31 Days of Loving Well & FMF: Discover


: to see, find, or become aware of (something) for the first time
: to show the presence of (something hidden or difficult to see) : to make (something) known
: to learn or find out (something surprising or unexpected)

Is there anyone we take for granted more,
assume that we know so well
that we do not see the need
to discover anything new about them,
than our loved ones (family and friends?)

This is the place into which today’s FMF prompt has ushered me –
The recognition that I have not taken the time to ask questions of my loved ones.

Do not get me wrong. I do ask how they are doing and, most of the time, listen closely as they speak.

It is also true that, especially for my siblings, I can sometimes sense that something is not okay, just by the sound of their voices or what they do not say.

But I realize that there are details of their lives that I do not know.

Yes, it is true that, as the youngest in a large family, aspects of their lives occurred before I was born.

But this makes it even more necessary for me to intentionally create opportunities for them to tell me their stories.

To have them tell and me listen with caring curiosity, is an act of loving well.

Today’s post was written for Day 20 of the 31 Days of Loving Well series, and Five Minute Friday. This series, 31 Days of Loving Well, is part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes event. The prompt is, “Discover.” To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here.


Sustenance for the archives+: Common

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Most stories have several things in common. It does not matter whether they are true stories or of the Hans Christian Andersen variety with princes, and dragons. And princesses who are saved by princes from dragons (animals or evil, dragon like people). Or princesses who find some way to save themselves or the prince.

What stories have in common are a plot, a beginning, an in-between with twists and turns, and an end. Some leave me with a smile on my face and others have me wanting back the hours I wasted reading it. But we all know that is not possible, regaining time that is.

Another thing common to stories is there is also an author for each story. Stories do not just appear out of nowhere.

I think about my own story and the One who is writing it. I think of how, through the psalmist-king David (what a story he had!), in Psalm 139, He speaks of my beginning – “You knit me together in my mother’s womb … all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be” (verses 13 and 16).

Father, I do not always understand each chapter but I want to collaborate with You where You want me to and not have too many parts included in my story that You never intended to be there.

Today’s post is for Day 23 of the series, “Sustenance from the archives+,” that is part of the 31 Days Free Writes writing challenge. The prompt is, “Common.” The original version of this post was published on August 2, 2013, as “Five Minute Friday: Story.” To read Day 22’s post please click on the link below.

Day 22: Help




Sustenance from the archives+: Help

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The VOICE translation titled it, “A song for those journeying to worship.” What a fitting title, for is worship not a journey? One that moves us from a focus on ourselves or circumstances to the Most High God, who is worthy of all worship. It is one of 15 psalms titled, Song of Ascents, reportedly sung by pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. I am referring to Psalm 121. I love this Psalm. I read, think of, or hear it and am reminded that, no matter the nature of the “mountain” that I face, my help comes from God, the Maker of heaven and earth. My Father and yours, who is our Helper who is always found in times of trouble. I share it today, for Day 22, paired with a song based on its truth.  I pray it encourages you as it does me.

I look up at the vast size of the mountains—
from where will my help come in times of trouble?
The Eternal Creator of heaven and earth and these mountains
will send the help I need.

He holds you firmly in place;
He will not let you fall.
He who keeps you will never take His eyes off you and never drift off to sleep.
What a relief! The One who watches over Israel
never leaves for rest or sleep.

The Eternal keeps you safe,
so close to Him that His shadow is a cooling shade to you.
Neither bright light of sun
nor dim light of moon will harm you.

The Eternal will keep you safe
from all of life’s evils,
From your first breath to the last breath you breathe,
from this day and forever.

Today’s post is for Day 22 of the series, “Sustenance from the archives+,” that is part of the 31 Days Free Writes writing challenge.  The post is one of the “+” in the series title “…archives+,” in that is freshly minted. The prompt is, “Help.” To read Day 21’s post please click on the link below.

Day 21: Start

Sustenance from the archives+: Start

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I love books and, except when I am reading (skimming) one in a library or a bookstore, usually I do not start reading a book with the intention of never finishing it.

But I have done so. Started reading books that I have yet to finish.

And I have started projects that are incomplete (and may never be finished).

But God always finishes what He starts.

This truth is especially encouraging when I have failed yet again. No. Not at completing a book or something superficial. At the real things of life.

I have His blessed assurance that He is working in me, giving me both the desire and the power to do what pleases Him (Philippians 2:13, NLT). And, that work that He has started, that good work? He will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6, HCSB). Thank You, ABBA.

Today’s post is for Day 21 of the series, “Sustenance from the archives+,” that is part of the 31 Days Free Writes writing challenge. The post is one of the “+” in the series title “…archives+,” in that is freshly minted. The prompt is, “Start.” To read the post for Day 20 of the series, please click on the link below.

Day 20: Audience

Sustenance from the archives+: Audience

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“The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins,” and he made her queen instead of Vashti (Esther 2:17). All this was true but Esther did not have the freedom to enter the king’s presence without his permission. She could not even request an audience with him. To violate the protocol was to risk death. King Ahasuerus a powerful man who could end someone’s life on a whim. How amazing, incomprehensible it is that Elohim, the Almighty God, the Ancient of Days, Yahweh, invites us into His presence and tells us to come boldly. We do not have to request an audience with the King of Kings; we have unlimited access to His throne because of Jesus.

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16, NKJV).

Today’s post is for Day 20 of the series, “Sustenance from the archives+,” that is part of the 31 Days Free Writes writing challenge.  The post is one of the “+” in the series title “…archives+,” in that is freshly minted. The prompt is, “Audience.” To read Day 19’s post please click on the link below.

  Day 19: Who

FMF & Sustenance from the archives+: Who

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When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13-15, NKJV)

But who do you say I am?” (emphasis added). This is the crux of the matter is it not? Or to borrow the words of the poet, E. E. Cummings, “Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud.” Our grandparents or parents may have introduced us to Jesus. Our Sunday School or children’s church teachers may have reinforced and/or expanded our knowledge of Jesus. But, it is what each of us believes and say about Him that makes the difference in our lives. If who I believe Him to be is based only on my experiences or the opinions of others, and not on who He says He is in the Word, my life will be off kilter. Each person’s relationship with Him is designed to be personal, “Who do you say I am?

Today’s post is for Five Minute Friday (FMF) and Day 19 of the series, “Sustenance from the archives+,” that is part of the 31 Days Free Writes writing challenge. To read the post for Day 18 of the series, please click on the link below. To learn about Five Minute Friday (FMF), click here.

Day 18: Search

Sustenance from the archives+: Search

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If you want to know who Jesus is, search the Scriptures. He is present in every book from Genesis to Revelation.

“You search and keep on searching and examining the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and yet it is those [very Scriptures] that testify about Me; and still you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life” (John 5:39-40, AMP).

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, HCSB).

“Then beginning with Moses and [throughout] all the [writings of the] prophets, He explained and interpreted for them the things referring to Himself [found] in all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:27, AMP).

“Then He opened their minds to [help them] understand the Scriptures, and said, “And so it is written, that the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance [necessary] for forgiveness of sins would be preached in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:45-47, AMP).

“Now some Greeks were among those who went up to worship at the festival. So they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and requested of him, ‘Sir, we want to see Jesus'” (John 12:20-21, HCSB).

Like the Greeks who came to worship, may this be our cry, “We want to see Jesus.”

Today’s post is for Day 18 of the series, “Sustenance from the archives+,” that is part of the 31 Days Free Writes writing challenge. The prompt is, “Search.” To read the post for Day 17, click on the link below.

Day 17: Pause

Sustenance from the archives+: Pause

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A temporary stop in action or speech.
Of its many synonyms, these are the ones I find soothing:
Standstill, lull, respite, interlude, and breathing space.

Breathing space …
I think of the hectic nature of many of my days,
and I want, or rather, need to create breathing spaces in each day.

I recognize that they do not have to be long.
How long?
Just enough to exhale the breath I was unaware I was holding,
inhale deeply and exhale once more.
Just long enough to drop the shoulders that I did not know were tense.
Just long enough to notice beauty around me.
Just long enough to remember that my Father is the Giver of all good things.
Just long enough to whisper, “Thank You.”

Breathing spaces.
What would yours look like?

Today’s post is for Day 17 of the series, “Sustenance from the archives+,” that is part of the 31 Days Free Writes writing challenge. The prompt is, “Pause.” This post was originally published as “Five Minute Friday: Pause” on May 26, 2018. I read it and realized my practice of “creating breathing spaces in my day” needs attention. To read the post for Day 16 of the series, please click on the link below.

Day 16: Pray