You are a hero (minus the cape)

You, my friend, are a hero.

Didn’t know that, did you? As clueless as Lois Lane working alongside Clark Kent, you have no idea of the hero inside you. Cue Whitney Houston song…scratch that. Moving on.

You are a hero. Once in a great while, someone might see that. An author or celebrity might realize it. Most of us miss it.

Look around you. Who is watching you? It might be a child, your own or a friend’s. It might be a lonely neighbor, a disconnected coworker or classmate.

Think about it. There are people who have touched your life deeply, but you never told them. An upperclassman who was kind. An unexpected friend when the world seemed against you. A helping hand from a stranger. A friendly coworker. A camp counselor who took time to learn your name. Someone who made you feel known. Seen. Accepted.

I can almost guarantee there is someone watching your life. Someone who looks up to you. You may never even know it this side of eternity.

But, friend, you are a hero to that one. Make someone feel known and you become a hero to that person. You don’t even need a cape to prove it.


This has been another adventure with Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday community. The prompt this week is Hero. Pop on over to her blog to read other great posts.

Five Minute Friday


Come by anytime for a visit

Five Minute FridayIt’s Five Minute Friday again. We write for 5 minutes, without aiming for perfection. Just write, link up with Lisa-Jo, and read/comment on someone else’s blog.

This week, the prompt is Visit:

I met up with a retiree during a Christmas holiday event. We reintroduced ourselves. It turns out we live in the same neighborhood. Just blocks apart.

Without hesitation she invited me over for coffee. “Come by anytime for a visit.”

I responded affirmatively, “Sounds lovely. I’ll have to do that.”

Did I mean it or was I just trying to sound friendly?

How often do I extend an open invitation for someone to drop by my house anytime? To not worry about interrupting my life or disrupting my plans?

Let’s try never. I worry about making a phone call to my sister because it might mess up dinner or a homeschooling lesson or laundry or something ridiculous.

Come by anytime for a visit.

tea time

I’d like that. I really would. I might be embarrassed at first, when I realize the state of my house or the amount of cat fur on that sunny spot on the sofa.

But deep down, I want to be known.

That includes my stacks of mail (has anyone really found a perfect solution for mail? I’d love to hear it, if you do.) or dirty dishes.

So, any local friends reading this? Take me up on it. Stop by anytime. Let’s get past the perfect facades and have a visit.

And that retired lady? I’m going to make plans to stop by her house soon.

— Read more “Visit” posts here.

Just Write

Joining Five Minute Friday for the first time this year. The writing prompt is encouragement. Set a timer and write for 5 minutes. Go.

This is my first post since mid-November.

Sad, really. I posted daily through October, but then burned out the rest of the year.

It’s because if I can’t have a perfect post, I don’t post at all. If I can’t put an image that inspires next to my words, it’s not worth the time. If I can’t be an Ann Voskamp or Emily Freeman or Mary DeMuth (or Lisa-Jo), why even try?

Of course, you see the lie. I do, too, when I look.
A) God didn’t make me to be those women. I can reach people that they may never have the chance to reach.
B) They didn’t start at the top. They started with faithfully writing and asking God to guide their words. They worked – and hard – to get the platform/tribe/following/whatever that they now have.
C) Hidden in those complaints and excuses is a deeper question:

For whom am I writing?

Is it for some Facebook friend who I hope to impress?
Is it for a Five Minute Friday reader?
Is it for my glory?

Is it for the Lord?

Today’s encouragement is mainly for myself (though you may feel it, too). Write, not for others, but for God. Write to glorify Him and spread the light of His truth.

Just write, or paint, or raise babies, or deliver babies, or clean houses, or sell tools, or clean teeth, or type letters, or park cars, or answer phones, or whatever you do…do it for the Lord.

Thanks for joining this edition of Five Minute Friday. You can go to Lisa Jo Baker’s blog to read more posts on Encouragement.


Altogether Separate

fall leavesI always thought that growing up meant you no longer felt left out, the misfit, alone.

Altogether Separate.

That’s the phrase my husband and some friends used to tell the waitstaff when 20 or so of us would go out to eat. Are we together or separate? Altogether separate.

That’s how I feel today. Right or wrong (and I almost didn’t post because it feels wrong).

I had dinner with a group of gals from church. From my Missional Community. The name implies we should be best of buds.

I felt altogether separate from them most of the evening.

The FMFparty was delayed. Because a huge group of fmf-ers are at Allume and were having a FMF live party. I sat altogether alone in my dining room, refreshing Twitter for the prompt. Altogether separate.

I always thought that growing up meant you no longer felt left out.

Some of this is my fault. I’m not an outgoing person. It’s hard for me to engage someone in conversation when I don’t know them or feel comfortable with them.

Some of the fault is mine. I withdraw because I’m comparing myself to the beautiful faces around the table, representing young, talented, thin, pregnant, motherly, energetic, creative, outgoing, strong, successful women.

I can’t compete with that. The same as I can’t afford a conference ticket and even if I could, would I dare to walk up to a stranger and welcome her? If I had been in that live party tonight would I have felt a part of the togetherness that I saw in twitpics and instagram photos?

This post doesn’t have the cutesy wrap-up, the illustration that makes you leave with a smile. Growing up only brings out new ways to feel alone that I never could have imagined as a child. In some ways they hurt more because there’s no promise of rosy tomorrows to brighten today’s clouds.

Nope, tonight there’s no cheery ending. Tomorrow, I may not compare myself to others. I may be content, trusting in who God has made me to be and resting in his plan for my life. But I might still feel alone come Sunday morning, when once again I can’t quite figure out how to break into a circle of girls laughing together.

Fall trees

To publish or to trash? That is the question.

I picture different people I know who might read this. What would their reactions be? My mom, my pastor, a friend… This is a peek into me. But it’s the one that we’re not supposed to show – especially in church. It’s the one that people say they want to see, but when it comes down to it, that’s not really what they meant. There are a few people who most likely will avoid me after reading this. I can picture them. I can also see a few similarly lonely people like myself. This might be encouraging to them.

Ah, it’s only the internet. Why not? 🙂

(This post is part of Five Minute Friday, hosted by Lisa Jo Baker. This week’s prompt is “together.”)

Update: I added a follow-up post of truths we should rest upon.

What is True (about me)

It’s true that I love cats. It’s true that I killed my first cat when I was two (it was an accident. I loved it to death by hugging it around the neck far too often).

It’s true that music is with me almost 24/7. There is music running through my head almost constantly. Often songs, but sometimes just melodies or rhythms.

It’s true that the toe next to my pinky toe is bent funny. From the bottom of my foot, you can’t see that 4th toe at all.

It’s true that as a kid, I lost almost all my fingernails and some more than once. It was a by-product of sucking my thumb transitioned to biting my fingernails and the skin around my nails.

It’s also true that I still bite my nails and the surrounding skin today.

It’s also true that that might be the thing that drives my husband most crazy of all my bad habits. It’s true that I’m aware of this and that I still can’t seem to stop myself (though I think I may be better about refraining when I’m with him, but maybe not).

It’s true that I throw like a girl. Like a girl who really, truly can’t throw. I once tried to throw a frisbee for my dog and it ended up on the roof of the house. Behind me.

It’s true that I’m out of  time. 😉


This was a Five Minute Friday post written for only 5 minutes on this week’s prompt of “true.” I’m linked up with a ton of great writers all writing on the same prompt, check it out.

Here are my two current furballs, Chloe and Fritz.

Fritz and Chloe

We love you, Mom!




She Haunts Me

Covered in black mud from the Dead Sea

There’s a ghost of a girl who haunts me sometimes.

She’s funny. She’s fearless. She’s sometimes goofy, but confident in her goofyness. She doesn’t worry if she spelled goofyness correctly. If it’s not a real word she’s even more delighted.

karenShe cares for others. She puts her needs aside to listen to a friend. She considers the stranger sitting nearby a friend.

She’s not bold, but she knows herself.

She rests comfortably in the fact that she is loved. She has a heavenly father who cares for her and who is working for her good. She can trust in that.

Don’t get me wrong, she’s ofttimes lonely. She can be comfortable in her loneliness, too. Solitude isn’t all bad.

This ghost isn’t perfect, though. She fights depression and doubts herself often. She desires to be loved by a boy, but keeps pulling her heart back. She’s not quite trusting.


She’s never quite content with herself. She expects perfection.

The ghost breezes by. She hasn’t been here in awhile, but sometimes, when the rain drip-drip-drips outside, she remembers.

What she was, she can be again. What she left behind can be regained. The gray hair may not disappear, but that young girl is still inside, waiting to be released. She only has to awaken.

It’s time to wake up.


It’s time for the Five Minute Friday challenge again. Write for only 5 minutes (with a little grace thrown in sometimes), but no major editing, fixing, perfecting. This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is She.
Five Minute Friday

Set Free: What Mercy


We’re praying through A City Set Free: 40 Days of Prayer for Columbia in Karis Church and tomorrow, Day 20, is praying for those incarcerated and their families. Tonight my Missional Community met and in the course of the evening, discussed and then prayed for Day 20. One comment was made that we tend to judge people in prison looking at the wrong they have done, forgetting that we have done wrong, sinned, and had that wrong washed away – forgotten by our Heavenly Father.

That’s mercy.

It’s easy to talk about grace sometimes. We want more grace and we want to show grace and we pray for God to lavish his grace on us. Those things we don’t deserve, the gifts of the Father.

We don’t as often talk about mercy. We have sinned grievously and yet the punishment was paid by Another. What mercy was shown us, that our sins were forgiven and the debt owed was paid in full. We once were prisoners, chained in the stench of our sin. In Christ, we have been shown mercy, and have been washed clean. Pure. Free. Restored. Released from our prisons.

Praise God for his mercy!


This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt was Mercy. There’s a couple hundred other bloggers who also wrote on mercy. You can check them out at Lisa-Jo Baker’s site. The basic rules are to write for 5 minutes on the week’s prompt – no editing. I’ve learned I’m a slow processer, because some people end up with twice as much content than I do or more. But, it’s still a fun exercise in writing freedom and it has helped me blog more consistently.

Somewhat random, but I’m going to include it because it has mercy in the first verse: we are going to be learning a new song in church on Sunday, so I’ve been previewing it. I want to share it with you as well.

I once was dead in sin,
Alone and hopeless
A child of wrath I walked,
Condemned in darkness
But Your mercy brought new life
And in your love and kindness
Raised me up with Christ,
And made me righteous

Leaving the Blood-Red Stained Nets Behind

This week, the Five Minute Friday prompt is RED. After an initial thought of Santa (ho ho ho), I couldn’t get the idea of blood out of my head….

Fishing in Puget Sound

Tom got the chance to go fishing with his dad a couple times in the Puget Sound off the Washington State coast. They fished for salmon and halibut on different occasions, based on availability.

Together they brought in a boat record halibut – 5’3″ long and 154 lbs!

BoatRecordCatch Tom_halibut

Fishing is nasty business. At least to me. It’s smelly and the fish are slimy. But I didn’t realize until seeing photos of Tom’s trips that it was bloody.

Call me a naive city girl, but it just didn’t occur to me that fish would bleed as they were caught. The red of their lifeblood oozed out on the boat deck.

My Missional Community in Karis Church decided to work through the book of Mark in our small core groups known as fight clubs. Last night, we read in chapter 1 how Jesus saw Simon and Andrew tending the nets in their fishing boats, he called to them, “Follow me.” And they left their boat and nets and came after Jesus. A little further on, he saw two brothers, James and John, with their dad, Zebedee, and Jesus called to them, “Follow me.” James and John left the boat, with the blood stained deck, and the nets, and their dad, still knee deep in the stained nets, and followed Jesus.

We marveled at these men, who felt or sensed or somehow knew that Jesus was different. That he was worth abandoning the family business – abandoning Dad himself. With the stink of fish on their clothes and the red of the fish blood on their hands, in the space of a breath, they walked away, not looking back, because what they were gaining was infinitely greater than what they were giving up.


Thanks for joining me here. There should be many interesting takes on the word, Red, if you want to see other posts on the prompt. What do you think of for the word, red?


What Do You Worship?

Peanut Butter Co. Dark Chocolate DreamsI was looking forward to finding out the Five Minute Friday prompt tonight. I even made time to jump into the #FMFParty on Twitter, which was fun, if a little head-spinning. I likened it to pulling into a busy, multi-lane roundabout. So, tonight’s FMFParty chatter centered around chocolate, Nutella and Dark Chocolate Dreams, which is by far better than Nutella.


I love good chocolate. Savoring the good stuff is the best way for me to enjoy it. Much like fine wine, it’s the enjoyment and noticing every little nuance that’s the key.

When I lived in Virginia. I couldn’t get enough of the mountains. I loved every little view of them that jumped out at me as I drove around town.

Lately, I’ve been taken with the clouds. They are constantly changing in mid-Missouri and I love watching them.

These and more are things that I enjoy in life. I want to snatch up every little bit. Savor it. Enjoy it.

Is this my worship? Do I worship the clouds and mountains and chocolate? Is that the end all, be all?


It is the One who made the earth and sky and sea. Who drew breath in man and gave him the creativity to figure out how to get that delectable treat out of a cocoa bean. Lord, God, Creator. It is He who I worship when I savor and enjoy things in the world around me. He gets the glory and honor.


Ah, tip of the iceberg. Tip. of. the. iceberg. So, what, or rather, who do you worship?

This is a song for the suffering – but it’s really a song of worship, worship through suffering, with an excerpt from a sermon by John Piper – check it out when you can.

Join me with Lisa-Jo and the Five Minute Friday community at (in)courage this week for more posts on the prompt, Worship.

Want to join my Lonely Club?


I know lonely well. Lonely has been a constant companion when all others went away. Lonely accompanied me through some hard times. Lonely sat with me in the dark while I cried. Lonely walked beside me when I did not know where I was going.

Sometimes it feels like my whole life has been in the presence of lonely. Even in a crowd, when I felt invisible, lonely gave me a gentle nudge, reminding me he was with me. There to the end, lonely has been a true friend.

Some will read this and feel sorry for me. I can see it. And dare I even post it?

But I’m not lonely’s only friend. Lonely is companion to many people. How we all share him I do not know. But why can we not be friends, mutual acquaintances of lonely? Why do we end up isolated with only lonely nearby? We need a lonely club, where we can all be lonely together! Wouldn’t lonely just love that!?!

DSCF1483 (800x520)———-

Not the post I thought I would write when I first learned today’s prompt was lonely.

Can I share two follow-up thoughts to lonely?

1) As I typed I was reminded of Shel Silverstein’s poem, Nobody.

Nobody loves me, Nobody cares,
Nobody picks me peaches and pears,
Nobody offers me candy and Cokes,
Nobody listens and laughs at my jokes.

Nobody helps when i get in a fight,
Nobody does all my homework at night.
Nobody misses me, Nobody cries,
Nobody thinks I’m a wonderful guy.

So if you ask me who’s my best friend, in a whiz,
I’ll stand up and tell you that Nobody is.
But yesterday night I got quite a scare,
I woke up and Nobody just wasn’t there.

I called out and reached out for Nobody’s hand,
In the darkness where Nobody usually stands.
Then I poked through the house, in each cranny and nook,
But I found somebody each place that I looked.

I searched till I’m tired, and now with the dawn,
There’s no doubt about it-
Nobody’s gone!

2) On Monday, Lisa-Jo posted, When you wonder why everyone else seems to have friends, some great thoughts on how so many of us are lonely and just need someone to reach out. The key is to be the one who reaches out. Doing so, you end up with friends by default. I challenged some of the women in my church that if each one of us reaches out to someone around us, then we’ll all find that we are connected. Great way to banish both lonely and nobody. 🙂

Thanks for reading my posts yet again. I’m honored by each visit and comment.
Five Minute Friday

  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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