Happy New Year!

I’ve missed you!

We took two weeks off from our regular Five Minute Friday gatherings, and it’s SO GOOD to be back!

Thank you for all who prayed and commented on my final FMF post from last year, when I shared that I had been sick. I was quite severely ill for 20 days, then upon my recovery, I promptly slipped on Michigan ice, split my head on a brick step and got to ride in an ambulance to get internal stitches and five staples in the back of my head.

Staples are still in, but I’m back in action, celebrating God’s gracious protection in the past month, and SO EXCITED to kick off another year of Five Minute Friday with all of you!

Thank you to all who filled out the survey at the end of last year, as well! I got some great feedback and suggestions. Much appreciated!

I’ll share some of the ideas in coming weeks, but in a nutshell, here’s what I learned:

  • You love the Twitter party on Thursday nights (psst .. if you don’t already join us, stop by #fmfparty on Thursdays from about 8:30-10pm EST!)
  • You want a Facebook group! I think this is a great idea, and am thinking and praying through how to make it work.
  • Some of you who link up in the second half or near the end sometimes feel left out or unnoticed. I think this is totally fixable! Maybe we could all commit to coming back on Sunday or Monday to click around one or two blogs we haven’t seen yet, to read and leave some encouragement?
  • Some of you wish you could get the prompts via e-mail. Good news! You can! Just enter your e-mail address in the box on the sidebar (or at the end of this post) where it says, “Join the Mailing List!” and voila! Prompts directly in your inbox every Friday at 7am EST.

If you missed the survey, feel free to drop me an e-mail or leave a comment here with any input on how we can make Five Minute Friday even better!

To celebrate the new year, I’ve got a few special deals just for you, plus a super fun giveaway!

Let’s get started!

First off, if you’re looking to rock your blog in 2016, I highly recommend the brand new Fistbump Media University!

 

Fistbump Media University Ad

 

They’ve opened a fantastic resource just for bloggers like us, and are offering an inaugural special! Plus, if you sign up to receive e-mail updates from the Fistbump website, you can get 50% off your first month!

Click here for more info!

 

Fistbump Media University coupon

 

Have you chosen One Word for 2016?

The fabulous Krafty Kash is giving a 20% discount to anyone who wants to order one of four products using their One Word for the year! So fun!

Customize one of the following with the word or verse of your choice!

600w
One Word Necklace

One Verse Necklace

One Word Bracelet

One Word Mini Pendant Necklace

Use code ONEWORD16 at checkout for 20% off; valid through January 18th!

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SOSB_NEW_Final.indd

 

 

 

Finally, I’m so excited to be able to give away a SIGNED COPY of Susan Meissner’s newest historical novel, Stars Over Sunset Boulevard!

Read my review here, then enter to win in the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready to write? Personally, I’m feeling rather rusty after two weeks off, but let’s give it a go. If it turns out awful, I’ll just blame the staples in my head. 😉

This week’s prompt is:

FMF :: First

 

Setting my timer for five minutes and … GO.

 

It’s the first Five Minute Friday gathering of 2016. The first month of the year. The first chapter of twelve that will be penned into this book called 2016.

It’s the first time anyone in the history of always has experienced this particular year.

Many of us wait with bated breath to see what God will unfold. What gifts await. What joys.

And sometimes we’re so focused on then that we breeze right past the now.

We can forget that every morning is a brand new page. A brand new opportunity to express our gratitude to God, to love others, to bring Him glory.

First is full of hope. 

Every time God wakes you up, you get a fresh chance to serve. To honor. To obey.

Mornings aren’t always my friend. Beginnings aren’t always smooth. Sometimes the starts are bumpy and my neck jerks back at the jolt of it all.

But if I’m buckled into the right seat and holding on to the right wheel, God will steer me exactly where He wants me to be. The road may be narrow, and I might not see what’s beyond the horizon or even that next bend, but I know my God, and I know He drives well.

 

STOP.

 

Don’t forget to enter to win a signed copy of Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner! Giveaway open to residents living in the U.S. or Canada only.

And if you think of it, stop by on Sunday or Monday to click around and comment on some of the later posts linked up!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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50 thoughts on “five minute friday :: first {plus special deals & a giveaway!}

  1. oh goodness you poor thing! i had an awful cold/respiratory issues myself for almost a month (from thanksgiving til christmas!) but have thankfully recovered. Being sick around holidays is the WORST. Hope you’re on the mend!

  2. I love that our hearts both took the prompt in the same direction: giving God our mornings and asking Him to guide and direct us. I’m not a morning person either, but I’ve found it makes such a difference when I consciously give Him my day and acknowledge His lordship over whatever lies ahead. It’s true either way, but reminding myself of this reality helps me live more at peace, and with more joy. So excited for another year of #fmfparty together, friend! 🙂

    • On more than one occasion, God has used a timely morning Vox from you to encourage me with exactly the words I’ve needed! Thank you for being such a light and a blessing. I appreciate you, your example, and your ministry more than you know!

  3. Oh my goodness, you had quite the month last month. Praying you are on the upswing. I’ve missed all of you too. So glad to be back for FMF.

  4. I love mornings :). I’m at my best when the house is quiet and I have time to spend with God before the rush begins. Of course, that means getting up at four…but it’s worth it! I look forward to what God will do with us and for us and through us in the new year.

  5. Yes I have taken a break myself with the holidays, and little ones sick. I had no idea. So glad you are feeling better. Thank you for this post, I need to book mark it as a reminder about half way through the year that its ok to start new every day, in countless ways, we can always start new. Thanks for hosting us!

  6. “I know my God, and He drives well” YES! I am a morning person and enjoy especially the first light of sunrise. This always reminds me of God’s faithfulness that is new every single day.
    Sorry to hear that you’ve been sick all this time, get well soon!

    • The sunrise is SUCH a good reminder of His faithfulness. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for being here with us again! Always a joy to see your face appear in the link-up. Blessings to you in this new year.

  7. Kate—you are an amazing trooper! A civilian warrior mom with injuries…still up to fight the battles of each day and write! I would have so thrown in the towel on writing by now. You are a stronger woman than me! Praying you head heals well and 2016 has no more medical issues for you or your family!

    I’m hoping to win that book! I made it my goal to read more fiction in 2016! I’m off to the library on Saturday to switch my brain from all the Christian/self improvement to a fictional story line! I like to balance. 😉 Have a wonderful weekend! I’ll try to Twitter party in 2016 too…I’m not much of a night owl but I’ll try. Jenn

  8. I hope you get to feeling better quickly!

    I love the first few minutes of morning. Yet I find “firsts” can often be intimidating. This was a wonderful prompt to remind me that firsts offer hope of new experiences & journeys – each and every day.

    • Firsts can be intimidating, you’re right. But they’re also such a testimony to God’s faithfulness when He gets us through, aren’t they? 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting, Joanne!

  9. So sorry to hear you’ve had such a hectic time! Prayers for your complete recovery and a new year of peace and joy. I’m happy to have found Five Minute Friday once again and am thankful for this inspiring and creative space. Thank you!

  10. Happy New Year, Kate! I’m so sorry you bashed your head! 🙁 I’m glad you’re doing better. May the first days of this coming year find you resting as able and healing completely. 🙂 I can’t blog this weekend, but I had to stop by and say hello. May the anticipation we feel at the beginning of this year continue through the year as we keep our eyes on Jesus. 🙂

    I’ll see you back here next week. 🙂

  11. Thanks for the great shout-out about Fistbump Media University! You rock! And I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying it so far! It’s a blast doing that kind of stuff! #fistbump

  12. well, I’m a dope lol. I posted on the wrong entry. DUH. So I’ll repost here too. FISTBUMP U is FANTASTIC!!!!!! Y’all will not be sorry. It’s already been well worth the subscription price and we’re only 8 days in! Listen to me, the techno dinosaur and do it! 🙂

    Kate, I hope you make it through the rest of the winter with no more incidents! YIKES gal!

  13. […] sharing my (a bit longer than 5 minute) words with Kate and the lovely five-minute-friday crew as the first leap back into writing in community together for 2016. And with Barbie for a spot of […]

  14. What a trying time you’ve had! One thing after another! Amen to this: “But if I’m buckled into the right seat and holding on to the right wheel, God will steer me exactly where He wants me to be.”, even in and after accidents on ice and severe illnesses! It’s sonetimes so easy to turn and hide away, fearful of what’s next..thankful that His mercies keep meeting us new every morning! As you recover, may you feel His strong arms around you and His peace be upon you. Thank you for your continued encouragement to us all here, in your words and in offering this platform.

  15. […] Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on first. Go […]

  16. […] Five Minute Friday is a discipline where independent writers join together to transform thoughts on a specific prompt word from their minds through their fingers onto the screen for five minutes. Then we get together and share our pearls of wisdom {okay, some times they’re swine, but the intention is always good} at Kate’s place (http://katemotaung.com/2016/01/07/five-minute-friday-first-plus-special-deals-a-giveaway/). […]

  17. Ooh! I love the idea of a Facebook group! The twitter party always happens in the midst of cleanup/bedtime/finally connecting with my husband. I like to “eavesdrop” later, but it would be cool to have a less time-sensitive way to connect. (Having said that, I don’t want more work for you!!) Thank you for all you do! Even though I’m a quiet contributor, I look forward to your prompts each week.

  18. […] This post is part of the Five Minute Friday link-up.  FMF is where bloggers gather together to form a writing flash mob where we all write on a one word prompt for 5 minutes with no editing!  Sound like fun?  You can learn more by clicking on the button below and/or join this week’s link-up here! […]

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