Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sing-Five Minute Friday

I wasn't sure what to post for this one, but as I turned my iPhone off and began to listen, it came. I hope you enjoy the read.

sing....

I hear them in the morning

I hear them now as the sun begins to set

They tweet and chirp, chirp and tweet

Hidden from view, but anything but silent


Does it matter who's who?

The chorus is cheering, lively and upbeat

They have much to tell of and sing

Warmth envelopes the Earth, grass is green

Daffodils popped up and out to greet you and me

They sing and sing and sing for free

Silence will not come

STOP

Psalm 148:5 "Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and they were created."

To see what others are singing about, check out  www.katemotaung.com

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Empty-Five Minute Friday on Sunday

It's the last day of spring break for me. As always, it goes oh so fast. As many are celebrating the empty tomb and the power of resurrection life today, I had some other thoughts.  Bear with me as I share memories of a trip I took almost twenty years ago.



empty.......

Vacant or unoccupied. Have you been to the Dead Sea? I have and I really floated on top.

It's rich in minerals and great for skin conditions like psoriasis, but nothing lives in it. My eyes stung so badly when the water splashed upon my face. 

It's called the DeadSea because it's dead or empty of any plant or animal life.

There is no outlet for the water to flow into and empty itself into. So, it sits. Nothing lives in it, but we can keep afloat on top.


I think of my peace plant, too big for its home now. Leaves are starting to die. It's time to 

split it up and give some away.


STOP

Philippians 2:6-7 "who, although He existed in the form of God , did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond servant and being made in the likeness of men"


To see what others are emptying, check out www.katemotaung.com

Friday, April 7, 2017

Enough- Five Minute Friday on Friday

I read the prompt late last night and felt inspired as I was cooking dinner tonight. The weekend is here, vacation has begun and Easter is on the way. Spring has sprung and the flowers are blooming. I hope you are encouraged or challenged.

enough....

Is it enough to live in America, enjoy good health, have an education and a good job?

Or is it enough to have rich intimacy and relationships?

What is enough?


Enough of that, no more.

How about, "Enough! I've had it!"

The passive aggressive child who infuriates?

Or the martyr complex in people you know?


I've stewed over this and that.

I've cried when a roof over my head, food in the fridge, and a healthy body just

don't feel enough in the silence at home.

I remembered in a little over a week, it will be Easter, when Jesus said "It is 

finished!"

God declared it was enough.

STOP

John 6:35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst." (NASB)

To see what others are saying enough to check out www.katemaotaung.com

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Define-Five Minute Friday

I wasn't sure what to post for this week's prompt. It took a little time, but it brought me back to my younger days when I was in high school. It also reminds me of the need to always mull things over and sort out, while moving ahead. Hope you enjoy the read and find something helpful.

define......

Know thyself

determine, decide

what is, what's not

important or not

have a picture in your mind

know what feels good, feels right


When I was looking at colleges in my senior year of high school, I visited three places. The first had a keg of beer in every yearbook candid shot. Boys could stay over in your room if we choose. Yet it had courses and programs of study that excited me. It was not the place for me. I knew I did not need or want to be in that kind of environment.

When I visited another school in Nyack, I knew that was it!

STOP

To see what other define check out www.katemotaung.com

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Embrace-Five Minute Friday

It has been a fun and busy weekend so far. Thus here I am posting my Five Minute Friday on Sunday morning. I've had lots of time to mull this one over. I've seen and read some great articles which all reminded me of what and how we can embrace. I guess what it comes down to is a plaque I saw hanging in my friend's home.

How different our world would be if each of us practiced this. Whenever we meet someone new or encounter a challenging situation, if we maintained a mindset of finding something good in every person and every situation, I'm sure we would all be a lot happier and enjoy more peace. I hope you enjoy my poem for today.

embrace

Open your arms

Open your heart

Draw them or it closer

With a smile on our face

and a song in our heart

We welcome our loved ones this way

But when the unfamiliar comes

What about it?

Different faces from different places

How much and how many shall we embrace?

We all bleed red, we all need grace

We ought to welcome and reach out

to the least of these 

When circumstances change 

And things get turned upside down

Will I keep my smile or start to frown?

STOP

James 1:2 "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials." (NASV)

Matthew 25:37-40 
"Then the righteous will answer Him , saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe you? And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to you?

And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even, the least of them, you did it to me." (NASV)

To see what others are embracing, check out www.katemotaung.com

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Friend-Five Minute Friday on a Sunday evening

It's been a busy weekend and so here I am posting on Sunday evening. I actually had the opportunity to make some new friends this weekend at a gathering, which helped me to broaden my perspective on friendship a little more. We never know when or where we can make a new friend, but how sweet it is to share that moment. I hope you enjoy the read for this week's prompt.


friend

Someone who is not so consumed with themselves

And yet comfortable and confident in their own skin

They listen and they want to know more about you and how you're doing

They're interested, but they are also interesting

They have interests to share

Yes, they share a moment, a memory, their presence and the gift of living, with you

And they will always come back to stop, rest, and reconnect

Like spring rains that come again in April or May

You can look forward to their visitation and drink

STOP

To see what others have posted for this week, check out www.katemotaung.com


Sunday, March 12, 2017

A few More Thoughts....

After I had already made my Five Minute Friday post for this week's thought, I came across a trending news story from National Geographic. Rare photos were captured of a Gelada monkey in Ethiopia giving birth. It is a species that appears to be dwindling in numbers, but a photographer was able to witness first hand a new beginning. It gave me a new perspective on abandon as they give birth in seclusion.


It's rare for them to walk away

Appear to abandon their own

She's pregnant and now silent

She prefers to be alone

In seclusion something new will come forth

A mystery, hidden from all to see

No one to tell her "Now push" or "Breathe"

One may wonder how and where

When did this new creature come to be?

A sacred space, a quiet space

A holy moment of birth for a monkey

God knows, God calls, nature delivers

Newness and wonder preserved

She labored in secret

Her body twisted and twitched

Her new, little, life popped out

She cradled and cleaned

When it will happen we never know

Signs are sure to show

Abandon the normal group

Abandon for sake of delivery

Abandon for sake of of life

Let new beginnings spring forth

There is always that time


To see the photos captured check out Gelada Monkey Giving Birth

Friday, March 10, 2017

Abandon-Five Minute Friday

I recently got a letter from Joni Eareckson Tada who wrote, "The choice is ours." She was referring to  how we handle suffering and affliction in our lives. Joni explained it will either drive us closer to God  or away from Him. Anyone who's lived can tell you it's no picnic down here. Whether you are Alexander having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day or someone who is experiencing one catastrophe after another, life can really get you down at times. So what will we do? What will I do with it?  Here are some thoughts about abandoning.

abandon....

Leave it.

Walk away.

Don't look back.

Move ahead.

Familiar or unfamiliar.

Comfortable or not.

Some leave family.

Some leave friends.

Some leave convenience.

No more comfort.

Some leave hope and faith.

What can I leave?

What should I?

Why and how?

Show me God.

I'm jumping out.

Don't leave me,

falling flat.

Abandon reason?

Abandon the norm?

Abandon the prickly forest,

the sin so entangling.

STOP

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." (Hebrews 12:1 NASB)

To see what others have abandoned check out www.katemotaung.com

Friday, March 3, 2017

Purpose- My Five Minute Friday

Hmmm. I've wrestled with this question more and more the older I get and I don't have any clear answers. The verse that comes to mind is found in Job.

Job 9:10-12 "Who does great things, unfathomable, And wondrous works without number. Were He to pass by me, I would not see Him; Were He to move past me, I would not perceive Him. 'Were He to snatch away, who could restrain Him? Who could say to Him, 'What are you doing?' " (NASB)

purpose

So many ways to define it

In a piece of PIE is the author's purpose

Persuade, Inform and Entertain

He/she did that on purpose

I know some who think that of others

When something goes wrong, 

they think another did it on purpose 

Just to hurt THEM

There are so many times I've wondered and questioned

"God, why? What's your purpose in that?"

I've spent too many moments wondering and asking

I haven't gotten any or many answers yet

In fact, I have more questions than answers now

I want to know a lot of why's, but.........

I'm not sure if I knew ALL the why's it would help

STOP

Romans 11:33-36 "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen." (NASB)

To see what others have been wrestling with or what inspires their purpose, check outwww.katemotaung.com


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Slow- Five Minute Friday

It was easy to think of an acrostic for this one. It brought nuggets to mind for chewing on. I hope you enjoy the read.



Stop,
Look and listen
Outside your
Window and wonder about the wonders


I showed a book called "Best in Snow" to second graders this past week. I asked them, "What does the author want you to do or think?" Each page mesmerized them as it clearly depicted the finest details of ice and snow outside our windows and into the woods. The close up shots were magnificent. The children ooo'ed and ahh'ed.

Take time. Slow down and look at the beauty God has created for us. It is lavished on all throughout the world and it is free. Actually, the only think it will cost us is our time to gaze in awesome wonder. How Great Thou Art!

STOP


Friday, February 17, 2017

Weak- Five Minute Friday

I haven't done an acrostic in awhile, so I thought of one for today. I hope you enjoy the read and find some nugget of truth worth taking away.


Worried and trying to

Eat the whole elephant 

At one time

Kills our joy and any chance of overcoming 

We get weak in the knees when we look at a whole problem and all the what ifs at once. It wears us down and can immobilize us. My dad used to say, "You're trying to eat the whole elephant at once. You have to take it one bite at a time."

When I have followed that advice, it has helped. 

One day at a time, step by step, the grace is there.

It's not there for the next twenty or thirty years or steps ahead. I want it to be, but it's not.

When I recently went back to the gym after not working out for so long, I was weaker. Yet little by little, I get stronger each time.

STOP

"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 (NASB)

To see what others are thinking this week check out www.katemotaung.com

Friday, February 10, 2017

Safe-Five Minute Friday

What in the world will I post for this one? What a word to be faced with early in the morning. Our world is anything but a safe place to live, in spite of numerous efforts to make it so. Here is what flowed this morning.

safe

better safe than sorry

don't take a chance

don't go out, better safe at home

yet this world is not our home

what would we do different if.. 

we lived with that premise 

ithe forefront of our minds daily?

what would I do different?

I like my plan A

I like smooth sailing

It's less chaotic, but.....

it doesn't stretch me as much

I don't get the thrill of giving 

one hundred and ten percent

only to wait and see how 

it turns out in the end

The NE Patriots weren't safe 

for the first half or so

They made it back home though

STOP

"Aslan is a lion-the Lion, the great Lion."

"Ooh," said Susan. I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.".....


"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver... "Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."

CS Lewis The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Breathe-A Late Five Minute Friday

I finally had some time to breathe with a delay this morning. Bad weather is coming, so they say. The weekend was jam packed with writing workshops on Saturday to a SUPER Super Bowl Sunday. I still can't get over that game! Wow! So here I am after mulling over this week's prompt for more than a few days. 


breathe

no breath, no life

no space, no circulation

no air, no exchange

one for the other

trees take the air we breathe out

we take oxygen in

space and wind make way

holes in my compost bin

let air in, gases out

wood stoves turn fans

fire breathes, heat travels

breathe means to move, to grow

breathe means life is vibrant

breathe we must

space, air, move, grow

breathe in, breathe out

STOP

To see what others have come up with over the weekend, check out www.katemotaung.com


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Control-Five Minute Friday

I've let this one marinate a bit over the weekend. I just wasn't sure what I should write and which direction I should take. I remembered Janet Jackson's hit from 1986 "Control" and thought how it is an illusion to believe we can make all our dreams come true. We can't control the cards we are dealt in life. We can do our best and we can control our attitude, but even that requires some discipline. There's plenty we just cannot control. Yet we can control ourselves.

I can stay in bed and hide under the covers or

I can push them off and face the day

I can drag myself to splash water on my face or

I can bounce with a spring in my step all the way

I can soak up the silence in the morning or

I can blast the morning news

I can find my way with the attitude I choose

Control, now I've got a whole lot

Control, I smile or I frown

Control, look, listen, watch

Anticipate and be ready

Control, I can throw in the towel if I want

Cards are dealt

How will I play?

Round and round they go now

STOP

Proverbs 8:34-36 "Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at my doorposts. 'For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord. 'But he who sins against me injures himself; All those who hate me love death.'" (NASB)

To see what others are posting, check out www.katemotaung.com

Friday, January 20, 2017

Refine-Five Minute Friday

I had all kinds of images come to me this morning for this week's prompt. Before I share though, I want to thank the people who have been a mirror in my own life. They are friends and family members who have been bold enough to be honest with me about the not so nice stuff and still love me unconditionally. My late dad, Guy, and my mom, Linda, endured so much when I first went to live with them at the age of fifteen. They were gentle, but they were honest and did set boundaries. The friends I've had for close to twenty years or more are honest. We've had some tough conversations through the years, but I know I am a better person now because of them.  I thank God for the people in my life.

Proverbs 27:6 "Wounds from a  friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."


REFINE

Nobody really likes it.

It's more uncomfortable to some than others.

Having a bright light with a mirror held up shows everything;

especially if it's one of those cosmetic mirrors that magnifies

every little detail on your skin.


Or what about the co-worker or roommate that hears and sees

what you say and do on a regular basis?

They can see those things, too.

Iron sharpens iron.

They can hold up the mirror or echo back what we say.

And then we can see.

We may love what we see or we may see those zits or

stubborn hairs needing some attention.

What will we do?

STOP

To see what others have come up with for today, check out www.katemotaung.com


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Middle- Five Minute Friday


I wasn't sure what to write when I first read the prompt for this week, but as I sat down to write tonight I remembered driving by a scene much like this one. It brought me comfort to imagine resting and collecting my thoughts under the shadow of such a mighty and solid life force as this. What a wondrous gift the seed and tree are from Him!

In the middle of a wide open field stood a great old, oak

Its branches spread high and wide

The leaves were oh so green

Birds rest on its branches and build a nest or two

Roots go down deep, to and fro

I can rest under that tree in the middle of the field

In the middle of a hot, hot day

I could relax under its shade, sipping cool water

While hearing the wind rustle its leaves

In the middle of nothing, can be something

There I can rest, there I can breathe

There I can contemplate

STOP

Psalm 91:1 "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." (NIV)

To see what others are in the middle of check out www.katemotaung.com

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Connect-Five Minute Friday

Last year my second language learners acquired some new vocabulary. A retired teacher and friend of mine brought his model trains in for them to see. They were thrilled. I was happy to have a guest share with them his love of trains and how he connects everything together for it to work. 

Thus, "connect, disconnect, transformer, electricity, extension cords, and engineer", were just a few of the new words they learned. This week's prompt brought me back to that day. Everything had to be connected together and plugged into a main power source for those trains to zip around the tracks and deliver yummy granola bars to each of my students.

So this is what I came up with for.............


connect

When the wires were disconnected, the synergy stopped

No more power, no more flow, no more movement

When I disconnect, I'm dead

Nothing more happens

Like two wires or extension cords unplugged from the main source

I will lie on the floor, taking up space, unable to bring any change or effect

Connected I am infused with power, a source not of myself, but in myself

Together we are better than apart

If I abide in Him, I can bear much fruit

STOP

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (NIV)


To see what and how others connect, check out www.katemotaung.com