11 May 2012

Five Minute Friday: Identity

On Fridays over here a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write gather to share what five minutes buys them. Just five minutes. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Your words. This shared feast.

If you have five minutes, we have a writing challenge <—click to tweet this!

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.

OK, are you ready? Facebook chimed in last night and overwhelmingly voted for a prompt either about mothers or Mother’s Day. This was one of the suggestions and I love that it can apply to any and all, mother or not. So please give me your best five minutes on:





I didn’t plan to be a mother.

I didn’t want to be a mother.

For a long time I was the child that I bore deep inside. Selfish, whiney, scared of anything that wasn’t all about me.

You three? You have grown me up into a mother. Slowly most days. Fast most years. I have growing pains and stretch marks to prove it. I ache from being your mom. There’s the exhausted, feel-like-I-haven’t-slept-in-six years ache. And there’s the I-don’t-think-I-can-stand-to-clean-up-any-more-messes ache. And then there’s the I-love-you-so-much-it’s-like-someone-gut-punched-me ache.

Yea, that last one comes out of nowhere. You’re standing up in the bath with those four teeth and smudges of pizza sauce still sticking to your cheeks. Or you’re twirling around the room with your new puppy singing off key “I love you, I love you, I looovvee you Wolfie.” Or you’re so lost in your own imagination and the right hand corner of the back yard right there next to Eric’s house that you don’t hear me even the fifth time I call you in for dinner.

I love you right down to my guts.

These guts that swore they’d never end up barefoot and pregnant in some man’s kitchen.

Our amazing babysitter washed the kitchen floor today. I haven’t worn shoes in there in years. And I ran the pregnancy marathon three times. I was so wrong and so right at the same time.

Turns out there’s nothing cliche about a cliche. Unless it’s the people who use them to make other people feel small.

I have grown into this word – mother – and it fits. My favorite Budapest jeans might not any more, but the name mother? Yea, it’s all worn in just right.


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  1. 1

    ~smile~ It’s in the becoming. I never thought I’d find myself loving the fit of these mother of four clothes…but it’s amazing isn’t it?

  2. 2

    I know this so well, the “scared of anything that wasn’t all about me”. And I didn’t even know it, though, until having kids. Thank you, as always, Lisa-Jo. Love your heart.

  3. 3

    Mother is a beautiful word filled with every emotion that spans the human psyche.
    Congratulations on reaching the joy of it all.

  4. 4

    This is beautiful, Lisa-Jo. Happy early Mothers’ Day!

  5. 5

    What a privilege to be called mothers. I am thankful to share this identity with you!

  6. 6

    I love how you’ve become someone you never saw yourself as, I love how God knows what’s best for us, and when we open ourselves up too His plans, he blows our minds with the goodness of it. You are the best Mommy to your brood. What grace it is to read your journey, to see your Mamma heart boldly bared on your sleeve- Love this, Lisa-Jo. You inspire and encourage me!

  7. 7

    I didn’t intend to be a mother either. I love your descriptions of the aches it brings. But ache isn’t quite adequate I think since the connotation of ache is unpleasant. And some of those aches, they are so welcome. Love this post. Happy Mother’s Day.

  8. 8

    Beautiful truth! By the way, thank you for the post “Why You Need to Keep on Writing, Especially When You Don’t Have Time”. It was just the encouragement I needed to take the plunge.

  9. 9

    Love this. Your words are beautiful–I can’t believe you wrote this piece in five minutes! Yet it makes perfect sense; when you feel and believe something as beautiful as the journey of motherhood, the words are you and just flow.

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  10. 10

    Yet another fab challenge! Loving the linked posts too!

  11. 11

    Linking in for the second time… love the focus of this meme! :) thanks!

  12. 12

    Great post and I so agree… Motherhood has worn well with me and what is so awesome is there are some many kinds of moms. I’ve been a “mom to two foreign exchange students”, to one gal I was a legal guardian-foster type mom, plus I had my four and now I’m a grandma or “grammie”. It is such a blessing, such a gift bestowed on us by God. Have a wonderful day!

  13. 13

    SO excited – I get to link up with you today! (Only, I linked from arestlessheart.com, not my main blog) Terrific prompt, Lady!

  14. 14
    Lisa Milman says:

    OK, here I go.
    The other day I drove straight from the airport to pick up my kids after school. I had been on a really important, though very brief business trip where “big” things were happening. As VP for blah, blah, blah I played an important role. Felt pretty good all went well, no hiccups and we achieved what we set out to do.
    So then I get to SACC and my kids come running in from the playground (I assume of course to see me!), and right past me and on to the “cupcake wars” they’re currently having. I must admit I would run past me for tasty cupcakes too.
    Anyways, when I got over to the table, a third grade boy says to me “Aren’t you Jack’s Mom? You were in my class once…” I say “Yes, yes I am.” He didn’t care that I’m the VP for blah, blah, blah and at that moment neither did I. I was Jack’s Mom. Jack made ME that 9 1/2 years ago. Since then I’ve also become “Morgan’s Mom”. I’ve always wanted to be a mom and am lucky enough to have been given two fabulously wonderful, goofy and adorable kids. Don’t get me wrong here though, there are definitely days when I’ve heard “Mom, Mom, MOMMY!” so many times I wish it wasn’t, but it IS, my IDENTITY>

  15. 15

    yes, kids do grow us on the outside and then continually on the inside when we embrace them and the process…love your words and your heart for your kids…Happy Mother’s Day, early, Lisa-Jo :)

  16. 16

    I did it. Thank you. That was so much fun and really liberating. You just gave me another reason to look forward to Fridays!

  17. 17

    Thank you, Lisa-Jo, for this! I’ve never done this before and it really stretched me (in a good way, and not a sore-from-lunges-and-squats-kind-of-way). Five minutes can really do alot, can’t it?

    I can’t wait to try this again next week!


  18. 18

    You wear it well Lisa-Jo. And you have made it so much easier for other Moms by sharing your heart in such an open, honest way.
    Happy Mother’s Day sweet girl!

  19. 19

    Being a mother really does change so much about our identity, doesn’t it? And yet beneath the different duties and joys, I know I am still me, perhaps matured by the dependence of so many other lives on mine, but still me. :) Happy Mother’s Day! I enjoyed this topic, too.

  20. 20

    Lisa-Jo, I enjoyed this blog post a lot! Thanks for sharing your heart, talent for writing, and encouragement with us! God bless! Amy @graceinthemoment.com. P.S. I enjoyed joining in with the 5-Minute Friday: “The Mommy Identity”.

  21. 21

    wow, my mind was somewhere totally different with the word identity… i didn’t read your post until i posted mine.

    let me just say, i love your post! i have been barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen 5 different stretches! i, too, wasn’t so sure about having kids, but i am soooo glad i did!

    my recent post: the number 1 distraction to knowing God

  22. 22

    this is such a great challenge. i would love to join in next week.

  23. 23

    [I do not have a blog–yet–and if I did I would not have the courage to post this. So I am posting it here, instead. I hope that’s okay. Because in this case–ironically–I choose to hide my identity.]


    How hilarious and scary and silly and serious a topic. Especially as most of the responses will probably be from mothers.

    I am not.

    My identity—for the longest time now—has simply been, “child of God.”

    I have a sister, I have parents and nieces…but I have no spouse, I have no children. My children, they died before they were born. My spouse, defected before the marriage ended.

    And so I live alone, with God.

    So my identity shifts and changes, comes and goes, but always rests on that simple foundation—child of God.

    Some days, that is enough. Most days. Some days—especially lately—it isn’t.

    I have found myself in a relationship, surprised, unanticipated, for the first time in a decade. And just as quickly and unexpectedly as it blew up, it blew over and I am alone again.

    With God.

    And even though He was enough through this entire past decade of my aloneness, suddenly, now, I am not so sure.

    Suddenly I long for arms around me that I can feel, conversation that can be heard by others in a restaurant, eyes staring into mine.

    And I wonder…what is God trying to tell me through this? Through this aloneness, through this curtain of grief?

    I cannot yet parse it.

    All I hear is His voice, and two words: “Trust Me.”

    Every morning when I cry uncontrollably: “Trust Me.”

    Through the days I find pointless: “Trust Me.”

    Perhaps that is the single great point to this storm in my life. That my identity, as a child of God, is simply found in trusting Him. And that is enough.

  24. 24

    As far back as I can remember, I actually always intended to be a mother~ as in, I will have children some day. But I could never have fathomed that I would be a mother~ as in, ” I-love-you-so-much-it’s-like-someone-gut-punched-me ache.” And it’s lovely to be so wrong and so right at the same time, isn’t it? Your beautiful words always bless me Lisa-Jo!

  25. 25

    I have been following 5 Minute Friday for a while and this was the first time I had the courage to try it (I am a very edit-loving writer). I used your one word as a fiction prompt, also :) So excited to join all of you!


  26. 26

    I love this picture of you and your kiddos.



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