Five Minute Friday: Focus

So, every Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts 5 minute Friday.  Basically, it’s a free writing exercise.  She gives a word and we have 5 minutes to write.  No planning, no editing, no overthinking.  Just freewriting for 5 minutes.  This is my first try, and I’ve discovered that I’m not very good at writing quickly or without edit.  I need more time to get to the point, so the following doesn’t quite get there…but for the sake of honesty, I’m sharing it anyway :)

(I decided to compromise.  I couldn’t bear the thought of half my message being out there, so I left the “go” and “stop” in there so you can see the 5-minute part, but then I added the rest at the end…)



Tonight, in an effort to get to know some of the Allume community, I decided to try out the Five Minute Friday twitter party.  Twitter is such an integral part of social media these days.  Everyone wants to know your “twitter handle” and “# of followers.”

I asked a blogging friend about community and everything she said was about twitter.  I finally decided that in order to “fit in” in this blogging world, I needed to join twitter.  Even though I know nothing about it.  Even though the very idea of it was completely overwhelming.  I was seeking community and fellowship so much that I would try it.

So, I did.  I even tried the #fmfparty. Although I have to say the ladies there were awesome, it was an epic fail for me.

Still, it was hard to let go, so there I sat, trying desperately to follow a way-too-fast for me conversation in an online world that I don’t understand.  My three-year-old was still awake (is still awake), asking me to please go lay down with him.

“See if daddy will lay down with you.”  I tried to put him off.  I was seeking community, here.

“No, mommy, I want you.”  He always does.

“Okay, wait just a minute baby.”  A minute turned into five and he was pulling at me, climbing on me, wanting me.

I need to focus on that.


I don’t need to be pushing my son into the sidelines.  Growing my blog is not what’s important.  Trying to force myself into being some sort of twitter maven for the sake of gaining friends in this online community?  That’s not important.  Yes, friendship is important, fellowship, community?  Those things are important, and I believe that even online relationships can be valuable.

But my focus right now has to be here.  It’s why I stay at home.  Not to become a big-time blogger, but to minister to my family, where God has called me right now.

Lord, I pray that you will guide me.  Lead me to my focus that you have called me to and help me stay there, completely apart from any other ambitions I may have for myself.  I want to lose myself in focusing on you and your purpose for my life.  Not lose you and this life in my focus on trivial things.

Check out what others have to say about struggles of social media here at .



  1. says

    I understand completely.. this was the first time I had joined the party as well. It was a bit overwhelming to say the least. I think it will get easier the more we get to know people. See ya next Thursday. :) Now I will go check out your blog..that rice and veggie salad that I see at the bottom of the post looks yummy!

    • Crystal says

      Thanks, Tobi! I’m so not used to free writing. Although I’m not really a planner on paper, I do a LOT of planning and percolating in my head, so to just go with a word and write what came to mind for 5 minutes was not in my comfort zone. But, that’s what helps us grow, I guess, so I shared anyway, even though it feels so vulnerable. Blessings to you, and thanks for the encouragement!

  2. says

    I'm so glad you joined us tonight, though I know it's a challeneg, and moreso when things are happening around you as you try to keep up, but I hope you found some encouragement. God bless your evening, my friend.

    • Crystal says

      Kris, you are always encouraging! And, I was also encouraged by the kindness…I just think twitter isn’t my thing, no matter how much I try to force it. So, maybe I shouldn’t try to force it.

  3. says

    I think you wrote GREAT…AWESOME…TRUE…REAL….and that is the best! That is the thing that is THE most amazing about this community is the acceptance of YOU, right where you are at. And please do not give up on the party. I battle keeping up too but there are a couple of tricks I am learning in the past couple of parties…I would be happy to share with you and see if that helps! Feel free to tweet or email me ahead of time and then maybe you could feel a little more prepared to party freely! And the free writing was HARD, HARD, HARD for perfectionist like me in the beginning too. In fact, when I first started, I would see the word before I would go to sleep and only write the next day after I had time to marinate. I eventually jumped in the deep end and just write. It is a challenge and makes you be braver than you feel…but truly THIS community IS the place to land in…cause it is safe…so I hope you will stay and come back!

    P.S. I am serious about helping you navigate the party the best that I can help….

    • Crystal says

      Lindsey, thanks so much for the kind words! Yes, it is so hard! My first instinct was definitely to let it marinate. That’s how I write…it’s all done in my head over hours, days, weeks, etc. Then gushes out onto paper. So, to just write is very vulnerable to me, but I wanted to be honest and not feel like I’m cheating…so there it is :) lol. So tempting to take it down or at least edit it…

  4. says

    I agree that Twitter is overwhelming… Ive been stepping into it for a few weeks now and I feel like in just now getting the hang of it! Try using for twitter parties. It helped me, because it automatically adds the #hashtag and auto-updates as new tweets pop up! It’s hard not to get wrapped up in blogging and social media when you want your site to grow, but you’re so right to recognize that our priority still needs to be our kiddos. Twitter will be there, but our babies aren’t babies forever. :) Thank you for the reminder! We all need to remember it at times.

    • Crystal says

      Thank you for the kind words! I did use tweetchat, I’m just SUPER behind (and slow) when it comes to twitter…I think I’m too slow-paced to ever be good at it, but I’m getting okay with that :)

  5. says

    Mmm… sounds scary. Write impromptu for 5 minutes? Ok, maybe I shall try that sometime =D

    And yes, you are right.. we got to focus on where God placed us to bloom and that starts with the family. Good post =)

    • Crystal says

      Viviene, it was scary! lol. Fun though, and I’ve seen it before as a writing exercise, just hadn’t really done it until last night.

  6. Jennifer Johnson Camp says

    It was fun to seeing you tonight! And I love your words about trusting what community God brings for us to focus on, trusting His timing and provision. So good to remember. Thank you. Happy to be "neighbors" today! :)

    • Crystal says

      Thanks, Jennifer! I have met some super nice people, but sometimes it just feels like it takes too much effort to stay in the fray, and I think real community while it does require effort to put yourself out there and invest in others, it shouldn’t be like a constant having to “earn” it.

  7. says

    I think the most important thing is to find what works for you. Twitter is hard to figure out, and that party last night was crazy to keep up with even if you are a Twitter Pro! Don’t be discouraged by that! Honestly, I had tweetchat, my phone, and Twitter on a webpage up and I was still confused at times! :) Anyways, You are so right that our true focus needs to be on the important things. I had to take a little break on Wednesday to catch up with my family responsibilities. That’s another thing I love about FMF–it’s an easy post for Friday and you get a FAB community with it!

    PS: We are gonna tweet TOGETHER at Allume! :)

    • Crystal says

      Mary Beth, thanks so much for your kindness and encouragement! I agree we just have to find what works for us. And, it’s good to know that the other night was busy even for the regulars!

  8. Amy Collins Tilson says

    sorry I missed you last night. I wasn't there long, please come back. :) This is the exact same struggle I have daily. I just have to know that my little blog is not my focus, it's an outlet.

    • Crystal says

      I was the girl drowning in the twitter convo and popping in with random comments 5 minutes after everyone else had moved on! lol.

  9. says

    Oh how I get this…I really, really do. And I’m with you. My family comes before any of this. Even if my hubby just wants to play cribbage when I’m thinking of blogging, etc… he comes first. the post can wait. even twitter parties.
    (and friend, twitter took me months and months to figure out and I still get lost! that #FMFParty last night was the busiest we’ve had — I mean we actually trended! We’ve never done that! I’m hoping you stop by again. even if only for a little while.)
    Love your heart and how you’re not afraid to shed it here. What a blessing you are!
    All for Him with hugs to you,

    • Crystal says

      Thanks! Yes, it is so important to keep our families first and our priorities in order :) And, thanks for the twitter encouragement. I’m still kind of up in the air about whether or not I’ll continue or if I’ll just move on for now? Not sure. Thanks for letting me know it was busier than usual the other night. That makes me feel much better as well :)

  10. says

    I love this so much! Thank you so much for participating and I love what you said about your little guy and finding community with your family and where God has you now. I love what you said. =)

  11. says

    I’m in the same spot as you are crystal, two small kiddies, homeschooling, blogging, living on a tight budget and trying to do it all brilliantly. I’m so glad for yor posts. Your one of the few blogs i check out almost everyday. I appreciate that you realize that in the end our yeas with out kids are fleeting. I’ve come to the conclusion that they need to come dirt for me. :-)

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