Thursday, February 28, 2013

Childhood Memories

What's your favorite childhood memory?

If you asked me, it would depend on your definition of childhood. When I was 6 and under it was spending time with my grandpa. All my memories with him are great ones. He would take us to the corner store and buy us ice cream and bubble gum. We would visit him at his meat locker and have coffee break with him (you know, 80% milk, 10% sugar, and 10% coffee). We would ride bikes around the town square - him on his adult tricycle and me with my training wheels side-by-side. He was an artist, so we would paint pictures together (or he would make me think I was helping anyways) and watch Bob Ross. He was constantly spouting off this one poem that annoyed me to no end at the time - but I would give anything to remember the words now.

Fast forward to my high school years, my favorite memory would actually be the summer before my junior year in high school. I had the best friend a girl could dream of, we did everything together. She lived 30 miles away, but I would pick her up for Sunday night church and youth group on Wednesdays and we spent a ton of time together. We went swimming in her pond, got my car stuck in the mud on a dirt road, and stayed up all night talking about everything - including my dislike of peas. We were like two peas in a pod - only I liked it.

So all of this reminiscing has made me wonder what my children will remember when they grow up. Will they remember grandparents that would travel any distance just to spend time with them? Family camping trips? The hikes that we use to go on in Colorado? Will their favorite memory be Wednesday night youth group? Reading books together before bed? Or the times when they are free from their parents as I have heard from so many others I've talked to?

I know that I can't control their favorite memories, but I can do my best to make sure that they grow up with good memories. I'm far from the perfect mother, but one of the things I love most about my family is that we know we love each other and God. And that reminds me of a YouTube video by Voddie Baucham called "Creating A Godly Legacy" apparently in the 3 years since I last watched it it has been removed from YouTube - sad - but I was able to pull up the outline in an online search. You can download it here. And then I found the DVD and went ahead and bought it too (I love tax return time).

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Life of Gratitude: Free Kindle Book & Giveaway

By Shelley Hitz

About the Book:

A Life of Gratitude: How to Overcome Self-Pity and Negativity During a season of transition in my life, I found myself overwhelmed with negative emotions like self-pity and a complaining spirit. It was as if a dark cloud had descended over me. I prayed and asked God for wisdom on how to overcome these negative emotions. As I did, I sensed Him leading me to do a 21 day gratitude challenge. Over the course of the 21 days, God began to change me as I spent intentional time being grateful for all I had been given. I did this through writing in my journal each day and also sending a hand-written thank you note to someone different each day. This also led me to writing out 21 prayers of gratitude and compiling 21 stories of gratitude. I want to share what I learned with you in the pages of this book which includes:
  • 21 Days of Gratitude Challenge
  • 21 Prayers of Gratitude
  • 21 Stories of Gratitude

What to Expect On Each Day:

  • Read my personal stories, struggles and reflections.
  • Read one scripture and one quote about gratitude.
  • Apply one personal application step from the challenge.
  • Read one prayer of gratitude
  • Read one story of gratitude
Get Accountability and Encouragement Along with the 21 day challenge, I also started a private Facebook group to provide accountability and encouragement for myself but also for others who decide to join me in the challenge. You will get access to this group as well. It has been amazing to see God at work in each of our lives. Will you join me on this journey to gratitude?  

FREE on Kindle 2/27/13 & 2/28/13)

Shelley Hitz 

Shelley HItz
Shelley Hitz is an award-winning and international best-selling author. Her openness and vulnerability as she shares her own story of hope and healing through her books will inspire and encourage you. Shelley has been ministering alongside her husband, CJ, since 1998. They currently travel and speak to teens and adults around the country. Shelley's main passion is to share God's truth and the freedom in Christ she has found with others. She does this through her books, websites and speaking engagements.
Follow Shelley Hitz 
Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Shape-Up Update

It's crazy how fast life flies by - and even more-so how quickly it changes. I'm still working on operation shape-up, but it's taken some turns that I hadn't expected. So here's just a few of the things that have been going on:

I've been working with for years now. It's a ministry for teen girls - my main job is writing and editing devotionals for teen girls. It's a great ministry and I love doing it. They published the first book that I ever contributed to, and Shelley is just wonderful. I knew God wanted me to put aside some of the things I was doing to make more time for ministry, so I had begun doing more volunteer work for Christian authors... this was my solution - not God's. Sure, I believe it still has a part in what I will do, but it wasn't what He was calling me to do. He's asked me to give up being an author's assistant and start writing full time. I argued with Him a bit about this. Being an author's assistant is what my whole life revolved around. Asking me to cut that out felt like God was asking me not breathe - I've since come to realize that that is exactly why He asked me to do it. I was too caught up in helping other authors, and left no time to serve Him. Besides the fact that I just bought my first website and was setting it up as a place to set up my author services, God has given me an amazing peace about this. Yes - things will have to change. I have to let my clients know they need to find someone else to work with, I'm struggling with honoring commitments and obeying God's call immediately.

Besides giving up my identity, God has also called me to start a brother ministry to I get e-mails all of the time from people looking for devotionals for teen boys like the ones we offer for girls. I've always said that as a girl, this wasn't something I could help them with, but God has led me to His will. I'm managing the ministry and Mr. Amazing and Shelley's husband are going to help with the content. It's in progress, and I'll let you know when it's up and running. :)

I'm working on reading my Bible and running daily. I've been doing so more frequently than I was before, but I have yet to figure out a routine that actually works for me.

I did make a decision about my vitamins though! Instead of forcing myself to take generic, good for you vitamins, Mr. Amazing helped me pick out vitamins that are specifically what I need. Our family is routinely getting sick, so he got me some vitamin C capsules. My blood-sugar has been acting wonky again (this comes and goes as I have hypoglycemia) so he got me some cinnamon capsules. And then last year when I was having issues with my energy levels, someone (like 5 someones) told me to take magnesium - so I've started taking those again.

...I think that might be it! It's a process, but at least I'm on the path God has set before me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Operation Shape Up - Day #1

You know those silly fantasies you have? You know, like thinking your life would be better if only...? If only you had more undisturbed work time. If only you were in a better financial situation. If only____________... you get the picture. I've had a lot of 'if only's in my life. I've also had a lot of times that I looked forward to something that was going to happen, because it had become an 'if only' in a matter of speaking. Such as, after I move, I'll read my Bible everyday, have a clean house, and be caught up for work. It sounds unreasonable now - now that I'm there and realize there are even fewer hours in the day than before. Between shuttling the kids to and from school, unpacking boxes, and everything else that I need to do each day it feels like I will never get caught up.

Commence Operation Shape Up 

I've decided to start getting life under control now. Not when the next big things happen, but just starting where I am - right now.

There are several things that I'm wanting to work on, but here's a few:

  • Reading My Bible Daily - I've actually been doing really well at reading the "Jesus Calling" devotional book every day this year, but not so good about actual Bible reading.
  • Eating Healthy - Okay, I'm not a health nut and never will be, but I do know that eating smart is good for you in more ways than one. I need to focus to accomplish the work I need to do each day, and eating smart and drinking water instead of soda is just one small step to being more alert and having more energy.
  • Exercising Daily - I sit at my desk all day everyday. There's not much activity involved in that. I get up to walk to the car to take the kids to school or fix supper, but regular exercise isn't part of my routine - but it needs to be. It's part of that energy thing I mentioned - not to mention that we just had to spend a bundle of money on new clothes for me because I out grew my old ones. *hides face in shame*
  • Prioritizing Projects - My priorities have been a bit mixed up. Work wise, I keep taking on new clients before finishing up bigger projects that are over due - that has to stop. I've begun turning away clients until I'm all caught up - not easy by the way. I've also noticed that because I'm so far behind on work projects, that my family is suffering. I've tried set work hours in the past, and that just doesn't work for me. But I do need to prioritize my family over my job.
  • Expanding My Horizons - I've been a bit stuck in my own little work these past few months. I've let friendships fall by the weigh-side. I've found my comfort zone (that's not overly comfortable) and determined to stay right where I am - I think this was a subconscious decision, but I'm consciously deciding to change it. 
So, those are the 5 steps involved in Operation Shape Up. I'm bound and determined to shape up my life. Today is off to an okay start. I got up and made my family breakfast and fixed Mr. Amazing's lunch. I even ate breakfast myself - highly unusual for me. And I'm even drinking water - anyone who knows me personally can tell you what a feat that is all on it's own. I worked out on my new elliptical machine... Okay, that part didn't go very well. After 5 minutes of running my chest was burning and I couldn't breath. I had intended to listen to an audio book (expanding my horizons with my new Kindle), while I ran, but it took the whole 5 minutes to download. In the past - 6 years ago past - I have found that if I have something to watch or listen to while running, it takes my mind off of the workout and allows me to get more done.

Now, off to read my Bible and take some vitamins :)

*Updated to add:

Those vitamins were NASTY! We got them at the Vitamin Cottage before we moved from Denver. They're called "Wellness Formula" - I bought them for Mr. Amazing, though I don't remember why...They have a ton of good stuff in them - like garlic, elderberry fruit extract, ginger root, and vitamin C.

I'm suffering from a Kidney infection, so I took the 3 horse pills that it said would correct any bodily imbalance (it recommends taking this dose every three hours until your better... I don't think so). I'll stick to the normal 1 tablet daily from here on out. I had to break my water only kick to wash them down with some lemonade.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

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