“This devotion-journal for Lent has been stirring in my heart for several years. Having never practiced Lent growing up, in fact, not until 2006 did I even understand it. I always thought it was a time to give up some food item; I have come to learn it is so much more.
In the effort to prepare your heart for the celebration of Resurrection Day we will be taking a look at Jesus’ final months of ministry beginning Winter A.D. 29. We will cover events, people, and places.
For forty days, minus Sundays, we will meet on the pages of this devotional; remembering Jesus’ final days on earth and celebrating His victory over life and death!
Much heart work has gone into this book and it is my desire your Lenten Season will be enriched by the words contained herein.”
And now … a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT about the Five Minute Friday Retreat!
Yes, you read that correctly! It’s really happening!
We have a DATE *and* a VENUE! (Who’s excited?!)
Drum roll, please …
More info will be coming in the weeks ahead, but in the meantime, here are the basics:
July 21-23, 2017
Kansas City, MO
20 minutes from Kansas City airport
Ticket Price: $185
Tickets go on sale Thursday, February 23rd at 10pm EST
** ONLY 24 SPOTS AVAILABLE **
Ticket price includes two nights of hotel-style accommodation (4pm Friday until 10am Sunday) plus all meals except Saturday dinner. While we love and appreciate the men who participate in Five Minute Friday, the retreat is open to women only. Sorry, guys!
He’s been laying in bed for the past seven days straight. This fever has sapped him. No smiles, no appetite. Just languishing in bed, waiting for it to pass.
Doctor says influenza. Highly contagious. I can’t even hold him or lean in close the way I want to, for fear of catching the same bug.
I hate seeing him so weak, so lethargic.
And yet every day I find myself praying, “Lord, thank you that it’s not worse than this. Thank you that we know it’s going to pass, if that’s your will. Thank you that as far as we can see, this is only temporary and he’ll be back to normal soon.”
I think about the times that I’ve been sick and how impatient I become. But it’s in those still hours in bed that I am so desperately aware of my dependence on God. So keenly aware that my weakness opens the door for His strength.
For when I am weak, He is strong.
Thanks again for being here! Let me know if you have any questions about the retreat! Feel free to email me at kate<at>katemotaung<dot>com and I’ll do my best to answer! 😉
Ready? Setting my timer for five minutes, and … GO.
As I thought about the word, SAFE, this week, a certain quote kept coming to mind.
Do you know this one, from C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe?
“Aslan is a lion — the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh,” said Susan. “I thought he was a man. Is he — quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
I think about current affairs and the tense political climate and the hoards of people around the globe living in fear day in and day out. I look around my house and realize it’s been a while since I have felt unsafe. In fact, I wonder how many middle class Americans in suburbia have ever felt unsafe.
And have I ever really considered God to be unsafe? Am I too comfortable in His presence? Not reverent enough?
What does it mean to fear Him and hide in Him at the same time?
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. ~ Psalm 18:2
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. ~ Psalm 57:1-2
Now it’s your turn! Share your own five minutes of free writing below, then leave a comment on the blog linked up before yours. And don’t forget to have fun!
It’s the beginning of February, and if you live in the northern hemisphere and you’re anything like me, you’ve just slipped into the doldrums of a dreary winter where patience runs thin and tempers run high.
You’ve been sanitizing kitchen counters and toilet seats after weeks of circulating germs, and right about now you’d give anything for a breath of fresh air. Or maybe a mocha Frappuccino.
My stomach hurts. My rib cage feels like it’s crushing my lungs. I’m sitting here at the old farmhouse table with the crumbs trapped in the cracks reminding myself over and over and over again that life isn’t actually an emergency. It’s a gift.
So why are my hands clenched so tight?
I’m like a kid with a cracker, a treat, a delight that she’s about to crush to death because she won’t open her hands. I’m holding on way to tight to this dream of freedom. You can’t be free if you won’t let go.
And I want so many moms to be free from anger from temper from the guilt that they’re doing it all wrong. I want us to let go and exhale and take such big gulps of free air together.
I want to breathe deep these promises that God makes all things new. Including weary moms. Including moms who feel like they’re doing it all wrong. When really all that worry means they’re doing all right. It means they’re ready for change. For life, for fresh air and a chance to write new stories in their homes.
Altogether now, open your hands. Breathe in. Breathe out. Tomorrow is coming as only tomorrow can. On the promise of grace and a sunrise painted by a God who holds tomorrow in his hand. A God who will complete this good work in each of us and carry us if necessary across the finish line.
There are crumbs in the cracks and to many to-dos but right now, in this moment, I can unclench my hands.
and just take the next breath.
A Note from Lisa-Jo Baker
If you’ve been following my blog for any time at all then you know that I’ve spent the past DECADE trying to tame the temper I didn’t know I had before I became a mom.
Because it didn’t make sense that I could simultaneously love my tiny humans like nothing else on earth while also feeling like nothing else could make my head want to explode in quite the same way. It stunned me to one day find myself nose-to-nose with a six year old screaming my lungs out.
What kind of mother feels like that? A bad one, I told myself. I was sure I must be a bad mom because I was capable of a kind of rage that scared me.
We are good moms, we are normal human beings dealing with abnormal circumstances (sleep deprivation, zero privacy or personal space or alone time) and what we don’t need is more guilt! What we need are the tools to help get us through.
The blog posts I’ve written about my struggle with my temper have been my most highly read and shared posts. And the ones I get the most email about and the most speaking invitations to teach on. I hear you sisters — the struggle with mom temper is real!
So I’ve finally done something I’ve wanted to do for YEARS!
I’ve packaged up everything I’ve learned about my mom temper (the hard way) over the last decade of parenting and everything I teach at my workshops so that you can put it into practice in your own homes.
The Temper Toolkit is a labor of love from me to you — a collection of practical strategies, honest stories, and Biblical resources from one mom to another to help you take control of your temper BEFORE you lose it.
My challenge for you this week is to click around the link-up until you find someone who is joining FMF for the first time. Last week I found at least three newcomers, and it makes me smile every time!
If you’re brand new to the Five Minute Friday scene, you can learn more about us by clicking here!
Here’s Shannon Popkin with this week’s Five Minute Friday post on the prompt:
Control. The desire for it wells up from somewhere very deep inside of me. I crave it. I feel compelled to lunge for it; to do whatever it takes to have it. I feel an urgency to take control, wondering what might happen if I don’t!
And so I go for it. I leap for it. I run for it. I grasp it as tightly as I can and clutch it with all my might.
Then without comment, control slips through my fingers like a mirage. It flutters like a leaf, blown upward into heaven.
I see now that it was all a tease. I never did have a grasp on that blasted control.
This makes me angry and frustrated. I shout at it to get right back here, and jab my finger at the ground in front of me. Then I whimper like a child because I need it so badly. But control is not mine to be had. It doesn’t belong in my hands. It belongs in God’s.
I look up to search His face, wondering why He has taken the control I so deeply long for. Is He taunting me? Is He Indifferent and aloof? Does he even see me all the way down here, beneath his throne?
I wave my hands frantically, to let him know that I need Him to send it back down. I’m ready to hold on more tightly, now. I won’t let go this time.
There’s movement. He sees me! He’s stooping low. For a moment, I’m terrified, and then I see kindness in His eyes. He whispers something into my soul and I lean forward to hear it. You were not designed to carry the burden of control. Won’t you let me carry it for you?
And then He shows me His hands. His massive, wise, holy hands. They are good, God hands.
And at first glance I didn’t notice, but now I do! He’s holding something, there. Are they threads? They’re translucent yet as strong as steel.
I look closer and see a trillion plotlines being woven together in such complexity and beauty, such that I’ve never laid eyes on. His strong fingers are twisting and tying and looping the details together—details of people who are known and loved by Him—in intricate patterns so that each thread moves the story along toward a conclusion that fills my heart with such joy I can hardly breathe.
I can’t see the ending; I can’t see the full pattern. But I just know that it is good.
“It is very good,” I hear Him say.
But when I turn my eyes back to His face, He is gone. Hidden from sight. Just like that.
It was only a glimpse, but it was enough.
I am settled now, at peace with what I can’t see and what I don’t know. I no longer feel the angst in my soul, pressing me to take and keep and have control.
Shannon is happy to be sharing life with Ken, who makes her laugh every single day. Together, they live the fast-paced life of parenting three teens. For more information and companion resources for Control Girl, including a downloadable discussion guide for leaders, go to ControlGirl.com. Shannon would love to connect with you at shannonpopkin.com, or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.
Now it’s your turn! What comes to mind when you think of the word, CONTROL? Share with us in five minutes or less!