But for tonight, we will draw close together here. We will capture our hearts and spill our thoughts, lives, hopes, and fears across page and screen as we play with one word for five full minutes.
Community can be a challenge. It can wreck you, break you, heal you, and complete you. This one – maybe it’s done all of the above for you. But it will still open its arms and welcome you in if you’ll allow it to. Come and visit and read. You will be blessed.
Since this is the last FMF post for the year, I'm allowing myself a little extra leeway.
I hope you'll give me grace.
This is far more than five minutes.
But I have things I want to say.
This week: Reflect
Time is a tricky thing. It moves so achingly slow in our childhood, and so frighteningly fast as we get old. Is it Latin? Or Faust? O run slowly, slowly, horses of the night! I didn’t quite grasp it the first time I read it. Now, I know all too well.
Sometimes the gears turn for good, and one things leads to another; one step follows one more, and God leads you out of a desert into the next Promised Land – the next thing He has planned for you.
This time last year, I was counting every minute our heater ran – measuring the meter of our small amount of dollars against the temperature gauge; demanding that we all put on “just one more layer” to try and keep the house at sixty-five degrees. Brrrr.
This time last year, I was only barely opening the door to an online community that would later welcome me in with open arms; where friendships would blossom; where I would see God work and lives change. Twitter scared me.
This time last year, I sat in cramped into a tiny classroom chair listening to a tired, well-meaning teacher tell me again how socially dysfunctional my daughter was; how she had no more ideas to teach her with; and how she wondered if our girl would be able to progress academically because of all of her issues. I was so angry.
Time can pass slowly in the desert. Heat overwhelms and the dry dusty reality of no water and no relief from the relentless onslaught of the elements make you cry empty tears of despair and longing for greener hills and kinder climes. But God finds us in these desert times, and when we are stripped down of all that we do not need to bear – stripped down so that all we can do is look up and look to Him for our daily bread and daily breath – sometimes, those are the times when He chooses to move mountains most miraculously.
This year, I’m still chilled – but that may be a permanent wintertime situation for me. C’est la vie. The heat blasts away, and the only thing I’m watching is a roaring fire and toasty toes as my family stays comfortably safe within these walls. The dollars are not tremendous, but I am working and so is my husband. I breathe thanks for the eucharisteo that has happened here.
This year, the Twitter party does not frighten me to pieces as it once did. I fling myself randomly and joyfully in and out of conversations. I share lives with women I’ve never met through email, Facebook, Twitter, Voxer, Instagram (did we mention #bossysocialmedia?) and it is joy upon joy to have them in my life. I have met one who is close to my heart, write snail mail to others, blog with them, and am working on a special God-Sized dream project for a very special friend who is miles away, but who feels like she’s right next door. I've had the opportunity to partner with them to do amazing like Laundry in South Africa and projects for mercy's sake in Kenya.
This year, I sat in a slightly larger classroom chair and watched a tremendously gifted teacher spill wonderful secrets about my girl. She brings such good things to the table. She’s a fantastic reader – above her level. She’s a good writer. She’s a great helper. She's doing well and she's going places. I almost cried happy as I sat there – overwhelmed and over time as we talked and smiled and shared. Then burst with pride and shared relentlessly online and watched over forty friends like and comment in support of my family and my girl.
In a few short days, I’ll be home again – home where my heart will always beat; home where my pulse thrums – and it will go both quicker than I like and at the same time, slower. I don’t want to chase time. I want to release myself to simmer and soak in each moment – capturing it not on film or online (though I’ll surely be doing that to), but on the canvass of my heart, where all of these things I do: waiting, hurting, laughing, aching, learning, praying, growing, singing, screaming, smiling, blending, being – embed themselves into the lifeblood of my heart and being.
I am becoming.
How to Join
Want to know about Lisa Jo Baker, how Five Minute Friday got started, and how to participate? All the details are here. No editing or second guessing. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.
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