Welcome to the Five Minute Friday writing community! I’m so glad you’re here!
I just got back from my annual two-week break, and now it’s time to kick it into full gear for another fun year of Five Minute Free Writes!
If you’re new to this community, I share a one-word prompt every Thursday at 10pm EST, and the link-up is open for one week.
To learn more about the link-up and how to join in, CLICK HERE.
Our first FMF writing prompt for 2019 is: BETTER
This week’s prompt was inspired by the recently released novel, We Hope for Better Things, by Erin Bartels. (I really, really loved this book!)
Affiliate links have been used in this post.
Okay, here we go . . . It’s time to write! I’m setting my timer for five minute, and . . . GO.
It’s the beginning of a new year, and many of us have high hopes. Hopes for a better year than last year. Hopes for better health, better relationships, better outcomes in life.
We hope for better accomplishments, better time management, better lives.
But the more I think about the “better,” the more I see two problems with this kind of thinking:
Firstly, when we keep striving for better and more, it’s easy to fall into discontentment and forget to be grateful for what we have.
But on the flip side, maybe better isn’t good enough. Maybe we’re setting the bar too low when we aim for better. Maybe we don’t think about the BEST enough at all — the best there will ever be, spending eternity with our Lord and Savior.
I’m reminded of the quote by C.S. Lewis:
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
Is it possible that even with our better goals and better hopes, that we’re not aiming high enough?
And by aiming I don’t mean to strive harder, no . . . I mean look higher.
Raise your gaze. Set your minds on things above. We’ll never be able to try hard enough or be good enough to earn salvation or heaven. It’s by grace alone.
But we can set our sights on things above and not on earthly things.
Who’s with me?
Before we go, could you help me out?
In an effort to serve you BETTER and to make the FMF community a BETTER place (see what I did there?), I’d be so grateful if you took a few minutes to fill out this annual survey.
If you complete the survey, you’ll be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Survey ends Monday, January 21st, 2019. (Can’t see the survey form below? Click here.)
Join the link-up with your own five minute free write below, then visit your link-up neighbor to read their post and leave an encouraging comment!
your form insists on an email address for the last name.
LOVE that quote!
So typically I’ll read the prompt, then write my post and THEN come back and read yours and others. I just want to think for myself and not remanufacture diatribe from someone else’s words. I’ll admit, this weeks word rubbed me the wrong way and I was a little disappointed that it was not some inspiring word to start this year’s FMF journey BUT when I finally made my way back, to your post, you brought it full circle! Though our perspectives were similar, I really appreciated how you used a basic, sometimes wonderful but pretty much terrible word. 🙂
My Dad had his own quirky saying: “That’s more better.”
Grammatically incorrect, granted – but it always served to make me pause a half-beat and realize,
Yes, that is better, whether it was a “more better” temperature setting on the thermostat,
or a “more better” color of paint on the wall, or a “more better” tasting stew.
It was funny how it caught people unawares and they would usually chuckle or smile back at this jovial man who liked to make you think!
I find myself using the expression often either to myself, or around family or with close friends. I don’t quite have the hutzpah like my father to just say “more better” any place or any time at all.
But, I will say that writing prompts like this do help me write more better;)
Ouch. I needed to hear this today. I settle for less all too often instead of looking higher and at what God wants for me.
Such an important reminder!
Not striving harder, but looking higher. Yes!
“Better is one day in your house …..” So often I look back at the day and what has given me most consolation is that moment of reflection at the beginning of the day. That moment when you tell me that I am loved. That you promise to be the light in the darkness. The candle that conquers the shadows of fear and anxiety. As I wait your cloak of peace falls around my shoulders and I rest, safe, in the haven of your presence.
love that cs lewis quote kate! as an addendum to the survey, i need to add that i have difficulty getting away overnight. i love retreats! i learn so much from them, but i also love zoom conversations and visits. they are very helpful, especially if they are with groups. it helps me to see the others in the group. i don’t always think of the right questions, but learn a lot from theirs! this season with my husband makes it hard to get away overnight. i don’t know how long this season will last.
“Raise your gaze. Set your minds on things above. We’ll never be able to try hard enough or be good enough to earn salvation or heaven. It’s by grace alone.”
Yes and amen, Kate. I’m right there with you. I want this year to be marked by an increasing love for and dependence on our Beautiful Lord.
I need to embrace Jesus more this year every moment of the day everyday.I need to listen better to God everyday in the New year. Better reading my Bible Bible every morning and mdevotion.The better I do this will make my marriage stinger and my whole family stronger.