#FMF – Crowd

Joining up with my Five Minute Friday friends where we write for 5 minutes on a one word prompt and then see what others are inspired to write.

I woke up this morning to see that these words had been written during our #fmfparty Twitter party last night:
“You belong here. Your words matter. Pull up a chair and stay at the table” (thanks to @mlsgregg)
This is an idea that resonates with me.
I am not fond of crowds. If I happen to be in a large group of people I will usually gravitate to one or two people and linger with them for the remainder of the time.
Crowds make me feel lost, alone, overwhelmed. I look for someone to spend time with because I need a mooring. I also much prefer one on one interaction.
The idea of being invited to the table resonates with me because it makes me feel seen, loved, known. In the midst of what swirls about this gathering at the table is a safe place.
My friends at the Five Minute Friday writing community are so good at making this a reality. In this community it seems the table is endless and the chairs are many. Sometimes this excess might seem to overwhelm, but its a comfort. Because all are welcome.
In highschool many young peopke would get together after evening service to hang out for a bit. I was often on the perifery because I didnt know where I belonged. One night a friend said to me “you don’t need an invitation, you are always invited” which didnt make me feel any better. I needed to be seen, known, asked. The crowd seemed so big, I didnt know my role, my acceptance, a level of comfort.
In the crowd there is always room at the table. There is a table in the midst of all the chaos. It might seem long and crowded but there IS a place for you. You are seen, known, heard and loved here.

Image: Unsplash – Daria Nepriakhina, edited in Canva


#FMF – Rush

Joining with my dear friends at the Five Minute Friday community.

We write on a one word prompt for five minutes. Link up our posts and then read other’s takes on the same word. Its one of my favourite creative exercises.

He apologized for walking slower these days. He said “You could have gone so much faster without me.”

My response reasoned that in this particular instance there was no need for us to go faster. In fact, it would do us good to slow down and take in things every once in awhile.

I don’t know if I would have described our lives in previous years as rushed. I am sure that when I was growing up there were things we put on our parents plates that had themm rushing around. And I know that as I grew older and developed routines of my own, there were times when I found myself living rushed.

But these days life is lived at a slower pace out of necessity. And while it is a challenge, it is an opportunity for us to learn to see with different eyes and to realize life can be enjoyed even at a slower pace.

#FMF – Loyal

Our walks are getting shorter these days, as we mosie along a bit more.
Charlie has decided that as his days wane he will now take time to smell the roses.
And smell them he does.
I have never seen a dog bury their nose into blooms like Charlie does and then he’d close his eyes, if just for a moment.
As we continue on our journey his lopsided smirk speaks of a secret that he alone holds dear and yet his joy is contageous.
I admit. I have walked by each garden of flowers for days upon end. This is our normal route after all.
But did I see the flowers? Did I take a moment to truly ponder their intricacies? Did I stop and deeply drink of their scent or plunge my smaller human nose into their midst?
I come to an abrupt stop as I realize that I have come to the end of the leash.
I turn to see Charlie sitting placidly on the top step of a recessed garden to my right.
He is unmoving. He will stay where he pleases. And his eyes. They are sending me a message. I’m going too fast.
I am missing out.
He wants me to stop and see.
Since he has been around a couple years, he’s not sure how much longer he can wait to teach me to see the world around me and take it in. Today he has set his mind (and his stubborn muscled self) to sitting on this step until he is satisfied that I have at least for the moment grasped todays lesson.
We have walked together for 10 years of loyal friendship, a partnership not found between humans.
There is just something about him, that makes me want to see.

Image: Unsplash -Ken Treloar


Joining with my fellow writing pilgrims over at Five Minute Friday as we dive into a one word prompt for five minutes and see what is revealed.

Prompt: Loved

So often I end messages with the phrase “You are loved”. I think that it is sometimes a reminder for me, but most of all in the midst of life I want to remind people that they ARE loved. By me many times, but more importantly, by Him.

Over the years I have had four words given to me by God. In the beginning I thought that they were words He wanted me to share with others. And I have tried to live my life by them. But recently my eyes have been opened to the fact that they are reminders to my heart as well.

My four words:

Seen. Heard. Known. Loved.

They are not easy words. In fact, for me at least, they are quite difficult. There is surrender here and in someone who grasps at the smallest bit of control I can find…it is hard to do.

But these words resonate deeply with my heart. Not only that He knows me these ways and more, but that I can in some small way extend these gifts into the lives of others.

The above sign was made in Haiti by a metal-smith who crafts art out of oildrums and other cast off metals. I knew that it would be a solid reminder for me of a truth I so often struggle to grasp

#FMF – Anniversary

Joining up with my friends over at Five Minute Friday where we jump into writing for 5 minutes on a one word prompt. Come join one of my favourite communities!

The dress is still in its covering all these years later. It had just enough sequins to catch the light, and just a whisper of a strap. I wonder if any moths have gotten at it.

The invitations were so beautiful. A handpainted hydrenga set onto white cardstock with purple print. Closed with a purple ribbon which we spent an evening trying to figure out how to tie.

There were topiary trees and lanterns lining the aisles. Rough drawings of a dream world being brought to life. The types of flowers are vague in my mind now, but I know they dripped from all the surfaces with sumptuosness.

Engagement pictures taken on a rustic farm before a fierce rainstorm set upon us, the photographer regaling with tales of other shoots while his dogs huddled under the table.

Announcement from the pulpit with lots of congrats from people, some of who I had never spoken to previously. It seemed odd to have others share in our joy.

What happens when

You feel trapped

When you realize

That this isn’t

What you’ve dreamed of?

When money is lost.

Dreams are shattered

Hearts are broken

And two lives

Go in opposite directions

The anniversary approaches

And an ache remains

People say I am brave

I was brave

But thats not a word

I can make my mouth fit around

Even after

All these years.

Four Somethings (July)

Courtesy of my friend Brooke, I heard about this monthly link-up, Four Somethings hostedy Heather Gerwing, in which we share: Something Loved, Something Said, Something Learned and Something Read.

Something Loved
The second week of July I flew to Saskatchewan for a family reunion. My mom’s dad had 8 brothers and sisters, and they all had some kids so it was mostly the 2nd-4th generations gathering. I haven’t seen some of them in over 20 years. I knew more of my mom’s cousins then anyone else, but it was nice to meet them and hear about their families. Most of all though, I got to see my aunt’s and uncle, and spend time with a couple of my cousins. I also got to see my brother and sister-in-law which was really the highlight because we only get to see them in person about once a year. It was so great to spend some extra time with them on the Friday before the reunion and then at the reunion as well. My parents and aunt were very gracious and helped pay for my ticket out West, otherwise I wouldn’t have gone. And God provided the time for me to go, since my job at the moment has my weekends free. It was such a beautiful blessing.

Something Said
As of this Thursday (26th), I have been at my new job for three months. It has been such a special blessing to be part of a healthy work environment, and being in a job that I get to learn new things each day. Two years ago, I worked on this side of the city, so I anticipated that I may see some of my former customers (though in a city this size, there is always a possibility we may not run into each other again).

I was on the phone with a client, when one of our current clients walked through the door. She looked at me and got a massive grin on her face. ‘Janel!!! Oh how I’ve missed you. How are you?’ she said. She then proceeded to tell me that since I had left my previous employment she had been missing me and that she had appreciated my 5 years of serving her very much. It was such a treat to my heart to be greeted in that way and to be acknowledged in that way. I’m not good at taking compliments, but when someone expresses heartfelt gratitude and I can see it reflected in their eyes, it touches something deep in me that needs refreshing.

Something Learned

Agnotology – the study of the deliberate propigation of ignorance


Something Read
On my way home from a family reunion in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada I purchased a book by Jodi Picoult called “Small Great Things”. I have read about many of Picoult’s books, but this was my first time reading one.

This novel talked about race and racism from several different perspectives. It left you questioning your perspective and what biases you hold. Quotes like the following jumped off the page and made me stop and listen (and ponder) what part I have played in perpetrating this story.

“You say you don’t see color…but that’s all you see. You’re so hyper aware of it, and of trying to look like you aren’t prejudiced, you can’t even understand that when you say race doesn’t matter all I hear is you dismissing what I’ve felt, what I’ve lived, what it’s like to be put down because of the color of my skin.” Small Great Things


#FMF – Thirteen

Joining up with my fine friends over at Five Minute Friday. We write on a one word prompt for 5 minutes and see where it takes us.

#FMF – Thirteen

He wasn’t sure how he had come to this point.
Here he sat, with a silk cravat around his collar, dressed in a full tuxedo and gaining entry to a group he hadn’t known existed until a few hours ago.
He was taking it all in. That was his job after all. Chameleon like in his ability to adapt to each new situation he encountered, this was no different.

They were a seated in highback chairs, velvet thrones with all the ornamentation. Just close enough for someone else’s presence, but not so much that you were forced to interact.

His eyes scanned the room. He was usually so adept at seeking out his competitors. This group was good. Their masks were solid, not even a muscle flinch to give anything away.

His hands were beginning to fidget with the paper in his hand. His ticket to this room, this gathering. To the future that stem from the choices he makes tonight.

The room quiets from its buzz and all eyes fix their gaze on the man who emerges from behind the curtain. He carries a wand…not for magic but to smack down between his tongue twisting treaties.

The curtain moves again and a young woman in decadent dress emerges. In her gloved hands she holds a cherrywood box burnished to a glowing ember. She places the box before them and lifts the lid.
A gasp goes through the crowd. His eyes widen.
And so it begins.
He raises his paddle and an acknowledgement is made
“Who will start us off?…oh there, thirteen, I see your bid at $1,000 to start us off”

Image: Unsplash – Wang Xi edited with Canva