Searching for Vision

In life I often have those moments of being at a crossroads, being at a point where there are so many paths to choose from. Lately I have felt myself standing at a trail head with multiple options to choose from, I can see each path, I can tell each one leads to something different but I cannot see the whole path clearly, I cannot see where each will take me. I know each will lead somewhere else. And some will even take me backwards from where I stand today. And yet I stand here and consider each path unsure of which one is the right one to take.

This weekend I found myself at a Marriage Seminar. 26-years old, incredibly single and sitting at a marriage seminar, not exactly what I had in mind. I found a lot of the information useful and will great in the if-and-when happens. I’m not one of those girls searching for a husband at every corner I turn, and although I see the importance of the singles crowd to hear this information in preparation for the future, up until a few days before I really was set to not go to a marriage seminar, with being a part of so many weddings lately it just did not sound appealing. But I must say it did get me thinking…just not exactly about marriage.

There was one point in the seminar where the Pastor talked about having a vision statement for his marriage and how him and his wife go on a vision retreat each year to pray, talk, share and have fun to discuss what God has planned for them and what their vision for them as a couple, for their children and for their family is for that year. Now if businesses, churches, and married couples had a vision for their year…maybe that was what was missing from me. And than it hit me.

I had no vision.

I’ve prayed for guidance, had ideas of where I would like to be, asked God to reveal His plans to me, but what I was lacking was vision. I had nothing to line my choices up with. There was no real motivation except going through each day, so I am putting together a plan. A weekend of disconnecting and figuring out what God has in store for me this year, and the path He wants me to take.

Do you have a vision for your life?

What do you think about creating a Vision statement for your everyday?

-Elle

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.'”

Jeremiah 29:11

 

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Win a Nook Color from @MaryConnealy during her “Over the Edge” Giveaway. RSVP for 8/29 Facebook Party!

 

Celebrate with Mary by entering to win a Nook Color with GlowLight!

See what folks are saying about Over the Edge!

One winner will receive:

  • A Nook Color with GlowLight
  • The entire set of Mary Connealy’s The Kincaid Brides series

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 28th. Winner will be announced at the “Over the Edge” Author Chat Facebook Party on 8/29. Meet Mary, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and more. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group.)!

So grab your copy of Over the Edge and join Mary on the evening of the August 29th for a chance to connect with her and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

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Win a Nook Color from Robert Whitlow in The Choice Giveaway. RSVP for 8/28 Facebook Party.

Celebrate with Robert by entering to win a Nook Color with GlowLight!

See what folks are saying about The Choice!

One “choice” winner will receive:

  • A Nook Color with GlowLight
  • A four book Robert Whitlow library (winner’s choice)

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 27th. Winner will be announced at the “The Choice” Author Chat Facebook Party on 8/28. Meet Robert, get a sneak peek of his next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and more. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group.)!

So grab your copy of The Choice and join Robert on the evening of the August 27th for a chance to connect with Robert and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

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“Get and Give” Campaign! Win a Kindle Fire from @AustinGutwein and have $250 donated to the Charity of your choice!

Austin’s new book Live to Give is about “Letting God Turn Your Talents into Miracles”! Celebrate with him by entering his “Get and Give” Campaign – you could win a Kindle Fire for yourself AND Litfuse will donate $250 to the charity of your choice!



See what people are saying about Live to Give.

One winner will receive:
  • A Brand New Kindle Fire with Wi-Fi
  • Five copies of Live to Give by Austin Gutwein
  • $250 donated on the winner’s behalf to the charity of their choice

Hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/25/12. The winner will be announced on 8/27/12 on the Live to Give Landing Page!

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The Stars Shine Bright By: Sibella Giorello

The Stars Shine Bright (Raleigh Harmon, #5)

Raleigh Harmon is back, and this time she is undercover. With the FBI suspending Raleigh for bending the rules, Special Agent Raleigh Harmon has one last chance to redeem herself and to save the career she loves so much. With the possibility of races being fixed at Emerald Downs horse track, Raleigh is called in to go undercover to discover what is happening; however, once she gets there horses are getting injured and dying and Raleigh’s own life is threatened. She soon realizes that there is something more than just horse races being fixed.

The one contact Raleigh has at the FBI is the one person she doesn’t want to have to deal with, never knowing if he will be teasing her, lecturing her or being a genuine friend Jack Stephenson is the last person Raleigh wants to have contact with. As things heat up at the races, Raleigh’s life continues in a downward spiral, her mother doesn’t want to see her, the required meetings with her shrink can mean losing her job with the FBI, Demott, her fiancée wants her to return home, a black Cadillac keeps appearing out of nowhere to follow Raleigh. With her life spinning out of control and the case having too many open ends with the FBI wanting to know her every move Raleigh is unsure where to turn. Can she figure out what is happening before someone ends up hurt and before the FBI pulls her off the assignment?

Sibella Giorello returns with the 5th book in the Raleigh Harmon series, The Stars Shine Bright, Giorello’s writing will wrap you into the pages, weaving you into the intricate story lines that make you feel as if you are watching the story develop. Giorello’s writing is complemented by her strong research and authentic characters that you can relate too. Filled with laughter, heartache, good times and bad you will sink into this story till the last page. 

This book was provided to me complimentary from Thomas Nelson Publishing through Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

-Elle

Win a Kindle Fire from @SibellaGiorello in “The Stars Shine Bright” Giveaway!

Novelist Sibella Giorello is celebrating the release of the latest book in her praiseworthy Raleigh Harmon series by giving away a Kindle Fire! 

Find out what the reviewers are saying here!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • The entire 5-book Raleigh Harmon series.

Hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/25/12. The winner will be announced on 8/27/12 on Sibella’s blog!

Just click one of the icons below to enter. Tell your friends about Sibella’s giveaway on FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

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Can You Hear What is in My Heart?

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

2 Timothy 1:7

I have a love-hate relationship with this verse. I love that we were not created with a spirit of fear and timidity, we are created with power, love and self-discipline. Those are some strong words, words I can take to heart and remember in those times. It’s understandable why so many keep this verse close to heart.

But than there is the other side. The side that I don’t like. The side that I don’t always want to speak about. Having a spirit of fear and timidity. Something that God has not given us, which means that our fears and timidity. My fears and timidity come from something not of God, something of evil. Every time I read this verse I am reminded and question myself, if God did not give me a spirit of fear and timidity, why am I so afraid? why am I so timid? Why does the idea of speaking up make me want to go hide under the bed until I can figure a way out of it. Why does my fear control me? Fear of failing, of not living up to everyone’s standards, of not living up to my own standards.

I’ve always been shy, it is not as bad as when I was a child, I was church-mouse quiet, easily lost amongst the crowds. My participation grades were non-existent, and when I knew I had to participate to pass it took everything for me to speak up and say something. Ever since I was little I’ve wanted to say what was really on my mind, to speak up, to share the good news that I know! To declare that Jesus is Lord! To be able to lead a Bible Study or discussion! But the idea makes me anxious, it makes me sick to my stomach to think about standing in front of a crowd and saying anything.

I love this verse. I hold on to this verse, and yet I have not found a way to speak up, to share what’s on my mind. My silence controls me, it makes me feel as if I cannot connect with anyone, cannot make friends, it makes me feel as if people look past me, never getting the chance to know the real me, because in a crowd I don’t know how to be the real me. Many times, even in church, I feel as if I am standing in the middle of a room and everyone is passing me by, walking around me, never really seeing who I am. I feel that when I attempt to speak up, if someone else comes along I am quickly forgotten and I just want to scream. I want to yell at the top of my voice and cry out for people to notice me, that I am not who they think I am, that there is so much more to the quiet girl standing alone.

I don’t have the answers of how to change this, sure I’ve heard plenty of times that I’ve got to speak up, that I need to push myself  out of my comfort zone, but that is so much easier said than done. I tell myself daily sometimes hourly that today will be the day that I reach out, and slowly the days add up to weeks and months and I still haven’t spoken up. I don’t know if there is an answer to change this. Sometimes I wonder if this makes me a bad Christian because I don’t know how to speak about my faith, to share the words that echo in my heart that I want others to hear but cannot speak. I wonder in those moments that I do speak up if I am making any sense at all. If people realize there is so much inside of me that I want to share, to get out I just don’t know how too. In some ways I’ve found alternatives to be able to share who I am. But, I do not want to be silent. I want to speak up, I want to take hold of that power and share what is on my heart, and I’ve prepared amazing conversations only they all sit inside, waiting for the day that I can find the courage to speak out.

-Elle

Procrastination is my Middle Name.

Wow, can you believe it! It is already the middle of August? Where has the summer gone and why haven’t I done anything on my list of ‘Things to Do this Summer’ I am running out of time!

I feel like this summer I have not been productive in anything. At all. Except maybe reading. I’m very productive at reading. This is just going to be a quick update, and I promise to post more later this week.

Last weekend I was able to attend Women of Faith: Celebrate and it was AMAZING! I plan to make a post specifically about that, including pictures and possibly a video or two, expect to see those by this coming weekend.

With the approach of the school year and fall (my favorite season!) I have pulled out my craft supplies and am back to knitting and crocheting and a few other random projects, I am in search of some new patterns this year so feel free to pass them on! I will also be starting a DIY section to the blog so you can see what I’ve been working on, I am also considering starting to sell them (those school loans really do pile up!), so if you have a pattern and do not want to take the time to make it, send it my way and we can figure something out!

My reading list for the summer has started to dwindle as well as the blog tours I am part of, I love reading but sometimes a break is needed, especially since we are seeing an end to the summer heat wave (Can I get an Amen!)

 

I’ve been considering also revamping the blog but would love some of your input! And I am considering opening it up to some guest bloggers (or people who just want to add something!)

For now, I will continue procrastinating until an idea comes my way.

God Bless!

-Elle

Live to Give By: Austin Gutwein

At only 18 years of age Austin Gutwein continues to give us a new perspective on our lives and how we can live to serve others. Through this book Austin will inspire you to figure out the gifts God has granted you and how to use them to glorify Him. Austin starts out his book by pointing out how different each one of us are, and how God created us with different gifts and different talents. We all have things about us we do not like, but God created us in His image and we should use the abilities He has gifted us.

Austin uses this book to remind us that when we use our God-given abilities God can take what we see as only a talent and turn it into a life-altering miracle. Through this book we learn about Austin’s story and how he took basketball even though he was not the next NBA player, he took a game that he loved and enjoyed playing and turned it into something that can serve others and glorify God.

Through this book you will be challenged through Austin’s words and the study questions at the end of each chapter to discover what abilities you have and to use them to serve others. By using the things that God has equipped you with you will not only change someone else’s life but you will change your own life.

This book is a good read! It is a great book for those in youth ministry looking to encourage youth to serve; however, it is great for all ages!

I received this book complimentary from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

-Elle

Tidewater Inn By: Colleen Coble

Libby has a passion for history, ever since she was a young girl she has loved it turning her interest into a business she and her partner Nicole now renovate old buildings and get them onto the historical registry site. Libby lives pay check to pay check but she loves what she does. Her and Nicole have just started their latest project on a small North Carolina Island. Nicole goes down ahead of time to check out the place only to find out that the local law office has been searching for Libby, her father, who she thought died when she was young has left an old Inn to Libby, as well as two other siblings.

As Libby hears this news and hopes to catch a glimpse of her sister over a webcam she ends up seeing her best friend and business partner kidnapped and rushes to the small island to find her. Between searching for her best friend, siblings that don’t want her, a possible romance, and the local sheriff believing she killed Nicole, and learning about the father she never knew Libby has tons on her plate.

This was my first Colleen Coble book and I could not get enough! You will connect to the emotional ups and downs of the characters, be sucked into small town life and find yourself up way past your bed time. I cannot wait to read more from Coble! This is the perfect book for a cold weekend to curl up on the coach with a cup of hot chocolate. One thing is for sure, you will want to block out a chunk of time to read this, you will be captivated from beginning to end!

I received this book complimentary from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

-Elle