Life on the Tight Rope

No matter who you are- rich or poor, old or young, married or  single- one thing levels the playing field-

“Holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.” Philippians 2:16 NAS

Hello, my name is Jamy and I am a mult-tasker. I’ve been this way as long as I can remember. I find it difficult, of not impossible, to focus on only one task at a time. For example, if I’m cooking dinner, I’m also writing a grocery list, unloading/loading the dishwasher, setting the table, checking homework and signing permission slips. In many instances this is a blessing. I can accomplish many things in a given period of time. However, I must let you in on a secret.
It’s exhausting!

This is a portion of an article that I have featured on Encouragement Café  and Crosswalk today. I would love for you to read and then come back and share your thoughts and something you are holding on to in the comment section.

If you read my devotion on Encouragement Café or Crosswalk and are here for the first time, Welcome. Feel free to look at the “About Me” page to learn more about me and then share something about yourself in the comment section. I would love to get to know my readers better.

Loving Your Frame

All of your abilities, and even disabilities,

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Psalm 139:13 NIV

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love looking at picture frames.  I can’t get over the wide assortment, everything from plain to very ornate.

What amazes me is not that there are so many choices, but that the various styles can fit the picture.  In some cases, you want to showcase the artwork or picture, so you don’t want a fancy or ornate frame that would draw the viewer’s attention away from the art.  However, there are other instances that an ornate frame is exactly what is needed.

This is a portion of an article that I have featured on Encouragement Café  and Crosswalk today. I would love for you to read and then come back and share your thoughts and something you are holding on to in the comment section.

If you read my devotion on Encouragement Café or Crosswalk and are here for the first time, Welcome. Feel free to look at the “About Me” page to learn more about me and then share something about yourself in the comment section. I would love to get to know my readers better.

Fall Is In Full Swing

??????????????????????????????

You can tell that school is back in session simply by looking around my home. Flip flops have been exchanged for tennis shoes. Backpacks, assignments and supplies can be seen throughout the living room.

The summer went entirely too fast, but I love the idea of starting fresh each school year. The blank notebooks and sharpened pencils eagerly awaiting the possibilities that this year holds.

You may not be going back to school or have children to get ready, but it is also a great time to be thinking about a new Bible study to dive into. We each are to be students of the Word. But, how to you determine what study to select?

It can be a daunting task if you don’t know where to begin. The endless lists on a google search or rows of titles on the shelf can leave you confused. I completely understand. However, there is a very simple solution.

All

The Bible Study Expo is a fabulous time to not only see a selection of new studies, but also hear directly from the authors. Marnie Swedberg does an incredible job of compiling a group of studies that reach a variety of women. The authors graciously give of their time to talk about their particular study. This enables you to find out what study will work for you or your women’s group.

The Bible Study Expo will be Thursday, August 20th from 2 – 5 EST. There are also giveaways throughout the event, so be certain to go to the website today and register. Then, schedule some time tomorrow to return to hear more about these new studies.

Starting Fresh

??????????????????????????????

I don’t know about you, but I am wondering what happened to the summer.  It seems like only yesterday the kids were coming home from their last day of school and here they are back in school.  I have to admit, I love the kids being home and able to spend time with them.  However, there is just something about getting ready to go back to school that I love.  In fact, I have always enjoyed this time.  I love the new school supplies and the anticipation of what lies ahead in the coming year — the new experiences and lessons to learn.  Sometimes I think we lose that excitement and anticipation of what lies around the bend.  As adults, we seem to dread the unknown and fear change.  I have decided that although I don’t see any more schooling in my future, I am not going to stop learning.  God’s Word is chalked full of so much knowledge that I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.  I have decided to be intentional about being a student of His Word.  Just as my kids are spending time learning and expanding their knowledge base, so will I with God’s Word.  I would highly recommend if you are not currently in some sort of Bible study, whether individual or group, online or in person, to become involved in one.  I would be more than happy to recommend a study to you.  Just let me know. God has so much in store for each one of us.  We simply need to find out what He wants for us.  The only way we can effectively do that is by meeting Him daily in His Word and through prayer and then listening for His still small voice to guide us each and every day.  Look at the start of a new school year as a fresh beginning, whether you are in school or not, and take the opportunity to start fresh with your relationship with God.

Unpacking

speak up

I wish that we could sit together at my kitchen table with some coffee and chat. Since, that is not possible, I thought this was the next best thing. I encourage you to take a few moments and watch the video.

If you happen to have attended the Speak Up Conference this last week, I would love to connect with you. Please leave your name and your take away from the conference in the comment section.

Conference Preparations: 5 Tips

Conference session is in full swing. Since I have attended and helped with several, I thought I would share a few tips with you today. Don’t leave just yet. I think you will find a tidbit or two that will be beneficial, even if you never plan on attending a conference.

photo 1

1. New hair cut or style

The whole idea of a new hair cut may seem a little silly to you, but stick with me. If you are more confident in your appearance, then it will shine through in your actions. You will be more willing to go up and introduce yourself or even ask questions during a session. Not to mention the impact it will have in your speaking critique groups or publisher/agent appointments.

photo 12. Notes/Schedule/Bible

These items may seem a little obvious, but I assure you when you are trying to not only get your stuff together, but everything for your family lined out something maybe forgotten. You want to be prepared. Therefore, keep your speaking or writing notes together in a folder or on a thumb drive along with your conference schedule and Bible. Go ahead and put them in a briefcase or shoulder bag that you will not leave the house without.

photo 2photo 3

 3. Conference Binder

I’m certain there must be at least one person reading this blog thinking, “you’ve have got to be kidding me. This lady is taking this a little too far.” Hear me out and then decide. After attending a few conferences, I found myself constantly flipping through my purse and bag to find a business card, one-sheet or my notes. It was embarrassing, especially when you factor in the importance of a good first impression. Therefore, I now utilize a small three ring binder for all my conferences. I use baseball card holders for my business cards, placing 3-5 in each slot on two sheets. The first row on the second sheet I leave open for the cards I will be receiving. I also use the 8 1/2 x 11 sheet protectors for holding my one-sheets for publisher appointments as well as placing one in the front sleeve of the binder to potentially peak someone’s interest in my book. An additional copy of the conference schedule is placed in this binder. Everything I need is all in one location, right at my fingertips.

photo 3photo 24. Packing

Obviously, you are going to need clothes, shoes and accessories, but how do you decide what to choose? I would suggest you have a friend or spouse give their input on your possible choices to help you determine what to bring. My suggestion would be an assortment of comfortable, yet professional shoes and clothes. It helps if you can mix and match pieces, to cut down on luggage space. A quick tip on keeping your accessories straight – Ziploc bags. After trying on and selecting, not only the outfit and shoes, but also the jewelry; I will hang the clothes together until they go in the suitcase with the accessories for that particular outfit in a zip bag hung on the pant/skirt hanger. You can use this same idea when packing for a vacation with the kids – putting their socks, hair ties and jewelry in one.

Praying woman hands

5. Prayer

I saved the most important tip for the end – prayer. You need to be praying for the event before the first session even begins. I also encourage you to ask your family and friends to come beside you and pray with you. Dear friends, make no mistake there is power in prayer. Whether you are attending a writing/speaking conference with hundreds or a little league game, you need to bathe it in prayer. God longs to be actively a part of your life. Prayer is the best way to not only talk to Him, but also listen to His still small voice as He graciously guides your steps.

Your Turn: Do you have a conference/travel tip that you would like to share today? If so, please leave it in the comment section. Also, if there is something I can pray for with you, please leave that as well. I do ask that you would keep me in your prayers over the course of the next few days as I travel to Grand Rapids to attend the Speak Up Conference.

Can you hear me now?

prayer picture

It amazes my children that when I was their age I did not have a cell phone. The look on their face shows such disbelief. They begin to think I have to be as old as dirt. In the world they are growing up in it does seem foreign not to see people talking or texting on cell phones.

Although they have downsides, I must admit as a parent it is very comforting to be able to reach my daughter, who is away at school, at any time and she can in turn respond from anywhere on campus about anything that is going on in her life. It makes the distance almost melt away.

Do you realize that you have access to something even better than 4G coverage and service? It is prayer.

Dear friends you can come to God at any time of day or night – He doesn’t have select “office” hours. You can also pray anywhere. It doesn’t have to be at church on Sunday or at the dinner table before meals. In addition, we can bring anything to God in prayer. We must keep in mind that prayer doesn’t have to be long or complicate. It is simply a conversation between you and God. Therefore, just tell Him exactly what is on your heart – the victories as well as the struggles.

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to You with a thankful heart today. I know that no matter what circumstance I am facing in my life You promise to be right by my side. I have the confidence to know that I can come to You at any hour of the day and that You will not only hear my prayer, my cries for help, but You will answer. I long to draw closer to You this week. May I silence the shouts of the world around me to hear Your still small voice. In Your Precious Name, Amen.

Your Turn:

Today, spend some time connecting with God in prayer. I would appreciate it if you would pray for me as I make the final preparations for attending the Speak Up Conference later this week. I will be attending several sessions as well as meeting with agents and publishers to pitch my latest book. I don’t know what God has in store, but I am laying it all at His feet.

I will gladly pray for you as well. Please share your request in the comment section

 

Countdown Fun and Winners Announced

paper chain

It seems like as soon as the Fourth of July rolls around the rest of summer is gone in a flash. So, today I thought I would share an idea that my younger kids absolutely loved – the countdown chain. You can use this for counting down to a vacation, start of school, birthday or any number of occasions.

For our chain, I cut various colors of cardstock (construction paper would also work) on my large paper-cutter to make it go faster. However, if the kids wanted to get involved, allowing them to cut the strips by hand would work just fine.

Now, for the fun part. On each of the strips of paper, we wrote an activity. These could be anything you want. The following are just a sample of what Quintin and Maddy selected:

  • Go for a walk
  • Have a tea party
  • Build a fort
  • Do a puzzle
  • Go to Build-a-Bear

After you have an activity on each of the strips of paper, then begin making a paper chain. You can tape or staple the ends together. Once the chain is constructed, we hung it up on the doorway. The kids not only had a visual for the number of days left, but also eagerly anticipated what that day’s activity would be.

It is a great way to countdown and have fun along the way.

I would love to hear from you today. What is a fun activity or idea you could share? It doesn’t have to be limited to children. I am still young at heart.


photoAnd now to announce the winners of the books.

(Drum Roll…..)

Beverly Brown Johnson
Lori A.
Kymmie

Ladies, if you could please email me your address. Also, if you have a preference on one of the 3 books listed let me know. Otherwise, it will just be a surprise.

Celebrate Freedom

fireworks

Happy 4th of July!

If you are like me, you have lots to do today. Therefore, I am going to make this short and sweet. The 4th of July holds so many memories for me, both as a child and with my own. But instead of sharing my memories with you today, I would like you to leave a memory in the comment section or a picture on my author page on facebook. Each memory or picture will get you an entry in the give away for FREE books. I will announce the winners on Monday morning, so you have until Sunday at midnight to enter. Don’t miss out! Now, go make some memories.