respect is something we all can use especially right now. We need to learn to respect each other even when we disagree. It would be a pretty boring world if we all looked, acted and believed the same thing.

I know not everyone agrees with me. In reading the scientists and listening to epidemiologists, I believe wearing a mask protects my neighbors especially those less vulnerable than me. Yet I respect that not everyone agrees with me.

I fail at this often, but I want to be better at respecting all Gods people. I want to be respectful in this world but I also want to listen and learn from those that are different than me: the ones who haven’t always been shown the respect they deserve.

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Smiley

The weekly Five Minute Friday word prompt for this week is “smile.”

When I was in college, my friend “Chewy” (his last name was Chewakin) gave me the nickname “Smiley.” Whenever I heard “Smiley” I knew he was calling out for me. His friendship was a gift. Sadly Chewy committed suicide. It was such a loss to our community. I have never let anyone call me “Smiley” since Chewy gave me that name.

He told me that I always had a smile on my face so that’s why he gave me that nickname. I do like to smile. In fact, it’s one of my favorite features.

I don’t smile when I’m sad or upset, so I don’t smile all the time. I’m reminded of the quote “Don’t cry because it’s over, but smile because it happened.” There are situations in life that I don’t think this always applies (our current pandemic) to but for the most part it’s true.

*I smile….at Luna and Neville. I smile at new books. I smile at a rainbow after the rain. I smile when I get to spend time with those I love. I smile at the little things.

What is making you smile in these days?

Enduring in these Days

I’ve missed you all. I haven’t participated in weeks but I’m back. The weekly Five Minute Friday word prompt for this week is “endure.”

How much can we endure? That’s a question I find myself asking in these uncertain times. Yet I’m reminded of a verse from Scripture. “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”-Romans 5:3-4

Hope is definitely something I can cling to. During this season, I see hope in gardens growing. I see it in fields producing. As my friend Susan often reminds us, “Hope changes everything.”

I also see the many in our world who should not endure anymore violence. We must speak up for the injustices in our world. I want a better world for future generations.

But clinging to hope, I trust in God who promises to never leave us or forsake us. There are things that I can and will endure. I’ll endure love…the love of friends and family. I’ll endure sharing my bed with sweet Luna and handsome Neville. I’ll endure sitting outside reading a good book with my feet in my kiddy pool. (I just started reading Caroline Fraser’s book Prairie Fires)

What can and will you endure? Moments of joy?

Worth more than $20

The weekly Five Minute Friday word prompt for this week is “worth.”

I can’t breathe, he uttered as a knee was on his neck. A supposed counterfeit bill was the accusation. Wasn’t his life worth more than those $20?

A police officer in Grand Forks, ND goes into a scene where backup had already been called. He bursts in to help his fellow officer…Officer Holte shot and killed leaving behind his wife and young son. Another life of worth taken too soon.

Have we lost the sanctity of life? Are we too power hungry? Isn’t the worth of humanity more than the divisions that occur in our world? Yes, all lives matter. But those lives only truly matter when black lives, LGTBQ lives, etc all matter too.

I’m learning and listening. I’m fighting for the words of Micah 6:8 to be embodied: “to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God.”

Our worth is as children of God. Our worth is in who we are created to be. Our worth is more than power or privilege. Our worth is that we all are worthy of Gods love.

How is your Heart?

The weekly Five Minute Friday word prompt for this week is “how.”

How is your heart, friends?

My heart is weary and broken. I look at our broken world and I cry out, How long, oh Lord?

I turn on the news and I am overcome with the brokenness and injustices of our world. How long will this go on?

I’m listening and learning. I recently started a book study on the book White Fragility. I’m learning so much that I didn’t know and unlearning other habits too. How long, will it take to continue to learn?

I hear the voices of my friends who are cops. I pray for their safety. But also want better for them too. I know where my friends heart truly is.

I open Facebook and I’m sorry that I even opened it. All I see is you’re right, I’m wrong. I see name calling. I see the political divide. Yet it’s so much more than that. I’m not anti American. I’m simply for Jesus. I want to be more like him. He was always sitting with those on the margins.*

Jesus left the ninety-nine sheep to find the one who was lost. It’s not that the ninety-nine aren’t important. It’s just that it is the one missing who needs the shepherd the most right now.

I want better for the generations yet to come. I want there to be peace on earth and let it begin with me. I’m clinging to Micah 6:8: “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God.”

How is your heart today, friends?

*where the five minutes ended. Had to finish my thoughts.