After last week’s Five Minute Friday announcement, my inbox just about had a coronary from the sudden exertion it endured, and I nearly drowned in a flood of emotion and gratitude.  I never could’ve anticipated such a warm and gracious welcome, and am ever so honored to be part of this priceless FMF community.

Thank you.

As I prepare to carry this torch, I thought maybe I should introduce myself a bit before you find yourself sitting in my virtual living room next week.

Let’s see, where to begin …

Firstly, I’d say it’s safe to assume that Lisa-Jo asked me to take over Five Minute Friday so I’d have something else to write about besides how much I adore Surprised by Motherhood.

(Kidding.  I’m totally kidding.  The real reason she asked me is because I drink copious amounts of tea and know how to make a lekker melktert.)

(So can you, you just don’t know it yet.)

As Lisa-Jo mentioned, I’ve kind of lived her life in reverse.  I spent the first two decades of my life on the shores of Lake Michigan before moving to Cape Town, South Africa.  I thought I was going for six months, but the Lord kept me there for ten and a half years, then sent me back to Michigan with a husband and three kids.




If you were to ask my South African husband how we met, he would tell you I was stalking him.

I would tell you that’s his version of the story.

When I’m in Michigan, my heart pulsates with the comforts of home,

but it quickens when it beats Africa.



If you met my sister, she would probably tell you about the time I biffed while climbing a non-moving escalator in Chicago, bloodied up my shin and sent her into a fit of uncontrollable laughter.  Or maybe she’d tell you about the time I fell off a treadmill while trying to take my pulse and walk at the same time.

(Try not to be envious; my coordination comes naturally.  If it were a skill that could be taught, I might just share the secret.)

Ice cream, chocolate and sushi are my favorite food groups.

My parents divorced when I was seven.  When I was 21, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the Lord took her home a month after my 30th birthday.  She was 59, and I’ll never be the same.

I’ve homeschooled my three kids for the past five years, and they make me laugh every day.  Somehow they drive me crazy and keep me sane all at the same time.  Every night when I cover them up before I go to sleep, I plead silently, “Lord, save them in spite of me.”

And last but not least, I’m thrilled that you’re here and so look forward to getting to know you better as we begin this new chapter together.

Last week the prompt was FINISH

This week is Lisa-Jo’s last week hosting, and the prompt is BEGIN. 

Next week we’ll be linking up here, and I can’t wait to read your brave, beautiful words.

Now, for five minutes of free writing on the word, BEGIN.


I finished a book this week.

It was a good one.

One of those novels that has you thinking about the characters as you drift off to sleep, and waking up wondering what’s going to happen to them next.

Those are the good ones, but also the worst.  They’re the worst because they’re so good.  So good they sting a little when there aren’t any more pages to turn, and the back cover claps shut with stark finality.

You scold it a little, for ending.

But it stays with you, the story.

It lingers, as if you’ve lived it yourself, and can’t quite climb off the page.  Like you’ve clambered to the top of the slide at the playground and can’t bring yourself to slide down, because the rush will be over with a thud in the dirt.

But there’s beauty in the end.  There’s beauty because it’s not the only book on your nightstand.  You’ve been waiting to start that other one, too.



You have a feeling the next one might not be as good as this one.  Or maybe it’ll be decent, but different.  A whole different genre, perhaps.  A new voice to get used to.  New characters to meet and understand.  So you mourn for the book that goes back on the shelf and ticked off your list, but you take a deep breath, open the new cover,

and begin.


To Lisa-Jo, for authoring such a memorable and lasting legacy called

Five Minute Friday.

Your voice lingers here and permeates the air

as we set that book on the shelf and pick up this sequel.

Here’s to a new chapter, friend.