Today it’s my privilege to be sharing a testimony of God’s grace over at Holly Barrett’s site. Each week Holly hosts a link-up called Testimony Tuesday. Click over to check it out, read some great posts, and link a story of your own! 

Holly is an active member of the Five Minute Friday community — and if not for Holly’s enthusiastic offer to help on the planning committee, I doubt we’d be having a Five Minute Friday Retreat!

Keep reading for my guest post on Holly’s blog.


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A month before I turned 21, I moved from the U.S. to South Africa. My plan was to stay for six months, doing volunteer campus ministry.

From the day I set foot in Cape Town, I was enamored with her beauty. I fell in love with her diverse landscape, cultures and languages.

Within two months, I extended my visa for two more years.

I kept my original return ticket and went home for Christmas after the first six months, but committed to going back after a few weeks with my family.

After a wonderful reunion and holiday season, it was time for me to go.

Just days before my departure, the unthinkable happened.


Read the rest of this story over at Holly Barrett’s place by clicking here.

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: 




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.






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.




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.





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.




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:







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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