Whew! We made it through October! Who else is doing the happy dance?

I, for one, am excited that it’s November so some of our regular Five Minute Friday people will come back to us after finishing up their respective Write 31 Days series! We’ve missed you!

If you’re new to Five Minute Friday, you can catch the details right over here. So thrilled you’re joining us this week — we hope it’s the first of many visits!

This week, our prompt was chosen by a special member of this community (okay, okay, I know — you’re *all* special!) … Andrew has become an integral part of the Five Minute Friday family as he has shared his story with us faithfully, week after week.

Click here to find out why Andrew chose the prompt:

 

dance

 

Before we write, allow me to toss in this brief intermission:

I just adore Krafty Kash products. When I scheduled this prompt, my mind immediately went to these gorgeous Dance necklaces they make:

 

KraftyKash - Dance

KraftyKash - Dance.2

Don’t you just love them?

There are only 15 left in stock — better snatch one up today!

Click here to order!

 

Dance krafty kash

You can also get other personalized necklaces, including dictionary words, Bible verses or map locations! Perfect Christmas gifts!

Okay, the intermission is over, it’s time to write!

Setting my timer for five minutes, and … GO.

 

“All of life is a dance.”

The words above look nice and sound appealing, but are they really true?

I pondered this phrase for a while, and wavered back and forth in indecision.

All of life could be a dance, but is it possible to dance without smiling? I’m not sure.

Then I think back to the ballets my daughter and I were spoiled to watch in Cape Town. The grace and beauty that filled the stage — but not always with smiles.

There were solemn, somber dances with music that lamented tragedy.

So yes, all of life might be a dance.

The scenes that look like dancing around the Christmas tree to Celine Dion’s album while hanging lights and draping ornaments;

the awkward shuffling of high school post-football game dances;

the giddy line dances and chicken dances and discos of wedding reception rejoicing;

the mournful glide, when all we can do is allow ourselves to be held by the sturdy arms of our heavenly Father and let Him carry us across the stage;

all of these are part of the dance — the holy and fearsome dance called life.

So I suppose only one question remains: If all of life is a dance, who are we dancing for?

STOP.

 

Be Grateful - Wrapped Canvas PrintBe Grateful – Wrapped Canvas Print from Dayspring.com

 

Link up your own five minutes of free writing on the prompt, DANCE, below! And don’t forget to click over to Andrew’s place to see why he chose this particular prompt.

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The time has arrived!

31 Days logo - 2015Starting tomorrow, we’re kicking off the 2015 edition of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes!

I invite all of you to join us — and I’ll even provide prompts to make it easier!

If you’re game, you can link up your own landing page or contents page starting at 8pm EST TODAY, September 30th.

Click HERE for the link-up!

Also, don’t forget to head over to the Write 31 Days website tomorrow, October 1st, at 8am EST to add your unique url to the master link-up there!

Here’s a sneak preview of the prompts we’ll be tackling this month:

 

october

 

AND … to add to the excitement, we’ve got brand new, limited edition Five Minute Friday tote bags for sale!

 

Limited offer!

Get your bag for only $15, this month only!

Bags will be on sale through October 31st, and will ship by November 30th.

 

FMF bags 1.2

 

To order, click the “Buy Now” button below:




I’m so excited to join you all in this month of flash writing. My hope is that our craft will improve, our love for writing will grow, our minds will be inspired, and our writing habits will be solidified into a lasting practice for good.

And to all of the readers out there who are following along, we appreciate you! Thank you for bearing with us during this month of daily posts — we pray that the words that fill your screen will be an encouragement and a blessing to you.

Happy writing, everyone!

 

I wrote and scheduled the following post before hearing about the horrific church shooting in Charleston. My chest hurts just thinking about it. 

The prompt I chose several days ago seems timely and applicable. If we’re honest, we fear for the future of our nation. We fear for our churches, our families, our friends.

Yet, if we learn one thing from this tragedy, let us learn this:

“… there are no safe sanctuaries in a fallen world. We are only safe in Christ.” 

~ Peter Beck, The Gospel Coalition

May we tuck ourselves in Him as the only true refuge, and may our fears of this world transform into a reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord.

With that, back to our regularly scheduled programming:

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The Five Minute Friday Retreat keeps getting better and better!

I’m thrilled to announce that Trillia Newbell will be joining us for the Saturday morning devotional session at the retreat!!

 

trillia-home2-620x360Trillia is the author of Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves (2015) and United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity (2014). Her writings on issues of faith, family, and diversity have been published in the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Desiring God, Christianity Today, Relevant Magazine, The Gospel Coalition, and more. She is currently Director of Community Outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention. Along with writing, she is pursuing her M.A. in biblical counseling from Southern Theological Seminary. For fun, she enjoys group fitness (she used to be a fitness instructor!), cycling, and listening to a variety of music. Trillia is married to her best friend, Thern, they reside with their two children near Nashville, TN. You can find her at trillianewbell.com and follow her on twitter at @trillianewbell.

Also, I’m so excited to be able to offer a giveaway copy of Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves to one winner, compliments of Moody Publishers!

Click here to watch a video interview with Trillia, read a review of her book, and enter the giveaway!

 

 

If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to attend the retreat, let this news persuade you!

For more information including a schedule of events and ticket information, click here.

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In this week’s FMF Video Intro, Asheritah from OneThingAlone.com interviews Melinda Hollis — one of the fabulous ladies registered for the FMF Retreat!

I love the focus of Melinda’s blog: Grateful Everyday. Isn’t that a great goal?

Check out these words of encouragement from Melinda, then stop by her blog and follow her on Twitter @mghollis38!

 

 

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is:

 

fear

 

GO.

This one goes out to the worriers. The anxious ones. To all who battle fears big and small, day after day. To the ones who feel their hearts pound hard inside, beating against their rib cages. The ones who toss and turn at night, unable to quiet the voices inside their heads.

This one is for the bloggers who take a deep breath before clicking publish, and check stats five times a day. It’s for the ones who edit and delete and talk themselves into erasing the whole thing altogether because it’s just not worth it.

 

The sweet cure for our fear of failure

 

It’s for the parents who clasp their kids’ hands when they cross the street and gasp more often than not when cars reverse in the parking lot. It’s for the ones who wait late into the night for the thermometer to beep, then wipe foreheads until the fevers break.

For all of you, I have these words. Cling to them. Let them raise you up like a life jacket. Rest in the hold of their promises.

“Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” ~ Psalm 55:22

 

Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He

 

 

STOP.

 

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway by clicking here

Share your own five minutes of free writing on FEAR by adding your link below:

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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

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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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Hey everyone! Welcome to Five Minute Friday, and the end of another week! Can you believe April is OVER?! How did that happen??

I for one, spent my April thoroughly enjoying Crystal Stine‘s online Creative Basics course. Did you participate? If so, what did you love about it?

The good news is that even if you missed out, you can get the e-book! Creative Basics: 30 Days to Awesome Social Media Art is filled with amazing content and resources to help you create fabulous social media graphics!

AND .. for ONE WEEK ONLY, the book is on sale for just $2.99! Hurry over to Amazon and snag a copy for yourself .. you won’t regret it!

 

Also, TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE for the Five Minute Friday Retreat! Click here for more details!!

TOP TENREASONSIf you missed last week’s FMF post, you missed the Top Ten Reasons You Should Come to the FMF Retreat. Click over to check ’em out!

One of my favorites from the list is the breaking news that Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig will be joining us via Skype for a live web chat during the retreat!

 

Ann and Charity are co-authors of the book, On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life that Lasts (Masters in Fine Living Series), and will be sharing loads of wisdom and encouragement for us relating to our writing lives.

Here’s a bit more about each of them to whet your appetites:

Ann Kroeker

Ann Kroeker grew up near Plainfield, Indiana, and graduated from Indiana University as an English Major with a creative writing emphasis. She launched her freelance writing career as a young adult and has been working for over two decades as a writer, editor, and most recently as a writing coach. Author of two books and editor for Tweetspeak Poetry and The High Calling, Ann is a sought after resource for editorial guidance. She continues to explore new writing opportunities, speak in a range of venues, maintain connections in the publishing world, and work with writers to help them take the next step in their writing careers.

 

Charity Singleton CraigCharity Singleton Craig grew up near Greencastle, Ind., and graduated from Taylor University as a Mass Communications Major with an emphasis in print media. After a brief stint in newspaper journalism, Charity worked in several other industries throughout the years, all while attempting to live the writing life. Recently, she became a full-time freelance writer and editor, serving as a content and copy editor for The High Calling, a contributing writer for Tweetspeak Poetry, and a
staff writer for Curator Magazine. She also serves several clients with their corporate communication needs.

Click below to reserve your spot at the retreat!

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is:

 

door

 

For a reminder on the rules of Five Minute Friday, click here.

Otherwise, set your timer and let’s write!

***
With Every Act of Love - Jason Gray

In recent weeks, I’ve heard this song on Christian radio. It’s called With Every Act Of Love by Jason Gray, and there’s one line that gets me every time. He sings, “God put a million million doors in the world for His love to walk through. One of those doors is you.”

Am I acting like it? Am I allowing Him to use me as a vessel, an open door for His love to walk through?

***

I recently went for coffee with a friend (okay, it was actually a bagel and tea), and we were talking about direction and opportunities for the future. We chatted about how God so obviously and providentially closes some doors and opens others — and how sometimes it’s not so obvious. Sometimes there are many doors to choose from, and it’s hard to know which one to pick. At other times, none of the options seem to be open at all.

Then my friend said this: “I heard a pastor speak once, and he mentioned something about how God doesn’t always open doors like we think He does. Sometimes He leaves them closed, but they’re unlocked. We just need to take the initiative to try the handle to see if it will turn.”

So there we have it. Words of wisdom, those.

Add subtitle text

 

I don’t know what’s going on in your life this week. Maybe you’re faced with many open doors. Maybe they all seem closed. Or maybe you are the door, and God is asking you to allow His love to walk through you.

 

 

Add your own five minutes of free writing on the prompt DOOR by clicking the blue linky button below, then visit the person who linked up before you and leave some encouragement in the comments!

 

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