17 Aug 2012

Five Minute Friday: Stretch

It’s #FiveMinuteFriday!

Where a beautiful crowd spends five minutes all writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here.

Want to know how Five Minute Friday got started and how to participate? All the details are here.

And every week I’ll pick a post that caught my eye and share it down there in my side bar – see where it says “Featured Five Minute Friday”? Yea -that could be you!

I also have some Five Minute Friday stories from readers I’m going to start sharing with you each week – they’ve meant so much to me and really, they’re because of you. So thank you – for loving on each other so well.

This one’s from Sheila:

I am new to FMF. In fact, today will be my third time to participate. Last week’s word was “beyond.” I had JUST found out that my uncle passed away and I wrote about that. On Wednesday I sat in his beautiful service to celebrate his life and the preacher read my blog. I was so touched and honored. Several people came up to tell me how much my words had meant. I have to say that it was weird hearing what I wrote read in public but it also brought closure for me. It was a way to say “goodbye” to an uncle that not only loved his community, his country, and his God, but loved his family as well.

The testimonies around a five minute writing exercise continue to blow me away.

Got a FMF story you want to share? Just shoot me an email thegypsymama1(at)gmail(dot)com.

Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – 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:::

Stretch…

:

GO

Every evening this week I’ve walked into a place that pulls my comfort zones in new and uncomfortable ways. It turns out that one can love one’s own children deeply, passionately and still struggle in 100 new ways to understand and cherish the ways of other people’s kids. So I serve and I bend and I feel all stretched out and squidgy around the edges juggling games and memory verses and what feels like a thousand small girls who want to sit on my lap and pet my hair.

I am surprised at my own surprise at how hard it is.

How you can feel tired in places you didn’t visit often and like so much taffy that’s been pulled in so many directions all you want is a nap right there between the kids singing and the kids playing tag.

But then a moment will whisper into the whirlygig and you remember why you’re here. You remember the invitation to the little children to “come,” to always come. And it’s not a grand moment. It’s more of a sigh as they slow down for enough time to listen to the story of what brave can look like. And how love always shows up.

So you clutch the clip board on your lap a little looser and wrap an arm around the little girl with the side pony tail sitting next to you on the steps. You remember that sacrifices are designed to burn away the bits of us that are no good and you wink at the boy who’s related to you and delighted to be calling the teacher, “mom.”

STOP

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Comments

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  1. 1

    I too have been surprised by how hard it can be to love other people’s kids. Sometimes I wonder if other people find my kids as annoying as I find there. I know that sounds terrible. Thank you for this weekly exercise. I love it.

  2. 3

    It sounds like you did a week of Vacation Bible School? Isn’t just both amazingly hard and awesome?! I am always struck by how completely exhausted I felt, in every possible way, afterwards, even though it was only for three hours each time. Beautiful story of being stretched. Love this prompt, as always.

    • 4

      Yes and never again. Well, maybe. But let’s just say it’s a good thing there are entire years in between :)

  3. 5

    Ahh yes, how the sacrifices burn away the bits that need refining…. excellent word, Lisa-Jo.

  4. 6

    Yes…so true:”You remember that sacrifices are designed to burn away the bits of us that are no good and you wink at the boy who’s related to you and delighted to be calling the teacher, “mom.”” Blessings to you, Lisa-Jo :)

  5. 7

    “You remember that sacrifices are designed to burn away the bits of us that are no good and you wink at the boy who’s related to you and delighted to be calling the teacher, “mom.” ” I love the way you said that and what it stirred in my heart. This is what I needed to read today, at this moment, before the noise barges in and rubs up against my serenity.
    Thank you friend.

  6. 8

    “sacrifices are designed to burn away the bits of us that are no good” That’s beautiful. It’s definitely the trips out of our comfort zone that grow us and stretch us.

  7. 9

    Loved this prompt. It has been a week of stretching for me for sure.

  8. 10

    I did vacation bible school once. Enough said.

  9. 12

    First last night and then again this morning. Girl, your write just gets better and better. . . I’m going to try to remember it while teaching the 4-5 year old Sunday School Class and leading the cherub choir and Wednesday night programs….and yes. VBS. Hugs to you!

  10. 14

    Oh, I totally understand. I love my children, and I even thought that I loved children in general, but groups of little children exhaust me! I realize now that God has just gifted everyone differently, and those who can sit on the floor with a group of little kids week after week truly have a calling. But like you, I find purpose in volunteering, if not for them, for me. I hear Scripture in a new way when I teach it to kids, and I truly understand ‘faith like a child’ when I witness how they love and trust Christ.

  11. 16

    How ironic…I read your post after I wrote mine. I wrote about children leaving. Lisa, you wrote about children, cleaving. LOL! BOTH seem to stretch us. Isn’t God awesome that way? My post is found here: http://blog.heidibylsma.com/2012/08/stretch.html I don’t seem to be able to get much out on this topic in 5 minutes. Maybe it is that “tear” part. :-/

    • 17

      It’s like there’s an infinite number of ways motherhood stretches us, isn’t there?

  12. 18

    Oh how I can relate to you this morning or is it still morning? My days run away without me I fear. Blessings to you!

  13. 19

    I totally associate with the tiredness and dare I say patience at times required when dealing with a few or more than a few children and also in my experience young people. Yet a seed sown during these times in what may seem a disinterested even dare I say a badly behaved child/young person can come into fruition in later life. You may never in fact most often we will never see that seed flourish into a flower of faith but it does happen. Makes any Holiday clubs, Sunday school etc and our involvement worth the while. I have come by for the first time to try out your 5 min Friday which I came across in a blog I was reading.

  14. 21

    VBS? Oh my. I find this, too. The exhaustion in the many wees. It’s definitely not my comfort zone. And to think I’m heading to minister in a Haitian orphanage in December. ;)

  15. 23

    Thank you so much for this idea. I love it. I am so excited for fridays now! Can’t wait until next week :)

  16. 25

    Oh my. I’m starting to teach Kindergarten this week in a foreign country to ESL students (what?!?!?), so I needed to read this. Thanks.

    No new “Featured Five Minute Friday” post on “Connect”? I love reading those!

  17. 28

    Beautifully written Lisa-Jo…and so thoroughly honest.

    Were you volunteering at a Vacation Bible School or Kids Camp this past week?

    • 29

      VBS and whew, it was the biggest stretch out of my comfort zone in a long time. Give me their mamas to encourage and I’m good to go. But give me the kids, and I’m stretcccheeddd! :)

  18. 30

    I used to love working with people’s kids. Loved everything about being surrounded by little children and loving on them. Now that I have my own that I spend 24/7 with I have NO desire to be with anyone else’s unless they are related to me. I suppose it doesn’t help that I see so many children who are not being disciplined for one parenting reason or another, and then I have to step in to do it, and it makes me frustrated. Anyway, well put. I need to keep in mind that it isn’t about me but about God and loving the little children.

    PS. Once again, the person behind me has not left a comment. I love it when people come and visit my blog but it is so frustrating when people participate but don’t participate fully! I know its not your fault, just sharing my frustration since the community aspect of five minute friday’s is one of my favorite parts.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Where a beautiful crowd spends five minutes all writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here.  […]

  2. […] show us what you got! {Subscribers, you can just click here to come over and play […]

  3. […] Me Lord! Today I am joining Lisa-Jo and others for the 5 Minute Friday where we are given a word prompt and write for just 5 minutes simply for the joy of writing. No […]

  4. […] Me? Today I am joining Lisa-Jo and others for the 5 Minute Friday where we are given a word prompt and write for just 5 minutes simply for the joy of writing. No […]

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