Thursday, January 19, 2017

Refine (Five Minute Friday)

I'm very excited to again this week join a talented group of women bloggers in an online, unedited flash mob free write. Week after week, these women produce insightful and inspiring posts based on a word-prompt given to us by our fearless leader Kate Motaung (whose wonderful blog can be found at My timer is set for 5 minutes; let's see where the word "refine" takes me.

Elegant ladies -- and I mean ladies -- in dazzling gowns and shimmering jewels. Dazzling and shimmering yet tasteful. Men in tailored -- not rented -- tuxedos. Both speaking in well-modulated voices and behaving only in ways that would make Miss Manners nod in approval.


Fine wine, Precious metals purified by fire.


Tested by trials and tribulations and not merely surviving but surviving with grace and courage and coming out on the other side a better person.


I'll never be an elegant lady; of course, neither can I ever be wine or a precious metal. But I can be a person who handles adversity with grace and courage, who is a better person because of it.

Sadly, I must confess that I haven't consistently responded to a life challenge in a way that meets my definition of refined. No, I've cried, whined, retreated, brooded, gotten angry, and obsessed over what I perceive as horrible situations that have befallen me.

Even worse, I haven't walked away from each of the trials a better person. All too often, I haven't learned a thing and have gone right back to may old ways.

But time and experience has had its way with me in more ways than just wrinkles and some physical aches and pains that remind me of my age.

I'm also more likely to heed the warnings of small difficulties, to stop and consider what lesson those difficulties might have to teach me. I know full well that things will go better for me if I do, because if my attention isn't caught by a small problem, larger ones are just waiting in the wings.

Refining is a process.

I'm being refined every single day.

It's not always fun; sometimes it's downright painful. But I'm thankful for that process. Thankful I'm being refined.

Grateful to the Refiner.



  1. Great writing here, Patti.

    For what it's worth, I'll never look refined either. I look a bit like LOTR's Gimli on a bad hair day. Getting a tailored tux would be fun, as I'm 5'9", have a 50-inch chest and a 32-inch waist. I would LOVE to see a tailor's face when presented with that!

    (Yes, I DID play rugby, how did you guess?)

    When I think of God's refining fire, I always think, too..."It ain't the years, dude. It's the mileage."

  2. I love that (It aint the years . . mileage), Andrew! :) Thanks for your kind words as well

  3. I love the idea of elegance connected to refinement - what a great take on the word :) For elegance is much more than fine clothes and the outward appearance, but a whole way of being...

  4. Patti, the more I get to know you the more I like you! Everything you said, me too! And those baby steps of refinement seem to be the way I live. Sometimes 2 steps forward and 3 steps back. Sometimes I can't even notice the changes God is making in me and's amazing isn't it? How He works in us.

  5. I love how you said it -- elegance is . . "a whole way of being"

  6. What kind words, Christy -- thank you! 2 steps forward and 3 back is a dance I'm all too familiar with but, as you said, it's amazing how God works in us.

  7. Patti, I believe this is my first visit to your blog! YAY!

  8. I'm so glad you stopped by, Susan, and hope you visit again!