We made it!  It’s the final day of October!  For those who have been doing Write 31 Days, CONGRATULATIONS!!  This is me sending you virtual cupcakes, hot tea and lots of expensive, dark chocolate. Seriously, posting every day for 31 days is a huge accomplishment.  Well done!

This is also our fifth and final Words Matter giveaway.  I hope you’ve all enjoyed the giveaways as much as I have.  Thank you to all who have offered the fantastic prizes, all who have entered, and congratulations to those who have won so far!

This week I’ve put together a fabulous package to wrap up our month of goodies.

The winner of this giveaway will get not one, not two, but THREE books from women that I admire tremendously. 

These three authors have shown through their lives and ministry that words really do matter.

The first book in the giveaway is the beautiful new family Advent calendar just released by Ann Voskamp.

It’s called Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, and it is an absolute treasure.

If you’ve ever read Ann’s writing, you’ll know what an incredible gift she has, and this gem is no exception.  In fact, I opened it expecting to use it with my children, and I have been so challenged and blessed by it, even as an adult.  I just adore Ann’s perspective, and she weaves Jesus into every single page.

Even if you don’t win the giveaway, you want this book.



The second book in the prize pack is Vivian Mabuni’s Warrior in Pink.  I actually won a copy of this book on my friend Bronwyn’s blog several months ago, and it was so moving.  Since then, Vivian has become an online friend and a great encouragement to me through her writing and her testimony.  Warrior in Pink is Vivian’s story about her journey with breast cancer, and how the Lord cared for her during that intense trial.  Read my review here.


Warrior in Pink cover




On this final day of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Discovery House Publishers is offering a copy of Warrior in Pink for one of you to enjoy as well!








Atlas Girl cover




And last but definitely not least is Emily Wierenga’s memoir, Atlas Girl.  Emily is one author whose voice has really influenced my own writing, and I’m thrilled to be able to give away a copy of this thought-provoking memoir as Emily recounts her life’s experiences thus far, including a battle with anorexia and caring for her mother with brain cancer.  Read my review here.







Again, even if you don’t win, you’ll want to get a copy of Atlas Girl as soon as possible so you can participate in Emily’s online book club starting November 3rd!  More details here.


In addition to her book, I want to take this opportunity to highlight a brand new nonprofit which Emily founded herself.  It’s called The Lulu Tree, and it exists to minister to women in the slums of Uganda.




All proceeds of Atlas Girl go directly to The Lulu Tree, and not only that, but they have a boutique as well!  Check out some of the gorgeous items available — and all prices include free shipping!  You can even purchase your copy of Atlas Girl directly from The Lulu Tree boutique and not pay any shipping at all!

Check out some of the gorgeous items available at The Lulu Tree boutique.  This year, your Christmas shopping could really make a difference:


Three Elephants print – Available at The Lulu Tree boutique
Hope Blooms Print - The Lulu Tree
Hope Blooms print – Available at The Lulu Tree boutique
Crocheted Headwarmer
Crocheted Headwarmer
Little Lamb hat
Little Lamb hat
Slouchie Beanie
Slouchie Beanie
Starry Quilt - Available at The Lulu Tree boutique
Starry Quilt – Available at The Lulu Tree boutique
Lulu or Akiki doll
Lulu or Akiki doll


Aren’t they lovely?  See all the beautiful and unique items available by visiting The Lulu Tree boutique here.



For this week’s Five Minute Friday, the prompt is:


FMF - Leave


If you’re new to Five Minute Friday, all the details you’ll need can be found right over here.

And since it’s the final day of Write 31 Days and 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes, and the last day of my 31 Days of Life in South Africa series, I had planned to write about the day my family and I left South Africa to move to the States for a temporary stint before going back.

But …



So instead, you get a special treat ..


Today my sister is here, as my first ever guest Five Minute Friday writer!






(And since it’s Halloween, I’ll indulge you with this picture of the two of us, just a handful of years ago …)




I love what she came up with in five minutes of free writing.  Her unique perspective as the sister of someone who spent ten years in South Africa is the perfect way to round out this series.

Here we go ..



Go. Don’t stay. It reminds me of the Bible. A time to laugh, a time to cry. A time to stay, a time to go.


Through various personality evaluations, I’ve learned what I already know about myself: I’m loyal. One of the hardest things for me to do is to walk away. In some ways, this helps. In some ways, it hurts.


I remember a specific time that I brought my sister back to the airport (though don’t ask me *which* specific time; there were a lot of trips back and forth to various airports). I wanted to pull up to the curb, drop her off, give her a hug, and leave. She wanted me to stay, come inside, chat for a while until the very last moment we had to say goodbye, I had to watch her walk through security.


It might seem counter-intuitive. I just told you I don’t like to leave. But since leaving was so hard for me, I wanted it to be fast, quick, over with as soon as possible.


Don’t get me started on the times I visited her in South Africa, when “leaving” usually took about 36 hours, from her house, to the airport, on a plane, to another airport, on another plane (one more round of that), then finally, home.




Sarah Baar lives and writes in Holland, Michigan.  Read her other guest post, When it’s hard to find hope in the rubble, here.





Now it’s your turn!  Show us your five minutes on the word “LEAVE” by linking up your post via the inLinkz button below ..




Book Giveaway


Please note: Giveaway is only open to entrants with a U.S. mailing address.

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52 thoughts on “five minute friday and a giveaway {day 31 :: leave}

  1. I didn’t understand how hard departures were until my Dad visited me in South Africa. And then I was the one standing as he walked away from me in the security lines.

    I was sobbing. That crazy “look at that lady! What’s wrong with her??” sobbing. But he was crying too. And it was the worst thing EVER.

    Fast is definitely better in my book. Don’t even stop the car! 😉

  2. Thanks for the giveaway. I also thought about trying the five minute Fridays but knew that the 31 days of writing would be a challenge enough for me. Those books look fantastic. I just bought the Ann Voskamp book for my family but have many friends I would love to give it to as well.

  3. I have to admit that when I saw “leave”, I didn’t think in terms of a physical departure.

    I thought of my divorce and remarriage to the same woman, because the phrase “have you taken leave of your sense?” was operative.

    It’s what people kept asking my wife.

  4. Leaving – good prompt for tonight. Love how it goes so many ways.
    Lulu Tree? Goodness – there’s so much sweet stuff there!
    I do love the LuLu Tree necklace.

  5. What a wonderful giveaway! I really loved the mother & child print (purples ) and the Lulu tree bracelet.
    Thanks for offering this.

  6. Wonderful prompt. It is so hard to leave. Thinking about it this morning made me realize even more how our God wired us for eternity – no leaving, no goodbyes – endless time stretching before us. Beautiful post!
    May I put in a plug for the Lulu Tree? Oh my gosh, I ordered 2 hats & a headband thinking I would give them for Christmas gifts. The sweetness of them made my heart burst & I already gave them to my family members. I cannot stress enough how beautifully they are made!
    This is a wonderful giveaway sure to bless many. And you bless us all too! Thank you!

  7. Wow! I can relate so much to this post because I have a sister who I have to leave pretty soon to follow Gods call on my life to be a missionary! I love her so much and will miss her, but she is very excited about all that the LORD has planned!

  8. Oh, I can relate to this, too. Not on such a big level as leaving for another country, but when people we love leave and go back wherever it is they go, it hurts all the same. My mom and her sisters would ALWAYS cry every Christmas when they would leave to go back to their homes several states away. Now, I find myself doing the same thing when I leave my aunts once a year or so. Leaving can hurt, but it makes returning all the sweeter. Love hearing from your sister today!!

  9. LuluTree is AWESOME! I love the little lamb hats, but, not having a baby to wear the hat, my next favorite is probably the LuluTree Africa jewelry. 🙂

  10. It is always hard to leave the people you love most – something that I have done too often.
    PS: I have enjoyed participating in your 31 days of FMF. It was a challenge but I did it 🙂
    I would love to do it again before October comes around again.

  11. I love those Lulu Tree dolls. I love Emily and Ann and I am happy for the intro to Vivian…and your sister! And I am so happy that I can come play FMF next week again now that #write31days is done! Thanks, Kate.

  12. I like the it’s a sunny day mini patchwork quilt! Of course, there are several things that I like, that is just my favorite. I love hearing from your sister too! Thank you so much for sharing this 31 days with the rest of us. It was so much fun to participate.

  13. I just love the Little lamb baby hat and the baby’s even cuter!
    Really did enjoy your sister’s read 🙂 Deep, fun and lighthearted all at the same time.

  14. I totally get the hating leaving so let’s-do-it-fast thing. And when you’re a missionary across the world… leaving happens a lot. Shoot, when you’re wired like ME, leaving happens a lot. I finally live in a community where we can get some “roots” – except no matter how long you stay, everyone around you is leaving. It’s a missionary community in Germany. There just aren’t any guarantees of “stay” until Heaven.

  15. Leaving is by far the hardest part of loving someone. Leaving always feels so permanent these days. But I would so much rather leave someone I love – then not have someone to love. I tell my parents every time that I am just grateful we want to be together! Some families don’t have that privilege. Thank you for your beautiful post and the give away opportunity. God is good!

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