September 28, 2015

Taming the To-Do List Giveaway

Today I’m excited to introduce my friend, Glynnis Whitwer, and share her new book, Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your BEST Work Every Day.

I keep a to-do list next to my computer, and it drives my day. In fact, a great day for me is when I have crossed everything off that list by the end of the day! The problem comes when I have not and those tasks carry over to the next day. That, my friend, can sometimes take me to the edge, worrying how I’ll get it all done the next day.

Can you relate?

Glynnis’ book helps with this dilemma. Rather than focus on getting “through” our “to-do” list, she helps us bring balance to our “to-do” list. Through personal stories and Scripture, she exposes a word many of us identify with … procrastination, explains what it costs us, and equips us to overcome it. They key is not to get all things done or more things done, it’s to get the “right” things done each day. It’s God’s agenda first, not our own.

Don’t you love that? So freeing!

Below please find a message from Glynnis’ heart to yours. And when you get to the end of the post, leave a comment sharing at least one way you struggle with your “to-do” list for a chance to win a copy of Taming the To-Do List!!

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I faced hard, challenging work, which quite honestly made me wonder what I’d learned in four years of college. It was easier to plead busyness than to admit I felt under-qualified and afraid to try. Would my work show I didn’t have what it took?

Procrastination popped up its bossy head as I got involved in church, volunteering and leading small groups and Bible studies.  But its influence escalated when I answered God’s call How Can I Procrastinate When I’m So Busy?

Looking back, it’s obvious procrastination has been a life-long companion of mine. Only I didn’t see it because I was so busy.

Plus, it’s always been easy to find other things to blame. But digging down deep unearths the truth: I put things off that I really should do, I could do, but I choose not to do. And in doing so, my to-do list gets out of control.

Procrastination first showed up in school when I’d wait until the last-minute to finish an assignment. Just good enough to make the grade … but never feeling like I’d done my best.

It then showed up at my first job, when to write and speak.

It hasn’t controlled all areas of my life, but it’s impacted me enough that I finally said “no.” No to the lies that tomorrow will be easier.  No to the fear that I’ll look like a fool. No to the threat that my best isn’t good enough.

And I also finally said “yes.” Yes to addressing the underlying issues of my procrastination. Yes to being brave enough to face some weak areas.  Yes to hard choices that bring my responsibilities under control.

It turns out, my procrastination had a root problem. When faced with a choice between two tasks, my tendency is to choose the easier of the two.

For example, if I know I need to get housework done on a Saturday morning, but I also need to do some shopping. I’ll choose shopping, and then never quite get around to that cleaning.  Or if I want to work on a creative project, but I also need to answer emails. I’ll start on the emails, thinking I’ll eventually get around to my project, but then never do.

With enough choices like that, I leave undone the work that will make the most impact on my life.

I’m learning, with God’s help, to be honest with myself about why I procrastinate doing certain things. Some times the answer is easy. But sometimes I have to dig deep to discover some fear or perfectionist tendency that’s keeping me stuck.

Sometimes, I just don’t know the best thing to do next. This is when I desperately need wisdom beyond what I can muster to make the best choice. To find wisdom, I need to silence the demands of many, to hear the commands of One.

God is faithful, and His Word promises we can receive wisdom.  In fact, it’s a gift from God. Here is what James 1:5-6 says,

 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

My goal in dealing with procrastination isn’t to get more done. I want to get more of the right things done. Rather than follow my to-do list, I want to follow God’s to-do list for me.

It’s not easy, but it is possible. Thankfully God is faithful and an ever-present source of help. With His help, I have a manageable to-do list … most of the time.

Glynnis Whitwer is a wife, mother of five young adults and executive director of communications for Proverbs 31 Ministries. Her latest book, Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Every Day is available from Proverbs 31 Ministries. As a bonus for purchasing from Proverbs 31, Glynnis has prepared two time-management planner sheets to help you get control of your to-do list.  CLICK HERE for more information.

Thank you, Glynnis, for joining us today and for generously donating a book to give away. Okay, girlfriends, don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Taming the To-Do List!!

Blessings,

August 25, 2015

Love Your Neighbor Giveaway with Amy Lively

How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird

I met Amy Lively at She Speaks many years ago. She attended my session on “How to Start a Neighborhood Bible Study.” At the end of my teaching, Amy approached me, eyes gleaming, barely able to contain her enthusiasm. She explained how she felt that same nudge. She knew God was calling her to step out in faith … to invite. To do a new thing in her neighborhood.

Well, thank goodness Amy obeyed. Because the Lord has taken Amy’s passion, obedience and her very first invitation and transformed them into an amazing book, “How to Love Your Neighbor without Being Weird,” and an international ministry. To learn more about her book and her ministry, click here.

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Today, Amy and I not only want to share a bit of her story with you, but we are praying that today’s message will encourage and equip YOU to step out in faith and do the same!

Amy has generously offered to give away a gift package to help you do just that! So in the comments below share who you would invite and/or how you would use her gift in your neighborhood.

Here is a bit more of Amy’s story …

Have you ever thought, “I want to love my neighbor, but I don’t know how”? How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird by Amy Lively is packed with practical, adaptable tips and tools for introverts or extroverts, and people who live in big cities or small villages. If you want to get rid of the guilt about disobeying Christ’s #2 command to love our neighbor but don’t want to alienate or offend your neighbors in the process, this book is for you.

Amy wasn’t always a good neighbor – in fact, she says she wasn’t always even a good believer. In Chapter One she tells her story of running from God for 20 years before natural relationships with godly women changed her spiritual destiny—and this happened outside of church, at coffee shops and playgrounds. Once Amy returned to the Lord, however, it was as if Jesus was locked inside her house! She lived in her neighborhood for seven years before she attempted to get to know her neighbors, and even this was done kicking and screaming. She fought the Lord for a long time before finally inviting 89 neighbors over for coffee. This gathering of women in homes became an international ministry called The Neighborhood Café, and this book was also an outcome of her experience in her own neighborhood.

The Neighborhood Cafe

You may be asking, “Isn’t it ‘loving my neighbor’ when I support world missions or witness to my hairdresser?” Yes, it is… but we have globalized the definition of neighbor to include everyone in the whole wide world, conveniently excluding the people who live right next door—the ones who can reject us. Jesus had a different way of loving His neighbor. He simply sat down with His neighbors at their tables, in their homes, and they did life together.

Loving our neighbor means investing in relationships – it’s sometimes messy, but it’s always meaningful.

If you’re struggling to build relationships with your neighbors based solely on religion, How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird teaches you six other areas where you can interact and engage with your neighbors: family, government, education, business, arts and entertainment, media. Along with religion, these seven areas have shaped every culture in every generation, and they are active forces in your community today. These areas impact the people living around you, and the influence of the Gospel is desperately needed in each area.

Amy's Giveaway

 

God knew what sociologists and archaeologists have also figured out: your entire community is safer, stronger, wealthier – and even lives longer! – when neighbors know each other’s names and are involved in each other’s lives. And on a spiritual level, loving our neighbors blesses us even more than it does them. You’ll never lean on God more or see Him more clearly than when you obey His #2 command.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below for a chance to win Amy’s BIG giveaway to help YOU invite your neighbors to get to know Jesus. Her BIG Giveaway includes:

  • 2 MUGS Adorable “Love Your Neighbor” mugs, one for you, one for your neighbor!
  • 10 CARDS to ask your neighbor over for coffee, board games, BBQ – you name it! Invite one neighbor or the whole block, whatever works.
  • 2 COFFEES Single-serve Columbian coffees.
  • 2 COASTERS to put under your steaming mugs.
  • 1 BOOK A signed copy of Amy’s book, How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird.

I’ll announce the winner Friday in my next blog post.

Blessings,

August 11, 2015

Interview & Giveaway with Jennifer Rothschild and Her New Book, “Invisible”

***WINNERS OF THE “INVISIBLE” GIVEAWAY CAN BE FOUND AT THE END OF THE COMMENTS***

 

A few years back, I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Rothschild and her husband, fondly known as Dr. Phil by his friends, at She Speaks. I couldn’t wait to meet her because her book, Lessons I Learned in the Dark, spoke into my life at a time when I felt isolated, alone and abandoned by God. And meeting her did not disappoint. Jennifer shines the love and light of Jesus! She is the real deal. Authentic. Kind. Wise. Humble.

So when I learned she had a new book coming out, I couldn’t wait to share it! And the title … so intriguing …  Invisible: How You Feel Is Not Who You Are. So please take a few minutes to hear about her new book from the author herself. Her interview below will give you a taste of her beautiful heart, the book, and her deep desire for you to experience the power of God’s living and active Word to transform your life.

And the best news of all, Jennifer is graciously giving away two copies of Invisible! If you leave a comment at the end of  today’s post, I will choose two comments to win a copy of Invisible.

****Also, if you left a comment on my last post to win a copy of our First 5 Experience Guide, you will find the two winners at the end of the comments on that post.****

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1. Your new book is titled Invisible. What do you mean by the title Invisible?
Sometimes women can feel overlooked, unimportant or insecure. And, when we do, we feel invisible. Think about it—a mom who spends her days changing diapers, driving the mini-van and washing dishes. She can feel only as valuable as she is useful—invisible. Or, a woman at work who is constantly ignored when she gives her ideas—she can feel invisible. Or, a single woman at a party, trying to be a part of a conversation but she constantly feels like she doesn’t know what to say, she feels like she is not smart or cute enough; like no one even notices her—invisible.

2. In Invisible, you share Gomer’s story —from the story of Hosea and Gomer. What drew you to Gomer?
So, I wrote the book Invisible because I have struggled with insecurity and insignificance; I have felt invisible too. And, then I read this story about a woman named Gomer—a woman chosen, loved and prone to wander. Bingo. That’s me! I think she did what she did because she didn’t realize that she was not how she felt.

3. How did you grow and change through writing Invisible?
Well, I learned that there is a big “me” in GoMEr!  I used to judge her—you know, like, I am not her. I could never be her. After all, she left her husband and went for other lovers. She had everything and she left what she had—security and identity—to go find it in all the wrong places.  I learned that I cannot judge Gomer because I am gomer. I have often left my security and identity in Christ to go find it in the other lovers of acceptance, popularity.  So, I was humbled by seeing myself for who I am and then, just plain amazed and overwhelmed to see that God not only loves me and wants me to return to Him, but He goes to whatever lengths He needs to to get me back. Amazing love.

4. The book of Hosea tells the story of how Hosea pursues Gomer even when she turns her back and rejects his persistent love. What is a time you were like Gomer?
I’ll be honest. I don’t have big dramatic Gomer Moments where I turned my back on God, but certainly have had moments where I found myself stuck in a pattern of getting my basic security and identity needs met in the wrong ways and wrong places. I open the book with a story about one of those moments. We were on a drive to a lake get away and by the time I arrived, I had been so drawn in by social media and how everyone else’s life’s were so perfect that I was a walking, talking, face book stalking identity crisis. So, here I was, “in Christ” but in full blown identity crisis.

5. What is one truth you hope readers will walk away with after turning the last page?
Oh, I hope there are a lot more than one! Gomer’s life is chock full of teachable truths that can free a woman from her chains of insecurity and get her out of an identity crisis.

But, if I had to choose just one…I hope the reader embraces that she is a gomer—I am a gomer—we all are gomer because we are all dearly loved and accepted. We lack nothing in Christ—we have the love we long for, acceptance we need and He makes us complete. That is who we are! Sure, we will still feel insignificant and insecure sometimes but I hope the reader will begin to internalize that how she feels is not who she is. I want women to realize that we are not the be-perfect or the be- tolerated, we are the beloved! Yes!  Bring it on!

Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing a bit of your heart with us! Friends, leave a comment before Friday and share when you feel most invisible. I will choose two comments to win a copy of Invisible and announce the winners at the end of the comments on this post Monday. Click here  THIS WEEK to visit her website and grab a copy of Invisible and learn about her great freebies. 

And be sure to help Jennifer get the word out about Invisible: How You Feel Is Not Who You Are!

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Jennifer’s new book, Invisible: How You Feel is Not Who You Are is now available! If you order this week, you’ll receive several free gifts as Jennifer’s way to say thank you! Go totheInvisibleBook.org to learn more and grab your copy.