Welcome to Five Minute Friday!

We have tons of goodies and surprises in store for you this week, as I’m celebrating TWO YEARS hosting this wonderful community!

Lisa-Jo Baker started Five Minute Friday on January 13, 2011 and hosted for nearly FOUR YEARS before passing it over to me in August of 2014.

It’s been my absolute privilege to open this space to brave writers like you week after week.


Since we have so much to share this week, I feel like I should give you a little Table of Contents so you don’t miss out on any goodness! In this post, we’re sharing:


In the past two years, we’ve had some good times, hey? We had several video interviews with Asheritah and a number of FMF community members; we had our very first retreat; we’re even making a BOOK!

Speaking of the Five Minute Friday book, I’m thrilled to be able to share a sneak peek of the cover with you, AND to reveal the release date!



It's a Five Minute FridayBOOK!(1)


We chose September 26th so that those of you who are participating in Write 31 Days in October will hopefully share all about the book with your Write 31 Days readers!

All proceeds from the book will be divided equally between two vital ministries in South Africa: The Vine School in Cape Town, and the Ten Dollar Tribe!

And speaking of Write 31 Days, remember how a whole bunch of us have done 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes for the past two years? (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, catch the 2014 version here and the 2015 edition here!)

Well … I have some exciting news to share! Not only will 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes still be going strong for its third year running, but the lovely, one and only Christina Hubbard from Creative and Free will be hosting the challenge this year!

(Just to clarify, Crystal Stine hosts the overall Write 31 Days challenge; 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes is sort of a challenge within a challenge, so to speak.)

Here’s a picture of Christina and me, taken on the beach last Friday as we plotted and planned all sorts of fun things for the FMF community:

Christina Hubbard


You know online friendships are for real when you meet for the first time wearing your bathing suits and you chat for three hours straight before realizing your back may not have gotten as sunburned if you hadn’t been wearing your tank top backwards all day. Just sayin’.


As part of our festivities this weekend, I’m also hosting a special giveaway for my blog subscribers!

Subscribe here to receive these blog posts via email and you’ll automatically be entered to win a custom map necklace from KraftyKash, with the destination of your choice!

(Psst … if you’re already a subscriber, you’re already entered to win!)






Even if you don’t win, you’ll get a copy of my ebook, Letters to Grief, as well as two free adult coloring pages, just for signing up!

Subscribe here!




While we’re celebrating, go ahead and grab some goodies from the $5 Summer Sale at DaySpring!

DaySpring Sale



Finally, it’s my great privilege to welcome author Jennifer Dukes Lee to Five Minute Friday this week!

Read on to learn why I invited Jennifer to guest post on the prompt:






Jennifer Dukes Lee is an award-winning former news journalist, an (in)courage writer and a blogger at http://www.JenniferDukesLee.com. Jennifer once took a dare to find out whether happiness matters to God and, if so, how to pursue it in a way that pleases Him. Out of that quest, was born: The Happiness Dare: Pursuing Your Heart’s Deepest, Holiest, and Most Vulnerable Desire.




Please join me in welcoming Jennifer as she shares her five minute free write with us below!


In 2002, we moved to a part of the world known not-so-affectionately as “fly-over country.” That means that no one stops here to visit the natural features, national landmarks, or tourist attractions. (We don’t have many of those in farm country.)


People “fly over” our part of the world, on their way to everywhere else.


Like most people, I love to jet off to beaches and vacations and long weekends at the lake. All of those places make me positively giddy!


But the truth is: If I wait for a vacation to find happiness, I’m going to waste a lot of time wishing for greener pastures.


Happiness has very little to do with where our feet are – and a whole lot to do with where our hearts are.


Right here in fly-over country, I’m learning that often times, I have to be super intentional about cultivating happiness in my every day. You too? There’s a good chance your life looks a lot like mine: overdue library books, looming deadlines, Legos experiencing urban sprawl across the living room floor, expired sour cream at the back of the fridge, a garden where weeds are more abundant than flowers.


For most of us, life isn’t too fancy. It’s pretty … regular. Pretty ordinary. Pretty weedy.


But I think that’s where happiness is built – right in the middle of our ordinary lives, not on the French Riviera.


I want to build a life that I don’t need a vacation from. How about you?




Let’s build a happy life right where we are – on our back decks where we watch the sun slide down the western sky, on the couch during those late-night Netflix marathons, in the middle of the pillow flights, and the hundreds of family dinners, and the gazillionith tuck-in.


This is happiness – yep, even in fly-over country.




Jennifer’s book, The Happiness Dare, just released this week!

Take Jennifer’s Happiness Style Assessment, and find out in five minutes or less, what truly makes you happy.

And now … it’s giveaway time!

One person will win a copy of The Happiness Dare, courtesy of Jennifer Dukes Lee, and another winner will get this fabulous Writer keychain from KraftyKash!


Writer Keychain

(Psst … if you want to order the book or the keychain in case you don’t win or you want to gift a friend, you can grab the book here and the keychain here!)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Both giveaways end at 11:59pm EST on Sunday, August 7th.

Must have a U.S. postal address to be eligible to win.  


Disclaimer: Affiliate links have been used in this post.

Join us with your own five minutes of free writing on HAPPY! 

Thanks for celebrating with us, friends! Don’t forget to click over to the blog linked up before yours to leave some comment love!


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55 thoughts on “five minute friday :: happy {celebrating two years hosting FMF with a special guest and a giveaway!}

    • Ha! Mary, I feel the same way, especially about my many, many dogs. (We have a sanctuary for the unwanted, abused, and abandoned.No one is turned away, so we do have some weirdos.)

      And I’m not alone. Almost every day a neighbour’s dog crawls under his fence while they are at work to come over and hang out with us.

  1. Hey sweet Kate! Thank you of hosting this lovely FMF gathering each week and thank you for inviting the lovely Jennifer Lee to share her “happiness” with all of us. I have been blessed to be on Jennifer’s launch team for her book The Happiness Dare but more so I have been blessed by her.

    Kate- you are a wonderful hostess and you make sure we all feel welcome. Since I popped into the party and you encouraged me to write- guess what- I wrote. Enjoy as I enjoy being here. Love and hugs friend!

  2. Great fun at the #fmfparty tonight! Would love to win! I’m beginning to realize more and more that happiness is a choice. I can choose to complain about all the wrong or I can choose something each day to be happy about. I think that will help change my whole attitude.

  3. This #fmfparty community makes me feel happy. So glad I could join y’all tonight. Celebrating with you Kate and Jennifer too—and DaySpring & Krafty Kash our fun guests to have as well on this special night! Wish I was eating ice cream with you at your place Kate so we could celebrate your hosting milestone in person. 🙂

  4. Oh, I loved this post. “But I think that’s where happiness is built – right in the middle of our ordinary lives, not on the French Riviera.” Building happiness right where I am . . . yes. Purposing to do this even when hubby travels and the boys are riding hard on my last nerve. I’m learning to choose happiness even when others try to steal it. I’m learning to find happiness in the everyday happenings in my family.

    Great post, Jennifer!

  5. Thanks for the great giveaways and for having Jennifer Dukes Lee here to share with us tonight. I’m looking forward to reading her book!

    Things that make me happy: My family, my puppy, sunsets, chocolate, a fancy tea party, popcorn, pizza, and watching the Olympics!

  6. I loved how Jennifer describes being in a “fly-over” area. I think even those of us with a tourism place nearby may take it for granted. For years, we’d only visit Mt. Rushmore when guests came to visit and we were an hour’s drive away. Now I have that same beauty with Crater Lake National Park-only an hour away and breathtaking, but we don’t even visit annually.
    Contentment and happiness and thankfulness all seem to be in the heart of it. So I thank you, Kate, for modeling such willingness to be molded by God and to be happy that He loves you enough to keep working. Sometimes our sorrows make our joys that much sweeter, and you are no stranger to either.
    Bless you both this week!
    (#7 again)

  7. Farm country? That means you might have goats. I love goats. Like them, I am always coming from trouble or on my way to it.

    I’ve got a corollary to the wise comment “don’t have a life from which you need a vacation”. I’m circling the drain (much to the measured annoyance of some who think I should just DIE already) and I’ve learned this…

    If your bucket list does not look like the life you have, you’ve got beaucoup problems.

    Fortunately, I am living my bucket list, here with my wife and dogs (we have a sanctuary for the unwanted).

    #1 at FMF this week.


  8. Beautiful beautiful post!! Thanks for offering the giveaway! Loved the sentiment in Jennifer’s fmf post. What makes me happy…. I’m about to link up my fmf post which inc some in depth “happy!” But ….just BEING with the family. Embracing the moments that are simply ordinary

    I’m sharing the news of the fmf book and wow, am I excited to be a part of it. Amazing charities. Thank you!

    God bless

  9. Happy 2nd anniversary! Thank you so much for hosting this place so we can share our thought and words on your prompts. Here is to many more years to come!! So excited for the book and everything happening here.

  10. Congratulations, Kate! You’re a wonderful hostess!
    The post was a great reminder to wonder about our hearts and attitudes instead of fussing about our circumstances all the time. I am in a transitional phase at the moment and it’s not easy finding happiness, but with some practice it’s amazing to see the results!

  11. Happy 2nd Anniversary! Thanks for all you do in hosting FMF and providing space for this wonderful community. I love being a part of it, and I am looking forward to seeing the book!

  12. […] 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 happy. Go. […]

  13. Happy anniversary, Kate! And thank you so much for all your encouragement, prayers and God-given prompts. You have been such a blessing in the short 8 or so months I’ve now taken part. I’ve missed FMF lately with being on holiday and doing a joint blogging series (deep valleys and God’s Presence in them) with a friend that has fallen on a Friday…hope to join again soon. Excited about the book and so thankful to you and Susan for your work on it.

    Thank you for hosting Jennifer. I’ve been on her Launch Team and had my eyes and heart opened…she’s been such a blessing.

    Jennifer: beautiful words. The mundane fills up a bigger portion of our life and there’s SO many gifts waiting for us to open our palms to. BTW your word-swap should for “get to” has already had an amazing impact on my gratefulness!

  14. This post (and this book, which has definitely been added to my reading list), is so timely for me. We are preparing to move house and I find myself trying to balance the dream with the reality. It’s not about the perfect house, but it’s about the house that will help us to have the life we want. One where we don’t have to keep waiting in order to be happy. Quiet time with a good book, finishing a knitting project, chatting with my family while the kids run and scream further away in my parents’ large backyard make me happy.

  15. I’m an Experiencer with a secondary Thinker. The description was so right on. I’ve already bought the book (and I have a few necklaces from KraftyKash because they are AWESOME but I’m happy to win either again and gift them 😀 Excited to read the book. 🙂

  16. Oh, and what makes me happy!!! I didn’t get that that was the prompt.

    Cherry pepsi (with ice), a book to get lost in, sunsets over the ocean, castles (I live in Europe so many opportunities for this kind of happiness), time with a very close friend, seeing something new, an adventure!, the joy of my children.

  17. What makes me happy? Just take a look at my post for part of the list (#47). I love your five-minute thoughts on happiness, and the reminder that we need to find it in our everyday lives.

    Thanks! (and thanks for the wonderful giveaways as well!)

  18. I love beautiful ordinary happiness! This time of year, the hummers bring happiness on a daily basis…and of course, my freshly-minted grandson’s little wrinkled feet (and pouty lips and little sighs and oh, I could go on and on!).

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