14 Jun 2013

Five Minute Friday: Listen

For the new folks around these parts, I should probably tell you about Fridays.

So, here’s the skinny: every Friday for over a year hundreds of people have joined a kind of writing flash mob over here.

Five Minute Friday free write with lisajobaker.com

We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I post here at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (short for Five Minute Friday party). In fact, starting at around 10pm EST on Thursday you’ll find a lot of writers hanging out and chatting on Twitter with this hashtag.

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

It started because I’d been thinking about writing and how often our perfectionism gets in the way of our words. And I figured, why not take 5 minutes and see what comes out: not a perfect post, not a profound post, just five minutes of focused writing.

So now on Fridays a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write without worrying if it’s just right gather to share what five minutes buys them. While the kids are changing into their swim suits, while the pop corn is popping, while the dog is outside doing his business, while the show cuts to commercial. Just five minutes.

Your words. This shared feast.

How to Join:

It’s easy to join in, just:

  1. Check what the prompt is on my blog.
  2. Write a post in only five minutes on that topic on your blog (or in the comments if you don’t have a blog).
  3. Link over here and invite friends to join in.
  4. Select the permalink to your post {so not your blog url www.lisajobaker.com but your post url www.lisajobaker.com/2012/07/five-minute-friday-2/ }
  5. Using the blue linky tool at the bottom of my Five Minute Friday post enter your link.
  6. It will also walk you through selecting which photo you want to show up in the linky.
  7. Your post will show up in our Five Minute Friday linky.
  8. Be sure and encourage the person who linked up before you!

Our most important requirement for participation: There’s really only one absolute, no ifs, ands or buts about it Five Minute Friday rule: you must 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.

Featured Five Minute Friday:

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! Hop on over and visit some folk who make fireworks in just five minutes. They inspire me.

So, now be brave, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on the word:::


Five Minute Friday free write hosted by lisajobaker.com


And there are things I think are important. Things that are important. All those boxes that haven’t been unpacked yet (more to come on that later). All those floors that haven’t been swept, those carpets that haven’t been vacuumed, that hamster that hasn’t been fed. I have a long line of check marks waiting to make their way onto my list.

She’s following me around. Bumbling over my feet. Getting in my way. I’m busy and my head is full of all the things. And she’s humming behind me, dragging a collection of dolls in my wake and slowing me down.

That sweet  curly-haired two year old I sweated to deliver. Lisping her way through the hand motions of her favorite Sunday School songs and me stuck on the chorus of making order out of this chaos and cooking dinner and picking up all the wet swimsuits. Again. She has dark blue leggings on and the pink T Shirt that Morgan gave her for her birthday and a while later I notice it’s quiet because she’s given up the chase.

And the kitchen is empty except for me and my stupid, big lists and a baby voice trails out of the bedroom down the hallway. She’s sitting on the pink carpet and singing to her bears, rocking in her little brown chair and I’m missing it. Except that I’m not because it’s never too late and I’m cranking up that radio and that baby girl into my arms till we’re two stepping our way through the house, rock me mama like a wagon wheel and she’s laughing with head flung back and that dimple in her cheek that makes me want to wail with the wonder of having a girl child.

Baby girl, this is your mama distracted and this is your mama forgetful and this is your mama sorry for stupidly choosing the kitchen and this is your mama remembering herself and you and laughing and spinning till we are both so dizzy and beloved and landing in a heap of limbs and forever memories into this chocolate brown sofa and tomorrow.

And tomorrow.

And the day after that.


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{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    So very good and true. xx

  2. 2

    Lisa – thank you for the reminder to stop being a “mama distracted”. :)

  3. 3

    This really speaks to my heart. My kids are teens now, but all the more to let go of the distractions and listen to their hearts.

  4. 4

    Thank you for the FmF’s. I cannot wait to open my email on Fridays for the prompt. This is one day I do not have to think up a story to tell.
    I am from Pretoria and miss the jacarandas in October. We are sailing in the Med.
    Have fun with the little ones. I enjoy your blog because I know mine are all grown up.

    • 5

      You’re sailing in the Med? Like right now? This second? Oh how much fun!!

      • 6

        Yes, we are and have been for more than four years. Our sailing life on Mojito began in the Bahamas in 2009. We crossed the Atlantic in 2011. Since then we have been sailing in the Med. Right now, this minute we are in Italy, anchored off Portofino. The most beautiful little town I have ever seen, sipping prosecco while watching the world go by.

        • 7

          ….I just passed out with awe and wonder….

          • 8

            Just read your whole about page – “suurstof diewe” – oh man. Have to hold onto and remember that one.

          • 9

            Don’t pass out yet. Who’s going to unpack the boxes….? Lisa-Jo you are an amazing human being. The FmFParty is such a great idea. Glad I found your blog.
            If you are ever in Europe, come say hallo.

  5. 10

    You are making such lovely memories with your baby girl.

  6. 11

    “And tomorrow … and the day after that.” Yes, yes. They grow so fast – love this.
    Thanks for the #FMFParty. So glad to be a part of it whenever I can.

  7. 12

    Thank you for this reminder that the lists will wait… but our baby girls will only be here for a moment. I’m going to dance today despite the mess! I love being a part of #FMFParty!

  8. 13

    thank yoU!

  9. 14

    It’s hard to find the balance – some days I feel like I am the one saying “listen to me”.

  10. 16

    Thoroughly enjoyed this. Thanks. One question though (the link under my image doesn’t work and there is a red “x” in front of it. Did I do something wrong???

  11. 17
    Elizabeth says:

    This morning I woke up furious…slamming things, kicking the cat, angry, don’t care if my hair looks good, kind of mad. It may have had something to do with the fact that I went to bed mad, too. ARGH! Last night, my husband said something to me that sounded a whole lot like judgement and criticism and, yes, dear, friends, I took it right to heart. Not just absorbed it but made it apart of me, wrapped my arms around it and held it tight — infusing it’s poison into my heart, mind, and body.

    No wonder I was pissed!

    Then lo and behold, we’re writing about LISTEN… What the heck!

    Question to self — even though my husband is my beloved — who was I listening to in that moment? Was I listening to the right source? Obviously not.

    I allowed his comment to poison my thinking and feelings so that I walked away feeling like a failure and angry at him and myself for letting that happen. I realized, I had a CHOICE in that moment…I could listen with my ears, but I didn’t have to listen with my HEART…His frustration didn’t have to become mine…it did not have to define me, my day, my successes and my failures.

    At this point, I look back and realize I listened to the wrong source, in that moment. I’m OKAY, more than okay, even. I am not failure.

    Now that I realize that his opinion doesn’t have to define me I can step back and realize that —
    maybe, just maybe he had a point….a very small one…! But I’m still okay!

    • 18
      Sue Alley says:

      Hi, we all have those days and most never even realize that the anger we are releasing on those around us is exactly what made us mad in the beginning. You realized it quick and made the right decision to get back on track! We get defensive, that’s okay. It sounds like you are the type of person that will step back, think about it, and then let it go…good for you. I love the quote, “What someone else thinks about me is none of my business.” The older I get the less I care about letting things get to me. I choose to be happy because it’s good for my health. I hope your weekend is full of love, laughter and good surprises!

    • 19

      Excellent post (and point). I’ve discovered that what upsets me the most is NOT when the other person doesn’t agree with me, but when I feel like the other person has dismissed my feelings, opinion, whatever without making a sincere effort to understand from my point of view. The less I feel understood, the more self-righteous I get about my POV. Whereas, once it’s been “listened” to give it some credence, I’m more than willing to let it go.

      • 20
        Elizabeth says:

        SOOOO TRUE! I often think…Please just try to hear me – and when that takes place, something magical happens and whatever it was that I was so adamant about a minute ago, loses some of it’s fire and I can breath again!

  12. 21

    Beautiful post and great reminder to enjoy the important moments of life.

  13. 22
    Sue Alley says:

    Listen…The most frustrating thing is to get people to hear what you have to say. Especially, when they ask you something important. I lack in this area also. I guess it could come from the fact that I had seven other siblings and no one was ever quiet enough to hear what the other person wanted to say. When I had my children, I developed this amazing ability to hear all of them at the same time, no matter what craziness was going on. At times, they weren’t too happy at being ‘exposed’. Now, that I’m an empty-nester, I love to hear the clocks ticking and the refrigerator running, the birds tweeting and even the hum of the nearby expressway….none of which, I would have given a second thought to. Being able to truly listen to the world around me makes me happy…and the best sound of all is hearing little children playing outside.

    • 23
      Erica Snipes says:

      Sue! My parents are empty nesters now…and I know they enjoy mornings of quiet…Lord knows, my mom is more at peace when it utterly still and quiet around her. I wake up earlier than the rest of my household does–and I too, enjoy the “house” sounds like clock, refrigerator, and birds tweeting. But then my four year old twins wake up, and my thirteen year old daughter comes down stairs, and the sounds of my kids fill up my ears. Life…ahhh! I’m glad that your listening makes you happy, and I hope you have a lovely day today!

      • 24
        Sue Alley says:

        Thanks, I had twins also! My children are 33, 31 and the twins are 26! I always loved their noisy selves but I sure am glad that I can appreciate the quiet! hahahaha

  14. 25
    Erica Snipes says:

    New follow…no blog…but I’m going to try this five minute thing…I was an English Literature major in college almost 20 years ago, so maybe I can still write something…so…here I go…LISTEN

    From bells, dings, barely ringing little cell phones, soft voices, padded footsteps…to screaming “mommy!” “he pushed me!” and giggles a second later. The “Listen” from NICU to nearly 4 and a half years has changed my life, bit by bit, day by day. Falling in love, not in love, falling in fear, falling in hope, falling in wonder what’s next?! And then the interesting sounds of what thirteen year old girl means in today’s world…the half side conversations on her cell phone, knowing I am “stepmom” and not bio-mom. To new boy friends, to long lasting girl friends from elementary school days….my house has lots of listens, most of them involving people many years younger than me, with exciting things to come. I am also listening for the older sounds…grandmothers…both of mine have health concerns now, one more serious than the other. I pray, I worry, I try to connect with family…and I guess, yeah, I listen. Sometimes I don’t hear, sometimes I don’t pay attention, but I try to listen. And I thank God for what I’ve been given.


    • 26
      Ashley Collinsworth says:

      Hey Erica! Im new here too! It was fun getting read your post and seeing the word “listen” from someone elses perspective! I thought it was cool to see the contrast of the day to day noises like a cell phone against bigger feeling noises like in the NICU. And i definitely agree… sometimes its hard to listen and pay attention. I know I need God changing me in this every day! Its cool to knwmthat He has us through every stage of life, through all of the noises, good and the ones that dont feel so good. Hes holding us :) thank you for sharing, look forward to hopefully reading more of your posts!

      • 27
        Erica Snipes says:

        Thanks Ashley! Welcome to you too! I enjoyed your post below…this will be a fun friday thing…but I’ll only be in the comments, not the blogging section, because dang it, I just do not have time to blog myself! Glad to be amongst other five minute friday-ers! :)

    • 28

      “Falling in love, not in love, falling in fear, falling in hope, falling in wonder.” This sentence really grabbed me. Pondering…

  15. 29
    Ashley Collinsworth says:

    I am new here also :) love how all of you are so transparent, I’m excited to be a part of this five minute Friday too! Can’t get enough if transparency it seems like :)


    I get to choose… Everyday I get to choose what I am going to listen to. Not only WHAT I am going to listen to but how I am going to receive what I hear. I want to hear (REALLY hear) all of it!! The joyful noises, the loud noises, the noises that mean there is a little one tugging at my leg, calling for my attention again… I want to hear it all and count it ALLas a gift. Rewind to this morning hehe this was not my attitude. I need God daily to change my perspective to His, to help me to see it all for what it truly is… A gift from Him :) even those that sometimes make me feel like I’m being pulled in a hundred directions… In all if these moments God is a good Daddy and He only gives good gifts :) if these noises weren’t here… That would mean these little gifts would not be here… God has given us three noise filled beautiful gifts. Help me to remember this :)

    • 30

      hi Ashley,

      love that you are loving your little noisemakers. mine are 8, 10, and 13 and they’re still pretty loud some days :) i hope you cherish all the good and swiftly forget the bad.

    • 31

      Don’t noisemakers usually mean a party? :)

      Loved listening to you this morning. Welcome, Ashley.

  16. 32

    and now i want a blog so i can do the blue button thingy …


    right now i hear the radio, the washing machine, the pot boiling on the stove, the shower running upstairs, my fingers clicking on the keys. i’m wondering where the children are, because i don’t hear any of them …

    i made a phone call earlier, and i had to close my eyes in order to close my ears to all the other noise in the house, in order to hear what the person on the other end of the line was saying. i’m noticing this more and more lately. maybe i’m just getting older – 42- or maybe it’s always been this way and i’m just now noticing. in order to HEAR what you have to say, i have to turn off all the other noises, inside and outside of my head. otherwise, you become just one more noise.

    how often have i done this to the One who made me? how often have i “read” His Words while also hearing so many other sounds, so many other voices? how often have i allowed those other voices to completely derail me, to drain His words right out of me?

    think i’m off to sit quietly like Mary and practice listening …


  17. 34

    Oh my word how much do I LOVE all these five minute posts in the comments? BIG LOVE

  18. 35

    Lisa – I love this. I always try to avoid reading even your post before I write my own, because it always distracts me from my “voice” and now that I’ve read your post, I see how apparently mama hearts think the same way. To listen, to be present, to stay focused on what is really important. I loved this post!! :)

  19. 36

    Thanks for the prompt! I think next time I’ll get my computer out or have my hunnybunny get me a keyboard for this iPad…my typing is sllllloooooowwww with a touchpad…

  20. 37
    Mary Ann E says:

    Hi Lisa-Jo
    I do not have a blog or website but I love the 5 minute Fridays :)


    L i s t e n. typing it slow gives me time to listen to what I want to write. L i s t e n – to the cicadas, not to my husband, the man I promised to love honor and obey about thirty three years ago. How I wanted to love and honor and obey him at that time but now I realize I do not listen anymore. He talks and says his man words but I let it go over my head, just skim the surface of my attention and then I have to say “what?” “what did you say?” Like what he is communicating to me is not important and not worth the ime for me to listen anymore and I am pulled up short. I want to love honor and obey him crazy, like the old days and how did I do it then? I listened to every word that came out of his mouth even when he was not talking to me! Words he would say to others, I would listen to his voice, hear the timbre of his voice, it filled me up and satisfied me, made me whole but I don’t do it anymore and I wish I did, look at him wide eyed and listen!

    wow, did that come out of me, sounds like I should include it in his fathers day card :)

    Mary Ann

  21. 41

    I didn’t write this week, it’s been uber busy around here, but that just means I get to read all of the loveliest reminders and thoughts and stories and word pictures today and tomorrow. Yours was the first I started with, Lisa Jo. “And tomorrow.” is ringing sweetly in my mama ears.

    I heart your heart for this community and for those sweet peas you’ve been blessed with. It is a contagious kind of love that leaps from your blog posts right into my heart!

  22. 42

    Hi Lisa-Jo~How can you write all of that in 5 minutes? Did you see how short my post is?!?! I have a question. Do we get anytime to thing about the word before we write? It seems like some writers thoughts are more congealed than others. There had to be time thinking about what they were going to write and then set the timer~I think.
    Just trying to get a better handle on this. Thanks, Lisa. Your sweet little girl dragging her dollies across the floor and singing sweet Bible songs is certainly a treat to listen to.

  23. 43

    I’ve clung to way too many stupid lists and not enough chocolate wonder. Keep dancing, my friend! xo

  24. 44
  25. 45
    Doris Dragonea-Skliris says:

    Hi! My name is Doris and I’m from Greece. I live in a suburb of Athens with my husband and four children. My husband is an olive oil producer so he spends most of his time in the orchards (which are a couple of hours away from Athens) and he’s at home on weekends. In the summertime he’s here a little more, which is comforting.
    I accidentally came across your blog and just loved it. I’m relatively new to the blogging world and don’t yet know many things about it. I have a question for you (which might sound stupid but I couldn’t figure it out): How can I follow your blog? I’d love to try taking part to these five minute Fridays! Is it absolutely necessary following you on twitter? I’m trying to keep up with the new tech stuff but having four kids doesn’t really leave me that much time to study or find things out….
    I really like your blog and would appreciate it if you could take the time to help me with this.
    Thanks a lot, Doris.

  26. 46

    Hello, this weekend is good in support of me, as this time i am reading this wonderful educational article here at my residence.

  27. 47

    That was heavenly. I can see the picture and I love it! http://bellesbazaar-heather.blogspot.com/2013/10/listen-five-minute-post.html

  28. 48

    (Sjostrom speaks in “Wild Strawberries,” but I haven’t seen that since seeing any of the films he directed, “Laugh, Clown, Laugh” as well as the Gish-Hanson pairings;
    I also recently saw “Flesh and the Devil” for the first
    time with Hanson as the friend of John Gilbert who marries
    Greta Garbo. Isn’t it great when a film can do more than entertain, when it can actually inspire people to educate themselves and take
    part in something important. and, alas, the German people did not heed the warning against

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