Sharp Paynes

Never a dull moment…

Archive for the category “Five Minute Friday”

Five Minute Friday: Connect

Every Friday we spend five minutes spilling words and we forego editing  and fretting, and just write.  It’s fun, it’s free, and you should click the link above and try it!  Or at least, read what some others write for fun on Fridays.

CONNECT

People are so varied.

All made in One image yet all of us so very, very different.  Even in one family, there are no two personalities alike.  Yes, one has mom’s eyes and one talks spasticly  with their hands like…someone else in the family.  We have similarities, for sure, but all of us process the world differently.

An older saint with years of discipling others once said:

If I’m working with someone and they start to act just like me, I’ve failed.  

Failed because we aren’t out to create “little-me’s”.  Failed, because we are each uniquely made in His image and when Christ is truly formed in us, He is the similarity, the connection, between us all.

I like to think that I have an eclectic set of friends and family, all of us hodge-podged together and working out this sanctification, becoming more like Christ.

It’s ok if we’re different.

What matters is Christ.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
 {Eph 3:20-21 NKJV}

Five Minute Friday: Here

Every Friday we spend five minutes spilling words and we forego editing  and fretting, and just write.  It’s fun, it’s free, and you should click the link above and try it!  Or at least, read what some others write for fun on Fridays.

Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back to Lisa-Jo’s and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

HERE

This tiny spot that you will only see on certain maps, the place with 3 churches and 2 markets, one restaurant and less than 1000 people, it’s our Mayberry.

We tried to leave here.  We looked over the mountain for a place closer to town, somewhere that didn’t require you to pack a lunch and have dinner planned before you went grocery shopping.  We were newlyweds and thought we’d start fresh somewhere else.  Somewhere better.

Turns out there’s no better place to be than right where God has you.

Three churches in this tiny town and in one we were married, in another we dedicated three of our children, and in the third we stretched for more grace, and we do leave here.  From this place here in smalltown, so many of us leave every year to go into so many nations.

And the nations have come here, too.  To our little country church along a windy stretch of highway, they come and share His works at Friday potlucks and Sunday service.  Brothers and sisters from countries who would never let them leave, with gospel good news they could never help but share, they stand in an old general store and worship with us.  All us country folk and this predominantly Caucasian community with a sprinkling of color and culture.

Right.  Here.

From here we launch missionaries.  And here, this weekend, we are missionaries in smalltown who make 150 peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches and biscuits to feed an army,  who camp in tents and stay up late to explain gospel truths to the children of this community.

This weekend the mission field is here in a cow-pasture cleaned up for water games and Living Water.  Won’t you pray, pray, pray that these kids will drink deep and never thirst again?

Five Minute Friday: Beyond

 It’s Friday and Lisa-Jo has given this writing prompt:

BEYOND

Every Friday we spend five minutes spilling words and we forego editing  and fretting, and just write.  It’s fun, it’s free, and you should click the link above and try it!  Or at least, read what some others write for fun on Fridays.

 

GO

He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all I ask or even could think in my feeble, flitting mind.  And it must be true because I ask so little and receive so much.

I don’t believe the lie that everything I need is just beyond what I have now, but I do believe the truth that He is beyond all my imagination and dreamings, and that He wants me to live beyond where I am now.

I ask for so little because my faith is just.  that. small.

Forget-Me-Not

He shows up Big anyway, and befuddles my thinking and my small prayers.

Sometimes doesn’t He put Himself just out of reach, so that my faith stretches like last year’s jeans and once again, I can grasp just the hem of His garment?

I can barely catch up and never truly arrive, yet He promises arrival someday.  He is my pace-setter and it’s always got to be a little beyond where I’m comfortable.

That must be the ticket to prayer.  Yearning for what’s just out of reach, stretching my tight faith and making room for more, all because I know, I know, there is always room for more of Him.

STOP

Five Minute Friday: Enough

 It’s Friday and Lisa-Jo has given this writing prompt:

ENOUGH

Every Friday we spend five minutes spilling words and we forego editing  and fretting, and just write.  It’s fun, it’s free, and you should click the link above and try it!  Or at least, read what some others write for fun on Fridays.

GO

It’s crowded and that makes me a little uncomfortable.

People and words and lack of air all combine to choke me a little, but it’s Sunday and I love these people.

She stands to update us all on her life, because she’s a part of us and it’s been so long since she’s been ‘in the valley’.  Her voice is so clear and the words hit me between the eyes.

“When I was a teenager I didn’t want to go with my family to Mexico.  My heart wasn’t in being a missionary.  But I finally submitted to God and decided to be satisfied with wherever He had me.”

Because He is enough.

I worry about doing enough and being enough and did I teach them enough.  Did we pray together enough and do they know Him well enough and will they ‘turn-out’?

We all have to turn out  to find our enough.

Worry turns me in but her words remind me.  He is enough for wherever and whatever and nothing shakes a heart submitted to being satisfied.

STOP

Five Minute Friday: Story

It’s Friday and Lisa-Jo has given this writing prompt: STORY.  We write for 5 unedited minutes each Friday and you could join us!

STORY

GO

Most of us live so much in our own world, in our own heads, that we miss the story of other people.  We all have story, it’s just that we are so busy living ours that we fail to dig in deep and read the stories of those around us.
Not all of our stories are non-fiction.  Some are fiction we create to cope with what is too real, too painful, too boring, or too unbelievable.
One story happens to us all, though.  We get to choose our part.  We have to choose our part, and the ending is beautiful or devastating.
Jesus enters with His story at some point,  and one way or another, we are forever changed.
I used to read those books as a kid, the ones where you choose your own ending.  I would start over each time and read it with a new ending.
I like the story that doesn’t end.

STOP

Five Minute Friday: Risk

I’ve set my watch for 5 minutes.  I’m supposed to be leaving right now, on my way to Portland with my beautiful daughter for a couple days of book choosing and lattes.  But it’s Friday and Lisa-Jo has given this writing prompt:

RISK.

GO

It’s much easier just to stay home, and when I’m out it’s easier to tuck inside the shell.

There is so much risk associated with being in public.  What if I say something stupid?  What if I say something irrelevant?  What if I don’t know what to say at all and I pull a Peter-on-the-mount?

I still remember the first time my dad made me order for myself at a restaurant.  I was Piglet-p-p-p-petrified, certain that the waitress would…I don’t know, laugh at me?  Give me the wrong food?  Not understand me?  I remember that I was scared, just not what I was scared of.

Something irrational, I’m sure.

And I remember many many foot-in-mouth times.

But risk is what I need.

My husband actually tells me to talk more.   Crazy.  He thinks I have something profound to say.

I’ve stood in front of large groups and sat with small ones, said lots of dumb, silly, laughable and forgettable things, and I’m always scared of the risk.

But a few weeks ago this came to mind (I hesitate to say the Lord told me…so take it for what it’s worth to you):  I, you, we all who follow Christ, need to meet lots and lots of people.

Scary.  That means lots and lots of risk.

But I, you, we all, have something worth risking ourselves for, and something worth saying.

STOP

Five Minute Friday: Path

I love Fridays because Lisa Jo makes writing so fun.  Just five minutes and she even gives you the topic.

{In fact, come fall my children will be joining the fun…but don’t tell them yet.  Summer has just begun and we may lose pen and paper for a little while!  We are ready for a few lazy days, a few unpressed and spontaneous ones.}

But me?  I’m writing.

GO!

He actually found me.  Knocked on my door and said, “Remember me?”

I had never planned for marriage, never had the list of attributes or thought about churches or wedding dresses.  I had never seen a marriage that really looked like a blessing.

And my life had a way of just living itself out without my planning, anyways.

But he had the guts to knock on my door (well, my parents’ door anyways) and smile.  Just pop in and what next?

A difference in years and backgrounds and theology and none of it matters when God orchestrates something grand!  When God hacks away at the weeds on your path, and cuts out the poison oak and blackberry bushes that seem par for the course, when He does all that, who really needs plans?

All our planning or not planning just falls by the wayside.  We just follow the path.

So that was 19 years ago I guess.  And three years later we were married.  In a church.

And now 16 years after ‘we did’, after he quavered out Long as I Live and drove me away in that little white Toyota, I know I couldn’t have planned anything better than this.

Happy Anniversary, Baby.

STOP

I could go on and on, but the whole point is five short minutes of writing…

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Expectation

Five Minutes of uninterrupted, unedited words.

GO…

Expectation

I guess I’m kind of a fatalist?

I’d rather not hope in things that might disappoint.  If something exciting might happen, I’d rather just assume that it won’t  happen and then be so happy when/if it does.

I often wouldn’t tell the kids about something exciting that was maybe going to happen, like going to a friends house or a camping trip, until right before it was time to leave.

You know, so they’re not disappointed if the plans fall through.

Because hope deferred makes me sick and I guess sometimes I just distract myself with other things, certain things, immediate-result type things.

Like laundry.

But I want to live differently.  Because of course there are things I can expect with certainty.

Image

I expect, with certainty, that the sun will come up every day until Christ calls me to the Land of my Expectation.  That’s hope that doesn’t disappoint.  He is expecting me.  *smile*

And I expect that He will surprise me with His goodness, even today.

STOP!

{You can do it, too.  Write for five minutes and don’t pick apart the words…just write!  Click over here and join us, even if it’s not Friday.)

Five Minute Friday: Good-Bye

Friday already, and I link-up with Lisa-Jo and write breathless for 5 straight minutes.  I love this prompt every week and the places it opens up…care to join the fun?

We have made it past the diaper stage and the feed-me-now stage and the sleepless nights.  We have officially said “good-bye” to pull-ups and wet beds.  Everyone can buckle themselves, brush their own teeth and hair, make themselves toast, and at least attempt to make the bed.

So we’ve said good-bye to the Age of Dependence.  Right?

Not so much.

As much as I wanted to be done with that age, the next one is not any less difficult.  That’s what they all told me, back when I was sleep-deprived and vomit-covered.  The ones who’d gone before tried to tell me to enjoy all that, to tell me that it only gets harder as they grow.

I laughed inside, thinking they had just simply forgotten.

But now I’m that one, and I reminisce on the days gone by and they don’t come back around.  Each day is spent and so am I.  Exhausted more emotionally than physically, and clinging to grace like never before.

They still are so needy, we are needy.  The sleepless nights are replaced with late nights, feed-me-now has become don’t-stop-feeding-me-I’m-starving, and now that they can all buckle-up, one of them wants to drive!  Lord, help me.

Wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I only want to revel in it, to soak it up, do it well and gracefully, and say good-bye to regret and selfish longing.

———————————————

What do you miss most from your kids’ younger days?  I miss toddler footsteps and fingers curling hair, sloppy kisses, freshly washed baby smells, and nap time.  Definitely miss nap time.

 

 

A Good Friday, Indeed

Light

The enemy thought he’d silenced our cries

And ended our Hope for all good.

Stuffed all the Light where the dead body lies,

But defeat Him that death never could.

They buried Him there and sealed Him up tight;

Hope, it went down in the tomb.

Brought Sunday morning back into light,

 And Life springing forth from the womb.

Love that would seal us, free us and teach,

Carried away in the shroud.

Look for Him, find Him there, just within reach,

And coming again in the cloud.

Light, it breaks forth, and no one can take

The hope that so safely resides

In breasts beating light and hearts that must make

Him Lord, and none other besides.

Sunrise service, New Delhi 2011

This started as a five-minute prompt from Lisa-Jo, but I confess to spending a little more time than that.  It’s Good Friday, after all.

And what makes this any better than last Friday, or next?  Why do Christians celebrate a gruesome death, an execution, really?

It’s not so much the Friday, but the Sunday that’s coming.  Sunday will be awesome.

I’m not big on celebrations or traditions.  We have a few, like our Christmas Eve slumber party and our birthday treasure hunts.  I guess that throwing the aluminum-foil balls at each other when we have baked potatoes is kind of a tradition.  But we will for sure be making these Saturday evening, and we may even eat them before breakfast because what better to wake up to than sweet, empty calories/tombs?

Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. – Rom 8:34 NKJV

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