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I'm still writing; you just won't find me here any longer. If you want to keep reading my writing, head over to mollyflinkman.com. I'll keep a cup of coffee warm for you.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


word of the day: adult \ə-dəlt\
fully developed and mature; grown-up

My ninth graders think I’m super lame.  It all started when I told them I don’t have cable.  If you want to blow a teenager’s mind, tell them that bunny ears are still available for public use.  I took it one step further than my lack of cable, though.  I told them that sometimes, for fun, I sit on my couch and knit.  I think they were a little stunned when I actually brought this in to prove that I wasn’t joking:
In light of my students’ recent discovery of my lameness, I realized that many of the things I have been doing with my money and time do represent a certain adult quality and I feel obliged to reflect upon them.

This weekend I listened to The Giver on tape every time I drove my car.  (When I told the ninth graders that one, the first response was, “But why wouldn’t you listen to the radio?”)  Truth is, I’ve never been so excited to drive long distances.  I think I actually drove the speed limit to prolong the time I spent with Jonas and The Giver.

Nate gave me an Amazon gift card for my birthday (last September).  When it comes to gift cards, I tend to be a saver.  I’d rather keep it until I think of something I really want rather than blow it on a whim.  Turns out that something I really wanted was Reading Reasons: Motivational Mini-Lessons for Middle and High School by Kelly Gallagher.

And, I cannot wait to get into it.

Last, but not least, I’ve been saving money up for a new camera for some time now.  This weekend, and with the help of my mom, I brought home a brand spanking new Nikon 3100 complete with two fabulous lenses.  That means that the photo quality of this blog is about to increase dramatically.  Here are a few of my inaugural photos.  Remember…I’m still figuring this thing out.

Suffice it to say, I’m pretty ok with being a lame adult.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


word of the day: only \ōn-lē\ unquestionably the best

I am Martha. 

I realized it the other day. I was reading The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith and it hit me.  I suppose it’s our tendency to relate to Martha when we read Luke 10, but for some reason it struck a nerve this most recent time.  The story is familiar.  Martha was busying herself with chores.  She became frustrated when her sister Mary, rather than help her, simply sat at the feet of Jesus.  Luke says,

But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to [Jesus] and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

                                     -Luke 10:40-45

I think the key word for me is “distracted.”  That’s what I am.  Distracted by all the preparations to be made.  Distracted by the dirty dishes on the counter.  Distracted by the lesson plans to be written.  Distracted by the spare bedroom that is littered with things yet to find a space.  Distracted by anything but the only thing that really matters. 

The thing that is unquestionably best.

Martha tried to serve Jesus before she abided in Him.  Mary had it figured out.  She sat at His feet and soaked Him in.  I think my approach is similar to Martha’s quite often.  More focus on serving, less focus on abiding. 

It’s all sort of falling into place in my mind now.  Martha didn’t do anything wrong; the chores needed to be done.  Service was necessary.  However, the service wasn’t necessary at that very moment in time.  Mary understood.  She recognized that there was nothing more important than listening to the teachings of Christ. 

So often I try to go straight to service.  I see now that I’m skipping a crucial step.

As of late, our Sunday sermons have been focusing on giving our lives away.  Our pastor has been encouraging us to find ways to give of ourselves each week.

I’ve been focusing on asking God to show me ways to give people my time.

It’s a funny thing asking that question.  Funny because He answers really clearly.  In both big and small ways. 

But He can’t show you those things if you’re not abiding in Him. 

I had this great blog worked out in my head initially where I wrote about all the ways God has provided me opportunities to give my time as of late.  But then I realized that I hadn’t really recognized any opportunities this past week.  I see now that it’s because I stopped listening.

I put the service ahead of the abidance.

What a great reminder it is for me to slow down.  To leave the dishes on the sink tonight and assure myself that my lesson won’t fail miserably tomorrow. 

It’s a great reminder that few things are needed—or indeed only one.

And that one thing is unquestionably best.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


word of the day: resolution \re-zə-lü-shən\ a.) something that is resolved b.) the point in a literary work when the chief dramatic complication is worked out

I made a resolution to write more in 2012.  So far, not so good.

I've never been very good at resolutions.

When I think about it, "resolution" is kind of an interesting word.  In one context, it is a beginning of sorts. A resolution is synonymous with a goal when the New Year hits.  It's also an end; it's the point at which the conflict of a story ties up all its loose ends.  As I like to say in 9th grade, it's the point when the boy across the street pulls out the folded piece of paper and finally admits to the nerdy version of Taylor Swift, "You Belong With Me."

A resolution is the end.  But it’s also a beginning.  Further proof to the theory that life is a story and we hold the pen, but I guess I’m getting ahead of myself.

2011 ended in a whirlwind of complications.  We moved out of the pool house a week before Christmas only to find that we couldn’t move into our new apartment until New Year’s Eve.  The resolution to that complication was to be roommates with my family for a week and a half.  While it wasn’t how we planned to spend our Christmas break, it was nice to spend some extra time with my family.  We’re beyond thankful for their hospitality even though they convinced Ginny that their home is her home. 

We moved out of my parents’ house and into Jake’s parents’ house for the next five days.  I’m now in my fourth year as a Flinkman, and I’m finally starting to fully appreciate the hustle and bustle that is Flinkman.  Going from a family Christmas of four to a family Christmas of fourteen takes a little getting used to and a few sessions of locking yourself in the bathroom to escape the noise, but I’m realizing that that is becoming something I look forward to before visits each year.  And I don’t lock myself in the bathroom anymore.  That really only happened once…

We shot guns…

We sat around the table…
We played “The Newlywed Game” and officially took away Jeremy and Kelly’s bragging rights for (let’s face it) forever…
Then we came back to reality which was a New Year’s Eve spent unpacking, rearranging, and wearing layers (the heat in our apartment hadn’t been turned on yet).  As we watched the ball drop surrounded by boxes and to dos yet to be checked off, “overwhelmed” was an understatement for the state of my mind. 

The only respite I found was my vacation to Dillon, Texas.  I’m thankful to the Panthers (and ultimately Lions) for letting me vacation to their town for hours at a time.  Tami and Coach Taylor were great hosts and I find myself slowing down my visits in order to prolong our relationship. 

Clear eyes.  Full hearts.  Can’t lose.

In any case, we’re mostly moved in to our new apartment.  By mostly moved in, I mean that the spare bedroom is a disaster and there’s a pile of stuff in the bedroom that needs to be sorted, but I just can’t bring myself to unpack anything else for the time being.  It’ll get done.

Our porch door looks directly at Des Moines University, and Jake and my’s face time as dramatically improved.  Ultimately I know the move has been a good thing because I haven’t yet eaten Ramen Noodles alone on the couch for dinner.

Ginny’s adjusting.  We’re pretty sure she spends her entire day face glued to the window anxiously awaiting a sign of one of us.  Her new bark collar isn’t her favorite accessory, but unfortunately she wouldn’t listen to reason. 

So here we are.  Back in the swing of things with a completely new swing of things.  My resolution to write more has already failed, but really, when have I ever made good on a resolution past January? 

I suppose that’s why I never really pay attention to New Year’s Resolutions.  Why set a goal I know I’m going to fail? Why create an expectation I’m never going to live up to?

Resolutions always seem to bring conflicts.  The goal to go to the gym more means you actually have to make going to the gym a priority.  The goal to run that half marathon means you actually have to get off the couch and run.  The goal to write more means you actually have to take time to write. *

The story doesn’t write itself.  I’m learning a lot about myself already this 2012, and I’m realizing that my desire to be more like Christ (a resolution I suppose) always comes with complications.  Challenges to overcome.  Stress that threatens to consume you.  People who are difficult to love.  An apartment that needs unpacking.  A to-do list that doesn’t seem to ever shorten.  The student who pushes all your buttons. 

Challenges exist, but the resolve to be more like Christ overcomes.  And with that resolve, I’m learning, comes resolution.  It’s all part of the story, the good and the bad, and we’re better people when we resolve to fight through it. 

Maybe that’s my real New Year’s resolution.