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.

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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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