21 Mar 2014

Five Minute Friday: Joy

On Friday’s we silence the inner critic. The loudest of all naysayers. And on Fridays we remind ourselves that The Word is for us and loves us and welcomes us.

Your words are safe here.

So come and write with us. Together. On one word for five minutes. Here are all the details. And then link up your post or leave it in the comments. But remember, the one must rule here is that you visit the person who linked up before you and encourage them in their writing.

That’s it. The gift of encouragement – pass it on.

Today the word is the one that’s bubble up and out and spilled over in me today.

Today the writing prompt is JOY.

I have this daughter who turned three and I can’t stop spinning and spinning in circles I’m so smitten with who she’s growing into. And then there’s this boy with his curls he insists we chop off and how he’s as proud of my new book as if he’d written it himself. He walks around holding it under his arm. He sleeps with it under his pillow. He tells me he told his teacher all about it at show and tell today. He’s a one-man promo-show for his bemused mother who isn’t quite used to him being quite so tender with her words.

He wants me to take a photo of him holding his book. The one he’s written his name on – front and back. He wants to look like his sister who held that book all bright, pink nails and blonde bangs.


He wants me to write my name – and mom isn’t enough. “Now put, Lisa-Jo,” he tells me and so I do. In the black marker from the set his sister got for her birthday.

He holds the book like an old friend, like a new baby. He cradles this story I’ve cradled for years and my heart aches at the thought of the boy who inspired the chapter, “How to Fall in Like.” The boy that took me years to navigate, the boy with a temper as wild as his beautiful, brave heart. The boy who sleeps with his own story beneath his pillow and who I couldn’t possibly like more tonight.


PS: In just a wee bit over the week this book will be arriving in your mailbox if you pre-ordered it. My Micah chapter might be one of my favorites. It’s my humble apology to anyone with a strong-willed child that I ever doubted. It’s my love letter to my son.

You can get a sneak peek at the first 3 chapters over here.


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    What a joyous time for your family…congrats on the book release!! It’s adorable how “into it” your little ones are!

  2. 2

    Yes, the “Micah” chapter, that is the one that God used to reach in deep. This post (below) is from my early blogging days, but its words remind me of why your chapter struck so close-to-home. Thank you for being brave in “liking” him and sharing the struggle and that love, from Him, that runs down deep and spills over and into those places that need His deep love.:) http://www.reidreview.blogspot.com/2011/11/he-and-i.html

  3. 3

    So – can I just say that it is killing. me. to not read the first three chapters? LOL?! I have them… just taunting me in my inbox – but I know I am gonna have to underline and highlight from the start… trying to wait. Not sure how much longer I can hold out! I love you so!

  4. 4

    Congrats, Lisa-Jo….what a sweet story about Micah…oh, how he loves you :)

  5. 5

    P.S. So exciting to see that the money for the Community Kitchen is past the half-way mark…Woohoo!

  6. 6

    Joy is such a loaded word for me! I have a daughter named Joy and it’s something I need more of in my life!
    PS. Can you do Hope soon as the word for 5 minute Friday so I can feature her too? ;)

  7. 7

    My strong willed child turned 8 the day Zoe turned 3. Everytime you write about Micah, I see Annabelle. Can’t wait for my book and to share the love.

  8. 8

    How PRECIOUS! Can’t wait for my copy to arrive!

    Deb Weaver

  9. 9

    “Now put, Lisa-Jo” – Can I just be the one to point out the obvious and tell you that even your son knows there’s no such thing as “just” a mom? :) I hope he never forgets it. I hope YOU never forget it.

  10. 10

    The joy that exudes from your fingertips when you write of your children is contagious, Lisa-Jo! Like so many of us, I’m holding myself back from reading those first three chapters because I can. not. wait. to get the paper and ink version in my hands in a few days and just eat it up! Joy, indeed!!!

  11. 11

    I’ve seen the FMF’s in the past, and wanted to participate, but it seemed so intimidating since it takes me so long to put my thoughts on paper. However, after much thought, I finally took the plunge & took 5 minutes for a ride this morning. I loved it & am looking forward to participating more often. Thanks for this! Congrats on the book as well! :)

  12. 12
    Brandi Strickland says:

    I woke up this morning parched. Parched from the business of this crazy life that weighs and pulls and pushes. Though I be parched in this dry world, I plant my feet on the cool carpet and listen to the quiet spaces of home. I think of my husband and how he plants his feet down on the cold floor at work, climbing from his cot, wondering if he had a call last night. I listen to the quiet breathing of my daughter fast asleep beside me. I slide my feet into the gray slippers waiting to nestle them and tip toe to my son’s room and my other daughter. I lay my hand upon their warm bodies, thankfulness engulfing me. The coffee pours, flooding my cup with warm goodness and I drink. I peek outside. Sun barely up washing shadows from the horizon and listen to the sweet sound of birds singing. Last night was hard. Every night when my man is on his shift is hard. I lay awake wishing he were home, but thankful for his love, his hard work, the joy he takes in being a hero, a fire fighter. The sacrifice he makes so I can wake each morning to this daily job of mothering, teaching, loving on my little ones. I breathe deeply and the dryness of the day is watered, washed down with my coffee and the Word. Though this land be parched, the sun shines up and the ground sparkles with dew and I drink the Word. I feel it. Joy. Joy from being loved and from loving. Joy and thanksgiving in and through and around every part of me and my home and though he’s at work, joy is around him and we are together. Though my little ones are fast asleep, joy wraps them snugly. Home. My Savior. Joy is his gift to me. So many things to wake to, to be thankful for and this morning I sip, I sit, and snuggle down deep in my chair, blanket wrapping me, and soak up the joy.

    • 13

      As a military wife, I know how hard it is to be on your own. I loved your post and loved how you are able to find joy! Blessings to you and your family!

      • 14

        Thank you Amanda! I really appreciate your encouraging words! So thankful for your husband and his service. I have much respect for military. I don’t know how you do it. My husband’s schedule is crazy and its hard, but he’s only gone for 24 hours, at most 48, at a time. Prayers and blessings to your family!

  13. 15

    Blessings, Lisa Jo – and so happy to debut today with Five Minute Friday – a link-in I have avoided because I hate writing to time limits! Gah – it’s like too many pictures hung askew on the wall for it being done too fast and sloppy. I would dilly-dally over using one word or another or spelling and grammar in the use of my time. BUT – your prompt this week was too ME to pass up. Joy is my word and I could fill volumes on it – more than my humble offering this morning. I did it, though – and hope to be back again facing the clock and overcoming the fear of the buzzer that might cause me to leave an error or indiscernible concept. Taking JOY into the day – and celebrating you new book AND the sweet little ones who have inspired you . . .
    Kathy at The Writer’s Reverie

  14. 16

    Oh, my heart. That could not be more dear.

  15. 17

    I couldn’t wait to see what the word was this week. My life has been changed. I have been clinging to your words about breaking up with yourself and your old life and God showed me this week what that really meant and now I have so much Joy! I’m so excited that was the word for this week! Thanks Lisa Jo!

    Sitting in a hospital room with my baby hooked up to oxygen and all other sorts of monitors to track his heart and breathing rate was where I found it.

    I had been searching and praying to God to show me how to be the mom he wanted me to be. He had been answering me with gentle nudges, but knew that I needed to be hit over the head to see what he had been trying to say for weeks.

    It is time to let go…

    It is time to stop doing it all…

    Your new title, MOM, is so much greater than who you once more, no one will call you Captain again, but that doesn’t change what you accomplished and where you are headed.

    It is crazy to think that God answered my prayer by sending us to the emergency room with a sick baby, but there in that hospital room is where I found the joy I had been searching for and something even greater God’s peace.

  16. 18



    Joy , how I love the feeling of joy, the relaxation of the facial muscles, the lung muscles, the heart muscles. When I am in joy, love exists there too. It is whole hearted, whole breath, whole face relaxation into happy! Acceptance! Anything can happen to me or around me and this Joy will still be mine, in memory waiting to be actualized, realized, made real in Me! Joy Joy Joy what a pretty word, a gift from the Holy Spirit, after you believe, trust, hope, pray, know Who God Is. Nothing can bring down your Joy, it might have different levels, like grieving first but knowing God is with, in and through me in a situation. Joy is always right around the corner, no actually Joy/God is always right with us, as He says Who He is, He is I AM!! and Joy is there!


    Thanks Lisa Jo and for all your realizations on the journey!
    Mary Ann

  17. 19

    “The boy who sleeps with his own story beneath his pillow” – that just captured my heart. I have a boy who sleeps with his own story under his pillow – I wrote a whole series of unconditoinal love posts that cheerleaded me through the hardest parts of that story!

  18. 20

    I tried to comment on the five minute Friday post of the person who had posted just before me. Unfortunately, no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get access to the account. I don’t use my google profile much and there was a disconnect between me on google and my other account there. Sorry. I always read the post before and comment, and feel bad that I can’t seem to find a way to do it this time.

  19. 21

    Your book is on my wishlist. I am so inspired by your writings and your life.


    Joy. These days it is hard to feel it. Lately I feel as though I am in a grieving process. I feel numb and achy all at the same time. I feel as though I am living in a time warp. I feel sick to my stomach.

    How did I get here? How did I let this happen? There have been many tears over the last few days. A large self-inflicted purple bruise on my right knee from banging it into a kitchen cabinet out of frustration. Out of fear.

    How will we manage over the next few months? How will we afford schooling and child care? How will I be able to tell my children no when they ask for an ice cream when the ice cream truck comes by this summer? How can I look into the eyes of my children and my husband, knowing this is all my fault?

    I’m scared. I’m afraid. There is little joy here now.


  20. 23

    Lisa-Jo, Your words! They are just like balm to the soul for us tired mommas. Thank you for being you. Thank you for letting us in on your life. It’s a joy!! :) http://Www.waitingforbedtime.com

  21. 24

    Lisa-Jo, I love this story about your boy. Boys, even strong-willed ones, are so special and always hold such a special place in mama’s heart. I was reminded of the sweetness of my own boy, now a grown man. And I am startled every time I look at him to think that he is mine.

    • 25
      Marinalva Sickler says:

      Hi, Holley!

      I’m also cherishing the reading of her motherhood story. I’m a grandma raising a gradchild. I feel honored by God in returning to the full task of motherhood. Jo-Baker is strentghening me and at time make me laugh or even cry. So don’t be weary of your present time. There are lessons to learn since we never know what is ahead for us. For me, it’s been a surprising box!
      Love you!

  22. 26
    Marinalva Sickler says:

    Today, the 21st of March, I was supposed to cry. It was my deceased husband birthday. The plan for the day was to stay homem and burn the last piece of the wedding candle that I held for 18 years. However, life took me to banking and driving to the pawn shop.
    Wesley, my nine years old grandson, who I raise now, shifted my focus and reminded me that we were close to the pizza place favorited to grandpa. “Let’s go there as we used to do with grandpa.”
    I had no time for tears, sadness, or lack of joy. I realized right there that walking through the street at downtown that held so many lovely memories of the first ride to my new home, or the ice cream cones sitting at the sidewalk, or just reading the graved stars of the personalities linked to Palm Springs hall of famous stars, wasn’t painful any more.
    There was a new thing, the motherhood, that is springing up right from my being! It is inspired by the smartness and sensibilities of my nine years old boy who keeps an eye at his grandpa album by his container of toys in the living room and in the life ahead. “There a little leap of joy in my soul!” The preschool teaching lessons of years ago resounds now on my dreams while I revisite my new motherhood tasks.

  23. 27

    I’m so glad you’re sharing this family perspective of life as a new author, it’s so inspiring for the future. And what honor & love exist in your son! Well done mama, well done.

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