On Fridays a bunch of brave writers gather here to all spend 5 collective minutes writing on a single prompt. It’s here that fear falls away, because scared is the new brave. There is safety in this community that rallies ‘round you – whether you’re having an utter confidence meltdown and are sure you can’t write anymore, a catastrophic parenting meltdown and are sure you can’t mother anymore, or just an epic almost Friday breakdown and are just not sure. These women – they’ve got you. This blessed, beautiful place where we open our hearts and let words and tears and the inner workings of our lives bleed and flow and dance across the virtual pages. Yes, this community opens wide and invites you in to share. Come and visit and read. You will be blessed.
This week: Mighty
It is a white-river raft of twittering; lighting up my phone that suddenly just can’t keep up anymore. Don’t worry little guy – I know just how you feel. Of course, I’m in the car when I join up – so even more with the not keeping up. But despite that the spotty WiFi (don’t tell me 4G if it’s not even 1.5G – please) and the long day where I tried not to cry or yell or both – and failed epically on both counts – the warmth of home and belonging washes over me because I have to tell you: these people, these women in this community – even the ones I don’t know yet – they are my people.
Tonight we’re raising coffee cups and chunks of chocolate to toast the almost-birthed joy that will be Lisa-Jo Baker’s debut book, Surprised By Motherhood. It’s out in four days and it’s going to be amazing. I say this, having only read the first three chapters over and over while I wait impatiently for the real deal to show up on my doorstep. I thought maybe there wouldn’t be anything for me in there. Thought maybe I was too old and that my one girl wasn’t little enough to find something for me. What was I thinking? This is not a “how to” book for mothers. This is “why we do what we do” book about how we do what we do. But I have to stop short here or I’ll be writing my post that I’m been planning for the actual release. Can’t have that now, can we?
And I want to get back to the people. The women. The community of 300+ writers who gather faithfully online each week for a glimpse of the one-word prompt that turns into a sacred cathedral of sharing space and confessional and redemptionary circle. This community is a mighty force – and I did not know how great when I first tiptoed in from the sidelines; lingering scared and hesitant in the shadows. I had no way of knowing that the first two women to fling their arms around me via Twitter would be ones I would write with in an online group and be two of my best compatriots – had no idea that I would be wrapping arms around them in real life and continuing conversations with none of the usual hello, how are you, welcome to this awkward greeting moment.
No. In this space, that just doesn’t seem to happen. We dive in and share hearts and warm, war-torn stories about battles with our children and rip us to the core, we hang on to each other and hold fast when tears flow online and over Voxer, we join hands and lift one another up – forming an impenetrable walls of prayer to cover one of our own when she goes out to the mission field. We laugh. Debate the merits of Nutella. Compare notes on what we’re reading (everything) and what we want to read (everything else). And never cease to be amazed for one moment at the wonder that God works along the fast moving lines of Ethernet cables and fiber-optic lines.
I am grateful and blessed to have the life-saving, life-giving gift of these friends (even the ones I haven’t met yet), and pray that others will take a chance and step in from the sides to join. Because this kind of fellowship is only best when it’s shared again, and again, and again. As the mighty wave of love, grace, and friendship rolls on.
How to Join
Want to know about Lisa Jo Baker, how Five Minute Friday got started, and how to participate? All the details are here. No editing or second guessing. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.
I'd love to connect with you some more - stop on by the Three Bees Facebook Page or connect with me on Twitter @3BeesBlueBonnet. Let's continue the conversation!