Five Minute Friday

Here (And Why I’m Not)

I wasn’t going to write today. I adore the Five Minute Friday community, and it feels like a hundred years since I really connected with the ones whom I affectionately deem to be my people, but I thought I’d try to join in today, because the truth is–even though I’m not talking much in this space, there are a great many things I want to say. (This post contains affiliate links.)

Today’s prompt is, Here.


Here-Five Minute friday

It’s a hushed season I’ve stumbled into,not so much by my own desire but more out of an unexpected grieving. I’m finding comfort here, among my children, amid impromptu tea parties, and discussions about the garden this year, flowers or vegetables, neither–or both.

We’re a bit indecisive at the moment and when I think I might make some decisions the clouds gather and I just want to pull my littles in close and burn the computers and the TV and every other device that mocks the concept of living smaller, and more simply.

My word is heal this year, and as God stirs up the silt that’s settled long in my heart, I find the irritating scratching of the past to be too much for me some days. But here I am, sitting amid the chaos and beauty of a home always slightly messier than I’d like, reading news stories that tear your heart out and make me weep in the shower for their gruesomeness.

It’s because of the hurt that invades our lives that I’m quiet, not wanting to start conversations that lead to controversy, not wanting to blow hard and bang like a gong. Here is a sacred space, where I come to share and encourage, but this week, I’m coming up short.

But here it is–the reason I’m not really here right now: Because the words I have are not for sharing. Because everything is suddenly controversial and polarizing, and because I’ve been unwilling to lay myself on the altar of political correctness and say what I really think, and how I really feel.

Here I fear I’m becoming false, and shrouded, in a place where people rally for transparency only to tear the transparent down for their humanity, for their frailty, for their differing of opinions.

I’m still here, doing school in the backyard and sipping tea in the family room, praying over the phone with friends, and planning for a speaking engagement coming up. I’m here and hurting along with the rest of the world in some fashion or another.

But I’m not here, not letting the words loose like I want to. Not yet.

My friend Andi quoted Thomas Merton today, and I’m settling into this from him:

 This, then, is what it means to seek God perfectly…to rest in humility and to find peace in withdrawal from conflict and competition with other men; to turn aside from controversy and put away heavy loads of judgment and censorship and criticism and the whole burden of opinions that I have no obligation to carry… — Thomas Merton



*This post is entirely unedited, as is the *rule * with Five Minute Friday Writes.

Five Minute Friday


  1. I want clarity too, Shelly. I have a great many words, but I really just want to hear His words. I want to feel His hand on my shoulder as He assures me that He does in fact still hold all things together. Love you, friend. Enjoy your Sabbath.

  2. That balance between speaking boldly and doing everything within your power to get along with others is hard to strike, especially when there is so much to speak for and against. Love on those children, listen to God, and when the time is right those words will flow.

  3. Kris,
    A time with God – that is what you have been having – and that is good. He has you in this time and space for a reason. Listen to Him. Lean on Him. Breathe in the Spirit. Listen to His Word (not the world’s). Jesus is alive – and moving in our world although sometimes we don’t see it that way.

    I am thankful that He has given me the chance to get to know you; to read your thoughts.

    Blessings to you today – may His Joy fill you with unexplained gladness. May He strengthen you and bring you delight.


  4. HopeUnbroken

    i get this. as i have felt myself drawing more and more into silence. . . seeing that even though we are told we all have a story, and yet seeing the stories of others obliterated to pieces. . . yeah. i just don’t know if my voice has a place or if i even want it to have a place. not playing a sad tune here, just stating some very somber facts. i love the rock and refuge that HE is. and i envision myself just hunkered down in the safe shelter of His wings. nestled. tucked under. waiting. i like that place.
    love to you in your place. whatever the future holds.

    1. Yes, Steph. Yes. But I know I’ll keep writing here. My feelings about these things will propel me to continue to speak up, to try to speak words if love and courage. Your story does matter–someone needs to hear it. Hugs and prayer for you, my friend. Never stop doing good. God is with us.

  5. Amy

    Learning to embrace those times of silence can be hard and even worrisome when you are used to being on word overload. So I pray for you as you navigate this path.

  6. I get it…feel it…my hubby has the mascara stains on his shoulder to prove it I’m sure…
    praying Jesus comes quickly. And He will…until then–let’s delight in the tea parties residing low to the floor…{HUGS} love you, friend.

    1. Yes, the weight of the world–which really isn’t my burden to bear. Letting it go, letting Christ carry it is so critical for our hearts health. Easier said than done. Love you too, Barbie. Thank you.

  7. Thank you for sharing the Thomas Merton quote . . . I love that he included ‘competition’ alongside ‘conflict’ in terms of finding peace . . . provokes a lot of thought!

  8. How you wrote so eloquently, poignantly and grammatically correctly is beyond me, and that’s not the point. I hear you, even between the lines, the unwritten ones. And I feel I can say so much without really saying so much — simply because I get it. I really do.

    There’s been a distaste in my soul for much of what might also be keeping you not “here” as much. I’ve struggled with the same. And this is the answer I keep coming up with. It’s one I wish I can shout from the roof tops and yet I too, stay silent.


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