15 Apr 2011

Five Minute Friday: On Distance

Friday, time to crack open the chocolate ice cream and unscripted version of beautiful you!

Got five minutes? Let’s write. Let’s finger paint with words

Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right or not. Here’s how to play along:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button in my right side bar}

3. Go leave some comment props for the five minute artist who linked up before you {and if you love us, consider turning off word verification for the day to make it easier for folks to say howdy}

It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week.

And it gives me a chance to give one of you a little somethin’ somethin’ from DaySpring, who I love almost as much as my South African accent.

There’s a beautiful wood carved “Ask, Seek, Knock” wall hanging up for grabs this week for one of you from me and DaySpring {Grace Like Rain won the Give Thanks Caddy from last week}.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes for the prompt:

On Distance


I am three years and four months far from the Southern Cross shores of my childhood. I am a whole new living being removed from when I was last home. And I am in the countdown, finish-line-in-view stages of going back again. June. I can smell it. Cold, crisp Highveld June beckons and I am running hard toward it and home.

Three long years of absence and explaining to my boys the why. But three years marked by fullness and not the empty I have lived for years of this cross-cultural commute. Three years of roots in a man and his love. Three years of home found in the arms of little boys who are the only time zone that matters these days.

Three weeks of a baby girl who has healed large parts of my motherless childhood.

It is well.

I can say it now. I can sing it. The question my mother left hanging at her memorial service along with the last lingering notes of that beloved hymn. I am whole. I am home. Even before I set foot on the South African shore again. I have more than four walls and a roof sheltering me. I have this family that holds me up and supports me in my everythings.

And the Father God that gave them to me.

It is well with my soul.


Photo: South African coast near East London.
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{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 2

    I just turned on Selah to listen to that song while I comment. “it is well … with my soul…” Your whole post had the emotion of the hymn, friend. I can’t even imagine the joy in your mom’s heart as she sees you from where she is with your baby girl. I can’t imagine the joy in her soul as she sees the cracks heal in yours…

    • 3
      thegypsymama says:

      You know me so well! I was listening to that song the whole time I wrote this. Love you, Gitz!

  2. 4

    “Three years of roots in a man and his love” – This sentence captivated me. Beautiful. Linking up for the first time. Very exciting! Thanks for the challenge. With Joy, Carey

  3. 5

    Out here in California, I don’t get your email updates until quite late, but…I got another one from someone who had already submitted her 5 minute Friday, so I jumped in earlier than usual. And I didn’t have a clue where you were going this time, which is probably a good thing as I went somewhere else entirely. :>) LOVE this – and so many blessings as you return to SA, knowing that as long as your God, your man and your little ones are with you, you are always home. You are such an inspiration to me, Lisa-Jo. Thank you.

  4. 6

    So exciting that you’re going back soon! Have a wonderful time. This prompt gave me a chance to really count my blessings. Thank You so much Lisa-Jo. Healing through words and photos. So much healing.

    writing = 3 minutes
    photos = priceless search :D

  5. 7

    What a lovely post, and how exciting that you are going home again soon. What a blessing!

  6. 8

    Thank you! This is beautiful. I know exactly what you mean about explaining what homesickness means to your kids – I feel like I ask Dad that question a lot, even if not in words. This post, and your prompt, were such good food for my heart this week (I’ve been thinking about distance a lot). Love, hilary

  7. 9

    AH! SO excited for you to go home. a bit jealous, but mostly just excited for you!!! =)

  8. 10

    Your post is so beautiful. Thanks for the prompt – I was looking forward to this challenge today. My first time!

    • 11
      thegypsymama says:

      I love hanging out with you! In real time and blog time – I’ll take either :)

  9. 12

    I am so excited for you that you can count down the days until you go home, and I love the image of you growing roots with your family that has grounded you here.

    A beautiful post to go with a beautiful hymn.

  10. 13

    What a lovely post. I am very excited for you that you are going to get to travel down that same road you journeyed before.

  11. 14

    Thanks for the prompt, Lisa-Jo! I had fun with this one today. And I’m so glad you’re able to go home this summer!

  12. 15

    I can feel your longing for home, but I also feel that steadfastness of the home that is regardless of physical surroundings.

  13. 16

    Thanks for the beautiful read. I love reading and being involved in these: such fun!! Have a sweet day!!!

  14. 17

    Fun contest. Too bad I’m a little slow on the uptake of how to enter it. Sorry for the false start. Hope you enjoy each day of anticipation during your countdown.

  15. 18

    Beautiful post. Truly beautiful… This was my first time doing your challenge. Excited! :)

  16. 19

    on distance being a long ways from home or a long ways in thought from where I am i try so hard to be present wherever I am. It makes life with my family easier.
    There’s the distance between me and my oldestson, started at birth when he was kept for an hour or two, then for hours in the nursery, and he slept a lot and I did too, losing blood and losing milk waiting for him to return or be returned or to be handed to me. continued when I was told to lethim cry, to get him on a schedule at 9 days old. I didn’t listen but i did, trying to get him to sleep later on, and it was not even real, it was haphazrd it was crazy trying to figure out what other people meant and wound up letting him sleep with me. A little saving grace in all our parenting mistakes. Pick him up when he cries or he won’t trust you. Yo won’t be able to pick him up later. too big. He’s getting close to too big.
    his distance has been miles in the same room, wanting to be held but acting out and hitting so that he won’t get picked up. My distance has been cut to 3 am excursions on the internet to find the information I need and answer emails – and the odd AM when he goes to play bhimself and his brother sleeps.

    distance was what my parents gave me, so much so that in a family that wanted us to stick up for each other, they were quick to say negative things and little to no positive. the teachers were backed up. the neighbors kids were backe dup. we weren’t. I was so lonely in later years it was a miracle I didn’t become a single mom, a miracle I didn’t commit a permanent act, a miracle I didn’t become someone I didn’t believe in.

    the first I love you I heard was the day my parents said good bye to me in college 400+miles from home. distance. they chose the college. they chose the distance. three weeks I didn’t call, and I didn’t notice I hadn’t talked to them. they are all angry, and I’m just trying to float along in school. some distance.

    I got the education in college, just not the one they wanted. Or soon enough. thank God though, I put off marriage, I put off sex, I put off a lot of things. Becuase the lessons I learned and am still learning will help keep the DISTANCE out of my family. I hope. My husband is distant and has been for a long time, and is starting to come around. it’s spring. he usually does. but it goes away in the fall. Hope.

    the one sin that is unforgivable is to live with out hope. A sin against the Holy Spirit. The Ghost that lives among, amid, around us all. Hope. to live without hope for my chidlren would be beyond sin, and in being unforgivable, would be unrecountable. unretreivable. UnMom.

    and I have no wish for my sons to be lonely in the same house for Mom.

  17. 20

    and sorry about all the spelling,s I was in the middle of something when i sawt his and had to type!

  18. 21

    I love that hymn, and am always touched when I remember the story behind it. I’m sorry for your loss those years ago, and so glad that you have a precious baby daughter to bring that special sweetness into your life. Thank you for sharing this glimpse into your heart.

  19. 22

    So beautiful, this picture you’ve given us, and such a story behind it. I need to find some time to check out your links in the post too. Thanks for hosting! It was fun for me this morning, but more of a challenge than I thought!

  20. 23

    Hi Lisa-jo! Thanks for this fun link-up. As you can tell-I am so new to this stuff and don’t really ‘get it’ all yet. Lol. I accidently uploaded twice? Not sure how that happened, I swear I wasn’t trying to cheat my way into two entries :) Although that would be nice hhahaha.

    Your 5 minute writing is incredible-I went over :/ But like I said-I’m new! Practice must make perfect in your post is any indicator-Absolutely LOVELY. Thank you friend.
    sherri ohler

  21. 24

    Lovely and so thought-ful as well. It’s so funny you were listening to that song. When I read your words it started playing in my head, and felt that wonderful satisfaction of all being truly well because I am good with my God.

    Jeri T: “writing = 3 minutes
    photos = priceless search ”

    You made me laugh out loud. I spend right up to my five minutes writing, and have to pull my fingers from the keyboard so that I stop. Then I start the lengthy process of searching for the appropriate photo… “What about this one? Ooooh, remember this trip/visit/event? Oh, look at the girls/us/the family/the mountains. Wasn’t that just wonderful?” Where did I save that photo?”
    Eventually, I find and chose my image. Then, I pull myself away and post. Eventually.

  22. 25

    Beautiful post full of hope and looking forward as well as healing.

    I’m joining in for the first time today. Thanks for the prompt.

  23. 26

    Thanks for the reminder that fullness doesn’t come from a place.

    Great prompt!

  24. 27

    Yes, It IS Well! The ache that distant can create is sometimes hard to endure. So excited for you to be able to return home. Loved your post and the prompt today. Thanks for hosting!

  25. 28

    I have to agree…distance is hard for so many. I really enjoy these prompts every Friday. It is very eye opening and I am learning a lot from not actually having much time to think about what I am writing. I am thankful for this opportunity each week. It is very inspiring. Thank you.

  26. 29

    I loved this today, and it really is true. We are all healed, we are all whole, in His love. Thank you for your beautiful words.

  27. 30

    Great post, Lisa-Jo! So many avenues to travel with this prompt. Thank you for sharing the pieces of your before and your now with us. Will be thinking of your homecoming as we near June.

  28. 31

    I’m captivated with your blog and your perspective on life, faith, and family. Your post wove together my former missionary memories, my son’s recent stay in South Africa, and my present reuniting with my traveling children. I’m going to join in with a link.

  29. 32

    180+ link ups! You’ve definitely hit a nerve with 5 Minute Fridays, Lisa-Jo. What a gift you are to us! Thank you for encouraging us to just write and (most of all) for encouraging community.

  30. 33

    Unfortunately I missed the cut-off for this but I wanted to thank you for doing these. I was just recently reading through some blogs I used to follow regularly and they had participated. I posted on my blog for the first time in months. I hope to check back and start writing more.


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  6. Journey says:

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