I don’t love crowds.


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I’m not claustrophobic or anything, I’m just not crowd-crazy.

I don’t thrive in densely populated environments.

I’d much rather have a quiet, intimate gathering of close friends than a rock concert in a packed stadium.

But whether I’m in the grocery store or the library, church or a sporting event, my life is going to collide with the lives of other people.




The question is how gracefully we’ll respond to these collisions.

Most are pleasant interactions — thankfully. Some may seem mundane. Paying for my groceries, signing a form at the library.

Others might be less pleasant — a disagreement, or a conflict of interests.

I’ve learned from past experience that it’s better to prepare for crises before they hit, not in the midst of them.




We’re on Day 25 of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. Click here to check out some other posts in this series.

Silence is both friend and foe.

I long for it, and push it away. I relish and despise it.

Silence evokes such a vast cacophony of emotions:

.. the welcome silence when the kids are finally tucked into bed after a rambunctious day;

.. the comfortable silence on a long stretch of road, driver and passenger each lost and content in his own thoughts;

.. the unbridled silence of awe and wonder when taking in the sprawling grandeur of creation.


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There’s the frustrating, lingering silence that seems to never end while waiting impatiently upon the Lord;

.. the anguishing silence that follows an offense — an icy and effective punishment;

.. the telling silence when the hesitation lasts just a millisecond too long;

.. the peaceful silence of just stopping to listen;

.. the painful silence when one remains behind.

Silence is calming and inflaming;

soothing and seething;

restful and infuriating.

It is insisted and resisted;

welcomed and rejected

.. for silence is both friend and foe.


This is Day 24 of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes, a series in which each post has been written in five minutes or less. For more posts in this collection, click here.

Hey there!

Welcome to our first Five Minute Friday of October!

All the info you’ll need can be found right over here.

Who else here is on a Write 31 Days buzz?

31 Days logo - 2015As you may remember, all of the FMF posts in October will be the most popular prompts voted on by YOU in our lead up to 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes!

Raise your hand in the comments if you’re playing along!

To check out a list of other bloggers writing 31 five minute free writes in October, click here.

And have you seen the fabulous new Five Minute Friday tote bags?


FMF bags 1.2

FMF Bags 1.3

This month only, you can order one for yourself!


Limited offer!


Tote bags are $15, and orders can be placed through October 31st. Bags will ship by November 30th.


This week’s Reader’s Choice FMF prompt is …




Setting my timer for five minutes, and … GO.

I used to think I came from a broken family.

From the age of seven, I was carted back and forth every other weekend from mom’s house to dad’s house, and back again.

Back then, in my little conservative, midwest suburb, I was the only kid in my class who had two toothbrushes in two different houses.

Though it became “the norm” for me, it never really felt normal.

Broken should never be normal.

Fast forward a decade and a half.

I jetted across an ocean for a six month stint, and what I found there on the tip of Africa blew me away.

In a small church nestled in the elbow of the city bowl, I found family.

God gave me brothers and sisters in that foreign and faraway place I never could’ve dreamed about. He gave me spiritual fathers and mothers who shaped and nourished me for over a decade.

Through them, I learned that family isn’t broken after all — in Christ, He makes all things whole.




Link up your own five minutes of free writing by clicking the blue InLinkz button below, then leave a comment for the person who linked up before you!

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Welcome to another round of Five Minute Friday — the online community that will leave you smiling and encouraged no matter where you click!

We write fast and unedited, five minutes at a time — link up your own blog post, click over to read the others, and leave comments!

Find out more by clicking here.


Time is running out to register for the Five Minute Friday Retreat!


retreat schedule

Click here for more info and to secure your spot!


Have I mentioned how much I *love* this community?! A highlight for me this week was meeting Asheritah from!


(We totally planned the whole coordinated striped shirts and denim skirts thing …)

Most of you know Asheritah from the fabulous FMF Intro Videos she hosts! She is such a sweetheart — online and in real life! What a treat to spend some time together in person.

Keep scrolling for a brand new video from Asheritah!

This week’s FMF Video Intro is with Janel Andrews. Janel is an active and encouraging member of the #fmfparty Twitter parties every Thursday evening .. if you haven’t followed her yet, you can find her at @mytoesareblue.

Wondering what’s behind her Twitter handle? Find out in the video below!




This week’s FMF prompt is:





It’s been a season of sadness. Death upon death. Both premature.

Two Sundays in a row, I woke up to bad news. Horrible news.

An 18-year-old high school graduate in our community. Car crash. Killed instantly.

A six-year-old boy from our church. Brain tumor. Taken home.

The ache permeates the air. Grief is thick. Suffocating.

Heaviness rests upon chests and we heave collectively with shared tears and sighs.

They both died on Sunday mornings.

Sunday. A day of hope. A day of resurrection.

Because they had Christ, we are not overcome.

We weep and mourn — but not as the world grieves. We cling to the cross, the author of hope and the salvation of our souls.

We rest in His hold. We surrender in His grip.

We shed our sorrow and look to the man of sorrow — the God of all comfort, familiar with suffering.

And we have hope. Hope in the One who is coming soon.

Come, Lord Jesus.



Add your link below!

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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:




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.






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:




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
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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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