06 Jul 2012

Five Minute Friday: Story

On Fridays a group of folk meet here for a free writing exercise.

Just 5 minutes. On the prompt that’s posted here just after midnight early Friday morning. Want to know more – check out the Five Minute Friday back story over here.

And every week I feature a favorite Five Minute Friday post by one of you over there in my side bar. It never ceases to amaze me the creative collaboration that can come from all of us writing on just one word.

Want to join our favorite free writing exercise of the week? It’s easy peasy:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt: “Dance” with no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

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




I got a beautiful, leather bound journal as a gift from one of my brothers in 1999.

More than a decade later this is what was inside it: Nothing. No art, no dreams, no hopes, no love or lists or dates to remember.

I have been intimidated by this journal for the last decade. This beautiful journal and it’s blank pages have traveled with me to:

South Bend, Indiana.

Chicago, Illinois

Kyiv, Ukraine.

Pretoria, South Africa.

Owosso, Michigan.

Washington, D.C.

But you would never know that to look at it’s pages. They are beautiful but completely blank.

Devoid of any blemish. Devoid of life.

My brother wrote in the front of the journal, because he knows me well –

“May words you write here be inspired and reckless.”

– and I never felt that anything I had to say was worth it.

But Ann inspired me to see how grocery lists and kid’s wish lists and chore lists are sacred. They are the essence of motherhood. They are what you would see when you dissect the heart of motherhood.

They are the blood and life spring of what it means to maintain a home. And I am going to write them down in this journal.

Because becoming a mother was the most wild, brave and reckless thing I have done so far. It required a wild trust and a brave faith. And so I write it down. Daily. Here on a white page online and the lists that go with it in a blank journal I’m learning not to be scared of anymore.

My so much more than ordinary story.



{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    I love that Lisa-Jo. I to have empty journals….being plural. I’ve started so many and forgotten to finish them. Or empty ones that need to be filled with my thoughts, my prayers, my story. I hope you’ll have success at creating your story in your notebook. Sounds like you’ve gotten a great idea for it :)
    xo Leigh

  2. 2

    I am very familiar with the beautiful empty journal problem. . . And yes, I love how you remind us we must just grab those pens and know that each act of love is beautiful, messy lists and all.

  3. 3

    I have been afraid to ruin my fancy journals with meaningless words, worried that I would waste the precious looking pages with something insignificant. Waiting until I had something important, truly to say. This reminds me that each day brings significance, each moment is meant to be captured and written down. My life is a story, it’s His story.

    Beautiful. Thank you.

  4. 4

    I have at least 3 blank journals in my drawer. I have never been good at writing journals and even now, one of my journals has not been written in, in at least a month or two. I don’t have shopping lists or motherhood stories to write; so I guess I need to start thinking of other ways to fill them. :) Loving your posts as always. <3

  5. 5

    “May words you write here be inspired and reckless.”

    I think I like that brother of yours :).

    (Wahooo!! I actually wrote for 5 minutes today; a little longer to add pics, but they were kinda necessary. Yaaaeeee :)!)


  6. 6

    I just bought a new journal and colorful pens and have been doodling and journaling for a few days now. It hasn’t been perfect. I’ve misspelled words and such, but it’s freeing my heart to hear Him more. Praying for your inspired and reckless words to grace that journal very soon!

  7. 7

    Oh, this was so beautiful. I too have empty journals. I used to keep them so diligently, but then I had children, and life got too full, and blogging took it’s place. I need to pick it up again…so those who are most important to me will have it someday…a real book. :) Thanks so much for this reminder! :)

  8. 8

    Yes, your purposeful and incredibly not ordinary story!

    (why do I save pretty journals for perfect words instead of plain truth?)

  9. 9

    Those words your brother wrote are beautiful! He’s a keeper!

  10. 10

    Oh, yes — so much “wild trust and brave faith” has been required, lengths and lengths more than I ever anticipated… but I love what it’s shaped me into. Here’s to chronicling the journey, Lisa Jo :)

  11. 11

    hi friend… love Ann’s advice… and it has been far too long since I’ve participated in 5 minute friday… so good to be back :)

  12. 12

    Oh my stars — totally relating! I had so many beautiful colorful journals untouched that I took them to camp this year and gave them away to my cabin of teenage girls and told them to fill them up with God-stories. They were so excited. I need to be as passionate about filling them as I am in getting them! Thanks for this beautiful word.

  13. 13

    I really like this one! How many journals have I bought and held onto waiting to have something worthwhile to put in them? Waiting for my handwriting to improve, or my hands to quit shaking so it will “look right”. Thank you for reminding me of the beauty of chore lists and grocery lists and wish lists. They really do tell a story!

  14. 14

    I’ve always kept my lists in a plain college-ruled notebook while pretty journals sat tucked away. What a revelation this post is for me! Perhaps keeping “ordinary” things in it will indeed remind me that life isn’t so ordinary after all.

    I was also surprised to see your travel list…I’ve also lived in the DC area and Northern Indiana and I have friends in Owosso! What a small world!

  15. 15

    I too have known this…but now…I can’t help myself…pour my heart and love onto the pages of my journal…some pour out all here…I first have to do in in the quite of my special place…pen and paper…He interprets my heart and thoughts as the words pour forth…just like here…straight from the heart…unedited…thanks for this space…this sweet community. have a blessed weekend~

  16. 16
    sunshine says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I have my entry on Story but cannot link up…Linky tools says to contact blog owner since my website is already saved. IDK…help…
    Five Charming Minutes on Greeting Cards… http://wp.me/p1RzUf-1do

  17. 17

    Oh I loved this great post. And thanks for the linky. I am only back after a loooooong break.
    I am posting and visiting again! I enjoy visiting you. Your blog is very fun and very sweet.
    Have a Blessed Weekend.

  18. 18
    sunshine says:

    Hi Lisa,
    just me again…this is what I get when I try to link my post:
    “This link already exists for this Thumbnail Linky Lists. Duplicate entries for the same list are not allowed. If your link is not showing, this might be a moderated list and the link has not been approved yet. If you have further questions, contact the blog owner.”
    What do I need to do?

  19. 20

    So…this was super, as always! I too save the list because I want to be able to look back on these days… when my nest feels empty and remember how we lived back when they were small and I was running around like a mother gone crazy…and though sometimes these days seem long, I know my heart will ache for them when they are over.. Have a wonderful weekend!! Erica

  20. 21

    You are writing a beautiful story sweet girl, and in the process encouraging others to do the same. Thank you for you dear, encouraging, selfless heart.

  21. 22

    I have a similar story :) Maybe there was something about the format that kept me from writing in the given diaries. Or maybe that it was given with expectation whereas my blog was chosen with no expectation. Either way its great to find our voices!

  22. 23

    I’m telling the truth in my story of my dance. LOL. I am glad to be here for the first time. I hope to make new friendships with awesome writers here. Thank you for hosting!

  23. 24

    I have a grandmother’s journal that I gave my mother-in-law to write her story for my children. It was in a basket next to her chair–empty–when she died. I’m grateful for notes found tucked in old cookbooks (like menus and set-up diagrams for huge dinners (like the Kaiser Farm Face Lift Lunch planned to serve 1000 people in 1949) that give a flavor of her life.

    Your lists will one day be treasures.

  24. 25

    This is my first link up and I’m so excited! It is so against my nature for me not to edit and change and rework. Although I have to admit I did correct spelling and grammar. I’m a homeschool mom. We’re OCD like that. This was so much fun and I hope to hang with you again next week!

  25. 26

    Why do we fear expectations? Why do we think our own story inadequate? It’s worth the paper, worth the ink, worth the time, if we were brave enough to record it. Thank you for sharing!


  26. 27

    That journal is beautiful…It makes me want one and then I remember that I have two…empty ones. I need to go be reckless ;)

  27. 28

    “be inspired and reckless.” is really appropriate for private journals :) It would be a little difficult (for me) to be reckless online ;)

    Thank you for the opportunity to share our writing here :)

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