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

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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.

Simply Does It – Five Simple Refreshes For Your Home (and For Your Heart)

www.waterintowineblog.com

The answer doesn’t always have to be long and complicated. Sometimes (not always but more often than we think) the answer is simple and sometimes its easy. In fact they’re my favourite kind. See I’m a great one for overcomplicating and overthinking things  – things like my faith, my writing, raising these two beautiful children  or even cleaning the bathroom sometimes – – – and it gets me stuck. Deer in the headlights stuck.  So what I’ve discovered is that simple does the job really well somedays and for me, seeing progress in even a small way can be all the boost I need to get me back on track and moving forward.

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So enough with the overcomplicating and lets go with a quick and easy post today.  Quick because you will be able to read it in 15 minutes or less and easy for me because  I’m writing about one of my very favourite things. So before this birthday month of mine expires entirely  I’m sharing five simple refreshes (or we could call them tiny changes) that I use all the time when my house is feeling a bit flat and lifeless – or I am.

1. Clean something. A surface, a floor, a corner, a shelf, just one small area. Pick the thing that’s bugging you the most or is the most visible. For me its quite often my kitchen bench – it seems to attract the most amazing amount of items in the span of a day so cleaning that down fresh always gives everything a lift including me but it might be the bathroom vanity, the coffee table, the sink, a work area, the front entrance, or just giving the floor a sweep – give something  20 minutes of your love and care and you’ll be amazed how much better it looks and feels.

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2. Bring in some green. In my opinion green makes everything feel better and somehow puts instant life and freshness into a space. A few indoor plants (or even just one will do) or a bunch of leafy branches from the garden arranged works wonders especially if its on your freshly cleaned down counter, coffee table or vanity. It won’t cost you anything and the stroll around the garden will do you good too.

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www.waterintowineblog.com

www.waterintowineblog.com

3. Have a rearrange. Maybe not the whole room in one go but a shelf, a mantle, the top of a dresser, a bookcase, a side table, a few chairs, anything really. A change – well it really can be as good as a holiday and who says everything has to stay in the same spot anyway. There’s a lot we don’t control, there’s a lot that is out of our power to directly change but a shelf or where I put a lamp shouldn’t be one of them.

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“Nothing is sacred around here.  Just because I bought something with the bedroom in mind doesn’t mean it has to live there FOREVER.  This is not a prison for my things.  I want my things to bring me joy and sometimes if they sit in the same place for too long, I don’t even see them anymore”. Edie Wadsworth.

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My favourite quick rearranges are my kitchen shelves, the cushions on  the lounge, the laundry shelves, my work area and the verandah out front. So go ahead and give yourself permission to change things around as much as you like  – you’ll be surprised what a difference a change of scenery, even a small one can make. Remember there’s no punishment if you put something somewhere and you don’t like it. Just try it somewhere else. Isn’t all creativity just a process of trial and error anyway.

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4. Set a surface free – this is a good one if your feeling a little or a lot overwhelmed by the amount of things you have sitting around and are just not sure where to start. It cuts out all the decision making and umming and ahhing about what to do with each thing. Just clear off one space – again a mantle, the top of a bookshelf, a buffet or a TV unit, a side table, a corner or a coffee table – anywhere thats annoying you because it simply has too much stuff on or in it – be it books or photo frames or vases or any number of cute things. Pack the items away and leave the space empty for a day or two. Just let it breath all on its own for a while and enjoy the uncluttered feel of it. The photos  below show the top of my TV unit that’s in our back sitting area all naked and my bedside table all cleared off because I can’t be trusted not to cram seventeen items on there at once.

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www.waterintowineblog.com

 It takes no time at all and when your ready –  only put back items that you really love and enjoy looking at. I can almost guarantee you wont want to overfill that space again and you won’t be tempted to drop just any old thing on there. We enjoy and appreciate the things we have so much more when they are  not vying for attention  in amongst a whole lot of other things. The other thing with leaving a surface empty for a bit is that it gives you a chance to rethink how you have been using it. So with the TV unit above I worked out when I cleared it off that I really don’t need another surface to put pretty things on. Given that its  a bit more of a utilitarian area what I could use up there are some baskets up there for storage.

As for the  items that don’t make it back on the shelf, here’s a couple of thoughts: keep a donation box handy  If it’s no longer inspiring or seen better days or your keeping it simply because it was a gift – it might be time to let it go. Less stuff to contend with on a daily basis – now thats a refresh in itself. Or for the keeps, just leave some things put away – all our nice things don’t all have to be out at the same time. They can be rotated just like the sheets and towels. In fact I try and have more put away than I have out these days so that when I do get something out that I haven’t seen in a while, I enjoy it more,  it makes a nice change and is way less expensive than a trip to the shops.

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5. Take a break. Now this ones about you. Sometimes when everything’s feeling a bit blah, it’s us not the house that need’s a freshen up.  When getting anything done feels like wading through mud its a sure sign we are just plan old tired and running low. Same goes if you find yourself going all day without sitting down or taking a break. I know it’s easier said than done but doing something to refresh yourself either body, soul or spirit  for at least 20 to 30 minutes a day will pay off on so very many levels.

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What refreshes each of us is entirely personal but heres a few thoughts: get outside in the fresh air, take a walk, read a good book with your feet up, watch a movie, spend some time in quiet and prayer, take a nap, get out with a friend, take time by the water, in the garden or enjoying a view, do something creative – not work creative but refuelling, just for pleasure creative. While your at it – drink some water and take a few  deep breaths. It doesn’t have to be luxurious or idyllic to work. It doesn’t have to be Friday afternoon and it doesnt have to involve a glass of wine. This recent instagram post I read sums the idea up exactly:

So much of life — pulls and minuses and divides us. But these evening moments of solitary walking around our little city lake – walking with seniors and students, Syrian refugees and soldiering on mamas – add to me. I don’t walk fast, I pray sometimes but mostly I just pay attention and I keep going. I feel like I’m getting somewhere. Sarah Bessey.

Author and blogger Emily P Freeman describes it as pressing your ear against the heartbeat of your own life (I love how she says things). Some describe it as  margin or white space, I just call it room to breath. I’ve not always been so good at that and no doubt I’m not alone but taking regular pauses where I’m not doing or making or planning or thinking so darn hard puts me in the direction of it. I know  I feel better when I rest and do something I like to do and better when I take time to breath deep and stare for a bit into the distance. Yes that so called unproductive “wasted” time, has a way of building and blessing and keeping us sane.

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“White space is anything but nothing” Bonnie Gray

So take a moment – take 20 or 30 or an hour regular like and do something that adds and refuels and refreshes you on the inside.

 So there it is –  a few simple ideas for refreshing your home and yourself. I have tried to keep this one short, sweet and of course simple  but if you would like a little more, here’s a few places where I am constantly inspired in pursuit of home and heart refreshment or if you’ve any simple refreshes that work for you please share away in the comments below.

Nesting Place

Chatting at the Sky, Emily P Freeman

Finding Spiritual White Space, Bonnie Gay

Now I know the posts of late have been few and far between but I have still been writing my weekly Women Connect posts. If you have a moment you can read them by clicking on the titles below or just browse the Women Connect page here.

On Making a Difference

Stay Awake To Love

Whatever!

Like Children

On Being Kind (To Ourselves)

Much love from my home to yours

Tracey xx

Linking up today with Works For Me Wednesday

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