Category Archives: friendship & community

Extravagance just because

It’s day two in America and we are well and truly in holiday mode.

Aside from some crazy jet lag, everything is as perfect as possible. We are enjoying being unscheduled and moving slowly and having time together with our family.

There was a bag waiting for us when we arrived, put together from our church to welcome us.

It was full of some of our favorite American goodies that we can’t get in Australia – Cheerios, cheddar Chex Mix, Payday candy bars, Sour Patch Kids, A&W root beer, Reeces Pieces, pink lemonade, and kettle corn. There were even a few little gifts for the kids.

None of this is stuff that we need. (Um, who needs junk food?!)

But that was just the point – to bless us “above and beyond” the necessary. And to make us smile.

It’s amazing how little things can make such a big impact.

Being welcomed with a package like that – full of the treats we adore and miss – made us feel so welcomed, cared for, and appreciated.

As much as God wants to provide for our needs, he also loves to do things just to make us smile.

Extravagance, generosity, hospitality, abundance – those are all marks of our God.

Apparently our church family knows that too.

They reflect him so well.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When is the last time you were blessed to receive something you didn’t need, but wanted “just because”?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


How far is too far?

Working with Christian young people, a question I hear regularly is “how far is too far?” when it comes to sex and physical relationships.

I usually tell them that the better question to be asking is “what is best, most loving, and most honoring to the other person?”

We often have our perspective wrong. We wonder what we can get away with, what’s in it for ourselves, and what the consequences we will have to face.

But fundamentally, that’s a wrong perspective and is rooted in selfishness.

As followers of Christ we are called to think of others first, to serve, and to put others above ourselves.

This principle is not just for romantic or sexual relationships, but for all areas of the Christian life.

Instead of trying to figure out where the lines of sin are and what we can get away with, why don’t we start asking ourselves a better question:

What’s best, highest, and most loving toward others?

What’s best, highest, and most loving toward myself?

And ultimately, what’s best, highest, and most loving toward God?

STOP.

 

Q for you: How’s your perspective lately?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


How to own a house outright (by first proving your not in the mafia)

A blog I follow recently posted about their family’s journey to purchase a new home in Bend, Oregon.

This is a debt-free family who had a sizable down payment, and had worked out their budget to be able to PAY OFF a 15-year mortgage in its entirety after three years.

THREE YEARS.

They did this by renting, saving like crazy, and making the pay off their first priority… knowing that after three years they will be able to have income freed up for travel and other things.

Imagine living in a house you own outright. (Dream come true!)

The “funny” thing is this family had a really hard time finding a lender.

They had no debt, amble money, and an amazing plan.

Just hardly a credit record.

Seems a little backwards, doesn’t it? Especially considering all of those who’s mortgages are turning upside-down these days.

The good news is these guys found a loan (after proving they aren’t in the mafia), got their house, and their story is now inspiring many others (like me!) that all of this is actually possible.

These are precarious financial times we live in, but all of us (I’d hope) are trying to be smart with the money we have – whether it’s a little or a lot.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What would you give up in the short-term to be able to own your house outright, quicker? Or be able to buy a house in the first place?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Passing over (chaos) and holy communion

I imagined that tonight I would write something about Passover after returning from a beautiful feast put on by our YWAM community.

Something deep and spiritual and lovely.

And yet truthfully? My family adn I showed up ten minutes late after frantically tying sheets on like togas and forgetting the baby food and tripping over all sorts of unfinished business around hte house.

The beautiful meal was all laid out for us, adn many had taken great care in preparing the food and atmosphere and explanations of all of hte symbolism to help us understand adn breathe deeply, receive and have revelation.

Yet most of my evening was spent cleaning up spilled “wine” (cordial), toddler taming, and fretting about my baby’s growing over-tiredness. So much so that I was barely able to follow along with much of hte flow of hte evening.

Despite my lack of “passover-ing” I had a beautiful moment of catching up with an old friend who I haven’t seen in four years. In hushed tones while the program went on we swapped stories of life – triumph and victories as well as struggles and hardships – adn then spent a few quiet moments praying for each other.

“Were we supposed to be having communion?” my friend asked me.

The truth is, we were having communion – sharing the reality of Jesus through our lives and circumstances and care for one another.

It’s Holy Week, a time for remembering Jesus – who he is and what he’s done for us. And also for remembering who he lives within… us.

STOP.

Q for you: Are you observing Passover or other elements of Holy Week?

Love,
A

Click Clink Five | Minutes a day, unedited. 
Adriel also writes (using spell check!) on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos


But somehow

Just when the bottom felt as if it would fall out, friends came through.

Friends bringing dinner. Friends bringing freshly folded laundry. Friends bringing hugs.

It doesn’t take many. Just two or three can make a world of difference.

I’m as tired today as I was yesterday, but knowing there’s people “out there” that come close (or pray) when you’re in need? That makes all the difference.

Baby is still sick. Husband is still sick. Rain is still falling. Laundry is still strung out all over in the living room to dry. Toddler is still stir crazy. I am still beyond exhausted.

But somehow, it feels like it’s all going to be alright.

Last night at one point we had our entire family in our queen size bed. And then we were divided – one parent with one child in our room and one with the other in the guest room.

When it’s hitting the fan you do waht you need to do. That’s called being the mom. (Or dad.)

But wow, am I glad to know that we’re not doing it alone.

How people survive without a support network of friends and family and church is just beyond me.

I’ll just count my blessings, pray for sleep, and try again for another night to let it all go so my mind can rest at ease.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you have a good support network in  your life? If not, are you working on it?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos


Pray for your enemies? Wha??

There’s a saying that goes, “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

I get it.

But I probably don’t have any “enemies”.

At least not what I would classify as enemies.

I do, however, have people in my life that I don’t “click” with for one reason or another.

I remember in grade school one day telling my mom about some friend who was “mean” or somehting along those lines.

Looking back now I have no recollection of what friend that even was or what they did to “hurt” me or any details whatsoever.

What I do remember clearly is my mom’s advice:

Why don’t you pray for her?

What?

Why?

That’s the last thing I want to do.

But over the years that advice has served me well.

As an adult I’ve actually started implementing my mom’s advice.

That boss I had that one time? That one girl that I worked with? That one friend that sait that one thing?

Yup, they all made my prayer list.

And as I started praying for them something happened.

I changed.

I’m not sure if they did, in fact I’m pretty sure they didn’t. But I did.

The way I saw them changed. The way I cared for them changed. And ultimately the way I related to them changed.

I began to “keep them closer”… in a figurative sort-of way.

It’s a good thing – to love your enemies.

But if you really want to determine in your heart to do that… you’ve got to pray for them first.

Ememies or not, when’s the last time you prayed for someone who rubbed you the wrong way?

STOP.

 

Q for you: You may not have what you would consider “enemies” (that’s great), but I’m sure you have people you don’t get along with, or even just people that you don’t like for whatever reason. God never told us to “like” people, he told us to “love” people. How are you loving your “enemies” today?

 

Love,
A

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.


Twenty-one is light years away

I sat there watching the tall, long-haired twenty-one year old with his friends, laughing and chatting and talking about nothing.

Minus the tattoos, they looked like my own dad and his friends thirty years ago – bushy, unkept beards, long hair, well-worn thrifted clothes.

And I couldnt help but think that these are my own sons in twenty yeras time.

Who knows what styles will look like then. But it made me wonder, would looking at them as twenty-somethings remind me of my own childhood or teenage yeras as fashio goes full circle yet again?

It’s so hard to imagine celebrating Levi’s 21st. Seems light years away.

And yet I know when that day coems I’ll remember this little post and probably chuckle to myself at how close it all was.

I watched my friend tonight as she listened to her son’s friends share favorite memories and affirmations with him.

What must she have been thinking as she commemorated this coming of age?

All I could think about were my own two sons at home – one in his crib and the other in his bassinet. I wanted to go home and scoop them up and brgin them into bed with me so I wouldn’t have to let them go.

How can these babies I hold soeday be men? And how will I help them get there?

For now I’ll just enjoy my babies.

Twenty-one is still a long way off.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How do you imagine your life in twenty years time?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.


Do I know you?

 

A friend of mine just visited. We haven’t seen her in nearly two years since she moved across the country.

The last time we saw her, Levi was only two or three months old.

But even though they didn’t “know” each other, they knew each other.

“Eehhh-Mah! Eehh-Mah!” Levi would say all. day. long.

She is most definitely his new BFF.

Levi is not a super affectionate child. He’s not shy, but he is quite independent. He relates to who he wants, when he wants.

He’s very particular about it.

Wathcing him interact with Emma, you would have thought she lives around the corner from us.

He was more responsive nad affectionate with her than I’ve seen him with almost any other person. And he was like that from the moment she walked through the sliding airport doors.

Made me wonder how much actually takes place in those early baby days – both when they are in the womb and when they are delivered as a floppy little newborn.

Emma was there during my whole pregnancy, shouting and singing and speaking to the belly. She was also there at delivery – one of the first peole who ever met and held our first born.

They way they related, you’d think he knew it.

What a mystery. A precious, weird, and wonderful mystery.

In any case, I’m just glad that they now know each other. Again.

 

STOP.

 

Q for you: What do you think? How much of those early days of life really are burried within the depths of our memories?

 

Love,
A

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.


Sitting on the bench like bookends

There’s a Simon and Garfunkle song called Old Friends with a line in it that says:

“Old friends… sat on the park bench like bookends.”

I always liked that line, though never really considered what it might mean.

This week I have an “old friend” visiting.

We have not seen each other in almost two years. Our phone calls and emails have been far too few and in between.

Much has happened in our lives since we were last together.

Since having her here I’ve thought many times that it feels like an eternity since I last saw her (when you consider all that’s happened in both of our lives since tehn). And yet at the same time I also feel like she never left.

Being together again is so normal, so right.

Ryan and I have said that many times about our own kids as well.

In some ways it seems like not that long ago that we were in Spain, just the two of us, living on a dime with the whole future before us.

But it also feels like a lifetime ago.

It’s hard to rememver our lives without the kids, now tht they are such a part of it.

(We like it that way.)

And as I soak up the time with my dear firend, I think about what once was between us. It—too—feels like a lifetime ago, and yet also feels like yesterday.

The “bookends” thing finally makes a little sense.

We’re far apart and yet the stories between us, the shared experiences, the challenges, memories, discussions, growth, and laughter… Those things will always be between us, giving us something to hold up and hold onto.

And finally, I’m a litle more comfortable on my park bench.

 

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have you ever thought of yourself as a bookend – holding up volumes of stories and memories?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.