The Last Week of Summer

 

This is the last week of summer for me.

Next Monday my grad classes start up again, which I’m both excited about and dreading. Excited because this semester promises to be the best one yet. I’m taking a class about web coding and a one about the specific library type I work in, both of which I’m pretty passionate about. Students will be returning to the university library where I work, and I have a part-time teaching opportunity. This semester looks great.

But I’m not ready for summer to end.

Summer is the time of freedom. Weekends spent at my family’s house, weeks spent hosting teen-aged nieces, evenings spent cooking elaborately delicious dinners, and hours spent pleasure-reading and watching Netflix. I can do whatever I want without having to deal with the guilt and stress of not doing homework.

And all of that is going to be over in 6 short days.

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Five-Minute-Friday: Tell

It’s that time of the week again: Time to duct-tape the mouth of the inner critic and allow yourself to simply write. We write for five minutes about the week’s prompt, and often times beauty pours forth that we did not know we possessed to share. Care to join us? This week’s prompt is “Tell.”

Go.

My whole life people have pounded into my head a single statement: “Show, don’t tell.” Teachers, parents, friends, authors, they repeat over and over, “show, don’t tell.” When you write, show who the character is, don’t tell us. Show what is happening, don’t tell us. When you want to help, show your desire to help by helping instead of talking about it. Actions are louder than words.

And all those people are correct.

And all those people are wrong.

Sometimes showing isn’t enough. Sometimes doing the dishes isn’t enough, you have to actually say, “I love you. I appreciate you. I value you.” Do acts of service express this same sentiment? Absolutely. But the spoken word is powerful, and words are what stick with people throughout their lives. Helpful words, harmful words, it doesn’t matter. They still stick with you forever. 

So if your words are going to hang around with someone the rest of his/her life, don’t you want to leave them with “I love you?”

Stop.

I’m not a mom, but I read motherhood blogs

I’m not a mom. When I was younger I always said I wanted seven children, but now I’m not so sure. In fact, with each year I tuck into my blue jeans, I become increasingly persuaded that I don’t even want kids. Don’t get me wrong, kids are great. I love kids. I love playing with them and working with them at church. I just don’t think I want to have my own and be a mom.

Nevertheless, I read motherhood blogs. And like them. Actually, I like them more than just about any other kind of blog. Do you know why? Because in a community of mothers I have found encouragement that is definitely not intended for my demographic, but applies just the same. Lisa-Jo writes about the glory of the ordinary, the hand of God in every-day life, the eternal value of small things. 

And I need to be reminded of that.

Because I lead a small life. I get up every day and go to my entry-level librarian job. I order books and code the webpage and make the coffee. I come home and make dinner, wash the dishes, do the laundry, and then spend the rest of the evening working on my graduate school classes. Rinse and repeat.

And sometimes I need to be reminded that the daily ins and outs of my small life affect the people around me. My flatmate, my coworkers, the students who come into my library – I have impact on them. And that matters, both now and in eternity.

Five-Minute-Friday: Fill

Every Friday we silence the inner critics and write for five minutes without listening to the small voices telling us we’re not good enough. We write, and up from our souls bubbles beauty and a breathtaking glimpse of God’s glory. This week’s prompt is “Fill.”

Go

The moments of my life where I’ve experienced the greatest connection with my family and close friends have always been over a cup filled to the brim with something delicious. Chai tea, southern iced sweet tea, coffee, hot chocolate, white mocha latte’s – these aromas make me think of family bonding.

Life lessons learned, hearts shared, great issues of the universe discussed.

This is how my heart is filled and how I fill others’, with a cup of love filled to the top.

So sit down, let me fill your cup, and let’s talk.

Stop

If you would like to join us in celebrating life unedited, join us here.

Five-Minute-Friday-4

Five-Minute Friday: Begin

Every academic test I have ever taken has opened with a professor/proctor saying, “You may now begin.”

Sitting there before I take the test, my mind is racing, trying to re-access all the sections of my brain where I stored the information for this test. My stomach is doing summersaults and my hands are clammy.

Yet when the professor says those four little words, all of that fades away and peace settles over me.

I have studied. I know what I’m doing. This information is all in my head, it’s just a matter of getting it onto the paper in front of me.

Besides, I know something that isn’t on this test. The sentence “You may now begin” implies that this test is the beginning of something. But really the beginning happened long ago and without that beginning I wouldn’t be able to begin the test. The beginning happened when I walked into that class for the first time.

But even that wasn’t really the beginning. That beginning was when I came to college, and that’s was when I went to high school. I could keep going, but you get the picture. Every beginning is just a continuation of another beginning. 

And if you keep going back far enough, in the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God and was God, and in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. God spoke out into the nothingness and told the universe, “You may now begin,” and a million billion stars spun into existence.

And 20 years ago Jesus took my messy life, wiped away my old self, breathed into me a new creation and said, “You may now begin.” And every day He gives me new mercy and allows me to begin again and again and again.

Professors can keep telling me I can begin their silly little tests, and I will keep smiling to myself. I can now begin

 

Every Friday5-minute-friday-1 we silence the inner critics and simply write. For 5 minutes, we mute the voices that tell us we are not enough and we pour forth our souls. And it is beautiful. Join us?