I know this will throw many of you for a loop.

If it does, I apologize.

For the final Five Minute Friday of 2015, I’m letting everyone choose their own, one word prompt!

Keep it to one word, keep it to five minutes, and keep reading each other’s work!

 

 

It’s a swing from routine, I know, but maybe we could all see it like a “choose your own adventure” — an open opportunity to let your creativity run free.

The real reason behind my lack of leadership this week is because I’ve been sick. As in, two days in the hospital sick. But I’m home now and able to sit up long enough to create a link-up for you — couldn’t leave you hanging on our last FMF of 2015!

In case you missed it, here’s the schedule for the next few weeks. Please come back on December 28th and 30th for our special edition link-ups!

 

christmas!

 

For the first time since I started hosting in August 2014, I’m not going to write my own five minute free write this week. That’s how yucky I’m feeling.

But I’m so glad to be able to open this space for you, and look forward to reading your words.

Also, thank you to all who completed this year-end survey last week. If you haven’t responded to the three questions yet, I’d love to hear your feedback! Click here to leave your anonymous input. We’ve received some really helpful suggestions, and look forward to a great year of Five Minute Friday in 2016!

As we prepare to celebrate how the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us, I thank God for the way He has blessed me through all of you and YOUR words this past year.

May you have a truly blessed Christmas!

All my love,

Kate

 Loading InLinkz ...

Firstly, I have to tell you how amazed I am that 109 of you linked up last week for the prompt, BLUE.

I just *love* how you put on your brave and punched out the words, following whatever train of thought came your way.

One of my favorite parts of Five Minute Friday is seeing how many different ways you guys can elaborate on a single word. It amazes me. I stand in awe of God’s creativity in making each of us so unique.

So thank *you* for gifting me with your words week after week! You probably don’t realize it, but you show me the character and goodness of God by being part of this community.

Secondly, the FMF Retreat is ONLY TWO MONTHS AWAY!!

 

FMF Retreat 2015 logo

 

If you missed last week’s video from the planning committee, here’s a replay:

 

 

Click here for more info including a schedule of events.

Those who have already signed up are enjoying getting to know one another in a special Facebook group, and will soon get to have a free 20-minute consultation with Fistbump Media to chat about how to improve their online presence.

Don’t worry — there’s still time to register!

Limited spaces are available so book now! Click the blue button below to grab your ticket!

 

 

This week’s FMF prompt is:

gift

Set a timer for five minutes and let’s GO. 

 

***

 

My kids had their last day of school this past week.

After five years of homeschooling, God gave them a glorious year at a small Christian school in town.

It was amazing. We all loved it.

Yet sometimes God’s providences are mysterious, and He leads in unexpected directions. While we didn’t anticipate the change, He’s guiding our family to a new chapter that doesn’t include our beloved school.

The last day was hard.

I’m tempted to mourn the many losses. To grieve what will no longer be.

And yet — while it’s good and right to process the change, I’m doing my best to count this past year as a gift.

Because that’s exactly what it was. A beautiful gift from above — unexpected and undeserved. It was a gift, and it all points *to* the Gift — the Gift and the Giver of all good things, who lavishly pours out all that we need for life and godliness.

May God help us to glorify Him in the midst of the change, and to thank Him for chapters past and the chapters yet to come.

STOP.

 

 


Go ahead and link up your own posts on the prompt GIFT by clicking the blue button below:

 Loading InLinkz ...

You guys! This is the final Five Minute Friday link-up of 2014! The grand finale! Can you believe it?

We’ll be taking a two week break during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, but we’ll be back and ready to write the week of January 8th.

I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of you again for so graciously and warmly welcoming me as your new Five Minute Friday host in August this year. Believe me, I was just as disappointed as you were when I heard that Lisa-Jo was passing the baton … yet I’m so grateful that the transition went as smoothly as possible, and that we still have a place to link up, read each other’s words and encourage one another in this crazy flash writing fun!

I really do adore this community and the way you all care for each other so well! You’re my favorite part of the internet, and I so look forward to Thursday nights and Fridays. Thank YOU for making it so great!

If you’re newish here, you’ll definitely want to check out our Facebook page, and also the Twitter party, which happens on Thursday evenings around 8:30pm EST, at the hashtag #fmfparty. And for those of you on Pinterest, you can follow along here.

I’d also love to invite you to a special edition link up right here on this blog starting Monday, December 22nd. It’s a Letters to Grief Link Up, in conjunction with the recent release of my e-book, Letters to Grief.

The topic is:

If you were to write a letter to grief, what would you say?

What you have to do:

Write a letter to grief on your own blog by December 22nd, then come and link-up your post. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to leave your letter to grief in the comments section on December 22nd.

Letters to Grief - Final coverLetters can be as long or as short as you’d like. Most of the letters I included in my e-book are between 250-450 words long.

One entrant will be featured on my blog on Monday, January 5th.

Please spread the word! If you know someone who is struggling with grief, especially around the holidays, writing a letter to grief can be a very therapeutic exercise, even if they choose not to share what they write.

 

***

For the final Five Minute Friday prompt of 2014, the word is:

 

FMF - Adore

 

Ready? GO.

 

Sometimes we come to You as if You’re a jolly old grandpa in the sky, with a long, white beard and rosy cheeks, and a twinkle in Your eye. We come to You as if you have a round belly that jiggles like a bowl full of jelly, and we get on our knees and rattle off all the items on our wish lists, fully expecting that You’ll drop our requests down the chimney the next time You pass by.

We kneel there with our eyes closed, waiting, and reciting as politely as possible, “Please give me this, and this, and this.”

And if You don’t grant our every desire, we think maybe we were too naughty this year, or just not nice enough. Or maybe You’re not as kind as the pictures of You in Your sleigh make You out to be …

But we keep up the same routine anyway, and try a little harder next time, and act a little nicer, hoping to rack up enough bonus points to get Your attention and get in Your good books.

And we don’t realize, or maybe we just forget, that You’re not looking for our deeds or our lists.

Then in Your mercy, You open our eyes and help us to say, “Come, let us adore Him.”

 

STOP.

In light of the prompt, this is what’s playing at my house this Christmas:

 

Thank you all for joining Five Minute Friday this year! Praying that each and every one of you has a blessed Christmas as we seek to adore the one, true King.

See you back here in 2015, Lord willing!

 

 Loading InLinkz ...

Hi everyone!

Welcome to this week’s edition to Five Minute Friday! If you’re new here, you may want to click over to this page to get the scoop on what Five Minute Friday is all about … we’d love to have you join us!

And if you haven’t heard, there’s a fabulous group that connects on Twitter every Thursday evening at the hashtag #fmfparty until the prompt is released. Check it out — it’s tons of fun!

Some of you were asking last week if we’ll be taking a break from Five Minute Friday over Christmas. Since Christmas Day and New Year’s Day both fall on a Thursday this year, the answer is YES.

There WILL be a regular link up next week, the week of December 19th.

There will be NO Five Minute Friday link-up during the weeks of Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.

We’ll resume with a new prompt on Thursday, January 8th, 2015. 

(Doesn’t it seem crazy to see 2015??)

If you’re already experiencing withdrawal symptoms and your hands are shaking at the thought of two weeks without Five Minute Friday, don’t despair.

Letters to Grief - Final coverI’ll be hosting a special edition link-up right here on my blog on Monday, December 22nd.

The topic?

If you were to write a letter to grief, what would you say?

The Letters to Grief link-up is in conjunction with the release of my ebook, Letters to Grief, which is available on Amazon for just $0.99.

I’d LOVE to have you join in … all you have to do is write a letter to grief on your own blog any time between now and December 22nd. It can be as long or as short as you’d like it to be. Then come back on Monday, the 22nd of December, link up your post, and see what others have written as well!

Updated to add: One Letters to Grief link-up participant will be chosen to have their post featured on my blog on Monday, January 5th, 2015.

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is:

FMF - Prepare - 12.12.2014

 

Ready?

GO.
Around this time of the year, the most common small talk question I hear amongst the retail workers, the bank tellers, the hairstylists, is, “So, are you ready for Christmas?”

And inevitably, the response is always, “No,” because, “I still have so much I need to buy.”

And those words just grate on my insides and make me cringe, because who says you need to buy anything, really? Then I heard a conversation between radio deejays about “What to buy that person who already has everything,” and I thought to myself, “Why would you want to do that? What’s the point?”

And I’m so glad that I’ve seen another way. I’ve seen that it is actually possible to step out of the culture’s commands to do and buy and give and hoard, and just be.

I’ve seen a place where the clock slows down in December and the sun lingers longer in the sky, and people breathe deeper and saunter down the sidewalks without shopping bags in their hands, and don’t rush.

They sit in a semi circle on white plastic chairs and drink copious amounts of Coke while watching meat cook over the fire, and they just enjoy the presence of the One who made them.

And I think about Mary and how she didn’t buy a single thing in preparation of His birth, and I wonder how it is that we’ve become so consumed by the hustle and bustle, so tangled in strings of lights, so filled with wrapping paper and stocking stuffers that we’ve left no space to let every heart prepare Him room.

 

Link up your five minutes of free writing below! If you don’t have a blog, feel free to leave your five minute post in the comments.

 Loading InLinkz ...

My dear Five Minute Friday crew,

I wrote something for you.

It’s a collection of Letters to Grief.

 

Letters to Grief - Final cover

 

You can snag a copy right over here, and if you click over before the end of Friday, December 5th, it can be yours for FREE!

I wrote it because some people think grief is a process.

I disagree.

Grief is not something we get through, at least not in this lifetime. It’s cyclical, like the moon, waxing and waning.

 

DSC_0125at
Image by Katie Reid, echoesofmyheart.com, Twitter: @ImprintsKatie

Ebbing and flowing like the tide. It’s always there.

 

DSC_0123at
Image by Katie Reid, echoesofmyheart.com, Twitter: @ImprintsKatie

 

I wrote it for all of you who have known grief as a close companion, an intimate friend. A shadow.

I wrote it for those of you who have not yet experienced its acute pangs, but have watched people cringe with the weight of its burden.

I wrote it not to dictate how people feel or should feel, but to open a discussion about grief’s all-consuming and ever-changing nature. Its paradoxes and its unexpected qualities.

 

DSC_1192at
Image by Katie Reid, echoesofmyheart.com, Twitter: @ImprintsKatie

 

I hope it will bless you. Most of all, I pray that it will show you hope.

 

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is DEAR.

If you don’t know what Five Minute Friday is, click here. Then set a timer for five minutes, and let’s write!

Ready? GO.

***

Dear Grief,

You are a fickle creature. Moody and temperamental.

You’re a chameleon, changing shades to match your surroundings. You refuse to be bottled up and contained. Labeled and understood.

You flow with a current of your own making, pulling with a strong undertow that threatens to drown me.

You push into my house uninvited. You sit down at the kitchen table and declare yourself part of the family. I bristle at first, your presence provoking anger. Then I realize you’re not going anywhere.

You’re here to stay.

I resign, and sit with you on the front porch swing. Together we rock back and forth as we watch the sun melt into the horizon.

And we wait.

 

Consistent as Seasons - Katie Reid
Image by Katie Reid, echoesofmyheart.com, Twitter: @ImprintsKatie

 

Sometimes you’re a pounding downpour, and I want to run from you — to escape to dry shelter and not be touched by you. Other times you’re the gentle patter that lulls me to sleep at night, soothing and almost unnoticed.

 

DSC_0020at
Image by Katie Reid, echoesofmyheart.com, Twitter: @ImprintsKatie

 

You overwhelm, but only for a night.

Morning is coming, and its light will cause you to shrink away into the shadows and disappear forever, never to be seen again.

STOP.

***

Image by Katie Reid, echoesofmyheart.com, Twitter: @ImprintsKatie
Image by Katie Reid, echoesofmyheart.com, Twitter: @ImprintsKatie

The e-book, Letters to Grief, can be yours for FREE through Friday, December 5th on Kindle, and for $0.99 thereafter.

And psst … if you don’t have a Kindle, don’t despair! I don’t either, but there’s this really cool (and free) thing called the Kindle reading app, which you can get on pretty much any device (iPhone, Android, iPad, PC, Mac)! Click here to learn more about getting the free Kindle app if you don’t have it (or a Kindle) already!

Also, huge shout out and tons of gratitude to our very own Five Minute Friday sister Katie Reid for the gorgeous graphics she designed for this book launch, and to Dan King over at Fistbump Media for making the e-book a reality! Also, it was so much fun to include quotes in this book from fellow Five Minute Friday writers Meredith Bernard, Karen Brown, Alia Joy and Lisa-Jo Baker! Thank you ladies, for your role in this project!

To God be the glory.

Link up your own five minutes on the word DEAR either by clicking the inLinkz button, or by sharing your words in the comments!

 

 Loading InLinkz ...