14 Mar 2014

Five Minute Friday: Crowd

Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.

We write because we love words and the relief it is to just write them without worrying if they’re just right or not. So we take five minutes on Friday and write like we used to finger paint. For joy in the process. No matter how messy the result.


Got five minutes? Come and write with us; it’s the best kind of free therapy.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in. Find out how over here.
3. And don’t forget to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on: CROWD


I’m sitting with head phones on and trying to ignore the piles of shoes and plastic guns littered like so many bright blue flower petals of chaos on the floor in front of me. I’m wrapped in the old grey blanket and there’s a slab of chocolate cherry next to me. The rumpus from the bedroom doesn’t die down and Pete, he invites those rowdy three back to the big bed.

One by one they wander into the sheets and blanket and they each bring their own pillow. Glasses of water. Opinions. And I watch as they grin wide at me before padding through the door they’re banned from entering after lights out. They are at home in the middle of our lives and I smile at him from down a short hallway and we dance right there with our eyes before our kids block out the view.

Those boys in their teeny little precious tightie whities. Pete says as long as they want to keep coming it’s not time to tell them, no. It’s time to teach them that we will always be a safe place when the darkness comes. When bad dreams threaten childhood and grownups are still a safe place to take shelter we will be that shelter.

Even if it means fart jokes and someone’s dirty foot poking into the small of someone else’s back. And the bed shakes under all the joy and there’s no such thing as a crowd when you’re a family. There’s just sharing pillows and rolling into the tiny sliver of space left for me down the left hand side of the mattress. Under cover of soft snores, there’s kicking off your socks and slowly peeling yourself into the gaps that children leave for the parents who breathe a welcome sign. Even at the end of long days.

He teaches me that. He teaches us all. And we crowd in under it together.


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    We were on the same page tonight with a crowd of children! Loved the visual of you all crowded into the same bed because I remember the days when my two would crowd in on me. Good memories.

  2. 2

    I love, love, love this part: “Pete says as long as they want to keep coming it’s not time to tell them, no. It’s time to teach them that we will always be a safe place when the darkness comes. When bad dreams threaten childhood and grownups are still a safe place to take shelter we will be that shelter.”… I have been struggling with my own little bed guest who overstayed her welcome. But, I love the thought of our letting her overstay her welcome telling her this…thank you for sharing. Beautiful…

  3. 3

    Oh how I remember those ‘crowded bed days’

  4. 4

    Love this, Lisa-Jo, “Pete says as long as they want to keep coming it’s not time to tell them, no. It’s time to teach them that we will always be a safe place when the darkness comes.” You know what? I said basically those same words to my five-year old son tonight lying in his bed after reading to him (and before falling asleep and missing the #fmfparty. :\) So, yeah. I want my boy to always feel safe here with his safe people. Free to say what needs to be said without fear of judgement, and always full of love. No. Matter. What. Oh, and my boy sleeps in his tightie-whities, too. Glad we aren’t alone there, either. ;) Love you and love this!

  5. 5

    My first Five Minute Friday post! *super nervous and excited*
    I’m posting it here because I don’t have a blog….

    GO: 12:20pm Kenyan time
    Lists. Chores. Deadlines. Dirty laundry. It all clogs my space and mind, and I don’t know what to do with it half the time. Sometimes I get angry staring at it all and promise I’ll do something about the messiness. Other times I pass by and look apathetically and think, “I’m too tired to deal with this.” And sometimes I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all right. Not disappear, just put everything in its rightful place. But it doesn’t work out that way, does it?
    Everyone needs to declutter at times; whether it’s in our homes, work places or lives. But sometimes it’s not so straightforward. Sometimes, I don’t even know where to start. Yet something has to be done, because without decluttering, my life turns into one horrible mess! Thank God I don’t have to do it alone. God provides the grace and strength to do it. He asks me to cast all my cares on Him, even when those cares don’t make sense. He tells me that there’s no need to worry because He cares for me. And most of all, His arms are open wide to embrace me in all my messiness. So I can look at the crowds in my life and smile, because I know that He has my back in all the mess.

    • 6

      I don’t have a blog either, but I love posting my five minute fridays! I hope to have a blog someday soon! Loved your post!

  6. 7

    Oh and I loved your post! My mum tells us that we’re never too old to stop asking for hugs and those hugs have seen me through the most stressful seasons of my life so far. Thanks for sharing!

  7. 8

    Beautiful post! It brings back the best memories to those who have already passed down this path. And for those on the present journey, it shares the importance of the “crowded” bed :) Love this post! Blessings!!

  8. 9

    Love this sweetness. We just put up our new king size bed because 4 kids in a queen was too much of a crowd :) Now there’s room for everyone, which in our house means tickle war is on!

  9. 10

    Those days. I miss those days!!! With arms and legs and way too many bodies for one small bed! What at joy to read your words friend and lately, it’s been sheer joy to catch the brightest glimpses of your story!

  10. 11

    I have come to love and look forward to FMF! THIS is a comfortable CROWD to be in – no criticism, no condemnation, no backbiting – except maybe me criticizing me! How do all of you write so much in five minutes? My 63-year old mind doesn’t go that fast. LOL! And, my fingers don’t fly….the younger mom-set are champions! Write On!

  11. 12

    I had to write today and when I saw the word, I was apprehensive because I knew it meant sharing a part of me that is very hard to share. But I had to do it, so there it is for the world (or part of the world) to see…

  12. 13

    Your big bed sounds a lot like mine Lisa Jo. My lovelies at home are aged 3 – 13. They’re all still invited, still welcome to be part of the crowd in our family bed. Have a great weekend!

  13. 14

    Stuck in a crowd of people, trying to get so much done, but you can’t move, you can’t breathe because every time you try to take a step someone or something is in your way

    It is interesting how trapped in life you can sometimes feel like you are stuck in a crowd of people and there is no way to get where you need to go at the pace you want to get there

    Maybe we need to take a step back from life and go with the crowd and not fight it

    Maybe all the things on our list are just added stressors in our life that we don’t need

    Maybe we need to sit back, enjoy life and breathe in the wonderful time we have with our family and friends

    I’m hoping today will be a day I will got with the flow and spend time loving my husband and son and stop trying so hard to get way more done than possible and not get stuck in the crowd of life.

    • 15

      Amanda – I can relate to where you are coming from. Praying for you now – may you be blessed with freedom and rest in the midst of the crowds of life, so that you can be fully present in your relationships today!

      • 16

        Thanks for the prayers! Love how this community connects us together and encourages onward!

  14. 17

    I love that wisdom, that as long as they keep asking it’s not time to tell them no. So true and so good. (And we host the same kind of crowd, too, feet in the back kickers and all.)

  15. 18

    Love your post! Love this link-up. I participated with my blog a couple years ago. Now I no longer blog and I’m very out of practice at writing, but I’m trying to acknowledge who God has made me and how words are an integral part of that (i.e. stir up the gift that is in me). So I’m tiptoeing back out into the world of sharing life through words…and what better grace-filled venue than 5 minute friday :)

    Two’s company; three’s a crowd. So what does that make a group of eight of my closest friends, my “small group”? Terrifying. When I say it like this, it makes sense; eight is a lot of people for me, someone who does best with one-on-one relationships. And yet, God designed community and desires for us as Christians to love each other and to share our lives. It can be awkward when it’s my turn to share and all eyes are on me, and all I can think about is how much I hate to be the center of attention. But how much is it about these fixed personality traits, and how much is it about outright sin and brokenness? Truthfully, I like one-on-one relationships because I feel more in control. In a group I can’t possibly notice and register every single person’s response to me and process it in the way I would like before carefully and calculatedly responding. In a crowd, I can’t reflect the other people and take my cues entirely from them – because there are many different people with unique perspectives, expectations, opinions, and personalities. What’s hard about a crowd is that I just plain have to be me. I have to be confident in myself as a person and in the kindness of those around me. I have to believe that it is okay to be who I am and where I am, and I have to trust that in Christian community, God will show His unconditional love and acceptance through the love and acceptance of others. And I have to be so secure in my relationship with Christ that I know that even if the wonderful Christian people DO reject me, ultimately he will not. So, while I may never feel a need to be the center of attention in a group, and while it may always be more comfortable to be one-on-one, I want to embrace the crowd to the extent that it is God’s provision and desire for me.

  16. 19

    Oh, Lisa-Jo, the sweetness and safety of the crowded bed. We feel the same way in our house. I love this write.

  17. 20
    Apryle Rubio says:

    Crowd.. How can I feel so alone in church.. Crowded w people. Lots of people. Smiling “Hi”. We ask each other, “How are you?” But only mean on the surface; expecting the “fine” answer. So lonely. That’s how church was for me for years, just me in a crowd. … BUT PRAISE THE LORD!! HE BROUGHT us to a church, that’s tiny in space, but huge w love!! A family is what HE BROUGHT us to! A family who has carried us in prayers and words of truth & life giving. Who when ask, “How are you?” Actually mean it! Actually, genuinely desire to know; to give a hug and a promise to pray! Church is now my family, and I truly cannot wait till Sunday to be there!! Because now, I’m the one w the hug and words of love and encouragement!! So far! GOD HAS BROUGHT us soo far!!! PRAISE HIM!!!!


  18. 21


  19. 22

    Blanketed by love and grace. Much to ponder here. Thank you, Lisa-Jo.

  20. 23

    At first I had no clue what to write about! Then it came and after I was down I felt so RELIEVED. Me and my crowded mind needed to let go of some things and drink a breath of fresh air!

  21. 24

    My chance to write comes tonight at 11:06pm, my only time alone today. Writing this on my iPhone. I have never been a part of the crowd – always forced to do things different than the rest. Not by choice but because of life.

    Tonight sitting with company I really felt how different my life is from a kidless (by choice) couple who is planning their 30 day cruise. Did I mention we are in our early 30’s? This sort of trip is so not in my world of possibilities. I have not been on a trip or even more than a weekend away alone with my husband since our honeymoon 7 years ago. We just could never afford it and now it’s been so long I’m not sure we would know what to do alone.

    The first 5 years if our marriage was spent saving money for fertility not taking trips. And now as parents of a young child a trip is just not something that even crosses our mind. But as we see other people taking them, and being so connected to their spouse I wonder what that world must be like.. And then I feel so guilty for wanting what the crowd has when really I have what I’ve wanted all along.

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