When You Feel Like Opportunity Might Just Slip Between Your Fingers

January 4, 2013 | 21 comments

NOTE: It’s been so.very.long. since I’ve linked with Lisa-Jo’s Five-Minute Friday. In her writing community, we are called to write for five-minutes flat, no editing, rethinking, and so on. And so this I can assure you: this post most assuredly has errors. 🙂

Lisa-Jo’s assigned theme for this week: OPPORTUNITY. And I needed permission to write for only five minutes, because I’m heading off to help my parents, following Dad’s recent heart problems. (Thank you for your prayers, friends. You’ve been amazing.)



We all know it way down in the deepest parts of our souls that every moment, every breath, every beat of a beating human heart is but this: another glorious opportunity.

If you’re a mama, you know what opportunity is. It’s that moment when you first hold your pinkish baby — with that striped beanie on her head — and you’re beholding every eyelash, each finger wrinkle, the curled toes. And you sit there, dizzily dreaming about future breaths and opportunities. You dream like a crazy mama, on an inclined bed with rails on both sides, and your whole physical self is sort of hurting, but you don’t really notice. All you can think of is opportunity.

You know opportunity if you’re a wife, feeling the security of a strong hand on your wedding day, and he’s holding yours, until forever comes, vowing ’til death do us part. Ah yes…  How the two of you were bound, not for just this moment, but to make an impact for the long haul, like some destined call TOGETHER.

And you know opportunity when you get that scary call on a Sunday morning, like I did this past Sunday. You know it when you get that breath-stopping phone call about your superman-Dad. Your brother is suddenly on the cell phone telling you that your dear Dad — your lifetime hero — is laying in ICU with a freaky heart problem. Dad’s the guy who taught you how to throw a Frisbee, ditch a bad boyfriend, catch a fish (and maybe even gut it). You’re scared, and you can’t quite believe that what you’re hearing on the phone is right. Because dads don’t seem mortal. And you know right then, that every moment  — every single little breath — is an enormously huge opportunity for life.

I knew it this week. I knew right anew that we’re mortal. I also knew that this is a new year, and I want to do this year right, and this year started with a scary but timely reminder that this life here is an OP-OR-TUN-I-TY.

Believe it, friend.

We’ve got this. one. life.

Just one, this side of eternity.  Let’s do this.

(P.S. I’m praying for more opportunities for Dad. And praise Jesus, He’s giving them to us.)

(And P.P.S. to God: I look forward to heaven with you, God. I really do. But Father, do I ever love these moments here. Thank you for every single, stinkin’ one.)


by | January 4, 2013 | 21 comments


  1. Barbie

    We are neighbors at Lisa Jo’s today. Loved your post. All of the many beautiful opportunities we face in life. Saying a prayer for your dad!

    • dukeslee

      Hi Barbie! I’m so glad you’ve dropped by. And I appreciate your prayers.

  2. Lynn Morrissey

    Oh what a cute little girl you were and what a handsome dad. I’m so glad you will have an OPPORTUNITY to see him soon and to hold him close for many years to come! Praying that our Missouri docs are taking excellent care of him. Mother had her heart tests today,and while one was uncomfortable, she made it through. Now we wait for results–more OPPORTUNITY to pray. I’m so glad your father is pulling through this.

    • dukeslee

      Awww! Thank you, Lynn.

      I join you in prayer this morning for your mother. Is she in Missouri with you? The Missouri docs were amazing! Turns out, the hospital is highly regarded for its cardiac staff!

  3. Loni

    We do not ever know when we will have the last opportunity to say “I love you” and I am thankful it’s been extended with your dad. I lost a 16 yo son 8 years ago – and yes, I think of lost opportunities. And the best opportunity of all is HIS mercies are new every morning!

    • dukeslee

      Oh Loni… I simply cannot imagine losing a child. I’m so very sorry. And here you are, ministering with your faith, and your belief in GOD’s daily faithfulness. Morning by morning, new mercies we see!

  4. Denise J. Hughes

    Oh, I’m praying for your dad. The whole world aches with the need for more dads like yours.

    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Denise. I so appreciate you. And I know I’ve been so blessed to have a dad like mine. (And a great mom, too!)

  5. Sylvia R

    I’ve been praying, too– and thanking God for good reports. These things do wake us up to opportunities we might not have been noticing, don’t they? A beautiful new year full of possibilities for you, and your dad!

  6. Megan Willome

    Praying for you and your dad and your mom, Jennifer.

  7. Monica Sharman

    You are a perfect example of one who loves every moment here and lives it. That’s what I call real, friend. Thanks for your inspiration.

  8. Nikki

    I’m with you, Jennifer, accepting today for what it is: A gift. Loaded with opportunities.

    I imagine your dad’s smile hasn’t changed much. He still spreads wide with pride when he looks at you. And today, that will be my goal. I’m gonna make my Heavenly Father smile wide.

    Thank you for your encouragement to do just that!

    All for Him with hugs to you. Enjoy your time with your parents!

  9. Alecia

    Beautiful 5 min post. It’s interesting to see the different directions we each take with a one word prompt.
    Praying over your time with your family and that you have many more opportunities to come with them

  10. Debbie

    There’s something about a dad that’s so special. I’m sorry to read about his heart problems and pray that he will get better. About 15 years ago, I got that dreaded phone call about my own dad. He was in ICU and they didn’t know if he’d make it. Well, he’s still with us despite bypass surgery, 13 angioplasties and a pacemaker and implantable defibrillator. I never thought that would be the case but when the Lord is ready for them, that’s when they go home. I’m praying your dad gets well too.

    Blessings and love,

  11. Sandra Heska King

    My dad taught me how to catch (and gut) a fish. Giving thanks with you for new opportunities–and I love every moment here, too. xoxo

  12. Jackie

    Jennifer, your posts are so real. Thank you for sharing your faith and your life. I’m glad your dad shares your faith & you can share that with him. Praying for your family. God bless you!

  13. Diana Trautwein

    Me, too, with the loving life right here. And the longer I live in this amazing place, the more convinced I am that heaven will be very, very familiar. SO glad your dad is doing well – praying for you as you go to help your folks. Love you, Jennifer. Really.

  14. Jillie

    Hi Jennifer…Sooo glad to hear your Dad is doing better! Giving Thanks for this. Don’t know if it’s just ‘cuz I’m getting older (every day), but I’m beginning to see every day as a blessing AND an opportunity—to DO better and to LOVE better. I’ve missed you over the Christmas rush and looking forward to all you’ll have to share in this New Year! 2013!!!

  15. Laura

    Jennifer, this is the sweetest post–I think writing for five minutes brings out something good in you, friend! I’m so glad you dad is doing better–have been praying. My mother just had a heart cath day-before-yesterday and had to have a stent placed, so I know these feelings. Still praying all is well.

    love to you.

  16. Mari Mayborn

    Opportunity—that’s the best word. And opportunity is one of the best gifts God bestows in this life. To choose the life that’s truly life and to walk step-by-step with Him through every door He opens—thanks for giving us a glimpse into the relationships God has given you.

    Love this picture of little you with your big hero, fish-toting Dad. Look at the look on his face! Precious, precious.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest