Hi everyone!

How are you doing?

Can you believe we had 100 people link up with us for last week’s Five Minute Friday prompt? I think that’s amazing! Keep up the great work, spreading the word and the encouraging comments to one another!

If you’re new to Five Minute Friday, welcome! You can learn all about us by clicking here.

This week’s FMF prompt is:

 

Refine

 

Starting my timer, and … GO!

 

After six months with my editor, my memoir manuscript is back in my court — for more edits. And while the revision process can be viewed as a drag and a tedious, tiresome task, I can honestly say that I’ve come to appreciate the pain, sweat, and tears that go into such a process.

Why?

Because the end result is always better.

Laboring hard over a table of contents, a chapter, a paragraph, a sentence — all of these efforts and brain cells rubbing together make for a more polished and effective product in the end.

More than once, I’ve thought about how much the editing process can be compared to my ongoing sanctification as a Christian.

God is chipping away at me daily, leading me through fire and trials as appropriate, sanding down the rough edges until one day they’ll become polished and smooth in His presence.

No, the refining process is never pleasant, whether we’re writing a book or walking through life.

But let’s keep our eyes on that end result, and learn to appreciate the fire.

 

STOP.

 

***

Earlier this week I announced that I started a business last year, called Refine Services, LLC.

Refine Services

It’s been my privilege to serve a number of clients already, helping them refine their message and reach their target audience through various writing, editing, and virtual assistance projects.

Visit my website at www.refineservices.com to learn more about the services I offer, including social media management, consulting for self-published authors, book launch support, graphic design, and much more!

If you or someone you know might need help with these fields of work, I’d love to chat!

 

***

And now it’s time to write!

Set a timer for five minutes, tap away like crazy on your keyboard, publish your blog post, and share it in the link-up below! Then visit your link-up neighbor and say something nice. 🙂

Thanks for being part of Five Minute Friday!

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Some of you have been asking what I’ve been up to lately.

Well, since May 2016, I’ve been working full-time from home. God opened doors for me in the capacity of writing, editing, and virtual assistance — all things I love to do.

A few months later I registered a business called Refine Services, LLC.

Refine Services It has been such a blessing to serve my clients so far, and especially to be able to do it all from home.

If you have any writing, editing, or virtual assistance needs, I’d love to chat with you!

 

Some of my services include:

  • Digital marketing
  • Social media management
  • Graphic design
  • Editing book manuscripts for authors who plan to self-publish
  • Editing articles, blog posts, newsletters, web content, or other documents
  • Writing blog posts, articles, email campaigns, web content, newsletters
  • Formatting books for print and Kindle, through Fistbump Media
  • Publishing consultation through Fistbump Media

 

fistbump media

 

So far I’ve worked with clients from a wide spectrum of fields, including real estate agents, financial managers, mortgage loan officers, Christian counselors, and published authors.

Here’s a video testimonial from one of my clients, real estate agent Kevin Alderink:

 

 

For more client testimonials or a free consultation, visit my website at:

www.refineservices.com

 

Why Refine Services?

I chose the name Refine Services because my desire is to help my clients refine their message and reach their target audience — whether that’s through helping them craft engaging content, polish existing material, or make use of social media to expand their reach.

As a Christian, I’m also aware that God is continually refining me every day through His ongoing work in my life, so I wanted to remind myself that I’m not the only one doing the refining — ultimately, that’s His job.

 

Work with Refine Services

I’d love to discuss how I can help you meet your writing, editing, virtual assistance, or digital marketing needs!

For a free consultation, please visit www.refineservices.com or email me directly at kate<at>refineservices<dot>com.

 

Refine Services

It’s Five Minute Friday time!

Who’s ready to exhale a long breath and sink into the weekend?

Who’s ready to let your fingers fly across the keyboard or journal and just get it all out?

That’s what we’re about here at Five Minute Friday. We write fast and free, for five minutes flat. All are welcome! Feel free to join the fun, and invite your friends! Link-ups go live at 10pm EST on Thursday nights and remain open all week!

To foster community and the spirit of encouragement, please read and comment on the blog linked up before your own. And have fun!

Learn more about Five Minute Friday here.

And guess what?

 

We’re planning another retreat!

 

retreat

 

If you didn’t manage to fill out the FMF Retreat Survey last week, please do so now by clicking here.

 

Now … let’s write!

This week’s FMF prompt is:

middle

 

 

Ready? GO.

 

So here’s the thing. I don’t write about politics. Like, ever.

Sure, I have my opinions and convictions but I guess I just don’t feel the need to air them. So this really isn’t meant to be “a political post” or to stir up any heated debate.

It’s just that, like many of you, I watched Obama’s farewell speech this week.

And yes, I cried.

Right around the time he said the word, “Michelle,” I couldn’t blink back the tears any longer.

Here’s what I took away from that speech:

1. Be the change

 

middle

 

2. Embrace differences

 

And thirdly, not so much from the content of the speech itself but from the aftermath:

3. Sometimes it’s okay to meet in the middle.

I feel like this world can be so polarized at times. So black and white. And yes, we should have principles and convictions and absolutes.

But we don’t need to attack the ones who think differently.

 

middle

It’s okay for me to say that I didn’t agree with many of Obama’s policies or decisions, but that I still think he is a man of incredible integrity. I can say that I don’t support his view on certain issues, and still stand in awe of the fact that he and his family carried themselves with such class and dignity over the past eight years, particularly in such a pressured, public role.

I don’t have to love everything or hate everything.

I can be in the middle.

And sometimes the middle is a fine place to be.

STOP.

 

It’s your turn! Share your own five minutes of free writing below — and don’t forget to leave a comment for your link-up neighbor!

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Almost exactly a year ago, on January 4th, 2016, I received an invitation to contribute a chapter for the first ever book project published by (in)courage.

I had no idea who else would be contributing or how it would all come together in the end. All I knew was the title — Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real Life Engagement.

 

Craving Connection

 

Since I love (in)courage and I love writing, it was an easy “yes.”

I lifted up a feeble prayer that God would use whatever words He laid on my heart to bless at least one person. Twelve months ago, when I agreed to be part of this project, I had no idea how much God would bless me through the process.

When I received an advance copy in the mail and started to read the pages, I was astounded by how well all thirty voices came together with such harmony.

craving connection

We write about God. We write about friends. We write about community.

Most of all, we write about our craving for connection in this world as we seek to live according to God’s calling in our lives.

As the book’s website asks,

“How could your life be different after prayerfully and intentionally connecting with God, friends, and your community?

Craving Connection is a journey where (in)courage writers share real-life stories, practical Scripture application, and connection challenges that will encourage you to find out!

We all long for meaningful relationships, the Colossians 3:14 kind that fulfill our desire for unity and connection with God, our friends, and our community. But where do we start?

The (in)courage community invites you to grab a cup of coffee, pull a chair up to the table, and commit to creatively and prayerfully fulfilling your cravings for connection.”

 

craving connection

I’m so grateful for the opportunity I had to share a few words in this collection, and for all those who have worked so hard behind the scenes to make it happen.

My prayer is that you will be encouraged and challenged by the stories shared in this book, and that you will find the connection you crave in the One who made you in His image.

 

Order your copy here

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Welcome to the first Five Minute Friday of 2017!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! As many of you know, we took a two-week break over the holidays, and it’s so good to be back!

If you’re new to the Five Minute Friday scene, learn more about this fabulous community over here.

You can also subscribe to our mailing list so you don’t miss any posts, like our Facebook page, and join in on the weekly #fmfparty on Thursday evenings on Twitter!

 

This week’s FMF prompt is:

 

Connect

 

Ready? Setting my timer, and … GO!

 

It’s in all of us.

This innate longing for connection. To be known. Understood. To be part of something bigger than ourselves.

We get it from our Father — the One who created us in His image. The One who exists in perfect fellowship as the holy trinity, three in one.

He tells us it is not good for man to be alone, that we should not forsake the gathering of believers, that … *add something here

And so He gives us the gift of connection — with Himself, with friends, and with community. It’s a tri-fold gift from a triune God.

Imagine living life in complete isolation — how miserable we would be! And yet sometimes we struggle to find those life-giving relationships, the ones that build us up and sustain us in good times and hard.

 

connect

 

How do we forge meaningful connections — the kind that dip well below the surface and make a lasting impact? The kind that shape who we are and where we’re going?

 

connect

 

I think it starts with a first step. It starts with recognizing our need, and purposing to press forward toward community. Toward knowing and being known.

STOP.

 

connect

 

This post was inspired by the book, Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement, releasing Tuesday, January 10th! I had the privilege of contributing a chapter to this resource, along with 29 other women, and I think you’re going to love it!

Order your copy of Craving Connection on Amazon by clicking here (affiliate link).

***

And because I believe in the power of connection and I love you all dearly

(and because many of you have been nagging for eighteen months … 😉 ),

I’m thrilled to announce that we’re planning another Five Minute Friday retreat!

To help us with the planning, please complete this survey:

 

 

 

Thanks for being here! Don’t forget to leave a comment for the person who linked up before you!

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