After last week’s Five Minute Friday announcement, my inbox just about had a coronary from the sudden exertion it endured, and I nearly drowned in a flood of emotion and gratitude.  I never could’ve anticipated such a warm and gracious welcome, and am ever so honored to be part of this priceless FMF community.

Thank you.

As I prepare to carry this torch, I thought maybe I should introduce myself a bit before you find yourself sitting in my virtual living room next week.

Let’s see, where to begin …

Firstly, I’d say it’s safe to assume that Lisa-Jo asked me to take over Five Minute Friday so I’d have something else to write about besides how much I adore Surprised by Motherhood.

(Kidding.  I’m totally kidding.  The real reason she asked me is because I drink copious amounts of tea and know how to make a lekker melktert.)

(So can you, you just don’t know it yet.)

As Lisa-Jo mentioned, I’ve kind of lived her life in reverse.  I spent the first two decades of my life on the shores of Lake Michigan before moving to Cape Town, South Africa.  I thought I was going for six months, but the Lord kept me there for ten and a half years, then sent me back to Michigan with a husband and three kids.

 

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If you were to ask my South African husband how we met, he would tell you I was stalking him.

I would tell you that’s his version of the story.

When I’m in Michigan, my heart pulsates with the comforts of home,

but it quickens when it beats Africa.

 

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If you met my sister, she would probably tell you about the time I biffed while climbing a non-moving escalator in Chicago, bloodied up my shin and sent her into a fit of uncontrollable laughter.  Or maybe she’d tell you about the time I fell off a treadmill while trying to take my pulse and walk at the same time.

(Try not to be envious; my coordination comes naturally.  If it were a skill that could be taught, I might just share the secret.)

Ice cream, chocolate and sushi are my favorite food groups.

My parents divorced when I was seven.  When I was 21, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the Lord took her home a month after my 30th birthday.  She was 59, and I’ll never be the same.

I’ve homeschooled my three kids for the past five years, and they make me laugh every day.  Somehow they drive me crazy and keep me sane all at the same time.  Every night when I cover them up before I go to sleep, I plead silently, “Lord, save them in spite of me.”

And last but not least, I’m thrilled that you’re here and so look forward to getting to know you better as we begin this new chapter together.

Last week the prompt was FINISH

This week is Lisa-Jo’s last week hosting, and the prompt is BEGIN. 

Next week we’ll be linking up here, and I can’t wait to read your brave, beautiful words.

Now, for five minutes of free writing on the word, BEGIN.

***

I finished a book this week.

It was a good one.

One of those novels that has you thinking about the characters as you drift off to sleep, and waking up wondering what’s going to happen to them next.

Those are the good ones, but also the worst.  They’re the worst because they’re so good.  So good they sting a little when there aren’t any more pages to turn, and the back cover claps shut with stark finality.

You scold it a little, for ending.

But it stays with you, the story.

It lingers, as if you’ve lived it yourself, and can’t quite climb off the page.  Like you’ve clambered to the top of the slide at the playground and can’t bring yourself to slide down, because the rush will be over with a thud in the dirt.

But there’s beauty in the end.  There’s beauty because it’s not the only book on your nightstand.  You’ve been waiting to start that other one, too.

 

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You have a feeling the next one might not be as good as this one.  Or maybe it’ll be decent, but different.  A whole different genre, perhaps.  A new voice to get used to.  New characters to meet and understand.  So you mourn for the book that goes back on the shelf and ticked off your list, but you take a deep breath, open the new cover,

and begin.

***

To Lisa-Jo, for authoring such a memorable and lasting legacy called

Five Minute Friday.

Your voice lingers here and permeates the air

as we set that book on the shelf and pick up this sequel.

Here’s to a new chapter, friend.

 

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55 thoughts on “begin – an introduction

  1. At last! I’ve met someone who can’t negotiate stair-like structures and anything else. I once splatted at the top of the stairs in front of the math classroom when I was trying to walk up them and drink water. I’m so glad you’re carrying the torch and continuing the Five Minute Friday tradition :).

  2. Big, fat, happy sigh. So glad it’s you, Kate. So glad. (puts feet up, pops can of soda, stretches back) can’t wait to be a FMF reader now more than a writer – cheering you on every step of the way!!

  3. Kate, I’m thrilled to be your neighbor tonight and hope to pop in often on Fridays (or Thursday night if possible). I get deep into a good novel and live life with the characters. They stay with me for years even. I still wonder how Chuck and Sarah are doing and if she got her memory back after the kiss on the beach – and that was a tv show for crying out loud. There is that recovery from grief when you open a new book. I just finished Home Behind the Sun tonight. I’m going to let it settle for a while in my brain and heart, and then I’ll decide what’s next. Your stack looks interesting. Looking forward to beginning with you and your story!

  4. Welcome Kate! My heart is full because this community – this group that loves to share words is so beautiful and feels like home. I love how your life parallels Lisa Jo’s in so many ways. You will be a great hostess and here’s to the sequel. May our words continue to encourage and teach all those we touch each day. Happy FMF and happy weekend!

  5. I TOTALLY get what you mean about mourning the end of a book: “But there’s beauty in the end. There’s beauty because it’s not the only book on your nightstand. You’ve been waiting to start that other one, too.”

    So glad God creates beauty in real-life endings and beginnings too. We’re blessed to have you carry the #fmfparty into its next chapter.

  6. This new *book* will be more than decent! Lisa-Jo has led well, chosen well, and you will carry one well as you begin this new season of encouragement and passing on words of seasoned grace! P.S. Your nightstand looks like mine! 🙂 XOXO

  7. I just finished a book like that. It makes me feel like I should take a break from reading for a bit, out of respect for the characters I just left behind. But that would mean not reading, and seriously, that would be like not breathing. Or drinking coffee.

    And I am so glad to know you a bit better today!

  8. Great to “meet” you. I loved your words on ending a favorite book and starting a new one 🙂 That is why I sometimes read the great ones a second time immediately — to catch any good stuff I might of missed as I was hurrying to find out what was going to happen and “live” with the characters a bit longer. It’s also why I love the book club I’m in — to spend an evening with friends discussing those favorite moments and characters (with dessert) is just heavenly.

  9. Kate,
    Wow! I am so happy to meet you and so excited to join you in your “virtual living room” next week. This legacy of free writing that Lisa-Jo started has given sustenance to my new-writer’s soul. It is with pure joy and “nearly out-of-control” giddiness that we simply move the party to your house!

  10. Oh yes… the end of a really good book. I laughed out loud and in your writing found a friend who knows the loss right there – and the enthusiasm, the delicious feeling of opening a new book. My stack of ‘waiting’ is teetering too high too. Yes, starting the new with anticipation. (I lost my mum to cancer at a young age too – tough times, but gilded with God’s glory and faithfulness.) Bless you, and see you next week!

  11. Kate – it’s nice to meet you and THANK YOU for carrying this torch! Oh my goodness! The treadmill. I’m coordinated that way, too – which is one of the reasons I’ve completely quit chewing gum!

    My husband and I read books together. He makes me laugh when we finish a good one and the first thing he says about it is “When does the next one come out?” Like every book is a series… But, I suppose he’s kind of right. Life is a series of new beginnings, isn’t it? Oh thank God for grace! and brand new beginnings.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  12. Obviously, Lisa-Jo has chosen well. You, too, have the super-power to grab my thoughts and feelings and throw them onto the page as if I had written them myself! So therapeutic to know we share common struggles together, which instantly makes us all friends. Welcome, Kate! So thrilled you are the new fearless FMF leader!

  13. Ok, I love you even more now that know more about you…and I know we could be the best of friends. Chocolate, sushi and ice cream. Yes! And can I just say I fell down the stairs at VBS the other night and could. not. stop. laughing. Coordination is so over-rated. Can’t wait to see how God uses you to lead this sacred place and these sacred words…for His glory. You are shining bright and beautiful and I’m so glad to be in all of this with you. xoxo, Meredith

    • Oh my gosh, yes. Sushi is my favorite food group. I am very graceful and can fall over whilst standing still on flat ground. It’s happened. I’ve broken my ankle 3 times but only knew once. I just hobbled around on it forever. I didn’t find out until I went in the third time and they could see old fractures. So yeah, I win at coordination. I think a sushi date is in order someday. Wouldn’t that be a fun get-together?

      • Yes to Sushi Night! A definite yes. And I can’t believe you only knew about one broken ankle! You must have a crazy high pain tolerance! I broke my big toe a year ago (gracefully fell down the stairs) and I cried for like a week. 😉

  14. Hello…..so excited to meet you and have the linkups here with you!!!
    Oh dear…I found myself groaning and knodding at your escapades because I know those painful moments of skinned knees and awkward trips…but also imagine them being a little giggle worthy. I can’t wait to get to know you more.
    and BOOKs and book piles are my kryptonite. seriously…love them. I adored Kristen Welch’s book. It was stunning and life changing. I need to go read it again in fact. I have your book on my wishlist and hope that once i’ve moved past the big expenses in the coming months i’ll be able to invest 😉 I enjoyed reading about South Africa from Lisa-Jo’s journey and would love to read about yours as well. Be blessed dear sister.

  15. Kate, I so enjoyed reading more about YOU. The sweet sense of humor you have and always, your love for family and God are evident. I just love how Lisa-Jo gave us the word Finish before Begin. The way to look at life with hope and expectation, like reading a good book 😉

  16. i think you fully expressed the angst you feel as you absorb the zenith of the story your in and call it done, and the pause you have to push to let it soak in before you climb into the next adventure coming your way…book or real life…and sometimes the book version translates out real in your life…I’m so thankful for literacy! and soul literacy! Excited to be reading your words and I agree with your night time prayer…I think that is the anthem of any mama. 🙂

  17. Oh I so love this post, Kate!! 🙂 All the gracefulness of your story, as well as the stack of books that rivals my to-be-read stack. Thanks for opening your space to us as our new FMF home. Can’t wait to see what God has in store for us next!

  18. Someone who loves books, writing down the words, and the blessing of community – a perfect fit and a lovely introduction. So good to meet you and begin this new chapter with you. Looking forward to all the goodness to come.

  19. Ok, I need to know what book it was. I feel an abnormal attachment to good books. It’s like coming up for air from a new world and you have to learn how to breathe again.

    • 🙂 I was kind of waiting for someone to ask that question .. It was “Bridge to Haven” by Francine Rivers .. perhaps a little more lengthy than necessary and not as musical as a Lisa-Jo Baker voice or an Emily Wierenga voice, but I definitely got attached to the main character. 😉

  20. Hi! I’m excited to begin this new chapter with you! I pray that God grants you peace in every aspect of your life and that you and your family draw ever closer to Him.
    Blessings!

  21. I’ve been blogging for a while but just recently decided to take to Twitter where I discovered #fmfparty last week. I was so sad to see that Lisa-Jo was finished but SO HAPPY to know it was beginning with someone else since I just invited myself to the party. 🙂 Excited to get to know you more.

  22. I have the same powers of coordination! And I thought I was the only one …

    I also feel the same way about books on my nightstand as you do. I think I’m going to like it here.

  23. so lovely Kate! And, alas, once again..it’s after midnight and I have yet to ‘begin’ #FMF…ah well…if I hurry i might pop over. I surely can spare 5 minutes, though my brain is frazzled from the week. 🙂
    I am so glad that you are in Michigan (though we have yet to meet. (JP’s has tea as well as Biggby hint hint.)
    i so agree with your assessment of good books, don’t want them to end but then you have the stack and wonder which one to begin.
    Thanks for sharing your heart Kate. Glad Miss LisaJo will still be around.
    Will there still be a space FB #FMF ? for non-.not yet bloggers?
    (on my to do list next week in between Unity music ).
    Blessings to all.

  24. Five minutes Friday ( Begin)

    I hope I am in the right place. This will be the first time I have written anything so this is the beginning of my writing .
    We have to begin some where . I don’t have a blog at this time most likely because of fear. The beginning of any new thing is hard.

    I have been struggling to let go of someting I love . It’s like turning a corner looking back in doubt is this really God . And looking ahead for someting new that you can’t see yet .

    Like a butterfly in her cocoon being remade and molded in to someting new. To begin again. To spread my wings and fly where ever God may lead me.
    Please give me grace stepping out afraid. Beginning to write.

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