Thursday, October 30, 2014

'Their Name is Today' * A Giveaway

We love our kids.

Our goal as parents, family members, teachers, coaches, and counselors?

We're probably all in agreement that our kids need plenty of unstructured play time and creative space to savor childhood's wonder and joys.  This pure and simple gift paves the way for them to grow into healthy, confident adults ... productive, thoughtful men and women of integrity, character, and godliness who impact the generations to come.

To help get them to that place requires a careful, wise appraisal of the myriad of influences on their lives.
The culture's incessant presence and pull. The push to grow up way too fast.  The obsession with technology and the ever present screens. Standardized testing in this age of academic pressure.  Overexposure to marketing.  Overstimulation.  And overdiagnosis. 

Johann Christopher Arnold's volumes on education, parenting, and relationships have impacted more than a million readers.  His brand new book THEIR NAME IS TODAY - RECLAIMING CHILDHOOD IN A HOSTILE WORLD is must reading for all who interact with the next generation.

I have a copy for one reader.  Please weigh in on this urgent pivotal issue by leaving a comment on this post by Thursday, November 6th at 6pm {eastern} and you'll be in the running for this giveaway.  {US & Canada only.}
Because many things can wait.  But our children cannot ...
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):
Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own
and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.

Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Monday, October 27, 2014

Click . Click . Click

Odd, isn't it, that just when the ol' flip-top phone was on its last legs, the ancient camera gave up the ghost.  In recent days, this technologically un-savvy girl has been forced to break in a new phone, figuring out on an 'as needed' basis how the sleek, smart, high tech gizmo works.
The best part?  The camera.  I'm not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination.  But I do love capturing the most daily of moments ... even though a few family members whine and complain on occasion.

click  .  click  .  click
But annoyed as one or two may get when I jump out from hidden corners or intrude on their personal space, the whole taking pictures thing gets me really excited and makes me smile big.  As long as the lens isn't aimed at me.

Because what's true is this.
Each and every ordinary day comes laden with serendipitous moments that all too quickly come and then gently fade away.  And these elusive treasures will never be caught and held close again. 
The older I get, the more I'm aiming to focus my radar on what's happening around me right now.  Etch each image onto my heart space and squeeze it into that overloaded memory bank.

click  .  click  .  click
. . . this wonderful old windowless building is my hands-down favorite shot

. . . the birds quickly hid when they heard me rustling in the leaves
. . . the man is caught with a mouthful of butterscotch sundae

. . . these big fat babies didn't whine when I made my appearance

. . . did the little ones really stand still long enough to capture this moment in time?
~   click  .  click  .  click   ~

celebrating life with Kristen  *  Holley  *  Leigh

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Zealous Joy

Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God's energy, an energy deep within you, God Himself willing and working at what will give Him the most pleasure.
Do everything readily and cheerfully - no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God.
Philippians 2 {The Message}

Dear Lord ~
We want to live fully alive, filled with the energetically zealous joy of Your Spirit!  May we always be aware that anything of beauty we have to offer comes from Your sacred hand.  It's nothing we've drummed up.  It's You, simply overflowing out of souls that are blazing with a delightfully passionate love for You.
Send us out into our world with a powerful radiance, a compelling purity that can't help but be noticed.  Not because we're odd or weird, but because YOU SHINE, God.  And that miraculous glory, even in these most imperfect frames, cannot be denied.
In Jesus Name ~
~~> sharing His joy @ Courtney's

Friday, October 24, 2014

Goodies * autumn nesting delights




Congrats, ladies! 

If you didn't win {sniff, sniff}, you can buy your copy here.


Every reader who left a comment on an autumn nesting delights house party post
receives a FREE 30 minute blog coaching session by phone!

Yes, FREE.

What's blog coaching?

Whether your blog is lagging, flying high,
or you're thinking hard about starting your own online space,
I'd love to ask you the questions to help YOU discover
where you might want to go in this next season!

Email me to set up your FREE session!


the house party overview
{on not being a party pooper}

day 1  *  housewarming
{ a Psalm & a swing}

day 2  *  transitions
{navigating the uncertainty}

day 3  *  feathering
{I so loved writing this}

day 4  *  wildflowers
{life's fragile}

day 5  *  makeover
{your hands down favorite}

day 6  *  scones

day 7  *  dwell
{the biggest sabbath celebration}

day 8  *  slumber
{sleep tight}

day 9  *  wardrobe
{the most fun conversation}

day 10  *  builders
{wisdom living}

day 11  *  pets

day 12  *  haven
{a most important invitation}

It's been a blast!  

And coming in the next few weeks ... 2 family-focused book giveaways!

If you enjoyed the party, I sure hope you'll subscribe!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Haven * autumn nesting delights

Our homes are meant to be welcoming havens,
not secured fortresses.
These scuffed doors are just begging to be opened wide,
not bolted shut.
Those tables are designed be generously shared,
not surfaces to display a lonesome centerpiece.

We were created to do life in the company of others.  There is that deep cry of the heart to live in community, to be fully present to those God brings onto our pathways, to open our doors to fellow sojourners in need of safe harbor.  This simple offering of ourselves, our bread, and a resting place is a most sacred calling.

And the beauty of it all is that there's not one right way to live this out. 

We've each got our own quirky personality, special giftedness, unique life story, and housing situation.  The practical hands-on application of living out this call to hospitality will sparkle and shine with our own individual imprint. 
We've been hoodwinked along the way by the glossy magazine spreads and the way-too-perfect Pinterest pins.  We have gullibly bought the lie that our homes must be immaculate and decorated 'just so' before we put the welcome mat out.  But that's simply not biblical.  We are called, dare I say, commanded, to open our hearts to the worn and weary. 
1 Peter 4:9 tells us to 'cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.'  Other translations include the clear warning to do so without grumbling.
And that joy, my friend, is the secret. 
Simply put, God absolutely loves when we grab hold of these cheerful giving opportunities.  The offering of a safe haven to another soul is a gift back to Him, the overflowing of a grateful heart that has experienced grace and blessing.  Even, and especially, when it's been a long week or we don't have much more than a can of soup in the cupboard.  Or when there's dust on every surface and piles are strewn from here to there.

That's when His grace kicks in and His power is displayed.  Because it's all about Him and not about us.

The truth is this ... 
Somebody, somewhere, needs something that only you can offer.
And He, the Multiplier of the most ordinary of loaves and fish, is able to take our feeble offerings and turn them into priceless, life-altering, abundant gifts for a weary heart that needed the listening ear and the prayerful companionship that only you could give.
Because when all is said and done, the roof over our heads and the bread on our tables are not ours.
They're His.

* * * GIVEAWAY UPDATE! * * *

Every comment you're leaving during this autumn nesting delights house party puts you in the running for one of the two giveaways of Myquillyn Smith's book, THE NESTING PLACE.

And like any decent party, there's going to be a goodie bag waiting for EVERYONE
who's joined in the discussion along the way!

There's still plenty of room at the table for YOU to join in the discussion!  The giveaway ends Friday, October 24th at noon {eastern. US only, please.}  Here's the details of the giveaway and links to all the posts.


sharing life with Holley

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pets * autumn nesting delights

There's no four-footed furry creatures padding around our place. 
The man was traumatized when he was a little guy as dogs chased him down the street, nipping at his fast-moving heels on his daily trek home from school.
And there's nothing with blue and white wings obsessively gnawing on the window sills like they used to, no black silken coats sidling up to be stroked.  There's not a creature that barks {unless one of us has had a particularly gruesome day} and if one of us is wide awake at night, we can't put the blame on some wee rodent endlessly racing on a squeaky wheel.

There's no Oreo or Ariel.  No Piper or Josie or Chirpie or Spice who call these four walls their home.
But ... there are ducks.

Four of them to be exact.

The good news is that they don't bear our last name, but our neighbors'.  And I just love it when they come to call.

Whether they're slowly waddling around like they own the place or gleefully chasing each other across the lawn, one goes nowhere without the other three in tow.  And I can't help but believe that they really seem to enjoy visiting with us before merrily heading back down the driveway toward home where they belong.

Their not-too-early morning quackings are music to my ears.  Really.  Their zany group dynamics are amusing for this counselor to behold.  And best yet?

We don't have to feed them.  Clean up their messes.  Pay their vet bills.  Or do a blessed thing except sit back and enjoy their antics.

Quack.  Quack.

As we were all hanging around talking about our wardrobes the other day, Andrew happened to mention that he was enjoying the company of his 17 pit bulls ... 'kinda like big happy throw pillows,' he mused. 

So ... this online welcome mat is out for you and your pets!  Do tell us about your animals!

*    *    *    GIVEAWAY UPDATE!    *    *    *
Every comment you're leaving during this autumn nesting delights house party puts you in the running for one of the two giveaways of Myquillyn Smith's book, THE NESTING PLACE.
And like any decent party, there's going to be a goodie bag waiting for EVERYONE
who's joined in the discussion along the way!
I just can't wait! 
There's still plenty of room at the table for YOU to join in the discussion!  The giveaway ends Friday, October 24th at noon {eastern.  US only, please.}  Here's the details of the giveaway and links to all the posts. 
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