Friday, December 19, 2014

The Countdown

As I write this, Christmas is just six days away. My shopping is practically done, I haven't started wrapping anything yet, and I never got the Christmas cards done. Looks like friends and family might get a New Year's greeting from us this year! Even though it might all sound crazy, I'm not complaining or worried. And no, I'm not on any medication. 

I'm trying to calm things down so I can actually enjoy this Christmas with my family, and it's been fairly successful so far. We've chosen to make our girls' focus Christ this year which means we're cutting back on the number of gifts under the tree and talking more about why we celebrate. Besides the financial benefits our decision offers, it's also taken some pressure off of Charles and I. I got confirmation that it was working when Emily included a message in her family prayer about us all remembering the reason we celebrate - not presents, but Jesus. It was such a great moment!

I hope you don't think that I'm sitting over here calm as a cucumber with no concerns or stresses. This holiday season has been just as stressful as others. I decided to make all the teacher and friend gifts this year to save us some money. Over the last few weeks I've made 18 pints of apple butter and more cookies than I care to look at ever again. I've also supervised homemade gifts for grandparents and other family members and released my latest book, in case I didn't have enough to do! 

I got my idea for cutting back from another blog, Momastery, written by Glennis Melton. Each year she finishes all of her Christmas shopping by December 1 so that her family can spend the month enjoying each other and celebrating the holiday. Since I didn't read her blog post until December, my shopping wasn't even started, but I loved the way they do presents in her family. Each kid gets four things: One you want, one the world needs, one you wear, and one you read. I modified this for our family and changed "one the world needs" to "one you need." In the future we might change it, but this works better for us. 

I made up papers for the girls to give me ideas, and boy has it simplified things! We still do Santa, so we didn't get away with only four gifts, but we've limited the Santa gifts already, and we won't be inundated on Christmas morning. I feel good that the girls will end up with things they truly want and need. And I get to enjoy my holiday with the family!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

An Early Christmas Gift for My Readers

This post won't be long or involved. It's just a quick reminder that all three of my books in Kindle format are free on December 11 and 12. If you would like to have any or all of these titles, now is the time to pick them up - you can't beat the price! 

Give yourself and your family an early Christmas present that won't break the budget! 

Here are the links to the books:
Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman: Learning to Lose the Intimidation

I'm Looking for God Today

Daddy, What Does Faith Look Like?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Finally, A Post!

I need to apologize to those of you who read my blog posts because I haven't posted in so long. I have been productive with my time, but obviously I haven't been blogging. I am excited to tell you that my third book is done and published as of December 6! Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman: Learning to Lose the Intimidation" is my first ladies' Bible study book, and I'm quite proud of it. 

I wrote this study between 2011 and 2012, and it's taken me this long to get it ready for publication. Writing a weekly study for your ladies group is much easier than adapting that study for mass publication. I had to spend time beefing up each lesson since I won't be sitting with each person as they go through the book. Then the editing process began which always takes longer when it's your own. I love editing other peoples' work, but I dread looking at my own. That step took longer than it should have, but I can only look at my own words so much before they all blend together into alphabet soup!

If you've been looking for a good, meaty Bible study to do on your own or with your group, I highly recommend this book. Each of the women involved in the initial study with me got a lot out of it and noted positive changes in their lives. I decided to study the Proverbs 31 Woman and the characteristics that make her special as well as the things that make her intimidating to women everywhere. 

The book delves into several aspects of her character: her fear of the Lord, self-control, virtue, kindness, compassion, sense of responsibility, resourcefulness, willingness to work hard, high energy level, wisdom, and love. Throughout the study, readers get to explore each of the characteristics from a Biblical perspective and learn how to attain them in their lives. I use several scriptures in each chapter to give a clear picture of God's ideas about each concept. 

My goal with this book is to make you look at the Proverbs 31 Woman a little differently - not as an unattainable standard, but as a woman living her life for the Lord - and learn how to become a woman who fears the Lord today. I hope you'll pick up a copy for yourself and one for a friend this Christmas!