31 Days of Aging Grace ~ Voice

The smoke from my neighbor’s chimney, fog laying still on the trees, the sun trying to poke thru… draws me outside in the early morning.

Without a word, the gophers have said the lawn is theirs… we’ve lost the battle for this season anyway.

And the fog… it feels like a blanket.  The sun is saying, “hey! get up!  throw off the covers and start… do something… say something.”

Say something.  But my audible voice rarely does.  It wants to, then it gets tongue-tied and small… rarely heard in a group.  Sometimes… not even heard face to face.

But my writing voice… it’s louder now.  Every day this month I’ve put fingers to keyboard and written.  And the strange thing is… this writing voice seems to demand it now… that I use it every day… while I can remember things… before it’s too late.

Because too late has happened too often.  Life slips by.  Words that need saying aren’t said.  And we only have this one life to say and do and be… all that God intended.

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Today I’m linking with Lisa-Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday… we write for five minutes, no worry about spelling, grammar, editing… just write.

And as always this month of October, I’m linked with The Nester and the 31 Day bloggers.

Five Minute Friday ~ Graceful

To my younger self – graceful was how one walked across the room and spoke with assurance… neither of which I did well.

Graceful was the high school dance team I desperately wanted to belong to, but never made the cut.

Graceful was my aunt, standing on the tarmac in her broad-brimmed hat, looking like Grace Kelly, waiting for me to exit the plane… with a trip and a stumble.

To my older self – graceful is the tired mom who wants to be alone, but knows reading the bed-time story or having that heart to heart needs doing… now.

Graceful is the one who faces cancer every day, living life fully… and no one would even know.

Graceful is the one who risks to share their faith, or their love, or their time, or all of the above… and seems to reap no reward.  But they keep going.

Graceful is God who refreshes every day and forgives… when I am so often less than graceful.

Click on the 5 minute friday button to see how others interpreted graceful… or to join in.

Five Minute Friday: Community

Joining with the “community” at Gypsy Mama today – write for five minutes, no over thinking, just write.  The word – community.

I’ve never liked the word community. It feels uncomfortable. So I thought I’d skip this challenge. But it won’t skip me.

All my life the family community has filled my time… the family born from and the family birthed. But family changes and evolves… as it should. And that leaves a growing, empty space… not a bad space, just empty.

My job outside the home, church, volunteer time… all these come with community, if you let it.  It’s always been a struggle to just “let it”.

I don’t like the word community because I don’t think I’m good at it.

It’s hard to look in someone’s eyes and get beyond, “oh, I’m fine – how about you”.  Sometimes I can, but too often don’t.

I think about the great faiths, great organizations, people who make a difference.  They obviously said more than “I’m fine – how about you”.

I need this uncomfortable thing.  Because I think that’s what we’re here for.

Otherwise – what’s the point?

Five Minute Friday: Good-Bye

…linking today with Gypsy Mama, writing for five minutes, the word: good-bye

I’ve said good-bye in airports, on tarmacs, on the street in front of my house, in hospital rooms, over the telephone, in an email.

Said good-bye to my parents, wondering when I would see them again…

Held my grandfather’s hand in his hospital room… his grip still strong… until he left for his real home…  with God.

Good-bye to sons leaving for college… leaving for new married life… leaving for war…

I never know what else to say… to make the good-bye better.  I smile so big my cheeks hurt… try to be a little goofy… deflect the pain.  I desperately don’t want to cry.  But really…

…I want to make a scene and cry a lot.  I want to say, “do you know how much I love you… do you really know what you mean to me?”

This week I’ve been studying the gospel of John.  In several chapters Jesus is preparing his disciples for what will happen.  He’s saying good-bye.

This morning I read chapter 17.  He’s no longer talking to the disciples, but rather to his Father.  And he asks the Father to “keep and care for them”.

I guess there really are no good words for good-bye.  Just hugs and a kiss and a prayer, “Father…keep them and care for them”.

Five Minute Friday: Light

I lightly swat the lady bug from the blinds… they split and tear open.  Great, one more thing to replace.

Health issues out of the blue… my mother, a son.  Miles separate and all I can do is pray.  All I can do.  Or is it the most I can do?

And today of all days… the one I’m charged to take care of… the one I put myself aside for… hammers with ugly words.

Today of all days…

… the day believers try to comprehend what You did for us

… the day we wonder why You did for us.

Unworthiness overwhelms.

Yet light finds its way in – thru torn blinds, thru any opening it finds.

And I acknowledge that my set aside life for her is nothing, absolutely nothing, in comparison to the setting aside You did on that tree… for all… for me.

“As  the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love” John 15:9

Unwrappable Gift

This is Five Minute Friday and the word is….. Gift

… freakish spring snowstorm, but the blossoms survive

… hearing mom’s voice on the phone

… sons

… two tall coffees and the long ride home in his pick-up truck

… pick-up trucks

… little boys eating pizza, little girls eating cupcakes… and the daughters-in-law who make it all possible

… the second chance God gave me….. again… and again… and again……

Five Minute Friday: Loud

My Five Minute Friday is late…. Saturday will have to do.  The one word prompt: LOUD

no-o-o-o-o, why didn’t he turn his alarm off – this isn’t a work day..

oh man.. forgot to call in her prescription…

need to shop.. nothing for dinner… we’ll be gone all day…

do not stretch that way you’ll get another foot cramp…

I don’t want to get up… I hardly slept…

wonder how the road is over the pass… need to get down to mom and dad…

my pink shirt must be in the ironing…

—   —   —   —   —   —   —   —

The house is quiet.  My brain is not.  Like an out of control gym teacher with a loud speaker it reminds me of all the to-dos, the cares, the nonsense.

This is not how I want to start my day.  I want a do-over….

I’m up… eye drops in… coffee brewing… time with my books and journal.

It’s all good now.

Five Minute Friday: Brave

Linking today with Gypsy Mama where one word is our prompt… write for five minutes, no over-thinking, no backtracking, no editing.  Here we go….

…………….BRAVE

I don’t know what’s out there anymore… it’s fuzzy and gray.

How can I be this old and suddenly not know where I’m going.  I like to plan… to have a plan.  This is something I didn’t plan for…

Another’s refusal to make a plan for her life has consumed mine.

And all I know to do is put one foot in front of the other, cook the food, clean the bathrooms, vacumn the floor.

Are my dreams still out there?  Will there still be time?

I hang on to the only thing I know for sure………

…Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying “This is the way, walk in it”  Isaiah 30:21

Who would have ever guessed my bravest moment of the day would just be to face it… and put the coffee on.

Five Minute Friday : Empty

OK, I can’t resist any longer.  I am linking with The Gypsy Mama where the challenge is to write for five minutes – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

I’m a notorious overthinker.  We shall see how this goes.

Today’s word is Empty………

We emptied this room last weekend… except for those 100-year old windows, now replaced by the modern.

We took out the last of 20 years of accumulation, the hideous orange carpet, a box of baseball cards and models long forgotten in the cupboard… but I still see and hear.

Two older brothers with tape down the middle of the carpet – “don’t step on my side!”.

One wore camo and dreamt of being a soldier.  One read books and dreamt of outer space.

When they left, the two younger brothers moved in.  With them came footballs and jerseys, Legos and GI Joes.  Two strapping, six-foot brothers laying on the floor using their “Joes” to diagram football plays.  And I loved it.

No one can see or hear all that but me.  Memories like that never really leave… they just move into a mom’s heart.

STOP