Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Friendship for Grownups by Lisa Whechel

A copy of the book Friendship for Grownups by Lisa Whelchel (also known as "Blair" from the 80's sitcom The Facts of Life) arrived for my review at the end of April...just as we were packing up and shipping out of Indiana. Not quite ready to dive in to a new book, this gem sat patiently on my shelf until I opened it up one evening in June when all was silent around my house and all of my loves were tucked cozily in their beds.>

Let me just tell you, I could not put this book down that night. I sat in the recliner and tears streamed down my face. To say that I could relate would be an understatement. I even picked up my laptop and wrote a very heartfelt email to a friend. If you have ever felt just a little bit uneasy about the dynamics of genuine friendship, then this book is so worth your time. I will probably read through it again just to pick out some of the scripture and other literary references for my own quest into intimacy within friendship.

Lisa shares, quite poignantly, "Isn't that what we all want? To be seen, in all our glory, for better or for worse, the good, the bad, and the ugly and still be embraced?"

I do. I want to be loved for me...with all of my flaws...and with all of my strengths.

I've failed my friends in the past. And I've been failed by friends-- but that doesn't make me want to lie down and quit. I want to love more. Love bigger. Love stronger. And Love harder.

In any case, Lisa shares her own stories-- with raw vulnerability-- and I could relate. It was a breath of fresh air. In fact, knowing that she lives just an hour-and-a-half away, it makes me want to give her a call and invite her out for lunch. ;)
Doesn't that sound lovely?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Monday Bloggity Blog

Happy Monday, friends!

I'm so glad that this Monday is off to a great start for the Smith family. How about yours? Did you know that I have categorically found the trick for warding of nasty cases of "the Mondays"? Really. It's true. You wanna hear???........


Here goes......

Have your home and heart in order *before* Monday morning! There. Voila! Done.

If you simply take the time to prep for the week, all of the things that have to happen don't seem quite so overwhelming.

In fact, I'm off to throw in some laundry, play a few puzzles, finish those 25 headbands that I need to complete, eat lunch with my girlie, cozy in for some precious Jesus time, and maybe even clean a couple bathrooms!

If I had to look at a huge pile of unfolded laundry or walk over toys this morning, I would already feel too overwhelmed to dive in. But tidiness helps me scale the mountain of chores. Whew.

You know, maybe if my mom (who is a certified neat-nik), would have explained why being so clean all the time was such an advantage, it wouldn't have taken me 30 years to get into a working groove. ;)

In other news, we *really* need another vehicle, but we are doing our darnedest to steer clear of vehicle debt. Prayers are appreciated. Please and THANK-you very much! I'm motorin' all over East Texas taking kiddos to the bus stop, hubby to work, Peyton to soccer practice, etc...but, I'm considering it all joy in the meantime. We're in a great place. Lovin' this beautifully complex life.

Have a sweet Monday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

$100 Giveaway to Marie-Madeline Studio

Hi friends~ It's no secret that I drool over the comfortable, colorful fabrics that the sweet Long ladies over at Marie-Madeline Studio carry! Well, here's our chance to snag a $100 gift certificate to use at their site.

Angelina over at Pioneer Beauty is giving this generous gift away to one blessed reader! I thought I should share too (and snag a few more entries-- you know, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!)!

I love you sweet friends.

Happy Crafting!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Start of Something New...

If you follow the adventures of the Smith family, then you know that we have been on this whirlwind roller-coaster of living life filled with obedient expectation of whatever God had in store over the course of the last (almost) two years. For our family it meant stepping out of comfort and into the unknown. It meant packing our bags, selling our house, saying goodbye to our friends and family and moving across the country from Indiana to Texas without knowing "why," but trusting the peace that told us we had to go.

That all sounds well-and-good, and it WAS well-and-good. But once we were here, we knew that we were still waiting for the completion of this chapter. It still hadn't arrived entirely, but we could confidently say that we were situated for the next action-- for whatever was ahead.

Well, over the past few weeks, the rest of the chapter was written. And, as of today, a new chapter has begun. Instead of writing a novella, let me just bullet point. (Don't you love bullet points? I do. Nice and efficient!)
  • Peyton started school this year at Christian Heritage-- as school run by YWAM. His teachers are all missionaries who choose to serve OUR children by pouring Christs love on them. While I had fully planned to homeschool, for Peyton this has been the perfect environment. And for those of you who really know us well, the teacher had no idea that Peyton was ever a *ahem* handful! God.is.good!
  • With one kiddo in school and another kiddo who is easy-peasy, I've found myself with a lot of time on my hands during the day. So in order to fill the space, I jumped into three separate ventures. (It's like throwing spaghetti against a wall, right? Just give it a shot and see what sticks!)
  • I signed up as an Independent Consultant with Tastefully Simple. While TS is everywhere in Indiana, it's still relatively unknown in Texas. I couldn't think of a product that jibes more closely with my lifestyle! I love the products-- and I get to meet new people in my community. Perfect!
  • I am also working on a line of custom designed children's clothing and accessories called Peyton Lane- Ador{n}able Custom Clothing and Accessories. It's fun, but I haven't had a huge chunk of time to get that ball rolling as quickly as I would like. I'll link you to my, as of yet, empty, etsy store. Maybe it will light a fire to get some things up asap!
  • I have also joined forces again with The Winn Group. I will work on some copy writing and help them to establish a public relations arm of the company. It should be a grand adventure. My heart is to see the Winn Group continue to grow and prosper-- they have been an enormous blessing to our family and we hope to continue to give back to the Winn Group for years and years to come.
  • And here is the BIG news...
As of this morning, Jeremy is serving as the Director of Strategic Marketing for Teen Mania Ministries!

In addition to his new role with TMM, Jeremy will continue to work with The Winn Group. This is going to be a season filled with adjusting to new schedules, new obligations and finally settling ourselves into life in East Texas. I will keep you posted (or at least *try* to keep you posted) with more updates on our everyday life as it happens.

Thank you for praying us through this season of transition. Now we're just looking forward to a season of settling in. Becoming content-- without ever growing complacent-- is our desire. Please pray that for our family-- that we would always look more and more like Jesus.

I sure do love you guys!