We’re Moving on UP!!

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As the Jefferson’s use to say……We’re moving on up!  Decided to make the move from a blog to a full blown website!

So, I am slowly phasing out this blog.  My “go to” web guy, Steven has designed a lovely website for Broken Bits. Mosaic Miracles!  On the NEW home page is where you will find the blog! Please go check it out!!   I love, love to have visitors.

Click here to visit!

Blog Tour: Because You Care by Cecil Murphy and Twila Belk

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We were called by the home health agency to come check on my Mom. By the time we got there, she had been taken into a back room at the local rest home. Initially, she recognized me and cried about what was going on. However, the minute she got her arms around me, she began to “rapid cycle” into someone I didn’t even know. The nurse as well as my husband had to grab her and pull her arms away from me. The only way we could get her under control was sedation and then have her transported by ambulance to the nearest psychiatric hospital.

When I reflect back on those days, I am filled with a mixture of emotions. For four and a half years, I was a part of the Sandwich Generation.  The Sandwich Generation is  a term used for people who are trying to balance caring for parents while still raising and/or caring for their children. In all honestly, I can’t say I mastered those years.  At times, I was torn between needing to be with my family, yet the emergency of my Moms care required me to be else where. On the other hand, now that my Mom is sitting at the feet of Jesus; I am so thankful for those last four years and for the lessons I learned while being her care giver.

I was more fortunate than some “sandwichers,”  I have a husband who is a care giver by nature. And when he would step in, it wasn’t because he felt neglected by me but because he knew I needed a break.  And rather than push the responsibility off on someone else, he came in and took over when I couldn’t go anymore. During those Sandwich years, I wish I had been able to read the book, Because You Care by Cecil Murphey and Twila Belk.  I know it would have given me encouragement on the difficult days. And reassurance I was doing the right thing during days of turmoil.

Because You Care, is a book full of stories from those who have “been there.” They know what it is like to be the care giver for someone you love. The last two chapters are practical suggestions for the care giver. The first is titled, “God’s Strength for Caregivers” and the second is “Because You Can No Longer Cope.”

I highly recommend this book to all who are a care givers, whether you are in the Sandwich Generation or caregiver to a spouse!  ~b

Because You Care

Book Excerpt:
(from the beginning)
 
This Is Who You Are
From Cec and Twila
Others may call you brave. They’ll use words like noble or sacrificial. They’ll admire and applaud you because you’ve offered your life to make yourself available to someone who needs a long-term caregiver.
“I couldn’t do what you’re doing for him,” a friend says.
You listen to the words your friend speaks, and you like hearing the compliments. Yet as you listen and smile, you don’t see yourself as exceptional. You’re doing the right thing for someone you love, and that gives you peace. You also know the reason you’ve devoted your energies to another person.
You can express that reason in a single sentence: “I do it because I care.” You might say it’s because you love the person, or you may do it because of a strong sense of commitment to God and to your loved one. Regardless of how you express yourself, you’re determined to give yourself as fully as you can.
Some days you may not feel like loving anyone. You get tired, lose your temper, or think of the things you didn’t accomplish. During the worst times, you wish the situation would change. And in those dark moments, you’ve probably prayed, Dear Lord, please take this burden from me.
The situation probably won’t change for a long time—perhaps years. It’s not the kind of life you would have imagined. You probably envisioned living out your years in blissful peace. Caring for your loved one wasn’t part of your dream, but this is the life you have. Despite the moments of sadness, perhaps even regret, your answer remains the same: “I care.”
Taken from:  Because You Care.  Text Copyright © 2012 by Cecil Murphey, Twila Belk.  Artwork Copyright © 2012 by Betty Fletcher. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon.  Used by permission.

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Helpful Articles by Twila Belk:

Grand Prize Giveaway Description

  • Book—Because You Care: Spiritual Encouragement for Caregivers
  • Book—Hope and Comfort for Every Season
  • Hallmark journal, list pad, and memo pad stack
  • Glade “Angel Whispers” candle
  • Hershey’s Bliss dark chocolate
Instructions to Enter the Grandprize Drawing:
  1. Leave a comment about the book or author on the blog post during the blog tour.
  2. Each blog tour host will draw one name from those comments to send to the tour coordinator by October 12.
  3. The coordinator will put all the names into a drawing, and select a winner, using an online randomizer.
  4. The coordinator will notify the blog tour host who submitted the winning name.
  5. The blog tour host will notify the winner and collect the mailing info so the author can send out the prize.

Bios
Twila Belk and Cecil (Cec) Murphey are both long-term caregivers for their spouses. Twila, aka the Gotta Tell Somebody Gal, is a writer and speaker who loves to brag on God. She works fulltime with Cec as his manager, personal assistant, and biggest fan. Cec is a veteran author who has written or co-written more than 125 published books, including the bestsellers 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper) and Gifted Hands (with Dr. Ben Carson). His books have sold in the millions and have brought hope and encouragement to countless readers around the world. Cec and Twilas’ second co-authored book, Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware (Guideposts Books), released in August 2012.
For more info about Twila, visit: www.gottatellsomebody.com.

For more info about Cec, visit:www.cecilmurphey.com.

Burn Out by TITL Apparel

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Seeing the package on the kitchen island, I felt like a little kid at Christmas! The package was sent from TITL apparel and inside was my first ever burn out shirt! To say I was excited is an understatement.

Opening the parcel, delicate purple tissue paper wrapped the shirt. Inside of the tissue paper was a beautiful burgundy burnout. Decorated with a gorgeous Christian cross of multiple clear, silver and grey colored rhinestones on front.  It far exceeded my expectations.  I have seen “cheesy” christian t-shirts that I don’t consider a testimony of my faith.  However, this shirt is tastefully done and well made.  I have worn it to both my office and to church.

****For the rest of my review and to find out how to get your own TITL Apparel, click into my website Bridgit Smith.

Women in High Def~by Diane Markins

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Do you “long” to step out in faith and fearlessly live out the passions and dreams God has placed in your heart? Then you just have to, have to read Women in High Def by Diane Markins. I am not even halfway through the book, but am seeing things a bit more clearly . ~b
(read clear to the bottom for your chance to win)

Women in High Def will remind you that when God writes your story, you are in for the adventure of a lifetime! Diane Markins has written a book addressing topics women deal with on a day-to-day basis. If you are looking for a contemporary, captivating read filled with practical advice that will give you insight and wisdom for daily decisions, this is it!”
~ Carol Kent, Speaker and Author
Between a Rock and a Grace Place (Zondervan)

To celebrate the
“Going Boldly” Blog Tour
Women in High Def
is available for free from
September 10-September 14 on Kindle
at: http://amzn.to/Oey7Sa

 

About the Book:

Women are as unique as snowflakes or butterflies, but after surveying hundreds of them, writer and radio host Diane Markins learned that the top needs they feel are the same. She also began hearing a recurring theme: I want more! I want to be better! I want to be bold!

Women in High Def aims to propel women out of a low-def, foggy life of going through the motions in a blur. The profound stories, intercessory prayer prompts and coaching elements work together to catapult women into living fearlessly for God…being bolder moms, having purposeful passions, pursuing marriage excellence, loving themselves with gusto, laughing with abandon, transforming mistakes into blasts of blessings and bravely seeking the Lord in all His majestic glory. The bonus Bible study at the back of the book points them to scripture to gain Biblical insight and direction for each need and role they play. It can be used alone or in a group.

Women in High Def is not passive reading. It cries out to the spirit of readers to be unafraid as they actively reach for clarity, vibrancy and intensity in all the meaningful areas of their lives.

About the Author:

Diane Markins has always aspired to live in High Def. She uses her radio show, writing and speaking to inspire women to transform their lives from mediocre and complacent to bold and vibrant. She settles for nothing less in her own life as a wife, mom, grandmother, friend and colleague. Diane writes two blogs, WomenInHighDef.com and WordsInHighDef.com, is a regular contributor to the Presidential Prayer Team website and CBN.com. She and her husband of 33 years work and live close to their children in Arizona.

Falling Down Gorgeous
(Excerpt from Women in High Def, Boldly Living Your Purposes with Vibrant Clarity)

Time takes its toll on all of us. Parts of me that were once up here are now down there. My face, once smooth and fresh was becoming a bit weathered and wrinkled. Other areas that used to be firm are now wiggly. As I turned fifty I began to notice that I was becoming invisible, based on my appearance. That’s a big fat horse pill to swallow for my ego. But that’s okay. The good news is that when people start to see less of me, they see more of Jesus. He’s much more appealing and has no hidden agenda.

I hate to admit it, but I still enjoy being noticed on occasion. My husband and I went on a date to a very fancy mountaintop restaurant overlooking the city. I dressed for the occasion in my fitted black slacks, silky blouse and high heels.

I followed the maitre de to our table, my husband right behind me. I was feeling pretty good about myself and strutted a bit as we crossed a large open expanse of the room. As my stilettos went from carpet to wood floor something strange happened…I began to skate, stumble and flail about, for what felt like ten excruciating minutes, before finally landing flat on my keister. For endless moments all sound ceased except the quiet music in the background. Diners, servers and kitchen staff gaped at me, frozen in mid-action.

Graciously, I was helped up, escorted to and seated at our table, where they elevated and iced my swollen ankle. Then—to my horror—the paramedics arrived, causing an even bigger stir. Servers and managers came by frequently to check on me. Finally, our fellow diners made their way to our table as they departed to share their own “fall down” tales.

Earlier that evening, I had hoped for a little extra attention. But this wasn’t what I had in mind. Now I was just grateful I hadn’t chosen the skirt I had considered that was still hanging on my closet door. My experience that night was a great reminder that the only beauty that matters is what the Lord puts in our hearts. Everything else “falls” short in the end.

Why Bold is Better
by Diane Markins

“Your dress has really bold colors.” Does that sound like an insult in any way? How about this one: “That was a really bold choice.” Would you consider this criticism?

I hope not! I’d never wear something that would melt into the background of a beige room. I’d hate it if someone said, “You made a very safe, easy choice.”

Being bold means taking risks, not fearing failure or rejection and requires intentional thinking. When we live boldly for God we have empowerment and passion to make our boldness meaningful.

Settling for mediocrity in marriage, as parents, in careers, friendship, faith or ministry is not bold. God wants us to pursue everything we do with intensity and decisiveness. This means we are frequently checking the pulse of our pursuits and rapidly responding when we get a distress signal.

Is your marriage (especially in bed) ho-hum? Find some bold ways to rev it back up. Are your kids struggling? Don’t just shrug and follow the “traditional wisdom,” think creatively about taking brave actions no one else would.

Do your prayers feel more like talking to the ceiling fan than conversations with a wise, cherished friend? Do something wild and new to transform.

Don’t confuse boldness with arrogance or recklessness. When your bold actions are paired with love, respect and clarity the results will translate as conviction with complete humility.

Jesus has a bold message and He is asking you to not only share it, but live it! Bold is truly better.

Leave a comment for a chance to WIN:

“Going Boldly” Blog Tour Grand Prize
– Retail Value: $70

Book (Women in High Def: Boldly Living Your Purposes with Vibrant Clarity)
Bright and Vibrant Earrings
Sparkling Cider (to celebrate life)
Sumatra Coffee (Bold, Earthy Flavor)
Into the Wild body wash and spray fragrance from Bath and Body Works
Custom coffee mug: Women in High Def (front), BE YOUR BOLD SELF! (back)

Instructions to Enter the Grand Prize Drawing:

  1. Leave a comment about the book or author on the blog post during the blog
    tour.
  2. Each blog tour host will draw one name from those comments to send to the tour coordinator by September 21.
  3. The coordinator will put all the names into a drawing, and select a winner, using an online randomizer.
  4. The coordinator will notify the blog tour host who submitted the winning name.
  5. The blog tour host will notify the winner and collect the mailing info so the author can send out the prize.

SALES INFO:
ISBN:
978-0-9854172-0-8
Paperback: 163 pages
Retail: $12.99
Release: April 20, 2012
Publisher: Words in High Def
Kindle: $6.95

Oops! I did it again!

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Oops. I did it again!

Am I the only woman who gets committed to so many “things” that I end up not enjoying life? (And usually physically sick?) A few years back I read, “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World,”by Joanna Weaver.  Honestly, until that book I thought I had a Mary heart! Was I ever wrong!!

My life was cluttered with busyness that left me resentful, weary and anxious.  As this fall semester approached, I greeted it with a well defined to do list. I had once again cluttered my life with projects, writing one proposal after another, reading a book, working on homework, trips to see our children and numerous other commitments.  I had gotten so busy “doing” that I wasn’t just “being.“ I  quit sitting at the feet of Jesus and “being still.” I was beginning to become weary and resentful. Instead of being present in the moment, listening to others or spending much needed time seeking God, I was running around “like a chicken with my head cut off.”  I probably would still be in the “headless” state had it not been for my hubby. (Still amazes me when God uses my guy to speak truth into my life!)

Last week during a rare moment when I had actually stopped and listened to him, my hubby told me about the devotion he had read that morning.  He stated that it reminded him of me. Continuing on he said that in the study it talked about how we can get so busy doing other stuff, we end up not doing what God wants us to do! He added, “Gracie, you are this little woman who gets all these big things going!” I. Knew. He. Was. Right.  I had once again overcommitted, cluttering my life with unnecessary stuff.  And when that happens I don’t enjoy life, am short with those I love and miss those precious God moments.

I took my husband’s words to heart.  With his help, I am “cleaning out some closets and tearing down some walls.” I am prioritizing and shedding those activities and/or thoughts that do not fit into my life plan.  Most importantly, I have slowed down.  I am trying to “lead with my heart and follow in God’s steps.” Walking out of the house this morning, I took time to notice what a beautiful morning it was.  Taking the full hour for lunch, I open the front door and relished in the fact that I had a new screen door and could feel the fall air and hear my wind chimes through it.  I actually made supper this evening and sat still long enough to enjoy it! I am back to trying to be like Mary.  With God’s help and my hubby’s leading, at the feet of Jesus is where I intend to stay!

What about you girlfriend? Where are you at today, sitting at the feet of Jesus? Or like Martha (and I) have you cluttered your life with things that don’t matter?  

Uncluttered by Gwen Smith

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