Happy weekend! Anybody else letting out a big ol’ sigh of relief that you made it through another week?

Welcome to Five Minute Friday, the link-up where you don’t have to worry about overthinking, backtracking, or perfection. Come as you are, make new friends, and write your heart out!

Learn all about the FMF community here.

This week’s writing prompt is: 

 

more

 

 

GO.

 

It saddens me that the words, ‘satisfaction’ and ‘contentment’ seem so hard to come by these days.

We’re always craving more this or more that, and then when we get it, it still isn’t enough. We want bigger, better, newer, grander.

Last night at church the speaker reminded us of the way the Israelites moaned and grumbled through the Old Testament, even in spite of the Lord’s tremendous kindness and mercy to them — and how we are exactly the same.

How often to I simply stand in awe of the abundant goodness of God in my life? Not often enough.

He has given me exceedingly, abundantly more than all I could ever ask for or imagine.

When I catch myself whining for more this or more that, really I should be raising the bar for more gratitude.

More grace.

More kindness.

More joy.

More laughter.

More hope.

More trust.

More faith.

More compassion.

More love.

More patience.

More Jesus. 

More of Him, less of me.

 

STOP.

 

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” ~ Ephesians 3:20-21

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On another note, if you guys have been around for a while, you should know by now that I’m a sucker for a good deal. And of course, if I find an amazing deal, I want to make sure you know about it, too!

This year’s edition of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle includes 50 ebooks, 21 eCourses, 14 printables, 2 videos, 2 audios, 2 summits, and 1 membership site!

 

 

The resources I’m most excited about? 

Included in the bundle, you get a FREE 3-month trial to My One Thing Alone ($36 value), a membership site with Asheritah Ciuciu designed for women who feel too busy or unmotivated to find time with Jesus.

AND … Lisa-Jo Baker’s Temper Toolkit ($29 value), a resource I told you about back in February is included, too! The Temper Toolkit is no longer available, except in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!

These top-quality resources cover everything you need to make homemaking and mothering feel less stressful… quick & healthy recipes, homemaking printables, cleaning tips, date night ideas, parenting helps, and so much more.

 

For less than the cost of a meal out, you’ll get a complete library to help you:

  • Cook up wholesome recipes for your family
  • Build stronger relationships with your kids (even your teens)
  • Discover speedy cleaning routines for the toughest messes
  • Rekindle the romance in your marriage
  • Put self-care back into your life
  • and finally enjoy homemaking.

Plus, it comes with over $290 worth of bonus offers from companies you’ll love:

  • $15 store credit from Cultivate What Matters (international shipping available)
  • Free 1 month subscription from Kiwi Crate, $20 value ($15 off $50 shop purchase for existing customers, shipping available to U.S. & Canada)
  • Free 1 month MightyFix shipment from Mighty Nest, $17 value ($15 store credit toward next add-on order for existing MightyFix subscribers, international shipping available)
  • One project box from Detox Project Box, $25 value (shipping available to U.S. & Canada)
  • Free 1 month subscription from Bookroo, $18 value (box of past favorites for existing customers, international shipping available)
  • $15 store credit from Orglamix (international shipping available)
  • $15 store credit from Strawesome (international shipping available)
  • Digital download of the 2017 Hope Ink Calendar, $20+ value -or- $15 credit + 3 art prints from Hope Ink, $99 value (international shipping available)
  • Homeowner Lifetime Membership from HomeBinder, $120 value (digital)
  • Free 1 year annual membership from MollyGreen.com, $29 value (digital)

 

The whole package includes 106 digital products and it’s worth over $1980!

This bundle is available for just a few days! After Monday night, May 1st, the sale ends.

motionmailapp.com

 

I’d hate for you to miss out, so click HERE to learn more or buy the bundle.

 

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Link up with Five Minute Friday here:

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Welcome to Five Minute Friday!

What a delight to have you here this week. If you don’t know, we gather every week with a brand new word prompt, then write like crazy for five minutes flat. 🙂

Sound like fun? Join us!

You can learn all about it over here.

This week’s word is:

sing

 

 

Yes, I was inspired by the fact that I attended my kids’ spring concert this evening. 🙂

Setting my timer for five minutes, and … GO.

 

“I got the solo,” she announced nonchalantly after school last week.

Tonight she stood front and center on the stage in front of the microphone, her petite frame exuding confidence and poise.

And she nailed it.

How is she nearly 12 years old? How is she slipping into womanhood, right between my fingers?

She and a friend went babysitting yesterday. Babysitting. This afternoon we drove out of the grocery store parking lot and I saw kiddie pools for sale outside.

We’re never going to need those again.

After the concert she went out for ice cream with friends. She’s becoming her own person. She’s finding her voice in the world.

It’s beautiful and heartbreaking and amazing to watch, all at the same time.

But she still comes home and can’t wait to tell me everything, and every once in a while I still catch her looking at me like she really cares what I have to say.

I turn off her bedroom light, say goodnight, and just like every other night when my hand reaches the doorknob, she says,

“Will you sing?”

 

STOP.

 

The grand finale in the concert this evening was this song, Stand Together, by Jim Papoulis. I actually teared up as I watched the whole school, Grades K-7 standing together and singing these moving words: 

 

 

Join the link-up, and be sure to leave a comment for your link-up neighbor!

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We’ve come to another Easter weekend.

And it’s so easy to just go through the motions, to walk past the pastel-colored Easter baskets and candy-coated chocolate eggs on our way to the toilet paper aisle.

It’s so easy to just be thankful for the day off from school on Good Friday so we don’t have to set alarms.

But if that’s all we see … we’re missing everything.

If the entire world were polled, I have a suspicion that a large segment of the population — if not the majority — would describe themselves as “empty.”

Would you?

I read reports of celebrities who, in the world’s eyes, “had it all” — and still felt hollow and unsatisfied inside.

It makes me so sad, when we miss the One who offers to fill us up, to pour His abundant grace and love into us, to literally fill us with His Holy Spirit.

As Christians, we should be anything but empty.

Why?

Because the tomb is.

 

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I did things a bit backwards this week for Five Minute Friday … The words above are my offering, written in five minutes flat, for our weekly link-up.

If you’re new to FMF, welcome! It’s always a delight to see new faces and meet new friends!

Learn more about this delightful community by clicking here.

A huge thank you to all who completed the FMF Survey the past two weeks! I had SO much fun reading through all of your replies, and I’m so excited to start implementing some new ideas based on your input!

For one, stay tuned for a FMF Facebook group coming soon! 😀

As you may have guessed, this week’s prompt is:

empty

Join us with your own five minute free write by linking up below, and don’t forget to visit your link-up neighbor to leave some comment love!

And psst … Could you use a weekend away?

If you’re craving connection, come join us at the Five Minute Friday Retreat, happening July 21-23, 2017 in Kansas City, MO!

Space is limited and registration closes June 1st! 

Learn more about the retreat and register here.

Praying that all of you have a blessed Easter, friends! So grateful for each one of you!

 

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Hey there! How are you? Good week so far? I hope so!

Welcome to another round of Five Minute Friday, where we write fast and free and throw encouragement in the air like confetti.

If you’re new, we’re thrilled to have you with us! You can learn more here.

Before we kick things off, a HUGE thank you to all who completed the survey last week!

If you haven’t had a chance to fill it out yet, I’d love to get your input!

Complete the survey by midnight EST on Monday, April 10th, and you’ll be entered to WIN one of these three amazing books!

 

** Must have U.S. mailing address to win.

 

Also: We still have 12 spots left at our Five Minute Friday RETREAT!

 

 

I’m *so* excited for July, I can hardly wait!

Does one of those spots have your name on it?

Learn more here and secure your place today!

 

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is: 

enough

 

Ready? Setting my timer for five minutes, and … GO.

 

It’s a phrase that seems to have become somewhat trendy in recent years:

You are enough.

Ever since the first time I saw those three words strung together, they grated on me. I bristled at their proposition. Why? Because I know I’m not.

I’m not enough. 

And sometimes that bothers me and I feel the weight of it, the weight of giving, giving, giving, and always coming up short.

But eventually God pulls me out of the fog by His grace and reminds me of the truth:

I’m not supposed to be enough.

If I were designed to be enough on my own, I wouldn’t need Him. I wouldn’t need a Savior. I wouldn’t need a Lord. I wouldn’t need a Redeemer.

It’s like Paul says, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Paul knew that if he were enough, if he were sufficient to meet his own needs, He wouldn’t need Jesus.

It’s not easy to boast in weakness. It certainly doesn’t come naturally. Not to me, at least. It’s not easy to boast about the fact that I’m not enough. I want to be enough. But that’s not what I’ve been created to be.

I was created to be a worshipper — and in order to fulfil my God-given identity, I need to worship the only One who is enough. The One who is more than enough for every need I’ll ever encounter.

He is more than enough for me.

 

STOP.

 

 

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April is a good book month, hey?! I’m super excited about the release of these four new books, from authors that I’ve either met in person, on video chats, or via email. Join me in celebrating with them, and check out these great offerings!

A quick note: This post does contain affiliate links, which means if you choose to click through Amazon to make a purchase, I’ll receive a small compensation at no extra cost to you. Thanks in advance for your support! Happy reading! 

 

Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships

by Lisa-Jo Baker

new books

From the description on Amazon:

In a world where women can unfriend each other with the swipe of a finger, how do we find friendships that we can trust to last? Maybe by first becoming those kinds of lasting friends ourselves.

Lisa-Jo Baker has learned that no one can make us quite as unsure about ourselves as another woman. And nothing can wound as deeply as unkind words from a friend. While we are all hungry for friendship, it’s the fear of feeling awkward and being rejected, left out, or hurt (again) that often keep us from connecting.

But what if we knew we could never be unfriended? Would we risk friendship then?

Starting with that guarantee from the most faithful friend who ever lived—Jesus—this book is a step-by-step guide to friendships you can trust. It answers the questions that lurk under the surface of every friendship—What are we afraid of? What can’t we change? What can we change? And where do we start?—with personal stories and practical tips to help you make the friends, and be the friend, that lasts.

 

A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression

by Susie Finkbeiner

new books

A Trail of Crumbs is the second book in a trilogy by Susie Finkbeiner.

From the description on Amazon:

Pearl Spence has been through more in her young life than most folks could handle. But through it all, her family has been by her side. They may not be perfect, but they love her and they all love each other, come what may. That’s one thing Pearl no longer questions.

But the end of her beautiful day signals the beginning of the end of her secure life.

Now her family is fleeing their Oklahoma wasteland. Pearl isn’t sure she’ll ever see home or happiness again. Are there any crumbs powerful enough to guide her back to the dependable life she once knew?

The strong narrative voice of Finkbeiner’s young protagonist from A Cup of Dust returns in this gritty yet hopeful sequel, sure to please her many fans.

One: Unity in a Divided World

by Deidra Riggs

new books

new books

From the description on Amazon:

Jesus didn’t say that the world would know we are his followers by our biting rhetoric, our political leanings, our charity work, or even by our knowledge of Scripture. He said the world would know us by our love for one another. Yet it’s so easy to put others at arm’s length, to lash out, to put up walls. Deidra Riggs wants us to put our focus on self-preservation aside and, like Jesus, make the first move toward reconciliation.

In One, Riggs shows readers that when Jesus offered himself up in our place, he was not only purchasing our salvation but also setting an example for us to follow. She helps readers understand that they are secure in God’s inexhaustible love, making them free to love others lavishly–not just in what they do but in what they say, what they don’t say, what they will endure, and what they will forgive.

Anyone who longs for unity in the church, in their family, and in their community will find in this book both inspiring examples of loving done well and encouragement to begin the often unnoticed hard work of building bridges with those around them.

 

A Bridge Across the Ocean

by Susan Meissner

new books

new books

From the description on Amazon:

February, 1946. World War Two is over, but the recovery from the most intimate of its horrors has only just begun for Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina desperate to escape her past, and Simone Deveraux, the wronged daughter of a French Résistance spy.

Now the two women are joining hundreds of other European war brides aboard the renowned RMS Queen Mary to cross the Atlantic and be reunited with their American husbands. Their new lives in the United States brightly beckon until their tightly-held secrets are laid bare in their shared stateroom. When the voyage ends at New York Harbor, only one of them will disembark…

Present day. Facing a crossroads in her own life, Brette Caslake visits the famously haunted Queen Mary at the request of an old friend. What she finds will set her on a course to solve a seventy-year-old tragedy that will draw her into the heartaches and triumphs of the courageous war brides—and will ultimately lead her to reconsider what she has to sacrifice to achieve her own deepest longings.

 

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Which one will you read first? What books are currently on your To Be Read List?