5 minute friday Linking up with Lisa-Jo and the great group that participates in Five Minute Friday. The main rule is to write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking – on the topic that Lisa-Jo posts about each week.

The topic for this week:  Brave

People have such varied definitions of what makes someone brave.

It’s really not a word I would use to describe myself, though it ends up being one others use about me, which puzzles me.

I hear that I’m brave going to some of the places I go (particularly alone).  I guess I just see it as my adventurous side and my love of seeing this big world God’s created and getting to experience and learn along the way.

And I hear that I’m brave based on how I handle this rocky health journey God’s had me on (again, somehow being alone – most avoid calling it what it is…single – seems to add to that, too).  I guess I just see it as it’s life – what else can I do but keep moving forward? Do I like bone marrow biopsies, uncertainty, blood clots, and hospitals? Of course not, I guess to me it’s just survival and facing my reality.

When I think of the word brave, so many other people, situations, and things come to mind.

I was reading Beth Guckenburger’s book Reckless Faith (it’s great, by the way…all her stuff is, and most out of stock on Amazon right now – she must have just spoken somewhere big!) and I was struck by this quote and it came to mind as a great example to me of bravery.

A truly reckless faith, however, always expects change, and as a result, it’s eager to risk more and fear less! A reckless faith knows there is more to the story, more we can’t see, more than I experience now.

If someone considers me brave for any reason, I pray that it’s because I have reckless faith that’s quick and eager to risk and slow to fear!

I thought, too, of this video about an Olympic runner who ran in Barcelona.

To me, bravery is also is picking up and moving forward even when you’re in a spot that seems hopeless and persevering.

God wants to meet you where you are…He’s not waiting for you not necessarily to sprint towards Him, but to limp towards Him.

I love that quote from near the end of the video – it’s because God is there wanting to meet us where we’re at, wherever that is, that we can be brave regardless of what our lives or circumstances look like.  And, as He always is, God’s just as present there waiting for us whether we come running or limping.

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Since I missed out on writing on last Friday’s FMF prompt, and the topic is near and dear to my heart, I decided to write both

The topic for this week:  Friend

I’ve been blessed with some amazing friends.  As I’ve mentioned before, unfortunately many of them are scattered across the corners of the world.  But then again, that always adds to my motivation to travel!

I have friends that I’ve known since early childhood – people that we shared our earliest years at church or school or Wednesday Clubs together for years.  Some I still see regularly, others it’s not nearly as common as we’d like, but we can pick back up just like we always have.

I have friends from junior high when I moved away from where I had grown up and met some of the gals who are still some of my closest friends, though all but one of them live overseas now.  It’s been fun to see the way God’s allowed our lives to intersect and so many of them now become friends, too!

I have friends from high school.  One of my closest friends and I met the very first day of high school PE (of all unfortunate places!) and we joined the swim team together.  Although we ended up at universities nowhere near one another, after I came home and got a teaching job, I talked them into hiring her the next year, and we taught next door to one another – what a gift, especially since she went on to meet her husband on our crazy adventure not long after that.  On my first trip overseas, I met a girl that, four (ish?) years later would go on to become my college roommate – someone I’ve celebrated more birthdays with than anyone else outside of my family since our birthdays are so close together!

I have dear friends from college.  From my suitemate our first year at college, to the one that became my roommate my last year and a half of college that I’d met in Japan, to two precious friends that we shared a house (and a lot of adventures) with my last semester at school, to a group of people I lived and breathed community and ministry with in a way I’m not sure I’ll ever fully be able to articulate, I can’t imagine my life without any of them!

And then there’s all my “back at home” friends – the ones God’s enriched my life with somewhere along the way after I moved back to California.  From dear friends who have become family – people I celebrate holidays with just as much as I do my own family by blood, to close friends I’ve done ministry with here, to precious friends who have prayed faithfully for me, and the sweet ones that have gone above and beyond to be present in this most unusual season of life God has me in right now, my life is rich with friends.

I’m out of time so I’ll have to end it here – but not without adding in a note of gratitude for the friends God’s brought into my life thanks to wonders of the online community, too!

I’m SO glad God knew we’d need friends to walk through this life with!

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