When I saw the monthly book reviewers’ email from Tyndale Publishers advertising all of the new books they had available for review, I almost didn’t open it.

Almost There“I’m way too busy to commit to reviewing any books right now,” I reasoned. But something (or should I say Someone?) prompted me to open the email, and my eye caught the title, Almost There: Searching for Home in a Life on the Move, by Bekah di Felice. (Don’t you just love the title and the cover?)

Although I’d never heard of the author before, the description sounded all too familiar — because she was telling a story I knew inside out.

I hesitated again, fearing I wouldn’t have time to read and review the book within the time frame requested. But again, Someone prompted me to click “request” … and I’m so glad I did.

Bekah’s book, Almost There, is full of rich insights on the universal longing for home. 

Right after college, Bekah married into the transient military life. She describes the complex emotions of leaving home, including the spiritual component: “It’s as if the act of leaving is part of the equipping, as if God personally leads people out of familiar territory so he can tell them who they are.”

In her book, Bekah shares the ups and downs of moving frequently and living in vastly different parts of the United States. She is honest about the challenges of her husband’s deployment: the loneliness, the awkwardness of limited communication, the surprising realization of established independence, and the adjustment back to a new normal after reunion.

 

 

With conversational tone and an easy sense of humor, Bekah tucks nuggets of wisdom into the telling of her story.

“The timing is different for everyone … but it happens: Your sense of belonging outgrows its previous residence. …In the search for home, we all try on different places and relationships and hobbies that make us feel pretty, all along lamenting the fact that belonging refuses to be nailed down to exact coordinates. It denies us permanence. And that feels like betrayal.

I think that by nature we are agitated by this restlessness, by the enigma of belonging. We’re pestered by the notion that people and places and things are all important pieces of home but not the whole thing, at least not in themselves. Deep down we know there is a permanence of home that exists somewhere. There is a whisper of eternity that beckons in the heart of every one of us.”

 

The above quote perfectly captures what I hope to articulate through my upcoming memoir, A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging. And I’d venture a guess that you can relate, too.

 

Again, Bekah captured the struggle in my heart with these words:

 

“Home doesn’t begin or end with a mailing address or a change in surname. I don’t think it is ever a total reboot. It is more of an ellipsis than a period, a continuation rather than a conclusion. It tends to be an ongoing list of people and places and experiences that have mattered, that have changed us in one way or another. It is an echo of the good legacies we have witnessed.

In fact, home is a lot like a poorly, categorized box containing all sorts of odds and ends: the surprising and familiar, the old and new, the bitter and sweet. It is mismatched in so many ways–not a start and end but an overlap, a tangle. We move away from it and bring it with us still.”

 

Besides making me think deeply about concepts of home and belonging, Almost There also made me laugh and nod my head in agreement on numerous occasions.

 

 

If you’re looking for a light read that will also make you think and relate, I can highly recommend this book.

 

 

 

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate links have been used in this post. 

I finally have news about my book! 

(And yes, this post is likely to be plagued with numerous exclamation points, so consider yourself warned.)

Some of you will remember that I shared the news back in February 2016 that I signed a book contract with Discovery House in November 2015.

At the time, I thought I would’ve had a published book by now, but the process ended up taking longer than originally anticipated.

Since I’ve been at this for a solid three years already, you can imagine my excitement that my book finally has a title, a cover, a release date, and a pre-order link on Amazon!

Introducing … 

A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging

 

A Place to Land

 

Isn’t she pretty? I’m so impressed with the talented team at Discovery House, and so grateful for the efforts they’ve poured into this project.

And yes, my eyes definitely teared up when I saw the book on Amazon.

If you’ve ever written memoir, you know it’s a stretching, emotionally draining experience. Add to that the fact that much of this book covers my mom’s cancer journey, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for tears.

I’ve spent hours upon hours poring over this manuscript for the past three years: write, edit, revise, repeat.

To see that the project is nearing completion welled up waves of gratitude and excitement, but also a tinge of melancholy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’d much rather have my mom here than a book with my name on it.

This is not the story I asked for, but it’s the one I’ve been given, so I’m doing my best (with God’s help) to steward it well. 

While the book is not only about my mom’s illness, her death six years ago was the primary catalyst that got me to dwelling more deeply on heaven as my eternal home.

Here’s the description on Amazon: 

A Place to Land is a globe-spanning memoir that wrestles with the question, ”Where is my home?” Kate Motaung watched ”home” slip away again and again–through her parents’ divorce, a foreclosure, two international moves, ten rental homes in ten years, and her mother’s terminal battle with cancer. Add in the challenge of a cross-cultural marriage, and Kate was constantly adapting to a new environment. Through her experiences, you’ll realize–as she did–that no matter where we go or what we do, this world is not our home.

 

The book only releases on April 1st, but guess what?

You can pre-order now

A Place to Land

 

Benefits of pre-ordering: 

1. Amazon offers a pre-order price guarantee, which means if you pre-order now, you will only be charged on April 1st but will be charged the lowest price that the book has been advertised between now and then. So … if the price happens to drop a few bucks before April and goes back up again at the time of release, you’ll pay the lowest price!

2. You’ll be among the first to get your hands on it when it becomes available.

3. If a number of people pre-order, it tells Amazon how many copies they should have ready at the time of release so they don’t go out of stock.

A Place to Land

Thank you so much for sharing in my excitement, and for your support! My greatest prayer for this project is that the Lord would use the words He deems fit to include in the book for His purposes and glory.

 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. 

 

Hello, dear friends!

Just a quick note to remind you that the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up has moved to its very own home!

Head over to the new site at www.fiveminutefriday.com!

 

 

The first prompt in our new home is: 

 

 

Click here to visit this week’s post! 

 

I look forward to seeing you there!

 

You guys!

I’ve been waiting WEEKS to share this news with you. Months, even!

Five Minute Friday is MOVING! 

 

five minute friday

 

That’s right!

We have a brand new home, dedicated solely to the Five Minute Friday community.

Come check it out! 

five minute friday

 

 

This will be the last week that a regular FMF link-up is hosted here on this site. And yes, I will be moving with you!

Starting next week, head over to www.fiveminutefriday.com to find the newest link-up! 

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!

By popular request, I’ve also created a brand new FMF Facebook group! Click here for instructions on how to join.

on being a writerAnd 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. 

 

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is:

visit

 

GO. 

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.

 

STOP.

 

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!)

Join the link-up here: 

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It’s Five Minute Friday time!

Learn all about how Five Minute Friday works over here.

This week’s FMF prompt is:

 

 

Setting my timer for five minutes, and … GO.

Truth. 

Some people don’t think it matters much. Others disagree.

Some think it’s subjective. Others die for it.

In writing a memoir, one’s perception of truth can become a slippery slope or even a stumbling block if and when it differs from another. The question arises, “Whose truth is true? Yours or mine?”

In moments like these, when faded and tarnished memories leave question marks hanging in the air, I’m even more grateful that truth has come, and is still coming again.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ~ Jesus, John 14:6

 

STOP.

 

I guess I’m running short on steam this week, but thrilled you’re here nonetheless, and hope you can also join us for the upcoming Five Minute Friday Retreat in Kansas City, July 21-23!

More info and registration here. Deadline to register is June 1st.

 

Join us by linking up your own five minute free write below!

 

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