As we wind up another year that will soon go down into the books, I thought it would be good to spend a bit of time reflecting on the past year as a Five Minute Friday community.

Before we kick of our reflective free write, two quick announcements.

Below is schedule for the rest of this month and the beginning of next year:

 

christmas!

 

As you can see, next week will be our final Five Minute Friday link-up of 2015 (sniff). We’ll take a two-week break over Christmas and New Year’s, and we’ll be back — refreshed, energized, and bursting to write — on January 8th, 2016.

However, since I know some of you may experience withdrawal symptoms without FMF for two weeks in a row (okay, who am I kidding — I know *I* will be experiencing withdrawal from missing all of you), I’ve scheduled two special edition link-ups during the holiday period.

Most Memorable Posts of 2015

Join us on Monday, December 28th, with a list of the most memorable blog posts you read this past year. The posts that stuck with you long after your eyes left the screen, the ones you still think about from time to time. Your list can be as long as you like — top ten most memorable posts, twenty, five … whatever. Type them out into a post on your own blog, including links to the posts you’ve named, then come link up your list! Can’t wait to see which words impacted you most this past year!

Books I Read in 2015

On Wednesday, December 30th I’ll be posting a list of books I read this past year. I’d love to see your list! Tap the titles into a blog post, and share the list with us on the 30th!

 

Secondly, I’d love to get your feedback in this anonymous, three-question survey. Click here to share your input on how we can make Five Minute Friday even better! Thanks in advance for your time!

 

Okay! Announcements over. It’s time to write! Set your timer for five minutes and get ready to: 

 

reflect

 

 

Ready? GO.

We’ve had quite the year here in the Five Minute Friday community, haven’t we?

We’ve written on numbers and colors. We’ve planned, gathered, welcomed, sent, waited, feared, hoped, followed, and celebrated. We’ve risen, hidden, dreamed and doubted.

We’ve been weary and full of joy.

We’ve rejoiced with friends celebrating pregnancies and new babies, and we’ve prayed and mourned for those who are ill.

We made history with our first ever Five Minute Friday retreat. Friendships were forged, hearts were soldered together.

 

Photo from Mary Geisen, passagethroughgrace.com
Photo from Mary Geisen, passagethroughgrace.com
Photo courtesy of Melinda Hollis
Photo courtesy of Melinda Hollis

 

We partnered with the fabulous work and people behind ViBella Jewelry and Fistbump Media.

We got to know each other through FMF Video Introductions, hosted by our dear Asheritah at OneThingAlone.com.

We’ve had giveaways and top ten lists.

We partied on Twitter like there was no tomorrow.

We survived our second annual month of crazy, in which we wrote not just once a week, but every single day for 31 days straight.

We may have fallen off the edge at the end, when we wrote about bacon. Oh yes, we did. We wrote about bacon

We processed news events together, and huddled around promises to hold us up, a sturdy raft in unpredictable waters.

We made welcome, gather, break, keep, and learn the five most-viewed FMF posts of 2015. 

Perhaps most notable of all is that all of the reflections above start with “We.”

By the grace of God, the “we” became stronger, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Five Minute Friday would be nothing without the “we.” We’re in this together, and I thank God for every single one of you who make up the “we.”

 

STOP.

 

Share your own five minute reflection below — then click the blog linked up before yours, and leave some comment love! 

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Letters to GriefToday marks one year since the e-book, Letters to Grief, was published.

If you don’t have a copy yet, you can grab one here for just $0.99. It’s a super short read — only twenty pages.

If you’ve read the book, would you consider leaving a review on Amazon by clicking here?

To celebrate the one-year anniversary, we’re having a special edition link-up.

You’re invited to write your own letter to grief and share it with us right here.

You could either type your letter into the comments section of this post, or publish it on your own blog and share the direct post to the Inlinkz link-up below.

For sample letters from a similar link-up last year, click here.

Thank you in advance for sharing! We look forward to reading your words.

***

Here’s an excerpt from the book:

Dear Grief,

You are water.

You rain down in rhythmic drops, a constant tapping on the tin roof of my empty heart, and you refuse to be ignored. You’re a leaking faucet, a steady drip into an open wound.

Yet I need you to water my soul. To make me grow. To survive. You stretch me and draw me tall toward the sun; without you I would shrivel up and wither away.

Letters to Grief
Image by Katie Reid, katiemreid.com, Twitter: @Katie_M_Reid

Even in stages of evaporation, you don’t disappear entirely, but wait to be stored up in the clouds until a storm is ready to thunder and pelt you down in stinging drops. 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.

At times you stand still, a puddle at my feet — not threatening, but leaving me soggy and uncomfortable.

You’re the morning dew, sparkling in the dawn of a new day, the residue of last night’s tears.

Like the ocean, you pull in strong currents, and your depths are unknown. You come in waves, rising with lofty swells that crash down incessantly. I ride in your crest until you break and I wash onto the shore, empty and defeated.

In winter you form stoic icebergs that line the shore, masses of frozen mounds that keep well-intentioned visitors at bay, too fearful to set foot on your unpredictable foundation.

You’re a powerful waterfall, charging over the precipice and crashing loud into the abyss, leaving a cold mist to rise up in a foggy haze. The melted mountain snow run-off, trickling down the rivulets of rock, causing others to stop and look. You’re a flowing river, free to run its course in unchartered territory not designed by me.

I’m carried along by you, and I am undone.

But as your Master fixed limits for the sea which He created and “set its doors and bars in place,” so He limits you.⁠ As He says to the waters He formed, so it is with you: “This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt.”⁠

As much as you threaten to flood and drown, you will not overcome. For there is One who gives living water — “a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”⁠ And you, Grief, will dry up and be gone forevermore.

***

The holidays can be a particularly vulnerable time for people who are well acquainted with grief.

Do you know someone whose heart may be aching this season? Consider gifting them with a copy of this book.

Thanks for joining us today! Looking forward to reading your letters!

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Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you!

I hope you’ve had a special, restful time with loved ones, reflecting on all that you have to be grateful for.

If you’re new to Five Minute Friday, welcome! Find all the info you’ll need right over here.

Some of you might be braving the shops this weekend in search of some good deals. If you’re one to prefer staying at home in your warm house, check out some of these fabulous online offers:

Firstly, the Kindle Fire is only $34.99 on Amazon today! Grab one here.

Krafty Kash is a company I love — and they’ve just released a brand new winter collection!

Better yet, they’re running a special Thanksgiving weekend sale:

Now through Monday, November 30th, get 40% off at kraftykash.net!

Photo credit: Krafty Kash
Photo credit: Krafty Kash

Use code BELIEVE40 to get your discount!

(Discount excludes gift certificates and new winter collection.)

This Write necklace is made just for the Five Minute Friday crew, don’t you think?

 kraftykash-write1

I’m loving my new snowflake necklace! Order one for yourself or a friend by clicking here!

 

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There’s also a matching bracelet:

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… and this beautiful Believe Necklace:

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.. Plus much more! You can even personalize your own Vintage Atlas Map Necklace!

KraftyKash Cape Town necklaces

Click here to see all their products!

Use code BELIEVE40 at checkout to get 40% off through November 30th!

(Excludes gift certificates and winter collection.)

 

Okay, enough gushing. Time to write.

This week’s prompt, in honor of the American Thanksgiving weekend, is:

 

table

 

 

I have a confession to make.

I was really excited about Thanksgiving this year. Maybe it’s because we’re actually in the States for a change, and have access to all the ingredients for the traditional recipes.

Yes, I get excited about food.

Plus, it’s another excuse to spend quality time with family, which I love.

But this year I’ve also been thinking a lot about the past several months, about the devastation happening around the world, and the millions of people who are hurting in one form or another.

And as I ponder my own excitement level for a single feast one day in the year, my anticipation grows even greater for that much awaited wedding feast of the Lamb — that glorious day when “… people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and take their place at the table in the kingdom of God.” ~ Luke 13:29

So as we enjoy our leftovers and revel in time off and family traditions, let it be a foretaste of what is to come, for those who believe. A great day is coming soon, when we’ll gather around the table with the Lord of Lords and King of Kings — and it will be a feast like no other.

STOP.

Every Little Thing cover

 

 

I had such fun recording this video with Deidra Riggs, author of Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are.

 

You want this book — and now you have an opportunity to win a copy, plus this necklace from Dayspring!

 

Click here to enter the giveaway!

 

Also, please join us on Wednesday, December 2nd for a special Letters to Grief link-up!

Letters to Grief - Final cover

We’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of the release of Letters to Grief.

If you don’t have a copy yet, you can download one here — or maybe you know someone who has experienced grief? If so, this is a great resource to gift to a friend.

It’s only $0.99, and it’s a super quick read! I pray that it will be an encouragement.

For this special edition link-up, you’re invited to write your own letter to grief, then come and link up your post starting on December 2nd.

See some sample letters here.

Hope you come back to join us next week!

Have a blessed weekend, and please remember to visit the blog of the person who linked up before you, and leave a comment! The mutual encouragement is one of the best parts of Five Minute Friday! 🙂

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It’s Five Minute Friday time!

If you’re new here, I hope this will soon become the favorite part of your week. 🙂

Find out more about the FMF community by clicking here.

Two weeks ago, we filled the internet with BACON. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Last week, we danced.

This week, we’re:

weary

Ready? GO.

That time of the year is drawing near again — the holiday season, when the mad rush grabs us by the ankle and drags us through shops and long lines and parties with too much food and concerts and bake sales and charity drives until we’re thrown into a tailspin and don’t know which way is up.

We do it to ourselves, you know.

But then there are the ongoing daily commitments, the cooking, the dishes, the laundry, the homework assignments, the work projects. And we fall into bed, exhausted, unsure how we’ll make it through another day.

We question whether the rat race is worth it, and when will it ever end?

And if it never ends, is it really making any difference? Are my labors even noticed? Does anyone care? Or is my battered body and soul all for naught?

Then our eyes catch these words:

 

_Let us not

Let us not grow weary.

Our labors are not in vain. We do not go unnoticed.

So we press on in new strength granted from above until the fatigue presses heavy once again, and we hear:

STOP.

 

ANNOUNCING A MINI-ROUND OF #FMFPARTYSNAILMAIL!

Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Bouchillon
Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Bouchillon

Click here to sign up for a four-week round of #fmfpartysnailmail.

Mail one card per week from November 30-December 21, and get a card per week in return!

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Psst … before you link up, I’m giving away a copy of Gutsy Girls: Strong, Christian Women Who Impacted the World, Book One: Gladys Aylward right over here! Come visit and enter to win!

After you link up, don’t forget to leave a comment for the person who linked up before you! Thanks for being here!      

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Hey there!

Welcome to another week of Five Minute Friday!  Can’t believe this is already my eighth week hosting this precious community … Time flies when you’re having fun!  And you guys just never cease to amaze me with your brave, beautiful writing week after week.  I’m continually in awe over how the Lord can stir up so many avenues and ideas as we gather around a single word.

If you’re new here, all of the info is right over here … We’d *love* to have you join us!

AND … it’s almost October!

In case you missed the past two weeks of FMF, something big is about to happen over here, y’all ..

It’s called 31 Days.

Every year in the month of October, the Nester hosts a 31 Day Challenge in which bloggers worldwide post on their blogs every. single. day.  For a whole month.

This year, I’m adding a little twist for all who’d like to join in … A bunch of us are doing 31 Days, but we’re planning to write all of our posts in just five minutes each.

That makes it sound better, right?

Just five minutes a day?

Five Minute Free Writes buttonYou can handle that.  🙂

I’ll even give you prompts, if you want.

If you want to play along, you can find more details (including prompts) over here.

AND there will be a separate link-up starting September 30th for everyone writing their 31 Days posts five minutes at a time.  Click here to link up starting Tuesday!

To add to the excitement, I’ve got a little surprise tucked up my sleeve for you guys next Friday … you know, because October is gonna be a month long FMF Party up in this place … 😉

Before I forget, you might want to add your e-mail address in the sidebar on the right to get posts delivered directly to your inbox .. I don’t want you missing out on any of the 31 Days action!

But now, it’s time to write.

The word of the week is ..

 

FMF - Because

***

On your mark, get set … GO.

 

I wore her ring this week.

The one with the sapphire featured in the center, with diamonds gathered like stars all around the midnight blue.

The one my dad gave her.  The one she still wore long after he left.

I wore it this week to remember.

But before I put it on, I panicked for a moment.

I thought I had lost it.

The ring, that is — not my mind.  This time.

I couldn’t even remember if I had brought it with me back across the ocean.  That’s what happens when a life is spread thin like a layer of butter over a french loaf, cut into a bunch of pieces and shared at a global table.

But I found it, and I slipped it on.  It still sparkles, the ring.  From the top, no one would know that the gold band is broken underneath — cut through and left jagged and sharp.   My sister had to cut it off my mom’s finger one day because of the side effects of the cancer.

But I wore it this week, to remember.  And I know I could get it welded back together, but I prefer it the way it is — sharp, and cutting into the fleshy part of my finger, where the crease meets the palm.

 

 

It reminds me of her suffering.  Of His suffering on the cross, even.  It reminds me to pray for the circle to be made whole, for Jesus to return, for all things to be made new.

Because only through Christ can the broken be made whole.

 

STOP.

 

(Psst … Like that “Because” image above?  Come back next Friday for an exciting surprise!  It may or may not have something to do with the awesome new Words Matter Letterpress Blocks by (in)courage …)  Why?  Because #wordsmatter

 

Now it’s your turn!  Link up your five minutes of brave below ..

 

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