Sharp Paynes

Never a dull moment…

Archive for the category “Five Minute Friday”

Five Minute Friday: Gift

I have five minutes to write about “Gift” with no editing or over-thinking, thanks to the prompt from Lisa-Jo.  My mind is racing like Scrat after the nut, but here goes…

My kids.  Four of them given to me all dependent and squalling.  How could I ever manage this responsibility?  Only by grace, you know.  And so much more of it for each day.

{this is where I insert the gorgeous pictures of my kids…instead, I’ll use this space to remind you all to back-up your computers because you never know when things will mysteriously go missing.  Seriously.}

I ask God why you couldn’t all just be cookie-cutter-kids.  All with the same needs and desires and personalities, instead of four people as different as could be.  Wouldn’t this parenting job be so much easier if we all played by the same rules?  If what ‘works’ with one child ‘worked’ with all?

I guess He doesn’t want a boring life for us.  Great adventure, this life with personalities.

You all are my adventure.  Knowing you, loving you, teaching and learning with you.  I fail miserably and you see it and love me anyway.

So many times I pray you forget what I said and just remember there is grace for us all…

He reminds me what you, we, all of us need.  The law makes no one perfect, but grace.  Grace brings us to Jesus.

These kids and this grace work together on me.  Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father, and we have to embrace them all squalling and dependent.



Five Minute Friday: Loud

Loud.  No editing, no over-thinking, but five straight minutes of writing about loud…


All I could think of is India.  India is loud.  Honking, beeping, shouting, mooing loud.  And my husband, when talking with someone who speaks little english – he talks loud.  Because surely that will help them understand.

Beyond that, nothing.  Can’t I write about quiet?  I like quiet.

I went to and searched “loud” in the NKJV.

Of the 72 or so times the word “loud” came up, the  huge majority (I didn’t count)  were found in the book of Revelations.

Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. – Rev 12:10 NKJV

Yes!  Something worth shouting, the kind of loud I can rejoice in.

I prefer quiet, but aren’t some things just necessary to be loud about?

The demons cast out, they were loud.  The threats from the Assyrians, they were shouted for all to hear.  The people crying out for deliverance and rescue were not quiet about it.

The accuser of the brethren, day and night pointing his finger at us before God, his voice is loud in our ears.  {Can we please be louder than that accusing voice, and encourage one another loud enough to silence him?}

And though He never raised His voice in the streets, my Jesus, He cried out in a loud voice when it was finished.  One day He and His angels will be heard with a loud voice (hallelujah!) and all my quietness will rejoice.

Trumpets and angels and the people of God, all loud for His coming.


Five Minute Friday: Empty

It’s Saturday, I know.  Yesterday was busy and today I have 5 minutes (okay, more like 15!) to write.

So I’m a little behind…story of my life!  But here’s my 5-ish minutes on




Yes, he really is this cute!


and this goofy!

Yesterday was the 6th anniversary of Ethan’s homecoming.  I still remember the day we saw him, curled up in a ball, sleeping in a crib in a room full of crawlers in that orphanage.

He was bigger than we’d pictured.  He looked as though he’d been fattened up, but he certainly was not healthy.  Snot oozed from his little nose and his chest was wheezy.

The first night in our Indian hotel with him was surreal.  I looked at this little guy, who’d never seen white skin before nor heard much english, and he just looked so…independent, I guess.  Unattached, but needy.  A little lost.

He had his first bath in a tub.  Screamed louder than anyone in that high dollar hotel wanted him to.  He was clueless what to do with the cheerios I had brought, having never put hand-to-food-to-mouth before at seventeen months old.

And back at our guest house in Delhi, he grew hotter and more ill than any child I’d ever held.  Would they even let us on the plane?

We adopted not because our hearts were empty, nor our house.  The love of God has been poured out in our hearts, and He’s blessed us with 5 children  now.  There are myriad reasons for adopting, and I believe God motivated us to fill the empty in Ethan Shashwat.

We had an empty seat at the table.  An extra place in the car. Arms that could hold more and laps that needed sitting.

God provided empty places for more of His love to pour into.

And to make that little crib in Pune, Maharashta, India, empty for another to be cared for and placed in permanence.


Happy Birthday and Five Minutes

I think I’ll be reading some Seuss today, in honor of his birthday.  Any excuse works for me, and my kids aren’t too old, nor am I.  There is much wisdom in his nonsense, and sometimes

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities. ~ Dr. Seuss

No, I don’t agree with all of Seuss’ philosophy.  I just enjoy a little nonsense, set to rhyme…from time to time.

Yes.  I am 35 years old and I like Dr. Seuss.  I’m sorry if you are sharing deep things with me and I quote Seuss.  I’m sorry if I say things like, “We run for fun in the hot, hot sun” and you don’t get it.  I’m sorry if when I say, “I love to read”, you think I must mean Austen or Dickens or Twain.

You should read more Seuss : )



It’s Five Minute Friday at


They make me feel that.  It’s not their fault, it’s mine.  They can’t help the growing and changing and turning-into-young-adults, and it’s me that is supposed to make the transition slow, make the days last and the memories permanent.

But I’m losing my memory, really, and that makes me ache, too.  Thank God for pictures and journals and their memories that take me back.  I’ve prayed so many times that they would forget the word-wounds and the grumpy-mom, but now I pray that we’ll all remember the moments.  Frozen in time moments.

The cuddling and laughing and sharing.  The moments when the world stopped and the laundry stopped and the school stopped and we just stopped to enjoy each other.

I’ll purpose to make those moments today.  Will they still enjoy Dr. Seuss?  I think they will.  How they bless me, the Sharp Paynes, and how they make the dull ache in me for slowing down.

I’m thankful for the ache because it reminds me to stop.  Like running too fast makes me hurt – because I wasn’t meant to go fast but slow, turtle-slow.  And it’s ok.

Several Decembers ago...


I have five minutes to put some words down.  So I set my watch and set out to capture something from the swirl in my head…


Just do it.  Just see the thing and tackle it.  Don’t whine about how difficult, how impossible, how painful it is.  Knuckle down, buckle down, do it do it do it!

Grit.  I want to have the grit to follow my own advice.  I tell my kids all the above, but what do I preach to myself?  I am a recovering-procrastinator, and as with most addictions, we tend to say that recovery is a life-long process.  But I want to be over it.  I want to rid myself of the weight of all the undones that loom over me, because they suck the life out of me.

I want grit.

But Iwant plush, downy compassion, too.  I want it for others (my kids) and I want others to have it for me.  Some things are just too hard.  Some things take more compassion and less push.

God lived in the grit.  He who became dust and flesh lived in the grittiness of this world and overcame.  With love, He overcame.  And He got things done.

So I just do the next thing.


Your turn!  Hop over here   and give it a try.  Leave me a comment and tell me how you liked the assignment.

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