It’s time for Five Minute Friday, the weekly timed keyword-themed writing challenge facilitated by Kate Motaung. Her words — and those of the others who congregate around the virtual table to share — are at fiveminutefriday.com. Start at the community section. I encourage you to read them … and participate in the often challenging exercise.
I’ve been sharing snippets taken from Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat compiled by Susan Shipe. They are a testament to the value of the exercise. This week, I’ll share some perspective from Leah, who I hope inspires you to check us out or, better yet, encourages you to try your hand at focused, unscripted writing for just five minutes. And share it on the Five Minute Friday website.
“I was very surprised to discover I have written 73 FMF posts over the course of three and a half years. I wrote this past October of 2015 when I participated in my first 31 days of writing challenge by FMF host Kate Motaung that I had chosen to be part of this group “because it is simple, beautiful, holy.” Seventy-three posts, and 40 months of doing this honest flash mob writing thing, and I see my continual showing up has had the natural effect of making me a better writer. More than that, this continual showing up has made me a better Kingdom of God seeker. I kept coming back because the Holy Spirit kept beckoning me. A major turning point in my own FMF experience started about a year ago when I obeyed His prompting to not only comment and encourage several of my Five Minute Friday neighbors but pray for them as well. Pray specific. Time and time again, those I happened to be next to would post something so significant for a season I myself was in. The bond of the Spirit was there and I was overjoyed that I could be part of a fellow believer’s life for a day. I post sporadically now. When I do, the Holy Spirit always meets me, and leads me to pray for others to make a real spiritual impact on them in a way that I will never know or see, but matters incredibly. It also lets me relax with my own writing. I do not have to gauge if it is “successful.” I trust my words will find their way to at least one fellow traveler and God can do the rest. It is truth that makes Five Minute Friday a Holy, Good, thing to me.”
The word this week is BREATHE. The clock is starting, so let’s GO …
As soon as I heard the prompt, my mind rewound back to March 1972. I was a 24 year old imminent father to be and Karen was a 23 year old imminent mother to be for the second time. But I’ll focus on me.
Even though this was our second child, it was my first time in a relatively new “birthing room” and natural childbirth. I had one job — to keep Karen calm and to help her breathe through pain as we were taught in Lamaze classes. As each contraction intensified throughout the process, I would periodically raise a finger in front of Karen, tell her to focus, and pant and breathe along with her — Hee. Hee. Hee. Active labor didn’t take too long. Our oldest daughter and second born made her way into the world without a hitch.
In the joy that followed, I asked Karen how I did helping her focus and breathe. With a smile on her radiant face, she said I did well, but admitted if I had raised that finger and told her to focus and breathe one more time she was going to have the doctor chop off the finger! Transition will get you every time.
I do like to think I helped … STOP
… her breathe through the pain of childbirth. That might be wishful thinking on my part. After all, in retrospect, all I had to do was sit there and help her through the contractions.
We actually talked about that incident during our last conversation as I tried to keep her comfortable through the pain of cancer. “Just breathe,” I told her. “I’m here with you.”
And that, my friends, is what Our Lord is saying to each and every one of us as we go through pain, heartache, disappointment, frustration. “Just breathe. I am here with you.”
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Above all, try something — Franklin D. Roosevelt