Friday Five · linkups · writing

Writing Secret {Five Minute Friday}

It’s time for Five Minute Friday and I know what this says, but I will confess to you, I didn’t get up this morning.  I blame the lack of hazelnut coffee creamer.  I’m joining with Lisa Jo and the incredible community of writers who write on a one word prompt for five solid minutes every Friday.  No editing.  No overthinking.  No fear.  Well, working on that.  Today’s prompt is…


When I get up to write, the house is still dark and my only motivation to crawl out of the warm bed and stumble to the cold living room to turn on a lamp is the coffee maker.  Thank goodness for auto program.  It starts dripping at 5 a.m. and even though I want to hit the snooze on the alarm, the steady percolating from the kitchen helps me up.

I write in the quiet because my day is usually so full of noise and requests and squeals and fussy babies that I crave just the quiet.  I lose myself in the thoughts and the words and the possibilities for just a few moments before everyone else is up and begging waffles or milk or cuddles.

I write because I’m scared. I’m scared I’ll look back and wish I had, I’m scared no one will ever want to read it, I’m scared someone actually will.  I write because there are stories that have been told over and over so many times, but no one has ever told stories of mothers and daughters and sunsets and first loves the way I will.

I write because when I was nine years old my mama put a copy of Little House in the Big Woods in my hands and I was transported to another place.  I write to capture that for someone else, to be that transporter, to share a story that has a different meaning for the person who might someday be on the other side of the page than it has for me right now typing the words.

I write even though I don’t know if anything will ever come of it, even though no one’s ever paid me a dime to do it, even though I sometimes think I’d be better off reading great writers than ever trying to be one.

I write because I’m not alone even though it’s the most solitary time of my day.

I’ve got some fun giveaways going on this month!  Click here to read about how you can win a copy of my favorite organizational tools!

family · Friday Five · Friends · linkups

Encouragement {Five Minute Friday}

Joining with this amazing community of writers is a privilege every Friday.  Want to play along? Head over to Lisa Jo’s and read all the “rules”–but the only one that really matters?  Write your heart and give some love to the link before you.

Today’s words is…


They came bearing soup and casseroles and cookies and salads.  They sent cards the old way with stamps and return addresses slipped in between my weekly paper and coupons and bills.  They stopped me in the hall, in the store, beside the peeling paint minivan to simply express condolences that are more than sympathy—they gave me empathy.

It’s a small thing to call the florist and have flowers delivered.  It’s a small thing to rearrange a Sunday afternoon and drive an hour north to hug a friend for only a few minutes. It’s a small thing to show the greatest, deepest kind of love.

It takes patience and conscious effort and intentionality.  It takes work.  It takes a tiny little sacrifice of waiting a few more moments before watching or reading or folding or washing to write a note to place a call or send a message.

But the way it made me feel?  Loved.  Encouraged.  Reminded that I matter to many and my grief is not mine alone.  That in the family of God, we can embrace grief together and remember that this is not the end.

It is the beginning of joy and it is those on the outside who can find the cracks in my hurting heart and fill them with glory.

Friday Five · gus · motherhood

See {Five Minute Friday}

I’ve been away from this community for far too long. While we all took December off, I feel like I’ve been out for so much more.  The beauty of Five Minute Friday, though, is that no matter how long I’m gone, this flash mob of writers–mamas and students and single ladies and the occasional brave man–always welcomes me back.

It’s a place to belong.  Community, not competition.

Today’s prompt?


He was afraid.  I could hear it in his shrieking cry and his pitiful wail for “dada” because he’s such a smart boy that he knew such a dilemma as locking himself in his sister’s room would be better solved by daddy than mommy.

Mommy, who didn’t come with a hurry at first because I thought the sisters were kidding and there are three of them after all, so surely one was in the room too?  But no, they were crowded in the narrow hall twisting the handle in vain and jumping on toes that are never still between 3:30 and 5:30 in the afternoon.  I had a friend over.  A sweet girl who has shared teaching with me and students and Bible studies and last Friday bid her grandfather goodbye in the hospice facility two rooms down from where I had watched mine draw his last breath only hours before. So we were bonded, but a meltdown in front of her?

I didn’t want her to see me lose it, to see me become unglued over such a simple task as twisting the lock on the bedroom door to free my stranded toddler.

But I couldn’t get it open.  I couldn’t jimmy the bent hanger in the hole just right like daddy does and I sure couldn’t break down that door with my bare hands.

Though I might have if she hadn’t been there to see.

I took the knob off finally and he stumbled out into my arms wiping snot and tears on my favorite sweatshirt and jerking his arm from the sisters who were trying to pet him back into submission.

I didn’t want her to see me lose it, but I did want her to see me be a good mom because I hate to think anyone thinks I’m less than. But maybe, maybe, I should have been thinking about what my kids see?

They see that mommy is willing to hold it in for others but not for them.

That may be a lesson worth talking about.

amelia · Friday Five

Tree {Five Minute Friday}

It’s Friday and though I’ve been missing the online connections with one of my favorite communities (#fmfparty on twitter–see you there?), I found my release today in five unscripted, unedited, un-analyzed moments of writing.  Writers (and we’re all that) link it up over at Lisa Jo’s and show off your five minutes with a prompt most suiting to the golden days of fall:


It sits beside our driveway all gnarled branches and crisp leaves and probably a bit too close to the road for me to be letting them play.

But they climb it with the reckless abandon of childhood and when I lean out the glass door to call a child I’m invariably told she’s in the tree.  Her hair is streaming down her back and her feet are bare a scant week before Thanksgiving in falling Georgia temps and she’s climbing her tree.

She waits in it when friends are expected and she hides in it when she’s been reprimanded for too much My Little Pony and not enough respect. She climbs it nimbly and ably and with far more comfort in her own limbs than I’ve ever had in mine.

She’s at home in that tree.  It’s hers and she’s laid claim to a Bradford pear tree that’s out of line with the others but just perfect for her nearly four year old legs and toes to grasp hold of. It’s hers but she’ll share and she’ll call to me to come climb with her and I’ll wonder if the branches will groan under the weight of my 33 years and self-consciousness like they never have for the sweet simple release I see in my daughter.

31 Days of Living Local · Friday Five · Friends

Together: Five Minute Friday {31 Days: Day 25}

Five Minute Friday

Because even though it’s October and I’m writing about Living Local for 31 days straight, it’s also Friday, and I’m learning to find my place in a local online community of gifted writers who let it all fly free for Five Minute Friday.  We’re linking up over at Lisa Jo’s where motherhood comes with a superhero cape and lots of chocolate.  Tonight some of us are blessed to be gathered together in person (wow!) for the #flashmob writing at the Allume Conference. Join us as we explore…


When you live in a small town you spend a lot of time together.

There’s a lot of Friday night football and church potluck and Saturdays at the baseball fields and farmers markets and middle school dances. 
And everyone knows your name, especially when you taught that community for five years about the literary significance of hunger games and gerunds.
But if you leave, if you go somewhere else even for a short time (like say three days at a conference) you might discover that all those people who know your name back home only know a piece of you and not the real show. 

They only know the mama, the teacher, the MOPS coordinator who’s stepping out on a big Leap of faith to leave a comfort zone where folks pretty much know she doesn’t have it all together and they’re okay, and have even embraced that. 
But to be together with those who might know what it means to call yourself writer when it sticks in your throat and makes your stomach flutter is worth it.