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It's amazing when my 5-year-old comes home talking about the history behind MLK day. When I was in Kindergarten, we learned our color...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What Makes You Smile?

This week has been a crazy roller coaster on many levels, but you all know that I choose to focus on the good in life to shine through the chaos that can quickly take over.  

So here are a few things that made me smile this week:

  • So proud of my husband!  Saturday night, he went to his little man cave.  It's more of a 'man-cubicle'.  Anyways ... he started to his sanctuary to get his runners bib, to lay out all his gear in preparation for the Memorial Marathon the next morning.  He came out of his room with a giggle, and a surprised look as he had thought he'd be doing a 5K until he noticed his running bib showed otherwise. Nope!  My husband had been signed up through his work for the 1/2 Marathon.  So ... with no training or jogging to ramp up, leading up to his supposed 5K turned 1/2 Marathon - he nodded his head with determination and said, "I'm just going to see how far I can go.  I'll take it one mile at a time."  And you know what???   He ran the whole thing like a rockstar - and finished the race.  

  • Today, I was blessed to meet up my Wednesday morning car pool moms for our weekly coffee date.  We're a mix of cultures, backgrounds, and circumstances.  The group is a mix of cancer survivors and fighters, stay at home moms, military wives, immigrants who found their American dream, and me - the mutt or the gypsy of the group.  I love how we lift each other up, listen to one another's trials and triumphs, and more importantly ... just show up.  In so many ways - this is a huge accomplishment - especially in today's world, which is full of self-centeredness.  These ladies are an amazing group, with so much to contribute to the world around them and I'm so lucky to have them in my life.

So ... I'd love to know what good things have happened in your world this week?  

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Plan vs. Purpose

Today's verse - Proverbs 16:9 

'In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.'
Amen! If I hadn't grasped this by now - I would be a wreck. 
There's only so much we can plan, prepare, or control. Without asking God for direction, it can get pretty dicey. 
This past week I prayed, 'Lord, show me your will. Prepare me.' 
And not 10 minutes later, something changed drastically in my life. This 'thing' that changed could have been devastating in normal circumstances - but a peace washed over me. It was a direct answer to prayer.
Instead of getting upset - I embraced the change, anxious to see what he was preparing. 
I can't control my life. I can't prepare for every outcome. I can only give God each day and look to Him for direction, as I go about it. 
It's okay to have a plan - but look to Him for your purpose!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Small Things That Make Me Smile

There are days when you truly feel God's presence, and know He's answering a prayer.  Then there are days when you are coasting, not really giving it much thought.  And ... there are days when you're recovering from a huge trial and are emotionally spent.

Yesterday, I prayed for God to restore my soul - as my day was about as bad as I've had since I was in college, where things got pretty rough in my walk.  Now, I'm not saying my walk was negatively effected yesterday.  What I'm saying is the devil was doing his best to shake me up and rattle my cage.  And if my walk wasn't solid - my world could have turned upside down.

Without giving you details (as they're a bit to crazy to post here) I will say that by the time it was all said and done - my head was spinning.  I wondered just how in the world I'd gotten to where I was, and started on a slippery slope that led to a pity party for about 20 minutes.

Until I realized, that God has everything under control.  I just needed to look to Him for guidance and reassurance.  Yesterday's result was not a miraculous perfect ending, tied up in a pretty bow.  I faced some serious consequences, but through it all I asked God to show me where He was ... to show up ... to give me something good from the day.

Two things happened that were absolute gifts from Him. And with them, He expressed how much He loved me. Even though I was dealt a bad hand, He was with me through it and sending blessings my way.

Blessing #1:

  • After asking my tax attorney to file for an extension (my grandmother died last week and I knew I'd never get everything turned into him in time), he called me around 4 p.m. and took it upon himself to work out my taxes (I had already turned my w2's and 1099's).  He told me that he'd hate for me to waste money on an extension, and asked if I could find time to get my expenses and mileage to him by the 14th.
--------> Okay ... who does that?  A tax accountant/attorney in the middle of tax season, who is slammed with everyone's taxes -- takes extra time to do what he can for me and ask for me to get him the rest to help me get my refund faster.  

Blessing #2:

  • I had to buy a couple work polo's for an event, so I drove to Dick's Sporting Goods today.  I walked in thinking,  'I hope I can get two but may only be able to afford one'.    (stay with me)  After walking through - checking prices - and trying a few on ... I decided I could only afford one and was thankful to find one on sale for 28.00.  I thought this was my blessing, and was so grateful.
The real blessing behind curtain #2:

  • When I got to the register, the sales associate accidentally rang it up twice. He gave the register a blank stare, and looked at me with amusement, saying, "These are buy one get one free.  Go pick out another one on sale."   I blinked with surprise, and found only one more on sale that was my size.  Did you catch that?  There were only two in my size, and I got one for free.  God knew my needs, and He provided.  

Now, I know these aren't huge things in the grand scheme of things. Most people wouldn't say they add up to much, but the fact that my accountant felt led to take the lead on my taxes to save me money was a sweet gesture.  (And the refund isn't a kick in the teeth either)

And, it turns out the sales associate who 'accidentally' scanned my polo twice, is a youth minister.  He was very open about his faith once I thanked him for his mistake, and gave credit to God for my blessing (some call it good fortune).  

God's hand was in all of this - to show me that He works in even the smallest details.  I may have had a disastrous day yesterday (we're not promised an easy life ... Jesus states that we will suffer in this world) but God is with us through all things good and bad.  And if we turn to Him, and thank him throughout the chaos, He will show up in the most unexpected ways.

God is good ... All. The. Time.  And He not only restores my soul, but encourages me to spread His good name with others.  This is why I just had to share this with you.  

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Kick This Idea Onto Others

Some of you may have heard of Kickstarter, a social media platform which helps people raise funds, but have you heard of 'Kick Your Idea'?

It's a social media platform design to boost awareness, without any funds required. Did you hear that? It's FREE!

Many of you have emailed me telling me that my characters have given you hope ... that they've made you aware of things you'd long forgotten ... and even motivated you to do things you'd not done in a while, like go back to Church or buy your kids a Bible. This is because I write about characters who make you feel.

 Today, I invite you (for the next 7 days) to help support the characters you love so much by allowing others a glimpse into their world. Allow others to put themselves in the shoes of my characters, by spreading the awareness of my books.

All you have to do is go to this page - here - where a pop up window will appear. It will say, 'Support This Campaign For A Chance To Win One Of Five $1,000 Amazon Gift Cards', and will give you four social media options to choose, with how you want to support me.

Simply click one (or all of them) ... and I get boosted. Once it reaches 100 supporters, they will have given me access to 100,000+ people. That means more eyeballs on the opportunity to get hooked on Chasatity's journey, Timothy's tumble head first into a love that will last a lifetime, and Anne's adventure on her trip into the reality of what means in her life.

Hey guys ... it's not rocket science. It's simple, easy, and FREE ... it's just about spreading the word. If you've got a few minutes ... please click the link above and help a sister out.

Thank you so much. Have a great day!!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Since January

Since January, I feel like I'm on a merry-go-round that just keeps spinning faster and faster ...

Just a few of the things that have happened:

As of Friday, my mom will have had 2 surgeries.
My son has had 2 ER visits, and as of tomorrow 2 specialist visits.
My grandmother has been in the ER twice and this last weekend had a hip surgery, from which she's not recovering very well.  She's not got fluid on her lungs and she's having to be restrained, because she's not aware enough to understand to be still.  She's a danger to her own recovery.

Through it all - I think I might have gone a little crazy if it weren't for the peace that Jesus gives.  And trust me when I say that the above list is just a small portion of things that have been occurring in my family's life.

So right now, I'm taking a very deep breath, and thanking God for his peace and assurance.  I am blessed by a wonderful family and knowing he is in control is my anchor through the storm.

Remember, no matter what you're going through - you have choices.  You can either sit and say 'woe is me' wondering where God is ... or you can give Him glory through the chaos, knowing He is there to comfort and lead you.

If you're facing your own crazy merry-go-round, wondering where you can get off and stop spinning - trust me, I feel you.  Keep looking up and ask for reassurance through the rough times, and He'll give it to you.