It’s Five Minute Friday time!

If you’re new here, you can find out all about this amazing community by clicking here. We love newcomers, and we’d love to have you join us!

So, most of you have heard about the crazy, month-long phenomenon called Write 31 Days, right?

And remember how last year we jumped on that bandwagon as a Five Minute Friday community, and a bunch of us wrote 31 five minute free writes in 31 days?

Well, I’m excited to announce that YES, we’re planning to do it again!

We’re back and better than ever with 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes!

 

31 Days logo - 2015

Last year, I provided a one word prompt for every day in October.

This year, I’ll be doing this same, but with a twist:

This time around, YOU get to have a say in which prompts we’ll be writing on!

It’s called Readers’ Choice Awards, and I’m giving YOU the opportunity to submit three different one word prompt suggestions!

Voting begins NOW and closes Saturday, September 5th at 11pm EST.

You may vote ONE time, but within your one vote, you may include THREE prompt suggestions.

I’ll compile all the votes and post them on Tuesday, September 8th, so you’ll have plenty of time to plan ahead if you’d like to participate!

The five most popular prompts will be our regular Five Minute Friday prompts in October. Then I’ll use the next ten most popular, ten randomly selected suggestions, and reserve the right to select six of my choice from your votes. 🙂 Also, for the sake of originality, I reserve the right to nix any prompts that have been used in the past twelve months.

When we kick off all the fun in October, you can link up an introduction to your series both on the Write 31 Days website as well as here. That way you can follow along with others who are also participating!

If you’re on the fence, check out some of the bloggers who played along last year by clicking here.

It’s a big commitment, but hey — it’s only five minutes a day, right? That makes it a WHOLE lot easier and less scary. And if you’re still scared, I promise I’ll hold your hand. We can count to three and jump together.

***

Click HERE to place your vote!

 

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is:

 

alone

 

 

Before we start writing, I thought maybe we could take a moment and pray for one of our faithful FMF community members, Andrew, and his wife.

I thought of Andrew and his situation when the Lord laid this prompt on my heart this week.

Andrew has been battling terminal illness for quite a while now, and has been going through another rough patch. Won’t you lift him and his wife up in prayer? Maybe even stop by his blog to leave him some encouragement? You can find his website by clicking here.

 

 

 

I can’t hear this song without thinking back to John Donne’s Meditation XVII, the famous work of poetry also called For Whom the Bell Tolls.

I think of this poem every time I hear this song.

More than just the poem, I think of what it did for me the first time I read it. The first time it was shared with me during a season of need.

Sometimes the Lord just does that, you know? Okay, not just sometimes, but all the time.

On that particular day, this was exactly what I needed.

It was during a rough patch of my mom’s illness, and I felt that my sister and I bore the entire burden ourselves.

I was wrong.

I felt like we were alone in carrying the weight of this trial.

We weren’t.

Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it. ~John Donne, Meditation XVII

This poem, and now this song, remind me that no man is an island.

We’re all interconnected.

We laugh together and cry together.

When one of us hurts, we all hurt.

Maybe you need to hear it, too. Maybe you need to be reminded that you’re not in this alone. While you may carry a unique load, you’re surrounded by a larger body who loves and cares for you, and seeks to lighten your burden.

More importantly, you’re carried by the One who bore all of our burdens on the cross, who bids us to come to him, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

 

***

I wrote the above post in five minutes earlier today. Then after dinner, I went to a funeral visitation for my friend’s mom. My friend’s story is very similar to mine. Lost her mom to cancer. Taken at age 65. Almost exactly four years ago, I was wearing my friend’s shoes, hugging dear ones at my mom’s visitation, thanking them for their condolences and sympathy.

As I stood in the funeral home this evening and looked around, I believed in the words I wrote above even more than I did when I wrote them just a few hours ago. When the rubber hits the road, we are not alone. It will likely feel like it on many occasions, but when we’re in crisis, our people show up.

I saw one of my mom’s closest friends at the funeral home tonight. She told me how much she misses my mom, and how she sobbed so uncontrollably four years ago at her visitation.

I looked in her eyes and knew that I was not alone in my grief. The burden was shared by so many. And while it may not have felt any lighter on my shoulders at the time, it’s still a comfort to know that we are not alone.

Andrew, if you’re reading this, know that you’re not alone in your fight. We are here, and we are for you.

 

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42 thoughts on “five minute friday :: alone {and a special announcement!}

  1. Love the poem, and the song – great,encouraging stuff (and thank you for the call-out…I truly appreciate it.)

    Calling my post for this week ‘Alone In The Fight’ was meant to remind myself – and readers – that there are things we do, and should face alone.

    Under the circumstances, it often feels that the world’s rushed on, and left me in its backwash…and that is right and proper. Life should go on, even when the feeling, in my temporal heart, is one of loneliness.

    I’d also like to say that the brotherhood (being a guy, it feels weird to say sisterhood!) that has been shown me here, by all of the wonderful participants, is a large part of why I am still alive.

    • Andrew, we’re so grateful for your contributions and your presence in this place, and for your faithful reading and commenting on so many other FMF blogs.

      Your post this week was incredibly heart-wrenching and moving. Thank you for allowing us this small glimpse into your reality, as painful and difficult as it is. I genuinely appreciate your raw honesty.

      As I was driving home from the funeral home this evening, leaving a hall full of mourners, I passed a lively festival on the Main Street of our downtown. People strolled in the evening breeze, smiling and laughing — oblivious to the stark contrast of emotions I had just left behind, less than two miles away.

      I remember feeling that same sense of unfairness, of unjustness, when my mom died and the sun kept shining. To me, it felt like the world should stop spinning. But as you say in your post. It doesn’t. And it shouldn’t.

      Nevertheless, as the poem rightly proclaims, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less …”

      • I know those moments when the world seems like it should stop spinning, in dutiful obedience to circumstance.

        To add to Donne, another poem came to me this evening, Lt-Col John MacRae’s “In Flanders’ Fields”.

        The lines of interest are the coda –

        “To you, from failing hands, we throw
        the torch; be yours to hold it high.
        If ye break faith with us who die
        we shall not sleep, though poppies blow
        in Flanders’ fields.”

        I hope that my life meant – and still means something, and that any inspiration I’ve planted will live on in devotion to duty, honour, and fair play; that being a gentleman still means something, and being kind is more important than being important.

        That’s the torch.

  2. These words are so important to all of us because knowing that God is always there to give us what we need is what gets is through each day. I love how you remind us that we are all interconnected and it is that thought that reaches deep when we feel alone. Thanks for these words!

  3. No man is an island. We are all interconnected and not alone in our grief. Amen! And thank you for recognizing and rallying around Andrew. I pray for him often. We all were made to suffer with each other, laugh together, dry each other’s tears, and cheer each other on. Beautiful words, tonight, friend. Thank you!

  4. This, right here, is why I love the Five Minute Friday *brother/sister-hood* so so much. That we can come alongside each other and support one another in the hard parts of life. Thank you, Kate, for recognizing Andrew and calling out for prayer. Sometimes we need reminded that community extends past screens and into hearts.

  5. Kate, I too, am thankful you’ve called us to pray for Andrew and his wife. He adds so much in so many places. I thought of him when I first saw the prompt tonight.

    Thank you for the reminder that we are not alone. We were meant to live interconnected. And it’s in this way of living that we find strength during the hardest seasons of life. I need to remember this.

  6. So beatiful. Andrew is indeed not alone. We stand together. That Tenth Avene North song gets me every time too. At our local Bible camp, we close each campfire with a song called “No One is an Islsnd.” It goes: “No one is an island, no stands alone, each ones joy is joy to me, each ones grief is mine own.”

  7. Kate, the only word is beautiful. Your words, your emotion, your concern, and compassion shine through this heartfelt post. Andrew has become so dear to me also…to walk through this valley with him is sobering and quieting. I lost my mom three years ago; however, she had lived a full life and walked into heaven at almost-87. Regardless though, losing one’s mom? Like losing a section of your soul. xo Thank you for your diligence and excellence hosting FMF.

  8. Oh that the world would stop spinning. Perhaps it does slow a bit when our fingers type. We steady to the keyboard and we write. Not alone any more…this wide internet DOES connect us in a way that our ancestors never had. They only knew their neighbors…and we are virtually neighbors by a click or a comment. Thanks for making a space for community and sharing Kate! Jenn

  9. It is easy to come alongside people when they are happy and celebrating – that’s what parties are all about, right? It’s another thing entirely to come alongside people when they are sad, or hurting, or sick, or any of the other things we kinda-sorta don’t want to have in our lives. But I am always reminded of Job’s friends, who sat with him for three days – sat beside him without speaking, just lending their presence. I am learning that we need to be allowed to feel, sometimes deeply and painfully, and by standing beside others, we allow them the quiet space and gentle support of our presence in their need. Kate, this post is beautifully written – both parts…Andrew, I think that kindness is more important than being important. There are many standing beside you.

  10. […] do a good job.  It is NOT good for man to be alone.  Men, enjoy your gift. Shane Linking up with FMF today.  Yes, it’s longer than 5 minutes; but Shane has a hard time getting everything into 5. […]

  11. I’m sure last night was hard for you, Kate. But you aren’t alone, and neither is your friend, nor Andrew. I’m glad you called attention to him, as I’ve been trying to piece together his story. Prayed a long time for you last night, Andrew. You are not alone.
    So very thankful for this group and that I’m not alone – even though I thought I was alone at the Twitter party last night! My post is about that. Privacy settings – who knew?!
    Thanks for always hosting and encouraging us, Kate, and thanks for the opportunity to vote and be involved in 31 days! Can’t wait!

  12. Thank you so much for letting me join the FMFparty fun last night. It was an adrenaline rush getting it written in five minutes, then adding images as quickly as I could. It was fun! It’s funny to see what comes out of your heart when you hear a word. For me, it was advice. I really feel like no one really reaches out anymore, so I have to step up and do it.

    Thank you for your post and reminding us we aren’t alone. I need to hear it all the time.

  13. […] fmf prompt: alone. it’s 2:10 a.m. i tried going to sleep at 12 something but found myself staring at the ceiling, crying. it’s been a very difficult two weeks for me. disappointment. hiding true feelings about it only to fight with God about being so angry over not getting what want. and hurt. and joyful over giving this thing (launch party tickets) to someone closer). And then absolute silence. From what feels like God. […]

  14. This reminds me of Romans 12:15 >>> Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

    We are never alone! God is always there for us and He has surrounded you by such an amazing group of FMF writers! As a brand-newbie to this link-up, the community of you all is absolutely amazing and such a blessing.

  15. Thank you for this, Kate. I know the emotions you refer to. I lost my mom almost nine years ago. Feels like two days ago most days. I appreciate how you asked us to pray for Andrew. I pray for him daily. I’m blessed he’s a part of this community. I’ve learned much from him. God is using him and this community in ways we may never know. Thanks again for hosting us all. Bless you!

  16. Wow! I counted 90 links above. No way I’m going to get through them all. I find the 5 minutes difficult to gather my thoughts and produce anything coherent. I read other’s 5 minute writes and am amazed at how polished they sound. I am glad to see so many people participating. I know I’m late. I broke all kinds of rules this week. Not the best week for me and so I was late with my group post for Wednesday and I’m late with this one as well. Here’s to a better week coming!!

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