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Monday, January 27, 2014

(in)courage Community Groups Want You

Look at these beautiful faces here!!  Seriously, just look!  They are pastor's wives, military wives, moms of teens, fitness fanatics, mentors, survivors, writers, artists - (in)couragers!!!!  And this isn't everyone.  There are nearly 1000 other women with room for more.  We want you!

The four of us below have been working with women for months to prepare for today and your arrival.  We'd love for you to join us, to share your story with us, and encourage each other through whatever season you might find yourself facing right now.  What's that?  You thought you were the only one dealing with ______ (fill in the blank).  Oh, no, friend, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Thanks to the lovely Tonya Salomons for this.
We have 57 different groups that meet on Facebook.  You can find kindred spirits, soul sisters, girls who get it.  Get you!  Who knows, you might even become friends in real life.  I love the ladies in these pictures and didn't know a blessed single one of them 2 years ago!  Community is a funny thing like that!

I am doubly blessed!  I get to work behind the scenes with all the (in)couragers, but will also be leading a group with the lovely Cindy Bolt - Feeding Body & Soul.  We know that living well takes more than just exercise or healthy food.  We need to have that balance where we are nourishing all of who we are.  We'd love to have you join us on our journey this session.  Registration begins today.  Hop on over to the (in)courage website to learn more about all of the community groups and find your place with us.

Top and bottom photos are from the (in)courage website and fill my heart with joy!

Have you been in an (in)courage Community Group before?  Will this be your first session with us?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Five Minute Friday – Encouragement

Joining today with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday.  The rules are simple: one word, five minutes, no over-thinking or editing, link-up, visit and comment on at least the one who linked up ahead of you, invite others to join.  Here we go.....

Encouragement (and why it's hard)

This is the heavy lifting.  Where we hold each other up, often out of our own weakness.  It’s where arms and hands and voices are lifted high from our knees, and the dusty floor, and the depths of our own drudgery.

Encouragement is the atta girl we give, when sometimes we just need to hear the words out loud for ourselves.  To have the words enter through our eyes and ears and somehow make their way into our own hearts.

It’s not easy pouring water from a colander.  We have leaky lives and the filling can be near futile.  Encouragement is the duct tape that covers.  It’s the wonderspray that makes a boat out of screen doors.  And then we float.  We aren’t regal or indestructible, but we are seaworthy for those moments that we are afraid we might sink.

The thing about encouragement, it’s not self-administered.  We need others to do that job for us and often the asking is the first hard step.

If you are in need of encouragement I have two great opportunities for you.  First, join an (in)Courage CommunityGroup.  Registration starts on January 27. Get connected through the Facebook page to get all the details.

Second, for the flesh-on-flesh, in your neighborhood, look you in the eye kind, sign up today for the (in)RL meetups happening all over this spinning globe April 25-26.

I can tell you this for certain; my life has changed because of both of these.

Do you find it harder to give encouragement or ask for it?  Maybe both?

photo credit: peasap via photopin cc

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Everyday Confetti: Review

Disclosure:  I was provided a free copy of this book to review, as always, opinions, success and failures are entirely my own. This post may contain affiliate links.

I confess that I am a poor celebrator.  I have Pinterest boards full of cupcakes and appetizers, DIY gift and wrappings.  However, when it comes to delivering or making someone else feel special, I tend to fall flat.

I was excited to be offered the chance to review Everyday Confetti by Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer, two of the women behind the amazing Proverbs 31 Ministries.  The back cover sums it up for me.

“Got a calendar packed with reasons to celebrate but a brain that lacks ideas?
Special people you want to love on but limited time to do it?

Relax.  We’ve got you covered.”

This is me!

This book sparks creativity for finding the ordinary moments to celebrate while providing practical, concrete tips and even recipes for those holidays and special days that return every year with the turn of the calendar page.

The division into two distinct parts: Everyday Celebrations and Holidays Throughout the Year, make this a handy resource to grab for whichever occasion you have just over the horizon (or even looming at the end of your week).  There are even ideas for holidays and events you may have never considered celebrating.  Presidents’ Day plans got you down?  How about serving the dessert John and Abigail Adams served when they opened the White House to the public on New Years Day in 1801 (p.78) or Thomas Jefferson’s Fricassee Chicken (p.79).

These are the gems you find hidden in this book along with personal reflections from other women from Proverbs 31 Ministries.

I am barely finished unpacking from holiday travels when it is time to celebrate my son’s birthday.  This year was special because it was GOLDEN.  We celebrated 5 years on the 5th of January.  I got a great idea from the book about incorporating 5s into the celebration throughout the day.  

There were 5 munchkins from Dunkin Donuts, 

5 of his favorite cookies from our local Italian restaurant to go with his favorite pizza. 

He got 5 presents in a stack.  

I’m not the biggest planner, so the 5 balloons didn’t materialize.  I didn’t realize that the store I’d planned on getting them from (beside the pizza joint) didn’t actually have balloons.  LIKE EVERY OTHER STINKING GROCERY STORE IN TOWN!  Le sigh…. But the little boy thought it was great fun – and that was the point – celebrating him.

I highly recommend adding Everyday Confetti to your kitchen library today!  MLK Jr. Day, Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras are right around the corner! 

Laissez le bon temps rouler!!

How do you celebrate the special days?

Everyday Confetti is available now from Revell at your favorite bookseller.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Five Mintue Friday - Fight the Good Fight


Fight the Good fight

Fight Dirty

You've gotta fight... for your right... to ... PAR-TY!!!

That's what pops into this little head when I hear the word fight.  Right now there are neighbors outside my door fighting the single digit wind chill and the hard packed snow to clear off a patch of sidewalk or their vehicle.

What am I doing?  I'm fighting human trafficking inside in a warm fleece pull-over and a pair of jeans!

How, you may ask, am I dong that?  I'm joining with others in #JEANuary2014 to raise awareness for FreeSet Global and their work rescuing women and girls trafficked into the sex trade in Kolkata, India by wearing jeans the entire month of January.

You can help by shopping!!  What?  An excuse and place to spend that Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket?  Yes, please!

I have 2 of their t-shirts that I absolutely love.  They have never twisted!!  I can't stand that in a t-shirt!

There are bangles, bags, and shirts (on, my) to choose from - all great quality - all for the purpose of freedom.

It's a fight you can feel good about!!

Go now!

Follow me on Instagram and others under #JEANuary2014 #shopFreeset

I'm linking with a brave tribe of free writers today hosted by our own Chieftain, Lisa-Jo Baker.  No rules save these three: just write with abandon for five minutes (unedited), link-up, and encourage the one before you and as many others as you'd like!