Five Minute Friday: Ten


As we passed each other in the center aisle after worship one day, an older friend bent low to whisper something to me. I thought he was stopping to say hello. Instead, his words chilled me.

‘You don’t need to gain any more weight. You’re big enough already, okay?’

Based on the smile and the pleasant sing-songy way he spoke, he believed that he was being helpful.

He was so far off the mark.

In that moment, I didn’t feel like a ten. In fact, my already fragile self-esteem plummeted from ten to below zero faster than the steepest roller coaster drop on record.

I didn’t know how to respond, and certainly not with any shred of kindness in that moment. I pasted on a fake smile and walked away.

I wish I could tell you that this happened in my childhood or teenage years, and that life improves drastically once you grow up into adulthood. I can’t. I was already an adult by then.

This moment was one of many in which I felt less than a ten. I’ve tried to shrug off the feelings of being ‘lesser than’. It’s easier to hide behind the lens of a camera than to be caught in a photo. Clothes shopping for the kids? No problem. Clothes shopping for myself? No thank you!

Yet, in addition to feeling like next to nothing, I was also treating myself as though I wasn’t much of anything. It’s enough that my career status, gender, income bracket and skin colour don’t make the ideal combination when it comes to my value, in terms of how society views people like me.  But if I can’t learn to value myself as I am, then I’m in big trouble.

Romans 12:2 (NLT) says ‘but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think…’ I needed to change my mindset and fast.

Change takes time and progress can seem slow. But it is worth it. I may not always feel like a ten, but I know that I am worth even more than that.


{Linked with the Five Minute Friday community}

Five Minute Friday: Free

Five Minute Friday: Free

Some online advertisements have me shaking my head. People are selling duplicate products or unwanted items, like appliances and electronics, for example. The pricing sounds reasonable, until I start to read the details.

Won this as a prize, but don’t need it…  or Got this as a gift, but already have one…

I wonder what drives someone to charge others for a free gift that they’d received? If you didn’t pay for it—didn’t even open the box to look at the item, sometimes—why charge someone else? Why not regift it? Or pass it along to someone who needs it?

Instead they’ve attached a price tag on items that they freely received, hoping to gain value from something they didn’t invest in.

The rich, young ruler (from Matthew 19) strikes me as a hard worker. Doing, studying, learning, mastering the way of life in order to succeed. While we don’t know his actual name, we do know this important detail: he’s rich. Despite all he had and could buy for himself, something was still missing deep down in his heart.

But the suggestion from Jesus rocked him to the core. Sell? EVERYTHING? And give all the proceeds to the poor? Then he could follow Jesus?

Nah! How could he give a free handout to people who haven’t done what he did to get it?

We all have been given this same free gift. Jesus took my place, when He died for my sins. He took your place too. There are no price tags attached or conditions involved. Once we accept it, if we accept it, this gift is ours. This is the world’s most expensive and precious gift.

We’ll be tempted to profit from a free gift again and again. What will you choose to do?


{Linking up with five minute Friday community}

Five Minute Friday: Hope


In the face of adversity, there are people who have been beaten, battered and well-bruised. Yet, they still continue. They press forward, one step at a time, even if it’s a hair’s width of a step. I marvel at their courage, tenacity and perseverance. Too many times, I find myself wondering if I could keep moving ahead if that were me.

What keeps them fueled, particularly when there seems to be nothing left?


Queen Esther was driven by hope. With the weight of an entire population resting on her shoulders, she dared to see the King uninvited. As this was a big no-no in those days, she resisted the idea at first. Even the Queen needed a special invitation to see her husband. The risk of appearing without invitation was death. But, as her cousin reminded her, maybe this was the purpose of her appointment as Queen. In the midst of prayerful consideration and intercession on her behalf, Esther approached the King. He welcomed her without chastisement, and in the end, her people were saved.

One definition of hope is the feeling that events will turn out for the best.

This feeling is something that God implants in us because He wants us to live and live abundantly. While sin has marred God’s original intent for our lives, it has not marred God and His graceful and generous love for us. He gives us hope by speaking to us directly and through His Word. He gives us hope to share with others, especially those who struggle to understand God and can’t look at Him in the midst of their pain.

As we cling to hope and draw strength from God, it encourages others with similar struggles that they too can rely on God.


{Linking up with Kate and the five-minute Friday community}

Five Minute Friday: Favorite


Favorite items are often the most treasured. I enjoy indulging in a favorite dish, taking time to savor every last scrumptious crumb. Favorite songs can be looped for hours, never growing weary while I sing every last note and riff as though I were the artist. The clothes that are my favorite to wear make me smile each time I put them on because I believe they look fantastic on me.

It’s easy for things to be favored. You decide on how little or how much energy to invest in them. They never insult you or grate on your last nerve. Our favorite things never exhaust us or toy with our emotions. Life is grand when we’re surrounded with our favorite things.

All that I’ve described have had one commonality—they are things. Inanimate objects.

There are days I wish it were as easy to love living creatures—my fellow humans. Our favorite people have not risen to the top of the list randomly. We hesitate to invest energy in each other. First, we weigh the potential benefits to see if it’s worth the hassle. It’s risky to take a step and be kind to someone, because they may not reciprocate. People can—and do—hurl insults. Yes, we can even grate on nerves, intentionally. It’s unhealthy to hang onto unbalanced relationships; they can hurt us in many ways.

Have you ever tried to confront deeply-rooted hatred from people who are unwilling to change? I had a social media acquaintance who labelled Blacks as ‘animals’. I gently asked them how this fit their Christian mission, and after a second thought, they recanted. Yet, a few weeks down the road, again there was more vitriol from the same source, as inner thoughts about Black people as ‘animals’ plus other derogatory words, were exposed.

These moments are my least favorite. It’s tempting to interchange moments for people. Without realizing it, some people fail to make it on our list of favorites. Relationships are fractured and broken, as the ripple effect takes place. When really, it’s a few (and in some cases, many!) qualities about a person that are not favorites.

This is unpopular talk—to look beyond a face and into a heart. This is how Jesus treats us and it’s one of my most favorite things about Him.


{Linking up with the five-minute Friday community}

Life Inspired

The news of a death spread like wildfire.

Soon the question of when the funeral would be hung in the air. The date was announced; it fell on my birthday. Though I hadn’t yet made plans to celebrate, a funeral was the last event I expected to attend on my birthday…

I’m sharing the rest of this post over at Deeper Waters. You’re invited to join me there.

Five Minute Friday: Dream


Once upon a time, there was a girl who quit dreaming. Any aspirations or goals that she’d set for herself would not quality as ‘dream worthy’. She was uncomfortable and somewhat unfamiliar with failure. Disappointment? That she knew and preferred to avoid it as much as possible. Whatever she set her sights to do, it was right in front of her. Goals were made with short-term timeframes and very achievable. If, while aiming for her target, she felt that success was not possible, she’s readjust her goal line, setting a new, decreased success.

But as the girl grew, she listened and watched. She observed those around her dreaming of lofty goals—and even achieving some of them. For those who at least tried something, anything, to reach their dreams, they still came out happy, despite their lack of success. Was it possible to do both?

So she prayed.

God showed her how she was not only hurting herself, but hurting Him too. God, who can make all things possible, was being limited by this girl who thought she could only dream within her own strength. God loves to show up and show out for His children, because He adores them all dearly and unconditionally. By not trusting Him with her dreams, her aim or her end results, she was not leaving God any room to work with.

Slowly, she let go and began to dream. She set goals and visions and saw herself doing some pretty cool things. Mostly, she gave her dreams to God, asking Him to do something of significance with her dreams, as long as He got the glory.

She’s learning to dream big, reminding herself that God is even bigger than anything her mind can fathom.


{It’s your turn on the prompt ‘dream’. Where does this word lead your imagination? You’re invited to write down your thoughts and even share them if you so desire. The major ‘rule’ is simple: Write freely for five (or five-ish) minutes without going back to edit (and yes, this is hard and quite unnatural to do…at first). Join the link-up or find more posts here.}

Five Minute Friday: Fear

Five Minute Friday

Popular blog-building advice suggests that bloggers place their photographs on their main page, somewhere near the top. So that visitors to their blog will have a face to identify with, adding to one’s authenticity.

This is something that I’ve been reluctant and kinda sorta afraid to do. It’s not that I doubted the quality of the photos or my own beauty. I’d had professional photos done so that I’d have images worth sharing on a website. There’s one on my ‘Meet Sabrina’ page.

Instead, I was second-guessing what visitors to my site might think if they saw I was Black first, before getting to know me. And as a Christian, the field seems even narrower.

There are some magnificent Christian bloggers around. They have such eloquence and musicality to their writing. You can feel the love of Christ seeping into you through your screen as you read their words. Their names and faces graze book covers, websites, viral posts, podcasts, conference invitations, etc. Yet, there is still an unbalance in the racial diversity in the Christian blogosphere. begins their description of fear as ‘a distressing emotion…’ Sounds accurate to me. I have yet to meet someone glowing from fear. Cowering, yes, but not exuberant and enthusiastic in their fear. Fear isn’t usually the happiest of emotions. You can use fear to propel you into positive action and make changes that have a marvelous impact on your community and the world.

Fear is what cripples us and stops us from doing much of anything worth noting. I may not have many answers, but I do have ideas. I have my own stories, experiences where sometimes race has played and continues to factor into my life. In speaking up, I’m taking a gamble, but choosing to trust God for the outcome.

This post is a step in tackling fear. Sitting in fear keeps us unproductive and unmoving. Being overly fearful about how my words may be perceived because of who I am who God created me to be only paralyzes me into silence. This form of silence does not change hearts or soften opinions. Instead, I’m choosing to take God at His word when He says

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His love. 1 John 4:18, NLT


{I’ve done something a little different today. The news stories of last week, today and tomorrow show that life is precious and that more people are willing to listen to the experiences of those different than themselves. There still a lot of close-mindedness in the world, but one heart at a time is being opened to hearing, listening and healing.}

{As always, you’re invited to join the five minute Friday community over at Kate’s place.}

Five Minute Friday: World

For God so loved the world...

It seems we tend to live in two worlds.

First, we have our own world. Our little bubbles, surrounded by our family and friends of our choosing. We do our best to control what happens in our world. We choose education levels and career paths; where to live and who to befriend as neighbours. A space we try to keep as a safe haven.

The there is the world. The planet, on a larger scale. Full of people God handcrafted, just like you and me. Yet, we’re all from different parts of the globe. We vary in all hues and speak all sorts of beautiful words in dialects that are like a symphony to the ear.

For God so loved the world.

Yes, He loves me in my world too. He loves me with all my idiosyncrasies and quirks. Even when I’m trying too hard to do my own thing and daring to run independent of Him, He still loves me. And you.

For God so loved the world.

The world.

He loves everyone. E-v-e-r-y-o-n-e. Even with all their idiosyncrasies and quirks. With the customs that are foreign to me and the mannerisms that are so unlike my own. He loves people.

For God so loved the world.

How do I link my world to the world?

Let’s look to Jesus. He was the ultimate in foreigners to this world. He was God, encased in human flesh but with a supernatural intellect. Despite the drastic differences, He simply loves us.

He never looked at anyone as a threat to His own little world. Christ had a broad perspective on the world and was able to love people because of who they are and not what they appear to be.


{I’m linking up with Kate and the five-minute Friday fun. You’re welcome to join in too. The more, the merrier. You’re free to let your words flow freely on this week’s prompt: world. You’re invited to share if you feel comfortable doing so.}

Five Minute Friday: Gift

The Lord will withholdno good thing from

If only I could play by ear.

This is something that’s said aloud too often, bemoaning what I think I’m lacking in my life. Music is one of my gifts. I grew up juggling piano and violin lessons with rehearsal times and homework. I’m able to sight-read music, even on the spot, if necessary. As long as I have something to play from, I am safe.

But to play by ear? That gift is not mine.

For a while, I felt incomplete. How could I be unbalanced, having capabilities to read but not to play by ear? While I’m always willing to accompany various groups and friends, if there’s no sheet music (yes–even guitar chords are workable) then I cannot help you.

But God! When we’re ready to listen, He always has a timely word.

The Lord will withhold no good thing for those who do what is right. (Psalm 84:11b, NLT)

I wasn’t incomplete at all!

It’s just that playing by ear is a gift that He chose not to give me. God doesn’t have justify this to me either. I need to accept that He knows why and that it’s the best thing for me. This is part of a growing faith. If I stop complaining about what I don’t have, I can appreciate the gifts that I do have.

I can read music. I can sight-read music on the spot. I know people who struggle with reading even simple music without rehearsing it first or hearing a recording of the song.

God is good!

He doesn’t hold back any of the goods. If you find yourself wondering why you think this or that is missing from your life, it may be because it’s not good for you.

God loves us too much to let us wallow in things that are not good for us.


{I’m linking up with Kate and Karen this week.}

Five Minute Friday: Blue

Add subtitle text Can I tell you a secret?

I recently purchased a colouring book for grown-ups.

I remember, as a child, opening the big box of 64 crayons. There was almost a solemnness in watching as the perfectly rounded crayons were unveiled. That many crayons finally meant options. The water in your drawing could be one shade of blue, while the sky would be another, brighter shade of blue. And there were even blends, like blue-green. Those were the days when we’d let our imaginations run rampant. It was okay if your zebra was more than the standard black and white. Your pets could have polka dots or even be rainbow coloured. In fact, we were encouraged to think outside the box. To just fill the page.

As I grew older, the message shifted. The time for creative fun was reduced to fleeting moments here and there. There were guidelines on how to achieve the ideal shade of colour. You have a basic blue, for example. And if you want it purple, then add some red. If you need a dark blue, add black.

Then there are official documents, which clearly state in their margins ‘please print using only black or blue ink’. You risk rejection if you dare to print outside the box.

But by always staying in the box, creativity can sometimes be stifled.

My creativity needs a nudge, hence the colouring book. It’s time to relearn how to let my imagination soar with colour.


{I’m linking up with Kate, the host of the Five Minute Friday community. This was a different type of prompt today. Never a dull moment here.}