03 Oct 2013

Five Minute Friday: Write

It’s time to silence the inner critic.

It’s time to hush the voice that whines on and on about how you’re no good.

It’s time to cram out the distractions and excuses and take pen to paper, keyboard to screen and write.

It’s time to write.

We call it Five Minute Friday. Where everyone writes for five, unedited minutes all on the same prompt. This week, that prompt is the challenge itself, the dare, the scary.

This week’s prompt is “WRITE.”

{All the details for how to join us are right over here –>easy peasy I promise.}

Untitled

GO:

So, I didn’t tell you.

I didn’t tell you that I’ve slept less in the last year than the year Zoe was born.

I didn’t tell you that I’ve been cramming hours of writing into the margins around my full time job.

I’ve been writing. Early mornings and late nights and long weekends. I’ve been writing scared and I’ve been writing brave and I’ve been dredging my memory for each of those back stories that made me a mother. The stories that brought me from South Africa to the States. The stories that maybe you’ve never heard. My once-upon-a-times when I swore I would never be a mother. That I wouldn’t sacrifice my dreams for a wedding ring. That I ran hard and fast from all the places that hurt me most and started again on the grounds of a small campus in the North East with death ringing in my ears and new beginnings within reach.

The story not just from South Africa to the States, but from a motherless daughter who swore she would never be anybody’s mother to a place of stumbling onto the unexpected ending of three very loud kids and the happiest messy house ever.

I never grew up dreaming of being a writer. But turns out we all of us have a story inside us. Like bone marrow or grief or memories. It fuses into our DNA and one night when you least expect it will stand up and demand to be written down.

So I’ve been writing.

I’d passed the first time Tyndale House asked. I wasn’t ready, I said. I didn’t have a story.

But then a year later, Zoe turned one and it turned out I did.

So I’ve been writing.

And then I’ve been editing.

And then I was done.

I wrote a book. It feels strange to even say it out loud. I wrote a book and mostly it feels like I just wrote a word document.

I wrote it one blog post sized chunk at a time. And it feels good and right to share it here first. Where I feel the safest. With my writer people. And because you’re all the in acknowledgments. This Five Minute Friday community.

Because you make me brave.

And I’m especially gonna need you next spring when this fourth (book) baby arrives. Right in time for Mother’s Day.

Now, somebody for heaven’s sakes please pass the chocolate ice cream.

STOP

 

Comments

{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    How exciting Lisa-Jo!! I’m so happy for you and I can’t wait to read your book!

  2. 2

    Oh friend… I can’t wait to meet the new arrival. Truly. I wish you and I could sit over a tub of chocolate ice cream with nothing but two spoons and hearts and talk for hours – I too need to look into your eyes friend so I can see the brave in you that has inspired the brave in me… and yep ugly cry twice in one day!!!

  3. 3

    OH MY STARS! I am so excited for you… for me – to get your beautiful words in print, bound and lovely! We are so with you, friend… cheering you on… lifting you up… pre-ordering and reviewing and whatever else it takes! Just Whatever. Else.

    ~K~

  4. 4

    I never grew up wanting to be a writer, either … or a mom for that matter! But somehow I am doing both, though not as well as I would like. I’m gonna sleep on this word and come back tomorrow. There isn’t a book in me yet, but maybe someday! Thanks for being brave, and thanks for always encouraging us, and thanks for starting #fiveminutefriday … and I can’t WAIT to read your book!!!

  5. 6

    Congratulations! How wonderful! A gift for all of us!

    Deb Weaver
    thewordweaver.com

  6. 7

    Oh my word!!!!! Congratulations!!! So happy for you. And yes, you DO have a story!!!!

  7. 8

    Yay for being brave and sharing your story!!! I’m sure that it is amazing.

  8. 9

    Oh, happy happy dancing for you precious, beautiful, brave friend!!! The editing is finished!! Go sleep and I’ll work on getting that chocolate to you! So proud to know you.

  9. 10

    Eeeeeek! How doubly exciting! I cannot wait to hold your words in my hands! And huge congratulations on the new one coming in a few months! How am I supposed to sleep now??

    • 11

      Wait the book IS the baby. That part was clear, yes? :) #NoMoreRealBabiesThankYou heh

      • 12

        What can I say? I got all excited and posted, then I read the other comments and realized I’d mistaken that last part. I just came back here to let the world know that yes, I realize the baby IS the book. :-) But wouldn’t it be exciting if there was a baby-baby too? ;-)

    • 13

      Dare to Dream and Dream BIG!!!

  10. 14

    I don’t have a website or blog to write my words. Mostly my writing is helping to untangle the thoughts in my head. The thoughts about the healing power of telling our story. Thoughts of what God is working on in me and what he is telling me. I may only write for a few but the writing helps me on my path with the one whose hand is always here to help me. When I read what I write I think ” most people will just pass it by or think I am silly” but then someone lets me know that it encouraged or strengthened them, maybe I write to know I am not the only one needing to read that, to see it, to watch as the thought untangle and begin to make sense.

  11. 15

    So exciting! Can’t wait to read it and can’t wait to see your cheery face in person at Allume!!

  12. 16

    ARE YOU KIDDING?!?!?! YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!! This is the best ever! SO SO SO excited for you!! :) You definitely need some cupcakes, ice cream and big giant party!

  13. 17

    Congrats!! Woohoo! So excited for you!! Can’t wait to read it!

  14. 18

    Congrats, LJ! On the book… on the baby… oh my goodness… so happy for you!

  15. 22

    Yay, congratulations!!! I’m so excited for you! :D

  16. 23

    Congratulations! For a quick second I thought you were getting a book and a baby in the spring!
    A book is exciting news! May God use you to bless many more!

    I’ve got fresh blueberry muffins out of the oven, if you’d like, sorry I’m out of chocolate ice cream :)

    • 24

      I remember about a book proposal too and have been waiting to hear more! You have inspired and encouraged me to share His story in my life. I’ve often thought it would be great to be fun and funny like you, and at the same time to weave incredibly beautiful words in minutes (or years), to inspire, encourage, and bring a ray of sunshine to the lives of many woman. But you’ve encouraged me to tell my own story as no one else can. You really are a super-hero!
      Sending a hug and a big bushel of smarties!

  17. 25

    So thrilled for you. I can NOT wait for it to come out; to read it; and to add your precious gift to what is now officially my (in)courage bookshelf. Love & Chocolate ♥

  18. 26

    SO proud of you, Lisa Jo…. for being brave, for being scared, for being honest, for being you. Truly, you are a woman of valor.

  19. 27

    Congratulations – that’s a huge accomplishment!

  20. 28

    Hooray! Can’t wait to read it!!

  21. 29

    YAY! So excited to read it! I’m due with another little one around Mother’s Day so it will be perfect to add to my middle of the night feedings when I’m struggling to stay awake! Congratulations!

  22. 30

    YAAAHOOOOOO!!!! So excited, Lisa-Jo! Congratulations!

  23. 31

    Congratulations!! How exciting . . . and what hard work!! I love the way you write and I’m already looking forward to reading this new book!

  24. 32

    Way to go! So excited to have a copy in my hands this spring! :)

  25. 33

    I agree about each one of us having a story to tell…and some or maybe many of us turn to writing to tell those stories.

  26. 34

    LOVE!

  27. 35

    YAY!!!! Congratulations!!! I can’t wait to read it!!

  28. 36

    You know how much I love this. And even more so because you waited and mothered and lived and did the things you needed to do and for me, that gives me great hope in the seasons of life. I cannot wait for this book baby, and I especially love that everyone was super close to patting your belly at Allume, not an awkward mix up at all.

  29. 37

    Congratulations on your book! So very thrilled for you! I am also celebrating a writing milestone today. The post I wrote for today’s Five Minute Friday’s prompt “Write” is the 50th post on my blog. How Amazing Is That!

    Blue Bell’s Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream for the room is on me tonight!

    God Bless!

    ~ Cassandra from Renaissance Women

  30. 38

    Lisa Jo, I am so glad you wrote a book! You are an inspiration. Maybe one day I’ll write mine too. It’s in bits all over my PC and my mind. I have to thank you for five-minute-Friday. It has been the impetus for my writing since about three weeks ago. I’m writing more now than I have in years (except on FB and emails) and I love it. I owe you a debt of gratitude for this platform and for facilitating community.
    Blessings ~ Patty

  31. 39

    cheering rather loudly over here. So happy for you, Lisa-Jo. I cannot wait to see your words on a shelf–on my shelf, and to read them in all their honesty and goodness. You are awesome. Sending you mounds of chocolate goodness, my friend. And hugs. Lots of congratulatory hugs.

  32. 40

    Wonderful! What congratulations on both fronts!!! How very exciting!

  33. 41

    It’s about time!!! You needed to be published. Just that. Love your words, your truth, your transparency, your encouragement, your God-gifts. Will be anxious for the birth of that word-baby!

  34. 42

    SO. VERY. EXCITED. to hold your words in my hand next May!! Congratulations and pass the chocolate!

  35. 43

    Lisa-Jo. I am so excited for you and the book that has been birthed. It’s love that wrote it and love that will allow it to enter our hearts and those who pick it up!

    I am new to the FMF Party, but I am not going anywhere! How delightful to just be.

    Many Congratulations!

  36. 44

    How wonderful! May God continue to give you strength and passion to share what is on your heart. You are truly and inspiration to so many and I have been blessed to read the words you write…. I can’t wait to read your book!

    My house is loud too, and I wouldn’t have it any other way :)

  37. 45

    Wow. I’m so excited for you. Can not wait to see it and hold it in my hands and devour it :) I too am so thankful for this community. I adore writing and always have but there are times that I doubt and edit and re read 800 times to where it doesn’t really say what I want it to anymore because I’m scared. I’m fearful of being transparent – I care to much about what so and so may think or how they many interpret that one line. Blah. Anyway, this place helps me feel safe. HE uses it to remind me that I am not out for anyone’s approval apart from His. Thank you for helping me learn that and for being an ever present reminder of it.

  38. 46

    Congratulations! I know what an accomplishment that is since I’ve been writing my book for the past year. It takes time and commitment and a worthwhile story to share with others. I can’t wait to get a copy of your book when it is finally published!

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

  39. 47
    Ingrid Mohr says:

    This is delightful news! Congratulations. Trust your book will be available in SA too!?
    Love your writing, your honesty, your integrity. Blessed by how real you are.
    Looking forward to possibly meeting in the flesh at the end of the year. Is your visit still on?

  40. 48
    Mandy chandler says:

    Congratulations! I love your blog and can’t wait to read your book! And so happy for you on your fourth little one!

    • 49
      Mandy chandler says:

      Whoops haha! Looks like several of us didn’t pay enough attention to (book) in front of baby. Congrats on the book definitely! Can’t wait

  41. 50

    Congratulations on both new arrivals on their way! Praying peace (and sleep) for you as you prepare your heart and home to welcome them… :)

  42. 52

    Congratulations Lisa-Jo! As a fellow writer I know what a challenge it can be. Yours seems to be a lot more about your story where mine is total fiction, so you must have even more heart in yours than I do. I pray that God moves through your book as it gets out there! Blessings on your day, your weekend and the exciting months ahead. :)

  43. 53
    Mandy chandler says:

    Hey Lisa-Jo, in the email version of this blog post, there is no (book) in parentheses before baby. I just realized this and maybe this is why so many think you are pregnant bc they are reading the email version. Haha

    • 54

      Gah, I just realized it too! Rats. I made that edit (breaking my own FMF rule :)) and then realized my feedburner didn’t pick it up. Ah well, fun times :)

  44. 55

    Thanks for inspiring me to write! You posts get me through the day sometimes. You are much braver than me, going on #4. I have my hands full with three girls now. I am pretty sure, I’m done! Thanks again, and keep writing!

  45. 56
    Kristen Rodriguez says:

    So happy for you, Lisa-Jo! I, too, thought you were having another baby. Lol. You are a gifted writer, my friend, and I am so blessed by every one of your posts. congratulations. Wish you weren’t so far away so I could give you a giant hug and settle down over coffee to catch up. :)

    • 57

      ahhhh no more babies, just books for me :) And yes, I’d take that coffee!! Let me know if you guys are ever in DC…

  46. 58

    I did it! My baby blog has only two posts, and this is one of them, but I did it! I was brave enough to post it up with all the other blogs.

  47. 60

    Congrats, Lisa-Jo!

  48. 61
    shannon hicks says:

    Yay! How very exciting! Can’t wait to read it.

  49. 62

    This…this is awesome! Congratulations to you, sweet friend! :)

  50. 63

    “Because you make me brave.” That’s how I feel when I participate in THIS community – thank you for sponsoring my favorite reads of the week! I’m looking forward to your book baby – how exciting and how fun. You should have a book-baby shower before the big date… :-) Janet

  51. 64

    Did you announce a book when Tyndale offered? I feel like I was expecting a book from you already. Or maybe I just *knew* one was coming. In any case, can’t wait to read it!!! Congrats!!!

    • 65

      Yea you’re right, a year ago I shared I was working on a proposal. And I Instagrammed the day I signed with them. But it’s fun to come back a year later and squee with you guys that IT IS DONE whoot!!!

  52. 67

    You know, I remember that you told us. Right here. (do you?) I’ve been praying for you and this book. Thinking of you and your fear. All this time. And, you have no idea, Lisa-Jo, how our stories weave so similarly, sweet friend. Remember the exchange we had via email — your career and mine? What you wrote up above, of the fear and “story-less” perspective, it sounds like mine. And so here I am with my big writing project, too, and my brave beginnings to tell of it and my stepping into 31 days of consecutive writing about it (where I think you first mentioned yours one year ago, if I’m correct) . . . and I think, well, Lisa-Jo’s done it, I have no need. But, our stories are different and they are unique and our telling of them is for purpose, far beyond what we’ll ever see. You’re inspiring me, you should know. I need you to know, for me. Because, you’re important. To me. Not just to others, but to me. And I want to have tea with you and visit, but you’re so big and busy and . . . there goes my fear all over again. :) I still dream of working with you in some way, and for now, it’s in prayer as I work to seek Him for His glory over your story. This rocks, all of this . . . your journey to you being where you are now, and of your telling of it, and of His blessing to bring you here all along. He knew what it’d take, of the story you’d have to live to get to this place. To Him may all the glory be. And to you, I raise my glass, for the stepping forward is hard and this you chose to do. #Holla And Amen.

    • 68

      Lovely Amy. Yes, I remember it all. And that at the end of 31 days last year I shared that I was working on the book proposal. And it’s so fun to come back now after a year and share that it’s actually done. And if you’re ever in the DC area I will take you up on the cup of coffee and we can talk a long time about what it looks like to balance what we feel called to with the sometimes juggle of what we have to do to provide for our families. I’ve found Jesus in the middle. Absolutely. Writing this book I have found Jesus in nooks and crannies and chaos parts of my life that I never would have expected. Excited to hear you are writing your way through the story He’s written for you too. And cheering you friend. CHEERING, you hear!! :)

  53. 70

    I’ve never written in a public forum before. This is scary. I don’t know how to start or what to say.
    I do know that I too have had a story busting at the seams for about 4 years now. From the time we starting trying to have a family. When our failure – my failure – began.

    People don’t talk about it in my circle. It, being infertility. They don’t talk because it doesn’t affect them. It affected me. It held me back from my dreams of becoming a mother. My dreams of loving something / someone so unconditionally it hurt. From talking non-stop about all the little joys and new skills developed and sharing them with people who really didn’t care to hear about it. You know – like mothers do.
    I fought long and hard to become a mother. I suffered disappointments and rode the scary roller coaster of fertility treatments for 3 years. I endured the physical pain and became aware that everyone had seen my lady bits – I lost my dignity.
    But in the end I won – I beat it. I gained a beautiful baby boy.
    I have become a mother.
    It was hard – it still is. The pain of those years, the pain of no one understanding is fresh.
    I have a story to share.
    STOP

    • 71

      Oh Ashlee – goosebumps. You have a story,yes. You live a story and birthed a story and thank you for being brave and sharing a glimpse into that story with all of us!

    • 73

      Ashlee, I don’t even have words; just tears. And a prayer request. For a sweet dear friend. We’ll call her Faith!)
      Please pray for her fertility. I know with you I don’t have to qualify with “if that doesn’t sound too weird.” Thank you for that. For jumping in, all honest and gutsy and lady-bits-ey.
      I hardly even talk about it with her because her pain is palpable and because people [after the divorce she never ever dreamed would happen; never wanted] People have the gall to say things like, “Well at least there were no kids involved.” When they have No..I..dea… And because he left her right when it was baby-time! And because I have FOUR (babies, that is.) And because she would be..NO, WILL BE, By Faith, the Best..Mom..Ever. Jesus hear my cry for my friend.

  54. 74

    Oh Lisa-Jo! How very exciting for you!! Blessings. ~K

  55. 75

    hey, friend – good work. you write brave, you write true. end of the day, the true part is all that matters – especially to a messed up hemingway fanatic like myself. keep it up and thanks for letting us be a part of your journey.

    • 76

      Thanks for being the first person to make me think other people might actually want to read it. Truly. Thank you, Eric.

  56. 77

    Congratulations on your book baby!

  57. 78

    You do it every week. You put it out there and beauty just takes over. Community comes together and strangers become friends. Words unite and encourage and transform. I just LOVE what you do here… and I can’t wait to give you a great. BIG. hug! Thank you Lisa-Jo Baker. You rock. :0)

    • 79

      Aw schucks, I just open the door and am blown away by the amazing women who troop in. It’s the BEST kind of community. Just love these women and their brave words. Thank you for always coming….

  58. 80

    And so these stink bugs have been making me feel like Crazy Aunt Ethel who drives to get groceries with pink plastic rollers in her hair. I’ve never lived in a region where bugs will seasonally overwhelm your house to point that you check your clean coffee cup before you fill it up. They are EVERYWHERE and no matter how many times I plead with pest control TO GET THEM OUT I still find them when I pad down to the kitchen every morning.

    Not sure why this bugs me so much. (Pun so intended.) Really, they’re just a nuisance and they will pass. So why the anxiety? The annoyance has evolved to full-fledged OCD.

    I wonder if these little buggers that make me want to cuss out loud in front of my kids represent something more? A need to control what is really uncontrollable in life? Not wanting to recognize and LET GO. I want an insecticide, some kind of formula I can spray and rid myself of scanning my home for the next pesky invader.

    So for now we live together. Me and the bugs, waiting for whatever seasonal wind needs to blow them out and away until they emerge in the spring.

    Ashlee: I don’t write in public forums often either. Thanks for letting down your wall and sharing. Three years is a long time. I also wondered if motherhood would be a reality. Hugs to you, girl.

  59. 81

    Congratulations! What an incredible accomplishment! I’m sure it will be wonderful, Lisa-Jo.

  60. 82

    LOVE IT! I write because I like it. It’s not likely there is going to be a book, but I’m having a lot of fun compiling the little stories I’ve written about my kids over the years. If nothing else it will be fun to give each of them a copy.

    Your Five Minute Friday posts have really kept me going some days. Thank You.

  61. 83

    Lisa-Jo, I’ve been receiving your emails for a while now and really wanted to let you know what an encouragement you have been to me, thank you for allowing God to use you! I look forward to your new book!

    I don’t consider myself a writer but I feel the need to get words on a page sometimes. I have been pondering participating in 5-minute Fridays for a while now. Well, I just wanted to share that I finally did it! Today I did my first 5-minute Friday! I don’t have a blog so I’m just writing for me and saving it to a file on my computer! Thanks for helping me to be brave!

    • 84

      Oh I love this so so much. Yes it’s not the blog that makes us a writer. It’s the words. No matter where they’re scratched out. Thank you for being brave and writing today. Love that so much!

  62. 85

    This is SO exciting! I can’t wait to read it! I have been wanting to write a book on my life experiences and really don’t know how! TY for this post! Happy writing!! God Bless! I know your book will touch lives for Jesus and that is exciting!! :-)

  63. 86

    Write. Okay, Go. Wait…Um…Okay, I can do this.
    Maybe. Ugh WHAT IN THE WORLD???
    My heart is pounding. hands are shaky and my knees are weak…. I’m all shook up… Yea, No.
    Okay lemme start again. Aaaand, Go.
    Write. … ………..
    No! I don’t want to and you can’t make me!!! Kidding;) ….and also, :/
    ……~Breeeeeathe~…… Gona go make a cup of tea. I’ll be back. May…be….

  64. 87

    Oh My Stars! Lisa-Jo!! I am so excited for you and with you and about your book! That you took the time to write in the margins of your life, full-to-bursting already? That means that this 4th baby will be one heck of a delivery! The Good Lord knows that YOU have made So Many Of Us, brave, too! Can’t wait to read what leapt from your heart to the pages.

  65. 88

    I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of a friend I’ve never even met. You’ve inspired so many of us to be brave and authentic, transparent and real. You’ve given us permission to apply grace over ourselves, even when we don’t have the time or energy to simply apply makeup. I sincerely hope I get to meet you face to face, to hear your voice and say thank you properly for all that you are at Allume. I just hope I don’t ugly cry and freak you out! Congratulations!

    • 89

      Allison! You better come and say hello to me at Allume. I can’t promise I won’t trip over my own feet, but that’s the real me :) I love this line so so much “to apply grace over ourselves, even when we don’t have the time or energy to simply apply makeup” and I love how the women here do that exact thing for me too. Thank YOU so much.

  66. 90

    Okay. I’m done w/ the fit-pitching. And I’m back. Ready. Or Not…
    Write.
    As I turned to my tea cabinet for solace, the first box I saw was an orange one with the big word RELAX splashed across the front. I’m not kidding. I laughed out loud and in that instant I heard the YOU I was talking to (not you, Lisa-Jo!) whisper with a gentle sternness, “No, I can’t. Make you. But I did, already, “make you” and this is a part of all that I MADE YOU FOR!”

    So here I sit, sipping my Relax tea from my London cup, with its nifty colors and cleverly designed albeit it touristy-esque-ness…;) With its tiny little tea-spoon nestled in the little tea-spoon holes on its handle. With its reminder that, while I support my daughter (all my kiddoes, of course!) and their dreams and passions… like when I broke my head and turned my life into a pretzel to get my Nena to London when a last-minute opportunity arose but there was no money and no passport and no… nothing! I did all I could possibly do. I even got her at-first-quite-unwilling dad to jump in and support is in the very harried and hurried process. And yet, I won’t take that risk for myself. My dreams. My passion.
    My writing.
    I laughed out loud and then almost immediately was in tears when somewhere above I saw another “Val” who had been brave enough to link up. It was just her second blog post; I could feel her beaming with pride through the words on the screen. I was.. AM.. proud of her too! You Go, Tocaya! ((no translation for that.. it just means someone who has the same name.. I LOVE THE SPANISH LANGUAGE!! But I digress;)
    And I’m proud of me, too! Although last time I posted on FMF should have been MY second blog post as well. I’d been putting it off but finally got my blog running, or my sorry-excuse-of-a-baby-stepping-into-the-world-of-blogging..wanna-be-blog!)
    But hey, I was doing it! I was finally ready!
    Then I saw the word, SHE.
    And I knew what I would write without hesitation. But it was this rush of emotion and thoughts about SHE who suddenly scared me, thinking, “What if SHE doesn’t appreciate me writing about her?” So once again, I preferred her, putting me and mine on the shelf. Waiting. For … Permission, I suppose. Or maybe perfection, of circumstances, of emotion. Whatever that ideal is that I’ve been chasing after.
    I know. Doesn’t exist. And so, I write where I can find permission.
    Thank you for this place.
    *okay I usually admit freely I can’t do under 7 minutes BUT this was definitely 10! Lol

    • 91

      Love this Valorie. Yes, it’s funny how getting permission from ourselves can sometimes be harder than getting it from anywhere else. I find that tea and Holy Spirit conversation, that is the perfect combination. Proud of you for putting keyboard to fingers here and sharing with us. Cheering you on!

  67. 92

    I’m so very excited to read it, Lisa Jo. You’re my favorite writer!

    Janelle

  68. 93

    AHHHHHHH!!!!! That’s SO super duper exciting!!! Congratulations!!!! awwww. That’s going to be so. much. fun!!!! Big giant hugs. Great news.

  69. 94

    You made my day!!! I am going to be first in line to get it!

  70. 95
    Rachel C. says:

    Wow! New book and new baby! You go girl!!

  71. 96

    Oh Congratulations Lisa-Jo! That’s wonderful news and I can’t wait to read it. You’ve inspired me more times than I can count as well. The times when I’m feeling like I need someone to get what’s going on in my head right at that moment and I’ve turned here to read and nodded my tears away are countless. It’s like it’s meant to be- to find words of solace, of comfort, of grace and prose here just in the nick of time. This month is Down syndrome Awareness Month. My dear middle daughter- well she has Down syndrome. It was 6 months after she was born that I started to write. It was a little over a year ago when I found your blog and started joining in most fridays to tell bits of my own story paired with a picture that summoned the words for me. For Down syndrome Awareness Month I decided to take part again in the blogger 31 for 21 challenge. The challenge is to blog every day in Oct (31) to raise awareness of Down syndrome (Trisomy 21): 31 for 21. In the past I’ve just gone on and on about how amazing my girl is, I’ve shared resources, I’ve also shared ordinary things about the extraordinary girl that she is. But this year after enjoying these FMF posts so much I decided to use this format along with photos that a photographer friend took of our family earlier this summer to share bits of our day to raise awareness. I love this format and the writing that comes out- I often go back to read again and again. So I want to thank you for that help. xoxoo

  72. 97

    Tough prompt this week. I loved your post. Thank you for doing this each week.

  73. 98

    Grinning from ear to ear for you, Lisa-Jo!

  74. 99

    Thought that was going to be the big announcement!!!!

    Congrats to you and your getting bigger family. And thoughts on writing….continue to be brave. If you are, then I too will be braver, my friend.

  75. 100

    Wonderful post…. =-D

  76. 101

    Thanks Lisa Jo for your quickie writing! This is my first visit to anyone’s page and your description of the books you’ve written have definitely peaked my interest! I enjoy your
    writing style…..please keep on writing!
    Judy

  77. 102

    I fell in love with your honest, open heart a long time ago Lisa-Jo. Your words have been a continuing source of blessing. I know the Father has good plans for that fourth baby. You will be sending it out into the world with His blessing and purpose. Cheering you on – always.

  78. 103

    I love how brave you are! Congrats and I can’t wait for the book to come out!

  79. 104

    Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so excited for you, & I cannot wait to read your book! You are brave & courageous & witty & wise, & I feel your heart when you write! Thank you for sharing your heart and your words with us & inspiring so many women to live brave & true & unafraid to share our stories.

    Now, let me introduce to the little girl who wrote about aliens…

    http://wendytate.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/the-little-girl-who-wrote-about-aliens/

  80. 105

    Oh wow! How great and wonderful on both counts! Congrats on tha book and the baby!

  81. 106

    Congratulations on the book. First time visitor. I took up your challenge. It was difficult because of all my mistakes. I will try it again next week. I hope to improve.
    Blessing to you
    ann

  82. 107

    I am so very excited and happy for you! What an awesome accomplishment!
    You’re Five Minute Friday posts have gotten me back on track with my blog posting. Although this past month was a bust. My last FMF post was the last friday ofAugust. In my defense, I have been involved on two different book launch teams, traveling and well…just life! Seeing that this Fridays word prompt is the word ‘write’ makes me want to jump back on the FMF bandwagon. Thanks for just being you and your willingness to be out there and real with the rest of us! :-)
    I look forward to reading your book!
    blessings,
    Gay Idle@CaptiveHeart

  83. 108

    First time Five Minute Friday-er here. Congrats on your book. xo

  84. 109

    Congratulations on your book. It’s time to celebrate! :)

  85. 110

    Congratulations on completing your book! Now you’re down to just a full-time paying job, full-time mommy job and blogging! Time for a nap! ;)
    I am a few years, and twice the children, ahead of you in the mommy job, and I learn a lot and am encouraged by your writing.
    I am a bit envious of those younger moms that are able to glean from your wisdom in the early years, but am really happy for them to have someone cheering them on in this wonderful, complicated, blessed adventure of motherhood.
    Thank you also for the writing encouragement! The prompt for today really helped pull me out of a rut/slump.
    Blessings!
    ps My husband works for a company in Glen Allen. We made it to DC in June. Next time I’ll have an ice cream delivered for you!

  86. 111

    Hi Lisa! I’m a newbie. This is only my second week on the Five Minute Friday journey and wow..I’m already loving it. Thank you for this weeks prompt! It brought up some unexpected things from within me..and than you for your own transparency and vulnerability.

    I LOVE how you share your life! Can’t wait, along with others to read your new book!
    Praying for a safe delivery ;-)

  87. 112
    Vanesa Toris says:

    I AM ALREADY WAITING FOR IT!
    THANK YOU & CONGRATS!!!

  88. 113

    YAY!!! Congrats!! I hope to be able to say the same thing…someday. I wrote my book (a child’s book), but now I have to go about getting it published, so I am a long way away from holding my baby! :)

  89. 114
    Mike Fisher says:

    I write so that I might reach you
    A febel attempt to speak your native tounge to bring us closer to understanding each other.
    In comparison you are Rembrandt and I’m a five year old with finger paint …… And wearing most of it……. But I still try to creat the picture .

    I would climb a mountain of
    Vowels and swim an ocean of concenants ….
    Battle a bevy of
    Dipthongs to earn consideration for your affections
    Your Yoda and Iam Luke Skywalker befor he finds his place in the universe ……….
    But I digress
    I like you
    Your cool
    And I would write to you until the wells of time run dry of ink, if only the thinist shred of hope remained you would be mine

  90. 115
    Stephanie says:

    Congrats on the new baby! I too am expecting a Mother’s Day baby; can’t wait to go through this journey with you through words! I’ll take a chocolate donut, please…

  91. 116
    Stephanie says:

    Wait… okay, you can tell I’m *really* expecting a baby. My brain is gone, kapoof, eaten up by a small placenta… hehe. I feel dumb now. =) Still very excited about your “baby!”

  92. 117

    Lisa, every week. your words drip from the screen. so beautiful to watch and read. your words are like candy SO beautiful and sweet! thank you so much for sharing sweet friend. You inspire me and 300 other women to link up each week and share our thoughts and connect. thank you for having this link up every week :)

  93. 118
    Marinalva Sickler says:

    This I recall to my mind
    Therefore I have hope
    Some years ago at a law university class, I heard a word of one classmate, who cheered me up to face the new circumstance of my life as a divorced woman and crushed with so many events. I didn’t have a clue at the moment that my friend’s words would stick with me as a continuo reminder of God’s goodness. For a long while it sounded like vague words that I could not recall its reference in the Bible and I kept looking in Lamentations till I found it.
    “This I recall to my mind; therefore, I have hope.
    Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,
    Because His compassions fail not.
    They are new every morning;
    Great is Your faithfulness.
    “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
    “Therefore I hope in Him!”
    Lamentations 3: 21-24 (NKJV)
    On the 26 verse, it says “It is good to wait patiently for the saving help of Adonai.” (Complete Jewish Bible)
    It has been a long year since the driving to make a visit and the last car payment when a driver suddenly stopped the traffic and intercepted flipped my vehicle and changed the flow of my season. It was a painful July over the departure of my sweet husband to heaven and all the agony of the legal work from the bank account to the Social Security, and the lack of resources for the summertime.
    A phone call brings me hope that righteousness is served to me. News of the settlement over my losses is a very low offer, but for me it reminds me that God is my portion. The fixing up of another car left at the same month at the shop is also gone. I am definitely flipping over a page of another season reminded by my eight years old grandson’s words, “Grandpa’s beautiful car is gone and Grandma has no money to buy a new one.” Our lives were spared. Little man had only seat belt marks and I, no broken bones. For a little while,” I have so forgotten what happiness is” (17). The aches and pains of that moment made the prophet spell in full words his mindset and he claimed in deep sorrow and lament, so did I.
    The coolness of the new season is bringing me hope and as I write down about that day I consider the fact that I must let my soul sing again.

  94. 119

    Lisa, you are an inspiration and encouragement to me … looking for some support on my blog. http://keeponpath.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/happiness-sits-on-my-shoulder/

    Thanks!
    Karen

  95. 120

    WOO HOO! How exciting! How thrilling and so amazing! Good job!

  96. 121

    good thing you’re one of those women who don’t mind a WHOLE LOT of people in the delivery room with you!!! cause we’re all gonna be there!!! ;))) exciting news. and cracking up how many thought it was a real baby! you’ll never get that back, ya know. some will just forever be totally convinced you have FOUR kids!!!

    grateful your writing is the kind that leaves us all feeling we can write too!! it breathes courage and inspiration.

    xo

  97. 122

    It wouldn’t let me link so here’s my offering of my first ever poem!!
    http://karensandford.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/five-minute-friday-write.html

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