Thursday, April 3, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Writer

Five Minute FridayOn Fridays a bunch of brave writers gather here to all spend 5 collective minutes writing on a single prompt. Its 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: Writer


Oh mercy. What am I doing? That part where I wrote about being on blogging sabbatical? It ran smack dab into the Thursday night Twitter party for Five Minute Friday and an I-don’t-have-to-go-to-work tomorrow night. And seriously? The prompt? How was I supposed to ignore that? I knew this was going to be a challenge, but let’s face it, the FMF crowd, this Thursday night/Friday writing thing? This is my jam. So, in perfect character, I’m breaking the rules tonight. If you know me, this will not be a surprise.

But I want to honor my own commitments too. And so I want to share something besides my own words with you tonight. I want to share my writers. The ones who do this jam thing with me. The ones who flitter through Twitter and cheer through the blogosphere as we lift one another up. I want you to know these women I love who say, “I am a writer.”  You need to know up front that this list will be woefully incomplete. I’m just picking five. One for each minute. There are so many more. I ask for grace.

The writer who just might be my blogging BFF if there is such a thing: You’ve heard me talk about Karrilee here before. This beautiful woman of light and love. Who asks you to speak love. She blogs at Abiding Love Abounding Grace. Her spirit of joy and encouragement permeates all that she shares. I hope you visit her space.

The writer who said yes before I even knew her name. Casey is pretty amazing for many reasons. I’ve known her for a mere couple of weeks and I’m already a fan. When we did the #192HoursOfPrayer she signed right up and jumped in. Lifting up a friend she hadn’t met yet; sharing the prayers with her family and kids; being so faithful. She’s recently re-done her space: Create-Relate-Share Jesus. I hope you visit her space.

The writer who blossoms encouragement like she’s a camellia tree in full bloom. Jenn, who scribbles fresh words, is more than I have words for. Her kind, generous, praying heart has been bound to mine so closely – and I haven’t even met her in real life yet. When you read her words, you are lifted, comforted, given to joy, and yes – encouraged. I hope you visit her space.

The writer who reminds me that He has a greater story. Holly and I keep discovering things we have in common. Love of red lipstick, pens, more office supplies, the writing life, and uncommon grace. She is an extrovert extraordinaire, but we fit like a matched pair. Her words bring hope and are grounded in the Word. I hope you visit her space.

The writer who runs towards an authentic life. LeeAnn is another relatively new friend – we get lots of those at the #FMFParty. She writes beautifully about broken pieces that are repurposed into a mosaic masterpiece by a loving God who holds it all in His hands. Whether mothering, marriage, or the joy of freedom in Christ, her voice rings out; echoing the promise that He brings. I hope you visit her space.

The writers I write with are talented, courageous, and marvelous. I hope you enjoy the visit to their spaces. I look forward to sharing more friends with you in the future.
You know.
After I’m done with my sabbatical.


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!

Doing My Creative Best

While on sabbatical, I'm reading Galatians (among other things) and just loved this verse that really hit home yesterday. I read it first in the ESV and then in the Message - so good! This describes perfectly what my goal for this time away is.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Surprised By Motherhood

I don’t think it was ever a question of “if” – just “when.” While I didn’t have it planned down in
excruciating detail – unusual for me – I knew that I would be a Mama someday. And then after ten years of happily married togetherness, we looked at each other and said, “so that parenting thing, we should probably get on that, no?” That was all the planning we put into it. We won’t be intentional. We won’t worry. We won’t plan. We’ll just do it until it happens. So much for not worrying. I realize in retrospect that it happened pretty quickly. We were blessed. We started officially not “not trying” in January, and by the 4th of July we knew we had a baby on the way. And then I started planning. In excruciating detail. I was a marketing project manager at the time, so I had a binder – a large, color coded, branded one. Including a birth plan with scope management; project sheets; spreadsheets; cross-referenced lists; and an alphabetized, organized, prioritized phone lists. Dang it, I had a moment-by-moment birthing playlist set; my child bursting forth into this world to the sounds of Creed’s With Arms Wide Open. Yeah. This will give you an idea of how I intended mothering to work for me.

The reality is so far from that binder that it’s almost hilarious. Or maybe it’s just so normal and what I had in mind was hilarious. The more I mother, the more I’m inclined to believe the later. Anything you plan – the way you think motherhood is going to go – that plan is kind of hilarious. Because you don’t know. From beginning to end, you don’t know. I only have my one, but I’d hazard a guess that it’s the same if you have more than that. Because each one is so unique and special in their own way. You don’t know. You can only pray; ask for grace; and trust that perhaps two percent of the good stuff that you try to push into your tired Mama brain from all the terrific books, articles, and blogs will stick. And between that and what you learned along the way – and if you’re really fortunate – from the ones who come alongside you, you and your baby are going to be just fine.

And because everyone needs someone to come alongside them – at their most tired, and most low, Lisa Jo Baker, a well-travelled mom of three who never thought she’d be a mom, has written Surprised By Motherhood. It’s not a how to book on motherhood, it’s a “yes you can” affirmation that no matter where you are in your mothering journey, you too can be the one in the superhero cape. Even while covered in ketchup splotches and stray socks.

There is an authentic honesty in her voice that talks about the joy of mothering that makes us laugh – even at 2 a.m. in the midst of projectile vomit. That same voice speaks true and reminds us that with the joy comes the anger and sometimes grieving of a stage in our life that is no longer ours.  I think that’s the part (on page six), when I knew that no matter what my other worries were, this book was for me. I continually wrestle with “how much of myself do I need to give up in order to be a good Mama?” And Lisa Jo is there to hug me and say, not give up, just give different, so they can be better.

There is a comfort to know that someone else gets it. Someone else knows what the pain and the heartache looks like. Even someone who looks for all the world like she has got her stuff together and is miles above all the vomit, and the poop, and the dirty laundry. This woman – this wonderful mother – she laughs out loud all the time and tells us tired moms that she doesn’t. And that it’s okay. That there’s grace, and cake, the soft palms of your babies as they stroke your face, and a community of moms just like us that are here to do this brave, mighty mothering thing with us.
Because no matter how old you are or how old your kids are, it still feels pretty fantastic to have someone tell you that motherhood (and you) deserve a medal, a superhero cape, and likely, a chocolate sundae.

I hope that you’ll run right out now and order a copy of Lisa Jo’s book, Surprised By Motherhood from your favorite bookseller. You’re going to love it. You’ll probably want to get one for any of the new mothers in your life, and frankly for your best friends who are in the mothering trenches with you.

As a special treat – because it was such a treat for me to be on this launch team – I am hosting my very first give-away on the blog. I’m giving away one copy of Lisa Jo’s book, Surprised By Motherhood, plus this absolutely adorable pendent from Origami Owl. It’s a medium silver locket with a cherry charm. I noticed that someone had sent a similar necklace to Lisa Jo (notice the whole cherry theme – so darling!) and wanted to get my hands on one. What makes this extra-special is that the cherry charms have just been retired (sad face, but lucky winner!) and are no longer available. My good friend and Origami Owl rep, Susan Fleury, was kind enough to chase one down for me, and I’m so pleased to be able to offer this as part of the prize. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below, and on Saturday morning (April 5), I’ll announce a winner.

 Get the first three chapters for free right here