My prayer is that our new FMF home will become a haven for the Christian writing community to be encouraged and equipped.
In addition to the regular weekly link-up, we’ll be sharing articles, resources, and courses related to the Christian writing life.
I’ll also be offering one-on-one consultations to anyone who is seeking direction, guidance, or advice for their writing journey. I have many more plans in mind and can’t wait to see how God leads our growing community!
And just to add to the fun, I’m throwing in a giveaway for anyone who wants to help spread the news! I’ll be giving away two copies of On Being a Writer by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig.
To enter the giveaway, follow these steps:
1. Visit this post over at the new Five Minute Friday website.
2. Share the news about the new FMF on at least one social media platform.
3. Leave a comment on this post on the new site for every share that you publish. For example, leave one comment if you shared on Facebook, a separate comment for sharing on Instagram, a third comment for Twitter, and a fourth for Pinterest.
4. You’re welcome to enter as many times as you like, but each comment must represent a genuine share on social media (or to your email subscribers).
Giveaway ends Monday, June 5th. Winners must have a U.S. mailing address to be eligible to win.
When my husband first suggested a dedicated Five Minute Friday site, I brushed off his idea. I didn’t like the thought of change, of all the effort required, of moving.
But then I started to catch a vision for all that Five Minute Friday could become if we had our very own space dedicated to this beautiful community of writers. One of my greatest passions is to encourage and equip Christian writers, and I couldn’t think of a better way at this stage of my life than to expand the offering of FMF beyond the weekly link-up, Twitter party, and Facebook page.
I hope you’ll do more than just visit the new site.
I hope you’ll settle in there like it’s your home away from home.
As we continue to add content and resources, I hope you’ll find help and motivation and inspiration to grow in your identity as a writer, to use your gifts for God’s glory, to push deeper into your calling, and to explore new heights with His help.
I hope you’ll make new friends, meet old ones, and invite more. I hope you’ll stand on the welcome mat with me and herd people in with a cup of hot tea waiting in your hand.
I hope you’ll sit on the front porch for a while and sway back and forth on the creaky porch swing, and just breathe in the fresh air of God’s goodness in your life.
I hope you’ll listen to new voices and learn to find your own.
As excited as I am about the new Five Minute Friday site, when my timer went off, I actually got sentimental realizing that this is the last FMF prompt I’ll write at katemotaung.com. And yet, I know God has new things in store for this site as well, as we turn the page into a new chapter and refine our focus.
Here’s to new beginnings, friends! (And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!)
Two years ago this month, a dear friend of mine sat at my kitchen table and filled out a lengthy, tedious application to commit herself to an out-of-state residential treatment center called Vision of Hope.
As I paged through the application with her, my eyebrows were permanently raised. I knew I could never make such a commitment myself. The requirements and limitations set on the residents were lofty and strenuous.
But my friend, trapped in bondage at the time, signed on the dotted line.
With God’s help, she has remained in the program for two whole years, and is still a part of it.
She is a walking testimony to the grace of God.
She has changed from the inside out. And it’s nothing short of a glorious sight to behold.
Today, I’ve invited her to share a snippet of her story. For privacy reasons, I’ve decided not to share her name.
Here’s my friend’s story:
On July 23, 2015, my whole world changed. I walked into a place that demanded full surrender. But I was still clamoring for control. My view of my life was futile and small. My view of myself was broken and consuming.
I had no hope.
I was just done trying. But there I was, at a residential treatment center called Vision of Hope. That word mocked me.
How did I even get there in the first place?
People in my life had prayed and urged and prayed some more. They were so confident that I could find healing in this place. They were so confident that things could change. I was riding on their hopes. I had none of my own. And I had already determined exactly how long I was going to give this program before I gave up completely on life.
You see up until that point, I had done everything in my power to control how I wanted my life to go. The ironic thing about that was, in clamoring for my own control, I actually lost more and more of it…until, my life was literally chaos, and I was chained to addictive patterns of “escaping” that chaos.
Fast-forward almost two years now and I can’t even describe to you all the areas of my heart that the Lord has totally overhauled. Things I never expected, like pride and selfishness, were exposed as the Vision of Hope staff pushed me deeper into God’s Word and deeper into the roots of my addiction.
My idolatry was explained as we faced the ways I was chasing my kingdom, instead of loving God with my whole heart. It has been a crazy journey full of very hard choices. Choices to surrender. And I am still learning and growing in my fight to surrender to My Shepherd instead of my sin.
I haven’t graduated from this program yet, because Vision of Hope has an open-ended time commitment. They know that bringing about lasting change takes a unique amount of time and diligence in God’s Word for each individual. But I am so thankful for what God has already done!
Race for Hope
I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about this ministry because we are coming up on one of our biggest annual fundraisers, called Race for Hope.
Something that makes Vision of Hope unique is that it keeps the cost for residents incredibly low. They only ask for $400 dollars a month! That hardly covers room and board and doesn’t even touch all of the certified Biblical counseling, training, and classes that the residents go through as the Staff strives to lead each of them to the Savior.
How can they do that? They rely on support from the body of Christ to give and relieve the financial burden of these girls that come in already carrying enough heavy burdens. Burdens like addictions to drugs and alcohol, patterns of self-harm, eating disorders, unplanned pregnancies, scars from being sexually trafficked, and more.
I’m writing this to ask you to be a part of lifting that burden.
Race for Hope is happening on June 10th this year. Vision of Hope has a fundraising goal of $50,000 total.
Are you ready to hear how you can get involved?
To donate, follow this link, and choose to either support one of our teams/runners, or just donate to the ministry as a whole. If you choose to support one of our teams, all funds go to the same total and it gives that extra boost to the girls who are working hard to raise support.
This is also a joint fundraising event for Faith Bible Seminary, so you will see those teams on the list as well.
You can also learn more about Vision of Hope and what they do by clicking here.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and consider getting involved!
I didn’t expect to make this word the prompt this week, but I received two requests from people regarding projects that both related to the same thing: motherhood. Interestingly, both projects are reflecting on the issue of the identity of a mother. And of course, with Mother’s Day happening this weekend, I figured I might as well tie it all together in a pretty bow.
Since I love supporting fellow writers and artists, I’m thrilled to be able to share links to these two projects with you:
On her website, Shauna writes, “Are you stuck in kid chaos? Do you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and ask yourself, ‘Who is that person?’
Are you wading through mountains of laundry and diapers and realizing that somewhere, somehow, you’ve gotten lost in the mess?
Or perhaps your kids are older now, a little more independent and a whole lot more opinionated, and you ask yourself, “Who am I now?”
My friend, this book is for you!
The Proverbs 31 Woman… You don’t have to hate her anymore. You don’t even have to compete with her. This creative and interactive study into IDENTITY and finding out WHO GOD SAYS WE ARE will have you breathing a sigh of relief.
Join us on an exciting journey of making friends with the Proverbs 31 Woman and find yourself in the unconditional love of a Good Father!
You’ll love this book on your own, but you’ll love it even more when you do it together with friends. Perfect for Mommy groups and Ladies Bible Studies.”
Sounds like a good one, hey? Congratulations, Shauna!
The second project is called Define: Mother. And yes, if you click through, you’ll notice that most of the text is in German; just click on a specific blog post and scroll down for English. Sophie Kroher is a storytelling photographer and good friend of FMF community member Katha Von Dessien (who just signed a book contract, by the way!).
In 2014 our first son was stillborn. The most hurtful thing I’ve ever heard in my life, shortly after that, was: “You will be a mama one day, too.” Well, I wasn’t one?
What makes a woman a mother? To raise a child? To hold a child? To give birth to a child? To grow a child? To conceive a child? To hope for a child? To love a child? Define: mother.
“Define: mother” is a project that asks those questions without expecting the one answer. It is a forum for women who are wondering about their own motherhood and tell us about their wanderings on this path.
“In 2014 our first son was born way too early, completely unexpected and unaccountable. He could not survive. I believe that everything inside of me was torn apart in this moment. In the first weeks after his birth I didn’t leave the house. Now I know that the reason for this was fear and shame. Fear and shame to meet people I know and needing to explain something to them, explain myself, explain my “failure”. Fear and shame that people I did not know wouldn’t see me – couldn’t see me – the way I saw myself, as a mother. The most hurtful thing someone said to me during those weeks was “You will be a mama someday!” I’m glad I don’t remember who said that. But it affected me deeply and it was wrong. I was a mama!
A mother is a woman who allows her identity to be inexplicably molded by the love of a child. Allowing this always inherits a deep pain – when this child is not, is not anymore. When you have to let go. Every mother has to let go, sooner or later, again and again. Like a butterfly.
A mother also is a woman in a constant process of becoming, of finding this identity, her identity, all over again. And again. Yes, like a butterfly.”