Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Issues! What issues?

Hi Everybody!

Well, I did read this beautifully written chapter 4 in Jennifer Rothschild's book Self Talk, Soul Talk, but I just can't find words or time to share what God is speaking.

Stop by Lelia's blog to read more stories!

Life has been filled with twists and turns.

Our faith ~ growing.

Our belief in God's provision ~ stronger than ever.

Our eyes ~ focused on our Savior.

Our soul talk ~ Positively Scripture.

Our future ~ In God's Hands.

I will be by to read all of your insights this weekend

and maybe even add more of my own.

God is doing Great Things!

Considering It All Joy!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Christian Writer's Book Review

As someone who is committed to writing I couldn't help but participate in this Writer's/Book Review Blog Tour.

For 24 years running, the Christian Writers’ Market Guide has remained the most comprehensive, complete, essential, and highly-recommended resource for beginning and veteran Christian writers, agents, editors, publishers, publicists, and those teaching writing classes.

This year’s Guide is even handier with a CD-Rom included that features the full text of the book for easy searches of topics, publishers, and markets, as well as 100 pages of exclusive content including indexes and writing resource listings.

This is the resource you need to get noticed—and published.

Completely updated and revised to feature the latest on…
more than 1,200 markets for the written word
416 book publishers (32 new)
654 periodicals (52 new)
96 literary agents
100 new listings in Resources for Writers
226 poetry markets
316 photography markets
25 African-American markets
and 166 contests (29 new)

Sally E. Stuart is the author of thirty-six books and has sold more than one thousand articles and columns. Her long-term involvement with the Christian Writers’ Market Guide as well as her marketing columns for the Christian Communicator, Oregon Christian Writers, and The Advanced Christian Writer, make her a sought-after speaker and a leading authority on Christian markets and the business of writing. Stuart is the mother of three and grandmother of eight and lives near Portland, Oregon.

If you have a desire to write and be published, I highly recommend purchasing this year's Writer's Guide.

Here is where you can purchase YOUR copy:

Considering Writing A Joy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Record a New Message!

****Cindy Summers is having a
double mastectomy today 1/21~~~
Please pray for her,
her medical team and her family!
Update on Cindy
Surgery went well
Doctors believe they accomplished what they needed to
If all goes well she will go home on Thursday
Thank you for praying
Please continue to lift her up!
Sometimes you just Have to record a new message!

Continuing with our book study of Jennifer Rothschild's book:

Thanks to Lelia at WriteFromTheHeart for hosting Yes, to God Tuesday!

Tonight my thoughts are scattered!

It seems the past couple of weeks have been tornadic (my word)
in my brain and thoughts have run the gamut
from fear and trembling to peace and gratefulness.

When faced with crisis your true inner self is reflected.
I feel peace and I am grateful for all God has done.
I believe and in fact know that God is in control.
He has a plan and ultimately that plan will be fulfilled.

Somehow though, in the midst of peace,
the enemy continues to try and play those
old recorded messages he has told me in the past.
The ones that speak lies and bring fear and insecurity.

Today those old messages almost got the better of me.
Today I had thoughts unbecoming to a mature Godly woman.
Today the enemy almost won.

But today - God...

I love the conversation between Jennifer and Patsy Clairmont
on pages 40 and 41.

"Jennifer: When did you figure that out - that you were being overly critical and telling yourself untruths? And how and when did you make a disciplined choice to stop?"

"Patsy: Well, I had so many people saying things to me that were in conflict with what I was saying to myself. One of us had to be wrong! So when I had more and more people saying the same positives to me, and my words were all negative, I had to stop and say, Everyone can't be wrong. Do I trust their judgment? And do I think they are wise? Am I willing to receive what they are saying is truth? If I am, then I have to change the messages in me."

That is when I realized that I needed to record a new message in my thoughts.

Tonight I take captive my thoughts and bring the into the obedience of Christ.

I read, hear and believe HIS WORD!

My God shall supply all my needs according to HIS riches in Christ Jesus!!!
Philippians 4:19

I am Considering Life with all it's twists, turns and thoughts...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Office Organization 101

Before we get to the organizational tips ~ I have a couple of updates and a prize to give away!!

First, Andrew has been back to the ophthamologist and the cornea has healed 40%. He goes back to the doctor today and we are believing God to hear that there will be NO permanent damage.

Second, Mark continues to be unemployed but we are continuing to believe that God works all things out for HIS Glory!!

Third, 'Never Say Diet' book giveaway!

And the winner is.......


Please email me and give me your address so I can get the books in the mail right away!

NOW, I am really excited:)

From the response I received through comments and emails ~ my first organizational post was well received. So here is another one.

I thought about how I feel this time of year when I walk into my office/craft room. January is always a messy time in this room. I remove all of my files and create new ones. I have piles everywhere. Therefore, I felt confident that this would be a great place to start.

Here are a couple of pile photos

Everything that needs to be kept or used for tax purposes goes into one box. This includes paystubs, mortgage payments, tithe information, auto insurance and fee statements, bank and financial statements, all utility bills, all medical bills and anything else I may need to refer back to.

After tax season I shred anything that I do not need to keep. This includes most utility bills, my hand written budget pages (except items which are tax deductible), and anything else I felt was important during the year but realized it really isn't. (Why do we keep so much paper?)

After everything has been pulled from the file cabinet I make new files. This year I actually chose to get new hanging files as well but I only do that every 3 or 4 years. Hanging folders are used for categories while regular files are used for subcategories.

IE: Category: Credit Cards
Sub-categories: Wells Fargo, Capital One, Choice, Kohl's Etc.

Whenever a bill comes in, I pay it and file the statement in it's file. At the end of the year everything is right where I need it for taxes.

I do this with all my paper needs.
I also keep one drawer for computer purchases and warranties.

I purchase a clear plastic file for each computer and label it. If I have any warranty issue or need to reboot the computer I just pick up that file and everything is in it.

In that drawe (photo below) I also keep all of our household warranties filed alphabetically.

Each year I go through those and discard anything we no longer own.

Now why do I start there?

I am preparing to organize a friends office next week.

I told her the best place to start is the file cabinet because if the file cabinet is cleaned out then we will have places to put all the paper stuff. After the papers are all put away we can focus on other things.

Getting paperwork in it's place is so helpful. It keeps you organized and prepared for tax season. There is nothing I hate more than having to search for something important when tax season rolls around.

I hope this was helpful to you. Please feel free to comment or email if you have any questions. I absolutely LOVE to talk about this subject. Next Friday I will continue with Office Organization 101.

Considering It All Joy!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Renewing My Thought Closet!

It is a pleasure to sit at my computer this evening with tears freely flowing down my cheeks as I prepare to share my heart on the second chapter of Self Talk, Soul Talk written by Jennifer Rothschild.

Our book study is hosted by Lelia of WriteFromTheHeart so if you would like to join in just check out her blog and link in. The ladies I have met during our Yes To God Tuesdays are absolutely wonderful.

Why is it a pleasure to have tears running down my face? Because a few short months ago I never would have allowed that to happen. Tears were banned from my life for 5 years - the enemy had stolen my joy and my tears. Today the joy is back and the tears flow freely. I am so blessed.

What do tears have to do with renewing my thought closet? Everything!!

My thought closet used to be filled with labels, half truths and rules that must be followed in order to 'be' the 'perfect' Christian leader. One sign that hung in my thought closet was "NO TEARS ALLOWED". No more - I am free.

My thought closet has been going through a cleansing for some time but just when I thought I had every negative thought brought captive into the obedience of Christ ~ WHAM ~ I got hit with trials and those negative thoughts have been bombarding my brain like bombs coming in from every direction.

What happened this week?

Friday, my husband was laid off work. Yikees! So many American's are in the same position. My thoughts were immediately focused on the question: "What are we going to do about insurance?" You see, my husband has had a kidney transplant and his medications are extremely expensive and then there are all those doctor visits and lab fees. It is one thing to cut back on extra expenses but you cannot cut back on medications necessary for the rejection of a kidney. Many of my thoughts have been: I shouldn't have spent money at Christmas, I should have saved more, I should have worked harder, what if we can't afford the meds and he dies, etc.

Now please understand that I trust God to work all things out for His glory and purposes. I believe this is all in His plan and was not a shock to Him. I am just relaying that my thought closet became congested with the negative for a few hours.

Since Friday, we have had major cutbacks at my office. It is very sad when you are the person who needs to make cuts to someone else's life and you start worrying about what they are going to do when you tell them their position has been cut or decreased. It has been an emotional week.

Today, I came home from an extremely long and difficult day at work to find out my oldest son was hit in the eye by some machine at work (don't ask because I don't know) and his cornea has been burned. He has been at the hospital all day and will see an ophthamologist in the morning. The doctors say that he will have permanant damage from the injury. We are praying the God will touch him.

The enemy would like nothing more than for me to just focus on the 'BAD' report and 'BAD' news we have received during the past 5 days.


Yes, But God...He is our provider, our healer, and the renewer of our thoughts . He is the one I choose to listen to tonight. He is the one I rest in.

The lies the enemy would have me think about tonight are:

1. You won't get insurance and your husband is going to die.

2. Your son will lose his eyesight

3. Your office will go under and you won't have a job.

4. You are fat, ugly, spend too much money, lazy, selfish, etc, ---fill in the blanks.

Jennifer asks: What Does The Truth Sound Like?

The Word tells me the truth sounds like this:

1. Mark will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. (Psalm 118:17)

2. And by His wounds Andrew's eyes are healed. (Isaiah 53:5b)

3. My God will meet all the needs of our work environment according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)

4. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Pslam 139:14)

I am fully aware that if I don't stay in God's Word my thought life will just sink into the depths of despair but I also know that by continuing to bask in the beautiful presence of the Lord and His glorious Word ~ my thoughts will become His thoughts!!!

No matter what I face in life I continue to stand on God's Word that teaches me to:

Consider It All Joy,

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Book Review and Giveaway!

It is time for my first book review and giveaway of 2009. I cannot believe how quickly time is passing me by. It seems fitting to begin the new year with this particular book. Since many of us make New Year's Resolutions and many times those resolutions have to do with losing weight what a perfect book for me to read and share with you.

After years of failed diet attempts, Chantel Hobbs discovered the missing ingredient to permanent weight loss: to change your life, you first have to change the way you think.
She developed a balanced plan for exercise and nutrition and lost two hundred pounds. Now, through writing, speaking, and her work as a personal trainer, she inspires others to achieve far more than they thought possible.

I wasn't so sure I was going to enjoy 'another' diet book however, this one is different. This is not just a book about what foods to eat and how to exercise. This book offers real answers to some of my most frustrating questions like: Why can't I keep the weight off once I lose it?

Chantel bears her soul and opens her life to us as she takes us on her journey, not just to weight loss, but to total health, mind, body and soul.

One of the things I realized while reading this book was that we live in a microwave, instant gratification society. We say YES to the pizza because it makes us feel good now instead of saying NO to the pizza and feeling great a few weeks, months or years down the road when we have lost the weight, kept it off, and feel fantastic. I know that realization will stick with me for years to come.

Chantel helps us to make 5 brain changes that will ultimately allow us to shed pounds forever. You have to change your mind before you can change your life.

This book is accompanied by the companion Personal Fitness Trainer. With scriptures and personal insight Chantel encourages us to get in shape in a 16 week scheule that will help us see food as a tool for health, exercise as something we enjoy and each day to be lived to the fullest.

If you have allowed those extra pounds to trap you in a body you are not comfortable with, I encourage you to purchase this set of books here.

Better yet, leave a comment and on Friday, January 16th I will hold a random drawing and you could win both books.

Considering It All Joy,

Thursday, January 8, 2009

National Organize Your House Day!

Many of you are learning that organization is one of my favorite things. I didn't know until today that they really have a "National Organize Your House" Day and it is today. I am going to have to mark this on my calendar for next year.

I would absolutely LOVE to be a professional organizer. What a joy to go into people's home and help them get organized so they can remove some of the stress from their lives. I believe it is a ministry and one I am praying about working toward.

But in the mean time, I thought I would share a few tips and even a few spur of the moment pictures from my own home.

I love boxes, bins, and baskets. I also love hooks, hangers, and ((HUGS)).

Tip number one is to do something everyday. Unless you have lots of time to spare it is usually too overwhelming to tackle a huge project like organizing your home. I suggest taking 15 minutes each day to tackle one small item.

Day 1 - Clean out your 'junk' drawer - yes, you know the one. Here is a picture of mine. Using small drawer trays really works to help keep everything in it's place.

Day 2 - Declutter and organize your laundry cabinet. In here I use bins for small light bulbs, shoe cleaners and brushes and extra laundry needs.

Day 3 - Spend 15 minutes going through your clothes closet - get rid of as many items as you can that you have not worn in the past year - oh, I know you have lots of those - so did I. I use a shoe cubbie in my closet and a shoe rack in the entry closet for sandles. My husband also added a shelf above the closet door for some of my purses.

Day 4 - Clean out one cabinet in your bathroom. Get rid of all those lotions and potions you NEVER use. I use bins in here also but I have purchased may plastic and wire shelves to get extra use out of 'shelfless' cabinets.

Day 5 - During the commercials of that program you are watching - clean out each section of your refrigerator. It only take a couple of minutes to do each shelf. Who needs to watch all those food commercials anyway.

Day 6 - Go through all the mail that has piled up on the table or in some other place it shouldn't be. Make sure you recycle all that horrible junk mail. Better yet - it only takes a couple minutes to go through you mail everyday - I go through my mail each day and keep an in box on my desk for things I must attend to that week. I toss everything else.

Day 7 - REST!!!

I have so many other tips and ideas so here's the deal. If this is something you are interested in reading and seeing pictures about just leave a comment and if enough people out there in blogland show and interest I will add posts like this one more often. It will help me really get more organized and learn how to take better photos.

By the way, though I love organizing, my home is not always in perfect shape and is sometimes even a mess. I suppose I should post a few of 'those' photos someday.
Considering Organization A Joy!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Yes To God Tuesday - Book Study!

Well, it is a new year and a new book study. Please check out Lelia's Blog to join us as we journey through Jennifer Rothschild's book: "Self Talk, Soul Talk".

I was excited to join in on this book study because I have been receiving Jennifer's Women's Ministries Newsletter for a couple of years and just love her outlook on life and ministering to women. If you purchase and read this book for nothing more than to read Jennifer's story it is worth it. She is an inspiration to anyone who really listens to her words.

Chapter 1 of this book "Not so well with my soul" is one I could relate to on several levels. If you were a part of our last Yes to God Tuesday study you are familiar with my story of carrying hurt and pain and understand that all was not well with my soul for a very long time. If you traveled the entire journey with us you also know that today all is well with my soul. For that I am truly grateful.

I have learned that the words we tell ourselves can build us up or keep us wallowing in self pity. I wallowed long enough and finally took the necessary steps to get out of the pit so I could see clearly and now walk on solid ground. Jennifer's words in chapter 1 are a confirmation of all that God has been speaking to my heart.

It does matter not only what we think and say to ourselves but also what we say to and about other people. Proverbs 18:21 speaks about the power of our tongue and the ability we have in it to speak life or death. I believe it is the same with our thought life. 2 Corinthians 10:5 also speaks about taking captive every thought that goes against Christ. Jennifer hit the nail on the head when she spoke about getting into the WORD and replacing her thoughts with God's truth!!!

I also loved the analogy about the Closet and cleaning out the clutter. I physically just did that on New Year's Day. My husband and I cleaned out our closet and gave away 4 huge bags of good clothes that we just don't need. It felt so good.

So now I will go into the closets of my mind and look around to see if there are any hidden or unnecessary thoughts hanging around that need to be replaced by Godly ones.

Until next week - Praying your closet gets cleaned out!!!

Considering It All Joy,

Saturday, January 3, 2009

It's A New Year!

Welcome 2009! Welcome Bloggy Friends!

I am so excited about the opportunities which are before all of us for a divine 2009!

2008 was a year of 1st in my life and at the same time a year of closures from past relationships, hurt and pain. God did some amazing things in my life in 2008.

We celebrated a huge milestone when my husband reached his '5' year anniversary of his kidney transplant. Gratefulness cannot even express how we feel. God is Awesome!

In May of 2008 I began this blog as a challenge from my counselor and ended up meeting some of the most precious women in the world. What started off as a challenge soon became one of God's tools in my complete healing. From the book study "Behind Those Eyes" to my final post of 2008 "He Held Them All" I am completely healed and whole in Jesus.

That realization has led me to ponder what my next step is for this blog and in doing so I have decided to make a few changes which I believe will allow this blog to be used as a tool in other people's lives. Here are a few things I plan for 2009.

  • There will be a running sidebar prayer list with links to blogs of family and friends who are struggling with health or other challenges in their lives. This list will continually be updated as I seek permission from individuals who need prayer.

  • I will be doing several book reviews this year. The first will be in 2 weeks (Never Say Diet by Chantel Hobbs) and each book review will have one free book giveaway along with information on how to purchase the book. Watch for details.

  • I will again participate in an on-line book study, the first of which begins January 6th. Check out Lelia's Blog for details and please join in, these studies are wonderful and life changing.

  • I will also be working on my first book. I will be posting questions during the year regarding the Church in America. I won't give away too many details yet but I am publicly making a commitment to finally get my words in writing.

  • And of course I will be updating you on my family and things we are enjoying in life.
I am so grateful for all God has worked in my life and the lives of my family during this past year. He has developed in me His character with it's richness and joy. It is difficult at times to even wrap my mind around who God is so I remain in awe of Him.

While I am sure 2009 will have it's share of challenges I am equally confident to continue living out God's Words as written in James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my friends, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything".

That is where I desire to be - mature and complete in the Lord. AND...as always I will be:

Considering It All Joy!

PS: This note is from my bloggy friend Lee: "You forgot to say, "I will help Lee organize her office and will then post pictures to hold her accountable for keeping it that way!" :)"

OK Lee - The challenge is on!!!!!