Take 5: Pause To Start and To Finish

There’s plenty to read on the Internet about the benefits of “brain dumps.” We’re urged to take time before beginning a new task or at the start of a new day to write down (or dump) all the things crowding our brains. Tasks, ideas, concerns, lists. Put them all down on paper as a means of getting them out of the way to make room for the more important work of your day. (Read about that here and here.)

I’ve attempted the practice of writing three pages in long-hand each morning as recommended by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way as a way to release thoughts, but I’ve yet to make it a practice. If I’m giving myself time to write, it has to be for something I can share with others or a meaningful collection of thoughts recorded in my journal.

Making lists is a system of brain dumping that has worked for me. I’ve used a bullet journal in the past to capture some of those lists, but these days my brain dump is more related to jotting down random, unrelated thoughts like things to do, people to see or contact, ideas for blog posts, songs or quotes I don’t want to forget.

Each morning and most nights before bed, I take five minutes to download my thoughts (I prefer “download” to “dump”). In the evening, the thoughts tend toward gratitude. Often, I’ll carry these thoughts into sleep. In the morning, in addition to lists, they sometimes hold inspiration from first light revelations that come out of a good night of rest.

Take 5 is becoming a spiritual practice for me. Perhaps it would serve you well, too.

I’ve taken five quick minutes today to write on the one-word prompt “FIVE” in honor of Kate Motaung’s five-year anniversary with Five Minute Friday. Catch other essays linked up here.

Thoughts from a mother on becoming a grandmother

It’s an honor to share thoughts on The RedbudPost this month about motherhood from the grandmother’s perspective as I ponder the relationship in scripture between Mary and Elizabeth. Here’s a sampling and a link:

I hold my son’s son, both hands cupped against his wife’s warm abdomen. Her baby rolls toward my touch and she smiles down at me. Maternal delight mingled with innocence shines through her flush of expectancy. Love flows from each of us into the center of her universe, into the womb that nurtures and protects our first—her child, my grandchild. I love this daughter of my heart as if she were of my flesh. My joy over becoming her “other mother” and now her son’s grandmother has caught me by surprise, and she knows. But it’s tempered in this moment by what I know that she does not.MORE

An Update on Fiction and Feasting

Labor Day usually marks the end of summer for most of us, though the calendar says otherwise. I’m already thinking on all things Autumn, particularly since our first grandchild is due to arrive at the end of September. Can’t wait!

In the meantime, The Summer of Culture continues here on the blog through August. I have high hopes of finishing and reviewing two more works of fiction, seeing two films (one old, one new?) and hanging out with a few more friends that I just don’t get to see very often. I’m talking more about all of that in Slice of Life Notes, my email to subscribers of this blog. In the notes, I share a recipe for pecan pie and offer a copy of the beautiful book The Spirit of Food. (You can join the party by leaving your email address at bottom of this post.)


  1. Liz

    I suppose my prayer journal (which I write in the mornings) is similar for me and I have also got in the habit of making a daily list in it of things I am grateful for – a good discipline for a natural pessimist like me in order to cultivate balance!
    Listing gratitudes is something we also recommend as a bedtime routine in the Sleep Management courses that I teach.
    Your FMF Neighbour #35

  2. Tara

    I’m intrigued! I’ll have to read more. Blessed to be your neighbor at FMF this week.

Pin It on Pinterest