Oh my goodness, there are so many exciting things packed into this post, I can hardly contain myself.

First of all, WELCOME! Have I told you lately that I love you? (Did you just hear Rod Stewart singing that to you?)

Seriously. I do. Some of you were not impressed by my choice of prompt last week, but you bit the bullet, took on the challenge, and you wrote.

And I was so impressed.

(I knew you could do it, by the way. Even if you didn’t think you could. I never doubted. You guys are amazing.)

If you’re new here, then an extra special welcome to you!

Five Minute Friday - 4Click here for more info on what Five Minute Friday is all about — but be careful — most fall in love at first sight. We hope this is the first of many visits to this fabulous community.

While you’re at it, go ahead and follow along on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest — and don’t miss the Twitter party every Thursday evening at #fmfparty!

And you’re DEFINITELY not going to want to miss #fmfparty next Thursday, because …

live video chat

 

The FMF Retreat Planning committee will be coming at you LIVE from the retreat venue!

Follow Holly Barrett, Mary Geisen, Jen Daugherty and me if you want to catch us live on August 6th from 8:45-9:30pm EST!

Speaking of the retreat, did you catch the guest posts from our retreat sponsors this week?

I loved reading the heartfelt words from Dan King at Fistbump Media and Amy Breitmann from ViBella Jewelry.

fistbump-media-header2Dan shared the heart behind Fistbump Media, and how his passion is helping people like you and me get our voices out there, to be a blessing to others.

ViBellalogoAmy shared about her recent trip to Haiti with ViBella Jewelry, and how she loves telling beautiful stories.

AND (!!!) ViBella is hosting a GIVEAWAY!! Click here to enter to win the beautiful ViBella necklace below!

WIN ME!

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And psst … one more thing — as your friend, I feel it’s my duty to tell you that Dayspring is having a crazy good SECRET SALE!

Sshhh .. don’t tell anyone — just click over and snag all the goodies before they’re gone!

 

Dayspring Secret Sale 2

 

Okay … I don’t know if I can write after all that excitement, but I’ll give it a shot.

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is:

TRY

Setting my timer for five minutes, and …

GO.

 

My kids had their second belt test in karate this week.

In this particular karate school, in order to advance to the next belt, students have to break a board.

One of the visiting instructors took a moment to explain to the parents why they include this element in the test:

“It’s a confidence builder,” he said.

“You’re going to face many obstacles in life that need to be overcome.

Nobody thinks they can break a board the first try.

And you know what? That’s fine. It doesn’t have to break on the first try.

But you have to keep trying.

You’re in a fight with a board, and you can’t let it defeat you. It doesn’t matter how many attempts you make — you just have to keep going.”

I don’t know about the kids, but I was motivated by his speech.

How true his words were for all of life. 

It’s like the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get tired of trying.

Tired of trying to check all the things off my To Do List. Tired of trying to defeat the same sin in my life. Tired of breaking up the same arguments between siblings.

Like I’m pounding the same fist on the same board and the wood just won’t break.

The difference for us, as Christians, is that we have a secret weapon.

We aren’t laboring in our own strength.

If Christ is in us, we have His strength, His energy at work in us.

 

_TO THIS END I LABOR, STRUGGLING WITH

 

He is the reason we can do what we do.

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13b-14).

He is the reason we overcome.

 

STOP.

 

Don’t forget to enter the ViBella Jewelry giveaway before you link up your own blog post below!

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Are you a blogger? Do you feel called to write?

Do you sometimes get frustrated by technology? Hung up over the nitty gritty, behind the scenes?

Fistbump Media exists to help people like you and me.

 

fistbump-media-header2

One of their mottos is, “The web made awesome for writers.” Who can resist that kind of promise?

 

Fistbump Media

 

 

Fistbump Media is one of the sponsors of our Five Minute Friday Retreat, and today I’m thrilled to be able to share more with you about the heart and mind behind this company.

I had the opportunity to interview Dan King, founder and president of Fistbump Media.

dan-king-fistbump-media

Dan King is the President of Fistbump Media, LLC, a web hosting and design, social media, and publishing company based in Sarasota, FL. He is an author, blogger, and an editor for The High Calling. He’s married to Krista, and they have three amazing kids and a Miniature Schnauzer.

His answers to my questions below make me love and appreciate Fistbump even more!

Check out what Dan has to say …

 

1. Share the heart behind Fistbump Media. 

I’ve been a blogger for a long time, and I’ve seen how our ideas and stories can make an impact and change things in individuals and in communities. And you don’t have to be a big rock star to have an impact. You just have to be willing to share your voice.

 

Additionally, of all the bloggers I know, most of them got into it because they love and/or felt the call to write. Very few of them ever did it because they want to be webmasters. That’s where my many years of experience in working in technology and design come in. Not only do I understand what it’s like to be a writer with a story and ideas to share, but I also get the technology and how it can be leveraged to maximize impact.

 

So our primary goal is to leverage that technology experience to help others so they can focus on the piece that they are good at and love doing. I regularly tell people that they can do anything they can dream of, and I want to remove any technology roadblocks for them.

 

2. In what ways do you see your work as ministry? 

This is the really cool thing for me. I get excited just being a part of someone sharing their story or message. My name doesn’t have to be on the cover in order to be part of changing someone’s life. When someone comes to me and tells me they feel like God wants them to get something out there, but they don’t know how, then I can help deliver that message to where it needs to go. And when that message reaches someone who needs it, maybe by reading the e-book I helped produce, then I know I had a part in that. They are reading it because I was able to step in and get it there.

 

I like to think of it this way. Guys like Paul, Luke, and John (and many more) wrote some incredible, life-changing pieces of literature. But without the nameless scribes who copied and helped spread those writings, we wouldn’t have the New Testament. I get to be like that! God puts something on someone’s heart, I help ensure that it gets copied and spread to where it needs to go. And it’s amazing just to be a part of that!

 blog-hosting

 

3. What are some specific ways you enjoy helping writers and bloggers?

Oh man… LOTS of ways! One big thing is that with getting a message out, there’s a definite strategy to how to be successful. I love digging into the data on various projects to see how different actions impact results. And I usually try to let the data drive how we develop a strategy. So providing information and resources to help people understand the how and why of the things they should be doing is one way I can ensure we’re amplifying their voice.

 

That’s why for me, I’m not just about trying to get people to hire me to do everything for them. Education is a big thing for me. That’s why I like to do free webinars occasionally. People can come learn, and take the information and do whatever they want with it. We’re also developing tools and resources to help people do things like self-publishing with the same high-level of excellence they’d get if it were my own project.

4. What words do you have for the blogger who is feeling discouraged? 

And I’ve learned over the years that it’s not about reaching the masses and getting a book on the New York Times bestseller list. It’s about reaching the lives you can reach. I think about your e-book, Kate. Letters to Grief is going to get picked up by someone who is having a tough time dealing with some sort of loss, and it’s going to bless them. If all the work was for that one person, then it was totally worth it!

Do that, and do it well, and it’ll be worth it.

***
Amen! Thanks for your words and your ministry, Dan!

Fistbump Media has a lot of exciting things going on at the moment:

For a full list of services, click here.

 

Want Fistbump to do an analysis on the design and structure of your website? They’ll do it and give you a report for just $5! Such a steal! Click here for more details!

 

Fistbump is passionate about helping YOU take charge of your publishing goals.

 

Check out their brand new campaign, funding an e-course built just for you:

 

You can follow Fistbump Media on Twitter @FistbumpMedia and on Facebook by clicking here.

Thanks again, Dan, for all the work that you do, and for supporting the Five Minute Friday Retreat!

#fistbump

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week comes compliments of my almost ten-year-old daughter. Her first suggestion was “Imagine” — but since Lisa-Jo already used that word in the past, we’re going with the second word that came to her mind:

 

dream

 

New to Five Minute Friday? Welcome! We love newcomers!

Learn more about this fabulous community here, and go ahead and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to stay in the loop! We also have a super fun Twitter party every Thursday evening at #fmfparty before the prompt is released! Come join us next time!

 

First, some advice from Natalie Goldberg:

Let’s do it.

***

I dream in color and black and white. I dream in chocolate and sand. 

I dream in still photos and motion pictures. I dream in soundtracks and scores.

I dream of long driveways guarded by trees and houses with no need for locks.

Contagious laughter and unending smiles that span from yesterday until tomorrow.

And all the tomorrows.

I dream of newspapers running out of reality because I dream of heaven.

Gold streets and swaying Xhosa songs and a mansion with plenty of rooms.

I dream of chemotherapy becoming obsolete and ammunition production ceasing altogether.

I dream of holding hands and sitting still and rocking back and forth.

Castles on the shore and handstands in the lake, and “Watch me, Mom! Watch!”

I dream of giggles and bedtime tickles and whispers that crinkle up necks.

I dream in color and black and white. I dream in chocolate and sand.

Come. Dream a little dream with me.

 

dreamer

 ***

 

 

This week’s FMF Video Intro is with Jeanne Takenaka.

If you’ve been part of the Five Minute Friday community for any length of time, you’ve likely received a word of encouragement from Jeanne in your comment box. Jeanne is a delightful part of this FMF family. I’m so grateful for her kind and generous heart!

Visit Jeanne’s blog by clicking here and follow her on Twitter @JeanneTakenaka.

Enjoy the interview below with Jeanne and Asheritah:

 

 

And psst … there’s still a teensy bit of time left to register for the Five Minute Friday Retreat!

ViBellalogoThanks again to ViBella Jewelry for serving as a sponsor!

Haven’t heard the ViBella story? Click here to learn more.

 

 

 

Here’s a sneak peek of our agenda for August 7-9 in Nashville — and in case you missed it last week, author Trillia Newbell will be joining us for the Saturday morning devotional!

 

retreat schedule

 

Grab your ticket here!

Speaking of the retreat, check out this great new offer on Fiverr from one of our retreat sponsors, Fistbump Media:

 

fistbump-media-header2

 

For just $5, Fistbump Media will conduct a thorough review of the design and structure your website, and provide you with a website analysis report with the following details:

Overall aesthetics of the website design and structure
What you should continue doing that you’re already doing well
What you should stop doing that’s hurting your visitor’s experience
What you should start doing that will help you increase the value of your website

Interested? Click here for more info!

 

Now let’s get to it …

 

Don’t forget to stop by the blog linked up before you to encourage one another in this writing dream.

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Hey everyone!

How are you this week? So glad to have you back for another round of Five Minute Friday — the flash mob of writers who huddle together each week for some good old fashioned free writing and encouragement.

This week’s prompt is: 

 

blue

 

Ready? GO.

 

Your eyes were blue when you were born.

I thought it was genetically impossible, since mine are hazel and your dad is black.

 

pic2

 

pic3

 

But they stayed blue for several months before gradually melting into a gentle hazel, melting me along the way.

Today you’re eight years old.

My youngest. My baby.

You breezed into our family and taught me what the phrase “all boy” looks like. If you have a stick and a patch of dirt, you’re content.

 

 

Your first word was “ball.” You slept with a tennis ball in one hand and a cricket bat tucked under the other, for months on end.

 

 

You make me laugh every day. Ouma nicknamed you Brains when you were about one, and you’ve lived up to the title.

You think deeply, love deeply, feel deeply.

 

pic4

 

You’re compassionate and hilarious. Quick-witted and eloquent. Stubborn and determined. Thoughtful and thought-provoking.

You challenge me to notice.

You ask deeper questions than I’ve ever considered.

Your strong will works in your favor more often than not. You’re not a people pleaser. You don’t follow the crowd. You have a mind of your own — and once it’s made up, I’m hard pressed to persuade you otherwise.

 

pic1

pic5

 

May you use these strengths and qualities for good. May God continue to show you how to use the gifts He’s given you for His glory.

And I’ll always be grateful for the gift He’s given me in you.

STOP.

 

***

This week I have a special treat for you … I managed to round up the entire FMF Retreat Planning Committee for a video chat!

Don’t miss this message from Holly Barrett, Mary Geisen and Jen Daugherty:

 

 

 

ViBellalogo

 

fistbump-media-header2

Special thanks once again to our sponsors, ViBella Jewelry and Fistbump Media!

 

 


Also thrilled to Skype with Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig, authors of On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life that Lasts (Masters in Fine Living Series).

 

 

 

***

Here’s what the schedule looks like for the retreat weekend:

 

retreat schedule

 

Limited spaces are available so book now!

 

 

Join us with your own five minutes of free writing by linking up your blog posts below — and don’t forget to visit your link-up neighbor with a friendly comment!

 

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Welcome to a brand new week of Five Minute Friday!

I’m so happy you’re here. Really. YOU are the reason this link-up community is so amazing! Thank you for stopping by, reading, linking up, and leaving comments. I’m so grateful for you!

For more about what Five Minute Friday is all about, click here.

This week’s prompt is:

 

rise(1)

 

GO.

The winds of change, they are a’blowin’. Not in this space, thankfully, but out there — the branches sway. The leaves barely grew back and they’re flying off again, flailing in protest as they fall to the ground. They want to stay on the tree. A little like me.

But there’s something I’ve noticed.

Whether the winds are blowing or not, whether or not there are leaves on the trees, whether or not there’s snow on the ground — the sun still rises.

Every morning.

When I’m being tossed about, hair whipping across my face from the force of newness and movement, He remains the same.

 

Jesus Christ is the sameyesterdayand

 

So I make like the sun and rise up each day, depending on Him to make me shine. Because even when it’s windy, the sun can still warm the earth with her presence, her steady character. She casts away shifting shadows of doubt with her resilience and her strength.

She takes her orders from the One who made her, and lets Him work His purposes in her. Even in spite of the wind.

STOP.

 

***

You’re gonna love this video with Asheritah from OneThingAlone.com interviewing Tammy Belau. Such helpful and encouraging words! I especially loved what Tammy has to say about the prompt words each week. 🙂 You can find Tammy on Twitter @tammysincerity, and on her blog by clicking here.

 

 

And what a great quote from Tammy in the video:

 

***

Don’t forget to sign up for the FMF Retreat, happening in Nashville from August 7-9!

All who register will get a FREE 20-minute website consultation from retreat sponsor Fistbump Media!

 

SHOP

 

 

ViBellalogoAlso, you’ll get to meet Amy Breitmann, representative from retreat sponsor ViBella Jewelry, who will be with us for the whole weekend!

We have a lot more in store for the retreat as well! Click here for more details.

 

 

 

Now go ahead and link up your own five minutes of free writing on the prompt, RISE, by clicking the blue button below. Then visit the blog of the person who linked up before you to leave an encouraging comment!

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