Two lines long

Do you ever feel like your heart is smiling?

I got an email tonight – two lines long.

It was about something… and nothing.

It came from an unexpected direction from an unexpected person…

And it made my heart smile bigger than I’d felt all day. (And I’d already had some big ones. Seriously big ones.)

How amazing is it that we can effect a person’s entire being – heart included – within the space of a couple of short lines.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When’s the last time you felt your heart smile? And–better yet–when’s the last time you dropped someone a line that would make theirs smile??

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


The pull

 

Some days the pull is heavier than others.

If I’m honest, most days heaven never even crosses my mind.

But lately, there’s been death. Illness. Struggle.

And also less dramatic things like the gentle bent toward sin that you can feel when you’re really, really honest with yourself.

I’ve felt it lately – that bent.

It’s not the “big” things that are hard. (I’ve never had a genuine desire to murder someone or steal the Queen’s crown jewels or run a big insurance scam.)

It’s the little things – That small tug of jealousy in your heart. That tinge of desire to gossip. That undercurrent of pride. That hint of dishonesty. That pull to judge. That appeal of self-righteousness. That tendency to be critical.

And that’s when I really long for heaven – for that place where the tug of sin no longer has any grip, anywhere to latch on, any hold whatsoever of my heart.

I recognize my frailty. I’m still so weak, even in my holiness, even in my right-standing with Him.

There are areas yet unsanctified.

It’s only in him that I’m truly home.

And so

my heart

continues to long

for heaven.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you think about heaven much? In what way?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.

 


The key to a cleaner floor

A few months back I bought a used hand-vac from one of our local thrift stores.

I was pretty excited about my $14.95 find, and hoped it would fill the space of the much-needed family dog. (Well, the cleaning-up-under-the-table part at least. Admittedly, the handy-vac isn’t all that cuddly to snuggle up to.)

What a novelty to be able to whip that thing out and suck up a mess in 30 seconds flat.

Of course Levi is obsessed too. He gets a real high from being let loose in the house with it. (I’ll be reminding him of this in a few years, no doubt.)

I thought that it might become one of those things that fades in appeal. But so far, so good.

I’m proud to say that I’ve probably vacuumed more in the last couple of months than I have in the last year (don’t judge), and Levi’s not slowing down anytime soon either.

Sometimes convenience is just a novelty that quickly wears out and leaves us with unwanted stuff cluttering up our closets.

Other times it’s the key to a truly cleaner floor.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Handy-vacs and other “novelty” cleaning items – yay or nay?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | FIve minutes a day, unedited.


For the love of shopping malls

I used to think malls are for shopping – shoes, clothes, handbags.

I now understand malls are for moms.

A few days ago I had a one hour window with a mile-long list of errands.

With two littles to buckle in and out of car seats and pack into a stroller or shopping cart, an hour is nothing.

But I managed to get to the post office, the bank, the pharmacy, the grocery store, one other quick errand, and a stop at the mini-jeep for a two-minute pretend ride with Levi. And I did it all within the space of an hour.

To say I was thrilled is an understatement.

I floated out of there feeling like superwoman.

We tore around that mall like it was nobody’s business. I swear it was made for me, and women like me, to make a dent in our lists while not completely losing our sanity.

My days of browsing for belts and earrings are few and far between these days… but words cannot express how awesome it is to send mail, pick up milk, and fill a prescription all in one building.

Hooray for the mall. It may not be beautiful or inspiring, but is sure is practical.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have your “must have” components for a good mall changed since becoming an adult? (Or a parent?)

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


I’m convinced that He is able to guard what I’ve entrusted to Him…

“…because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12b

God guards – keeps, protects, covers – that which is entrusted to him.

If you’ve been a Christian for more than… oh, a nanosecond, chances are you’ve had to entrust things to God over, and over, and over again.

And then you think you’ve done it once-and-for-all only to realize somehow you’ve picked up that burden/worry/sin yet again.

Sometimes it’s not even a bad thing that you have to entrust to him – it could be a very precious thing – but that doesn’t mean you should carry it yourself.

(Did you know our good stuff can become idols too? Our spouse, kids, ministry, etc?)

But Paul tells Timothy in his second epistle that he (the Lord) guards that which is entrusted to him.

So it’s making me think, are there any areas in my life that I’ve not entrusted to the Lord right now? Are there areas where I’ve once trusted but have stopped?

A “small” but current area came immediately to mind as I asked God to search my heart related to this issue.

And just like that, I was able to acknowledge it and entrust it to him. Again.

I’m so glad he’s the one keeping and protecting it now.

Pretty sure he’ll be doing a better job than me.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you have any areas you need to entrust to him? (Don’t you want him to guard them for you anyway??)

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


On getting derailed from a healthy habit

It’s amazing how easy it is to get out of a well-established habit. (Kind of depressing, actually.)

There was a point in my life where I got up at 5:00am every day. By choice.

This now seems like my worst nightmare.

But at the time I lived with twelve girls and I reeeeaaalllly liked to get my shower in first and have some quiet space to myself. (What’s a half-introverted girl to do?!)

When I started this blog it was for many reasons. One of them – the main one – was to help establish a healthy discipline of regular, free writing.

I happily did this every day for six months. (It was very, very rare for me to miss a day.)

Not only did I do it every day, I LOVED IT.

Then the force that was our July hit and I just couldn’t do it. (Fine, there’s grace for that.)

But now life is back to normal and I’m finding it sooo hard to get back to the every day.

I want to – I love and enjoy writing! I have time to – who can’t find 5 minutes in “normal” circumstances?!

So….. what’s the problem here?

I’m not sure.

But it’s a little frightening for me to see just how quickly and easily a well-cultivated habit (discipline) can be derailed if we’re not careful.

What’s a goal-oriented girl to do?

Well, keep on trying to get back on track I suppose.

 

Q for you: Surely you’ve had a good habit fall to the wayside at one point or another. What helped you to get back on track?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


Sometimes I forget I’m American. But not during the olympics.

Sometimes I forget I’m American.

I’ve lived here for twelve years now and so–with a few exceptions–it’s all fairly “normal” to me. I’m always caught off guard when checkout chicks ask me how my holidays are going.

Huh?

And then I remember that I have an accent.

Oh yeah, I’m a foreigner.

There are, however, a few times that I’m keenly aware of being American.

One is during voting season. I can’t not be interested in American politics. Sometimes I wish I didn’t care… but that’s never really going to happen so I just try and keep up from a distance the best I can.

The other time is during the Olympics.

I’m not a very athletic person. I’m not super patriotic either.

But I do find it easy to get swept up in the romance and excitement and competition and pageantry of it all.

Living in Australia, of course they are televising all of the events that include Australians. This means we’ve seen a lot of rowing and swimming and dressage. (yawn)

Side note: How is a horsie dog show even in the Olympics anyway? Isn’t the Olympics for human competitions? *sigh* Crazy. 

Anyway, I’ve gotten really frustrated with the lack of coverage for Olympic events that I want to see. You know, the ones with Americans in them. (Hello women’s gymnastics with the US taking out the gold. Totally missed that. Arg!)

But there is one that I’ve gotten to see over and over – Michael Phelps. What a freak that guy is. Love or hate America, how can you not love a superhuman guy like that?

When you see an athlete perform like he does, it’s hard not to be amazed. Nationality goes out the door and it becomes about appreciation for what they guy can do. (Well, unless you’re Australian and insanely jealous – heh heh! or American and insanely proud – ha!)

Mr. Bolt, Mr. Jordan, Mr. Woods, Mr. Ruth, Mr, Federer, Ms. Komenechi (who the heck knows how to spell Nadia’s name, anyway?). These are a few athletes that belong in a league of their own.

Team USA or not, I applaud Phelps for retiring on top of the world.

Awesome.

(And don’t tell the Aussies, but shhhhhhhh, yup, I’m kinda glad he’s American.)

STOP.

Q for you: Do you get into the Olympics much? 

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


Every time we take up our cross

“Every time we take up our cross — we take weight off someone else.” -Ann Voskamp

How often do I view the “taking up of my cross” as a burden to myself? And yet really, it’s not a burden but a blessing.

Jesus said, “It’s better to give than to receive.”

Anyone who’s ever been a part of a Christmas celebration can attest to the truth of his statement.

And so taking up my cross so that I can bare the weight of someone else’s? It’s not a burden. It’s a gift given to another.

Which is ultimately a gift given to me.

And all of it is a gift given to HIM.

So hard to remember when we allow the daily grind to blur our vision.

I want to take up my cross, so someone else won’t have to.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have you been challenged to take up your cross lately? Did it feel like a burden or a gift?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


Celebrate, we will

We spent $8 and one hour decorating a wagon in red, white, and blue for tomorrow’s old fashioned pet parade.

Although the kids are still pretty little we know they’ll love it. And since we have no idea when we’ll get to celebrate another 4th of July we’re doing it, well, biggish.

It feels like an eternity ago that I was a kid riding my bike in the parade. Dressing in silly outfits and having my own children in the parade was a million miles from my mind.

But here I am, so excited about some old fashioned small town parade and festivities.

We’ll hit up the free pancake breakfast, enjoy the parade, and roam around the park filled with three-legged races, hoola hooping, and other “old fashioned” games.

And though the boys are far too young to understand what it is to be American, they will understand that it’s something worth celebrating.

Celebrate, we will.

Happy 4th my friends.

STOP.

 

Q for you: If you are American, what are you doing for the 4th?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


Life on the ranch

Even though I grew up in a small town, I’ve always thought of myself as a city girl.

Being in cities (the bigger, the better) makes me come alive – always has.

I love the bustle and movement, the diversity and the color.

Never in a million years would I have thought I’d enjoy living on a farm or in the country.

On Saturday we spent some time at a friend’s place outside of town.

They live on two-and-a-half acres – just big enough for a barn, a horse, and a couple of ponies. Levi ran free the entire afternoon between the tire swing, the pile of tonka trucks under the big pine tree, feeding the horse, grooming the ponies, playing with the wheelbarrow, and who knows what else he got up to.

He ran around like he owned the place. Love would be an understatement here.

And although I still imagine myself as a “city girl” and can’t see myself desiring life on the ranch anytime soon… for the first time in my life I “got it” a little tiny bit.

I could see the draw, the pull, the motivation to get out and find yourself some space for the kids to run free.

Kids change almost everything, don’t they?

STOP

 

Q for you: Can you imagine living in the country? Or on a ranch or a farm?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited