01 Aug 2013

Five Minute Friday: Story

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

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


We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I post here at 1 minute past midnight EST every 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’s like a free write flash mob –> click to tweet this.

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 below 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 http://lisajobaker.com/2013/08/five-minute-friday-story}
  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.

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.

(As for all other rules, we like to break ’em – just ask Gretchen).

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:::



Your story is not small or boring or ordinary. Your story isn’t tedious or silly or embarrassing. Your story is necessary. Your story is what helps me understand my story. Your story is life lived next door and across the ocean and still look here I am reflected in your story. She rocks her baby, she nurses through the night, she walks miles of carpet and cries into the baby carrier and she hears the story across keyboards and screens and reaches out with words to lift, to swaddle, to comfort.

She loses her heart and her friend and her courage and it ripples across the night into her in box and the thread unravels and winds between them, the anchor of a story in common. Words can go where arms and hugs and hearts can’t sometimes. Words can slip through the cracks of closed doors and tip toe into mail boxes and whisper a second chance, a welcome beginning again.

You tell your story every time you answer the question, “So, how’re you doing?” with more than the word, “Fine.” You tell your story when you open the door to how you really are and invite us past the laundry and into the kitchen to sit down with that chipped coffee mug and look across the table into the face of someone else’s story and hold nothing back. This is the beginning of things. This is the middle and also the end and the beginning again.

How we offer our words and the inside bits and pieces of our lives. Trusting that they will lay themselves down one plank at a time, to build a bridge for friendship and understanding to walk across.


{Subscribers, we’d love if you just click here to come over and play along.}


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    beautiful, beautiful and true, true! Imagine how much community could be truly established, and friendships so deeply rooted, and bits of God revealed, if enough of us caught a hold of this and started living it out…….I’m in……mate, I’m in.

  2. 4

    I so adore how you make words go where hearts and hugs can sometimes not, Lisa-Jo. So. Love. That. This is a beautiful rendering of the power of each of our stories to bind us to one another.

  3. 5

    I needed this prompt tonight. I’ve been facing the reality that I’m not sharing my full story. Your post was beautiful.

  4. 6

    Oh yes – all of this yes! I have been so blessed by this community tonight… I had a desparate moment earlier and there was no hesitation no “oh dear there she goes again” – just an immediate response to my “story” – I had a bridge built for me tonight by this amazing crew.

  5. 7

    “…look here I am reflected in your story.” That’s the heart of it right there. :)

  6. 8
    candy1945 says:

    Not sure I am doing this right but the word for this Friday’s five minutes is “Story”. So just what is my story, I mean, I could make up something that is glamorous and would leave everyone wondering if any one person could lead such a perfect life. But that wouldn’t be me now would it. Nope, I am just an everyday person that makes mistakes and tries to convince myself that I really could write if I just would sit down and do it. But I think I might be afraid of rejection. It would break my heart if I wrote a story and no one liked it and didn’t want to read it. HELP. Is this really my story, or is this just a dream. My story is no different than yours, I would guess. Just different people and different places

  7. 9

    Okay, I have a confession. Please don’t kick me out…. I *cannot* do this in five minutes. I’ve never done it in five minutes. Do people really do that? I get close and they are by far the quickest and most rough-around-the edges post and are very stream of conscious. But FIVE minutes? My mind just will not go that fast.

    • 10
      Debi Schuhow says:

      Sarah, I couldn’t do it in 5 minutes either! Writing is a process, in the beginning everything is rough. I choose to look at Five Minute Friday as a springboard to writing a full post. I’ve learned to just “throw up” all my thoughts onto the paper first. Then, I clean it up. The “throw up” is to get all the twirling thoughts out of my head. As you practice writing over and over again you’ll get better at it. I haven’t practiced enough to write a beginning, middle, and end in 5 minutes. Lisa has been writing for a LONG time!
      Don’t give up!

  8. 11
    IreneHelen says:

    This is my “Story” of my first time writing this “Story”
    5 minutes to tell you a story. I am tired, happy, bored, exhausted and busy all in one.
    Every day I share the same story with four of my nearest and dearest. I get up, I do laundry, I make breakfasts, lunches, sign notes, give kisses, fix collars, pack school bags, carry a 19 month old on my hip, look lovingly at my freshly brewed coffee….That is the story of how my day starts, everyday from Adelaide Australia :-)

  9. 12

    Every dream starts with a spark, planted by God, floating across the mind, landing in the soul, igniting passion and hope. One of mine hid away within my heart waiting for just the right time to take root and bloom. When it did, a story emerged, captured on paper like a fire refusing to burn out.

    People may write for many different reasons, but for me, it is a dream, a passion stoked by the fire of my desire to serve God and respond to His call on my life. My story becomes part of my life story as it reflects a dream realized, barriers overcome and perseverance rewarded.

    Also linked at: http://tarafairfield.com/going-deeper-blog.html
    Never give up on the dreams placed in your heart. God has a purpose and plan for us all and it’s realization will bring joy beyond measure!

  10. 13

    AWWWW….You chose my prompt idea!!!! And I almost went to bed without writing! I am an old woman and I wear my 35 years and 6 people all over my face, particularly around my eyes! So thankful I sat up late. Love you lady and I love the way you reach into my mama heart and make it beat a little more intentionally. You serve us mamas well.

  11. 15

    “How we offer our words and the inside bits and pieces of our lives. ”

    And how beautifully you are showing that when we offer those inside bits to Him, he will bless us with more than we could imagine and all for His glory!

    Thank you for these words and for the fact that you didn’t have a picture either! :)

    Have a wonderful Friday!

  12. 16

    I realize today that I’m selling my story short. I don’t share it enough with the people that need to hear it the most. I want to hide the good parts for fear of boasting, hide the bad parts for fear of shame. At times, I hold back from caring to ask another’s story; ive been there…it hurts to care, distance makes the heart pick up and go one more day – caring: it allows too many open wounds. It makes someone else the celebrity. The problem is, we were made for stories…we were made to hear and to share. Our soul bleeds to connect…open. wounds. are. necessary. Our world revolves because we share our stories. So we live to share another day, praying our vulnerability is given a chance as we gives others the space to face their fears. And we all keep spinning in this great gift we’ve been given…grace.

  13. 18

    You write so beautifully. I’m so glad to link up here for the first time. I’ve seen the Five Minute Friday thing for over a year now and so glad I joined you ladies this morning. It will be fun reading posts! :)

  14. 19

    My story is not the one that I thought I’d be writing. I thought things would look different. I would not be staying at home with my girls. I would have one more baby. I would have the house renovations done. I would live in a bigger house. I would be working and continuing a great corporate job. My story is VERY different than how I thought it would be. BUT. It’s better. My children’s favourite thing, even better to them than hanging out at summer day-camp with their friends doing fun stuff, is “hanging out with the Mama”. They want to be with me. And most of the time I want to be with them (I enjoy a little down time away from everyone once in awhile!). I haven’t worn high heels in years. I never blow-dry my hair anymore. T-shirts are my best friend. I know the “other” story would be just fine – kids at daycare would be just fine. But I’m the one who kisses them “have a good day” at school drop-off and I’m the one who picks them up at lunch from kindergarten or after school for my grade one girl and I’m the one who tells them to use their manners and speak politely and I’m the one who gives them mama-lovin’ if they come out of the door with tears in their eyes and I’m the one who can see when they need a hug even when they don’t say they need it. Now my story is how can I work to make some money to finish some of the house renos while still being home for those “need my Mom” moments that I think will only get more complicated as they get older. I need to be Mom more than I need to be anything else and that is a story I didn’t know I would write. We all need to find the strength to write our life story as it unfolds instead of writing someone else’s story or the story people expect of us. Even what we expect(ed) of ourselves. I’m going to go meditate now to help figure out my next chapter title….

  15. 21

    I enjoyed this prompt very much. Thanks for posting. Have a blessed day!

  16. 22

    I always enjoy the challenge here on Fridays. I am not known for my brevity, and am more like 7 minute Friday, but I love zeroing in on a particular word. Thanks for hosting!

  17. 23

    Past the laundry and into the kitchen – and the stories showed over the table – life-changing, encouraging moments! So true! So needed!

  18. 24

    First-timer, here! Love this, thank you so much as it is just what I need to push me to write more frequently. Look forward to becoming a regular.

  19. 25

    I so agree! I love the stories taking place oceans away that make my story resonate. I love the story taking place across the street that makes my story matter.

    I love FMF too!

    Laura Hedgecock

  20. 26

    Great prompt! Just where my thoughts have been playing lately, what is my story? Mine may not be sweet and juicy like someone else’s, but it’s no different than theirs either. We all have our unique stories to tell, each one shaped us to be who we are today. Thanks for the opportunity to share here.

  21. 27

    and again I am reminded, by this prompt, that there’s nothing we can do to make God love us less. He takes us as we are – ripped pages, torn pages, blackened pages, missing pages, stained pages – he loves our entire beings. and He makes beautiful things of our lives.

  22. 28

    I just love this post Lisa-Jo. Stories are how we connect, comfort, congeal, love, extend and share ourselves. Though we don’t have to be stuck by our stories…we are in some ways our stories. Oh, I better sign off on this comment and start me timer:)

  23. 29

    I love to hear the stories of others. I want to be a story collector.

  24. 30

    Whoops … to bind them up, to start building bridges over coffee and a beat up kitchen table and unmopped floors. To see the gospel in theirs, and bleed Jesus in mine.

  25. 31

    This is my favourite FMF you’ve posted ever!! I love everything you’ve just written. Thank you.

  26. 32

    If you go to that site, my FMF post is under “My Five Minute Fridays”

    I don’t know who linked above me, though????

  27. 33

    I missed the boat this week, but I promised myself I would write no matter what so I did it anyways!! Love to all!! Thanks for the fab blog Lisa Jo! Write on, sister! http://manythegifts.blogspot.com/2013/08/five-minute-friday-story.html

  28. 34

    I also missed the boat, but here’s my post anyway ;) http://valbydesign.com/5-minute-friday-story/

  29. 35
  30. 36
    Ellie low says:

    I remember when my first child was born and the nurse wrapped her and put her on my chest as I lay down in the recovery room. What a feeling to be that close. To have an actual human being connecting in that way. Unlike the pregnancy, where only one of us could feel the other and wonder what it was like on the other side, here she was, and the bond was formed, forever.

    She lay that way for two hours before they took her away to be weighed and measured. But those two hours cemented my role as a mother. As the pregnancy was full of excitement and anticipation, the bonds of being that close made me realize the responsibility that I was taking on, and the immenseness of that responsibility. It was no longer carefree anticipation but a mix of profound love but also worry. Worry that I couldn’t fix the world to be good enough for her. Now all things seemed so important and my life was changed forever.

    The rocking chair became our favorite place, where the silence of the bonding and closeness remained. This was true for my two children. The bonding of mother and child on the rocking chair symbolized a bond that couldn’t be broken, ever. I remember thinking once, At total peace and in complete contentment, that I had it all… That now my life was complete. My life’s meaning had been fulfilled.

    As I come upon my sons 20th birthday in a few days , I remember, longingly, the closeness of those days in the rocking chair, which seemed like they would never end but sadly, somehow flew by in a flash.

    When my daughter becomes pregnant I will pass down that old rocking chair so she too can experience the joy of bonding in the same way I did, and I will tell her that some of the absolute happiest moments of my life were spent in that chair while I Rocked her and her baby brother
    And my life was wrapped in total and complete bliss.

  31. 37
    Ellie Lowe says:

    I started this this morning but the battery died and I lost what I wrote. I know it’s technically Saturday but wanted to share anyway. I also don’t know how to. Post my writing correctly. I know I don’t want it public on FB,. I’m not quite ready for that yet. Anyway, here goes…

    FMF- Release

    Release- to let go, to free.

    Sounds like something you do for someone or something else, free an animal from a cage, a bug from a jar, or a butterfly you’ve caught, but sometimes it’s the best thing you can do for yourself. To release yourself from expectations, your own and others. Release yourself from the past, from fear, pain, and turmoil. To let go. To forgive.

    Release yourself from relationships that are toxic. Forgive yourself for not living up to perceived expectations to stick it out no matter how detrimental it is to your core.
    It’s not an easy thing to do. It takes patience. The timing needs to be right. But when it is you’ll know and you’ll be able to rid yourself of the emotional pain that you’ve lived with for what seems like an eternity, and you’ll be able to be yourself again.

    Release the you inside of the turmoil and you will know that everything will be okay. They can’t hurt you again. They have no power over you anymore. You have released them from your inner being? It’s a process, a healing process and it takes time .

    And it feels good.

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