Posted in Five Minute Friday, Friendship

#FMF: Include (This one Made Me Cry)

It’s Five Minute Friday! Or in my case, Five Minute Saturday because life.  And also kids.  This week’s word is “Include” and if I’m perfectly honest, I may have been putting this off just a bit.

Inclusion/Exclusion are a big deal for me.  There’s a story to tell there, and I don’t know how much I’m ready for and how deep into it I’m going to get…

But I’ve been for a run, I’ve got “Stronger” by Britney Spears blasting on repeat in my ears, and I think I’m ready to do this.

*fastens big girl britches*


Include.

Exclude.

Those are loaded words for me.

Words that have carried so much meaning and heartbreak over the years.  Words that also carry hope and empowerment.

I have been the seventh grader in class on Monday morning with all the kids around me talking about the birthday party they went to, realizing I was just abou the only one who wasn’t invited.

I have been the 18-year-old girl, the week before her freshman year of college, sitting on the floor of her dorm room listening to her Rush Counselors tell her that not a single sorority on campus had asked her back for the rush events that night.

I have been an adult, watching as friend groups have congealed around me, feeling like I should be a part of them and desperately wanting to, and feeling the weight and conviction of my own failures to fit in, to be include, that followed me into adulthood.

I have felt the sting and condemnation of exclusion.

But then…but now…God has changed my story.

This is Five Minute Friday so I don’t have time to get into the details, but since I became a mom, inclusion has allowed me to break free of the chains that exclusion had wrapped around my heart. I have seen how the healing power of audacious, extravagant INCLUSION can create a space for growth, for healing, can help us break free.

And so now here I am, preaching inclusion. In the Kingdom and in the world.

Because I believe that inclusion changes lives, it’s changed mine.


GAH! I wasn’t even ready for that…

There’s more there, some day…thanks for reading.

Posted in Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: Adapt

Every week, Christian writers across the internet join together to write for five minutes about a one-word prompt and share our responses with each other.  This is my second week participating. 

This week’s word is: Adapt


 

Adapt or Die is the title of a book about leadership principals written by former US Army General Rick Lynch.

It would also be a fabulous title for a book about parenting.

From the moment you go from zero kids to being responsible for a newborn to the moment they are grown, getting married, and having kids of their own (or so I’ve heard), you’re hanging on tight and trying to keep up with all the developmental changes their seasons of life are throwing at you.

Just when you’ve got them napping three times a day, they start to drop one of their naps…then the other…and then stop napping altogether, leaving you to ADAPT OR DIE,

When you’ve parented your way out of one behavioral struggle, they decide to start testing the boundaries in another way, leaving you to regroup the troops, formulate new battle plans and ADAPT OR DIE

In these seasons of rapidly-changing life, I am so glad I’ve got a God who is unchanging. The same yesterday, today, and always. Because if I didn’t have an anchor in this storm a safe harbor to run to as the winds and waves of ADAPT OR DIE are swirling around me, I would lose my ever-loving mind.

Father, thank You for Your unchanging grace and mercy, both for me and for my kids. Thank  You that Your mercies are new every morning, that Your truth is ALWAYS true, and that as life changes us around us, Your love and Your plan for us can be our foundation and our solid rock. Amen.

(And the timer went off thirty seconds ago, but I had to finish that prayers.)


See you next week!

Posted in Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: Stuck

Hi, Friends!  

I know I’ve been publishing only on Tuesdays, but as part of my efforts to grow as a writer, I’m going to start participating in Five Minute Friday.  (click on the link to learn more!)

Every Friday, I’m going to join with a group of other Christian writers who write for five minutes in response to a one-word prompt and share with one another the links to what they’ve written.   This week’s word is “Stuck” 

So here goes nothin’.  Setting timer….and….


Stuck. Mired. Stranded.

With one’s feet nailed to the floor, desperate to move forward, but unable to.

There are many definitions for the word “stuck,” but that was the one that popped into my head when I first heard the word “stuck,” because that is where I see so many of the people around me right now.

We feel stuck because nothing in our life is changing.

We feel stuck as we desperately wait for an opportunity to come along, a job, a discovery, something.

We wait, lonely and discouraged, to meet the love of our lives (been there) or to become a mom.

We feel stuck as the systems fail us as we desperately wait for justice.

We feel stuck as we wait for healing that seems long overdue.

We feel stuck as we wait for our kids to grow out of whatever difficult phase has taken over our lives.

We cry out for moving forward and wonder where God is in all of it.

But God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

He is working in the heavenly realms even when our circumstances seem stagnant.

I declare that now and YELL it and POUND IT INTO MY VERY OWN HEAD because it is so hard to remember that when we are stuck, in the mired moments and the stagnant seasons.

God is always working, even when we are stuck.  He grows us in the stuckness, He uses the stuckness to bring about the things in the world around us that we need to move forward, but ALWAYS He is with us. Holding us close to his heart, working all things for our good.  Even the Stuckness.

And there’s the timer.

PHEW! I survived my first Five Minute Friday!  See you next week!