This post was written for Five Minute Friday.
Word prompt--GRATEFUL
Five minutes to free write about it.


Ever since reading Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, several years ago, I have been writing long lists of things I am grateful for, and the more I look for the gifts around me, the more I seem to find. And yet, even though my heart overflows with thanksgiving for my many blessings, as well as for the things I have been spared from, I've been having an ongoing struggle with depression.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the restrictions did not get me down. I have a virtual job, so work was not affected, and I was quite happy to stay home and use Zoom or Livestream to attend church or meetings. In fact I preferred it, and was actually excited about the new doors technology had opened. However, after months and months of no human contact other than the occasional socially distant kind, isolation started to get to me and bring out the worst. Ugly feelings I wasn't even aware of started surfacing, and hurtful, alienating words were spoken that led to regret and self condemnation for falling so short.

However, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1-4), and no matter what, my God will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5)

I'm grateful that God loves me unconditionally and that He does not get upset by my rants (Romans 8:38-39).

I'm also grateful that He is longsuffering (a King James word I love that means slow to anger), compassionate, gracious, and forgiving (Numbers 14:18; Psalm 86:15; Psalm 103:8). 

I'm grateful that God's mercies are new every morning, and that great is His faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23). 

I'm grateful for Jesus, who after ascending into Heaven became our high priest, interceding for us before the Father. Because He was tempted in every way just as we are (even though He did not sin), He is able to empathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:14-15).

There is so much more I could write, but I'm running out of time, so let me end by saying that I am very, very grateful that God does not treat me the way I deserve, and that He never gives up on me, even when I'm ready to give up on myself (Psalm 103:6).



This post was written for Five Minute Friday.
Word prompt--GRIEF
Five minutes to free write about it.

There used to be a tree across the way that served as a meeting place by day for a variety of birds. At dusk, the smaller ones would flock to it and settle in for the night.

One day some men came to chop it down. I wondered if the birds would be confused when they discovered their hangout had disappeared. What would they do? Would they be grieved at the loss of their haven? 

Apparently not. 

The sight that greeted me this morning brought Matthew 6:26 to mind--Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 

The birds were sleeping just as comfortably on the ledges of the towers as they used to on the branches of the tree.

No tree? No problem. No grief.



This post was written for Five Minute Friday.
Word prompt--CANCEL
Five minutes to free write about it.


The word CANCEL means different things to me at different times.

When it's associated with something I was looking forward to, or when it disrupts my plans, my emotions tend to run the gamut from disappointment to frustration to upset. 

Other times it's a reassuring word, like in the cancelled check that proves a disputed charge has been paid.

It has even brought welcome relief in the case of something I committed to do, but hadn't really wanted to. Or when I'm torn between not wanting to disappoint anyone by canceling at the last minute, and finishing a project that I've become engrossed in before I lose momentum or my train of thought. 

Most importantly, though, it reminds me of what Jesus did for me on the cross "by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross" (Colossians 2:14 ESV).



This post was written for Five Minute Friday.
Word prompt--AHEAD
Five minutes to free write about it.

Before the pandemic, I thought of myself as a pretty adaptable, go with the flow type of person, but long months of restrictions, isolation, and the upsetting of plans have taken their toll. I do not know what lies ahead. 

It comforts me to know this world is not my home. I'm just passing through. In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, I choose to cling to the truths in God's Word, trusting that He is in control, and that everything is unfolding according to His plan. 


The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever. 
(Isaiah 40:8)

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
(Proverbs 27:1)

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
(2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
(Revelation 21:4)



For many years I've refrained from chewing gum or eating caramels for fear they might dislodge a filling. It never occurred to me that ginger chews, could do the same. 

I was soon to find out though that they could, when one of the chews managed to lift a crown off my tooth. 

At first this looked like very bad news, but there was a silver lining.

The dentist was able to see a small cavity that would otherwise have gone undetected until it started festering and causing greater problems down the road. He was able to clean it out and then cement the crown back on the tooth.

Good reminder to trust God in any situation, and know that He is in control. What may seem bad in the moment, could really be a blessing in disguise.