07 Feb 2014

How to write and live brave (when you’re terrified)

The thing about writing is that at some point somebody’s going to want to read it.


(And you may have to sign 600 book plates).

Somebody’s going to want to crack open your heart and take their own opinion to it. They might not be gentle.

What you wrote is going to go out into the world and you won’t be able to control what people think of it. Much like parenting. And the rest of life.

Writing reminds us that control is an illusion and that stories are always made to collide with one another. Sometimes in ways we don’t expect and maybe don’t like.

These days I feel scared pretty much all the time.

I think that maybe scared is the new brave. It means we’re stepping out onto terrifyingly deep waters. But if we’ve been called…

If we’ve been called we must keep walking one foot at a time, one wave at a time.

We just keep walking forward.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.

Called not to “comfort” or  “safety” or “happy endings” but to His purpose.

I think scared is the new brave and it looks beautiful on you friend. {click to tweet}.


I have three friends who were wildly brave this week – because they launched their books into the world. And since this community is all about our love for words and the women behind them, I wanted to share these three with you.

I’m going to be giving away all three of these books to one lucky Five Minute Friday writer who links up a post or leaves their 5 minute free write in the comments.

Youre-Going-to-Be-Okay-by-Holley-Gerth-Cover You’re Going to Be Okay: Encouraging Truth Your Heart Needs to Hear, Especially on the Hard Days

There are too many times in my own life to count when Holley Gerth has told me that I’m going to be OK. I’m so grateful for every single one. She’s the voice in my head who tells me the same Jesus truth over and over that He makes all things OK and I am profoundly grateful that she’s put it into writing so that she can be the voice in your head too.


81FmiSgB6OLThe Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life
If comedy and marriage had a baby it would be this book. I read it in a day because, like great fudge, it’s impossible to put down. Melanie Shankle can make deep sea fishing and hurling and vengeful rats into hysterical metaphors. And she sees marriage through antelope-colored glasses. Seriously, the endorsements by C.S. Lewis and Siri alone are enough to make you want to buy it. This one is definitely marriage-soup for the soul.


notes-from-a-blue-bike-650x1009Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World
Never has evaluating how we work, eat, parent, educate, or consume been as fascinating as when viewed through the lens of Tsh’s extraordinary adventures in travel. She invites us into the story with her and offers new ways to imagine the routines we’re so used to, with generous helpings of practical suggestions for how to slow down in a fast-paced culture and practice intentional living no matter what your zip code or time zone. This book is one part travelogue, one part practical tips for slower living, and one great part story telling. An irresistible combination.


OK and in case you haven’t guessed it already, today’s prompt for Five Minute Friday is WRITE.

PS: I’m cooking something up regarding my beloved South Africa and falling in love with the world next door rather than simply a date on the calendar for Valentine’s Day (aka next Friday). Looking for friends who might be willing to blog brave along for the ride. If you’re interested just click here and let me know and I’ll send along more info.


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    Love this post! Can’t wait to read your book. And Melanie’s! So I totally want to win one of these prizes. Much love!

  2. 2

    Love this post. It gives me courage. ..scared is the new brave!!

    btw your new blog is beautiful!!

  3. 3

    Beautifully written, Lisa! I’m so glad I stayed up to see the prompt. Thank you for the encouragement, I needed it tonight. “Scared is the new brave, scared is the new brave…” btw, your book looks beautiful and I can’t wait to read it.

  4. 4

    Love that you’re all kinds of human and shaking but know this, you were made for this. You were made to fling these words wild into the world and let them land in every mama’s heart and bloom there so she can be free too. You’re the best kind of brave, the kind that goes first. Love that you have some beautiful friends releasing their books right alongside you to cheer you on and you’ll always have me, cheering wildly for you and any words you want to share.

  5. 5
    Karen Rose says:

    I WRITE when I am full inside. I write when I am empty inside. I write when I have the most eloquent things to say; I write when I can’t put two coherent words together. I write when God whispers in my ear; I write when He goes silent on me. I write when I am confident I have touched someone’s heart. I write when I fear I have terribly, inadvertently, offended. Whenever I AM…I WRITE.

    • 6
      Patricia Shepherd says:

      Wonderfully written. I agree of you are a writer, you write!

    • 8

      Would be ironic if I said it’ hard to put in words what writing means to me? It’s not just putting something down that’s been going on in my head. It’s connecting. Most of my friends live in differnt countries, in different time-zones, half the world away and the best way in connecting with them is to write. To share my day, the little things, the big things and to have them share theirs. I’ve not met the children of some of my oldest friends in person yet, nor have they met mine, but I feel like I’ve been there with them sharing their lives, anyway. My sister lives in a different time zone that makes it difficult to even talk on the phone cause our life’s schedules are literally almost opposite. When she first moved we started to write each other “do you remember” emails in which we share a favorite fond memory. In those words, in this writing, it’s like she is sitting next to me, whispering in my ear, like we used to do as kids. We’ve lately moved to writing small notebooks full of everyday things and the memories we used to stick in the e-mails in irregular intervals. We then send it to each other and receive the booklet back with notes and comments from the other. I can’t describe what those words mean to me, not really, anyway. Precious would be a good word, maybe.

  6. 10
    Patricia Shepherd says:

    As I put my heart on paper for everyone to see, I can feel the lump in my throat.
    Sometimes the compulsion is so great I have no choice but to pour out my thoughts on paper.
    The Blog page that has my picture as the first post. With the caption “This is a photo of a writer”
    I am a writer, even when I don’t write, I am composing in my head.

  7. 11

    I love your blog and I love the prompts. And you say is so well. I, too, am afraid every time I write something. I always think I will be criticized for laughed at. But you know what? I write for ME. So it is okay. I would love to win all of these books. They sound as if they are each speaking to me in the place that I currently AM!

  8. 12

    Congratulations on your book – it takes bravery to achieve our dreams:) Bravery means we recognize the risk and fight the good fight!!! Excited for you!

  9. 13

    Way to go on the book Lisa Jo!! It IS brave to write. It scares the crap out of me sometimes too, and at the same time is such a thrill :). Thanks for bringing us all together on these five minute Fridays. <3

  10. 14

    This is inspiring i need to get started on a book everyone keeps telling me to write.

  11. 15

    This is so inspiring! I write because it helps me process and at same time encourage others along in my journey. We all need to write our stories the world would be a better place, knowing each of our struggles and joys. Loving the journey of writing and how it has helped me grow as a person. My desire is to be a better writer and a writer of truth!

  12. 16


    My first 5-minute Friday and the topic is: write. Apropos.

    When I first started “writing” for enjoyment, publication, and later profit, I was 35. I never enjoyed writing much before that.

    It has become such a part of me, though, that it’s hard to go through an entire day without writing something for others to see: whether it’s an encouragement on Facebook, a technical article in my field of expertise, a testimonial for the blog, a press release for a client, ghost-writing a book, developmental writing, or a magazine article. Words are such a part of me and getting them out is a great delight.

    Jesus is the Word, John tells us, and He is the story that we all imitate. When writing, I long to be true to Him, to be an encouragement to His people, and draw others closer to Him.

  13. 18
    AineMistig says:

    Oh, God…the prompt is WRITE. You’re not letting me forget, are You?
    That when I was a little girl, before kingergarten, when I knew all the letters but none of the words, I was desperate to learn how to read so I could learn how to WRITE. I remember my father’s mother, whom I’ve only met twice, came to visit, and I left scribble all over blank paper, and hid giggling. She and the grandmother who was a mother to me saw the paper and exclaimed, “What’s this?” and my father’s mother said, “Awwww, scribble.” And it just reminded me again how I burned to WRITE.
    Then in second grade, after I learned to WRITE the teacher read my story aloud, the first story we were ever assigned to WRITE ourselves, and said it was the only one that was actually a story. The rest were aimless, but mine had all the elements.
    And in third grade when we had to WRITE a story, I was the only one who made it into three chapters.
    And my family would get me journal after journal after journal for birthdays and Christmas, because I was destined to be a WRITER because I”m so good at it, and the pages were all blank because I was scared to put something in it that wasn’t good.
    In sixth grade we had to WRITE a book in groups, and I basically wrote it all. Then, for my senior project, I wrote a novella, after I had found YOU for the first time.
    And then someone prayed over me that year, saying the LORD says you’ve got some good WRITING in your belly.
    Don’t forget. Don’t put it away. Don’t forget to WRITE.
    Now ten years and two babies later, I don’t even have the poems I wrote in college that the professors wanted copies of and put on the wall. My husband is a professional writer, and I am still waiting to WRITE what it is I’m supposed to WRITE.

    • 19
      AineMistig says:

      Lisa Jo, that was my 5 minutes.

      If I were to add another line, it would be this: I’m still learning to let go of perfect, and be brave enough to let whatever mess I have out on the page, and WRITE.

      • 20

        Aine, wow! What a blessing your comment is. Take this 5 minute challenge to heart and do it every week.

        To quote Lisa Jo: “I think scared is the new brave and it looks beautiful on you friend.”

        God has given you a calling: to WRITE. He is your audience; He is your inspiration; He is the only critic Who matters…

        Worship Him
        Relish His pleasure
        Inspired writing inspires others
        Trust that He will use your word for His purposes
        Expect nothing, but delight in Him


        • 21
          AineMistig says:

          Thank you Jim Bob for your encouragement. It was greatly appreciated. The suggestion to just engage in the weekly 5 minute challenge is good advice. I learned the skill of writing through inspiration in my youth…now, it seems, I need to learn to have the discipline involved.
          Again, thank you for your encouragement.

          • 22

            I second Jim Bob’s encouragement. Please write. I can hear the power and tension in your writing voice. It wants to get out!!!

          • 23
            AineMistig says:

            Thank you Morag! The encouragement from Jim Bob and you today have really been a blessing…and perhaps a confirmation. ;)

  14. 24

    I can’t wait to read ALL three of these books!! Thank you for your words, and the heart that makes them possible ;)

  15. 25
    kristen lila says:

    To be brave is to write. I have always loved to write. Ever since I was a little girl I can remember writing mon sense in my diary and continued the practice of writing through my teen, college years. Writing for me was an outlet- free from pain, abuse, judgement. UntilI became brave and shared it. I wrote for my hs and college paper, and dreamed of becoming a writer profeasionally, dare I say evwn writing a book aomeday. Iy still sounds crazy but after a long hiatua from writing aince my son was born I’ve felt uncreative….lets me honest I’ve felt like I don’t have time for that…. I miss simply being able to sit with my apiral notebook and pen and write….. so with the new steps I e decided to take this year I’m trying to be brave. All these things Ive wanted to do for long, I’m finally starting ro take baby steps to do them…I’m sick of living in the fear of what ifs -what if someonen reads it and hates it, what if no one reads it. I’m ready to be brave, to write……

  16. 28

    “Scared is the new brave” I love this! As someone that has a passion to write, this post struck a chord with me. I used to write and even have a blog that lies in wait and my heart longs to write again. I have had some health issues that have put me on my back so to speak and I lost the energy to write and somewhere along the way it feels as though I have lost my writing voice. I know it’s there. Someplace. I know it because I still feel this passion to write. I know this may sound weird but I am constantly writing in my head. I have may laying it out to God, this passion I have to get back to my blog and to just write again. Yes I have a lot of good excuses. Pain. Exhaustion. Raising 2 little’s. BUT. I have these passions in my soul and one of them is to write. There are times I believe I am meant to write. In the mean time I read the words of others to be encouraged and lifted up. Finding myself living in “the mean time” gives me a lot of time to think and pray and write inside my head. Just maybe one of these day’s I will surprise myself and everyone around me and just do it. Dig that writing voice of mine back out of the basement, dust off the cob webs and write. I hope. I pray. :)

  17. 29

    Five Minute Friday – Write

    Write – It’s something I must do. It’s a part of me as much as mothering my children and being a wife to my husband. It is a dreaded term for everyone in this house but me. None of my mathematic and logical minded males understands the need. I laugh at teachers that question why my children don’t like to write. Some days I want to strangle them. Don’t they understand that if anyone could teach children the love of the written word that it’s me? I still write on paper every day. I love the written word. I love the act of writing. I write what I feel and I write what comes from a power that I don’t understand. Sometimes the words I write are just not mine. Then I am the vehicle for the words I write, and the results are sometimes astounding. I go back and read and I weep for being given the gift to put words to paper and write. To write is part of why I was born.

  18. 30


    The desire is to wax eloquent. The reality is earthy.

    Free-writing is an exercise I avoid because I process and edit everything. Nothing – well, rarely anything, comes out unedited. Words written or spoken. Edited. Every single one.

    To write unedited, I think, is a vulnerability I am uncomfortable with because of its earthy quality. Raw. It is what it is.

    And, besides that?

    What if I don’t have anything to say? What if I freeze up? Or what if I don’t freeze up and end up writing something meaningless?


    To write is to share and sharing is hard.

    But sharing is good.

    • 31

      I am the opposite type :) If I write it must be unedited. I must let the dam break free. I hesitate to write because of this, because I can’t control what I will say or how I will say it. It is a type of therapy for me :) Loved reading your comment. BLessings for you Calista!

  19. 32
    Mary Ann E says:


    It is so hard to sit down and write. But it is not hard to write. To get the words in my head onto paper, to organize the delicious thoughts that occur by inspiration in my mind, it is pure delight. The hard part for me is making my body go to the chair, sitting down and writing or typing it out. Like now, it wanted to put this writing off until later. But I told myself I was here on LisaJos blog and just do it. and the words are flowing. If I gave into the scared, this would not be happening. But look, I went to school and I learned how to write, how to form and diagram a sentence, to begin, middle and end a composition, so many years of learning to write and I am afraid? It is also very good for me to see my thoughts on the paper or screen and know that is my truth! It is something I believe and it is ok for me to think, believe and feel that way :) I type with trepidation, but the reading of the typing is my confirmation that it is good for me to write!

    Thanks Lisa Jo!

    This also serves as my entry for your 3 books!

    Mary Ann E

  20. 33

    Write. I write because it’s not enough to leave it in my head, or even conversation. Sometimes, it’s only all really out in the open when it’s spilled on the page and left for others. It’s not about redemption, or gratification or having an audience. It’s about connecting what’s being said with what really is. It’s about bridging the gap between action and people pleasing. Writing is the only way I can find a voice to the emotion, the worry, the heartache that is raising eight children in a broken world. Writing in the only way I can breathe deeply enough to consume all that comes with motherhood, with womanhood, with life as we know it. To not write is to be forever silenced by the voices of my own mind; voices that are not always kind, that are rarely confident and only sometimes true. When I write, I hear God’s voice, that scripture memorized, it comes to the forefront of my humanness and I am reminded that I am not just the voices in my head. I am a writer, exposed, vulnerable and sufficient. Sufficient not in me, but in Him and His way of scooping up all the jumbled mess inside my head and laying it all out in black and white.

  21. 34

    Oh how timely this word “write’ is! I have dreamed for so long of being a writer. Each Friday, I sweat out the five minutes as if i’m completing a final exam and just know I am going to fail. Reading about your bravery was sobering. I had wrestled with my own challenges in putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard as it were) often. Wresting each word onto the page brought me joy, stress, affirmation, and defeat. Sometimes all within 5 minutes of one another. I had not thought about the bravery necessary to release your thoughts into the world, free from the confines of a journal, safely tucked on the nightstand along with all those books you intend to read. One day. When the children are out on their own and my concept of free time well spent is more than napping and catching up on laundry. Bravery. Yes. To expose our deepest thoughts or even the most shallow ones requires letting go of the concern over what others will think. But that, as you point out, is at the core of our calling…to follow His purpose. It certainly isn’t something taken lightly or without a nugget of bravery in your backpack for the journey.

    Thank you for always inspiring and somehow knowing the words we long to hear. The ones that inspire us to take a deep breath, cinch up our tired mommy bodies and go on. The ones that make us laugh or shake our head in humorous understanding.

  22. 35

    Write … I wrote to save my sanity at one point in time. Writing about the abuse and fear in the hope it would leave me forever. But recently I realized that writing. wasn’t enough and something in me was broken. Those words that once were my friends bs and I know now just how sick my soul is and I’m lost. now without my words.

  23. 36

    There is this thing that I have been meaning to do. It’s the kind of thing where you hope your words will mean something to that man sitting in his office. It’s the kind of thing that you hope will resonant on his heart strings and give leniency for someone’s mistakes. It’s not just a letter; it’s a character letter. It’s the letter that might sway a judge to let a dear friend have, not a fully free pass, but a pass nonetheless. A friend of mine made some serious mistakes and though I understand he felt like he couldn’t swim without floating funds – I don’t agree with it. The thought of writing this letter makes me queasy. I want to forgive him and the judgment is not mine to pass, but I still do. We all make mistakes, but not all of our mistakes are public record, bound with public humiliation and a stigma that will follow him for the rest of his life. Yeah, he acknowledges he messed up – but why do I have such a hard time letting go of his mistake. I feel a little betrayed to be honest, almost like the money was from my pocket. This is not the person that I knew – It’s hard to write to be honest, to be truthful. Lashing out won’t help him and it won’t help me. He’s already scalded – why do I still feel the need to sear him also? I suppose I have to dig deep into my character to write his character letter. It’s funny how that works…

  24. 37
    Valarie N. says:

    For me, always being a shy introvert, sharing my true feelings through writing has been a gift to myself. It can be so hard to share words. In high school my best friends, who always shared school classes with me , were suddenly not with me anymore. So we started passing composition notebooks to each other between classes, for 4 yrs of high school. It was such a lifeline for us. We could know what was going on in each others lives even seeing each other a few moments a day. We still have the notebooks 17 yrs later. I have started a notebook with each of my 4 children. My 13 yr old girl has shared things with me that I dont think she would have felt brave enough to say to me. My son, 6, draws me pictures and writes I love mom. It is precious to me. TO WRITE for me means to share Love. Thank you Lisa-Jo.

  25. 38

    I miss Five Minute Friday–so today I’m here in the comments.
    I’ve always been a writer–since those early days in 3rd grade when I wrote new/better endings to all the stories that I read. I wanted to change the world! Now here I am. But am I changing anything? I left writing for about 15 years before I came back to it–writing about being a joyful mom, homeschool projects, awesome recipes and living a intentional life–I loved it! But am I changing anything?

    So now in my own way I have decided to dedicate my life and writing to “being a resource not a warrior”. I write about how our food decisions have a huge impact on ALL living things, including the Earth. Now I feel like I can create change!


    Lisa-Jo–thanks for this opportunity for me to freely write each week. Sort of like dancing like no one is watching :-)

  26. 40

    All my life, when I question who or what I was born to be, the people around me have responded unanimously … you are a writer. Even as I write those words, I feel shaken with the fear you described in the post, and brought close to tears. That happens a lot when I decide to rub up against what I know deep down inside me is true. Why do I resist my truth? Why do I feel so self-conscious about it? As I type this a continuous loop is going through my head, “You can delete this before hitting post comment, or you can copy and paste it, consider and reconsider your options all day” … giving myself some kind of permission to be let off the hook, or ignore (depending on your perspective) a (maybe, possible) gift. So, today, in this moment I’m choosing to offer love to myself and that (maybe, possible) gift. Thank you, Lisa-Jo for this safe place and opportunity to share. Here it goes …

  27. 43

    Five-Minute Friday
    Word prompt: WRITE


    Write. That’s the prompt. Why do I love to write? Because I think as I talk, I process as I write, and as the oldest of eight children (five of which are now married) and the parent of two with seven nieces and nephews (and that’s just on my side), if I relied on speaking my thoughts OUT LOUD, without interruption, to process what was going on inside, I would be in deep trouble. Maybe that’s one of the major reasons I’m in deep trouble now.

    I know that I think more clearly about life when I write. I figure things out and they start to make more sense as I journal. And yet, I am OCD enough that I do not want to journal out of order. Consequently, there are big gaps in the writing-down-part of my life.

    Big gaps.

    Sad gaps.

    For example, I have de–


    Thank you for saying “sorry,” sweetie.*

    What was I saying? Oh, yes, that it’s hard to process out loud because of the interruptions (the sweet-beautiful-blessing-treasures) that I grew up with as siblings and now have as children. Two, so far. Of my own children, that is.

    For a long time it would greatly frustrate me that when my side of the family got together (my parents, siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews, husband and children and myself now number 24), it was IMPOSSIBLE to say more than about two sentences at the dinner table without being interrupted, either by a crisis or a wisecrack or a “please pass the chips.” Then I took an interpersonal communication class in college and learned my family was, by definition and number, more than a small group. Light bulb. So THAT is why…


  28. 44
    Apryle Rubio says:

    Five Minute Friday

    I’m listening to iTunes Radio and the song Falling In Love With JESUS came on .. All I can do is cry as I realize that is what it is all about- being in love with JESUS .. If I want to be a good mom, I have to love JESUS first, if I want to be the wife my husband desperately needs me to be I have to be in love with JESUS completely. If I want be a healing peacemaker, I have to be so in love with JESUS that nothing the other person does to hurt me will stick to me. I want to be brave and strong, I want to be a fierce warrior chick, I want to be a beacon of light in this dark, sad world. And the ONLY WAY TO BE THAT IS TO BE TOTALLY IN LOVE WITH JESUS!!!

    That’s my five minutes for this Friday.
    Thank you Lisa-Jo, you are beautiful and so brave.
    Apryle Rubio

  29. 45

    Gracious, Lisa-Jo!

    I cannot tell you how timely this is for me. I’m writing a novel (working on actually, you know, telling people. I hope it works as a motivator). And I’ve been compelled to tell for as long as I can remember.

    But I usually don’t tell people that because then they will want to read what I’ve written and that means they’ll have the keys to the front door of my heart. And they’ll peer in and make opinions. And these people, they won’t just be people on the internet or across the country, they will be people I see, people I know. People that I have kept these things from for fear that they won’t like the naked little hermit crab tucked inside the glamorous shell. But writing rips that shell away. And I’ll be judged on the Most Vulnerable Me. It’s terrifying.

    So I started my blog. If I can get over the anxiety attacks induced by hitting Publish and letting the world see me in bits and doses in blog form, maybe when I actually publish a book, I won’t hide in a cave for two years.

    So thank you! And congratulations on your new ‘baby.’ :)

    Grace & Peace,

    Sarah Beth

  30. 46

    Hi Lisa-Jo, yes, I love how we are called to be brave. The best part, is that doing that brave thing, with our life, means we are stepping into something bigger than ourselves, and we never have to do it alone! I am so grateful for how you do that. Bless you, sister.

  31. 47

    Hi Lisa Jo…love all the changes around here and congratulations on the book. The part about writing and someone inevitably wanting to read it. Yeah, for years and still. This prompt is perfection. Thanks for encouraging me to process my feelings on why I write and for whom.

  32. 48

    Hi Lisa-Jo. Last night I searched for “friday link-ups” for new blogging ideas and yours popped up! Somehow I’ve been hiding in the bathroom (from the kids) too long and I never heard of you or visited your LOVELY blog until now. It’s beautiful and I already feel encouraged.
    I love writing – LOVE it – and like you and other I hardly have time to dedicate to this love of mine with four young kids and a wonderful husband to pay attention to and love more. So I think this Five Minute Friday is PERFECT. Thank you much for it. It’s amazing what five minutes of pure, raw, spontaneous writing time can do for the soul!
    Bless you! ~ Erika Marie

  33. 51

    Perfect word prompt for a writer! I’ve been participating in a 500 words a day challenge hosted by Jeff Goins, and I’ve created a new habit — writing every day. I may finish that book yet!

  34. 52

    The writing prompt today: WRITE has clenched my heart like a tight fist.

    I’ve felt compelled to write for some time. In the end I end up procrastinating by redesigning my blog or by reading words others have written. I’m scared. I’m scared to write but I feel called to write – what I feel led to write – even what I want to write.

    I am scared of people wondering, “who does she think she is that she can say …” and “why in the world would she put THAT kind of information out in an extremely public venue.”

    Who am I? That goes around and around in my head as I think about writing and sharing my story. j

    Why is my story valid? Why should my story matter? Does it even matter if I write?

    I think it does – only because I feel a prompting of the Spirit of God. But how does one get rid of the fear to WRITE.

  35. 53
    Kristi V. says:

    I want to write. I’ve wanted to write ever since I was a little girl. I have always loved to read, devouring books as if they were food. I wanted to be one of those authors; I still do. But I’m afraid. Actually, terrified. What if someone finds out and makes fun of me? What if my family thinks it’s a strange thing to want to do? I’m afraid they won’t understand my dream. I’m afraid I won’t have anything to write that’s worth reading. What will I share? What will I give to the world that it doesn’t already have? Writing is an art; I’m no artist. And yet, even though I’m scared and afraid of what people might think, I still have that dream of being a writer. It won’t go away. It creeps into my mind daily. What to do? I guess I’ll give it a try. What if God is calling me to writing as a ministry and I don’t answer his call? I won’t know if I don’t try. So, I will be a writer, not just in my dreams.

  36. 54

    Congrats on the book! I find your writing so inspiring. Perhaps I see myself in it too. I became a mama last year and it was not a role I saw myself fitting into, but it’s been a life-changing ride so far and I am so excited to see the rest of it!

    Here is my Friday post:

  37. 55

    Thank you for helping me fill up my maternity reading list. I’m so looking forward to your book and I’ll gladly take these recommendations!

  38. 56

    Lisa-Jo, thank you for bravely taking the words from your hear to the page. The one thing that brings me back to this spot to be refreshed and encouraged and inspired, again and again, is your transparency. Knees-knocking, you come here ready to do the day with grace and share the ride with us. I love the opportunity to peek inside your world and know that I don’t walk this Motherhood road alone. I echo the many here who are eagerly awaiting you NEXT book!

  39. 57

    I’ve been away for a bit. Glad to be back. These books look like they’ll be very helpful.
    Here’s my “Five Minute Friday: Write”.

  40. 58

    Wow what wonderful advice! I’ll be honest, this is really my Wednesday’s quick post. It’s way too late after a long day with a sick 2 year old for me to try to write tonight! But here’s my latest blog post: http://ournotsoengineeredlife.blogspot.com/2014/02/feelings-faiths-friend-or-foe.html

    Thank you so much for your inspiration and bold encouragement!
    With love and laughter!

    • 59

      So since sweet Sharon let me know I messed this up (thank you Sharon) I’m going to try again… Here’s my first FMF… Write

      I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. But exactly why do I blog? It’s such a beautiful and simple way for one to bare their soul to the world; not in a way that seeks glory or self accolades, but in a way that can reach countless of faces that may need to hear a word that God puts on your heart just for them. There’s so much power behind the telling of one’s story and so much possibility to know that the one destined to hear YOUR story may be a face you will never see. How many lives are changed every day by the power of people telling their stories. How many souls can be saved and brought into the glory of God’s grace just because you took a few minutes to sit down and simply write. That’s why I write. I have a story that belongs to me and me alone, but it’s one that God designed – for His glory – and one that I know has the power to bring someone else a little closer to Him. So I will continue to tell my story, the good, bad and the ugly, as long as He fills me with the inspiration and words.

  41. 60

    Ahem, sharing BRAVE here for the first time.. and hoping this comment ends up at the BACK of the pile (!) The books do motivate :)

    There seems to be something inherently wrong with most of the Christian parenting stuff I’ve read lately. Most operate on the basic assumption that the parent is good. For example:

    We want to spend time with our kids but we don’t know how. Enter solution: 101 things to do with your toddler.

    We deeply desire to speak kindly and show patience when correcting our rebellious child; we just can’t seem to pull it off. Solution: How to stop yelling in 30 days.

    We receive joy at the prospect of selflessly serving our children but lack the time to do it. Solution: Organize your life and live on cloud nine (!!!!!).

    What is inherently missing in this self help sort of approach is that it doesn’t answer the fundamental question of “What do I do with my sin?” Or to put it another way, “How can I really change?”

    The truth is, sometimes it isn’t that I WANT to spend time with my kids but that I downright resent their demands and am perfectly content to give them my leftovers. What of that? Is there some 3 quick steps to obliterating selfishness? Is there an eBook on becoming a loving mother or miraculously changing your hard heartedness?

    Because here’s the thing: we are sinners. We are fallen. Not only that, but our sin isn’t just the “little white lie” variety, the sort that’s cute and seemingly harmless. No, our sin is raunchy, deep, and utterly destructive. There’s no 10 step, 30 day, how-to solution deep enough to fix that.

    Which is why most parenting stuff I read leaves me flat. I need the GOSPEL, for it is the power of God unto salvation. The gospel that Jesus Christ came to save sinners, of whom I am chief, and this is a trustworthy statement that I can rely upon when my heart resents being in a hot kitchen serving ungrateful children.

    I’m redeemed.

    The gospel I need to hear is that God can take an entire day’s worth of mommy failures and redeem them and make all things new and when I wake up in the morning, even before the sun is up, He is eager and waiting for me and runs to meet me anew with buckets full of fresh grace and mercy.

    Stop. The end. That may become a blog post :) Thanks for the chance to win those books, Lisa-Jo!

    • 61
      AineMistig says:

      Very True, what you wrote Arabah Joy! I’ve found that the hardest thing in parenting is changing MYSELF. It’s like I’ve read all the books and got all the tools but I’m trying to use them with crippled hands. I already know how to discipline my kids, I need to learn how to be more PATIENT so that I do it IN LOVE not in knee-jerk anger. When reading pscyhology books, I’ve read more than once the hard part is “re-training” the parents, not the kids.

      I like what you wrote. It’s true.

  42. 62

    Having trouble linking up, this is my correct link.

  43. 63

    So glad I found you and all the others here. I love the prompts and look forward to giving it a go each week. Thanks for welcoming me along for the write–ing ride.

  44. 64

    I paint I don’t write, but I keep a daily prayer journal. I started it when I needed to remember years of past prayers. I pray best when I write. When I try to talk to God, I pray the words I learned, but when I pray while I write, I really talk to God. “Open my eyes to the beauty of your world, your people and all you have created.”
    “Lord with new eyes I see today, full of sun, full of hope and possibility, help me to always be aware of those around me who are in pain or suffer in ways I do not know and help me to sense it and encourage them…”
    “As the days are glorious so are they bleak, blue, cold and without sun, but your light my Lord warms me always.”
    Words have never come easy for me to speak, but as an artist, I do not have to talk much, just paint. Life around me is seen through 60 year old eyes and it is always with awe and inspiration that I see the beauty of this world that God has created for us all. Inspiration from God comes to all of us in many forms and fills the spaces of the pages and it is important that we use it, we write, we paint, we create. He is the great Creator!
    He is also our ultimate critic, and trust Him we must, to help us know and share what is in our hearts.
    “Lord, guide me in your ways. Help me to see with your eyes and not mine.” Amen.

  45. 65

    I sure could make good use of that book by Holley Gerth. :-)

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