01 Feb 2013

Five Minute Friday: Afraid

Friday, time to crack open the chocolate ice cream and unscripted version of beautiful you!

Got five minutes? Let’s write. Let’s finger paint with words –>{click to tweet}.

Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right or not. Here’s how to play along:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog footer}
3. Go leave some comment props for the five minute artist who linked up before you {and if you love us, consider turning off word verification for the day to make it easier for folks to say howdy}

It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes for the prompt:

Afraid

GO

I’m brave and not brave at the same time. I’m turned inside out and I can wear new clothes but my insides take much longer to update. I watch my girl sleep. I could build a shrine right there at the side of her crib where one of her dimpled feet hangs limp through the slats and just pray the same two prayers on repeat.

Dear Jesus, thank you for Zoe. Dear Jesus, please don’t let anything happen to Zoe.

If I reach over and butterfly kiss those cheeks she might shift and stir and open her heavy lids to look at me. I’m not sure she sees me though. But either way the words that come out of her mouth are the same, “Mama? Mama?” Always me always first and I can’t hold in all this love that is pounding through me.

I want to crush her. Instead I gently lift her soft body up and out and into my arms as I sink into the old rocker that’s spent countless nights like this. Just to hold her a little longer. Just to soothe myself in her smell, her soft wispy hair, her life that makes mine feel so much fuller. She is peace wrapped in skin and I can’t get enough of it. I know this stage will end. People tell me about daughters and the tug of war they can wage on their mother’s hearts. But this sacred stage, right now all is still peace and I take desperate gulps of it like a drowning woman.

When the laptop blinks at me with waiting emails, when the dishes pile up, when the playroom or the back yard morph into a graveyard where toys go to die, when I don’t think I can respond to one more request for attention from anyone, I back into a dark corner with Zoe and just remember to be.

We rock and I feel the carpet soft between my toes. The music is on the same Christian station we always listen to that simultaneously drives me mental with its wretched slave to repetition while also comforting some whiney part of me. She strokes my arm with the back of her hand. Always and even in her sleep, she caresses me and soothes us both.

Dear Jesus, thank you for Zoe.

Dear Jesus, please don’t let anything happen to her.

STOP


Comments

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  1. 1

    ok, leaking eyes here, beautiful lady. xxx

  2. 2

    I was just reading an old journal entry about my daughter and was caught off guard by how much changes in just a few years. All the beauty a life contains, and the power it has on us–this love that makes us so vulnerable and so awake, too. I am so thankful for your beautiful words–the images that draw me back to the rocking chair, the soft feet, and the moments when time seems to stand still.

    • 3

      “so vulnerable and so awake” what a perfect way to describe it. That helps me in the going through it. Thanks Jen!

  3. 4

    Oh, Lisa Jo, this is so beautiful. My eldest little girl is twenty-one. I still occasionally walk into each and all of their bedrooms while they sleep to check and see if they are still breathing. I thought I was alone in this. Your words bring me love, peace, joy and a feeling of sisterhood, bonded together by Christ and brought into profound love via Him and our babies, no matter how old they are….

  4. 5
    Nancy - your friend from Canada says:

    AFRAID

    I budget time and money, simultaneously. I’m exhausted. I can’t make sense of number anymore. I don’t know how to keep up with the dishes or the laundry or the more important things. Like spending time with her. I KNOW she is what matters most. I know I am what she needs – my playfulness, our simple moments that bring sheer joy. I feel like often I am racing, trying to get ahead, but never accomplishing it. All the while knowing that numbers can wait. but babies grow. My baby has grown to nine years – 10 anniversary that I found out she was growing inside of me come this February 14. And I know now more than ever that what she needs and what I really need, is to just stop. And be. With her. Because the number of hours and days move more quickly then I can keep up with.

  5. 6

    So beautiful.

  6. 7

    Poignant. Beautiful. Makes me pray, Dear Jesus, thank You for Camille (my daughter), my sons too, Jordyn, my granddaughter and Astrid, my granddaughter who is just three beautiful months old and a miracle gift … Lord, cover them, bless, protect and keep them … don’t let anything happen to them in Your strong Name, in Jesus Name, Amen. I pray you don’t mind my borrowing your prayer. God bless you and Zoe and your family and ministry.

  7. 8

    oh, my…such sweetness here…praying “Amen” to your prayers for Zoe.

  8. 9

    Oh wow, I know that kind of afraid. :) It’s a beautiful place to be.

  9. 10
    Tanya Marlow says:

    Tis may be my favourite post of yours ever. Such raw truth. Beautiful stuff.

  10. 11

    Is it because our girls are both Zoe that I’m sobbing right now? Or because we’re both praying the same prayers. Be safe, little ones. Be safe.

    love back to you from the other Zoe-mama

  11. 14

    Afraid
    I fear so many things – and at the same time work to make them nonentities. I work to make food happen on the table that is not just healthy and wholesome, but healing and whole. I work to make my butterflies go away when you bring back new language from a friend that is not kind and gentle, and help you transition back to being a loving brother for my baby. I work to find more information I can use in this war on unhealthy practices, and I work to curb my fear of that war! I work to keep myself healed and heal further and let the loud noisy family issues I grew up with not take over and be our lives for the rest of eternity. I work to show my baby gentle love instead of callous disregard for injury and how to be gentle through it all – and not to confuse joy and loudness for ungentleness and disregard.
    I’m afraid of the love I won’t get when I show you what is right and wrong, I fear the tears when you want something, but resolve also not to be arbitrary in my decisions and have good reasoning for denying you what everyone else calls ‘silly’. I fear tv and it’s ghastly lessons that come so quickly and leave innocense trampled in the dust. So we don’t watch at all, and you haven’t missed it, though you have pretended to pull up a piece of wall and watch it with your brother. It scares me that you can do that – but at the same time I have to remember: you’re still using your imagination to do it. And that squashes the fear right then and there.

    5 minutes!

  12. 15

    This completely took me off guard – I’m not sure I took another breath until I got to the end. From start to finish I pictured my daughters, ten and 14. We are in that tug-of-war season, that “I’m not sure if I like you” season and I needed this reminder of a time when I was everything to them. Thank you.

  13. 16

    Me, loving and loving and loving you keepin’ it real. So beautiful.

  14. 17

    Every momma thinks these thoughts. A beautiful testimony of your love.

  15. 18

    What a sweet post. It was so pure and reminded me so much of my daughter when she was a tiny one.

  16. 19

    Lisa Jo, Oh your words sing me a lullabye. How precious and tender. Such fragile love. So strong though too the bond between a momma and girl child. My youngest, my only girl after two boys like you is 17 and I am weeping on my insides as I read your words here. Oh it does travel by so quickly and yet I love all the days all the stages all the phases. Bless your words here. This sings so soft and strong.

  17. 20

    My first attempt at a Five Minute Friday. Just a newb. But, I enjoyed the prompt and will continue. I like the concept and the freedom to write whatever is in my head at the moment. Thanks, Lisa. Great post, loved your description.

  18. 21
    Mary Ann E says:

    Afraid

    What am I afraid of? Other people’s opinions, what might happen, death of my kids, doing something new, being me another person won’t accept. Afraid is living under a cloud or mist where I can’t see what’s real, clearly. Afraid is sitting on the couch instead of writing that letter and letting me be known. Afraid is constricting, a boot on my chest and tape on my mouth. Afraid can be no more. I must be me or afraid . Take up courage and stand tall and be what I was made for by a Loving Highest. Only I can express to the world and my family who I am and how I think in my unique style. If I don’t practice being me, I will be AFRAID.

  19. 22

    This broke me all over again.

    It is scary when we realize how much we can love…for there’s fear of it somehow going away.

    I’m with you, though. I’ll inhale it while I can.

  20. 23

    Oh mercy. This hurts and makes my heart soar at the same time. Thank you for this, Lisa-Jo.

  21. 24

    She is growing up so fast. And I love the way your heart beats fast for her. It’s nice to be part of this community today. It’s been a while.

  22. 25

    You put it so beautifully! I have 2 children – Rowan (boy) 4 1/2 & Ashlyn (girl) 18 months.
    I have always enjoyed countless snuggles with each of them. Snuggles they only have for ME, not Daddy or Grandparents… just ME! They are growing up SOOO fast & I cherish it when they want my snuggles. Ashlyn has a good number of months that she was not sleeping through the night. I never complained. I actually enjoyed seeing her in the middle of the night. It’s only been about 2 weeks that she’s getting in to a better sleep routine but I LOVE it in the morning when she starts yelling “Mommy”! <3 {I was recently upgraded in her vocab from Mom to Mommy.} As far as girls go – she is a firecracker my little one & I praise God for making her that way. Only He knows what lies ahead of her so I figure one day she will need that 'tude & it will come in handy! Blessings to you & your family!

  23. 26

    Before I became a momma, I was scared of silly things like spiders and grasshoppers.

    Now that I’m a momma I have only one true fear, that something could happen to my babies (who, if I’m honest, are not babies anymore).

    It’s so hard to let them grow up and experience all the wonderful things in this world when I want to put them in a bubble and keep them safe.

    Prayers for all the little ones…. and all the mommas too.

  24. 27

    Oh, this one was hard to breathe through. And what’s really hard is these feelings don’t go away. My daughter will turn 28 this month, and because I’ve had so many of “those” calls over the years, I almost always catch my breath when the phone brings. Dear Jesus, please don’t let anything happen. But if it does, give me strength. Love to you.

  25. 28

    My baby is almost 14 years old and I still love to watch him sleep. I cover him with prayers at night and in the morning before he gets on the school bus; throughout the day when he crosses my mind, I ask God to keep watch over him. My mom continues to pray for me and my brother and our families; she tells me that you never stop being a mom to your children and that even though I’m 51 years old, I’m still her baby girl.

  26. 29
    Barb Truman says:

    A sweetness so beautifully captured in words…thank you. I remember those moments and hold them close to my heart. My children are now 35, 28, 22, and almost 12 :)

  27. 30
    Cindie Thomas says:
  28. 31

    Ah yes!!! Loved this! Thanks for keeping it real… even though “Skinny Jeans” and “Dismemberment” are definitely downers too! LOL! How our Mama hearts can ache with fear… it is a greater risk than we can know, having our hearts walking around on the outside of us!

  29. 32

    Oh. What a beautiful post. Beautifully written.

    Love it! LOVE IT! My girl is 7… well past the age of picking up in the middle of the night, but I love to watch her sleep. {if only she would stay asleep when I watch her} But sleepy I love yous echo through the night, a subconscious affirmation that she’s still mine. :)

  30. 33

    That love you feel and share will not be broken. I feel such an attachment to my children. It never leaves. I did have to learn to give them to God though because I became controlling in my fear… and that robbed me of my joy. I received it back again when I realized that Jesus holds everything together.
    Enjoy each moment because God still cares for her too.
    Blessings,
    Janis

  31. 34

    Oh Man. Lisa-Jo. my heart sits in my throat right now, and words are difficult to manage…. you penned my own heart here, my own fears for my children…Lord don’t let anything happen to them…. Make us all strong in Jesus to endure the scratches and breaks inevitable in this world.

  32. 35

    Oh, Lisa-Jo! You voiced so close-to-exactly how my fears for myself so often turn toward fears for my sweet children. Thank you for an ending worthy of hope. And for consistently encouraging us mamas to just keep swimming. I get so much from the beautiful words written here each Friday. Stay strong in the Lord, Mama!

  33. 36

    Oh friend…simply beautiful. Thank you for sharing this sweet moment with your girl. I remember those moments of quiet cuddle time with each of my sons. Those moments of pure love. They look a little different now as they are older…a lean in, a hand held…each one precious. Blessings.

  34. 37

    I followed a link here and just wanted to say: this is thoroughly beautiful. Thank you for this gorgeous meditation, and for reminding me to cherish my time with my (three-year-old) son, who doesn’t want to cuddle in the rocker as much as he used to, but will still climb on top of me and make himself at home on the couch, which is a joy, always.

  35. 38

    Thank you for your sweet post. Oh, the memories is brought back. My only girl just turned 12! How did that happen????? She is surrounded by five wonderful, but loud and rambunctious brothers.
    I think I lost her in the shuffle during some of those baby brother years, but we are getting back on track now. We have done some crafts, watched a few girl movies: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Emma, while she was recovering from pneumonia earlier this month.
    Nothing like having one sick to make you thankful and appreciate them. She is truly a “girly-girl” and I am not–we share a closet and my side is green and brown and hers is pink and purple! I have learned to appreciate your girliness amidst all of the boyness in the house. Don’t know what I would do without her!
    I miss her chubby, ringlet days, with the thumb and favorite blankie, but am glad for the tall, sweet young lady that she is now.
    Thank you again!

  36. 39

    Oh, Lisa-Jo. I’m not much of a commenter, but this. This is my heart. There is just something indescribable about my feelings for my “baby” girl (3). She is my only girl after three boys and I, too, lost my mother to cancer before I had children. I can’t put it into words, but there is something about this relationship with my girl child that is so fulfilling and healing. You just get that. Thank you for putting into words what I cannot.

  37. 40

    I’m not brave and hoping to be brave. Relinquishing fear so that I can trust. Perfect timing for that prompt today, for as I looked at my third born yesterday, my girl who has always snuggled right into me and soothes, I trembled on the inside with fear. And I knew I had to write it out to wrestle it and then your prompt! Thank you Lisa-Jo!!

  38. 41

    i so understand. my 1st born stopped breathing when he was 4 hours old – in the middle of the second time i nursed him in the hospital. i will never ever forget the look of him completely blue… and will never stop thanking the Lord for giving him back to me. he will be 9 on the 12th. thank Lord for asher. Lord, please let asher stay here with me a lot lot longer. and all of my 5 boys.

  39. 42

    ‘She strokes my arm with the back of her hand. Always and even in her sleep, she caresses me and soothes us both.’
    Oh yes, you described this so well (the whole 5 minutes actually but this reminded me of how my daughter soothes me too – exactly the same way – her touch does have the power to soothe..)

  40. 43

    This completely sums up how I feel about my son. He is the light of my life. I didn’t realize you could spend so much time pouring yourself into someone. He’s 2.5 and I am pre-homeschooling. If he cries when I leave him at daycare, I cry all the way to work. I love having him around me as a mostly-stay-at-home mom. I never knew how much I could love a person and I, too, pray that the Lord will keep him and protect him. Fear creeps in often about these days and times that something will happen to him or someone will do something to him. It’s sad that we live in times like these. BUT I know who our God is and Beanster is committed into His loving and protective hands. Thank you for your encouragement. It’s nice to know I’m not the only mom who thinks these things!

  41. 44

    It’s been on my heart all week, so it took way more than five minutes, but I linked up anyway!! I’m so done with being afraid (or I wish I could be) :)

  42. 45

    I think every mom could write a post like this about their child.

  43. 46

    I was there with you in that room. A lovely tribute to your daughter. And yes, that is my fear too. http://bellesbazaar-heather.blogspot.com/2014/03/afraid-5-minute-prompt.html

Trackbacks

  1. [...] how I’m still awake tonight, just a few minutes after midnight — a few minutes after the Lisa-Jo published her five minute Friday post, so we can write, [...]

  2. [...] January 31, 2013 By Barbie Leave a Comment 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 [...]

  3. [...] Today I am participating in a weekly feature on lisajobaker.com called Five Minute Fridays. Bloggers are given a writing prompt (topic) and told to write for *five minutes. “No *editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.” Today’s topic is “Afraid.” [...]

  4. [...] up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday, today to talk about ‘Afraid’. [...]