9 Inspiring Books to Read this Year

I recently did something crazy. Last time this happened, I was a teenager.

I asked for books for Christmas.

LOTS of books.

I literally came away from Christmas morning grinning like a nerd, stacks of reading material in hand.

Or maybe that’s normal for you. But I haven’t asked or received a book as a gift in over a decade. And that’s because I’ve been a TV-aholic for the last number of years (Downton Abbey? Anyone?). Continue reading

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5 ways to keep God first this year

5 ways to keep God firstLooking for one way to dramatically impact your year? Keeping God first will radically change your life. You’ll experience more joy, peace, vision, and fulfillment by the end of the year and see God move in ways you never thought possible.

But for that to happen, a little reflection is needed. Our tendency is to drift away from God instead of toward Him. If you keep God first in these 5 areas of your life, it will result in tremendous personal growth and change over this next year. Continue reading

Choose rest over stress this Christmas

choose rest over stress this christmasI may just go insane. It’s December and I’m already starting to panic.

In a whirlwind, we blew in the door this week after a long Thanksgiving trip with family. Two days of laundry, unpacking, working, meal planning – just trying to catch back up with life. One holiday down, another to go. The clock is ticking and the to-do list is growing a mile long.

It’s December 1st and my house is still full of pumpkins and leaves. No decking the halls, no Christmas tree, no fa-la-la-la-la. The calendar is chock-full of Christmas parties to plan, cookies to bake, cards to order, gifts to wrap, lists to make, stockings to stuff and friends to see. Continue reading

Why I Am Not Worried About the Election

As this bitter campaign narrows to a close, I for one am ready for it to end.why I am not worried about the election

For months, many have used social media to fight for the cause leaving the rest of us feeling like collateral damage. Facebook makes me apprehensive with its onslaught of endless debates.

Fear and anxiety run rampant across the country. Americans remain divided and distraught over the options for commander in chief. Many believe the future of our country (along with our rights and liberties) may very well be at stake.

But I am not afraid. Nor am I angry. I am not the least bit stressed and honestly, I’m not even that surprised. Continue reading

How you can prepare for emotional disasters

how to prepare for emotional disasterLast week my cousin spent the day chasing plywood and supplies all over town in preparation for Hurricane Matthew. Store shelves were sparse, gas stations drained, and Home Depot was like Black Friday with the amount of frantic pushing and shoving.

My cousin spent nearly 24 hours securing windows and battening down the hatches. He was just praying his home wouldn’t blow away.

When faced with a natural disaster like the one we saw last week, one thing is for sure. People spring into action. Survival mode kicks in. Some evacuate. Others brace for a fight. But one thing we all have in common? Continue reading

The 1 Thing Your To-Do List Won’t Accomplish

what your to do list won't accomplishWhen you retreat to a quiet place, it’s amazing how loud everything becomes upon re-entry.

We spent last week in the mountains, nestled in a cabin just above the treetops. Every morning the sun would peek through the blinds, gently nudging me awake. With a cup of coffee in hand, I would snuggle myself into a sweatshirt and pull up a chair to the edge of the pine deck. The sun would rise over smokey ridges and rows of mountain peaks as I stared out into a silent world. The chirping of crickets and rustling of bears in the woods were the only sounds vying for my attention. Crisp, cool air filled my lungs with every breath.

Peace and quiet. Solitude at its finest. Continue reading

Don’t Let Your Past Define You

How many thoughts do you have about yourself? And of those, how many are negative?

It wasn’t until I was suffering from soul-crushing anxiety and felt depleted of all motivation that I started giving my thought-life some…well…thought.Don't let your past define you

Who says my creative efforts are not good enough?

Who says I’m a major disappointment?

Who tells me that I can never change?

Or says I will certainly fail if I try?

Who believes that I am broken?

I do.

It’s me. My thoughts are to blame. Continue reading

2 Ways to Overcome Your Fear This Week

2 ways to overcome your fear this weekDon’t worry. Easier said than done.

Especially for me. I come from a long generational line of worriers. Anxiety and fear have been constant companions for most of my life. Fretting has become a common pastime around here.

How about you this week?

Because every time I turn on the news fear is being magnified. We fear terror. We fear race. We fear other religions. We fear diseases (Zika? Anyone?). We even fear the upcoming election.

I even find myself worrying ABOUT WORRYING.

Seriously? Continue reading