ROOTS ~ Five Minute Friday

This is the post each week
Where I join a community of grace-filled wonders
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

And we write unabashedly
For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone.

Greg Abel Photography. All Rights Reserved

This week’s prompt:

ROOTS

For weeks upon weeks he’s asked for the same song. And I try so hard not to groan for it’s really not a going-to-sleep song. He can’t see me doing the motions in the dark and yet he is adamant with his request that they must be done.

So he closes his eyes and I try to create a safe space for dreams. I make sure he hears my hands building. Wisely on rock. Foolishly on sand. With rains tumbling down and floods rising.

Some day I’ll have to explain how I’ve made up the last three verses.

But not tonight.

No.

Tonight, my 4 year-old miracle of a boy will go to sleep knowing our house is built on Jesus. He’ll know the rains can’t penetrate our hearts. Sure waves will come crashing, but our foundation won’t crack.

He’ll know when the floods of life rise, our Savior becomes our life raft.

And some day I’ll tell him all about roots and how they don’t have to be buried here.

Roots don’t need a zip code. They need a Savior.

I already have his Bible picked out. The one my husband and I will give him sooner than later.

I’ll show him how to build upon it.
How to bury deep within it.
How to soak up its nutrients daily.

So when the rains come — and they will.
But when the floods rise — he’ll know he’s going to be alright.

Because his roots extend beyond the storm.

And his Savior has got a firm hold.

STOP.

 

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you? How do you bury your roots in the Word? (And do you know what song I’ve been singing each night?) I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Are we friends on Facebook? I’d love to be…

Hallowed Be Thy Name {Thoughts on Halloween}

He’s nose deep in his children’s dictionary.  The one his grandmother gave him. I can almost see his inner wheels spinning wildly as he stares long at the page in front of him.

I’ve learned not to interrupt; to speed the lesson along. And I savor the gifts my Savior often brings as a result. Today was no exception.

“Mom, what is so holy about Halloween?
And what does ‘holy’ mean, anyway?
Why don’t they show that word here?”

The towel goes limp mid-fold as I scramble to slow the room down. Clearly I missed something.

“What do you mean ‘holy about Halloween’?
Where does it say that?
Can I see your dictionary, please?”

His defenses rise as he tries to explain his train of thought. How he knows you can put two words together sometimes. And there they are, together in the dictionary…like they used hallowed to make Halloween…

“Don’t ‘hallowed’ and ‘Halloween’
look like they go together?

Hallowed…or holy…Halloween”

My eyes won’t leave the page. I can’t get over it and have no idea how to respond. Patience thins and he bends inward to search my hazels for a clue. His eyes twinkle when our gaze finally meets and I see Christ right then and there.

I can barely breathe. And feel like I’m nearing the word that follows…

Out of words, I tell him honestly: I have never thought about this before. These words have never been connected to me. Until now. And I will never look at Halloween the same.

So I remind my four year-old what I’ve told him all along:
Holidays are what you make them to be.
And I will do everything I can to
make Halloween hallowed for him.
Why, we might even integrate the word listed above…

His excitement grows as I show him where to find holy. A few pages following and in his heart. I could burst as he begins to mention every name of God he knows. And catch myself doing the same.

Knee deep in laundry…nose deep in books…my boy and I…we find holy.

A Hallowed Halloween.

It’s then I hear His whisper. The lesson He had for me.

You see, I used to think God showed up where and when you least expected Him to. As if His presence was a random event. Like today.

That’s not true.

He’s been here all along.

Intertwined in every moment.

He’ll prove His name Hallowed any day of the year.

Even on Halloween.

On earth as it is in Heaven…

I just need to invite Him in.

Click to Pin

Friends, this is the day the Lord has given.
Let’s not forget. Let’s live it out.

No matter the celebration plans, let’s invite Him in.

I can feel it already. It’s going to be a Hallowed Halloween.

How about you, friend? How will you honor His Hallowed Name today? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Photo Credit

Linking With:

Stop. Look. Listen. ~ Five Minute Friday

I say it every week, but it hasn’t changed yet.
It’s true.

Sometimes, I just want to write
Without worrying if it’s right or not.

Would you believe I’ve found a place that offers me that kind of grace?
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

So I will join others and write unabashedly
for five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

LOOK

It’s Parenting 101. At least it should be for any parent with a preschooler knows the importance of this one simple request. It’s a requirement here before instruction can carry on:

“Look at my eyes, please.”

I used to think I needed to say ‘Stop’ before the request, but now save myself the effort. Because I’ve come to realize, one needs to stop to look with focus. My boy will need to stop in order to see what I’m saying.

To think, I say this like it’s an easy task. And I’ve been frustrated before with him not stopping I’m certain. Oh that silly apple…it doesn’t fall far.

Father, I hear You. Inviting me to look at the Prize, not the spectators along the way. And I see it now…this request is really a gift, isn’t it. Because when we look, we need to stop to see You clearly. And when we do, we find it: REST. We find You and leave the drama of this world along the wayside.

Oh how You love me…

Friends, sometimes we look but we do not see. Sometimes we listen but we do not hear. Sometimes we stop and we do not rest.

Or is it just me…who loses sight of the prize through the flashing lights. Who can’t hear Him through the screaming spectators. Who grows so weary every part of my body and soul aches.

Am I the only one who forgets to stay childlike?

Today I’m going to stop. Look right in His eyes. And listen to the instruction He brings.

Will you join me? And more importantly, may I pray for you?

I think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank.
I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—
to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing Him personally,
your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly
what it is He is calling you to do,
grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has
for His followers, oh, the utter extravagance of
His work in us who trust Him—endless energy, boundless strength!
Ephesians 1:16-19 (The Message)

STOP.

Okay, it’s true. I copied in that Bible verse after my time was up. But I knew what I wanted to pray over you, so I’m hoping you will give me some grace?

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you, friend? How do you stop to look at the Prize? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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Psst…Friends, you’ll never believe it. I’m guest posting over at Christian Mommy Blogger today! You see, when I heard about all the Facebook changes, I decided to get informed and see how we can use them to our advantage. I think I found a loop hole! Stop on by if you’re confused or frustrated about the News Feed changes. Click the button below!

Are we friends on Facebook? I’d love to be…

Reversing the Rat Race ~ Five Minute Friday

Can I share something with you?

Sometimes, I just want to write
Without worrying if it’s right or not.

Would you believe I’ve found a place that offers me that kind of grace?
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

So I will join others and write unabashedly
for five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

RACE

It never ends. From the rise of the sun to the moon’s final descend, we fight it: Time. We wring it dry, trying to savor every drop and lay our heads on the pillows wondering if we succeeded.

Something about this makes me wonder if we misinterpreted this gift of time…

Is it just me? Are we too busy?

Busy is a four-letter word now widely accepted.

And excuses are busy’s cousins.

Friends, I want out. This race is not for me.

I wish I remembered where I read that if we’re too busy to spend time with God, we’re busier than He intended. Oh how that makes me cringe as I think about how many times I’ve let busy’s cousin in to reason with my lack of time for Him.

No more. I’m taking Him up on His offer and trading in that four-letter word for a better one: REST.

Yes, I’m letting go and letting God…

So my child may not become a black belt. He may not be a pianist savant by age thirteen. We might miss out on a few fun things…

I might not even get 3 blog posts done some weeks. And I might miss out on a few fun things…

But I can assure you, friend. I’m not missing out on Him loving me. I’ll be taking my time in the pool of grace. Trying to wring it dry. I’ll show my child how to stop and see His gifts all around. For that’s where true joy abounds.

Friends, I plan on savoring long whatever the time right in front of me holds. And thanking Him for each moment it brings. So when I lay my head on the pillow each night I can not wonder but know I’ve spent this gift of time well.

This upside down Kingdom of grace is one I signed up for. I’m going to start living like it.

Let’s reverse this rat race! Who’s with me?

STOP.

What keeps many of us growing is not sin, but speed.
We lose God in the blurred landscape as we rush.
We don’t struggle with the Bible, but with the clock.
Michael Yaconelli ~ Messy Spirituality

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Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you? Will you trade in some busy for rest? How do you? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Are we friends on Facebook? I’d love to be…

Worship {Through the Eyes of a Child}

Flickr Credit: Tarviews

Friends, I’m so excited to be over at 5 Minutes for Faith today because I cannot wait to introduce you to my Sunday School class. Well, their child-like hearts, anyway.

I share what they taught me about worship.

Here’s a sneak peek:

My knees practically touch my chin as we sit in a rain drop of little chairs. That’s what we call it now, this circle made by their own 4 and 5 year-old hands. When one notices most of us funneled together on one end, she comments “We took the circle and made it better. We made a rain drop.”

We decide then to worship in the rain here every Sunday. And my cup overflows…

I can’t help but laugh when I think of how I prepared for this lesson. How I expected to teach them new discoveries. New words to use in everyday conversations. My how He must have smiled, knowing the plans He had in store for me.

Will you stop by 5 Minutes for Faith and read the rest? I’d love to know you did.

Simply click on the button below!

How about you, friend? What does worship mean to you? How do you practice worship? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

FOCUS ~ Five Minute Friday

You all know this by now. I’m certain.
But I’ll say it anyway.
Sometimes, I just want to write
Without worrying if it’s right or not.

Would you believe I’ve found a place that offers me that kind of grace?
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

So I will join others and write unabashedly
for five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone:

FOCUS

It didn’t make sense to me at first. This passage in A Circle of Quiet where Madeline L’Engle shares about love. And how you know you love someone when you don’t see them as clearly as the rest of the world does. You see beyond their profile picture/avatar if you will (she used icon I believe?). You don’t see their features as much as you see their “self”.

Friends, I long to see you that way. The way God sees you.

And I think of all the ones I hold dear in this world. I think of my roommate in college…when I close my eyes and focus in on her alone, I see an indescribable shade of cerulean blue illuminating her beautiful frame. Her gleaming smile shines brilliance and when she speaks I see the most perfect font I have yet to find on paper. Just the hint of her voice warms my heart immediately and I feel right at home. Yes…I picture her and know I’ve seen love. Because I see Christ in her. In every flawless feature, a deluge of grace…

We all want to be seen like that, don’t we? So out of focus all anyone can do is hone in on Him. The One who’s paid our ransom.

Friends, I want you to see me that way. I want you to see beyond the smiling avatar. Can you look passed my profile picture and see Him? Oh I’m striving. For He’s the reason I live and breathe. He’s all that’s beautiful within me.

So I will keep striving to focus in on His face. Seek the features He has created just for me. And I pray one day. When we do meet face to face you’ll see beyond me, too.

STOP.

NOTE: I really wanted to tell you what I see when I think of my hubby, but knew it would take me longer than 5 minutes!  Since my roomie is so plum full of grace, I knew she wouldn’t mind if I used her as an example…Love you, girl!

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

And I just have to tell you. Each week, a number of us from this Five Minute Friday community gather together Thursday evening on Twitter to lift each other up as we wait for the prompt. I’d love it if you’d stop by and say hello. Just follow #FMFParty sometime! (and psst….we trended on twitter this week! WOOT!)

How about you? Do you see beyond features on those you love? How do you focus in? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Are we friends on Facebook? I’d love to be…

The Art of Discipline

The lower, even tone of my voice makes him aware. His bottom lip quivers as he blinks the hurt of regret away. And it takes all I have to persist through the pain my own heart feels. This tough love stuff is hard.

The questions start pouring in now as I have learned to expect. His 4 year-old curiosity astounds me as he nearly manages to leave me without words. Every. Single. Time. The striking blow this day:

“So, Mom, are you disciplining me or teaching me discipline?”

I look deep into those bright blues, trying to see where these questions come from.

“I’m not sure there’s a difference, bud.” I reply softly.

“Sure there is, mom. One of them makes me cry.”

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Friends, my dear friend Christina at To Show Them Jesus is allowing me to share the rest of this post for her “Teach Me Jesus Thursday” post this week. I would say I can’t believe it, but I do because she is just that selfless.

I met Christina through a blog link up…has it been 6 months now or more? We started visiting each other every Wednesday and I remember thinking every time I stopped by her placed I left refreshed. Inspired. Pointed directly towards Him. I soon started looking forward to it so much I started following her blog more formally. Reading every post in my email.

Now, we’re kindred friends. She holds my hand when I worry about homeschooling. Even checks in on me to offer encouragement.

Friends, won’t you stop by Christina’s place today? I’ll share with you the one thing I want my boy to learn from me. Along with a few other disciplines I intend to use along the way.

Simply click on the button below!

How about you, friend? How do you show your children the art of spiritual discipline? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki