Hello!

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!)

 

KraftyKash

 

KraftyKash

 

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!

 

LettersToGriefCollage

 

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:

 

happy

 

 

JenniferDukesLeeBioPic

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?

 

HappinessDare1

 

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.

 

***

HappinessDare2

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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