Five-Minute-Friday: Expect

It’s time for another not-so-regular Five Minute Friday post! Here we go!

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20 days ago I got married. Wow! Me, the girl with all the issues – I got married!

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We went through premarital counseling and even had a whole session on managing expectations going into marriage. But the reality is you can’t ever actually be prepared for marriage. No matter how much time we spend talking about types of things to expect and not expect, you really don’t know what to expect.

What will living with this man I love be like? Is he grumpy in the mornings? Does he leave stuff all over the place? Does he change his towel frequently?

There is no way to know these things, so it’s hard to set up realistic expectations.

So I did the only thing I could do: I held my expectations loosely. I opened my hands, rather than clinching down on only one way that we could live together happily.

With expectations held loosely, we can adjust to each other so much more easily, with no disappointment.

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Five Minute Friday (on Tuesday): Person

This isn’t an official Five Minute Friday post and I came up with my own word, but I wanted to honor the its spirit: five minutes, no editing, just write. I don’t do enough of any type of writing, but especially the kind where I don’t censor myself.

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One of the hardest concepts for someone to grasp is that other humans are just as much of a person as they are. You are not the only person in the world. We’re all people.

Lately it’s felt like a lot of people have never grasped this concept, at least not people on the internet. That generation you rile against? It’s made up of people. The religious group you seem to hate so much? Also made up of people. The criminal? Still a person. The fast food order who pushed a wrong button and messed up your order? Definitely a person.  The supporter of the other political party? You guessed it, a person.

Coming to a different conclusion on an issue or idea does not remove someone’s personhood. Treating someone with anything less than human dignity is wrong even if you completely disagree on something. You’re a person, they’re a person; treat each other accordingly.

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Apparently I have a lot of thoughts on this issue, so I may write more on this later.

Five Minute Friday: Mornings

I haven’t done a Five Minute Friday post in a long time, but here’s to getting back in the swing of things!

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Mornings are the bane of existence. Those who know me know I don’t talk in the mornings. I have to get up for work a lot earlier than other people because it takes me so long to truly wake up. You want me to be alert and cordial when I walk through the doors at work? Then you’d better let me get up at least an hour and a half before I have to leave the house. In an ideal world, I wouldn’t get up until 10 every morning simply because of how much I dislike mornings.

But at the same time, mornings are my favorite time of day. When I step out of my apartment and turn away from locking the door, I am faced every single morning with the sunrise. I am often stopped in my tracks by the pure beauty painted in the sky for all to see. Such lavish extravagance! Simply there, asking nothing of us, offering awe for anyone who takes the time to stop. Whether the sunrise is deliberately designed by God or is merely a byproduct of the evolutionary process is immaterial; what matters is its faithful beauty, reminding us that beauty can exist even in the worst situations.

I may hate the idea that I am awake at sunrise, but oh! how I love actually seeing it.

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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.”

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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?”

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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.”

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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.

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

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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?

Five Minute Friday: Finish

Some days I sit down to write and the words pour forth in a deluge of meaning. But other days, days like today, I sit here and feel all the emotions raging within me, and when the emotions scream I can tap into the spring of words. But then an emptiness settles over my emotions and I feel nothing, nothing at all, and then the words are harder to find than a puddle in the desert. My thoughts fizzle away like just-exploded fireworks: I can remember their beauty and smell them in the air, but I can no longer see them.

When I tried to write about today’s prompt, finish, I had so many thoughts I couldn’t pick which direction to go. But because so many of those thoughts are linked to emotions so strong they can set off a panic attack, I ended up finding myself in the situation where I can write about none of them. I like to finish projects. However, I cannot abide change, and finishing one thing means there must be a change to a new thing.

I have nothing else to say, for the words have disappeared again.