Do you like to walk? Are looking for a way to improve your mental and physical health at the same time? Walking is the way to go.
Joyce Shulman's book, Walk your Way to Better, is the resource you need. I was excited to join this book tour and to implement her book into practice. Today, I'll share my review and on the 30th, Joyce will guest here on the blog. You'll get to hear about the book twice.
First let me share a quote from the book about what this book is NOT: "This is not a book about losing weight...This is not a book about improving your mood or helping combat depression...This is not a book about becoming a more patient parent or becoming happier...This is not a book about reversing early stage diabetes, strengthening your bones, or making your brain bigger or your heart stronger...This is a book about walking your way to better." page 10 BUT, here's is the best part, BUT by walking and implementing Joyce's concept, these things might just happen. There are 99 sections, this is 99 different ways to change up your walk.
Each section has a "thought-starter" followed by a story or some cool research. I haven't read all 99 yet but I like how she's listed the title's in the Table of Contents. I've skimmed the Table of Contents and picked the ones that stood out to me. The first one I chose was about Popeye. My memories of Popeye and his strength, Robin Williams as Popeye, and watching it with my Dad and sister. I was pleasantly surprised to learn the pre-walk reading wasn't about strength, instead she shared research and facts about how women tend to apologize more than men. Yup, nailed that one on the head.
I look forward to reading more and "lacing up my sneakers", as Joyce says, and start walking my way better. Her subtitle, "99 Walks That Will Change Your Life" summarizes the book beautifully. What are you waiting for? Get your copy of the book, lace up your sneaks, read and get walking.
Are you ready to Walk Your Way Better?
This is a book about walking your way to better. Everywhere you turn, people, podcasts and gurus promise a simple path to the life you want. But few of them work. Why? Because simply reading the words is rarely enough to call your heart and mind to action. This book is different.
Each section provides a thought-starter, insight or story. But I don’t want you to just read it. I want you to read a section and then lace up your sneakers and head out the door. Because while walking, your brain processes in a unique way, enabling you to recognize the things that are truly holding your back and the changes you actually need to make.
You will literally Walk Your Way to Better. Along the way, you will forge a powerful connection between your mind and your body. And bonus -- you’ll feel better and become fitter.
Let me start with the most basic, yet influential, aspects of this book. As you read Walk Your Way to Better: 99 Walks that Will Change Your Life, by Joyce Shulman, you will feel as if she is sitting next to you.
This book is written from your best friend from twenty years ago, you know the one, The One you can call on and is always there offering support, encouragement, and just the right advice. This is Joyce Shulman, as she encourages you to take time for yourself. She motivates and inspires you to get off the couch, out of the house, and to leave the laundry in the basket for someone else to fold.
After reading the introduction, I was ready to grab my socks and sneakers. I do enjoy walking and getting outside. I do some of my best thinking, unwinding, and relaxing while walking in the great outdoors. Are you wondering why I'd like a book with ninety-nine pre-walking devotionals, prompts?
Let me tell you. When the weather is crummy, which it is a lot in Central New York, I use the treadmill at the YMCA. I do NOT enjoy walking the treadmill, I feel like I'm going nowhere and struggle to block out the distractions around me...until now!
I've read a few of the pre-workout readings and made a decision, this book is going in my gym bag. This is just what I need to read while doing my warm-up on the treadmill, before turning the music up (to drown my plodding feet) and burn some calories. This book going to be a valuable resource at the gym. A neat perk, there are 99 titles to choose from. I don't have to read in order, I can read the one catching my attention on a particular day. I'm woman, and never know what direction I'm going until I'm there so I like the options. If you are just starting a walking routine or a veteran walker, this book is a resource you'll want to add to your gym bag and tool box.
Okay Ladies, who is ready to walk their way better?
Yesterday we planted flowers at the cemetery, my dad's house, and our house. Today we tackled the Heidi Remembrance Garden. Each spring we dedicate time and thought to "beat the weeds for the year" as we plan out the flowers, plants, and layout. Thus far, twenty-five plus years later, the weeds seem to keep winning.
We took a different approach this year. Instead of pulling weeds, adding new topsoil, planting new flowers or plants, then adding fresh mulch on the outside...we went rogue. I think my mom would have liked this new and bold approach. The hours we'd usually spend pulling weeds, we dug out the surviving plants. The only two that made it through last year's season of weeds and the winter: five rose bushes and the hosta plants. I moved these to my house, in to the one garden the moles seem to own and nothing survives. I figure if they could make it at the Heidi garden with minimal water and choking weeds, they may like it here.
Once all the plants were removed, we placed two layers of the black landscaping/garden weed blocker over the entire garden. The slight breeze helped keep us cool but was our nemesis as we tried to keep the paper in place. We used the bags of white rocks to hold down the paper, started from the center and worked our way out.
The centerpiece is of two kids reading book and also serves as a little bird bath after a rain. My Mom would love that. Mulch wasn't available so rather than wait, we returned to the store for red stone, the same color as the mulch we usually have. Initially we planned to cut the black paper off the wood frame but we liked the look of the black paper, makes the star pop a little more. We need more stone, but it will have have to wait. We were pooped, tomorrow is another day.
After we add the last few bags of stones, I found solar stones online. They look white like the others but at night will be blue, like the centerpiece. I can't wait to add that final touch. Our family, and community, hold #Hope4HeidiAllen forever.
The garden is a symbol of hope for so many. Now, at night, in addition to the lights at the points of the star, there will be light spread within the star. Even in the darkness, with hope and faith, The Light will always win. Our hope and prayer is the weeds lose this new battle and the brightness and light replace any darkness. May we always hope and look for the bright side.
One thing is constant...Hope is Eternal!
As I move into the final month of school, my writing and participation with other authors is moving into the forefront. It's been a crazy, busy, and challenging time. How many of you have struggled with balancing teaching, learning, and working from home while maintaining the activities you are passionate about? My ability to find a mentally free space at home is difficult to say the least. It feels like wherever I look, there is "school", "post under-grad/pre Grad school packing", and the never ending list of things to do. If you have figured out how to maintain a healthy balance, leave a comment on today's blog to help myself, and others like me. We need your motivation!
I will communicating with my students through the week yet I look forward to uninterrupted time at my writer's cottage, quiet time on the deck, bonfires, and helping others. One way I am helping others is to volunteer at the local food pantry, send hand written notes, and join book launches and blog tours. This is my excitement to share today. I was selected, along other amazing creative people, to join @shawnsmucker & @Amy_Odland for Shawn's #TheseNamelessThings book launch. This is a fun opportunity to meet others and help a fellow Christian author.
In June, I'll have a couple blogs about Shawn Smucker and his other books and a special blog on June 30, 2020, when his book is available for sale. Shawn has accepted my invitation to guest on my podcast too! I'm so excited. I met Shawn Smucker last summer and learned a lot from his feedback when I signed up for a author meeting with him. I'm not a good fictional writer, Shawn on the other hand is fabulous. His book, Light from Distance Stars released last summer. I'm rereading this now as I wait for #TheseNamelessThings to arrive.
In addition to authoring seven other books, Shawn and his wife, Maile, have a wonderful podcast, The Stories Between Us. Their love, banter, honesty, humor, and willingness to share keep you coming back for more. I don't consider myself on Shawn's level yet, but with his kindness and encouragement, I know I'll reach my goals one day. Shawn's humility and desire to help other creatives is something to modeled by other authors, bloggers, and podcasters.
Follow Shawn for updates on his books and podcasts:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Shawn-Smucker-Writer-248786208498879/
Instagram & Twitter - @shawnsmucker
Get Ready Everyone,
May 11th @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Make sure you visit the WOW blog today and read an interview with author Alexandra Franzen and enter to win a copy of the book The Checklist Book.
May 12th @ Karen Brown Tyson
Stop by Karen's blog today and read Alexandra Franzen's inspiring guest post entitled, "You Are Going to Survive."
May 13th @ World of My Imagination
Join Nicole as she reviews Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
May 15th @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf
Visit Veronica's blog today and you can read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
May 16th @ Lapidus International
Stop by the words for wellness organization today and read Alexandra Franzen's guest post about the importance of nature time.
May 18th @ One Sister's Journey:
Keeping It Real
May 19th @ Chanel Bevis' Blog
Stop by Chanel's blog today and read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
May 20th @ And So She Thinks
Visit Francesca's blog today and you can read Alexandra Franzen's guest post about what a checklist can do you for you.
May 23rd @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion
Visit Linda's blog and you can read her interview with Alexandra Franzen. Don't miss it! http://bootsshoesandfashion.com/
May 25th @ The Frugalista Mom
Stop by Rozelyn's blog today and you can read her post about Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
May 27th @ Dog-Eared Days of Summer
Visit Courtney's blog today and you can read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
May 28th @ Strength 4 Spouses
Visit Wendi's blog today and read Alexandra Franzen's guest post unplugging more.
May 29th @ Wild Hearted
Visit Ashley's blog today where she shares her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
May 30th @ Memoir Revolution
May 31st @ Michelle Cornish' Blog
Stop by Michelle's blog today and you can read a guest post by Alexandra Franzen about shifting away from perfection. A post we all need to read today!
June 1st @ Strength 4 Spouses
Visit Wendi's blog today to read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
June 2nd @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Visit Bev's blog today and you can read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
June 3rd @ Rachael's Thoughts
Visit Rachael's blog today and you can read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
June 4th @ Michelle Cornish' Blog
Visit Michelle's blog today and read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
June 5th @ Editor 911
Stop by Margo's blog today and you can read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
June 6th @ Megan Writes Everything
Visit Megan's blog today and she reviews Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
June 7th @ The New England Book Critic
Visit Victoria's blog today and read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
June 8th @ Dog-Eared Days of Summer
Visit Courtney's blog again and read Alexandra Franzen's guest post about focusing on tiny wins.
June 9th @ Alternative Grace
Stop by Amber's blog today and read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
June 10th @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Stop by Bev's blog again and you can read Alexandra Franzen's guest post about putting self-care into your daily checklist. An absolute must-read!
June 11th @ Jill Sheet's Blog
Visit Jill's blog today and you can read Alexandra Franzen's guest post about getting the phone out of your room.
Are you a list maker?
Would you like to be more mindful and productive?
Do you want these worlds to collide into
If so...you NEED THIS BOOK!
On the flip side, you may be at a place in your life where you have the funds, supplies, and time to give back. There are so many ways to help others in need of a little help or need. Each pantry, whether small or large, runs differently. The commonality is that no two pantries are exactly alike. The pantry I volunteer at was in the church basement when I first started to volunteer, moved into a very small one room shed-type-building, and now is housed in a beautiful, spacious, and well maintained building.
If you are interested in helping your local food pantry, I'm sure you can google and find one near you. I volunteer at the Mexico Food Pantry, located in Mexico, New York. My hope is to share ways our volunteers and community keep our pantry open and a success. This may be different for your pantry but I hope it inspires you to get involved using the gifts and talents you have...to help others. There is no better time than today.
Ways you can help your local food pantry:
- Monetary - your $1 is worth $4 when you donate, so a $25 donation is like giving the food pantry $100.00 of buying power through their food bank
- Food - this is a great way to provide flour, sugar, cooking oil, kid's cereal and other items pantries can't purchase (because they aren't healthy) but are necessities
- Health and Beauty items - monetary donations are used for food so donations of shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotions, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and such are some of the first items you may stock up on but a lot of pantry clients are forced to treat these like luxury items. (We have a woman who donates health and beauty items each month because when her kids were little, and she was forced to be a single mom, it was the health and beauty items she missed the most. The pantry provided food but the others were extras, she donates each month so our client's kids can have bubble baths and enjoy these luxuries)
- Hobby Magazines - you know the quilting, woodworking, sewing, crocheting, and hobby type magazines you pick up while waiting in the checkout line, these are precious to our clients as they can make gifts for their family and friends using the patterns in these magazines
- Children's books - a lot of families bring their kids and they don't have extra money for books, so we like to keep an assortment of books for the kids to read and KEEP
- Time - there are an array of ways you can spend time helping your pantry
- Unloading Delivery trucks
- Putting away delivered items
- Stocking shelves, freezers, and coolers
- Cleaning the pantry shelves, floors, walls, appliances, windows
- Organizing donations (especially around the holidays)
- Handing out food on distribution days (outside during COVID-19)
- Walking shoppers through while they shop
- Talking to clients while they wait to shop
- Carry boxes/bags to the cars for disabled or senior citizens after they shop
- Bake for the volunteers (yup, we have people who treat our volunteers as a thank you with their baking talents)
- Answer the phone
- ??An idea yet to be thought of??
As you see, there are so many ways for you to be involved with your local pantry. Our pantry has a dedicated and tireless coordinator, dedicating her life to keeping this pantry moving forward and a vital part of our community. Next to her, it is only because of the multitude of volunteers that we are able to serve all the families in our school district. During COVID-19, we have provided food for more than four times our regular number of clients. People travel from other districts so they have food to eat. This is one of the most rewarding parts of my week.
I was going to list all the benefits of giving back and helping at the food pantry but I'd like to hear from you. Leave a comment of why you volunteer? How it makes you feel to volunteer?
Thank you for volunteering!
You are making a difference.
How are you helping your neighbor?
How does it make you feel to give back
and help those in your neighborhood?
I remember the first time my mother-in-law came to one of my speaking events. Her first comment to me, "That was touching but you didn't talk about my son enough." Ed shook his head and responded, "Mom, she is NOT supposed to talk about me at all, unless it's to say how terrible I am." Then we all exchanged glances, I laughed, they stared. Humility is a wonderful characteristic.
But above all these,
put on love!
Love is the perfect tie to bind these together."
Colossians 3:14 VOICE
I try to keep my Pollyanna attitude going and in the forefront yet sometimes, the reality of our current situations hit me hard. And you know who is there to be my Polyanna? Yup, that big toughy of a hubby. He's my guy and knows how to drive me crazy through the good, bad, and ugly. He also knows how to drive me crazy with his idiosyncrasies. Guess what, I'll take them all and love him for it all and he loves me even more. He's quite a guy. Since he doesn't read the blog, he'll never know but I think the world should know he's what, and who, I'm thankful for today.
Who or what are you thankful for today?
A devotional has popped into my mind before yet this spring, God inspired me to do it. Who knows, the inklings could have been God tapping me on the shoulder and I paid Him and them, no mind. I don't know and have no intention of dwelling on the was it, or wasn't it. Instead, I'm moving forward in faith.
As I sat in an Ohio hotel, praying for my daughter and for God to direct my writing, He clearly placed this writing project in front of me. I delved into my Bible, concordance, and the Internet with excitement and a desire to write. The only thing greater than this renewed passion was the surprise of the topic. I was creating an outline for an Easter devotional! Yup, Easter.
While the idea of my first devotional focusing on Easter shocked me, my Beta readers were not. One said, "It only makes sense that your first devotional is about Easter. It's like you came full circle." It took time for this to process before tears started to fall. Since starting this devotional, I have started to outline my first Bible Study. The renewed passion, desire, and inspiration to write came at a time when I knew life was changing and I was trying to figure out what the new normal would look like. I'll be honest, this was not what I expected yet I'm thrilled for the journey ahead.
Not all my beta readers are online or social media, but if you are, and you are willing, would you leave a comment of why you think someone might want to read this Easter devotional?
Next week I'll share an entry from this devotional.
What qualities do your favorite devotionals have?
No words at first, just laughter. You see, my husband and daughter have been in Indiana helping our nephew and his family for a couple weeks. The weather they left behind, is sunny and in the 70's and 80's so the thought of returning to New York's fluctuating weather has to be less than appealing. My heart breaks for them. They've experienced warm weather and sitting outside and making memories.
I look forward to seeing them yet am bummed they are sacrificing sunshine and freedom to return home. They've left an area where they can get outside and go to the store, only to be in New York where they must shelter-in-place and remain away from people. I love New York.
I am New York strong and all the other slogans being pitched on a daily basis but for the first time since our announced she'd attend grad school out of state, any state but New York...I get it. I'm excited and look forward to her journey more than ever. Let her experience life and adventure, we'll still be sheltering in place at Christmas at this rate. How is this for "Keeping it Real" today?
When it snows in May,
what is the first thing you think of?
As you think about the past few weeks and the multitude of changes, how do you see yourself in the weeks to come? Yes, these are times of unknown. Yes, life will not go back to the same. Yes, we need to accept this change. Yes, you can!
You have the strength, ingenuity, ability, and power to move forward with hope, joy, and curiosity. Don't focus on the negative and unknown, focus on the excitement and possibilities of new things. Some days will be easier than others but the way in which we react, model for those watching where we put our faith. I have faith in a God that knows what tomorrow will bring and I need to trust Him as I anticipate the new normal. Who do you have faith in?
You have the ability with faith in God
and a focused mind to move forward...
Who is watching and learning from you?
I thought it would be fun to remember better times. What is a favorite high school memory you have? Today's photograph is one of mine. Singing into candle sticks because we didn't have microphones or a karaoke machine. We had imagination, ingenuity, and creativity. I'm thankful for the absence of pocket size telephones, button size digital cameras, and Internet.
We spent time making memories and enjoying time with each other, rather than recording them. Physical snapshots are minimal but memories are plenty!
What is your favorite high school memory?
In addition to crossing items off the list, I went for a walk and enjoyed breathing in the fresh air, listening to the birds chirp, and the water flow. I have the blessing of a trail near my house. I used this as my warm up and cool down, banging out a 5+ mile walk. It felt so good. My muscles are screaming tonight and in response, I celebrate the ability to get outside and exercise. My brain and heart are better for it. So what do I have to say to my legs? Easy, "Shut up legs!" As I finished my walk, I recorded the Faith Filled Friday Podcast, on Saturday.
Do you practice mindfulness? Did you know mindfulness isn't something new or new age? Jesus was one of the most mindful people to walk the planet. Want to learn more? Visit my podcast and start back in March, each Friday I share how mindfulness is a way to connect and/or reconnect. What is your favorite mindfulness practice?
How do you practice mindfulness?
Today is the day most in the United States looked to in hope. The day President Trump hoped the United States would return to business as usual. We are scheduled to return to school and business as usual but are we? I'm drafting this email before Easter in anticipation of life resuming to the pre-COVID-19 hustle and bustle yet my friends and family encourage me "not to get my hopes up". I'm holding on to my Polyanna attitude as long as possible and hope that while you are reading this email, I'm in school.
On the off chance the shelter-in-place was extended, then know I'll spend my afternoon on the back deck listening to some of my favorite Jazz artist. When I write, Sinatra is my jam. To worship, Chiz Rider. To chill on the deck with no purpose, Buble. I've included a few YouTube videos below with each of these gentleman for your listening pleasure. Don't give up, let the encouragement found in music speak your language. It's not just international, it's universal.
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Do you have a favorite Jazz artist and/or song?
Share in a comment below...
I have a new appreciation for going out and looking for the place that seems to beckon or call us in for lunch or a drink. During our time of COVID-19 restrictions and the encouragement to shelter-in-place, the only table most are sitting at...the kitchen table. How can we experience a new meal or location when going out might put us, and the ones we love, at risk? What if we invite someone in?
Wait, hold the phone! No one can come over either. Yikes! These new times are unlike anything most of have experienced. We might not be able to invite a real person over for dinner or tea BUT if you could invite ANYONE, yes, anyone, over...who is it?
Who is the first person you want to have dinner or coffee with once restrictions are lifted? Who is the one person you wish you had the courage to invite over but haven't? If money and location weren't an issue, WHO is joining you at the dinner table? Why?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the LORD your God goes with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV
Who can you imagine joining you at the table?
In this fun book, find out everything you ever wanted to know about this iconic snack food:
-Learn the origin of the very first pretzels and the meaning of its shape
-Explore the history of how pretzel baking evolved
-Local pretzel folklore, trivia, and true stories
-An interview transcript ~ Julius Sturgis’s grandson
-Step-by-step directions on how to twist pretzels
-Some of the Sturgis family’s favorite pretzel recipes
"You've probably already gathered that I'm an author, but my work as a wordslinger is just a small part of the big dream Jesus put in my heart long ago- to live in a world where the good news of Jesus Christ has been shared with every single person in every country, group, tribe, and village.
Every day, I do my humanly best to obediently live, write, and give my life in a way that ultimately serves that God-glorifying purpose. What could be a more worthy calling than that?!...But what do I REALLY want you to know about me? Well, I love Jesus with all of my heart, and I want you to know His perfect love in your heart, too!"
To read Jill's full bio ~ click here.
I'll be honest, if it wasn't for meeting Jill last year at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference, I would have missed the opportunity to read this amazing little book. I am so THANKFUL for the conversations Jill and I shared and for her obedience to write the stories God's placed on her heart. I plan on investing in her other books. As I read Twisted: Mindful Pretzel Consumption, I felt as if Jill was sitting in the living room with me. Her writing style is warm, engaging, and encouraging.
First and foremost, I learned a lot about the history of pretzels and kept interrupting my daughter to share the cool facts I learned. Although the pretzel started in Europe more than 1,400 years ago, it made it's debut as the hard pretzel I LOVE during the Civil War. There are facts and myths shared. There are actual pictures dating back to 1861, sharing how the Sturgis Pretzel factory has evolved over the years.
If you are a history buff, you'll enjoy this book for the many tidbits of information. If you enjoy eating pretzels as a snack, you'll understand their taste isn't the only wonderful thing about them, they are a treat and symbol of something better. For the bakers out there, the last few pages share some of the Sturgis Pretzil recipes. In less than seventy pages you'll learn history of a family dedicated to more than serving the community with delicious pretzels, they serve God and bless others through it all.
Click here to visit her store!
What pretzel recipe will you try today?
There are two in the book I hope to try today.
If you answered yes to any of these questions then you'll want to read both of these books. Make sure you read The Child Finder first though. There is so much I'd like to share with you but then it could be a spoiler for the first book and this one, so you have to read it for yourself.
I will share my favorite paragraph in the book, yes, I have one entire paragraph that captured my attention so much that I bent the page down. (Yikes!)
Lost. You can be lost even when you've been found. You can make the wrong turn in life even if you're surrounded by people who love you. That was what suicide was, Naomi figured. It was choosing the final exit instead of another path. Not because you wanted to hurt anyone, but because you feel too hopeless to find your way home. There was more than one kind of suicide, too, more than one kind of leaving. How many people spend their entire lives not even knowing that they already left?"
The Butterfly Girl, Rene Denfeld, pg. 95
I opened the garage door with gusto and looked "over" my car. I looked back to my Dad and he said, "Look down." through his laughter. I was not laughing.
As a child, our family experiences a bad fire and lost a barn, garage, and part of the house needed an overhaul in the 80's. It was during the clean up after the fire that I found the other car you see in this picture. As the equipment worked to dig and move dirt for clean up and preparing to build the new garage and fix the house, I found this treasure. I remember washing it in a bucket and asking to keep it. I'm not sure why it intrigued me, or why I've kept it into adult hood but here it is. I like the memory and instead of returning these to the back of a drawer, they are on the bookshelf.
What do these have to do with "starting"? I didn't drive this red convertible out of the garage and have yet to own my childhood dream car. Now, as an adult, I don't want a convertible If I had my choice, I'd choose the Chevy Tahoe or a Subaru SUV. I started with the dream and landed with reality. The second car represents a few of the vehicles I owned: they weren't one's I'd choose but they fit in the budget and transported me from point A to point B. Life is about starting and moving forward.
We need to start somewhere, let our kiddos start with dreams and grandiose thoughts. They are our future and better role models of reality than watching other adults.
What are your dreams and desires? What are your goals? Don't be afraid to aim high and take chances. Whether you choose the new convertible or the old race car, the most important thing for your to do is jump in the driver's seat and START.
What do you plan to start today?
What is holding you back?
A few weeks ago I talked about how I try to not only "give up" something but I try to start something new, or renew a habit that I've let go. Last week was Holy Saturday and instead of gathering for an "upper room" prayer service.
A week later, Easter ham left overs are far and few between but the solitude and new normal continue. While sitting here and reflecting about the differences of this Easter and year's past, I looked down. I contemplated how this year's Lent and Easter, while different for us, are more similar to the first Easter. I wear a few bracelets every day, today, the cross left an impression on my skin. This made me think of the holes in Jesus hands and feet, evidence of God's ultimate sacrifice...His Only Son.
How do others know I believe in Jesus? How would strangers know who my faith is in? Am I witness of Jesus' love and faithfulness? A week after Easter, do you still acknowledge the ultimate sacrifice? What does your life reflect to show this?
As you reflect on Good Friday and anticipate Easter morning, what is the greatest prayer on your heart?
As I watched some Juggling the Jenkins videos one day, I came across one of her more serious videos and I learned there is a serious side to this uplifting and humorous woman. I'm not sure how, I think it might have been a pop up add for her book, High Achiever: The Incredible True Story of One Addict's Double Life. I enjoy reading and especially to read someone's testimony or life story, when I looked up her book and read the blurb, I ordered it. I'm thankful I did. Like most people, our lives have been touched by an addict in some way.
I like to learn and expand my knowledge base, while gaining a better understanding for things I don't have personal experience with. My friend, Patrick, has a podcast, We Live on A Planet. Although I've been friends since we were in grade school yet I was unaware of the secret battle he had for years. I felt like a bad friend for not noticing and have apologized to him. After reading this book I learned a valuable lesson, addicts are clever and ingenious at hiding their addiction.
Tiffany Jenkins shares with overwhelming honesty and integrity. I felt as if I sat in the jail cell with her, found myself yelling at the book, as if the other people could hear me. I laughed at times and cried because of her pain, and then for my own reasons - addiction is a beast and disease. It has the ability to transform the most wonderful people into someone they never thought they would be, and worst yet, hold them hostage in this person they don't want to be BUT, they, you, can OVERCOME THE ADDICTION!! IT IS POSSIBLE! DON'T GIVE UP!
When Tiffany Jenkin's world crashed, she didn't run or play games with the courts. She owned up to everything and welcomed help in rehab. She CHOSE TO LIVE free of addiction. My friend chose freedom too and said the intense rehab he went to was worth every minute. I share this with you because I also know a woman who advocates for loved one's of addicts. Michele Weidenbenner, is an author, blogger, and podcaster advocating to help loved one's of addicts to know they aren't alone and how to be there when their addict is ready for help.
I recommend this book as a deep and honest look into one addict's double life and look at how she has used the lessons learned to turn her life around, using her gifts for good and to encourage others. Remember not to judge, we don't know the miles someone else has walked. We all have a story to tell, Tiffany's is worth your time.
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P.O. Box 323
A Mother's Monday
Ride For Missing Children
Sewing And Crocheting
The River's End Bookstore