You guys!  We’ve made it through more than half of October!  High five!  Who else is doing #write31days?  How’s it going so far?  How have you been challenged, stretched, encouraged, frustrated?  Overwhelmed?  Strengthened?  Inspired?

Which series have you been following?

I’d love to hear in the comments!

Today I’m super excited to share a brand new giveaway with you to spur you on in your October writing, whether you’re doing Write 31 Days this year or not.

Why?  Because Words Matter.

Krafty Kash is one talented lady who would agree that words do, in fact, matter.  She thinks they matter so much that she makes gorgeous necklaces out of vintage dictionaries, like this:

 

Krafty Kash 2 - Words

 

Aren’t they so cool?

 

Krafty Kash 3 - Words

 

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Krafty Kash 4 - Words

The possibilities are just about endless ..

 

Krafty Kash 6 - Word

Krafty Kash - Grace

Krafty Kash 7 - Dream

Which word would *you* choose?

While you think about it, check out this website to see all the gorgeous products that Krafty Kash has to offer — and some of them are on sale this weekend only, just for us!!  Early Christmas shopping from the comfort of your own home, yes?

Just visit http://www.kraftykash.net/ to see the full range of items available.

 

 

She even has these amazing Vintage map necklaces, which I absolutely adore ..

 

Krafty Kash 1 - Map

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When you’re done drooling over the beautiful Krafty Kash designs, let’s write!

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is:

 

FMF - Long

If you don’t know what Five Minute Friday is, you can find all of the info right over here — and we’d love to have you join us!

Five Minute Friday - 4In a nutshell, we’re a group of bloggers who write for five minutes flat on a given prompt — no overthinking, editing, backtracking .. Just set the timer and write!  Then you post your writing to your blog and link up below!  The only rule is that you visit the blog of the person who linked up before you and leave them some comment love!

 

Ready?  Let’s write!

GO. 

 

There were moments living overseas that were harder than others.  Moments seared into my memory as snapshots that burned in my chest and made me want to give up.
My daughter’s first birthday was one of those days.  

How I longed for nothing more than for my American family to be able to celebrate with us.  Looking back, I have no idea why it was such a big deal to me.  But at the time, it was.

It was huge.

I have a clear picture in my mind of that morning — I was walking across the parking lot of our block of flats, and was stopped in my tracks by an overwhelming weight of sadness.  I doubled over into a near fetal position and wept for all that I would never know.

I wept for missed birthdays and first words and smiles and first steps.  I wept for lost hugs and empty arms and stories that would never be read on Grandma’s lap.

And the cost felt too great.  I wanted to call my friend, the one who was in a cross-cultural relationship, and tell her it wasn’t worth it.  It hurt too much.

But then I realized the gifts.  The grace.  I saw my own selfishness and worldly desires in the face of His sacrifice … and it all paled into worthless insignificance.

Of course it was worth it.

Yes, there were days that still ached with unfulfilled longing.  But in the bigger picture, with the right perspective — my sacrifice was nothing compared to His.

 

STOP.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

 

Enter the Krafty Kash giveaway for a chance to win one of TWO personalized word necklaces, then link-up your five minutes of writing below!

Please note: Giveaway only open to those with a U.S. postal address.

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86 thoughts on “five minute friday and a giveaway! {day 17 :: long}

  1. These are beautiful words! I would choose the word: “Grace” It’s what I’m learning.

    My husband and I have raised our kids in a place away from family because of ministry choices and where God has us. There are many moments of the years where I have said, “It’s not fair!” especially around holiday times and special occasions but then I remember exactly what you remembered. He paid the great and sacrificial price. I follow Him and strive to walk in His footsteps.
    Thanks for your encouraging words!

  2. For me, 31 days has turned into a wonderful opportunity to record and tell the story of what God has been doing over the past 2 years. And it has involved a lot of grieving the losses I didn’t want to acknowledge as well as learning more of who he really is. He has been faithful through some really hard times. And because of this I have hope that he will bring us through the hard things I’m experiencing now, but can’t share yet. So, all in all, I’ve grown. As a writer, definitely, but also as the person God created me to be.

    Thank you for inviting us to 31 days. I have done my best to stay in the 5 minute limit, but certain parts of my story have demanded more. 🙂

    • Leah, this makes my heart so happy — to hear that you’ve been “challenged by the challenge” and have grown as a writer .. my job is done here! 😉 May you grow from strength to strength .. Thank you for sharing this feedback! Blessings to you!

  3. My word this year is “open”, so that would be great. But I encourage my students to dream, so that would be good too. But I try to see beauty wherever I am, so that would be good too. Or love. Or faith. Or joy. So many good choices; words are so powerful!

  4. I think with the space I’m in now, I’d choose “artist” or “create” for my word.

    I feel the long stretch of empty space too. Not quite as internationally, but there’s no Highway to Hawaii, and my family is an ocean away. The gift of our lives here is a blessing. We tried the tropics (where I’m from) and it almost upended us. As it turns out, I’m a PNW girl all the way. And one that’s so thankful for airplanes and long distance.

  5. Beautiful post, Kate. Yes, I’ve had unfulfilled longings. I’m so thankful that God meets us there and teaches us trust in the waiting, the longing. You’ve got my juices flowing for my FMF post. 🙂

    As for the necklace? Hmmm, I love grace and hope as words. And there’s my One Word: Enough. That’s always a good one for me to be remembering too. 🙂

  6. I’ve lived 22 years 3 to 4 hours away from family – and I miss having family in town, like you describe, but my husband said I was a pioneer woman – and that’s what God kind of called us to – and He filled us up in ways I never imagined. You are so right – it’s all about discovering His perspective!

  7. Beautiful post. It took me back to when I spent my son’s first year away from my own family. Your words perfectly described how I felt. Thank you.
    For the necklace.. I would choose Joy.

  8. This is my first visit, and my first contribution to the Five Minute thing. What a challenge!

    I am doing the 31 days thing – grace quotes (with commentary) on marriage. I set up a new blog to do it, so it wouldn’t interfere with the regular schedule of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart. If anyone’s interested its at http://www.dailygracequote.wordpress.com

    Keeping up two blogs is a challenge, but I’ll not let DGQ die at the end of the month. I’ll keep the grace quotes coming, every day (new theme every month). If no one else needs them…I do.

    My word would be Isandlwana, because it’s a pretty good description of what’s happening in my life right now in regard to my health.

    It’s NOT a negative thing, because even in the most hopeless situation, there is still something worth doing in the immediate moment before you.

  9. Hmmm I think I might choose a map of Guatemala, where our son is from.
    It has been a while since I have participated in a five minute friday (maybe only three times this year)…It is so good to do so. Always surprised at where the word takes me…and love seeing where it brings others.
    Thank you!

  10. Oh my friend… I can feel your longing in this post! I live in the same small town I was born and raised in and have never moved away. I miss my sisters and sister-in-law but it’s not the same… they are still in the US. Oh the sacrifices that are made that those left behind seldom notice! And yet, you are right… our sacrifices, big or small – pale in comparison!

    As far as the necklaces… Oh My! I own several already… I just love them! I think I would choose Beloved.

  11. choose only one word? hahahah. so hard. 🙂
    Probably ‘soar’, comes from some words that were spoken over me a few years ago as i was getting ready to lead worship at our church. And during our intercessor prayer group.

    so many, i could choose from.
    ‘watchman’ maybe. for the same reasons.

    great post and great giveaway Kate. 🙂
    as far as write31…sadly, i have yet to begin. I keep telling myself how hard can carving out 5 minutes a day be. (or even a few segments of 5 to catch up) and yet I don’t. Think of something but then it’s a couple of days later. (like with the FMFparties) by the time i give myself permission its sunday. oy.
    thanks for inspiring us and encouraging us.

  12. I’m doing 31 days and it is a lot harder than I expected. At least we are half way done and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have been enjoying connecting with other bloggers, but it has been a lot of hard work. I just finished reading Surprised By Motherhood and saw you in the last video. I loved it and am sharing my review with readers next week. 🙂
    I was in Ohio while my family was in CA for my sons first birthday, but we were moving to CA a few months later so I guess even though we were apart I knew it wasn’t going to be that long til I saw my family again. 🙂

  13. I’ve been away from #FMF for a few weeks due to other commitments but what a weekend to come back! If I were asked to choose a word to reflect in one of the necklaces, it would be grace. Grace plays a huge role in the memoir I’m writing about a tough relationship from childhood until my mother’s passing in 2001, when God moved with grace into our struggling relationship and forgiveness happened oh so silently. Now, I’m off to write for 5 minutes on l-o-n-g!

  14. Wow… What a beautiful perspective of our Lord’s sacrifice… Thank you for sharing that. As for the jewelry…I LOVE BEATUIFUL AND UPLIFTING WORDS! Beautiful jewelry! 🙂 Have a lovely day! 😀

  15. Ag, I know this feeling! Especially on such days the long distance is much felt. And I guess it is necessary to cry for all these moments once in a while. It doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate the present, it just shows that we care about everything.
    I like your giveaway- such a shame you don’t ship internationally! Otherwise I would go for a map of South Africa or the word dream. 🙂

  16. I have bought a couple of these as gifts (and two for myself) when they were a fundraiser for the Community Center in Africa. LOVE THEM!

    This time I’d choose “Glory”

  17. Those necklaces are so precious. I’ve seen them but yet to have one. So for that reason, I would choose “Faith” as my one word as that is my OneWord365 for this year. Thank you so much for the chance 🙂

  18. Kate, I understand the longing. Sometimes the hard things in life do not seem worth it, you are correct. But this…THIS… is also the most valuable truth: “But in the bigger picture, with the right perspective — my sacrifice was nothing compared to His.”

    Beautiful…thank you.

    • Courtney, you can earn entries on this blog post by entering your name and e-mail address using the Rafflecopter widget, then leaving a blog post comment (which you’ve already done – 🙂 ), following Krafty Kash on Twitter and/or Pinterest, or tweeting a message about the giveaway. Hope that helps! Be sure to “log in” to the Rafflecopter with your details and click “Leave a blog post comment” for two entries already, even if you don’t do the other options.

  19. so many things to say today.
    1) yes doing the #write31day challenge. While I love the challenge I will be ready to go back to 3 posts a week so I have time to do personal writing and updating the blog. Business style stuff.
    2) these necklaces are amazing. Definitely going on the wish list for the husband.
    3) Oh how I know the days of wanting to be here and there all at one time. It is the challenge in such a mobile world. How do I get all my favorite people into the room for my milestones. And with momma dancing with Jesus that will not happen for a great many years. Some day though. Someday she will dance with her grandbabies.

  20. If I won, I would love to have the word “Follow”, because I’ve been making it a focus of my life to truly follow God, not just be a fan (if you haven’t read “Not a Fan”, it is awesome).

  21. Love these necklaces! I would choose the word Purpose – This is my “word” for the year – I choose to Purpose in my heart to follow after God – I am also finding His Purpose for me during this season of life – He is revealing more of Himself to me every day <3

  22. Hi, there are so many great words I love: pray, grace, joy, light, word. It would be hard to choose so I will have to pray about it. 🙂 I definitely giving myself grace on the challenge. I knew coming in that i would have a hard time doing it everyday becaues of health. I love just participating and reading all the great series. I have an ongoing pinterest board of some of the ones I am followeing: http://www.pinterest.com/marykatbpc/31-day-series-blogs/ I know I will be adding more. Plus, I am pinning Deb’s series. http://www.pinterest.com/marykatbpc/31-days-to-build-a-better-blog/

    Thanks.

  23. I’d have to go with Strength…I’ve recently started having seizures, and I’m heading in for 3-5 days of EEG testing on December 1st to see if it is for sure seizures/epilepsy. I think reminding myself of where my Strength comes from would be a good idea. 🙂

  24. We looked at the word “long” differently; you used it as a verb and I used it as an adjective. However, both of our posts came back to the same idea of perspective. Interesting, how that happened.

  25. I would choose “MUSIC.” I am a music teacher and music has been part of my life for since I can remember. Performing at the age of 3, starting piano lessons at 4 years old etc.

  26. Well, Kate, I certainly can relate to this post…it hurts a bit to read as the grief remains fresh and yet a long road overseas that is a gift as I look into young girls eyes and share the love of Jesus. Sometimes I have not wanted to start the crying because I didn’t know when it would stop:/ And so it is Jesus that always keeps…

    I am so thankful for this challenge. I am exhausted and so think I may need a little grace here on out as I decided to do it during our busiest ministry time AND when I am doing a workshop and plunging into writing memoir. Not too smart on my part 😉 But it’s been beautiful and humbling to write about Hungary’s soul and to partner with my hubby in encouraging him to take pictures around the city…it’s been neat to see my Hungarian friends like the posts and bridge gaps and I *hope* draw in supporters & friends State side to ‘visit’ us through these posts. So thank you…so blessed 🙂

  27. Loved your post today Kate, and the word Long too. I think if I could pick a would for a necklace, It would be Kindness. I think it is something that we all need to remember, every moment of every day. I am loving your story of South Africa. What an amazing opportunity you have had to learn and grow!

  28. First of all, thank you SO much for telling us about Write 31 Days! I have never been terribly good at keeping up with daily journalling or blogging, so this has been excellent for helping me with that. More than that though, I have been journeying through a very painful period in my life over the last 21 months thanks to severe depression and have been thinking about writing about my journey for a long time now. I never have been able to make myself, but when you posted this, I started to think about doing the challenge itself and then went to look at some of the blogs from previous years for ideas for my topic. When I did, I ran across one that was called 31 Days of Healing and it was about this woman’s journey through depression. When I saw it, I suddenly felt the strongest nudge from the Holy Spirit to use this as an opportunity to write about and share my own journey. I resisted for well over a week before I finally yielded to His prompting. It hasn’t been easy for me to write about, especially as many of these memories I am sharing are so fresh and things I’m still trying to heal from, but I have noticed some things changing for me. I won’t say I’m healing, but something is happening. In addition, I have received so much support and encouragement from the 31 Dayers community and have made some new online friends as a result of this too. I am incredibly humbled by all of it and very grateful too. So thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this opportunity with all of us. As for the necklaces, I couldn’t make up my mind about a word I would choose so I asked my husband to describe me in one word. He said the two that first came to his mind were “strong” and “forthright.” I can do that 🙂

    Oh, as for blogs in the 31 Days that I’m following, I love Living As A Daughter 31 Days of Mental Illness by Tara Ulrich (her story of living with a mom with bipolar), Confessions of a Roadkill Christian by Faith Raider, Fitter at Forty by AmyL, and Daily Mundane by Cynthia McGarity. There are a couple of others I’ve discovered just today that I want to start following too. So many great blogs and not enough time!!!

    God bless you, Kate!

  29. Your post is beautiful, a reminder of how He can make even those aching longings into gifts.

    I’m waffling between two — out of SO MANY — words: light and truth. Light because He is the light, He has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light, because He calls us to be light. Truth because of Proverbs 3, and my daddy’s voice reading it years ago: “Do not let kindness and truth leave you, bind them around your neck . . . ” It would be neat to have truth bound round my neck.

  30. Kate, I relate to your post…when our second son was born we lived across the country from our family. Not global…but I felt isolated and sad. I wanted grandparents there for birthdays, Grandparent’s Day at their school, etc. An ache only God can heal…time…and moving back closer to family for us was huge. It was LONG waiting…and enduring though.

    If I win another Krafty Kash necklace…I’d pick grace. It is a word I give to myself…it is my blog…it is God given…forgiveness. I am glad you spot lighted her pieces…they are lovely and admirable! I pray you have a wonderful weekend.
    Jenn

  31. I would choose the word “Serene” as I feel it reflects the essence of God’s spirit within that reflects the condition of my heart.

    I can identify with your longing to be with your family when so far apart. I moved to CA many years ago and married. My parents and family all lived in Texas. Being together on holidays were difficult when we had two young sons. But God supplied a family in CA to meet our needs for being connected with loved ones and the telephone was our key to give up-to-date reports of growth of our children. God always meets our needs when we are willing to open our hearts and homes to others.

  32. I love these necklaces! What a beautiful concept, kinda similar to God’s OT command that the Israelites tie the word of God on their foreheads and on their hands.
    I would choose the word “trust”–something that’s been tough for me lately– or a map of Chisinau, the capital of Moldova where I served for a while.

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