To Find Peace, Look

Today’s Featured Book: Busy Moms’ Devotions to Go

busy-cover-art-2

Busy Moms’ DTG offers insights into God’s wisdom and faithfulness gleaned during practical experience in the trenches.

Download for only $3.

Today’s Featured Book: Brides’ Devotions to Go

brides-cover-art-2

Sarah James tells every bride she works with that planning a wedding is like having a part-time job. It’s fun but it’s also a lot of work! Brides’ Devotions to Go is an upbeat devotional that brides rely on for girlfriend advice and a good laugh.

Every day, brides are given a spiritual boost and a break from endless decision making. Each devotion contains pertinent Scripture and sanity-saving advice told through stores from Sarah’s own wedding and from her experience in the wedding industry. Planning ideas and tips are included.

Download Digital edition of Brides’ DTG for only $3!

Beginning A Life of Simple Joy Part 1

cropped-preview-1.jpg

Jean Ann introduces you to the 3 steps you need to take to begin a Life of Simple Joy in this brief podcast.

Beginning a Life of Simple Joy Part 1

Prayer for Your Heart

Prayer for your Heart

O God, you are the well-spring of life.

Pour into our hearts the living water of your grace,

that we may be refreshed to live this day in joy,

confident of your presence

and empowered by your peace,

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

A Prayer to Begin Your Week

Prayer 82415

Everlasting God,

in whom we live and move and have our being;

You have made us for yourself,

so that our hearts are restless

until they rest in you.

Give us purity of heart and strength of purpose,

that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing your will,

no weakness keep us from doing it;

that in your light we may see light clearly,

and in your service find perfect freedom;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever. Amen

Time to Stop Talking & Take Action!

Harassed & helpless! Boy, do I know that feeling! I watch the news & read the paper & begin to wonder if there IS any hope. I read the posts on Facebook from other moms, other women & I know I’m not alone. So many women seem frightened, hopeless, helpless. We all begin to wonder if there is ANYTHING we can do to make things better.

I guess all this finally came to a head for me following the mass shooting in Orlando on Sunday. I have gotten angry before and resolved to take action before. Unfortunately, I let other things get in my way. I knew God was calling me & instead, I let trivial matter distract me. Not anymore!

I’m not here to discuss political issues or constitutional rights. I believe this goes deeper than any of that. No, I’m want to look at this from my expert perspective. And my area of expertise is Theology. When I was a kid, people said, “Everyone always talks about the weather but no one ever does anything about it!” Well, there isn’t much we can do about the weather. And while many of us TALK about conditions in our nation, our cities, our neighborhoods, there IS something we can do about it.

In the verse above from the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus felt compassion for the people because there were lost & afraid “like sheep without a shepherd.” We act like frighten sheep. We run around in a panic. Fortunately, we HAVE a Shepherd. Jesus is watching over us, protecting us whether we realize it or not. So the first thing we can do it put our faith in Him.

The second thing we can do is find strength, hope & comfort in Scripture. When life seems overwhelming, when we are unable to find answers, I know we can ALWAYS find the answers we need in the Bible.

The third thing we can do is PRAY! There is power in prayer. I also believe there is incredible power when WOMEN pray. More important, powerful things happen when women come together to pray. Jesus told us when 2 or more are gathered in my name, I will be there. Oh, He’s always there with us as individuals but when 2 or more of us come together to pray, Jesus is right there with us, praying beside us & personally taking our concerns to His Father.

In light of these three things, I came to the realization there is even more we can do. For a very long time now, I have felt God filling me with a vision. God has been calling me to create a ministry for women. A ministry made up of small groups of women, meeting in homes across the country, sharing faith, studying Scripture, praying, strengthening & supporting one another & having fun! The problem I had was how to do this?

I have dragged my feet long enough. I can’t worry anymore about the right way to begin, the right time to start, the right pice of the puzzle to fall into my lap. I’m just going to begin.

If you look at the top of the page in the menu, you’ll see Sisters of Simple Joy. This is the name I have given to our small group women’s ministry. Beneath that, I am adding information to help you launch your own group. There is no charge for any of this. I have created a workbook for group leaders. Anyway, you can find information at the top.

For now, pray. God is calling a small group of women to be the first small group leaders in this ministry. I’m not naming any names. That’s not for me to decide. I’m not saying anyone should do anything right now. Just pray. If you are one of the women God has chosen, He’ll let you know. All I ask is that you open your heart, mind & spirit to His leading!

And should you decide to join this adventure, let me know. I want to create a network of praying faithful women that uphold & support one another, their families, their communities & our nation.

Hugs & blessings!

Jean Ann

The Power of 5: Achieving Your Goals 5 Steps at a Time

power-of-5-post-graphic

In business and life, it’s mandatory to set goals. Earl Nightingale defined success as the progressive realization of a predetermined goal. Without goals, you’re on the journey of life without direction. Would you begin a long trip with no idea which road to take to reach your destination? I don’t think so! Then why would you continue on the most important journey of all, your life, without a clear idea how to proceed?

Perhaps the problem is a lack of vision. I find many people are unable to set goals, to lay out a predetermined path for their lives because they have no idea where they want to end up once they arrive. In that case, it becomes necessary to establish your ultimate destination before you begin. This enables you to set goals that take you farther and farther along your path, toward your goal.

As a blogger, writer, podcaster & more, I must constantly set goals for my life & business. I must have a clear idea where I am and where I want to go to lead my life along that path. When I first began this process, I found overwhelming. How do I determine where I need to go? How do I decide where I should end up at a predetermined time in my life? What steps do I take along the way to ensure I arrive at my destination? I was working to set goals for the coming year and found myself unable to proceed. The coming year! I was having trouble what I should do the coming DAY! I was in trouble.

I realized it was not enough to think only of the coming year. To have a productive year, I needed to be working on goals that helped me accomplish my long term goals. That meant I needed to set long term goals for my business and life.

When I first sat down to do this, I came up with a long list of items that I wanted to accomplish in the coming year alone. As I studied the list, I realized I was setting myself up for frustration. All I was creating was a list of items that would be carried over, uncompleted, from year to year. I didn’t want this. I believe goals should be achievable but have stretch. I wasn’t certain what to do.

Then it hit me. I remembered something I had read in one of my Mary Kay Ash books. Mary Kay advised her sales consultants to follow her example of only setting 5 goals a day. By listing only 5 items on their to-do list, Mary Kay from her own experience knew that anyone could easily accomplish the things they needed to get done for the day. The list was to be created at night before going to bed. I had been using this technique for a while and found it worked very well. If I needed to make phone calls, I would make the calls 1 item on the list but no more than 5 calls. If I needed to make more than 5 calls, then I would create another item on the list.

So, I began to think, why not use the same technique for setting long term goals? The Power of 5 was born. It’s very simple. I went 5 years into the future. I personally find it is easier to go forward and work my way back than the other way around. I thought about my business. What did it look like? What had I accomplished? What was I on the verge of accomplishing? Then I made a list of 5 things that I had accomplish 5 years in the future. I always write each goal in present tense, as if it were a reality, which it is. You see, once I create the goal and commit it to paper, once I accept the possibility of it being accomplished, my mind begins to subconsciously create ways to accomplish the goal. My mind accepts each item as reality and acts on it accordingly.

Next, I considered a year from now. To be a year closer to accomplishing my 5 year goals, what 5 things do I need to accomplish in the coming year? Then, I thought a month ahead. What 5 things did I need to do to bring me a month closer to the annual goals? Each week, I study the monthly goals and set 5 goals for the week that bring me closer to accomplishing the monthly goals and each evening, I study the weekly list so I can set goals that insure each day helps me to complete the weekly goals.

I am finding it much easier to accomplish the items on my list because they are not overwhelming. If I finish all 5 things on my daily list, then I refer to my weekly list and decide what else I might do to whittle away at the week tasks. Just like eating an elephant, I bring myself one bite closer to those 5 year goals everyday.

You can create your Power of 5 list anytime. Right now is the perfect time. Sit down and look 5 years into the future. Who are you? What are you doing? What are you about to accomplish? Create a list of 5 things that you see happening right then. Your goals should reflect the different aspects of your professional life. For example, if you are an author and speaker, you want a goal for each of these areas. You want each item to be as specific as you are able to make it. If the items are vague, you are not going to accomplish them. Your mind cannot act upon a vague idea. You need to give your mind a specific goal upon which it may act and accomplish.

Next, come back to one year in the future. What 5 things do you need to accomplish in one year’s time to be on schedule for your 5 year goals? Then go to a month out. What do you need to accomplish by then to complete your annual goals? Then set goals for the coming week to nibble away at your monthly goals. Finally, each evening before you go to bed, make your list of 5 for the following day. Study the list from that day. If you did not accomplish something, determine why. You might have set a goal that was too big to be finished in one day. Learn from that mistake and create more realistic goals to avoid frustration. Perhaps something came up to prevent you from finishing the list. That happens sometimes. Resist the urge to beat yourself up and add the item to tomorrow’s list. Perhaps the task doesn’t even need to be done. Then cross it off the list and forget about it Tomorrow is an opportunity for a fresh start. Take advantage of it

The Power of 5 is a great tool to help you accomplish the incredible goals you see ahead of you. That makes for a Life of Simple Joy!

Keep Your Heart Open

inspirational-backgrounds-for-desktop-free-animated-a-i-ibackgroundz.com

 

What dream gives joy to your living?

Easter Egg Decorating Potluck

 

Gather friends & family this year & join the kids in decorating Easter eggs. This fun event gives you time to slow things down, enjoying family, friends, food & fellowship.