02 Sep 2011

Five Minute Friday: Rest

We write for five minutes flat on Fridays.

We write bold and beautiful and free. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just write or not.

Except, today I needed more than five minutes. I’ve been quiet here lately. But today I found some words.

Won’t you share yours too?

    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:


{Here’s my more than five minutes post today}

Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.

My husband sent me flowers yesterday. He said there were 200. I can see them from where I’m sitting between the kids’ new blocks, the orange trash truck Micah got last Christmas and the pink stroller that’s also joined us in the living room.

When I look up I see the flowers.

They’re on the kitchen table – beautiful – surrounded by our everyday, after-breakfast- mess.

And perhaps our mess isn’t quite that. Perhaps, like the flowers, it’s simply a testament to the people who live and love here. I’m quick to judge it. I’m quick to be frustrated by it. I’m quick to huff and puff and blow this family down with my frustration that the house is always seeping chaos from the seams.

Those flowers are quiet in their beauty.

I am usually loud.

The green bumbo seat is on the table next to them; so are the giraffe and zebra mugs the boys love to drink tea out of. The sliding door’s ajar and I can hear crickets humming in the grass. This is where we live.

This is not where we clean.

This is not where we wash and sort and put away.

This is not where we vacuum.

This is where we live.

Kindergarten is coming and my work is unfolding big beautiful new count-downy-things.  Pete has a semester worth of new students in his hands and Micah is working hard at taming the lion that prowls his heart.

Zoe might sit up by herself one of these days.

We are living into each new stage. And sometimes that requires extra dirty clothes or dishes or block towers that can’t be cleaned up.  They bloom ordinary and beautiful all around us and today I am pausing to notice. To savor. To remember this time of life that was so full we tripped over it.

To rest.

I have friends who’ve written rest into my mind this week. Emily has a book about letting go of all our try hard ways. It’s like a great big gulp of fresh air. Holley reminds me who I am in God’s heart – the only place that matters anyway. Angie knows how many things we women fear. She helps us find rest from all our hand wringing. And Ann, she understands those days when we feel like we can’t even get out of bed the lists are so daunting.

I pick their words like so many fresh stems. I add the ones God has given me.

I wrap them around with a ribbon and hold them out to you. Right there, between the teetering lego towers and the to-do list; between the rush hour traffic and the deadlines; between the school runs and the soccer practice.

Can we find the time to rest? Not once we’ve accomplished all our cleaning and to-dos. But right there in the very middle of the mess.

And perhaps we will find more beauty there than we expected.


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  1. 1

    oh, i can blow my family down in my frustration, too. i do need to see–and create–those moments of rest in the midst of the craziness of living. to wait for perfect is to miss it all.

    (that’s a good man you’ve got, gifting flowers to brighten up a day:)

  2. 2

    What a beautiful post. I love your gift of writing and expressing what so many of us feel but can’t pen the way you can.

    Bless you and your beautiful family!

  3. 3

    Great perspective on rest. It’s so true, we need to rest in the midst of the mess.
    Just FYI…the linky tool would not let me link this morning. Will try to get mine to post whenever it works again! Have a great weekend.

  4. 4

    I enjoyed your post. I often feel the same kind frustrations when I look at the work to be done around my home. I appreciate your fresh perspective on this.


  5. 5

    Wow, I had a very very similar experience this week, minus the flowers, and it too drove me to write a blog post about letting go of perfect. And I also appreciated Ann’s timely post that very day.
    Must be something in the mama-land water this week! ;-)

  6. 6

    Umm…I wrote my post before reading yours, but looks like we have the same reading list. ;)

  7. 7

    Wow. This is precisely what I am struggling with. Finding the time (and place) to rest before and in the midst of the mess and to-do lists!

    I don’t know if I can, but today I am going to try somehow.

    Thank you for your words. They gave me an inspiration to write – and be real – and really write! :)

  8. 8

    Every word reflected life in complete opposites but so wonderfully woven together. The flowers symbolic of the Love intertwined within the mess. So beautful, I hope you read it often as a reminder that life is indeed messy and wonderful at the same time. If we open our eyes to see.

  9. 9

    Wow! What a lovely post. I can so relate. I always try and enjoy the moment we are in, because they are so fleeting… Beautiful….just beautiful….

  10. 10

    Enjoy the mess now ladies. The time will come when your house will stay clean, the laundry will all get done, there’ll be no toys scattered everywhere and nothing but peace and quiet. And you’ll wish with all your heart that these days of chaos you’re experiencing were back. Because your house will be empty and your kids will be gone and busy with their own chaos and you’ll be lonesome and wish you had all of it back. But if you’re blessed, one day there’ll be grandkids coming to your house and bringing their toys and drawings to show Nana and Papa and leave your house in a chaos and you’ll cry and rejoice that there is life in your home once again!

    From a blessed wife of 50 years and a grandmother to six wonderful kids and great-grandmother to two! Praise the Lord!

    • 11

      Amen to the mess. Had it too. Now only have it when hubby is renovating or we are painting or the grandkids visit. Hail to the mess – it shows joys, inspirations, and love.

  11. 12

    I cried….thank you for capturing EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED TO HEAR today….This is the place we LIVE…thank you for these words.

  12. 13

    Love this post! I was to make a picture or plack and put on it “This is where we live!” I so relate to getting frustrated by the mess we all make and I need to to remember this home is our classroom, our place to play, the place we prepare to go out in the world and imperfections are revealed and worked out or not but we love. All of it can get messy and if I am so concerned with making it looked all perfect and stress to get it “perfect” I mess with the beauty of what is going on. Thank you for reminding me that “this is where we live”. My HOME doesn’t look so bad after all!

  13. 14

    Rest — I haven’t gotten to that place of being able to rest in the chaos, but God is teaching me and I will get there, someday.

  14. 15

    I needed this today. I talked about surrender in my post today. Never really thought about finding rest among the mess of life. You’ve given me much to ponder today!

  15. 16

    REST- “right there in the very middle of the mess.”

    That could sum up my entire existence. Though I wasn’t the child who couldn’t wait to be a mom, I am amazed at how beautifully God has molded me into who I now am, still learning this lesson of family.

    Oh I knew I’d be a mom someday but I had places to see, things to do. But oh how much better God’s plan is than the ME I tried to be.

  16. 17

    lisa jo,
    i see we chose the same verse today:) the minute i heard the prompt word, i knew it would be that verse:) that has been a life changing verse for me since i was in my 40’s for some of the reasons mentioned in the blog.

    when i saw the photo i used, i was delighted. so often, it feels that way! carrying a very heavy load up a mountain! (photo taken in nepal.)

    enjoyed your take b/c i remember the feeling that way when i was in your season. since we don’t live near our grandchildren, i miss the noise and fun of it all:) when they visit, it is so wild and crazy, i just stand there and watch them scurry about. so alive and full of life:) rarely something i enjoyed when they were my children.

    last w/e, we said good-bye (for 3 yrs.) to our daughter, son-in-law and adorable nearly 2 yr. old grandson (the youngest of our 6 grands…all of whom are extremely adorable and cute of course:) they will be in kiev, ukraine where our daughter served for 6 yrs. b/f she and our son-in-law met. (he went there on a mission trip. it was her job to organize the teams, make all the arrangements, etc. the rest is history.) they didn’t anticipate returning, but it worked out:)

    better stop rambling. have enjoyed the 5 minute fridays a lot! has helped speed up my writing on the regular blog days. i find the prompts have me writing about things i normally write about but often from a different perspective. i look forward to meeting you at relevant…at least i hope you’ll be there. m

    • 18
      thegypsymama says:

      Kyiv, Ukraine? Really? Wow – that’s where we lived for just over two years. The best of wishes to them there!

  17. 19


    I recently read somewhere on the Internet about how this person viewed being in the boat with Jesus out in the storm when He laid there asleep. To her, she wanted to lie down in the boat with Him. When I read that, I saw in my mind’s eye the image of rest. If I were in that boat with Jesus, I have learned enough in my married life to respect Him enough not to wake Him up. But my natural response would then be to sit there….pace there…..fretting anxiously about what was going on and getting more and more impatient that He wasn’t waking up to fix it.

    True rest doesn’t have anything to do with the storms subsiding or life working out like we hoped. True rest is being able to lie down with Jesus in that boat, not anxious, not impatient for Him to wake up and fix it, but just to trust Him enough that if He can rest, so can I.

    • 20
      thegypsymama says:

      Yes, that image is powerful, isn’t it? My friend Christie shared something very similar last week over here on my blog.

    • 21

      Thank you for sharing such an incredible perspective, Trish! I might have to print your comment and hang it on my bathroom mirror! ;)

      • 22

        Lisa-Jo, thank you for letting me know where that image came from. I’ll have to look up that post where Christie shared again. Thanks!

  18. 23

    Love this. Thanks for hosting this each Friday, what a nice time of sharing and meeting new people.

    Finding rest is often a struggle, but one that I am ready to throw in the towel just yet. And I find that there are seasons of rest, times when rest is not quite so elusive…and for these I am thankful.

  19. 24

    What a sweet husband for sending you flowers! I think it is great how you were able to find rest and perspective in the middle of a busy season of life. Thanks for giving us a bit of “rest” by sharing your encouraging thoughts!

    I wonder if God knows we all need rest as it seems to be a common theme that He is laying on His daughters’ hearts to write about this past week.

  20. 25

    I sit amid pain and laundry piles because my laundry machines are down stairs and I have a dislocated knee cap. I rest because I have to, but if I were not forced (by injury) to rest I may not do so. So maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Maybe I will learn a lesson in living just as you suggest- by resting.

    Great post!


  21. 26

    So excited to join you on this. Thanks so much for the inspiration!!! Blessings dear sister.

  22. 27

    Oh yes! Rest right in the middle of it all! Otherwise, rest will ever be found. Wonderful!

  23. 28

    I’m new to your site… I’ve been trying to read a lot of *new to me* blogs to overcome my writer’s block. I love that you do this every Friday. I will definitely give it a try next week. Thank you for doing this!

  24. 29

    thanks lisa-jo. your words are true and timely for many situations. such a cool ‘live in the moment’ thought that rest is found ‘in’ the busyness (business) of each day. and perhaps, if its not found there, its truly not found.

  25. 30

    thank you for reminding me to look…and see that this mess is because we are ALIVE!

  26. 31

    this was simply wonderful. your perspective is inspiring.


  1. […] with the Five Minute Friday community at The Gypsy Mama, with the writing prompt […]

  2. […] Five-minute Friday.  Free-writing, no self-editing or waiting to find just the right word, just – writing.  If you’re interested, check out the link:  http://thegypsymama.com/2011/09/five-minute-friday-rest/ […]

  3. […] After a long and crazy week, it’s Friday at last. It’s time to lay down the words and just let them be. It’s time for Five Minute Friday.  […]

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