Best Year Ever!

Best Year Ever aYes, that’s right… we are expecting this to be the “Best Year Ever” in our home (BYE for short).  I have never been one to make silly New Years resolutions because they are always dropped within a couple weeks and nothing ever really comes of them other than regret and disappointment in yourself.  I don’t need that 😉

However, this year my husband and I came across this course called “5 Days To Your Best Year Ever” by Michael Hyatt.  He designed it for “busy, high-achievers” like me… well at least that is how I would like to think of myself.  My past is spotted with holes of unrealized goals because life just “got” in the way.  In reality I haven’t found the right thing to keep me on the right track.  I had never learned how to plan, create real goals, and I had never learned how to put those goals into workable action.  That is where this course comes in and it has been amazing.

Yes, we just started this the first of the year, so no we haven’t seen the end results yet, but after all the work we have put into this I believe it will be our BYE because we now have clear have working steps for every goal and more importantly, our reason WHY.  I will be sharing about our walk throughout the year, as well as about aspects of all of my goals I have set for myself.  Some are personal and fun, others are serious!  All are good.  I may not hit them all… but I will never reach them if I never try and I never have a plan to work.

Here are my goals for this year… of course simplified for this blog. 😉

  1.  To cultivate a stronger and more pure relationship with Jesus so I know His voice better and I will follow Him no matter what.
  2.  To cultivate a more vibrant and Godly marriage.
  3.  To pay down debt.
  4.  To get healthier.
  5.  To treat myself well.
  6.  To read more books.
  7.  To be a better mom and homeschool teacher.
  8.  To revamp my blog and write again.
  9.  To improve my hand-lettering.

Best Year Ever 1aNow of course my goals in my workbook are much more specific with great action and purpose. What I just posted is very general and if they were left that way wouldn’t get accomplished because they are ambiguous.  That is why I love this course, it gets you into the meat of the matter.

So, as I blog this year, the things in my life that fall into those categories will be on the list to share.

What changes are you making this year?  Like Michael Hyatt says, “Nothing great ever happens in the comfort zone!”

Here’s to our Best Year Ever!

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Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions Giveaway! – WINNER, WINNER!

Wooohooo!  We have a winner!  After a very scientific approach, well ok, maybe not so scientific… but definitely fair approach we have a winner to this drawing!  I put all the names on a piece of paper, crumbled them all up and put them in a basket and had my hubby pick one.  🙂

And the winner is……..  Michelle!

Congratulations Michelle.  I will be contacting you soon to find out your mailing information.

For everyone else who participated…. A Huge THANK YOU!  Please check out my current giveaway at http://wp.me/s2WVaA-imagine, I would love for one of you to win those books as well!

God Bless each of you!

Summer of Service A.C.T.S.

The summer is winding down as evidence by the crazy whirlwind that my life is right now!  I have been busier than ever and it isn’t going to slow down for a few more days.  In just hours I am off to our yearly women’s retreat at our church to serve and minister to other women and to hear what God has to say to me.   As I prepare to leave I am reminded of something wonderful that begins next week.  So before I leave I wanted to share A.C.T.S. (A Call To Service) with you!  It is not for us adults.  Us mom’s know how hard we serve already.   😉    This is a program to get our kids to serve!

Why serve?

Our culture puts an extravagant amount of energy into raising kids who will grow up to feel good about themselves. In schools, clubs, homes, and even at church, adults have made a decided effort to bolster children’s “self-esteem” –not by actually encouraging kids do something that’s worthwhile, but by simply telling them they are important and valuable.

At the turn of the century, researchers predicted that the next generation would respond to these efforts of raising self-esteem by being filled with optimism and civic duty. Unfortunately, recent research shows the opposite. Kids coming of age today are more self-centered, disrespectful of authority, and depressed than ever before.

In a very real way, then, the best path toward building selfless, confident children is to help and encourage them toward a growing and thriving faith in God. And that includes obedience to what God teaches—not because it makes kids feel good, although it often does—but because they’re following God’s instructions to love Him and serve others. That builds a faith they can count on and carry with them into adulthood—which is the greatest gift any parent can bestow on their child.

Join Adventures in Odyssey this summer to discover how fun it can be to serve others!

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=dcb1346767&view=att&th=13e8ec22ea82a46c&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P873rJS1u4yrBsktQqV7xgG&sadet=1368747677139&sads=s6tVvE2OvIhx3WQIqkOJHfMLY3QAdventures in Odyssey, the beloved audio series from Focus on the Family, has encouraged kids toward a stronger faith for 25 years. Whit, Connie, Eugene, and the other loveable characters from Odyssey have shared countless adventures with kids across the world in the classic audio dramas, books, videos, and devotionals, fulfilling the AIO promise to help kids discover, imagine, and grow.

This summer, Adventures in Odyssey is joining with Christian bookstores across the country, inviting kids to participate in a Summer of Service. They’re promoting the biblical message, “When you serve, everybody wins,” encouraging kids to serve their families, their communities, and their world. Whether it’s baking cookies for an elderly neighbor or putting together a care package for missionaries overseas, kids will discover that serving can be a blast!

How the A.C.T.S. (A Call to Service) challenge and contest works:

Kids who join A.C.T.S. can pick up a service log and collect fun character stickers for hours served at participating bookstores throughout the summer, or download a serving log online at whitsend.org.  At the end of the summer, kids can record and upload a short video telling how they serve and why they’d like to become an Adventures in Odyssey Ambassador.

A hundred winners will get the brand new AIO Album, and after online voting, two grand prize winners (one boy and one girl) will get to travel on an exciting Good-Goers Mission Based Adventure trip to another country with a parent!  The out-of-country destination will be announced on a live podcast May 22—hosted by AIO actors Katie Leigh (Connie) and Chris Anthony (Chris)—which you can watch at whitsend.org/acts. You don’t want to miss it!

Just to show you some love you can download a free mp3 file of the AIO Service episode, Business of Busyness as well as the free PDF download of summer service ideas for kids.   Enjoy!

What will you be doing with your kids this summer to serve?  I look forward to hearing some fun ideas!  God Bless!!!

Three Ways You Are A Leader in Everyday Life … and how to be a better one

Tricia Goyer is one of my favorite authors and I have the privilege to be able to have her here as a guest blogger!  Her most recent book, which you might have heard me talk about, is called “Lead Your Family Like Jesus.”  It is a book written by her, Phil Hodges and Ken Blanchard.  You can see the first of my three reviews here, “Lead Your Family Like Jesus.”

LeadYourFamily_1.99In her guest blog with us she is going to discuss what it means to be a leader and how to be a better one.  I hope you are truly blessed by her wisdom and for a limited time you can get her book on Kindle for only $1.99 which is an amazing deal.  Without further hesitation, here is Tricia.

Three Ways You Are A Leader in Everyday Life … and how to be a better one

Many people are confused about the term “family leader.” As I’ve blogged about moms being leaders I’ve had both men and women pipe up, “But wait, the man’s supposed to be the leader in the home, right?” Yes, but women are leaders, too, in many ways you may not realize.

1.  You are a Leader in Your Role As Spouse. Yes, friends, I believe in the “S” word … submission. I believe God has called men to be the spiritual head of the home, and the one to care for and provide for his wife and family and lead the family unit. I believe wives come under their headship in willing submission … yet women are leaders too.

Any time you strive to guide the thoughts, behavior or direction of another person we are a leader! Or as John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

Go ahead, read that again. Mom, you are a leader! Wife, you are a leader! Your thoughts and attitudes guide your closest relationships. Family leadership can be as intimate as offering words of guidance and encouragement to a discouraged loved one, or it can be as directive as issuing specific instructions on how to drive the family car.

2.  You are a Leader in Your Community. A man or a woman’s position as a family leader also extends beyond the four walls of the home. Just think of your roles at your work, at your child’s school, and in your neighborhood. Influence can also be exhibited in your roles as church volunteers and community leaders. These are important roles in our every day life, especially since many couples today are often not well-connected with siblings and parents. Many families are spread out, living far from extended family members. This causes many couples to create their own “family units” with like-minded friends. These are the people they vacation with and spend free time with. Seeking God in roles is important because it’s then couples realize they can be a positive influence in their church and community outside of their own home.

3.  You are a Leader in Your Extended Family. Sometimes this is the hardest place to be a leader. We can’t choose our relatives, and sometimes the relationships with parents, siblings, aunts, uncle and cousins can be the hardest. Often people are put into “roles” within their family. Yet in your actions and reactions you are showing leadership—whether you like it or not.

In each of these areas … you make an impact!

As a leader you …

  • Build enduring relationships within the home that can have far-reaching impact beyond the home
  • Set the basic direction of life values, character development and relational behavior
  • Involve seasons of personal sacrifice to promote the spiritual and physical well-being of others
  • Sustain love, loyalty, trust, mercy, forbearance, forgiveness, and sacrifice
  • Mature and grow
  • Foster values of love, compassion, trust, commitment, honesty, and grace within its members.

Think your role as a leader doesn’t matter? Think again. The #1 way you can be a better leader in each of these areas is to pray.

Today take a few minutes to pray for your role as a leader.

Pray for your leadership in your family.
Pray for your leadership in your church.
Pray for your leadership in your neighborhood.
Pray for your leadership at work and school.
Pray that God will show you how to lead.
Pray you will submit to His leadership in your life.

The impact we can have in the lives of people around us can’t be underestimated … and only prayer prepares us for the work ahead!

Leader Everyday Life Photo 2

Lead Your Family Like Jesus

I have an 8 year old daughter and as her mother I love her dearly.  She is an only child and sometimes my husband and I are not sure what the best approach is to dealing with different things that we go through as parents when it comes to raising a Godly girl.  She is a great kid and we don’t have major issues, but as a parent I always want to do the very best that I can to raise her in the way she should go… in God’s ways 🙂

Lead Your Family Like Jesus: Powerful Parenting Principles from the Creator of FamiliesI love reviewing books and finding gems where I had not expected them.  I was very blessed to have been asked to review the book “Lead Your Family Like Jesus” by Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges and Tricia Goyer.  I love Tricia and her books but wasn’t quite sure about this one because I have never read anything by the other two co-authors of this book.

I have to say at the beginning that this book is amazing!

What I love the most about it is that it is written with three points of view, with both sexes represented.  I love this because dads and moms can see things differently sometimes and this approach covers the different perspectives and points of view very well!

Note: I will be writing multiple blogs about this book because it is so rich that I want to share with you all without creating such a long post that none of you get to the end 😉

While reading the first thing that really struck me was this comment in the introduction, “God has gifted you with your children.  Will you nurture them with a servants heart, as Mary and Joseph nurtured Jesus?”  How often do we feel like the all powerful parent that needs to be in charge, instead of… the servant parent that wants to help our children grow and become exactly what God intends them to be, not what we intend them to be?  I often only want my daughter to do what I want her to do, instead of taking the time to see her perspective and serving her the way I should.  That doesn’t mean she gets away with things, but it means I need to look at how and why she is doing what she is doing and why I act the way I do.

Am I seeking to serve God and the well-being of my family members, or am I seeking my own self-interest?”  Often, it is my own interests that I am protecting.

Another thing I loved was when Ken talked about things that are Important Forever or Temporary Stuff.  When going through your day trying to figure out what is most important ask this question, is this important forever or is it just temporary stuff?  It really opens your eyes to all the things we focus on that are not really important.  Do I want my daughter to remember all the house work I do, or the chores that got done if something happens to me, or do I want her to remember that no matter what was going on, she came before all the stuff and that I loved her deeply and unconditionally?

There are so many incredible nuggets in this book.  I will be sharing more with you soon.  I highly recommend getting this book and taking the time to create a plan on how to make an eternal  difference in your kids life.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Litfuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are honest and my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner.

Enter to WIN an iPad Mini from @TriciaGoyer & RSVP for a Live Webcast Event

Celebrate the release of Lead Your Family Like Jesus with Tricia by entering her iPad Mini Giveaway and RSVPing for the Lead, Momma Lead LIVE Webcast Event (with MomLife Today’s Tracey Eyster) on April 16th.

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One winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini
  • A Tricia Goyer library

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 15th. Winner will be announced at the “Lead, Momma Lead” Live Webcast Event on April 16th. Connect with authors and everyday moms, Tricia Goyer and Tracey Eyster, for an evening of sharing and perspective-changing encouragement for leading your family. Tricia and Tracey will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Lead Your Family Like Jesus and join Tricia and Tracey on the evening of April 16th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 16th!