Five Minute Friday

An Improbable Community {and Giveaway}

Community comes together in an odd way, sometimes.

Just about two years ago, I hurried across the worn dirt roads to the Xitsavi Center, where I was working. After checking in with my supervisors and stuttering through the soon-to-be routine Xitsonga greetings, I settled down in the computer lab and quickly found my way to Lisa-Jo’s blog. Then I proceeded to scribble out my first Five Minute Friday post, a bundle of nerves and excitement.

You see, I had been reading Five Minute Friday posts for months, and was desperate to join in. But from my cell phone internet access in the rural Kalahari Desert village, it just wasn’t possible. And so I sat on the sidelines and waited, thinking about returning to America and the land of the endless internet, excited about finally joining in with the joyfulness of Five Minute Fridays.

And then I signed up for another year in South Africa. I packed my bags, moved hundreds of miles across the country, settling into a different village, with a very different culture and language. Amid the culture shock and the “did I really just agree to this” shock, I found myself in a computer lab that Friday in June, finally able to join in with the community I had been drawn to for months.

From that first Friday nearly two years ago, my life has changed completely. Sitting at home in rural Iowa, it’s hard to imagine how much has changed in my life. But something that has remained constant has been the joy I’ve found in the Five Minute Friday community. Being encouraged by these sisters each week has not only strengthened my faith, but drawn me back into “real life” community and fellowship. These friendships have brought me through a very difficult two years, through words that have breathed life into a tired soul. Words that have always built up and encouraged.

Written words. Snail mail words. Spoken words.

Friends, you have no idea how you have impacted me.

Snail Mail

I had no idea what that first post on a Friday morning two years ago would start. I couldn’t have mapped out this journey for anything. It’s an improbable journey, but He is an improbable God!

[Tweet “God delights in surprising us, don’t you think? “]

And if you ever doubt, ladies…God is using your words for His glory. He is using them to create an improbable community. And He is using them to build this community into something beautiful.


Because this community is so awesome, I want to welcome you to enter our #FMFPartySnailMail giveaway! The prizes include a copy of Let’s All Be Brave, donated by Tara, and some handmade creations from my own home. I’m including 3 beeswax lip balms (2 peppermint and 1 vanilla) and one bar of homemade soap. The giveaway will run from Wednesday at midnight to Sunday at 11:59pm (Eastern).
#FMFPartySnailMail Round 6 Giveaway #4 giveaway is only open to Round 6 participants. But if you missed out on Round 6 and are interested in Round 7, please comment below! And for everyone…if you want to write about how the Five Minute Friday community (including #FMFParty and #FMFPartySnailMail) has impacted you, write up a post and post your link in the comments! 🙂

FMF-Retreat-2015-logo--600x600 And as a final note…interested in meeting some of the #FMFParty gang in real life? Of course you are! We are having our VERY FIRST #FMFRetreat in August! And there are still tickets available! Kate’s blog has the full details, so don’t miss out! SHOP


9 thoughts on “An Improbable Community {and Giveaway}

  1. What an awesome blog post and a giveaway. I have not been quite on time with sending out my cards. But I have to tell you, all of the cards I’ve been blessed so much, by the cards I’ve received. They do always seem to come at just the right time. And even blessed by having some of the same women in my list from another fmfsnailmail round. So fun. Hoping it continues. 🙂 thanks for this awesome giveaway!!

    1. Oh and some of the best cards (if there has to be some that are better than others, which really sounds weird…) but when my other passed away at the beginning of March, so many fmfsnailmail women reached out with condolences and prayers. it was, like, wow. So mind blowing. So in awe of how God works. Even thru strangers.

  2. This #fmf community is such a blessing! Never heard of it until I heard about the #fmfpartysnailmail in the Leading & Loving It group. Then discovered Five Minute Friday which really appealed to the writer in me. And 5 weeks into FMF, it’s fun to see familiar faces and to read how God is working in so many lives both in the good times and the sad! Looking forward to seeing how God brings people together!

  3. Jen, community does sometimes come together in the oddest way. I love my blog friends. I never knew how social media could be positive. I am so thankful for this community too!

  4. Jen, friends are so important. I love Five Minute Fridays. I just heard Lisa Jo on Focus on the Family. I went to Israel on a missions trip in 1995. Blessings my friend Diana

  5. I think the best part is just continuing to meet new people and new friends through the sharing of letters. I love that we’re being intentional about building and growing a community of support and welcoming more ladies in all the time.

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