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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

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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:

 

lulu-tree

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.

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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 …

 

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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 …)

 

Halloween

 

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 ..

 

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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.

 

biophoto

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

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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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