Five Minute Friday – Empty

Hi and Happy Good Friday.  Today’s Five Minute Friday word is empty, just right for Good Friday.  I haven’t written one of these in a long time.  But, here goes. This image is from Power Point’s clip art.

Empty – our lives can be empty if we have no purpose, no one to care about, don’t love ourselves, or have no support. My hope and prayer is that we all have people to laugh with us during the good times and to be there in the times of sadness, hurt, and struggle. And that we can learn to love ourselves and realize that we are worthy of love, acceptance and caring.

I also think about people who are hungry and have no regular source of food. And those with no clean and safe source of water.  May we help them so they don’t have empty bellies. May we help them so they do not thirst, but instead can safely be nourished and fed.

Empty is also what was found at the tomb on Easter morning — three days after the death of Jesus.  Imagine what that must have been like.  I can picture them thinking, what happened and where did he go?  Did someone steal him?  I imagine they were very puzzled yet amazed at the miracle.

Today is the day we remember the suffering and death that our Lord endured.  He became human and felt all the feelings that we do and learned how we feel in times of happiness, struggle, pain, and loss.  He suffered a brutal death for us.

On Sunday, we celebrate His resurrection and that empty tomb.  The stone was rolled away and He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!  This is what our faith is all about.

Okay times up.  That five minutes went by fast.  I have a few things to add.

No matter what you believe or celebrate, please remember that you are loved, you are valued, you are important, and you don’t have to be or feel empty.  There are those who will care for you and be there for you.

May you  have a blessed Easter weekend.  For those celebrating Passover, may you be blessed as well.  And, may we never feel empty.  God’s blessings to you!

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Five Minute Friday: Want

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday.  Today’s five-minute writing challenge is Want.  Five Minute Friday is for writing freely for five minutes uninterrupted. I haven’t done this in quite a while, but this word was one that I wanted to write about.

Now Go…  My wants have changed since I was a child.  How about yours?  When I was young, I wanted toys, games, attention, time to play with friends, regular trips to the beach, new clothing, and lots of stuff.  Now, I mainly want things that cannot be bought.

I want healing for my sick loved ones with cancer, I want world peace, I want kindness, love, and respect for one another.  I want women and girls to not be raped.  I want men to be taught to respect women. I know that many are, but all need to be.  I want us to take care of hungry children and ensure all children are educated. I want us to cure cancer and AIDS.  I want people not to be addicted to drugs – legal or otherwise. If they are, I want us to help them heal.

I want more time with my loved ones. I still want trips to the beach with my family and friends.  I want to make memories with my husband and my son (like in the picture above from five years ago). I want my son to learn all that he can from me. I want him to always know that he is loved.  I want time to see him grow up and become an amazing man.  I want to grow old with my husband.

Time is up. But I still have a few thoughts to share.

I also have some goals of what I want.  I want to write a book or two, I want to make a difference in people’s lives, I want to see a few shows on Broadway and meet some amazing writers. I maybe want to go back to school to learn something new.  I want to lose weight and keep it off, and so much more.

Wants are different than needs.  To me needs are food, clothing, water, and shelter.  We also need transportation to get around, school, and jobs.  Wants can also be things but often aren’t.  What wants do you have?  Are they things that you can buy or are they items that cannot be purchased at a store?

A few quotes:

  • “Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated.” — Lou Holtz
  • “If you want to be happy, be.” — Leo Tolstoy
  • “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” — Dolly Parton
  • “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” — Abraham Lincoln
  • “Success is getting what you want.  Happiness is wanting what you get.” — Dale Carnegie

A few other things I want are for our government to work together as they did when President Reagan was in office.  The situation we are currently in is not just one person’s fault.  I want to see more happy and positive news and for people to not judge each other as much as they do.  I want us to love others as Christ taught us to – unconditionally and always.

I wonder if these wants will come to pass.  Some will but others, I am not sure.  I only hope and pray that they will.

Five Minute Friday – Learn

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday.  I haven’t written one of these in ages.  I liked today’s word so I thought I’d write for five minutes on Learn.

Starting now…

With today being the end of Ian’s second week of school, it means so much to have a child who loves to learn.  He was ready to start school and enjoys going each day.

I will appreciate and cherish that as long as possible since I know that feeling may not last.  A mom can be hopeful though. Right?

He likes his teachers, his classmates, and especially his school.  He has a T-shirt that he wears regularly with the school name and mascot on it.

This morning, Ian asked me, “Is tomorrow a school day?”  “No Ian,” I told him.  “It is Saturday.”  He wasn’t thrilled but realized that we have a Cub Scout activity in the morning.  That should be fun.

I too enjoy learning and think it is important to do throughout your life.  I was blessed with a good education and am thankful each and every day for that.

We can learn in a classroom certainly, but also in everyday life and on the weekends.  Learning is always possible and we try to talk with Ian about that.

Stop writing.  The time is up.  Wow, that was fast.

Since I haven’t done this in a while, I am not sure where to post these in the Five Minute Friday community.  I will try to find that out for next week.

I did want to add a few quotes about learning that I found after my time was up:

  • “You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.” ~ Clay P. Bedford
  • “Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.” ~ Henry L. Doherty
  • “I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.” ~ Eartha Kitt
  • “You learn something every day if you pay attention.” ~ Ray LeBlond
  • “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” ~ Chinese Proverb
  • “All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind.” ~ Martin H. Fischer

I want to thank all of Ian’s teachers, the school staff and administration, our school district and school board for such an awesome school and great curriculum.  We look forward to a great year of 2nd grade.

Thanks also to my teachers.  They taught me so much and I can never thank them enough.  Many of them I remember fondly and am grateful for their love of learning.  I will have to write about a few of them sometime.

I have many family and friends who were and are amazing teachers.  Thanks also to them for helping students and adults to learn.  You and your passion for learning and teaching are so vital and appreciated.

I hope that Ian will always love learning.  I look forward to each day with him on his journey.   His dad and I are in awe of all that he knows and continues to learn.

Five Minute Friday – Hands

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday.  Today’s Five Minute Friday word is Hands.  This photo shows Ian using his hands when he was a little guy. He had just finished putting the puzzle together.

On your mark, get set, write… for 5 minutes.

Hands… I have enjoyed seeing Ian’s hands grow and change throughout his young life.

The day he was born, he was taken to the NICU in another hospital for a few issues.  That night Kirk went to see him.  As he was holding our newborn, Ian grabbed Kirk’s finger and held on really tight.  He seemed to know his daddy and that was a comfort to him. I think it was a comfort to both of them.

He was in the NICU for 4 days and nights before we could bring him home.  After having carried him for 9 months, these were the longest days of my life.  Each time we went, we held him and his hands and he held onto us; we fed him with the bottle and worked on breast-feeding, and we changed both his clothing and his diapers.

Now we hold hands when crossing the street walking to and from school.  There is nothing like the feel of that little hand in mind. I also like holding hands with my husband and always have.  And sometimes all three of us hold hands together and that is fun as well.

When our family gets together for parties and holidays, we hold hands to pray.  The circle of love is awesome and very special.  It is great to be a part of this circle and to hold hands with another family member.

Hands build, work, create, cook, bake, comfort, feed, communicate, and celebrate.  They are the most common way to touch someone else.  And, we praise and pray with them as well.

Before starting to write this blog, I hadn’t thought about how much I use my hands and take them for granted.  I will do my best not to do so anymore.

Times up!  I wonder what we will be doing with our hands today?  I look forward to finding out.

5minutefridayThe rules for 5 Minute Friday are:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here 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…

To read about other thoughts on hands, please go to http://lisajobaker.com/2014/06/five-minute-friday-hands/

The Messiness of Childhood

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday.  Today’s Five Minute Friday word is Mess.  As the mother of a 6 1/2-year-old, I am only too familiar with messes and that is totally fine with me.

On your mark, get set, go!

When Ian was about 3 years old, he drew permanent marker on his legs.  Talk about a mess.  Here is a photo from when he did that.  Thankfully it didn’t get on the furniture, his clothing or the carpet.  For that we are blessed.

Afer doing this, I think he knew he was in trouble and never repeated this activity, but he still makes plenty of messes while using magic markers and painting.

Since then, I have been asking him, when we make a mess, what do we do?  “We clean it up Mommy.”  We decided early on that he understands that messes will be made and that you clean them up and move on.  Not that you purposely try to make them, but we realize mistakes happen and things get spilled.

More recently, he makes messes in his room while playing with his Legos.  The entire box of them are all over the floor while he creates a new MiniFigure, shape, building, or vehicle.  Or while reading, books end up all over the place.

And, we regularly have a messy kitchen especially when he helps me cook.  There are crumbs everywhere, mixes on the counter, sauces on top of the stove, and drops of milk that have to be cleaned up.  All of this mess leads to lots of cleaning and laundry.

But, you know what, I’d have it no other way!  A fun childhood includes messes, don’t you think?

Now STOP!  Times Up.  My that time went really fast today and I wasn’t finished.  So, I decided to add a few messy moments of Ian’s childhood as well as the cleaning up:

  • Spending hours playing and covering all of the floor space in a room
  • Eating spaghetti and getting the sauce all over his face and clothes
  • Licking sticky fingers from a dripping ice cream cone on a hot day
  • Digging in the dirt
  • Stomping in puddles after a few rainy days
  • Walking in the mud and getting his clothes covered
  • Washing off sandy feet after a fun day at the beach
  • Cleaning an apron that he wears while helping cook dinner
  • Washing his legs covered with that permanent marker – took a lot of baths to come off

I wonder what new messes will we make today?  I am sure that they will be fun and can always be cleaned up later!  Have a great weekend.

For the Five Minute Friday rules and to read other thoughts on Mess, please see http://lisajobaker.com/2014/05/five-minute-friday-mess/

Five Minute Friday – Friend

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday!  For Today’s Five Minute Friday, the word is Friend. This when we write for five minutes on a subject.

On your mark, get set, GO!!!!

At a recent Writing Seminar dinner, the keynote speaker asked us who our favorite imaginary friend is.  This is a great question and certainly lends itself to some great answers.  Many people responded with characters that we all heard about growing up.

I have two answers for this question — the girl in The Secret Garden whose name I still can’t remember, and Willie, the sweet elf in my grandfather’s stories.

As my regular readers know, Willie was always on a quest to find out where rainbows come from.  Inevitably, he’d get into trouble and need his friends to help him.  They were always there for him.

Looking back as an adult on this story that my grandpa created, I think he had some great life lessons to teach us — being real friends, setting and sticking to your goals, being kind to others, and mainly perseverance.

For my real friends, I am fortunate to have quite a few.  Some of them I have known for many, many years.  Even though we don’t see each other much, we often pick up right where we left off.  That is a blessing.  And, I have some newer friends who I have clicked with and am so thankful for them as well.

This photo is of a few years ago of Ian with two of his stuffed friends.  He has quite a collection of them.  And, he, too is making real friends. For that, Kirk and I are very grateful.

Okay. Stop. 5minutefridayIn case you wanted to know, the rules for 5 Minute Friday are:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here 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 are a few quotes on friendship that I looked up after my time was up:

  • “A friend loveth at all times.” — Proverbs 17:17
  • “A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.” — Douglas Pagels
  • “Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.” — Sicilian Proverb
  • “Friendship isn’t a big thing — it’s a million little things.” — Author Unknown
  • “The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.” — Elbert Hubbard

To read more thoughts on Friend from the Five Minute Friday community, please see http://lisajobaker.com/2014/04/five-minute-friday-friend-2/

Five Minute Friday – Choose

cropped-gedc2754.jpgHi and Happy Friday.  Today is Five Minute Friday and the word is Choose.  I will put the rules at the end of this posting.

5minutefridayOkay, 5 minutes on Choose… Go…

Today I am sad over a few people in my family and a friend who are sick and battling major illnesses, but I choose to pray for them and try to be happy they are in my life.  These strong women all mean something to me in their own way.

One just found out she has a malignant mass in her colon.  This was a surprise to her and to the rest of us.  She is an older person who is having an easier time of dealing with what lies ahead than her family does.

Another relative is completing her first round of chemo for breast cancer and the other is a friend who is having her second round of chemo for leukemia.  They all are dealing with major things and yet are positive and upbeat about it.  I am impressed in the grace that all of them are showing although they are in pain and struggling.

I admire strong people like this and hope that I too could be the same.  I suppose we choose to make the best of our circumstances. They say that your mind and being positive does help with major problems in our life and our health.

Many things in life are about choosing.  I know someone else who is in decent shape, has had an amazing life and career, and yet complains about a lot of things.  This person often chooses to be miserable and that makes me sad.  I can learn a lot from this person by choosing not to be the same.  I try to be positive and see the positive in life.

prayingWhile we don’t choose the diagnosis we are sometimes given, we do choose how we handle it.   Do we wallow and say why me?  Or do we figure out a way to use every strength we have to fight?  This is a choice that must be made when dealing with difficult news and a terrible chat with a doctor.

We need our friends and families even more during a time like this.  May we who aren’t suffering choose to do all we can for those who are.  And may be pray for one another and for one another’s strength.

I wonder if I can choose to be positive?  I try each day to be and continue to pray for my loved ones.   God bless!

Stop…

Here are the rules for 5 Minute Friday:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here 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…

To see other thoughts on Choose, please see http://lisajobaker.com/2014/02/how-to-choose-whats-important-today/.

Five Minute Friday — Fight

5minutefridayHi and Happy Friday.  It is the first Friday of the New Year!  Is your day as cold as mine is?  Probably so.  The good thing is where I am it is sunny and barely a brush of snow on the ground.

Today is the first Five Minute Friday of the Year.  Today’s word is Fight.  Here are the rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here 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…

Now Go…

The first thing that comes to mind is a cheer I remember from high school.  “Stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight.”  Silly, short, corny and something I remember.

But what does it mean?  That we should be always willing and ready to fight for what we believe and think.  That is some good advice.

I am a fan of Downton Abbey on PBS.  The season 4 episodes begin on Sunday and I can hardly wait.   A few seasons ago there was a story arc of the youngest girl of the family joining the fight for the right of women to vote.  In watching this show, I see how far things have come for  women and our opportunities.  And also for men.

That is because people were willing to fight for changes.  Am I strong enough to fight for and stick by my convictions and what I believe in?  I like to think that I am, but then again, I have never been truly tested to see if I could live up to what I truly believe.

A few months ago, my son was bullied on the playground.  This, as you can imagine, made me fighting mad.  Mommy, the protector wanted to swing into action.  I was ready to fight this other kid.  But then I realized, what good would that do?  After all, I was trying to stop what I didn’t like that had happened.  So I talked to his teacher who took care of the problem.  Now things have returned to normal, which is a major blessing.  Yeah!

A friend of mine is now in the fight of her life.  She is undergoing chemo treatment for the second time. She is truly an inspiration to me and amazing.  I truly respect each person dealing with this treatment which is literally life-saving and yet makes people so very sick.  May those who are healing and dealing with this be strong and able to battle.

I wonder what new battles this year will bring. I am sure there will be several fights.  I just hope and pray that I am ready for them.  Now STOP!!

To read other postings about Fight, please check out http://lisajobaker.com/2014/01/five-minute-friday-fight/.

Reflecting On My Week

5minutefridayHi and Happy Friday. Today is another 5 Minute Friday where we are to write freely for 5 minutes on a given subject.  Today’s subject is Reflect.

On this day, there is much to reflect upon.  First of all is the stunning and sad news of the passing of Nelson Mandela.  Such an amazing man who was imprisoned in the prime of his life, later released, and went on to serve his country as president.

I have enjoyed reading some amazing quotes by him as well as his friends talking about him.  He was truly an incredible person.  President Clinton was shown in a clip explaining that Mr. Mandela was able to forgive his captors.  He understood that not forgiving would hurt him more than anyone and they’d still have him.

We all have choices to make when people treat us badly or harm us.  We can choose to forgive and heal and move on or we can hold onto hate and anger and let it fester.  Thanks to Nelson Mandela and many others for showing us that true forgiveness and love are indeed possible.

Mandela.quoteI will write another day and include my favorite quotes of his.  One of them I included from a photo that someone posted on Facebook.

Another thing to reflect on is my son’s wonderful class at school and all of the fun things he is learning about.  Today they are celebrating Sinterklaas, who is known as Saint Nicholas in the Netherlands.  Yesterday they drew pictures of wooden shoes.

This morning when they went in, all the kids got to see their shoe picture with a treat — stickers and a snack.  They were thrilled.  Ian found his and put it at his table.  He was ready for a fun day. I love that they are learning about traditions from around the world.  That is wonderful!

Today was also mismatch day for the outfits.  Ian is wearing a t-shirt, a clip-on tie, dressy pants, and tennis shoes, he is truly mismatched.  Last night he said he wanted to be “fancy” and not fancy.  I think he did it.  The other kids came up with a few great ones too.  I just hope someone takes some pictures.

Well, my time is up.  Hope you have enjoyed my quick reflections.  What will you reflect upon today?

To read other thoughts on Reflect, please see http://lisajobaker.com/2013/12/five-minute-friday-reflect/

The Five Minute Rules are:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here 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…

Five Minute Friday – The Majestic Tree

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERATGIF!  I don’t know about you but I am so thankful it’s Friday!

Today I decided to write about Tree, which is the word for today’s Five Minute Friday.5minutefriday

Here are the rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here 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…

Now Go…

The tree in the above picture is great isn’t it?  It’s tall and losing its leaves since it is fall. But it is what I think of a tree — tall, majestic, fascinating to look at, and always changing.

In that way, trees are like people.  We grow and change, have dignity, and are interesting to look at and learn about.

And, like people, trees come in all shapes and sizes.  There are the Redwoods, which are huge and larger than life.  There are the Bradford Pears, which have flowers and then leaves.  These are lovely but always a lot to clean up after since they drop all of the flowers and then all of the leaves.

And there is the Japanese Maple, which is short yet vibrant with color and one of my favorites.  I also like Fir trees, Birch trees, Willow trees, Palm trees, and Christmas trees as well.

I also think of the tree of life and a family tree.  I am fortunate enough to know about quite a bit of my genealogy since my mother has researched a lot and my grandparents told us a lot about our ancestors.  That is a treasure in itself and something I am grateful to know.

In fact, my mother recently discovered that we have an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower. This family history is especially special since it’s almost Thanksgiving.  I will write about them another time.

I don’t know about you but I love trees — the shade they provide on a hot day, the back support they provide when you want to sit under one and read, and the special ones that are planted in someone’s memory.

STOP… times up.   I decided to include photos of several trees.  Hope you enjoy these.  These have been taken in a variety of locations — in California, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

To read other postings about the amazing tree, please check out http://lisajobaker.com/2013/11/five-minute-friday-tree./

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