22 May 2014

Five Minute Friday: Close

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

(Yup, these are Five Minute Friday writers at a meetup at the Allume Blogging Conference last year).

View More: http://kimdeloachphoto.pass.us/allume13

We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I post here starting at 10pm EST on Thursday night and all through Friday.

And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party). And we have our own brand spanking new Facebook page now too over here. (Thanks to Karen for dreaming it up, creating it and hosting it for us!)

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

It started because I’d been thinking about writing and how often our perfectionism gets in the way of our words. And I figured, why not take 5 minutes and see what comes out: not a perfect post, not a profound post, just five minutes of focused writing.

So now on Fridays a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write without worrying if it’s just right gather to share what five minutes buys them. Just five minutes.

You can meet them over here on our (did I mention it already?) Five Minute Friday Facebook page.

Your words. This shared feast.

It’s easy to join in, just:

  1. Check what the prompt is on my blog.
  2. Write a post in only five minutes on that topic on your blog.
  3. {And if you don’t have a blog, no worries! Just leave your writing as a comment on my post}
  4. Link over here and invite friends to join in.
  5. Select the permalink to your post {so not your blog url www.lisajobaker.com but your post url www.lisajobaker.com/2012/07/five-minute-friday-2/ }
  6. Using the blue linky tool at the bottom of my Five Minute Friday post enter your link.
  7. It will also walk you through selecting which photo you want to show up in the linky.
  8. Your post will show up in our Five Minute Friday linky.
  9. Be sure and encourage the person who linked up before you!

Our most important requirement for participation: There’s really only one absolute, no ifs, ands or buts about it Five Minute Friday rule: you must visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.

So come and write with us. Together. On one word for five minutes. And then link up your post or leave it in the comments.

Today the word is CLOSE.


She sits so close to me I can feel her breath on my cheek. It’s hot and sticky and smells faintly of lollipops, black beans and rice. Her curls are sweaty and cling to her ears and she swats at them annoyed by what I find only breath-haltingly beautiful.


But she wants to be that close every day. Every day. She believes an inch between us in an inch wasted. And at 9am and noon and 3pm it’s precious. But by 6, 7, 8, 9, I start to feel chlaustrophobic. And the more I pull or resist or try to coax her to stay in bed, please or let daddy wipe you or can Micah please set up your Princess Sofia the First series, the more she super glues closer to me and I’m suddenly drowning in big batting eyelashes and wishing I could take a walk around the block.

So I do and she cries when I leave like I’ve abandoned her. Like I’ve flat out sunk the ship and left her on it. And no amount of dad or brothers or My Little Ponies will fix it. And I run away up the block and around the corner and over that crack in the sidewalk that always tries to trip me.

I run away only because I’m running a loop that will lead me right back where I started. I’m running for fresh air and fresh perspective and fresh courage to be someone’s all-day, every-day human Velcro.

And when I arrive back huffing and puffing she’s waiting at the door and screams in delight, “Mama! I seeeee you!”

And she does. She makes me so very seen.




{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    Oh, I seriously loved this one. xx

  2. 2

    Count me in. This sounds like SO much fun! In a house with five kids its easy to take those five minutes and just sit with a blank screen. I love the freedom this gives to just write what you have breaking open inside of you and plop it out… even if it’s not perfection.

  3. 3

    I love you so… I remember those walks around the block to breath… Um… read my post. ;) My walks now for fresh air will be a little farther than around the block – but praise God they will still be within walking distance!

  4. 4

    Oh, I so remember the Velcro days. It’s so hard to be someone else’s everything every minute of the day. Good for you for taking a run–time to yourself. And just in case you’re wondering, even when they’re in their twenties, and they come home to visit, they only need you when you’ve just sat down on the toilet… ;)

  5. 5

    Beautiful friend. Me? Well, I stormed out and cried out yesterday from all the “close”. Close to losing it, but the walk did me good and then they found me as I was walking back. Good to be found even when we don’t feel ready to be.:)

  6. 6

    Sigh, I have ones like that too, I KNOW that run and the conflicted but urgent leave-taking. I have never been so well loved.

  7. 7

    Here’s my five minutes on Close. I have learned you can be close to someone physically, but you can still be close if they are far away. I spend most of my time in the semi where my hubby and I share a twin size bunk, no we are not that skinny! I love being close. I love having my head on his shoulder as I fall asleep.

    But I have another who is even closer to me. God. He lives inside of me. I cannot see Him or touch Him, but ABBA is there, right beside me. His love surrounds me. He is close. I will never ever have to worry about Him leaving me.

    I love being close physically with my hubby, but there is nothing greater than the closeness I feel with God, my Heavenly Father.

    Having lost my dad to cancer at 17 I really appreciate the closeness of both of these situations. It has been over 40 years and I still miss his closeness. I am so glad I believe that one day we will be close again.

    Thanks…the END

    • 8
      Ashley Fields says:

      What a beautiful post! I have to say that I cannot imagine sharing a twin size bunk with anyone as my bed is a twin size bed and with just me in it I wish I had more room. Your connection of closeness with God is beautiful. While He’s not here physically, He still never leaves us and that is beautiful, wonderful, wondrous thing! I am sorry for the loss of your father, especially at such a young age. It is a blessing to know that you will see him once again, isn’t it?

  8. 9

    Thank you for this link-up, Lisa-Jo; it has been such a blessing for me to reflect on the closeness of my sweet Jesus today, and to be reminded of his faithfulness and unfailing love!

    Have a beautiful and grace-filled weekend!

  9. 10

    Oh that is beautiful. My daughter is almost 3 and we are going thru the same thing right now. Beautiful perspective from you :)

  10. 11

    Wow! your writing evokes such beautiful & clear pictures & also, the reality of “close” – the closeness & the need to sometimes be away & then return to be close. Thanks.

  11. 12
    Ashley Fields says:

    I do have a blog but I haven’t figured out the ins and outs of linking posts to another site and I am at work so for now, I’m just going to put this here!



    Why am I so afraid to let people get close? To be vulnerable? Is it something that I learned during childhood or a coping mechanism I have developed to deal with a sense of rejection I sometimes feel…? Lately, God has been speaking to me about not being so alone and not feeling so lonely, even in a crowd because I have to tell you, even when I am with people I love, I often isolate myself, feeling as if I don’t belong somehow. I’ve always done that and I am at a point where I no longer want to be isolated. I will never be and honestly don’t think I’ll ever want to be a “social butterfly” but having more than one or two friends (Facebook friends NOT included) is probably a good thing, right? I mean, we live in a world where social media reighns supreme and while that’s great for keeping up with what’s going on with friends and family who don’t live close, it’s not a way to be truly social. I don’t believe it’s what God intended either. Not at all. He created His children to be social. So what’s happened to face to face conversations?


    • 13

      Ashley – I had a similar theme – it is really challenging to be vulnerable and really let people in, isn’t it? I hope you keep asking that question of yourself, and that you will be encouraged to let yourself be more connected to those around you!

    • 14

      Ashley, I know that feeling all too well. I have built up so many walls around my heart to try to keep the scary hurty stuff out, but I’ve learned that there is equally scary hurty stuff in here with me, and I’m keeping out the very people who can help heal me from the hurts.

      It is SO HARD to let people in and be vulnerable, but it is also SO WORTH IT.

      I am going to post a poem on my blog that I wrote about this a while back. I am still struggling with opening up, and praying that you will be able to do the same.

  12. 15

    Such wonderful humor and truth in your words. “Human Velcro” – my favorite part :)

  13. 16

    First post ever.
    I need to just close my eyes and remember to breath. Breath in the fun. Breathe in the joy. Breathe in the love. Close the door on past hurts. Close the door on yesterday’s disappointments. Close the door on yesterday’s mothering mistakes. Close the door on every failure I continue to carry and let drag me down. Close the door and let it go. I am more than that. Breathe. Smile. Live. Enjoy! Life is good!

    • 17

      I like your interpretation of the word close, as an action verb. Your self-reminders ring with me – I forget to breathe, and I forget to be in the present moment, and I struggle with perfectionism so put too much focus on my failures!

      While you close doors that keep letting in pain, keep open those that bring you joy and towards your purpose!
      Keep writing! (this was also my first go at this!).

    • 18

      This is very encouraging and a great reminder to remain in the moment. Thank you. I needed that. =)

  14. 19

    My blog was created for a sabbatical project…perhaps I will create a new one but for now, I’ll post here:

    On Sunday, I sat close to other people in nearby pews. Other spouses of worship band members were nearby, young families around me. And suddenly I felt the weight of our previous day’s crisis in our home come crashing into my mind’s eye. Friendly people so close to me, yet I felt so alone, so isolated, as reality began to sink in about our current circumstances. I recognize again that physical proximity does not help you feel known. And I felt a longing for someone’s heart to feel close to, to be known. During the congregational meeting time, the Moms of younger children around me greeted each other with excitement, catching up on what had happened since their very recent gathering I knew they had just that weekend. I put out a little effort to move closer to others to shake hands, to try to smile and say good morning. But mostly I stood still, watching others, until finally I sat down and just listened to all the greetings around me. “Could there not be another Mom of a teen who gets this a little?” I thought, a bit sullenly. This familiar feeling, of not fitting in, chasing me since childhood, wondering if I can have a Friend Forever, a BFF, or was I always to just be a part of a larger group, a third wheel. Feeling isolated as a parent of an emotionally impaired nearly adult child, quite sure none of these Moms “got it”.
    Finally, the greeting time wrapped up and I saw another Mom slide in to a pew a few rows ahead of me, beside her husband and her youngest child. As if sensing me staring at her long blond hair, she turned and looked me square in the eye as she turned her body to snuggle her daughter. Her head cocked a little and she mouthed “are you okay?”, and I knew I didn’t have to smile and pretend. I shook my head no, gave a weak smile, and said “it will be okay”. My heart clenched – an answered prayer that quickly? Tears sprung up, and I began to plan my escape, just after the Deacon’s prayer when the next worship song would start. I long for closeness, but run from it as well.

    • 20

      “I long for closeness, but run from it as well.” I totally relate to this. Not sure how to change it, but totally relate. It’s nice to know we aren’t alone in our struggles.

  15. 21

    I love listening to your writings on children and family. At times you all seem so cozy, but have real problems at the same time. thanks for being you and having this forum.

  16. 22

    Not too far. Near. Very close. Kinda close. Near.
    Beside. Bedside. Around the table. In the car. Elevator.
    “I can get there quickly.”
    Family. Best friends. Neighbors. Partners in common seasons.
    Heart-linked or hip-touching. Close.

    • 23

      Love how you linked up words next to each other- I read it a few times just for the rhythm of that. Heart linked or hip touching will stay with me today, thank you.
      – liz

  17. 24

    Oh Lisa Jo, that run around the block or to the bookstore or for a 5 minute chat with an adult who doesn’t need you so deeply. Those are mandatory moments of refreshing and we return…ready to be seen. This was so good and true. Your mama heart is super sweet.

  18. 25
    Elizabeth says:

    He’s close to that age where he may do all the rest of his band aids himself. She’s close to deciding she doesn’t need twinkle twinkle one last (or twenty more) times. And even she’s close to losing that baby skin and yummy tummy and filling out more and more of big sisters clothes. They are all so close. And I want them to be close to these things, but I also wish it was all so much farther away.

  19. 26

    So I know it’s probably too late to join in the fun and I don’t have a blog (yet)and I’m sure I didn’t spend 5 minutes….But since I read this tweet, and then the Facebook page and the prompt I have not been able to get it out of my head. And that was Friday night. But while it’s technically Saturday morning…it’s still dark out so it’s still overnight. Lol
    Anyway… here goes a little maybe 50 second not five minute blip…
    CLOSE:Fmf 5.23.2014
    The more I get to know You
    The more I want to be close to You.
    Nothing could be sweeter.

    Would our response have been any different than Mary m’s response? Martha? Anna?
    What about anyone who traveled with the Saviour. We have the benefit of reading the stories, of seeing the ‘what happens next” but what if we were there and didn’t”read” the next part?
    To be so close to the Saviour and still not get it….

    • 27

      Carol – love your 50 second post! I am a habitual late writer (2 hours before the link closes. LOL!) , so you are welcome to squeeze it in whenever works, for whatever you can give.

      I love your last question – what if we WERE so close to Him and we totally missed it?! I am so thankful that I know Him. That even when I miss most of the point, I have the one thing covered. Believing in Him!

      Have a great day! Hope you write again this week!!

  20. 28

    Your words paint such a clear picture, Lisa-Jo, that I’m feeling in need of walk around the block! I think, at first, I would love a Velcro-child, but I don’t know, I think that kind of love-need would overwhelm me in a short time. Or maybe not. There are some things we will just never know :) I know one thing, despite your need to get away at the end of the day, I can tell from your writing that you wouldn’t change a thing about your little girl! Have a blessed weekend.

  21. 29
    Amy Hull says:

    This sounds great! How does it work again if I don’t have a blog or website? And who do I encourage? Thanks.

    • 30

      Amy, you can write your 5 minutes right here. And then encourage on someone who did the same, or visit the last box (or several) showing at the bottom of the post Welcome to Five Minute Friday!

  22. 31

    I realize the time is passed, but I have had this in my head since I read about it too (#24, Carol).

    Here goes a few minutes. Maybe not 5, but it’s still a go.

    Do you mean close, like “close the door”? Or close as in “close to death”? How can one be so close to death and not be close to her Savior? Not even know her Savior? Lord how do I help? What do I do? What do I say? Maybe that close is for me. For me to draw close to You. To remember your truths. What you say in your Word. About Who You are. That you desire none to perish. Lord help her. She needs you. She needs your rest. She needs to be able to stop running to find a solution. To realize that death is on the horizon. To stop and enjoy her family before it’s too late. To let them enjoy her. What is left of her. Lord keep me close in the coming week. You have me being close with her for a reason. I know you’ve gone before me. I know you already know what is going to happen. Help me to rest in that. Shine your light through me. Help me to remember that my job is to love. Help me love well.

    • 32
      Felista says:

      Soak up the time left, however little or much it is. And don’t stop praying no matter what happens….it’s the only thing that makes sense when we feel like the floor has been swept from under our feet at the loss of a loved one. It will be well. It is well.

    • 33

      Beautiful Cory being so close to our saviour is the beautiful gift :)

  23. 34
    Michelle Anderson says:

    Such a sweet time. Soak it up for all it’s worth!

  24. 35
    Felista says:

    I haven’t been here for a while, but that prompt! It’s so timely!
    I’m 3 days late, but I’ve been thinking of posting this since Friday. So here goes….
    Start: 3:11pm, Monday
    How else can I describe the God who fills the world around me and the heart within me other than CLOSE? He’s in the air I breathe, the colours of the sunrise, the swaying of the leaves in the breeze. He’s right here in my heart. But lately, I haven’t felt so close to Him. I ran away in a time of grief because it hurt. I didn’t pray or read my Bible, but He never left me. And in the nights when I cried as my heart broke, I heard His voice saying ever so softly, “I know”. Because He really does know. He knows what it feels like to lose a loved one; to be angry and frustrated and not understand why. He knows what it feels like to go from best friends to strangers and not know how to find the way again. And best of all…He’s right there holding a lamp to light the way. So I turned back to Him today (read Friday). And I asked Him to be the centre of my life again. And I know it will all be ok soon. Deuteronomy 31:6
    Stop: 3:16pm, Monday

  25. 38

    33 weeks and 6 days I carried you as close as a humans can be in my womb
    I rubbed you and prayed over you and sang worship songs with you
    Everyday I thought of you and everyday since you were stillborn I have thought about you
    I birthed you and even before you were placed in my arms I utterly and completely loved you and claimed you as mine
    You were so close on my naked skin your smell your body
    I would give a thousand days for one more day of closeness with you
    My darling my love my son

    • 39
      Cory I. says:

      Alana, Heartbreaking. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank your for your boldness to share here. It is beautiful.

      • 40
        Felista says:

        I’m so sorry for your loss….. There may be no words to put grief into words, but I pray that God will comfort you and that you will find strength and healing in Him.

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