Inspire Me Monday

Seven Things to Do When You Feel Discouraged About Weight Loss

Self-Care Sundays For the next eight months, I’ll continue the MAPS theme from my Write 31 Days Challenge. I strongly feel that in our self-indulgent culture, we often lose sight of the difference between nurturing ourselves and indulging ourselves. Occasional indulgence won’t hurt anyone, but a steady diet of indulgence that overlooks actual self-care can leave us feeling empty and confused. The acronym MAPS stands for Mental, Academic/Artistic, Physical and Spiritual-the four areas of our lives that we need to…

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Five Tips for Building a Good Relationship with NetGalley

My Good Intention to Buy Fewer Books For years, my husband has chided me for the amount of money I spend on books, and the book cases necessary to house my collection. When we moved in 2013, I donated hundreds of books to the library. Only my favorites made the move to Arizona. I had every intention to purchase fewer books (it helped that browsing in the closest Christian bookstore required a three-and-a-half hour drive). Our first year here, I…

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Curl Up With a Good Book This November

I spent my October furiously writing the 31 Ways to Nurutre Yourself series for the Write 31 Days challenge, and thus I missed my usual post about October new releases. In this post, you’ll find out about books I liked last month, as well as ones that release in November. For those curious, I receive a free digital version of the books from NetGalley.com in exchange for reviewing the books on their website. I often share my thoughts on Goodreads…

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Finding Wholeness in Art as Worship

Wor-ship • verb: to show respect and love for God. Today I continue the conversation with Shelley Weaver, an artist who rediscovered her passion for ceramic arts and started working on her craft when her youngest went off to college. Today Shelley talks about art as worship, developing art in children, and what she does with all of the beauty she creates. Shelley, do you see art as a form of worship? This is my favorite question. It made me…

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31 Ways to Nurture Yourself

nur-ture • noun : the care and attention given to someone or something that is growing or developing The Dangers of Forgetting to Nurture Yourself During my first caregiving journey, I learned the hard way what happens if a caregiver doesn’t take care of herself (or himself). For ten months, I lived in a whirlwind of what-ifs and ‘your-husband-might-not-make-its.’ During that time, I thought I had everything under control (with God’s help, of course). My kids ate, I knew where they were…

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Overlooking the Plain is Overlooking the Plan

A Plain Bird I spotted a bird sitting on the curb across from my house as I headed out the door for a run. Never one to miss a photo op with a bird, I ran back inside for my camera. I thought that perhaps the resident juvenile Cooper’s Hawk had dropped by for a visit. Focusing the lens, I called out to my youngest daughter. “Sarah!  It’s not my hawk, it’s a roadrunner!”  We took turns looking through the…

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From Marathon to Puny in Three Months

My Puny Body I sucked in deep gulps of air, and kicked my foot out of my toe clips. Whew! That hill grew since the last time I rode up it, I thought. My gelatinous legs could barely support me as I dragged off my backpack and dug around for a protein bar. “Let’s go!” Pedro called out to the group of students in front of me, and they all took off down the trail. I continued to cram my…

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What the Tangle of Texas Traffic Taught Me About Church

To all my Texan friends: I apologize in advance for anything I say that may sound as if I don’t like Texas or Texans. Please bear with me. I love Texans and any state that provides two new birds per day for my life list is an awesome place! Starbucks on the Right The first time I drove through a Texas city, I saw a Starbucks off the freeway. “Perfect!” I thought. “I need a late afternoon pick-me-up. I’ll just…

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Birder’s Paradise? Or Birding in Paradise

Texas in the Summer I clutched the dripping Gatorade bottle with one sweaty palm and unscrewed the cap with trembling fingers. They might call Texas a birder’s paradise, but it felt a little more…hotish, shall we say? For the past three hours, I had wandered the trails of Resaca de la Palma State Park—on a toasty 98˚ with 80 percent humidity July day. Most people enjoy the World Birding Center parks in the fall or spring. The weather turns balmy…

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A Palette of New Releases for August

  Fatal Trust—August 1 By Todd M. Johnson, Inspirational Suspense When Ian Wells lands a mysterious trust case with a seemingly easy workload that will relieve his financial burdens, he hesitates to take it. Why would someone pay him so much money just to do a background check on three individuals? But he needs the money to help his mother who has Alzheimer’s, to fight a frivolous malpractice suit against his father’s law practice, and to provide a buffer as…

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