16 Sep 2011

Five Minute Friday: Joy

Five minute Friday was born out of my desire to paint with words without worrying about staying inside the lines.

My friend, Sara, joined me on the journey. She’s the one who designed our Five Minute Friday button on the right hand side bar.

On days when I haven’t quite felt like getting my five minutes on, I have anyway because I knew Sara was waiting up for them. And her’s were always the ones I read first. She’s a friend and a fellow (in)courage writer.

She’s been sick for quite a long time. So we skyped her into our Hilton Head retreat so that she’d get to be at the beach with us – even if only for a moment.

We found out this week that Sara is dying.

It has been terrible. But, here’s the thing. We believe that dying’s not the end. We believe that Jesus is waiting there to tell her well done on a mighty race incredibly, bravely run.

And I am certain that Sara knows exactly where she’s headed. On June 17 she wrote a Five Minute Friday post with the rest of us on the prompt, “Home.” Never was a topic or a post more compelling.

This week is for Sara – taking the prompt from her life’s commitment – to choose joy, no matter the circumstances.

Won’t you link up with us?

    1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
    2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
    3. Go a little overboard encouraging the writer who linked up before you.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:



There’s a place where heaven meets earth.

Some think it’s where the waves and their sandy shore connect with the blue sky above. Last week I thought so too.

This week I remember it’s in labor wards and the hands of hospice workers the world over.

Heaven meets earth there behind the thin veil of birth and death when we catch glimpses of the God who is human maker and home taker, who is unconfined by time, disease or death, who breathes Himself into our flesh and blood and then calls that breath back to Him again.

He speaks words and the world takes shape.

He knows us by name.

And in the fullness of time He speaks each of our names and calls us home. We wade across the Jordan with Him – hand held tight by that rough Carpenter’s grip. He will not let us sink or stumble or lose our footing as we cross.

For some I think that heaven leans as close across the divide as it can – to get a better look at the saint on her way home. Perhaps they press into the cracks that separate this place from that. A chorus of welcome builds and when she sets sandy foot out onto the welcoming far shore a mighty cheer of joy shakes that place.

This week, I think I heard echoes of it already.



{Photos thanks to Dawn}


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    You DO have a gift. Not only of writing but of love and service. Thank you for sharing her story. Without a doubt, a very uplifting one for me.

  2. 3

    Oh yes, amen and amen. I am amazed, humbled, grateful that Sara’s story – her writing, her remarkable courage and her consistent choice for joy – have all woven their way into so many, many hearts and lives around this wild web. And I am thankful for your voice, Lisa-Jo – for the wonderful way you tell your own story(ies) and those of others dear to you. I did not know Sara, but I loved her. Even wrote about her today, trying to trace how these wonderful web connections get tangled in the first place. And I do believe it all started for me with Ann Voskamp – and there she is just above me in the comment line. Amazing world. Amazing sisters who inspire. Amazing God.

  3. 4

    Your words are a treasure…a touch of heaven and there is an exquisite joy that hearts with eternity set in them and who touch those hearts to the bittersweet of all that fills our frail days that creates this something beautiful you give. Thank you and thought of how Sara created the button on hearing of this, this inexplicable pain of the end here and the wild hope realized of all of her beginnings COME…deep pressing-into-Him hugs:} for you and all of {in}courage

  4. 5

    I am sorry for the pains of the call of death, to those who are left behind, but see the joy of those who know the peace of walking that place with God carrying them there. How great is salvation! Thank you for this place to write, to read, to gain perspective. It is a bit of heaven on earth, too.

  5. 6

    Beautiful words. I did not know Sara, but she truly impacted my life with her grace, always choosing joy. I dedicated my post to her today.

  6. 7

    Thank you for the gift of your writing, of the lovely stories you tell of the messy and the magnificent of our lives while we are here.
    Last night I attended the yearly banquet for our local pregnancy care center, and heard eloquent stories of children/from children whose lives were spared, and how we just never know how their lives will impact others.Although I did not know her personally, I thought of Sara, of being so grateful for her life and her joyful presence on the web, and of all the lives she has touched so deeply.
    Thank you for sharing about your dear friend.

  7. 8

    Oops! The link disappeared on me so I assumed it didn’t work. It did. Now my link is posted twice. Don’t know how to delete one of them. lol. I’m certainly not THAT impressed with myself. (only happens to me…bleh) Ironic on the post for…joy. ;)

    Can anyone delete of my duplicate links?

  8. 9

    btw, loved this post. It reminded me of when my mom died of cancer. Those last days were sad but had a hope that you couldn’t buy with any amount of money. It was also a reminder that no matter how tough this life gets…the end (heaven) is so worth it.

  9. 10

    I love that description of joy…where heaven meets earth. So very true! Happy Friday!

  10. 11

    oh, the sandy foot got me! rejoicing for sara.

  11. 12

    I wrote this yesterday so I took way more than 5 minutes :) Thank you for giving Sara a day today Lisa-Jo… how I do love this community so.

    I too saw heaven reaching down… God Himself… to stretch His arms as far as they would go… I have to believe that all of Heaven is so excited to wrap Gitz up in their arms and celebrate with her a life incredibly well lived.

    My heart aches… but my spirit rejoices… love her so.

  12. 13

    What a beautiful tribute to your friend, Lisa-Jo. I didn’t know Sara and just read through some of her blogs this morning. What an amazing spirit! I’m praying for God’s comfort and peace for her now and for all her family and friends. Thank you for sharing Sara’s story.

  13. 14

    So beautiful… I always wait to read your actual 5 minute writing until I’ve written mine. maybe I fear discouragement. I don’t know. And then I read yours and I always feel like I should have waited because your words simply inspire me so much…

  14. 15

    This is the first time I’ve bumped into the “5 minutes on Friday” – but what a great idea for a writing exercise, and how fun to be doing it with others. Amazing that one word can evoke so many different responses! Thanks for doing this.

  15. 16

    As a not-so-good blogger, I am always behind on things – and I just started reading about Sara today. I spent a good long time going back and reading her blog and just being touched. I can only imagine what it would be like for you, as a friend, to walk through this with her. Thank you for reminding us, with Sara as a guide, that joy can persevere through all things.

  16. 17

    Your words are absolutely breath-taking and I have been and continue to pray for Sara.

  17. 18

    Oh, Lisa Jo! I don’t know how it happened but I didn’t know of Sara. In fact, I just discovered her blog yesterday after reading a tweet about her. After clicking around and reading her posts, about her life, her friends, etc. and then seeing the outpouring of love for her (that pic of you guys w/the computer on the beach!!) has stuck with me all day today.

    I’m setting up for my son’s birthday party and the 2 extremes of life (birthdays and dying) are just getting to me. I’m joining you in loving and praying for Sara. Thank you for continuing to love and share and breathe life and joy into every situation!

    Love you!

  18. 19

    Interesting… Two days ago I had no idea who Sara was… But now I know three bloggers (who I’m not sure know each other) who know her and have pointed me to her blog. Small world, I guess.

    And great 5-minute post, Lisa-Jo.

  19. 20

    I have tried and tried to get a “linky” but I am not tech savy. Maybe one day.

    agreeing with all the other comments. This blogsphere that brought us all together. It gives me such strength. Days when I feel that I need encouragement I come and read your words, Ann’s words, Holly’s words, Sara’s words…. etc etc. Social media is such a blessing to me….

    Much love,

  20. 21

    I’ve been thinking a lot about joy yesterday and today – — because of Sara.

  21. 22

    Your words are too beautiful for five minutes! I’m so glad you all Skyped Sara into your retreat. What a gift that must have been to all concerned. She is one of my heroes, even though I only know her through her blog and praying for her. Thank you for sharing such a moving tribute.

  22. 23

    Dear Lisa Jo… your friend is beautiful and her life has been a testament to Jesus.. yes we know where she is going and I pray that she will have peace in her heart. I also pray for all of you her friends and her family that God will give you the strength to bear the parting. In my humble opinion this is a beautiful way to die.. to know and be prepared to enter the loving arms of the Saviour.. it is truly a gift, so many die suddenly, unprepared and without the knowledge of God.

    God bless you and Sara and all of your families and friends! My friends and I are praying.

  23. 24


    Thank you so much for beautifully expressing just how much heaven will rejoice when Sara arrives. You have helped me to hear the echoes of that resounding joy. Thank you for helping me to choose joy even in the midst of the tears. Not all tears are an evil.

  24. 25

    I feel like crying happy tears. That was such a beautiful thing you guys did for her and this post as well. I’m going to read her post now.


  1. […] more essays about joy, visit The Gypsy Mama. For more posts about Sara, visit The Mom […]

  2. […] I’m taking five minutes to join up with others in Lisa-Jo’s community to write about joy. This week’s prompt is a tribute to Sara, and her commitment to choose joy […]

  3. […] with Gypsy Mama’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt: Joy Eco World Content From Across The Internet. Featured on EcoPressed Government Report Blames […]

  4. […] some time to look at some of the other articles over at Gypsy Mama…and comment.  Comments are very encouraging to blog writers.  They help us know what you […]

  5. Choose Joy! says:

    […] I am linking up with Lisa Jo for the Five Minute Friday.  This is where I get to write freely, without any concern for perfection.  No editing, just […]

  6. […] well, this was bound to happen (and i’m so glad it did) – that i would have pulled this one-word out on monday and it would be the same word gypsymama used on friday. […]

  7. […] a habit of not writing, and it snowballed.  But today, people from all over the globe are writing five-minute Friday posts in honor of Sara Frankl, and I saw no greater way to start writing here again than […]

  8. […] Gypsy Mama is doing her weekly Five Minute Friday blog round-up, and I thought this might be a good way to jump-start my writing again. The idea is […]

  9. […] and somehow allowed the joy of Jesus to shine through at the very same time. So, for today’s Five Minute Friday, we take a look […]

  10. […] on over to The Gypsy Mama today and read more about Sara and this week’s writing prompt of joy.  And, bring your […]

  11. […] am humbled by the prompt today, given by Lisa-Jo, at The Gypsy Mama. I love how Sara inspired it. “Choose Joy” she claimed as the truth for her life. I […]

  12. […] The Gypsy Mama’s writing prompt for today’s Five Minute Friday is Joy. Five minutes, no editing. Here goes. […]

  13. […] Another Five Minute Friday.  I encourage you to read the prompt this week over at The Gypsy Mama and to join with her and so many others who are praying for Sara, “Gitzen Girl.” […]

  14. […] tried to do the 5 Minute Friday prompt for Gypsy Mama today. But after writing for 15 minutes and still not making any sense, I […]

  15. […] It’s Five Minute Friday at The Gypsy Mama!  We write for five minutes without tweaking, editing, correcting, or generally […]

  16. […] There is only one full joy that you can rest assure will not fade.  Full joy! His name is Jesus.  This is a guarantee. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. if you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just ask have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.  John 15:9-11 How comforting to be a child of the Most High.  He chose me to be His servant. This is full JOY. Peek into the hearts of others as they define JOY here. […]

  17. […] warm and friendly sweet chocolate welcome to readers coming over from The Gyspy Mama for Five Minute Friday. I usually participate in the Friday funfest, but knew I would be headed out […]

  18. […] soon and continues to spill joy as she makes her final journey. “This week,” writes Lisa Jo, “is for Sara – taking the prompt from her life’s commitment – to choose joy, no matter […]

  19. […] a little late on this Five-Minute Friday, but I couldn’t miss the topic that’s a tribute to Sara Frankl, the girl who designed the Five-Minute Friday button for…, the girl who’s choosing joy in the midst of hospice and her journey’s end.  Praying for you […]

  20. […] me today for 5 Minute Friday with The Gypsy Mama where we write for five minutes on a given topic. No editing. No criticism. No worry. Today’s […]

Hide me
Free eBook for Blog Subscribers!
Just enter your email & you'll receive a welcome email with a link to download the eBook. Easy Peasy!
Show me