22 Jul 2011

Five Minute Friday: Full

On Fridays around these parts we like to write. Not for comments or traffic or anyone else’s agenda. But for pure love of the written word. For joy at the sound of syllables, sentences and paragraphs all strung together by the voice of the speaker.

We love to  just write without worrying if it’s just right or not. For five minutes flat.

Here’s how we do it:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.

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

3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.

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



There isn’t a part of me that doesn’t feel full. So much love poured into this body of mine that my lungs and heart and kidneys are just plain swimming in it. When I walk I must leave wet footprints, all that love splashing right out my toes and trailing a message of deep joy and acceptance along the sidewalk.

I didn’t know how dry my tank was when we arrived. Not until I began to feel it fill up.

They poured in themselves and their time and their plans and their memories and their real, true, unrelenting interest in us and our journey these last three years apart and I felt the fullness rising up to my chest. Sometimes it would spill out my eyes, but they just poured more in and never ran out.

My sons, I watched them absorb all that family, that history, that part of the story they hear from a distance and got to soak up in person. Their small selves were soaked in acceptance. And while it ached to leave, while Jackson held my hand and whispered over and over as we walked away from customs, “It hurts, ow ow ow ow, it hurts so much” we wouldn’t change it.

We wouldn’t trade it.

This lifecycle of pouring in and living out and then refueling again.

Because we are full of the love of family because we lived deliberately. We connected on purpose. We talked and did life together hard and for real and under showers of love.

So we arrive back at this shore dripping with the knowing that comes from being part of something. Being part of something bigger than ourselves.

I believe they call it family.

And we are full to the brim with the wonder of it.


Thank you for being part of our homecoming trip to South Africa. It was a joy to share it with you. Feel free to keep doing life alongside us and this here blog – sign up to get my posts emailed to your doorstep right here Or delivered to your reader of choice. Or just like us on Facebook.


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 2

    Such a blessed trip home you had! I am so happy that you were able to spend such good time with your family. Your photos and stories are beautiful. Blessings, sweet friend!

  2. 3

    Goodness, you express so well the overflowing of love when you write “When I walk I must leave wet footprints, all that love splashing right out my toes and trailing a message of deep joy and acceptance along the sidewalk.”!
    I love the image of us all completely awash in love, bathed in the warmth and gentleness of it all, reminding me that our God loves us this way as well.
    Thanks for such an uplifting topic and post!

  3. 4

    I love all your water imagery, the tears pouring out but your family replenishing–beautiful! I’m so glad this trip was all you hoped for and more, and I hope your tank will stay full until you can meet again.

    • 5
      thegypsymama says:

      Thanks – and I believe we will. Stay full for quite some time on all the wonder of this amazing trip!!

  4. 6

    Oh you … You are filled with the goodness of God, and it simply spills over from your Love-Tank.

    I don’t always comment, but I come over often, and I celebrate with you the many ways that God has blessed you … and the way that He uses you to bless others here in this space, over @ (In)courage, and out in this big ol’ world. Keep at it, dear sister. You are a walking Light for Christ! Shine on!

    Jennifer Dukes Lee

    P.S. — I participated in Five-Minute Friday for the first time! Such fun!

    • 7
      thegypsymama says:

      Oh you – you always leave such great comments for me. Thank you, Ms. Getting Down with Jesus. And I love me a FMF newbie! Suh-weet! Thanks for joining the fun!

  5. 8

    I wouldn’t have been surprised if you never came back. ;-)

    These photos made me teary with happiness for you…to see all those Lisa-Jo-like faces, to see your dad with the baby OMG.

    I’m so very glad you were blessed in this immense way. You can love them from afar, know that it’s real and deep and even though you wish you could put arms around each other, it’s ok. Because you love.


  6. 9

    Wow, you capture the fullness of family as it must have been intended! This tugs at my heart so beautifully.

  7. 10

    Oh how I have loved the posts from your “heart home”. They made my heart happy and ache all at the same time. Glad you made it back to this side of the shore fine. Any stories coming about your travel adventures? I’m sure there were a few. :) x

  8. 11

    And the fullness is passed from one heart to another. Brimming over with your happiness and love and fullness Lisa-Jo.

  9. 12

    What a wonderful feeling you describe! You can’t just find it any where. It just is.

  10. 13

    I feel your fullness, and it makes me smile. Thank you for inviting us into such a lovely home experience.

  11. 14

    Family always fills me up too. When we lived overseas, we would come back to the US as my parents are living here now. It was what I always needed to go back home and serve. They filled me up emotionally, spiritually and gave a lift to my heart.

  12. 15

    Oh. Lisa-Jo…

    Your joy cannot be contained in digital. It jumped out of my laptop and smacked me upside my head! I’m so happy your family got to take this trip….

    And to see YOUR family delighting in all of YOU??? Even though I don’t know them, I could sense their near giddiness, too :).


  13. 16

    Full to dripping. I love that. It isn’t an everyday thing to feel that filled. But what a gift. Thank you.

  14. 17

    Lisa Jo, I am so glad! I know that full, I am not now ever full, but I know that full from my Greek mama, and today I met a Jewish mama who is like me but like her also, I flat out said, “adopt me” meaning in some sense mother me too. The pictures, they are precious. So many of them, so good, and beyond the fact that we don’t really know any of these people we share in your love for them. How does that happen? miracle. God’s blessing you and us.

  15. 18

    I loved this post! Beautifully written! I hope to meet your family while we are in South Africa!

  16. 19
    Stephanie says:

    Wonderful blessings!! I’m so happy and thankful with you. (Can’t wait for my trip to the states to see family in September!)
    Lisa-Jo, I want to encourage you that you’re a missionary more than you realize. As a South African living for the Lord in America you’re making a difference in God’s Kingdom work for His glory. He provides family time that we need and fills our love tanks to send us out again and pour it all out, as you’re doing now. Your sacrifices aren’t for naught.
    Liefde~ xx

  17. 20

    You and others were so blessed to visit with your beloved family and friends. It certainly can FILL your CUP of joy FULL to overflowing. So happy you were able to make this visit.


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