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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The holiday season is upon us, and so is the temptation to rush, rush, and be rushed.

Here are some suggestions for how you can practice dwelling in Christ and in His goodness during this busy time of the year. Click here for some beautiful, helpful resources.

 

unwrappingJesus7

Unwrapping the Names of Jesus, an Advent devotional by our very own Asheritah Ciuciu is now available! Get your copy here.

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Looking to dwell under a warm blanket with a good book?

Here’s my list of all-time favorite fiction reads, just for you!

 

Fiction Favorites

Registration for the mini Christmas round of #fmfpartysnailmail is open until 11/21!

Click here to sign up! 

 

Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Bouchillon
Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Bouchillon

 

In case you haven’t guessed already, this week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is: 

 

dwell

 

New to Five Minute Friday? Find out more here. We’d love to have you join us!

 

Set a timer for five minutes, and get your fingers ready to tap furiously across your keyboard!

Here we go …

 

My heart is on all the turmoil and tragedy happening in the world these days, and if I’m not careful, it’s easy to let my thoughts veer toward fear. I imagine what it must be like to live in Paris right now, or Syria, or anywhere, really — when the threat of terrorism looms large and real.

Then I remember: that’s exactly what it is — a threat. I can live cowering in fear of a threat, or I can cling to a promise.

I think of friends living in Europe, and I wonder if they consider leaving. Where would they go? I think about friends and family in South Africa, with all of her uncertainties and instabilities.

I think of news reports here in America, and I can hardly bear to read any more.

And I “groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling” (2 Corinthians 5:2).

All of the options in this life are lacking. Yet in Christ — no matter where I live, God alone is able to “make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).

For this is the glorious mystery: that “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).

Let’s not forget the wonder of it all. Though the world is darkened by threats and black clouds of evil, we can cling to the promise that light will always overcome darkness in the end.

 

By the way, we *will* have a regular FMF link-up next week, even though it’s Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Hope you are able to join us!

Also, we’ll be having a special edition link-up on Wednesday, December 2nd to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Letters to Grief. Write your own letter to grief and come link up on December 2nd!

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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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Well, you’ve done it.

I should’ve known this would happen. I promise to let you choose the prompts for a whole month, and you go and make this your most voted for word:

 

B

 

That’s why I love you guys.

You’ve become my people. You’re quirky and kind, encouraging and gifted. And a little bit crazy, sometimes.

 

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Look around, and you’ll see the body in this place. You’ll find recent grads and recent retirees. Widows and orphans. Singles, marrieds, and divorcees. Abuse survivors and cancer survivors. Homeschooling mamas and working grandmothers. Students and missionaries, diaper changers and board members.

We are the body, and I adore it.

 

Photo Credit: Jen Daugherty, faithmustardseed.com
Photo Credit: Jen Daugherty, faithmustardseed.com

 

So I’ve written you a little love story … It goes a little something like this:

 

GO.

Let me tell you a story.

It goes like this:

Once upon a time, over five years ago, a beautiful woman had a beautiful idea.

She thought to herself, “What can I do with just five minutes?”

Then she didn’t keep her question to herself — she shared it with her people, and they asked themselves the same question.

Then they all gathered together and formed this sort of family, called the Five Minute Friday community. And they’ve been congregating ever since, week after week, for five whole years, even when the address changed and the home changed ownership.

And just as the house key was being passed to the new owner, the builder of the house gave a farewell message with her adorable kiddos. And at the tail end of the video, just as she was about to close the door, one of her boys misheard the word, “Begin,” and yelled out that the word of the week was … “BACON!!”

And the whole family laughed until they cried.

Because this family is one of a kind, they didn’t forget their laughter or their tears. So over a year later, when given the chance to choose their own word, the drew up their laughter and their tears, and they voted for bacon.

Because that’s just how cool (and crazy) they are.

STOP.

 

If you’re new to Five Minute Friday, don’t run away! We love newcomers, and can’t wait to get to know you!

Click here for more info about how this fabulous clan works.

AND … It’s your LAST CHANCE to order a limited edition Five Minute Friday tote bag! 

FMF bags 1.2

Limited offer!

Order your bag by clicking “Buy Now” below! Orders accepted through October 31st, 2015.



 

Can’t wait to read your five minutes of free writing on BACON!

What better way to end off a whole month of free writes, hey?  

Link up here: 

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Perhaps is a loaded word.

A powerful word.

Not powerful in its punch, but rather its quiet presence. Powerful in the way it is trailed by an invisible ellipsis and a lingering question mark.

Perhaps is powerful in the way it commands attention from the future.

It’s powerful in the infinite possibilities that could come after it. What follows could be absolutely anything.

 

leaves 5

 

Perhaps you’ll be a movie star one day. Perhaps you’ll live on the street.

Perhaps you’ll have children. Perhaps you’ll spend your life in a longing unfulfilled.

Perhaps you’ll get married and live happily ever after. Perhaps you’ll endure unthinkable tragedy and heartache.

Perhaps makes me feel small.

It makes me realize how very little I actually know. It makes me wonder. It fills me with unanswered questions.

There is only one who isn’t bothered by perhaps. I doubt it even exists in His vocabulary.

He is a God who knows all. He never wonders. He never questions Himself, His purposes, or the future.

He is a God of order, of absolutes, of foreknowledge.

For Him, there are no ellipses, no question marks. Only full stops and exclamation points.

He hears our perhaps and He smiles, because He knows exactly how the story ends.

31 Days logo - 2015

This is Day 27 of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. Click here for other posts in this series