Five Minute Friday – More (or Less)

Five Minute Friday  on  a Monday night but it still works the same way. Prompt word, five minutes, just write. No overthinking, no over editing.

This weeks prompt word is MORE

We always think we need more, if not for now then for later, for just in case. Survival instinct I guess – the more we have the safer we feel.

But what if we used – really used – what we already have. Used it  to its fullest potential without waiting for more. What if we wrung the day dry of its possibilities and opportunities –   use up every bit without waiting for more or better before we begin. Wouldn’t there be more just by doing that- more contentment, more joy, more peace – bound to be.

I think sometime I’d like more house.

I live in a small house and there is always the temptation to think all my household woes would be solved by more space. Sheer square footage would be nice but I’d settle for more just in the way of storage space – cupboards and closets and just generally more places to shove things.

But more isn’t always more. More space can get filled up with stuff you don’t really need exactly the same way your existing space can and your no further ahead. A big space can be unfunctional and uncomfortable and unmanageable just the same as a small space can. Big or small, more or less – its all in what you do with it.

When I think about it what I’m really wanting in my home is not so much more space. What I’m wanting is less chaos and less clutter and less crazy and for that I don’t need more – for that I need less.

Less stuff I know from experience is the one thing that makes the biggest difference in a small house and that my friend is easier said than done and an ongoing process in this wee house. The pay off though of opening a cupboard door and not have things fall on me, the pleasure of an empty shelf and a clear line of sight and drawers you can open makes it worth the tough decisions and the ruthless and relentless decluttering.

I’ve such a long way to go with this , theres still stuff piled up around here and too many cupboards shoved full but I’m heart set on making the most of what this little house has to offer, set on  uncovering her beauties and on making more of what looks like less to the untrained eye. This idea of rescue and redemption and bringing back from the edge is one that runs fast through my veins and a challenge I can’t help but rise to.

What about you, what are you wanting more or less of?

You can read what other people have done with their five minutes here 

Or you can join in with some story telling and heart sharing at #porchstories right here.

www.katemotaung.com

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Five Minute Friday – Create

Five Minute Friday  early on a Monday morning while the house is still asleep.

Prompt word, five minutes, just write.

This weeks word.

Create

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‘I was once asked: “How do you know you are living?” and I said, “I create, so I know I am living.”‘ – Florence Broadhurst

We create to make a mark, to express ourselves, to show up, because we can’t not.

We create by an act of our will, with just the tiniest slither of an idea, with only a  pinpoint of a thought, by sheer determination, straight out of thin air sometimes.

Creating doesn’t rely on ideal conditions or a perfect plan, it doesn’t require  flashes of brilliance or strokes of genius or even mind boggling talent – – – – thank God because where would that leave most of us. That would be my creating done and dusted right there. That’s me packed up and gone home before I’ve written a word, or taken a photo or arranged one room.

Creating doesn’t start with any of those things.

It starts with starting.

The first stroke of the brush, the first sweep of the broom, the first line of the story, the first stem in the vase, the first sketch in the note pad, the first phone call or conversation.

And when you start more comes – – – –

More ideas, more insight, more understanding, more clarity, more know how – – – –

More than what we thought.

I see it time and time again, you start with what you have, doubts, misgiving, second guessing and all, throw yourself at it and somewhere along the line it takes on a shape and form and a  life that you couldn’t imagine when you began. Hoped for maybe. I call it the God breathed part, more than what I could do, so much more than the sum of its simple and fumbling parts.

It starts with starting.

Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with shaking hands. Start voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have . Just – – – start. @myinspiredmind

Creating is risk though. Multiple risk. We risk it not turning out the way we think it will. We risk failure, we risk criticism, we risk it not being as fabulous or as amazing  as we want it to be, we risk an indifferent audience, we risk losing control, we risk it not contributing anything, we risk being misunderstood – – – – – its all a risk but the other option is to not create a thing and in that we create a poorer life.

Creating  is part of our living, part of our being human. To make something out of nothing, out of the dust of this life, we feel more connected , more alive, we feel His breath, its worth the risk.

Love to you all today

Tracey xx

Five Minute Friday – Want

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Sunday here now but it works just the same.

Prompt word, five minutes, just write – no over editing, no overthinking.

This weeks prompt word:

WANT

I read this on Instagram yesterday

“Grateful that some things didn’t work out the way I once wanted them to” (myinspired mind)

Oh me too.  Arent we all.

Yet we were so sure at the time that we knew exactly what we wanted – that person, that job, that home, that opportunity, that group of friends, that phone call – and not at all impressed that it didn’t go to plan. Yet looking back later, much later sometimes – so grateful that there was a different plan.

But there’s lots I want right now.

I want to do things that matter.

I want to contribute.

I want to be a good mother and wife.

I want to be thinner.

I want a lovely cushy “statement” rug for the lounge room floor.

I want fire warming the house each night during these wintery months.

I want to see England and America, and Italy and – – – –

I want to have more adventures with my kids.

I want an uncluttered, comfy house.

I want to write good words.

– – – – and that’s the short list.

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Some wants hold more weight then others, some run deeper. Some get me up in the morning and have me doing things I don’t necessarily feel like doing. Some take work. Some have me putting other things I want aside for a while. Others are sweet day dreams, “one day”, “all in good time”, “won’t it be nice when” kind of wants. Then there are those that are deep down where only God can see – the ones that make you cry – the contour of them only God knows.

I’m not sure “want” is the dirty word we often think it is. Wanting keeps us looking and foraging and mining the depths of what’s possible. Wanting keeps us growing and changing. I think God created us rich and diverse and hungering.

But we don’t want it to ruin us. To make us miserable and ungrateful. We don’t want it to blind us to how good and rich where we are right now is, even when its not all good.

Maybe the wanting isn’t really the issue.

Maybe its what we do when we don’t get what we want. What we do when we think its all gone pear shaped. It’s what we learn and how we navigate this life when we don’t neccessarily get what we want in the colour or shape or size we ordered it in or it just doesn’t arrive at all. And right there is where most of our living is done – in the place we never planned for, the unwanted zone.

But its where the magic can happen all the same. Where the near to God -ness can truly happen.  Where we can find more and better and true- er than what we thought we wanted. Where our hands get dirty and our hearts get broken yet we come through wholer than what we were anyway.

David found out about wanting at the sharp and pointy end of life. Found out that he could be good and OK and not needing a thing right now because he had God with him. We can assume these words were said by one at their ease, fully satisfied by life rather than one running for his life, alone, accused, defenceless , all at a loss – – – – but God. A man who out the depths of a place he had never planned or wanted to be, was able to say “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”. Now theres a thing or two I’ll spend my lifetime learning.

Not what we would choose, not what we want – – – – –  but just as well we don’t always get what we want.

I wrote this recently (not in five minutes):

We would choose an easier way with saner people if it was up to us. We would choose less heart wrenching, less exhausting and less scary.  We’d choose people we could get a handle on, not so messy and mixed up. We’d choose bigger and better and looking good while we do it. We’d choose things we feel more qualified for.   

So just as well we don’t always choose, because we’d choose the easy way and we would never find out what we are made of, we’d never reach deep, we’d never lay hold of the miracle of God in us and God flowing out of us.  We’d never discover that it’s not just about us, that it’s so much more. We’d never discover what He has put us here for, we’d miss the eternal – – – – we’d miss the whole point of it. On Making a Difference

Love to you all today

Tracey xx

How I Do Five Minute Friday

So if you haven’t read a FMF post of mine before I’ll let you know how it works for me. I go to the host site Heading Home and see the prompt word usually on a Friday. Many a time I see it and just call it a day right then and there but this week I was determined. I never read any other FMF posts already linked up there before I have done mine – it would just totally skew my thinking about the word and defeat the purpose of it – which is free writing. I give myself some thinking time and may not come back to it till the next day but mostly the ideas or real thoughts only come when I start to write anyway. I set my iphone timer and write fast for five minutes  – whatever ideas come. After that I will spend up to half an hour fixing typos and grammar, adding any links needed and making sure I actually make sense (even partially will do) because no one wants to read my unedited, un previewed ramblings. I don’t add any new ideas to the ones already there even though its very tempting to add in a fancier word or another thought – but I do round ideas and sentences out, rejig them a bit so it flows. It may not be a true five minutes (more a 45 minutes) on my part but I find it a great free writing exercise that gets the words flowing without me over thinking and something good(hopefully) being said.

Got a minute? You can read other FMF posts here.

Five Minute Friday ~ Morning

Psst if you’ve found your way here from a link up party you can find my latest link up post On Good News right here

Five Minute Friday = prompt word, five minutes, just write.

www.katemotaung.com

This weeks prompt word: Morning

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Morning is when I get to drink coffee on my own

In the quiet

And not have to talk.

It tastes better in the early morning. It does good work.

Easily my favourite part of the day.

Thank God His mercies are new every morning – every single morning – because in one single day I can get totally to the end of myself and some days I feel like I’ve about used up mercy.

And theres plenty of mornings, and I know we all have them, when I open my eyes feeling tired despite the sleep, with a heart heaviness that I have to push past as I wake. And I can’t always put my finger on it except that life gets exhausting and being a person and putting one foot in front of the other can be hard and wearying –  some days more than others. But by the time I have bleary eyed pulled together that cup of coffee and seated myself to stare out at the garden, hope will be rising and faith will be kicking in. A grace in itself.  Seems He’s wired us that way – to rise up anyway, to hope against hope, believe when it doesn’t make sense because nothing about life makes sense somedays but – – –  “even in (our) dreams, we can’t deny that getting to live is holy ground” Ann Voskamp

Breath in our lungs, a chance to take part – the good of it and the hard of it – a privilege not every one has – holy ground.

Early  morning  – the pull of it never gets old. The quiet and freshness – like every things been set to right over night.

Like redemption – the chance to start again.

Every thing wiped clean.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8

And the cool of this morning after three days of intense heat is like a sweet reprieve, the smell of rain just fallen, like mercy, fills up the air.

Tracey xx

You can read what other people have done with there 5 minutes here.

And while the blog posts this month have been few I have still been writing my weekly Women Connect posts.

You can read last weeks post On Listening here

And the garden inspired this post On Blooming here.

 

 

Five Minute Friday – Joy

(Psst if your visiting from a link up you can read my latest Women Connect/Link Up Post For Such a Time as This here)

Five Minute Friday  = prompt word, five minutes, just write.

This weeks prompt word:

JOY

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– – – weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

For years it wasn’t a word in my vocabulary. Not that I was unhappy all the time but “joy” – a feeling of great happiness – mmm not so much. There was always some sort of brokenness pulling me back from that lofty height.  I suppose I thought of joy in terms of elation and exuberance and extravagant outpourings of excitement and happiness  – – – and even on my best day’s that’s not something I could manage.  Joy was far too upbeat and out there for a less is more, semi introvert  like me.

But things go and change don’t they, God does his work, puts together our broken, breathes in His life. And so we’ve come to a new understanding. Joy and I have fallen in along side each other like old friends. Not so incompatible after all. In fact we get along just fine.

My dictionary might define “joy” as a feeling of great happiness but I think I’ll add to that a feeling of great contentment, of knowing and thankfulness and peace. It doesn’t turn up big and loud and showy. It show’s up quietly and hangs out and makes it’s home with us.

It shows up in feeling safe on the inside, in knowing deep down, when the layers are peeled back and all is revealed that everything is OK, because He’s made it once and for all OK.

“ – – – we’re safe now. The worst has already happened and it happened to Jesus and nothing else can wreck us”. Edie Wadsworth ~ Life in Grace.

It shows up when I’m  thankful, when I appreciate the gift that this life is, when I  appreciate the enormity  of  all  I’ve been given.

Seeing those perfect little babies in my arms – my life’s joy not because it was what I had always dreamed of but because I’d hardly dared to let myself dream of something so wonderful, and here they were anyway. A gift.  The joy of  them exquisite  but with it the  worry  and the tears and the wanting them to be OK and do well. My heart done in and gone in one fell swoop the moment they arrived. The pain right next to the joy. Our hearts laid bare theres nothing else for it  but to throw ourselves on God’s mercy and hold on for dear life.

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Some times we simply choose it over despair.   We fan joy into flame  and  throw it like a weapon at the cold and dark, a beacon of our faith and trust, to let the dark and cold know it won’t win, that it won’t overcome us.

And then those moments – the jump up and down, best news ever, so happy you cry type moments – I’ve had a few of those this year –  a friends all clear from cancer, another friends dream job offer, us getting our new home loan. All of them the more poignant because of the journey to get there, the hard work done, the sticking in and holding fast,   the tears and the sorrow endured before arriving at the sweet. Those moments are  like gold, worth celebrating – the joy of good news.

May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope! Romans 15:13 (The Message)

Much love to you today

Tracey xx

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I’m gonna confess, just so it’s all out in the open ~ I take way longer than five minutes to write my FMF posts!!    I do set the timer and write for five minutes and wherever the prompt word takes me in that five minutes is what I stick with but  – – – I usually leave it then for a while (days sometimes)  and come back and finish it when my original thoughts  have percolated for a bit. And yes  I correct the spelling and format it properly because I can’t help myself. I am totally in awe of those who can write a coherent and legible post in Five Minutes. Occasionally, very occasionally I have managed it in 20 but for the purposes of this FMF post lets call it 40 minute Friday (with a days thinking time thrown in).  Hope you don’t mind.

Linking up today with

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