Five Minute Friday: Release


This week’s prompt at Five Minute Friday is RELEASE. It caused me to think about releasing things in my world, either my internal or external world, so that I can receive more of what God has planned for me. Sometimes the things we release are clearly things that are bad for us but sometime we let go of something that is not in itself bad to make room for something greater that God has stored up for us.


In which we release to receive.

The little girl in the princess dress with the plastic tiara balanced on her baby girl curls trips and stumbles to the front of the toddler group circle where the grown-up helper is handing out drinks in brightly coloured sippy-cups. In each hand the small child holds a favourite toy secure in the knowledge that no other child can play with the plastic donut or the princess teapot whilst they remain steadfast in her grasp. At the front of the circle reaching out to take a drink the little girl in the princess dress is confounded how she will drink when her hands are so full. However hard she tries she can’t take a cup from the tray because her hands are otherwise occupied. There she stands in front of a full tray, and she is welcome to take, but her hands are too full to receive.

Out of the crowd of chattering parents a mother emerges to help the little girl in the princess dress with the plastic tiara balanced on her baby girl curls. There is a quiet word and gentle reason, an adult hand that helps the tense fingers to unfurl, toys forgot, hands free, drink enjoyed.

It is plain: we must release and let go to receive.

The little girl in the princess dress with the plastic tiara balanced on her baby girl curls joins the other children on the mat for songs.



What is Five Minute Friday?

We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that Lisa Jo Baker posts at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday at And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday

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

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.





Inspiration is one part of respiration: breathing in and breathing out again.

Breathing in is inspiration.

28,000 breaths a day and I’m not even counting. I’m not even thinking about it. All of that beautiful life goes on without my thanks, never giving up, never discouraged. Breathing out and breathing in again.

They say the name of God YHWH, sounds like our breath. 

Yod – Hay – Waw – Hay.

God breathes and it’s the sound of His own hushed name, the sound of I AM spoken like life itself. And I’m pulling that life in, grasping hold of it, clutching hard at it, pulling in one deep breath at a time. I never knew how much this mattered; just to breathe.

On Saturday, the sun had left the day warm and we lay on the grass in our sleeping bags as the sun set.  Andy, me and Lucy alone with the small breeze moving the leaves in the trees and two bats alight in the slow dim dusk. There is nothing else to do here but attend to the sound of our own rhythmic breath, inhaling, exhaling, inspiration, expiration.

Counting our breath ’til the stars appear in the sky.



Lisa Jo baker was off line this week enjoying a well earned rest and there was no Five Minute Friday for us to link up to so Steph suggested the prompt word INSPIRATION. Below are some of the lovely contributions that followed.

Why not consider joining in our FMF writing venture? The next prompt will be posted on Lisa Jo Baker’s website on friday morning. Get in touch if you would like some help.

What is Five Minute Friday?

We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that Lisa Jo Baker posts at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday at And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday

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

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.




Breathing in

What do I breathe

Hope or despair

Love or hate

Revenge or mercy

The atmosphere that inspires me

Gives me life, shapes who I am

The truest inspiration

Comes and goes with my breath

As I breathe in God’s mercy

Inspired by His love

Each breath is a gift

A real inspiration

A touch of creation

To focus my thinking

Until I expire



I recently heard someone describe inspiration as   ‘ ideas having sex’. It’s an unusual analogy, which conjured up some funny mental images for me. But I kinda like it. I mean, I got what they meant. Inspiration will always involve a relationship, a deep connection that is creative and meaningful. It also involves more than a little effort and lots of fun.

We usually speak of inspiration in warm, fuzzy terms. It’s generally recognised as a brief moment in time. Our language supports this – a flash of inspiration, a light bulb moment, a ‘eureka’ moment, all speak of something great but inherently fleeting. We usually fail to acknowledge the relationship and effort that produced it.

Today, when I felt a distinct lack of inspiration, I had to first and foremost look at my connection with God. In prayer, worship and Word, how much have I connected with Him lately ? Then, what else have I been reading, studying, listening to ? Relationally, has there been a connecting of my own heart to another’s ? Even more challenging – am I looking only to be inspired or am I also seeking to be an inspiration?

When I don’t have anything to do, write or say…. well, never mind…I usually keep waiting for an inspirational moment to just happen. And that is where I need to change. My perception of inspiration is too small. I have shrunk it to something I passively receive, usually from God and then from those I regard as greater than me. I realise I have made it a passive rather than active part of my life. I shun the effort required on my own part because I do not want the responsibility, nor run the risk of failure. In other words, a cop out. Consequently, poetry and prose remain unwritten within. Worse still, hearts ( my own and others ) go untouched and life is a little less fun.

So, time to change. Here’s to pursuing inspiration – to creativity, effort and fun. May we all have it and be it. And, most importantly, may we connect deeply with God and with one another. After all, isn’t that what life is all about ?


When I have been asked what my inspiration is, I nearly always have to ask for clarification. Inspiration for artwork, writing, living, specific actions or just existing? There are so many different things that inspire me in different areas of my life. There is overlap of course. I often use text in my artwork because I love words and books, but text also serves to inspire me to write. Scripture inspires the way I live (or I hope it does), but it also inspires artwork. Specific artists may inspire me to look into certain styles and techniques and certain writers may inspire me to read or to write in a different way or try a new form. If I read of news events such as the missing Nigerian schoolgirls, or the woman condemned to death in Sudan for apostasy then I may be inspired to pray and to act.

Read more HERE …


In anatomy terms, to inspire is to inhale. it is to take in the air around us and fill our lungs. to take something, and create something new from it.

Inspiration in general terms is to take something you see or something someone does and use it to generate ideas and motivation in yourself. to take something, and create something new from it.

There are a list of things I could sit here and tell you about that inspire me; a walk in the woods, the idea of future prospects, my best friends little sister… its endless, but unless I then do something with this inspiration, with the ideas and feelings they spur inside me, the what is the point?

Read more HERE …


Good friends? Good food? Inspiring teaching? The satisfaction of a tidy house? Worship? Fun with children? Errands run? Uniform washed and neatly hung on the maiden?

Read more HERE

Five Minute Friday: Mess

That which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.
Ann Voskamp


We are walking to the kitchen to make a cup of tea and she is already apologising for the mess. There are pots in the sink from a meal enjoyed and the paper work of a fully loved life, in piles to colour up every surface, in this holy place home. And I don’t care about the mess on the surface because I want to tell her about the mess of my day. I want to tell her which circumstances conspired against me like a gang of playground bullies. I want to tell her how every last best piece of my well-meaning self was broad daylight robbed of all good intentions, that my best laid plans lay crumpled and torn as the scraps of paper I scribbled them down on.

There is peace on a sagging sofa with a rug to cover up the holes, underneath a large bay window, with afternoon light pouring in to illuminate the dust motes that float in the air. We sit amongst the abandoned sweaters and school books, to pray. 

And God shows up in the everyday detritus of our dishevelled lives, beauty from ashes. Because if he isn’t there, to be found in the mess, he won’t be found at all.



Other writing friend contributions to FMF

A few friends and I share a little FMF writing over the weekend, comment on each others blogs and generally chew the cud through Facebook chats and random conversations whenever we get the chance. You are very welcome to join us . Contact me for more information or send me a link to your piece so I can include it here.


I left the house this morning, it was tidy, it was neat

I walk back in this evening and the change is very clear

The hall is carpeted with coats, there are shoes kicked far and near 

And the kitchen sink shows signs of… something… someone made to eat.

There’s never a clear surface though I’m forever making space

There are crumbs around the toaster and some butter on the floor

There is something rather sticky that’s been spilt beside the door

And a general air of chaos seems to hang around the place

From upstairs I hear their voices, laughter echoes through the air

I can follow in their footsteps as I pick up what they’ve dropped

And as I begin to grumble, my thoughts abruptly stopped

What will the house be like in days when they’re no longer there?

One day not too far distant I’ll come home to tidiness

No one to disrupt order, no clothes or crumbs or books

And I suspect that as I give my tidy home a grateful look

That something in my heart will long for just a little mess!



I used to be mess averse but my recent journey to recovery from depression and anxiety has led me to tolerate it.  Possibly at times to even embrace mess. .. click here to read more


I am currently sat in bed with my iPad mini, a bin full of tissues at my side, a bottle of water, packet of lockets, and a box of unused tissues on my bedside table. This wasn’t the plan … click here to read more


There are 2 kinds of MESS … click here to read more


My room is a mess. My bag is a mess. My head is a mess … click here to read more



We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that Lisa Jo Baker posts at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday at And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday

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

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Five Minute Friday: Friends


Photo credit, Pinterest:

It would be an understatement to say I am behind with my Five Minute Friday.

I don’t have anything more to offer than the picture above however I am happy to tell you that a few of my friends have produced some lovely short pieces on the precious subject of friends and you will find these below.


Friend is a word with such positive connotations- companionship, acceptance, loyalty and fun, to name just a few. It’s a word not usually spoken in a derogatory manner. So it is more than a little ironic, then, for Jesus to be actually ridiculed for being a friend – specifically, a friend of sinners. Oh, I wish I could have been there. Despite the speaker’s accusatory tone and laughably holier than Him attitude, I imagine a mere glimpse of a wry smile brushing over Jesus’ face. For the words themselves capture the purest essence of the glorious gospel. As always, Jesus takes what was intended for harm and turns it into good. Ever since that moment, hearts have been overwhelmed repeatedly, countless prayers have been uttered thankfully, and songs both ancient and modern have been sung passionately, all inspired by the wondrous beauty of this revelation. He is indeed a friend of sinners, and He transforms us oh-so-unworthy sinners into holy and righteous saints. I admit I both struggle and delight in this kind of relationship. I struggle because to call Jesus my friend seems a little, well, over familiar, irreverent almost. After all, HE IS GOD. And yet, the same Scriptures that tell of His awesome majesty and splendour are also the Scriptures that tell of His relentless pursuit of me, that I may share an eternity-long friendship with Him. Nothing could stand in the way of that pursuit, not even Calvary. It defies all logic and understanding. But, every day, I delight in the reality of this soul-tingling truth….


A friend is such a great treasure to have.  Someone who chooses to love you and share life with you out of choice rather than compulsion.  I have some really great friends –some I see often and some I don’t see very much at all because they live in other cities, and continents and our worlds don’t collide very often.. Each friend though is unique they are part of a particular chapter, place or season of my life – school, college, university, work and church.  No two are the same and each one has great qualities and treasures to impart into my life.  Friends make a difference, they care, laugh and cry with us, share our ups and downs and more importantly love us for just being us.  I can live without mobiles, computers, tv and perhaps even books, but I can’t live without my friends.


Go into your nearest town on a crowded Saturday afternoon and look around you.
Everywhere you look there are pairs, groups of people, FRIENDS ….

… read more HERE


I have to be honest – when I saw this week’s prompt, I thought ‘Oh No!’ Everyone is going to be writing deep and meaningful things with beauty and eloquence – and I though – nah, I’ll sit this one out…

… read more HERE


If you would like to join us by writing a piece for Five Minute Friday the prompt will be available tomorrow and I am happy to host writing for anyone who does not have their own blog. It has been lovely to see so many contributions over the past few weeks and to enjoy a little shared friendship over a common interest through our Facebook group and by commenting on one another’s blogs.

Thanks friends.


What is Five Minute Friday?

We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that Lisa Jo Baker posts at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday at And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday

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

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

A safe house for stories


Yesterday we all showed up at Su’s in the afternoon for a little cake and open house socialising on the first really sunny day of the year. I sat with Jackie in the swinging chair and we talked about how the sunshine was warming the soil and all of the veggies that she would be planting this year in her beautiful raised garden beds.

Yesterday we all showed up at Su’s like a cupboard full of chipped plates and cracked cups, a mismatch of odd crocks brought out for a larger than expected party of guests. In twos and threes across the lawn and quietly on sun loungers closer to the house we talk with new friends and old friends of holidays, family, home and work; small fragments of our story brought out to air in the glorious sunshine of that good spring day.

A few of us over red velvet cake and cups of tea got talking about our Five Minute Friday fellowship of writers, how we all came together, an accidental muddle of new writers, aspiring writers, secret writers and non-writers to organise a few words each weekend based on an improbable and random prompt. It is something we like to do, we have found a voice and an audience of great kindness and grace. We tell the stories and we read the stories. We use our words to help each other come out of hiding because each story is good and should not be left in the dark.  We won’t be going viral any day soon and the publishing houses are not queuing up to take us on, but there is more to say.

We have made a safe house for stories. We love to read the stories and would love to host your story here.



What is Five Minute Friday?

We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that Lisa Jo Baker posts at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday at And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday

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

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

The prompt this week is GLUE

I am delighted to share a piece from Sarah and links to blog posts by Steph and Debbie (click on the photo to open the link.)



Glue – it holds things together. Seldom visible, it is nonetheless an important part of so many things. The outer, obvious parts, the exquisite crafts, would generally work if something were replaced. If I don’t have that fabric , I can use that one; if I don’t have a button I can use a bead. But if I don’t have glue, the whole project will fall apart.

I know people like that – the quiet unobtrusive ones who are rarely seen at the ‘front’ of an event, but who tirelessly hold things together behind the scenes. Not the people who are often rewarded or admired, but the ones on whom we depend without knowing it.  We owe a huge debt of gratitude to these ‘glue people’. So next time you thank the people up front, take a moment to look for the glue.



Five Minute Friday: Paint



It is no secret to those of you who know me: I have suffered from depression.

At is worst, it has been a condition characterised by an inability to receive comfort or love from anything or anyone.

At times the only relief I could find was to sleep.

But as I recovered I began to find that in an art gallery, I could for a few short hours, experience a freedom from the inside of my own head and enough hope of healing to keep me sane for a little more time. In a gallery I found some pieces that were missing from my cold black life. I found colour, form, perspective, shades, compositions that held in balance conflicting views and most of all I found beauty.

I found hope and beauty in paint.

Paint: brushed and stroked, marked and manipulated, smoothed and textured, in dots and dashes, in broad sweeps and layers.

One small window painted in colours on a solid black wall. It loosed my tongue, swelled my soul and made me reach beyond the flat colour palette into the beauty of the beating heart of the God who lay somewhere on the other side of the paint.





This week several friends have submitted posts based on the prompt word PAINT. I was interested to watch two main themes emerging: finding the confidence to develop our own creativity and the positive impact of visiting a gallery.

Su has written about her own art and painting journey,

Debbie has started her own blog, At Home on the Rolling Sea and has posted a poem there

Steph has a post about her own art and trip to a gallery

Carolyn has written about her own creative work which is a significant part of her personal story.

And finally *STOP PRESS* a contribution from Karen,


Paint is something that is a big thing in my life at the moment.  To paint or not to paint on a weekly basis?  Moving home and needing to freshen up is a chore to me.  I had time off work recently and paint is what I did along with some very good friends who came to give me a hand.  Painting with friends is so much more fun and so much less a chore.  Now one friend is trying to convince me to veer away from the safety of magnolia.  I am not yet totally persuaded, but may be converted soon.  Then the decision is what colour to paint?  There are so many colours and shades and variations on a theme, but  what I do like about paint is the persuasive art of naming it to conjure up an image like azure blue makes me thing of a Caribbean sea and waving palm trees, pillar box red or lime green the choice is endless.  If you want to discover my choice once I’ve done the deed, call in and have a coffee sometime.


And some wonderful quotes from David,


“Such is my relationship with God: on my gigantic canvass of life, I am the one throwing all of the brightly-coloured paints, creating genuine splatters, authentic whirlpools of colour, beautiful patterns, wonderful streaks and stains and wild accents; God is the one with the paintbrush who stands beside my canvass filling all the intricate and amazing details in between the whirlpools and the streaks! We’re happy together!”
C. JoyBell C.
“Once, Turner had himself lashed to the mast of a ship for several hours, during a furious storm, so that he could later paint the storm. Obviously, it was not the storm itself that Turner intended to paint. What he intended to paint was a representation of the storm. One’s language is frequently imprecise in that manner, I have discovered.”
David Markson


There is still time to join us. you don’t have to be an experienced writer and you don’t even need your own blog. Our writing collaboration is demonstrating that we all have something to say and no one is excluded. So why not add your voice by following the simple instructions below?


  • Write for 5 minutes using the prompt PAINT, anything you like (free-fall) !
  • Email the piece to me and I will post it on my blog or you can post it on your own blog and send me the link
  • If you post on your own blog you can also use the linky tool at the bottom of Lisa Jo Baker’s post and share your piece there
  • If you share on you should check her guidelines and comment on the post that appear immediately before your own


Five Minute Friday: Writer


Tightrope Writer

I AM a tightrope writer

A gravity fighter

A free foot artist

Traversing the gorge

With a rope of tense language

My thin wire life

No fear of a fall


I AM a tightrope writer

A silenced survivor

A syntax-ed striker

Sky-walking the world with my words

I sway wide

But I will not fall


I come a little late to Five Minute Friday again this week but I come with “big thanks” to so many friends who sent pieces either last night or this morning. I’d especially like to mention first time Five Minute Friday contributors, Debbie, Anna, Karen and Andrea and hope you enjoy their pieces.

Last week Su asked, How do you write like that in just 5 minutes?

And Heidi and I both laughed because … well … *confession alert* … we don’t … not quite.

Heidi said, Five Minute Friday was the writing equivalent of a no make-up selfie and we all know that some of you cheated for those!

This week I have chosen to write a poem and at about 50 words it has required very little time and attention. The first line is from a phrase I’ve been playing with in my head and on scraps of paper for most of my life. So that’s five minutes of writing this morning but about 30 years of work in-between. I also did a little online research on tightrope walkers and discovered the fascinating fact that the name for their art is funambulism, taken from the French.  

So for all you writing and reading funambulists out there I have a selection of 5 minute pieces to share based on the prompt WRITER. I hope as you read you can recognise that the act of putting your otherwise private writing out there for an audience is just as brave as stepping out onto a tight wire stretched between two skyscrapers or a cross a high mountain gorge.

Every step counts and every step is scary, but it’s fantastic to safely reach the other side.




When I think of a writer, my mind conjours up a kind of instragram picture of someone sitting serenely in a quiet, fragrant corner of the garden, surrounded by birds and jasmine, with a cup of coffee gently steaming away. Serenity heaven. In reality, I’m sitting at my kitchen table, trying to ignore the dishes in the sink, the unattended paperwork in the corner and the ‘shopping list’ that is taking shape beside me. I imagined all the other ‘Five-Minute Friday’ writers, with their creativity wheels whirring away in their heads, coming up with another piece of moving prose or an astounding poem that just seems to have melted off their tongues, but I have a sneaky suspicion that, in reality, they are just like me, busy, distracted, put-upon ….. In fact, I think the best example of a writer I have come across this morning is the writer of Psalm 5, David – and by 7.30am , I had already written his prose in a text to someone – so I think I shall steal his fame and write his writing! “My voice you shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to you, and I will look up.’ (Psalm 5 v 3)




So many books are written by brave people who step out n try something new. I admire those who put pen to paper so eloquently and perfectly and often wish I too had the gift of becoming an author. Imagine the ability to dream an idea and story with characters and to dive into an imaginary land that others can come and loose themselves in. I have longed to try but my words don’t flow that way. At school English was never my strongest subject however hard I tried to achieve. But that’s ok God has so many gifts and callings and I know being a writer is not where my gifting lies.  Dyslexia has made pens papers and computers an entity that creates fear for me and my confidence wavers when I am presented with these items and given the challenge to write. Praying for all you out there who live with dyslexia that u will conquer the thing that holds u bk and try something new sometimes to be scared can create something beautiful.




My mind immediately goes to Psalms 45 v 1.

My heart overflows with a goodly theme, I will address my verses to the King.  My tongue is like the pen of a ready writer.

That is me! That is the kind of writer I am if you would call me a writer. You could even say I am the “Five minute writer” as I don’t edit or spend hours researching and refining…I just write. Or should I say sing. But isn’t singing writing? Selah.

My heart responds to God’s abundant love and unfailing love and faithfulness and I cannot do any less than open my mouth and let the words flow out unhindered. My heart overflows with praise to my God.

I have found even in the darkest of hours, when I feel so ill and tired and alone that God’s spirit deep inside of me begins to strum over the strings of my heart and words and melody combined begin to flow. My audience at this time is an audience of One. My audience is God and that is the greatest honour one can ever have in this world.

This song was born out of such a time.

I feel I have nothing, nothing I can bring

How can I bring an offering, an offering to my King

I can sing, I can sing.

I feel that I am empty, everything is wrong

Yet I know deep within me, there must be a song

That I can bring, That I can bring

A song to sing, A song to sing

So from somewhere deep inside of me, my spirit starts to rise

I look towards my Father, into His loving eyes

And I can sing,I can sing

And I can sing, My soul sings

And I can sing, My soul sings

This is my love song to You, my love song to You Jesus

This is my love song to You, my love song to You Jesus

This is my love song to You, my love song to You Jesus

This is my love song to You, my love song to You Jesus

So here are the words now in black and white, captured here on this page instead of just residing in my heart and in heavens chambers. My audience is no longer just for  “one” and the words are no longer just to be “heard” but to be “read” also. So, maybe I am a “writer” after all. However,I could not do this alone. The Holy spirit, the greatest Author and Composer lives inside of me. Sometimes He writes through me and other times we write together. What a wonderful partnership.

I think it is time to start writing….




Writing is something I seem to do less and less of these days.  I used to write letters to friends, particularly college friends in the long summer holidays.  Now I seem to write during the week – notes for my employers with messages and contact details and a brief synopsis of what the caller wanted.  I do always write on a Sunday – things that strike me when someone opens God’s word.  Now my life seems to consist more often of emails and texts and the odd phone call – we are losing the art of writing, but what I do love is being able to write unexpectedly so the receiver is unaware of the reason until they read the card or note I have written JUST for them.


The stimulus this week made me think. What makes a writer?  I don’t think of myself as a writer, but then, I don’t think of myself as a breather. Writing, like breathing, is necessary. There have been times when without this outlet I would literally not have survived – when the only way to deal with the pain and fear was to spill it onto paper.

There have also been times when the words wouldn’t come, and I felt incomplete, unable to be truly ‘me’ without the ability to process life on paper, or latterly, on a screen.

I write – because I have to. It is rare that anyone else reads my words – it is enough that God and I see them, and in looking at them with Him I gain a deeper understanding of the past, of the present, and of the plan which has always been there, despite the mess and confusion.

So – I am not sure that I am a writer in the sense that word is generally used – but writing is an integral part of who I am and how I live, and that is enough for me.


There is a post waiting in my drafts for me to finish which features a piece written by a good friend of mine, titled ‘a blank page.’ In it he speaks of the way each new day is a blank page for God to write a new part of our story on, or at least that’s what I took from it.
Edmund Wilson was quoted saying “no two people ever read the same book”, but in the same way, I believe no two people ever lead the same life; each new day is an opportunity for something bigger and better as it is being written by our creator.
There are many authors or writers who I love to read, but nothing compares to the story of us, the story in which we all get to take a leading role.
This post is brief but I feel it will be expanded upon better with more emotion and flow in my full post, for what is 5 minutes trying to covey the tale of what the biggest, and best writer out of all of us is doing.

And pieces from Su, Andrea and Carolyn published on their own blogs, just click on the links below.

Su on writing the old fashioned way.

Andrea explaining how she first went public with a life long writing habit.

Carolyn on how and why she writes.


There’s still time to join us. you can find the Five Minute Friday guidelines here, or contact me for more details.