encouragement over time (fmf).

Today, just for kicks, I’m linking up with a group of online folks who participate in what’s called Five Minute Friday – you write for five minutes only, saying no to the backspace key and editing altogether, and you see what comes out on the other end of your timer.  I kind of like it.  Join in, will you?

The word?  ENCOURAGEMENT.  

Not my kid - but still cute.
Not my kid – but still cute.

Remember when the book The Five Love Languages hit Christian air waves, so to speak?  Although without a spouse at the time, I took seriously the overall premise of the book: there are five main love language every human speaks – and in order to more fully know yourself and those you love, we need to know each other’s love language.

Like the suction cup my son now sticks to the walls of the bathtub, I sucked up the book. I read and I underlined my crinkled rose-colored copy; I scribbled in the margins, and when I finally found my chapter, the one with the greatest number of asterisks and exclamation points, I declared my language official: I was an encourager.

So I quickly learned to dish out encouragement, because, I mean, naturally, I was so good at it – but I also learned to seek out encouragement in my relationships with others, because these empowering words meant everything to me.

But as time has gone by, I think my mode of encouragement has changed a bit: because sometimes encouragement isn’t found in writing the perfect card or in coming up with the exquisitely-formed sentence of exhorting delight, but it’s simply found in saying, “I get it.”  “I understand.”  “I’ve been there.”

And sometimes the greatest encouragement we can offer is a knowing glance, an understanding smile, a hearing heart.

STOP.  

Five Minute Friday

What about you?  When you think of the word, “encouragement,” what’s the first thing that pops into your mind?  How then do you best receive encouragement these days?  

the tree & its house (FMF).

Today, just for kicks, I’m linking up with a group of online folks who participate in what’s called Five Minute Friday – you write for five minutes only, saying no to the backspace key and editing altogether, and you see what comes out on the other end of your timer.  I kind of like it.  Join in, will you?

The word?  TREE.  

Photo cred: Kevin Kidney.
Photo cred: Kevin Kidney.

We had a large, overgrown maple tree – or perhaps it was an oak – in our backyard growing up.  When I was in the third grade, Dad, a civil engineer, deemed it his mission to build The World’s Best Tree House, without (of course), a nail in the tree.

Who does that?

Mi papa.

We three kids watched him as he began his mission, after the Oregon rains stopped.  He started with the main level, a triangular wedge of a platform with sides and rails, all constructed from dumped materials found at the nearby construction site.  Soon enough, level one was done, but there was a problem: how were we actually supposed to get in the treehouse?  So he constructed an alcove, an entryway of sorts, to welcome us into the main level after climbing up the ladder.

We called it our one and a half story treehouse, and it was awesome.  I mean, we were Swiss Family MacDonald, Keizer, Oregon-style.

Eventually, a bigger, third (or second and a half?) story was built a couple years later, and with it, sleepovers and hideouts and hang out sessions were had.

Our treehouse, built in that old, once-forgotten maple now breathed new life, for three squirrel-y children and eventual teenagers, found it home.

To this date, that old tree (which eventually died a sad, chopped-down death), remains one of my favorite childhood memories.

Five Minute Friday

What about you?  When you think of the one word, “TREE,” what comes to your mind?  And, more importantly, how much on a scale of 1-10 did you love Swiss Family Robinson at Disneyland?

the view from the mirror (FMF)

Once again, today, I’m linking up with a group of online folks who participate in what’s called Five Minute Friday – you write for five minutes only, saying no to the backspace key and editing altogether, and you see what comes out on the other end of your timer.  I kind of like it.  Join in!  

The word: VIEW.

Today Baby and I made our way over to this cute little boutiquey store in the heart of Noe Valley, an area of San Francisco.  Really, it was all Miss Lori’s doing – in a good way, of course, as when I mentioned we were soon heading to the East Coast for a trip and might need a little wardrobe updating, like a cat on a hot tin roof, she jumped at the chance.

And requested to hold Cancan while I tried on dresses – who does that?  Thank you, friend.

But aside from her awesomeness, handfuls of dresses were pulled from the racks.  I need to look East Coast-savvy, you know?  I told the salesladies, vetoing ones that looked too short or cute, and instead opting for the supposed longer and more elegant of cuts.

As I stood in the dressing room, stark-white body in front of the mirror, it didn’t matter whether fluorescent lights hung above: I saw my post-baby body, and shirked back negatively in response.

Nine months on, nine months off…

But more than that, when will I look in the mirror and glow back lovingly towards myself?  When will I see myself as my husband sees me, as Beauty Himself sees me?

DONE.

5-minute-friday-1

What’s your VIEW today?

bravery & a banana seat (FMF)

Today, just for kicks, I’m linking up with a group of online folks who participate in what’s called Five Minute Friday – you write for five minutes only, saying no to the backspace key and editing altogether, and you see what comes out on the other end of your timer.  I kind of like it.  

When I was little, being brave meant doing something really, really daring and courageous.  It meant riding your bike down the super steep hill or holding your breath for a second too long underwater, or hiding in that dark and scary place during a game of hide-n-go seek.  It was always associate with the outward action, I suppose.

Here we are, a “few” years later, and I wonder if it’s changed so much.

What does it mean to be brave amongst a group of 30 and 40-something year old men and women?  How can I show bravery to my son and with my husband?

Bravery now takes the form of realness and authenticity, which I suppose is just like riding down that bumpy, steep hill, unaware of whether or not you’re going to fall.  See, I want to avoid the pitfalls.  I want to dodge the stick in the middle of the road, as to ensure that I stay secure on top of my banana seat bike.  But staying on top doesn’t always make for a good story, nor does it mean that I’ve been brave in the best and fullest way possible.

So today I take that one tiny step in this big, wide world of bravery.

Want to join in?  Go for it! (Wish the link button worked, but I can’t seem to get it to post properly).