Monday, December 19, 2011

Eight Ways to Beat the Blues at Christmas

Instead of a houseful of kids and their little ones running around laughing, crying, playing with toys and sneaking treats, this year my husband, Jim, and I will be home alone for Christmas. My automatic reaction is to feel sad—but I am glad that all of them will be celebrating the coming of Jesus with their in-laws. After all, we are usually the ones who get that privilege!

But—it’s easy to be sucked down into a “poor me” mindset and play the blues, unless we decide to change our perspective. So here are eight simple ways to help you enjoy the holidays whether you’re physically or emotionally alone. Why not join me and let’s beat those blues which aren’t where God wants us at this special time of the year—or at any time!

Sing. Play music. Listen to the words and join in praising God. Singing is a guaranteed mood lifter and perspective changer. “Sing for joy to God our strength” Ps.81:1.
Smile. Smile at little children. Their harried moms. The older shoppers who are trying to find just the right present. Make smiling your chosen expression (not through gritted teeth, however!). It will make you feel so much better and maybe lift up another lonely soul.
Invite. Is there someone you haven’t had time for this past year? Could you suggest meeting for coffee, lunch, or even over to your home? Perfection isn’t needed—only a loving heart that looks beyond it’s own world.
Rest. Remember all those too early mornings when you longed to just stay in bed? Now’s your chance. Take time to read a book of the Bible or several psalms. Choose a special book, magazine, or television program. Make or buy some once in a year yummy treats and ENJOY this gift of time!
Give gifts to others. Go online and look for simple Christmas recipes. Make peppermint candy or a cranberry loaf and go drop it off at a homeless shelter or place that serves those without a home. Change your perspective from looking inward to looking outward—as God our Savior did when He gave us the most amazing gift of love any one can receive.
Write a list of your blessings. Think back over this past year. Even if it has been one of the most difficult you’ve experienced, ask God’s Spirit to show you where He was present, loving and supporting and guiding you through. He will show you something and lift your heart.
Go to a Christmas Eve Service. Even if you’re by yourself, don’t miss the presence of God amidst the beauty of this celebration. Let your senses feast on the beauty, your ears delight in the music, your heart be moved to new heights of gratitude and love.
Pray about your dreams for 2012. What do you want to see happen in the coming year? Have you thought about changes you want to make? New paths to walk? Write out what comes to mind when you think of taking better care of yourself physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. (See my video: Take Care of Yourself, …….. or check my website on the media clips page).

May your “Home Alone” Christmas fill you with joy and a fresh awareness that Christ is with you, whether you’re surrounded by people or peacefully alone.


Author Bio
Poppy Smith
With her fun personality and passion for communicating life-changing truths, Poppy Smith inspires believers to thrive spiritually and personally. Poppy’s practical how-to messages (in print or in person) uses colorful examples from her own struggles to be more like Jesus. She encourages women (and men, at times) to grow in every kind of situation—whether joyful or painful! Poppy is British, married to an American, and has lived in many countries. She brings an international flair seasoned with humorous honesty as she illustrates Bible truths. A former Bible Study Fellowship Lecturer, Poppy’s teaching challenges women to look at their choices, attitudes and self-talk. As a result, God’s speaks, changing hearts, changing minds, and changing lives.

Poppy Smith

Sign up for Poppy's THRIVE newsletter at:
http://www.poppysmith.com/newsletters.htm





Friday, December 16, 2011

The Little Things



 Isn't it amazing how the littlest things can irritate us to no end?  I have a Primo Water Cooler/Heater for my drinking water, and its constant rattling sound it makes is enough to drive me to the brink!  Granted, I also have sick kids, a final due in a couple of days, and a ton of Christmas shopping to do, but these little things can be such a drag!  Sorry to be so negative, just had to vent that, and see if I'm the only one or if this is "normal"!  Does anyone else have little things like this that drive you crazy?  Please share!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Teachings about Money

So...I think my son has seen a few too many panhandlers lately. I wish I would have taken a picture, but he drew a picture of an arrow pointing down on a piece of construction paper, and taped it to a stool with it pointing towards a series of bowls and cups. He put this all in the driveway, and told me that he was going to try to get people to give him money. (Im glad we live in a quiet community!) When I told him he needed to earn money, he wanted to know what that meant. I explained that he needed to work for it, so he got a bunch of construction paper, scissors, and tape and proceeded to make stuff. This was his idea of "working". So funny! I need to find ways for him to earn his keep I guess!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Promise of Deer Run Book Review

The Story Behind the Story: 
How The Deer Run Saga Was Birthed
By Elaine Marie Cooper
 
When I was young and first heard that one of my grandfathers had been a Redcoat during the Revolutionary War, I was somewhat embarrassed. Growing up in Massachusetts had made me proud of our country’s heritage. But instead of finding zealous patriots in my bloodline, my DNA was from an enemy soldier named Daniel Prince!
 
Calmer reasoning prevailed, however, as I thought about the reality of his story. Living conditions in Colonial times were difficult, to say the least. It was a frightening period of our history for both Americans and the British. And in the midst of our nation struggling to be birthed, two people on opposing sides in a bloody war met and fell in love.
 
This story from my family’s history was transformed in my thinking into an inspiring one of romance, unhindered by the politics of the day. It became, purely and simply, a love story.
 
And so was birthed the idea to create a fictional account of actual events. Since the story is from my imagination, I opted to change last names, the names of the communities, and many other details of the time. However, many of the historical events are documented facts.
 
The particular information on Daniel Prince’s military background was discovered thanks to the diligent work of Betty Thomson, independent researcher at The National Archives, Kew, in England. 
 
In book one, The Road to Deer Run and now in the sequel, The Promise of Deer Run, I made every effort to stay true to the colonial times. Descriptions of food, homes, clothing, farming, worship practices, medical care, etc. are the result of extensive research.
 
It has been a personally inspiring experience to write these novels. While the times have changed since the 18th century, the same struggles of their day are our own. Forgiveness, fear, pain, illness, despair, the pain of having a family member at war, the death of a loved one—these are all the battles we contend with in the 21st century. But we also share faith, laughter, love, the excitement of that first kiss, the wonder of looking at a newborn. These are the same joys that we share with our ancestors who are so much a part of who we are.
 
Their journeys are interwoven with our own.
 
My Review:
I read The Promise of Deer Run, by Elaine Marie Cooper, book two of the Deer Run Saga, in about two days. That is saying alot, since I am a mother of two toddlers and a full time student, reading is not something I have a lot of time for. When I agreed to read this to review on my blog, I was a little hesitant, as I am not a big fan of historical fiction, and I haven't read book one. The book, however, sucked me in! The writing in the book takes you back to a different time, a time when ladies were ladies, men were gentlemen, worked hard to put food on the table, and provide. Providing then was a bit different than providing now. If you didn't grow it or shoot it, you more than likely didn't eat it. There was no such thing as welfare, foodstamps or Medicare, and school was a luxury for many, rather than a requirement. This book took me back to this time, and was a quick read. I loved the writing as well as the storyline, and I absolutely can't wait to read book three! I would add this to your must-read list.

About the Author:
Elaine Marie Cooper grew up in Massachusetts but now lives in the Midwest with her husband, her three dogs and one huge cat. She has two married sons and triplet grandchildren who are now one years old. The Promise of Deer Run is dedicated to the triplets and to veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.



This book was received in exchange for reviewing the product. In no way was other compensation received, or did the compensator require a positive review.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Juppy: The Only Baby Walker that Fits in Your Purse!



I received a Juppy for review quite a while ago. I have been so busy, that getting this post done, as well as others, keeps getting put off. It was a joy to receive however, and while it does take some getting used to, it is a great product. I love the size, first of all. It is made of cloth, and comes in a pretty little pouch that the whole thing folds into. It is small enough to fit in a purse, diaper bag, or the back of your car, and is comfortable for baby to wear. If you have ever gone anywhere with baby that you wish you could have taken their walker or swing, this is for you.



The juppy is sooo much safer than a walker. Walkers have already been outlawed in Canada, and there is much negative publicity regarding them in the U.S. I never used them for my children, because of the harm they can cause. The juppy, because it is cloth and fits similar to a diaper does not cause the damage a walker can. And because you are holding it and walking with your child, there is not the danger of the child falling down stairs or something similar while in a walker.

So you heard why its so great for baby, but what do you get out of it, besides being able to carry it with you?  Well, as you can see in the picture above, it is a back saver!  If you have ever walked around holding your baby's hands, you know how it can strain your back.  With the juppy, the straps are adjustable to fit anyone, so your baby and you can go for a walk without throwing your back out of whack!

The only complaint I heard when letting my friends try it out, was it does take some getting used to, but as they say, practice makes perfect!

The juppy is a wonderful product, and I highly recommend it. For more information, or to purchase, please visit their website thejuppy.com


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Women of Faith - Over The Top!

video

The Women of Faith Conference this year was themed "Over the Top" and it truly was, over the top! I had great seats, and got to enjoy the likes of Mandisa, Selah, Andy Anderson, Lisa Whelchel, Patsy Clairmont and many more! I learned some great practical things that I can apply to my life immediately. I learned things that will help me with my relationship with God as well as my relationship with people. Andy Anderson, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Gift, spoke about smiling while we talk, how it helps us relate to others in a positive way. Teaching your sons to shake hands and be respectful, things they can take into manhood.  He said "When you invest in yourself, you can control the return".   He also said that "Fear is a misuse of the imagination God has given you". Another great quote "How we act controls the cookie flow in our life"  Love it! Soo many great insights!

Patsy Clairmont, Author and Speaker, said to be deliberate and purposeful in your legacy - stop blaming others.  Great Advice!  She advised that we should harness our thoughts, refuse any negative thoughts, replace them with pure, lovely, etc. thoughts, and repeat the process!

Lisa Whelchel, child actor and author,  spoke about friendships, making and keeping them as adults. She really spoke to my heart, I have so much to learn from her, and can't wait to get her new book, Friendship for Grownups! She spoke about the difference between being transparent, and being vulnerable.  Transparency is openness with distance, while vulnerability is an open heart.  This has really resonated with me. 

Sandi Patty was there, and both performed and spoke, along with Marilyn Meberg.

The group Selah performed, and their music spoke to me on the first day, their hearts on the second. My new favorite group! Thank you for your vulnerability! There was so much incredible speaking, acting, singing, worshiping! Always such a joy, and such a life changing experience!
Mandisa!
Thousands of people worshiping God!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I saw this in an old Parenting magazine and just had to share....love it!


Top Ten Signs You're a Tuned-Out Mom
1. Gaga still makes you think of a toddler instead of a woman with a zipper eye patch urging you to just dance. 
2.  Pink reminds you of nurseries and tutus, not nose rings and tattoos. 
3.  Coldplay is how your kid learns to stop forgetting his gloves everytime he leaves the house.
4. Black Eyed Peas are alas, tragically unpopular with tweens.
5.  The Pussycat Dolls sound like the perfect holiday presents for your 5 year old niece.
6.  Eminem?  A sheer delight, proven to inspire kids to act more politely.
7.  Vampire Weekend was that time your 12-year old saw Twilight then spent all her waking hours pining for Robert Pattinson (and all her bedtime hours afraid to go to sleep!)
8.  Nickleback is the cry your hear after the supermarket gumball machine fails to dispense the Mike and Ike candies to your preschooler. 
9.  Maroon 5 must be that crayon that replaced Burnt Sienna.
10. Linkin Park sounds like an educational family field trip. Why isn't it in the GPS? 

source: Parenting Magazine 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Women of Faith - Over The Top!


The Women of Faith Conference is coming to Sacramento again October 14th and 15th! This is an amazing conference that travels all around the country, teaching, preaching, and inspiring women with the Word of God and the grace of Jesus. I went to this conference last year a little speculative, but my heart was quickly moved by the women, the singing, and the sharing of the women. This conference is a life changing experience. It changed my life, and I believe the lives of women I was with. I encourage you to see if there is a conference in your area!  



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Courageous

I just saw an advanced screening of the movie Courageous. And, since I drank caffeine too late, and I was soo moved by this movie, I have to tell you about it. If you haven't heard of it, check it out here.
This movie moved me like few movies ever have, if any.  It is a movie about fatherhood, and a father's responsibility to raise their children, and lead their families.

There are not words to describe how amazing this movie is. This movie calls men, and families, to action.  It inspires and challenges our men to take action and ownership.

I was so grateful to be able to see an advanced screening, as it doesn't come out until September 30th, and it is all my husband has been talking about for months!  He was incredibly moved by this movie as well.  This is a movie you definitely need to bring your tissues to, and leave your pride at home.  Great job!  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki: A review

I received this book from Bzz Agent, to review and create excitement about.  I really like the way this book is broken up, easy to read and easy to find what I'm looking for.  I sort of feel that they way its broken up disrupts the flow of the book, but I agree that this book is a great resource not only for business owners and managers, but just for the everyday average Joe or Jane like me.  It has great insight into how to be a positive influence in the lives of others.
I would recommend this book if you are looking to work on your people or business skills.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

BzzAgent and Kindle!!

So I am a bzzagent...what is that you ask? Well, go to and you get the opportunity to try products and services and tell others about them! Its the best kind of marketing if you ask me! And now they have a great new campaign involving the Kindle! Wouldn't that be great? I cant afford to buy one, but would loooove to have one, so I can only hope I'm chosen! They have some great campaigns...everything from lipstick to software! I have been a member for years and I love them! So pick me BzzAgent!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Harvesting a Heart

I just finished a book I wanted to share with you. It is by one of my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult. The book is called Harvesting the Heart.
. I happened to come across this one at a "Friends of the Library" sale for a dollar! It isn't typical of her writing, but while it was a little hard to get into, I really enjoyed it and couldn't put it down once I started reading it. It is about a woman and a man who fall in love, one from a poor family, another an aspiring surgeon. It is an intensely emotional book, not a romance novel by any means, (I wouldn't read it if it was!) But an exploration of a relationship and what happens when a woman must discover who she is before she can love another person. It explores marriage, motherhood, family, in-laws and hurt in a captivating way. I would recommend this book!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Firstfruits


Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God. Exodus 24:26a

My Garden Today
Planter Box made by Hubby about a month ago
I planted a garden a little while ago, with hopes for greatness, but low expectations.  I don't have what one would call a "green thumb."  I have never really had the opportunity for a real garden outside of a few flowers and a tomato plant.  So when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it....well sort of.  I had to sort of ease into it, convince my husband of its benefits, and then jump in. 

I planted mostly fall plants.  Tomatoes, Spaghetti Squash, Zucchini, Bell Peppers, Cucumbers, and a few others.  They have been growing like crazy, outgrew the planter box my husband made, and are starting to outgrow our little garden plot we created. 

The other day I found a cucumber hiding among the leaves, and about did a happy dance!  (Yeah, that would have been disturbing!)  I patiently waited a couple more days, then today went out and took a measurement and decided it was time to pick. 
First Cucumber

I am excited to see a couple more little ones growing, and can't wait for my other plants to do likewise.  So far I have 3 bellpeppers growing on one plant, but other than that, nothing but a lot of blooms.  At least the blooms are pretty!
My garden today


About a month ago

Monday, July 18, 2011

One Day Way Review

I got this book to review from blogging for books. Its a great website. Anyway, I loved this book! It is written in a way that I felt as if the author was sitting at my kitchen table, having a cup of coffee with me and discussing weight loss challenges! In the book Chantel discusses how to take the weight-loss journey one day at a time. She discusses the ups and downs of weight loss, and about giving your self grace while also having accountability. She includes a contract in the back of the book, committing oneself to taking life one day at a time, building yourself and others up rather than tearing down, and being your best person.
This may sound like a lot of fluff, but it is actually a very helpful book. She does include a small food plan, and while it doesn't seem like the most realistic one for me, it is good to see the perspective that comes from that plan.
I would recommend this book to others, I look forward to sharing it with friends.





Saturday, July 2, 2011

Reflecting Him

"Reflecting Him: Living for Jesus and Loving It is a ten-week Bible study that encourages women to see God's life lesson throughout their day. A detailed look at a potter and his wheel gives new insights to the creation of man. Open your eyes to see how God uses daily, mundane experiences to teach spiritual truths. As Jesus becomes part of eveything you do, you will be reflecting Him in ways you never dreamed possible."
"Carla McDougal, the founder of
Reflective Life Ministries, has a passion
for encouraging women to live every day
for Jesus Christ"
This book is an in depth study of the bible, Jesus, His creation, and all things surrounding it. It encourages the reader to look at aspects of God's word that might otherwise have been passed over, and contains great insight and inspiration.

This book was a little dry to me at times, sort of textbook like in its questions, however I appreciated the encourage to deepen my knowledge of and relationship with God. I still havent finished reading this book, however I am reading it daily, and looking forward to what is to come!






Heres the mail...

One of my favorite kids songs is the one from Nick Jr.'s Blue's Clues. It is about Blue getting the mail and starts "Here's the mail, it never fails, it makes me want to wag my tail.." This week was a great "mail week."


  I got two packages from Procter and Gamble, one from my scrapbooking group, a book from a friend that I need for class, a package for my kids, and a set of luggage that I got for less than $3!  The two from procter and gamble I thought were the most fun. They always come unexpected, and are always so useful!


Cover Girl package from P&G
Swiffer 360 Duster from P&G










Mail like this does make me "wag my tail"!  I could do without the bills though!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

One Flesh Marriage: The Unstoppable Worshipper

One Flesh Marriage: The Unstoppable Worshipper: "Brad says... As I was reading Kate’s post, “Holding Hands in Worship” one question kept running through my mind, “what stops us?” Men, we ..."


This is a great article for all the husbands out there...Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A God of Compassion

I haven't posted my reading in a while, because I haven't been reading consistently, and when I have, I haven't always had time to post. I guess that's life with two toddlers though. I am not dwelling on the past however, but moving forward.

If you would like more information about SOAP journaling, click here.

Scripture
But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country.

Observation
God repeatedly has compassion on His people. He gives them 2nd, 3rd, and 4th chances, even beyond that! 

Application

God is a God of compassion.  I need to embrace God's compassion, be grateful for it, and not swim in my guilt.  I need to pass His compassion on to others, with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Without the Holy Spirit, I am helpless; but with the Spirit I can have life and compassion to the fullest.


When you go about your day, think about how many chances God has given you, and pass this compassion along to others.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mini Wheats Touch of Fruit in the Middle Review

I got a box of Mini Wheats Touch of Fruit Cereal in the mail yesterday from Vocalpoint for review.  I had it today for breakfast this morning, and I thought it was O.K.  Not crazy about it, but I thought I would share my review with you.  I did appreciate the coupons that came with it, as I'm sure my kids will love it!  It has that little bit of sweetness that makes it good, and appealing to my kids, but it isn't overly sweet.



Monday, May 2, 2011

Witnessing History

Osama Bin Laden was killed yesterday. Today I am watching the Today Show on my Roku.  It is amazing to me that this is something that will (hopefully) be written about in history books, and I am sitting and watching it right now.  My kids are too little to "get" that anything is going on, but it makes me wonder, what will you tell your kids?  It isn't really something that can be explained without some backstory I would think.  But it does put things in perspective a bit to be a part of history.  Someday I can tell my grandkids I remember when.  Just the thought of having grandchildren is an overwhelming one though.  So, how are you going to explain this to your children?

His Word is His Bond

It has been so long since I have posted.  Life has been a bit crazy.  I am seeing the need so much to schedule - everything.  Mainly family time and hubby time.  Those are the things that tend to get pushed out, or slip through the cracks when things get busy.

I haven't been very consistent with my quiet times the past few weeks, but I am repenting, and will be getting up before my kids again.  It helps so much, to get that time before they rise.

If you want information on SOAP journaling, please click HERE.

Scripture
Jeremiah 11:14
“Do not pray for this people or offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress.

Observation
The people of Jerusalem didn't obey the covenant, so God kept His word and put the curses of the covenant on the people.  I don't think its something he necessarily wanted to do, but He needed to keep His word, and the curses were the consequences for the people's actions. 

Application
There is so much I can get out of this chapter - how much I have to be grateful for in Jesus.  The people didn't have Jesus to intercede for them. 
Also, God keeps His covenant and His word.  He makes it clear that He must keep His covenant - that prayer and intercession wouldn't change His mind.  God will keep His word with me, too.  That is something I have to be confident in.

This is also a great example for parenting.  If I say that there will be consequences, those consequences need to happen, no matter how difficult it may be for me to "carry out" those consequences.  I need to do this so that my kids will value my word, and understand consequences.

Prayer
Lord, thank you for giving me Jesus as an intercessor.  Thank you for being a God of your word and of Honor.  Please help me to do the same with my family and friends.  Help me to be a woman of my word, and a parent that keeps her word, no matter how difficult it may be at times.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Don't Soften the Blow

Well, its been a couple of days since I have posted my journal entry. I have been so busy this past weekend, and it looks like things aren't going to let up for about a week. Here is today's though, even though today is almost over!

If you want information about SOAP journaling, click here.

Scripture
Jeremiah 7:16
“So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you." declares the Lord.

Observation
Jeremiah had such a difficult message to give to the people.  It wasn't of hope, but of destruction, loneliness, and peril.

Application
Jeremiah didn't back down when he had to tell the people God's message.  He didn't try to change it to soften the blow, he just delivered it "as is."  I need to do the same in sharing the word with both believers and non-believers.

Prayer
God, please help me to share your word without feeling I have to "soften" your word to keep from hurting anyone's feelings.

Keurig: Early Christmas!

I got a brand new Keurig coffee pot yesterday. (Thank you craigslist!) I got a deal, and I love it! Its not something I ever wanted, because I knew I couldn't afford it, and regular coffee is cheaper, but now that I only drink one cup a day, its nice that I can just make that one cup. I'm not getting paid to post about Keurig or anything, I'm just excited and wanted to share!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jeremiah 4: Necessary Nurturing

If you would like information about SOAP journaling, please see here.

Scripture
(I couldn't pick just one today, so there's three!

Jeremiah 4:1-2
“If you, Israel, will return,
   then return to me,”
            declares the LORD.
“If you put your detestable idols out of my sight
   and no longer go astray,
2 and if in a truthful, just and righteous way
   you swear, ‘As surely as the LORD lives,’
then the nations will invoke blessings by him
   and in him they will boast.”

Jeremiah 4:18
Your own conduct and actions
   have brought this on you.
This is your punishment.
   How bitter it is!
   How it pierces to the heart!”

Jeremiah 4:28
Therefore the earth will mourn
   and the heavens above grow dark,
because I have spoken and will not relent,
   I have decided and will not turn back.”
Observation
God wanted the people of Israel to be righteous - He didnt want to punish His people, but He is a God of His word, and could not turn back even though it hurt him to punish his people.

Application
I don't like to punish my children.  I often leave a lot of it to my hubby.  In order for my children to learn to be Godly, I need to punish them when they disobey.  The temporary pain is much less than the consequences of inaction.

Prayer
Lord, please help me to raise my children the way you want me to; to bring up children that love You and your word and that respect their elders, as well as their peers.
In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Confession: The Road to Grace Jeremiah 3

If you are unfamiliar with the new journaling method I found, please look here.

Scripture
Jeremiah 3:13
Only acknowledge your guilt—
   you have rebelled against the LORD your God,
you have scattered your favors to foreign gods
   under every spreading tree,
   and have not obeyed me,’”
            declares the LORD.

Observation
God wanted to give the people grace (v. 12) , but he wanted the people of Israel to first acknowledge (see) and confess their sin.

God doesn't change, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
He wants me to acknowledge and confess my sin so that He can give me grace and I can be nearer to Him.

Application
Look at my daily life.  What sin is present that is unconfessed? Confess sin when it occurs - either by calling someone or writing it down to confess to hubby later. Pray through it daily, asking God for forgiveness and wisdom to overcome my sin.

Prayer
Lord, please help me to be real with my life - my sin and how I hurt You.  I want to be close to you and to others, and confessing my sins daily is the way to do that.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Please feel free to share your readings, thoughts, prayers with me, either through the comments or by emailing me .  I would love to hear what you are learning through God's word!

SOAP: A journaling guide

SOAP is a journaling guide I discovered on another website, Moms Toolbox. I have been looking for ways to get deeper in my bible study, and this seems to be a great way. If you want to learn the SOAP method, I strongly suggest the Mom's Toolbox blog, as it explains it then puts it into practice.  

The basics of SOAP are as follows:
S - Scripture
Write the one scripture you feel God is using to speak to you in today's reading.

O - Observation
What might He be telling you with that scripture?

A -Application
How can you apply it to your life?

P - Prayer
What is your prayer to ask God in helping you to make that application?
   
Then look back over your notes and pick a title. Write the title on the top of your page.  You can then write that title in the front of your journal, along with the date, and you will have a reference when you want to look up something you have studied, or look at ways God has worked in your life.

My next post will be my first attempt at this. I have been reading Jeremiah, so it will come from there.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Love Drop: Kahlen Family



Hey guys!  The Love Drop team is at it again!  Last month they gave over $5,000 worth of cash and goods to their recipient, Katie, who had been battling a couple of brain tumors over the years, and it culminated with a surprise gift of 15+ friends showing up at her house to celebrate with her. It was awesome. You can watch how it all went down here.
 
This month they start all over again and grow support for the Kahlen's - a family who has been hit hard by the economy, and by their daughter's serious medical condition, tuberous sclerosis. In addition to financial assistance, they're planning to unite the artistic community to help support Kent's glassmaking work.
 
Want to help?  Here are two ways you can participate:
  1. Give $1.00 - This is the best way to help out and join their team at the same time.
  2. Donate a piece of art - They will be hosting an auction this month, and would love to feature your artwork in it. Proceeds go to help the Kahlen's this month, and is a great way to promote your work :)
We'll let you know how it goes!  Thanks everyone.



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Your Teen Can Own A Micro Business

This is an article I thought might be of interest to my readers.  The authors' bio is below.  If you are interested in helping your teen start their own business, her website is below as well.

Carol Topp, CPA advises teenage business owners through her Micro Business for Teens book series. Carol’s day job is accountant to business owners, and she enjoys teaching teenagers to succeed beyond their dreams. Students appreciate how she shares what they need to know in clear and helpful lessons. Her website is MicroBusinessForTeens.com
 
Your Teen Can Own a Micro Business
How to Launch It in Ten Simple Steps

“I want to walk dogs; what do I need to do to get started?” asked a teen boy. I had inspired him to think about starting a micro business and he was ready to get going!

I encourage teenagers to start very small businesses—micro businesses. A micro business is a one-person business that can be started easily, usually without any up-front cash, using what a teenager already owns. Micro businesses are usually home-based and very flexible so a busy student can keep up with homework, sports and a social life.

Teenagers can use their skills to develop businesses such as teaching guitar lessons, doing web design or caring for children. Other teenagers have started micro businesses by offering services such as house cleaning, pet care, and lawn mowing. One easy-to-start micro business is tutoring. Some students tutor math, Spanish or computer programs such as Photoshop.

After your teenager has an idea, he or she can launch a micro business in a short amount of time with very little start up money. Share these starting steps with your teen:

1. Conduct a mini market survey. Start by asking a few potential customers if they need your service and what price they are willing to pay.

2. Decide on a price. From the mini-market survey, you should be able to set a fair price. You may get your first customers by undercharging the competition. One teenager charged half what other piano teachers charged and quickly had eight students.

3. Volunteer a few jobs to practice your business skills and build a reputation. Use recommendations from these jobs in your future advertising. Sarah took senior pictures as a favor for a friend and received three other jobs from referrals.

4. Launch your first advertising campaign. Try to use free advertising such as emails, Facebook posts and handing out fliers to friends and neighbors.

5. Work your plan on a small scale. Start with one customer at first. Learn a lot from that experience and grow slowly.

6. Evaluate, adjust and change. As you grow in experience, you may be able to charge more. You will probably need to create a payment policy. Sarah discovered that she needed to be paid up front and have a cancellation policy when she scheduled photo shoots.

7. Pick a name and register it. Usually, you can use your own name, such as Cathy Smith's Babysitting Service, without needing a name registration. If you do want a business name, learn what your state or local government requires. This website is a good place to start: http://www.business.gov/register/business-name/dba.html

8. Open a checking account. Accountants usually recommend a separate business checking account to keep from mixing personal and business expenses. A teenager can usually get by with one checking account, if you keep good records. Usually a parent must agree to be a co-signer on a checking account for minors.

9. Read up on taxes. You’ll need to file your own tax return, may owe federal or state income tax, and may be subject to self-employment tax also. Self-employment tax is Social Security and Medicare taxes for self-employed people.

10. Learn about customer service, marketing and record keeping. Become a student of business and seek to be continually learning more. Read books, take a business class, find a mentor and ask a lot of questions.




Friday, January 7, 2011

Friendships - My Daily SoapBox

You know, its amazing how we can think we know someone, at least on one level, and find out there is so much more to the person, the more we interact with them. There are many people that I "know", but how well do I really know them? God creates us to be such complicated diverse creatures, all so different, yet with different qualities that endear us to each other.

That knowledge makes me want to go out there and get to know people on a much deeper level, but at the same time, I find myself wanting to stay in a safe place where I won't get hurt.

The fact is, the more we know people, and the more people know us, the more fulfilled we are as human beings. God created us to need each other and to need Him. When either of those needs aren't being met, we can't truly be fulfilled.