Hello, dear Five Minute Friday friends!

It’s such a delight to have you here for this final edition of FMF for October 2016!

If you’ve been participating in Write 31 Days or 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes, the end is in sight! And well done! That’s a HUGE accomplishment.


Full Book Asheritah

This week, it’s my great privilege to welcome Asheritah Ciuciu from OneThingAlone.com as a special guest!

Asheritah is part of the Five Minute Friday family, and her first book is releasing on January 3, 2017! How fun is that?!

It’s called Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction. Sounds amazing, right? And don’t you just love the cover? Pre-order now and get the lowest price guarantee from Amazon! (affiliate link)

I’ve had the privilege of meeting Asheritah in person not once but twice, and she always sends me the sweetest voice messages at the most timely moments. I’m so thankful for her friendship!

Since her book is about food, I thought Asheritah would be the perfect person to guest post for us, since this week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is:





Without further ado, here’s Asheritah with a five minute free write for us to enjoy:


“Sometimes I forget to eat,” she confessed, unpacking a box of food her parents had mailed to her. On our dorm room floor, she stacked boxes of mac & cheese, squares of ramen noodles, and cans of condensed soup like she was building a little city.


I stared at her like she was from another planet. How exactly does one forget to eat? Not only did I make my way to the cafeteria for every meal, I often grazed between meals, and even found myself day-dreaming about the next lovely concoction that would find itself into my stomach.


Growing up, food wasn’t just something you ate—it was something you enjoyed. Something that brought people from diverse backgrounds together. Something that united us in our appreciation for our taste buds and the feast before us. Something that brought comfort and joy on the hardest days.


So the fact that I developed a food fixation is no surprise. Between my mom’s excellent home cooking and our family’s influx of guests at our table, I was bound to get caught up in the pleasures of eating.


I realized that my love for eating became a problem when I inhaled my one-year-old’s chocolate birthday cake, almost by myself. It was then, at my lowest point, that Jesus met me and whispered to me, “Come to Me; come and eat. Why do you eat what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare” (see Isaiah 55:1-2).


That day and in the months to follow, Jesus took me on a journey to discover satisfaction in Him that far outlasted my next meal, a fullness of joy that started deep in my soul and worked its way out into my life, my thoughts, and even my way of eating.


Why would we seek satisfaction in what doesn’t satisfy? Well, because for some of us, it’s all we’ve ever known. But when we turn to Jesus, we taste and see that He is good. So good, in fact, we realize He’s better even than chocolate cake.



Asheritah is a writer, speaker, and the author of the upcoming book Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction. Her passion is leading women deeper with Jesus through daily devotions and spiritual disciplines on her website www.OneThingAlone.com. Sign up for her free 6-week eCourse Quiet Time for Busy Women to become more consistent in your daily devotions today.




Thank you, Asheritah, for being here and for being such a blessing to so many!

FMF friends: Join in with your own five minutes of free writing below!


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Welcome to Five Minute Friday!

This month we’re joining the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Challenge — if you haven’t checked it out yet, click over to read some great writing!

This week’s prompt is:





Okay, you know the drill. Set a timer for five minutes, and let’s write!



My kids and I went to the park with some friends one sunny afternoon. The mom and I chatted away while the kids chased each other around the playground, playing tag and hide and seek and all manner of goodness.

Then my oldest boy came up to me and said, “Mom, will you get Sam’s mom’s phone number?”

Me, with a crinkled forehead, I’m sure: “Who’s Sam?”

My boy: “I just met him over there. So will you get his mom’s phone number?”

Me, more agitated now, “No! I have no idea who Sam is, or who is mom is, for that matter. Go play.”

Three minutes later, a nice-looking woman and her son come strolling up. “Hi, I’m Melissa. I’m Sam’s mom. Apparently our boys just met on the playground and Sam asked me to come introduce myself.”

As it turned out, I knew the exact house they lived in, we both homeschooled, we were both adoptive (and biological) moms, and shared many other common interests as well.

Long story short, Sam’s mom has become a dear friend of mine — an opportunity I would’ve missed because of my stubborn, “No.”



Join us with your own five minutes of free writing by linking up below! (And psst … part of the fun is to leave an encouraging comment for your link-up neighbor!)

Have a great weekend, friends! 


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Hello, dear Five Minute Friday writers!

You are the bright spot in my week …

If you’re new to Five Minute Friday, you can learn more about this amazing community right over here!

We’d love to have you join us!

We also have a Facebook page if you’d like to pop in over there as well!

Subscribe here to get the prompts delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.

For those of you doing Write 31 Days, the rest of us are cheering wildly from the sidelines! You’re nearly halfway done! Bravo!

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt was chosen in conjunction with the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Challenge happening over at Christina Hubbard’s place this month. If you haven’t clicked over to read some of the participants’ writing, you’ll want to head there next!

I had the enormous privilege of spending time in person with Christina Hubbard and Ann Kroeker this past weekend! It was our second time this year to see each other in real life! Yay for God-given opportunities!





They are both such huge encouragements to me.

Who spurs you on in your writing life?


Our FMF prompt for this week is:




Before we kick off and since it totally relates to the prompt, have you heard about #fmfpartysnailmail?

It started with a tweet a long time ago and turned into an ongoing ministry. Members of Five Minute Friday have been sending each other snail mail once a week over predetermined six-week periods, and it’s so amazing! I definitely encourage you to try it out.

There’s a new round starting Monday, and you might just have time to sneak your way onto the Sign-up form!


Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Bouchillon, http://kaitlynbouchillon.com/

Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Bouchillon, http://kaitlynbouchillon.com/


Click here to register for the next round of #fmfpartysnailmail!


Okay, ready to write? Let’s go!

In this digitized, instant gratification world we live in, I sometimes wonder if the slowed down, personal touch of handwritten communication has been lost.

I know, it takes time and effort. Stamps are expensive. And do people really care anymore?

But let me tell you something — there’s something special about receiving a handwritten card via snail mail that no email or text message could ever achieve.

Don’t you agree?

After hearing the news that I’d signed a book contract last year, a dear writing friend of mine sent me the sweetest surprise in the mail — an adorable card with CONGRATULATIONS! scrawled across the front, and a Starbucks gift card tucked inside.

My mom was a greeting card fanatic. At her funeral, my sister even referenced her obsession in her eulogy speech. She said something like, “Mom kept Hallmark in business for the past several decades. She sent cards to people for every imaginable reason — birthdays, anniversaries, because she saw you at the bank one morning, because it was Tuesday, because the weather was nice.” We laughed, but it was only slightly exaggerated.

And now, I’m so thankful that I kept most of the cards she sent me. Seeing her handwriting remains one of the precious things I have left that she touched and crafted just for me.

How can you bless someone through the mail this week?




A challenge (or three) for you:

  • Mail a card to a friend via snail mail “just because”
  • Start a snail mail group at your church, mom’s group or workplace
  • Have a cardmaking party with some friends to stock up on cards to send in the future


Link up your own five minutes of writing on the prompt, MAIL, below! Then visit your link-up neighbor to read and leave a comment!

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Happy weekend, friends!

I hope you’ve had a great week!

Raise your hand if you got your Five Minute Friday book in the mail! I hope you love it!

If you have received and read the book, would you pretty please leave a review for us on Amazon?

We’ll love you forever (okay … we’ll love you forever whether you leave a review or not, but you get the idea, right?) …

Before we get to the Five Minute Friday prompt for this week, I have to tell you about the most amazing experience I had today.

I got to visit one of my all-time favorite authors, Lynn Austin, in her home! I spent an hour and a half of pure bliss, gleaning from this gifted, God-fearing woman.


Lynn Austin


It was such a full circle moment for me, as I started reading Lynn’s books in 2005 while living in South Africa — and now, 11 years later, we’re living in the same town! Such an incredible gift!


Waves of Mercy


Lynn just released a brand new novel this week (her 24th book!).

It’s called Waves of Mercy, and you can grab it here. This one is especially significant to me, as it’s set in my hometown of Holland, Michigan.

Lynn is such a gifted writer — you can’t go wrong with any of her books!

Watch this space for a full interview (including a video) coming soon!





And now, on to our Five Minute Friday prompt!

If you’re here as part of the Write 31 Days challenge, three cheers for you! We’re raising our tea cups in your honor and cheering wildly for you as you keep on keepin’ on!

Today’s prompt, as part of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes series, is:




Ready? GO.

About two weeks ago, God dropped two amazing opportunities in my lap within ten minutes of each other.

The tricky part was that I couldn’t say yes to both. I had to choose one.

I labored in prayer, sought counsel from friends, deliberating back and forth, weighed pros and cons — you name it.

Eventually, I came to a wobbly decision laced with question marks around the edges.

I stepped forward with a shaky tally mark and placed my vote.

In the moment, I wasn’t sure I made the right choice.

I texted a friend to share my decision. At the end, I added, “Hoping this is what faith looks like.”

Literally two minutes later, an email arrived in my inbox that confirmed in my mind that I had made the right choice.

It was almost as if I had to take that unsteady step before God revealed His answer.

In a way, it felt like a test of faith. It was as if He was asking me to trust Him first, not the potential outcome. He’s in charge of that.

Fast forward a week or so, and I was sitting in prayer meeting at my church. One of my friends prayed, “Lord, thank you for each and every one of our trials, because the testing of our faith produces perseverance.”

Thank you for our trials? For real?

But yes. She’s so right. Thank you Lord, for testing our faith, because through Your divinely appointed testing, and with your sufficient grace, we are made mature and complete in You.




Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ~ James 1:2-4


Don’t forget to visit your linkup neighbor (the person who linked up before you) to leave some encouraging words!


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homeI am Eilis from Brooklyn.


I wonder if the main character in the 2015 film Brooklyn would say the same about herself.


Would she introduce herself as Eilis from Brooklyn or Eilis from Ireland?


I watch her story unfold and see my own in the reflection of her eyes. I ask myself, “Am I Kate from Michigan or Kate from South Africa?”


I was born and raised in the small, Dutch town of Holland, Michigan. A month before I turned twenty-one, I moved to Cape Town, South Africa, for my final semester of college. What I thought would be a six-month stint turned into a ten-year transformation.


Eilis was born and raised in Ireland. In 1951, as a young woman living with her mother and sister, Eilis is miserable in her small, gossip-filled town. She works part-time in a shop with a terrible boss and shows no interest in any Irish boys.


Seeing Eilis’s despondency and bleak prospects, her sister, Rose, contacts an Irish priest named Father Flood in Brooklyn, New York, on Eilis’s behalf. With the priest’s help, Rose arranges for Eilis to make passage on a ship bound for America and work in an upscale department store in Brooklyn.


As I watched the immigrants gripping the ship’s railing with one hand and waving farewell with the other, my own hatred of good-byes caught hard in my throat. Family members lined the dock, stoic-faced, except for the stray tear. I swallowed hard, dozens of past airport scenes banging on the back door of my mind, demanding to come in.


Eilis didn’t realize it yet, but her life was about to change forever. Home, as she knew it, would never be the same.


Join me over at Off the Page for the rest of these reflections …

Back story: My editor at Discovery House recommended this film to me, as the themes parallel those found in my forthcoming memoir — so much so that if you want to know what my book is going to be about, just watch the movie. 🙂

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.